I am particularly bothered by the vitriol aimed at my friend and colleague Susan Balée. I do not think that Susan was lording it over anybody by mentioning that she has a Ph.D. in Eng Lit. Susan's not like that. But you don't get such a degree without becoming acquainted with, well, a lot of literature. The notion that persons with an academic background can have nothing of value to say about literature is as nonsensical as the notion that such persons are the only persons whose say counts.
Susan in fact is neither condescending nor insecure. She is also an excellent teacher (how do I know? - I spoke in one of her classes and got to chat with her students), a fine writer, and a discerning judge of literature. Do I always agree with what she says? Of course not. We're two different people, with different preferences and predilections. But I respect everything that she writes, because I know that a lot of work and thought - and feeling - has gone into it.
So please, disagree as much as you want - with Susan or with me - but show some respect as well. Old-fashioned good manners are in order.
I should add that any further insults will be deleted by yours truly. So say what you want in strong words - but keep them civil. A good writer can do that.