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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Napa Register wants to know: Take back Prop 8? (And why I hate the Register's comment section)

You all might be familiar with how much I despise the Napa Register comments section. Yet--it's like a carwreck--I can't help but scroll through the posts and get raging mad (again and again) about how people aren't really listening to each other. While I am not fond of leaving people to their own smug opinions, I also hesitate to join in the Register's commenting madness because I truly believe most commenters on the site are there only to scream out their opinion--through their keyboard-- while sticking their fingers in their ears and "la-la-la, I can't hear you"ing what others in our community have to say that might be different from their point of view.

That being said, in reaction to a new Field Poll which shows Californians split in repealing Prop 8 and re-allowing same-sex marriage (48% of those polled) or keeping Prop 8 in our Constitution (47%), the Napa Register is polling its readers on its website in a very unscientific poll.

Note that Dan Ross, the Napa Register's online editor adds, after the poll had been going for a bit:
I guess I should have written the disclaimer that this is a non-scientific polling, only one to give readers an opportunity to voice an opinion!
Again, I hesitate to endcourage friends of The Fruit to go and vote their fannies off in an unscientific poll that will likely do little to change people's minds. But, if you are one that doesn't want to leave any challenge left unanswered, then feel free to vote away.

Are you a Register commenter? Why is it (or why isn't it) important to you? Do you feel like it is really a venue that is worth our time?


  1. The NVR is voting on our rights. Please vote. While I share your feelings about the posts for the most part, I believe it is important for us to make sure our side is represented, even if we are not heard. I cling to the hope that some undecided person will be swayed by something someone representing our side has to say. Being a minority, we need all the help we can get. Much of my motivation is my belief that if only those opposed to our equality are speaking out, some may get the impression that they are the predominant side, or that they are correct in their contempt for us. So please vote, even if you don't comment.

    And if you do comment, realize that someone will try to discredit what you say, and some may attack you personally. Don't let it get to you, and remember not to abuse them right back, which is the temptation, and even what some of them want. They want to make us look like the haters, to deflect the attention from them. Take a minute or two to think and edit what you say. Respond, don't react. Or just state your position and move on to something else.

    Also remember, we are trying to persuade people to support our cause for equality, not make them mad or punish them. So don't punish them, even if you are personally into that sort of thing. Peace and love to all.

  2. As of 6:50pm on Tuesday, March 10th:

    Yes 51% (98 votes)
    No 49% (95 votes)
    Undecided 1% (1 votes)

  3. As of 7:53am on Wednesday, March 11th:

    Yes 49% (131 votes)
    No 51% (136 votes)
    Undecided <1% (1 votes)

  4. I'm not only a commenter, I'm the primary moderator of the comments as the site's Online Editor.

    People are going to differ in their opinions. The ability to debate issues and openly state opinions is a valuable asset to the community. While some choose to only state their side without regard to other views, many participate in valid, constructive open debates through the story comments section.

    Frequently, the subjects of stories join in the online debates with the commenters, such as when Napa City Councilman Mark van Gorder said he wants the council to vote on taking a stance towards repealing Prop. 8. Commenters voiced their opinions and van Gorder joined in to address those same people. From this, the people saw their voices were heard and responses were offered.

    Sure, the comments can be frustrating (you should see what gets deleted!!) but from our point of view there is an overall benefit.

    If you have other thoughts, send them to me at or jump in the fray in the story comments section of a article.

  5. If we don't stand up for ourselves, we can't expect others to either. So thanks for sending this out. It's just plain wrong that our lives are open for debate, but the fact is, others are still deciding what rights we should share with them. So we must continue to try to overcome the lies and stigma others perpetuate. Whether we like it or not.
    "Nothing dies so hard, or rallies so often as intolerance." (Henry Ward Beecher)

    It's been too hard living but I'm afraid to die
    Cause I don't know what's up there beyond the sky.
    It's been a long, long time coming
    But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will.

    There were times I thought I wouldn't last for long.
    Now I think I'm able to carry on.
    It's been a long, long time coming
    But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will.
    (Sam Cooke)

  6. Dan reads The Valley's Other Fruit! I heart Dan! I also comment on the NVRs comments section - I try to be possitive and not let the bitter folks get me down.

    Pernodboi (AKA Tony V)

  7. Pernodboi:
    I read literally hundreds of daily items about Napa, always searching for something about the area to present to readers.

    I am just about to substantially expand the number of blogs on the Register Web site. Perhaps there's a place in the blogs for this or a version of it?

  8. I'm a little late to this, but. I used to read the NVR comments and get angry about them too. Then I realized that it's the same 10 people posting comments pretty much all over the website. Didn't really bother me much after that. :)