Tagging != Hate; On Clear Identification instead of politics

Because I believe doing so is relevant to 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 recent events:

My intention in publicly stating that I believe that, for example, a particular person is 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 some may decide 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 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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Author, artist, romantic, insomniac, exorcist, creative visionary, lover, and all-around-crazy-person.

4 thoughts on “Tagging != Hate; On Clear Identification instead of politics”

  1. Teel,

    I owe you many apologies. In order to have an effective debate/discussion with someone, you have to assume an equal starting point. Just as a race is not equal when two cars begin at different locations, a conversation/debate can't be had with someone who isn't on the same intellectual/moral/spiritual footing as the other party.

    I was coming from the (obviously lower moral and spiritual platform than you) of thinking that it was wrong to judge others or publicly mock them while claiming “I'm trying!”, or be the first to cast a stone at a person. Well, Teel, thank you … from the bottom of my heart. I only hope that someday my own spiritual journey could be as check-marked with progress as much as yours has, and equally grows to the point where I can wrangle this mysterious and life-transforming thing called 'faith' into a simple bait-and-switch personal marketing and branding technique, accompanied by the (finally! oh the relaxation!) ability to tell myself and others that I am changing and “trying”, without ever having to do a thing, or look beyond my own perspective. 🙂

    I only equally regret that I was coming from an (obviously) lower intellectual level than you as well; thinking that providing information/warning on a factual basis was different than casting judgement; or that judgement could be both a positive and negative thing, with each deserving of public praise/comment. Or thinking that describing a service or a concept as 'bad' was different than using vile language to publicly libel a fellow child of God! Oh, and thank you for explaining, in-depth, how calling someone foul names is not being vile. I hope I have the future chances to learn more from you when it comes to the context of language! Speaking of mastery of language – I know I can be wordy (I apologize for that) but thanks for teaching me how breath-reducing debates can be answered with a succinct amount of words. This use of the words 'bitchy', 'asshhole' and 'jerk' by you in effect addressing all issues spiritual and philosphilcal in one fell swoop is a work of literary genius, sir, and I applaud you.

    And a final thanks to Hillary, whose numerous comments have taught me that responding to a single blog post in a back-and-forth discussion is doing nothing but fueling the fire; while the originator's actions of writing three blog posts in two days (and linking to them from his Twitter!), is, most assuredly, doing everything possible in reducing the heat of the argument and moving on (even while lamenting the comment-inducing inflammatory situations while taking full advantage of the attention that he created from starting such actions).

    As my final communication on this matter, I owe you both a debt of thanks for these great lessons, and oh boy, showing me!

    William J. Nash-McAdam

  2. Wasting my time:

    This has never been a conversation/debate/discussion. After I'd finished/stopped responding angrily to people's overreactions to a few statements I made to communicate why I don't like #nvfn – stopped because a fellow, loving, imperfect Christian DM'd me to encourage me to cool down, reminding me of the part of Jesus' teachings where -in teaching that it is the spirit of the law we should strive to follow- he said that it is not enough to guard against murder, but we should guard against anger as well, the one being the root of the other – you began to attack me. Since I was trying not to allow myself to become further goaded into anger, and was trying to avoid doing anything personally to escalate or continue the original line of conversation (ie: whether my initial description of #nvfn was appropriate categorization or merely 'crude') I chose not to respond to that aspect, and instead responded (perhaps foolishly, since you clearly have an axe to grind) to the non-sequitur leap to questioning my faith – and only initially to someone who had retweeted your non-sequitur seemingly without context. Already at that point it seemed from the way you approached the conversation (my first impression of you) that it would be best simply to avoid responding to you, so I didn't. The “falling short” referred to in my tweet that I would “keep trying” to avoid was the anger that I'd let myself get goaded into by people's responses to my initial statements. Then you continued to attack me. (Curiously, saying that you “don't care to debate this.”)

    Then I wrote the first thing that could be construed as a response to you: “I will certainly admit that my behavior today has not been as Christ-like as I know I'm capable of.” I did not make it an @reply because it was not directed at you, though I did include the names of the two people who had 1) impugned my faith & 2) weren't following me, since -in addition to the people who do follow me, and had been witness to my angry responses- I thought it would be appropriate for them to see my apology. (Apology, which Merriam-Webster OnLine defines as “an admission of error or discourtesy accompanied by an expression of regret.” It goes on to describe it as a defense or justification re: guilt or fault, “without reference to mitigating or extenuating circumstances.”) I'm sorry that it wasn't clear to you that I was apologizing for my un-Christ-like behaviour. How do I know it wasn't clear? Your response was to demand an apology on behalf of someone who has not indicated publicly (in any way I am aware of) that she was hurt by my categorization of #nvfn or wanted an apology. So, in the 2nd of 3 times (prior to this very comment) that I've ever responded to you, I tried to explain that I didn't feel an apology was appropriate. I only had 140 characters at the time, and didn't want to waste any extra time on someone who was increasingly clearly just being abusive rather than constructive, but let me add to that: An apology is also not appropriate because as far as I am aware, what I said wasn't hurtful/vile to Jenn and she has never (still) indicated any interest in an apology. Importantly, if you look at my actual words I never called Jenn a bitch; I said that I didn't want to attend events with bitchy people. I implied that #nvfn was an event with “catty/bitchy” people, and characterized such an event as “shitty.” I did state that by organizing such events and identifying them as “North Valley Friday Nights” I thought Jenn was giving the North Valley a bad name. I also went on to state that being “comfy” and “behind a computer” (Jenn's words) wasn't changing the nature of my comments about the event, and that I felt they would be appropriate to discuss in person.

