To too many, Internet = Inflammatory

I’ve been having trouble again, lately. I haven’t painted anything new in two months. I have self-censored certain blog posts & tweets.  I have been working furiously toward writing a novel that is closer to what the market accepts than to what I want to create.  I even asked an author directly whether he’d prefer me to not write a review of his book, rather than to post an honest (2-star) review, rather than just posting it.  It’s all symptomatic of the same feeling of being oppressed.  Restricted.  That there’s a certain way things are to be done, certain things that are allowed to be said, certain reasons for creating art, certain formulas for constructing fiction, and that it is wrong of me to be myself in any way that contradicts these certainties. That it would be inappropriate for me to be honest, because that simply isn’t the way things are done.  This feeling has been building up, bubbling up, boiling up within me more and more, lately.

If I have learned anything from social media… it’s that the only thing that really gets people engaged is to be inflammatory.

It boiled over a little, today.  I probably alienated a lot of folks on Twitter, and in the Phoenix Twitter community. I allowed myself to sink to the low level of discourse that had upset me so much when the other person had used it.  This, I believe, stems from my old tool/habit of trying to be a mirror for people – to reflect back to them who and what they are representing themselves as, to show them what their behaviour looks like and feels like from the outside.  Until the person’s cadre of friends popped out of the woodwork to defend her and to attack me and I found myself trying to explain what I was doing, I wasn’t even aware that I’d been doing it.  Until it had been going on for long enough that I could feel heat radiating off my body, I didn’t realise I was reacting in anger.

A few seconds later, I also realised that I hadn’t had as engaging a conversation on Twitter, or anywhere near as many responses (and from so many different people!) in response to anything I’ve had to say recently.  I thought back, and the last time such a conversation took place, it too was an argument.  This went directly into a line of thought that I’d been puzzling over for quite a while, actually:  My blog, my online journal, this site you’re reading now… I don’t get many comments.  Usually none.  Even years ago, when I had a dedicated daily readership in the thousands (I think I peaked somewhere around 5-6k daily unique visitors, somewhere around 2003), I didn’t get many comments.  After today’s trouble, it occurs to me that the only posts I’ve ever had that had long conversations in comments, lots of engaging responses, even other people blogging about the topic, sometimes calling me at home about it … were the posts where I said things that people didn’t want to hear.  The posts where I said something that wasn’t popular, or that wasn’t polite, or that people could get angry about.  When I am uncontroversial, when I am polite, when I don’t use harsh language, when I don’t state any personal opinions, when I am uncritical, I do not engage.  Apparently.

If I have learned anything from social media, from ‘blogging’ for a decade, from mySpace and facebook and Twitter (and Pownce and so on…) and from forums before those, and from Bulletin Board Systems before those, it’s that the only thing that really gets people engaged is to be inflammatory.

Which is ridiculous.  And terrible.  And obvious, if you’ve ever bothered to scroll past an article online to read the comments section.  But still terrible.

Across all media, including social media, people seem to increasingly be building communities of like-minded individuals where they can all agree with each other and talk about how wrong anyone not inside their echo chamber is.  It’s painfully obvious on talk radio, and in heavily moderated forums.  It’s also obvious where people from different little echo chambers meet (ie: in the comments section of your local newspaper’s site) in the ways they so totally fail to communicate.  I believe that this is intentional, this polarization, this updated-version-of-nationalism focused on some subset of ideas rather than on location, in order to build engaged communities.  Talk radio hosts want engaged audiences so they can sell advertising.  Cable news networks want engaged audiences for the same reason.  Most major media have been doing it for a long time, and when people -already polarized- got online, they just built what they were used to.  Now the only way they know how to engage, is to get enraged. (Or to try to get others enraged.)

Except… I don’t want to enrage people, I don’t want to have to say something inflammatory to be heard.  As I wrote on Twitter earlier: I dislike it when people don’t bother to read or react to a thing I write until it’s something that they don’t like.  I don’t like that the only uses many people have for the internet is their echo chambers and attacking/arguing-with people.

