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Metaphors Don’t Kill People; People Kill People

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metaphor: a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in “A mighty fortress is our god.”

Sticks and stones might break my bones but words will never hurt me. ~Nursery rhyme

The recent tragedy in Arizona managed to unleash the pundits on both sides of the aisle. In this world where there must be a root cause for every wrinkle in the landscape and every calamity that befalls us, everyone who was anyone rushed in to insert their two-cents’ worth. The reportage began with word that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was hit, then not hit, that she was dead and then not dead. In the world of 24/7 reporting, the networks tend to go with initial reports that are deemed as being reliable, until, of course, they are proved not.

I had to let the dust settle on the massacre before I could make any judgments, and I still haven’t made any. I don’t trust pundits; analysis is subjective, and analysis not based on factual evidence is usually faulty. The news is nothing more than shilling for both sides, for ratings as well as advertising, and should be taken not with a grain of sodium but with a snow plow’s worth of salt.

Liberals were quick to blame inflammatory conservative rhetoric for the unstable mind and subsequent murderous actions of Jared Loughner. Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck — they all took the fall as being to cause for this poor man’s sudden snap. They overlook the fact that there is and was plenty of explosive left wing hyperbole coming from that camp as well, which includes killing presidents, wishing vice presidents dead, the rape of a certain Secretary of State, and hoisting someone up by their entrails. They ignore that our President has used the same type of speech.

This is not to say that either side is guilty of inciting the violence of Tucson or anywhere else. Reasonable people who feel passionately about anything are apt to use imaginative prose to get their point across. As a person who enjoys words, reading and writing, I’ve been guilty of writing in such a manner, but it’s because I write only when I feel passion about my subject.

From all reports, it appears the shooter suffers from an extreme mental disability. According to his college classmates and professors, Loughner has had a long history of strange and menacing behavior. His friends say he was not much of a news junkie and did not like TV. He was a registered Independent. In the modern world where actions and problems must be compartmentalized into neat, viable solutions, any TV-hating, wacko, registered Independent should be watched closely for signs of dangerous behavior. This is silly talk. I hate TV and I’m a registered Independent (although I lean Libertarian these days). Although quite a few people would say I am wacky, it doesn’t mean I’m going shoot up my congressman.

What some people are loathe to say is probably the most accurate description of this tragic massacre: that Jared Loughner is a nut case and decided to take out his gun because he’s crazy. Insane. Mentally disturbed. Delusional. Psychotic. He shot up a Safeway on a Saturday morning not because he was tormented by one party’s flaming words or another, not because he was a terrorist, but because he was demented.

To borrow a phrase and turn it around, “Metaphors don’t kill people; people kill people.”

Political correctness has run amok. There is a movement afoot to protect Congress by limiting the type of language and symbols that can be used in discourse with them. Although I understand the concern of both elected representatives and their families, I completely disagree with this. Some of my best letter-writing rants are directed toward my elected officials. I want and need them to know when I am not happy with them, not every two or four or six years, but as the whim hits me. They should welcome the discourse, not limit it; after all, they serve us.

If such legislation is passed, will we have to amend our language? Discontinue words like ‘target’ and ‘crosshairs?’ Refrain from using any references to killing, battle, or war? And if we persist, what then? Will we, The People become targets ourselves, investigated and placed on watch lists for our use of English?

Disagreements and healthy debate is one thing; wishing specific ill-will is another. I have heard talk on both sides that make me cringe. Still, as much as it bothers me I would not give up my right to Freedom of Speech just because the speech might be offensive to someone. And while I may not agree with what’s being said, I firmly defend the right to say it. Same thing goes with the right to bear arms. I don’t like handguns, but I defend your right to own one.

I wonder what Mark Twain would say. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was recently ‘cleaned up’ of any words that the reader might find to be offensive, such as the ‘N’ word and a reference to Native Americans that was popular back in the 1800’s. I don’t know if Mark Twain was a bigot; I’d like to think he was not, but was only spinning a yarn. One thing is certain; there is no way to learn from the mistakes of our past if we sanitize it. I personally do not care for the ‘N’ word, especially the way it is bandied about these days, but rap artists have every right to include the word in their lyrics.

I can think of bigger tragedies of the Tucson shooting of more importance than the power of words. One would be the loss of so many lives; a judge, a nine-year-old born on 9-11, a man protecting his wife, the horrific shooting and wounding of so many innocent people. While not defending his actions, another would be that a young adult, living in his parents’ home, could be told to leave school because of his disturbing behavior and not get any treatment for the demons that were haunting him.

It is sticks and stones that break our bones, and it’s not the words that wield the weapons — it’s the people behind them.

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About Joanne Huspek

I write. I read. I garden. I cook. I eat. And I love to talk about all of the above.
  • zing ain’t just bitter, Andy, he’s frustrated as well – a natural condition, I should think, for anyone whose entire life has been spent groping in darkness.

    Ha, ha, zing, now I’ve made your day.

  • Didn’t realize you were listening, Clavos. I wouldn’t mind picking it up with Irene if she’s game and providing she asks right kinds of questions. The problem with topics such as this, it’s counterintuitive to proceed by way of mere exposition – unless one were to write a book. Instead, one needs an engaged participant, skillful besides in the art of dialogue. In the absence of that, one is reduced to a position imparting knowledge and understanding to an impatient and resistant student, and I simply refuse to enter this kind of relationship.

    It’s not the Zing isn’t intelligent, sophisticated or erudite. It’s just that apparently he had never learned the art of asking question, yes, just like children do. So yes, his erudition and sophistication serve here as his stumbling block; he’s got to be able to shed all of that like an old coat, or at least suspend his preconceptions in order for a dialogue to take place. That’s the process and essence of true education – especially when understanding (as opposed to mere knowledge) is at stake. So simple in its expression yet so elusive to most.

  • lol, M …

    I don’t see how that would work. I will have to suspend judgment until I read his explanation.

  • zingzing

    andy, i’m not bitter, i’m tired. long night last night. (but if you believe i’m sick of roger, you’d be right.) still, you have to admit that your 258 is rather bitter as well…

  • (dialectically speaking, that is)

  • M

    Possibly the intense emotionality generated by irrational sectarianism can open a new way within the historical process which will lead less rapidly to more authentic and human forms of life… Freire

  • Are you trying to lose weight, Andy? Does jumping to conclusions help?

  • Wow! I never realized just how bitter you are zing! Not sure why I never realized it…guess i just wasn’t paying attention.

  • zingzing

    andy: “I thought all liberals thought that way!!!”

    because you thought it, it must be right, right?!

    clavos: “obviously, I was completely off base (#253).”

    that’s what happens when roger pulls his dick out. besides, if irene wants to chat, that’s fine. roger just came out of the woodwork to bitch about liberals and accuse me of attacking irene (which irene twice pointed out wasn’t the case, but he still couldn’t figure it out), then he sorta got over that and said something, which i responded to, but then he just did his usual “i will disengage now, my wisdom is there for the reading” thing and left behind a trail of insults. no big loss, really. par for the course with roger these days.

  • Clavos

    Obviously, I was completely off base (#253). Disregard.

    Carry on.

  • i think i see what the problem is. you think very highly of yourself and your points are truths while everyone else just runs around with their head cut off, looking for only the comfort your wisdom can provide.

    I thought all liberals thought that way!!!

  • zingzing

    roger, all you added was scorn and misunderstanding for a majority of your posts. and if you think that my last response to you was in one-liner format, you’d better work on your counting skills. after you get to two, you can learn about addition. that’s when you have more than one of a thing and you can put them together to form larger numbers.

    all i come up with debate points, but you come up with golden droplets of wisdom? fine roger, i think i see what the problem is. you think very highly of yourself and your points are truths while everyone else just runs around with their head cut off, looking for only the comfort your wisdom can provide.

    i hope you don’t wonder why so many of your conversations end this way. but after seeing this type of behavior so many times, one starts to get the feeling you’re covering for something.

  • Clavos

    I’m sorry you bowed out, Roger. I thought that you, Irene and zing were having a VERY good and (that rarity of rarities on BC) POLITE discussion.

    All of you brought heartfelt insight and excellent questions to the table; I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone’s comments.

    Props to all. I wish more of these threads were that interesting and productive.

  • (Roger – I’m going to post you something on the Bye thread)

  • @247,

    As you may have figured it out, zing, and if you didn’t, you should, I am not opened for debate on the subject, especially in your favorite one-liner, David Letterman format. My name is not Irene. All I’ve given you is a slice of understanding and food for thought, but rather than trying to grasp it, all you’re capable of doing with it is to come up. with debating points. So excuse me again if I disengage. As far as I am concerned, you’re going to have your deliberations in private.

  • Yes I am rather flippant, facetious and sarcastic to begin with. However I would prefer that you simply view me as a guy who happens to be wise and therefore is a rather “wise guy.” But instead I would like you to think of me as somewhat, nay, make that, as someone who is rather irreverent, iconoclastic and irreligious.

    I also am a bundle of contradictions on these issues. I consider myself an agnostic, but one who, through my limited reasoning, must accept the concept of a God, of a divine force, one that is vastly greater than our lilliputian selves; and one which, through the virtue and force of our limited and fallible logic, but especially, by virtue of our science and empiricism, must actually scientifically, logically and empirically exist. And also, that there must exist a Prime Mover, a Grand Creator who (or which) is essentially another manifestation of God or of a God force or verisimilitude thereof, therein.

    Having said all that pedantic, philosophic excrementum, I do not consider that to be the core issue here – but rather religion is. So I’ll simply put a hold on the former, if you’ll allow me, and let it rest. Right now let’s address religion.

    Unfortunately, got to go, it’s late and I got a doctor’s appointment early tomorrow. Actually today. So will get back to you in a day or two.

  • What sayeth thee? Art thalt amused? Or is it, “we are not amused…no, not at all.”

    Well my burning question for all of you is, will this be on the midterm or final Inquisition? And what about the Reformation and Counter Reformation Inquisitions – will this material also be required for them too?

  • Dear sinners and Godless commie atheists,

    What about my church, what about the Most Holy Church of Zen Baptism and Wanton Obscurantism and its Gospel of the Divine Ambivalence and our Divinely Inspired Mandate to Minister to the Flock, baaah, baaah, We Shall Fleece the Sheep, baah, We Shall Fleece ’em Good/Fleecing the Sheep, baah, Fleecing the Sheep, baah, We shall Do God’s Work, By Fleecing the Sheep, baah, So Let us Fleece the Sheep, Fleecing the Sheep, baah, Fleecing the Sheep baah…No Tithing Necessary, baah-ahhh-good, Just Fleecing the Sheep, Fleecing the Sheep Will Suffice, baah-aah-so-vera-good-ahhh, So Hallelujah, Hallelujah my brothers and sisters and you too of rather dubious gender, Hallelujah Yall.

    One more chorus of Fleecing the Sheep from your hymnals and Vademecums followed by seven refrains of Christian, Zen Baptists ever forward into the frayed, hysterical sophistic and casuistic theological fray. Ever marching forward into the Divine debate of how many millions upon millions of infinitely, inimitably superfluous theological points can dance on the head of a pin and still have room for a half dozen air craft carrier battle groups and one hundred Chicago Sears Towers.

    What about that? You seem to purposefully ignore all this. Why are you so very indifferent to the divinely inspired and revealed truth of his gospel, the Zen Baptist Lord of the Rings; and of Frodo and of his dualistic rapturous, divine truths; and of Luke the Skywalker and may the Peace be with you, yeah baby, yeah. What about all that?

    I rest my case and may the Lord have mercy on your souls, that is, if you have any. And in that case may our Divine Lord of the Zen Baptist Force and Rings of the Divine Ambivalence and Holy Inspired Irrelevany, may he or may he not, Smite Thee Down, Down, Down, depending of course, Upon his Divine, Most Fickle and Petulant Will, Hallelujah, Hallelujah and throw in a few hundred Hossanahs and verily(s) too just for good measure.

  • zingzing

    irene: “ZingZing, I’m sad to hear about that little 5 year old who is seizing constantly. Give her mom some space though.”

    i haven’t commented on it to her in the public areas she choose to carpet bomb with this stuff. in private, we’ve had conversations and i’ve been nothing but supportive. i haven’t mentioned any of the religious stuff, but i’ve been there for her. there’s a line between thinking something is ridiculous and actually telling that person so, and when you really know a person like that (we almost got married a decade ago), you step back and let them do their thing. the real world isn’t like the internet.

    roger: “I suppose I can appreciate your expression of intent, but do you really think she can separate your fine distinction?”


    “Besides, I’m certain that faith means more to Irene than mere moral code; otherwise, what would be the point?”

    i don’t know. that’s the point.

    “But unlike your description of the state of affairs which has such as her going through “some distorting filter,”…”

    i think she’s got christianity right, as far as i can tell. but a lot of people don’t. she seems to have made it through without getting too warped, and that’s proof that it’s possible. but a lot of people don’t. it’s a crapshoot.

    “…let me turn your proposition on its head and suggest instead that perhaps – strictly a rhetorical use – it’s the absence of faith that makes our vision warped.”

    if faith is an imperative, you’re right. but i don’t think it is. there may be a god, but i don’t think he or she has been accurately described yet. and i don’t think it’s possible in man’s voice. let god or goddess or whatever write their own text. are they illiterate?

    “we’re talking about concepts here, comprehensive and well-structured concepts, proven besides by reference not to hallucinations but genuine human experience.”

    i’d have to say that they would be emotional experiences, which are very, very fallible.

    “to deny its validity is to deny one’s own humanity.”

    not really. i’m as human as any other human. as human as hitler, even if he was a prick. it’s a valid emotional response to something, but it’s not like valid emotional responses make something real or true. i’m sorry, but i think that the belief in god or gods is false. it leads one to expect things that won’t happen. it’s a false sense of hope, a place to put blame and an sometimes unfortunately well-used way to justify your actions. if you really believe in god, and are in fear of his judgment, be a good person. if god is fair, he’ll let you off the hook for any minor crimes.

  • Well, can’t stay up late like I did last night.
    I’m signing off.

  • “i’m not attacking her personally, rather attacking what i see as the ridiculous nature of religious belief in general.”

    I suppose I can appreciate your expression of intent, but do you really think she can separate your fine distinction?

    Furthermore, is she attacking you or your disbelief in any kind of way? I failed to notice.

    Besides, I’m certain that faith means more to Irene than mere moral code; otherwise, what would be the point? But unlike your description of the state of affairs which has such as her going through “some distorting filter,” let me turn your proposition on its head and suggest instead that perhaps – strictly a rhetorical use – it’s the absence of faith that makes our vision warped.

    Anyway, just food for thought, or shall I say? word to the wise.

    Let me close by saying we’re talking about concepts here, comprehensive and well-structured concepts, proven besides by reference not to hallucinations but genuine human experience. You can’t just write it all off as if it didn’t matter, for in so doing you’re diluting if not denying your own humanity. It would be like saying that love doesn’t matter. I’m talking about a significant chunk of what it means to be human, zing, not about people’s stupid behavior. Again, to deny its validity is to deny one’s own humanity.

    Anyway, I’m done on the subject if you don’t mind. Later perhaps.

