Friday, August 22, 2008

Horse Flies

When I go for a walk on a hot steamy day, it's only a matter of time before I'm set upon by a horse fly. He'll spin around my head, seemingly inexhaustible, being annoying as hell, avoiding my attempts to swat him, and sometimes taking a piece of flesh before he gets bored and buzzes off somewhere else.

A horse fly can follow you for up to a quarter mile. And chances are - not long after he finally leaves you alone, another one will take his place.

You can't get rid of the horse flies. They're relentless. And they're just as happy feasting on a pile of dog poop as they are taking a bite out of you.

Now, apparently there has been a recent war of words on a Topix message board. Before that there was a war of words on a web site. Before that there was a war of words on a forum. And before that there was a war of words in the comment sections of blogs.

See a pattern here?

Some people are just like horse flies. And you can't argue about things like quality of life with people only motivated by greed, ego or other dark forces. It's pointless.

But not pointless is the need people have to talk about this issue and vent their feelings about it. And that's fine. This country is a democracy and it was built and still exists on the premise of disagreement. Of argument. And... of tolerance. And there's a great place for that at http://www.nemasket.net/.

Now sure, the moderator there requires your e-mail address and keeps track of your IP, and is going to shut you off if you have too much of yourself. And that's all due to a little thing called 'accountability' that some other sites could really make use of. And it's a responsible thing to do and a small price to pay for the sacrifice the moderator has to make by policing the site and keeping things from getting out of hand. Because, a lot of people start acting like little children (and horse flies) when they're sitting at the computer.

Personally I'm not a fan of forums. Back in the early days I was, but these days forums seem to start out good, then invariably, someone with an issue and a lot of time on their hands comes along and hijacks it - ruining a good thing for everybody else. The same open nature that makes them so inviting and provocative - seems to be the same thing that can so easily turn into a dogfight.

Who needs it? I'm busy fighting casinos. I don't go to web sites or forums or blogs where people write disparaging comments about me and others, or are irresponsible enough to drag my children into their sick fantasy world of name calling and misrepresentation, of imagined slights and manufactured indignation.

Every night, for a year now, someone with the same anonymous IP crawls over my blog looking for some turn of phrase or graphic they can contort into mud to fling at me from. For a year now.

And I'm still here.

But I think it's important to say that I appreciate it when other people have exposed the words and actions of these people, as Carverchick has so artfully and wonderfully done, by demonstrating the differences not only in the reasons why we fight, but in the way that we do. I also greatly appreciate the support I have personally received when I've been the victim of one attack or another.

Some people may think it's unproductive to take the time to point out and condemn the actions of people who resort to childish name calling, but I assure you, for those of us publicly putting ourselves out there every day, day after day, these demonstrations of support are essential not only to our spirit, but to the spirit of the movement as well.

So, always, keep supporting the cause and each other, but please, stop trying to argue with horse flies. Because you can't.

Just keep right on walking.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting analogy! Similar characteristics, too.
As usual, well done and much appreciated.
The horse flies won't understand, but they usually don't.

Lola said...

We fight on Gladys. Yes, occasionally we have to swat one that comes flying our way, but they are in reality just pests. Useless (to the debate) pests.

And, thank you for what you do and the support you give all of us with your courage and perseverance.

You blog girl!

XOXO

Anonymous said...

Gladys-

I just have one thing to say---- a protective coating of "OFF" bug spray.

As always, I enjoy your talent to use humor to make a point.

Anonymous said...

When you have no facts on your side and lack the rational ability to propose a supporting argument, apparently you must resort to childish name calling and threats, done anonymously.
Unfortunately, most of the posters on that other site are men. And they criticize smart women. It seems that they are threatened.
Most of them are old and retired and can't think of anything else to do.
Stay smart!
You're talented, know your facts and are right in your cause. You are being widely read which is why you are a threat.
We support you, but maybe we don't speak out enough in our support.
Keep blogging! It keeps them from more unproductive pursuits.

Anonymous said...

