I have a number of videos of my dogs up on YouTube. They’re there mostly to share with friends & family; I don’t really expect much in the way of public views. So imagine my excitement when someone left a comment!
It was in response to Madeline Watching Grey’s Anatomy:
I watch Grey’s Anatomy from the ABC site on my computer in my room & if I make it fullscreen Madeline watches it from the bed. Her favorite character is Lexie; she perks up whenever Lexie talks. I’m not sure what’s going to happen now that Lexie is dead.
The comment is from some 58-yr-old whose account name is BENandJUSTICE, & has her own YouTube channel with videos of her dogs, a lab & an irish setter. I’m assuming it’s a female but I actually don’t know. Her comment:
Not really what I was expecting.
The amount of hostility packed into that concise little sentence was so startling that I did what I normally do when faced with a crazy person. I gave a short, simple response addressing the non-personal item within the insult.
All 3 of my dogs wear chain choke collars, the lightweight ones. I know I’m not supposed to leave it on them all the time but I do. In Madeline & Boomer’s case, I’m still not over that one scrap they had a year ago & I never want to not have anything to grab hold of if another crisis occurs.
I actually Googled “prong collar” just to make sure I had my collars right. All this time I thought that prong collars were the ones that had prongs on the inside that extended whenever the collar was pulled… & yes, I was right. I am not crazy. Madeline is not wearing a prong collar in the video. Nor does her collar look anything like a prong collar, except that it’s metal. So I don’t know what B&J is talking about.
Now, I am well aware that YouTube is the yardstick against which all stupid internet comments are compared. I’ve been blogging long enough to know that there will be comments like this. But since this is my first comment from a stranger, I feel that it’s important & I want to give it the attention it deserves.
It’s just a single sentence. It’s on the long side, but it’s a proper sentence; it’s not a run-on. There are no misspellings or grammatical issues; in fact, she gets the pronoun in “as lovely as she” correct. Most people would say “as lovely as her.” These days, grammar like that is commendable. She also calls Madeline “lovely,” which means, to me, that her eyes work just fine.
However, her comment was just so nonsensical that I couldn’t even feel offended, just confused.
1. She identifies a prong collar.
2. She thinks I torture my dog, who is lying on my bed with me watching tv.
3. She seems to think my choices of stimulation are torture by wearing a collar or watching Grey’s Anatomy.
The other thing about this comment is that it just came out of the blue. I have no idea who this person is, nor she I (that’s the correct pronoun, btw). The level of hostility in the comment gave me pause. My video of Madeline watching tv angered her so much that she was incapable of being civil. She couldn’t even deal proper criticism. She had to go straight to insult.
Usually when I see something I disapprove of, & I feel that I must comment, I start off modestly. I would say “I don’t understand why she is wearing a prong collar” or something like that. It gives the person I am addressing the opportunity to respond in a reasonable manner; since I am not attacking them, they don’t have to be defensive. Granted, it doesn’t work with the already defensive, the excessively immature, or those so accustomed to epeen battles that they are unable to tell when someone is being respectful, but I like to always at least offer the option of civilized discourse.
If the other person is capable of a reasonable exchange, the response would be “Oh, that’s not a prong collar.”
And then I can say “Oops, it looked like one. My bad! I have dogs too; let’s gush to each other about them!” And then everyone can be pleased with themselves, especially me, since, frankly, I am automatically excited every time I meet another dog owner because if there is anything I love to talk about, it’s dogs.
By engaging right off the bat with a not only aggressive, but grossly inaccurate & asinine insult, B&J has somewhat destroyed that possibility. It saddens me. Now that the shot has been fired, even though I have not responded in kind, the only other response she can make without looking worse is an apology. Not for an innocent misperception, but for being a downright ass.
June 30 update: I did try to comment (civilly; I was going to be nice!) on B&J’s video about prong collars, but it turns out that B&J (who sounds to be male; so much for my intuition!) blocked me, no doubt anticipating an angry response. This saddens me further, but I guess being a dog lover doesn’t automatically mean maturity or even, apparently, responsibility for one’s own actions.
But I think I’ve earned the right to say, at this point: what an ass. lol
June 30 update #2: One of my friends was horrified that she had posted an anti-Romney article written by B&J (who is, indeed, male) on her Facebook. She figured out it was the same person by his included video of him playing piano with his Irish Setter on his lap.
Here’s the connection. I left a (civil!) comment because to me the puppy looks uncomfortable, & I suggested that the piano might be too loud since dogs have sensitive ears. I wasn’t hostile or insulting. Instead of simply replying, he deleted my comment, left his above inflammatory comment on one of my videos, & then blocked me. Maybe he inwardly agreed with the possibility & felt I was pointing out abuse. Any time I leave a less-than-gushing comment on a stranger’s video, I run the risk of him or her being, as stated above, already defensive, excessively immature, or so accustomed to epeen battles that they are unable to tell when someone is being respectful. Or, perhaps, feeling so guilty that the only possible reaction is to attack.
This has been fun! I like getting comments!