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    Everything in its time

    I thought I might go a full year without a single troll or piece of hate mail, but it wasn’t to be. The feedback I get through comments and e-mails generally ranges from (rare) vigorous but civil opposition to (more frequent) praise, sometimes bordering on fulsome, so I’m not complaining. It was not because I was a world-class diplomat that I attracted only thoughtful folks before, and it’s not because I’m a valiant, uncompromising truth-teller that I’ve attracted a few ne’er-do-wells now. I’ve been reading blogs long enough to know that these things happen basically on schedule; they’re part of the life cycle.

    With that in mind, I’d like to make my policies clear before the need to do so becomes exigent. I won’t tell you what civilized behavior is because you already know. If you’re seriously hesitating to send/publish something because you’re afraid you’ll cross some kind of line, you’re probably right and should find another way to get your point across. If you decide to live on the edge…well, we all have our lapses. Being very fallible myself, I don’t plan to pursue a one-strike-and-you’re-out line unless pushed, which seems unlikely with my traffic.

    But a lapse is forgivable because it’s an aberration. One’s overall record is supposed to show a desire to hear other points of view out, make arguments rather than screeds, and accept joshing with a good grace. Consistent troublemakers will be banned without remorse. This is partially inclination on my part–if I can make my dirty jokes and dishy comments in private where they belong, you can, too. There is also a practical reason: I am the public face of my company to a sector of our client base, and it’s my responsibility to err on the side of discretion.

    Some people are inclined toward dissing, and I’m not green enough to assume that I can dissuade them by appealing to their sense of honor. I will only point out that I was egotistical enough to start this site, give it a soi-disant danger-boy name, and expect that at least a few strangers would be interested in what I have to say. Considering that, the probability that I will be crushed by a single sentence that says I’m an idiot, a traitor, or a heartless jerk is very low. Just a thought.

    Added at 22:33: Okay, fine. This needed serious de-purple-ing. It’s fixed. Michael has commented on a particularly bad sentence, and it remains for those who want to see what this looked like before trimming.

    4 Responses to “Everything in its time”

    1. Michael says:

      But a lapse is an aberration in a record that otherwise bespeaks the gentlemanly or ladylike desire to hear other points of view out, make arguments rather than screeds, and accept joshing with a good grace.
      I can’t read this sentence without getting halfway through, forgetting what I read, and having to start over. :-(

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      My writing gets even more florid when I’ve had a few; it’s one of my foibles. If you want the short version, it’s this:

      Don’t be a ninny.

    3. Kris says:

      You know, I have for days now been returning to the phrase ‘soi-disant danger-boy’ in my mind. I can’t get it out of my head. Thanks a lot.

    4. Sean Kinsell says:

      We aim to please. Actually, I tried rewriting that one using self-styled or (remembering our dear translators of Molière) would-be. It sounded, if you can believe, more pretentious. So I gave up and figured everyone would be able to figure out that I was, in fact, making fun of myself.