Bitch on the Blog

May 15, 2017

Reflection

Filed under: Human condition — bitchontheblog @ 05:26
Tags: ,

With her last reply Rachel has put forward an interesting observation. Namely, that she sees blogging, sometimes, as being in a “lonely” place.

Though I hope I know what she means I see blogging mainly as putting myself in an open and not at all safe place. Not easy for a person as private as I am.  To understand: None of my posts are plotted. They are, being self employed and working in the unadulterated company of my amusing self, what I call my “water cooler” moments. I take a break, throw something on the page and press “publish”. Brill. I feel fantastic. Till later. When I re-read what I wrote. If it was highly personal  I console myself that people’s attention span is barely greater than a goldfish’s and anyway, to use my father’s voice, him the investigative journalist: “No one is interested in yesterday’s news”. Or “old snow”. As consolations go it’s good. And not so good.

We put ourselves on the page. To do so means that we put a lot of trust and have faith in our readers. I won’t mention that marvellous British “benefit of the doubt” as I usually do. Nevertheless, I think we should employ that maxim more often than not. In my experience few people are after each others’ hide.

However, if there is one thing I have learned in blogland, and is what I believe Rachel touches on, that good will is hard to come by. Some say that it is the lack of, say, body language, facial expression, inflection in written conversation. Maybe. I’d say it’s lack of good will. I’d also say, and it’s a fact, that a lot of people are sensitive to anything perceived as the slightest hint of criticism. I use the word “perceived” advisedly. It’s a bit like family dynamics. Mainly mysterious. Though if you are the outsider looking in – oh my gosh, if only they’d let you, you could join all the dots and pinpoint everyone’s individual Achilles heel.

Before you tell me that the above is conceited – as is my wont – I too do have Achilles heels. Admittedly not many as my upbringing (and possibly my innate character) mean that a lot directed at me is water off a duck’s back. Which is not saying that I am impervious to slights. I am not. If I were I wouldn’t be human.

As an aside, and little to do with the above: I can’t remember the context this minute but some time ago Rachel mentioned being tearful. Despite my sunny disposition I am, potentially, on the verge of tears all the time. It takes nothing to make me well up. There you go. The human condition. Happy and sorrowful. Two sides of one coin. But then the world is full of both: Sunshine and Shit.

U

January 26, 2012

Censorship

I don’t like people who show no grace in their communication with others, no willingness to enter any attempt at trying to reconcile differences. Those who will ignore an outstretched hand, erase someone’s comment instead of letting it stand, for all the world to see. Two commenters, unaware of their sins, so bad that they had to be shown the blogger’s door.

Nick, if you had any decency at all, any tact, any grace, you’d also delete your disparaging assessment aimed at Hippo aka Tom and myself. Wipe the slate clean as it were. Tidy that particular post’s comment box instead of leaving smears.

You deleted Tom’s apology when first you took us to task. Any attempt of mine to explain you keep deleting. Is it really ok to NOT give someone, the accused, a chance to “clear” their name?  Oh the irony, considering your post’s original subject. Think about it, Nick. But then you don’t do irony well, do you? It’s lost on you. Which in itself doesn’t matter whatsoever. What matters is how you deal with that which is beyond or below you.

I respect that you are of a sensitive disposition. So sensitive that you have no scruples whatsoever to malign Hippo’s and my name on your blog. Without – and I am repeating myself here – giving either of us a chance. Well, Nick, if that is what communicating means to you please do count me out. Since Tom addressed me and I replied to him and neither of us felt there was anything “snide” in our exchange why were you unable to just accept that and let it stand? Or were we stealing the limelight? Some bloggers don’t care, some rather do and some encourage diversity in their comment boxes.

I value the opinions of people who comment on my blog. Not in a million years would I ever delete anything other than what compromises a third party’s right to privacy. I am not a bloody prison warden, a control freak.  Spoiler alert: And yes, this is a bit mean and below the belt, aimed at you, Nick, and others: The little Hitlers so empowered by their territory, namely their “blog”, in need of their ego to be fed. Well, you fed it. Now let the dog off the leash, and delete YOUR own continued comments in relation  to that storm in an Irish teacup.

As you delete so I will publish. I see that you have wiped out Hippo aka Tom completely; not one smidgen of the man left. I suppose better than a fist fight. You may get hurt. The first two rather funny exchanges between Tom and me, the ones which led to your peculiar reaction, I do have no record of. The rest I do.

I implicitly trust the judgment of all those who regularly comment on this blog. So, should any of you, my readers, take the time and an interest in that fruitless exchange, please do enlighten me, if and where I went wrong. I will take it to heart – AND, stand by to be amazed, Nick:  LEARN FROM IT. Rarely is there a need to chuck the baby out with the bathwater. Unless the water is on fire. As you know I don’t bullshit. Neither, and there may be a lesson in it for you, Nick, will any of my readers’ criticism of me and my conduct make any difference in how I much I appreciate them, any difference in my affection for them. None whatsoever. Quite the opposite. Give me a bit of honesty. Don’t shilly shally; say it how you see it: None of us are infallible. If friends can’t give us feedback who can? Forgive me for this “snide” remark (after all, mustn’t short change you by not matching your expectation of me): You may try and get that pea out from under your mattress. You will bruise less easily. Now, there, there, let’s kiss it all better.

When Tom apologized to you he corrected my choice of word ‘pathetic’ at your reaction, suggesting to me that “regrettable” might be more applicable. Initially I agreed with him. However, considering your conduct since, I quite happily stick with the original “pathetic”. Considering the Latin scholar you are shall we compare notes first? Let’s see: ‘pathetic’ adj. arousing pity. Origin; Greek pathetikos ‘sensitive’. What did I say, Nick? Sensitive. Try and thicken your cutis (Latin ‘skin’).

