04-16-2000, 02:10 PM
I have offended some of the posters with my previous Thomas Paine thread.
I do not understand exactly happened.
It was not my intention to insult anyone.
I have apologised and I do so again.
Please help me understand the answers to these questions.
1. How did I offend the posters on my thread?
2. Is it customary to read the posts following the OP in a short thread before adding your own?
3. Do posters read sig lines?
4. Is there some custom against discussing sig lines?
5. If another poster makes a flippant comment about your post, is it acceptable to reply in the same fashion?
I would appreciate any helpful replies to these questions. You can view the old thread at:
Well, 2sense, you asked for constructive criticism, so here it is. To summarize in advance, IMHO this whole "Thomas Paine--American hero" thread is a blot on the SDMB landscape, and the sooner it sinks to the bottom of the list and disappears, the better.
Before we begin, let's talk about sig lines for a moment.
It is my observation that at the SDMB, a poster's sig line is only important to himself. Nobody else really cares that deeply what you put there, other than to glance at it to see if it's the same, or to smile at it for a moment if it's particularly clever. Sig lines tell you a little bit about the poster, but not that much. Therefore, there isn't that much discussion of sig lines as such. Nobody is that interested.
If you think we were all basically ignoring your sig line, you're right. It's because of one of three reasons: either because (a) we didn't get it, or (b) we got it but didn't agree with it, but were preserving a tactful silence, because there are more important things to talk about than someone's sig, and there certainly are more important things to FIGHT about, or (c) we got it, agreed with it, but didn't think it was necessary to say anything. It says "Thomas Paine" right there, so there was no need to initiate a series of "love your sig--who's it by?" posts.
Okay, now to the post mortem (brace yourself, it's ugly):
First, in your OP, you loudly demand that everyone stop what they're doing and discuss your sig line.
Throughout the entire thread, your tone is confrontational--you seem determined to pick a fight.
I was expecting someone to challange me about it, so I could discuss it....Is there some custom against discussing controversial sig lines?....I adopted a sig line soon after I got on this board that was uncomplimentary to Thomas Paine. I liked the inherent contradiction....I mean, Thomas Paine is an American Hero isn't he?
Your tone seems defensive somehow, as though you expect to be picked on.
After three posts in a row, by Doug Bowe, Dr. Watson, and Billehunt, explaining to you what you said you already knew,
So was Thomas Paine a fugitive slave catcher?
instead of saying, "Yeah, I knew that, don't you think that's a funny joke, on my sig?", you post this cryptic message:
The stated purpose of this board...
Do you not agree with this purpose?
Your answer was pithy, but quite incomplete.
Care to try again?
Which sounds snotty to me, babe. You sound spoiling for a fight.
In your next post, you ask Dr. Watson,
"Any ideas on my question?
What question? You didn't ask him a question that I could see.
The following 3:29 a.m. post doesn't make any sense at all. Who are you talking to?
TomH then makes a sensible comment, looking for information. He wants to know if you have the basic facts about Thomas Paine. If not, he would like to help you. He sounds annoyed, but not angry.
Yankee Blue then jokes with TomH, gives TomH (and you, because he knows you're listening) some more basic information about Thomas Paine, and then tells you the same thing I've been telling you.
originally posted by Yankee Blue:
And don't "try for drama" just ask your question if you have one, don't expect us to do all the work and run with your sig, half of us don't even read the things anyway.
Dr. Watson then asks the same thing I just did, "What question?" He wonders aloud whether
originally posted by Dr. Watson:
...you are trolling for an explanation of why no one responded to your trolling for a reaction.
Doug Bowe then expresses his mild exasperation with your confusing, confrontational post.
You are then furious that, evidently, someone has called you a troll. Shall we have another tedious discussion of the difference between "troll" and "trolling"? "Trolling" is throwing out bait, looking for a bite/fight. It sure seems to me that that's what you're doing in this entire thread.
