Today, Twitterer (Twit? Tweeter? Tweetmeister?) @davidshayne spoke my soul. To the entire internet!
“I never hate humanity — or myself — more than when I read the comments section on any blog.”
People, this is true. Years of wading through freewheeling grammar and usage, heart-stopping displays of cluelessness, and predictable passive aggression have all taught me that the comments section of any blog but my own—because you, dear readers, are perfect and gentle and know that “u” is not a pronoun*—is no place for this sensitive soul.**
But sometimes, this is also false. We at Austenacious spend a lot of time trawling the Internet for cool, unusual Austen-related content, and you can take it from us that Austen fans are an outspoken bunch. Are you, members of the global community, hating on Jane? Are you explaining, in your infinite wisdom and yet with little insight, why ladies like her books? Are you implying that Jane, being both dead and a girl who writes about girly things, shouldn’t be taught in schools? Don’t think we don’t notice. We notice. In fact, we will BURY YOU—often not with an avalanche of rage and misplaced modifiers, but a persistently paced stream of well-intentioned informational talking points (punctuated by the occasional, justified burst of emotion). If you’re wrong and we’re right—because we must be right, right?—there will be no justice until you’ve been informed of the magnitude of your wrongness and the many ways in which you might rectify the situation. And there’s something both hilariously obnoxious and really wonderful about that, in the sense that the correcting is enormously repetitive but also extremely eager and sometimes accompanied by some dose of truth and/or humor (note: often unintentional). We Jane fans speak up for ourselves, and we speak up for Jane. We bring things up. We share the knowledge, whether the knowledge wants to be shared or not. Because if there’s anybody who must have liked being right, it was probably Jane.
And if we get to call somebody or something “stunningly stupid,” well, bonus points.
*Readers: Consider this your encouragement to prove me wrong. Hit us with your best shots!
**Not true. I sometimes read the comments on Smitten Kitchen, because they are informative and include answers to questions like “So, what will happen if I make this recipe with a completely different set of ingredients?”, and I find that entertaining.Jane Austen, rants, the internet, XKCD on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 · 3 Comments »