By Michael J. Smith on Wednesday August 8, 2012 09:04 PM

Turns out I've been breezily reassuring people that comments are never -- well, hardly ever -- removed from this here blog, and now I find that OP and Al have been doing exactly that. I didn't even know they *could*.

Nothing I can do about it, apparently; crummy software. So my posts will continue to be promiscuously open, and Al's and Owen's will not.

Comments (78)


My comment pigtails are not the elegant queue types father and Al get

So ya see ...I cutes em off I do
Naughty or nice
Chop chop chop

Leon Trotsky:

Oh you vile Stalinist.



You're a better man than I am, Fadduh Smiff.

When I migrated my cartoon site from a static site to a blog format, the first thing I did was disable comments, because I didn't feel like dealing with the trolls, flamage and spam.

Same thing when I set up my YouTube channel. The first few pieces I posted there, I accidentally left comments enabled, and you wouldn't believe the time I had scraping out all the trollage and dating site spam.

I set up those spaces to express myself and showcase my work, not to provide a soapbox for every goddamn' troll, crank and spammer out there. Not very Web 2.0 of me, I know, but hey -- fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.


It's amazing how effective the silly transparent Hillary thing is at defeating spammers. That's because this is not a famous site, and nobody's bothered to write a perl script yet. If it were a famous site, I'd have to come up with something better -- a login, or a captcha. Ugh. Like running the DMV.

Real people who want to be nasty are another matter. When I first started this site up, I had been very impressed -- and depressed -- about how sites like Daily Kos spent a lot of time and energy ferreting out trolls and excommunicating them. That was *certainly* something I didn't want to spend a millisecond on.

So on this topic I'm a sort of sleeping dragon, whose banked furnaces radiate mostly in the far infrared. If I wake up and get the impression that somebody has really taken over the comments, I might do something about it.


I almost am afraid to write this, as one can always be surprised and sorely disappointed, but I think Matt Mullenweg (is it?) did a wonderful thing with Wordpress. They are pretty much the only blogs I would post on, with very few exceptions. I love that he has remained so very low key and very human, compared to almost all of the rest.

I have a feeling that maybe him and/or his partners, have done something to prevent at least some of the bots, despite the fact that many of the Wordpress sites are free (or has that changed?).


(I should probably qualify too, as to whatever ads show up on Wordpress sites, as I always enter them with all scripting turned off (which most don't do, let alone so very many not knowing how to do that, as the default on puters, is: scripting and cookies, etcetera, allowed) and therefore, I don't see any ads, whatsoever, when I read at a Wordpress site. Yes, I am a luddite, I always have been, always will be. That doesn't mean I can't learn code as well as the rest.)


(to those newbies, likely forced to Hook Up Your Vein, due to no longer being considered okay in paying tangible cash (the FBI has ya on a list?)c, who just bought nooo puters (though know nothing of software workings, and who could blame you if you already had a full time jawb and then some), which all have Little Billy the Gates Microsoft soft and nastywear on them, your scripting options can be changed on the Tools ...Internet Options 'menu.')

Al Schumann:
Oh you vile Stalinist.

The Vile Stalinists is, entirely by coincidence, the name of the auto body shop where I work. Life is funny in some ways. All that airbrushing turned out to be handy for much more than crude censorship.

Praise be to your policy, Mr Smith. Too many Blahgers define "trolling" too loosely (and include "disagreeing vociferously and/or too well with the blog owner's perfect opinion" in the definitions list). Some of the most informative threads I've ever read (on my blahg and elsewhere) were "Flame Wars" that may have been high on animus but were low on ad hominems and crackled with the sincerely opposing viewpoints of intelligent posters.

Down with this phony, smiley-faced, anti-intellectual culture of PC Nice! We need to keep a few spaces where Totalitarian Decorum doesn't Rule.


God Al vile stalists is still inoperation?

As u and only u would know
that's the final spin out of my brother Royal's
zero cover
hide it right out there in plain Poe vision
party cut out franchise scam

the air brushing for sure
And how 'bout the ole rubber hammer bit

Ideo-Meme collisions
indeed have their ferris - nonferris ding and dent analogues
back in the day
Bumper cars was always
a cool party outing btw ..or so Royal claims


that sounded rather starchy and disconnected from the reality of all the teen suicides on the web, Mr. Steven Augustine; ... kind of like an $$$Ad$$$$ ..not sure why ...it just did.


what exactly are 'teen suicides on the web'?

this is not an unfriendly question.


on the web was very bad wording on my part, Boink.

