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Why Blogcritics, Macaronies and Such?

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As with any relationship sooner or later you have to take stock and decide if it is working for you. In my case it is clearly NOT.

I joined Blogcritics because I thought it would be an opportunity to do some serious writing with a real audience instead of ranting to myself (that’s how I got into politics but is another story). I also assumed (wrongly) that it would bring increased traffic to my site, but in reality that did not happen either. Instead I found myself wasting an excessive amount of time fending off negative commentators and attacks from, well… you know. It seems the perverse caterwauling of certain commentators is the real calling card at BC, and so after careful consideration I’ve come to the conclusion that it is best I leave.

As with most issues, sooner or later it always comes down to the bottom line and you have to ask yourself these questions. Is it worth my while to stick around? What am I getting out of this? Am I contributing toward the common good? Or am I part of the problem? Etc., etc.

You see, unlike others who make such claims – I really have worked in law. I’m a former Litigator now turned Mediator. I left litigation after an epiphany that I had several years ago. I was very successful having won over 97% of my cases. You have to be a good street fighter to be a successful litigator. When it came to getting down and dirty in the trenches I found that I had no equal (or at least none that I had met in a court room – admittedly I never had the good fortune of wrangling with Johnny Cochrane :-).

Litigation is an adversarial system based on the premise that if two opposing sides fight to win, theoretically the scales of justice will prevail. It’s no surprise this archaic system was born out of the medieval ages – jousting matches between knights, damsels in distress and all. But in the real world it just doesn’t work that way because one side will always have a better advocate than the opposition (just as OJ Simpson). I wouldn’t be surprised if the original word for lawyer came from the old english version for ‘liar’. My motto was “let the best schmoozer win”. “Whoever throws the most kaka-poo against the wall that sticks wins”. That’s not justice and I knew there had to be a better way. And I found that better way in mediation.

So what does that have to do with me leaving BC? Well, actually it has everything to do with it. By becoming a mediator I had made a decision to lay down the sword. It was not only a change of career for me but also a change of mindset. Moving ahead a few years, by accident I stumbled across Blogcritics and subsequently joined. I was immediately taken aback with the appalling antics that I saw led by none other – Madame Mac Diva. It occurred to me as I watched there was an opportunity to utilize some of my conflict resolution skills. And so I posted the odd comment here and there leaving little clues and pearls of wisdom to those who would listen.

But before long it became apparent not all were listening, and I found myself no longer being an observer. I also became a target. It seems that once you make it to the Leaderboard, Madame MD starts focussing her cross hairs. And so instead of concentrating on writing quality posts, I found myself wasting an excessive amount of time fending off her malicious attacks.

Believe me when I say all that I ever hoped for was to be a positive influence at BC, but under the circumstances that is no longer possible. Instead it seems the “sinister cabal” aspect of Blogcritics has a much bigger role here than I anticipated, and that was not the gig I signed up for.

Somehow along the way I succumbed to my lower nature. When MD started maliciously defaming me (trust me folks I know the law better than you) I joined the fray and made a post that I’m now ashamed of. That was out of character for me (or should I say the old character) and I don’t want to continue down that slippery slope.

I suppose it was my time to play the bad cop. I made a statement that I too could play the nasty game as well as anybody, and hopefully put an end to the abuse once and for all. A last stand at the Alamo if you will. Sometimes when all else fails a more heavy-handed approach is necessary. Mac needed to understand her maliciousness would no longer be tolerated and that I was up to the challenge. It was my intention to bring her misdemeanors to the fore and hope she would be shamed into submission. That was all that I could ever hope for. It seemed to work for a while but in the end the old adage rang loud and clear – that old habits really are hard to break.

Despite the fact that I believe what I did was necessary I still feel badly having done it if that makes any sense. I’m certain (or would hope) deep inside MD has redeeming qualities, and that is why I extended to her an olive branch. Unfortunately she threw it back in my face. It seems the message was misunderstood or got lost in the translation. So again I say peace Mac Diva. You are obviously not going to change and I don’t want to play flung-poo with you any more. All I require in return is that you stop defaming me (I will be watching) so we can part our ways. I wish you all the best and sincerely hope that some day you will get the message everybody around here is telling you.

I have also discussed this matter at length with Eric and come to realize that he isn’t going to change either. I’m caught between two unmovable objects and cannot continue under the circumstances. Somebody has to make a stand and I guess it is my time. So my work here is done. A good mediator needs to know when it is time to throw in the towel.

Without an official policy at Blogcritics I can foresee a never-ending source of conflict with MD, and for reasons stated above that is not what I’m here for. For those who still don’t understand what I’m trying to say it’s called integrity – look it up. Accordingly, my last request to Eric Olsen is that he erase my post about Mac Diva. In return I require that he remove all of her defamatory comments (i.e. racist allegations, name calling, lies etc.) that she has made about yours truly. Failing that I will have to consider my options – legal or otherwise.

But before I go please humor me with this parting thought. It seems reasonable to me that a site like this MUST have some controls in place that have consequences to go with it. Like any dysfunctional family there has to be rules to abide by and keep the peace. Without any such mechanism to control inappropriate behaviour BC will be doomed to become a cesspool of crackpots and neurotics.

I believe that BC is a community not unlike any other you will find walking down a street. The only difference is that we reside in an electronic ethernet. The issue becomes more exacerbated when we are able to hide in relative anonymity behind an internet facade. Unfortunately our true character rears its ugly head when we are cloaked because it grants us licence to write things that we would never have the courage to say in public. In other words many of us just can’t resist the temptation and let our lower nature take over.

