How’d that happen? » « For the wishy-washy, the apologists, the appeasers…rejoice! It’s a sick, sad world What kind of lowlife would threaten a dog? Share this:PrintEmailShare on TumblrTweet How’d that happen? » « For the wishy-washy, the apologists, the appeasers…rejoice!
I was very upset to see that post when I went for my periodic “Creek Running North” fix last night.
I did not know the site, and I guess it i too late now…
A sick, sad world indeed:
Washington man charged with bestiality
It’s sad and sick that someone would threaten a dog, but it’s also sad, if not precisely sick, that the owner of Creek Running North is allowing him/herself to be bullied in this fashion. I sincerely hope that the comment and commenter’s IP have at least been reported to law enforcement.
While I would agree that that bit from quork is “sad and sick,” is there any evidence of the dog having been physically harmed or coerced in the dictionary (non-fiat) sense? (PLEASE tell me someone thought this relevant enough to check…) Because otherwise, this is basically a charge of “criminal ickiness,” and I sincerely hope quork wouldn’t endorse such….
As for his wife, I don’t blame her for being shocked and upset, but I’m as disgusted by her belief that this was an appropriate way to react as by her husband’s behavior in the first place. So much for standing by him in sickness and in health, I guess.
Bill Dauphin says
Apropos of nothing… but is the title of this post perhaps a Daria reference? Being exposed to Daria has been one of the (many) great joys of having a teenage daughter in the house, IMHO.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled comment thread….
Maggie Rosethorn says
PZ..can’t get to the site, they took it down. Can you paraphrase it for those of us who missed it?
Azkyroth, you’re talking out of your ass. You have no idea how serious the threat is, what they know about the threatener, what they’ve done about it. You weren’t there for that conversation; none of us were except Chris and his family. How dare you criticize them when you know nothing about the situation except that one sentence where his blog used to be? Unless you’ve been in his shoes, you have no right to criticize. None.
On the contrary, I have every right to criticize; freedom of speech doesn’t cease to apply when the issue is one that the subject of the speech feels strongly about. You might, however, contend that my criticism is unfounded, which I charitably assume is what you really mean.
And yes, all I know is that he took his blog down because of a threat, which is exactly what the threatener would have hoped for. Making concessions to terrorists (and that is what this commenter is, if they’re using threats of violence to force concessions or “send a message”) is generally bad policy; it both accomplishes the terrorists’ aims in the given situation and sends the message to the world that terrorism gets results, encouraging more acts of terrorism. It has been my unfortunate experience to meet far too many people who think that “grab your ankles” is a universally appropriate response to threats and strong-arming, simply because it’s the path of least resistance, and I’ve built up somewhat of a backlog of disgust for the entire concept. However, if there’s more to this situation than I’m being told, I can hardly be blamed for not knowing it.
Once I was working in my yard, my neighbor in his yard, and my cat was nosing around. Cat is harmless; he pretty much just goes around and sniffs things. Neighbor’s mother always hated cat, and would spray him with water even if he got near the property line. (She was mean to our kids too).
Cat onto their driveway and neighbor threw a huge bag of mulch at him. “Hey, you better not hurt my cat,” I said. “I’ll get my rifle and take care of it,” he replied.
So who would threaten a dog? The same kind of moral defective that would threaten a cat, a defenseless animal, someone’s pet. The kind of person who is a total waste of valuable carbon atoms.
So sorry to hear about CRN and the threat. What a travesty.
sigh You of course have the legal right to say whatever ill-informed, judgmental, and cruel thing you like. You don’t have the right to not come off sounding ill-informed, judgmental, and cruel.
It’s very easy to say “don’t negotiate with terrorists” until it’s a member of your family in the sights. Never having been in the situation, I can’t say that I wouldn’t do any number of personally repugnant things to save someone I loved. My personal store of courage might extend to risking my own life for my principles, but someone else’s? An innocent? I don’t know. Do you?
06:14 PM was for Azkyroth.
I might. That wouldn’t make it non-sad, and I wouldn’t expect people to approve. I would, at the very least, pursue the legal option to the utmost before doing something like this, though.
You of course have the legal right to say whatever ill-informed, judgmental, and cruel thing you like. You don’t have the right to not come off sounding ill-informed, judgmental, and cruel.
Sure he does.
But you have the right (legal and probably moral) to call him on the carpet for it.
John Protevi says
Azkyroth, it must be difficult for you to live in a world in which you see so much moral weakness around you. Why don’t you write to Chris Clarke personally and share your opinion of his action? And please remember to share his response.
Stephen Erickson says
“After family discussion”?
Wasn’t PZ complaining about wishy-washy appeasers earlier today?
John Protevi says
Oh, and be sure to include your eloquent expression of “contempt” for the “grab your ankles” response. I’m sure he’ll appreciate your contribution.
John Protevi says
Sorry, it wasn’t “contempt,” it was “disgust.” Precision in these matters is important.
a family blog is important enough to risk your life over?
the most reasonable assumption is “why take the chance?”
why take the chance that some nutter who takes your site personally is going to make good on threats?
it’s happened before, and quite recently IIRC.
bottom line, terrorism works. Unfortunate, but true. There is always a balance between standing on principle, and letting that principle bury you.
I would always say that if a threat seems credible, might as well do both:
report the abuse AND take down the offending material, if only temporarily.
would you challenge someone who was robbing you with a gun, to see if they were serious?
Don’t get me started…
Even assuming I had contact information for him, why would I want to do that? What would it accomplish? And why would I be inclined to write to anyone who would respond in the fashion you’re implying with the “share his response” bit to a message to the effect of “I understand your perspective here, but I think you’re making a potentially serious mistake in the long run by capitulating”?
If it was unclear to anyone else that the statement in question was an expression of disgust for a general pattern which this, on the surface, seemed to fit, I apologize, and will attempt to be clearer in the future.
Indeed, but that follow-up was unnecessary, since, if I were inclined to let your hotheaded mischaracterization of my position and personality slide, the mix-up of synonyms certainly wouldn’t push you over the edge.
John, I suspect the “disgust” in Azkyroth’s response referred to the wife of the dog-f***er mentioned in the third post. This because that’s what his second paragraph is about, and it’s the only thing anywhere that contains a direct reference to anyone’s wife taking any kind of action.
Unpopular though it appears, I agree with his assertion that “it’s also sad … that the owner of Creek Running North is allowing him/herself to be bullied in this fashion.” Isn’t it always sad to see that someone has allowed him/herself to be bullied? Is it not sad to see someone giving in to terrorism? To say that it’s sad is not to say that it’s a valid option. To say that it’s sad is not to say that the person who has taken the action is somehow less than worthwhile as a human being. But it’s sad. It’s sad that people are a**holes, and it’s sad that people feel defenseless in the face of a**holery. It’s a sad comment on the state of the world, one no less so than the other.
Ahh… I see lept to his own defense while I was typing…
I had a post that set off a bunch of little red flags. I responded that he’d got it wrong, and should maybe seek help. He posted again, defending his words, but confirming my unease, unintentionally. I hang my butt out in the wind on my blog, and get mostly civil responses. When I get a scary one, I delete their comment, my response, their response, and consider taking down the site, and starting again more quietly. Sure I do. Just like erasing graffiti.
