First, my Wikipedia entry gets deleted for lack of notability. Then, I discover that the mysterious troll prone to leaving especially abusive comments on this blog isn't even my troll at all, but someone else's troll who just comments here because the other person doesn't allow anonymous comments and summarily deletes all of hers. (I did some investigating after the troll's penchant from using details I've revealed about my family to criticize me escalated to invoking my deceased sister. Batbother crazy, I know.*) So, anonymous comments are off, permanently, and any comments from Mary or a Mary-like substance will be immediately and forever deleted, as however bad it is to have an abusive troll, it's way worse to feel like some abusive troll's sloppy seconds.
Hmph. I now feel even more stupid for whatever mental energy was used up contemplating this person's past remarks (or, even, writing this post). It's one thing to wonder why somebody could go from reading various innocuous things you post to drawing all kinds of negative conclusions about you as a human being; it's another just to realize that all along the person only baits you because of your perceived connection to someone else. Oh, well, I suppose I can keep pining for a mentally imbalanced person to walk into my blog life who will hate me for me and be trolly-true to me alone. A boy can dream.
To certain people that I value as commenters but who stop commenting when I turn off anonymous comments because they are too lazy to set up a Blogger account: come on, I can help you set one up if you want.
Another thing I really liked about having anonymous commenters was that, when I would talk about academia, graduate students would comment anonymously because they didn't feel comfortable posting under blogger-identities. I regret this, as many of those comments were insightful and instructive. But, even setting one psycho troll aside, it's probably time to stop anonymous comments. I'm starting a new chapter of my life, and have uncertainty where this blog fits in it anyway, but I might as well scale back on providing opportunities for defamation by complete strangers.
I'm otherwise happily visiting Cornell, btw, where I am giving a talk later today on health disparities. I'm staying in the hotel that is run by the hotel management program, which means especially energetic service from fresh-faced college kids. Three people immediately greeted me as I got out of the car that brought me from the airport, and the person who came around for turndown service was oddly persistent when I said I did not need turndown service (which I've never understood anyway) or any extra water. Even so, it hasn't been as striking here as at the equivalent institution at Penn State, where the servers for breakfast looked so nervous about making a mistake that I would not have been surprised to learn they were wearing shock collars under their uniform.
* "Batbother crazy" is one of my two favorite expressions for insanity that we used back on the farm; the other is "Kookier than a cack-handed cricket bat."