A word from SA regarding the "Insanity" thread


Okay, I suppose most of the people who’ve been reading that thread think I have no idea how over-the-top and outrageous my behavior in it has been, how inflammatory and insulting the things I had to say were, and how stubborn, intransigent and unyielding I appeared to be, but such is not the case.

I put it to you that for every outrageous, insulting characterization of liberals I made in that and the other thread linked by Rubystreak, I could find hundreds if not thousands of equally inflammatory, outrageous and insulting things said about conservatives/Republicans posted and agreed with around here every day, and that for every twinge of outrage and anger you feel over my characterization of liberals in those threads, I experience the same feelings of anger and outrage over the way my side is portrayed here dozens if not hundreds of times a day myself.

Now, my real-life self is nothing like my onscreen personna here. I’m friendly, outgoing, gregarious and, fortunately, almost always happy. I can honestly say that I can’t think of a single person who knows me, either well or superficially, who doesn’t like me. And even here, it’s rare indeed for someone to approach me reasonably and respectfully and not get the same treatment in return, as I think (and hope) Revenant Threshold in that thread would agree.

But I was raised to give as good as I get, and my onscreen personna here reflects that. You call me stupid and stubborn for not coming around to your way of thinking when you offer this or that cite or argument, but how many of you have done a 180 in your politics because of this or that reasonable cite and argument posted by Sam Stone or Bricker? How many of you posess the unyielding blind adherence to ideology that you deride in me? And how many of you post the exact same type of outrageously over-the-top characterizations and insults about conservatives and Republicans that you find so ridiculous and inflammatory when it’s coming from me?

I don’t particularly like behaving the way I do around here, but after making several attempts early on at a more reasonable Sam Stone-like posting style I decided there was no percentage in that. Cites, facts and statistics are nothing more than excuses for bickering and obfuscation; a logical well-reasoned statement, if conservative, is invariably met with scorn and accusations of moronity, stupidity, selfishness, stubborness, etc. by people who are by their very words demonstrating these very same qualities themselves.

So I decided fuck it, there’s no point in trying to be reasonable or diplomatic around here - and given the 10-to-20 to 1 ratio of liberal vs. conservative combatants, there’s no time to contend diplomatically with everyone acting like assholes anyway- so I’ll just state my opinions boldly and without equivocation and let people make of them what they will.

And so we come to where we are now. If you want to see less in the way of inflammatory statements coming out of me, then how about less in the way of inflammatory statements coming out of you? If you want to see more well-reasoned assessments of liberals and what you want to accomplish coming out of me, how about my seeing the same out of you? If you want to see me yielding and admitting it when you score a legitimate point, how about you yield and admit it when I or any of the other conservatives around here score legitimjate points ourselves? And if you want me to stop behaving as though everything you think, do or say is idiocy personified, then how about you stop doing the same with those of us who disagree with you?

Good luck on this…

The extremist lefties on this board think we’re evil , stupid and smelly.

Og forbid they actually have a debate.

Fighting ignorance, indeed…

Naw, I like the complete and unreasoning asshole persona. Keep doing that, please.

Your irony bush is on fire.

I don’t get all twinge-y over internet discussions anymore. But, ya know, that’s one reason why I don’t get into debates on-line more than I do. There’s not enough substance in the discussions - more fussing and screeching about each other than there is, well, discussion. I could definitely do without all the fussing.

I have many flaws, but this is not one of them. I am not a staunch Democrat (not even really a Democrat at all) and have questioned and even changed my opinions as a result of fact-based arguments made to me here and in other discussions. You have never shown any willingness to listen to any other point of view or consider their merits. No one will take you seriously if all you’re here to do is proselytize, in such a one-sided and mean-spirited way.

What bothers me is NOT that you have a definite point of view. It’s that you blame EVERYTHING that’s wrong in society on liberals and cannot accept ANY of the blame for what’s wrong for conservatives. Nor do you ever admit that social dynamics are complex and that blame need not and indeed cannot be dropped at the feet of one political movement. It’s insulting and not fact-based, and makes you look like a crackpot. Witness your 10 page Pitting if you think I’m alone in this feeling.

Many people, including me, have tried to have a rational discussion with you, providing cites and trying to find some give and take. You never reciprocate, only dismiss, ignore, or belittle what is offered to you and persist in your blaming, your distorted and unsupported views of history, and your insults. I had decided not to speak to you anymore because of this. I know, big loss! But it’s clear that you’ve alienated a lot of people here, some of whom are more reasonable than me. tomndebb did a hell of a job trying to discuss history with you and you ignored him.