I’m not usually a rude or angry person.  On the other hand, traditionally I do what I’m complaining about here, to a certain degree: I have a long tradition of simply avoiding people I don’t like.  Now, understand that this isn’t “people I disagree with” -I’m all for disagreement and intelligent discourse- it’s people I don’t like.  It’s people who engage in “drama” (in that high-school-like, he-said/she-said, petty, retaliatory, ridiculous way).  It’s mean people, people who are knowingly and intentionally cruel and mean-spirited for no reason at all, often without being aware of it.  It’s willfully ignorant people.  These people (and I’m sure others, in this vein) are who I tend to try to avoid.  Traditionally, when I learn that a person is like that, I just avoid them, ignore them, whatever is necessary not to be infected by their bilious nature. And traditionally, this has assisted me in not being a particularly angry person, and in not having anyone worth being rude to.

But I have changed my behaviour.  In some twisted idea that being more inclusive will somehow help me – that by not ruling people out and avoiding them, I might have contact with more people and thus potentially have a larger “audience”…  More people who might, potentially, appreciate my art, my books, and my other creations.  That was the theory – that by casting a larger net and by drawing from a larger pool, I might discover more people who wanted to engage with me and with my creations.  This was incorrect.  This was a flawed idea.  It’s like the idea that I so-readily accepted before: That the people who don’t want to think, and that people who don’t like to read aren’t the “target audience” for my books and I shouldn’t try to sell to them.  Those people, the mean-spirited, the drama-engaging, the willfully-ignorant, et cetera, are not -and should not be- in the “target audience” of people that I want to engage with in any meaningful way.  All engaging with them does is harm me – far more than avoiding them altogether does.  Those people were never going to have a meaningful conversation with me, they weren’t going to think critically about what I was trying to accomplish with the anti-narrative structure of Forget What You Can’t Remember, they were never going to invest themselves meaningfully in the appreciation of my art – which is what I’m really looking for, not mere sales.  I shouldn’t change my behaviour to try to ‘play nice’ with these people.

I also don’t feel like I should have to change myself, change what I paint, why I paint, what I write, and how I represent myself online just to avoid crossing some other person‘s idea of how I ought to behave.  I don’t feel I should have to build an echo chamber around myself, or have to be inflammatory, to build an audience.  I want to be honest.  I don’t want to hold back, or to limit myself to conventional norms.  I want to be myself, follow my passions, my ideas, and my art wherever it takes me.  I’d been re-reaching this point, and realizing that I didn’t want to be self-censoring, in the last few days, which I’m sure also contributed to my brutal honesty and possibly-rude comments in response to another rude person’s rude comment.  I don’t want to have to keep going through this honest->censored->honest cycle, but it the world insists on censorship, and it’s so hard to resist.

I don’t want to have to worry about alienating my “audience” or about “losing followers” (who gives a damn?), especially if what they’re upset about is that I said that a mean-spirited person was mean-spirited, and that I don’t want to be near them.  The people who actually engage with me probably also don’t like mean-spirited people or -at least- understand why I wouldn’t.

Update: Some people have interpreted parts of this post as my saying that I was intentionally picking a fight to get attention.  It was not my intention to give you that idea, and it was not my intention to 1) pick a fight or 2) get this kind of attention. If that’s what you think, you may fall into another category of people I try to avoid as much as possible: Stupid people.  I don’t like fighting, or confrontation generally. I thought that was clear in my post.  I don’t like getting attention by being controversial. I don’t want to be controversial for the sake of attention.  If I do or say something that causes a controversy, it’s because I wanted to do it or say it, not because I was interested in controversy.

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Author, artist, romantic, insomniac, exorcist, creative visionary, lover, and all-around-crazy-person.

