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.