Letting things get under my skin; or, being an idiot

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’être 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.

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12 Responses to Letting things get under my skin; or, being an idiot

  1. Titania says:

    Hmmm… not sure what I think about the whole business myself.

    One one hand, I wasn’t sure Person knew about the profanity filter – I’ve had to inform people, who had no idea it existed, numerous times. Some of the people were even long standing members of said site and _ought_ to have known.

    Also, I’m guilty myself of having turned into a raving lunatic and storming off in a huff on a couple of occasions when I’ve had postings pulled (none of them by the profanity filter, btw).

    On the other hand, I see your point, and find it worrying that the first conclusion Person drew was that one of us had, deliberately, yikesed said posting, supposedly out of pure spite.

    However, knowing that I sometimes misinterpret the meaning of postings and have sometimes seen ill content where none was intended (possibly because, when studying a foreign language, one of the most difficult things to learn are those subtle nuances of expressions) I did not want to be the one to point out Person’s unreasonable reaction, in case I’d be wrong and be the only one to view it that way.

    Well, at least Person knows about the filter now and has, in my view, no excuse to repeat a similar behaviour. If it should happen again, I’d probably be prone to react(ing?) stronger…

  2. SG V says:

    As things go when I’m very busy – and I truly am at the moment – I must sheepily confess that such things too often fly over my head.

    Reading this, I thought “oh, yeah – umm, right – why didn’t…”

    It quite simply didn’t break through the wall of other things at that point.

    Would I have otherwise? I’d like to think so, but honestly don’t know.

    My addition comes up with a sum of “things said (written) too quickly at a time when some thinking before writing would have been clever”. Not so very dramatic, then, as most alternatives. And that could very well happen to me. I would go back and say “oops, sorry about that” – I learned the lesson of the value of that a few times over. The quite hard way.

  3. Reed says:

    Hello, you two. Feeling slightly less like an idiot now, thank you.

    If this little kerfuffle had happened on any other forum I would not have batted an eyelid, you know. *sigh* On any other forum, I’d have made the above points right then and there with all the self-doubty bits left out, though I like to think I wouldn’t have got all sarcastic or anything.

    SG V says he learned the value of saying “oops, sorry about that” the quite hard way (good for him!) – well, my irritation is down to the fact that Person seems to still be perfectly unaware that he/she/it behaved badly, and therefore hasn’t learnt anything any way at all, and that other regulars buttered Person up, thereby giving the impression that said forum is not, after all, a haven of civilization in an Internet of drivel and bile, but merely a slightly more grammatical adjunct to said drivel and bile. In which case, what was the damn point of making such an effort to stay with it, at a time when frankly is was very hard work indeed to get the milk out the fridge?

  4. Titania says:

    Any other forum – I know, I know… *squirms*

    That’s the problem with the Ateilier, isn’t it? You feel all too comfortable to bleet out a number of personal views/opinions/feelings when BAM! it’s interrupted by someone/something.

    *shudders when remembering Oetzi*

  5. Teuchter says:

    There have been a number of elephants in that particular sitting room, for quite some time.

  6. Sol says:

    This Person is a bit prone to making statements I sometimes feel ought to object to. In fact, I thought his original post was pretty awful with its ‘why don’t They all go back where They came from’ comments.

    I deal with this by making it a policy to ignore everything the Person says on principle. I have wondered in the past though whether we are all just ignoring the visits form the Daily Mail because we haven’t noticed them in the backlog, don’t want to get into a fight, or what.

    As for the concilliation, I think it’s one of those uttons that people would do anything rather than be accused of pushing. You’re right, though. As Santra says: ‘Oh yeah, umm, why didn’t I…’

    Can I assume that my email to the other place didn’t get through then? I haven’t had anything from there since Saturday.

  7. Reed says:

    There has been a terrifying silence in the othr place since I posted a grouchy email on the subject in question on the day in question. Which is one reason why I started this. For all I know there were dozens of attempts at a response and the other place’s surver has been eaten by termites. Will try again.


    Well, I went directly there and posted. It’s showing up on the other place’s website. Perhaps only the email-receiving server has been eaten by termites.

  8. David says:

    For me, it was one of those cases of ‘sit on hands and sew lips up’, partly because I still (still!) feel like a relative newcomer and am unsure how to deal with outbreaks of Unpleasantness. And, like others, I sort of try to read Person’s posts, but find them rather confusing.

  9. Aphra Behn says:

    >> 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.

    >> Person seems to still be perfectly unaware that he/she/it behaved badly, and therefore hasn’t learnt anything any way at all, and that other regulars buttered Person up,

    I’ve mentioned it in the other place, but I’ll mention it here. Person seems to post in a parallel universe. He ignores the main debates and the main debaters ignore him. I always found it very odd. It’s rather as if you are all conducting the conversation with your friends while you have a cat in the room, or a monomaniac, persistant and oblivious 3 year old. He seems, may the goddess forgive me, not to be the brightest pixel on the screen.

    Is it possible, in that context, that nobody called him on his accusation because everyone is used to ignoring the implications of what he say? Did they just do that this time out of habit?

    Or is the elephant not just sitting in the room, but tip-toeing around walking on egg-shells? It it possible, given the bollocking that the emerald chanteuse got for politely warning a proto-troll where lies the boundary between trolling and not-trolling, that no-one dares call a troll a troll in case they get similarly bollocked? Do have any idea what a year of binge drinking creme de menthe does to a girl?

    >> There have been a number of elephants in that particular sitting room, for quite some time.


    (What a menagerie this is: cats, three year olds, elephants, eggshells, trolls, singers…. all we need is an animated beanbag and the whole thing can really tumble into farce).

    Love you all


  10. Reed says:

    I am sorry to say the emerald chanteuse’s bollocking was preying very much on my mind when I decided to say not very much, and then spent a week stewing about it. As for the creme de menthe, oh, hey, at least she has beautiful breath.

  11. This is part of the reason I no longer participate in that forum. I sometimes wonder if anyone there noticed that I left.

  12. Lilian says:

    Oh, dear. This all went a bit over my head, I’m afraid. I did the sitting quietly in the corner thing, because I really *am* (relatively) new to the place, I just don’t do confrontation, and, to be honest, I usually end up reading so many posts in one go that I’m totally confused by the time I get to the latest one so it might just have passed me by! Serves me right for not checking in more often, I know. Sorry if you felt a bit alone out/in there.

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