Civility Plea re: "Smash of Civilizations"

At the risk of starting another flame war, I'd like to ask people across the political spectrum to try and show some respect for the intelligence and innate human dignity of your fellow LISNewsters. I'd like to suggest some guidelines that I try to use in commenting on stories and journal postings:

1) Never use profanity unless you are quoting someone else.

2) Don't use Clintonesque hair-splitting to explain why "F You" or "Eat S and Die" aren't really profanity. It's the thought and emotional connotation that counts.

3) If you don't think a news story is appropriate to LISNews, say so and explain why instead of railing against the liberal/conservative Powers That Be(tm).

4) Argue on the basis of facts and evidence than barking against the source. Rush Limbaugh and Michael Moore are both correct when they say the sky is blue. Calling them a fascist/communist doesn't change the color of the sky.

I have nothing to say about the "smash of civilizations" post itself, but it's painful to watch people irrationally going for each others' throats. Thanks to the few people who tried to make a rational and polite discussion of the issues at hand.

Comments

Re:Article was inflamatory, but why drag out...

Putting my remarks into context...

2) Don't use Clintonesque hair-splitting to explain why "F You" or "Eat S and Die" aren't really profanity. It's the thought and emotional connotation that counts.

And

You can't escape the fact that nothing in the orginal article could be literally construed as profanity -- unlike your subject line.

You may have a point. I see the two statements as different aspects of the same point, but I can see where a reasonable person could insist they are contradictory statements and demand an explanation.Your subject heading and choice of words in your first comment are universally recognized profanity. I'm sure that even Bill Bennett and Dick Cheney would agree with me here. Even though you didn't spell out the F--- word, it was very clear that you intended it. Thus my "thought and emotional connotation that counts." The same could be said for many other euphanisms for swear words. You say that your not swearing, but everyone knows what you mean. I fail to see how the article meets this definition.Literally is where I think that adding a few letters to a phrase (i.e. F You), leads directly to a swear word. The article clearly does not meet this definition.I still think its incumbent upon you to explain to the rest of us how a claim-based, harsh criticism of an Administration cultural treasures policy is morally equivilant to a message that starts off with a universally recognized piece of profanity then insists that critics are capable of the anatomically impossible.National Review writes harsh criticisms of people outside the President's inner circle each and every day, but I've never equated any of their articles with "F You!"And I think that's where I'll stop. Take or leave it, or start your own journal entry.

okay

2] If its thought and emotional connotation that count then that pretty much makes my case for responding to the article as I did because the thought and emotional connotation of the article equaled the subject of my post.

Article was inflamatory, but why drag out...

profanity?------I actually agree that the quote selected for the article was pretty inflamatory and might have made a better journal entry than story. Read as a whole, the article makes a number of factual charges that could be supported or refuted by facts and evidence. Also read as a whole the topic of the article (What is happening to Iraqi cultural artifacts?) seems more LISNews oriented than the vast majority of the Laura Bush articles. Given the one-sidedness of the Mother Jones' article, it probably should have been labelled commentary. As such, it would have the same right to be on LISNews as any National Review article saying that the destruction of Iraqi cultural artificats has been overhyped.Someone who disagrees with this article has any number of assertive but respectful ways to respond:

  • Although the article PURPORTS to be concerned with the loss of Iraqi cultural heritage, it's really a thinly veiled attack on the President. As such, it shouldn't have made it as a news story. If you want to attack the President, do it in your own journal!
  • The claims in the article are false and here's why...
  • Saddam's regime had a history of ransacking its historical artifacts because....
  • Yes, artifacts are being lost. Should we stop trying to protect the Iraqi people to make sure some pot shards don't go astray?
  • Isn't it up to the sovreign Iraqi gov't to care for its own cultural hereitage?
  • I think National Review/Weekly Standard/WSJ has a more accurate take at _____

Any of the approaches above would have put you squarely on record as being in disagreement with the article and/or the LISNews author who decided to post this story. By your thoughtful criticisms, we might have had a good discussion on the intersection between security and cultural preservation and what our priorities should be in a war zone.Instead, you started the ball rolling with:F You

Are you kidding? Are you stupid? Are you retarded? Rate this what you want boys and girls but anyone who thinks Saddam's world of rape and torture rooms was closer to being 'a cradle of civilization' then what we have now has his head so far up his ass he can see out his own mouth.And we call ourselves professionals. Pheh. A profession requires intelligence.

Profanity and three personal insults to your fellow LISNewzters. That's why I rated your intial post as flamebait. I also rated as flamebait the guy who said:

A profession requires intelligence. You've never shown any here.

in reference to you. And handed out flamebaits and trolls to a number of other people, along with a few informatives and insightfuls to people I thought were trying to talk about issues instead of insulting each other and issuing anatomically impossible invitations to their opponents. I moded you an "interesting" for:
  now that... (Score:2, Interesting)

every comment on this has been rated troll or flamebait, how do we rank the article as such?

