Our own battles

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

A long time ago, I wrote a post called Tyranny of the Standards for O’Reilly. I was basically ripped a new one by about 40 or 50 of some of the web’s more influential people. They did so because they didn’t agree with me. I’d like to think they also did so because whether they agreed with me or not, they knew I meant what I said. I still do — I happen to think I was right on that one.

One of the people who lit into me was a guy who called himself The Head Lemur. “What an asshole”, I thought at the time.

It was about that time I started really getting into weblogging. It was later, in 2002 that I ran into Mr. Lemur again. This time, he wrote a piece called, Shelley Powers wants to be Center of the Universe. If you search on my name, this is still one of the first items that appears in the result. “What an asshole”, I thought at the time. So did Jeneane Sessum, who wrote:

Anyone following the ebb and flow of Blog Sisters knows that Shelley and I don’t always see eye to eye. She’s taken me to task more than once over my theories of unopposed estrogen (heh). And I don’t always agree with her. But I do respect her and value her among the highest-caliber voices in blogaria today.

AKMA also responded. He disagreed with what I wrote and agreed with much of what Head Lemur said, but not with how he said it. It was actually a pretty strong topic at that time. I finally found the original post because I used a different permalink structure then, and I’ve since turned off the thousand or so redirects.

Head Lemur, Alan, also wrote some pretty strong statements in comments. Eventually one day I said enough, and Alan said, “OK”. Since then, we’ve been friends. It was as simple as that.

Now, how do you think two people who exchanged such acrimonious discussions could possibly end up friends? Because no matter what we said to each other, we did so accepting responsibility for our own writings and our actions. We respected each other. If Jeneane defended me, it was also after several disagreements. How can this be? Because we accepted responsibility for our own writings and actions, and from this, we respected each other.

I can name you a host of webloggers who I have gotten into strong disagreement with on one post, and then turned around and either agreed with, or even defended, in a second post. Why? Respect.

I bring this up, because Alan is at it again, except this time, the object of his ire is Maryam Scoble and her participation in the BlogHer critic discussion. He wrote a post titled Maryam Scoble, English Major, Conference Organizer, Blithering Idiot. Yup, yup, yup, the post pretty much lived up to that title, too.

Now Maryam could have handled this in one of two ways: she could have acknowledged the post, and gave as good as she got, writing some variation of, “F**k you, monkey brains”. She could have also just ignored it–a perfectly good option. She picked neither. What she did was invoke her husband, Robert Scoble, dismissing Alan’s post as a way of getting links from Robert.

Ahhhhh, I wish my husband would spend more time listening to what I say as Head Lemur has been doing at Raving Lunacy. He still doesn’t get my point but I am flattered that he spends a lot of time and space trying to analyze what I say. From what I gather, critical thinking according to him means ad hominem, inviting people to a conference is elitist behavior but telling them to shut up because they have not written a book or have high ranking in Google is in spirit of healthy debate. All I had said and still maintain is that you might be able to be a better judge of a conference if you actually bothered attending it. It sounded pretty simple and straight forward to me but I guess that makes me a blithering idiot. Frankly, I didn’t know where all the venom was coming from, until I read my husband’s post this morning about hacking A-listers. I guess this is Mr. Lemur’s way of getting Robert to link to him? Sorry to disappoint that you wasted your time, but Robert will only link to you if you pick on him not me.

I tried to be cordial with Maryam in my comments, even with her condescending references to people doing ‘real work’. Others tried to be cordial or encourage debate, though they were dismissed out of hand. Everyone bent over backwards to try and engage Maryam. She should have left well enough alone, because her writing today was the lamest response I have ever seen in a weblog post.

If you can’t fight your own battles, Maryam, quit. Don’t fish about for a reaction, be rude to one and all, and then run home to Bobby when the heat is turned up. You will lose respect for this.

I can guarantee it.

I have had my fill, and beyond of Scobles this week. Scobles and newbie A listers with their pontifications of ‘core values’ and being ‘nice’ while they passively aggressively slam each other and those who get in their way. You’re here to rip off this environment; end of story. Smarmy, useless assholes, the lot of you.

Time for some pictures, and to clear this crap from my mind.

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