Sunday, August 1, 2010

the death of silliman's comment section is the end of civilization as we know it

poets! please! does every tiny event that somewhat effects your lives have to be the most dramatic thing ever? Conrad DiDiodato laments, in most hyperbolic terms, the end of Silliman's blog's comment section. his poast is entitled "Ron Silliman and the diminishment of free speech", and he writes:
Ron Silliman has, in a word, opted in favor of Internet censorship, radically curtailing the reader's right to offer intelligent, constructive criticism
not taking questions from the audience at a private event you entirely sponsored and organized is not a sign of the end of free speech. getting rid of the letters to the editor section of a non-profit publication that you pay for out of pocket is not a sign that everyone is being repressed by a totalitarian dictator. and getting rid of the comment section on your own blog is not the downfall of freedom as we know it.

you can't just go screaming that you've been repressed every time someone makes a personal decision that happens to violate your vastly over-inflated sense of entitlement.

Silliman's decision to end the comment section sucks, but your free speech is still intact. you can still go get your own blog, write something, and Silliman will probably even link to you every so often, put you on his blog roll and all that. the funniest thing about Conrad's complaints that free speech is dead is that i guarantee that Silliman will link to his post.

Silliman scours the internet every week for pertinent poetry discussions and links to them. he does this for free, for nothing, on top of his job, family, and poetry and blog output. how anyone can get the idea that they are entitled to this free service is completely beyond me.


Kirby Olson said...

Will to power was always there in the comments box, but so was the wish to remove the comments box (Jessica Smith said that unless all of poetry readers approved of her work she just couldn't go on!), and thus the silencing of all poetry readers who didn't approve of her!

I didn't care one way or the other about her, honestly.

I think it's wonderful that he capped the comments box, and killed eight years of discussion at one stroke.

There were some gems in there, but it was mostly a conversation carried on for fun, with the will to power as a constant menace just behind that.

Even in poetry, or perhaps especially in poetry, will to power is always very much the greatest motivation.

I think the thing that's funniest is that now no one will read Ron's blog any more. He thinks it was all about him, but it was actually about his comments box.

It was the only chance any of us ever had to talk back to the LANGUAGE police. It was like Glasnost.

Iain said...

what's the point of dishonestly paraphrasing an opinion Jessica Smith expressed on her blog just to make her look selfish? she really never said anything like that, and i believe that little purposeful misunderstanding of what Jessica actually said is one of the sort of things that made her express reluctance to participate in the larger poetry community.

why engage with a community of people that aren't going to engage with what you express on honest terms? why talk to people who will just end up hearing whatever they want to hear?

Silliman's blog will likely lose some readers (but he'll certainly gain some too). mostly he'll only lose the sort of people who were only there so they could say something and have a thousand or so people read it. not a big loss really. some earnest voices may leave too, but i know plenty of people who stopped reading his blog because of the comments. those people will likely trickle back.

Kirby Olson said...

I translated what she said, like the way they translate what Democrats say into what they really said on Hannity.

It's fun to do this, and honestly, I don't see why anyone cares what anyone else says.

People talk a lot, and the point of it is that it can be amusing. It doesn't have to build your self-esteem.

People shouldn't care what anybody else says. Talking isn't pointless, but you have to think about the points that are being made, rather than thinking about how well received you are.

Being well-received is rather pointless.

There are now all these brittle little communities policing what is said about them, and crying unfair about anything that is said. The Muslims go nuts if a cartoon is made of Allah. The feminists want a law that says you can't demean women. People are ready to cry racism if someone makes fun of what a dope the president is.

Poets don't really matter much. The comments that were made at Ron's blog didn't matter much. A half a million comments were probably made over the last eight years, and he wiped them out in about four seconds.

Who cares?

None of it mattered at all.

Iain said...

what you're describing is just called trolling. those of us who're trying to have actual back and forth conversations tend to ignore your kind. we wonder about you: are you actually a "Lutheran surrealist"? is anything you say about yourself actually true, or is it too just specifically designed to provoke a response for "fun"? because that's kind of what it seems like.

i'm not going to write you off too fast, so feel free to continue commenting on my blog if you actually have something to contribute, but i'm not going to be publishing anymore of your trolling.

Carmenisacat said...

This no doubt is the least interesting commentary to date.

Booby prize for you.