Especially not people old enough to pay taxes and have children or grandchildren of their own to scold. So let's not call this a scolding. Rather, let's call it an intervention of sorts.
Luckily this isn't the kind of intervention that requires rehab to ween you off of booze, porn, hold 'em or Oprah. Instead it's the sort of intervention in which I say, "OK, enough is enough. Get it together." And then you say something like, "But whatever happened to free speech?" And then I say, "If you want to be an ass, start a blog dedicated to who/what/where-ever it is you want to be an ass hat about, and quit cluttering boiseweekly.com so that I can get on with my day."
So here goes: When you visit boiseweekly.com and you're moved to enter the larger discussion through the comments section provided for you, think before you type. Think about the most productive, meaningful way you can offer your opinion. For example, if you have a negative experience at a business, and you want to share it with others, please do log on to boiseweekly.com and speak your mind. In doing so, however, keep it constructive. Rather than calling the manager or owner or counterhelp "a pizza-faced weenie," give the business owner and future customers a real complaint to weigh. Maybe the pizza-faced weenie pocketed a five spot that should've gone into the till. Or maybe he left your food sitting under a heat lamp for 10 minutes while he gabbed on his cell phone. When a business owner sees a dozen legitimate complaints, it's harder to dismiss them. Especially without the name calling.
How and whether editors should moderate online comments has been an industry-wide issue that's been getting attention from every media outlet with the cojones to allow comments. In a panel discussion at BW's annual association meeting in June, the editor of Seven Days in Burlington, Vt., detailed her paper's vigilance to remove off-topic or threatening comments, while The Stranger's Dan Savage said his paper's policy is to let it all live, warts and all. I'm a proponent of allowing readers' comments to live without moderation. Until recently I had a staunch policy to let every comment stand, regardless of its content and target. The anonymity of reader comments can contribute to a more honest discussion, and, in fact, without the ugly comments, we may not getting the most accurate reflection of public opinion. But lately, I've been dealing with a lot of "pizza-faced weenie" comments, so to speak. This is the part where I say, "enough is enough."