Eschew Obfuscation - Espouse Elucidation

Freedom of Speech Doesn't Ensure Freedom After Speech


January 01


Skypixie0's Links
JANUARY 2, 2012 9:40AM

I Come Not To Praise Caesar.... But To Correct His Spelling

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Writer Snoopy

I Come Not To Praise Caesar…

During the time that I have been blathering away in blogs and comments, here on OS, I’ve noticed that there seems to be a small number of very different types of blogger who contribute their work here. I see two broad categories. There are those who write pretty serious essays on matters of social/economic/political or instructional content and there are those who write tales, poetry, autobiographical, and photographic blogs.

Those in the first category need only write in a clear and understandable manner. They need not have great writing skills, although some certainly do.

Those in the second category are of two broad types. There are those who want, with all their hearts and souls, to write well. They are here to learn/practice to do that. There are also those who write here, usually offering autobiographical content, who are doing so to maintain or to improve their mental health or simply to share their lives and concerns with others in a friendly and accepting ambiance. My concern, in this blog, is this last two segments of our OS community.

I think it would be well for us to learn to separate them in our minds for the purpose of responding to them in comments on their blogs. I have noticed that we have the habit of responding to both categories with praise and support. This is a wonderfully humane and helpful thing to those trying to solve personal difficulties whose need is to be comforted and loved while they re-gain their stability and to those who are “sharing” personal experiences.

This is not, however, of any help at all to aspiring writers. We, who are in this category, cannot improve if always being complimented on our scribblings. We also do not assist other wannabe writers when we pay unwarranted compliments to their efforts either. This becomes a case of mutual masturbation – or even a circle jerk – offering a certain amount of pleasure but otherwise of little value; and sometimes even harmful in that someone being unduly praised may not come to know of his shortcomings as a writer. None of us can improve what we don’t know needs improvement.

I’d like to ask my fellow OSers what they think of the idea that each person here who wishes to be considered to be in the category of  “writers & aspiring writers” to insert this information at the beginning of each blog they write that falls into this category. I’d like to suggest that when someone labels himself as an “aspiring writer/writer” that we examine his offerings with a view to pointing out any things that seem to detract from it. Such things as poor spelling, grammatical errors, punctuation problems, run-on sentences and other technical errors can be mentioned and suggestions made.

Content can be evaluated for originality, presentation, etc. No one commenting on such offerings needs to be of high technical skill; only a reader who sees anomalies in the story he is reading. It is, in the end, always the reader who determines how well a tale is told.

Those who write to improve and learn ought to get over expecting “compliments” and pats on the head and expect to see helpful criticism and valuable suggestions. Oh yes, some of the suggestions might have little or no value but those will likely be outweighed by those that do.

So what thinkest thou, my fellow OS scribblers? Are you interested in being nudged toward improving your writing skills in this way? Are you willing to nudge other OS aspiring writers also?



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I cannot improve my writing unless I write nearly every day.
r. for provocative
That's exactly the kind of individual experience that can be effectively shared with others who are also trying to improve. It may not hold true for everyone, but it is certainly worth knowing about! My thanks for your input.
I'm willing to be nudged. I'm willing to be read and commented on, so any help I can get in making my blog more attractive would be appreciated. Thanks for suggesting this.
What about if we "aspiring writers/writers" mention that in the tags of any blog we'd like to have critiqued by readers or our fellow writers?

Or even just add on a line at the end of our blog stating that it is open to serious suggestions for improvement?

What do you think would be a good way to do this?
I don't know. I added that to the end of Day 9 and it was ignored. It could be that I am not taken very seriously here? A tag, maybe, so that would be tutors could find us easier.
Perhaps when a bunch of us commit to being involved we'll all look for that indication that serious criticism is welcome and wanted. This may have a very small beginning until people see how it works. I confess that I didn't even notice anything like this on your day 9. I just wasn't looking for it, I suppose.
It was added late, so it could have been after you visited? But this is a good idea. Hope more people add thoughts.
Spread the word amongst those whose writing and opinions you value!
I'm always open to being nudged on my blog - as a default setting, but I've had a repugnant experience once nudging openly. I doubt if many will even put your suggested labels in their tags. I doubt if they even read an entire piece to the end before they respond with a stock comment.

Still, I'm in agreement with you, and thank you for taking up this subject. Now put on your armour before you get pecked to shreds - oh, but you have claws, right? And this cat can always out-wit a chicken. :o)

Ahem, speaking as a chicken...I welcome nudging, but would shy away from claws.

I always like what Fusun does, when I've got an apostrophe our of place (or some other disgrace) by sending me an EP.

My sense that Sky's right in asking we somehow invite critiques as well as praise.
Ha ha, Freudian slip. I meant PE. Personal email! And how can we start, with typos!
Hi Fusun and Spike,
You two got something going on I don't know about?

Er..... Spike; it's called a PM (Personal Message)

....and yes; I think a writer should chose whether or not to have his writing critiqued on each occasion he posts something. There may be times when he just wants to present a bit of fun fluff and not taken to task for errors.

Thanks for your support you two!
Jeeze Spike, between you and me, we've managed to corner the market on typos today!
Good suggestion, skypixie, but I envision it may make for some sore feelings and angry responses, not that there is anything wrong with that. We are learning every day, as human beings and writers, aren't we? rated.
Good point! I wonder if a writer having to ask that each of his blogs be evaluated by readers, on an individual basis, might not keep the bad feelings to a minimum. After all, he could opt to not ask for such criticism on any blog also.
@Spike: I wasn't thinking of you when I alluded to a chicken. But I would, if I could, EP you were poetry picked for it. I would buy your book though, were you to publish your collected poems. Just check with me for finals edits. :o)
Where this gets tricky to me is that old bugaboo - time. If I leave a comment that is just the critique/edits, I seem like a bitch. So if I don't have time to write a balanced review, I really can only post what I liked about a piece. That may not be the most helpful, but there is a social component to OS that cannot be ignored.

It would also be quite helpful to the reader if the aspiring writers used About Me or a linked blog entry to describe what kind or better writer they aspire to be. Target audience is a huge factor in evaluating tone and presentation. And maybe a continuum of how thick skinned you are, ranging for delicate flower to rhino!

Speaking of presentation - if you can fix the line spacing in your post above, my eyes would be much happier!!
Don't I keep you busy enough?
I am a content person. My writing is all about the message. I am a husband is an editor. I love constructive criticism, but I am not sure that OS is the place for such. What would be the standard? Blogging is entirely different. It is spontaneous and that is what makes it fresh and happening. As far as the rates are concerned; I am mixed. Effort should be recognized, but a lot of really good posts go 'unrewarded' because the writer is not amongst the fair. Some errors are due to haste and others from cut and paste.
Hmmmm...interesting discussion.
I don't have time or the inclination to be "grading" peoples' blogposts. If I get to the end of someone's post, it must have been worthy of my reading it and I will rate and comment--errors notwithstanding. I don't always make it to the end of many posts. There are a number of bloggers with just too many errors and they lack interest, as well.

