What a Day, and My Philosophy on Open Fora
Forgive me if this post has a patchwork feel to it, but I’ve had a dreadful day. Here’s a telling time line for you:
- 6:12 a.m. (just before I begin getting ready for work) — A post of mine hits the Internet.
- 7:21 a.m. (just about the time I’m pulling into my boss’s shop) — Tim leaves an irresponsible and strategically foolish comment.
- 7:41 a.m. (just about the time I’m pulling into my jobsite’s driveway) — Pat Crowley leaves a comment attacking me for letting the comment stand.
Allow me some explanation for the benefit of those who’ve no experience (or memory, at least) of a working class day: In my line of work, carelessness can be fatal and mistakes can be costly (sometimes, especially in slow economies, for workers laid off due to delays). The pressure is on for productivity, and the atmosphere is far from water-cooler casual. By some cosmic quirk, I am currently personally responsible for an uncommonly detailed project, the very large (and very expensive) house involved, and all of the workers moving the thing along. At today’s peak, there were eighteen of them.
I don’t have a computer; I have a bells-and-whistles cell phone (which, of course, was being glitchy today). I get a fifteen minute break at 10:00 a.m. and a half-hour lunch at twelve. And on this particular day, I had to deal with a (we’ll say) disconcerting personnel issue while resolving space complications between the plumber and the audio/video technician while clearing a tricky structural modification with an engineer while laying out cuts for the mason in old, structurally critical cinder blocks while helping the electricians to prioritize while going over alarm system details while ensuring that the plasterers were clear to cover up sheetrock while pushing the architect to commit to the placement of a sink vanity that would resolve the plumber-A/V conflict while wrapping a Band Aid around the one remaining finger on my right hand that hadn’t previously been scraped while trying to figure out just how many hours a week I can work, because all of this doesn’t pay quite as well as one might think.
I offer this synopsis of my day by way of illustration of the reason that I’ve little patience for the flicks and tugs of participants in a forum that I believe to be substantially distinct from Anchor Rising contributors’ own writing, but which a cabal with a professional, financial, and ideological interest in marginalizing our research and analysis is apparently leveraging in a strategic effort to achieve that end.
Here’s my opinion on the comment-section controversy of the day: Jerzyk’s personal comportment and biography can’t be otherwise than of legitimate interest in the sorts of debates into which he enters and issues concerning which he advocates. That’s not a double standard; I don’t consider myself immune. However, the line for public scrutiny is around the man (or woman) in question, although an inevitable gray area will arise whenever third-parties are intrinsic to his or her behavior.
As to commenters’ methods of conveying valid information, well, here philosophies of rhetoric come into play. Word choice and focus are important components by which to understand and judge an argument, and were we to censor overly strong (and perhaps unfair) descriptive language, we would do a disservice to both sides: One side would have had its meaning changed, and the other side would be receiving an inaccurate gauge by which to judge what’s said. If a commenter says something that invalidates his larger point, then it is eminently fair to treat him accordingly. It is not fair, however, to treat that tar-crusted brush as a weapon to be used against others.
That is to say: blame me for what I write, not what others write in my proximity. Ostensibly — if I’m personally so wrong and so vicious — that shouldn’t present any difficulty for those who consider me an enemy.
Perhaps it’s time for we Anchor Rising contributors to have our seemingly annual discussion about the state and future of the comments hereon, but I hope it will suffice, for now, to point out to our fellows on the Right that — though you may feel that you’re cutting to the truth and exposing the other side for what it is — you are harming your own cause. You are providing ammunition for use against us all, no matter how unfair that usage might be. And you are providing an easy escape from the considered arguments with which we must continue to corner the other side.
I’ve no intention of allowing you to make it that easy for those who are sucking the vigor out of our state, and I hope you’ll think twice before hitting the “Post” button henceforth. It only takes a tweak here and there to move a point from dismissible to utterly defensible, and if our case is as strong as we believe it to be, then the former can only do damage while the latter ought to come naturally.
Now I’m off to bed. It’s back to the jobsite for me tomorrow morning. On the bright side, there’s a chance that the sun will shine through the clouds, and for at least some of the day, I’ll likely have the place to myself and actually manage to get some work done.