As with any society if there are no rules then you will have anarchy. It’s just that simple. Leave it up to the locals and you will have roving thugs ruling the streets (or in this case ruling the posts) not unlike what we see here at BC or East LA. Somewhere along the way you have to decide if you are going to beat em, join em or move out of the community. So the Bloke has decided to move on.

It certainly has been interesting at Blogcritics but it has now proved to be more of a detriment than anything else, and is not an environment that I care to spend any more of my time. So it’s time to say goodbye. That won’t be easy because I have become accustomed to hanging out here. I would also like to think that I made some friends along the way, and if you want to keep in touch you know where to find me.

Perhaps in my leaving some good may come of all this and Eric and Phillip will finally take this matter more seriously. That would be wonderful but you will forgive me if I don’t hold my breath. And to prove my sincerity I have closed comments on this post to avoid the embarrassment of insincere adulations or condemnation by those who have nothing better to do.

And so my friends… adieu.

This post and other fine reading also appeared at BlogBloke.com

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  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    I’m sorry to see you go. Fortunately, as is always the case, many others are standing by to take up the slack in your absence, and we constantly have more contributors week to week, not fewer.

    Feel free to continue to comment, or not.

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com Craig Lyndall

    BORING! Don’t be so serious and self-important. We have seen all this crap before. Don’t threaten to leave. Just go. Don’t try and become a poster boy by saying maybe things can “get better as a result of an episode involving you.” Eff this. I am tired of everyone trying to be bigger than the site. Peace out. Bye bye. Sayonara.

    I am sorry to see anyone leave. No really. I don’t need to SEE it at all. Just go.

  • http://www.theragingcritic.com TheRagingCritic

    I too am a lawyer. Although I have not read the remarks Mac Diva has allegedly made about the Bloke, mere name calling and racist commentary is a far cry from defamation.

    At any rate, best of luck to the Bloke. Believe me, we all hate the law.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    Isn’t “ethernet” a trademark, and you should be aware of that consigliore?

    Geez, I thought they taught lawyers to be a little bit tougher than that. But what do I know, I’ve only spent more than 15 years online. And I still have my pubes despite many flames.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    As they say down South: Let the door knob hit ya, where the dog should have bit ya!

    Raging, you will not be reading anything defamatory I said about the Bumbling Buffoon because nothing of the sort exists. Jealousy can get really strange when a bigot is suffering from it. Typical of my detractors at BC, BB barely exists as a blogger. (Too much work involved, perhaps?) So, seeing someone he considers his inferior do what he can’t is a deep wound to his ridiculously inflated ego. He would do himself even a greater service by leaving the blogosphere entirely because he has nothing to offer here.

  • http://www.shortstrangetrip.org Joe

    Or as we say in the Southwest, as you exit the kiva, don’t get hit in the…

  • Shark

    It’s too bad, but I don’t blame the guy. I considerate it about once a day, and I’ve only been here a few weeks.

    I’ve weathered some battles in various writer boards, etc, but MacDiva is like a Chinese water torture that constantly drips drips drips …racist… bigot… doofus……racist… bigot…
    doofus…racist… bigot… doofus…racist… bigot… doofus…racist… bigot…
    doofus…racist… bigot… doofus…
    racist… bigot… doofus…racist… bigot… doofus…racist… bigot… doofus…racist…
    bigot… doofus…racist… bigot… doofus…racist… bigot… doofus…racist… bigot…
    doofus…racist… bigot… doofus…racist… bigot… doofus…
    racist… bigot… doofus

    Until grown men are brought to their knees weeping.

    Oh, and I just learned that BB is an amateur hacker/psycho/stalker and he knows his way around Portland Oregon. WOO-HOO!

    I think I’ll stick around a while!

    ~AHAHAHAHH!

  • Shark

    ~GOD SPEED, BB!

    xxoo
    Shark

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    Bye-bye, BB, bébé.

  • Eric Olsen

    This is unfortunate, but hardly unexpected under the circumstances. The central problem is that no one person – including me – can dictate group policy to 430 people. I have floated suggestions on how to handle comments, conflict, vulgarity, etc. etc, and every time the near-unanimous majority has strongly expressed their wishes to see minimal interference. If I go against the wishes of, say, 425 of 430 people, then the 425 won’t stick around for long.

    It is the messiness of free speech, which often yields conflict, even bruised feelings, but I see no better alternative.

    I do not agree that we have anarchy here – we have very spirited debate that sometimes veers into open verbal warfare. I don’t like that part of it, I don’t like to be the target of it, and I don’t like when I lose my temper and direct it at others.

    In the United States, the law clearly favors free speech over hurt feelings. I certainly understand if the consequences of this are too strong for some people and we must bid them fond farewell.

    I always miss people when they go and it makes me sad for a bit, but there is too much going on, too much to do, and too many new people coming in every day for me to have the luxury of dwelling on it.

  • BB

    Dear Mr. Olsen and Mr. Winn:

    It was my intention to have NO comments allowed on this post!

    Apparently you have locked me out of my account and overridden my settings to allow comments here! Is that your interpretation of playing fair? So much for all of your rhetoric about non-interference!!! If you wish to make a statement you can always do so on a separate post. This is my post and I have the right to close comments if I so desire.

    Accordingly, I will appreciate you respecting my intentions and thank you for your anticipated cooperation.

  • BB

    Dear Mr. Olsen and Mr. Winn:

    It was my intention to have NO comments allowed on this post!

    Apparently you have locked me out of my account and overridden my settings to allow comments here! Is that your interpretation of playing fair? So much for all of your rhetoric about non-interference!!! If you wish to make a statement you can always do so on a separate post. This is my post and I have the right to close comments if I so desire.

    Accordingly, I will appreciate you respecting my intentions and thank you for your anticipated cooperation.

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