  • Yeah ZingZing you’re right, I don’t feel attacked by you. I don’t know if you were asking a rhetorical question when you asked, “why have the extra supernatural layer?”

    I have plenty of reasons, and I won’t give them all, because again, I have no idea whether or not you want to know, but one of them is definitely: efficiency.

    Didn’t spend too much time at your cuz’s church website link, but if she’s involved in something where the leadership is demanding a tithe and telling you what to think politically, you are rightly concerned.

    ZingZing, I’m sad to hear about that little 5 year old who is seizing constantly. Give her mom some space though. Maybe praising the Lord for his mercy looks to you like a hysterical response, even a dangerously delusional one, but keeping one’s eyes open to the positive when you’re going through hell is a VERY valid way of holding it together. Maybe she really IS experiencing small tender mercies that God is giving her to let her know he’s still there. It’s during the hardest times in my life that I’ve learned the most about how much God loves me. Ironic, but that might be what is happening to her.

  • Roger, for every thing, there is a season, (turn, turn, turn), and a time to every purpose under heaven..a time to speak, and a time to keep silence.”

    Schweinehund! I can’t stop saying that, now!

  • zingzing

    oh, roger, you do know how to make yourself look like a nazi. good thing there’s always schadenfreude to fall back on, i guess…

    and unlike you (you seriously need to get a grip), i think irene can figure out that i’m not attacking her personally, rather attacking what i see as the ridiculous nature of religious belief in general. i see my friend struggling with her 5-year old’s constant epileptic fits and praising god’s mercy all over facebook and i get a bit perturbed by it all. i see my cousin send this completely whacked-out zombie bullshit to my email, note that she’s in some christian cult called the firebreathers, and i wonder what the fuck happened with her life (she was once on track to becoming a research scientist before this whole religion thing derailed her and now she lives at home with her parents). i see conflicts all over the world driven by religious hatred. i see people in the united states being denied rights mostly because of the bigotry that people somehow find in christianity.

    if irene sees christianity as a moral code that means “do well unto your neighbor,” that’s great. but why have the extra, supernatural layer between you and what should be plenty obvious to everyone? you don’t have to go through religion to get there. and plenty of people go through religion and come out completely warped.

    it’s an odd thing, and i think it removes a person from reality, and from blame, and from the ability to do their own thinking without going through some distorting filter.

  • Of course not, my use was strictly metaphorical. But since you raised the subject, he is a schweinehunde. Ha ha!

    As to privacy of faith, I wasn’t alluding necessarily to vulnerability, though you got a point there. Faith is a fragile thing and it must be cultivated lest it withers away, and that has to be done in one’s solitude, not through argumentation with hostile strangers.

  • 237 – I don’t think ZingZing is a schweine, not in the sense that he isn’t worthy to hear the things I talked to him about.

    On the other hand, we all have private things about ourselves that few other people have a right to know. These things are vulnerabilities, tender spots, pearls, and people who do not know how to handle that personal information wisely and compassionately, are, standing in relation to those pearls, schweine. They’ll trample those pearls as pigs would, and in the process, tear you into pieces as well.

    Because I don’t consider my faith to be a vulnerability, but rather a strength, I never evaluate anyone as being a “swine” either before or after I’ve talked with them about God, no matter what their response happens to be.

  • Nonbelievers have a problem conflating happiness with life of ease – as though the proverbial Garden of Eden, otherwise referred to as Paradise – served as a model.

    What an inane idea!

  • zingzing

    “Maintaining and voicing a belief in the goodness of God in spite of all sorts of circumstantial evidence to the contrary, is a way of weakening the enemy, of countering the evil in tbe world.”

    maybe, but just leading a good life and trying to good by your fellow man accomplishes the same thing and cuts out the middle man, if you want to call god the middle man in your plot. and, as i’m sure you know, belief in god has been used to justify a great many more things than “countering the evil in the world.” god is a convenient crutch to explain all sorts of things. as much as belief in god inspires love and goodness, it also inspires hatred and violence. i’m sure you can figure out which side i have a problem with.

  • A valiant effort and just as noble attempt to appeal to wisdom literature. Too bad it falls on unreceptive ears.

    No matter! Irene shows her true colors by casting pearls before swine. But as the good Lord had promised, all one can do is sow. Never mind the harvest.

  • …of course you could, ZingZing (235), but I bet I could add terrible things to that list faster than you could! That is, after all, what one aspect of praying is: rehearsing ALL of that stuff before God, and asking which aspect of that evil he wants us to confront, and how.

    That exercise MIGHT seem like a ridiculous activity: “OK God, you made this wrong, but you can use me to make this right. We can do it toGETHer, and then you can mess it up again, and we can make it better again TOGETHER!” No, thanks!

    People who understand the earth as one tiny (but important) piece in a cosmos filled with powerful spiritual beings (some working for good, some for evil) are able to pray in an entirely different way. Maintaining and voicing a belief in the goodness of God in spite of all sorts of circumstantial evidence to the contrary, is a way of weakening the enemy, of countering the evil in tbe world. That is, I think, the main message of the book of Job, one of the oldest surviving books on the planet.

    Well, Zingzing, thanks for coming back to chat. I’ve got to go now, though.

  • zingzing

    “Zing, I think you mentioned you needed to be asleep by 1, or I’d say more. A discussion of the goodness-of-God vs. existence-of-evil paradox takes a little more than 15 minutes to discuss, so I won’t even try–unless you’re willing to stay up late and drink lots of java tomorrow morning.”

    ah well, i had to go to bed. i don’t think the existence of evil would necessarily negate the idea of a loving god. the yin and the yang, if you will. but if god created this world, looked down upon it and thought it was “good,” especially for his favorite creation (which would be us, i suppose, but he killed us all once before for displeasing him… abusive shit, that), well, i just don’t know how he could make such a terrible, terrible mistake.

    this world is certainly not designed for us. it is what it is, but we have to struggle against it as much as anything else. what kind of god would make the horrifying diseases out there? why would he destroy haiti, then send cholera around to clean up? why did 800 people die in floods in brazil, and why are thousands homeless there? if god controls all that, why does he do that shit?

    i think you get the general train of thought, but you know i could go on and on and on and on…

  • Interestingly, Athena didn’t object to any of the f-words, only to her own unfounded suspicion that she’d been “found out.”

  • zingzing

    “Consider instead comments #216, 217, 220, which are filled with hatred.”

    and yours are so love-filled. the love that emanates from you is so strong, i can touch it. you can dish it out, but you can’t take it? oh, boo hoo.

    “Yet imagine the alternative! What if this man did not have an Internet outlet to vent his deep-seated anger and bitter worldview? Surely it’s not farfetched to raise the specter of Jared Lee Loughner.”

    printing this out right now. writing your name on it. putting it in my fire-safe. i’m sure you believe me. it’s certainly not anger that drives me to write such things to you, alan. it’s because you just make it so easy. who knew you were a christian? you certainly don’t act like one should most of the time. so you just gave me another way to get you riled up. (although, deep down, i believe you about as christian as i am, and are just whinging because you’ve got nothing better to do.)

    “Accordingly, I withdraw my objections (#179, 188) to his disrespecting me for my faith, and encourage him to continue if it helps.”

    alan, you know as well as i do it was just a colorful way of saying you’re a false martyr. and now you’re whining about it. jesus christ, give me a break. you suddenly profess your faith afterwords? oh, that’s convenient. if you are a christian, you only seem to use it as a shield. if you’re insulted, maybe you deserve it.

    “And I pray that Irene Athena likewise allows him to continue insulting her for her faith, as he did so brutishly in comments #216, 217, 220.”

    oh, i brutalized her, did i? i’m sure she can handle an f-bomb here or there. she’s a big girl. she even says so herself, so i’ll take her word on it before yours.

  • I don’t know about Alan, but I do know for a righteous certainty that I am a founder and apostle of the Divine, Most Holy Church of Zen Baptism and Wanton Obscurantism as well as eternal peace here on earth, hold hands and sing Kumbayah, power to the peoples and spread and redistribute the wealth, especially in the form of “walking around money” to its central and most important disciples and divinely inspired ministers such as myself.

    Do I have any converts amongst thee, thou Godless, commie-atheists? If so, send your checks and money orders and yes, we accept cash too, but prefer the previous because you can put a lot of “0”s to the left of the decimal point, which our God especially prefers; TO: (CENSORED, CENSORED, CENSORED).

    I censor myself here, lest the not to be mentioned so and so entities delete this thread of mine in its entirety as they have done to nineteen of my recent threads on three different sites in the past three days.

  • #218 wasn’t an expression of scorn, Alan, only of utter amazement. You can’t just bring up a bombshell and expect no weird reactions. Are you a complete novice?

    Besides, matters of faith are some of the most personal aspects of a person’s life, more subject to personal introspection and self-reckoning than a free-wielding, ass-kicking debate with strangers and potential adversaries, especially when they’re represented by mere pixels on the screen. Don’t take your lead from Ruvy here who knows no better and peddles his “faith” every chance he gets: Ruvy’s a fool. And read some Kierkegaard, for crying out loud.

  • M

    “filled with hatred”, “deep-seated anger”, “bitter worldview”, specter of a murderer

    …such combative descriptors

    Which branch of Christianity did you say you represent, Alan?

  • That’s awesome! Thank God I’m an athiest!

  • And thank God that I am an atheist! So I too can be hysterical and rave against the evils of religion, especially of and against Christianity. Thank God, thank God!

  • What’s happening to Christians like Gao Zhisheng (Chinese Christian human rights dissident who was tortured, released, and is now “gone missing” again) is persecution. I don’t consider anyone’s vehemently disagreeing with me to be anything like real persecution. Zing is a hothead who would’ve used the same sort of language with me if I’d disagreed with him about sports or music.

  • Maybe threads such as this do serve a purpose, notwithstanding the scorn heaped in comments #84, 86, 119, 146, 158, 162, 218. Consider instead comments #216, 217, 220, which are filled with hatred. Yet imagine the alternative! What if this man did not have an Internet outlet to vent his deep-seated anger and bitter worldview? Surely it’s not farfetched to raise the specter of Jared Lee Loughner.

    Accordingly, I withdraw my objections (#179, 188) to his disrespecting me for my faith, and encourage him to continue if it helps. And I pray that Irene Athena likewise allows him to continue insulting her for her faith, as he did so brutishly in comments #216, 217, 220.

    As Christ said in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

  • Anyway, Dr. Dreadful, speaking of names, I like the name “Blue Marble” for our planet.

  • Ever optimistic Irene.

  • Zing, I think you mentioned you needed to be asleep by 1, or I’d say more. A discussion of the goodness-of-God vs. existence-of-evil paradox takes a little more than 15 minutes to discuss, so I won’t even try–unless you’re willing to stay up late and drink lots of java tomorrow morning.

  • Dr. Dreadful, I like the ocean. Just because I can’t LIVE in it doesn’t mean I can’t spend time there and enjoy it, and harvest things I need from it. I like nori and grits.

  • Your experience is not my experience, ZingZing, nor is it the experience of people who have been tortured for their faith, without making the accusations against God that you have made.

  • zingzing

    if this is the world your god set up, then he’s an evil prick. i hope there is a god somewhere, and i hope there is an afterlife, but i hope that he has a sense of humor, because if there is one, he’s hilarious, even if his omniscient self can’t figure it out.

  • A better name for this planet would have been “Ocean“.

  • This comment thread reads like a dialogue by the denizens of an asylum. Keep at it guys, it gets better with every new comment.

    Surprised Irene got sucked into it, guess the girl couldn’t help it. [Edited]

  • zingzing

    i go on walks and get ideas as well. i’ll attribute those ideas to the electrical wires that run overhead. praise ye, wires…

    what the fuck, why not?

  • zingzing

    not counting most of the earth, “designed by god,” upon which we’d drown.

    this place wasn’t DESIGNED for us, irene. if so, it was only designed to kill us. the earth is habitable, compared to other planets (which must just be scenery, i guess), but only somewhat so.

    if you believe your god to be benevolent, why the fuck would he make a majority of the planet into icelands and deserts and saltwater oceans? why would he make fault lines? why would there be hurricanes and torandoes and tsunamis? is this world for us or is it for nature?

    if your god is real, he’s a major fuckup. he’s gotten most everything wrong. and i congratulate him on his absence. like a landlord that won’t fix the fucking pipes. when the place is this fucked up, why come around?

    that’s nothing to worship. it’s something to complain about, but even that won’t get you anywhere.

  • Zing, George Washington Carver went on early morning walks and prayed and asked for God’s direction and wisdom. He recounts that many of the insights related to his contributions to agriculture came during these walks. I can imagine GWC MAY have asked God to show hims something poisonous, because even toxic things can have useful purposes. The whole “knowledge of witty inventions” idea mentioned in the Proverbs passage was what GWC was after….Well, this HAS been our first pleasant conversation about God. At least I thought it was pleasant.

  • “And my delights were with the sons of men”…to be found nowhere else, one supposes, but in the habitable parts of the earth.

  • zingzing

    i will offer you a scorpion, if you ask me for something poisonous.

  • zingzing

    alan: you excuse yourself from the problem, i see. fine. have it your way. have a good day.

    irene: “rejoicing in the habitable parts of his earth?” the 30%? good god…?

  • Well, now that rings true. I ask for an egg, and zingzing offers me a scorpion.

  • And here is the second (final) one:

    For every one that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish will he give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father given the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke 11: 10-13)

  • This is from Proverbs 8.

    Doth not wisdom cry? And understanding put forth her voice? She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths. She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors. Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of men…. I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the forward mouth, do I hate. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding: I have strength…I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me…The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth:…When he prepared the heavens, I was there…Then I was was by him, as one brought up with him; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; rejoicing in the habitable parts of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men…

  • I realize you are talking to Alan, but I am going to say this. I have had many pleasant conversations about God with Ruvy, although none I’ve had with you come to mind, Zing. It’s not for lack of trying.

    Since the topic appears to be about the Holy Spirit, and whether he wants to be found by just a few people, or by everybody, I will contribute by posting two brief EXCERPTS from what I read in the Bible early this morning, without commentary.

  • I’m trying to learn something–just one thing–from your obviously superior intellect. In my comment #196 I conceded that you are wholly right and I am entirely wrong. I then politely asked you to please explain why you respond to my comments. That’s all I want to know. Why do you bother? It makes no sense to me that you would waste time replying to a person for whom you have such obvious contempt. I’d like to understand.

  • zingzing

    look, i gotta go to bed by 1 or so. it’s 12:30 now. if you can’t reconcile the amount of bullshit between your comments as i pointed out in #190 before then, i’ll just go to bed wondering. maybe tomorrow morning you can find it in your christ-filled heart to figure it out, but i’ll just have to theorize. if not, i wonder if you’ve even figured out the message that christ was trying to convey. it seems you haven’t as of yet, so i hope by thinking about it, you can get a clue. such is the problem with most “christians.” they just don’t get it.

  • zingzing

    my team did lose. it’s been a long year. what can i say?

    but if you won’t answer my question (the one in 190, 194 and 201), why should i answer yours?

    by your logic, you must think the jews, arabs, hindus, buddhists and every other religion and philosophy utterly bankrupt and closed-minded. you may be right on the jews, arabs and hindus, but the buddhists? come on. that’s some open-minded shit there.

    you must have some answer for your bull. i’m just waiting around to see. so far, it seems you have no answer. so you keep up with this exchange. so i ask you, what are you getting out of it? an excuse?