I will miss Creek, but I understand. I just hope I find him writing again, under a different name. And that Zeke lives a good while longer. Fame is not for everyone, because being a target is not universally enjoyed. Bloggers do not Owe the Public anything at all, at all.
Ichthyic: thank you for a response with a minimal “knee-jerk” coefficient and a conspicuous lack of personal attacks. I agree that it is something of a gray area, and if this is in fact a significantly more credible and serious threat than most of the people I’ve rolled my eyes at have backed down from in the past, their decision might be warranted. However, if that’s the case, I’m not aware of it, and provisionally regarding this as fitting with the pattern I’ve observed elsewhere is the most parsimonious conclusion (it was, admittedly, a mistake to assume that provisionality would be obvious from what I said above; my life experiences have taught me that nothing is too obvious for at least a handful of people to ignore unless bludgeoned with it).
Note: self: refresh page on returning before typing responses.
lytefoot: I assumed John was referring to the phrase “backlog of disgust” in my second post, which I suppose could have been misinterpreted. And you’re more or less right; I understand this decision but based on the information I have so far been given, I think it’s a mistake and that it sends a message that’s likely to make trouble for the online community, and possibly their family, down the line. And either way, it’s sad.
There have been a couple of nasty remarks directed at his dog from those who don’t share his political stripe. I read several of them over the past couple of weeks, and they pissed me off. I don’t know that he was actually responding to direct threats per se, I can imagine that it might just have been rough reading someone talking smack about his dog. It was for me.
robin andrea says
It is creepy and disheartening that someone would threaten an old dog. Chris has gotten us all to fall in love with Zeke, and so it is especially weird that someone, after reading Chris’s ongoing love poem to his pup, would be inspired to violence. That said, I don’t know how taking the site down helps. I wish them good luck, and hope CRN returns after the threat has been effectively dealt with.
Chris was one of the first people to respond to comments I made at the old Pharyngula so I am sad to see this. Hopefully, CRN will be back up soon. Chris, if you are reading this thread, we are here for you…
Spoony Quine says
` What’s this, then? I don’t know what this is about because the site is gone. Why was someone threatening a dog? I know my neighbor always used to tell us not to let our cats out of the house because they would wind up on his wall with all the other animals he’d killed in his backyard. (In the suburbs!!)
` He was a creep who liked to spy on us from inside and in the guise of doing lawnwork/throwing a ball into our yard, etc.
` I also know about someone who was arrested for taking a dying dog to the vet because his owners tied him up in the front lawn and starved him and beat him or something. The dog was so weak he couldn’t even stand, and she knocked on the door but nobody was home. Since this was an emergency and the dog probably couldn’t make it much longer, she grabbed him and went.
` The owners considered that to be stealing, so she got in big trouble with the police and they didn’t.
Well, she did ‘steal’ the dog, but the owners probably ought to have been brought up on animal cruelty charges as well. The best option would have been to call animal control and let them come save the dog.
PZ Myers says
Creek Running North is a well-known liberal/environmentalist blog run by Chris Clarke, a phenomenal writer and servant to that famous dog, Zeke. Chris has been telling us tales of his dog for some time (lately, often rather melancholy stories—Zeke is getting up there in years). It seems someone tried to exploit Chris’s love for his dog by threatening Zeke to shut him up.
It’s unbelievably vile, I know.
It is up to each individual weblogger if they keep their weblogs up or not. However, a side note:
Freedom of speech has absolutely nothing to do with making comments or not being able to make quick comments in a weblog. Freedom of speech has to do with government censorship and intimidation, not our little “Shut up?” “Oh yeah” back and forths.
Second, someone threatening to kill your dog (or punch out your lights) is not a terrorist. Sick, yes. Sad, powerless, and greatly unhappy, very true. But not a terrorist.
Argue, back and forth, whatever, but please stop abusing terms such as ‘censorship’ and ‘terrorist’.
PZ, just saw your recent post. It is a shame that someone can’t speak their mind without and old and beloved dog being threatened. Hopefully the law will be able to help in this situation.
Looks to me like they succeeded, which was kind of my point. :/
John Protevi says
Azkyroth, what you’re saying is that you’re comfortable using someone else’s pain to make a turgid and cliched political point in the safety of a blog comment, but that you lack the courage to write that directly to the person. This is not a “hot-headed” response, but done in complete coldness, as I have examined your remarkable comment as one would examine any expression that combined a pretense of towering moral strength with the reality of moral cowardice. And you’ll note that I’m saying this directly to you, under my own name.
Lytefoot, you have completely misread Azkyroth’s 5:45 comment which is clearly aimed at Clarke’s alleged “grab your ankles” response as somehow indicative of weak responses to terrorism.
No shit. What’s your point? Seriously. Do you actually believe that their being allowed to choose not to leave their blog up somehow entitles them to an exemption from criticism, or renders all criticism automatically unfounded? Or did you simply not think this through before posting?
(As a side note, I’ve always had a strange fascination with the inner workings of the minds of people who think pointing out bleeding-obvious and tangential-at-best facts like this somehow adds something to the debate (the ones who think they’re actually saying something profound in the process generally aren’t worth my time). Is this one introspective enough to shed any light on the matter?)
“Freedom of speech” is the ability to speak without undue interference. Government censorship and intimidation is the form of infringement on freedom of speech that is proscribed by the constitution. Free speech is not protected in the private sphere, generally, but this fact does not mean that people who attempt to censor, or silence through intimidation, speech with which they disagree are not displaying an appalling lack of respect for the principle, merely that they incur no legal liability for doing so. However, the specific claim was that I “had no right” to criticize, to a literalistic reading of which I was responding.
The use of threats of violence against unarmed, non-military targets to inspire fear, in order to obtain concessions or capitulation, is not terrorism? I’m using the traditional sense, not the modern sense of “less than full enthusiasm about the Bush administration’s agenda.” I’ll admit it’s stretching the term a little, but this is inspired the same mentality and in the same spirit as more conventional manifestations of “terrorism,” and for a similar purpose.
I could just as soon tell you to stop misusing terms such as “abusing” with as much justification, since it also is used to mean things that aren’t relevant or occurring here.
I concur. I hope they seek help from the law; entirely too many people I’ve known have been too [insert polite terms for “cowardly and/or lazy” here] to do so when they’ve been abused.
Damnit, there I go again. x.x
Wrong. I am not “using someone else’s pain to make a turgid and cliched political point,” I’m expressing my disagreement with their publicized response to an injustice. How the hell did you infer any kind of political significance in my statements? I manifestly did not intend them as such. And I do not lack the *courage* to write it directly to the person, I lack a *reason* to do so.
So you’re this reactionary when you’re calm? My condolences to you and yours, then. I had charitably ascribed your response to an excess of knee-jerk anger interfering with your ability to read and digest what I had actually said (or, in fairness, meant to say).
What the hell are you talking about? Maybe I shouldn’t be responding; you’re putting so many words in my mouth that you could very well have this debate without my further input. Where did I say anything about “towering moral strength?” I simply expressed disagreement with their decision as I understood it, and responded to Stephanie’s reaction to my initial comment with a similar degree of vehemence and an explanation of why I disagreed based on what I knew thus far. I realize it’s going on Halloween/Thanksgiving, but please stick to using the straw men as home decorations.
So you say. And while I have no ready way of confirming it, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. By the way, what’s your point?