21 thoughts on “To too many, Internet = Inflammatory”

  1. Thanks for posting this, Teel
    I agree completely with your thoughts on self-censorship regarding art and perceived success. As a fellow artist, I've had these conversations with others and it's fairly easy to spot anyone who changes their creative voice just to be more marketable. (don't get me started)

    However, I don't think it really acknowledges the harsh way in which you chose to communicate today. Creating a piece of work that makes people uncomfortable is different than calling one of God's children a bitch in a public forum. I'm pretty sure you weren't intending it to be performance art.
    I refer to Jenn as one of God's children here only because the first word you use to describe yourself in your twitter bio is “Christian” and I'm fairly certain Jesus loves Jenn.
    I know I've done nothing to earn the right to hold you accountable, but as a fellow believer, it really bothers me that you would choose to “engage” in the way you did today. Now, we all make mistakes and we all fly off the handle, but you really don't seem all that repentant about your behavior.
    Sorry to do this in public, but I had DM-d you asking what your issue with Jenn was, and you responded with an @ reply – in fact, prefacing it with a period just in case some of your followers weren't following me.
    I take that to mean you prefer public interaction.

    You're a bright guy and I'd actually love to be able to do lunch sometime and talk about all sort of topics (probably not Jenn).

    Hoping to continue the conversation (offline),

  2. Teel,

    As a fellow artist, I completely understand the frustration that comes when you create something that isn't marketable, and then feel like in order to be marketable, you need to change what you do – and that is the core essence of changing *who* you are. I have experienced and fully relate to the depression/frustration that comes with that. I also completely understand the depression/frustration that comes from when you work hard to create pieces of art, and you also discuss a wide variety of topics (be it on blogs or twitter), craving some type of interaction, and …. chirp chirp.

    It is true that inflammatory instances draw the most attention, but also true that this shouldn't be necessary. But if I may be bluntly honest in an effort to help you rather than criticize you, this is what I have learned: continuing to do what you do best (art) in an honest medium, and going out of your way to befriend others (even if it won't stroke your ego or financially benefit you) really is the best way to break out of that cave.

    No one on Twitter or on here is saying you shouldn't speak your mind. Having said that, you have blogged enough and are old enough to know that are certain ways of phrasing the same thing without being purposefully inflammatory (and, really, despite what you say – there is no way to ignore that your original comments regarding Jenn and her handling of #nvfn were purposefully inflammatory).

    Even if I didn't know Jenn at all, I would have questioned you to the same degree if I saw this kind of unprovoked vile language directed at any person. I'm not saying you're wrong to not dig the kind of events that #nvfn puts on, and I'm not saying that you're wrong to not mesh personality-wise with Jenn. Not everyone likes the same thing or gets along and that's perfectly okay. However, maturely stating “This is not for me” or “I don't like the way Jenn handles it” or even attempting to work with her to add variety to #nvfn is a very, very far cry from saying someone is “sticking their claws” into it, followed by calling someone a bitch and then saying that their handling of it is “shitty.”

    You didn't just give your opinions, try to help the situation, or avoid the situation – you actively attacked an individual who took lead to organize an event using hyperbolic and vile language. This attack from others didn't come out because of your opinions – it came out because of the seedy manner in which you chose to display those opinions. I hope you can see the difference.

    Aside from this, we all have our moments of uncontrolled anger and everyone has said things that they wish they could take back, or at the very least, recognize as not being the most … healthy … way of doing things. To that end, a simple apology is in order. Especially since most of your artwork/branding/writing in addition to your twitter homepage identifies you as a “Christian”, I don't want to see you make the unfortunate mistake of thinking that it's okay to call someone a bitch and degrade them in public just because you feel that you are a “mirror” or have a higher moral stance than someone else.

