Yay, we are fighting!

And what family doesn’t?

What is the biggest danger this site faces?

The biggest danger to this sites health: excessive politeness and agreement.

Lack of conflict, leading to a saccharine paradise of conformity and a lack of challenging each other to grow and learn and change.

Conflict avoidance leading to self-censorship group think and echo-chamberiness.

The second greatest danger? People thinking this is some kind of flawless paradise and getting pissed when it is not exactly THEIR picture of paradise. That is the weakness of a paradisaical model. When ANY flaw appears in a supposed paradise, any little thing that takes away the perception of a perfect paradise…. people reject the whole thing, because it is only ALMOST paradise, now that a flaw has been found.

The good being rejected for a lack of perfection.

What is the greatest strength of the site?

The hearts of the people here…..despite all of our individual flaws. Which are many, starting at the very top.

For the strength in those hearts are what allow us to keep fighting, through all the obstacles both internal and external. Everyone here has been through a ton of shit in their lives and fought through it and survived.

“Be kind to everyone you meet, for they are all fighting a great battle.”

And the folks here are not only fighting the battles that every human fights on this planet, but have also CHOSEN to fight against the multitude of permutations of evil and try to make the world better. Each in their own way, each with their own style, each through their own flaws.

SURELY we can weather these internal conflicts and still thrive! Piece O fucking cake, babay! All we have to do is use our big ass hearts, and not give in to our little ass egos. Humans learn and change and grow through conflict faster than y any other method: conflict is good….IF it is done well. We MOSTLY avoid conflict not out of a distaste for the conflict itself, but as a way to avoid learning and growing. The preceding statement is based on one premise though…that conflict be approached and carried out honestly and sincerely.

The only problem I have with conflict is when it is just conflict for the SAKE of conflict….iow, trolling.

So….what am I as zen dictator going to do about the current conflict on the site?

Nothing! Work it out yourselves kiddies! Just try not to break any lamps, k? If the furniture starts to get broken I will do something.

I will throw out a couple of clues.

Clue one: If a person of color says you are acting like a racist, it is incumbent on you to sit down and take a good hard look at your self.

Clue two: If you want to change hearts and minds and make things better, the best opening line is NOT: fuck you you fucking fuck fucker fucking asshole fuck! And since painting everyone with the same broad brush is the essence of racism, CUT IT THE FUCKING FUCK OUT! I honestly and rudey mean that!

Bonus clue: Folks seem to think that you are REQUIRED to be nice to each other to post here. That is not true. NO ONE WHO POSTS IN GOOD FAITH WILL BE BANNED. We have not banned a single person…and will not….who is making an honest effort to contribute to the site. The only people who have and will be banned are folks who are here to purposefully disrupt or tear down the site.

The reason it is so nice here…so paradisaical is because we make it that way. Because we are good people, who are trying to make a better world. If that takes not being “nice” sometimes, that is ok. As long as we do our best to deal with and respond to it honestly. Their is no double standard, if you want to be rude, and cuss people out etc, go for it. But do it honestly and be upfront about it…..and be prepared to deal with the consequences. Not from me, but from the other nice people here. If you have a problem, state it openly and honestly….and as rudely as you wish…if you are prepared to handle the blowback. If conflict upsets you, as it does me sometimes….just stay out of it. No one is required to participate in conflict. But if you have something to say, stand up and say it. After all that is what we are here to do to the Powers That Be, so we must be able to do it among ourselves here. Niceness is nice, but the price of avoiding conflict JUST to have a pleasant atmosphere is a dangerous thing. Remember….honest dissent is valued here.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled deprogramming.

Disclaimer: This post is inherently flawed and written in an undercaffeinated state.

298 comments

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  1. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

  2. This would be way more fun if we were all in a bar and having a few drinks.

  3. Racism isn’t the sole source of hate and intolerance.

    Continuing to allow and to condone Armando’s (or anyone’s) attacks on others isn’t progressive. And if you haven’t noticed, he’s done a fine job of hijacking your site, buhdy.  

    So much for be excellent to each other.

    Words can be used as tools or as weapons.  Right now, you have an administrator who is leveling lethal attacks with them.

    When someone is being violent to others, they must be stopped.

    Being a bystander isn’t acceptable.

    So long.

    • Armando on November 28, 2007 at 5:57 pm

    I do not know if my behavior was acceptable. I am pretty sure it was not. But it was in response to similar responses.

    Strangely enough, what I thought was clear appaears to have been understood NOw by some.

    so the fault likely lies in the limitations of my ability to express myself PLUS much of the self imposed baggage I have placed on myself.

    That said, I do FEEL (I do not know for sure) that this is a helpful exercise.

    I think that IF I and others learn from this on the question of communication – then perhaps we can STILL disagree but wiothout it settling into a pie fight.