He misread your post as a response to the expression of disgust in my original response. I clarified it for him. But it seems you’ve taken my somewhat loose use of the term “terrorism” and run with it, though…which…would actually explain a lot of what’s left me scratching my head about your responses.
Or is my interpretation of your “political” and “weak response to terrorism” comments above as implying that you think I’m drawing any analogy between this situation and, say, 9/11, other than the similarity in the mindsets and moral values of the aggressors in error? (Note: see? I just admitted I might have misread or misinterpreted an opponent’s statements, and I have yet to be incinerated by a bolt of lightning. This example should be instructive…) If my impression is correct…good grief. I suppose I should have anticipated this sort of confusion, given that it’s a liberal blog in question, except that I knew very little about the content of Creek Running North at the time and have difficulty fully predicting the effects of blockheadedness on one’s conclusions. Although, I think it might be significant that of the various people who’ve found fault with my position, no one but you has visibly needed this explained to them.
In other words, no, this has nothing to do with the global situation or 9/11 or the site owner’s political position, merely with my belief that giving in to those who bully through fear of violence in order to force concessions is generally a mistake (“terrorists”). Are we clear now?
John Protevi says
Azkyroth, you wrote the following at 5:45:
Making concessions to terrorists (and that is what this commenter is, if they’re using threats of violence to force concessions or “send a message”) is generally bad policy; it both accomplishes the terrorists’ aims in the given situation and sends the message to the world that terrorism gets results, encouraging more acts of terrorism.
And now at 10:04 you ask me:
How the hell did you infer any kind of political significance in my statements? I manifestly did not intend them as such.
I’ll answer: I inferred it by the presence of “policy” and “sends a message to the world” and “encouraging more acts of terrorism” in your 5:45 comment. These are manifestly political points, allowing you to make a turgid and cliched point out of Chris Clarke’s personal pain. These are clearly directed as criticisms of Clarke, not as comments aimed at “the similarity in the mindsets and moral values of the aggressors in error” as you say above at 10:04.
I am not putting any words into your mouth. Your pretense of moral strength is clear from your distancing yourself from the “cowardly and/or lazy” (9:41) responses you find so “disgusting.” But really, why would I put words into your mouth when your own display your cowardly moralizing and pathetic back-pedalling so well?
Chris, I miss Creek Running North and hopefully you can have the site up again soon. In the meantime, stay safe. Threats need to be taken seriously, and only you can decide what you need to do. Let us know what we can do for you.
You’re making an argument from emotion, not a reasoned response. This is not a productive means of approaching any problem, much less the one at hand.
Would you kindly shut your noise hole?
Chris Clarke says
Thanks, PZ, for the moral support.
I trust it would not be off-topic to introduce some actual facts about my situation into this discussion of my situation.
I work as an editor of a radical environmental publication. I’ve had similar jobs on and off since 1992. Before that, on a more sporadic basis, I have been involved in occasionally prominent anti-war and environmental activism since approximately 1973. As a result of this chosen lifestyle, I have received my share of threats. I get a couple threats of bodily harm a year these days based on my day job. You cannot work in publishing in my field without running that risk. Some of them I report, some — the ones I deem to be intended to cause inconvenience — I do not.
Over the years, you know how many of these threats the police have been at all helpful in addressing? None.
I get the feeling that certain of the commenters here — well, OK, one commenter here — has never actually talked to a working cop. I live in a smallish town here. My wife is friends with most of the cops, as a neighborhood watch captain. I could get an appointment with an officer in the local PD any time. And I know full well the response I’d get if I went to them and said “someone threatened my dog anonymously on the Internet.”
I wouldn’t even be able to get to the part about how the person used an anonymizing web proxy server based in another country. The response would be “um, OK, Mr. Clarke, sorry to hear that. Lock your doors and let us know if you see anything suspicious or hear from the person again.” And I’d get a business card, which we already have in the house.
So at the risk of being thought cowardly and/or lazy by Azkyroth — and it really hurts me to be thought less of by him, or her, or them, or whatever — I am doing what I do with the other idle threats I receive in the course of my life: filing the information away in case it amounts to something, which it likely will not.
And so, given the fact that I have decided the threat may not be credible, why did I take the blog offline? Azkyroth must of course be correct: it was a cowardly act of appeasement to the terrorists. It couldn’t have been that the threat occurred in a context of, and seemed to be delivered by a fringe participant in, the increasingly inane intra-left blog spats that have been festering and erupting all over some parts of the progressive online world. It couldn’t have been that the intent of the person making the threat may not have been to frighten me or my family so much as to stir up yet another goddamn blog battle.
And I refuse to let my blog be another locus in these immoral, wasteful arguments.
My blog is one of the least important things I do. Becky and Zeke are up top, and quite honestly Zeke’s impending demise makes him edge Becky out, as he’s edged me out in Becky’s priorities. In descending order after that: a few good friends, my longer-term writing projects, political activism, my day job, hiking, my blog. I appreciate the fact that my blog has fans. But really now. My effective speech takes place at my day job and doing politics. I am not one of those people who has confused writing a blog post with political activism.
The blog has certain rewards, from cameraderie to promotion of my paid writing, but like almost all other blogs it is an affectation and nothing more. The minute it threatens to get in the way of my actual effective speech — whether by causing my family stress or by making me do too much work to maintain it — it ends.
But see, I haven’t yet made that decision, which is yet another thing Azkyroth gets wrong — a result of holding forth without actual information, a practice usually associated with the likes of Dembski round these parts. My phone number is pretty easy to get, as is my email address – a search of the google cache of my blog would get it for you — and if a person wanted to hold forth on my mistakes and errors in taking the site offline and actually have made a non-laughable point or two, which is always possible because no decision is ever completely correct, said person could have just asked me. But Azkyroth couldn’t be bothered to do that, It’s much easier — and his/her right as an internet user! — to call me a coward or collaborator or whatever without knowing a single goddamn thing about the situation. Fortunately, this part of the net seems to be able to gauge the validity of the arguments of people like Azkyrtoh, who display a propensity toward being … what was the phrase up above, Azkyroth?
Shorter Chris Clarke: Azkyroth, if it was you in my place, you’d fold like a diaper at Baby Gap. Bite me, chickenshit asshole.
I take responsibility for what I say. I will not take responsibility for what you hear.
I intended no political statement of any kind in my initial posts. I habitually use phrases like “policy” with regards to the preferences and habits of individual persons as well as nations, and “the world” with regards to the general community of onlookers, in the broadest sense. I am not alone in this. And I have multiple times explained the rationale behind my selection of the term “terrorist” to describe those employing threats of violence in this manner (and I suppose I should clarify that by “onlookers” I don’t literally mean people physically present and watching, and by “putting words in my mouth” I don’t literally mean shoving a dictionary in, ad nauseum. Jesus Fucking Mythical Christ…). You are indeed putting words in my mouth; while your initial reaction could be ascribed to confusion and to possibly poor phrasing on my part (though I note again that it *seemed* to be clear to everyone else), now that I’ve clarified you have as much of a case as Mike J did when he ascribed the selection of the name “Eris” for a new planet as a stab at the Bush administration (in fact, the parallels here are striking, though your initial assumption was admittedly somewhat less unfounded than his).
Let me spell it out for you. My position is as follows: “Allowing oneself to be manipulated through threats of violence, whether at the international or the personal level, accomplishes the threatener’s aims and gives the threatener, and anyone else who is aware of the events in question, the strong impression that one will be readily manipulated by other threats of violence in the future; as such, it is a mistake in most cases, and from what I know so far this appears to be one of them.” It really is quite simple. But apparently, so are you.