  • Oh, his team lost all right. A long time ago.

  • Maybe his team lost, and so, tired of watching ESPN, he’s looking for a diversion.

  • But what are you getting out of this empty exchange? What’s in it for you?

  • zingzing

    still giving you time to answer the conundrum pointed out in 190 and 194, if you want to bother explaining it. or you can just pretend that you’re too bothered being offended some more. up to you, mr. “serious question”. irv also wants to know why “No one’s mind is shut more tightly than he who denies the divinity of Jesus Christ.”

    do you think so poorly of the jews, i have to wonder? if not, explain yourself.

  • So why did you respond this time? What do you get out of it?

  • zingzing

    no you did not and yes i did.

  • I politely asked a serious question. You replied with snarky evasion.

  • zingzing

    i just ignore the name these days in order to let content decide whether i’ll willow down and bless you with my wisdom like so many dying leaves, filtering down among the dirt to be reborn as new fertilizer for fruits unknown. kisses and pillows.

  • My comment #191 was intended as a concession. I agree that you are wholly right and I am entirely wrong. My only request is that you please explain why you deign to respond to my comments. Why bother? Pity seems like a poor explanation.

  • zingzing

    and i’m sure i don’t have all the answers. chris, even if he believes he does, which i don’t think he does, probably doesn’t think he does either. but that’s not the reason why he or i don’t leave it up to some deity to decide. no one has every answer. (and i think even god would agree with that, should he exist and believe in free will.)

  • zingzing

    “I haven’t brought shit down on anyone.”

    that’s true as far as it goes. but you haven’t brought up the rather troubling contradiction in the statements i highlighted above. (and i think that gets to the problem that religion presents, both in your avoidance [natch, for both you and religious people in general,] and in the fact that you can’t seem to answer the problem those quotes represent.)

  • I don’t follow. Is your pity meant to help me? If so, how?

    I don’t find it helpful. And if it’s not meant to help, again I ask, why bother?

  • Clavos

    Why bother with the likes of me?


  • I haven’t brought shit down on anyone. What I don’t understand is why men who obviously have all the answers deign to respond to my comments. Surely such all-knowing men have better things to do. Why bother with the likes of me? Maybe it’s a kind of evangelism.

  • zingzing

    “disrespecting by name one individual for his faith… is a signature smear of the totalitarian community.”

    “No one’s mind is shut more tightly than he who denies the divinity of Jesus Christ.”

    these two quotes have an argument with each other, don’t they? if only the belief in jesus’ divinity is evidence of an open mind, how do you reconcile that and “disrespecting by name one individual for his faith… ” as totalitarian with all the other faiths the world has to offer? do you not see the problem?

    to put it another way, ruvy is a jew. do you think he has a closed mind because he doesn’t believe in jesus’ divinity? does that make you a totalitarian? by your own logic, it does.

    chris and i would say you’re both nuts, but that’s cool… be nuts. don’t care. but don’t fucking bring that shit down on us. (i’m pretty sure i can say that without chris objecting, but he can always disagree.)

  • Surely faith must be grounded in something real?

    Either the religious writings of the Jews, Christians and Muslims are based on truth or they are not. If they are truth, there will be evidence.

    Although as a species we humans are still very young and not yet fully evolved, we are still hundreds of thousands years older than this monotheist notion, which only emerged in its current form just a few thousand years ago.

    As I’ve said before when this kind of thing comes up, I have no problem with the idea of there being gods but I certainly need a lot more to buy this story than the meagre and ancient stuff offered in defence of the concept.

    I’m more interested in your own spirituality as, based on what you wrote earlier, you aren’t simply a Christian. To the best of my knowledge of their ways, feeling connected to the world around you in the way you describe, although quite literally true, is not part of the doctrine…

  • The fallacy is in requiring evidence for that which is grounded in faith. In any case, the larger issue here is disrespecting by name one individual for his faith. That is a signature smear of the totalitarian community.

  • Alan, atheism is not at all a disbelief system, indeed, from my perspective the very phrase lacks meaning.

    What you call atheism barely exists for me as I don’t think of myself as one and outside of this site and occasional real conversations, monotheism doesn’t really come up that much.

    As to Jesus, I don’t question his divinity except in the sense that he can’t be divine in the way you mean it as there is no evidence for this deity’s very existence.

  • Atheism is a disbelief system that requires a mind as closed to faith as mine is open to that infinite universe of possibilities. No one’s mind is shut more tightly than he who denies the divinity of Jesus Christ.

  • zingzing

    hrm. nothing but an o-face from him. or her. whatever.

  • zingzing

    let’s ask the coke-addled fish.

  • Actually, if you think about it, surely it is far easier for someone who has an open mind as opposed to one that is closed by a belief system to be an impartial arbiter?

    I rather think so…

  • zingzing

    alan, accusing me of blasphemy is about as serious to me as accusing a fish of having big nostrils is to the fish. just means the fish can take a bigger bump.

  • Of course an avowed atheist cannot possibly be an impartial arbiter in this instance.

  • Alan, if you really do feel “connected to all living things”, I feel pleasantly surprised.

    How you get from there to your Christianity is rather a mystery though.

    As to your blasphemy point, is it not the case that any such remark is only “blasphemous” to the faithist, whereas it is normal discourse for those unburdened by such notions?

  • Neither, apparently, is attacking by name an individual adherent of Jesus Christ, accusing that person of “posing” as Our Lord and Savior, which is blasphemous. (See #173.)

  • Clavos

    Attacking religions is not proscribed on these threads.

  • Just don’t be prophesying. One Ruvy is all this site can handle.

  • Roger, I am imbued with the holy spirit. It is a sublimely mystical feeling, a shocking eruption of cataclysmic religiosity. I feel vivid and flashing as if plugged in to a vast electromagnetic field. I am connected to all living things, to flowers, birds, all the animals of the world, and most of all to some great cosmic force, what I think the Hindus call prana. This is not a pose. This is real.

  • I didn’t know you had religion, Kurtz, but I guess one learns something every day.

  • I object to the accusation that I am posing as Jesus Christ. That is an offense to my religion and ought to be deleted by the comments editor.

  • zingzing

    clavos, irv and alan are getting their “jesus christ” poses all worked out. give it 3 days…

  • Ruvy

    At comment #36: Wow!! Incredible!! Awesome!!

  • Clavos

    @#173: Say it again and again, zing. Maybe they’ll actually listen one day…

  • Dear comrades Alan and Roger,

    On this issue, you’re both clearly correct. And that believe it or not, is not a cop-out nor a wishy-washy centrist compromise which satisfies no one nor resolves the issues fully.

    I have a plan or proposal which is a cross or mix between Martin Luther’s 95 Theses nailed to the Castle Church in Wittenberg, and the founding documents of our nation.

    Don’t worry, it’s not 95, just barely the number of fingers on one hand. I’ve been mulling them over for a while, but ain’t ready as of yet. Will get to them some time soon.

    Do not surrender. This a war of principle and principled conviction. Do not yield, for to do so would be to surrender not only your intellects, but also a rather large part of your very own souls.

    And so let us fight the good fight and in that process may we Vade cum deo. (Go or walk with God.)

  • Sorry, guys, but I’m not going to participate in this bashing going back and forth from this point on. Call me a wimp if you like, but there’s got to be a better way.

    Alan has got my email. If he’d like to draft a list of grievances, I’d be more than happy to take a look at it and add my own two cents’ worth if need be; but the present approach obviously isn’t working and leads nowhere.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Awesome beyond words, Roger. Truly.

  • Sorry Jordan but I’m going to ignore your tantrum. No, I haven’t read it nor will I, but tantrum I’m certain it is.

    So don’t waste your time trying to get my attention. It’s a lost cause.

  • Of course it still exists. It’s now located here at BigTent. But the fact that you, a BC editor, don’t even know whether or not it exists is a tipoff as to the complete irrelevance of said forum. Roger and Irv would be well advised to not waste their time looking into BC’s moribund BigTent forum as a vehicle for meaningful dialog.

  • And @ #155:

    Roger, I’m actually not sure that the BC Forum still exists. It might have perished as part of the site relaunch last year. I’ll look into it and get back to you.

  • Irv,

    Chris and I feel that to continue to use the comments space to complain about the comments editing is a waste of everyone’s time. Others may feel differently, in which case you are welcome to raise the matter with BC management, with whose contact information you, as a writer, should have been furnished.

    I won’t be entirely surprised if you don’t do this, as I suspect you’d rather continue to show off here.

    As for your “evidence” of our fascistic tendencies, this laughably consists of a tiresomely large number of comments written by you in which you complain about us being fascists. This is a bit like writing a description of a unicorn and then presenting it as evidence that unicorns exist.

    In light of the near-certainty that you will continue to gripe about this subject indefinitely, I refer you to that part of the comments policy which states that we reserve the right to edit or delete comments which are an embarrassment to the site. This does, not, repeat not, repeat NOT mean those which embarrass editors personally, but rather those which tend to show Blogcritics in a bad light and are likely to put people off visiting the site and participating in our online community.

    I can’t speak for Chris, but I for one consider the matter closed, in this location at any rate.

  • Duly noted. Roger. No sweat.

    But regrettably damage already done, just have to trust that other readers will have your good sense and experience to realize the problem and solve it for themselves. For this I am truly sorry and admit “my bad.”

    Yes, on this one I am humble and tame. Well don’t bet your bottom dollar on that one, for you see I do have these fucking momentary passive-aggressive lapses from time to fucking time.

    Got to keep in character, you know.

    Or did you mean your thread and not mine, otherwise I really did fuck up – bad?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Then don’t post, Jordan, what you yourself regard as garbage.

    See, if it bothered me to come here and fart around I would stop posting. Because it amuses me, I do it every so often. I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to suggest that my production, both in commenting and in article writing, has been on a slide lately. I wonder why that is…

    Must have something to do with my conformity or my adherence to the “martinet’s rosy bum,” whatever the hell that means.

    It seems like a complete waste of time to me that you’d choose to do that.

    What seems like a complete waste of time to me is to continue to carry on about a comment policy on a website as though you’re fighting an invading army. You’ve divided the bad guys and the good guys into teams in your own mind, too, which is kind of adorable if you think about it. You even name names.

    Anyway, I don’t care to discuss this matter with you.

    I know you don’t. You prefer to discuss “matters” in a vacuum.

    Find somebody else’s shoulders to cry on or whatever else gets you off.

    More of your amazing misperception, Roger. I have to admit that it used to bother me to be so frequently mischaracterized by you. Then I realized that it’s a sickness, that you do it to nearly everyone you come in contact with. And so now it’s just very, very amusing.

    Watching the three of you carry on is like watching three kids play a role-playing game. You’ve designated the orcs, trolls and evil characters and made yourselves the heroes. Now I’m just waiting around to see what sorts of magic powers you give yourselves.

  • Should have put it in scare quotes, Irv. Sorry for the rush job.

  • Then don’t post, Jordan, what you yourself regard as garbage. It seems like a complete waste of time to me that you’d choose to do that.

    Anyway, I don’t care to discuss this matter with you. Find somebody else’s shoulders to cry on or whatever else gets you off.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I’ll still fight for your right to say your peace.

    How sweet.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Roger, you’re making far, far too much out of what are bullshit comments – as usual. The level of seriousness to which you take these threads is alarming.

    You must have missed the part where I referred to my comments as “absolute garbage” (#121) or any of my other subsequent silliness, yet here you are responding to my input as if I give a shit.

    That’s a shame. It simply amazes me how your brain works, sir. It’s like a labyrinth in there, isn’t it? All full of false rationalizations and nearly senile avenues. I’m very, very happy you’ve found some happy little friends to communicate with on the internet. And I’m very, very happy that you’ve found an audience to pontificate to. I know it strokes your rather massive ego.


  • Well, that’s why I cancelled my subscription.

  • Boeke

    No content in the above.

  • There’s a BC forum, Irv. Besides, it can be done via email. You won’t get many supporters, though, except for myself, Alan, Cindy and Mark. Forget about Jordan or zingzing.

  • In-house meeting sounds good to me. Problem is I’m somewhat new to the blogosphere, going to have to find out how to do that. I’ll ask around.

    The incredible thing is that they’re so damn arbitrary and capricious. Case in point, they let #s 152 – 154 stand, which are arguably more damning than my original # 151 which was also two or three times shorter and less threatening to them, yet they deleted that and let the others stand.

    Well, maybe I’m speaking too soon, don’t want to give those idiot fascists any ideas which in itself is a form of the “chilling effect” and of undue “self-censorship” based on fear and intimidation. Which is a reasonable definition of intellectual fascism.

    No, they can’t silence me. I say here I stand and they can go fuck themselves.

  • Irv, I don’t think it’s a good idea to continue critiquing BC editorial policy in the comments space, impractical, I should say. It won’t accomplish anything other than getting you erased. So if you want to take the subject up during an in-house meeting, I’m game.

  • Me again, Roger,

    I again find myself agreeing with almost every word of your # 151. My God what’s wrong with me? It’s gotta be “the Invasion of the Body Snatchers” or something?

    Only kidding but quite serious on your uncompromising stand on principle and principled conviction and what is truly moral and decent. And of course on your stands on intellectual freedom and freedom of debate. There you go, so keep on keepin’ on.

    I hate to sound like a paranoid, but even paranoids have real enemies and I fear the usual suspect Comments Editoiral fascist thugs will censor this too as they did the other thread # 151 of mine. These commie-lib fascists simply cannot be trusted, so read quickly.

  • @127,

    Glad you’re of the opinion I’m just another ass kisser, Alan. My only consolation is, I’m more than certain that Mr. Rose would most vehemently disagree. And excuse me for saying so, but in this particular instance, I’m far more inclined to take his word for it rather then yours.

    You are forgetting, Alan, that in all your righteous indignation, no one is beyond reproach, not even you. So if my qualified support of your cause doesn’t meet with your expectations, I am sorry but I can do no better. You ought to know better than anyone else that your oft-irresponsible internet demeanor – not once do I remember you making any kind of detraction or an explanation – is at least partly responsible for the kind of treatment you’re receiving now. As you sow, so shall you reap.

    So again, if what you’ve been looking for is unqualified and unconditional support, I’m afraid you’ll have to look elsewhere, for I’m no respecter of persons, only of truth and justice. And if that’s what means being part of your army, count me out.

    Sorry for having disappointed you, Alan, but rest assured, I’ll still fight for your right to say your peace.

  • @119,

    Jordan, you’re not only being hysterical but also personalizing every comment as though an affront to your self-esteem. I neither detest BC, nor do I find it as you describe it: criticizing an aspect of organization certainly doesn’t add up to the kind of sentiment you ascribe to me, only in your twisted mind it does. Irv must be right: you’re an utter conformist.

    Point two – my support of Alan was far from unconditional; I prefaced it by stating that his own actions and behavior had no small part to play in the way he’s being treated now. But two wrongs don’t make it right. So no, I wasn’t just trying to bolster his ego – you’re always projecting, Jordan, get off that horse – only disagreeing with what I considered an unfair characterization of the situation (and of Alan indirectly).