A bright and cheery Good Morning to you Gladys!

You know I was just sitting here at the quiet break of dawn thinking of ways of improving my morale and mentally escaping the dark cloud of BS hovering over Middleboro. So, I've decided to redecorate my living room to reflect the peace of the ocean. Then I'll to go to Michael's today, buy some paints that adhere well to glass, and cover my picture window and front storm door with scenes of the rocky northern coast with pounding surf, sea mist, and beach plum roses and tall fir trees growing out of the ledges of Arcadia National Park.

Let the damned horseflies try to penetrate that! LOL. I'm serious! Ommmmmmm!!!

beth said...

We support you, Gladys. Keep blogging.

betty said...

Although I was reluctant to do so on such a wonderful and clear sunny day, I ventured into the cesspool.
OMG! When posting comments such as those, it's no wonder they have to be posted anonymously.
After suffering through those many attack posts, it was curious to consider that there was not one single issue raised about the current goings on in any of the surrounding towns.
Bridgewater has budget problems.
Raynham has its own issues, as do each and every one of the home communities of those anonymous posters.
Middleboro will have a fall town meeting.
And there are far more important issues than the color of someone's shorts.
In the zealous attacks, they seem to be missing everything else around them - like the management of their towns, service cuts and tax bills.
I guess this is what they learned from Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh.
Pity!

Gladys Kravitz said...

OMG. They're not STILL talking about MY shorts are they?? Because that would make it a year now...

Well ladies, you know what they say - that behind every great woman is a guy checking out her butt.

;~)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:52-
Better get all your shots before wading into the cesspool. It's a breeding ground for pestilence and plague. BTW, it's been sad to watch bratbird/realraven/bogofree mutate into a Tabanidae over the last 3 months.

Bellicose Bumpkin said...

On some other post, Jacquie advised that we all ignore the distractions and focus on the casino.

Sage advice IMO.

Getting into a pissing contest with refugees from the old pro-forum is a waste of time.

If any of the bloggers, CFO directors, or CFO comittee members are checking it out regulary, save your time.

I go in about once a week long enough to find a post that's fawning over me and leave a link to my blog and forum.

carverchick said...

I do dislike blogging about the antics of the "horseflies" (good analogy) since I could be blogging about the AMICUS brief, or the fact that tomorrow the new section 20 regulations go into effect, but sometimes a chick's gotta do what a chick's gotta do. Apparently our friends who post on topix don't appreciate their words being posted on my blog. Oh well, it proved my point and that is all that matters. We fight the way we do for good reasons, they fight the way they do because they don't have anything intelligent to say.

And one more thing, you are so right Gladys....they rant on about things that happened a year ago....why? I don't know, but like I said, it is an honor to be compared to you. What I love about you and your blogs is from day one, you have fought against the myth of inevitability with knowig the facts, knowing the law and your rights, and fought using the "horseflies" own words, and they don't like it.

Rock on, my friend.

Gladys Kravitz said...

As most people know - I've avoided these toxic posts and people from the beginning - and I've asked others to do the same. That being said, I believe there's a point when you can't ignore their behavior.

For me, it was more than disparaging - it was disturbing -when after a certain 'contest' appeared on a pro-casino web site, the editor of the Middleboro Gazette and a Middleboro psychologist, and the chairman of the CRAC committee continued posting there.

And when, after I received a threat the police took seriously, the world's worst reporter wrote a front page article for his paper demonizing bloggers and turning the individual who threatened me into some sort of put-upon victim.

And, despite witnessing this individual have a weird tantrum at the BIA hearing, and knowing that I had received a threat, and that I was worried about this man, a Middleboro selectman brought him on his show - with the aforementioned psychologist - to disscuss the unbearable evil of bloggers - obviously with the intent to intimidate us. Or at least a couple of us.

And, I recently recieved a copy of another Topix post, seething with venom, begging people to discredit my business, among other disturbing comments.

And this ain't the first time.

