Since by all indications, you seem to hold me in high regard, I wanted to see whether I might be able to sway you at all in the matter of Eternal Student’s attack on Polycarp, and the subsequent deluge of violent reaction from every corner of the board. You’ll recall that I tenaciously defended you (and still do) when your thread was inexplicably closed with the spooky and mystical comment about it serving as an example. I thought (and still do) that the essential core of your complaint was legitimate, and that sober examination of it by us could only be of benefit.

All that said, in this instance I find myself in a situation that has not ever occured (so far as I can recall) in the history of SDMB. I stand firmly beside Jodi and support her one hundred percent. No reservations. Neither politics, nor religion, nor any other matter over which she and I have fought tooth and nail in many a battle — none of these will separate me from her on this issue.

Let us put aside for the moment who Poly is. Let us not consider that he fairly exudes the very Love that God Himself is made of. Let us forget for now his long, unbroken, umblemished track record of kindness, humility, tolerance, charity, and empathy. Nevermind his tireless defense of our Lord, his incredibly thought provoking analysis, and his unfailing civility through all of it. Forget about all that.

Do not subsume unto yourself anything at all in common with Eternal Student other than post count. There, the similarity ends. He is a monster. A hand-stabber. One of those people who make other people gasp when you say the word “atheist”. His is the kind of vituperative, knee-jerk ignorance that causes ordinary people to equate atheism with Satan worship. He is not irredeemable, and no one knows what the future might hold with respect to his moral journey. But for now, he is the Asshole Supreme, and the Mother of all Jerks.

Yes, he responded based on his exposure to one post. But Arturo, I must ask you: whose decision was that? Not yours. Not mine. Certainly not Poly’s. It was Eternal Student’s own decision to launch a scathing attack based on such lean exposure. That alone is an indication of profound ignorance if nothing else. He accused Poly of everything from hypocricy to cowardice based on nothing more than that one post. That’s more than just ignorance. It’s unmitigated hate. It’s infantile judgment. It’s the very antithesis of reason.

But he didn’t stop there. He went on to say that he suspects most of us are contemptible as well, holding to the same delirium and psychosis that he assigns to Polycarp. (Note: metaphors follow…) Now, when places in heaven are assigned, I will be fortunate if I am given a place anywhere near Poly. Despite his unfortunate political naivity, his spirit is so indescriminately loving that I’d bet the farm you won’t see one scolding word from him toward Eternal Student, and not because we’ve already defended him, but because that’s the way he is. You see, Polycarp is so like my Christ that I have had to go back a dozen times and fix the capitalized pronouns when I write about him.

Eternal Student is reaping what he has sowed. He is several twigs out on the limb even beyond Lolo. Please understand the difference between what he did and what you did, and appropriately disassociate yourself at once. You attacked a concept based on your observations over the years. He attacked a man based on nothing but contempt.

I appeal to you to examine my argument, and if you find it has merit, to reconsider your position. I admire nothing more than the person who, upon being presented with compelling argument, will change his mind. I invite you, as Poly did, to join us in Great Debates. Use your talents to battle ignorance as best you can. That will make you and me kindred spirits.

Will you change your mind?


I have to make this quick, then back to work. I will elaborate later.

I was not trying to defend ES or equate what he did with what I did. My problem is that Jodi posted (to paraphrase): “It it wrong to pass judgment and insult someone if you’re not very familiar with him, but I will go ahead and pass judgement and insult on ES based on this one post.”

That one post is her only example. She insulting uses the term, “Mr. Eighteen Posts” to deride his newbie status.

Not knowing Polycarp, I can see an element of calling ES out in his OP in the Christian thread. To some extent, he did seem to say that ES’s opinions were wrong and unfounded (although he did it very politely and offered them a forum to fully explain themselves). Maybe ES’s reaction was based on that. To be honest, I’ll need to read more of ES’s posts to decide what or who he is. But, then again, I’ll let him defend himself. Bevause he very well may be an asshole. I won’t make a decision based on one post.

But Jodi did. Attacked one post, offering no other examples. The two options offered to ES are ignorance or asshole-ness. It was hypocritical.

I’ll continue later, Lib…gotta rally the troops.

It is amazing how much value a post can hold. I, too, took into consideration the post by Arturo in ATMB where he stated his disappointment on the condition of SD at the present. His post was presented in a thought provoking manner. I’m afraid that if he continues to hang out in the Pit, after reading his posts there, especially on the Polycarp issue, all his intelligence and thought-provoking posts will be overlooked and carry little weight with other SDers because of the content of his Pit posts. I’m not sure about Eternal Student. I think that probably he is a returning poster with a chip on his shoulder. Stopping ignorance is not about attacking ideas or individual posters. It’s presenting your case, with necessary background info if requested. It is really nice that so many posters would jump to the aid of Polycarp. But it’s not really necessary. I think Poly can take care of himself without one ounce of difficulty and I’m sure that ES is feeding off the disruption that he’s causing. I’m still sitting here in amazement at the posts on that subject. Not that either would care one way or the other but I wouldn’t spend the little time I have on the board reading any further posts from either of them at this point in time. It’s called earning respect, and they just took one step backwards.

As I stated in the ES thread, it seems the only proper way to act in the Pit is to be vulgar. I mean, come on, the whole thread title said it all: “Ignorant or Asshole?” The vulgarity had already begun, and it certainly hadn’t been started by sweet little me.

And sure, on a personal level, when I posted a (comparatively) level headed Pit-rant of my own (the pit being the only place for complaints and concerns re: SDMB), I had a certain level of vulgarity tossed at me. Where did I learn to smoke weed? I learned it from YOU, dad!

