I’m an extremely lucky man. I have a wife I love dearly, and loves me back. I have finally been blessed with a beautiful baby boy, who is adorable even in his worst moments.
I have a good job where I sit in a climate-controlled office and work with exceptionally smart and nice people. I have two podcasts, both of which are co-hosted by dear friends of mine, that are at least slightly successful. Furthermore, they are able to provide a not-inconsequential side income for a family that just lost one.
With the good, however, comes the bad.
A few weeks ago, we received this e-mail via ATP’s then-anonymous feedback form, which I’ve lightly censored:
Listening to Marco and Casey droll on and on about their sh**** defective kids is the worst thing to have happen to you on a long commute where you can’t play with your phone to change the track. Worst 30 minutes of my life.
Nobody cares about your stupid kids. Not even thanks to the fact that Casey has defective reproductive issues and had to bother all of us for years with his sob stories about getting pregnant. No one cares.
Shortly after receiving this e-mail, we removed the feedback form. A week or two ago, we brought back the feedback, this time, simply offering an e-mail address instead. We naïvely thought that would discourage drive-bys.
This morning, I woke up to the following. I should note this was spoofed in such a way that it was sent from “Marco Arment”:
Listening to Casey Liss talk about his sh**** backpack review is the worst thing I’ve ever heard.
Every time I think that Casey has reached the ultimate peak of lameness and stupidity, he tops himself.
I love your show because I laugh my a** off for two hours at how stupid and lame Casey is and how arrogant and smug Siracusa is.
John, Casey and Marco: you can all eat a huge f****** d***!
F*** off d******s.
Unfortunate, and hurtful, but it was not alone. Also this morning, we received this, via an e-mail anonymizer; I’ve left the spelling issues alone:
Casey Liss’s aversion to desktop computers and the need to whine and complain about his first world problems how he doesnt want an expensive iMac cause he doesn’t like “big computers” he only like laptos…
That is reason # 1254 that Casey Liss is a f****** idiot.
Also, the fact that Casey Liss does personal stuff on his work computer is
REASON # 2498 that CASEY LISS IS A F****** IDIOT!
I’m not sure what we’re going to do about the ATP feedback form. On one side, we do not owe it to anyone to expose ourselves to this kind of vitriol. On the other hand, we (generally) have an amazing group of listeners, who typically provide some of the most thoughtful and helpful feedback I’ve ever encountered. Why let three bad apples ruin it for everyone?
In the end of the day, I suppose this is just the “cost of doing business”.
It’s old news that people are bastard coated bastards with bastard filling. It’s old news that this is how the internet works. It doesn’t have to be that way though. We’re better than this.
A year ago — hell, even a month or two ago — these emails would have really ruined my day, if not my whole week. Today? I’m writing this post, and then moving on with my day, saying extra thanks to all of those wonderful people in my life. That includes you, a reader of my site. At this point, I’ve become numb to these sorts of attacks.
That, if I’m honest, is the truly disappointing realization.