And still... the Gazette failed during the casino cirucus, and continues to fail to acknowledge disturbing behavior on the part of our favorite Middleboro selectman - saving it all - apparently, for a recent issue of signage.

And is it any wonder the town of Lakeville ponders whether CFO is 'appropriate'???????

I don't care if someone is still discussing my shorts. That makes him, not me, look bad. But I do care when people feel free to make threats, while others feel free to use these people to their advantage. This is not harmless. Even at it's BEST, it's unethical.

I for one appreciate Carverchick, and Carl's and MR's attempts to expose certain dark forces to the light. And I appreciate their support and the support of many others, especially in light of some of the things I have been subjected to.

People want to praise Mr. Marzellis' offer of his yard for a yard sale - fine - but a finer demonstration of good will, in my opinion, would be to call off the dogs who share his casino cause. They're not doing either side any good.

But I won't hold my breath, because his crowd isn't afraid of a yard sale. They're afraid of the truth. The truth that bloggers expose on a daily basis.

betty said...

Lest Bumpkin believe his advice has gone unheeded, by blood pressure couldn't tolerate the cesspool as regular diet.
As a consequence of another post, I ventured forth with much regret. Most of us lack the time to trudge through comments that are mostly irrational rants, without substance, merit, facts, worth. There are news items reported daily about which I would most appreciate to read the opinions of others. The horseflies have overtaken what might be an interesting forum for valid dialogue, but they've done it before.
Having ventured into the cesspool, I will confirm that there are those out there who remain fixated on a certain person's butt, never mind the issues. (Personally, I think one of those has a rather massive butt and is clearly jealous!)
But the threat that was posted required addressing and I believe those who have condemned it were justified. I also believe that a certain selectman has remained mysteriously silent on the issue. Is it because it's not election time and he can't score points? Or is it because his wife was the poster?

not a Middleboro resident said...

Few have the time or inclination to wade into the cesspool on a regular basis and refute each irrational comment, but there seem to be several significant issues.
1. If past behavior is any indication, one person in particular has escalated threats of violence to a personal level and posted as much on his web site.
The failure of those in leadership positions to speak out constitutes tacit approval.
It is a paradox that Mr. Bond used his public platform to condemn a single post that was in poor taste but remains silent in the midst of escalating public threats by his supporters and his wife. Political opportunism is the phrase that comes to mind.
2. Since others from around the country and in high political office are reading what is posted in this forum, there is a need for them to understand the personal attacks, harrassment, targeting of private citizens, cyberstalking, threats, lies and irrational comments to which casino opponents are subjected.
While you and your fellow bloggers have avoided the mud wrestling, it has gone on around you.
To periodically comment on the irrational attacks exposes the cockroaches to sunlight and is necessary.
We support you and pray for you. Your mission is fighting a profitable casino industry with assets to buy support regardless of the facts, but it is morally correct.
Please keep blogging. Your talents and humor are sorely needed. You've done a masterful job.

this too shall pass said...

If you don't have enemies, you don't have character.
Paul Newman

Never give in.. never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force.. never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
Winston Churchill

Remember and take consolation in the support of many

Anonymous said...

“They deem him the worst enemy who tells them the truth" Plato

A Friend said...

Gladys,
One side of my family is Quaker. My greatgrandparents spoke of stories handed down about the Friends being involved in the Underground Railroad. As you are probably aware, the Friends went about their religious convictions in a quiet fashion and didn't document their information so there is no history. They are unsung heroes who demonstrated their faith and protested a moral outrage.
When I consider my family history, I often consider that CFO is similar, yet dissimilar. A group of people with varied backgrounds joined to risk public villification by bullies to pursue what they believed was morally correct.
You have great courage because your moral compass is correct. And you have great support, although it's sometimes silent.
The bullies are those who would pillory the participants in the Underground Railroad.
And when Jesus said 'Let he among you who is without sin, cast the first stone,' can't you visualize those bullies throwing rock after rock because of their flawed self-perceptions?
Know that your support is there for you and your path is correct.
And keep using your talent to enlighten others. We are with you.

ShareThis