June 4th, 2005


Manners maketh man

There's been a lot of drama in peripheral bits of my LJ circle recently. A lot of it is to do with conflicting ideas about how personal someone's LJ is, and I think this is interesting. (The drama itself isn't interesting, because drama tends not to be. And I'm not posting links to the drama that has prompted this thought, because that would just be further drama-mongering.)

The situations run like this: somebody posts something contentious. Other people take issue with the original contentious post. Whether or not they initially confront the OP, at some point the discussion gets carried over to people's own LJs. Drama ensues.

The way I see it, if I see a post I strongly disagree with, especially if it's a drive-by thing rather than someone I know personally, my most likely response would be to make a followup in my own LJ. However, I have seen several instances in the past few days of people taking serious offence at exactly this response.

Assuming one doesn't actually want to cause offence, what are the alternatives? Collapse )

One heartening thing, in amongst all this depressing drama: I really love ozarque's response to someone who was pursuing a discussion in a way that seemed inappropriate to her. Whether or not one agrees with her assessment is not, I think, important here. I really admire the way she's handled the situation.

Given the complexity of the stuff I've rambled on about behind the cut, it's likely that at some point people are going to end up offending eachother. And what then? I've seen too many people recently slinging nasty insults at the person who offended them, whether it's for attacking them directly or for moving the discussion to their own space. Surprisingly enough, this just amplifies the drama and makes everyone look bad.

ozarque's approach isn't perfect; it hasn't completely defused the situation. But it has made it possible for her to continue the discussion she wants to have without getting sidetracked into a flame war. And to me, it reads as being extremely respectful of someone who is taking a different approach from hers, and that's something I find particularly admirable and would hope to imitate myself if I ever have to deal with such a situation.

Today is the 41st day, making 5 complete weeks and 6 days of the Omer.