Follow by Email

What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Comments and respect

You ever have one of those things that gnaws at you in the early morning hours and won't let you sleep- the bone you can't stop chewing?  Well, I've had one for a couple of days now, and I'm tired of chewing.  So here it is.

I know the world doesn't always agree with me.  I try not to take it to heart. And when someone disagrees with me in my blog comments section, I try to treat the subject with respect.  I can only recall three times there were ever major "disagreements" on the comment section.  The first was during the fabled "What Government Is For" post, when Joshua, "anonymous" and I ended up in a battle over atheism that got snarky at times, but with one exception I don't feel got disrespectful on a personal level.  The second was when the "publicist for the great Delaney Bramlett" got after me over who really wrote the Carpenters' song Superstar.  Despite being accused of deleting information I had posted- he just looked in the wrong comment section, and I told him so- I kept my cool, and after he realized he made an oops on that point, he never responded again.  The third was during the first tilt with the recently mentioned "John Rambo", and he's a special case. (Boy, is he!)

So the other day I was commenting on the blog post of someone I thought respected me, someone who has pimped me as I have him, and someone whose opinion and knowledge I respect, though don't always agree with.  He has a certain broad "hot button" issue that I try to stay away from, and this was such a post.  There was, however, a certain (I thought) innocuous side point, though, I thought I could safely touch on.  I prefaced it with a couple lines which I thought clarified I wasn't trying to tread on his sacred ground.  I then looked at the innocuous side point as it related TO ME (as I thought the phrases "I took it.." and, " I see it..." made plain.  Then I tried (and failed, obviously) to humorously point out yet again I was trying to avoid his sacred cow, because I knew he had researched it thoroughly.  What I got in reply started with...


To be honest, the biggest mystery to me in the entire universe is why you still bother reading my blog at all.

This was then followed up with:

Do you "SINCERELY" believe you've earned the right to disagree with me?

Which the only real disagreement with him I expressed in my entire comment was basically I knew we didn't agree on his main point, so I was going to avoid it.

At first, I was mostly hurt by all this, and I let him know that, along with where I thought he missed the boat on my comment.  He came back somewhat calmer, explaining this and that reason why he might have taken it wrong.  But then, he added...

"Maybe" there was a signal mix-up here. I be lookin' at this later.

As the days have gone by, there has yet been no return response, though he has answered others who were, shall we say, more amenable to his POV.  And that's fine.  But here's the thing.  I'm over the hurt, and have passed on to angry.

I don't HAVE to "earn the right" to disagree with anyone, subject matter notwithstanding.  The Constitution guarantees me freedom of speech.  It also gives him the right to say what he wants, fine again.  But this is a matter of disrespect.  My opinions were valid because they were expressed as "my opinions" and they did NOT take away from his opinions at all.  I realize that we have the right and the privilege to act as imperator on our own pages.  I choose not to, because I would like to see people come back.

Arrogance showing again on the choice of putting quotes around "maybe".  As if I was barefoot in the snow at Canossa seeking absolution.  I don't need absolution for saying my piece.  Particularly when the other person somehow twisted my meaning out of all recognition.

In the end, maybe my mistake was at the beginning of the original post, I said, "You know me..."  Maybe none of us know each other as bloggers.  I try to wear heart on sleeve at all times.  I don't hide how I feel.  I figure that, if you've heard from me enough times, you have a fairly good Idea of who I am and how I roll.  Sometimes, I take that the other way too, and figure I can be myself in your comments sections.  I guess I'll have to revisit that, because there was a disconnect between me and this fellow I never saw coming.  And it wasn't the "disagreement" that I tried not to put in my comment, but the level of respect one for the other.  To him, for a moment at least, I became an ant on a shoe.

Please, if you comment, do not bash this fellow.  This is one thing against a very different background of history between us.  If you comment, let me know- do I treat your opinions with respect?  Do I ever make you feel like "the ant?"  Do I piss you off in my comments on your blogs?  Those are the things I need to hear.



