Above All, Never, Ever Read the Comments…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, August 10, 2009
Click here for a larger (and possibly readable) version.

Every once in a while I’ll see my boy Atticus stomping away from the computer in our living room. In years past, this was a pretty good indication that either the CD game he was playing wasn’t working right (and typically due to the scratches, boogers, and finger prints on the playing side from improper storage and handling), or he had lost the game. The second eventuality was highly improbable because he always played the lowest levels — especially in Backyard Sports — so he could win, say, hockey games 47 to 0.  I would point out that he should perhaps consider a higher level, but he’d very logically tell me that it was just as much of a challenge to see if he could make it 48 to 0 the next time. What he was actually telling me of course was, “buzz off, old man.”

Anyway, these days if he’s stomping off, chances are he has just read the comments under a posting of something he likes. For example, on YouTube one can view a Weird Al video (or a Weird Al tribute video or a Lego version of the tribute, and so on) and then scroll down to see what other users had to say about it. The problem is that my boy is a sensitive kid who assumes that the people posting these comments are decent folks with actual opinions. They are not. And it doesn’t take long to find something nasty or witless or tangential or incomprehensible or needlessly confrontational. It’s usually the last kind get him.

So I give him this advice, advice — in case you think me some sort of Luddite who simply doesn’t get this Internet communication thing — also dispensed to him by his two teenage sisters: Never read the comments. Never. Ever. DO… NOT… SEEK… THE COMMENTS! No possible good can come from them. Except maybe inspiration for an editorial cartoon. Maybe.


  1. Ellie said,

    August 21, 2009 @ 12:10 pm


  2. John Auchter said,

    August 21, 2009 @ 12:25 pm


  3. Hoz said,

    August 21, 2009 @ 1:27 pm

    Do not read me.

  4. Auchtoon! » Again, Never Read the Comments… said,

    December 3, 2010 @ 10:08 am

    […] though, was I had already drawn on subject of comment boards about a year and a half ago. (Click here.) I only get one editorial cartoon a week, so I hate to rehash things I’ve already done. But I […]

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Comment