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Bowing to political pressure...

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  • Bowing to political pressure...

    Open letter for what it's worth. I am taking a breather from these discussions. Not forever; I will probably return when Michael does. Hopefully that will be after the election.

    This political ambushing, I mean, "debate", is tiring. I've been lucky to have support - if not agreement - here from some pretty intelligent people (Doc, Carter, Von Weiner, Michael himself), but this board is devolving into the worst that American politics have to offer. People like Foozle, Theadlerian, even Psychic (who strikes me as a decent, if overly passionate, guy - how come no one accuses you of being too serious? Oh right, they agree with you) and L'Etranger (who strikes me as a decent, if overly pompous and condescending, guy), are taking this to a whole new level of lowness. Well, I am getting off the train. This isn't taxing my debate skills anymore, it is taxing my ranking skills. We ought to be ashamed of ourselves, but we're too high on ourselves - and our righteous positions - to do that. Some of you cannot even be bothered to read the opposiong view; as if your words were gospel and anyone who deigns to disagree is not worthy of your time (are you hearing me Foozle??).

    The personal attacks, the cheap psychoanalysis, the cheap shots, for what end? You can all talk all you want about your high intellect and open minds, but many of you are experiencing some deep delusions. You spout the party line as much as any "bible banging, elitist, neocon" out there. And the independents, the Republicans that are queasy about Bush, and the Democrats that long for financial stability are dismissing it. I actually agree with many of you on a lot of basic, supposedly liberal premises, yet I am dismissing it too because of the methods. It's almost embarrassing. "You don't agree with me? Way to go, you Corporate loving, elitist blowing simpleton." God forbid (that doesn't make me a fundamentalist) someone points out a weak point in the holier than thou anti-Bush campaign. It gets dismissed with charges of "elitism", and references to "life manuals" and "being sold a bill of goods". Bush is no better, but then again, he isn't claiming to be. Many Americans HAVE been sold a bill of goods, for better or worse, and shoving that fact up their asses isn't going to get them to fess up or change what lever they pull. A lot of people here (me included) dismiss Bush as a jack-ass; well, I'm here to tell you that he is a lot smarter than you and John Kerry in one key area: he is getting the people that vote to believe.

    He is going to win the election in a month's time for one reason only: he listened to the people and knows what their hot buttons are. He knows that middle America doesn't give a f what France thinks of our President. He knows that middle America doesn't give a f about his Guard duty 40 years ago. He knows that middle America doesn't give a f about whether Kerry faced the bullet or ducked the bullet in Vietnam. He knows that middle America values that $500 they are getting back in the tax relief, and that it values the idea that we are not sitting on our hands while people like Saddam and Osama run roughshod over our ideals. John Kerry keeps hammering on taxing the rich; middle America doesn't care. They are willing to give the rich their $1000, if middle America can get its $500. Why hasn't John Kerry promised tax cuts without program cuts? He need not harp on where the money is coming from (the 2%); he needs to harp on a plan that gives the other 98% their fair share, like Bush is appearing to.

    I don't think this is right - I have said here many times that further tax cuts have the potential to be catastrophic. But it is reality. All this navel gazing and worrying about whether Bill is a "last word" person is stupid IF it doesn't address the reality we are facing. Everyone knows it is wrong to lie. Why isn't it sinking in that the American people DON'T see that as a compelling election-deciding issue? Well, isn't it fait acompli that politicians lie? Even the so-called expert, Theadlerian, who I understand has worked for 46 years on human nature, doesn't understand human nature. Popular opinion has Reagan as one of the best Presidents, ever. Why? He was accused of lying. But he put money in people's pockets and he made them feel safe. He is a very different president than Bush, but they are alike on one thing: they have the perception of the people that they are putting money in their pockets, and keeping them safe. Carter? Couldn't keep money in their pockets. Clinton? Well, he lied too, but he did a lot better otherwise; but despite keeping the money in people's pockets, Gore (running on the Clinton-Gore legacy) couldn't convince people that it would stay there, and couldn't convince people he had the character to keep them safe. To compound the problem, yesterday on Yahoo there was a story that Kerry is pulling some campaign ads from up to four states, at least one of which was a key battle ground state. Kerry is conceding battleground states in September!! http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...5&sid=96378798 see also: http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1117292004

