Why “Civility” Is a Joke

Because those who whine most loudly about it write comments like this:

He is not in control of his speech or his actions when he attacks people (0.00 / 1) [delete comment]

And that makes him a victim of them, as well as a perpetrator of violence.

I am not going to continue this.  You can investigate what I’ve advocated, accept it or reject it.  

I am not advocating silencing anyone – but I am advocating placing limits on actions – in this case, hate speech and ad hominem attacks.

I also see in Armando’s attacks and escalation, acute signs of mental illness, and it’s that which is manifesting in the extreme speech which I believe is also a manifestation of Armando’s distress.  Limiting his ability to hurl invectives while he isn’t in control of himself is similar to providing privacy for patients who are not in control.  The intent is to preserve their dignity and worth, and to provide that in an environment with the least restraint possible to effect the goal.

You as site administrator/owner can schoose to have a PFF-like site, but that should be made clear so that visitors can make an informed decisions about participating.  

I came based on Turkana’s recommendation and your “be excellent to each other” motto.  I see that isn’t the case.

I choose to withdraw.  

Now, did you really want this to be on the site?

If not, then please zero it out.

Okaaay then. Accusation of acute mental illness seem a tad bit uncivil. “Verbal violence” in fact, no? What would Gandhi say?

I know what I say, “civility” seems to depend on whose ox is being gored.


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    • Armando on November 28, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    He gave that comment a 4.

    What a bunch of dishonest hypocritical pricks.

    Oh no, bad words!

  1. by the hand-wringing from progessives about “lack of civility.”

    Fuck that.  If you fuck with me, I’m going to fuck with you back, progressive or not.  I am a progressive, I never said I was without passion, emotion and the ability to be enraged and respond harshly to my provocators.

    That said, I am civil to those who are civil to me.

    So, anyone who says/writes anything in my presence that I find to be racist, homophobic, sexist or  hateful in my own personal definition shall find me very uncivil in my responses…

    And, when I respond in white-hot fury, bear in mind that 37 of constant discrimination and bigotry tend to make me a little “warm” when discussing things that anger me…

    I’ve come a long way and swallowed a lot of shit in my life, and I refuse to down another bite.

    And if you disagree with this comment, you’re perfectly free to, I don’t have to approve…

    But if you say something I find to be a “fuck you” to either myself or a perceieved group…I shall respond in like…

    That’s me.

    That’s my two cents.


  2. Me: If I invite you for dinner and I burn it, will you frighten me with verbal assaults???

    Armando: I would not come to your house for dinner.

    Hint: I would not serve you gored ox.

    Finally, the designation of you being mentally ill was obscure and idiotic. Nobody and I mean nobody thinks that.

    • Edger on November 28, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    You have no tolerance for intolerance. You can take it… but you can’t give it.

    Sheesh…. Heh!  

  3. This is only causing more problems than it will solve.

    At this point, calling out an individual poster’s comments is just flaming.  You already dealt with the comment when it was made.

    I don’t agree with this essay, mostly because the issue I cared about was racism.

    Civility?  Good luck with that.  The folks who disagree with you will only feel vindicated by this essay.


    • pico on November 28, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    If you want to convince people of something, then yes, you have to be civil.  We’re human beings: we make decisions based not only on our rational brains, but also on our emotions.  No matter how good your ideas are, if you treat people like crap, they’re not going to listen to you.

    It’s a fair point that the people who scream loudest about it are often the least civil otherwise, but hypocrisy in others doesn’t somehow nullify the issue.

    Question: if lack of civility causes you to lose readers on a blog that’s already struggling to pull in a larger readership, do you stay that course?

  4. Words of Mass Division

    Words of Mass Diversion

    Words of Mass Deception

  5. The entire premise of civility vs. incivility is an ill defined notion at best, especially here in the vast sewer of tubes known as the internet.  Here virtual rats disguised as dots on the screen scurry about chewing on each other’s shit and then shitting out their own to be chewed on.  Civility isn’t even an issue because there are no ‘civilians’ here.  In fact, there is no one here at all, just the virtual notion of who and what others are according to the prejudices and preferences of the reader/writer.

    I’ve written this before, elsewhere, and have been around the ‘internet’ since about 1982 (at Ft. Ord w/ the CDC Plato system) and have observed the same type of behavior on newsgroups, bbs, email groups, etc long before ‘blogs’ became the lingua franca of internet discourse.  Its a fact that the spacial separation between real human beings leads to the kind of assumptive disrespect that characterizes so much of what passes for communication.  My argument is that if people were face to face, they wouldn’t dare speak to one another the way they do through this medium.

    The shield of relative anonymity emboldens the insecurities of posters, unleashing their inner bully to rage against others for their perceived stupidity, insults, arrogance, cowardice, you name it.  In real life, people are much more circumspect about dealing with these difficult issues, but here,

    well, what the fuck, there are no ‘physical’ consequences  (like getting your ass kicked or your face slapped) for overarching rudeness and insensitivity.

    Every 98 lb weakling has his or her day kicking sand in someone’s eyes, and every 500 lb gorilla gets to maul without fear of having anything but a cybernet tossed over its marauding head.  Just like high school, as someone pointed out, only in high school these folks wouldn’t last two minutes.  Even there, social ostracism carried some weight.  Here, very little it seems.

    Setting up a false choice of behaving civilly or not is really a ploy to excuse bad behavior on both sides.  For those here who have no life other than on the internet, this may not be so clear.  For those of us who have lived a long time in the real world, with our own craziness and that of others, understand that civility isn’t the issue.  Humility is.

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