    Yes, Christ will forgive you and He is the higher authority; but I don't see anywhere in the Bible where that fact gives us permission to disregard the basic core values of how we treat other humans on the simplest of levels. On the contrary, the concepts of grace, turning the other cheek, and do unto others all tie in to the foundations of what Christ said was the most important commandment: “and the most important of these is love.” Choosing to not apologize in a public forum (it must be public, as your original degrading remarks and attacks were in public, and also means something greater than an “@” reply), is essentially ignoring the core foundation of love, grace, and is akin denying the importance that Christ placed on the ideals of love in our human experience.

    This is not a high school melodrama as you described; this is a public forum with adults where your conduct was the original instigator and denier of wrongdoing all placed in the shadows of what you express (and market) to be your core beliefs.

    This should not be a huge spiritual struggle, or an issue of hating yourself, nor a shadowed attempt at sanctification/humbleness in which you expect other Christians to pat you on the back and say “It's okay, you're trying.” You said that you were “trying” on your twitter earlier today, trying to do better. I beesech you to stop with the trying and prove to yourself and the Phx community that you're actually *doing* … you are becoming a better person by recognizing your method of delivery was insulting and (if you want to go there) sinful, and apologize.

    Like Krys, I have no claim of authority over you … except a peer-to-peer level of paritcipating in humanity as well. Any damage you fear you may have done with yourself and the Phx Community (which, honestly, is a lot), can be erased, and your position probably even enhanced, with a simple apology. Once that is done, you can continue to work with your art being true to yourself and engaging others in the Valley and on Twitter, being helpful rather than inflammatory, and see this new-found commitment to doing the right thing and being an authentic artist flourish tenfold. Until then, I fear, that any attempts may be met coolly, as others will be waiting to see until you turn on them, too, or step out of line again, and subsequently try to hide it under a false-sense of moral justification or an excuse that you have been “washed in the blood of the Lamb.”

    Do the right thing, please, for you.

  3. Before I take any time to make any kind of direct responses to your individual comments, I want to point out that the very existence of your responses here (nearly in excess of the number of words in my (long, rambling) post, with only 3 comments!) just proves the point that the only thing that has engaged you is the controversy. As far as I know, “William J. Nash-McAdam” had never even heard of me before he decided to jump on the controversy around a couple of blown-out-of-all-proportion tweets.

    This. This is what I object to. I am saying that the fact that of the over three quarters of a million words in this online journal, the ten or twenty thousand controversial words are the ones that draw comments is ridiculous. I'm leaning in the direction of Seth Godin and thinking of removing commenting from the site altogether (as I already have with my Publishing and Art sites). For this reason. The same thing the post was about.

  4. yeah, the irony wasn't lost on me; I did pause for a second before hitting submit to think to myself, “this is now a comment on a post about how people only comment on controversy”…
    but then if I didn't comment, I'd be censoring myself because of a perception… and before I knew it, I was dangerously close to falling into a “clearly I cannot choose the wine in front of me” logic trap.

    It bugs my wife that no one comments on her blog, too. Many people just consume information and don't contribute. I suppose it just takes some shaking-up to get people involved [shrug].

    I think the fact that you allowed comments (without requiring approval!) on that post demonstrates that you're not trying to control the discussion, and I commend you for that. That's pretty brave.

    grace and peace,

  5. Teel,

    I'm afraid you're failing to recognize something: it is controversy that you, yourself, started. You didn't get innocently swept up into a large controversial topic; there was no controversy before you went out of your way to (unprovoked by your subject) call someone a “bitch” and “shitty.” Do you understand how your actions were the sole catalyst? If you respected someone, and knew someone personally, and I was to (unprovoked by my subject) call them a “bitch” and highly criticize them in a public forum, would I be in error to expect some interference, backlash, or comments from you? Or would you simply take a stance of “to each his own” and let my opinions lie?

    Lest you utilize this to your defense, let me state here that this is not a case of “minding my own business.” If you put something out there on Twitter, to the general population on a public site, you are inviting others into the discussion. I'm truly sorry if you and her had bad previous interactions, or disagreements about nvfn (I wasn't there for those convos), but I was there for your degrading, public remarks to the community as a whole. And that's exactly what I found disrespectful, especially when intertwined with your beliefs and your greater contribution in continuing to soil Christianity and the words of Christ (again, only say this because you identify yourself as 'Christian' in your bio as the first word, and most of your marketing is centered around your faith).

