self-banned from Patterico's Pontifications
Well, I've just banned myself
from Patterico's Pontifications. It was done in the heat of the moment and I'll probably be itching to comment there by next week, but I've got to remain strong. Probably it's best to just stop reading it --after I find out if DRJ comes back, anyway.
Why did I ban myself? Well, it started out with one of Patterico's cobloggers, DRJ, linking to a story
about a man who was charged with a crime for breaking the airline no-cell-phone rule. The thing is, the reason the man was using his cell phone was because he had just gotten a message that his father had had a heart attack and he was calling the hospital. I was shocked and appalled that someone should be charged with a crime for that. And even more shocked and appalled that DRJ and various commenters approved of this. In order to express my shock and appalledness I resorted to terms such as "prick" and "heartless bastard".
Not cool, I know. Especially since DRJ is a woman and I know from experience that women are more sensitive than guys to harsh words on the internet. If I had remembered that she was a woman, I would have been nicer (Ladies, if you don't want men being mean to you on the internet, use an obvious girl's name. It really makes a difference in how men will respond to you).
Anyway, DRJ was so offended by my comments that she quit the blog. That's right, she just up and quit the blog. Naturally, this led to great grief and gnashing of teeth and begging for her to come back. She really is a talented blogger and I hope that she does go back.
More importantly, it led Patterico to threaten to ban me from the blog if I didn't apologize. Now, of course I had to apologize. One doesn't call a woman a heartless bastard and then not apologize. If she had been a guy, it would have been a closer call because if a man can't stand a little harsh language then screw him (metaphorically speaking, of course), but a gentleman just doesn't say things like that to a lady.
Patterico's threats had two effects. First of all, they robbed me of the chance to make an unencumbered apology; anything I said after that was tainted by the threatened sanction. Second, they pissed me off because of the manner in which they were given. You can be firm but respectful as in: "Doc, I think your comment was over the top. I'm afraid I'm going to have to ban you if you don't apologize". Or you can issue an ultimatum as in
Doc, you will immediately apologize for that comment or be banned for good. That goes whether DRJ stays here or not. That was UTTERLY out of line and I won’t tolerate it.
Make your decision.
Patterico always goes for the ultimatum style. It's probably a side-effect of his job (he's a prosecutor) and it's usually reasonable. But I think that I have earned a more respectful attitude from my years on his blog. Yes, I've occasionally gone over the top, but I think that in general I've been well-behaved and willing to admit when I was wrong.
I was going to confront him about this on his blog, but I decided there were too many demands for apologies going around as it was. And anyway I'm like 99.99 per cent sure Patterico would have the same attitude that I do, "If you can't stand a little harsh language then screw you (metaphorically speaking, of course)" and I would end up leaving anyway. Why go through the additional acrimony when the outcome looks pretty much predetermined?
Besides, whether DRJ comes back or not, Doc Rampage will forever be the goon who chased away lovable DRJ, everyone's favorite. It's not the sort of thing that makes you feel welcome.
Well, it's the consequences of my own actions and it would be pretty weeny of me to whine about it to excess. Of course a judicious amount of whining is not inappropriate.
Maybe I'll start being a pest on another one of the big blogs that allows comments --some far-away blog where the name of DRJ is not known. Or just put all that energy into my own blog. I'll miss Patterico's Pontifications, though.
The latest Storyblogging Carnival
is up at Back of the Envelope. There is a good story in there by klaxophone who can always be counted on to make you scratch your head and say, "huh?".
Like many of my generation, I grew up reading animal books where animals were treated like people. The animals had thoughts and goals just like people. They loved and hated and understood the concepts of right, wrong, and justice --everything you need to make a story. Unfortunately, I think that a lot of people just did not grasp that they were reading fantasy. At some level they came to believe that animals are essentially just like people, and now you have situations like this
Scientists and outdoorsmen began to warn of danger, but they were ignored by both the Boulder public -- which was sentimentally attached to the idea of free-roaming wildlife -- and state wildlife-protection bureaucrats, who downplayed first the presence, and then the danger, posed by the cougars. Dogs and cats started being eaten, cougars started threatening people, and yet meetings on the subject were dominated by people who "came to speak for the cougars."
In the end, of course, people started to be eaten...
As Reynolds points out, this seems to be the result of two interacting syndromes: appeasement and personification fantasies. Appeasement is the syndrome where people take the side of other people who want to kill them --terrorists, violent felons, foreign enemies. We see it in every conflict and it seems to be getting more prevalent as it no longer leads to political ostracization --in fact since Vietnam, it has led to political power for many Democrats. Then you add these personification fantasies where animals are viewed as people, and suddenly predators are added to the list of great people who want to kill us but only because we aren't sufficiently peaceful and docile and understanding.