    I got lambasted for suggesting that the constitutional process was followed to the letter vis-a-vis Iraq; as if we should have proactively thrown out 225 years of established constitutional jurisprudence because some anonymous douchebag on a chat board doesn't like the potential consequences. Please. ANY sports fan knows that you don't argue the rules themselves, you model your gameplan on the rules that both teams have to play under. If the anti-war faction felt that strongly about things, they should have targeted the Kerry's of the country and told them: listen, if you vote to give war authority you HAVE to assume the President will use it. I'm gonna vote for Kerry - not the first time I have said this, Jagged, but I say it again despite the bad taste from the liberals here - but I have a strong feeling deep down that when I come back here to find out how Michael's vacation went there will be a post in the Political Pressures section to the tune of "I can't believe we are stuck with four more years of this monkey". And the majority of you will be no closer to understanding why.

    I'm sure someone (I'm guessing L'Etranger, since he won't miss an opportunity to bash an arrogant American) will have a snarky comment about this note. Fair enough, some of the criticism will undoubtedly be true. Just make sure that after you have all gotten a shot in, and after you are all done drinking your own bathwater, that when Bush gives his acceptance speech that you remember the message if not the messenger. I hope you are all proud of how well you exercised the "compassion" that is supposedly such a big part of your world toward someone who was both sympathetic to your cause but understood the other side.

  • #2
    Omg, Bill, you've often accused us of being "holier-than-thou", but this takes the prize. If you're going out, slamming the door in that way, I'm not even going to shed a tear. I would have expected much better from you. I did respect Bill so much... oh, well
    "If the environment were a bank, we would already have saved it." -Graffitti.

    Comment


    • #3
      As one of the worst offenders for personal attacks, Jagged, that really comes as no surprise.

      Originally posted by Jagged
      Omg, Bill, you've often accused us of being "holier-than-thou", but this takes the prize. If you're going out, slamming the door in that way, I'm not even going to shed a tear.

      Comment


      • #4
        Whew... I got caught in a rut there, Bill. Actually, I'll miss you a lot. You were always a decent fellow. I admit I got heated for a mo about all the accusations you flung around, rather than seeing your pain. This communication thing can be hard sometimes.

        The truth, of course, is I *will* miss you. It just sometimes catches me by surprise that I can have feelings for someone whom I've only ever seen as letters on the internet.

        Take care, Bill... you were always a good sport. Come back and see us in November if you like.
        "If the environment were a bank, we would already have saved it." -Graffitti.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Kitsune
          As one of the worst offenders for personal attacks
          Am I? I never meant to be. Apologies to anybody I hit. This is certainly going to send me thinking.
          "If the environment were a bank, we would already have saved it." -Graffitti.

          Comment


          • #6
            The people you critize in your open letter Bill are people whose thesis statements you've concentrated on fracturing. Your posting style has had the following patterns:

            1) You post no thesis statements of your own.

            When you click the following link and examine the "Author" column on both pages an invisible pattern is present:

            [broken link]

            Bill has started all of two threads. One a complaint about how I run the forum and one that is political in nature.

            2) You fracture thesis statements.

            Bill has done his best to ruin discussion among people he should be listening to and observe some sophisticated debate evolve. Instead he has a tendency to drag the conversation to some convoluted off-topic banality.

            3) You insult the audience.

            You resort to name calling. I invite you all to search on the word "bonehead".

