by Daniel McNeet on March 6, 2012

Good day, good people.

For devotees of the English language: invidious is an adjective which demonstrates jealousy and hostility.

In “Operation Downfall”, a political thriller, the vice president, James McDonald, has no respect for anyone, believes he is above the law and is a traitor.

How to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone? “Why, very quickly, to begin with, and perhaps also to make an end. Why read it? Presumably, if you cannot be persuaded to read anything better, Rowling will have to do.” Harold Bloom in 2000

Is Mr. Bloom engaging in invidious comments? Or, is he just expressing his opinion which he has a right to do?

Give respect, get respect. Book reviewers benefit the authors and the readers. There is no benefit, consideration, good manners or respect in denigrating a reviewer because he or she gave an author’s book a review the writer did not like.

Comics and other live audience performers know better than anyone that you cannot win against hecklers or vitriolists. The same can be said for the same ill-mannered ilk on the Internet. If you are a victim of a heckler or vitriolist on the Internet, what can you do? Should you respond? Can you win by engaging them in the negative interaction? Is the stress worth it? If so, what would you say? What about trying “Received”, “Noted”, “Understood” or other? Can they be effectively ostracized or should they be? After all, one of the many good things about the United States of America is: every person has the right to express their opinion, no matter how ill-founded in fact it may be.

A lack of respect is not new and has nothing to do with the Internet. It only has to do with the human beings who use it in a disrespectful form. But they do have sponsors and role models.

“. . . we saw ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’, which I had never seen before, nor shall ever again, for it is the most insipid ridiculous play that ever I saw in my life.” Samuel Pepys 1662

Nathaniel Hawthorne said of Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1851, “Bulwer nauseates me; he is the very pimple of the age’s humbug. There is no hope of the public, so long as he retains an admirer, a reader, or a publisher.”

“About a year ago, from idle curiosity, I picked up ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’, and of all the rotten vulgar un-literary writing . . .! Worse than George Eliot’s. If a novelist can’t write where is the beggar.” Arnold Bennett in 1898 regarding the work of Charles Dickens.

So, much like beauty, respect and disrespect are in the eyes of the beholder. In the four quotes above the eyes of the beholders are the readers Mssrs. Bloom, Hawthorne and Bennett and the eyes of the play watcher, Pepys. Are they being disrespectful and if so why?

What is your thought on handling this Internet ilk, those who engage in jealous, hostile and malicious comments, accuse falsely and pass rumors which injure their targets?

If you have read any of the books or play above, are they right? What are your thoughts and comments?

Contacting me with comments and constructive criticisms with honesty and pleasantness their constant companions will always be welcomed.

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