The statement above is as unambigous and succinct as possible, and hopefully phrased so that even the zombie-like literalism and frantic projection that you’re displaying here will not manage to misconstrue it.
I admit I could have phrased some of this better. Fine, let me spell this out too: “I have known many people in the past who capitulated readily and almost enthusiastically when threatened or otherwise treated unjustly and abusively, and who furthmore failed or actively refused to seek appropriate legal or civil recourse, for reasons including being afraid of inviting other adverse results in so doing (“cowardly”) and being intimidated by the amount of work involved (“lazy”). I don’t think much of these people’s actions and decisions in those circumstances, for reasons that should be fairly obvious, but since nothing seems to be too obvious for you to misconstrue it, I will elaborate: I believe such actions display a lack of dignity and self-preservation which is unbecoming a human being, and are furthermore a self-defeating and pathological way of dealing with the world. This incident, from what I know of it, looked as though it might fit this pattern, a prospect that I found unsettling, and I hope I am mistaken. In retrospect, this was not enormously relevant to the debate and I should have realized it would be used for ammunition by people such as yourself, but it does help explain why I felt motivated to speak up at all, which is why I mentioned it.”
This is my position in this thread, despite my somewhat clumsy and confusing expressions of it above, and I will infer any future claims to the contrary to be willful obfuscation rather than honest (if blockheaded) misunderstanding.
As a side note, did anyone else misinterpret my statements in this fashion?
Thank you for correcting me. As it seems some of my assumptions were in fact in error, I retract the relevant statements, and will in the future make sure to pepper any conclusions I draw with “as far as I know” every five words or so, for the sake of clarity.
I was indeed unaware of most of that (including your name, let alone findability in directories, prior to it being mentioned by commenters here); I vaguely recall having heard the name before but my first visit was in response to PZ’s link above. Based on PZ’s post and the sentence left on the blog site, my conclusions were not unreasonable, though they might have been expressed more tactfully. However, as new information has rendered my prior position untenable, I have withdrawn it. It appears that this was, in fact, a pattern matching error, based on what you’ve said, though I’m usually a little less inclined to hold people accountable for not knowing things I never told them. I will not apologize for coming to conclusions based on what I did know, and will not even attempt to address the rather caricatured idea of my motives and perspective on this matter that you seem to have come away with.
And no, if I’d been in the position that the information available to me gave me the strong impression you were in, I probably would not respond in the way the information available to me gave me the strong impression you did.
Shorter Azkyroth: Given what I now know, I was wrong. Given the circumstances, and in particular the belated and belligerent manner in which I was informed of this, I’m not sorry.
Millimeter Wave says
That’s a remarkably shoddy way to behave. If you’re going to hold forth in a public forum about how lazy/cowardly some other person is, I’d say it’s incumbent upon you to establish the facts first.
Of course, you have the perfect right to say whatever you want before you check your facts. The rest of us have the similar right, when you subsequently point your finger at the target of your criticism, to arrive at the well-founded conclusion that you’re an asshole.
There may be some truth to that conclusion; I’m not particularly proud of everything I’ve said here. However, my point with that part was that people seemed to be ignoring the provisional nature of the conclusions I was expressing (namely, I never *claimed* to know all the facts, and, were my position and Chris’ reversed, would not have berated him for drawing faulty provisional influences from incomplete data, especially if he retracted them, upon having been given the rest of the data, in a fashion that was timely and appropriately graceful given the tone in which he was informed of them). I recognize that I could be more explicit about their provisionality and will attempt to do so in the future (which I perhaps could have phrased better than ” make sure to pepper any conclusions I draw with “as far as I know” every five words or so”).
Perhaps it would be useful if I were, in the future, to put a quick list of “assumptions and inferences” at the top of any comment I make regarding anyone else’s choices. I might even do that, if I thought there was the slightest chance anyone else would afford me and each other the same courtesy.
John Protevi says
Shorter Shorer Azkyroth: how dare Chris Clarke criticize me for calling him a cowardly terrorist appeaser, especially when I knew nothing about his situation?
And the willful obfuscation commences…
John Protevi says
And the willful obfuscation commences…
Excellent point, Azykroth, because you’re really the victim here.
Jane Shevtsov says
If you have an audience, blogging can indeed be political activism. Although it probably won’t influence decision-makers directly, it may well help awaken your fellow citizens. Chris’ blogging has done this to me more than once.
This is what I’m talking about. I never claimed to be “the victim here.” However, I was honestly (if blockheadedly) wrong about him, and, having been corrected (and only once, too), have retracted my statements. You have repeatedly been corrected, but refuse to retract, or even stop adding to, yours. I feel that, all other things being equal, you are being considerably more unfair to me than I was to him.
No, the victim is Chris Clarke, who’s been threatened for speaking his mind and who, understandably, probably feels (as far as I know) he’s owed an apology after being publicly misinterpreted in the fashion. And if the tone of his post informing me of this had been characterized by something like “In short, there’s more to this than you seem to realize, and I really don’t appreciate some of the conclusions you’ve apparently jumped to,” instead of “Bite me, chickenshit asshole,” I would agree and he would get one. Considering the stress he seems (as far as I know) to be under, to which, as my annoyance dissipates, I am feeling increasingly sheepish about adding to, a cool-headed and civil follow-up from him would probably be sufficient to elicit one.
(Note: this is the fashion in which I usually respond to misinterpretations of my position similar to my misinterpretations of his, and in which I damn well should respond were our positions reversed.)
Azkyroth: you’re being trolled. Your behavior has been entirely reasonable and needs no defense. By defending, you encourage the trolls. Contrary to Napoleon’s dictum, the only sensible way to react to being attacked on the Internet is to stop reacting. I suggest you stop encouraging them.
Kristjan Wager says
Caledonian, I suggest you look up the standard definitions of trolling – that’s not what is going on here. Azkyroth said something that many people disagreed with, and they made it clear. They didn’t just try to get a rise out of Azkyroth, like Azkyroth didn’t say what he did, just to get a rise out of the other posters here.
It has never been, and will never be, constructive to assume bad faith in a discussion, where you are in the minority. You might assume that the majority is wrong, idiots or any other things, but don’t assume that they are trolling.
It would be like me going to Free Republic and accuse everyone there of trolling when I said positive stuff about Bill Clinton (a banning offense – heck, it’s enough to correct factual mistakes about him to get banned).
Meanwhile, the English-reading net-connected world has lost (since the site is offline, not just stopped updating) some of the most intelligent, deeply-felt and beautiful writing that I’ve seen in years. A place I’ve been pointing & dragging people to since the first time I saw it, a couple of years back.
I hope most of them have saved larger chunks of it to their drive, or excerpted larger bits for their webprescence, than I did — since I preferred to give a taste, then link to the original — and am mourning the loss.
Buffalo Gal says
Chris – thanks for checking in. I’m relieved to hear that the threat is not as immediate as I feared at first. Like a lot of people who read your blog, I feel I “know” you a little, and I genuinely worried that someone might be trying to harm you through Zeke. I hope you decide to return to blogging – your writing will be missed.