    And no, I have never heard of you before this (I'm NashPCH on Twitter, btw). Perhaps if you were more positively involved and contributing to the creative scene in the Valley, I would have, at some point, come across you. This is unfortunate that my first impression of you and your work – and the impression that will rate my and others' opinions of patronizing your work and your future endeavors – is so inherently negative and, worse, comes sans an appropriate apology. And there was no bandwagon jumping; it was a unification of people who agree that your behavior was ill-conceived and you should be held accountable for your words and actions.

    I do find it ironic, however, that you express extreme frustration from negative situations on the internet when 1) you created the situation to begin with via hateful language, and 2) you continued to spur on the negative and inflammatory situation by blogging about it, thereby doing things to create it and propagate it. Teel, you are the sole originator and propagator of all the inflammatory remarks today on twitter and in this whole situation. These comments are not proving any point other than that you over-stepped lines on many, many social, professional, and spiritual levels today.

    And yes, you can delete my comments, as well as Krys' and Andrew's, and close your comments. But will you do this, and refuse to make things right to the Phx community (with an apology) then continue to lament that you aren't getting positive interaction, or any interaction, in your non-inflammatory posts and twitter comments? Social Media has a dual sword: it can be great, but you reap what you sow. You have gone out of your way to sow negativity, and that is what is being returned to you tenfold at the moment. So, don't apologize and go ahead and delete the comments; even block people on Twitter if you like. But do so full well knowing that in this act, you have shrunk your already-small circle of acceptance and influence (not by being honest, but by being vile and hateful), which is what exactly you were already complaining about. You will have continued to alienate people, as well as cemented your character to the people of Phoenix, which – if you're trying to make a name for yourself and your art – is exactly the opposite of what would be beneficial.

    If your pride is so great that this seems more appealing to you than apologizing to Jenn for calling her a bitch and shitty in public forums, unprovoked, then by all means, do so. But recognize that pride is what is secluding you and making you fail.

  6. Hey, I almost always respond to your blogs! :p
    I've been out of town (and civilization) for a month, I'm back.
    I'm from the bible belt/republicanville. I didn't miss it. My dad is WAY into the controversy and arguing, and after having spent a month in the thick of it, I REALLY know where you're coming from.
    I have no comment on the Jen thing, since apparently it was one of the pages and pages of tweets I missed while I was gone and have no intention of going back to find and read. :p
    Love ya!

  7. First, you've earned big points with my wife for not only making reasonable and intelligent responses, but for making a Princess Bride reference while you were at it. Well done, sir.

    Yeah, getting / not getting comments on a very personal blog (as opposed to a topical/political blog) can be a difficult situation. I've tried every idea I've thought of, over the years, to encourage meaningful, on-topic, and intelligent discourse… with mixed results. Despite some really excellent conversations in '01-'03 on non-controversial topics, the few controversial posts always produced more responses. To my chagrin.

    I've never blocked anyone or deleted comments, though, and -yes- I like a public discourse when possible. I believe that who we are behind closed doors & in private should be the same as who we are in public, and that most people's use of 'privacy' is to cover up behaviour they're ashamed of. If I turned off comments here, I'd probably leave existing comments (though … I think my recent Disqus installation has hidden thousands of them, right now) and just untick the 'Allow Comments' box on future posts. Not to control the conversation, but more to acknowledge that what I'm doing here isn't -usually- about having a conversation. It's more about me sharing my life, living out in the open, living publicly.

    For the record, if I don't seem repentant about what I said to Jenn it's because I don't see what was wrong with my statements. I recognize that my anger at the public response, and my allowing myself to get baited/riled-up/goaded into continuing the conversation with so many unrelated people was not the best course of action. And I will try to more rapidly and more readily seek peace (and to pray), and to approach situations from a place of love and of peace, in the future.

