I assume you all know about the failed car-bomb attacks we’ve been having lately. As you can imagine, discovering your local tube is closed off by stern people in neon jackets is a bore, and being told the perpetrators are doctors, of all things, is, well, horrible. Wasn’t there this oath thing that doctors took, promising to do no harm?
Anyway, it rather derailed me because I felt it was somewhat underhand to poke fun at Gordon Brown and his zippedy-doo-dah new Cabinet of Young Things when the poor chap was having to start his new job at Critical, also known as ‘Hello, is that your country that has just burst into flames?’
And onwards to Today’s Petty Whinge:
The stupidest little incident has been irritating me for nearly a week now.
Allow me to contextualise a little. There is another website/ set of fora where I hang out and talk drivel. Hanging out and talking drivel is far much less like hard work than having all my words standing or falling on their own merit, so even though I have been lackadaising all over the blog, I have been persisting over there. And of course we got the news on Saturday that a flaming car had been driven into the doors of the Glasgow Airport terminal, and the drivers had possibly even thrown fire bombs before being flattened by police and by-standers. Naturally we were all shocked. A person, who I shall name Person (because, OK?), posted something-or-other, which was promptly removed by the moderators. So Person wrote another post saying, basically, that whoever had alerted the moderators to his post, ‘clearly think it is OK to try to throw petrol bombs at children in airport terminals.’ And then Person stormed off in a huff.
Now, I was all for being horribly cross that one’s post had been removed. But I was not at all amused by the implication that one of the other ‘regulars’ had done it (we are not that kind of people. We are all rabidly free speech), and that therefore one of the other regulars was pro-terrorism. However, many of the other regulars took time to contact Person, explain that the forum in question had all sorts of other readers who don’t post but could’ve alerted the moderators, and also, if he used language, the post would be automatically moderated by a profanity filter. As it turned out, the post had been automatically moderated for the liberal use of the words ‘sod’, ‘bastards’ and ‘bloody’, and the human moderators decided the subject excused the language and re-instated it within 24 hours.
Did Person apologise for the hissy fit and the utterly unwarranted accusations? No. Did Person acknowledge calling us pro-terrorist was a bit rich? No. Is this what I care about? Not really. Anyone’s allowed the odd burst of soddishness. Especially when upset by scary news. What does bug the absolute britches off me is that I am the only one who said anything (and that a mild, ‘I’m not sure I like the implication that whoever removed Person’s post is therefore pro-terrorism.’). Everyone else was busy being reassuring and explanatory and hunting Person down so they could encourage said Person to return to the forum. The very forum that bases its raison d’Ãªtre on civilised, polite, rational conversation, no shouting, no ad hominem attacks, even on difficult subjects. It’s why I could make the effort to stay there when the rest of the internetty boiling was too much like hard work.
Now, either I have missed something in my lackadaisicalery, and Person is allowed lee-way the rest of us aren’t and wouldn’t dream of claiming, for reasons I have not understood, or I am excruciatingly thin-skinned and up myself. But because everyone is refusing to discuss it, I can’t find out. And because everyone is refusing to discuss it, I am highly reluctant to open the subject and start a truly unwelcome shit-storm and put myself firmly in the unwelcome category. It is for this very wimpy reason that I am not linking to said forum.
This being my blog, I shall say what the hell I like though. I think Person’s reaction was rude and unwarranted. I think even if Person did assume (and why? Person has been posting for years, surely Person understands that there is automatic sweary moderating?) a regular had yanked his post [heh heh heh; oops. Sorry. - Ed], and therefore let fly in extremis, Person should have said sorry. More to the point, the other regulars owed it to each other to remonstrate with him, politely and mildly of course. As it is, one rather gets the impression you can say whatever the fuck you like in whatever unpleasant tone you like and everyone will butter you up big-time. Just like any other damn forum. Obviating the point of this particular special forum.
I have avoided posting this for nearly a week to make sure I wasn’t merely being a snarling bitch and making mountains out of molehills. Does the fact it still bugs me to hell mean I have a point or that I am a very snarling bitch? Or is it the fact that Person is allowed off and I didn’t think anyone else would be – what have I missed abut Person? Am I being an idiot?
The Editor, by the way, is disclaiming all responsibility for this post and thinks I am indeed being an idiot. So I may well take this post down later. Also, am off work with high temperature, so judgement probably severely impaired. But hey, like I said, my blog.