    We all got our backs up. I have said some ugly thing to people. Now, it would be dishonest of me to NOW say that I did not think what I wrote. I did.

    But that does not mean that I and they can not become better community members and commenters and activists and that we can not be BETTER period.

    We should be.

    Most importantly, we should not be afraid to say what we think.  

  4. As in life experiences I have grown in cyber experiences.  If I can handle the winger attacks at TalkLeft and have to use all my words I discovered that I could handle just about anything and it’s only a computer and it’s only words spewed by someone with an opinion.  I’m shooting for a life of random acts of kindness these days since perfection doesn’t become me.

  5. between Armando and me by pointing out that what was meant was not necessarily what was being written.  I think we have both seen the folly in our ways.

    Thanks Robyn.

    There’s nothing to see here move along folks…step aside step aside….

  6. I am not here to fight, believe it or not.  I have no need to “namecall.”  And I am writing this comment to clarify a lot of misunderstanding.  To those who misunderstood my original intent, perhaps I misunderstood an earlier diary which took exception to US torture.

    As someone who discovered a diary devoted to misunderstanding me up on the rec thread, let me make this clear:

    I say what happened in Central America is no secret to anyone of an extended Latin American family from Central America who still have plenty of family living there.

    I am not naming names.

    I don’t give a hang who does/not work as a spook, the internet is loaded with spooks.  As I said to you, complaining about spooks on the internet is like examining one’s tiretreads to determine problems with one’s engine.

    On the controversial diary – I repeat – my point is that given the extended, clan-like nature of Latin families, I would never believe anyone from Central America who claimed not to know what the US had done while they still have family living in Central America.

    Did what, you ask?  I’ll post a diary explaining some of what happened in the name of the US taxpayer and the roots of torture.  With no names of the parties who have been cited repeatedly in all kinds of official human rights commission reports stated, OK?  Censored.  No name dropping, just a look at the greater effect of the Central American oligarchy.

    People whine and scream about torture.  Well as one party here so eloquently says it in various ways:  we need to look to the beginnings of things to better understand them.

    And I maintain that Central American families are very well advised about these beginnings of torture, and death squads, and kidnapping, and secret prisons.

    For those who would look at the diary, kindly refrain from rehashing the other collective hallucination, OK?  Answer those comments where they stand.  Because instead, we need to look to Central America to determine the course of where the US is now bound.  OK?  Education here anyone?

    Clarified I hope.  No need to put up further diaries running my name into the ground anymore – I hope – OK?

  7. This is all My Subjective Opinion, FWIW.  Others, of course, are free to think and to do as they please.  I’m not even sure what my point is, I’m just sharing some rambling thoughts on conflict and the power of words.

    IMHO, each person has a different level of tolerance for conflict.  For some people, arguments are “fun”-they enjoy the back and forth and can blow it off without a second thought.  For others (yes, I’ll confess, I’m in the second group) conflict is uncomfortable.

    All the following is MHO, no scientific data to back it up, just my Subjective comments 😉  I agree that an echo chamber type blog would be boring-and if one strongly disagrees with someone else’s comments, why should they feel they have to agree just to be “nice”.

    Personally though, I don’t like to get into shouting matches with others.  I listen better when I’m not being shouted at or insulted 😉 I do know that when I get p.o.’d enough, I can be pretty wickedly cutting in my remarks (at least I’ve been told so); the problem with that for me is that I don’t like to wound people with my words.  I have done so in the past, and because I’ve seen how damaging “mere words” can be, I try to avoid “going there” these days.  Those guilt trips aren’t fun for me.  

    Also, I have a hard time letting it go once the insults start to fly.  Once someone has unloaded on me, I have a hard time forgetting that they did so once and could do so again, so if I “misword” something or if they “misread” something, they could “go off” on me again–so in order to avoid trying to tiptoe around their “short fuse” I just might choose to not comment with them again.  

    There have been many times I’ve read something and wanted to “squash” the author “like a bug” and there have been times I’ve responded in white hot anger-but have regretted it more often than not.  Not that it’s not fun to get snarky with someone now & then 😉  

    • Edger on November 28, 2007 at 7:01 pm

    Abso-fuckin’-lutely!

    Heh! We don’t need no stinkin’ decorum queens ’round chere?

    Do we?

  8. you all have a nice fight now

    • TheRef on November 28, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    prior to reading the comment string that follows.

    I think it would be wise for you to ask the SoapBox people for a rumpus room wherein two or more combatants who wish to spew personal invective can go to conduct their personal tirades. Personal attacks, multiple FU’s, etc. could be thrown about at will with no ill effects save the damage done to the participants within this “special” room.