    As to what I should do in my spare time, you’re not qualified to offer me any advice, Jordan, so however much it may pain you, keep it to yourself. I’m here because I want to be here, and people like Mark, Cindy, Alan, and yes, even the obnoxious Irv, make it worthwhile as far as I’m concerned.

    You’re certainly appearing very anxious for Alan to pick up his bags and leave the site for good. This is the pettiest thing that could possibly come out from your mouth. Well, sorry but I don’t share your sentiment. Alan is a good and clear writer, therefore, also good and clear thinker for that very fact, and yes, for those very reasons I don’t want to see him leave, any more than I want to see Irvin leave (or anybody else for that matter). I certainly wouldn’t want to be exposed to your sanctimonious self day in and day without the kind of relief that’s still being provided by the very people you appear so anxious to see them go. For that would be the surest way for me to want to pack up my bags and leave as well.

    Sorry, Jordan, it ain’t gonna happen, so I guess you’re going have to put up with our dynamic trio and learn to like it.

  • It’s me again. Darn.

    Again comrade Mark you are more than spot on. (Drat…drat, drat…drat, drat, drat…cleanin’ up the gratuitous vulgarities, although I prefer the term “epletive deleteds” from the good ‘ol Watergate days, cause it’s much more subtle and lively than that insipid, bloodless, lifeless slimy, limey term).

    However to be serial about all this and “real” too; all this snarky, smarmy, condescending, elitist, inbred phony sophisticated and clever, pseudo wit; seems to me to be a cover for avoiding the major issue raised here of intellectual freedom and rigorous, reasoned debate and their, the usual suspects’ attempts through outright fascistic censorship, threats and intimidation to stifle and silence it and replace it with their phony, lifeless, bloodless and insipid sense and form of what passes for true, lively, impassioned debate.

    Having said all that with prolix verbosity as is my wont and nature, in a word it’s their rather not so subtle attempt to evade the op. cit. issues. It’s called evasion, plain and simple.

    So again, point well taking. Or should that read “well…fucking…taken?

  • Dear comrade Mark,

    You sure that’s six and let us say not 116,347? But who’s counting?

  • Mark

    You guys are so blind. Not only are you not hoarding gold, food and tammiflu, but you’re allowing (and even encouraging) this fascist invasion — the suppression of the tried and true American booze and bullets approach to reasoned debate and its replacement by the British Sense of Humours.

    Relying on heavey handed gatekeepers (new policy! – no commenting here on editorial crappola, etc etc etc etc, indeed ((Kropotkin was right — these hierarchical structures do tend to become self-serving monstrosities (((the road to hell is paved with good intentions))) )) ) seems pretty old school and at odds with the potential of empowerment.

    Irv, this horse has been a festering corpse laying around here for years; I feel obliged to kick it now and then.

    PS – watch out for the Canuck…he has six fingers on each hand

  • Jordan Richardson

    You can stay whatever shade of wrinkled orange you are, sir.

  • Please do cause I’m gonna hold my breath until I turn into a commie scumbag just like you. You do want me to turn “blue” don’t you?

  • Jordan Richardson

    I’ll let you know the second I get around to it.

  • Dear comrade (EEAFN) Jork-dan Richard-the turd-son,

    My, my, aren’t we a little huffy-wuffy, hissy-pithy today?

    I suggest if you read any of my # 138, provided of course, your friends, amis, buen amigos, chums, pals and cronies, good ‘ol boy fascist censors do not eradicate it in its entirety; I suggest you read the very last paragraph cause it was specially written for you – and you alone, because you are so darn special.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I’m glad. Maybe next you chaps can share a pitcher of lemonade.

  • He wrote it for my benefit. I read it and enjoyed it, especially when he declared, “It’s so very hard being so fucking brilliant.” Why would anyone write something for your benefit?

  • Jordan Richardson

    I hope you wrote all that for your benefit, Irvin. I sure as hell didn’t read it.

  • Re my # 138. Correction.

    Fourth graff beginning “Yes, we all know…”

    Go to next to last line to “…to be as…” Should read “…CAN be as…”

  • As to you comrade EEAN Kurtz; and as to you the truer, the more fuller of himself, commie-lib/simp EEAFN (that again is blah-blah-FUCKING-blah-blah herein, hereof where the gratuitous vulgarity “fucking” is not specifically added for spice, but rather is solely employed to emphasize the emphatic) Jerk-dumb Richard (the also equally if not more so rather vile and loathsome) the turd-son;

    Gentlemen, gentlemen, please! Why are we squabbling and contending with each other so?

    Please gentlemen, a little decorum and probity here, please.

    Yes, we all know that Allan is a truly vile and loathsome creature who is absolutely contemptible and beneath our most contemptuous contempt; and who is also beyond any sympathy of ours whatsoever. But we also all recognize that he is rather intelligent and annoyingly and irritatingly so but that on occasion he can be rather clever and witty and turn a decent phrase too, unlike you who are, even though quite intelligent (I suppose) are more likely and more often than not, to be as petty as Alan, but of your own, that’s sui generis, quite mean-spirited and viciously-so unlike Allan who is only occasionally such.

    Which I again surmise, truly challenges the conventional wisdom of who is more vile and loathsome and contemptible of you two. I am going to have to choose you, Jerk-dumb rather than Alan. But let us not quibble. Conventional wisdom is what it is – conventional wisdom.

    So gentlemen, gentlemen, why can’t we all just hold hands and sing Kumbayah and drop the guns and knives we are holding secretly in our hands, behind our backs, as we chant “ohhhm” in peaceful, transcendental solidarity!

    Furthermore, I must re-iterate and re-emphasize this point, it really does not matter what your differences are: of who the most vile and loathsome of the two of you is; or who of you is the smartest and cleverest and wittiest as well. Why? Because truth be known, I, first and foremost, if I must say so myself and openly declare it. I, liddle ‘ol moi, me, myself and I; must most ‘umbly declare and announce that: I am the biggest, baddest, kickass, meanest misanthropic mother-fucker on the block. And I must also state most dogmatically and categorically so, that I am also the smartest, most brilliant dude/misanthropic motherfucker whose own super brainiac brilliance even dazzles and overshadows and blinds my own super brilliance. You guys really don’t know…it’s so very hard being so fucking brilliant. You really don’t know how really hard it is. So I guess I’ll just have to live with my blinding, dazzling super brainiac, brilliance. What a heavy fucking load that is to bear. For yes, I am the only true martyr here.

    One last point I’d like to clear up here: Dear, dearest, most fondest Jordan, as to your “Add Irvin’s masturbatory text to the mix…” Oooh-oooh, I like what you say. Oooh-ooh-ooh, you got me all hot and bothered…oooh-oooh-oooh…I’m gonna …oooh…oooh-oooh…aaah-aah-aaaaaahhhhh…I already done did it…they don’t call me “quick draw McGraw” for nothing!

  • Costello

    I hope the editors leave this thread, so I can come back to it when I suffer insomnia. Started out with some interesting points but gotten to be like dogs chasing their tails, although dogs are smart to get bored with a pointless endeavor. The recent zingers do liven it up aa bit.

    Irv, you come off like you just learned the language. Saying a lot without really saying much of anything and using big words without being clear exactly what they mean but coming close. I guess you don’t get invited into a lot of homes if you think you can waltz in and dictate how people there should behave. My mother would have throw you out on your can. I may cross a line but I always defer to the host. Not being a kissass, just using common sense

    Alan, sorry to hear about the job struggles. My wife got laid off a few months back and there’s not a great deal out there. But if it’s any solace, the boss sounds like an odd duck if he was willing to trust in some random comment on the Internet over a reference from someone who knows you.

    Didn’t mean to tap in. You are Jordan can contiune your dance

  • Jordan Richardson

    I think the damage is done, sadly.

  • If so, wait 24 hours and then ask Mr. Rose to delete my comment. He’ll no doubt investigate it and have the offending smear removed within a fortnight.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I bet I’m going to be turned down for that crossing guard job now.

  • Verily, you would know about boys in the yard, wouldn’t you? How’s that new raincoat working out for you?

  • Jordan Richardson

    I’m just glad you lack the courage to make good on your convictions, sir. Your milkshake, after all, really does bring all the boys to the yard.

  • And, lo, your retorts! Such originality! And you wonder why I can’t stay away from this site. How could I deprive myself of your majesty?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Your every word makes me quiver.

  • Oh, the light! I am blinded yet again by your brilliance. Such wit! Fit for the pantheon of raconteurs. Your every thought bespeaks resplendence.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Aww, does this mean we can’t be on your team for dodgeball?

  • … armies of conformist toadies and sycophant lemmings …

    Irvin F. Cohen (#124), it’s far from an army. They’re just five marionettes who kiss the martinet’s rosy bum: Jordan Richardson, Roger Nowosielski, Clavos, Dr Dreadful, and Baronius. Never overestimate the enemy’s numbers.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Good luck in your future endeavours, Mr. Kurtz.

  • I already told you, Jordan. I’m not in your league. You are divine, an all-knowing, all-seeing supernatural master of the universe. In the face of such brilliance, I comprehend nothing, for I am blinded by the light that emanates from your magnificence.

  • Dear comrade, commie-lib/simp EEAN (Ett-sett-tah-rah, Ett-sett-tah-rah Ad Nauseam) clavitoris and bah-wrong-ius and El disturbed-oh-en-la cabeza-oh; and his eminency, the most esteemed and exalted, Comments Editor, fascist-in-chief-of extreme capricious and arbitrary fascistic censorship, and his toady underling, his excellency and Iago-like and Thersytes self-personification all combined into one, doctah dreary-fullness, also of self; dear comrades all;

    First off, El discontented-oh, as for “just a quick response.”? Oh well…I lied. So fucking sue me…or I know, why don’t you just shoot me. In this regard I do not prefer blindfolds.

    Now, why this broken record and steady drumbeat of self-serving, empty, solipsistic argumentation in defense of the intellectually and philosophically indefensible? I must re-iterate and re-emphasize the point, this hard line, unwavering, seemingly almost scripted, response of yours is entirely redolent and reminiscent of Stalinist apologists defending Stalinism, and fascists defending fascism and Nazism. And around and around it all goes in nice little concentric circles of self-serving circular argumentation, and round and round it all goes, and dizzyingly and maddeningly so!

    But what is the purpose of all this steadfast, circular, self-serving argumentation? Other than to avoid the issues of intellectual freedom and the right to participate in rigorous discourse and reasoned debate predicated upon the rather fascistic and Social Darwinian notions of yours; of absolute property rights, of “my house, my rules” therefore either pay fawning obeisance and cringing homage to me and my house rules; or just shut up and or cease and desist, and or just simply go away and do not…do not!…ever darken my/our door evermore. Which I again for the umpteenth time, maintain is fascistic in its scope, and very character and nature itself.

    And again I challenge this rather jaundiced and nihilistic, pure unbridled mindset of absolute, brutish property rights. Yeah your house, your rules – or is it? To quote a little Shakey once more (which I suppose is far more often than I ought be allowed):

    “The subject’s duty is the King’s;
    but the subject’s soul is his own.”

    Yes you may own the site, (well actually even that is moot and contestable) but certainly you do not own my thoughts nor ideas nor comments nor written articles, that if I must remind you is part of both the written contract and of the unwritten, understood contract as well. The point is that all of the former, my ideas, my thoughts, my comments, my articles are mine, are my intellectual property, and as such must be honored and respected just as your house rules must also be. But this intellectual freedom is a two way street, and not a one way street of arbitrary and capricious, petty, officious and unctuous, Martinet-like, tyrannical authority and exercises thereof in pure, unadulterated, unaccountable, personal power, whim and caprice.

    Yes you have the right to jealously guard and protect and defend your petty turf, but you do not possess the right, through censorship, threats and intimidation, to protect me from what I say or think!

    So get it right, comrade fellow commenters and writers of Blogcritics. And you of the Comments Editors faction and party line, cease from your circular argumentation such as the recent ones expressed herein, which essentially say that these armies of conformist toadies and sycophant lemmings of yours must be absolutely right and correct; because they all regurgitate quite accurately the Comments Editors’ party line and fascistic mindset.

    Please…give me a break.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I can’t imagine why you’d get turned down for a job as an editor, Alan. It couldn’t be because you demonstrate alarming comprehension difficulties?

  • Yes, Jordan, I know. You are the wisest of the wise. A legend in your own mind. Nobody else compares to your expertise on absolutely everything. Please pardon the rest of us for breathing the same air as you. You are a god.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Chris has offered his email address to you countless times. Had you wanted to address him in private, you could have done so. Your decision to take your whining and moaning to the comments section here means that anyone and everyone can participate.

    Seriously. Have you never used the internet prior to Blogcritics? I’m not trying to be rude, I’m seriously wondering.

    Flattered that you think my absolute garbage deserves to be on some sort of site with a “higher level of commentary,” though. Very touching.


  • Who asked you? I addressed a comment to Mr. Rose. Why must you barge in to bitch that we waste your precious time with our meager attempts to communicate? You’re the one who ought to move to another web site, one with a higher level of commentary to suit your own pretentious tastes and superior intellect.

  • Jordan Richardson

    It seems that some of you have never used the internet before.

    would that constitute merely “one passing remark on a blog?”


    Alan, have you ever been to any other website and shuffled through the comments there? The internet is filled with bullshit and hollow accusations, most of which aren’t taken the least bit seriously by reputable employers.

    I’ve been told in comments that I haven’t listened to the albums I’ve reviewed or that I’ve been bribed to write a good review or that I know the artist personally. All sorts of accusations have been tossed my way. These accusations happen every single day on this website and on every other website out there. The internet is probably 90% rumours, but you act like you’re the only “victim” to have ever experienced such treatment. Boo hoo, poor Alan. The number of times you’ve gotten our hopes up with news of a departure is incredible. I’ve lost count. And here you are again, blubbering all over these pages with your insistent persecution complex. No worries, Roger’s right along to “contextualize it” to bolster your feelings of self-importance. Egomaniacs have to stick together, after all. Add Irvin’s masturbatory text to the mix and you’ve got one hell of a neck-bearded threesome. Have at it, lads. We’re all very fucking impressed.

    And if you’re trying to tell us that you were turned down for a job because of what someone said about you in a comment online, the facts should sit in your favour. Just as you demonstrated in these threads as to the truth of the situation, do the same with the prospective employer. Problem solved.

    More to the point, why continue to frequent a website that does you such harm? Same goes for you, Roger. You generally have nothing but bad shit to say about the “organization” here, so why come here day after day after nauseating day? There are countless other sites out there. Why frequent one you can’t stand with such chilling regularity?

    Every website has a policy. Some are better than others, but every single site out there has a policy that governs its users. Some policies are transparent and consistent, some are not. Deal with it and move on.

  • Perhaps this persistent misjudgement of situations has more to do with your employment prospects than one passing remark on a blog?

    Christopher Rose (#115), if I were to post a comment on this site to the effect that Christopher Rose of Rose Digital Marketing was dismissed by his previous employer for professional misconduct, would that constitute merely “one passing remark on a blog?” Would it long survive?

    And you act as if you cannot comprehend why I call you a hypocrite!

  • a reality determined not to just ignore but to alter. Perhaps an in-house meeting is in order.