            As far as I can tell, Bill, your only function here is to make people feel bad and actually incite the silliness of some of our challenged visitors. I feel that you incite, invite and encourage the behaviour you are whining about by the social hacking you are engaging in. You're going to have to accept there are unintended consequences awaiting you when you attempt to hack a group that is filled with people much smarter than you. When I read your open letter, I immeadiately poured myself some pumpkin ale.
            Last edited by Rothgo; 04-13-2010, 12:25 PM.
            The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

            Comment


            • #7
              I think what happens alot, is that people don't see it when a post is hostile but they agree with it, they they don't notice it. Recently someone ran a post that was nothing but a personal attack on myself and Bill, I ignored it because I realized I'd be better off if it just went away. After all, when someone really is trolling, the worst thing for them is to be ignored. Bill responded to it, and you engaged in what I read as a personal attack on Bill. I've see the same type of thing happen to liberals posting on conservative boards.

              Originally posted by Jagged
              Whew... I got caught in a rut there, Bill. Actually, I'll miss you a lot. You were always a decent fellow. I admit I got heated for a mo about all the accusations you flung around, rather than seeing your pain. This communication thing can be hard sometimes.

              The truth, of course, is I *will* miss you. It just sometimes catches me by surprise that I can have feelings for someone whom I've only ever seen as letters on the internet.

              Take care, Bill... you were always a good sport. Come back and see us in November if you like.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Bowing to political pressure...

                Originally posted by Bill
                This political ambushing, I mean, "debate", is tiring.
                Nice opening. Really sets the mood for what's to come!

                Originally posted by Bill
                I've been lucky to have support - if not agreement - here from some pretty intelligent people (Doc, Carter, Von Weiner, Michael himself)...
                Huh? Wha? Where am I? Hello?

                Originally posted by Bill
                People like Foozle, Theadlerian, even Psychic (who strikes me as a decent, if overly passionate, guy - how come no one accuses you of being too serious? Oh right, they agree with you)...
                Oh, there I am! In there with the people you despise. Okay, got it.

                Overly passionate!? Dude, take of the hypocrisy hat. You're accusing me of being overly passionate? As you like to say, Bill, 'pot and kettle.'

                That said, I honestly don't see how being too passionate for what I believe in is a bad thing.

                Originally posted by Bill
                We ought to be ashamed of ourselves, but we're too high on ourselves - and our righteous positions - to do that.
                Nice tactic, but we all know you mean "You ought to be ashamed of yourselves, but you're too high on yourselves..."

                Originally posted by Bill
                You can all talk all you want about your high intellect...
                Who does this? Like we sit around chatting, "My, but I have a huge brain. I'm actually writing a thesis on Static Equilibrium as it applies outside our solar system while simultaneously performing surgery on my dog and posting on this board."

                Originally posted by Bill
                God forbid (that doesn't make me a fundamentalist) someone points out a weak point in the holier than thou anti-Bush campaign. It gets dismissed with charges of "elitism", and references to "life manuals" and "being sold a bill of goods".
                The life manual comment was mine and I already knew you weren't among the Bible-thumping right. You chose to be offended anyway. I... wasn't... even... talking... about... YOU.

                You kept saying you're not going to vote for Bush, you never said who you were going to vote for. That leaves the taste of BS in people's mouths; makes 'em think you were just giving lip service.

                Then you react so defensively to comments about an elitist, Bible-thumping Right -- which you have repeatedly made clear you're not even a part of -- that no one believes you're not a part of it! Do you get it?

                The rest of the stuff you wrote contained so much sarcastic name-calling (ah-ah, that pesky hypocrisy hat again) that I'm just going to stop here. I have no more comments on it.

                Take your ball and go home Bill. Sorry we roughed it up a bit, but at least you have the money to buy a new one. I'm going to continue to fight for those who do not...

                ...passionately.
                "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

                Comment


                • #9
                  I hope I am not out of line for suggesting that Bill's job may actually be to come to sites like this one and post his anti-progressive messages. I don't know if it's paranoia or not, but lot's of progressive boards have frequent trolls that go there just to post opposing viewpoints. I think what suggests something more sinister than a desire for lively debate is the frequency with which those persons make their messages. They either don't have jobs (for whatever reasons: retired, great wealth, out of work and looking, etc), are self-employed and lack the discipline for real work, or are simply paid to be the voice of the right-wing and sow dissension amongst the progressives.

