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Mean people suck

Hal NiedzvieckiNewsflash: sometimes bloggers say mean things. Seems Canadian author Hal Niedzviecki has been Googling himself and finding some unflattering comments floating around the blogosphere, and he’s worked out how he feels about this in a Globe and Mail essay.

For example, one San Francisco blogger, “Christina,” who apparently went to high school with Niezdviecki, calls him “a self-styled Canadian Chuck Klosterman” and notes that “apparently it’s possible to call oneself a ‘pop culture explorer’ with an entirely straight face and get away with it.” Niedzviecki doesn’t quote that bit in the Globe piece, but he does quote this one:

It’s the Chucks and Hals and David Sedarises that get me, because they give the impression that they just sat down one day and blurted out whatever they happened to be thinking at the time, and next thing you know they’re on book tours and doing interviews for major media outlets.

Happily, this little attack gives rise to some thought-provoking Niedzviecki meditations on the changing shape of discourse in the digital age:

Should I thank her for grouping me with guys like Chuck Klosterman and Sedaris? Should I ask her if she found me at all attractive in high school? Should I debunk her impression that my random ideas automatically end up on the bestseller list?

Well, at least the “attractive in high school” question only leapt to mind second.

Still, Niedzviecki does reach some general conclusions. Mainly that bloggers should, well, be nicer, because unkind words might actually affect someone’s career or even their party invitations. (Yeah, that position should resonate out there in webland.)

And Hal, if you’re reading this, to answer one of your pressing questions: you’re cute and all, but Quillblog just doesn’t think of you that way.

Related links:
Click here for the Globe and Mail story
Click here for Christina on Hal