I feel like starting over.
No, I don't mean that I want to delete this blog and begin again. I mean that I want to change the direction of this blog.
A few months ago, all of the Saipan blogs turned into what I can only describe as a virtual Junior High School lunch room. Somebody would mention me in a post and then suddenly an anonymous commenter would pop up and start calling me spineless, two-faced, and an assortment of other names. Then they went after Boni. Then Jeff. And Cinta. Even EJ wasn't immune. There was also Harry vs Bree and Jane vs Brad, Jane vs Jeff, and then Jane vs Nahal, who isn't even a blogger.
With the exception of a few certain individuals (like Jane), most of these commenters would say that they post anonymously because they want people to focus on the arguments, not the person making the arguments.
To paraphrase about two months' worth of comments, "Angelo Villagomez is an idiot, but please don't ask me who I am because you would only attack me and not my opinion."
There are even two anonymous blogs out there dedicated to libeling Jeff and me. I should probably take it as a compliment. A pair of losers have nothing better to do than to write nasty things about me? I guess I've finally hit the big time.
I don't think many of the Saipan bloggers realize how powerful their blogs can be. In the last week, my words unintentionally hurt someone I would never want to hurt. I wrote something intending it to mean one thing, and it was read in another way. I really upset this person.
That's not cool. I was careless. I apologized and I'll be more careful in the future.
The blogs can also do a lot of good. I was in a group of people one night who were talking about Beautify CNMI! They didn't know who I was or my level of involvement, so they talked openly about how they felt. They said that they'd seen the t-shirts, the bumper stickers, the ad on the TV, and the articles in the newspaper, but it wasn't until they came across the blog that they realized that what we were doing was "for real."
Along those lines, I'd like to think The Saipan Blog has given people a taste of real life in paradise. I hope I've given people from here a reason to be proud of their island and I hope I've given people not from here a reason to want to visit. I readily admit that life is not perfect here, but as Harry Blalock likes to say, it is better than living in Michigan.
I'd like to see all of us return to the positives aspects of blogging and let's not give those out to cause nothing but trouble a forum to share their miserable existence with us.
At least on my blog, I'm going to put an end to this turn towards the vulgar right now. There will no longer be anonymous comments on this blog and I have enabled comment moderation.
Inflammatory comments and personal attacks will no longer be tolerated.
I've had enough.