Thursday, February 27, 2014

Laugh With Me

Sometimes it is worthwhile to call out bullies, even relatively harmless internet bullies. So, since this particular bully finds himself unable to allow the entirety of this exchange to post on By Common Consent, I post it here, if for no other reason than to show that he doesn't intimidate me. In fact, I find the whole thing pretty funny.

My comment was made on a thread unfavorably comparing Mormon service to Pentecostal service. Normally, I skim over those kinds of posts but don't bother commenting because they are all too common and all too typical. But this one had a really good message, I thought, behind the dig at the Mormons and how we aren't good enough. It was contrasting service as a duty and ministry, which I feel is a powerful and poignant lesson. Unfortunately, because of the way it was framed, it almost immediately devolved to the plebeian and predictable critique of Mormons and how we're not charitable enough. Because of the good message, I thought I might say as much and counteract the trend by mentioning that Utah is known for generosity.

SilverRain on February 25, 2014 at 5:47 am

And yet, there is a thriving business of street beggars shipped in from neighboring states, even as far as California and Texas, to beg in Utah because it is so lucrative.

The analogy would have been so much more powerful if it hadn’t been used as a dig at the Mormons.

Well, several someones, also predictably, fixated on the worst possible meaning of what I said instead of the actual point. I find some people do that often, I can only imagine because it is easier to ignore points that counteract your preconceptions than to address them.

Steve Evans on February 25, 2014 at 7:02 am

“a thriving business of street beggars”

Yes I am sure they are living the sweet life. I hope you aren’t giving any money to them! That would be terrible. Also, you’re repugnant.

Steve Evans on February 25, 2014 at 7:03 am

PS I agree with your last sentence.

I decided to respond one more time to clarify my point. I assumed he was being flippant. Who seriously calls someone "repugnant" on the internet? It's a joke, right? I thought (probably unwisely) some return flippancy was justified.

SilverRain on February 25, 2014 at 8:48 am

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Steve Evans, being repugnant to you is a compliment. *LOL* It probably doesn’t surprise you to find out I don’t hold your opinion in very high regard.

Tracy M, yes. There was an article on it recently here if you want to read a bit about it. Several years ago, when I lived downtown, I occasionally struck up conversation with several panhandlers, a few of which admitted to being out of state and coming here seasonally. They aren’t all in the business, which is why I don’t balk at giving money occasionally, even though we are advised to rather donate to the local shelters such as the Road Home. My personal opinion is to give money when I’m moved, time and attention when I can, and let it be between them and the Lord what they do with it.

Yep, you'll notice that there is a "Your comment is awaiting moderation," in that. It was published at first, but "someone" really couldn't eat their own dish. Which leads me to think that he wasn't being flippant, he was just being a jerk. That doesn't surprise me overmuch. He is known for being a jerk.

SilverRain on February 25, 2014 at 8:50 am

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

And my comment about digging at the Mormons was more to point out that the Mormon vs. others dichotomy is distracting from what I find to be a very good point about how we should minister.

And I find that a pity.

SilverRain on February 25, 2014 at 10:05 am

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Look, folks, my only point with the business of panhandling is that Utah has a reputation of generosity. Good grief.

Trust me, I’m much more blunt when I “cast aspersions.” I’m not one of those folks with enough time on my hands to shroud my meaning with unrelated words. Or, for that matter, to dream up meanings that aren’t what the speaker intended. Rather than lobbing over judgments while pretending to look the other way, I try to go to that person and straight up ask them if they meant what I think they meant.

Yeah, though it had been published at first, he moderated everything I posted after this. The big, strong, tough intellectual.

I was inclined once again to ignore it, because it really doesn't matter to me, but I decided that BECAUSE it doesn't really matter to me emotionally, it was a good chance to stand up against a bully without being engaged by him.

SilverRain on February 27, 2014 at 4:54 am

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

And that, dear Steve Evans, is why I don’t hold your opinions in high regard. You think it is perfectly okay to call someone you don’t know and don’t bother to understand repugnant, but you not only can’t handle them telling you that they don’t care what you call them, you try to silence even their clarification of their meaning.

Bullies do that, and I have no regard for bullies. They don’t frighten me, nor do they matter to me. And while I don’t doubt you will find yourself unable to publish or even respond personally to this very mild response to your tactics, you will nonetheless see it. And that is enough for me.

So there it is, my highly offensive comments that can't possibly be published because they "attack" a moderator. And of course, the poor abused dear had to write a follow-up post about how we should be merciful to the whiners because they are providing such a necessary service for the Church. I don't have a particular problem with moderation, I know full well I occasionally let my irritation cross the line. In fact, I have been known to moderate myself, but always with a discussion and a warning beforehand. I believe in the humanity of the people on the other side of the screen, and try to give them a chance to moderate their tone, if they choose to take it.

But either way, as someone who generally tries to please everyone, it's a nice little score that I have the courage to face even this sad attempt to bully head-on. Even if this *gasp* results in further bullying. I really don't care. There's nothing of value to me that this particular person can hold over my head. Fortunately!