    Just got home (at 6:30 AM) from being awake all night, working at a highly stressful job, and you already know my "graveyard" shift situation. If you've been monitoring my few, recent comments lately (as it's clear you have been) then you know that I am forced to drug the crap out of myself to try to get some sleep during the daytime.

    You also know that I've been experiencing some pain the last couple days, as I mentioned to Arlee Bird the fear that I may have developed another kidney stone. (I believe I probably also mentioned an arthritis flare-up.)

    I said I'd get back to you when I thought I could; when I feel clear-minded enough to address the issue again.

    I went back and looked at that mess and, so far, I am of two minds. I believe there WAS a bit of a misunderstanding. But I also feel that you have been slightly disingenuous when it comes to my "hot button issue". (Which, by the way, isn't my hot button issue at all. Try me on "Abortion" some time if you want to see my hot button pushed! Although I think it's safe to say that you and I probably see very much eye-to-eye on that, so it's not likely you'd ever be pushing that one.)

    So, I looked at that comment section exchange and I had two thoughts: 1) Do I even want to wade back in and try to sort this thing out, or just drop it and let bygones be bygones? 2) If I do try to sort it out (and I figured I probably would since I had said I would), surely I won't attempt it until I am off from work again and get to revert to a regular sleep pattern for a day or two. That means not until Tuesday or Wednesday.

    But in your impatience, you had to turn this whole thing outward and make it even bigger than it was by criticizing me very publicly, front and center on your blog. (Granted you didn't use my name, but we have some of the same blog readers some were going to figure out who you had in mind.) At least before it was just a disagreement in a Comment Section. Sheesh! It didn't need to be turned into an actual blog post!

    And I would think, considering our past, and the gifts an' all, you could have at least given me the benefit of the doubt and a little more time.

    Lastly, I want you to know that my remark, "Do you "SINCERELY" believe you've earned the right to disagree with me?" was misunderstood by you. On the surface I realize how badly that sounds, but there was a different meaning to it that you did not understand, and it all related back to the ORIGINAL misunderstanding.

    I could have / would have clarified it later, when I got back to you on my day off (and after at least one night of decent sleep) but you just couldn't wait.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, it's 7:05 in the morning and I'm taking my medication and then my tired azz to bed!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. Number one... no one on THIS blog needed to know who you were. That's your choice, and I even debated publishing the comment.

      Number two, I said you gave your reasons, and also said "this is one thing against a backdrop of history".

      Number three, sorry if I could not wait for your schedule to "wade right in", but damnit to hell, I was pissed. I felt treated like an offscouring and I defy you to show where I deserved that.

      Number four, I'm not sure how your statement, coupled with what you put directly afterwards, could have been taken any other way.

      Number five, about mutual followers- that's why I said what I did about NOT posting my original reply. If you didn't want it all over the world, you could have sent a reply to MY blog, letting me know you deleted mine, and I could have done likewise. I figured that's the way you want it, fine.

      Number six, the original misunderstanding was that you thought I was tromping your intellectual property, "as usual." I tried specifically to make it clear I was only discussing MY take on the ONE topic, but somehow it became, me saying "I know better than you, you're an idiot" in your mind. I'm still baffled by that.

      And finally, if you step back, I was talking here on my blog about how people feel about how I comment TO THEM. You can do what you want on your blog, I need to know if I'M doing the right thing.

      Yes, I am impatient. I don't like things that trouble me to hang over my head. But the only thing I criticized here is how you treated me. I've never seen you do that to any of your followers. And if you'd left the quotes off "maybe" I might have dropped the whole thing. But as I have said, heart on sleeve. So before you judge me for this, think about what drove me to it.

  2. I am not going to wade into this thing that you and Stephen have going. I will say that I hope you both work it out. As an outsider looking in, I think you both do like and respect one another and that there has been a misunderstanding. But no one can fix that but the two of you.