What I mean to say is that way too many very young people have taken their lives over being harassed via the the technology their 'elders' (my age bracket and a bit younger) have not questioned enough as to how progressive it really is, at a certain point. Humans are mammals, and no one would force their cat or dog companion to communicate solely by machine ... why is it being pawned off to, and expected of so many of our youth?

I believe it was Warren Gramps (Mother Fucker) Buffet who acknowledged that he hadn't a clue about most of the current technology, yet somehow most everyone, is near forced to be hooked up to it, 24/7 to make .0000000000001% of what he makes in a month?

(Pardon me, I've had quite a bit of red this eve/morn, but I'm not crazy.)


get some good rest. SMBIVA will still be here requiring your assistance tomorrow.

Al Schumann:

Eh... Trolling is censorship. They're trying to shut down communication. Trolls are insatiably hungry for attention, status and control. There's no way to appease them. They're not dissenting, not misguided, not operating from an alien framework. Their interventions are interdictions.


thank you Boink, for 'listening,' it's such a talent ...to listen, seems you're gifted with it, and I truly appreciate it, you have no clue how much (as it probably should be, smile).


(even more importantly, Boink ...it seems you feel ...and that, so especially, ...differentiates you, from a simple machine ..... I'll be sleeping much better ....with your kind thought, Boink.)

Al Schumann:

Owen, yes it is still in operation. Fungible skills make for easy transitions, as Royal demonstrated so well.

anne shew:

.. . morning , " ... have not questioned enough .. . " "forced to be hooked up to it, .. " -quoting from d. here / and of my last comments to davidly last night, on cont. of what i was trying to ask michael j, now a few posts back , - to davidly, "of the links, i don't know why and where you found.. , of those links , but no that's not what i mean of isolation, , i mean of a life of not being exposed to the learning that a person gets in schooling and living, ,and having a family of the social experience that comes with and create an environment that does not have a beautiful wom'n having to use her body in a particular way in getting some very basic help with learning how to use this thing that i am now typing on as she is needing to use it to continue something of her work .. , , and more

@Al: In the Banana Republic of a given Blahg, "troll" is sometimes another word for "radical". Well, obviously, I'm not talking about the forum on a fan page for The Avengerbots 2 (which may have been the sort of thing diane was talking about). "Troll", "Commie", "Conspiracy Theorist"... which pejorative one uses (or is targeted with) depends on the demographic.

I just think a clearer distinction needs to be drawn between the free-floating animus of the 'Net and posters who disagree to such an extent that they are willing to actually argue a point/worldview. Too many Blahg owners (among the "smarter" Blahgs) are addicted to reading "awesome!" I can think of any number of "progressive" sites that will delete any comment to the effect that the drone-happy Prez is a cold-blooded killer. Well, but he is. Does saying so make me a "troll"?

@Diane: I think you're talking about a completely different part of the Internednet. Kids who can be "bullied" online should not be online; they need to learn an ancient adage about Sticks 'n Stones... but their parents are too busy chatting on the Avengerbots Fan Forum to teach them.

Al Schumann:

Steve, I agree regarding the need for a clearer distinction. More precisely, I see a general need for seeking clear distinctions, in good faith, and erring on the side of MJS's promiscuous openness.

@Al: in lieu of a good ad hominem (I know I had one around here somewhere) I will have to agree with your agreement

Al Schumann:

Steve, I see an additional need for high quality ad hominem attacks. Ideally, they should be superficially self-refuting but biting upon further consideration. Also, ponies. We need ponies. Ponies that are capable of seeking clearer distinctions, in good faith, and finishing them off with high quality ad hominem attacks. Only then will the intertubes be safe for discourse.

@Al: Occam's Razor refutes your elitist Strawman, post hoc ergo propter hoc hobby horse bullshit, and it makes me sort of sad for you, because, like, De gustibus non est disputandum, and LOL, and TL; DR pony!!!

(I just gave you some condensed vintage c. 2006 flaming, for free)


I've always found the Sticks and Stones adage to be quite untrue, Steven, and you seem bright enough to be aware of that. If no damage had been done already, there would be no reason for a parent to even utter those words – words that their parents wanted to console them with, when they were children - the crying stops not because of the meaningless words but because of the nonverbal protection, comfort and love the parent shows the child while saying them.

