Friday, January 26, 2007

A Brief Note.

Having given some thought to our exchanges with Mark Shea this past week, I think I'm quite ready to admit that a blog dedicated to frequently satirical criticism of one individual is not the ideal forum for discussing the most serious issues of the day. I'm not sure whether there's a better alternative for what we want to say; the suggestion to "get a life" is essentially to tell us to shut the hell up, but despite the purported hyperbole about our criticizing font choices, we have often had very substantive criticisms both about Rod Dreher's positions and the way he defends those positions as a confessing Christian and as a professional writer.

Reconciliation -- agreeing to disagree amicably, without that entailing either side's being silent -- would be great, but it would require far more than what we contra's could do on our own.

(Even our making peace with Mark would require, I believe, understanding on his part that passion about what we believe and irritation at Rod's writing doesn't translate to hatred.)

Until such time as this blog no longer seems necessary, we will continue to write what we think is right. We will go on vacation and even draw this blog to a close on our timetable, not Mark's and not Rod's.

6 Comments:

Blogger Diane said...

Bravo!

I could not agree more with the following:

the suggestion to "get a life" is essentially to tell us to shut the hell up

Exactly. What the Marks and Rods want is the power to censor opposing views out of their own comboxes (which is their prerogative, of course) PLUS the power to censor those same views in other venues. Who the hay-ell do such folks think they are? If they won't tolerate dissent in their own comboxes (which, again, is their preogative), fine. But they certainly cannot expect the folks they have silenced there to docilely shut up everywhere else. It's a free Internet. Freedom of expression is enjoyed equally by all of us. It is not the exclusive preserve of a self-anointed few. Not on the Internet, anyway.

You're quite correct, Bubba, that this forum should probably be more issues-focused. (There's plenty of material there, after all, both on the Rod-Blog and elsewhere.) But in a profound sense it's nobody else's gosh-darned business whether it is or it isn't. Nobody's forcing Rod or Mark to read it...just as nobody's forcing us to read Rod's 500 thousandth obsessive rant about Gay Priests and the Scandal(TM) or Mark's 500 thousandth obsessive rant about all those Evil Torture-Mongers in the Catholic Blogosphere. (Being accused of obsession by either Rod or Mark is kind of rich...inn't it? ;))

Mark's efforts to silence dissent even on other people's blogs is so transparently control-freaky that we shouldn't even bother taking it seriously, methinks. The Internet is for everyone, not just for would-be thought police. And there ain't nuthin' the control freaks can do about it.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Even our making peace with Mark would require, I believe, understanding on his part that passion about what we believe and irritation at Rod's writing doesn't translate to hatred.)

Yep.

I have tried to explain this to Mark. He refuses to get it.

Similarly, I don;' see any "hatred" at the Coalition for Fog blog, which is extremely issues-focused.

Apparently, one is not allowed to disagree with Rod or Mark anywhere--either on their blogs or anywhere else. If one is censored off their blogs and then has recourse to one's own venue, then one is accused of "hatred"--even if one is simply discussing the issues. (Yes, I know, we don't always discuss the issues WRT Rod, and we have gone too far in some instances...but [no excuse, just an explanation] Rod himself continually makes the issues personal ("feelings! woah, woah, woah, feeeeeelings!"), so, in his case, it's a tad difficult sometimes to untangle the personal from the political or whatever.

2:01 PM  
Blogger kathleen said...

i have been reminded recently at the rodblog, and repeatedly at the shea blog, that we are not the only targets for their ire. they are nasty to any comboxer who doesn't tow the party line, not just us. (conveniently for them, many instances of their nastiness are deleted into the ether) it tempts me, *it sorely tempts me*, to behave in such a way that i would deserve it. Though i have gone overboard (arguably) a couple of times, they ain't seen NOTHIN' -- they should be assured that i am, indeed, pulling some punches. lucky for them, i do have a conscience (such as it is).

2:41 PM  
Blogger kathleen said...

TOE the line. lordy

2:42 PM  
Blogger kathleen said...

PS: The above is not a threat by the way.

at this late date, i think i speak for all when i say that the only reason this blog persists (it has been near death many many times) is the fact that our arguments are so rudely shut down, even shouted down, at the blogs in question. Dreher, and now Shea, are doing a fabulous job feeding the beast they most despise.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

at this late date, i think i speak for all when i say that the only reason this blog persists (it has been near death many many times) is the fact that our arguments are so rudely shut down, even shouted down, at the blogs in question. Dreher, and now Shea, are doing a fabulous job feeding the beast they most despise.

LOL! You took the words right out of my word processor. :)

4:50 PM  

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