    I haven't followed your blog enough to see any disrespectful behavior in the comment section. I think when we communicate strictly with words things do get lost in translation... unless we are incredibly gifted with the power of the pen. I am not sure that we truly appreciate how much we glean from body language, facial expressions, and tonal quality until those things are not present in an exchange. I have unwittingly hurt feelings with my comments when I totally didn't mean to... and had to go back and try and explain what I actually meant. It isn't fun. It isn't a good feeling. In another instance, a blogger friend that I really like and respect very much started treating my comments (in what I felt) was a somewhat disrespectful manner. I emailed that person to say how I perceived the situation. That person emailed back with an apology. Somewhere in that situation that person came to feel about me like one of his own kids and treated me that way. Parent-child. When he saw what he was doing, he immediately stopped. No problems since.

    I really hope that things work out here in such a way that you BOTH feel good with the result.

    I will suggest that you take the rest of this to email. I think you are more likely to reach a positive outcome there.

    1. I think that's an excellent idea. I have nothing against Stephen and enjoy his blog, I'm just not real good with letting problems lie. I have my e-mail on my profile, but I'm told some people can't get the link to work. Far from an insurmountable problem.

  3. A comment from my Niece, whose not on a comment-enabling account:

    Chris, I can't comment on your blog because I haven't joined, but read all off them. You are very eloquent in your articles, getting the point across in ways that someone else could not, expressing your opinion, but not making others feel like you are ramming it down their throats, helping others to have an open mind and to take others thoughts into consideration. And above all, treating others with respect, whether you feel they deserve it or not. I would take this experience as a reminder of what kind of people are out there, and give your anger and hurt to God.

    1. And I'd like to point out this is not a "what kind of people are out there" situation- just a "disagreement between two intelligent adults".

  4. We don't always see eye to eye and I think both of us have no issue telling each other that. I also don't think that either of us have ever been truly offended by what we have said back and forth. Are there subjects that you post that are not my cup o' tea or that are so far over my head that I have no opinion? Yup. But I will usually pop in just to say Hi none the less.

    Thing is, if this whole fiasco with our female Peter last week has taught me nothing it's that there are hazards with letting people read your diary, to know your life, and hear your thoughts out loud. There's a REAL person behind the post and it's hard (for me anyway) to separate out my day to day emotions (ie: crappy day often equals high sensitivity for me) with my comments/critiques.

    I agree with the above suggestion to take it to email if you feel necessary. Or not. Both of you may have said enough to put this to bed as just a disagreement. Or not. :)

    Anyway... that's my two cents. Course, it's been a long day and I'm barely hanging on here, so I'm not sure how much sense it makes.

    1. Makes perfect sense, as always. I thank you for your two cents.

    2. Juli, you're one of the people I speak of that probably don't agree with me on a few topics. But, I value your friendship.

  5. I won't bash him, except..."earn" the right to disagree...? That's an interesting comment. The only problem with email, texts, blogger, etc. is that quite often we miss the context and the subtle nuances of what someone is writing. They may think they're being hilariously snarky when they may be perceived as just being obnoxious. Goodness knows I've fallen into that so I'm not immune. I try to avoid "hot button" issues; I dare say that most people here (yourself being one of the exceptions) would disagree with my viewpoints on a lot of things. But, I value their friendship (cyber though they may be) to go there.

    1. Maybe I am guilty of not understanding a "snarky" comment; God knows I dish enough of them out. But in the context it was hard to take it as snarky.

      Al, I remember how you felt when a commenter went too far in one of your bits. That was kinda how I felt. It makes you want to cash in the whole blogging thing when it isn't even your fault. I also remember when the same thing happened to Average Girl and she DID cash in her chips. That's what he doesn't quite understand as far as why I put it on my blog. It was a choice for me of expressing it or walking away.

    2. And THIS is why we need a sarcasm font. :) I'll get the kids working on that... it may be the only contribution their generation makes aside from pants that fall down. *sigh*

    3. That would really be perfect. Sometimes, I put in an ":lol" or :-) to show I'm kidding. But, a sarcasm font would work very well.

