Backchannel note to Mark Pilgrim

I wasn’t going to talk about backchannels, except I wanted to address a comment directly to Mark Pilgrim. I would send him an email, but he disregards them, and he doesn’t have comments.

Mark, labeling people’s comments as hysterical because you don’t agree with them– or more likely because we’re part of a group of people who have offended you in the past–is getting tiresome.

I don’t have scores of fans who will defend me, Mark, I have to do it on my own. But each time you play this game, you have fans of yours who say some pretty hateful and very personal things about me that I’m finding harder to shake off, with each iteration.

I am not afraid to fight my own battles, but I can’t do it when the words are whispered behind hands or closed doors, I can’t block against snipes and innuendo.

If you disagree with what I wrote, then disagree with the words. Please! I welcome it! Disagree with my use of the term ‘fucking rude’? Well say so. And I’d probably agree with you – I shouldn’t have used it when ‘rude’ would do. Disagree that backdoor backchannels are rude? Then say so, and we’ll debate. Or not.

If I have been dismissive or cruel to others in the past, then point out the instances, and I’ll probably agree and offer humble apologies. I have not been above pettiness in the past. But let’s deal with this directly–no more ‘backchannel’ slaps.

When you dismissively label what I write with terms like ‘hysterical’, or make fun of me rather than address what I’m writing, all you’re doing is cutting at me, Mark, not my words. Some people might enjoy this – I’m not one of them. I like a good debate, but no one likes to be belittled.

If you can’t give me the courtesy two adults owe each other, Mark, then give me your silence, and just ignore me.

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