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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.  

That said...

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?

eg:  

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!  :)

or:

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!
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    ***Be Excellent To One Another***
    IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

    by potatohead on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 10:06:46 PM PDT

  •  Excellent to one another is different from: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bushondrugs, RiaD

    "be nice"

    That is what I am getting at here.  

    ***Be Excellent To One Another***
    IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

    by potatohead on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 10:16:10 PM PDT

  •  If you don't have something nice to say (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bushondrugs, greenomanic, RiaD

    don't say anything.

    Now I have hated this one always.  It's artificial, and very limiting like no profanity is.

    Sometimes we need to not be nice to say the things other people need to hear.  Sometimes they even ask for them.

    That's not dickish, is it?

    Do tell, inquiring spuds wanna know before it's too late!

    ***Be Excellent To One Another***
    IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

    by potatohead on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 10:17:23 PM PDT

  •  What if I want to be vagina-ish, not dickish? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    potatohead, angel d, WI Deadhead

    Oh, but you did say this is a MOSH PIT diary, right?
    Vagina-equality achieved!

    •  LOL!! Touche' Nice catch indeed! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bushondrugs

      Maybe just shorten this to vaginal!

      Dude, you are so vaginal right now.  Lighten up!

      ie:  deep, or overly obsessed!

      ***Be Excellent To One Another***
      IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

      by potatohead on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 10:23:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I just wanted gender equality, but your (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        potatohead

        diary title got me thinking that "mosh pit" could be interpreted in a feminine way.

        Of course, now I have to name mine "Posh Mosh Disneyland" for anyone who decides to visit!

        •  Yeah, that was my first thought too, upon (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bushondrugs

          reading your comment.

          Of course, I am all for gender equality in sexual metaphors.  Often I get caught using one or the other either incorrectly, or too often.  

          Might as well include everybody in those low things, that way there are no worries overall.

          ***Be Excellent To One Another***
          IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

          by potatohead on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 10:30:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Then there is pointed discussion... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bushondrugs

      And the race to the gutter begins!

      ***Be Excellent To One Another***
      IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

      by potatohead on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 10:26:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But yes, I do see your point. (0+ / 0-)

        Whether Markos agrees or not may be beside the point if you (as the diarist) add the "mosh pit disclaimer" to your diary.

        I also see a difference between a person who is passionate about a topic vs. a person who is being dickish solely for the sake of being dickish, and yet we all know there are grey areas in the middle.

        (And as someone else suggested in Kos's recent diary, it would be nice to have a gender-neutral replacement word for "dickish.")

        •  IMHO, that's going to be hard. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bushondrugs

          The meanings behind, the now breaking in "vaginal", "dickish", "asshole(ish)", etc...  are typically short paragraphs.

          There is a scene in "Shoot From the Hip", where the slapstick attorney challenges the court to substitute one word for "asshole", demonstrating this perfectly.

          I can't find it at the moment, but a defendant brought a complaint against a prosecutor, who was in fact, and in deed, an asshole.  I'll try to find it.  Excellent stuff.

          ***Be Excellent To One Another***
          IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

          by potatohead on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 10:54:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Found it! Check this for "asshole" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bushondrugs, RiaD

          The best definition I've ever seen:

          As a First Affirmative Defense to Plaintiff's Third Cause of Action,

          Defendant alleges as follows:

          I. The word "asshole" is not a word of specific generic exactitude. The
          word "asshole," when used to describe a physical portion of the human body, is a void surrounded by the anal sphincter muscle. On the other hand, when used as a characterization of an individual, the word "asshole" denotes that the individual possesses some or all of the following:

          • a. His acts or omissions do not conform generally to an accepted pattern among members of a particular social group of which the individual using the characterization is a member,
          • b. A person who by his conduct causes derision to be heaped upon him by one or more other persons,
          • c. A person whose conduct has attained the degree of contemptibility such that it defies characterization by any conventional language,
          • d. A person generally considered by his peers to conduct himself in such a manner as displays a callous disregard for the feelings of other human beings and thus deserving of being shunned and ostracized.

          II. Defendant did not intend, nor were his remarks understood by Plaintiff or any other person, to mean that the Plaintiff is in truth and in fact a void surrounded by the anal sphincter muscle. On the other hand,
          Defendant intended, and Plaintiff and others understood Defendant to mean, that Plaintiff is indeed an "asshole" within the meaning of the colloquialized characterization of an individual as described above.

          III. In truth and in fact, Plaintiff is an "asshole."

          The case was dismissed by the Court.

          ***Be Excellent To One Another***
          IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

          by potatohead on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 11:10:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  there are plenty of females (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bushondrugs

      over at dickipedia.

