I have not been feeling well this week, so I have been enjoying myself at a forum to discuss the ‘Harry Potter’ books. No, this is not going to be an article about my latest Harry Potter theory, though I am working on a few of those. What I am thinking about for here, is how people love to make noise, even when they do not have the first idea about what they are discussing.
The Harry Potter site I mean is the “Chamber of Secrets” site, named for the second book in the series. A fan can lose themselves for a very long time in the threads of essays, discussions, links and such. The forums fall into a variety of categories, but the liveliest by far is “Divination Studies”, where fans can discuss ideas about what will happen in the last book. This is also where goons try to bully people into accepting their opinion as fact, and where know-it-alls build empires of impressed minions. I love the place, because some very bright and thoughtful people present great ideas, but you sure run into a lot of dull and nasty types as well. All in all, very much like a political blog.
But it also struck me, how when someone reads an opinion they disagree with, how some of them are not content to simply say they disagree, they try to shout down anyone who does agree, to tear down anyone who wants to explore the topic, and attack anyone who supports their target. That struck me as very much the way that the Left goes after President Bush and anyone who stands by him.
There is one distinct difference, however. The people running “Chamber of Secrets” find the trolls irksome and are trying to control them. The same cannot be said for media personalities who could put the nation’s welfare ahead of their personal vendettae, but who will never do so.