That's why people call names, because they hurt. Humans can be shattered by words, that’s why that tactic, among so many others is used in sadistic prison systems.

(And no I wasn’t just referring gaming blogs.)



See Angelo's comment.

A new path in censorship studies... selling the exemplary life.

Not a chance in the world anyone would game his/er facebook self.


Boink, Naked Capitalism (www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/08/links-8712.html ) had a link to this Daily Mail piece on the subject:


I wanted to throw up after reading it and some of the laudatory pieces they linked to. I guess soon to come are forced facefiend pages for the kiddles, the absolute Incorporating of Socializing. I’ve been so hoping that company totally tanks.

Seems like almost every week they announce some new privacy violation. The last one I read was that they will soon (or have already?) force those Timelines on all accounts. Since they’re so well enforced with ex government creeps, I’m sure they’ll never run out of new delights to institute.


This site has always been an echo chamber and dissenting opinions tend to be met with snarling ad hominems or highbrow snark coupled with cryptic, obfuscationist blather from the guard dogs. Suddenly there's a troll problem?

I've never considered this blog a place for any kind of serious or meaningful debate, which is why I usually don't bother posting here.

I'm glad some have finally come around to engaging in good old fashioned censorship. Let's dispense with the fiction serious dissent is welcome here. Censorship is intellectually honest, efficient and good for the soul.

What Would Stalin Do?

Al Schumann:

Sean has a point. Laissez faire on comments can open the door for trolls and very effectively slam it in the face of actual dissent.


Echo chamber?


/substantive ad hominem deleted/

If you happen to return to where you shit Sean

Leave me a link to one of these serious debate sites

I need seriously serious debate
Nothing like seriousness to seriously discuss the serious

/ Parting snark obliterated /


To suggest father S has driven off or allowed curs like myself to drive away
Serious debaters discussers etc
There is absolutely no evidence of that whatso ever
I might suggest
Respectfulness is required by certain spirits

We aren't all thick skinned for whatever reason

just state that fact

Say for example
I want respect
For me and my memes
and watch who acts accordingly


"I've always found the Sticks and Stones adage to be quite untrue, Steven, and you seem bright enough to be aware of that..."

I should be bright enough to be aware of the fact that you never considered that adage true? I wasn't aware there was literature on the subject.

In any case: I very respectfully don't think you have much of a point. What would a teen be doing on the sort of site I'm talking about in order to require protection from those scary-word-wielding trolls? Any (infantilized) adult who's at risk obviously needs professional help.

"Protecting the sensibilities of the vulnerable" is exactly how censorship in a PC Dictatorship works. I don't buy it and you should be bright enough to be aware of that.

Al Schumann:

Steven, I take Diane's comments at a different angle—as an admonition to self-control rather than a policy to be enforced. The ability to go bare knuckle at need is useful, but it shouldn't set the pace for someone who's facing eviction, loss of employment, death of a loved one. Those are things I'd like to shelter. My own "default emotional setting" is tuned up high against the chance I'll take an ill-timed, ill-considered shot at someone who's facing deep shit.

@Steven Augustine,
"Sticks and Stones..." can be an expression of self-confidence or the encouragement of another towards the same, or a euphemism for "Toughen up, Pussy!" On the Web, where the disembodied rule, it skews towards the latter.

This Innernets reflects our strengths and weaknesses, our niceties and cruelness. I reckon we hear about these suicides (the extent to which they haven't touched us personally) because of increased access to information from an ever increasing population. Not that I don't think the potential isolating factor of increased proportional on-line communication isn't destructive. But the Web shows us we're fuk't because we are.

Too much of the blog-and-forth is ripped from any meaningful context, indeed, sometimes via enjoyable non-seq-fest-like arcane reference banter-bating, but still...

If this site is an echo chamber, then it's a pretty weird sounding echo. I echo op's call to link to one of those serious debate sites. Troll.

Cluster's Stalker:


If you are the Sean who has been participating in SMBIVA comments occasionally for 2-3 years, generally from a slightly off the script POV, hello. I have appreciated your comments over this period and would like to have and to have had more of them.

As snarling op and challenging davidly have said already, let us have some links, but not too many per post (see note above the comment box), where the level of debate and the welcoming of dissent are such as to have spurred your own best efforts in commentary... be they current topics or not. And come back to straighten out SMBIVA often.

