This one cracked me up.
Jerry Coyne might move his blog to Patheos and asked his readers for feedback. So one of his readers sent him a simple email to let him know – “If you move to Patheos, I will stop reading you.”
Now, if I had received such an email, I would have welcomed it as another data point. But not Coyne. It actually infuriated him, as he seems to read a whole lot into the 10 tiny words. He writes:
I woke up this morning to find this nugget of sunshine from a clueless reader who will remain unnamed:
If you move to Patheos, I will stop reading you.
That is the entire message.
A clueless reader?? Ten matter-of-facts words, constituting feedback that Coyne solicited, means the reader is “clueless?” Doesn’t look good.
Coyne’s temper begins to simmer:
I swear, some people have no idea how they come across to another human being. Rather than take the time to write politely, or leave a comment explaining this rather drastic decision, the reader simply makes a threat to flounce if I move.
Huh? Can you imagine the poor Coyne fan, not having the time to write an essay justifying his decision, sending in his feedback and Coyne responding about receiving some impolite threat? And drastic? Who in the world would think of a decision to read or not read a blog as being “drastic?”
Coyne apparently began to furiously type away at his keyboard:
I explained to this person, which I shouldn’t have had to, that this constitutes neither polite communication nor civil discourse.
So one of Coyne’s readers sent some requested feedback and Coyne (who denies free will, BTW), responds with a sermon about manners?
At this point, one wonders if his face started to become red:
Further, I don’t need readers who see fit to send me emails like this, and so I told him that I’d be pleased if he didn’t read my website even now.
Finally, the rage kicks in:
What makes some people turn into aggressive jerks when they are behind a keyboard?
Let’s summarize and paraphrase:
Coyne: I’m thinking of moving my blog to Patheos. I’d appreciate it if you people would send me some feedback.
Coyne Fan: If you move to Patheos, I will stop reading you.
Coyne: You clueless, aggressive jerk! How dare you threaten to flounce if I move. Since you are going to be so impolite and uncivil, you should just stop reading me now! Good-bye.
Word of advice for Coyne fans – you’re walking on eggshells over there.