I thought I was reading The Onion after I read the headline of Sharon Daly’s “Can We Talk” column and then read the commentary.
I have been what is known as a “lurker” on Forest Park Forums (FPF). It is a place, as most anonymous places are, where civility is a relative term. Many post with all the class and subtlety of a person who would tie an anonymous note to a brick, throw it through your window at two o’clock in the morning and then pat himself on the back for bravely expressing an opinion. And pat themselves on the back they do.
The names are fun, too. Sharon, bless her heart, opines using her own name, as do a few others. The rest, well, I was in the Man from U.N.C.L.E. club – I forget my code name but I do remember Ken Johnson was Illya Kuryakin. We all knew who we were when we had club meetings, but had to use the “code names” anyway. The only difference between the club and the FPF is that it was 1966, I was seven and really in second grade.
For the record I have never been anonymously attacked in a web forum, in case any reader wonders why I harbor these views.
Anonymous posting allows spineless wonders to spew their venom with impunity. Yes, this is their guaranteed right of free speech. However, I suspect they are more interested in consequence-free speech because they lack integrity to sign off using their own names. These people do not enhance public discourse, they detract from it.
Sharon, apparently you dislike anonymous “vitriolic googoo” when you disagree, but you’re cool with it when you agree. Me, I hate it all.
Paul W. Barbahen