Friday, September 28, 2007

Reader mail

I started writing this blog for the usual reasons: manufacturing a social life to mask the pain of my abject loneliness … parlaying exhaustive descriptions of what I cooked for dinner into lucrative book deals … impressing a hunky Canadian blogger with my witty bons mots to the extent that he’d decide to move to Chicago and fall madly in love with me.

And this was all way back before blogs (at least the blogs by hunky Canadians that I was reading but who obviously weren’t reading me back) had comment features. Or before it even occurred to me to crave want comments to validate my sad, lonely existence. Blogger itself was slow to jump on the comment-technology bandwagon—its templates didn’t even have a way to put an email address in a sidebar, and it is to this day a major source of pride that I figured out the HTML and added the mailto thingy you see to your right all by myself. Eventually I stumbled on HaloScan and added its comment HTML to my source code as well, and we entered a new era of HTML-confident interactive lovin’ here at NoFo.

At the time, very few people were reading (or obviously even knew about) my blog. Especially the hunky Canadians. So all the HaloScan in the world wasn’t bringing me any comment lovin’. But I started a campaign of leaving brilliantly clever (ahem) comments on popular blogs, which Internet surfers across the globe relished and then clicked on my blog link to read more … and slowly the readership and the lovin’ started coming in.

The majority of comments (all 10 of them) that I received in those early, heady days were the usual niceties one would hope for: compliments, attaboys, funny observations and demands for dates from readers named Christopher Meloni.

Then a couple years ago I ran a series of posts about my adventures in liposuction—which I thought people would appreciate for their in-the-trenches honesty and gruesome scar photography. Instead they generated a deluge of blistering hate mail excoriating me for my arrogance and vanity and body fascism. And the anti-lovin’ kept coming, even after I conceded that liposuction is the stupidest thing you can do with your body and your money.

I let the hate mail stay up, though, if only to show people that not everyone with a strong opinion about my elective surgeries has the decency to be logical about it. Or articulate. Or to demonstrate a rudimentary command of spelling and grammar. Or to have the maturity to include a name or a valid email address.

Like my love handles, the hate mail never fully went away. I’ve talked to other bloggers about this, and the consensus seems to be that you know you’ve finally arrived when the haters and the freakos find you. And keep coming back.

Since this blog exists primarily for my own amusement—and being called a faggot or an asshole or for some odd reason a Jewboy isn’t terribly amusing for me—I started just deleting the comments I didn’t like. Then I discovered that HaloScan has a comment-moderation feature that lets me delete ugly comments and ban ugly commenters before the meandering drool they write even sees the light of day.

But! Last week I got a puddle of that meandering drool that was obviously intended as a personal attack in the guise of an unconvincing concern for my eternal salvation. Instead of a signature, it had a link to a hostile MySpace page misconjugatingly titled JESUS LOVE U, which has since disappeared. Which is a crime because it totally had sparkles.

And it was so ridiculous and so clumsy and so self-parodying and so deliciously unproofread that I’m posting it here instead of burying it in a comments window. I especially love the shorthand that reduces long, complicated words like you to simpler, more digestible words like u, which not only saves valuable time, but it adds a preciousness that makes me feel like I’m getting a lecture on homosexuality and religious “morality” from an adowaboo wittoo bunny wabbit:

in the bible say 1 corinthians : do you not know that the wicked will not inerit the kingdom of god? do not be deceived: neither the sexualy immoral nor idolater nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual ,nor thieves nor thwe greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will in herit the kingdom of god..the only way u can go to heaven is by jesus christ n ask god to fro give u 4 ur sin and stop sining n look 4 god ok..god bless u n jesus love u rember he die 4 u n ur sin

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