    Yet you not only continued replying for a few minutes, you then decided that the comments area of a post not about this would make an excellent place for you to spew your vile words by the thousands. The post was my personal observations about what people seem to respond most vociferously to, and what they do not, and how distasteful I find people's primary interest being controversy, rage, and abuse. I don't think the post itself was controversial, that it contained rage, or abuse. Yet you put your non-sequitur comments in response to it. I considered thoughtfully for a few hours how/whether I ought to respond, and made a brief comment (while stating clearly that I was not yet responding to anyone directly) about how the comments seemed to have followed the controversy rather than the content. You responded again in the comments. You responded on Twitter. You continued your unprovoked attacks. (I am justified in saying “unprovoked” here, since I am also documenting every single word I have ever written to you, and haven't yet reached the first time I said even a single word that might be considered a provocation.)

    Finally, in response to your 10+ tweets and 1700+words of comments (at that point; you're now approaching 3k words), I responded in the comments, stating that I had determined that you were the sort of person it would be at least a waste of time (and more likely harmful for me) to engage with, described the basis of that conclusion was, and identified you as such. As I tried to make clear in this blog post (which I cross-posted as a comment on the other, since -while not particularly relevant to the post itself- it seemed relevant to the tone of the 20 comments there), it was not my intention to be provocative, or rude, but to identify the sort of person you appear to be and to explain why I was choosing not to reply to you. Yet you continued to ignore my words (and my silence) and you continued to try to pick a fight (which Hillary did respond to) in the comments of that post.

    What I am trying to make clear here with this comment, in case you have somehow missed it, is that this was never a “back-and-forth discussion.” It has been you railing at me. It has been you “being a bully” (your own words).

    Even here, rather than making any sort of constructive response, or of plainly stating your differing viewpoint, or of trying to explain the basis for perceiving a difference between categorizing people and categorizing services/products/events, you instead choose to be sarcastic, dishonest, and again to blatantly ignore the point of the post you're responding to by using obfuscation and hyperbole rather than plain, direct language. If you wanted to be constructive and helpful, there were ample opportunities. You seem upset that I wrote three personal journal entries in two days (‽), yet made no effort to help me to understand when I stated clearly that I don't think I grasp concepts including 'offense' and 'apology' in the same way as the people around me – concepts central to your complaints against me! Worse, after I'd also clearly stated (and elaborated on) my difficulty at grasping people's connotation, you responded here with a post whose surface meaning is clearly not true. That is like learning that someone doesn't know Esperanto and then commenting on their blog the next day in Esperanto; you are making it clear you aren't interested in communicating with me.

    And quickly, a few more points of interest:

    – I don't know where you got the idea that “most of [my] marketing is centered around [my] faith” or that “the Christian aesthetic is what [I go] out of [my] way to brand/market [myself] as.” If you could show me where you got this idea, I'd appreciate it.
    – I also can't figure out how you think I'm “taking full advantage of the attention” generated by recent events and would appreciate if you could explain what you mean by this.
    – I tweet about all my blog posts, podcast episodes, new art, really anything I'm doing/creating. It's not unusual.
    – I am trying to look beyond my own perspective, and gladly welcome intelligent discourse that will help me understand better the things I've publicly acknowledged I don't. That is the point of these blog posts.
    – Acknowledging that someone behaves in a way I don't like doesn't mean that I don't love them unconditionally. Categorizing someone as an asshole, while helping me to consciously avoid the pain that associating with such types causes, also gives more reason to pray for them and hope for and help them (with peace and love) to find a better way.

  3. Remembered I missed one more Tweet I'd directed his way, the actual first one (bringing the total to 4, not 3), which was probably just an indication that I was already working on that blog post in my head, since it's a pretty good summary of it: “Dislike it when people don't bother to read or react to a thing I write/say until it's something they don't like, @NashPCH.” Again, not a regular @reply because it was more of a general statement about my experience that I thought all my followers might appreciate, as well as a reference to the person whose out-of-the-blue statement most clearly reflected the activity I was identifying as not having liked.

    Because I was trying, with the comment above, to create a clear and complete picture of my interactions, this accidental lapse felt problematic once I realized it. So, there you go, a more complete picture. This means that the apology for my un-Christ-like behaviour was the second thing I said that might have been construed as a response, not the first. I'm sorry I missed it.

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