What Pisses Me Off: Negativity on every post!

Recently some people have stated they are considering leaving Starts at Sixty because they are sick to death of the negativity; negativity against the government, Australian society and worst of all, name-calling and personal insults against the writers.

Surely as mature adults we can comment, even have heated discussions without resorting to childishness? We have a unique opportunity via this website to share the length and breadth of our experience and our combined wisdom, why are we abusing this privilege?

Do you ever think before you post? Do you give a damn whether you are insulting someone? Have you wondered why writers are hiding behind “Guest Contributor”? Look at the comments and the insults, perhaps there is a clue in your words?

An illiterate comment is not a waste of my valuable time, your nasty remarks about the bad spelling, syntax and punctuation are! Be grateful you have the education to point out the faults of others.

Someone does some good and we must find fault. I’ll give you a solid example: recently in the Books section there was a blog about the awarding of the Man Booker prize for literature to Richard Flanagan!

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Could we just congratulate him? Acknowledge and celebrate a man and his book?


We had to raise politics, nothing to do whatsoever with the story. Whether we agree or disagree with Richard Flanagan’s point of view, he is entitled to hold it. Ironically, The Narrow Road to the Deep North tells the story of the Thai Burma Railroad where the authors father was a POW. I wonder could the right to hold an opinion be one of the things his father fought to preserve?

What happened to “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it”? If I chose books based on the lifestyle and opinions of the author being totally in concert with mine, my library would be minuscule!

Even on the fashion pages, politics gets a run with comments to the effect that if the pension were higher the readers could buy the featured clothes. Some of the fashion is out of my price range; I accept that and don’t begrudge those who can afford to buy these items. Good luck to them. In the meantime, I’ll see what’s on sale at “Cheap Cheap”.

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Our community writers spend huge amounts of time and effort, for no remuneration, writing blogs on a multitude of different subjects. The opinions of each and every writer deserves a better response than, “Yuk”, a recent insightful comment on a fashion piece. A simple, “Not my style” would suffice.

Then on an investment blog, a comment asked those who travel overseas to stop sharing their stories because not everyone can afford travel. Further remarks were rude about the “silver tails” who can afford to travel. Why? Can’t we just vicariously enjoy the armchair travel and the writer’s story without resenting them and name-calling?

Many community members do not have children and/or grandchildren. How would you feel if someone asked you to keep all your family stories to yourself because not everyone can share your experience?

This website has been set up for us, the Starts at Sixty community, to have a voice and, as you may note, I have a voice. Like many other community members, I live on a pension. In my time I’ve earned, and spent, the big bucks; bad investments took our savings.

Now I have a choice: play the blame game, stamping my big feet and telling all and sundry “not fair” OR live more simply, enjoying memories of the high life, but revelling in the fact that whatever fate sent me, I am still here as strong and feisty as ever.


Here’s a challenge, how about a good news time, where we don’t name call individuals, organisations or politicians of any persuasion! Have your opinions please but consider your words. Let’s make November, No-Vitriol-ember!