BTW the recent troll/censorship threads have little meat to them. op claims to clean up his cages, but we all know that he gets so little response to his posts that most of the comments are his own and always have been. I don't see him sweeping those out. And Al Schumann, before he fell in love just lately, was quite tolerant of the pointless noodling of "he who must not be named".

Cluster's Stalker:

Recent censorship explained:


Al Schumann:

I find little practical value in Airing Things Out and Setting Things Straight, though I can sometimes be coaxed or goaded into trying anyway, but I do fall in love on a regular basis. Maybe you should too, Cluster. It would put the snap back in your socks. You could ditch those embarrassing garters.

Just trying to help, now. Not trolling or anything.

Ironically, the most successful trolling of recent days comes from none other than Cluster, whose apparently genuine and principled comment thread concern persuaded MJS to front page the non-event of Oxycontumely's ignominious bum's rush. As a rule, I do in fact leave well enough alone. Even the shittiest ontological demolition derbies and epistemic moral panics don't send me off to fetch a virtual broom. I made an exception recently out of genuine affection, which Cluster fails to see as a positive attribute. What a sad thing!

On second thought, Cluster, keep the garters. They accent your principles beautifully.

diane's example of just why we shouldn't be naughty-boo-boos to each other was a non sequitur.

"If no damage had been done already, there would be no reason for a parent to even utter those words – words that their parents wanted to console them with, when they were children - the crying stops not because of the meaningless words but because of the nonverbal protection, comfort and love the parent shows the child while saying them."

Obvious response: you're talking about a toddler, diane; toddlers cry over plenty of things they can (and must) eventually learn not to cry over. "Sticks and Stones" is there for toddlers to learn to one day become teens, and then grownups,who can handle words in a world that is not a fluffy cradle... but that was long ago, eh? We can all now enjoy the ever-growing self-regulating Virtual Day Care for "grownups" that political discourse in the Blahgosphere has become.


**@Steven Augustine,
"Sticks and Stones..." can be an expression of self-confidence or the encouragement of another towards the same, or a euphemism for "Toughen up, Pussy!" On the Web, where the disembodied rule, it skews towards the latter.***

So? The Internet also skews toward porn. That's no reason to turn into Mr Rogers.

Here's the thing: some people aren't just lofty/resigned/ironic about *everything, all the time*. Some people think it's good to call "bullshit" sometimes, using the actual un-bowdlerized word itself.

This is a site where the posters are meant to discuss, among other things, Politics, no? Politics are personal, the stakes are high, the discussions *should* get heated. If an ad hominem pops out every now and then, who cares? What counts... or should count... is the head-on collision of sincerely diverging, clearly-expressed opinions.

@Al: "Steven, I take Diane's comments at a different angle—as an admonition to self-control rather than a policy to be enforced."

My only point is that diane failed to make a case any better than the case usually made by the normative worldview I always assumed this site exists in spiritual contravention of. "Admonitions" are the heart and soul of NormLib herdthink.

How many thousands of times, for example, were reporters/commentators/bloggers urged to show a little "self-control" re: Bush and The Wars so as not to "offend" "our troops" and their next of kin? This is a powerful control meme and you're embracing the trivial end of it.

Was it Krassner who said "If you can't say 'Fuck', you can't say 'Fuck the Government'"?

If They've got you timid and thin-skinned in an adult "intellectual" blogsite comment section, I guess They really don't have to worry about you being terribly naughty or difficult any where else. Gold Stars for everyone, kids.

Merkin in Montreal:

Comrade Augustine, you go boy! Not that I understood half the mumbo jumbo about the Sticks and Stones and Suicide Teens but I totally agree with the spirit of your critique. At times, the discourse could become a little too fluffy and sappy until a bad ass such as yourself shows up and makes things interesting.


As it happens, I am a Fluffy Bunny who happens to suffer from Tourette's. I find all these "admonishments" to self-censor to be a form of para-racial discrimination. I am weighing my shitfucking legal options.

Cluster's Stalker:

I love Al too much to keep teasing him and that deal with the sock garters was painfully accurate. He must have contacts at NSA. Therefore, Cluster's Stalker is retired.

Al Schumann:

Hugs, Cluster.


Oh that was sweet, Cluster and Al. And Al, that's the Beaster Bunny, isn't it?

My first smile of the day, thanks so much sweethearts.


