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Old 05-31-2012, 07:14 AM   #253
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,183
Re: Spiritual and i/p

Hi David,

Thanks for your comments and your perspective. I admit, I was somewhat taken aback at your strong reaction to Mary E's analogy. I thought it was certainly worth taking issue with for a couple of reasons, but that it didn't rise to the level of an attack. I'll be honest and say that your level of anger seemed somewhat calculated to me, rather than sincere. But I also don't like it when someone tries to tell others how they ought to feel about something, particularly (as now) when I don't walk in your shoes, and I needed to clarify my own thoughts somewhat. So, thanks for your patience.

To the original comment, here's where I'd take issue with it:

1) It's a flawed analogy to compare a person's choice of attire and a person's decision to engage in discourse and manner of doing so. While it's possible to blur the lines, what I wear isn't about you; what I say to you or about you most definitely is.

2) The use of that particular image (blaming the victim of a rape) was poorly chosen. This may have been simple maladroitness, or it may have been a deliberate choice of shocking or inflammatory imagery. Either the effect was anticipated, or it should have been. Poor choice, either way.

At the same time, I believe Mary E is sincere in believing that Graham is being bullied or victimized on these forums. Again, we disagree. While I find conduct towards him lamentable at times, I don't think it's either bullying or victimization. I see that his behavior is at times insulting and provocative; I've been on the receiving end of his insults and disparaging remarks, too. But I think it's at least conceptually possible that this isn't exactly intentional, self-aware behavior on his part. I agree that it's not consistent, that it doesn't add up, and that he doesn't "walk his talk" in dialogue, never mind aikido...but it's quite possible, maybe even likely, that there's no cynicism in this, merely a rather glaring lack of self-awareness. Mary E seems to see him as a sincere, well-intentioned forum participant (which, on some level, he may be) who is being bullied by others (and it's entirely possible that some people open up his threads thinking, on some level, "Oh boy, I get to have a go at this nutter again!"). But regardless of what level the deception is taking place, whether you're lying to others or to yourself, it's effectively unassailable.