There are messages in my PM inbox this morning from people whose names I recognize. Haven't read them yet, but from notes I received yesterday, most offering support, I know a few of the new ones will do the same. Others, I suspect, are wondering why I haven't addressed the accusations made against me in recent days.
Before I read any of the messages that came in since I went to bed last nite, I'm writing this, which shall serve as my only comment on the current flare-up of a guerrilla war of words that's been hissing and spitting on and off since I started here Jan. 1, 2010. Many of the players who no longer appear regularly here since those earlier days often show up for the verbal fisticuffs. Their familiar avatars can be found peeking out of the woods and even taking an occasional potshot or two before ducking back behind cover.
Some of you may have noticed and found it odd that while this most recent renewal of hostilities started over the serious issue of anti-Semitism, it soon evolved into the silly seriousness of multiple identities on OS, with accusers expressing shock that such an unthinkable travesty should be found in this pristine writers' community. So-called “sock puppets” used by some to take cheap shots at “real” people and to – heaven forbid – inflate their own ratings to make it appear their written or graphic offerings are more popular than they really are or should be? OMG, it is to gasp, pat the breast and fan the passion-fired face.
Of course, we know what this is really all about. We know it comes down to one of the au currant issues even Open Salon has picked up as a cause célèbre: It comes down, in this enlightened, largely liberal, extraordinarily tolerant community of extraordinarily informed people to perhaps the basic issue of hominid social interaction, which starts in schoolyards everywhere and unfortunately tends to remain in the egos of our inner brats the rest of our days. This would be bullying.
That's all I have to say about that. What I offer you now is a link to a post wherein resides the genesis of most of what we've seen in this “dustup” of the past couple of days. You've already seen part of it. You've seen certain comments selected from the quite heated discussion the post engendered. Now, please look at the entire enchilada. Check out the brief original post before you wade into the scolding, slapping and mud wrestling that follows. Watch how the discussion develops. Note the key participants. I'm not proud of my contributions. There aren't many in that comment thread who should be proud of their contributions. There are some. There's the usual separation into sides that might strike onlookers as apparent bad guys on the one side, would-be good guys on the other and then the occasional troll and the clueless, the latter being those who stumble into a crossfire perhaps with good intentions but without a synopsis or a list of characters.
Lest I forget, there are also most often a victim and a bully. The victim should be easy to spot, the bully perhaps less so. I'll let you find them. A more lucid title for my post would be “Find the Bully,” I picked the one I did because “candy ass” was a derogatory term drill sergeants used on recruits when I joined the Army. I'm sure some of you are thinking my erstwhile silence in the face of the accusations against me is an indication that I meet the definition of that juvenile slur. Plus, the word “bully” has been used here ad nauseam. I figured “candy ass” would get me more hits.
I'm leaving comments open for any who wish to continue this discussion. I don't intend to participate. Probly won't even read them. I have better uses for my time.
OK then, deep breath, on your marks, get set, FIND THE BULLY!
[click on the highlighted words to reach the post]