It is an extraordinary fact that there are newspaper columnists who not only read everything which is written on the message-boards below their columns online, as all good columnists should, but sometimes actually dive into the shark-pool and splash about there for a while.
They reply to criticism, put counter-arguments, soon to be followed by counter-counter-counter-arguments. They either rise above the insults or – a terrible mistake in my view – respond in kind.
How do they do that? Where do they find the time, the patience? When I write my Independent column, I feel I have been given enough space to make my case. If I have failed to convince, then that is my problem. Engaging with readers in a further debate or – more likely – slanging match is, I think, unlikely to change anything.
Besides, what could I say to the man who called me a “wispy-haired twat”, to the previously friendly reader who suddenly turned on me and told me I was a “pussy whipped silver spoon prat”? Some accusations are simply too complex to unravel - if indeed they are accusations. “Come off it, Blacker,” one reader wrote. “Stop plying your cuntish opinions with panache”? Wha-wha-what?
When a reader – anonymous, of course – accused me of cutting him dead while filling up my car, a large, gold 4 x 4, at petrol station in Bury St Edmunds, I suppose I could pointed out that he was wrong in every detail, that he had been grinning at a stranger with a vulgar car in Bury St Edmunds, but, in the end, life is too short for such conversations.
On the other hand, not replying to any messages seems rude. Now and then, I would like to use this blog to reply to some of the general points made to me on the message-boards.
Reiner Torheit Tell us again how we all ought to be in awe of you Oxbridge graduates, Terence. And swallow your words of wisdom reverentially, and thank you afterwards for sharing them with us proles.
Thank you for this thought, Reiner. Personally I agree that education is neither here nor there when it comes to writing. I don’t think of you as a prole although, between you and me, I do wonder whether you have one or two self-esteem issues that might need attention.
Sylva-MD-Poetry I could not understand the language you used …Make it simple… make it easy… don’t pull us crazy…
Apologies, Sylva-MD-Poetry, if this column didn’t work for you. I try to write as clearly as I can, and, if what I have written is difficult to understand, I would normally see that as a failure. I had absolutely no intention to pull you crazy and will make things simpler in the future.
grumpy_old_ben This is simply a testimony to the extent to which the self-hating, anti-white liberal-left establishment, have become disconnected from the public as a whole.
You may be right, grumpy_old_ben, I probably am disconnected from the public as a whole. Luckily, I’m a writer not a politician, and disconnection is not necessarily a terrible thing. When I last checked, I only mildly hated myself and had no particular antipathy to people of my own colour.
Jorge Fernandez As a Hispanic man in the Pornography business in Los Angeles California USA, I make love to a lot of White women pornographic actresses that borders on obsession… US Hispanic men are a TIGER when it comes to making LOVE because WE will make love to a women for hours & hours on end.
Thanks for sharing these thoughts, Jorge, and apologies for editing your comments. Like your love-making, your writing does tend to hammer on a touch relentlessly. Please keep writing in. Your regular contributions, while they are rather along the same lines, add variety to the message-board.
lakevostok Arrr, oi reckon at be abewt toim too an arl that there wurra stop tawl them there tewenfolk patting us dowen.
That’s terrifically amusing, lakevostok. You noticed that I was writing about the countryside and responded, quick as a flash, with this pitch-perfect parody. Have you ever considered writing for a living?
tonbo0422 What on God’s green earth was this article about? I swear, I must have read it six times. It LOOKS like English; when read aloud it SOUNDS like English; yet it seems to actually mean nothing at all.
Oh dear, here we go again. Tonboo42, could I introduce you to Sylva-MD-Poetry?