[See: "FREE WOMEN!" below.]
“HITS” IS ALL THAT MATTERS -
The Anchorage Daily News made a decision---after long, careful and heated consideration (I was told at the time)---to allow anonymous comments to our Alaska Voices blogs and to the other sections of this online newspaper. So, instead of requiring actual, real, genuine names of people we get stupid avatars and too many stupid comments.
Online advertisers, I’m guessing, don’t give a hoot about the quality of online comments or the identities of those who respond (although I am sure they would like more real names for their E-mailing lists). I am also guessing that online advertisers don’t care about the quality of these AK Voices blogs either---except insofar as they draw comments or “hits.“
THE COURAGE OF THE ANONYMOUS COMMENTER -
I presume there will never be the same number of comments “hits” if real names were required. It takes a certain amount of courage to actually put your real name on a piece of writing and submit it for public viewing.
Journalistically-speaking, keeping the identities of commenters a secret allows all sorts of ghastly comments to be made. The Daily News does keep out the worst of these---mostly naughty words, extremely vile slurs and threats of violence.
The fact that we don’t see the worst of the comments is a scary thought given the superficial sniping and distracted thoughts contained in many that do get posted! The Daily News does require some sort of relevance to the subject matter under discussion in the blog upon which the commenter is commenting---but that requirement is often stretched to the extreme outer limits.
For a while I stopped reading comments to my own blog because it was not worth my time---but they have gotten somewhat better. And some are a source of bitter amusement. Still, the main problem with many online comments is lack of content, lack of relevance to the subject and, of course, lack of manners. [Sure, I display bad manners myself…so what!] One of the most prevalent tactics of commenters is to pick some obscure statement in a blog or someone else’s comment and then comment to death on it! Another, and very Tea-publican tactic, is to turn the criticism around as if to say: Well, you are just as bad as we are.
PheOnix RISES…TO THE BAIT! -
Except for the side-benefits of amusement and a liberal freedom to speak out, we Alaska Voices bloggers are working for free. That is in keeping with the new journalism, where the newspaper and web sites are full of photos and comments sent in by readers for no pay. So, we are all certainly doing our part to keep the Anchorage Daily News afloat.
I am not paid enough, however, to get into pissing contests with commenters who are just plain nasty. [Unless I feel like it!] Or those who use their anonymity to fool with and taunt bloggers and other writers. [Unless, of course, I feel like it!] However, since the commenter under discussion here, one “PheOnix,” has a “history“ of taking potshots from the sniper’s nest of anonymity, I thought I deserved a bit of amusement at “his” expense. However, since PheOnix is more snotty than nasty, I do not wish at this time to address the subject of nastiness. That is a blog all by itself!
For the purpose of this discussion I refer to my previous blog: “The Tea Party’s holy war against women, science and ‘establishment‘ Republicans (See ‘WEAK TEA’ below)”…and the sequence of comments to that blog.
The first comment to this previous blog made by PheOnix was not very good criticism to begin with---especially considering my response to the previous commenters. The comment by PheOnix involved what I thought were citations of some fairly petty sexist remarks by various celebrities and a few politicians aiming to show that Democrats were just as sexist as the Tea-publicans who like to get right into women’s reproductive tracts and “direct traffic.“ That is, actually propose legislation telling women what they could or could not do with their reproductive systems---as opposed to the “bee-atches” and "ho‘s“ type remarks.
So, when PheOnix posted that first little comment, I thought I would entertain myself with the following rejoinder:
…you expect me to name Republican politicians ‘who support [Rep Todd] Akin’… I don’t get paid enough to do research… [And by the way, ‘twat‘ doesn’t rhyme with ‘thought.’]
“…I don’t give a damn about petty “sexism”---I am obviously talking about an organized, political, Tea-publican effort to make laws so they can crawl right into women’s wombs and direct traffic.
Phe0nix, you are one confused lady…” - R.W.
Unbelievably, PheOnix responded with a point by point list of rebuttals to show that the “Democrat” remarks were indeed sexist as Hell and, by extension so was I for categorizing these remarks as “petty.” The little rebuttals were even numbered---as if putting a sequence of numbers on them would make them important. “He” even clamed, once again in point number 2: “It does rhyme, but thanks for maintaining the level of class I've come to expect from this blog. I'm sure mothers everywhere appreciate letting their children read vulgarities.”
Rather self-righteous, I thought.
And there it was, number 6: “Why would you think I'm a woman?”
I laughed. Yes, out loud! And then I felt sorry for “him.” I just didn’t think “he” would be stupid enough (and/or sufficiently driven) to actually respond to my taunt.
I mean, most commenters would have called me a “liberal” or something, predicted a Tea-publican landslide in November and let it go at that. But no, PheOnix obviously took some time to prepare a rather laborious defense of his previous weak comment---adding that revealing little nugget at number 6!
I felt bad about it in a way because, for me, calling “him” a “lady” had been an indulgence…a momentary amusement. But for “him” it was real. This person must possess a compendium of psycho-sexual hang-ups. I mean, “he” is obviously fascinated by sex---and yet “he” can’t even spell out t-w-a-t…and can’t even pronounce it properly!
So, PheOnix, I apologize…but I can’t say that I won’t do it again next time someone pitches a big fat exercise ball right over the plate like that!
TO HE OR NOT TO SHE -
PheOnix is a familiar commenter on this blog site and his focus on sexual remarks reminded me that “he” had previously gloated that someone (another commenter on another AK Voices blog) didn’t know for sure when they called him a “he”---that he could well have been “she.” My private observation was that “he” (and my guess is that “he“ is a he---and certainly emotionally immature) should have the guts to reveal his correct name and gender and stop playing infantile games.