    As to czpriciousness, it’s in the eye of beholder. Neither accusations thereof nor outright denials will settle the matter. Likewise with the rebuttal: “persistent misjudgment of situations.” It sounds hollow when it issues from the mouth of “the plaintiff,” there being no additional weight to it over and above the original denial – “not guilty, your honor.” (of course, Alan’s record as to inadvertent or creative misreadings isn’t exactly exemplary and it’s being used against him.) Time to speak up on this matter, Alan, and to clear the air.

    Sorry for butting in, but I think the characterization of Alan as given in #115 is unfair and rather defamatory in tone, if not altogether dismissive (however sugar-coated and couched in terms of reasonableness).

    Hence this post, in the interest of justice. No offense intended.

  • Clavos

    Although you quoted it verbatim, you completely ignored the first two words of Baronius’ comment in your #114, Al: “Their house …”.

    End of story — any other point is trumped by those two words. You don’t have to like it, but you do have to submit.

  • Alan, I’ve no idea why you have such a fixed mindset on this matter but I do know that you appear not to see the wood for the trees.

    You may see my position as lofty but it’s not a perspective I share; I suggest standing up…

    I’ve never said that debating the comments policy was against the comments policy and that isn’t the issue. Indeed, we have actually discussed it more than once and LOOK – here we are doing it again! Unfortunately you are still making the same mistaken remarks whilst I keep repeating the same answers.

    You are a Blogcritics writer, albeit currently resting – although, for the record, not living up to your boast of not commenting here any more – and have access to my direct email. Non writer commenters, of which there are several of many years standing, don’t. Use it…

    I don’t think the notional typical reader particularly wants to be faced with such metacommentary issues, based on the idea that they presumably came to the site to read an article and possibly have some hopefully interesting intercourse without being harassed.

    Nobody is being censored in terms of their views or debate, simply for making personal attacks.

    If people can’t check their guns at the door and conduct themselves with a modicum of civility, then I have little choice but to act.

    I disagree with many views posted here and usually manage to engage with the ideas not the people behind them. Should I fail, I too can and have been edited, which I don’t have any issue with.

    The reason for waiting 24 hours is simply one of practicality. The comments aren’t moderated in real time and we aim to have all comments moderated within such a time frame.

    Site users can’t know when Rob or I are around but you can rest confident that if any particular remark that might be potentially edited or deleted for something remains on the site after 24 hours it is almost certainly the case that it has been inadvertently missed. The comments policy refers to on site conduct, not how we manage things.

    If you are still incensed by the now expunged remark El Bicho made, I would simply remind you that it was originally made some time ago and you didn’t have a problem with it until much more recently. Given the fact of the time it takes to verify events, rather than believing one side or another, which I understand is known as being impartial, I think it was dealt with fairly promptly.

    I am offended by your saying that my mourning is no reason to impose my hypocrisy on you.

    There is zero relationship between my feelings with regard to that matter and what is going on here. Similarly, there is also no hypocrisy going on, just your fixed idea that there is.

    I’m certainly more impartial than you and remain committed to making sure this site is welcoming to all people and perspectives.

    You can chuff on about capriciousness until the end of time if you want but it won’t make you any less wrong.

    Perhaps this persistent misjudgement of situations has more to do with your employment prospects than one passing remark on a blog?

    Oh, and Baronius isn’t being blindly obedient, he is simply understanding a reality that you seem determined to ignore. That doesn’t make him boring or you interesting, yet…

  • Their house, their rules. Most of us figure out how to interact under BC’s rules. None of us is ever going to be able to change those rules.

    Baronius (#83), I understand the attraction of rules. Instead of having to think about a question that arises, one merely considers whether or not rules have been followed. If so, the question is resolved favorably. If not, the rule-breaker must be punished. And of course the unwritten rule underpinning all rules is that we must never question the rules. Why not? Well, because those are the rules.

    The rules for civil discussion are so simple that anyone can follow them.

    Baronius (#93), if you’re referring inclusively to civil discussion here on Blogcritics’ comments threads, you are mistaken. They are not simple. It’s true that BC’s Official Comment Policy is straightforward. But if you’d read my comment #55 above, you might appreciate that BC’s rules extend far beyond the Official Policy and are anything but simple.

    By way of additional example, BC’s senior comments editor advised me two days ago, “Please remember that I don’t need you to contact me about a specific comment unless more than 24 hours has passed since it was posted and you genuinely believe something has slipped through.”

    Thus, irrespective of how flagrant the personal attack might be, or how thoroughly unfounded the accusations (such as elucidated in comment #55), one must wait at least 24 hours before being allowed even to request that BC’s comments editors take remedial action. That’s the rule, Baronius. It’s nowhere to be found in BC’s Official Policy. Rather, like so many of the rules that apply to comments on this site, it’s arbitrarily concocted by BC’s senior comments editor to suit his whim.

    I acknowledge your devotion to the rules, Baronius. If there were more blindly obedient people such as you, we would indeed live in a more orderly society. But, oh, how boring that would be.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    “Dr. Dreadful, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Comments Policy”

    Sorry – couldn’t resist….

  • Jordan: I agree that this subject has become tiresome, which is why I tried to curtail the “debate” a while back, alas unsuccessfully so far!

    Christopher Rose (#88), that’s very revealing. From your lofty position of controlling what comments stay on this site, you tried to curtail the debate not because it violated BC’s Official Comments Policy, but because you and Jordan find it tiresome.

    And yet you continue this charade (#82) of being the impartial arbiter, deleting only “vile shit that breaches the comments policy.”

    I’m sorry you’re in mourning (#88), Mr. Rose. Please accept my condolences. But that’s no excuse for imposing your hypocrisy on the rest of us.

  • zingzing

    chris: “Judging by the tolerant nature of our comments guidelines and the volume of editing or deleting that Rob and I have to do…”

    the dread pirate roberts, i presume? i never knew…

  • Baronius

    Describe it however you want to, Irv, it’s about manners.

  • El Bicho

    “Just a quick response”

    Thanks for not submitting the lengthy response

  • Please why can’t you be open and transparent, why can’t you demonstrate an iota of intellectual and philosophic honesty and integrity? Why can’t you be honorable and tell us forthrightly why you expurgated this or bowdlerized that or deleted this comment in its entirety?

    Irv, I’ve lost count of exactly how many times Chris or I have referred you to the clearly-posted comments policy, which should tell you all you need to know about why certain of your comments are edited or deleted.

  • Just a quick response, I never said that my intellectual freedom was absolute, or rather my freedom to speech is an absolute. As far as I am concerned, there is no such thing as an absolute, absolute right save for the one I spoke about in a previous article, the right to think, which again, is unlimited, is individual, innate and inherent and cannot be infringed upon by anyone, not even as Mortimer Adler pointed out, not even in the worst throes of the “mortification of the flesh.” It can only be given up and surrendered voluntarily of one’s own volition, of one’s own choosing.

    Other than that right, none of our rights, even the clearly inalienable God given human and civil rights we so dearly cherish are in the final analysis absolute. All freedoms and rights have limitations and also their own innate and inherent responsibilities, duties and obligations. I have never argued against your editorial rights, duties, obligations and responsibilities. Go ahead be my guest, bowdlerize and expurgate and even delete and expunge me out of existence and to kingdom fucking come, yes, that’s your right. But my point and it appears you seem to have missed it through these many comments and little debates of ours; is that you have corrupted and tyrannized that process in a rather thoroughly, fascistic manner. That through your thuggish and I maintain fascistic strong arm tactics, that you have done harm to intellectual freedom and to rigorous discourse and reasoned debate, and that you have done so in a rather arbitrary and capricious fashion, and that you have demonstrated absolutely no transparency nor openness in your actions and behavior which I maintain is indicative and emblematic of not only intolerance and closed-mindedness, but also is quite illustrative of a corrupt, dictatorial, absolute power-hungry mindset as well.

    If you desire to persist in defending the indefensible, and in justifying the unjustifiable, be my guest, knock yourselves out. Surely I cannot nor do I have the power to prevent you from doing anything you damn well please. But that’s the point of all this, you are thoroughly unaccountable and hide quite cowardly in the obscurity of anonymity, and now this new one of yours, you now hide in the anonymity of labyrinthine bureaucracy. Please why can’t you be open and transparent, why can’t you demonstrate an iota of intellectual and philosophic honesty and integrity? Why can’t you be honorable and tell us forthrightly why you expurgated this or bowdlerized that or deleted this comment in its entirety?

    Is it that you are infallible and therefore beyond reproach? Or is it that you are full of your own sense of entitlement and power that you need not deign to debate nor answer me or anyone else? But must contrive these self-serving, solipsistic arguments of yours to defend your turf and that of your cronies? Why must you quibble and nibble at the edges and margins with these petty, sophistic, tedious and convoluted arguments of yours? Is it within your realm to admit anything at all or to compromise?

    Show me where I am wrong, disabuse me of my error, and I will gladly do as thou sayest and accept and respect your decision; but do not command me, do not tell me to shut up and hit the road Jack and don’t come on back, nor insult and demean and ridicule me and tell me that I am too stupid or “frivolous” and beneath your vaunted stature for you to reply to me.

    Again, I will not quibble with you over these petty, sophistic debating points of yours. I am not going to allow myself to become bogged down in these many fallacious arguments of yours; e.g., of the fallacy of the false dichotomy or the fallacy of composition or the fallacy of the undistributed middle which are only a few amongst your many favorites – as I have just done. But rather I will meet you and challenge you on the field of worthy, important and significant ideas and again, not be sidetracked by your petty traps and transparent plots, nor by these many Himalayan mountains of pettifoggery of yours.

    I don’t know about you, but this is entirely a matter of principle and of principled conviction for me. And when it comes to such principles as intellectual freedom and rigorous, reasoned debate, there are no gradations of grey, it is purely black and white, you are either for unfettered, unshackled intellectual freedom and rigorous, reasoned debate or you are not – it is as simple as that. So again in this regard, there are no grays nor wishy-washy middle ground, there is only but one absolute, the absolute of legitimate and true intellectual freedom and reasoned debate.

  • Baronius

    Yeah, but some thoughts aren’t worth carrying to their conclusion. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here. Tying a bit of blather on a blog to fundamental human rights only further inflates (if possible) our own sense of self-importance.

  • I understand that, Baronius. I only carried Irv’s argument to its logical conclusion.

  • Baronius

    Roger, I’m not trying to argue a point of political philosophy. I’m simply pointing out how to coexist harmoniously in cyberspace.

  • @101

    Yet it’s a fact of life that moderation is not a strong suit on the part of those who commit to a position of absolutism on behalf of any right. Even the right to free speech isn’t absolute in context where it would be injurious to public interests. So although the analogy to abortion or slavery may not altogether apply, what I fail to detect here is potential injury to public interests. And the argument for censorship under the circumstances rests on nothing else, as Irv aptly pointed out, than conception of absolute property rights: i.e., the so-called “public site” is privately owned.

  • Interesting argument and set of connections, Irv, against property as absoluteright trumping all others. Indeed, failure to acknowledge its merits commits one to a slippery slope.

  • Baronius

    The proper literalist answer to

    Does that make sense to you? Or not? and if so, why?

    is “no”. But I’m guessing you want more than that.

    Your argument against my property-rights approach is “all things in moderation”. Yet in your immoderation you compare the slight of being edited to the injustice of being enslaved. You’re happy with the site managers moderating their rights, but you insist on your right to free speech here as absolute.

    It would be immoderate for Christopher Rose to abort or enslave you for violating comment policy, but it’s appropriate for him to edit you.

  • Dear comrade (EEAN) Bah-wrongius;

    You sort of make a good point, your basic premise is one of property rights and propriety and I am one who would never deny those rights. But if this premise of propriety is your sole pillar upon which your argumentation rests, then if the premise is not completely true or suspect or just flat out wrong, then your defense of these fascist cronies of yours simply crumbles.

    It’s your premise of absolutist, almost Social Darwinist property rights which is in question here. Incredibly, I tend to agree with Roger, Andy and Mark, who make up a rather strange and odd bevy of intellectual and philosophic bedfellows. But I am also one who has always gravitated toward the mindset of absolutist rights of property my entire life. Yet I also see that such an ironclad, unyielding, unbending and yes, even intolerant sentiment; is fraught with danger. If property is an absolute right, then it is not a very far step to argue for the legitimacy and legality and lawfulness of slavery and abortion, assisted suicide and euthanasia, and the seizure of property through eminent domain and “takings” and redistribution of wealth, etc., and finally censorship as well, et al, et al ad infinitum, ad aeternam.

    I have come to the conclusion that property has also developed its own internal rights as well. That the slave has his own innate and inherent rights just as a foetus or an unborn child has his or hers, or that the property of individuals has its own inherent and innate rights just as we have inalienable God given civil and human rights against the excesses of government (especially liberal and socialist and fascist governments). Now don’t get me wrong, as the golden rule of the Greeks advised, may-den ah-gan, nothing in excess further translated throughout the ages as “all things in moderation.” So no, I am not advocating that chickens should get Allen Dershowitz et al to sue or defend them from KFC or Perdue Chicken, ad absurdam. But I am advocating that public spaces be respected as such and not infringed upon by the narrow excesses of Darwinian Socialist absolutism.

    Does that make sense to you? Or not? and if so, why?

  • For a privately owned “public space” – an oxymoron of sorts – you may be right. Perhaps co-ops are a better solution and the future of blogosphere. Then, the “rules of order” would be implicit. Just like ostracism used to work in the village communities of old, the “offenders” would be weeded out likewise.

    It’s not exactly as though the BC community had an explicit agenda – like electing public official or deciding on the issues affecting the community.

  • I look at it like mom cleaning up the house before visitors come by…we all know that we’re pigs, but that doesn’t mean that everybody else has to know we’re pigs too!

    They don’t clean it up for us, they clean it up for the unsuspecting teenie weenie or soccer mom that might stop by…

    So really, if I try to pretend that I’m not a twenty year navy career man/son of a truck driver I just might find the words that fit here without offending some silly little liberal…because those are almost always the only people that my remarks might offend!

    Is the word liberal still allowed here???

  • Roger, that wasn’t my analogy, but it is a good one. The Mos Eisley cantina, like BC, is a privately-owned public space. The owner, in both instances, is prepared to put up with an awful lot – but not everything. There are still house rules.

    You certainly do have the option to ignore the unruly Wookie overturning tables because he’s had too much space juice – but the bartender also has the option to throw him out.

    (Not that ejecting a Wookie from a bar is a straightforward undertaking, but that’s beside the point.)

    Whether any harm is actually done or not is neither here nor there.

  • Dear fellow patriots and lovers of intellectual freedom and rigorous discourse and reasoned debate, free debate! so fettered and censored and shackled [Edited]; Andy and Mark.

    Hey guys, how yah doin’?

    As usual, you eclipse my utter brilliance. Oh, let me kiss my wrists, forearms and shoulders, oh I can’t help myself, for whilst we speak I must also chant paeans of praise and excessive adulation to my shining, blinding, superhuman brilliance, for I am not only the meanest, baddest, kickass misanthropic motherfucker on this planet of ours, but I am by far also the smartest misanthropic motherfucker as well. Far superior to comrade doctah dreary-fullness, who admits that he is only the second or third smartest person on earth.