Gosh, It’s only a dog. From my experience, dog owners can be very arrogant. The other day walking back home I encountered a woman walking her little dog, one of these obnoxious frenetic types. From over a hundred yards away that big rat came running at me and tried to bite my ankles. I threw my briefcase at it, but missed.
The owner complained that I was nuts. I would have given it a good kick if I had been quick enough.
Last winter, I was walking the last few hundred yards to my work place before sunrise. Another owner, this time of a huge doberman-type dog, was walking his dog. This beast started running at me from several hundred yards away in a very threatening manner. All I could do was put up my briefcase in front of me for defense. But at about ten yards, the monster finally listened to his master and stopped.
I am not intimidated by dogs and my turning about and agressively facing it may have played a role as well. But what if I had been a child walking on my way to school? The problem with dogs is their jerk owners–and there are far too many of them, both owners and dogs.
Did you know that Americans spend about $11 billion a year on feeding their dogs and cats? There is something sick about that.
Rob G says
Hey Chris, glad to hear you’re OK, but you forgot something. Jogging has to come before blogging.
More dogs, less Azkyroths and bernardas!
Wouldn’t throwing rocks at a hornet’s nest be a quicker way of getting the result you’re likely to obtain? And speaking as a dog owner myself, I can understand Chris being very concerned and disturbed by this, despite my professed distaste for what turned out to be a garbled, misinterpreted account of his reaction. Even assuming you have a point there (of which I’m less than convinced), this isn’t the place for that sort of spiel, much as a Christian relative’s funeral isn’t the place to soapbox about atheism.
I certainly don’t agree with the plural, but frankly, John Protevi’s tenacious and snotty arguments, despite repeated and detailed correction, against completely caricatured–and in many cases, outright fabricated–positions that are supposedly mine reached the point, several posts back, where it was frankly more charitable to assume malicious intent than to assume that he really was dumb enough to honestly believe that his postulates had any resemblance to my point or motives. Stephanie’s reaction was classic knee-jerk, but she laid off long ago, Chris made one post which, despite an…abrasive…tone which reminded me uncomfortably of a fifteen-year-old me, did serve the purpose of correcting the reasonable (based on what I knew at the time) but erroneous inferences on which my core argument was founded. Most of the others have been relatively calm and civil. So, yeah, I’m counting troll, singular…
G. Tingey says
To PZ & Chris Clarke:
1… Is there any Google-cache where past posts up to the one where it all went pear-shaped can be seen?
2… Animals can be good & bad, just like humans. I love cats and like dogs. I have only ever deliberately gone for one dog, a Jack Russell that bit me without any provocation (I gave it a good kick) – I may add that I have been nipped once or twice on other occasions, and have not responded, because it was “my fault” (the dog felt it was “being cornered”/I touched a sore spot/ etc)
3… I hate to admit it, but the police have other things to do.
4…. Any way of tracking these sick loonies – I doubt it.
5 … Very sadly, if Zeke is getting close to the end, we will all welcome Chris back, afterwards.
6 … a BTW comment – anyone seen much of “Olduvai George” recently?
His site doesn’t seem to have been updated much of late….
Stephen Erickson says
I’m getting mixed messages from the blogging community. On the one hand, they hold self-congratulatory conferences proclaiming how crucial to democracy they are, and on the other . . . .
That’s interesting, because what I see is a variety of self-righteous individuals putting forward responses that are so twisted and seemingly unconnected to what Askyroth actually said that they must be either utter morons or deliberately misunderstanding for a specific purpose. “Troll” is as good a label as any for such behavior.
Bernarda: You have my deepest sympathy.
Maybe in your next life you’ll have a dog.
PZ Myers says
Not that I believe in reincarnation, but if he were to have a “next life,” maybe he could be a dog.
huh. i came here to see if i could learn more about why CRD has been taken down, instead, i get a thread nearly entirely devoted to Azkyroth. sad.
Stephen Erickson says
“huh. i came here to see if i could learn more about why CRD has been taken down, instead, i get a thread nearly entirely devoted to Azkyroth. sad.”
Well, Azyroth did provoke a rather colorful response from Clarke himself.
In answer to the original question … I don’t know. I’ve seen a few people on this blog, which I otherwise admire, advocating the EATING of dogs. What kind of lowlife would do that?
Oh, and Bernarda … dogs know when people don’t like them. Your problem with dogs is probably 99.9% due to the fact that you hate them.
I really feel sorry for you.
… proud companion of three wonderful dogs
Yes, I know. Dogs are as cute and cuddly as a rabbit, and not as smart as a good pig. Who would ever think of eating one?
Personally, I stopped eating octopi when I found out how smart they were. But squid – those mean bastards are still on my menu.
This comment thread is ridiculous.
Azkyroth’s comment was correct but impolitic. John’s advice that he should criticize Chris Clarke directly with impolitic advice is absurd.
My cats think dogs are silly sycophants.
This whole thing is sad.
Greg London says
I know nothing of the actual facts, but it is my right to make them up as I go along. If anyone corrects me, any assinine statement I make up until that correction occurs is grandfathered in as “acceptable” and I do not need to apologize for it. No matter the degree of assinine-ness of my pre-correction comments, no one is allowed to be even the slightest put off or assinine towards me. Although no one should expect an apology from me, I do expect anyone to apologize for their comments against me in their corrections to me and in any comments they make to me post correction. And if I declare someone a coward, no matter how ill informed I was at the time, no matter how easy it is to demand bravado of someone else rather than myself, they are a coward.
This is my internet and these are my rules.
Greg London says
So, Chris Clarke, who is posting under his real name, who hasn’t made any attempts to present himself under a false name or secret identity, recieves a threat against his dog. Chris decides to do whatever he thinks best.
And the response to this by certain posters is to call him a coward? Am I missing something or are all these brave posters who are so quick to condemn posting under false, or at the very least abbreviated, names?
Right. Because it’s cowardly to give up something that’s not at all important to you because it’s starting to threaten something very important to you. It’s brave to risk your life, your dog’s life and your wife’s life for the sake of something you don’t much care about.
Oh, wait, did I say “brave”? I meant “shitbrained, and clearly the result of a Rambo-complex combined with the maturity of a nine-year-old-boy.”
Fred Levitan says
“And no, if I’d been in the position that the information available to me gave me the strong impression you were in, I probably would not respond in the way the information available to me gave me the strong impression you did.”
Pure Rumsfeldese! – Don, are you lurking here?
By contrast, Chris, if you’re still playing here, I find all of your speech quite clear and straightforward as well as effective. Even if you downplay the effectiveness of the blog, I think you’ve touched a lot of hearts and even changed a few minds. I only speak for my own perceptions, obviously. Take care of Zeke, and we’ll welcome you back when the time is right. If you can stay above the fray of the petty blog-wars, so much the better.
PZ, thanks for the bandwidth in support of your fellow-blogger!
Stephen Frug says
Chris Clarke, since you seem to be reading this thread (or did, once), can I just say, aside from all the mishigas upthread involving attacks on you, I hope that you can take away from this that a lot of us really benefited from your writing at your blog, and that while we of course support your decisions to do whatever you feel you need to do for the safety of your family & the work you want to do, I hope that you can remember that, whether or not you choose to put Creek Running North back up or not, a lot of us have appreciated it in the past. And, therefore — selfishly — hope you can return to it.