Some of my favorites here are heavy hitters and I will PM an error that I noted--usually it will be in the title or a key sentence otherwise I let it go. As for myself, my eyesight is very bad and I can easily miss something when editing. I appreciate it when Fusun advises me of corrections that need to be addressed because I care about accuracy. Because I am an admirer of English writers, I have been using less punctuation marks. The English are not nearly as slavish as we are and so I am not interested in learning about what some may consider to be missing commas. A mess-up from cutting and pasting, a wrong or misspelled word? Yes, please!
no dammit i want no criticism.
my writing is spontaneous efflux from the Earth Goddess
when i can charm her into giving me wisdom,
and from the sky god
who distributes abstractions i feel a responsibility
to live my life into, or at least correct him when his grammer is
unkempt. like recently: goddess said, "IF I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain." emily d.

2. sky god said, hm.
"He who binds to himself a joy
Does the wingèd life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sunrise.

discernment of sky and earth wisdom & some kinda
reconcilition is a holy mission .

typos are indications of neo freudian slippages.

in my cups, i am beyond criticism becuz my feeble
fumbling with english is for a mission.
to free the unfree. to snip the mental manacles
with a mighty tree branch snipper.

writing is for the narcissistic sometimes.
they can put out good shit.
they advise us of the frailites of the human psyche.
but frail is no good. we gotta get pumped up.
I hardly feel qualified to give advice on writing skill being that I'm a horrible writer. :-) Have a great day! Oh, and this sounded great to me! (there's another compliment doh!)
Speaking of fuckmuppetry? You should know how I feel about that, but for those who read here and don't I'll repeat. Commenting positively on crap postings just for the sake of a reciprocal reach-around-rate/comment is... well, kind of juvenile. That said, I have received many a rating on low quality posts that I made drunk or while in a give a shit less mood- posts rife with errors or idiocy or both. That doesn't however, mean that I will turn around and run directly to the commenters' blog to reciprocate. Nope. In other words I accept incoming ass kissing only.
As far as critiques and critics; I think that's all good. Doesn't hurt my feelings in the least to have typos pointed out. Hell, I know I'm not shy about pointing out the same in others' writing, although usually via EP (ha)... I mean PM.
Tagging? I suppose-- but from a personal POV, I do what I do. Sometimes I seriously try to write well and sometimes I don't, but just try to be entertaining in a class clown kind of way.
A couple of times though, I sent drafts to three or four different writers here who I respected and asked them to do mark-ups before publishing. I would say that anyone who is serious about getting better should try that. I was amazed at the different suggestions I received when I did that.
Dear Snoopy, you fucking moron. With very, very few exceptions, all nights are dark.
I agree there are quite a few nice OS folks who are supportive of others' work, no matter the quality of said work. However, I would not dream of assessing another's writing from a professional, editorial point of view. I don't think that's what blogging is about, and most journalists and other writers get that. It's all about understanding the rules of the road in each genre.

I believe people come to OS to find a creative outlet. If anything, social media and other Web-based forms of communication prove we are all artists. All humans are meant to express themselves artistically through music, painting and writing.

Blogging enables many to express themselves through writing, even if it doesn't strike some as "professional."

I've read some posts here that are poorly written from a journalist's standpoint, but the writer's heart, soul and message shine through brilliantly. I've read some posts that read like college term papers, but were thought provoking nonetheless. I've read others that strike me as "advocacy journalism," presenting only a narrow side of the story, but were delivered with conviction and passion.

I've read autobiographical posts, photo memoirs, etc., that had little to do with my world or breaking news stories on the international scene, but they moved me anyway.

Don't get me going on grammar, syntax and style. I could go on all day and night, and it wouldn't be pretty. There are too many formal writing standards and arguments of what is right and what is wrong. I adhere to AP style, but not everyone does.

Finally, I agree with another who commented here: Who has time? If someone wants my advice, I'll offer it gladly. Otherwise, I'll enjoy the nuggets of good writing I find, and keep the rest to myself.
To tr ig re Snoopy: I think you're a bit rough on him fella. After all, the point was that he was OUTSIDE THE GATES OF PARIS. That's enough to make anyone gloomy, especially if it's nighttime, wudna you say? So give the keed some slack, o.k.?

To Sky and all comment-ers: I'm following all of this with the proverbial baited breath (though I have to be cautious about baiting my breath). NIFTY THREAD!! A real morale-booster for this one OS-er [been trying to find anything at all to read in the ?"news"? world that isn't unbearable; no luck there :-(]

@Deborah - *clapping*. Well said.
@podunkmarte.. point taken. That said, lose the grey head.
I think that's a great idea, skypixie. A few people have tried it in the past, with some success. The original incarnation of Snippy the Grammar Dog, for example, once posted a fragment of a short story and received lots of interesting comments. I wrote a post long ago (possibly now deleted) in which I talked about the difficulties I was having with my writing, and I also got very useful advice from one of the professional editors here. The two dangers seems to be hurt feelings and malicious commenters. There's not much anyone can do about that, though.

As for the issue that critical comments take time to write... Well, when I leave a comment I'm trying to make some kind of contribution other than "I liked this," for which we have a button. It could just as easily be a suggestion for improving the writing in the post.
Sky - Thing is, you know me well enough by now to know that I and many here fall into all three categories, depending on how the creative winds are blowing. I certainly do and appreciate the value of all three. Versatility in writing is what makes one intriguing, much like theater and big screen acting.

Had it not been for this "blogging forum," I never would have had two pieces published in 2011. One fell into your first category and the other, a poem, of all things. I have been referred to by the publishers and editors as a "contributing writer and a contributing poet," neither of which I would ever tag or post here, other than in this comment.

A love for writing and dedication to improving the chosen research, content and style, is highly subjective and often just dumb luck and timing.

I appreciate your commitment to the betterment of writing skill and content, yet also see that OS is a forum that is open to all styles, types, skill sets and a vast variety of writing venues. I really enjoy the individualism here and the writing that presents everything from the very serious subject content to the very light hearted, comedic and poetic folly.

OS is the perfect place for anything and everything and all the mutual respect and support that the comments bring to each writer.
From the way I understand it, OS is not a workshop, a critique forum or an online version of Creative Writing 101. If someone wants to improve their writing, the best way to do it is to read writers they admire, take classes, and write regularly. I've already seen writers ask for feedback in their posts; if that's what they want then fine. Ask for it. But I'm not going to be checking tags to see who wants my suggestions for improvement; that's not why I come here. I have enough trouble trying to get better myself. I'd also never be so presumptuous as to give someone else my opinion on their work unless they specifically asked me.

I don't see "writers and aspiring writers" in your tags. Does this mean you've christened yourself the arbiter of good writing? How do you propose to define that category anyway? What exactly is an aspiring writer - someone who's never been published but wants to be? A brand-new blogger? And are "aspiring writers" allowed to give suggestions to other "aspiring writers"? How's that going to help, exactly, if they both suck?