    That by the way is a verisimilitudinous rendition of Plautus’ “Miles Gloriosus” which you might want to read in the original Latin because none of the translations in English are remotely funny, although I must admit Erich Segal’s translation is fairly close to being funny.

    Oh wait a minute, I got all caught up in myself. I was supposed to sing a song of praise to both Andy and Mark who made some dynamite points in me ‘umble opinion, in their recent comments to which I agree and concur most forcefully and vehemently.

    No, really guys, keep up the good work – in spite of my “frivolity” and lack of seriousness, and shit, etc..

    I’m trying to find my humility but it seems to have gotten lost in all this Miles Glorious stuff. So suffice it to say your points are well taken, and of course quite economical in their expression, which of course is something thoroughly alien to me. Alright already, enough, be gone, which I izz.

  • if it isn’t …

  • Interesting question, though that Irv raises – it is being offered and billed as “public site.” And if it’s completely that, which is to say, truly democratic, then it is more on the order of private club or association.

    Granted, even in the most democratic contexts some rules apply – e.g., rules of order. But then again, Dreadful’s analogy to a Star Trek bar – in the outer reaches of the galaxy, I suppose – is a faulty one. We’re all pixels here and we have a choice to either ignore “the offender” or to participate. We certainly don’t have to rub elbows with anyone or get into bar brawls. It’s not that kind of context.

    So again, where is the harm?

  • Baronius

    What say I? The playing field isn’t public. Some dude owns a server and software that keeps this chat room going. It’s not my ball and bat, either. But I’ve been playing here long enough to know that smacking someone with the bat will get you thrown off the playground. Some people never learn that lesson, but it’s their problem, not BC’s. The rules for civil discussion are so simple that anyone can follow them, and if you care enough about politics (or whatever the subject matter is), you’ll play along. If you want different rules, there’s a site somewhere you’ll like better. If you want to attack people, sign on to WoW.

  • Dear guys, what the fuck have I wrought herein, hereof? What’s going on here.

    RE # 83.

    Dear comrade, commie-lib/simp EEAN, (that’s Ett-sett-tah-rah, Ett-sett-tah-rah, Ad Nauseam and also EEAFN where Fucking is utilized to spice up the motherfucker) bah-wrongius;

    Here’s an analogy to your # 83 which seems to be a constant theme of yours as well: “It’s my goddamn bat and ball and you can play by the rules, my goddamn rules to be precise; or yah just simply can leave and go fuck yourselves.” Well, arguably that’s kind of petty and wrong-headed, but I suppose there is a certain degree of propriety involved here which tends to support your petty and loathsome position.

    But that sort of argumentation is based upon solely one fact and the rather glaring omission of another. Yeah it’s your bat and ball, but the playing field, that’s public; and you can’t tell us that we can’t play on a public playing field. To do so, well, that is a classic definition of the pure, absolute corruption of absolute power, which one of your limey ancestors, I think it was Lord Acton, yeah that’s the dude, who said roughly two hundred years ago, something to the effect that “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely” or something or other.

    And to be rather opportunistic here, that sort of absolutist mindset and attitude of absolute power also seems to be emblematic of I dare say, fascism! So what say you? Argue yourself out of that bag of shit [Edited].

  • Baronius

    Baronius is right. *winces*

    Jordan – Years from now, you’ll look back on the wreckage of your life and realize that the descent into chaos began mid-January, 2011.

  • Hard for me to understand people not knowing the difference between derision and argument. The case more likely is, when they resort to derision, they have no argument.

    Which doesn’t negate the fact that derision may be used as a tactical device.

  • Baronius is right. *winces*

    He often is.

    Much as his and my general political philosophies are at opposite poles, there’s more common ground between us than is often apparent.

    Just sayin’

  • Baronius: ’tis true that it is their house, their rules – whilst bearing in mind that they and me are not synonymous.

    A & I (not to be confused with AI 😉 ) have had multiple explanations extended to them but appear to be comprehension challenged on this subject for some reason.

    Jordan: I agree that this subject has become tiresome, which is why I tried to curtail the “debate” a while back, alas unsuccessfully so far!

    Andy: Yes, you are! I reckon I know why your perception is so good!

    A list of acceptable slams would be a very long list indeed, far longer than most books even, so unlikely.

    Irv has a large comedy quotient to his work – and making me laugh is almost always a good idea, particularly when I’ve had a difficult start to the year, which has mostly been one of mourning and major puter failure/data loss so far.

  • How ’bout a list of acceptable slams?

    You know…I mean Irv’s commie pinko stuff seems to be acceptable…what else might be?

    I think the comments editor should write a piece on what’s ok and what’s not…I’ll patiently wait for it too!!!

  • Clavos

    All of this pissing and moaning is getting very tiresome.

    Quoted for Absolute Truth!!

    (Props Jordan!)

  • You mean I actually comprehended something?!?!

  • Jordan Richardson

    Baronius is right. *winces*

    This is a website, one of many. Most websites have comment policies and many of them are far, far more stringent and anal-retentive than this one. By posting a comment, you agree to their terms of service and their policies.

    All of this pissing and moaning is getting very tiresome.

  • Baronius

    Alan & Irv – Their house, their rules. Most of us figure out how to interact under BC’s rules. None of us is ever going to be able to change those rules. If you want to set up a site of your own, fine.

  • Mark, I don’t delete vile shit, I delete vile shit that breaches the comments policy; nor do I police the entire internet, just this small corner of it, there is plenty more vile shit to be found out there.

    Andy: Your perception is clear.

  • Mark – I believe CR meant if all of us used our real names then some of the vile shit wouldn’t be written…although, I will say, it never stopped me!!!

  • Mark

    Andy, perhaps some of the vile shit won’t get written in the first place when people realise it sticks to them, regardless of what they call themselves.

    How does that work if you delete the comments?

    …but wtf — rage on White Knight

  • Andy: Indeed it is and, if it were warranted, would stand. The problem is that some people have poor judgement.

  • I understand what you’re saying about debate and derision, but some times a hardy go fuck yourself is warranted!

    And as far as comprehension goes…I don’t understand…hehe

  • Andy, perhaps some of the vile shit won’t get written in the first place when people realise it sticks to them, regardless of what they call themselves.

    The issue to me seems that many people are really good at using their using their keyboards to express themselves.

    That’s fine as far as it goes, but it is frustrating when they fail to have respect for the very meaning of words coupled with either no interest in or no ability to comprehend what other people are communicating.

    As to the comment editing, it was definitely needed when first introduced, if only to stop the site being overwhelmed by rubbish.

    Judging by the tolerant nature of our comments guidelines and the volume of editing or deleting that Rob and I have to do, that is clearly still the case.

    I really don’t understand why some people find it so difficult to distinguish between debate and derision but that may have something to do with the comprehension skills referenced earlier…

    Trust me though, the stuff that has to go is anything but instant classics, more like instant garbage. No need to feel cheated about anything there.

    There are lots of ways that the site and the community, such as it is, around the place could develop and be enhanced and I am doing my part time best to move that process along.

    Please feel free to contact me if you have any input you’d care to make. This goes for anybody else who cares about it too – but do contact me directly, not by posting comments as that is more difficult to co-ordinate.

    Mark: Damn! Am I gutted? Not a lot!! Wouldn’t want to work with such a superficial person anyway, if they actually existed…

  • Mark

    (Chris, fyi, I heard that a friend and fellow BC follower was so impressed by your blog work that she was going to offer you a high powered job…until she read that you are a fascist.

    …just thought you should know)

  • CR – I guess it all depends on what you write…when you write some of the vile shit that some people write, you have to use an alias.

    As to the comments editors around here….this has been an ongoing issue since their positions were created…back then, there may have been a need for them.

    Personaly, I feel kinda cheated. I know some of those “deleted by comments editor” comments are instant classics and only a select few get to see them…

    Maybe if you put them all together once a month and published them I wouldn’t feel cheated…

  • I’ve had many jobs over the years and been turned down for many more but never because of an comment on a blog.

    Perhaps Alan was turned down for this job for other reasons that had nothing at all to do with this remark?

    I fundamentally disagree with zingzing about the use of aliases personally. I am not remotely concerned about anything on the internet either said by me or about me. I don’t see anything to be afraid of.

    Whilst it is true that the internet IS fundamentally flawed, it is a lot less flawed and far more accessible than many other technologies.

  • RE # 71

    If that is fundamentally true, then the internet is fundamentally flawed and that rather brutal observation of yours is rather disheartening and disquieting.

    Call me a pie-eyed, Panglossian optimist, but does that really have to be how it is?

  • RE # 70.

    “…not even in the beast.”

    Well Roger, if I am inwardly a rather ugly, mean, badass, kickass, MMM (that’s Mean Misanthropic Motherfucker)” beast;” then by that sort of logic of yours, that makes me a rather beautiful, intellectual MMM beast; actually the biggest, baddest, kickass MMM beast on the block! And therefore in possession of an intellect which inwardly is not ugly at all – I dunno, seems like a contradiction in terms to me. But what do I Know, I’m just an ugly MMM beast – externally of course.

  • zingzing

    alan: “It recently came to my attention that I was rejected for another online editorial position because background research turned up this scurrilous allegation about my being dismissed for misconduct.”

    which might suggest to you why aliases are useful. the internet’s a nasty place. if you don’t want something on your name, don’t use your name. and of course, it’s better to think of that from the start. (almost) nothing i’ve written on the internet, other than some music criticism that began as print, goes up under my real name. it’s the best way, i fear.

  • Intellect is never ugly, Irv, not even in the beast.

  • RE # 67.

    Roger, did you ever entertain the thought that comrade Kurtz’ inner beauty and intellect might be as ugly as his outer being?

    Allan, don’t take that personally, that’s only a hypothetical. Yeah that’s the ticket.

    See this is only a trick to see if we can both trip him up. Got that
    Roger, you goddman commie-lib/symp.

  • Guys, guys, we’re supposed to be soulmates and confreres in the pursuit of intellectual freedom and rigorous discourse and reasoned debate. Please cease and desist from this petty shit of yours.

    Or as Moe was often wont to say to his own intellectual brethren, soulmates and confreres, “spread out yahs…yah wanna me poke your eyes out…?”

  • I’m not squirming type, Alan, I think you ought to know. Of course I posted what I posted, but what does it prove? Personally, I don’t give a damn if you’re as ugly as sin, it’s your intellect and inner beauty I admire.

  • You can squirm, Roger (#65), but you cannot deny. Comment #59 was posted by you, not by Mr. Cohen.

    Do I detect here a subtle or not so subtle explanation of Kurtz’s and Cohen’s behavior in terms of physical deformity?

    One thinks of Quasimodo here, but then again, Quasimodo hadn’t the intellect.

  • You made the allusion to a hunchback, Irv, not it. I only played the variation. If you or Alan choose to feel insulted and play martyrs on behalf of intellectual freedom, be my guest. I’ve always been for it, never against. The lesser minds be damned.

  • Re # 62.

    So Cohen is right, but nevertheless, let’s shit on him and piss on his parade. Is that right Roger?

    Well, I don’t give a flying fuck. If you feel compelled to shit all over me and piss on my parade…feel free to do so. Again, see if I fucking care.

    Of course…I don’t know what of course. So both of youse, blather away.

    Cause in this matter it’s all about Intellectual freedom…you know!

  • Thanks, Cohen, you’re showing signs of humanity. I am well aware it’s an insult to you, but take it from my commie lips, it’s expression of approbation.

  • Who am I to argue with Shakespearean wisdom, Alan? Besides, it’s Cohen who made the allusion, not I, so properly speaking, your beef is with him. As to the other matter, I’m in your corner.

  • Thanks guys, but I must ask, where are the comments editors now but no where to be found?

    Why do they not deign to answer us? Why do they hide?

    RE # 52.

    Yes Rodger we all know that I am full of myself, in fact I go about my day each and every single day kissing myself on my wrists, forearms and shoulders repeating my paean to myself, “oh Irv, your the smartest, most brilliant genius, just most-est-er-est superior intellect on the planet … Dr. Dreadful might think he is the second or third smartest person on the entire planet, but we all know that you, I mean me, c’est moi, liddle ‘ol moi, me, myself and I truly is the smartest, best-est, most handsome, most, most, most wonderfullest genius in this whole wide motherfucking planet of ours.”

    I also detect that your # 52 was a compliment of a backhanded nature, to be precise of a rather double left-handed nature. I know you got to keep up appearances, that you got to keep up your commie-lib/simp, commie-pinko, commie-Marxist, anarchist, nihilistic worthless “creds” alive and well. I know you have to insult and put me down in the worst way, I understand. So go ahead take your best shots – but as long as you stand on principle, I can more than live with whatever you throw my way, and still respect you (even if you spew out worthless commie dribble and warmed over Marxist spittle).

    RE # 55.

    Hi Kurtz, glad to hear from you again. And again, thank you for your support. Listen that Richard comment of mine, that was a metaphor for Richard III, I really didn’t mean you, really! That was a mixed metaphor in fact, yeah, that’s the ticket. I would never malign you behind your back…of course not…never, never, never! Trust me.

    And oh by the way, your defense of yourself, was well taken – actually superb. And as we were wont and fond of saying in the Corps, the “Old Fucking Corps” to be precise, “Get some and kick some motherfucking commie ass!”

  • I’m glad you find it all so amusing, Roger. I expected nothing more from you.

  • Do I detect here a subtle or not so subtle explanation of Kurtz’s and Cohen’s behavior in terms of physical deformity?

    One thinks of Quasimodo here, but then again, Quasimodo hadn’t the intellect.

  • “Furthermore, Richard was a rather vile and loathsome creature (you know something like Kurtz when he was here). An ugly, physically deformed hunchback with a truly raunchy and ultimately quite evil attitude vastly greater and larger than his hump.”

    It had to be in order to minimize his hump.

  • Let’s face it, guys, we’re dealing with bureaucratic inertia. I’m certain that none of the personages occupying official BC positions are monsters. It’s the organization that makes them seem so.

    The ironic thing is, none of them are getting paid. They just suffer from the usual human malady called esprit de corps, which in actuality means “gaining in self-importance through climbing the ladder.”

  • Mark

    A timely response to (borderline) libelous comments would be a constructive use of a comments editor’s efforts — along with controlling spam attacks and html housekeeping (for which I am grateful.)

    …battling hyperbole, not so much

  • At the risk of boring everyone, I’d like to follow up Irvin’s comment #53. Over the past several months, Mr. Cohen and I, as individual Blogcritics commenters, have been repeatedly admonished by BC’s senior comments editor that threads such as this are not an acceptable forum in which to discuss the editing of Blogcritics comments. Rather, we must lodge any objections through back channels via email to said editor. Last week, I tried this approach for the first time. Some of you may be interested in the results.

    First, the background. Last October, employing a pseudonym, a BC editor posted a comment on the thread to Irvin F. Cohen’s Here’s A Belated But Happy Fourth of July, America. The editor addressed his remarks to me. Among other things, he wrote: “… considering your unprofessional [conduct] as an editor at Jazz.com led to your dismal [i.e., dismissal], you may not the best person to judge others.”

