Taking umbrage

Time this was written, a minor post and yet important for some.

If we [and I am including myself] take the number of times we’ve been offended, it might fall into the categories:

1. Out-and-out attack on us;
2. Being ignored;
3. Veiled references.

Out and out attack

It was pointed out in a comment marked private that I appear to have taken offence at mild comments when out-and-out attacks on me do not seem to hurt.   That’s true – people going beserk, for me, is so par for the course and especially in the political arena, it has zero effect. Ofttimes I deliberately induce it, so I could hardly take offence at what I’ve caused.

Nasty people have worked out though that they can get at me on things like the sexual and general PC prejudice of the current day and so tailor their comments on those matters, knowing it can get under the guard. This says more about them than me but let’s move on.

Failing to take things onboard

Another thing – the main thing really – which annoys the hell out of me is people ignoring what has been written, which took a lot of preparation and research in some cases – just completely ignoring it and riding in with exactly the same errors as they had done before. Nothing has been taken on board, they only want to counter what is said -countering it is everything – more often than not without any back up evidence and on any other blog, these people would be labelled shills or trolls.

This is an academic matter and relates to my former work, where rigorous standards apply and you buck them at your peril.  A blog seems to be open slather though in some people’s minds.

In 2007 there was a correspondence between myself and another blogger in which I demanded she speak the truth. She wrote back: “Well I have to defend myself, don’t I?”

I replied: “No, you have to tell the truth.”

Perhaps people operate differently to me.  Close people have said to me not to expend so much time and energy on those who wilfully will not learn, who don’t wish to know.  To quote Revolution Harry at OoL two days ago:  “Some people will never get it, James.”

I know that, Harry but it annoys none the less.  Some say that means I think I’m always right.  More often than not it does mean that, not through any mortgage on wisdom but by simply having done my homework before opening my mouth.   I don’t “think I’m always right”,  I know I’m right in most cases for that reason alone – having the data at the ready – and for no other reason, certainly nothing to do with intellect.

Where I’ve been factually wrong through carelessness or going too fast, I’ve usually made some aside, gone in and corrected it.   Would that everyone did the same thing.   Some do and thus they’re the ones who get visited most often because they’re fine bloggers.

Being ignored

The most misunderstood, I feel, is N2 – being ignored. This itself can be anything from someone not running your link when you run his, someone coming up with the same thing you did but you did it earlier, lack of comments in the comments thread, being ostracized and deliberately ignored, not being visited when you visit him and so on.

This, I feel, is where the most offence is taken and where the least offence should be taken. It’s a dangerous principle to read into the actions of others ulterior and nefarious motives, when it can simply be that you’re tied up with RL issues, have other things to attend to, have a routine to complete, couldn’t be a***ed blogging in general and other things which contribute to offence, including one’s own family.

It’s really tempting to fall into this trap – that the reason his post got so many comments and mine didn’t was not to do with the quality of the posts but for so many other reasons.   If you wrote a post here and it was ignored, it might be that people came for information or that they dislike me or that some people want the main blogger only [which I think is ridiculous – many of the best posts here are by others] or for so many other reasons.

Some people just like to lurk, in blogging terms and that’s just fine.   How do you know your post hasn’t been read in RSS?   Also, some of the most hit posts, not always for positive reasons, are the least commented on.

There may be former bad blood which makes a person think they’re ignored.   If your comments appear and continue to, then it is logical I have no issue with you.  If they don’t appear for some time, then it’s obviously for some other reason, e.g. that I crashed and was asleep for 12 hours – getting on a bit you know.

And what if I am ignored and know by whom and why?   That’s par for the course as well.  I can name three bloggers immediately who don’t appreciate me either visiting or commenting.  LOL.   I still try.   On this blog, you’d be told you weren’t welcome – there’d be nothing silent and in the background about it.  Until such time, you’re most welcome.

Someone else wrote, castigating me for allowing comments by some other people.   Why wouldn’t I?   I don’t hold grudges for years and years, stating on my blog things like: “I’m not a vindictive man,”  having conducted a vendetta for four years.    I nearly spilt the coffee when I saw that and had to hold my sides for the pain.

No really – perhaps we lose perspective at times and I’ve done that – yes.   Yet this is just a blog, an internet thingy.   That’s all it is.  We’re very proud of NO and OoL but if they disappeared, we wouldn’t slit our wrists.    I don’t go along with those who say internet friendships are not real – I have some very real ones and those people are clearly the salt of the earth.   I’m delighted they’d deign to count me a friend because I’m not the easiest person to get along with.

The blog, to me, is a forum and a magazine, no more, no less.   As in Rugby and the Olympic team sports, the hostilities cease once we’re off the pitch or court.

Those are just some thoughts on those issues.

6 comments for “Taking umbrage

  1. August 14, 2012 at 10:50

    Yes I like that – particularly the section on being ignored. We all have a real life and there is much that we just don’t notice in this strange, virtual world we are building.

    Such thoughts must weave their way in and out of all our minds. I find hit counts a bit of a mystery and tend to take them with a large pinch of salt.

    Comments are good, but I visit many blogs where I never leave one. Maybe it’s a lingering dead tree press habit – read and move on.

  2. August 14, 2012 at 11:24

    We all do that – there’s only so much time too. For example, Churchmouse hardly ever comes to this blog and I know why – he’s busy writing, not reading – I know the feeling.

    Bet there are about four posts of yours up, AKH, when I go there after this. There’s only so much time, is there not? Macheath, Restoring Britain, Grumpologist – I haven’t been there enough and need to.

    The Reader helps at least to see what they’ve written. As long as we’ve seen the posts, that is about all we can do in most cases. I know Tom Paine reads here and I read him in RSS. Mark in Mayenne etc.

  3. August 14, 2012 at 17:35

    As an enthusiastic reader of both OoL and NO, I hope that I can comment on those posts where I think I have something to say, stay silent if I have nothing to add, and disagree without causing offense. I don’t always read all the posts, if the headline makes me think I will not find the post interesting, or if I’ve been away and not read anything in the mean time.

  4. August 14, 2012 at 22:29

    I would add a category 4 that leads to offence:

    A put down and a dismissive comment about someones comments and thoughts.

  5. August 14, 2012 at 22:54

    Depends whether it is well thought out and supported by evidence though, doesn’t it? When it’s not, it tends to be countered by the facts. When it is, it’s built upon. That’s the nature of debate.

  6. August 14, 2012 at 23:07

    It should mean just that. But when someone reads something they are not comfortable with or or haven’t come across before.

    It can (and does) lead to my number 4 category…

    So number 4 kicks in before the debate and conversation about the evidence even starts…

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