And now, for me, this matter is over.


  1. Steve Evans was always very cruel to me whenever I would comment at BBC. His behavior does not surprise me at all.

  2. Oh! And knowing you probably weren't trying to make this a bashing session, I should also note that I admire you for still commenting in the fray. I admire your bravery and courge, truly!

  3. I still have mixed feelings about remaining in moderation land at BCC. No idea now they determine if someone is worthy to come off the list. I just keep posting, as usual, and some day they'll get tired of having to take individual posts out of moderation enough to not have them sit there in the first place.

    FMH moderation used to bother me more, but I found I could stay away much easier if I didn't take it personally. I'm supposed to be posting more on my own blog anyway. ;)

  4. The moderation thing doesn't bother me in the least. It's a badge of honor to be moderated over there, I think. It means you are capable of thinking for yourself, since I've never seen anyone get moderated for being a jerk and only have seen them moderated for expressing contrary opinions, no matter how gently worded. *L*

  5. SR, I was editing some of the settings on my personal blog and saw your current post. I read it and then noticed this post - so I read it, as well. I am offering you my immediate impression, right after finishing the comments. Take it for what it's worth:
    Regarding your last comment:

    So, those of us who generally aren't moderated lack honor, are not capable of thinking for ourselves and never express contrary opinions?

    Knowing you, I'm quite certain that's not what you meant, but I think it illustrates how tricky it is to communicate online with only words on a screen - and how easy it is to write highly offensive words when no offense was meant. To be clear, your words in the last comment read strictly for what they say and seem to imply, are highly offensive - but I know you well enough to not take offense and take a different message from them. I don't think you meant what the words seem to say you meant.

    Over time, when someone is seen as commenting solely to argue or complain, even if that is not their motivation or intent, that perception can solidify into a reputation - and reputations cloud every subsequent interaction. Just like you read the post as a dig / insult against Mormons (even though the author stated directly that he didn't intend such a dig), the moderators read your comment(s) as a dig / insult against the author and everyone who approved or agreed with his post. It was seen right from the start as a confrontation / contention / whatever, and that was based primarily on their perception over time that you only comment there when you disagree with what has been written. If pressed, they would use your own words here ("It is a badge of honor to be moderated over there.") to prove their point.

    Again, I think I know your heart well enough to see this differently, but I can understand why it occurred as it did.

    If a child is sent to the principal's office every day and chastised there, it's hard for that child to believe the principal likes him to any degree - even if the principal tells him he likes him once a month. The daily negative outweighs and disavows the monthly positive. I think you are seen as someone who wants to be the principal there - that you try to tell everyone how wrong they are and that they need to straighten up and get back to real learning in the traditional classroom. I don't see it that way, but I understand the perception and the reaction.

  6. I can see your point, Ray. My last comment was entirely meant to be contentious. Deservedly so. My problem isn't that they thought I was being contentious, it was that Steve Evans (not the author) deleted my comments (which had already been published) and, when I tried to explain in a way that should have been clearly non-contentious, he deleted those as well. Without even an attempt at explanation. He is okay for calling me "repugnant" but I'm somehow the contentious one? Please. I'm not the one calling names. My patience for that particular brand of self-delusion is entirely used up.

    HIs actions are not simply (mis)reading my words as contentious, that is bullying behavior. If it were the first time he behaved so petulantly I'd grant that maybe he had a bad day. But he has a habit of deleting the opinions of everyone he doesn't like, which generally are those who stand up for the Church. On his personal blog, no problem. But on a public group blog that is supposed to be generally faithful, that is pitiful.

    I admit, I'm not at my best, either. But I get awfully tired of listening to a bunch of supposedly grown-up people whine about things they ought to be capable of dealing with AND steadfastly refusing to understand, ridiculing, and mocking those who try to offer more positive explanations. I've been here for seven years. You could easily take any one of the posts and move them around the timeline with no appreciable difference. That goes beyond struggling and goes to downright tiresome whining. That particular post was a warm, steaming, brown example of it. It was an obvious attempt to gender disdain for the Church by wrapping it in a seemingly Christlike shell. I seem to remember a few groups of people trying to do exactly that in Christ's time, too. I have patience for struggling. I have none for outright deception and crowd manipulation.

    But I'm well aware of my growing contempt for the endless circles, and am thus taking a possibly permanent break from the Bloggernacle. I'm sure that there will be rejoicing.

  7. For what it's worth, as much as I agree with some of your thoughts about repetition and whining, I think you have judged Mark Brown incorrectly. I am certain he had no intention to engender disdain for the Church.

  8. I am entirely prepared to agree that I may have judged Mark Brown incorrectly. That may not be his intention at all. But we'll never know, because Steve Evans deleted my comments before Mark Brown had a chance to respond to them and speak up for himself.

  9. Well, my last comment is that Mark did respond - at great length. That is totally separate from the issue of administration.


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