Shorter me: Thanks, Chris. Hope you can come back soon. Meantime take care.
kathy a says
well, this thread certainly went in some odd directions.
chris — i miss your blog, and am outraged about the threat. you are a throroughly decent, exceedingly thoughtful human, and not short on courage, either. please give zeke a nuzzle and becky a hug.
yesterday, my daughter and i went to one of the tent villages against violence [the one near del norte] in the city between us. we took some food and supplies, got big bear hugs, an invite to bible study, some stares, and i think we’ll be visiting some more. there has got to be a way to make connections across the SP ave. divide. some of the shootings are only a couple miles from home. this community, so close by, needs no more kids lost as victims or perps. it’s taken long enough, but i’m feeling like it’s not someone else’s problem. maybe if more neighbors in a 5 mile region wanted to own a piece of getting peace to this city, it could maybe make a difference.
that’s my pro-peace manifesto for the day. zekie builds bridges where ever he goes, even on the internets.
I made nothing up. I put two and two together because that was as much of the equation as anyone bothered to show me, and published a conclusion somewhat prematurely. As it turns out, I was wrong, and when I was made aware of that, I promptly retracted my erroneous statements. Meanwhile, you and your ilk seem to delight in flagrantly misrepresenting my actual comments, and, despite having been corrected numerous times, repeat the same tired, fallacious arguments while insisting that you know better than me what I’m saying. You won’t admit you’re wrong, as I did; you won’t back down, as I did; and you won’t even do lip service to being civil, as I admittedly failed to at several points.
And where in my statements did you find that? How the hell do you read “I was right” into “I was honestly wrong, and retract it?” Are you brain-damaged or something?
And no, I don’t feel inclined to apologize because
1. The conclusions I drew were reasonable given the information available, and as soon as new information rendered my position untenable I withdrew them.
2. Chris responded with an explosive rant of the sort I was prone to as a mid-teenager, berated me for “assuming” things about him while making at least equally unfounded assumptions about who I was, how I felt, and what I would do in his situation.
3. I can honestly say that if I were in his position I would not be so cryptic, and if I had been so cryptic in his position I would not be shocked when people drew the wrong conclusions from what I said.
Again, where in my statements did you read that? Was it really only once that I said I didn’t blame Chris for being upset? Are you really that thick? And no, I don’t believe that “no one is allowed to be even the slightest put off or assinine[sic]” I simply expect a modicum of maturity and self-control (a modicum such as I generally would, and damn well should, display if I were in their position) from people who attempt to claim the high ground. As it is, I’ve let the hypocrisy of various parties here decrying me for jumping to conclusions about the situation while slinging equally unfounded judgements about my motives and probable response in his situation. Perhaps this was a mistake…
I don’t expect an apology. I do expect people to stop slapping my name on straw men.
If any of you were to actually read my statements, you’ll note that what I said was
1. I disagreed with what his decision seemed to be and
2. It reminded me uncomfortably of situations in the past involving people who were in fact cowardly.
If I applied the “coward” label to Chris specifically it was only in a tentative and tangential fashion. I already acknowledged the potential for confusion in my statements above, so harping on it is pointless.
And not that I would be one to suggest that ganging up to kick people while they’re down (or attacking straw men, for that matter) is cowardly, but I am curious as to why you waited to offer any opinion until others had already ripped into me, and why you feel the need to essentially parrot their mischaracterizations of my arguments now.
Again, total straw man.
If I had killed someone for revenge based on this you might have a case. As it stands…am I to understand that you (plural) will henceforth be abiding by the same standards you are attempting to set for me, and that you will exhaustively research every topic before offering any comment on it from now on? Well, you can start right now, since your comments on mine demonstrate an appalling ignorance of my actual beliefs or intent.
If you have anything to contribute to the discussion that hasn’t already been covered above, please do so. The “school of piranhas”/”feeding frenzy” routine is getting tiresome.
kathy a says
mr. azky, it is none of my business, really, but haven’t you said quite a lot on this thread already? chris’ dog is not about you. have a nice day.
This is true.
So it isn’t, and you would be entirely correct had you not addressed the comment solely to me. The cascade of what’s starting to look for all the world like a few Me-Toos’ attempts to amuse themselves at my expense is no more relevant to the discussion than anything I’ve posted, and arguably less. Regardless, I’m prepared to let the matter drop.
SueinNM, “Oh, and Bernarda … dogs know when people don’t like them. Your problem with dogs is probably 99.9% due to the fact that you hate them.
I really feel sorry for you.
… proud companion of three wonderful dogs”
I really feel sorry for you.
BTW, how much do you spend per year on feeding your furry friends? If you live in the countryside, there is no problem with the results of bodily functions. But if you live in the city, do you pick up after them? Or do you expect the taxpayer to do that?
As to your other comment, I have never eaten dog or cat myself, but I don’t see any objection to it since I eat other meats.
Greg London says
> I made nothing up. I put two and two together
> because that was as much of the equation as
> anyone bothered to show me, and published a
> conclusion somewhat prematurely. As it turns
> out, I was wrong,
> if I were in his position I would not be so
> cryptic, and if I had been so cryptic in his
> position I would not be shocked when people
> drew the wrong conclusions from what I said.
Do you realize you start out adamantly saying
“I made nothing up”, but then end by saying
that you “drew the wrong conclusion”?
You had a limited set of information,
A and B, and you connected those bits
of information and extrapolated a whole
bunch of stuff that was incorrect, X,Y, and Z.
How exactly do you get from “I drew the
wrong conclusion” without “making something up”?
> and when I was made aware of that,
> I promptly retracted my erroneous statements.
I don’t think you get the problem here.
The problem isn’t that you made erroneous
statements. I think pretty much everyone
already knows that you made erronous statements.
The problem I’m having, and I believe others
are having as well, is that you basically
committed a witch hunt on Chris, because
you heard bits and pieces of information and
decided that he was a witch or a coward or
And while you’re willing to admit your conclusion
was wrong, you don’t seem to see or be willing
to admit that your approach in general is the
cause of the problem.
I find it odd that you say something above about
“Assume Good Faith” when you don’t appear to have
done anything of the sort with Chris. Assume good
faith until you have hard facts to the contrary.
But instead of doing that, you had some scant bits
of information and you jumped to the conclusion
that he suffers from a character flaw of cowardice.
So, people aren’t having a problem with your
wrong conclusions. They’re having a problem with
your insistence that you have a right to commit
a witchhunt whenever you feel like it. That given
incomplete information, you should be able to jump
to any conclusion you want about that person, and
it should be perfectly acceptable to commit character
assassinations based on incomplete and insufficient
You even go so far as to say that no one should
expect to give out incomplete information and
NOT expect a witchhunt. You might note that of
the number of people who recieved incomplete info
about what happened to Chris, most did not jump
to a conclusion that he must be a coward or witch
Meanwhile, I invite you to post your real name,
your address, your phone number, your email address,
and some pictures of you and your family, and to
get a feel of what its like to relate to random
wackos on the web from the same position that Chris
did, rather than from behind your anonymous moniker.
Fine, let me rephrase. I drew inferences. I did not fabricate or falsify any information and I did not assert anything that did not follow from the inferences I made. This is the first instance I’ve seen of inferences being categorized under “making something up.” If we’re going to use that…unique…definition, then I suppose I did.