Basically, it’s not clear that you’re at all worth talking to. When I converse, I want to feel like there’s an exchange, like the other person is listening and trying to find common ground; even if we can’t ultimately agree, I like to feel that I’ve learned something and so have you. There is no feeling of that with you. It’s as if you’re reading off talking points and trying to heap scorn on some monolithic force of evil, Liberalism. You have a massive axe to grind and it blinds you to the complexities and subtleties of the world. It’s not fun, enlightening, or worthwhile to converse with someone like that. So, if you care at all about how you’re perceived, you might want to lay off the inflammatory blaming, the lack of any cites, and the inability to acknowledge any facts that don’t fit in with your preconceived paradigm. IF you don’t, go on with your bad self, I guess.

Wow! Starting a pit thread about yourself about a pit thread about yourself. That is just so post-modernist!

I can’t smell any posters on the internet. As far as evil, well, deliberate ignorance is stupid and probably evil. As for extreme lefties on this board, there are none. An extreme lefty is someone who will sit in a tree for two years and fling poo at people. An extreme terrorist righty is someone who will sit in a car for two hours and shoot an abortion doctor. An extreme righty is the kind of asshole who cheers that sort of thing on. Face it, the evil Reagan era is finally over. W and his evil righty arrogance killed it.

Ah. I see.

Playing the victim card again.

That ought to work.

Hi, Starving. I’m glad that you started a new thread. I’ve been away and just didn’t have the heart to read through all of the other when I got back – just page 9.

If you really believe they are stupid, you wouldn’t be paying much attention to them. Most of them aren’t. (Scornful, selfish, stubborn and accusative are a different matter.) And certainly, liberals can be ignorant.

That is one of the reasons that it is very important that you provide reliable cites for any facts that you say are true. If you are wanting to quote from a fairly well-respected conservative news source, consider the Wall Street Journal. The National Review is reputable. Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh are not. Network news can be wrong, but in general NBC, CBS and ABC are generally reliable. Check what is being said elsewhere against what is said at their websites. It isn’t wise to get all of your news from one source.

That’s why it is important to check out the facts and to base opinions on facts from reliable sources. That is true whether we are liberals or conservatives.

I doubt that much is going to change my mind from its liberal stance. But I’m always ready to have my ignorance fought. I want to know the truth when it’s a matter of fact. Give me enough of the truth and it may change my mind on an issue.

Learn from people you disagree with and keep standing up for what you believe in.

We’ve learned patience from each other, haven’t we?

Wow! Starting a pit thread about yourself about a pit thread about yourself. That is just so Republican!

No, its post-modernist! It can’t be both!

Can it?

Good luck on this…

The extremist righties on this board think the left is evil , stupid and smelly.

Og forbid they actually have a debate.

Fighting ignorance, indeed…
= = =

The SDMB is watered by the flowing blood of gored oxen.

We have, indeed!

A perfect example of how, in the absence of animus, two people of differing opinions can have productive discussions, maintain respect for each other’s point of view, and find friendship in the bargain.

Thanks for your post.

So, I come to the Pit and the top two threads are: one about Starving Artist, and another about the thread about Starving Artist. And the most recent poster on both theads was! Starving Artist! Then I hear this super-loud ripping noise, like cloth tearing but REALLY loud, and everything starts whirling and dissolving…

And I’m thinking “This can’t be good.”…

Actually, the quality of debate around here has gone up since the board went free-to-post, since no one’s being asked to pony up $15 for the privilege of being taunted, derided, and insulted. I’m hopeful that GD can be reclaimed as a place for serious policy debate, and I say this as a die-hard lefty.

Gag omitted as not in the spirit of the thread.

Your problem here, as so often, is that you confuse political positions, on the one hand, with questions of fact and evidence, on the other.

I have never, not once in all my interactions with you, had any expectation that you would do “a 180 in your politics” as a result of our debates. I’m not trying to change your politics when i argue with you.

While i tend to believe, along with friend elucidator, that simple recitation of the facts tends to support my left-liberal worldview, i’m well aware that not everyone shares this position, and i can respect people who hold different politics even when i know that we will never see eye to eye on certain things.

In fact, i find that i have some of my most enjoyable debates with people who hold different political opinions from me, but who are intelligent and honest enough to recognize that there needs to be a good faith attempt to address questions of fact and evidence. I’ve had some good debates in real life, and on these boards, with just such people.

Let me state this unequivocally: the problem i have with you is not your politics. I disagree vehemently with most of your politics, and it is very unlikely that i would ever agree with you on many (probably most) of the normative issues that make up our respective worldviews, but i do not begrudge you your politics, and i really have no interest in changing them.

