In the IMHO thread on military etiquette, Asimovian warned firstname.lastname@example.org for this:
I took this as an over-the-top joke, and not as a sincere attack on the military. Asimovian was right to criticize it, but it really struck me as absurdist humor.
“What do you do if a professor is late to a class?”
“For a Full Professor, ou kick him in the groin, pound his head against the lab bench, and gouge his eyes out. For an Associate Professor…” etc. It’s humor of irony, in an extreme (jugular!) vein.
ETA: oh, bah: I mucked up the thread title. It was meant to be “A Quick Defense of t-bonham@ scc.net”
ETA: the post formater wants to put “email” blocks around the user name, so I put a space in to make that not happen.
Prompted by this thread, I just spent the last several minutes poring over results of a search for t-bonham and military. t-bonham has contributed extensively to military threads over the course of at least the last 11 years, based on what I just saw, and I haven’t seen anything suggesting he’s out to attack them. So I’m inclined to think you’re right, though I wasn’t aware of the history beforehand.
You’re not alone, I suspect, as the post came to my attention by having been reported. But based on the above assessment, I’m going to reduce the warning to a note for going (very) off-topic. If t-bonham wishes to correct me and say that it was actually meant to derail the thread with a political jab at the military, I can reinstate the warning, but I suspect that’s not going to happen.
I can live with the reduction and the reasons given but on a certain level it does bother me; I thought the original call and warning were pretty well deserved. I am sure the number of relatives and friends I’ve had in the service is a big reason for it, especially since some have died as a result, but there it stands. I’ve seen enough things discussed here (ATMB) that could have been bad humor draw full warnings or even bans. Different subjects, different targets? Sure. But it wasn’t that odd an action by one of the Mods. And its not like email@example.com himself came in and said it was a bad joke and apologized, right?
It’s a view sincerely held by a surprising number of posters on this MB. It’s unclear to me why anyone would assume it was a joke. If that poster wants to come in here and explain how it was intended to be a joke, I’m certainly willing to listen, though.
Just my US$0.02, but I took it as a joke. I didn’t find it a very creative joke, though it worked as a juxtaposition within the topic of respecting the military, and so I snickered. But the dead babies thing is just so (yaawwwnn) 1970s.
I agree that a warning could still be defensible in that situation. But my primary interest in issuing notes and warnings (and, when necessary, suspensions and bannings) is about curtailing inappropriate behavior on the board, and not really going further with mod action than I think is necessary. In this particular case, in light of t-bonham’s history posting on the subject after the review I did this morning, I don’t see any reason to think right now that there’s likely to be a repeat of that sort of behavior. So my belief at the moment is that a note is enough to get the point across.
If I had continued to believe that the comment was truly meant to be a threadshitting political jab, or if I’d found a consistent history of really inappropriate off-topic jokes, then I’d have been more likely to let the warning stand. But for the time being, I think that a note serves the purpose, here.
As for your last point, moderators regularly have to make decisions that go against posters without direct input from those posters, sometimes relying on history or other evidence to support that decision. I don’t see why the same process can’t be applied in favor of a poster in this circumstance.
John Mace, yes, I’ve seen that view from other posters. They don’t usually say it just once. That’s why I went looking through the posting history in this case, to see if I could find evidence of that view from t-bonham elsewhere. I didn’t see it.