I don’t think you realize the problem here. The problem is that when my unintentional misrepresentation of Chris’ position was corrected, I acknowledged that I was wrong. You, John, and others have been misrepresenting my position, and continue to do so after being corrected repeatedly. I suppose you think it’s “making something up” to infer from this that either you are dumb as stumps, or the misrepresentation is intentional, but I’m finding it increasingly ridiculous to draw any other conclusion.
A witch hunt. A WITCH HUNT?! Are you fucking serious?!
I made one comment to the effect that I disapproved of his decision as I understood it, then defended my position and the reasoning behind both it and my being motivated to express it when people jumped on my back. And you call this a “witch hunt?!” I suggest you look up the fucking definition (either that, or ask the Chesire Cat for it). Expression of disapproval is NOT persecution; this conflation is one that I abandoned about 2/3 of the way through my adolescence, and you would be well served by doing likewise. I’m baffled as to how can a person be so thickheaded and thin-skinned at the same time.
Now, if I were in a hyperbolic mood, I might be inclined to compare the aggressive and clearly malicious distortion and misrepresentation of my character and position being committed here, in response to a comment that went against popular sentiment and subsequent defense of my position, to a witchhunt, particularly given the apparent proto-mob mentality behind the spurious attacks from all sides. This, however, is not analogous either. I have little doubt that you will ignore the previous sentence and cast the above as a claim that I am, in fact, being persecuted, which I do not consider,and no reasonable person would consider, to be the case. Be my guest; I could use a good laugh.
I’m sorry, were my various statements (IE “published a conclusion prematurely”) to the effect that I recognized I jumped to conclusions too ambiguous for you?
Oh. That was a quote of Kristjan Wagner and should have been part of the blockquote above it; the blockquote tags got messed up, I guess. And I’ve addressed this repeatedly. What I was meaning to say was not “Chris is a coward,” but “What I infer about the situation bears an uncomfortable resemblance to situations, in which the people involved reacted in a cowardly manner, that I have encountered in the past, and I hope I’m wrong.” I clearly said it poorly, but I have explained enough that there’s very little excuse for the manner in which you’re misrepresenting
Criticizing a person’s actions and choices is a “character assassination?” Well…ok…if you say so… *eyeroll*
I’m curious now. Is there ANY form of criticism that you wouldn’t misconstrue as an attack on a person’s character? This sort of conflation is a habit I broke in high school. You would do well to follow suit.
What I said was that were I in Chris’ situation I would not have been as cryptic about what happened as he has, and if I were as cryptic as he was I would not be surprised and indignant when people misinterpreted the message I was sending (I note that many of the other commenters here, and possibly PZ, seem to have had a similar interpretation of Chris’ cryptic “blog down” message, though they did not take issue with his choice in this regard). Ask any communications teacher; the bulk of the responsibility for ensuring a message is transmitted completely and directly rests with the sender of the message. This does not mean that I didn’t jump to conclusions, it simply means that his apparent surprise at that was misplaced.
Also, I notice that neither you nor him seem to have done any research on my character before lashing out at me, and frankly, the remarks I have received have been much closer to “character assassination” than my criticism of his actions, as I understood them at the time.
If you were to read my responses, you might notice I’ve been ignoring repeated attempts to introduce the irrelevant issue of my use of a handle into the debate. This is all I have to say about this attempt.
Shorter Azkyroth: Disapproval is not persecution. Criticism of actions is not a personal attack. Grow up.
Pygmy Loris says
Your deeply rooted psychological issues with dogs (and apparently cats) are troubling to say the least. Your desire to perpetrate violent acts against companion/working animals is sick and wrong. Do you also hate horses (they’re quite expensive to feed and you keep refering to the expense of pets)? What do you think Americans should do with the money they spend feeding their animals?
Personally, I spend very little feeding my cat. She eats mice and insects and other things she catches and everyday she gets a small dish of cat food. I go through a small bag of cat food every other month, so my cat costs me about $40 a year in food. Her vet visits cost significantly more with all the shots and such, but I love her and it’s my money to do with as I please.
Just so everyone knows, I love dogs too, but I don’t have one (my landlord won’t allow them).
Bernarda, what’s your deal, dude? You don’t like dogs. Fine. Go ahead and miss out on an unbelievably rewarding bond, you’ll have a much tidier life.
“Or do you expect the taxpayer to do that?” Where the hell did that come from? Nobody hates those assholes more than other dog owners, because if it’s on our turf, we gotta pick it up so that we don’t get blamed.
Oh, wait, I get it. A bully shoved you into a pile of dog crap once. Let it go, man. Release the burden. (I’m not assuming you’re male, I just talk like this)
I do appreciate the concern over how pet food cuts into my finances. Can’t figure out for the life of me why you’d get so hung up on it, but it’s good to know you care.
Throwing a briefcase. Ha. What a honky.
Sorry, Pygmy, didn’t mean to blunt the impact of you giving b the what-for. Thought it was late enough to skip the refreshing.
kathy a says
shorter azky: i can’t stop, really, i can’t stop talking about myself.
really, this thread is NOT about you.
Once again you’re ignoring everyone else contributing to this. And you’re also ignoring that the comment section, at any rate, essentially *became* about me when some one-fourth to one-third of the commenters decided to dogpile on me for a comment I made on the original topic, and continued to attack my character, and bizarre straw-devil caricatures of my position, despite repeated correction and despite my retraction of my original position once Chris provided more detail which rendered it untenable. No, I’m not going to let that sort of malicious misrepresentation go unchallenged in the interest of…whatever the hell it is you’re trying to promote. Can you honestly say you wouldn’t stand up for yourself if you were being laid into like this?
And frankly, if you really want to get this thread back on topic, your self-righteous little digs at me are, at best, counterproductive. If you want the thread to stop focusing on me, you can start by shutting up about me.
Chris Clarke says
Just for clarity’s sake: The poster “clarke” is not me. Not that I disagree with a word clarke has said, mind you, especially as regards st. bernarda’s apparent hobby of grepping the net for dog threads to troll.
And Azkyroth, despite his cowardice and self-absorption and aggressive tedium and borderline sociopathy, has one thing right: the only way to get him to shut up is to stop engaging him, as he has agreed that he is incapable of not trying for the last word. He’s said as much, and as no one of any importance is taking him at all seriously, though I appreciate the defenses, let the baby have his bottle and let’s move on with our lives.
Probably bad form to not let the subject have the last word, but, um, Chris? Little late for this, but if with-an-e-on-the-end is so rare that I’ve been mistaken for you elsewhere, that might explain the threats.
They didn’t say anything about Lieberman, did they?
Tell Zeke I’m sorry for the inconvenience. A friend sent me a link to a piece you did about him back when mine died–I too know the love of a wizened old shep dog–and I remember thinking, yeah, thanks, this guy’s bittersweet eloquence is really helping me not wallow.
This time, you are wrong on all four counts, and you are the one assuming far too much given the information available to you (especially since an open-minded and cool-headed reading of it would contradict the accusations you have leveled). Kettle looks black today. I would have expected better from someone of your reputation, and it’s unfortunate that you refuse to see beyond the situation at hand, and refuse to afford me the courtesy of criticizing my actions without spurious comments about my character (I have attempted to afford you this courtesy. I concede that I have not been entirely successful). Based on the descriptions of your blog, we could probably find a lot of common ground ideologically, and if you ever put it back up I would be interested in reading it.
