I mostly agree with you. I was on the board for two years before I even knew who the "mods" were (or what that term meant). I guess Formerly Anonymous was one, not sure who else. Ever since the RR firing, the newly instated mods have taken on a much more public persona, which I personally think is unnecessary.
Brian has a great product here. As the blog has grown, there are inevitably more hosers. That's tough to control, but I feel like I can still get questions answered, meaningful discussion, and humor here.
It's easy to sift through the rubbish for the familiar faces I know will give a thoughtful or humorous response. Things work themselves out.
That said, there's no reason to outright insult or challenge Brian over everything. The problem is less people being rude (the King of Belch was rude, and he was great) but rather being arrogantly contrarian about everything.
mesmerism! presidential assassinations! circuses on fire!