In yesterday’s LAT Opin- excuse me, Current section- Michael Kinsley remarks on the rudeness prevalent on the internet:
Why is the tone of conversation on the Internet, especially about politics, so much lower than in the material world? E-mail can be a fabulous medium for serious discussion, combining as it does the spontaneity of talking with the opportunity for reflection inherent in writing it down.
But most of the e-mail I get doesn’t realize this potential. For the last few weeks, my in-box has been clogged almost to the point of unusability, with nearly identical e-mails from people who disagree with my interpretation of the notorious Downing Street memos. (Don’t know what the DSM are? Lucky you.) As an attempt to change your mind, one e-mail may be a sincere appeal to reason and evidence, but 500 e-mails is a blunt instrument.
And nasty? Oh my goodness. Give me those scary old pre-e-mail letters that journalists used to get – written in purple or red crayon on mysteriously stained stationery from the Bates Motel – any day.
As Fishbowl readers know, I’m an unrepentant Michael Kinsley fan. I’d like each one of you to send him a cheery “U R DOIN A GOOD JOB!! ’ email to balance out the bile in his inbox. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org.