Obviously, there are much more effective ways of derailing a serious conversation than the ones we are admonished to avoid.


Actually, Komrade Steven, if you're referring to my last comment, it was knee jerk, sorry if it gave you a boo boo.

I haven't responded yet as to the original topic, as I like to think on things a while, before just tossing shit out. Since my name seems to appear so frequently (above) there's a lot to think about.

"Actually, Komrade Steven, if you're referring to my last comment, it was knee jerk, sorry if it gave you a boo boo."

Not sure which comment you mean, diane. But if this is a parody thread, it's a damned fine one! Had me going there, all... you actually suckered me into having my 1,000,000th "censorship" "debate" on the Intermnet!

Uh, diane, you're not going to go to the trouble of "clarifying" your "teen suicide" comment, are you...?

(Is Fafblog stilled closed...?)

Al Schumann:

I hate to derail this thread again, but yes that is the Beaster Bunny.

Giant rabbits have played an important role in building a sense of community here. I'm not joking. It apparently caused some consternation, which resulted in a phone call, a garbled message and a misunderstanding. To make things worse, I disgraced myself by placing all the blame on Boink. I'm not proud of that (yes I am). But MJS is good sport and when he was told we'd taken advantage of his absence to turn this into a bunny blog, he played along.


Whether or not other sites are more open to serious debate is irrelevant to whether this one is, and a matter of opinion in either case. I would like a rational explanation of why my expressing the opinion this is an echo chamber constitutes trolling, particularly as this accusation tends to reinforce the point I am making.

Everyone likes to play tough guy on the internet behind the safety of a computer screen, so ad-hominems are a cheap and plentiful currency, with lots of macho posturing over the ability to toss them out as well as take them in. Truth is they are such a fixture of the internet I doubt most people pay them much attention. Trolling, on the other hand, is a different beast altogether.

The essence of trolling is persistence. A good troll doesn't just attack you with cheap ad-homs, they keep at it until you finally get exasperated enough to react or leave, at which point you are playing their game. Trolls aren't interested in debating you, just getting a rise out of you. Most people realize this, and choose to avoid it, which is how trolls effectively stifle debate. It has nothing to do with being thin-skinned, and everything to do with not wanting to deal with childish bullshit. What was that Bible verse about putting away childish things when you become a man? Trolling is baby shit and of little interest to adults.

When someone admits he deliberately picks fights with me, likes to play head games to test people, and pretends to some expertise on my psyche, I think I am pretty safe in viewing that person as a troll. When the same person invites me to go elsewhere or start my own blog if I differ with the consensus opinion here, I think it is safe to say dissenting views aren't welcome.

As for the Deleted One, I see no difference in MO between him and any of the other poo-flingers here, which is what prompted me to comment. The only difference is that he is actually funny sometimes, and a lot better at poo-flinging and mocking his opponents than the reverse, which is the reason he is now the Deleted One. I mean, "we aren't all thick skinned for whatever reason."


Steve, my "last comment" was directly above the one you made, which I was (I thought, obviously. But, your opinion may vary)responding to.

And yeah still thinking, and it may take a while. As, like you presumably? I'm forced to see to not having to borrow money from others I love, who have none, to not end up living under a bridge with teeth in need of root canals that might make me want to commit Suicide.

Those, too sheltered (is what I hear in between the lines from you, Stephen (or is it Steve?)), Teens, pick up on that much too tenderly, Don't they, Stephen?


I feel like Dr Franken-STEEN: It's alive! I've created a monster!


"I hate to derail this thread again, but yes that is the Beaster Bunny."

When somebody tells me what this thread is actually about, I'll let you know if you've actually derailed it again!

----The Department of Blogland Security has lowered the Thread Level to Taupe... no Trollerists in sight (intelligence indicates they're over at HuffPo, trying to smuggle a "Hobama" meme through the checkpoint)----

anne shew:

steven augustine , could you say more of what you mean in this line of your reply , at 10:28am , to diane's comments - .. . " Any (infantilized) adult WHO'S AT RISK(?) obviously needs professional help." ?

@anne shew:

You will understand that excerpt if you read the entire comment. You will not understand it if you cherry-pick the bit that stiffens your PC Offense Detector and try to build a tiresome (and tiresomely off piste) prosecution around it. I know that "at risk" is a catch-phrase from Criminal Law/Therapy Culture, but that's not how I'm using it in that sentence. I'm using it as English.

