I just found a great post addressing an issue that has bugged me for a long time:
I have long been a critic of the “niceness police” who regularly patrol online forums. Such figures are often hung up on “tone” to a pathological degree, dismissing arguments based on an overly harsh tone while completely ignoring objectively “mean” statements that are stated in a superficially more even-handed style — and of course, they always feel empowered to cast personal aspersions on the person supposedly guilty of “meanness.”
I agree with this blogger completely. I write passionately, honestly, intensely, and aggressively. On the one hand, this is something that really helps me because I can channel my aggression into my writing instead of letting it fester and eventually damage my health. On the other hand, I am absolutely convinced that one of the reasons why my blog has become so popular so fast is precisely that I don’t mince words and many people identify with my passion.
There are blogs whose authors are so dedicated to the goal of being as inoffensive and mild as possible that you have to get through several paragraphs full of apologies and disclaimers before you arrive at the point that the author is actually trying to make. It is perfectly fine to write this way and to prefer to read such blogs. If you identify with this “Excuse me for existing” position, that is your right. What is not OK, however, is to descend on the blogs of people who write differently and try to police their styles of writing.
The funny thing about the enforcers of niceness is that they are just as aggressive as the passionate, angry writers like myself:
Of course, the highlight is the omnipresent concern-trolling, the patronizing recommendations that “you’ll attract more flies with honey,” etc. The entire strategy of the niceness police is a strategy of delegitimation, a performance that places the niceness police on the side of reason and moderation while the violator is an irrational, easily irritated crank.
The representatives of the niceness police are incapable of being honest and direct about their aggression. This is why they don’t challenge your opinions head on but, instead, try to shut you up by addressing the form of your utterances, rather than their content.