  •  here's my favorite. Use it if you wish... (6+ / 0-)

    I've found that the magic phrase "No offense intended and with all due respect..." followed by something incredibly rude allows one (me?) to be honest and funny (am I sure?)  while at the same time confusing whoever is getting the reply.

    For example, if replying to myself here...

    No offense intended and with all due respect but that is about the stupidest thing I've heard tonight.

    Then I would think "wow, that guy respects me!"

    "Things are never so bad they can't get worse" - Dallasdoc

    by Shahryar on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 10:34:22 PM PDT

    •  That's a good one. I've used it in the past. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shahryar, RiaD

      At times it seems cliche' to me, meaning I have it in moderate rotation.  Over used, it then is gamed like any other thing is.

      When the conversation is real, that is one check against said gaming, meaning there isn't any one "stamp" that works.  People gotta talk through it and deal.

      Thanks though.  Totally worth a mention here.

      ***Be Excellent To One Another***
      IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

      by potatohead on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 10:51:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You think I'm too fucking nice? (0+ / 0-)

    Gasoline made from the tar sands gives a Toyota Prius the same impact on climate as a Hummer using gasoline made from oil. ~ Al Gore

    by Lefty Coaster on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 11:43:26 PM PDT

  •  Kos is in over his head. As soon as he made (0+ / 0-)

    reference to pornography and "knowing it when I see it" I knew we were in trouble. If he knew, historically, where that saying comes from and its meaning in the history of the invention of pornography (and how that invention was about controlling people), he'd never have used that analogy.

    Repeating (without any awareness of its meanings)  famous statements uttered in the history of censorship, while advocating censorship, does not inspire confidence. This diary is a testament to why. The very act of saying x is to be kept off the public scene, in fact, promotes and makes x part of the public scene.

    •  No, I don't think he's in too deep at all. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiaD

      There will be discussion, there will be correction, and there will be reason applied to those things over time.

      So, we talk about it, and it improves.

      That is all we are seeing right now.  This diary is part of that conversation, and it's intended to further the goals, and that's it.

      I've been here a long while, and I've seen it get shitty, and I've seen it great too.  My interest is in making sure great stays on the table, and that requires some boundary conversation, as it always has, always will.

      The other element in play here, not exactly stated up front and clear, is this transitory period is one of clean-up, and one of consideration.  The next revision of Dkos is going to take lessons learned, and I'm looking forward to that, as I think we've taken this one as far as it will go.

      There seems to be a matter of scale in play.  I thought DK4 would scale up, but it really didn't.  Maybe a different structure will.

      I want the diary with 10K comments, because then we all will have expanded the scope of what DKos is, and that is nothing but good.

      ***Be Excellent To One Another***
      IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

      by potatohead on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:15:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting. I was here with Dean in 2003?! Or so (0+ / 0-)

        it was great at first, then devolved rather quickly over the years. The HR ratings were especially pernicious. People who don't even know what criticism is HR'ing the comments of actual scholars and being arrogant about it. That was real ugly. Mob rule dKos style. I hope they figure it out. It was great once upon a time.

  •  difference? (0+ / 0-)
    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???

    imho, both of your above examples are saying non-excellent things about the person.

    not such a good idea imho.

    my gut responses to above...?
    #1- so you're saying i'm a clown?

    #2- so you're saying i'm a racist?

    i think a much better approach is to stick to the subject matter at hand.
    if someone has an opinion/statement/premise you don't agree with, tell them why.... and use facts to back up your opinion. (citations are always good)

    if someone uses a word/phrase that you know is offensive to the majority of people (racist/sexist/whatever-ism-ist) point that out in a respectful way.
    "i'm sure you didn't mean it this way but, __ is a (racist/sexist/whatever-ist) term to (whatever group) because..... (give history of word/phrase as you know it). maybe you should avoid using that term."

    i'm not saying we can't be passionate & debate fiercely.... quite the contrary! but we should get in the habit of debating the points not the people.

    the other way i sometimes go is just flat out crazy insulting.... with style (but only with people i know well)
    i often use THIS PLACE for inspiration....
    examples:

    Get ye gone, horrible villain, or I'll spurn thine eyes like balls before me; I'll unhair thy head, Thou shalt be whipp'd with wire, and stew'd'in brine, smarting in lingering pickle.
    Would the fountain of your mind were clear again, that I might water an ass at it.
    [Thou] leathern-jerkin, crystal-button, knot-pated, agatering, puke-stocking, caddis-garter, smooth-tongue, Spanish pouch!

    these can easily be tweaked to fit various situations....

    just a thought....

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