The three posts between you and Organic Matter are calm, but you don't seem to take his point. The quote that Dr. Watson supplied,
originally posted by Dr. Watson:
"Character is much easier kept than recovered."
I think can be taken two ways. It may have meant that he was disagreeing with your statement in your sig that Thomas Paine was a fugitive slave catcher ("too bad that posterity wants to remember only the trashy facts about a great man"), and it may also have meant that you were behaving badly, that it was YOUR character that he was talking about. I'm not a mind reader, so I don't know. But you state,
What I don't understand is what I might have done that to cast doubt as to my character.
Obviously, you don't get it, and for someone to explain it to you in words of one syllable is going to involve the dreaded "T" word. The other posters are all decent people who prefer to walk away from a fight, and so they do.
Finally, at the end, when Pepperlandgirl very kindly gives you some basic facts so as to enlighten you about some of the things that are wrong with your sig, (remember, she has no way of knowing whether you seriously believe Tom Paine was a fugitive slave catcher or not--your whole thread has been about picking a fight, not about discussing this particular Urban Myth), instead of discussing this calmly with her, you demand that Eutychus close the thread.
All in all, no wonder people are pissed.
"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast!" - the White Queen
04-16-2000, 06:50 PM
Thank you for the constructive criticism. It was painfull, but just what I needed.
I have reread my posts several times.
I agree, they are confrontational.
I think you are right. I probably was feeling picked on when I made up my sig.
I will have to work on that, obviously.
I was unaware of the difference between troll/trolling. I can now see how this misunderstanding lead me to others.
The reason I asked Eutychus55 to close the thread was for the reasons stated.
Because of my lack of clarity in my posts, people didn't understand that I knew that the Thomas Paine quote was a lie.
I thought I would just recieve more posts like Pepperlandgirl's. ie- No this is untrue.
I know that it is untrue. I made it up. I thought that I had stated that in my 2nd post. I, of course, did not. I didn't realise that until halfway through this post. I thought that people were just reading the OP and then weighing in without reading on.
Is there an urban legend on this? I have never heard it. I am a fan of Thomas Paine, so I would remember if I did.
I think you are wrong. I don't think it should disappear. This could be a valuable cautionary tale for new posters. But, I am so embarassed by my stupidity that I hope it does go quickly.
All in all, no wonder people are pissed.
Thanks again for showing me why. For someone who claims not to be the mother, you sure gave me some much needed tough love. Many thanks.
Since my screw you...I'm sorry bit is getting stale, I will just promise to try to improve.
04-16-2000, 08:14 PM
Take it easy. No one's mad. All of us make mistakes. The most stupid thing I do (stupid means I have repeated it after learning it sucked the first time) was to post while angry.
And hold on. You really haven't been flamed yet. That's not my area, or Watson's. There are people on this board who could make your hair curl. And that's just from their first sentence.They're out there.
:::cue ominous music:::
04-16-2000, 09:44 PM
Damn. I hate being invoked by the *ominous music*. It gives me a bad case of Hitchcockian responsibility, and my good cowl is at the cleaners.
I don't think there's much to be said here that Notthemama didn't cover quite admirably, except to add that you have an odd way of expressing admiration for your heroes.
You might or might not have known that one of Paine's more notable articles was entitled, "African Slavery in America," in which he essentially tore the slave traders into small bits and fed them to the dogs. This was in 1774.
"It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what one does not believe."
-- Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason, 1794
Your 'hero' describes you as an infidel. But you appear to have seen that, and so ends another exciting episode of As The Teeming Millions Turn.
"My country is the world, and my religion is to do good." -- T. Paine
04-16-2000, 10:45 PM
Doug Bowe, and Dr. Watson:
Thank you so much. You are 2 truly nice people. I am grateful for your acceptance. MORE than grateful!
I am still pretty emotional. But I think that I will be able to keep my non-jerk attitude even when I have dealt with this.
You all have made me feel at home here. For the 1st time.
_________________________PEACE and LOVE
04-16-2000, 11:48 PM
Personally, I wasn't offended in the least by the original post.
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