Methinks this sentence is quite revealing:

Those who write to improve and learn ought to get over expecting “compliments” and pats on the head and expect to see helpful criticism and valuable suggestions.

" 'Get over' expecting compliments and pats on the head"? How snide and condescending. Your new avatar is a perfect example of your true intent. I'm sure your claws are at least as sharp as your fangs.
Hi Sky!

Like another commenter, I, too, cannot write daily (or even monthly) due to no time to call my own. Maybe when I retire (if I ever can...) I can prioritize writing improvement.

Rob mentioned that I've solicited critiques before. I've done it as CR and also as Snippy. What works for me is to squeeze "Please Critique" or "Critiques Welcome" into my headline.

The most successful one, for me, was called "Ghosts of the Gulf of Mexico," a comparison of two times I'd visited the Gulf. Fellow OSers offered insights and suggestions in comments that were a revelation to me. I recognized, perhaps for the first time, that good writing involves so much more than gracefully-composed sentences or well-chosen vocabulary. I felt as if I had all the pretension knocked out of me, but the experience was beyond price.

For my incomplete short story, I couldn't conclude it. I've never been able to get beyond exposition in the plot pyramid, and for that reason, tend to stick to personal essays. Greg Correll (whom I'd PM'ed to ask for a response) told me that it's my world and I call the shots as to what happens, so my possibilities were unlimited. I suppose everyone else knows that, but I'd never thought of it that way before. While I mulled over my endless possible endings to the story, Kathy Riordan PM'ed me to tell me she had finished the story for me! I asked her to hang onto it so that I wasn't influenced by it, but after nearly a year went by, I told her to go ahead and post her completed story if she wanted to, since I was on track to do exactly nothing with it. She did post it, I think about a year ago, and I think it's still there. It's called "The Parachute." It was really fun and thought-provoking to see what she'd done with it.

More collaborations would be a lot of fun, too, Sky.
I was going to be a ballet dancer.

I missed the prom. I lifted dancer.

My hand accidently touched a bosom.
I knew folk who knew powers of bosom.
On pot they read editor Kerry's graffiti.
Pot is rural for sitting in a outhouse pot.
I was gonna be a writer until I read Kerry.
Kerry's scribble-graffiti was very vulgar.

I decided to not become a good spieler;,`
thinker[,] or serious prom bosom feeler.
I still seek counsel at bars or hick saloon.
I despair of ever being a EP- nose picker.
You pick your nose, but no pick Kerry's.
He picks otter's nose and eat bass craps.
Read Kerry's scribble @ Salon or Open?
Open Salon has talented boogie dancers.
Why be a famous brown-nose butt sniffs?
smile. . .
I just had a sauna and smell of lavender.
Art James!

He picks otter's nose and eat bass craps."

I smell ya Art! Mmmm, lavender!!
My sincere thanks to all those who've responded to this post. Due to a mention that it was hard to read because of line spacing, I've tried to fix that. Is it better now?

A few of you have not read the full post, it seems. Or I've failed to make clear what I'm saying.

First: I am not suggesting that anyone be "compelled" in any way, to comment on any blog - either positively or negatively.

Second: I am not suggesting that any blogger be compelled to mark any blog of his/hers as welcoming criticism.

Third: I have not suggested that all OS writers/aspiring writers are competent to offer professional criticism to writers/aspiring writers, although some who write here definitely are; what I suggested is that they, and others, might offer some useful feedback as READERS.

Fourth: There are, of course, many who blog here who do not have the time or the inclination to offer suggestions or criticisms on the writing of others.

So don't.

No one is standing over you with a whip trying to force you to do so. And if you prefer to just leave a "pat on the head", I see nothing to stop you from doing so. Pats on the head are very nice! Almost as good as belly rubs!

My purpose here is to suggest that we have might want to have an understood means of marking our posts so that others know that they may, WITHOUT INCITING OUR IRE, offer what criticism they think appropriate on any blog so marked. When a blog is NOT marked for such criticism, then comments might lean towards the "social aspect" rather than the critical.

tr ig
You've never spent a summer inside the arctic circle, I take it.

You have some good points. Thank you for taking time to post them in your comment. You might give some thought to quoting a whole sentence instead of just the latter half of it when finding fault. I did, after all, preface the "quote" you mention, i.e.,"" 'Get over' expecting compliments and pats on the head"", with the phrase ""Those who write to improve and learn ought to....""

As to me not "tagging" this blog as welcoming critique; that, my dear woman, is the whole point of this blog. I repeatedly ask for the opinions of those who read it. I expect you'll notice that if you re-read it.

Thank you also for your criticism of my avatar and for your insightful determination of its "meaning." I'm sure we'd all benefit by you doing such a "reading" of all of our avatars. And just think.... you don't even have to ask for our opinion of your deep insights!
I said 'very few exceptions.' The arctic circle thing was one of the exceptions I excepted. Others might be a full moon night, or a night in a well lit city, or a night indoors with electric lights. The list goes on.
I read your post several times before I offered my "deep insights" - your words, not mine. I am neither deep nor insightful but if you think otherwise, then I am truly flattered.

You might want to re-read my comment, however, because I did reference the entire quote and then selected that particular sentence for emphasis.

Here is another one:

"I think it would be well for us to learn to separate them in our minds for the purpose of responding to them in comments on their blogs."

Why are you so concerned about "this last two segments of our OS community." (I believe that should read "these" last two segments, btw.) And what are they? You have not clearly defined the "last two segments."

This is a thinly veiled opinion piece on your dislike, perhaps even contempt, for commenters who give "unwarranted compliments" to writers that you feel are undeserving of them. Who are you to judge if my praise is unwarranted? And when you go on to say things like this, it is not only highly opinionated but downright offensive:

"This becomes a case of mutual masturbation – or even a circle jerk – offering a certain amount of pleasure but otherwise of little value; and sometimes even harmful in that someone being unduly praised may not come to know of his shortcomings as a writer."

Just out of curiosity, why do you deem those who write

"...pretty serious essays on matters of social/economic/political or instructional content..."

not require great writing skills but those who write what I shall categorize as "personal pieces" apparently should be held to a higher standard? Why do you separate the two? Good writing in theory should apply to anything written. Do you think the New York Times has different standards for what it publishes, depending on the content?

I suspect you don't care for the autobiographical, confessional or memoir type of work you frequently find here on OS and that is what is at the heart of this.