To paraphrase Minty Fresh in my thread: what do expect but vulgarity and flippancy in the Pit?

My most recent post in GQ (re: alternators), on the other hand, was level-headed and hopefully helpful to the OP. In fact, if I started a thread of my own, say, “Ask the Guy Who Has Had a Million Jobs,” I would gladly dispense what helpful, friendly knowledge that I could. Now, if only I actually HAD that vast supply of knowledge of offer…

But at least I can speak up when necessary. Which I try to do. As in real life, I offer my POV when I know what I’m talking about – or at least are reasonably confident of that. I read and listen more than I speak/post.

And I believe Jodi was being hypocritical in this instance.

Thank you for taking my previous posts into your consideration, ultress, and thank you for your level-headed response to my most recent ones.

And yet, there are plenty of people who are not always vulgar in the Pit. And there are those who are never vulgar, in the Pit or out. And there are those who use vulgar language regularly without insult. And there are those who insult without vulgarity. And there are, believe it or not, rational and reasonable discussions in the Pit-occasional though they may be.

The people who attacked you were a very small percentage of the SDMB population. Why choose to take your cue from them?

I dont think the “Mr. 18 posts” was to deride the fact that s/he was a hewbie, rather that it is a little presumptious to claim to be able to build a accurate profile about someone with very limited exposure to that person.

Hey, as a Mod here in the Pit, can I throw in my two cents?

There is no necessity to vulgarity in the Pit. It is quite possible- in fact, if done well, preferable- to write a rant or an insult without using vulgarity.

Now, we prefer vulgarity to remain in the Pit; starting a GD thread called “George Cocksucking Bush and His New Policies” tends to inflame and slant the debate before it even begins. However, the preference to have vulgarity remain in the Pit does not mean that all screeds in the Pit need to be vulgar.

Those who include the statement “And since we’re in the Pit, fuck, shit, asshole” at the end of a non-vulgar statement, please take note.

In any case. I hope, Arturo, that you continue to post here, and continue to post in the Pit. Certainly, neither I nor any of the other Mods here would hold against you a distaste for vulgarity. The primary purpose of the Pit is not to indulge in Words That Cannot Be Said, but to provide a place to rant and scream, either about board policies, moderator actions, the world in general or in specific, or about what other posters are doing. The main reason for such is to keep it away from the other forums- Great Debates should be about debating, not about posting a pro-X screed to be followed by someone else posting an anti-X screed with no real interaction; nor should debates in GD fall to the point of personal insults.
I’m coming into this discussion a bit late, so I apologize if I’m missing the whole point.

Thanks John, that is exactly what I was going to say. I don’t post in the Pit frequently, but I read it often. Complaints, to me, are much more entertaining if they contain actual points and rebuttals. I couldn’t care less if people throw in stupid insults and cuss words. Often, IMO, it lessens the strength of the post.

Well, since this is the Pit, fuck fuck fuckity fuck fuck fuck.


Man, that’s got to suck. :wink:


The important words there are, of course, “to paraphrase,” but I’m afraid they won’t help you, since that is not a paraphrase – it is absolutely not what I said. What I said was “Stop being an asshole to this very nice man, because you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about regarding him, and we’ll kick your ass if you don’t leave him alone.”

Just to clarify, since you didn’t seem to get it, the point is that none of what he said was “based on POLYCARP’s one post.” POLY did not in that post reveal himself to be a “fencesitter” who “does the bare minimum to get into heaven,” who is a “half-assed” Christian. That was all just utter bullshit ETERNALSTUDENT pulled out of his ass. My attack, on the other hand, was clearly based on what ES posted. I called him an asshole because he was acting like an asshole, and clearly so – just like I called you an ass for acting like one, something you apparently haven’t gotten over.

Moreover, let’s have no more of this “based on one post” bullshit. The search engine is your friend. ES attacked Christianity here, Islam here, and Hinduism here,, and he was warned by a mod here. I am not required to post multiple examples of assholic behavior. You can look the others up yourself.

Lost you again, did I? Allow me to clarify: Referring to him as “Mr. Eighteen Posts” was not intended to deride his “newbie status,” which I couldn’t give a shit about, but to highlight that he does not know enough about POLY to attack him in such a vicious and indefensible way. In other words, just what TWISTY said. Some newbies are great and some are jerks or whiners – just like established posters.

No, Jodi did not. I know how to use the search engine, and I did so. I suggest if you don’t want to take my word on him, you go ahead and do the same.

Since when am I required to offer multiple examples of a person being an asshole? If you’re acting like an asshole, you are likely to be called one, and reasonably so. I quoted the post I took issue with; I am not obligated to comprehesively cover every idiocy he has ever spouted.

You are not required to be vulgar in the Pit. It is never proper to be vulgar, anywhere. But you are not allowed to tell me that I can’t be vulgar in the Pit – that I can’t call a spade a spade. If you don’t like the tone in the Pit, then stay out of it. If you feel it should be raised, then raise it with your contributions. But don’t try to tell me or anyone else how or what to post.

As explained above, I was not. But feel free to continue to pass judgment on me in this regard. I assure you I am not breaking a sweat about it. You seem to spend an inordinate amount of time judging how Cecil, the Straight Dope, the Boards, the moderators, and we individual posters can all be improved, since we are either not up to your rigorous standards or have declined in a way that “saddens you.” Such judging is of course your perogative, just as it is my perogative to dismiss your opinion as being both unwanted and unsupported.