Some housekeeping items regarding the posting of comments


    We love the fact that readers are able to post comments on the reviews, columns, and blog entries. It lets us know what you think about the issues addressed by the articles, and about the articles themselves. It also gives us a chance to laugh at how bad a lot of you are with spelling and grammar.

    There are just a couple things I want to mention that perhaps you will keep in mind as you go about your comment-posting.

    If someone posts something ridiculously illiterate or dumb — e.g., “OMG, the Covenant is teh best movie evar and u only don like it cuz ur jelous” — just let it go. In 99.9 percent of those cases, the idiocy of the comment is self-evident. We don’t need to have 10 comments immediately following it in which the person who wrote it — who probably is not even a regular visitor to this site and won’t see your responses anyway — is torn apart for being so bad with spelling and grammar. Yes, yes, we all weep for the future generation. We don’t need to say it every time.

    Exception to the previous guideline: unless your response is really, really funny.

    I don’t like to post comments on my own site. So please don’t make me. I do generally keep an eye on the comments, and I notice when people seem to be asking me a direct question. But do I post a comment to respond to the question? No, I usually do not. This is mainly because if I post a response, it might lead to a follow-up question, which leads to a discussion, which leads to me spending eight hours a day involved in conversations on my own website. How can I do that AND watch six hours of TV?

    Also, I would rather the article — be it a movie review, a “Snide Remarks” column, or a blog entry — speak for itself. If I have something to add, I’ll write another article. If something needs to be corrected or clarified, I’ll take care of it. Beyond that, I don’t usually have anything else to say. If the story had an amusing epilogue, or if I had additional thoughts about the movie that were worth mentioning, I’d have included ’em.

    So if you have a question you’d actually like me to answer, feel free to e-mail me. I’m usually pretty good about responding to e-mails. If it’s a question that I think would be of general interest, I’ll reply to it here on the blog (leaving you anonymous, of course). If you post it as a comment somewhere, you probably won’t get an answer.

    No swearing or gratuitous vulgarity. My mother visits this site, for heaven’s sake! We don’t allow that kind of thing. If you say naughty words, we might edit your comment, or we might just delete it altogether. Usually the latter.

    No spoilers, either, unless you mark them as such. Many people read movie reviews and other people’s comments without having seen the movie yet. So if you’re going to mention something spoiler-y, please say something like “SPOILER ALERT” beforehand, just to be safe.

    – The most important rule: Don’t be a jackhole. If you disagree with another poster, or with me, that’s fine. Just don’t be a jerk about it. Maybe stop and ask yourself now and then: Is every single thing I post negative or sarcastic? Are people going to think I’m being forced at gunpoint to continually visit a site that I clearly don’t enjoy? If such is the case, maybe you should think about posting something pleasant now and then, just to break things up.