My bad for putting up a Herman Cain thread and taking a nine-hour train ride. I figured my comments were innocuous enough. The thread, itself, pretty blown up at this point which is a little sad because I hoped there might be more to say about ad than Hermansux! or Hermanroxxors! I'll pick that up when I get back.
The gentle attempts to urge people away from feeding trolls seem to basically be ineffective. It's rather bewildering--on some level people want a moderated space, but on another level, it's clear that they really don't. Or maybe the sometimes want a moderated space, and sometimes just want to take it to the gutter. These observations are made on account of some of the most loyal and interesting commenters in the community.
The troll is the idiot savant--flying just below the cut-off for implausibility, he draws even the most adroit commenter into the bar-fight. I do not stand in judgement. I have been pulled in before--never mind the need to shower that always follows. And I'm not even anonymous. I can't imagine the brawls I would relish under another name.
So I'll be more careful about what I leave unintended, and a little less mindful for the frequent praise showered upon this community. This is not a democracy, but like a democracy, it's a job as opposed to state of being, a constant work in progress.
Ta-Nehisi Coates is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.
Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.