As long as I'm here, I'll re-read it for you and translate: it means that any intelligent adult who can be "bullied" by the printed words of a disembodied being who appears only as an avatar on his/her screen could probably do with some pharmacological attention.

anne shew:

steven, i have no offense detector going , i am asking for a clearer understanding from what you wrote as you wrote it in full , / i thought that diane was talking of young people , not adults , sorry i'll reread ,


Seems like a peculiar sentence to need clarified if you're trying to understand my comments/position on comment-thread censorship; also have to wonder at your editorial use of CAPS/parenthetical question-mark... if it was, truly, a good-faith request for clarification. My experience is that those things are usually a sign of passive-aggressive flaming.

"i thought that diane was talking of young people , not adults..."

That's exactly why I thought diane's response to my comment was off. How did "young people" get mixed in with a debate about censoring comments on this particular site? Am I wrong in my sense of this site's demographics...?

anne shew:

steven, sorry i know ,i'm very odd, and difficult to read on first meeting me in this way and not knowing any of the why i write the way i do / she had been talking about this before on one of the ongoings that always happen on line , it's a continuation ,with the theme of something of censoring still being there

anne shew:

steven, of my own knowing ,of related to what she suggests at , but of the knowing of being from a very different point of view ,in being a very different person from diane , in how i've lived my life , and of who i am in other ways - i have seen a lot of the safety features not being there , with both young people trying to function on line and adults that are less able with tec' , of what begins as on line cruelty in its many forms ,and then because of the lack of safety features not being there.. going off line with those young and not so young being approached by those using the on line use of wording meant to hurt,tat also have more of tec' learning ,.. . to that wording becoming of the setting of the sticks and stones of something of a .. . pyre ,/ sorry again ,of the brevity ,if it is difficult to read , i have a flutter in my hands that makes typing difficult

anne shew:

the tat is a that , the h has been stuck on my keying in

I believe I was the only one to call you a troll, but I was being sarcastic, not accusing you of trolling (I loathe the smiley).

The notion that Aggregate Blogs of the Web could be entirely closed to serious debate, yet SMBIVA should still be singled out as an echo chamber is boldly anti-relativistic. No wonder you happen by so infrequently; you have your work cut out for you.


I find it more useful if I keep my comments focused on the question of what should or shouldn't be filtered/censored/taboo in adult political discourse, online and offline.

The thing about kids strikes me as a red herring. My sincere interest in the topic is tied to my sense that there's a creeping malaise of "Nice" in the market place of conversations and it's a function of A) the unnatural new fear of offending B) how likely it is that *any* strong opinion is bound to offend *someone, somewhere*.

I think it's inevitable that most public discourse will devolve to twitter-length comments about sports and/or the weather by 2020 (a good round Sci Fi year... laugh). And who does this serve? Not I, a Serfy Discontent.


Beast bunny is a troll


you have made for us a good definition of a troll

It occurred to me
what if the poster is a troll?

And I like your characterization of a virtual brawler even more

I think it's fair to suggest a big time virtual brawler
might not be so much of a brawler
If jawing away
at the local tap house... of a Friday nite

I wish someone had explained sean's echo chamber line

I really didn't get that


Cluster may think I get very few comments

But that is a credit to my totalizing license

In fact I hose out any reference to my hosing outs as well
And at all posting threads no matter the author
Include the not very vigilant judge Jackson smiff's hizzzseff


So you can never know for sure

anne shew:

steven, you did see how all of this came about in the last bunch of posts didn't you ? / of my asking this - .. . "has he recently said something that was removed that i have missed ? " and then michael j saying - "Nothing has been removed. Not by me, anyway, and I don't think anybody else can. " .. and so on


I gathered that something like that had happened! I know this is a "global" debate about a local event

anne shew:

i redrew in my own way the dog sitting on .. . as owen , and the smiley face as a mask on michael a few days ago .. ,said the doodler ..


davidly, unfortunately, at least where I live, the huge bump in suicides is very, very real .... though some are doing their very best to obfuscate that fact.

I loved your addition about how that Sticks and Stones bit (which Steven was the one to initially bring into the conversation, not I), has been used to call humans “pussies,” also.


Steven maybe it will suffice to say, that if I strain your wording through a quite fine sieve, it reminds me of Silicon Valley, a hot spot of Asperger’s Syndrome, currently making Asperger’s Syndrome a requirement of attaining a means of keeping a roof over the head, instead of treating the Asperger’s Syndrome.

