Burned out blogger

Kind of in a funk today, and a little pissed about how my posts on two BBS got zapped within the past two weeks. It makes me regret breaking my rule, from years back, about posting on BBS’s — which is only to post on those you feel you can trust!

1. On virtueonline.org, David Virtue has a piece up about how some Episcopalian bishop made a big stink about one of those mass produced e-mail threats he had received, and wants the FBI involved. Some of the commenters went into that “we should take all threats seriously!” and “Hea-ven FORbidddddddddd! HEA-ven FORbiddddddd! That SOMEthing should HAPpen!” mode, which gets a little tiring after a while.

I merely pointed out that law enforcement has only limited resources, so chasing down goofy threats takes away from going after the authentic criminal activity (the actual violent crime and property theft) going on out there. I also made reference to what I will here call the Culture of the Many Threats and how it caused the U.S. to insert itself into two countries to pursue questionable wars. (The goal of the first, get bin Laden, was clear, but the second just a total mess.)

It’s a point well taken that assessing the threat is as valuable, and maybe more so, than doing something about it. Up until contemporary times, all our wars required this assessment and a general sacrifice. Resources are limited, no matter what Chinese lending lulls some people into thinking back home.

So my post was there. And then? ZAP!

[Update 1/29/10: Someone at Salon was making the exact same point last week, it turns out. A man at JFK accidentally opened an emergency door, and the place went into total lockdown for 2 hours. Heaven forbid that someone should accidentally open the wrong door.]

Last night, I commented on debito.org’s post, which criticized the Economist’s “Creativity Index”. The index is some goofy ranking about which country’s people are the more creative. The index put Japan ahead of the United States.

I gave three reasons why this might be true:

1) Cuisine and design. The Japanese are much more creative with a limited stock of foodstuffs. They are more creative in the presentation of items and use of things to make art (origami, etc.)

2) Bureaucracy. The Japanese in the bureaucracy are far more creative in trickery, stealth and delay. Thinking about this mroe, it’s in large part because they have no accountability, so they can use a lot of time to invent elaborates strategies and excuses.

3) Contemporary music. Excepting the contributions of the African American community (which put the U.S. ahead), the young Japanese do more with the body of Rock and Pop than young Americans do. For the longest time, musical creativity in America has come out of the black community (a small percent of the population), and the source for practically all forms of contemporary music is in the black community. Here, here is the first site of many on a basic Google search, “African American influence on rock and roll”.

Well, some character out there took offense with that—which to me is a basic acknowledgment of what countless observers of the American music scene have been saying for years. Apparently, his offense came through his own wacko interpretation of what I said. He took the phrasing of “excepting the” black community as if I were putting it aside. No, that wasn’t it, it was more like what I said above: without the black community, American music would be a lot less than what it is.

Well, the next thing you know . . .. ZAP!

So this reminded me a lot of 2003 (the olden days). You’d put something out there, and people who just want to pick fights with you, or want to make some self-aggrandizing point unchallenged, start with the histrionics. If they aren’t hiding behind some false claim of “wanting to debate”, they really just want a forum to sound sanctimonious about some issue that really isn’t what the matter is about.

3 thoughts on “Burned out blogger

  1. Things on Debito’s site often have a tendancy to disappear into the ether, especially when they catch him out in something or someone says something he doesn’t agree with. He will even edit other’s posts to his own liking to make it appear like more people are supporting him.

    All this after his own huge rants of accusing others of deleting posts from mailling lists make it really hard to keep one’s eyes from rolling back into one’s head and screaming HYPOCRITE at the top of one’s lungs.

    I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Sort of par for the course over there.

    1. I happen to talk to Debito from time to time. And I understand of course that he has a right to control his site—it ain’t mine! Furthermore, I know he gets a sizable amount more of information and traffic coming through debito.org than what the surfing public sees back. He’s doing a lot to help people, for no charge. (People will want to bum advice off him, for example, without even buying the Handbook.)

      To me, it goes to how open a conversation people want to have on the internet, and how much censorship has to be tolerated by those who are offended by what they read. The “I MUST FIX something I read on the internet that’s just plain “wrong” (not my opinion too!)”

      In my early days of blogging (2003), I had a few people do this to me, and it was really out of line. A pair of them kept it up for three years! Another one seemed to think it was within his right to call people I associated with and complain about me whenever he read something he didn’t like. They just seemed to feel that it wasn’t harassment if they could hide behind the internet as their excuse.

      If someone sets up a site, it’s theirs to control, of course. But I tend not to want to participate in ones that start zapping posts that on the face of it, are reasonable. People surf because they want to read the multiplicity of views, not BBS’s that parrot, totalitarian-style, whatever the runner of the board has to say. Sure, a political righty won’t probably last at a lefty’s BBS. But folks who have something reasonable to say ought to be able to say it without having someone else come along to try and get their words zapped away.

  2. I agree with you that he has the right to run the site as he sees fit (just as you are entitled to run yours as you see fit) and obvious trolls and spam should not be tolerated. However, there is no consistent standard being applied.

    There have been several times when perfectly reasonable things have been posted for all the world to see and then suddenly “go missing” because he apparently felt they were no longer supporting his position. Smacks of revisionism and makes it appear like a haven for astroturfers and sock puppets.

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