I am not “incapable of not trying for the last word,” but I make a habit of not backing down from bullies, and since that was the point of my original post, doing so here would be blazingly hypocritical. Your reputation suggests your smarter than this, so I can only assume that line is a yet another petulant distortion. And the “baby” comment was exactly the sort of spurious, petulant little jibe that I haven’t intentionally thrown at you. If any of my comments came off that way, I apologize, and accept responsibility for not expressing myself clearly rather than expecting the other party to read my mind and/or exhaustively research me to the point of cyberstalking before forming an opinion.
“Cowardice…” Um, I don’t think I’m going to have much luck convincing you that using a handle is not an expression of cowardice, so I’m not going to pursue it. Suffice it to say that a desire for anonymity is not my principal motivation, and I have posted here under my own name (Alex Weaver) in the past.
“Self-absorption…” Oh, come on. Unless that contention is based on sheer word count (a strange way of measuring it, to put it mildly), you’re as self-absorbed as I am, since you stood up for yourself when you perceived, not unreasonably, that you were being spuriously attacked and grossly misrepresented. (And from your first response you seemed to expect me to be intimately familiar with the details of your life and blog. If our positions were reversed, judging by the precedent you’ve set, you would probably misconstrue that as indicative of narcissism. I will not sink to that level).
“Aggressive tedium…” And I suppose you’d do things differently if our positions were reversed? Somehow, I find that hard to believe. And since I’ve been in a defensive position for most of this I hardly see how I’m being “aggressive.” If you had maintained the same level of civility I am attempting to in correcting me, and if the me-toos hadn’t dived in for the kill, this would be over. I have already acknowledged my mistakes in dealing with you. I find it telling that you and the me-toos will not acknowledge yours.
“Borderline sociopathy…” Um…what? I am completely at a loss as to how this follows from anything I’ve said. Assuming what you mean by the word is related to its actual dictionary definition, a cursory knowledge of my posts in other threads should be more than enough to dispel that misconception, unless, by this point, you’ve already made up your mind and don’t want to be confused by the facts. Call me stubborn; as you might have noticed, I am. Call me callous; I’m not, but I can see why I’d come off that way. But sociopathic…does not follow, let’s leave it at that.
Anyway, I hope you and Zeke and your household are doing better, aside from this pointless bickering. I will not be continuing this discussion, since it’s already absorbed far too much of my time. Gloat if you must, but I won’t be reading it. And if you calm down and decide you want to talk this out like grownups, I’ll be around on the other threads.
Anna Feruglio Dal Dan says
Azyroth, your use of a “handle” is not irrelevant. You are accusing others of cowardice when you don’t have the basic human and civil decency to sign your name to your opinions. Put up or shut up. Give us your real name.
Greg London says
Azkyroth: (it’s) sick, that the owner of Creek Running North is allowing him/herself to be bullied in this fashion
Stephanie: Azkyroth, you’re talking out of your ass. You have no idea how serious the threat is, what they know about the threatener, what they’ve done about it.
Azkyroth: On the contrary, I have every right to criticize; freedom of speech doesn’t cease to apply when the issue is one that the subject of the speech feels strongly about. … And yes, all I know is that he took his blog down because of a threat, … far too many people who think that “grab your ankles” is a universally appropriate response … I’ve built up somewhat of a backlog of disgust for the entire concept. However, if there’s more to this situation than I’m being told, I can hardly be blamed for not knowing it.
Azkyroth: I’ve been ignoring repeated attempts to introduce the irrelevant issue of my use of a handle into the debate.
Repeat ad nauseum: Azkyroth has every right to criticize. If he has incomplete information he can’t be blamed for not knowing it. If he “infers” or “extrapolate”, or in plain English, “pulls shit out his ass”, well, he can hardly be blamed for that either. If Azkyroth has no idea how serious the threat is, what they know about the threatener, what they’ve done about it, but Azkyroth decides that someone is “grabbing their ankles”, well, that’s a legitimate conclusion, he cannot be blamed for it, and he has no need to apologize for it. And while Azkyroth can call someone a coward for taking down their real public identity and going anonymous, Azkyroth himself can remain anonymous from the beginning and avoid any accusations of cowardice, because Azkyroth says that comparison is “irrelevant”, so it must be true.
Greg London says
Shorter Azkyroth: If someone public reacts to a threat by anonymizing themselves, they’re “grabbing their ankles”, but if someone remains completely hidden and never goes public, well, that’s just an irrelevant point. Azkyroth is not grabbing his ankles by remaining anonymous. Public people who -become- anonymous are grabbing their ankles. And that’s just the way it is because Azkyroth says so.
John Protevi says
Anna, he did give his name (Alex Weaver) just above. And while it would have been amusing if we were dealing with this Alex Weaver it seems his prose style more fits this Alex Weaver.
Not that there’s anything wrong, Alex, with being a logorrheic college kid who too easily “pattern matches” the behavior of others as “cowardly / lazy” and then spins and blusters and blames others when called on it. I know I was like that once.
Oh, and yes, just so you’ll spare us another 3000 words, this is an ad hominem. It’s not always a fallacy, you know, when the topic in question is your implied claim to credibility in judging the moral behavior of others. Aristotle, whom you may have studied (and yes, here I’m being condescending), is crystal clear that maturity is a essential element in ethical judgment.
As he writes at NE 1.3.1095a3-6: “It must also be remembered that men are competent judges only of that which they understand. A good judge in a specialized field must be a specialist in that field. A good judge in general is one who has a good general background of knowledge, culture, and experience. Thus, the immature and the young are not equipped to be students of politics and ethics, for they are not experienced in the general business of life which is the basis of these subjects. Also, the immature are easily swayed by emotions and cannot derive benefit from a study whose end is not knowing, but doing.”
Shorter JP: “you can’t hunt with the big dogs yet, son, so you best stay on the porch a few more years.”
John Protevi says
Oops, somehow the second link above was badly formed. This one should work.
Oh, and Alex, the give-away to you’re being just a big-talking college kid was your recurrent recourse to telling others “grow up” or “be a grown up” or “you’re acting like an adolescent.” You’ll find when you really are grown up that you won’t need to do that.
Once commenters start sparring over exactly how, and by whom, they have been mistreated, the topic usually goes south anyway. Hitting the spacebar several times can usually skip over that until the topic returns.
Which is: Chris, you’re back and I’m very glad. My best wishes to you, your family, and to Zeke whom I understand is not feeling well.
As for the cost of pets (and why that’s a bad thing?) I must admit I don’t understand the money spent on football, either. But it’s a free country. I’ve spent about the cost of a large-screen plasma TV on my 2 cats in their entire 13-year lifetime. They have earned every penny.
Chris Clarke says
Zeke is feeling fine for a nearly 16-year-old dog, DOF — aside from the arthritis — but your thoughts are much appreciated.
He had a bit of a crisis a month ago, with a blood sugar crash that raised dire thoughts of close-impending decisions, but he’s rallied and is mainly enjoying life.
junk science says
SueinNM, “Oh, and Bernarda … dogs know when people don’t like them. Your problem with dogs is probably 99.9% due to the fact that you hate them.
I really feel sorry for you.
… proud companion of three wonderful dogs”
I really feel sorry for you.
What for? Having something that makes them happy? Why don’t you go be pleased with yourself somewhere else?
Also, it’s a lot more expensive to feed children than it is to feed pets. But you probably hate them too, and feel sorry for their parents because their assholes aren’t quite as tight as yours.