It's too bad that no one, including yourself, made an answer to that reasonable question as of this writing.As you say, a profession requires intelligence. Intelligent people can make their points about issues with facts, evidence and logic. Let's leave name-calling to the schoolyard.

Re:Article was inflamatory, but why drag out...

Inflammatory? You warn people to not make excuses and then you water down the original comment. There was no point in reading the article. Steve posted something that translated as "Fuck You" and I said the same back. End of story.

Not getting it, Greg. Please explain.

Steve posted something that translated as "Fuck You" and I said the same back.

This is the part I'm not getting. I missed the "fuck you" part. Are you talking about Steven? Or the writer/s of the article? All Steven did was quote the opening paragraph of an article about archives and artifacts. Quoting straight text (as opposed to paraphrasing) is a common practice here (you lazy bums, you). None of it is Steven's commentary, and I don't mean to be coy about it. Steven (sorry to speak for ya, Reeno), scouts out all sorts of stories for the PLA blog, his blog and LISNews. This post was entirely appropriate, if provacative, which leads me to ask: What would you have done differently, had you posted the story?

Re:Article was inflamatory, but why drag out...

...then you water down the original comment.

How?

Steve posted something that translated as "Fuck You" and I said the same back.

You can't escape the fact that nothing in the orginal article could be literally construed as profanity -- unlike your subject line.You can find it terribly offensive to your worldview. You can find it very one sided. You can find it disrespectful of the President.But unlike your first comment, the article's author offered examples he felt showed the US's indifference or participation in the destruction of Iraqi artifacts. That's hardly the same as saying "If you think the US is a decent country, than F**k YOU!"All I'm asking for, FROM EVERYBODY, is that instead of cursing one another or lamenting that their opponent is an idiot is that people discuss the issue at hand.You can certainly excercise your First Amendment right to tell me to %%$%^%&^%^$#$#, but don't expect me to say that you're a respectful and reasoned person for having done so.

Hope?

There is a bigger issue I find remarkable if not heartening to a degree. Librarians are still capable of being offended.

Our recent public persona has been one of complete and utter indifference to what we offer our patrons. We aren't to judge anything because everything has its own inherent right to be found and read. It's for others to choose.

But reading Daniel's thoughts here, Rochelle's and a few others, it's obvious we don't necessarily want what some of us preach. Careful, I'm not knocking Daniel, Rochelle or even Greg. My point is that this request, the one calling for more civility among LISNewzies, is a product of behavior considered by some as offensive and the need to, dare I say, control our speech. From librarians who could have just as quickly passed on Greg's reply as easily as we would reflexively instruct any of our patrons to stay clear of anything Juggs or Watersports in the URL.

Maybe we need to be as honest with our patrons as we are with ourselves?

Re:Article was inflamatory, but why drag out...

You can't escape the fact that nothing in the orginal article could be literally construed as profanity -- unlike your subject line.

It's the thought and emotional connotation that counts.

literally: really; actually

connotation: The set of associations implied by a word in addition to its literal meaning.

So which statement do you want to stand by?

Good List

You're truly needed around here Daniel. I wish we had 100 more people just like you.That's a good list, I'd also addDon't Feed The TrollsI don't believe we are watching people irrationally going at each other, rather we are watching completely irrational people. What I don't know is if they are like this in "real life" or just act this way when they are writing online.But I do appreciate your writing about this topic. Your writing probably has no effect on those it should, but I do often learn a thing or two from you, and for that I am grateful.

Re:Not getting it, Greg. Please explain.

Well to quote Daniel: "It's the thought and emotional connotation that counts."

If you post an article Rochelle your responsible for its content. The article was a hit piece. The posting was a hit piece. There is no rational case to be made that we made Iraq worse then what it was before. You have to ignore a lot dead bodies to do so. To try and paint Iraq as having been some kind of cultural paradise is absurd.

Re:Article was inflamatory, but why drag out...

At no time have I said that "F You" wasn't swearing. At no time have I said I didn't swear. If not spelling it out is somehow considered a distraction then in the future I'll spell it out.

You said you were putting your remarks in context. How about putting the post in context? Do you want LISnews to be like National Review? Has all the political wrangling somehow helped LISNews? This becomes a similar situation to when people tell me I should leave SRRT and start a conservative round table. Is that really good for ALA?

And just to take a moment and defend National Review, they also write harsh criticisms of the President and his inner circle each and every day. You don't go to National Review unless you're ready to have what you believe challenged, that goes for me too.

I should have known better than...

To promise not to comment further:Now:

At no time have I said that "F You" wasn't swearing. At no time have I said I didn't swear. If not spelling it out is somehow considered a distraction then in the future I'll spell it out.

Then:

I didn't resort to profanity. I gave the article and its backers their due. If they don't like it maybe they should try thinking about what it is they are really saying first.

Re:I should have known better than...

I was away so I'm a little late seeing this. Would have helped if I had italicized the word 'resort'. I wasn't saying I didn't use a profanity. I was taking issue with your implication that it was me that lowered the bar.

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