    But that doesn't mean I won't call a duck a duck. Which brings me to William J. Nash-McAdam's comments…

  8. Based on: first impressions, every word you've used to communicate with me on Twitter and in these comments, and the only intentions I am able to discern from the overall tone and direction of your communication, I have concluded one thing about you:

    You are an asshole.

    Thus, I feel no need to dignify your utterly bizzare comments with any more response. And I have no fear whatsoever that any reasonable person would fail to understand why I choose not to waste my time on assholes like you.

    Just calling a duck a duck…

  9. Glad to hear you're back with us, Hillary! Thank you, yes, for being my first and most consistent commenter since I started blogging more frequently again in the last year or so. You didn't miss anything by missing one more day's tweets, don't worry about it.

    There can't help but be something more interesting to read about before too long.

  10. Sorry that your only defense is calling people names; seems to be a trend, even when they are trying to help you, or at the very least, hold you accountable to the values you claim.

    If telling you that it was wrong to call someone a bitch in a public forum, and that you seem to ignore your faith's call to love, makes me an asshole, then I'm proud to be one. 🙂

  11. (to add yet ANOTHER comment to this thread)
    the princess bride is just plain great – and a part of the shared vocabulary of our generation. so good.

    It's a shame that our first substantial interaction has been surrounding such negativity. 🙁
    And that goes double for you and WJNM – he's a bright, creative guy and a fellow writer… but I have a feeling the two of you won't be co-hosting any tea parties together any time soon.

    And now that my daughter is asleep, i will pour a glass, enjoy Conan, and fight the urge to come back and read any further comments 😉

  12. I've already stated I have no idea what's going on with the Jen thing, and have no intention to go back and find it just to become further “inflamed”.

    That being said… I HAVE read this blog, and all the responses… every word… and what's clear? You haven't. You didn't read what Teel said. You skimmed it and misconstrued… the most glaring thing you've misinterpreted? Teel specifically said that he has never deleted a comment, and has no intention to. You've instantly lost all credibility. You clearly like to hear yourself talk,or in this case, see yourself in print. You respond without regard to truth or fact just to see your words in black in white. Stop.

    An “online personal journal” is how the dictionary defines a blog. It's not like Teel wrote an article defending his actions and ran it in the newspaper. He vented in his personal diary. If I hadn't have read Teel's response below mine already, I also would have come to the conclusion that you're a jerk. I'm not going to apologize for what I can only assume is the same reason Tell won't apologize to Jen, you earned the label. Wear it proudly, you deserve it. Stop being a bully and perpetuating this discussion. Just stop.


  13. Hillary,

    I appreciate you're attempt at adding some perspective to this, but it is a well-intentioned attempt misplaced. I never said that Teel deleted a comment … if you go back and read what he and I wrote here exactly, he tossed around the idea of maybe following suit of another blogger and deleting comments … if you read what I wrote, that's what I was addressing. I never mentioned deleted comments, because, well, there hasn't been any. 🙂

    Again, I appreciate your attempts here, truly, but you do have to have been there when these things occurred and understand the context of what was originally said. No matter the topic, you can't come in to the end of a debate/argument and take sides when you weren't there for the originating event. I say this with all due respect: without educating yourself on the origins of the debate, you are without … perspective (except for loyalty to your friend, which is commendable).

    I may be being a bully, yes. But keep in mind I'm being a “bully” for two reasons: 1) an attempt to get Teel to apologize for calling another child of God a bitch (unprovoked) in a public forum (whether Jenn earned it or not has no moral or spiritual justification for his actions), and 2) to understand that randomly attacking others on the internet is not “Christian” behavior, since the Christian aesthetic is what Teel goes out of his way to brand/market himself as. Hiding behind grace and the sanctification process is Teel's way of having to avoid public accountability to apology, which is, honestly, a disgusting way for a “Christian” to behave and an attitude that further contributes to keep people from seeing Christ in his followers.

