Sometimes it is nasty H8 mail. I went off to work this morning with a head full of boring tech stuff, Mardi Gras emails that are piling up and the fact that my trainer seems to get more intense every single morning (and how is that even possible? I already can’t move). I was home by 6.30pm, so I hit the gym up again and then finally sat down in front of my computer.
What hit me was a series of virtiolic comments on this blog (and the Star Observer online page), that escalated throughout the day as the writer got no response for his efforts. You cannot begin to imagine how ugly this man got. We’ll call him Andrew Hynd. That’s what he calls himself. I imagine it is an assumed name, as the email he gave was certainly fake.
The commentary began with calling Whitney Houston a “tired, washed-up, drugged-out has been” and Kelly Rowland “another nobody” before moving onto to say that “most people aren’t gay and couldn’t give a shit about MG”. When, after two hours, his comment still hadn’t hit the net (keeping in mind I am at work), Andrew threw down with “comment awaiting moderation. How very Mardi Gras of you. Can’t have uncensored, honest opinions can we? Who knows what might happen. You are a fraud, Sands”.
After that the comments broke down from almost being about the issue, to personal attacks on me. Everything from my weight, mental state and even his opinion that I am too old to be excited about the official Toybox Mardi Gras After Party. He also threw in some real stunners like “fat” and “self important bitch“.
The whole thing went way beyond “having a say” to straight-up abusive bullying. And it’s a really insidious, underhand way to fight… from behind a pseudonym? This kind of incident doesn’t happen all the time. But it does happen enough in our world to make me think, “this is something I’m going to write about”. I want to address the issue front-on, instead of feeling crap about it in private. Fair discourse is something I encourage. However that shouldn’t mean that people get to do their ugliest fighting in letters to the editor, blog responses and Facebook commentary.
I honestly think more people would want to contribute to this community if they weren’t so worried about sticking their head up over the parapet and having it shot off.
Andrew Hynd, please learn to address your concerns through the appropriate channels. Bullying and H8 are things our community has always fought against.