Sunday, December 31, 2006

Nanowrimo Excerpt - the bully

This isn't about privacy any more than it is about theology. This is only about bullying. The dominant theme here is a person trying to bully people into agreeing with him. You see it repeated over and over, you see it in the street, on the internet, in the churches. It is a consistent pattern of demonization and psychological intimidation of anyone who does not toe the party line.
So what do we do about bullies? I was brought up with the 'Ignore them and they will go away.' philosophy.
That philosophy is wrong.
Usually the bully will keep pressing you, slowly cranking up the abuse until you react. Even if he leaves you alone for a time, he will know he can come back. If somehow he decides to leave you alone, there is another deeper problem you have to face. He is still a bully, he's just bullying someone else.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Robin Edgar, the Censor

ChaliceChick, Joel Monka, and myself just got 'memory-holed' by Robin Edgar himself. I wasn't really surprised that he 'redirected' my own posts, but I feel bad that Joel and CC got caught in the crossfire. Robin and I have been going at it pretty intensely recently.
Several times he said he wasn't going to respond to me anymore, but he did. Then he made a special thread and told me only to post there. He still didn't answer my questions, and progressively buried my thread. (He also tried to set the agenda on the thread he had set aside for 'me', which I thought was cute.)
Then he said that he would 'disallow' my posts if I did not reveal my real name. (more on that tomorrow, and the next day) Effectively he was trying to force me to out myself if I wanted to continue to post on his blog. Finally he turned on comment moderation and copy&pasted a number of post to the thread linked above. (He will try to say this is somehow different from a 'memory hole', but it ruined the flow of conversation on the thread affected, and destroyed much of the formatting, including his own links.If continued it also buries anything that Robin determines to be a 'non-post'.)

Now I want to go on record here, I am entirely open to criticism with regard to how I am dealing with Robin. I've never done this before. I understand that there is room for disagreement about how to approach this issue. I also understand that my approach is rather intense. 
I'm not going to hold it against anyone that they think I've crossed a line. Most importantly I'm not going to let Robin interfere with my fellowship. (other than spending too much time on him.)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


In addition to being a Unitarian Universalist, I am a packrat and a bibliophile. So I was triply disturbed when I found a very nice copy of the Quran under some leaves and seat cushion at the bottom of an abandoned bathtub behind a local plaza. By 'very nice', I mean: Hardback, the size of a phonebook, about 2 inches thick, textured cover, full page full color art, English, original arabic, and transliterated arabic on each page, plus footnotes, Cloth ribbon bookmark, plus a large cardboard bookmark with an arabic transliteration guide.
My roomate and I guessed that it would retail for well over $100, but whoever did this got it for free. It had been sent out by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and included a letter explaining that Muslims regard the book as sacred.
"For example, Muslims avoid placing the Quran on the floor, near the toilet or sink, near the feet, or in dirty or wet areas, as this is considered innappropriate treatment of a holy text."
Again, I found it in the bottom of a bathtub under some leaves and a seat cushion. So this seems like a tailor-made desecration. I wonder if the person intended to come back for it to show off.
It had been rained on, so the front cover and many of the frontmost pages were wet, and the pages had spots of mildew near the spine. When we got it home I looked up ways to salvage it, and it is now drying. [This was written 25 days ago, it is now dry.] I expect that this will always be one of my favorite books, simply because I've rescued it. Despite the tears and spots that won't come out, I wouldn't trade it for any other copy, unless it was signed by the author.

1. You can find awesome things if you look through the trash.
2. If you give people a great offer, some will still decided to disrespect you for it.
3. If you want a really nice copy of the Quran send $8 shipping and handling to CAIR.