This is a personal reaction, not a well-reasoned essay, so turn away if that's not what you want to read.
This is a reaction to reading that Geekesque and fcvaguy both got banned today, after so many recent bannings of long-timers such as Marie.
For the last several months I find myself waking up most mornings and immediately grabbing some coffee, turning on the computer, and checking to see if I've been banned or disciplined at Daily Kos, even as I know I'm constantly walking on eggshells trying to avoid controversy, and even when I know for sure I was not engaged in any disputes on DKos. Is that nuts or what?!
I do that even before hitting the bathroom, doing morning chores, or eating breakfast.
Is that healthy or productive behavior for a late-50s lawyer with huge responsibilities and serious health problems?
It's clear that I genuinely fear being excluded from this beloved online community, especially during a presidential election year. Why do I fear this so much?
Please go below the fromage--
I'm an old-timer. I started reading in 2002 when Markos was on Movable Type. I joined up just a few months after the switch to Scoop in October 2003. I've been reading here every day for about 10 years.
On Easter Sunday 2005 I was banned for contrarian statements in a single Terri Schiavo diary. That was back when people had unlimited zeroes. I had quit drinking for Lent, and was drinking beer that Easter Sunday, and I fought back too hard. I can't dispute that I deserved to be suspended, although I think a ban was unfair. In any event, I was sore about that. After several failed attempts to seek reinstatement, I was finally reinstated in 2008 with help from a wonderful front-pager, who intervened for me with Markos.
Since then, I've had three Big Red Warnings when I've gotten overheated (if I remember correctly, two from Markos and one from Meteor Blades), but I have acknowledged them all with sincere respect, and have done my best to abide by what they said; I really have.
I guess I'm alarmed that Markos said in a post today about Geekesque's banning that "few users survive beyond three warnings." Gulp. So I guess I'm right on the brink. Any inadvertent uprate of the wrong comment and OFF WITH MY HEAD. Ack.
For a very long time, I'd had no hidden comments and was holding on to five mojo bars and TU status, but I recently got involved in some disputes over diaries by one user. In one diary I had two comments hammered by 10 HR's each, much as I think that was wrong, and I dropped to four mojo bars.
On one hand I'm disgusted with myself to care at all about that. On the other, I'm unhappy with the system.
Markos has said he is moving to a new system that does not include HRs and mojo. I can't wait to see that day!
Oh I guess I'll stop there. I'm too tired tonight from a hellacious work schedule, and I don't really have any deep thoughts. I hope Markos will be gracious in reinstating any real old-timer who is sincere in promising to reform.
And I hope all of us will try to keep steady to the idea that civility is important, both as a matter of following the Golden Rule and being fair to our fellow humans, and also because that wins elections.