Frank J. Fleming, Pajamas Media (June 12, 2011)
"How conspiracy nuts, basket cases, paranoid loons, and other half wits can fool the rest of us into thinking they make perfect sense.
"Do crazy people have a right to be heard? I think they do - as long as they're American. But even with crazy people's well known infiltration of the internet - appearing in any blog or news comments section or online forum they can access - they still have a lot of trouble getting people to listen to them.
"In a recent column, I touched on the topic of conspiracy theories, which of course brought in lots of crazy people to the comments section. As I looked through the responses, I noticed how easy it was to scan them or just read the first sentence and say, 'Well, this one is a crazy person.' And lots of people scan like this, because crazy people have this habit of self-identifying on the internet that allows sane people to skip over what they have to say before even getting to the crazy point. Thus crazy people never even get heard.
The advent of the internet should be a Renaissance for crazy...."
The problem, it seems, is that even on the Internet: crazy people write like crazy people. So, sometimes, do sane people.
The Lemming doubts that a crazy person1 will read Mr. Fleming's article, take careful note of his advice: and start writing in a sane, coherent way. Not often, anyway.
There's a list of points, each of which is discussed. Sanely. With humor.
- Caps lock is your enemy
- EXCESSIVE EXCLAMATION MARKS, TOO!
- i can haz proper grammar?
- No long screeds
- Especially in comments left on other people's blogs
- Don't be surprised when people have opinions different from your crazy one
- No living person is Hitler
- And the world isn't ending
- Respond to an actual point
- Not just something that's been mentioned
"...And yet he's still treated by many as a serious pundit because he has the discipline to make it so it's not blatantly obvious to a casual reader that he's Kleenex-boxes-for-shoes, the-squirrels-are-spying-on-me, kung-fu-fighting-invisible-ninjas crazy.
"So give it a try in the comments, crazy people. Use these tips to try and make yourselves look sane as you argue that we still need to investigate WTC-7 or that there are many signs that Obama's birth certificate is fake or that Ron Paul is the last hope for America. Get yourselves heard, crazy people! "
And remember: THE PARANOIDS ARE WATCHING EVERY MOVE YOU MAKE!!!!!
- "Lemming Tracks: The Lemming Gets Transparent"
(April 18, 2011)
- "Lemming Tracks: Anonymity, Blogs, and Making a Point"
(February 10, 2011)
- "Blogging is Dead! Long Live Blogging!"
(December 16, 2010)
- "Writing For Blogs: Pretty Good Advice, and a Seven-Point List"
(June 14, 2010)
- "Blog Comments Categorized: Encouragers to Aliens II - The Response"
(June 4, 2010)
A tip of the hat to Londiniensis, on Twitter, for the heads-up on this article.
1 The Lemming's a bit "crazy," sort of. See:
- "Brilliant, Talented, and On Medication"
A Catholic Citizen in America (November 30, 2010)
- "ADHD, an Apostolic Exhortation, Another Document, and V8"
A Catholic Citizen in America (November 11, 2010)
- "Medication for Depression? Yeah: The Catholic Church is Okay With That"
A Catholic Citizen in America (February 25, 2010)