Apr 24 2013

When Your Dead Dad Is Attacked By Commenters

I haven’t yet read this article by Julia Hobsbawm about her father, Eric Hobsbawm, described by the Financial Times as a “historian and champion of the left.” But a quick skim shows that some folks were not, shall we say, fans of Mr. Hobsbawm’s work. I wonder what it’s like when your dead dad is attacked by commenters online.

It can’t feel good, right?

To see what I mean, scroll down to the comments section. It would seem that Eric Hobsbawm was a supporter of Communism, and some people are still rather upset about this. Because, as we all know, writers are the ones who control governments, not politicians. (It reminds me of when Christopher Hitchens died and many criticized his support of the United States invasion of Iraq, as if he was the only person who had any responsibility in that matter.)

As I said, I have not yet read the Financial Times article so I don’t know if Hobsbawm believed that Communism works in theory, as the great Homer Simpson said. Although Homer has also been critical of Democracy:


I guess what my point is that it’s possible that the situation is more nuanced than one might be led to believe. I know. It’s just The Hive, a massive pile of opinion, flotsam, jetsam, some valid, some not. I keep a copy of this xkcd cartoon handy whenever I forget that I shouldn’t take such things personally.

XKCD - Duty Calls

All that being said, I still wonder what it feels like to have people say nasty stuff about your dead dad on the Internet. I don’t know, and I imagine Julia Hobsbawm has a thick enough skin to deal with it. But it seems unnecessarily rude. The guy is DEAD.

As for the commenters, perhaps they have a point. Or perhaps they could take a tip from another Simpsons moment:


Remembering Dad – FT.com