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You mostly know that the past 20 months haven't been easy for me. I've had to make a new life for myself as a single gay man after four decades of being part of a couple, which I diairied, and, probably because I diaried it, I took it upon myself to be the public face of bereavement here at Daily Kos. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I also thought it would be a good - and compassionate - thing for me to do to make myself available to people (specifically gay men) who had lost their partners because I knew something about that. WAY stupid. Then, I compounded it by taking a trip this summer that allowed me to MEET the two people I had been comforting. STUPIDISSIMO!

Now, one of them has been bojoed and the other has unfriended me (yes, on Facebook) for having said nice (actually, non-condemnatory) things about the one who has been bojoed. Has in fact replied to comments I made here by condemning me for enabling the guy. What's the saying? No good deed goes unpunished? So so true.

I was, in fact, getting ready to publish a diary about what I learned on my summer trips. I burned part of that off in my Itzl Alert network diary last night, and the rest (the stuff about museums and food) will probably appear in my Top Comments diaries as the year progresses. Why not the whole thing? As all the unpleasantness was playing itself out, I was writing this in a section about the idea that friendship is important:

What did you think would happen when two of the Great Orange Satan's most prominent gay writers were spending at least six hours a week on the phone together? Our regard and affection for each other would diminish? It didn't, and it hasn't, and it isn't likely to. And have any of you ASKED since, say, the beginning of June, what's the matter when either of us goes off the rails?
Well, perhaps if we went off the rails in the same way, that would be an appropriate comment. But we don't, as more than one person assured me in Boise Blue's diary last night (the link, btw, is to a much longer comment thread than I remembered, and I can't speak to one of the stories because I've only heard one side of it, although, come to think of it, all the accounts are telling the other side of it and don't know cm's side, and it's not my place to tell it).

Anyhow, what really made me think was a comment by kishik:

But his behaviour (9+ / 0-) Preceded the death of his husband.

I did think perhaps his death pulled away all commonmass' reasoning, and he now felt he could continue to behave in his spurts of raging without any stops put into place whatsoever.

That made me realize that maybe I hadn't been paying attention to some things. Obviously, I became MUCH more engaged with him after Terun died, and I was chalking a great deal of what he said up to grief, and, as I noted somewhere, his bereavement was qualitatively different from mine. I don't think I've been an enabler, but I do think I might have turned a blind eye to some of his behavior online. As it happened, I missed BOTH of the diaries at the center of this that he deleted and then apologized for. The first one, well, I didn't think it was entirely uncalled for (the main victim of the first one did something to me here that caused me to thank everyone who signed my quilt EXCEPT the victim in an elaborate diary I did about the quilt). For the second one, however, I was at the annual beginning of the year convocation at the college I teach at, and I got home to read the apology (we were already on the phone when that happened). Next thing I knew, bastrop kosmailed me about the bojoing. I wasn't really surprised. kos talked about banning at NN 14. When he said he knew of ten people who he could probably ban immediately, I thought of commonmass. kos went on to say he'd wait for the community to tell him to do so, and it's obvious that that's what happened.

I was going to say that some people may be very different in real life from the way they present themselves on the internet. I'm not, none of the LA Kossacks are, pretty much none of the other Kossacks I've met are, so there's that, but I think commonmass is. I didn't hear any racism or misogyny from him in the four days we spent together in Boston and Maine. We just had fun together. We'll probably remain friends offline anyway. But if you want to know how he is, ask bastrop, who is, after all, his brother; I don't want to take the risk of miscommunicating anything.

So I guess this is me saying I regret not paying sufficient attention to what was going on with commonmass to be able to talk him off the ledge, but then, I think I did more to support him here since February 2013 than anyone else did. If that was enabling, my apologies.

UPDATE, 8/30, 6:15 PM PST: Now that this has been hijacked and identified as a bannable call out diary, it will continue without my participation.

UPDATE, 8/31, 9:15 AM, PST: Wow! FIFTEEN hours later and you're still adding comments. Some of them are even based on publication of material taken from Kosmail, which isn't exactly kosher. I hope you're all having fun.

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