Fireworks, rabid Christians, and drive-by commenters

Oh goody, it’s nearly November. That means every night for the next couple of weeks is fireworks night as far as the local kids are concerned. Last night there were loud squeals and bangs going off next door, terrorising the cats. Well, terrorising George, anyway – he was outside when the noise started, so I went out to try and find him and bring him in. It didn’t take much searching – I opened the door and immediately a black shadow dashed past, belly almost on the ground as he tried to slink and run at the same time. He spent the rest of the night under the bed, refusing to come out even when tempted with crunchies.

Ming and Saffy, on the other hand, jumped a bit and looked worried at the first bang, but quickly settled back down with “oh, it’s THAT time of year again, is it?” expressions on their faces and ignored the rest of the noise.

We should have a more peaceful night tonight, though – it’s stormy and horrible out there, so if this weather carries on until tonight there won’t be anyone venturing outside to play with fireworks.

I’m wondering what exactly is the appeal of what I always think of as “drive-by commenting”, those weird, seemingly random and sometimes abusive comments you get from people who don’t seem to have actually read your diary. I suppose it’s the same impulse to make a mark on the world (but lack of talent to do it in any constructive way) that leads to graffiti – I’ve never felt the urge to graffiti either, so that’s probably why I can’t understand the drive-by commenters. I had one yesterday that annoyed me, and I was tempted for a moment to leave a comment on their diary (especially when I had a glance at their diary and discovered it seems to be the home of a rabid Christian (I have no objection to Christianity (or any other religion) in general, but I detest the kind of person who feels it is their duty to force their religion on others, not caring who they hurt in the process), who seems (from comments others have left) to make a habit of this sort of thing), but sense prevailed, and I decided the troll wasn’t worth my effort to feed. I’m still left wondering what exactly they get out of it, though. How sad and boring must your life be if you get a thrill out of knowing you’ve caused a complete stranger a few seconds of irritation?

Of course, not being one of the big names of DD, I don’t get drive-by comments nearly as often as some people do, so I can’t really complain. I know some people have responded to the annoyance by restricting comments or turning them off altogether. But almost all of the friends I’ve met on DD have been because someone I didn’t know left me a comment, so I definitely think the benefits of allowing comments outweigh the occasional irritation. And if I didn’t allow everyone and anyone to leave a comment, then I wouldn’t get the good random comments – like the person who accidentally came across this entry while looking for something else, and was amused enough to leave a nice comment – that one really made my day.

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  1. Woohoo! You got a copy of my book! *Dances around room looking a right fool*.

    Ahem. *Tries to look all serious again* I hope you enjoy it, and are left eager to read volumes 2 and 3.

    We’re being hit by the spam attack that’s been crippling our ISP’s mail servers, so I have just two minutes ago got the notify message re your *first* comment, and have yet to get your latest diary notify or the note regarding your second comment.

    Good luck with the exam!

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