    Unquestionably, controversy is the agent of change. Heated controversy oftentimes speeds the process to the best of conclusions. However, in my opinion, effective debate is always about the issues. The effective debater is one who is convincing even to the one on the other side of the issue. Personal attacks that drive another away or, even worse, that drives the other underground are (almost always) counterproductive.

    We don’t always need to reach consensus, but we should always end up with all the debaters having their say and having them satisfied that they have had a fair hearing.

    Fairyland? I don’t think so. Just the community of mankind that in the civilized world separates us (thinking) humans from our wild animal earthly partners …we don’t need to go around pissing at the corners of our respective personal domains to mark our property boundaries.

    The vast majority of people, intelligent enough, to compose a diary or a comment are good, respectful people. They don’t go out of their way to disparage anyone. We should consistently challenge any statement in which we have an “issue” disagreement. As de rigueur dictates, we should always stifle personal attacks or if that is impossible, move our personal invective to the suggested Rumpus Room.

    The special room approach should satisfy those who feel a need to blow their stacks, pop their corks, throw a tantrum, while allowing life to go on unabated by personal animosity that only serves to mask the real debate.

    …che sarà sarà.  

  9. You get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.

    But who wants flies anyway?  

  10. it is fun, challenging and great exercise …

    • snud on November 28, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    I can’t find it at the moment but I believe you touched on this somewhere here, buhdy when you asked:

    What is the biggest danger this site faces?

    …and I think you made the point that the biggest danger is if people stop coming here – which is both wise and self-evident.

    You know… if a blog falls in the forest and there’s no one there to read it – or something like that.

    Without naming names or reasons for it, I just see a bunch of whiny, back-and-forth bullshit while poor buhdy tries to herd the cats who want some kind of vindication. Man, I wouldn’t want your gig for all the tea in China, buhdy.

    In the grand scheme of things, in this totally fucked up country and totally fucked up world we all live in… all this is less than meaningless. (Which makes me wonder why I’m even typing about it!)

    As I read through this thread it took me back to high school. Seriously. I remember when two assholes would get into a fight and half the school would turn out to watch. Not me. I’d just get sick to my stomach – even if I didn’t know the people fighting.

    Why? Because it was just another reminder to me how flawed we are as a species that we do this shit to each other – and for what?

    I’m not afraid of a fight if someone or something I love is threatened in real life. But jeebus, this is a blog fer chrissakes.

    I’m also not advocating “kumbaya” but if I disagree with something someone’s posted (and I give enough of a shit) I try to attack the argument and not the poster – even if my gut instinct is to attack the poster. I at least try to not let that part of my monkey-brain take over because if I do it makes me feel like those two assholes who were fighting in high school.

    Most of the time, if someone attacks me personally in a fucking blog I walk away because I honestly don’t give a shit. Whoever it may be doesn’t know shit about me.

    Besides, I’m up to my ass in alligators (and the swamp’s draining fast) in my personal life enough as it is so that I don’t have the luxury of sitting around my PC all day getting pissed at anonymous people whom I don’t even know and demanding some satisfaction. I wish I had that kind of time… but if I did, I sure as hell wouldn’t spend it that way.

    Anyway, I do think it would really suck if people quit coming here because too many threads devolve into a few  dogs that insist on being the last one to piss on a fire hydrant.

    • Edger on November 28, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    Good guideline to follow.

    Some people take an attack on their comment as a personal attack, and end up self destructing in plain view of everyone else and shooting themselves (metaphorically and rhetoricallY) for you, too.

    It can be very effective on idiots, and on racists…

  11. even when he shouts and I disagree with him. It works by making me examine my position from another angle, often times it doesn’t happen in the thread but later. I also have found it makes me self examine the effectiveness of positions and my emotional blind spots. Some times I cannot figure out what the hell he is talking about and thats good too as it makes me have to look at it through a different lens, stand it on it’s head etc, sharpens up my fuzziness, makes me research positions  

    I do not mind cursing find it entertaining. I don’t want to have this site be Kumbayaed only. It becomes an echo chamber and useless, non real. My best friend is married to a lawyer and she says that even when she is in agreement she ends up after a discussion saying what the hell did he mean . Much so with armando. So even if he gets your hot head up it’s worth it. It’s good to have a ‘centerist’ among us, and gives shape to the community. Edges are good. He makes me actually not think all centerists are fools. My two cents. He’s  one of my favorite voices on the net. So hope this gets resolved.

    My only advice to Armando is to be more patient, to those who do not understand your point, as your kind of oblique.            

       

    • Robyn on November 28, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    What is the biggest danger this site faces?

    Answer:  People are forgetting to read my poem in the morning.  That’s a shame.  Today’s was one of my best, in my opinion.

  12. A positive attitude in support of a negative system is very very dangerous indeed!

  13. Let’s all meet in a hotel room in Toronto, we’ll get this all sorted out.

    I’m not the head of HBO but I watch HBO, so I can carry Breathing Still there, if necessary.

