Stranger’s right. There are posters who get more breaks than others, and posters who get fewer. Dio is one of them. Der Trihs is another. Some people say that I’m one, but the fact that I was suspended over the piddliest of shit is some evidence to the contrary.
In any case, I do agree with Stink Fish Pot about one point especially (and I also agree with him generally), and that is that there are times — really, too many times — when warnings or cautions or mod intervention of some kind examine only the contextual material. To take a familiar example (me), my suspension occured when TubaDiva got wind of a pile-on in progress in aisle 9 (of the Pit).
(I know there is at least one user guest who doesn’t like me talking about this story, but I don’t care. So…)
She did not bother to check my actual post, but instead took her reports and her cursory look at a few posts that themselves mistrepresented my own, and then sent me an e-mail. Keep in mind, here, that Tuba has before pardoned herself from her duties by saying that she was away or just didn’t check her email when it involved people emailing her to get things done. So, with that in mind, she sent me an email. I use my Yahoo address here. I check it once in a blue moon. In fact, I think the only reason I got the account was to register here.
So she sent me an email to this address, and it just so happened to be right around one of those times that I checked Yahoo. Her email to me was not even quite one day old. It was an email spelling out that there were mods (or admins or whatever) reviewing my membership status, and that I needed to respond “quickly”. I responded to her within 24 hours — a far superior response time than she herself has admitted to having. And yet. Get this. She told me that because I did not respond soon enough, she had no choice but to suspend me.
A Southern Gentleman of less grace than I would have wanted to smack some “Hello!” into her. She never even read my post. She only read ABOUT my post. It was the famous one about an off-hand, practically parenthetical implication that the doctor who was my nut-case GP at the time told me that he thought it would be a miracle if I made it past two years. She enforced an ad hoc rule formulated by an ad hoc committee. There had never before (or since) been a rule against mentioning facts about one’s health or medical prognosis. Lynn Bodoni has recently done it, in fact.
That was about five or seven years ago. My new team of physicians (put together, incidentally, by my wife) is each an outstanding member of his peer group. My psychiatrist has written several peer review articles, and is currently seeking a private grant to pursue his hypothesis that a vitiman B6 deficiency can cause mild depression. These are doctorates from Duke University, Johns Hopkins, and Harvard. It’s an absolutely crack team.
So, I know what is (and was) wrong with me. I’m becoming much healthier now. I’ve lost 80 pounds, and still losing. (No fancy diet. I just eat what I like, except less of it. And I just do chores around the house and yard for “exercise”.)
What was wrong with me (among other things) was anxiety. (Yes, it is a *medical *condition.) My anxiety, combined with my pariticular kind of OCD, led me to take matters far too seriously and try to fight my way out of every pile-on. It was this constant fighting, even against people who were trying to help me, that left me with reputations like “martyr”, or “drama queen”, and so on.
So anyway, the point is that what Tuba et al judged was not what I actually did — which was nothing different from the same philosophical principle I have espoused since my arrival here ten years ago. And that is that the universe is not real, and therefore nothing to fret about existentially. If one’s body is dying, then it does not mean that his essence is dying as well.
I tried to reason with her, but she was Bush-esque with her stuck-in-the-mud mode, standing firm and unbendable, unwilling to change her mind once a decision was made.
Despite the fact that I had a good time during my suspension, and now with my meds I won’t draw pile-ons, and therefore won’t create the situation Stink Fish Pot is describing right now ever again, in all likelihood. So I have a very different perspective now on a lot of things than I had then. But that perspective remains: warnings, cautions, suspensions, and maybe even bans are sometimes the result of seeing a few posts in a shitstorm, rather than the whole backstory of the thread.
You can’t read all the threads, you say? Well, I recommend that you read at least the ones containing posts that are brought to your attention that happen also to be ones in which you are going to issue cautions and warnings. And if you can’t do that, then either you shouldn’t have volunteered to moderate or else you need more moderators. Stink Fish Pot is right. You shouldn’t apply your demerit scheme, whatever it may be, to posts about posts or to rumors or PMs or reported posts. Don’t suspend Mr. Smith just because there are people coming toward the mission waving torches and shouting things.
When warnings and suspension are involved, you should exmaine the facts, not the rumors. You should read the goddam thread, and that’s all I have to say about that.