Monday, June 15, 2015


I'm addicted to YouTube. It has long been one of my major sources for free entertainment. Within its wealth of video treasures I've found every type of music, from Bessie Smith to Kiri Te Kanawa.  I watch opera, ballets, concerts, documentaries, silent films. I even watch episodes from TV shows like Doc Martin and the old Alfred Hitchcock series (to name a few).

So, what's not to like about YouTube?
  Despite the many positive aspects, there's one thing that irks the hell out of me: the comments.

Those vicious, vile, nasty, ignorant, abusive, negative, shocking, crude, rude, offensive, insulting, asinine, hateful, horrific comments that people leave about the videos.

They are written by some of the most angry, bitter people imaginable. If words could kill,  the YouTube community would be the slaughterhouse of the world.

If you leave a comment on any video - - no matter how brief or innocent it is- - you'll inevitably get  hateful replies from people who will not only disagree with you, but will also insult your integrity, your race, religion, gender, and  sexual persuasion (not to mention your grandmother and your puppy Bowser).

YouTube has long had a notorious reputation for a caustic comment community. I've heard that several attempts were made to monitor public comments and clean up the negativity, but - from what I have personally observed - the attempts have failed miserably.

Fortunately, anyone who posts a video on YouTube has the option of disabling the comments (which is an incredibly good idea) but most people, for whatever reason, don't do it.

Incidentally, the videos on my YouTube channel have never received any negative comments, but that's only because very few people ever watch my videos. Just give it time......

A simple video - like a religious hymn - will generate comment attacks by anti-religious zealots, heathens, Satanists, and pagans of all denominations. 
Hey, if you don't like hymns, what the frickin' hell are you doing seeking them out on YouTube?

The other night I was watching the opera Tristan und Isolde on YouTube (a formidable task, at best). I happened to glance at the comments and, sure enough, the majority were anti-Wagner and extremely negative.

I was miffed enough to leave my own comment, which concluded with:
"If you can't handle Wagner, go back to the minor leagues."

It's not profound, but it made my point.

Hey, are you still awake? Wanna hear more examples? I've got plenty.

I recently watched a documentary about Anne Frank. You guessed it. This encouraged the Nazis to come out of the woodwork. The comments were dripping with anti-semitic venom. Anne Frank didn't exist. The diary is a fraud. The holocaust never happened. Jews are evil.

Holy shit - the Third Reich is alive and well.

I can sense that you're getting restless, so this will be my final example.

About a year ago, one of the Hollywood documentary videos on YouTube prompted a discussion about Diana Dors (of all people) and Marilyn Monroe. 

I innocently (and foolishly) left a worthless comment which, in essence, said that Diana Dors never projected a particularly appealing on-screen image. Marilyn Monroe's personality was much more likeable.

This benign observation - inexplicably -  rubbed some guy the wrong way and he pounced on me like a cougar. After posting several comments berating my opinion - - he then proceeded to tear me apart with personal attacks. I was stupid, ugly, uninformed. I didn't know anything about Hollywood, or films, or anything else for that matter.

"You write like an old person", he said. "You must be very very old and senile." (those were his exact words).

Hey, I'll give him credit for uniqueness. Of all the many insults I received during my lifetime, nobody has ever told me that I write like someone very old.

A day later I received an email from him. He said: "I looked VERY carefully at your profile photo and you're not quite as old as I thought."

Thank God I had posted a photo that was taken 300 years ago.

He then proceeded to send more emails, all  filled with his initial venom and negativity.

I finally sent a brief reply:
"Your unwholesome obsession with me indicates that you might have a crush. You're wasting your time. I'm not interested in idiots or assholes."

I never heard from him again. 

I have more personal examples but I'll skip them because nobody likes to read a long blog post - - even when it's good (*sarcastic smile inserted here*)


  1. Your reply to the guy who stalked into your email was perfect. There's a lot of people out there --I confess to profound ignorance of how many thousands or millions-- who are crying out for help like pitbulls in dogfights. Yes, they are trolls and bullies, and many events must make them that way, but the mystery is what keeps them that way. When I get the jumps, I go see somebody --doctor, therapist, bartender. Most people do because it helps and doesn't drag others down. What's keeping these people brawling in comments-sections? Big enigma, one I'd like to see solved.

  2. I think the safety of anonymity is what encourages people to be so vicious when they comment. It unleashes all their pent up hostilities. And it makes them feel superior when they put others down.

    What shocks me is the fact that there are so many hateful and angry people. I think you have to be born that way. I went through a horrendous childhood - with all of my father's verbal and physical abuse - and yet I was never bitter or hateful towards others. In fact, it made me over-sensitive and sympathetic.

  3. what astounds me is the ridiculous leaps of "logic" I see in comments sections. Just this morning I read a blog post where a woman was talking about her experiences working in an abortion clinic. All of a sudden someone was ranting about nazis. Gawd, people, rant on the topic, will ya?

    1. Those leaps of logic are exactly what astound me. You can watch a simple, unoffensive video on YouTube and the comments will somehow turn into rants about race or sexuality or just plain vile insults.

  4. Guess you told him. Most every night I read a few comments in my town chat page in Facebook. It's always the same people who complain whatever the subject is for that night. Bash the doctors, bash the restaurants. Wonder why they don't move to a perfect town?

    1. Unfortunately, it seems to be rare to find a decent comment anywhere. I know they exist, but the rotten comments always remain foremost in my mind.

  5. I love it! Great response to an idiot.

    1. I know that it's usually best not to respond to an idiot, but sometimes I just can't resist!

  6. Lovin' your response, Jon!
    Like you said, its pretty scary how many angry, sick souls are out there, festering their real (or imagined) wounds. I totally agree - people will 'say' things on line or over the phone they'd never have the courage to express face-to-face.

    Sure, I get provoked by 'stuff' out on Facebook, but have managed (so far) from joining in the fray. Probably drives (some of) my friends nuts!

    PS - Is that a new photo of you under the tree? Neat.

  7. The anonymity of the Internet provides an easy outlet for bullies and cowards.
    I suppose I'm guilty of hiding behind my blog - - because it allows me to say things that I wouldn't say in person, but at least I'm not evil or vicious (well, not much, anyway.....)

    Both of those photos on the sidebar were taken when I lived in Texas.

  8. I enjoy YouTube too. I must admit I seldom if ever read the comments. I will have to take note of them next time around. I think your brief reply took care of that asshat once and for all. Let's hope you do not get another one raring to have at you.

    1. It's best not to read the comments. They tend to raise blood pressure......

  9. Isn't that the truth. I rarely view comments for those every reasons. Life's too short to waste on such negativity. I love YouTube too and I am constantly amazed that everything I ever want to search for is there somewhere! You're response was perfect, well done. Idiots like that seem to think that the relatively anonymous nature of the internet is a free pass to venomous hostility.

    1. YouTube truly offers a wealth of information and entertainment. The comments should be avoided at all costs.

  10. This post made me laugh, I often think the comments are made by people with no sense of humor. I also wonder how they make those light year jumps with the flow.

    1. Although there are some positive comments on Youtube, most of them are completely humorless.

  11. Jon,
    I live You Tube too. Buy I have to watch myself or else I will become addicted watching all my favorite movies and other videos. I used to look at comments but now I don't pay attention to them because I encountered the trolls as you cited. I think most of them are sad, lonely and bitter people desperate for attention and to fee worthwhile. I just can't waste my time on them. And by the way, I don't think you write like an old person (smile).

    1. I'm delighted to know that you don't think I write like an old person (Smile). Most of the comments are definitely not worth reading. They raise my blood pressure.


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