    You and he both have mentioned that I and Jenn have “earned” our titles of bitch, asshole, jerk, whatever. But answer me this one simple question if you can: What does the personality conflicts you have with others have to do with how you conduct your own actions? If something I do “causes” you to sin by calling me a bitch in a public forum, can you blame that sin on me, or would Christ expect you to have ownership of your own actions?

    So, yes, if saying you need to be accountable for your own actions and live according to the words of the savior that you follow makes me an asshole AND now a jerk/bully, well, fine. 🙂

    Nowhere in this discussion have I been a hypocrite or lived by a double-standard, and I'm very proud of that.

  14. William~

    I was just telling you to stop.

    You didn't listen. Just like you didn't listen when Teel said that he's never deleted a comment, and that he would leave existing comments on posts if he chose to disable commenting on future personal posts.

    This is Teel's confessional. Do you frequent Catholic churches, and listen outside the confessional so you can heckle the people who have built up the courage to confess their grievances there too?

    I never said you were a hypocrite. I just told you to stop.

    I never said I thought Jen deserved to be called a Bitch. I stand by my saying you're a jerk, you've made it clear you are. You need to stop.

    Who decided I was hanging on the words of your “savior”? I was a Catholic growing up, I believe the bible is full of good life lessons, and I do believe in God, but I am proud that I am no longer calling myself a Christian. I find that those who profess the most to be Christian frequently hide behind the title, and are indeed the very people who God weeps for, and Jesus died trying to save.

    I now live my life to the best of my ability, trying to follow my conscience and my own path, which frequently seems to coincide with God's plan anyhow. I do try my hardest not to harm anyone or anything. Having said that, I truly am sorry if having labeled you a jerk was hurtful to you. I used that label as a tool to try to get you to snap out of this temper tantrum you're clearly having and to try to get you back on your path. It clearly didn't impact you the way I'd hoped it would… so he're a different tactic:

    What you're doing here is wrong. I never defended what Teel did, I don't know what he did. I do know what you're doing here, and yes, I can blame you for it. You're supposed to be a Christian adult… you know better. Stop it. I can feel that you're hurting. I'm so sorry that this whole transgression has left you in pain. Just as I'm so glad that Jen has people who stand up and protect her the way you have. I really am. But you will not heal yourself or your own pain and anger by lashing out and hurting others. I don't think that's what your savior would want from you. Though your fury may be ritious, God's plan is rarely for his children to run around spreading pain and anger… so please… stop.


  15. You never defended it, but you justified it by saying that if my actions were an indication, she probably deserved it. So by saying that someone probably deserved to be degraded in vile fashion on a public forum (“probably deserved” were your exact words), yes, you did defend it.

    And tell me, what authority do you hold over me where it's okay for you to demand that I “stop” but it's not okay for me to demand an apology from Teel?

    And I agree that it is not God's plan for his children to spread pain and anger, completely. Teel inflicted much pain and anger yesterday, completely unprovoked by his subject. Therefore, I'm not lashing out at him. I'm demanding an apology, do you see the difference? And to double that importance, I'm attempting to show him how not offering an apology is essisentially spitting on the words of Christ.

    Christ doesn't want us to spread anger, but he does speak of accountability and confrontation of believers to another believer when said believer steps out of line … it's discernment, rebuking, and other things that aren't always comfortable.

    The quickest way for this to end is for the individual who FIRST triggered the pain and anger and hurtful and vile comments to simply … say “I'm sorry, that wasn't the best thing for me to say,” in a PUBLIC forum, directed at his subject.

    It isn't God's plan for his children to refuse the basic kind treatment of love to each other either, and that's EXACTLY what Teel is doing.

