Friday, June 22, 2012

COMMENT TYPE #41: Reality Check

"Why are we even discussing this? Batman isn't real!"

One of the more interesting things on otherwise serious blogs is when they will take a break from politics or relationships or what have you and do something silly or light hearted. They talk about a song they like or a joke they heard. Sometimes a blog will use something absurd to discuss something serious, such as using the film Prometheus to discuss meeting an angry creator and the theological implications.

Inevitably, someone will chime in with "that's not real." The presumption here is that people somehow think Prometheus is real and thus any discussion of it is about the reality of this movie rather than using it as an analogy or an illustration to a larger point.

The most recent example for me is a bit I wrote about how absurd Zombie Apocalypse books are, and why they just don't appeal to me. The whole genre is based on some absurd preconceptions and has glaring, painful weaknesses. The only comment it got?
Well thank god for the explanation as to why we need not worry about zombies. I was getting really freaked out until just now. Thank you for the public service.
This is a classic Reality Check. Its snarky and sarcastic, it adds nothing to the discussion, and its written as if the original piece was meant to be taken as some sort of serious statement on reality.

Its okay to have fun with this kind of thing, such as teasing someone that they're taking the lyrics to Bang Your Head a little too seriously. Its fine to point out that the Prometheus analogy has serious flaws. But to use it to mock people really is pointless, why did you take the time and effort to even write that comment?

I suspect that usually this sort of attack is by someone who doesn't care for what's being written or dislike the writer in general and is just looking for a way to attack them. But seriously, just ignore them if they suck or you dislike them. Why are they worth the effort to even show up, let alone type something on their blog?

This is part of the Profiles in Commenting series.

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