John quotes from Joel Stein’s lovely rant in the LA Times. Here’s another bit:
Huge portions of my e-mails come from people who haven’t even read my article. They’re just assuming, based on a headline or an excerpt on a blog, that I’m unpatriotic or irreligious or lecherous. Sure, they happen to be right, but it would have been nice if they had clicked on my column and moved me up on that “most-read articles” list.
A lot of e-mail screeds argue that, in return for the privilege of broadcasting my opinion, I have the responsibility to listen to you. I don’t. No more than you have a responsibility to read me. I’m not an elected servant. I’m an arrogant, solipsistic, attention-needy freak who pretends to have an opinion about everything. I don’t have time to listen to you. I barely have time to listen to me.
Part of the problem is that no etiquette has yet been established for the hyper-interactive world. And I, born before MySpace and e-mail, don’t feel comfortable getting a letter and not answering it. And then, if I do, suddenly, we’re pen pals, with all those pen pal responsibilities.
Full piece here. (Free registration needed)