    Ninety minutes later, I posted a reply advising the editor, “You could not be more mistaken.” For verification, I also provided the name and email address of the publisher who recruited me as a writer for jazz.com and promoted me to reviews editor. The BC editor, however, did not bother to contact said publisher to ascertain the truth, and issued no retraction.

    It recently came to my attention that I was rejected for another online editorial position because background research turned up this scurrilous allegation about my being dismissed for misconduct. I emailed BC’s senior comments editor requesting that the defamatory statement–a clear violation of BC’s Official Comment Policy prohibiting “unsupported accusations”–be deleted; I again provided the name and email address of jazz.com’s publisher for verification.

    This commenced four days of increasingly frustrating email exchanges between me and BC’s senior comments editor, who refused to conditionally delete the offending passage online while he investigated what he called “the particulars of the case.” I pointed out that the passage could always be restored if it turned out to be true, but the senior comments editor maintained in effect that I was guilty until proven innocent.

    Finally, 79 hours after my first request, the lie that BC had published against me was removed. That was 1½ days ago. No one at BC has apologized for the calumny perpetuated against me. BC’s publisher, co-executive editors, and other editors were copied on all emails. The only response came from an editor not involved in the original dispute, who nevertheless took the occasion to insult me. He later apologized for what he admitted was a “cheap shot,” but of course the damage was done.

    The bottom line to all this is that the method of redress urged upon us by BC’s senior comments editor is infuriatingly torturous. It’s like having root canal without anesthetic. But it does expose the kind of people we’re dealing with, in case there was any doubt.

  • Look, Irv, we both know that you’re full of yourself, but then again, you’re not the only one. At least you have the courage to admit it and run on this platform. Communication is not your forte; again, you’re no exception. In person-to-person relations, I’m certain you’d ameliorate the tone of your discourse in the interest of avoiding fistfights, but this is internet and the usual rules don’t apply. So yes, as a matter of principle, I’m convinced you ought to be able to speak your mind, obnoxious as you may choose to be, without fear of being censored. It’s not exactly as though the audience needed protection from your excesses.

  • Dear comrade, etc., etc., ad nauseam, (or EEAN) Roger the not so artful dodger;

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Look here, there is just about absolutely nothing in this world that we agree upon. In fact the opposite is quite true. So I am first, surprized and gratified that you would take such a principled stand on intellectual and philosophic freedom, freedom of speech and freedom of rigorous discourse and reasoned debate, unfettered from the shackles of tyrannical censorship so brazenly utilized and woven by these Comments Editorial, intellectual and philosophic, fascistic thugs.

    So even though I still mostly loath and despise you and your ideas, I must say to you: Bravo Roger, Bravo!

    You know, I have written several rebuttals and defenses of myself and of the principles, again of intellectual freedom, and of debate, unfettered and unshackled by this reign of arbitrary and capricious fascistic censorship – several paragraphs and sentences long, enough to write several “overstuffed turkey” articles as is my wont and custom. And in these deleted and made to disappear comments of mine, I brought up the fact that you too had been deleted and expunged in concert with our own debates. One of them was so outrageous that I blew my cool with the powers that be. It was just a salutatory comment wishing Cindy a Happy New Year in response to her New Year greeting to you. This they deleted. But why?

    Well, my conjecture is that they had already deleted three of my rather lengthy rebuttals and only two of yours, so for the sake of balance and fairness they reasoned to themselves that they had to delete a third one of yours, no matter how innocuous and unimportant it was. How fucking petty, how fucking pathetic, how fucking ridiculous, how fucking banal their fucking evil truly is!!!

    But the further point of all this, is that they not only censored me out of existence, but they also did it to you too. And the question arises, how many others have they done this to? And what of its chilling effect on debate? And what of their accountability and transparency and openness? To whom are they answerable beyond themselves and their petty little cliques and coteries of likeminded toads and sycophantic lemmings?

    So even though you and I are essentially diehard opponents at best, and mortal enemies at worst – still, let us form this unholy alliance and persist in fighting this good fight. So again, Bravo Roger, Bravo!

  • Perhaps there’s something to be said for the “wisdom of the crowds” approach (#42).

    Why not simply let Mr. Cohen say what he will? What harm is there in that? Each of us, as individuals, still have to prerogative either to respond or to ignore him. Sounds like a better solution.

  • Mark

    Irene, I was thinking that you might appreciate this Cohen cover.

  • Dear comrade Athena-ette

    No, math jokes are not all that difficult. Ferinstance:

    Two militant, radical functions of ??(xyz)/2n-squared (ab-d cubed), walk into a bar, and the one says to the other”you’re just a million degrees short of a double conical, triple helix with zero angular momentum around your as of yet uncalculated internuclear axis.”

    And the other says, “well at least my radical, irrational roots ain’t inimitably superfluous.”

    Really, very, very funny. Ha. ha. ha. tee-he-he, har-har-har. I just can’t help myself from slapping my sides, rolling over on the floor, side splitting laughter. My God that joke is just one ceaseless, har-har, guffaw, session of uncontrollable laughing, etc., funny, funny, funny!

    Who says mathematics is not funny, of course it is. Why, irrational radicals and transcendental and algebraic irrationals and fractal logarithms too, are just a fucking scream!

    I sincerely hope this sincerely helps you comrade Athena. As in IHTH-SO. SO? That’s shorthand for “sort of.”

  • The fact is, that both political sides [Democrats and Republicans] have been intentionally inciting you towards one another – for their own political purposes. While you are so focused upon being enraged and hating one another, you are neither: Thinking Things Through, nor Observing The True State Of Our Nation around you.

    While the Democrats and Republicans have alternatingly taken turns at the helm, have you noticed that they condemn each-others policies [while running for office] – but, merely add more atrocious ones to them, rather than ever actually changing them…. Strange, huh?

    By the time you idiots Finally Wake Up, to what is [now] blatantly going on, The United States will no longer exist as an: Independent, Sovereign, and Constitutional Nation! This political tactic is as old as humanity and is known as: “Divide and Conquer,” “Control Through Chaos,” or “The Hegellian Dialectic.”

    Perhaps, you should look it up?

  • Mark & Irv: Not inclined to return to threads of origin. Wanted to respond in non-argumentative way.

    Irv: Re:Joke. Understood it. LOL. Tried unsuccessfully to respond in kind. Math jokes are hard.

    Mark:re:Russian Lit. Nicholas Herman also disillusioned during The Thirty Years’ War.

    Fake Christmas tree not yet in storage. Must go.

  • RE # 35

    I had to do a double take on farrier? Got busy with this other shit. Farrier? Are you for real? You mean you shoe horsies all day long?

    I love horsies, always wanted to become a cowboy and ride horsies all day long. But it looks like I’ll never realize that dream, or rather that pipedream, unrealistic, frivolous wish. No big deal, but you ought not consider that beneath the stature of these phony, pseudo intellectuals at BC. Actually I do not know which trades are beneath whose dignity.

    At any rate that furthers my insights, but I really don’t know by how much. Or could it be that I’m reading too much into these inquiries of mine?

  • RE # 46

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

    your point vis-à-vis Twain is well taken. He’s actually one of my favorite authors too. But “felicitous”? As in easy to do, or as the dictionary definition states “well chosen or suited to the circumstances.” Do you mean the reading of the expurgated version is more suited to someone’s being an idiot with only half a brain or so; than to what? Well in this particular case I’m gonna cut you some slack here, cause you might be onto something.

    But then you lose me with your ideological venom and hysteria in concert with Glenn the empty-headed Contrarian. And “brutishness?” What is this, SAT vocab enrichment and ostentatious display week? But then I guess I really shouldn’t be one to speak – right?

    At any rate if I have offended thee in anyway, tough shit. [Edited]

  • Boeke

    #6 random is right. Only an utter idiot would think Twain a racist. I suppose it helps to be an idiot if one never reads the books. Perhaps it’s equally felicitous if one reads the expurgated version.

    #8 Glenn is right. The rightists in all their disarray, not knowing whether to denounce violence or brag about it to further their intimidation campaign, will not be able to drag this fig leaf temporarily over their brutishness.

  • RE # 42.

    Bravo, Mark, well done.

    And I thank you for your intellectual and philosophic courage.

  • Mark: Is the “community” expected to do that? If so, nobody has told me. Nor do I see how it could moderate civility; how would that work?

    We aren’t protecting “people from the consequences of their comments by deleting them”, did you think that was the thinking?

    I love frivolity and, left to my own devices, am more prone to fucking about pointlessly amusing myself than I am to work, but it is important to maintain a “Star Wars” bar type open house for all who pass through here, not just the most bullying or gobby participants.

  • Mark

    …wisdom of the crowds approach…

    If the ‘community’ is expected to moderate journalistic integrity here, why not civility? Why protect people from the consequences of their comments by deleting them?

    …but then, I enjoy frivolity

  • Irv: Any time you invent a reliable system for the “wisdom of crowds” approach you seem to favour, do let me know.

    In my opinion, I’m not being a fascist and you have nothing but your hysteria to base such a silly notion upon; you know who I am so it is just nonsense to suggest that I am hiding in anonymity or cowardly; I’ve already told you repeatedly what the situation is but you persist in ignoring that and repeating yourself ad nauseum – try comprehension for a change; if you did shut up for a while and pay attention, potentially you’d learn that I am accountable, transparent and open; if you were paying attention, you’d already know that this isn’t about raunchy language at all.

    As you aren’t paying attention and clearly love the sound of your own misguided voice more than the actual information you are given, I don’t see any point at all in entering into a debate with you.

    It follows, therefore, that I am neither going to debate with you nor hide behind anything.

    The situation remains as it has always been; you are free to express your opinions, to use any language you like so long as it isn’t simply gratuitously offensive, and we still aren’t going to use the comments space to discuss this at length, so this will be the last of it for now.

    Email me if you do actually want a dialogue, which I expect you don’t…

  • Dear Irv,

    I am not sure what your comment had to do in regard to the point I was discussing with Clav. But my guess is that Clav would likely be more in your camp with regard to private property and that sort of thing.

  • Irv, I think you and the comments editors are going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

    Based on our previous conversations, your view is that any and all personal expression is completely acceptable, up to and including dropping the f-bomb at grandma’s dinner table.

    However, based on the clearly-posted comments policy, grandma and Blogcritics obviously dissent from your point of view and will continue to (a) eject you from the house (b) edit your comments where you are deemed to have crossed the line.

    May I suggest that the best way to effect a change in policy, if you don’t like it, is to contact the Blogcritics management. I believe you may previously have been furnished with details of the way to do this.

    Also, I sincerely wonder whether Mr Rose is all that motivated to “debate you openly” since this alleged capricious censorship appears to be the only thing you are interested in debating about.

  • Dear rosey-hippy pooh,

    You prove my point in spades. So why don’t you let others decide for themselves whether I have done so. Why do you erase my argumenta entirely which prove you and your ilk are behaving entirely like intellectual and philosophic, anti-intellectual freedom, anti-debate, totalitarian fascists?

    Why do you so cowardly and pusillanimously hide in the shadows and obscurity of anonymity? And refuse to openly debate and counter my argumenta? Or to justify your utter arbitrary and capricious, petty, dictatorial, Martinet-like, exercise of pure, officious and unctuous, power? And especially of your utter lack of accountability and transparency and openness?

    Are you going to delete this out entirely too?

    Admittedly some of the language in question was, to put it mildly, somewhat on the raunchy side, as is my custom, wont and preference. But not al of it, in fact not hardly so. So then why must you erase, delete and cut it all out? Do you really have to do that?

    What of your editorial duty to surgically remove the so-called, supposed offensive material with a scalpel, rather than to obliterate it out of existence entirely, don’t others have the right to determine whether it is offensive or insulting or inappropriate for themselves? Which is a classic definition of censorship to the point of the outright repression of speech and debate.

    So what’s it going to be, are you going to debate me openly, or are you going to run and hide behind your absolute power and attitude of infallibility and irreproachability as well?

    Or are you just going to delete this in its entirety like a totalitarian fascist scumbag/thug?

  • RE # 33 [Edited]

    Dear comrades Cinty and clavitoris,

    “Less filling” (v) “more taste” – “less calories” (v) “more flavor/more body” – “more substance” (v) “less fluff” – is it “tax evasion” or is it “tax avoidance”?!

    This debate of yours truly takes casuistry to new heights, to absolutely soaring, halcyon, empyrean, intergalactic, stellar pinnacles! It seems to me after one cuts out and removes all the superfluous and unnecessary chafe herein; this is solely a matter of intellectual and philosophic hypocrisy.

    I assume the major thrust of all this super charged, hot air and warmed over Marxist spittle of yours (well at least that of cinty’s) will be to single out conservative politicians as the root of all evil and as hypocritical tax cheats, avoiders and evaders. And of course with the typical moral relativist chorus and chant of yours (again mostly that of cinty’s) downplaying the role of liberal lefties in this matter with – “well, they both (all) do it.”

    Well, as to be expected of me, I have an entirely different take on all of this. I see it as right and natural, and more importantly, as a matter of conviction and principle on the part of true conservatives – to protect one’s wealth from typical liberal, commie-lib/simp, class-warfare, Marxist redistributionist, confiscatory taxation, predation, theft and piracy. In fact and indeed a true conservative has a moral imperative to do so.

    So again, I find it both in character and as a matter of the highest principle, for conservatives to vigorously seek the protection of their wealth from commie-lib/simp, lefty-pinkos such as yourselves. While I find it to be the absolute height of hypocrisy for liberal, commie-lib/simp, pinko-lefty, class-warfare, redistributionist Marist politicians to try to hide their money.

    So “power to the people” and “workers of the world unite”. Or otherwise, put it to rest.

  • Mark, I don’t think there has been much change in the degree of free wheeling in the comments space, at least since the need for having any kind of comment moderation at all became a requirement to prevent the site being overwhelmed by spammers and lunatics.

    The comments guidelines are really quite loose compared to many other sites, where dissenting opinions are routinely deleted.

    The real problem is that many commenters, both here and in the larger world, don’t appear able to discern a difference between a debating point and a personality. They then attempt to attack the latter apparently believing they are attacking the former.

    Our new virtual chum Irv is a case in point, repeatedly attacking me for editing his words and accusing me of censoring his views.

    Despite the fact that I have told him repeatedly that his opinions on the subject of debate aren’t being censored but that excessive direct personal rudeness isn’t allowed, the crusty old fucker insists that he is being censored and that Blogcritics and I are acting fascistically.

    Such excessive hyperbole is typical these days, whether in the comments space or larger, more public spaces and helps nobody and nothing.

    Just as people carelessly and routinely toss around words like “incredible” or “awesome” for the merely good or interesting, it also surely displays a lack of respect for the word or all those who have died at the hands of fascists or other extremists to toss such terms as fascist around so lightly.

    I, for one, am resolved to develop a greater respect for words, their meaning and use, if only as a counterweight to such frivolity.

  • Mark

    There was a time when BC was more free wheeling — you would have enjoyed the banter.

    My sordid past? Some labels that applied: “behavior/system analyst”, “teacher”, “diagnostician”, “program/training designer, evaluator, administrator”, “services coordinator”, that kind of stuff

    Did work for both the Operant and Psychoanalytic cartels.

    But then I decided to get respectable 20+ years ago and became a farrier.

