Sunday, March 20, 2011

Who Runs Faster?

Today’s newspapers all give prominence to Taib Mahmud’s announcement that he will retire on the same day that he announced that the State Legislative Assembly would be dissolved to make way for state polls.

Sarawak’s most powerful man’s declaration that he would make an exit after the state polls may put the opposition on the defensive – the latter is targeting him and his family as their No. 1 campaign issue. I also think that Taib is already seeing the writing on the wall and he’s going to scamper away before there is a knock on his door.

In Thursday’s installment of "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things" news, The Source, the official blog of the DC Universe, has closed down their comments section following a brief but intense flamewar that broke out on a recent post and spiraled into personal attacks against readers, creators, and members of the DC comics staff.

Readers might be forgiven for thinking that so much vitriol was produced on a subject of absolute, life-or-death importance – well, I suppose to ardent DC comic fans, it is an important issue, i.e.: Who runs faster, Superman or the Flash?

To be honest, Comments sections are a great way to foster a sense of community, engage readers, and even provide a way for creators to interact with journalists and fans on the subject of their work, adding a new layer to the discussion or clearing up a misconception.

But there are comments that can get real nasty! After all, it is easy to speak ill of anybody or just about anything, and even causing real hurt in the process – and which these commentators wouldn’t contemplate if they weren’t miles away from the object of their criticism, safely ensconced behind both a monitor and a username that reflects how strongly they feel about a particular person or subject. That's pretty much how the Internet works, and when you're bringing up burning issues like religion, politics, or which fictional character can more easily run and/or fly at the speed of light, things are only going to get worse!

And yes, if you must know, I will put my money on the Flash.

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