I don’t engage that much on Twitter so I’ve not been blocked all that much. But I was today! And by apparently noted author and literary journalist Ron Rosenbaum.
Ron made a mistake:
The thread is hilarious:
People quickly piled on. Ron did not handle this well.
At one point, I decide to jump in but to do so without mockery and with some attempt at sympathy:
Welp, Ron did not like this and went down the insult trail until he blocked me.
So, I was 99% sure this would happen. These are not situations even very careful and considerate people get out of. But I thought it’d be interesting to try.
Note that one move I made that definitely didn’t help was not giving him any way of being right. Of course, there is in fact no way for him to be right but it’s even harder for people to get out of those situations without a way of feeling that they were right about something.
While the first rule of holes may be to stop digging, the first rule of people is that they need to save face.
So I regret not trying to give him more face instead of trying to persuade him of the simple truths.
(Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big believer in blocking. Block block block. Block for wrong reasons. Block for good reasons. You don’t have to read what you don’t want to read or interact with people you don’t want to interact with.)
Now, I’m not particularly interested in reading his stuff, but I won’t, in abstract, write them off. They may be excellent for all that I know and I know that this introduction will taint any initial reading I might make. I peeked at a few articles and wasn’t engaged even though some of the topics are of interest to me. He makes a lot of claims that I don’t see tons of evidence for (in my causal perusal) and his style makes me think he wants a lot of trust as an author.
I don’t know if I want to do the work to give him that.