Meanwhile, Robert Fisk is having trouble with his email. Remember when we used to "fisk" things — when the name "fisk" was a verb like "bork"? I don't see fisking anymore. Did that go out of style on the internet? Am I the first one to notice (and to miss it)? Back in the olden days of blog, we used to cut and paste a whole article and intersperse commentary to produce a long blog post alternating between indented quotes from the fisking victim and unindented attacks from the blogger. If that did indeed go out of style, I'd say it's because it's too easy to do. It's lazy. It could be done really well, but how do readers know this is going to be good? They see the tell-tale signs of fisking — that alternating indenting and unindenting — and they don't bother. The blogger is lazy and the reader is lazy, and suddenly, nothing happens.
Anyway, Fisk's problem with email is a bit more sympathetic than the plight of academics who've simply allowed too many messages to pile up in their in-boxes.
The Islamist cut-throats you sympathise with would gladly slash your pencil neck from ear to ear just because you won’t bow to their bloodthirsty pedophile [sic] prophet.I think the "[sic]" is there because that's not how you spell "pedophile" in England. Fisk wants something to be done about the scourge of invective. Fisk isn't "sure that anonymous emails kill," but:
Just before Christmas, an Irish minister of state, Shane McEntee, committed suicide after receiving a swath of online hate-mail.(Will suicides ever be held responsible for the murders they commit?)
Now in the old days, when someone stuffed something abusive in your letter box, you’d be round the cop-shop in no time, brandishing green-ink letters in the face of the station sergeant. Threatening behaviour, at the least. But now, merely to complain about this sort of incendiary material marks you as the oddball....The cop-shop? Brandishing green-ink letters? I'm sorry, this is all very British. I hope Mr. Fisk survives his terrible struggle with the mail. The academics? The need to quit whining and find the delete key.