  14. I am realitively unaware about the exact scope of the brewhaha here ……

    but I do see it as a perfect reflection of the human dilemna at large…..

    personaly I do not get involved in non constructive dialogue…..

    as you probably noticed I do not way in on many many issues here……

    one point however agressiveness is not violence….

    without a threat most of what passes as speach is not violent perse, abusive perhaps but not violent…..

    if you percieve another persons speach as abusive the solution is clear ….

    do not enter those threads…..

    if you do, you do so with the intent of engaging and to some extent are a coparticipant in your own abuse….

    pick your partners and know what you are truley committed to creating…..

    and I am not commited to becoming caught up in other folks constructed shit storms….

    this confusion here mirrors the confusion of humanity….

    and I know this will lose me brownie points but, who is kidding who…..

    this kind of conflict truley accomplishes nothing…..

    worse it wastes time and spiritual energy…..

    I do not know armando, he seems niether calm nor analytical at times…..

    but I do not care because I need him as I need all of you….

    this is not a test, this is the real thing….

    if we do not make room for everybody very, very soon…

    then there will be room for no one….

    this seems so childish and egocentric to me….

    but so reflective of why humanity is going down…..

  15. factionalism is undesirable but unavoidable…..

    emotional sobriety is valued…….

    debate/rhetoric is not dialogue……

    us vs them is the problem not the the solution……

    dialogue has value in a factional environment…..

    personaly I am interested in dialogue not debate…..

    • KrisC on November 29, 2007 at 5:49 am

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    • Diane G on November 29, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    Whose side was I on?  Did I win?

    Now I keep telling people how peaceful this site is, and all you’all are going to make a liar out of me.

    Here, have some Robin Trower, go smoke a big fat number, get laid, and call me in the morning.  Works every time.

  16. (No offense).

    No, this is not blog fighting.  This is about a person who has proven over and over and over again that he will continue to terrorize, insult, Commandeer ENTIRE THREADS by posting hateful invective, until such time as the powers that be send him packing. He works to get sent packing, but not before he takes a pound of flesh rabidly from anyone who has the audacity to say WTF.

    For three years (more or less), I and hundreds of other sincere political junkies endured his tantrums and tyrannical raids on the orange board.

    I and hundreds of others have also enjoyed your good-natured presence on that other board.  So the contradiction of having both of you in front page slots was an unsettling proposition.  I don’t post here much because I knew this day was coming. Knew it.

    This is the thing, Budhy:  This is not about fighting or debate or anything. It’s about the fact that an unhinged abusive individual has, once again, gain access to the keys to the meeting hall. And you gave him the keys, with a pat on the back.  

    Your blindspot Budhy is breathtakingly large. Think Mount Everest! Ugh.

  17. song – and I am – I would be in ever more awe – even enlightenment if this tread could continue for 12 days as at the end of it we will surely be too tired to fight again anytime soon and all be babbling idiots in need of a stiff drink by then. There i go with the drinking theme again.hmmm

  18. tell me this: you never get anyone to change by hating them.

    I’ve always remembered that.

    • TheRef on November 29, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    shut this thing down? Twenty-four hours (now headed to 48+) of flame is enough for anyone…. The greatest failure of democracy …complete freedom equals anarchy. Let’s move to debates where there is a chance that something can be accomplished. Satiating a person’s need/appetite to raise holy hell on any subject should not be the cause cèlébr placed on the masthead of any site with a goal of becoming a progressive change agent [which, though I have not seen it stated as such, is my impression of the mission of this site].

  19. I apologize

    It is unfair to blame Buhdy or Armando for any of this.  I read a post by Armando, quickly, on my way out the door and posted something I shouldn’t have as a result of misreading the article.

    That caused a bunch of things to happen that I had no intention of starting.  I came back on and saw the turmoil and was trying to end it when I saw that Armando had called a bunch of us “self-styled” liberals.  I wrote a diary in response to that which then sparked a few more dairies.  I appreciate the fact that others cared enough to support me with their own diaries but I despise piling on.  No matter who it happens to.

    As soon as Armando and I were online at the same time to work out our differences our issue was resolved.  

    Being a site owner is incredibly difficult and until you’ve tried to moderate an argument like this one on your own paid for server, you and I really shouldn’t criticize.  I saw that Pinche made a reappearance which means that everyone should be able to make a reappearance when they cool off a bit.  I don’t know that for sure, but am guessing that is the case.

    You can rain on my parade anytime, sharing how you feel emotionally is good and I am sure Buhdy will take your thoughts into account as it appears he tries to take everyone’s thoughts into account.  Even mine.

    Don’t feel like you have to lurk either.    

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