I’m sorry I had to delete so many of you. But you were zombies. I held out as long as I could, but you know how it is. There’s always a moment in the movie when you can no longer postpone your response to the zombies with familiar faces.

I should explain. I don’t really understand the technicalities of how this blog works. It has a Comments function, which I can turn on or off, but that’s about the limit of my expertise. Over the past year, while the Comments function has been on, I’ve been the victim of something called “comment spam.” In the dead of night, humans (or robots) were posting dozens of comments under false names. At first their comments had to do with the usual pharmaceutical products and well-known Internet vices. I deleted them and shrugged the task off as the cost of the blog. But recently the comments took a disconcerting turn: all of them read, “Good work! Nice webpage!” This was too insidious to be borne. Also, it took about four clicks to delete each one, and it was tedious.

I decided to investigate. It turned out that although the comments were in different names, the names corresponded to just one underlying member profile. And this member profile was that of a real person, whom I knew in real life. I concluded that his membership on this blog had been hacked. Cautiously, I deleted all the phony names but left his profile intact.

It didn’t work. Overnight my friend’s profile spawned half a dozen zombie progeny, and I realized I had no choice. I deleted him. (Sorry!) As in the zombie movies, of course, this didn’t work, either. A day or two later, the zombies were back, having co-opted a different friend. So I deleted him, too. You see where this is going. Pretty soon I had deleted about half of you. And my rampage was as futile as it was drastic. In the end, I had no choice but to turn the Comments function off. Nothing else would staunch the flow of innocuous compliments. It’s unsatisfactory, and I apologize, but I can’t figure out what else to do.