                  In 1968 the Yippies thought little of these suggestions too, and then it turned out that mongst their numbers in Chicago were several policemen and FBI agents. Recently "Peace Fresno" in California was infiltrated by a Sherrif's Department agent. http://www.etext.org/Politics/MIM/sf...filtrator.html I originally saw that piece on a national TV show like 20/20 or something, btw. How stupid would we be if we thought a place as anonymous as the internet were actually free from these kinds of intrusions?

                  We think it doesn't happen because we assume we have the right to speak our minds and to be free from government intrusions. But the government can and does make it their business to silence dissent. You may rely upon that fact - it's foolish to assume otherwise.

                  Now what's Bill's story? I have no idea. I'm not going to read through hundreds of posts to find out either - not after some of what I have seen here from some others. Berry Sizemore suggests that Bill's purpose seems to be one of tearing down the arguments of others on this board and I have no doubts but that such must be true.

                  But the question remains: How and why does he do it?

                  He sure spends a lot of time here. Now occasionally anyone might spend that much time doing something as fruitless as posting messages to a board like this one. But all the time for months on end? He has amassed many hundreds of messages here. It sort of makes my spidey-sense tingle. Bill's tenacity for sticking it out here is strangely job-like, especially against the weight of the commentary from those who oppose him.

                  Now, of course, I am most likely going to be dismissed as a paranoid nutcase. All I am saying is that you don't always know who you are talking to on the internet and that by definition it means you do not understand their motives. All you can go by is what they express in their messages.

                  Now go back and reread what Berry Sizemore wrote about "Bill."

                  By their works shall ye know them.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Bill's a decent guy.
                    I wish he didn't take things so personally.

                    I wish all conservatives had
                    at least his level of intellect.

                    Berry, good post. It in no way shape or
                    form says that Bill's a bad guy. It shouldn't
                    be percieved as a personal attack.

                    Come back, Bill. You actually have friends here.

                    I hope Bush doesn't win.
                    If he does, well everything here will be
                    the same ole, same ole

                    Maybe people will get together and literally
                    throw him out of office :D
                    \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
                    Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm not even sure where to post this...there seem to be so many threads all talking about the same thing.

                      As you all can see, I'm new here. But I've been reading your posts and felt like I wanted to respond. For whatever it's worth.

                      First off, I don't know any of you. None of you know me. And isn't it a bit narcissistic to think otherwise? No matter how many posts a person has listed under their log on names? What we have here are words on a screen people. So much intent is lost in a message when one cannot have any idea about the person who wrote it, cannot see their body language and facial expression, cannot know if their dog just got hit by a car and they've just been told their job is getting transferred across the country.

                      My point is, that you are all obviously smart people who share a common interest. You all bring with you your own emotions, values and opinions and that is a wonderful thing. The trick is finding a way to express those opinions without letting the message dwindle down into attacking other's opinions simply because they differ from your own.

                      "All shades of opinion feed an open mind." Peter Gabriel

                      Perhaps those of you who have gotten feelings hurt or noses bent out of shape need to take a good long look in the mirror.

                      And in case some of you assume I'm taking a "holier-than-thou" stance on a situation that I know nothing about, I freely admit to having these types of heated debates on other boards and falling into these same traps. I've had to take my own advice many more times than I care to admit. It's not easy, but it is important to do from time to time. I've learned a lot about myself in that way.

                      I'm sure there will those here who will feel free to rip my post into shreds anyway. That is to be expected. But I do hope that this message will be taken in the spirit that it was meant. Life is short. Live and learn.

                      Peace

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think it should be a requirement for everyone who participates in heated debates on here be required to be part of a weekly teleconference where we all sing Cumbaya together!

                        Cumbaya my Lord. Cumbaya!

                        Oh Lord. Cumbaya!


                        Preferably before the weekends, so we can carry through our time off from work without feeling angry about that damn argument on the internet!

                        ___________
                        With my luck, I probably spelled it wrong... :? :roll:
                        \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
                        Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          WOW... just like the Vorlon Tabernacle Choir.
                          Originally posted by Jerico
                          I think it should be a requirement for everyone who participates in heated debates on here be required to be part of a weekly teleconference where we all sing Cumbaya together!