As for your avatar, I wasn't criticizing it. I love it; it is quite revealing.
sky - I'd welcome any tips, critiques or suggestions on anything I write. But you're right that it doesn't seem to be the norm here. Having inadvertently gotten into blogging, I'm not aspiring to anything. Nonetheless I'd like to improve my writing. Great suggestion. And is that a new and fiercer avatar for 2012?
Holy hell, I am all over the place. Sky, I appreciate you asking these questions and presenting this for discussion. I do hope to improve my writing. I did receive a PM telling me of some errors and I really appreciated it. I have done a lot of technical writing for my job and I'm a stickler for myself with grammar, spelling. I also use to be a copy reader for my large university newspaper where we followed AP style ( I developed a good rep for writing great headlines). But, I don't get hung up by other people's misspelling or "poor" grammar (poor in quotes because sometimes its part of his/her writing style). I like content. I'm more of a content writer, a story-teller if you will. I also appreciate and am in awe of great writing -- turns of phrases, metaphors, being able to put images in my head, because I struggle with all that. But I do give "pats on the head" for people who are willing to come here and put their shit out there. That's big. I know it has been for me. That first post is a killer! So even if their writing isn't that great, I appreciate that they are taking risks and exposing their soft bellies. I think what Sky is asking is fine -- there are OSers who are willing to critique and some who are not. I may get to a point where I ask for that, after I've toughened up my skin a bit.
Include Cleopatra too? ;)
I have seen too hurt many feelings and "dust ups" when people have openly critiqued the writing here to believe this would be a good idea. If people see/read people's work they admire, they can privately PM and ask for feedback. If people are serious about writing, this is a good place to practice, but you need to work with people outside of OS. For me, OS gave me an outlet, and helped me build confidence enough to go to a writer's retreat and that is where I was helped to form a team: writing coach, editor, feedback readers. For me, OS isn't the place for that.
where is the edit function for comments? should have been: "I have seen too many hurt feelings" arrrgghhh
Your comment is deliberately offensive. I have no idea why you are taking such a mean-spiritied stance on this unless it is fear that someone might point out an error on your part and/or a love of undeserved compliments that swell your ego.

I will let your comments stand as horrible examples of the kind of personal attack that one is open to when asking for input from readers.

I hope that readers can see that yours is the ONLY comment to take such a position though. Most have contained very helpful thoughts and have generously offered whatever help they can. I, personally, will open myself up to such as you so as to also be open to all the other fine people here who can offer me excellent suggestions and ideas. I'll not let one selfish snarky person close me off to the good ones.

And Margaret, while you did copy my whole sentence to your comment, you then selected only part of it - a phrase, not a sentence (you might want to learn the difference) - to attack out of context.

Thanks for your input so far but if you continue this personal attack, I'll simply delete your comments from here on out. Just as I think that there is a time for me to STFU and listen to others, I also think that there is a time to say, "that's enough of that shit." Consider it said.

And your opinion of my avatar means less than nothing to me - I note where it comes from.
You have it exactly right.
I am not suggesting that everyone, especially a newbie, be subject to serious critique of their writing.
I am suggesting that those of us who are ready and willing to ask for such a close examination of our work, have an understood and accepted manner of doing so.
This would not preclude someone from offering any compliments they thought a piece deserved in any way. After all, all of us write some good stuff now and then.
Margaret may not believe this but I DO appreciate the fact that her opposition, even though in the form of a personal attack, takes much more thought than Linda's "Huggggggggggs" that is part of nearly every comment she makes. "Hugggggggggs" is nice but from Linda it's as common as dirt and thus of little value, in my eyes. Others may feel differently about it.

Thankee muchly for your fine contribution to this discussion!
I do stuff. Sometimes it's politics or science or poetry or graphics. I do not consider myself a writer. I am interested, mostly, in ideas and how they are shaped and presented. At my age I keep hitting the wrong keys and typos plague me much more than they used to. If people like it or argue with it or call me a shithead that's OK. I have a fairly good idea about myself although some of the stuff is strange even to me. I am happy to have my ideas or spelling or whatever corrected or disputed and sometimes I agree and sometimes I will put up a fight. That's why this place is amusing. I don't take it too seriously.
Darn it, Sky! Don't bring Linda's huggggs into this! You may prefer comments with more substance, but she is genuinely and actively nurturing all of us who expose our "soft bellies," as firechick puts it, and several times, her healing words were exactly what I needed to hear.

Grrrrrrr. I chase cats, you know. Er, are you declawed?
At your age (and mine) we are probably pretty well centred and stable most of the time. We also may not give a damn what anyone thinks of certain things we write. But, if you're like me at all, there are some things that I'd love to get feedback on. This mostly, but not always, occurs when I try something new to me.

Catch me and see.....!

The question is:
Who offended first?
The critic asked for has been offered by several readers.Margaret F.has been especially precise,pointing out very clearly what she found offensive,and,listen carefully,Skype,I fully agree.
I came to your blog not for preferance reasons but for bloggers 'comments.What you have to say I find more than appalling,and I will not ever come to your blog by choice.
You can delete me from your blog if you wish,but for once I will let you know that Margaret is 100 % correct in her statements.She brought the issue to the point,commenting on your avatar.
The wild biest whocomes out from the protective hiding of the jungle,should be aware of the potential danger of being attacked or killed.
On the contrary, I do consider and take into account what people comment. I appreciate that people read what I say. But I have no elevated view of my capabilities and a fairly realistic understanding of myself so I can take and give criticism without blowing a gasket.
Your comment has been deleted since it was a blatant attempt to be insulting and without any foundation whatsoever. If I've failed to tell you to stay off my blog before this, let me do so now. Our modest disagreement was not so great as to deserve such vitriol from you on a continuing basis. Soooooo.... go away, brat, you bore me.

I see nothing "contrary" between our points of view.
I can find nowhere that I ever accused you of "not being able to give or take criticism without blowing a gasket."

I have also gone to great pains to indicate that this suggestion would NOT apply to any who do not specifically ask for such critical comments. It is merely a means for those of us, who would welcome such criticism, to ask for it with some confidence that those who see our request will have a clear idea what it is that we are asking.
AGAIN, I'll state categorically; No one who doesn't wish to ask for or offer any such criticism need be involved.

Apparently this might not be for you. Fine. I have no problem with that. Do you have a problem with those of us who FREELY OPT to do it exercising our right to do so?
For those of us who like this idea and would like to participate, I'll offer a suggestion. Grab the first comment once you've posted anything and state clearly that you welcome serious criticism of your post. That will make it the first comment to appear on your blog and prominently visible to all who read it. What do you folks think?
Dude, this post is EXACTLY why I would NEVER put up with you or anybody else critiquing my posts.

Your hypersensitivity to ANY critical response to your ideas and your choice of wording DOES show a sort of condicending arrogance of a sort that I have NO desire for. (like that dangling participle, dude??? Ain't it jus to pritty???)

P.S. your responses to Margaret were pissy and uncalled for. You get to have your big, bad, 'ol opinion, but so do others. Maybe you just need a good dose of prunes. You're sounding pretty constipated, ya know?
Well Amy, that comment of yours is exactly why I would force everyone here on OS to ask for criticism of their posts. Censorship too! NOT!!

You write so well at times and comment even better at times. But your outraged defence of any woman, no matter what she says to any man (unless it's to you), is wearing thin and getting pretty boring.

Perhaps you didn't notice that Margaret only mentioned the IDEA we're discussing in passing and that the main content of her comments were direct personal attacks on me. She even attacked my wee avatar, fer gawds sake!!!

