Thursday, August 03, 2006

Brats being brats

Baby it's 103 outside! And, the Virginia blogosphere is boiling over with incivility.

One angry blogging supporter of Democratic candidates launched an attack on another blogger, one on the Republican side of the aisle, by mocking his family.

The low-road mocking of a family included a small child said to have a hearing disability. The attacker says he did it all to defend his photographs of a political candidate, which he felt had been used and abused without his permission. So, he also felt free to also post the other blogger’s immediate family’s personal contact information.

The mocking post has since been removed and rather insincere apologies made. The comments sections at both blogs are humming. So, everyone is getting lots of attention.

One angry defender of Bush’s Iraqi war policy writes on his blog: “...When F.T. [Rea] is called out for his lies, he engages in ... more lies!”

By “lies” the defender means that I disagree with his version of the run-up to the war in Iraq. This lathered up Bush defender claims the administration never ever said there was an imminent threat being posed by Iraq’s huge stores of weapons of mass destruction.

To suggest otherwise hurts Bush, so it simply makes one a liar.

A third blogger, who supports Democrats, continues to find ways to slide in comments such as this -- “George Allen’s many gay staffers.” A naive person might wonder what he might be up to with that.

Sadly, the lack of civility and lack of common decency illustrated above aren’t all that unusual today. It seems screaming insults at opponents has become acceptable in many circles. And, you know what -- none of this childish behavior has anything to do with making the world a better place.

None of it is really about candidates, or ideas, or the future. No. It has to do with self-promotion and meanness. It’s about brats being brats.

Perhaps when the heat weave passes, some of this will go away like bad air. But I'm not holding my breath.

11 comments:

nova_middle_man said...

I liken it to high school which is the level of discourse shown today by too many people

James Young said...

You say "Sadly, the lack of civility and lack of common decency illustrated above aren’t all that unusual today. It seems screaming insults at opponents has become acceptable in many circles. And, you know what -- none of this childish behavior has anything to do with making the world a better place."

Neither does calling the President of the United States a "liar" with a claim that he said something he demonstrably didn't. Your true main objection is that someone is daring to direct your own tactics right back at you.

Spare us your pretensions.

James Young said...

So, it's "childish" when someone does it to you, but not when you do it to someone else, including the President?

That attitude is what's truly "childish," F.T.

Kinda like suggesting that I am misrepresenting myself on my website. What does it take to validate my resume, I wonder? A glamour shot photo in the upper right hand corner?

republitarian said...

Please do not drag me into this Mr.Rea.

F.T. Rea said...

Fortunately, James Young, you are not deciding what the truth is for the rest of us, no matter how much noise you make. Here’s a piece of truth -- I don’t use the word “liar” so lightly as you do. In the neighborhood in which I grew up that could get your ass kicked.

When I disagree over politics with someone, I don’t have to put it in such strident terms. Perhaps you have confused me with someone else you have tried to intimidate. So, I didn’t write that the president is a liar. That’s not my style. Nor did I name you, or anyone else, in this post about brats being brats.

The truth is I enjoy discussing politics with people with whom I agree and disagree. But such discussions depend on having some respect for the other person’s dignity. Obviously, you are not interested in such exchanges. It’s obvious, too, that all you want to do is heap abuse on people that disagree with your narrow-minded, mean-spirited view of life.

Write whatever you like on your own blog, but from here on your comments will be deleted here. I have no further interest in helping you promote yourself.

Moreover, I didn’t call you a liar, who is pretending to be a lawyer. I didn’t call you a pitiful fawning wannabe who brags about being 11th on a blogger’s list of the most influential bloggers. What I am saying is that your writing is so steeped in bile it is quite off-putting.

You write more like a spiteful brat than a lawyer, trained to express himself in measured language.

Go away, James Young, or whatever your name really is, and stay away.

F.T. Rea said...

republitarian,

Your name, such as it is, only got in SLANTblog's comments because you put it here. I haven't mentioned you directly and have no desire whatsoever to drag you into anything. Relax.

JPTERP said...

F.t.--if you haven't done so already, I recommend that you pick up John Dean's "Conservatives without Conscience". The book is an outgrowth of concerns that both he and the late-Senator Goldwater shared concerning politics in the Gingrich/DeLay era.

I have agree that incivility seems to be the standard these days. It certainly exists on both sides of the debate.

I will admit to losing my cool as well on occassion. I suspect many realize that the stakes are incredibly high--and that passions can get heated at times. In an era of wedge politics, it's easy to lose sight of the common interests that we share.

How do we go about finding common ground? Given the very real divisions in this country in terms of attitudes, outlook, preconceptions, and education I don't think there's an easy answer to this question.

F.T. Rea said...

JPTERP,

Sure anybody can lose his cool, me included. It’s probably easier, too, when it’s 103 degrees in the shade. And, yes, the anger being vented -- all supposedly in the name of making a political point -- seems to be coming from both sides of the aisle.

Then pundits ask why so many citizens ignore politics. Part of the answer is easy -- all the harsh language sounds roughly the same to the casual observer. Naturally, a lot of everyday people don’t want to hear other folks fighting, so they tune it out.

How to fix it?

All I can think to do is try to promote a better way. With my writing on SLANTblog, and elsewhere, I've tried to do that ... unless I get too pissed off.

NotBobMarshall said...

"Kinda like suggesting that I am misrepresenting myself on my website."

Yes. You're just a bigot in disguise.

F.T. Rea said...

notbobmarshall,

While I can see why you say that about James Young, if you must call him a "bigot," I'd rather you do it on his blog, or perhaps your own.

Thanks anyway for commenting.

Triscula said...

Haha. I have to giggle about the vitriol in some of the comments above. For all the accusations of mishchief and "lies" being tossed around, apparently they still like to come here to read Rea's posts. If they find F.T. Rea's commentary so offensive, then why are they here reading it?
Vanity maybe?

:)