9 ago. 2005

My position on most "blog wars" is that the fewer people who pile on, the better. I have never regretted *not* getting involved in a conflict that didn't really concern me. On the other hand, I have regretted doing the opposite a couple of times. Once the participants have calmed down, they're not going to fondly remember the fact that you helped to keep things inflamed a little longer. This post is not an intervention in a blog war now going on at other venues.

25 comentarios:

Anne Boyer dijo...

If someone you like is being a bully, and thus keeping their ideas from being taken seriously by wrapping them up in an atmosphere of fear and ridicule, isn't it worth it (just out of love, interest in those ideas, concern for the quality and habits of our community, etc.) to say _chill_? I want to hear Jim's critique of Kent's work, but it is really hard to listen through all that self-protective din of "f*ck yous."

There is such a thing as speaking what needs to be spoken -- and calling out bullying is not at all like "piling on" or even taking sides. I would hate to be on a playground with people who thought it was, for to hold up the wall watching in nervous glee seems almost more pathetic than saying something crossed the line.

If I start getting randomly and obsessively ad hominum, I would hope my friends and fellow poets would also do the favor of telling me to check it. It's compassion, that critique.


Tony dijo...

I'm really pretty amazed at all the poets who bristle at Kent's work...

Are our little poet egos really that fragile?

I have no idea if this is relevant to this post or the above comment.

Jonathan dijo...

I'm not in favor of bullying. Anyone who is bullying anyone is hereby encouraged to stop it.

Tony dijo...

Okay! (I'm not bullying. I don't think.)

K. Silem Mohammad dijo...

I like it when people I agree with bully people I disagree with.

This has been my moment of ill-advised personal honesty for today.

Jonathan dijo...

We all like that to some degree. That's why we watch in horrified fascination.

Henry Gould dijo...

from "etymonline.com":

bully (n.)
1538, originally "sweetheart," applied to either sex, from Du. boel "lover, brother," probably dim. of M.H.G. buole "brother," of uncertain origin (cf. Ger. buhle "lover"). Meaning deteriorated 17c. through "fine fellow," "blusterer," to "harasser of the weak" (1653). Perhaps this was by infl. of bull, but a connecting sense between "lover" and "ruffian" may be in "protector of a prostitute," which was one sense of bully (though not specifically attested until 1706). The verb is first attested 1710. The expression meaning "worthy, jolly, admirable" (esp. in 1864 U.S. slang bully for you!) is first attested 1681, and preserves an earlier, positive sense of the word.

Jonathan dijo...

Fascinating etymology!

Gary dijo...

That is fascinating etymology. I feel stupid for having always believed that "bully for you" was a British, not U.S., phrase. I always believed that, I think, because the first time I ever heard it was in David Bowie's song, "Fame," and since he's British, I assumed it was British slang.

The embarrassing thing is, I'm pretty sure I've heard that phrase numerous times since, in old American movies.

Jonathan dijo...

I thought it was British too, but this isn't high on my list of embarrassments.

Anne Boyer dijo...

Kasey, you are a hoot. I like it so much better, though, when people I agree with cogently and cleverly dismantle the arguments of people I disagree with.

That's HOT. I love a good, _smart_ brawl.

Could Kasey and Jonathan blog fight instead? I would pay to see that.

Tony, you could join, too.

bull by horns,

Jonathan dijo...

That's one fight you'll never see. I rarely disagree with Kasey. Even when I do, there's no sense that disagreeing with someone's ideas implies a lack of respect for the person.

K. Silem Mohammad dijo...

I don't know--I think Anne has something there. "In this corner, wearing lime-green trunks...."

I like to imagine the rules for it. Like, you actually get extra points for well-aimed ad hominem assaults in addition to salient critical parries, but the personal stuff has to not cross certain lines. For instance, mothers might be off limits, or you could get dinged for cheap shots like picking on typos. If there were a way to make money off it, I might go for it.

Pay me no mind, I'm in a belligerent mood today.

Anne Boyer dijo...

Jonathan, exactly! Disagreeing with someone's ideas does not imply a lack of respect for that person. Disagreeing with someone's ideas can be done without ridiculing people, making threats against their friends, emailing their bosses, etc., and to point out that these moves obscure what might be an otherwise important critique of work is not _piling on_.

See, Jonathan, I knew you'd make a good blog fighter.

Likewise, disliking someone's lapses in rhetorical strategy does not mean one dislikes the opinions expressed nor the person expressing them.

But yo, bullying is serious business. I learned that yesterday when Jordan made that link to the site that said "What to do if you witness bullying." Indeed, I read that if you aren't afraid , you should speak up. I'm a big fan of Jordan's and trust his sources, and I am only rarely afraid (not of Kent Johnson or Jim B., though sometimes of ladders) so here I am, speaking up.

Kasey, is that you in the lime green shorts? Is this going to be on PPV?

Whose running the books on this?


Anne Boyer dijo...

or "who's".

I'd lose on typos, so I'm just hanging out in the cheap seats.


Jonathan dijo...

I lack the killer instinct. I tend to to want come on strong early, then back away and throw the fight in the last rounds.

Tony dijo...

Like Jonathan, I too lack the instinct of a killer. I get bored easily with blogwarring.

Besides, I only blogwar with other people named Tony, and poets of Latin or Hispanic descent.

Anne, I will join anything you ask me to. I am under your spell.

shanna dijo...

ah, so this is where everyone is waiting it out. i brought beer.

Jonathan dijo...

Yes, Shanna, pull up a chair and pass around the brew!

Anne Boyer dijo...

Tony, Jonathan, Shanna,

You remind me comment boxes are good for nothing but drinking or flirting. Right on.

Still, at the thought of Kasey in one of those cute green satin boxer costumes, I'm humming Eye of the Tiger.

Now give me one of those beers.


* dijo...

I'm supposed to have left my crush list days behind (contractly obligated). But Anne Boyer is kicking my ass. She's #1 on the invisi-list. I do want to give her rhetorically what she wants--so I'll have to say I love you in a chapbook.


My poet ego is brittle but I got a killer haircut just like Tony's.

Jimmy Behrle

Henry Gould dijo...

STUBBORN GREW (remember that book?) is full of bull & bullies.

"The bull, unleashed, rushed for Siberia,
entranced. White nights, metallic,
streaming (milky) toward - Mexique.
Wolf shamans in sheepish paraphernalia

haruspicating trivial constellations,
entrails full of liveried air.
Ambervaglia. Square
one, always, again. Nations'

patients, springing toward delivery room.
Midwifery - severe, umbilical -
deep tonnage of emptied black hole -
ribcage, heavenly irises, rolled into the gloom...

Babylon, King Starlight. Daniel's
lyin in the den, by the fireplace, over the black
sheepskin, tickley, tacky. Hasten back
to Hackensack, well-done quixotic spaniel!"

* dijo...

Henry, what the hell are you talking about?

Don't make me e-mail the President of Brown on you.


Henry Gould dijo...

you wouldn't be a tattle-tale, would you, Jim? say it ain't so!

Jonathan dijo...

Everyone's crush on Anne Boyer... You heard it first in the comment boxes of B.S.