Had I wanted to take her comment apart piece by piece, you might have thought me heartless. As it was I was as gentle with her as it was possible to be.

And what's with this business of attacking me and when I respond, accusing me of attacking others for "their opinions"? Is she - are you - so stupid that y'all don't know the difference between tackling a position you disagree with and initiating an ad hominem attack?

Try to relax a bit dear. Not everyone who disagrees with an individual woman's ideas is "attacking womanhood", y'know?
Every now and again somebody comes along with suggestions about how to organize everyone here into doing this or that or accepting this or that and it invariably ends up in a hissing match, partly because there is such diversity here, so many voices, intents and levels of talent and skill. I probly tried it myself when I first arrived. It's laughably presumptuous. Reminds me of the TV commercial about herding cats. Hilarious that this time the would-be "catherder" is a cat. Meeeeowwwwww...pfffffffft. Even a chicken eventually learns not to try something like that.
Oh Matt! That is so unworthy of you. Did you just make a boo-boo or did you deliberately ignore the fact that I've said over, and over, and over, and over that this is ONLY for those who see value in it? ONLY, MATT, ONLY!!!!

Nowhere have I tried to "organize EVERYBODY here" for ANY PURPOSE WHATSOEVER. Are you clever enough to find morning when it comes, sir?

Since your whole comment was predicated upon that one word "everybody", I'll just ignore the rest of it.

I notice that ALL of those few who have objected strenuously to the idea have done the same thing.... implied that this was some sort of "to-be-forced-upon-us-all" concept. Y'know what?

If I weren't so busy crying over your puerile inability to get it straight, I'd just laugh you to scorn.

But it surely has taught me and, I've no doubt, quite a few others, something about "some of the people" here on OS.
Sky, by now you know me. I write whatever moves me at the time. I don't really give a damn about my grammar or dangling participles ( whatever they are ) I have never aspired to be a professional writer. I write when I have something on my mind, and that's it.
As for comments, I value them. Even when they are crude! I leave them there for all to see. If someone decides they want to use crass or foul language, then that's up to them. I don't really give a damn! If they embarrass themselves, that's their business not mine. I have certainly done my share.
In my three + years on O/S I have always sought to hone what skill and little talent I possess. I've never taken offense at anyone giving me a hand in fulfilling my needs as to spelling, grammar, or punctuation. Ask Fusun, she has given me quite a few pointers as to usage and spelling here. So I guess that means that I am all for instruction but opposed to snark and nasty comments about those things.
Sky, I haven't seen any evidence from you that you can laugh in any way other than to put others to scorn. You've written some intelligent posts and comments since you've been here, but like someone else said of you in a comment on a different blog - following an assessment of you similar to mine - that when you go off the deep end you go all the way down into the mud. You may not have used the word "everybody," but your reaction to people who have suggested why your idea might not work has been uniformly defensive and occasionally hostile. To me, this suggests you are unwilling to entertain dissent, which suggests further you do expect everyone to follow your wishes. You even reserve for those you deem beneath your standards pejoratives such as "masturbation" and "circle jerk." You negate with this approach whatever good ideas you might have for others here. You say your suggestions are ONLY for those who see value in them, but implicit in the suggestions is that those who see no value in them are not worthy of your consideration.

My suggestion to you is to stick with the intelligent posts and helpful comments and leave the rest of us cats, chickens and other critters to our own harmless devices.
Everyone here on OS handles comments made on their blogs in their own manner. I have never removed a comment that argues an idea. I will almost always remove a comment that is little more than an ad hominem attack on me, or anyone else. Those who want to do that have the privilege of creating a blog on their own page for that purpose. I do not leave a comment on my blog that I find offensive for the same reason that I don't leave dog shit in my living room when my dog makes a "mistake."

Thanks man, good comment! Much appreciated.
Just as a personal comment and not as a suggestion for anybody else I never remove any comment that anybody makes on my blog. I feel that anything anybody says is much more significant about themselves than me and for an attack to be effective against me means I respect the attacker and the words used. Without my respect the attack is harmless. With it it is, if nothing else worthy of close examination and perhaps instructional.
Your comment is offensive; but then you deliberately made it so. Still, I will leave it stand because part of it exemplifies an ad hominem attack perfectly and part of it is good critical comment. You, as have others here, have had to "read into" what I've said your own meaning. I don't share your interpretation of what I've written. Nor have I "implied" anything. What I've written here is plain, open, honest, and straightforward. There is no hidden or ambiguous, underlying meaning or intent. You'd know that if you didn't have an axe to grind.

So I'll tell you what..... You go off and play with your friends in any way that suits you all and I'll play with those people who like the game I have suggested. It seems that you just flatly refuse to accept the obvious; that my proposition is entirely voluntary.

Far from it being me who is trying to coerce anyone into doing something they don't wish to do, it is, in fact, you and a couple of others who want to stop some of us from trying to do as we'd like to do. For the edification and benefit of us. Not you - us. You have no say in the matter.

I understand your point of view and consider it a valid one. Just as you have the choice of (not) acting on your position, so too do I have the choice of acting on mine. See my response to Kenny, above, for clarification of my position.
My comment was offensive to you because you chose to be offended. You get offended easily, don't you. If you agree (which I'd be surprised if you did, preferring to take offense instead as is your pattern) have you ever wondered why? I don't expect a direct answer, of course, because I'm assuming you're busy taking offense, so I'll say only that from my own viewpoint, were I one to become easily offended - offended, in fact, every time someone disagreed with me - and I, in a flash of insight, suddenly recognized this to be true, I should hope I would wonder why. That's all. Cheerio.
If a blog writer posted a comment requesting feedback, and made it clear that they are honing their craft, I would respect that request and comment more thoughtfully. Excellent idea for those that would appreciate reader feedback or help with structure. That said, I respond as a "reader". I am no editor!
I've had it up to 'here' with ad hominem attacks from you lot. Your last comment contained not one word about the idea I put forward but was solely an attack on me. Go shit in your own house. From this day forward any comment posted by you to any blog of mine will be deleted; starting with your last one.
Thanks for your comment; and for recognizing that I've repeatedly said that such a critique of one's blog would ONLY come as a result of a request that the READERS of that blog criticize it in that manner.

For some unknown reason, some commenters here have chosen to overlook that wee fact. It does an ol' fart good to see that it hasn't escaped the notice of such as yourself.

You pompous asshole. Go ahead, delete to your petty heart's content.
I agree, I would love it if this was a workshopping platform. I welcome nudging in my chosen passion for poetry. Last semester I took a poetry class at the University of Minnesota. I learned more from the workshopping in class and by the teacher than I have learned in any other kind of writing class. I hope it improved my poetry and I am now in the process of revising all of my new poems to incorporate how I have learned to stretch my poetic voice.
Thanks for this.
rated with love
You asked for opinions and I gave mine. Why does it seem that so often when someone asks for an opinion, they're really only looking for validation for what they wrote. In the year or so I've been on OS, I've seen posts similar to yours and I think more than anything they may discourage or intimidate a fledgling writer who's new to OS or even breed division among the other writers here. That is why I took you to task. It's not a personal attack. You know I like you and I've commented positively on many of your posts. I don't think your suggestions will catch on but it's the attitude I don't care for more than what you're suggesting and when you use crude terms like "circle jerking" and "mutual masturbation" in terms of others' comments I can't help but detect a certain resentment.

