Being a douche bag may not be the way to go. Don Rickles was one of my favourite comics, and he made his entire career of getting folks to laugh while he berated, or insulted folks in the audience. I don’t think a comedian like Mr. Rickles could thrive these days, but I might be wrong, however, his acidic commentary seems to be the basis of a lot of the “new breed” of writers on the net these days in the Personal Finance Forum.
I must admit that this must sound like the Pot calling the kettle black, however, I feel that a lot of my nastier commentary is as much Parental commentary. I berate folks who are in debt, and I mercilessly lampoon and attack the Pay Day Loan world and banking in general, but that is about as far as I will go.
There are a few sites that are now attempting to “cross the line” in terms of decorum (in my opinion) in terms of commentary on issues. One site blamed women for being underpaid (which is transparently an attempt to whip up controversy), why not blame the disabled for not being able to get upstairs (yes that is just me trying to be controversial too)? I realize the post is mostly just the standard puffery about “Women should stand up for themselves” and such, but it does smack of being a douche bag (a female concept) for the sake of it, but that again is a writing technique. It could also be that the writer genuinely believes in his heart of hearts this is the case.
This article spun off a shite storm of folks commenting on it (on Facebook, this site smartly has turned off comments) (one could even argue this post is a shallow attempt to do the same), so in truth, it did exactly what it was designed to do (i.e. cause interest in the site, and discussion on the topic), but did the writer need to do that? I must admit that I do agree with those who say that writing about personal finance is a very dry subject and very prone to quite a dull regurgitation of numbers and formulas (or worse a simple attempt to make as much money off advertising by using keywords littered about the article), but being a mathematician I do actually like that kind of article.
Figure out what your voice is, and stick to it. If you want to be a lampooning jack-ass like me, go ahead, but always couch your commentaries remembering that some folks may not “get” your style, or better still, write the way you want and don’t worry about what others think.