My blog is a benevolent tyranny. I welcome comments and have hundreds of them every day, many of them disagreeing with me about all kinds of stuff. However, I do not owe you a forum. You have no fundamental right to speak here for which our ancestors bled and died, just as you have no right to walk into my living room and start telling me I’m fat, the food stinks, and my kids are ugly. You can, if you please, get your own blog and hold forth on all these important views and I will not stop you since I believe in free speech. I just don’t believe that I owe you unlimited free speech in my living room. I’m up for a good argument and have hosted thousands of them here. But I draw the line at underwriting jerkishness.
So: If you find that your comments are winding up in a ban file, don’t immediately console yourself with the heartwarming fiction that Shea Just Can’t Handle the Truth from a Bold Prophet like Me. Shea gets all sorts of disagreement and criticism in his comboxes every day.
Since this is so, other factors must be at work if you are finding your posts banned. The number one fact is typically “You are acting like an abrasive jerk and I’m tired of listening to you.” If you lack the capacity for self-reflection to entertain the possibility that you are an abrasive jerk then it’s probably best if you fire off one last dramatic gust of dudgeon for the ban file and go find some place where jerks are welcome, such as a chat board for Timid Enablers of Drunken Wife Beaters. You’ll be right at home there as you pursue that winning trademark combination of bullying and self-pity.
On the other hand, if you are capable of self-reflection and of considering the possibility that you are banned, not because Yours Is a High and Lonely Destiny of Speaking Truth to Power, but because you are a rude jerk and I don’t owe you a forum, then you might have a future here if you write me, apologize, and ask to be reinstated. Your call. Meanwhile, don’t imagine that your huffy dudgeon will give me a minute’s pause, or that your accusations of censorship will draw from me anything but a wry and crooked Harrison Ford sort of smile and the barest puff of air from my nostrils as I snort in derision at your self-importance and continue my very busy day.
Bottom line: Comments are welcome. So are disagreements and arguments. But don’t be an rude jerk or you are gone. My blog. My rules.
End of lecture. Back to the fun!