    4. I'd be better off with a "seriousness font".

  6. Chris:
    (whew)...I KNEW it wasn't ME, because I ONLY refer to POLITICIANS with an answer of ":whatever": whenever they spew their vitriol or push their agenda...LOL.
    But you make some GOOD, honest points.
    I admit that I don't know EVERYthing (need another lifetime to nail THAT one down), and I am open to other viewpoints, provisionally-speaking...meaning as long as they don't turn into PERSONAL attacks - I'm just the messenger, as it were.

    I research my facts, bring several sources when needed, and provide all that anyone could need to understand where I come from, in whatever "arena" we decide to debate or discuss.
    And I know you shake that way too, after getting to know you.

    I can take snark and give snark (when necessary), but I always try to follow an OLD axiom:
    "Tell people to go to hell in SUCH a nice way that they'll actually ENJOY THE TRIP."
    Other times, it's best to just turn away and let it lie...(for someone else).
    We CAN pick and choose OUR "battles"...that's the good news.

    Very good post and commentary.

    Stay safe & warm up there.

    1. Well, Bob, for one thing we HAVE each other's e-mails, if we ever got hot and heavy. Plus, like you said, we've been around each other enough to "tell each other to go to hell in such a way..." And usually I try to stay away when the subject is a known hot button (not always, mind you), but I truly thought I not only HAD stayed away, but was somewhat clear that it was my intention (hence the "in my opinion" style qualifiers. The reaction, besides hurting me and making me angry, truly baffled me.

  7. I know our blogs differ in content a great deal, and I know we definitely don't see eye to eye on political issues and what not (I may...cough, cough, be somewhat liberal...maybe?) but I have never felt disrespected by your comments. Even if they are countering a point I've made. I respect your viewpoint and the way you express it.

  8. After I've gotten some decent sleep for a change, and cooled down a little bit, I will attempt to Email you, Chris.

    Hopefully we can achieve some sort of reconciliation. You are a Christian and I am not, but we both love and try to follow our mutual Savior and Holy King. We know He would want us to work this out, to forgive, so I am willing to try.

    However, to be honest, this blog bit of yours did NOT do anything to help in that regard. I don't feel it was necessary, and was actually detrimental, for you to "air our dirty laundry" so to speak, regardless of what you say the motivation was.

    You stated the following to me:

    "And finally, if you step back, I was talking here on my blog about how people feel about how I comment TO THEM. You can do what you want on your blog, I need to know if I'M doing the right thing."

    Well, I'm pretty sure that if you hadn't been "doing the right thing" your regular readers would have already made you aware of that in one way or another. And... if that was truly the ONLY purpose for this particular blog bit of yours, you wouldn't have found it necessary to send me a link to it. Even before any other readers commented, you wanted to make sure I saw it.

    If we're going to be able to reach some sort of reconciliation later by Email, 100% honesty on the part of BOTH of us is going to be essential.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. Other than saying that I sent you the link so that there was no question of "posting an attack behind your back", I'll defer further comment. If the e-mail link on my profile isn't functioning correctly, let me know.

  9. Aloha Chris,

    I should stop by your blog more often, because I always appreciate your posts and comments back to me, but I am such a shit commenter (in general) so I found this post really intriguing.

    I hope you and the other guy manage to verbally spar through to the other side and keep/hold a professional relationship.

    It sounds like you both care about each other's posts and that's the main point, in my opinion :)

    1. I would have never posted the comment in the first place if it wasn't mine...

  10. I have always enjoyed your posts Chris!

  11. I really enjoy your comments! Especially when we don't see 100% eye to eye. But I guess I'm kind of a seeker anyway. I enjoy outside opinions and insight, which is why I blog in the first place lol. To each his own I guess, but feel free to comment on my blog anytime. :)

    1. We do pretty good at agreeing, I think...

  12. I lost what I thought was a good friend blogger over a misunderstanding. Sadly without the benefit of body language and face to face communication, things can more easily go awry.
    You and I have a few things that we have agreed to disagree about and I feel you have always been respectful.
    I really hope you and your friend can work things out
    hugs :)

    1. I try to be... I guess sometimes I'm more successful than others, and some people require more than others.