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Please begin with an informative title:

           Collision between two engines, Bay of Quinte Railway, ON, 1892
                            "Hey, look! A train wreck! Let's go check it out!"

Welcome to Part 10 of our series "The Unrav'ling Thread", exploring what happens after a diary is published and open for comments. Previous installments can be found at the links at the end of this diary.

Today we consider diaries where the thread is truly "unrav'ling", as antagonists are "piling on". Diaries like this often make the "recommended" list, because of the traffic they attract. Once there, they may continue to spiral out of control, as more Kossacks catch sight of the train wreck and head over to check it out. Perhaps you're one of those who can't resist checking it out yourself. After all, if comments are piling up faster than excuses for Mitt refusing to release his taxes, there must be something going on. Where there's smoke, there's a train wreck.

So off you go, and before you know it, you're drawn into the drama. Comments are flying, tempers are flaring, and even otherwise courteous and thoughtful Kossacks are ratcheting up the rhetoric. Like a cyber flash mob, the word is getting out, and folks are showing up as combatants and spectators. While it may be human nature to be drawn into such drama, it's worth taking a moment to think before you dive in, take off the gloves, and let fly with some brilliant comments to show that you, too, are a contender.

What's the harm in mixing it up in a train wreck diary, you might ask?

Well, worst case, you could end up making some egregious comments that, at best, wind up losing you the respect of other Kossacks, and at worst, wind up getting you banned.  Yeah, that's an extreme outcome, it does happen, and it would be a real shame if it happened to you.

Then there's the time you've spend scrolling through the carnage, reacting to comments, imagining what you'd say, commenting, and watching how others react to your comments. What else could you be doing with that time that you'll never be able to reclaim? You could be reading reflective, informative diaries. You could be researching and writing your own reflective, informative diary. Heck, you could be out working to elect more and better Democrats.

Then there's the stress. Unless you've got Freon in your veins, chances are watching the train wreck unfold and reading the inflammatory comments flying back and forth will quicken your pulse, increase your blood pressure, even affect your sleep. Here's a thought to help put this in perspective:

Assume that you have been given some finite number of heartbeats for your entire life. Every time you let stressful situations make your heart beat faster, you're shaving time off your lifespan. Sometimes it's worth it. If you meet the eventual love of your life and your heart beats faster, that's a great sign! However, if you're throwing away heartbeats on "pie fights" in a train wreck diary, that's probably not worthwhile.

Follow along below the left ventricle for more...


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

So... what does all this have to do with hockey fights?


You may have heard the over-used joke "I went to a fight, and a hockey game broke out". Love them or hate them, fights are a common occurrence in hockey games. Reasons abound, but my personal theory is that hockey is a fast-paced game, so much so that officiating often cannot keep up. An infraction that goes uncalled and unpenalized may cause the "wronged" player to take matters into their own hands.

Notice any parallels with life here on the Great Orange Skating Rink? Someone says something offensive, but wait... we don't have any officials! Here, it's everyone for themselves. Someone says something offensive (or just misconstrued), someone else takes offense and lashes out, and next thing you know, we've got ourselves a bench-clearing brawl... a regular train wreck.

The National Hockey League (NHL) takes an interesting stance on penalizing fighting. As you can read in the Official NHL Rules, there are significant penalties for those who want to "pile on" to a ongoing fight between two players.

70.1 Leaving the Bench - No player or goalkeeper may leave the players’ or penalty bench at any time during an altercation or for the purpose of starting an altercation. Substitutions made prior to the altercation shall be permitted provided the players so substituting do not enter the altercation.
70.10  Fines and Suspensions – The first player to leave the players’ or penalty bench during an altercation or for the purpose of starting an altercation from either or both teams shall be suspended automatically without pay for the next ten (10) regular League and/or Play-off games of his team.

The second player to leave the players’ or penalty bench during an altercation or for the purpose of starting an altercation from either or both teams shall be suspended automatically without pay for the next five (5) regular League and/or Play-off games.

Can we apply any of this here at the Great Orange Skating Rink? I'm not suggesting that we change the site rules, but if you're about to become the "third man in" to a pie fight between two people already going at it, you might want to take a pre-emptive seat in the cyber penalty box. Taking sides, or stirring up the fight, isn't a great way to add value to a diary.

While we're on the subject, another excellent NHL rule to consider would be this one:

64.1 Diving / Embellishment – Any player who blatantly dives, embellishes a fall or a reaction, or who feigns an injury shall be penalized with a minor penalty under this rule.
On any given day, we see multiple infractions of this rule here at the Great Orange Skating Rink, as commenters seem to be angling for the Oscar for "Best Performance in a Melodrama". While that might make you a memorable character, let me suggest that a better prize might be the Lady Byng Trophy:
The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy is an annual award given to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.
Just sayin...

As promised, here are the links for Parts 1 through 9 of "The Unrav'ling Thread". Enjoy!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to cassandracarolina's fossil record on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:42 AM PDT.

Also republished by Courtesy Kos and New Diarists.


What's your typical involvement in "train wreck" diaries?

0%0 votes
44%15 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
2%1 votes
29%10 votes
17%6 votes
0%0 votes
5%2 votes

| 34 votes | Vote | Results

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