Sunday, October 22, 2006

Little Joe McCarthy, Where's Little Joseph Welch?

I am not Peggy Noonan, and this is not a plea for civility. (On the other hand, neither am I so engaged in the practice of literary invective that I've come out with some of the ominous [anti-luminous] gems for which Noonan is justly infamous.)

While cruising around the internets today catching up on the blogs I read more infrequently (as opposed to the ones I read daily), I quite randomly discovered that zuzu from Feministe is taking a hiatus from blogging due to litigation threats from another blogger. After having read precisely as much of Feministe as I wanted to, I hopped on over to Creek Running North, only to be greeted by this message (quoted in its entirety):

System Offline

After family discussion regarding a commenter's threat of violence against our dog, Creek Running North has been taken offline.

The entirety of Creek Running North is just gone.

This reminds me all too much of what happened to my good friend Thers, late of Metacomments (no link because the blog's not there anymore). A bunch of commenters from one particular right-wing blogger's site descended en masse onto Metacomments, and someone made a very inappropriate comment about a member of Thers' family. (It wasn't even about Thers, and I'm not going to repeat it because as far as I can tell, he doesn't like to talk about it. So if you want the disgusting details, you'll have to pester him. I did, however, see the thread in question before Thers took Metacomments down, and it was oogly.)

I try not to get involved in blogwars and flamewars and the like, which is part of the reason why this blog reads, for the most part, like a recitativo secco of current events and political trends. However, I think this is a political trend -- an intra-blogosphere political trend -- worth paying attention to, especially for me, given my (usual) precarious situation.

Should this blog disappear at some unspecified point in the future, it's merely me trying to protect my patchy anonymity and whatever remaining tattered fragments are left of my reputation. I suspect that's unlikely, though, since my nine regular readers generally like me. For now.

The larger lesson here is, I guess, think before you type, and, as one commenter over at Feministe noted, "The bothersome effect of pseudynimity is that it gives the rest of us the privilege that [the blogger in question] takes for granted. And that’s the real problem: not that it gives others impunity, but that it creates a situation where impunity ceases to be [a] special privilege." We all like being able to say whatever we want -- not that there's much here I wouldn't say in public or to the offenders' faces anyhow -- but these days, it's getting a little tricky to even open one's mouth in semi-public without fear of reprisal one way or another.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The blogofascists at work!

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Kevin Hayden said...

Though I'm by nature, a pacifist, I've discovered there are times when one has to recognize that fighting is the most civilized response. It's instinctive when my kids are threatened, or when bullies target any with an obvious disadvantage.

If someone made such threats online, they would quickly understand that revenge is a dish best served when the diner least expects it...... like maybe in the next 15 minutes..... or two years from now.

Using basic research techniques and intermittent responses, they'd get reminders that I'm not passively awaiting their attack, but am learning more about them and might show up in real time, to do what? (Good question, keep guessing, fucker, but I promise, you'll remember it for years to come.)

The point is, my non-violence is an ideal, not a pledge, and it grants license to none to make me and my loved ones victims. I will not be boxed into cells with bars of fear. I'll take the risks and they'll understand that they took bigger risks.

It does not take a bigger gun or better marksmanship to counter their evil. It only takes a sharp mind and persistence.

I will be the one who chooses my thoughts and deeds. And handing them the power to inhibit me is not a choice I'll ever make.

6:57 AM  
Blogger NYMary said...

Thanks, interrobang.

We did try to find out who had made the comments, but both Blogger and sitemeter were really unccoperative. Thers decided that deleting metacomments was better than engaging anymore with people who'd say such things. And then he moved to Typepad.

In other news, you've been linked at PowerPop for pointing out that Rush Limbaugh has a tail.

7:29 AM  

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