And for the Veils
I'm probably naive about this, but I've been a bit shocked by the vitriol that sometimes exists in comment pages. I would as soon eviscerate a total stranger on a comment/ message board as I would scream filthy invective at my mail lady, which is not soon at all. Because I can't seem to forget that the person one is venting one's spleen at is real. I think of that person as myself, on the other side of a mirror. Why would I do that to someone else when I know it can't help but hurt?
To this end, the Guardian/Observer had an innocent enough article about artists who use antiquated or analog tools as part of their art making. It's a cool article you can find here. Read it and enjoy. Then have a look at some of the comments. People are commenting on things that don't even make sense, making assumptions about the artists (nasty ones) that they couldn't possibly infer from the article.
One of the artists profiled, poet Claire Askew, blogged about what these comments were and how they affected her personally. I think it's illuminating to see the 'result' of these virtual molotov cocktails that anonymous posters throw - to see where they land. As she says in her response, she's "never taken being picked on lying down " So instead of lying down and taking it or even taking the 'high' road of silence, she responds to some of the haters. It's interesting and kind of thrilling to see her take them all on.
What do you think about the negative/flaming comments and posts about artists/writers? Haters gonna hate, but should there be a response? Or does that just fan the flames? And should bloggers in particular be honest (I hate this writer/book) or be discrete? Is there a way to be both?
*Yesterday, V was for Vexed, because that's how this issue made me feel. But Vitriol is much more appropriate, no?