If memory serves, I believe it was also PheOnix who questioned the existence of a friend from Germany I had mentioned in a blog. My response, at that time, was to question right back how a person who didn’t even give his real name could have any standing to insinuate that my friend, the professor from Germany, was not a real person! So, it is with some provocation and justification that I went after this anonymous little twit [rhymes with “thought?“].
PheOnix is not a particularly malicious person---just hiding behind the cloak of anonymity to taunt us bloggers and fellow commenters. The transgressions of PheOnix are mostly in the realm of rambling blather and glancing trivialities---with a big insistence that the small points he is trying to make are very important and absolutely correct. I mean, not only does “he” want me to “research” some obscure point, but ”he” also wants me to explain to “him” “Why would you think I'm a woman?”
Hey, it was a joke! “He” or “she” or “it” could be gay or transgender for all I know! The comment to the previous blog by emccolgan fits PheOnix:
“Rudy has hit the nail on the head in plain talk that anyone can understand, unless of course, they choose ‘deliberate and relentless ignorance‘."
So, commenters: We may not know who you are [although my computer mentor says he knows how to find out…I just don‘t care in the specific instances!] but we sure know what you are! As for PheOnix, in addition to having an identity crisis “he” is also having a crisis regarding “his” sexual orientation. If “he” wants to be taken seriously I suggest “he” be a man (if that is the case) and give us a real name and a real sexual identity and/or gender.
And---aside from playing games behind the cover of anonymity---if PheOnix wants a point-by-point response to a niggling insistence on sexual trivialities, that commenter will need to come up with some more intelligent and focused comments.
After this incident I no longer find studied clueless-ness even mildly amusing enough to continue these little banters. For now!
WANTED: INTELLIGENT COMMENTS
I would encourage some of you more intelligent, knowledgeable and thoughtful readers of this blog site to hold your noses and comment---one way or the other. I value incisive criticism and intelligent insight over ideological fixation or agreement with my viewpoint.
- Rudy Wittshirk
FREE WOMEN! -
Feeling oppressed, are we? Ganged-up on? How does it feel? For all your whimpering it’s not even remotely like what a free woman must endure in America today.
This is not a Trekkie Convention---that ridiculous Commander Spock-TheSdog persona doesn‘t work now that we can see who you are. Remember when you outed yourself and I “dedicated” a blog, welcoming you as a fellow AK Voices blogger? [*see below]
You are a whining S-Pup! You want a reference for that? A link perhaps? Just look at your own lead-off comment. You couldn’t even take the time to check your spelling before you lashed out with an impotent yip---as someone had stepped on your tail!
And you didn’t provide a link or reference to that gratuitous “racial slur” thing. Why? Because people would see how ridiculous it was---one White Boy to another.
All the research and links and references can’t save the lousy arguments to justify the oppression of free women!
*My blog from August 2, 2009:
“Welcome to ‘voices,’ Dr. Brian Sweeney Jr. - aka ‘TheSdog’
“The truth unmasked:
TheSdog was right about one thing when he said that ‘Pravda‘ chose me to be an Alaska Voice because I am a ‘left wing hack.’ [see archived ‘How I wound up on this blog‘] You gotta admit---the Anchorage Daily News has a sense of humor.
I am reminded of a scene in the funniest vampire movie of all time: “Love At First Bite.” Richard Benjamin plays a Doctor (grandson of legendary Dr. Von Helsing) who wants to protect his girl friend (Susan Saint James) from a vampire played by George Hamilton. In frustration, he bursts into a restaurant where the couple is seated and begins blasting away at George Hamilton with a pistol while reassuring startled patrons: “It’s all right---I’m a doctor!”
You were so cute…completely didn’t get it! You said you didn’t own any guns. To which I replied:
“Explanatory Note For Doctors Only:
It was not because he was a doctor that actor-in-a-movie, Richard Benjamin, fired a pistol at George Hamilton---it was because he was frustrated. - R.”
TERMINAL THOUGHTS -
The philosophical comments to this blog were amusing. A reminder that we Humans evolved as hunter-gatherers---not to contemplate concepts like infinity, zero and the absolute. I noticed that the fans of absolute absolutism did not overtly enter the discussion.
My final thoughts on the more unseemly displays: Like I said, PheOnix ain’t all that nasty, but his little cheering section---both known and unknown---ain’t even “erudite!” So, PheOnix, you’re looking good!
On the bright side, the tag team of "The Hajj" and "The Geoff" is irrepressible. They are feisty and not the least bit intimidated by the malicious---and not the least bit tolerant of fools.
And malicious fools abound! Unsupported accusations of anti-Semitism and an incredibly hazy allegation of a “racial slur” [Does it rhyme with “thought?”] are flying around. The anonymous haven’t got the guts to give their names---and Dr. Sweeney’s “TheSDog“ comments are now indistinguishable from anonymous. In fact, in view of his uncharacteristically slow and rather restrained response to my challenge of his “racial slur“ accusation, it would appear his initial comeback may have been “flagged” as inappropriate. Way to go, Anchorage Daily News!
I must note that the criticism of Israel by some of my fellow bloggers is not necessarily “anti-Semitism” but quite refreshing, seeing as how AIPAC (a most powerful Jewish lobby) and the Armageddon-ists have got the American media and American politicians thoroughly pussy-whipped.
You anonymous commenters want hard-hitting blogging but you just can’t recognize---much less handle it. - R.W.
PS: Didn't mean to offend you there, Camp7---I can't comment on everything. Nor is it my "job" to do so. For one thing I live in a cabin and am getting ready for Winter.
I appreciate your rational comments. But things have gotten out of control down below in the "trenches" and, if it's any consolation, I no longer find it amusing.
I am working on another blog. - R.
Good points there, PheOnix! I do find many of the comments here, on all sides, to be just plain nasty, off-subject and vindictive. You've made your point! - R.