                          Cumbaya my Lord. Cumbaya!

                          Oh Lord. Cumbaya!


                          Preferably before the weekends, so we can carry through our time off from work without feeling angry about what damn argument on the internet!

                          ___________
                          With my luck, I probably spelled it wrong... :? :roll:

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TheAdlerian
                            Those of us that are being real may get insulted because we feel that we are being misunderstood or that our core values are being misunderstood. Also, people can get upset if they realize that they are wrong and have difficulty dealing with that. Additionally, it can be upsetting to know you are right in a crowd of people that are wrong. This is the risk of giving your opinion. All of this stuff is personal and meaningful and that’s one of the reasons why its fun.

                            Supposedly, we get to know each other by our opinions here because its a virtual community. So, saying that you don’t know someone is true but it may not be virtually true.
                            I completely understand what you are saying here. But let me give an example.

                            Jerico posted after my post something along the lines of maybe we should all get together and sing "Cumbaya" every week.

                            I can take that post several different ways.

                            If I'm feeling defensive, I can take that to be a slam against my post and feel that he is mocking me by what he said. I can continue this line of thinking by surmising that he needs to put other people down in order to make himself feel important. I can actually find myself disliking him completely based on this one post alone.

                            If I'm in an upbeat mood I can take his post to be humerous and laugh along with it. I can think, "wow, Jerico has a good sense of humor. I'd like to read more of what he writes because I like someone who appreciates sarcasm and comedy."

                            If I'm feeling critical I can take his post to mean that he really didn't "get" a thing I wrote about because he isn't smart enough to and his response really says more about him than it does about anything that I said previously.

                            Do you see what I mean? And that doesn't even begin to address what the REAL meaning of his post was. I don't KNOW him. I don't KNOW if he's having a bad day...I don't know if he's typically like this...I don't know ANYTHING. I can assume that I do and I can respond accordingly. Or I can just read his post, check out what buttons it may or may not push in me, and move onto the next post. Or I can come right out and ask him to clarify what he meant.

                            There are lots of ways to interpret words on a screen (or on a page) and that is what I love about reading and writing. But it can often be a double-edged sword. I'm only asking that people stop and think about this fact before they let their assumptions about people they don't know get the better of them.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hmmmm, I think it is always a defeat if you loose someone instead of winning him. I don't feel "triumphant" in any way (I'm not saying anybody else is).
                              For me it was much like what Berry describes how "Bill" antagonized many of us by his tenacity and his obsession (as we interpret it) to fracture and "ruin" discussions. I often did not feel being up to the "war of attrition"-like discussion style. I don't have the time either, it is tiring and finally boring. I was reminded, indeed, of law students practicing just this, wearing out/down the opponent.

                              Maybe it is "cheap" psychology, but all this points to a "locked" personality thing, like Adlerian says. We are co-responsible for the impression of "screen personalities" that gradually take shape in the others' minds by what we write in the posts and what we offer therein of ourselves. By his characteristic, often destructive-disruptive, and often baiting posts Bill offered a concept of how he is. And it isn't surprising if you start assuming this is a mirrage of the real person. All of us probably knew a guy at high school who began maybe every sentence with "BUT", until nobody wanted to talk to him anymore, and who just could not break up this mechanism out of his own. I went perhaps too far wishing (albeit sincerely) that he wasn't like this in real life. I apologized afterwards for perhaps being too personal. The mistake is, of course, that I failed to see that such a person is already so entrenched that he will mistrust any step towards him.

                              Many of us can be reached by "red telephone" outside of a heated up thread (i.e. we show an email address by which we can communicate and perhaps defuse something that is brewing up). Bill never "offered" the use of the "use of the red phone".

                              To sum this up, I won't miss "Bill" very much, but it is sad that someone actually felt "mobbed". It was no intention, I'm sure, but obviously worked in such a way, particularly as he couldn't step out his "screen self" to see how he came across even though it was pointed out to him often enough.

                              Bon Soir, Good Evening!
                              L'Etranger
                              Google ergo sum

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