THIS IS A MOSH PIT DIARY
That will appear in just about any diary I will author for now, and I just want to post up why.
I've no particular attachment to dickish behavior. I don't often demonstrate it, though I have been known to, as all people do.
There is a fear I have on this whole move to clean up. The cleaning up needed to happen. I took a long breather away from here, and I did so, because it was a fucking mess! Seriously ugly, and toxic.
So that there is no mistake, I completely support the efforts to bring some sanity to the discussion.
My fear is this: People are going to hide behind the need for niceness, and they will leverage it like a shield. And no, I don't have specific people in mind. I've just seen this before, and I generally don't like what I see.
Honestly, I don't think it always has to be nice. It just needs to be solid, and that is where the worries are for me.
Maybe some sample cases might help explain what I'm feeling here.
The personal attack!
When we make other Kossacks the subject, that is generally a personal attack. You name it, racist, bigot, asshole, dick, theocrat, bitch, dumb, dullard, fucktoad, fucknut, nut-bag --and I like nut-bag almost as much as I like clown. (and I love clown)
Those things don't end well. We know this.
On the other hand, we can make their statement the subject:
That was something a clown would say, are you sure about that? See? Isn't that nice? Disneyland-ish? I sure think so.
Or... boy, if it were me that dropped that here on the floor, I would regret the racist tone of it all. A little less nice, but still not making the other Kossack the subject directly. Not Disneyland, but not dickish either, or is it???
What is the difference between these two?
Where the Kossack is made the subject, it's personal, and they get labeled, and they have no outs, forced to defend their self, character, who they are, and the moment that happens, whatever subject is at hand is lost!
And it's a fallacy anyway, meaning the only real work product is gratification, and the cost of it is some other Kossack suffering a label of some kind. Not cool. I fully and completely support moves to clamp down on this. We shouldn't be making Kossacks the subject like that, ever. The reason is we can't ever get a conclusion that makes practical, rational sense when we do that.
Labels are bad. Frankly, working to express your ideas without them is well worth the time and energy, because it increases your overall clarity of communication, and it is very difficult to make you the subject in any sort of effective way. You've got outs built right in. Think about that.
In the second set, my signature line comes into play, "Be Excellent To One Another", where it is shitty and needs to be discussed as shitty, but the default assumption in play is that the other Kossack is a fine person, making a gaffe, or that there is some understanding problem, or maybe naive, ignorant in the good way, not stupid (which is another personal attack), in other words, they have outs. Lots of them.
Secondly, the conversation can resolve without actually damaging the character of the other Kossack, as any of those outs can be taken, returning to the subject at hand.
My worry then: Will this devolve into simply being nice? Any serious discussion isn't always nice, but it is supposed to be considerate, real, honest, and the product of it is supposed to have value. Where is the value, if we simply have to be nice?
That is a serious query.
Or... are we able to put the hard stuff out there, so long as we do it in ways that leave the other room to move, and we don't make them the subject? I sure hope so, but I don't really know now.
Now, on to the other point I want to make this evening:
We only have control over what we say and do. We don't have control over what other people say and do. To me, this means I really don't EVER have to return dickish commentary, or validate a instance where I've been made the subject. I've got control over that, right? All of us do.
Then there is weighting. If somebody does do that, given the site guidelines, they are "insta-losers", the value of their words somewhere north of just shy of zero. Laughable really, so what's the worry?
Other: Potato, you are a sorry white fuck! Only a complete moron could fail to understand the point I was trying to make!
me: Did I see you just make me the subject? Let's try that again! Strike! :)
me: Sorry white fuck? I wonder how you can even manage to walk this world with such a profoundly addled mind. Jesus.
The first instance is my typical response, the second is clearly wrong, and going to end badly.
So, what I'm getting at here is simply, "do we have to be nice", or do we simply need to be excellent to one another, otherwise passionate?
I'm asking, and quite likely asking poorly too, because I value real discussion, serious discussion, heated discussion, because that is where the good stuff so often is! In my time talking to people in various forms and ways, I have come to some of my best conclusions, written some of the most profound things, and have sorted out some of my own damn issues when pressured to do so, and that is extremely valuable.
Can that still happen here, or what?
The answer weighs heavy on my mind, and if you need to, you may cite anything I've ever written here. It's ok to make me the subject on this one, because I am trying to get at something difficult, and maybe this is my hangup, or manufactured, or worse. (you tell me, because that is kind of how it is supposed to work at times)
Any and all commentary welcome on this diary. You may get after it on any level, not explicitly denied by the guidelines so far. Mosh away!