You are gasbagging here, just for the sake of delight at lack of agreement and your literary skills. There were no comments from you, to my recollect, on the sequence of posts, starting in June, which lead up to this ....Yet, You ...are the loudest voice here.

Please point out your fight elsewhere to correct the things which haunt us currently, yet, which are so hindered by the censoring you’ve been gasbagging about.


(yes davidly, "pussy" is the first thing flung out when anyone brings up pain. A hug to you, for so clearly stating it.)


apparently, Komrade merkin has taken the money and run north of the border (as that does require gainful employment and much money) and therefore is too entrenched in potential son in laws in Canada, to realize the reality of the huge bump in Cali suicides (she did note, that she had lived in Cali, prior to her flight).

ahhh wellllll, sticks and stones .....

@diane: okay, I've read it!

I was expecting a comment that might at least have something to do with the general topic of censorship. But it's really just about you trying to chase off an interloper, which was already obvious from your first response to my first comment (which was in praise of someone). You were hostile and off piste from out of the box. And your first comment still only makes sense on that level to me; the literal sense of it is garbled, in my opinion.

Your view of the comment-thread space is very different from mine in that you have something personal invested here; you consider this as your "community". If you actually know some of the posters in meatspace, then I suppose it *is* a community, but you have to get used to the dual nature of comment threads on public blogs.

I'm interested in ideas, mine and others'. You seem more interested in guarding what you consider a private space. A few years into blogging, I noticed that that was a common new development, and that the comment-thread-as-free-exchange-of-ideas was being choked off, somewhat, by the homesteaders. I understand the psychology of it: if a poster wants to comment unmolested, she/he has to join the comment-thread "community" by identifying the regular posters and making complimentary comments to them. This always smooths the way.

I'm just not interested in doing that. SMBIVA is one of dozens of blogs I read during the course of a week. I found it very attractive when I first stumbled on it (early this year or late last year) because I thought I detected a good mixture of snark/smarts.

When I noticed the post on Censorship, I weighed in on it... not to read the sound of my own voice, but because I have an opinion and was hoping to get other strong (relevant) opinions in response. Instead, I spent a lot of the time responding to your attempt to shoo me off... which I've learned to expect on other sites (as they slowly close in on themselves as "communities")... but which I was surprised to encounter here.

You will be delighted to learn that it makes SMBIVA a lot less attractive to me, because as the "community" closes in on itself, the personal material (see some of your rather private comments) increases, the actual ideas disappear or get too diluted. I found Al's "bunny pictures as community-building" comment interesting... and telling. What's the "community" for? Are these folk-facebooks? Time-killers? Loneliness-busters?

I could trigger a shit-storm by laying out an argument about sometimes suspecting there's an evolutionary "nesting" dynamic vs a hunter-gatherer-abstract-ideas dynamic going on in these cases, but I'll have to save that for an edgier (pre-"community") blog.

Whoa. What? I'm actually starting to dig this...!

"anne shew" I figured was too nutty (good) to be true... but I assumed "diane" was merely another citizen of the floating country of single ladies with a worthless degree and early-onset menopause who set up a nest on a blog like this and slowly but surely turn it into a kindergarten or a Bible class; I fell for it! Good show and hats off! (Golf clapping)

anne shew:

pen k elf , didn't we play .. . one of these things just doesn't belong ,of anne , in your yard ,i'm not in the boat , just out in the eau , and i can draw , flugs not drawing me .. . / of digging , i like your comments just before pen k steven , but whoa

take a bow, anne shew!

Finally, serious and meaningful debate! Somebody call Sean.


"The notion that Aggregate Blogs of the Web could be entirely closed to serious debate, yet SMBIVA should still be singled out as an echo chamber is boldly anti-relativistic."

What would be the purpose of pointing out that Huffpo or Kos are echo chambers? They would deny the obvious vigorously and then perma-ban me. There are a lot of sites like that, including a lot of lefty ones. Maybe I raise the issue here because I think this site has more to offer than many others?

Lots of serious debate here lately. You just need a code book to decipher it.

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Note also that comments with three or more links may be held for "moderation" -- a strange term to apply to the ghost in this blog's machine. Seems to be a hard-coded limitation of the blog software, unfortunately.


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