I could have entitled this Diary "Grow the fuck up!", but that would have been extraordinarily hypocritical of me, because I had to grow up too, and that growth, still incomplete, was painful for me and for the people I abused along the way.
Let's go below the polite squiggle and chat.
With rare, really, very rare, exceptions I try very hard to ensure that my Diaries and comments here are a study in courtesy. That is not to say that I do not have strong feelings, and emotional reactions to things I read, because I do.
The temptation to fire back some blazingly rude rejoinder can be a hard feeling to resist. Frankly, there are those who would try the patience of a Saint, and Saint Twigg is not on the near horizon
In the past, in other Forums in a different life, or at least a different part of my life, I didn't resist temptation very well. When I found this place I determined that I would never again tread that path. It's unhelpful, destructive and worse, it would reduce my ability to persuade or discuss things that really matter. Want to be shunted to the sidelines, the murky margins of a conversation? It's easy, all you have to do is get a reputation for intemperate speech .... even if it is Free :)
I was also scared stiff by many of the regular contributors here, so I watched, I learned and slowly I joined in.
Some have yet to learn that lesson, and they are dragging the tone of the debate down to a level that makes it, at times, futile to continue. Those people, the ones who cannot keep a civil tongue in their keyboards are damaging the message, making the task harder to accomplish, and generally being "dicks".
It helps me to remember, even under the most intense provocation, one simple guiding idea ....
The people contributing to this Blog, to it's Diary Lists and Comment Threads, are not the enemy.
However tempting it might be at times, to consider some comments as asinine, disingenuous or simply downright gross; the folk making them will vote Democrat, and help elect Better Democrats. Trolls are exempted from the above remarks, but Trolls do not participate in Flame Wars. Trolls are very easily spotted, especially if we are not fighting among ourselves. Trolls are, actually, a uniting force because all sides of an argument can recognise a common enemy.
There are steps that each of us can take that would not simply reduce the internecine wars, but actually help us better understand each other and thus gain a clearer picture of the task.
Before responding to that comment that just pissed you off, wonder what the commenter was trying to say. Could it be that it was simply poorly worded? If it was, indeed, a terrible comment, then it is not your sole responsibility to right the wrong. By all means give a response, but protracted and heated debate simply means that you both lose. Remember ... you are not the only ones reading this stuff. If you made your point clearly and with decency, then you get all the credit from those following on. If, on the other hand, you played tit-for-tat until the right margin hit the Carolinas, then no one agrees with either of you ... You just became part of the problem.
Debate requires not just that we make our points, it demands that we listen to the replies. There will be times you are right, and other times when someone else will have a better point than yours. This does not work with Mrs Twigg, She always has the better points, and we remain very happily married.
So listen, think, type, and try to remember that the "preview" button is not simply there as a completely unnecessary extra click, serving only to stand between you and that fabulously witty and devastating slap-down you have conjoured up. It is there to give you a chance to make sure that you really, really want to post that comment. Some would benefit from taking the opportunity kindly provided to help us avoid stepping in the shit ... again.
Just be nice. You are among friends who really do want to hear what you have to say, but do not want to hear how superior you are, nor how stupid is the person you are replying to. We have enough enemies out there without inventing new ones.
Hide Rates are not a "weapon of choice". There is so much bullshit Hide Rating going on that I am surprised Markos hasn't been "more capricious" than he said he would be. Honestly, some Users would not last very long were site Moderation ever to become really effective. You do not get to HR folk you are arguing with, or simply disagree with. It is not your place to be behaving like that, and when you do it two things happen. You piss-off the person you disagreed with, and you reduce your influence with everyone who reads the thread and understands what is happening.
By the way .... next time you refer to "someone and their "posse"", then I will HR you. You are not going to divide this site into factions. Get over it.
There is an Election Season upon us that is going to be like no other. The nastiness, the vileness, the downright racism will reach levels we have rarely seen. It needs a response that is clear and united.
Guys, we are on the same side. We have a President we need to re-elect, and we have down-ticket races that are vital to the futures of real people, their children and their communities.
Is your flame war more important than that? Thought not!
2:55 AM PT: It would appear that I failed to be clear, and now stand accused of making the kind of threats that the Diary is supposed to be complaining about.
Let me clarify, so that no one mis-understands ...
Accusing another User of being part of a "posse" is divisive and bereft of any merit. It is HR'able, in most contexts and I am not complaining about Hide Rates, merely those HRs that are dished out without merit, and in furtherance of a grievance.
I lose count of the times I see comments uprated to counter inappropriate HRs, and in all too many cases those uprates are justified.
So if you want to take me to task for giving an example of one particular piece of behaviour that most distresses me, then have at it. But it really isn't the point.