My problem with you, and the reason i have come to treat you like an imbecilic shit-flinging monkey, is that you’re not an honest debater. You set up criteria for people to follow in debate, and then fail to follow them yourself; you accuse people of making unsupported assertions, yet such assertions constitute the sole basis of half of your arguments; you refuse to offer evidence or citations for your positions because you find them inconvenient, yet only a bit over an hour ago you made an indignant demand for a citation in another thread. Debating you is like trying to nail jelly to a wall, because you skate blithely past any refutation or rebuttal based on evidence or serious and reasoned argument.

I still feel the way i did last year, when i wrote this:

In fact, that post that i linked was actually something of a watershed for me, in terms of how i think you on this board.

Take a look at it.

In that post, i made a fairly long, detailed set of responses to a series of questions that you had asked of me specifically. You directed your questions directly at me, and asked me to answer them.

Despite the fact that i knew i was pissing into the wind, i did my best to answer them honestly, including evidence and rational argument. And you didn’t even see fit to make a response.

Now, i’m not vain enough to think that every post i make on these boards is worthy of being engaged by every other doper. But we—you and i—were debating these issues, and despite being unwilling to offer any evidence or solid argument of your own, you insisted that i make a direct answer to your queries. When you do something like that, and when the other person indulges you, i think that good taste and good manners dictate a response, at the very least.

But your silence on the issue reflects your whole “debating” strategy, in which you cherry-pick short statements out of long, complex arguments and make no attempt to address the arguments themselves.

When you asked those questions of me, John Mace responded to you by saying:

As in so many other things, it seems that John Mace saw the issue more clearly than i did. I love debating with people who disagree with me (in fact, John Mace is one of those people with whom i can have an impassioned and intelligent and respectful debate even when we strongly disagree), but what you do is not debating. You claim to love civility, but even when you’re not using abusive language, you’re still a dishonest shit-flinger, and deserve to be treated as such.

You talk about people approaching you reasonably and respectfully, but in order to do that, i’d have to believe you capable of reason, and worthy of respect. I don’t.

Do you really believe I’m posting dishonestly? Do you really think I would become involved in the shitstorms that I routinely do just for the hell of it?

I can tell you unequivocally that I firmly believe every word I say. Oftentimes, my words are either honestly or dishonestly misconstrued, or people may claim my style is dishonest, or they may disagree with what I’m saying and therefore believe I’m being dishonest, but these are subjective calls, and again I’m being completely honest in everything I say.

But be that as it may, the trouble with you is that you’re in love with your own words. Plus, you’re a sneaky, conniving, underhanded little shit reminiscent of Excalibre, and an excitable, over-reactive, immature and explosive crybaby, as you so ably demonstrated in the thread you posted after being bitten by a dog.

Your posts are full of snide little digs, attempts at verbal sleight-of-hand, faux intellectual superiority and TLDR laboriousness.

I don’t recall the conversation where I didn’t respond to you, but if I didn’t - and I’m sure you must be right that I didn’t - it was probably because I felt it contained too much in the way of the qualities I just mentioned above.

Further, I don’t know where you’re getting all this stuff about my so-called debating style. It would please me to be half as clever as you seem to think I am, but the fact of the matter is I don’t really try to engage much in debates, per se. My style is more one of flatly stating my opinon, and then if someone wants to argue about it, indulging them.

There is a difference - in my mind anyway - between arguing and debating. Debating involves cites, statistics, and details that I believe never lead to a conclusive resolution and only serve to further muddy up the waters of whatever is being discussed at the time. Arguing, on the other hand, simply involves a back-and-forth where two or more people are giving each other a piece of their mind.

I have no illusion that I am gonna come up with any conclusive cites to prove my point of view, and I have no illusion that you’re or anyone else is gonna come up with any cites to prove their point of view to me. Thus I’m content, in the threads I enter, to speak my mind and let people make up their own minds as to whether or not my points have merit and to allow my opponents to do the same. You, on the other hand, seem always to be trying to shoehorn me into a formal debate of some sort, and then when I refuse to play along you get into high dudgeon and the accusations of dishonesty fly.

The thing is though, this is just a message board. I’m entitled to state my opinions or to make my case in whatever way I choose. It didn’t take me long to see, based on the hundreds of erroneous posts around here regarding the nature of conservatives and Republicans that go completely uncontested, that the idea that this place fights ignorance is laughable, yet it is this conceit that leads people like you to try to convert every comment I make into a ‘debate’, and Starvy decided long ago that he just wasn’t gonna go there as it’s a complete waste of time.

So how about you present the things that you want to say in the that way you want to present them and let me present the things that I want to say in the way I want to present them, and we can both be content with the fact that we’re saying what we want the way we want.

And now, as far as your assessment as to what I am or am not worthy of or how you choose to behave toward me - an assessment that appears to carry great weight in your own mind - I really couldn’t care less.

So what’s your problem with people choosing to make their cases by posting their opinions that you’re batshit insane? This is just a message board.