I sat there reading for at least an hour. I don't know how I became so engrossed, but I was. As I read, it was hard for me to decide who was causing the most problem. The writer who was completely off his rocker and more than once stated that he was doing what he was doing to sell more books, or the bloggers who continued to fan the flames by commenting.
I mean, don't get me wrong, if it were a matter of choosing sides, I know whose side I'd be on. That's not the question. And I admit, I've right in the middle of a flame war. Watching it from the sidelines though, it was different. I could actually put things into perspective that I think those involved failed to see.
The writer sought attention. He freely admitted it. Every writer knows that bad publicity is still publicity. The bloggers gave it to him and in a sense, he beat them. He kept asking, "if you hate me so much go away. Leave me alone." (the war took place on his goodreads blog) He had a point.
The crazies thrive off of your outrage and frustration. Worse, you will find yourself saying things that are completely out of character, calling names, casting blame, spearheading a witch hunt.
The coo-coo-for-cocoa-puffs person on the other end will keep it going and going as long as possible. You're like a fish on a hook. They'll reel you in little by little, but when things seem to be calming down, they'll let the line drop and begin reeling all over again.
You want to know how to douse the flames? Ignore them. Walk away. That will hurt them the most.
|photo by Emilie Hardman|