  • RE # 32


    I’m truly glad you like my explanation. As a bit of literary criticism however I imagine it does not fill the academic literary criticism mold too well – well, how about not at all. At any rate glad you found it “interesting”.

    Now if you ain’t a psychobabbler, voodoo witchdoctor head shrinker, then is it correct to say that you’re just a lowly psychobabbler, voodoo witchdoctor?

    It really doesn’t matter to me, but it, knowing what yooh izz, would be just another insight into how and why you think the way you do. And no, it won’t be on the midterm let alone the final. But I got a complaint – I find your taciturn and cryptic responses absolutely disconcerting and yes, annoying and irritating – at times – but worth pondering and examining, unlike the vast majority of these highly opinionated and ignorant yahoos at BC. And that I guess would also include myself – on the highly opinionated side of the ledger of course, but not so of course, on the highly ignorant side.


  • 29 – Yup Clav, I y’am. But, I am only repeating news. The claim is that the exposure will reveal tax evasion, not tax avoidance. Can’t wait to see what the representatives of the most virtuous country ever do behind the scenes.

  • Mark

    Thanks for #20, Irv. Interesting explanation.

    re #22 — general factotum and henchman for the mental sanitation syndicate years back before taking misanthropic vows…not a shrink

  • Dear comrade, commie-lib/simp, etc., etc., Clavitoris;

    RE: your # 31.

    Yes, the actual French is “La vie de GARGANTUA et de Pantagruel”

    However, I saw it somewhere as Gargantuan, as the character and not as an adjective, and instead of trusting and following my basic instincts, I foolishly corrected my self – wrongly and unnecessarily. So thank you most reluctantly and begrudgingly.

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • Clavos

    …Gargantuan and Pantagruel…

    That would be Gargantua and Pantagruel, n’est-ce pas?

  • Clavos

    Some 40 politicians will be revealed as tax evaders by a Swiss banker, whistle-blower.

    Cindy, one wonders if your reference is aware of the distiction between tax evaders and tax avoiders.

    One is illegal; the other is not.

  • Dear comrade, most exalted, esteemed, etc., etc. ad nauseam, Roger the not so artful dodger,

    Again, thanks for the commie, pinkp-lefty-handed compliment, there was a complement in there somewhere…wasn’t there?

    You know, your team is kicking the living shit out of my preferred team as we speak, which I suppose might be of some solace and consolation to thee.

    As for humility, the most important lesson of humility so fundamental, so central, seminal and salient to the development of Western Civilization as contained in our blueprint towards this end contained in the Classics and the Great Books, most of which I have studied all my life – well, it is quite obvious that I ain’t got none…you double dork, doofis wannabe super brainiac just as yours truly, ‘umble liddle ‘ol moi, me, myself and I – izz.

    Not ‘umble? Please, do not belabor the fucking obvious you twit.

    Have you ever heard of Falstaff or Miles Gloriosus or Doctor Pangloss or Gargantuan and Pantagruel; well they pale in comparison to me!

  • I bet they’ll scream bloody murder.

  • Roger,

    Heard the latest Wikileaks news?

    Some 40 politicians will be revealed as tax evaders by a Swiss banker, whistle-blower.

  • Irv shows sings of signs of brilliance but humility ain’t one of his virtues.

  • (‘lol’ was at the humbly bit…funny stuff)

  • lol

  • Dear Mark,

    Izz yooh a talking doctor, head-shrinking, voodoo witchdoctor, psychobabbler, m…rf..k..g psychiatrist?

  • Mistake duly noted and humbly,,,yeah that’s right…humbly fucking accepted!

  • Dear comrade, commie-lib, etc., etc., Mark; RE your # 17.

    No, no, no! You unintelligent, unknowledgeable and uncultivated scion of a female, canine animal and illegitimate child to boot! It’s “SUN” and not “SON” goddamnit. Jeesuz you’re in the same league as our most exalted Comments Editor-in-chief of pure mindless fascistic censorship, both of whom, you and he prove that a little bit of superficial knowledge is by far worse than no knowledge at all (i.e., ignorance).

    “SUN” is a sarcastic, double-entendre and punning reference to his brother, King Edward IV, son of Richard II, and thereby the inheritor of the title of Duke of York. Edward’s young son was therefore also the son of York – get it, ha, ha, he, he. But there’s more, this shit gets complicated – that’s why it’s so cutesy-wootsey sarcastic.

    The sarcasm comes in his calling him the “glorious sun” of York, a major fucking putdown; instead of his rightful title of the “son” of York. In addition it is also a play on words, a fucking pun, in reference to the old man’s (Edward IV’s) heraldic badge of the “blazing SUN!” Goddamnit! You dimwit, jackwads – both of youse.

    Moreover, as the story line and plot goes; Richard III was also quite jealous of his brother Edward IV, because Edward was better looking, happier and much more beloved by the fucking people than he was, and in addition was a rather successful king as well. Which pissed off and rankled the shit out of Richard to boot.

    Furthermore, Richard was a rather vile and loathsome creature (you know something like Kurtz when he was here). An ugly, physically deformed hunchback with a truly raunchy and ultimately quite evil attitude vastly greater and larger than his hump.

    Do you begin to fathom the sarcasm here?

    And BTFW, that’s an acronym for “by he fucking way” are you sure of the second quote from Richard III, it seems to me it might come earlier in Act IV? But I’d have to look that up too, and I ain’t gonna waste my time on that. I’d rather re-read the whole m…rf…k..r, which actually is not a bad idea.

  • Mark

    I’m wrong on #17, Irv. Sorry.

  • Mark

    …erratic, insanely irrational behavior…is as natural as walking upon the face of this earth and breathing in its air.

    Arguments based on the nature of human nature are pretty empty, imo…though I admit that everyone I’ve gotten to know does get ‘insanely irrational’ now and then…


    …there is no justifiable nor rational nor demonstrable and provable nexus nor causality worth a lick; between speech and the individual acts of an intensely unhinged and insane, homicidal lunatic and deadly and destructive madman.

    My intuition based experience with schizophrenics and research such as studies of suicidal ideation make this claim of no nexus between speech (to include the elusive ‘internal dialogue’) and madness hard for me to accept.

    …but I couldn’t agree more with your anti-partisan stance, Irv.

  • Mark

    “…son of York…”

  • Dear comrade, fascist Comments Editor-in-chief-of arbitrary and capricious, fascist censorship; Rose-hip-ee the pooh,

    Yes. I’m taking it out of my handy-dandy “The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations” right here in my grubby hands. Now if I am more blind than I thought I was, which is considerable; or your limey brethren fucked it up; I’m satisfied with that quote. Now if you think not, I suggest you look it up yourself in whatever edition of the play you possess. I could myself, but that’s a lot of work and I am a lazy m….rf..k..r. Indeed and in fact, much too much lazy.

    Now I must ask you, what the fuck is so insulting and so insensitive in # 15 that Mark cannot handle it for himself? Now I take it Mark is a grown up, an adult, that is to say a big boy and can handle the outrageous slings of big bad Irv’s calumny. Why don’t you give him the chance? The freedom to view it and decide for himself?

    And I really don’t see what is so goddamn offensive nor insulting in “you sniveling, commie-lib, let’s hold hands and sing Kumbayah, you oh so namby-pamby etc.”

    Just one last question, have you ever heard of the literary and rhetorical term “Reductio ad absurdam”? If not, I suggest you look it up cause it will, I assure you, help you in understanding much of my style and modus operandi, and I truly hope help you understand why much of your censorship is excessive and misplaced.

    One last question, do you find any of this so offensive, insensitive and insulting that you will either expurgate it or more likely, just delete and eradicate the whole thread entirely? Which if you do would tend to prove my point that the trade you ply here is both excessive and intellectually and philosophically fascistic?

  • Irv, quoting Shakey:

    “Made glorious summer by this sun of York”.

    Are you quite sure about that?

  • Dear comrade, etc., Mark; RE: your # 4,

    You quote some of my favorite Shakespeare. In fact Henry V, of which in fact, I consider the first half of the play to be one of his very best and more important plays; indeed, right up there with Hamlet, MacBeth, Julius Caesar and Richard III.

    However the second half of the play is nice, but I consider it to be rather low-grade but somewhat comical propaganda, you know, such as rubbing it in the Frenchies’ faces so to speak. You know, the stuff of farce – not great but not all that bad either – but certainly not worthy of the stature nor anywhere near as great as the first half of the play.

    But you miss two of the most important lines of the play which proceed your quote by only two:

    “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
    Or close the wall up with our English dead!”

    And then from,

    “Now is the winter of our discontent
    Made glorious summer by this sun of York.”


    “A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!”

    There is a whole lot of “between” of brewing of “discontent.” Of literally stewing in one’s own juices. Now I am not making a case for comparing Richard’s ambition and sense of slight and other psychological pretexts, justifications and analyses of Richard’s soul and psyche which I assure you I am thoroughly unqualified to elucidate – with the madman paranoid, delusional schizoid in Arizona.
    So don’t be so damn quick to conflate the thoroughly inexplicable, dark and mysterious madness of some individuals with the serious give and take of rigorous discourse and (sometimes, nay, make that very occasional, nay, illusory and rare) reasoned, reasonable and rational debate.

    Rather instead, look at metaphor and language as a tool and necessary part of intellectual discourse and of sapient and sentient life itself. What I am saying here is that erratic, insanely irrational behavior – so very inexplicable and beyond the reach of logical scrutiny and or supposed, so-called “psychobabbler” witchdoctor, scientific explanation; is as natural as walking upon the face of this earth and breathing in its air.

    Moreover there is no justifiable nor rational nor demonstrable and provable nexus nor causality worth a lick; between speech and the individual acts of an intensely unhinged and insane, homicidal lunatic and deadly and destructive madman.

    Moreover if it is solely the motive of one faction or another to gain partisan, political and ideological advantage against one’s political and ideological opponents, by using this tragedy as a rather crass and crude intellectual hammer; then that in itself is a rather distinct form of intellectual and philosophic fascism. And I maintain, the usual liberal, commie-lib, pinko-lefty, commie Marxist suspects are egregiously guilty of the former.

    One last thing comrade Mark – I say, I say [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor] I say, “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.”

  • El Bicho

    “Who’s the one with idiotic biases?”

    Is that rhetorical?

  • Jordan Richardson

    So you’re denying that there was inciteful, violent rhetoric coming from the left daily directed at Bush while he was president Jordan?

    Nice evasion, Arch, but not at all what I said. I don’t, won’t and never will deny the existence of violence, unnecessary, idiotic, childish, silly rhetoric from both political camps in the United States.

    What I asked you was in reference to your “if it wasn’t for the secret service” suggestion.

  • “Sticks and stones will break your goddamn bones, trust me. Especially when done well, I assure thee. But know this very great one thing, and know it well; my words will make the pain even worse if not lethal.”

    A variation upon a theme of a well known nursery rhyme:

    One, BTW, I find to be rather banal and trite, overblown and overused and rather childish and infantile. But that’s its purpose I suppose. And I therefore further surmise it to be rather appropriate and befitting and highly worthy of the intellectual level of the many legions of pretentious, pompous and sophomoric, affected pseudo and phony intellectuals here at Blogcritics; such as myself, of course.

  • Baronius

    That’s perfect, Roger – other people want to *make* political points; Glenn wants to *score* political points.

  • Is a “matter of degree” of importance here, Glenn. It’s really getting stale, you trying to score political points in virtually every post. Joanne makes some valid points for both the Left and the Right. It would really be refreshing if you followed her tack and tried to transcend mere partisanship and adopt a larger view.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And so the echo chamber of the Right goes on, conservatives telling each other again and again that “the Left is just as bad if not worse”. Talk about collective amnesia….

    So here’s a challenge – for every political murder (or attempted murder) committed by someone on the Left, I’ll list TEN of the same committed by someone on the Right.

    I think I can meet that challenge – five-to-one I’m fairly sure of, but ten-to-one might turn out to be a stretch…

    …but what does it say of the conservatives’ claim that “they’re just as bad as us” if their extremists commit (or attempt) ten (or even five) times as many political murders? It’s just like I’ve told Dave Nalle on so many occasions – it’s a matter of degree.

  • Well-written article, Joanne. It flows.

  • random pipsqueak

    Twain was NOT a bigot. Huck Finn is a blistering indictment of the racism Twain witnessed in the American South.

    I agree that people have the RIGHT to say stupid things. That does not mean that the electorate should tolerate it. When people say hateful things, We The People should not vote for them.

    The difference between the violent rhetoric on the left and the violent rhetoric on the right, *as I have observed it*, is that the ones doing it on the left are at the fringe and largely ignored or disowned by the mainstream left. Violent speech makes the mainstream left uncomfortable. We march peacefully against war.

    The ones on the right are in positions of authority and power, and the mainstream right is embracing them more and more (see: Tea Party victories). The mainstream right celebrate pronouncements like “from my cold, dead hands.” The mainstream right celebrates things like bringing (legal) assault rifles to a political fundraiser.

    Just because you CAN say something does not make it RIGHT to say something.

    Laughner is a nut job, as is anyone who would commit mass murder. No doubt. But that does not make it OK to create a “hit list” with gun crosshairs on it. Palin has the right to do so, and I agree with the First Amendment; that does not mean reasonable people must enable her to exercise that right, or follow her lead.

  • Boeke

    To ban words just causes them to be celebrated by the rebellious. As the Normans discovered when they tried to ban the sturdy Anglo Saxon words for various earthy functions.

  • Mark

    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger:
    Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood.

    King Henry V Quote Act iii. Scene 1.

    The wretched, bloody, and usurping boar,
    That spoil’d your summer fields and fruitful vines,
    Swills your warm blood like wash, and makes his trough
    In your embowell’d bosoms, this foul swine
    Lies now even in the centre of this isle,
    Near to the town of Leicester, as we learn
    From Tamworth thither is but one day’s march.
    In God’s name, cheerly on, courageous friends,
    To reap the harvest of perpetual peace
    By this one bloody trial of sharp war.

    Richard III, Act V, scene II

    Metaphors don’t kill, but will people be steeled to kill without them? Imagine what mad motivational metaphors were raging through the assassin’s mind…

    Madness is social and can be analyzed, in part, at least, as a matter of language; I see no reason to downplay the importance of words and the tone of political discourse in this.

  • Arch Conservative

    So you’re denying that there was inciteful, violent rhetoric coming from the left daily directed at Bush while he was president Jordan?

    Who’s the one with idiotic biases?

    Based on that rhetoric I’d say that if it were not a well known fact that the president has the extreme security measures protecting him 24-7 some leftist nutbag probably would have attempted to take a shot at him.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Interesting, Arch. I hadn’t heard that there were any legitimate attempts on George W. Bush.

    Or are you just speculating based on your idiotic biases?

  • Arch Conservative

    “If ifs and buts were candy and nuts we’d all have a wonderful Christmas.”

    Does anyone know what that means? I don’t. I bet Jared Lee Loughner does.

    The left is suffering from collective amnesia. The hateful speech and rhetoric they served up during the Bush years seems unprecedented. It was extremely suggestive and inciteful. More so than anything Palin or Limbaugh has ever offered. In fact I’d venture to say that if it were not for secret service Bush might not be around today.