It's still fresh in my mind what happened to Linda Seccaspina and those terms were also thrown around. I'd hate to see that happen again to another writer. While you weren't naming names, a post like this is only a few keystrokes away from that happening.
Lordy. My, my, my...

I like the idea of saying I'd like critical readers.

I don't like the huffying and puffing and tossing about viral.

Geewhiz, I certainly could careless what anyone says about me, but do help me to be more clear, more flowing and not repetitive. Help me sift out chaft in my writing. Let me see that I could expand in my original concept or contract and narrow my viewpoint. Let me hear another way to say my say.

But, alas, each to his own and in the end- the very bottom of endedness. I write for myself and every OSer does too. It is to the self that we should maintain fidelity with and kindness- and I'm not talking self as who we be during our daily lives- but writer self. It was the drive to express yourself and to read others that caused you to Open Salon and have a gad at blogging. Even for the professional types out there- writer who to time to pound out their ideas-self must proceed other's who visit for a few minutes and move on the read and write in their own blog.

Therefore, I care. I care sometimes deeply about certain pieces and others I'm trying to draw a line, a bead and to find the way into a memory or idea. I care that fellow writers not dump on others for differing views. I care that we listen closely if someone indicates their post may cause heartburn and I slowly scroll and read and read.

I'm very new here. Seven months and honestly I don't understand why some get rated and others don't, but in the end...its not why I came.

I came to begin a 10 year quest to be a better writer, and I think over time I've slowly gotten better, but there is more ground to cover. So, I'll put "Critiques appreciated" in my first comment.
I write shit and proud of it, especially when NBC grabs it as a story and runs with it!!

Yes, yes, one of these days, use my powers for good, blah blah blah!! :D
Jeezum crow. I think anyone hoping to learn how to write with the help of OS is in need of a nice hot cup of milk and some almond rusks. Not to say people don't learn to write better here, because I've seen a number of examples. But no way do I believe it comes from "help." It's just exercising, like push-ups. I guess I'm an "aspiring writer" but I really don't need advice from anyone in this strange place. I don't think anyone should offer anyone else unrequested advice. Unless you're really mad at them for some reason. But that's not advice - that's a battering, or feud. Which can be fun. Snippy's one of the few that asks for and can take advice level-headedly. I say leave everyone else alone. What the hell does it matter anyway?
Where do you get off at deeming yourself qualified to tell me that you don't like my terminology? You can say frig while I say fuck any time at all. I don't force you to say fuck and you'll damn sure never be permitted to censor my language.

You did indeed slip a little valid criticism into the personal attack in your original comment. If you care to look, you'll see that I acknowledged that valid criticism in a comment I made further along in the string. Then you went nuts on me.

I like you too but I really don't give a shit whether you like or dislike the terms "circle jerk" or "mutual masturbation" as a description of the habit of many folks on OS to each give each other nicey-nicey reciprocal pats on the back. I used a strong term in order emphasize that unhelpful practice. Hell, they sure got YOUR attention, didn't they? Purpose served.

In all debate, discussion, and intelligent argument, it is understood by civilized people that one attacks the idea NOT the person. Whether you do, or do not, consider me to be of any personal habits or traits, that you dislike, is totally irrelevant to the issue at hand.

Your opinions about me, as a person, including my motivations (especially when you have only your, unsupported by any evidence whatsoever, guess as to those motivations) are not of any value to the discussion. What does your opinion of my avatar have to do with whether or not some of us chose to ask others to critique our blogs?

The question is whether or not you think that asking other OSers to offer criticism of one's blog could be helpful to the blog writer. You may agree or disagree. You may say anything at all about the "idea". That's the purpose of a discussion. That's why I put up ideas on OS.

But you may not launch a personal attack on me or anyone else in my blog space. You have a page. If you wish to make any personal remarks about others, please use THAT space; not mine.
Skypixie, you're a pompous, humorless, narrow-minded, condescending, prickly pissant of an ass. (hurry hurry, delete this before anybody sees it and laffs their ass off at you, you tight-assed fuck.)
Thankee kindly for your comment. May you always get thoughtful criticism and helpful advice. And for those who'd use your request to launch a personal attack on you? May the fleas of a thousand camels infest their crotches......;-)

Your "shit" is often better written than my most serious offerings; and when it isn't, you at least offer some nip and Fancy Feast. You are one person whom I'll especially look forward to having criticism from. (dangle, dangle)
I should also point out, as a warning to anyone who hasn't gotten to know you yet, that you're a coward and a stalker. You deleted my last message, which admittedly called you a humorless ass and a few other interesting pejoratives - all true - and then sent it to my email account with what I consider to be a threat: the slugline: "Want a mailbox full of humour?" I've blocked your address with Hotmail, but if you dare to invade my privacy again, for any reason, I'll report you to OS management. I understand you posted here once before and was removed for harassing female members. What kind of sick creep are you?
Did you miss the part that says that people would ASK for such a critique if they wanted it? Why would anyone not asking not be "left alone?"

I have nowhere suggested that those who like "head pats" - either giving or receiving them - should not do so. This is NOT an "either / or" type of suggestion.

I, personally, don't care what "page" any reader or writer is on in their own development. I've had good advice from both babes and ancients. But if I can get a number of serious comments there will emerge a consensus of opinion that is likely to be of benefit to me. Head pats are no help and can leave me with the false impression that I'm making progress when I'm not.

But to each his own. Those who like to pat heads are in no way inhibited from doing so. Those who like to get head pats, need not ask for serious critiques. Choice is the key element in this.

As things stand at the moment on OS, anyone who asks for his/her blog to be criticized is thought to be fishing for compliments - and the responses they get have very little value in most cases. Too often, if someone wants to make a serious comment they find it better to do so in a PM. This may be helpful to that particular blog writer but is no help to those of us who can learn a lot by reading good critiques made on others' blogs.

Thanks for your input!
It seems that our friend Matt can dish it out but can't take it. Not wishing to continue to see his ugly comments on my blog, I sent him an e-mail advising him that if he continues to offer personal attacks on me, that I'd fill his mailbox with his own comments.

He is now making allegations that I have, in the past, harassed female members on OS. I will be forwarding his allegations to my lawyer with a view to taking legal action if he so advises. This is out and out slander.
As I am not a member of the "club or clique," this roundabout does not affect me. At one point, I decided to make a thrust at being read by more people, but it felt hypocritical on my part. So I went back to not caring if anyone on OS reads me. I write for fun with no pretext that I am a writer, professional writer, or wannabe. It's a good outlet for my feelings.
I average maybe a couple hundred readers per post, not the thousands like many of you. My audience comes from posting on Facebook where I have many friends. In an effort to stop comments, I clicked on the no comments spot. I'm not looking for a pat, validation, or correction of my grammar. So, I ask, can't we all just get along?
My two cents--other than, well, this was interesting...
There are a lot of writer's workshops around and it would be easy to set other ones up if that's what people want to do. But it's not my understanding of what OS is--which is a place to blog. I'm new here, but it nearly always feels like a congenial place. I'd hate to see that get lost.
Ah, if only we could!!

