There I was, innocently traversing the Web, reading the comments on the blog or Livejournal of a certain person I know mostly as a well-spoken commenter, when I suddenly recognized the screenname of someone I know in real life. Who was making a surprising flip and snarky comment, while jumping into a rather serious discussion.
“Oh, dear,” I thought. “One of this person’s issues has come up. This won’t be pretty.”
And then, I recognized the screenname of the next person to reply. Another person I know, who also takes issue with said subject but takes a very different position, and who was apparently in a mood to be quite short with such a comment.
This is the point at which one becomes very glad that one has not commented on said thread. One hides one’s eyes and waits for the explosive blast. But one feels bad about it, because one would like all ones’ acquaintances and friends to be friends with each other.
The sad thing is that, if these folks met in person (or, say, had joined the same group and gotten acquainted), I have no doubt that they would find a great deal in common but continue to disagree violently. Perhaps it’s as well that they live on different coasts…
But who knows? Maybe a flamewar will not erupt. Maybe everything will go well. Perhaps I underestimate them. But I think they’re the sort of persons who have to work these things out on their own, without any well-meant interference.
Either way, I don’t think I’m going to step into this one or even admit I’ve seen it. Noooooo.