Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A few thoughts on the sad topic of the week

I write this post wondering if I should. Maybe the time to comment on the suicide of DDB's Paul Tilley was several days ago. And yet, the story continues, particularly because of the posts and comments which appeared on AgencySpy and Adscam just before his death. I would never have the temerity to comment on any cause and effect between blog postings and someone's decision to take his or her own life, but I do want to say this: though it's more the rule than the exception for people to comment anonymously to blog posts, I still think it's the coward's way to go when it concerns personal attacks on other people. If you have something to say about someone, by all means say it. And have the courage to put your name next to it.
My thoughts go out to Paul Tilley's family, friends and colleagues.

5 comments:

Aaron Baar said...

This whole thing sucks.

The only thing I can say is, I'm glad I left Adweek when I did. This certainly would have driven me over the edge.

Anonymous said...

This event has everyone wondering if they should comment.

Like it or not, the Internet allows people to voice opinions without revealing their identities. It might be frustrating, but we all have to deal with the blogosphere reality. As with any new media, there are pros and cons.

In this specific scenario, there have been provocative and emotional and inappropriate and asinine comments made by people who signed their real names, fake names, pen names and no names. In most cases, I have no idea who these people are, even when they’ve signed their actual names. I think the most outrageous part involves anyone commenting at all. We don’t have the facts or total insight to the motivations behind Tilley’s act—and hopefully, we never will, as it’s none of our damned business. To offer anything but tributes or condolences is obscene, regardless of your identity.

To semi-digress, one real problem here involves the simultaneous overlapping of two discussions. The first discussion involves Tilley, which I believe should not be happening in any public forum. The second involves examining the potential negative effects of blogs. On the one hand, there might be some value to holding this second discussion. But right now, it’s difficult to moderate the topic without injecting Tilley. And it seems all we’re left with is mangled ranting from unruly mobs.

And I will opt to sign off as Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

One more thing. Catharine wrote, “I would never have the temerity to comment on any cause and effect between blog postings and someone’s decision to take his or her own life.” In this case, it’s important to consider there is no published evidence that shows Tilley even saw the blog postings.

Feuer said...

Anonymity is for cowards.

Tom Messner said...

"Anonymity is for cowards."--feuer
Some irony still endures, nice line.
I have--with only four or five exceptions--used my own name every time I do one of these blogs. It leaves one open for attack and in that way is much more interesting. Better to be attacked as who you are than a nickname.
In an earlier life (1994-1995) I used to bop around AOL's so-called AD SIG and used my nom de AOL, IRTTOM.
Lately I have used anonymous, eponymous, and a couple of other names that I have forgotten. One time, I even argued with myself.
There is a novel in this tragedy of the DDB guy, a 1930s determinist kind of fiction, I suppose, that Dreiser could do well. Maybe even the Miss Lonelyhearts novelist, whatzizname? My memory fades which is why nicknames are bad. Who can remember them?
A book was reviewed in New York Magazine last week about blogging as haute lit. Maybe the editor of the book is onto something.