OS is many things to many people and serves a variety of purposes. Among those purposes is that it is a place where a good number of us first attempt writing for public consumption. As has been pointed out already, a few of us have gone on to greater things from this humble beginning.

I doubt that many of us here would like to see OS considered as a certain specific kind of box that we must feel obligated to fit into.

People come here for a variety of reasons and get many different kinds of value from doing so. Among the different people who come here are some aspiring writers. Some are also knowledgeable, competent, professional writers. Some don't consider themselves to be writers at all. Those of us who are trying to better our writing skills can gain much from the opinions of those who read what we write here. I see no harm in us asking for such criticism of our writing when we wish to. I cannot see that this subverts or changes OS in any way.
Sky, I find your thinking logical on this topic and not imposing at all. Also wish to thank you for guarding your place from being taken over by fowl language by keeping your word. That is chivalrous of you. Goodnight.
I thank you, and others who have expressed the same sentiments either here or in PMs, from the bottom of my heart. As we all probably know, nasty personal attacks do have a discouraging effect on us if we care at all about the opinions of others. It is only through the generosity of you, and others like you, that we can overcome those effects. I hope that you will offer Snippy the benefits of your critique. She has had the courage to be one of the first - if not THE first to ask for critiques on her recent blog.
I have no dog in this fight and I'm not aware of any bad blood between you and Margaret F since I rarely come here any more. I thought her first comment was a bit hostile, but the second was over the top. As for your suggestions, I wish you good luck. I tend to agree with what Mimetalker said. Criticism has been tried before and the simple fact is that most people who aren't professionals aren't ready for it no matter how prettily the package is wrapped.

I simply don't read much here anymore because the overall quality has deteriorated to the point that I usually can't get past the first paragraph of most posts. People who call themselves writers should be able to learn from other writers, and should have enough pride in their craft to learn the basics of grammar and spelling and syntax. If a "writer" isn't willing to make even a token effort, I'll not waste my time on them either. Just my opinion of course.
......and one that is shared by a good number of us judging by the comments and PMs this blog has generated. Thank you for adding your cool, calm assessment of this blog. It is heartening to have such as yourself make such an assessment.

My sincere thanks.....

Typos, typos, thy name is skypixiezero!!

That should read "...... one such as yourself....."
I rather like the new confrontational SKyPixieZero approach.
"It's the Full Moon FRed(tm)."

Personally I can only hold 23 handBags at dawn so will just look in the mirror when I need to piss someone orf.

Keep up the good work.
This is an interesting suggestion and criticism of our process. Personally, for better or worse, I write in all sorts of categories and have wished that we could have archival categories with labels like, "MyPoetry", "PersonalEssays", "Economic/Political/Religious/Social Commentary", and " Creative Writing". The first and last categories might be critically dissected if the writer invited such commentary. This gets an R for rumination.
Sorry Margaret,
The veil was just too thin that time. Comment deleted.
Hi Creekend!

If you don't bring your own purse to the field of honour at dawn, you could hold one more.

Thanks Rodney!
The bottom line is... do we welcome criticism or not? What level of writer are we? I say the levels are a tower of Babel which this comment section has become. LOL.
I enjoy criticism from friends. It always helps. And there it is.
I write like shit.
But a friend from my rock star days still lives in London and works for the BBC. He had his boss, who is in charge of mini series, look at my Jewish Mafia stories and we are now in talks.
I misspell. My grammar sucks. My structure sucks.
It isn't important to me when I read a post. I know what they mean. The point is do I get it? Have I gotten the heart of their message?
So I'm living proof that while it is always best to be your own English teacher, this is basically an informal forum for writers who may want to hone their skills, or inform, or teach, or let it all hang out. I rarely take anything personal.
So see you in the funny papers.
Since very few of us have "friends from our rock star days" who can help us out with introductions to highly placed people in the entertainment industry, we have to try to do it the old fashioned way - y'know, hard work and slowly, painfully learning our craft while sweating blood every step of the way.

If you can get a gig like that and your writing is really as bad as you say it is then it is clear why that industry is producing such unmitigated crap. Oh, it's not your fault. That industry has been hiring non-writers for decades. If it pays you what you want, why just jump right in. You'll be, as much as any of that sort, able to call yourself a "pro" writer! (Some people use the unkind term "hack.")

Oh, and Kat?
You wouldn't happen to know why Paust CC'd you a copy of his nasty e-mail to me, would you?
Well Larry, you just can't pass up an opportunity to insult someone, eh? I take exception to your snide comment about the "rest of you" having to make it through hard work, not knowing someone....
Well, Larry it ain't how you do it, it's who you fuck....
So, fuck you.
And I can only guess that Paust cc'd me to alert me to your arrogance and egotism. Let's face it Larry, you're a no body. No one is knocking down your door to sign you to a lucrative writing contract so you become a bully. Everyone hates a bully. So self satisfied and full of yourself when in reality you're just an old thing waiting in line.
I can't imagine a companion putting up with your self righteous behavior.
I was not going to post anything but I want you to know why I hug everyone.

I just posted this on Lea's blog about her cancer survival anniversary:


Having survived two bouts of cancer I appreciate everything. Whatever I have now is icing on the cake, so I share my joy of life. A lot of people cannot understand me; why I hug every single person I meet in real life and in my comments.

I want to express to you the joy of being alive and the love I have. Life is a gift and if you get a couple more chances- well spread the love. And to those that do not understand I have nothing for you.

But to you my dear Lea I understand and I share my joy with you that you are alive and okay. Nothing but 100% love.

So skypixie: Thank you for your comment about 'my comments' but I will never change. I appreciate your input.

Happy 2012!

Linda, you're a brave OS-er (and Sky, please ?"excuse me for a moment"? while I comment on your blog to a comment-er instead of directly to you ... isn't that maybe part of at least one of the problems we're all trying to contend with here?).

THANK YOU, Linda, for posting with all your long characteristic many GGGGGGGG's! For me, they were always like a part of a person's individual choice of avatar. A kind of ?"persona style"? for (on) Open Salon.

Me, I'm a thinskinned 99% cyberklutz. O.K.? Got that? The 99% part refers to the fact that I don't have, and can't afford to buy, equipments for making pretty blogsites (much less incorporating photos or videos & etc.). [I'm also OLD, though both Sky and Jan Sand have been giving me goodhumored comments on that topic from time to time; will perhaps soon enlist Dr. William ;-)]

Just wanted to tell you I was deLIGHTED to find all your many GGGGGs on this comment, 'cuz last time I checked on some of your comments you seemed to me not to be using them. Relieved to find them back!