  16. And to touch on two things I didn't address in my above monologue-

    I know you never accused Teel of deleting comments, but you did say:
    “you can delete my comments, as well as Krys' and Andrew's”.
    I took that statement at face value, and concluded you were concerned that that Teel would delete your comments out of cowardice, or to cover up his own transgression, so I attempted to right the perceived accusation by notifying you that Teel would not delete your comments, has never done so, and does not intend to do so. I apologize if I misconstrued your connotation.

    On the topic of your trying to foce Teel to appologize on behalf of your savior: I know you think that Teel needs to appologize, but did an angel pop out of the sky and charge you with this holy task? Or did you decide to take that up on your own? Because it's not your job. If God wants Teel to appologize, God will help Teel to work through his anger and apologize. You have to trust that if Teel doesn't apologize right now, it's because God doesn't think he's ready… or maybe, just maybe… God doesn't think he needs to. Maybe God thinks that Jen is strong enough to endure this trial of her faith.

    Either way… It's not your job to illicit an apology from Teel by badgering him into it. If he apologized right now, I doubt it would be heartfelt anyhow, more likely the opposite, for those goaded into a response through coercion techniques are rarely genuine. I'm not sure why you'd want such a result for Jen.

    Just food for thought… I don't expect you to respond, I'm just giving you material to mull over and discuss with God.


  17. Do me a favor. on your keyboard click ctrl+f type probably deserved. There are three occurances on this page, all yours. I didn't say that. I said that you earned the title, and I could only assume that Jen must have earned her response from Teel. Can only assume, means that I don't claim to know, I can only construe, knowing Teel and his past actions.

    I don't hold power over you. I was asking you to stop, neigh, begging you to stop, because what you're doing here is not God's work, and you seem to be under the delusion that it is. I've tried to be calm with you, and to coach you along like I would a tantruming unrepentant child, but I'm done. I don't think I can save you from yourself, and just as it's not your job to get an apology from Teel, it's not my job to save you… So I'll leave that to God, who will teach you about humility in his own way in his own time.



  18. Because I believe doing so is relevant to other readers of my journal, and perhaps to my recent posts describing certain other differences between my own point of view & ability to grasp basic concepts and that of other people, I am going to try to clarify further my perception of this aspect of recent events:

    My intention in publicly stating that I believe that, for example, you are an asshole, is merely one of identification. Classification. Categorization. Tagging. Like categorizing this blog post as 'Journal' or a blog post about working on the title & cover art for my next novel as 'Marketing'. It is a way to help communicate the nature of a thing. It is not my intention to be vile, purposefully inflammatory, seedy, insulting, controversial, degrading, inherently negative, hateful, sinful, or other such things you've decided are part of my intentions. Providing such identification can be quite helpful.

    Publicly identifying people and situations that others could be reasonably expected to want to avoid is something I consider particularly helpful.

    Just as I might describe traffic on a clogged highway as 'frustrating' or 'horrible' to someone so they can make an informed decision about their driving route, or as I might describe a certain Will Ferrell comedy as 'uneven, ill-conceived, and occasionally disgusting' to someone so they can make an informed decision about how to spend their entertainment dollars and time, I might also describe a particularly rude, mean-spirited, bitter and domineering woman as a 'bitch' or 'bitchy' to someone so they can make an informed decision about who they're going to spend their Friday night with. Depending on context, I may also give more information, details, descriptions, et cetera – but for abbreviated communications such as small talk and tweets, using these simplifications tends to be sufficient.

    I don't see anything particularly wrong with such identifications. In fact, I consider it more of a public service for people to speak their minds in such a fashion, honestly rather than politically, especially with regard to things worth avoiding. I don't understand people's apparent aversion to truth.

    I don't see any more reason to apologize for identifying that you are an asshole than I do for identifying that the service at La Bocca after Ignite Phoenix was incredibly slow and disorganized, or that Mesa Contemporary Arts [Museum] is surprisingly small and my visit there yesterday was disappointing. Nor do I understand how it would be helpful or appropriate to keep such identifications private.

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