I’ve been absent for two days, partly because I’ve been overwhelmed with work, partly because the work pressure led to a crippling insomnia earlier this week, and partly because I was so unhappy with the way our comment threads have gone in recent days.

I almost never delete comments. In the past few days, I’ve even tolerated the comments from “Jessica Copeland,” because for some reason “Jessica” started sounding like a human being. But if I see signs of comment threads being highjacked for stupid personal arguments, I absolutely will not tolerate it. Argue with one another, disagree and point fingers. Whatever. But when someone offers a different point of view and is immediately turned upon as [add your favorite obscenity] the quality of the entire conversation plummets. And that I will not tolerate. I may disagree with Bingfeng, but I also consider him a friend and request we not label him a “shill.” (That’s just one case in point, of many, many cases I saw this past week.) This is not aimed at Pigsun or Ahmet or Ivan or anyone else in particular. it’s aimed at everyone, myself included. We can all be a little kinder and gentler.

The same goes for the Duckpond. Sometimes I don’t even want to look at the posts, they are so nasty. And then everyone emails me and wants me to delete the others’ posts. Before I go in and start deleting at will, I’m going to ask everyone to please be a little (i.e., a lot) more considerate and tolerant. This place will be mighty dull if we only tolerate like-minded commenters. I want to hear alternative viewpoints, I want to see opposing arguments. What I don’t want to see or hear is insults flying at the drop of a hat. I really felt like pulling the plug on the whole thing two days ago. Please: when this community gets into meaningful discussions, it can be really exciting and fun. When it descends into name-calling and slander and obscenities it becomes really offensive.

Sorry if I sound scolding, but enough is enough. Thanks for your understanding.

The Discussion: 6 Comments

Here, here! I can’t second what Richard says here strongly enough.

Please, everyone, try to think before you post. Take a few deep breaths and consider whether you would say some of the things you’re saying face to face with your adversary.

It never hurts to err on the side of courtesy.

I’ll admit, there are certain topics that these days automatically raise my blood pressure a few notches, and where I don’t always respond with kindness. But I’ll try to keep it civil.

September 7, 2006 @ 1:56 am | Comment

There goes half of Ivan’s posts then. Oooops!

September 7, 2006 @ 3:37 am | Comment

I know (I hope) Ivan will know I’m just kidding.

September 7, 2006 @ 3:39 am | Comment


Well, you asked for it. ๐Ÿ™‚ In reply to your comment, and to Richard’s post, I must hurl this cartoon clip at you.

When I was a boy, our local TV station was too poor to afford any of the famous “Schoolhouse Rock” Saturday Morning cartoons, except for this one. And this clip taught me everything that I know about English grammar.

Warning, this clip has been flagged by youtube because it includes the f-word. And so, you cannot view it unless you register – for free – with youtube. It only takes a few moments to register with youtube. Then, if you’re registered with youtube, you can click this link, and then click the “consent” button to hear the “offensive content”, ie, the f- word.

The title is, “Courtney Love Rocks”, aka, “Courtney Love Unpacks Her Expletives.” (For any Americans old enough to remember, it’s a satire of the 1970s “Schoolhouse Rock” song and cartoon titled, “I Unpacked My Adjectives”)

Oh and I think the background flute music is really cool, too.

Well, here you go. This is the song which taught me everything I know about how to use the English language, back when I was a lad:

(PS, Richard, will you give me some credit for having a sense of humour about this? ๐Ÿ™‚

September 7, 2006 @ 11:13 am | Comment

Kumba-ya, my lord, Kumba-ya…..

Jessica’s back?! Horrors, I thought he got a good hand-slapping from the computer lab at his university. Maybe he flunked out and has time on his hands again.

Glad (sorta) to see that Ivan the Terrible is still around. Shenzhenren is back, after a “damn good hacking” — at the new address in the link. Nothing there yet, except speaking of Youtube….do yourself a favor (totally non partisan, aural pleasure) and go to I promise you won’t regret it.

September 8, 2006 @ 3:44 am | Comment

Crap!!! I flew off the handle!! RIchard, delete my well-intentioned post to Jessica to go to hell on the other thread, I don’t know how to delete it, sorry.

September 10, 2006 @ 1:57 pm | Comment

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