Monday, October 1, 2012

Dissention: Does It Get Posted?

Within hours of my first Banned Books Week blog going live, a pending comment awaited me. The writer wanted me to post a particular link to "balance" my coverage of the event.

And I had to decide: post the comment or not?

A few years ago, I received a comment on a similar blog entry, which I thought only fair to post.

This year I received a comment from the same person, only this time he was more terse and provided the same URL. This time, this blogger informed me that someone more prestigious than I had a different opinion I needed to share.

In turn, I was less conciliatory, less accommodating. I also was a little less patient. This wasn't a conversation, an exchange of ideas, a respectful disagreement, like we had before. This was me being corrected.

I could be open-minded, generous, supportive. I could take my time and energy to engage in this conversation. But did I want to? Would it benefit me?

Good questions. This was the same person, same argument, same blog. We agreed to disagree once. I don't need to do it every year. I was not going to change my mind. I already rejected his argument, and I wasn't going to spend my time and space helping him make his point.

I deleted the comment.

Would I do that with another comment? Doubtful; in the years I've been blogging, it's my first deletion. Like I said, I like a good conversation — and this was anything but.

Also, I'm not encouraging a debate, either: having an uncensored debate with someone who favors censorship is too ironic, even for me. I'll read their writing, they'll read mine, we'll agree to disagree and maybe one of us will learn something important (and it most likely will be me). I'm just not looking to be rudely corrected.

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