Back to Sky:

I am REALLY interested in all your conceptual comments and proposals! But if you put them forth in an Open Salon post open to comments from all sorts of us ?weirdos? -- how on earth can you (without wanting to stir up bad feelings from earlier exchanges) "herd all the cats" of people who read what you've posted and then comment -- perhaps as much out of reactivity (the "name of the game" of cybercomments?) as out of the good long serious thought that went into your initial blog?

Jes, as tis sometimes said, "sayin'" (for the moment) and thanks to all of you, my ?weird and wonderful? Open Salon cybercommunity.........
Your suggestion is interesting, and it is in keeping with my general rule: I don't offer criticism unless it's specifically asked for. I must also say that in my experience, it is often the case that those asking for criticism are secretly hoping for praise instead.

Another thing I've learned from critiquing other people's work -- whether it's prose, poetry or lyrics -- if I have a serious criticism of someone's writing, I prefer to correct them privately. Public criticism tends to lead to public defensiveness; and in that event, no one wins.

These rules do not apply to punditry, which is in essence merely opinion. In that case, I operate on the dictum that opinions are like assholes -- everybody's got one, and I have no compunction about telling someone they have their head up theirs.
You have deleted two of my three comments. PLEASE, I BEG YOU - delete the third one as well. There is no point in letting it stand.

For the record, in every single one of my comments I was civil, did not use foul language and tried in excruciating detail to explain why I disagreed with you.

You solicited opinions. You did not state that you'd only let stand the ones that were in line with yours.

You've proven that you can dish it out but you can't take it. You accused me of personally attacking you which wasn't the case - and even if it was, are you truly such a pusillanimous, overly sensitive, fragile little hothouse flower that you can't let a critical comment stand?

Jesus Christ (DO NOT say that offends since you're an atheist), I've seen some of your comments on other bloggers' posts. Your rough language and your unpleasant remarks wouldn't last a Montreal minute on your own thread. Hypocrite. (Yes sky, that was an attack in case you were scratching behind your ears with your hind leg, debating.)

Here's a question anyone who sees this might like to ponder before he smacks delete yet again in fur-filled fit of fury; why is is that those who ask for feedback inevitably get in a comment-deleting snit when they don't like what they're hearing? And why does it seem like they're usually men? Just wonderin...

Ironically, sky's actions have proven that what he's asking for in his post - criticism - is a bad, bad idea.
Is this the very first dust up of 2012? My critique - too polite.
I'll let this one stand. It proves, beyond any shadow of a doubt that you have some personal vendetta going against me and that you are an out-and-out liar.

I DID NOT delete 2 out of 3 of your comments. I deleted 1 out of 5 of your comments. That one was deleted because of your scurrilous attack on me - not on the idea in question - on me personally. You are not the only one who has had a comment deleted in this thread for this reason. That you included a brief mention of the concept in one of your comments did not change the fact that what you wrote in your comment, that I deleted, was not about the idea at all.

I cannot imagine what you and your cohorts think you are about. The simple suggestion that some people might get value from asking for a serious critique of a blog they've posted - as opposed to sweet little, but unhelpful, pats on the head - seems to have driven you three absolutely nuts!

Why should that be? What is there about the concept of some bloggers here wanting to ask for the opinions of other bloggers that drives you three up the wall? And not just up the wall enough to say that it is, in your opinion, a bad idea, but up the wall enough to lead you to make ad hominem attacks on me instead of even criticizing the idea itself.

Are you three so fearful of getting a serious critique once in a while that you don't want anyone to ever, ever do such a thing? Are you so in love with yourselves that all you ever want to hear is compliments? And even if that were true, what the heck is it to you if others want to get such feedback? Did anyone say that you'd have to ask for any such yourself? Or to offer any?

Why don't you lot read some of the other comments? I think you'll find that a great many other people think that some of your comments here have been "over the top", to quote one commenter.

And as to your smarmy slap at "men"; you might notice that fully half of the supporters of this idea are women. And before you call me unable to take the heat, you might want to note that one of your cohorts posted a skanky blog about this and closed comments on it in the most cowardly act of all. I guess when his attempt to bully me on behalf of his buddy didn't work he decided to try a "hit-and-run" tactic. Considering that he has almost no readers, it was laughable. His buddy who does, deservedly, have a great many readers, could have done much better with that than he could ever do.

You folks is plumb weird, y'know?
You are a really generous and astute commentor, skypixieo. There, I said it. And in the old days, commenting was really amazing. You might get your ass kicked every now and again, but you were better for it. There, I said it. The old days.
I've "workshopped" some pieces on OS and have learned from the experience. I got amazing critiques.
There is no "us" or "them" - you are who you are just as I am this moniker - my initials - peering from behind Emily Dickinson's gravestone wearing devil horns.
Every time somebody brings this up we get an us vs them thing going...I suppose I must be us because I am not them. This is in no way comforting to me.
It's almost too rich to point out that we are all of the above.
Personally, I'm tired of this argument, that an elite class makes the rules and victimizes the's a straw man that should have been burnt a long time ago.
I, personally, think it is weird to post every day. I, personally think commenting to each comment is reprehensible when it is obvious you are doing it to stay in the feed. I, personally, get disgusted when comments turn into "Another great post, my friend." rather than: well, let's just say that everyone should follow Owl's example in leaving comments.
Owl makes it an art form, and we should all try as hard...and maybe write less and support, really support, more.
I don't even get why this was even slightly controversial.
But I am a cheap five dollar whore for a dust up.

Even one as stupid as this.
As an aside I would like to compliment you on the new teeth.
Very becoming and pointed. Ideal for OS and deUvver place.

Do they retract?

Regarding your comment about "serious criticism is welcome and wanted" may I add that sometimes you bite harder than 'some' souls can accept or handle easily. Personally I like it but some find it a tad harsh. In a small way I think you can sometimes scare the sh*t out of the other cats my friend. No offence intended just a perspicacious point of view.

"FRed(tm) g,g,yahoo Perspicacious please Boy."
Many thanks for coming by. Yeah, who would have expected to be attacked over something like this!


I just knew that you'd love that 'perspicacious' if I stuck it in there!

Your mention that I sometimes "bite a bit too hard" is definitely a valid critique. I do seem to have a way of not beating round the bush that is too direct for some folks taste. A good friend who is a qualified Australian shrink, took a look at this and gave me some advice that I think I'll keep in mind.

This will give me a hard time, though. When someone puts an unripe apple in front of me, and expects a comment, I see little purpose in saying much more than, "It's too green to eat yet."

Apparently what I'm supposed to do is compliment that person on how beautifully the apple has been polished, on its great size, and on what a great apple it will be when it ripens fully, BEFORE I say, "It's too green to eat yet, dummy!" As I understand the psychology, the toast won't mind you biting it if you butter it up well first. We'll see.

OK you're correct.
Kick arse - life's too short.
However, the comeBAcks can be a bitch.
Second thoughts - blood pressure is too volatile.
Perfection is like Capitalism - a useful tool.