Hugs and kisses, here goes:

Nick, the gentleman he is, first:

Hippo and Ursula, I have deleted your latest comments. Yes, it’s my blog and I can do what I like with it. If  you want to have a snide private conversation, go and have it somewhere else.

Hippo Tom’s Reply:

Sorry Nick, I do not know who Ursula is but I did find her witty, rather than snide (I certainly took no offence and hope she didn’t either) but I did realise that your post was of a very serious nature which was why I suggested that Ursula and I should take it over to my blog.

Once again, my aplogies.

Ursula’s pound’s worth:

Good on you, Hippo, that you are so forgiving. I am not. I think it’s pathetic, Nick, that you took down two perfectly good, well intenioned, comments. No doubt, you’ll take this down too. Your loss.

Or maybe, you’ll think again, and do a U turn. Aren’t an awful lot of blogs currently carrying the banner “No censorship”? Well, you could have fooled me.

U

Nick in his tireless attempt to stamp out the undesirable:

I have deleted another three comments from Hippo and Ursula. None of them had anything to do with the subject of the post.

Other bona fide commenters are welcome as usual.

Ursula, now wishing she had more than one head to scratch:

Nick, I don’t understand.

You’ve always struck me as a reasonable guy. I therefore hope that you will allow me to put the record straight. If only to be fair to Tom aka Hippo and myself, and not tarnish Tom’s reputation. Let’s remember that he even apologized to you. Though what for he clearly was baffled about. As am I.

Let’s remind ourselves that Tom took the time to address my being “indignant” at being passed over with my very first, and valid, comment. I thought his reply to me funny, original. I took his, as perceived by me, friendly bait by replying in a similar, slightly mocking style.I knew I’d hit it off with this newcomer to your blog, and new to me. And he took it in the same spirit as he had delivered to me. Which is great. More the pity that you didn’t. For which I still don’t apologize but join Tom in his rather better choice of word than my own, namely that the outcome is “regrettable”. Indeed.

Some of the best solid blogging friendships are forged in comment boxes. And some of the best blogs I visit (I visit few) are those who, generously, allow a natural flow of conversation rather than just appreciative small talk.

One last point, Nick: Do you actually know what you are saying with your “Other bona fide commenters are welcome as usual”?

“Bona fide” means “genuine, real”, Latin “with good faith”. Are you implying that not only are we not welcome anymore but suggesting that we didn’t come to your blog genuine, real and in good faith? If so, it’s an insult. See how easy it is to offend, Nick? Oh, the irony of it.

U

PS Let’s just blame John Gray. He started it. With his, and what I thought a deliciously smart, comment.

Nick who hereby confirms what I have suspected for a while, best glossed over:

Ursula – Your insult to me (in yet another comment) I shall ignore – of course I know what bona fide means, I have an O Level in Latin. Your insult to John Gray I shan’t ignore. He started nothing, he simply made a slightly cryptic comment that you chose to interpret in a bizarre way he never intended.

At this point I wished I’d THREE heads to scratch:

Nick, please do give me a break.

What insult to you, to John Gray? My PS was meant funny, trying to defuse whatever tension has crept into our exchange

There was little bizarre in my interpretation of John Gray’s comment. And even if: One of my two offerings was spot on, confirmed by him. The other was a sincere heartfelt of what I would have done in that woman’s situation. There is suffering that is tempting to cut short. What use is it to her to being vindicated after 25 years of heartache of having not just lost one son but the rest of friends and family too? As an aside: Some family.

I suppose it’s best if we just leave it. You do not appear to be willing to see my side, you will not even afford me the courtesy to let your other readers see my response. You will not concede anything. I have said it twice before and I say it again: I thought John Gray’s comment extremely astute. It was original, which no doubt led to some of you being confused by it.

If you find my comment bizarre then there is clearly a wavelength on which we can’t communicate. Neither did I find any of what Tom said to me to be a snide remark. And vice versa.

At risk of you finding fault with me once more: What’s your having attained an O’level in Latin got to do with understanding an expression? If this is about “mine is bigger than yours” I am sorry to say that I studied Latin to a higher grade and with distinction. I even studied Classic Greek. I communicate in a tongue which is not my mother’s.  So what? Doesn’t make me superior to anyone, neither does it mean that, unlike you, I will not admit to misinterpreting or using expressions sometimes rather too loosely. What I find so astonishing that I indicate, indeed ask you, what the meaning of your bona fide comment was. You do not enlighten. You just ignore that which doesn’t suit. But then you are the blog’s “owner”.

U

PS Just caught up with your last comment. You say you are “distressed”. There is no reason. Blogs are not one-way-streets. They are about communication. And sometimes communication will go wrong. Misunderstandings, misinterpretation. It’s life, Nick, not the end of the world. So let’s pick up pieces.

U

Guess what, dear Readers, yup, you got it in one.

The original post: http://nickhereandnow.blogspot.com/2012/01/under-cloud.html , undone at the seams by its master, hence many a hole. Last comment check: 1611 GMT.

U

PS Those of you who read this may ask: What’s the purpose of this exercise, Ursula? Other than wasting my, your, our time? Trust me: There is method. Let’s call Nick’s a case study, an example of some of that I think questionable in the world of blogging.

Let’s call it a strike against censorship, against unfairness. Let’s call it many things. And this minute I call: Roger Over and Out.

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