the circular runner

taking my silly male ego to the virtual world…

In humor, life, observations, writing on March 7, 2012 at 6:23 am

Last night I was feeling low.  Beyond low, actually.  I was in one of those moods that makes me want to pull my skin off.  I don’t get like that often, but when I do, I am a royal pain to be around.  I am murderously restless and uninterested.  I spared my wife my mood and went to the bedroom where I decided I’d catch up on my bog-reading.  Blogs are wonderful.  There’s a community here.  And I guess I just wanted a little virtual community last night when all was said and done.

Girl in the Hat, the Wuc, Joe Ponepinto’s The Saturday Morning Post–all of these are lovely blogs by great writers, and there are a lot more.  (Marc Schuster’s Abominations–can’t forget that one or Just Sayin‘–love that one, too.)  I like that most of the blogs I follow are varied–there’s no real pattern to what these blogs cover.  I like a lot of things, so why not.

One of the things I like to read about is politics, and among the blogs I follow, there is one that uses ethics as a way to look at current events and politics in general.  I don’t agree with the blogger (who will remain nameless) but he is a smart guy–usually.  Last night, I did not feel the smarts.  In act, I felt he was not only ridiculous; I felt he was using ethics to cover up a political agenda.  (Of course, I was also spoiling for a fight, so there’s that.)

You know those shows in which the main character, basically a nice guy, has a bad night or week or year and he goes out to a bar and gets into a blow-out fight in order to cope with his feelings, well that was me last night.  I read the blogger’s posts about Sandra Fluke and Olympia Snowe‘s decision not to run again, and I felt the criticism this blogger put forth was just beyond the pale.  My blood pressurize. My chest pumped up as I readied myself to comment.  It was like a cerebral war dance.  I put on my plumage or is it war paint? Girded loins.  I honed my ginsu-sharp argumentative knives for this guy’s jugular and…

You get the point.  My wife came in during my heated exchange with the guy (we traded 4 messages on his blog) and she started laughing. I had been a jellyfish of despair, spinelessly apathetic an hour before.  And all of the sudden, I was sitting up straight, tapping away at my keyboard, having a back and forth with a guy who I don’t know but who I suspect is conservative and who I know from his bio is a lawyer who fancies himself an ethicist–the fancies-part is mine.  He calls himself an ethicist, though really, I’m not sure what that means.  If I call myself a unicorn, am I one?  Yes, unicorns and ethicists are equally fantastical labels, though to be fair to unicorns, I can define what makes a unicorn a unicorn whereas I cannot say the same for an ethicist.  Mind you, I studied philosophy in grad school.

But all of that is prelude to this: I pulled myself out of a depression by basically fucking with a stranger, and I’m a little ashamed.  That blogger has a right to blow hard–I do it all the time.  I don’t agree with the guy. But I don’t have to read him.  In a sense, I was being a dude in the worst sense of the word, bullying a bully.  Even as I write this blog, I am smiling thinking of how I challenged this guy who I’m willing to bet doesn’t get a lot of challenges–he actually has a warning on his blog telling would-be commenters that they should be aware: he is not one to mince words.  YAWN.  Look, the guy was annoying.  But my joy in poking this guy is a sign that I might have caught the annpyance bug myself.  I’m not above him.  I’m no better.

Then again, I was right and he was an idiot.  JESUS, I’m doing it again. Help me. Somebody. Please.

  1. Seriously funny and human, Oh Mr. Unicorn!!!

  2. High-five to you for speaking your mind (war paint, loin cloth & all).. The beauty of blog-reading is the diversity. I have ran across a few that literally had me ready to paint my face and charge.. but I said no, freedom of speech…
    Not sure of what blog you speak but I think your comments make for a most interesting read..
    (Wonder what Mr Mince-no-words is thinking today? )

  3. Believe me, there are so many ways to get caught up in angry exchanges. In a past life I was a political consultant, living and breathing that incessant vitriol, trying to think of ways to make other people look bad. As much as I want to jump back into that fray I won’t let myself. Much less stress, I can tell you.

  4. Sometimes testosterone is the best medicine.

    But seriously, engaging with those who are passably articulate and have opinions with which I don’t agree helps to define who I am – plus gives me opportunity to test the thesis of why I believe what I believe.

    Am I being righteous, or am I being right? Sometimes one, sometimes the other – frequently both. I’m working on the righteous part. It doesn’t help win arguments. (although it frequently makes me feel better ; > )

    I hope your messages to the guy was in publicly available comments section so others might benefit from your exchange.

    Great post, Gabe.

  5. I have always wanted to take a class on ethics so I could know more. I think in some cases, people just use that word to give their opinion the gold stamp of approval, and in others, it’s just a euphemism for faithful (shiver), but still, I’d like to learn more.

    How did you manage to be a sympathetic bully? You made antagonism likable and real and funny. Well done.

    BTW, missed your film (waaah, kid with stomach bug) but I have been watching Being Human, because of your rec.

    Thank you for the kind nod, gabe.

  6. I dont quite agree. He’s written a blog post, it’s public and you should be allowed to respond and disagree. (as long the person isn’t trolling.)

    Why should all commenting be back-patting-well-done-well-dones? That’s boring and it’s stunting. Sometimes a tough critique is a good thing. Why can’t bloggers be challenged?

    Anyway I like a little flame war. It’s fun. I’m sure he enjoyed it too…stranger in the night and all that. I bet you got his evening all heated up. Don’t feel guilty – Write a comment!

    • i guess i think about it in terms of intention. i don’t think it’s wrong to challenge a blog. i do wonder if if I was spoiling for a fight in order to take my mind off my worries. i am pretty sure it was the latter in this case, though i did think the guy’s points were foolish and inaccurate.

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