For those who wanted more about how I handle comments, here it is.
As a rule, your comments will be published unless they speculate on my identity or contain profanity, whether they disagree with me or not, even if they are outright hostile. I may choose to respond; I may not. It is more likely that I will not.
Why not? Well, don't take this personally, at least not if it doesn't apply to you, but...
...rather a lot of people in the blogosphere are just idiots.
I'm serious. What some people have made out of things I've written, either in a post or in comments, simply boggles the mind. I realize that I am not the best writer in the world. I am just another amateur giving my opinion, free of charge. My writing is not always a model of clarity. Dadgummit, though, I really try hard to be clear, and I am convinced, upon sober reflection, that most of the time I am at least understandable. When, despite my best efforts and repeated attempts at clarification, people still haven't even grasped what I'm saying--well, for the longest time I resisted saying or even thinking that that many people had reading comprehension problems that severe.
I don't resist thinking that anymore.
Another reality is that about 50 percent of the comments I get, if not more, are the product of an unholy union between imbecility and ignorance, the misspent ravings of minds set on ignoring the truth, the pitiful ululations of people who are only trying to soothe themselves, to convince themselves that no, they are not really as stupid as whatever I've written has just made them feel.
Also, I've had enough of wasting my time arguing with people who think "begging the question" means raising a question, who do not understand the nature of a non sequitur, who wouldn't recognize a syllogism if it bled to death on their lawn, who haven't read diddly outside the works of their favorite horror, vampire, fantasy and damnably ignorant (no, I am not cussing, it's an accurate description) pop-religious authors--people who are, in short, painfully stupid and ignorant to the point of having an inability to recognize when they've been beaten.
Those people, if they want to speak their minds in a halfway civil fashion and without cussin' at me, will have their comments published but I seriously doubt I will waste my time answering them.
Everybody else? The other 50 percent? The other reality is that I barely have enough time to write the blogposts, let alone dialogue with people. This upsets some people. I remember that when I was blogging under another name, a commenter once exasperatedly asked me why I bothered to blog, if I wasn't going to "dialogue."
Harsh as it sounds, I don't actually blog to find out what my commenters think. I blog to provide information and commentary for those who are looking for such small tidbits as I can provide, and sometimes to vent. I know, I know: all the blogging experts say that my attitude is one that is sure to keep my readership low.
I don't care. The people who are interested in what I have to say will find me. I know this from what's recorded on my sitemeter.
If you're one of my handful of online friends, for you, I'll make time to dialogue.