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.Powered by Sidelines