Author Topic: my confession


  • Guest
my confession
« on: August 23, 2005 »
This curious artifact, also referenced in transcripts, has been saved as a reminder of how weird things can get on a forum. Here I found myself in all seriousness addressing somebody named Chuffy concerning his freedom to poke me with a stick in his sig.

Rereading this years later, I have to confess amusement at my reaction at the time. It would have been better to ignore him. (At least he chose something subjective. Like, you know, dickishness.) On the other hand, I think that people like him would have wrecked the forum. Indeed, people like him, albeit more patient to show their disdain, later did.

unconfirmed sighting

Chuffy is no longer permitted to post on acf because "he's back, but he's still not funny." Probably only the two of us know what that means, so I'll explain.

Several years ago I was a C+F regular and a monthly contributor to the mag. When the column was dropped (the publisher wasn't fond of it – maybe he didn't think it was funny, either) I went on sabbatical, returning to write features. Shortly thereafter the seven word critique, today reprinted in the acf sig line of this erstwhile member, appeared, launching a response. So much for our shared history.

If you had slaved over a forum for months, doing your best to create a safe haven and welcoming environment for all comers, wouldn't you like to feel that it was also a place where you yourself could relax? Don't you think that would be a fair perk of the job?

My big confession? I'm only human. It's not about vanity. It's about basic courtesy. It doesn't matter that nobody, until now, could possibly know what that sig line signified. For me it was proof that he only regards the past as a storage facility for weapons, and would in all likelihood contribute to my angina in future. I don't deserve that.

It's a shame. If he had been content to contribute to the forum as he did today, he could have flown under my radar forevermore. Due to his behaviour his mates here won't be able to interact with him on acf, but must go to wherever he roams.

I would ask that you respect my feelings on this and not question me about it here. acf may be 'mine', but I am accountable to you all. If any of you wish to contact me in private, I do answer my emails.

I don't normally post this way about individual cases, but the particular circumstances deemed it necessary.


  • Guest
still not getting it
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2005 »
I have been skewered with my own honesty. It wasn't those seven long dead words that precipitated my action. It was a fundamental misunderstanding of, or contempt for, what I'm trying to do here: maintain a pleasant environment. Is that really so difficult to comprehend?

When I read about acf in the forum which helped feed its growth it's like looking in a funhouse mirror. Everything is reflected out of proportion and just wrong. As for those who have registered here then posted there in a disaffected manner: Godspeed back to the twilight zone. They literally don't know what they're missing.

I managed the feat of ascertaining that 'My Confession' had been nicked whilst avoiding to consume the wordage fore and aft.* No doubt this too will be reprinted for the edification of those who do more posting than thinking. Here's a newsflash: quoting a few lines from someone else's work for the purposes of criticism or enlightenment has always been acceptable both morally and legally. Shoplifting the whole thing to play on your scratchy Victrola at home has not been. Suffice it to say this was par for the course.

My mail has been overwhelmingly positive. A few have urged restraint in the messy aftermath; I appreciate their concern. You know, trolls too have friends (who are hardly guilty by association). Did you think that they were evil creatures who shiver miserably alone under bridges? Not on your life.

Here are a few Wikipedia thoughts:

"Self-proclaimed "trolls" [obviously the "Self-proclaimed" bit doesn't apply here] may style themselves as devil's advocates, gadflies or "culture jammers," challenging the dominant discourse and assumptions of forum discussions in an attempt to break the status quo of groupthink - the belief system that prevails in their absence. Critics have claimed that genuine "devil's advocates" generally identify themselves as such out of respect for etiquette and courtesy, while trolls may dismiss etiquette and courtesy altogether.

Of course it's entirely consistent in my character that I also draw this to your attention:

To characterize systems administrators or moderators as "the troll who got there first" is not entirely inaccurate: many debates between those with and without administrative or legal powers seem simply to resemble a heated, personal, argument. On the Internet in particular, the holding of technological powers (such as the power to ban users or block IP addresses) is not necessarily a sign of any superior political or moral judgement.

I acted as I did because that's how I saw my antagonist in terms of his behaviour. Make no mistake: this was about behaviour rather than personalities. If it was about personalities I wouldn't have allowed him to post on acf in the first place. I am confident in my diagnosis not because I have special glasses which show me things nobody else can see (though I do, actually: it's called insight), but because of necessity I have quickly acquired a degree-level education on the subject, the result being acf.

* Context long since crumbled to dust, sorry