The gravest possible threats

Pandagon has responded to my last post:

If you're going for grade-B wingnuttia, Classical Values shows off the humorless, clueless, mildly dishonest weaseldom that conservatives do so well.

As a hint to Eric: the issue is not that "trackbacks are a right". I have no right to comment on a blog, I have no right, as such, to even read it if the author doesn't want me to. It's that someone like LaShawn, who's obviously so sensitive to criticism that she has literally made her blog unreadable to anyone except those who agree with her, hates discourse and dialogue.

If you're going to be on a forum for mass communication and shut down all forms of communication...it makes you open to criticism. It also goes back to the general approach towards criticism on the right that LaShawn embodies, which is to throw out threats of lawsuits and grave bloggish vengeance to prevent anyone from making any comment more negative than "busted link". If Barber wants to be a public figure who restricts any discussion of what she writes or says to people she disagrees with, so be it. But her insecure closed-mindedness only makes her more ridiculous and more of a target.

Bets on which parts of this get entirely misread?

I'll start by misreading the humorless clueless weasel stuff. Pandagon is hereby banished to Teletubby Trackbackland for saying such things. As to "conservative," well, lots of other people probably would call me a liberal (and this test calls me a libertarian), but liberal and conservative are just labels -- of less and less value to anyone except those who believe in them. It's name calling and it speaks for itself, and I don't think it's any more persuasive than it would be if I replied the same way. For what it's worth, I think it was extremely rude to call La Shawn a "dumbass," and I think it speaks highly of her that she has maintained a sense of humor. (At least I think Teletubbies falls into the humor category, even for those who imagine a "serious" gay theme.)

So who spilled the Tubby Custard on me, anyway?

tubbycustard.jpg

Was it that mean Pandagon man?

As to the contention that La Shawn "has literally made her blog unreadable to anyone except those who agree with her," that simply isn't true. She may be playing a game with someone who insulted her, but even if she redirects links from a particular site, anyone can read her blog by entering the URLs directly because it's on the Internet.

Or am I misreading "literally unreadable"?

I'm still trying to misread the part about the "general approach towards criticism on the right that LaShawn embodies, which is to throw out threats of lawsuits and grave bloggish vengeance."

Yes, the general approach is very grave:

graveyard.JPG

And threatening:

Trackbackland2.jpg

Better get used to it.

UPDATE: I'm being throttled again, and I'll take Pandagon at his word that he didn't do it. However, this is what my Activity Log says:

2005.08.22 03:30:20 xxx.xxx.xxx.xx Ping 'http://www.pandagon.net/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/1153' failed: HTTP error: 403 Throttled
2005.08.22 03:30:20 xxx.xxx.xxx.xx Ping 'http://www.pandagon.net/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/1162' failed: HTTP error: 403 Throttled
If there's one thing worse than being called names, it's being throttled.

Can anyone help?

UPDATE (08/27/05): As La Shawn Barber notes, allowing comments can get you sued. (Via InstaPundit.)

Another reason why the criticism of La Shawn's comment and trackback policies is unreasonable.

posted by Eric on 08.21.05 at 10:25 PM










Comments

Throttled! What a terrible fate!

You are much better blogger than I am. As a man, you have a much thicker skin that I do, and a stronger stomach (to read the likes of Atrios, Kos, etc.). I have no sense of humor as you have seen abundantly. And you are just a better blogger. As for me:

1) I don't know when I'm going to be able to get back to blogging on my own blog, I will eventually is all I can promise. Up With Beauty is still up there for anybody who wants to look at what I've so far written there (mainly my series on spectrumlogy).

2) I don't if or when I'll ever have comments. The technology is up to my brother, who is far more competent than I am. The substantive question is more difficult. I don't know if I have the time, the training, or the inclination to put up with comments.

Comments are the very life-blood of some blogs, blogs like this (Classical Values), or Dean's World (how could he even exist without Arnold Harris?!), or the Queen's realm.

Other blogs can do without them. Arthur Silber's Light of Reason was much better without comments, especially without my comments. Timothy Sandefur never allowed comments in his Freespace and, in fact, once wrote a post arguing against any bloggers allowing comments. Eugene Volokh's Conspiracy just doesn't seem the same with comments, I'm afraid. Billy Beck (Two-Four) has never allowed comments, and I'm glad of it.

Generally, I prefer to see comments on most blogs. I like to read other people's comments on blogs even if I never comment there myself. Not being an Objectivist, I don't feel qualified to comment on an Objectivist blog like Don Watkins's Anger Management or Diana Hsieh's Noodle Food. I like to read them, though.

3) I must confess that trackbacks are something I've only relatively recently discovered. I have never used them on my own blog and don't know if I will (I suppose about the time I start having comments, maybe before). As I say, the technology for that would be in the hands of my brother, who is a lot smarter than me.

It certainly is rude to send an insulting trackback to somebody, I can see that. I agree with LaShawn Barber.

Equally rude, though, is to get a trackback to a post which partly agrees with what you wrote but disagrees in part also -- and then post a comment on the blog that sent you the trackback not only disagreeing with his disagreement but also gratuitously insulting the entire philosophy of the blogger. That is what a certain blogger who I otherwise have long respected did recently, and then he went and wrote a post attacking that Objectivist blogger for banning him for his insulting comment and again attacked Objectivism and Ayn Rand and invited his commenters to join him, and then he wrote another, more vicious post doing the same thing all over again. I know you would never do such a thing, but this particular blogger did, and I'm still mad about it. Boorish, to say the least.

Anyway....!

"grade-B wingnuttia"

I say: From now on, there's your drag name, Eric.

With this sort of thing, it's always helpful to do a thought experiment with reversed ideologies. If LaShawn Barber were a radical-leftist lesbian, all she'd be doing then by password-protecting some posts and restricting trackbacks would be creating a "safe space." And among her likely opponents, I somehow can't see...I don't know, Clayton Cramer doing the whole freaky-flippy-no-fair thing.

Sean Kinsell   ·  August 22, 2005 3:27 AM

Clayton Craymer -- interesting style.

Eric Scheie wrote:
"As to "conservative," well, lots of other people probably would call me a liberal (and this test calls me a libertarian), but liberal and conservative are just labels -- of less and less value to anyone except those who believe in them. It's name calling and it speaks for itself, and I don't think it's any more persuasive than it would be if I replied the same way."

A few years ago, a politician tried to sue his opponent for calling him a "liberal", and way back in the early 1950s or late 1940s, a man got in a bar fight when somebody called him a "conservative". That was when opponents of the New Deal continued to call themselves "liberals" and supporters of the New Deal "socialists".

I call Wanda an extreme Liberal (libertine) and I call Dawn an extreme Conservative (captive Goddess of holy Norma).

I wrote:
"A few years ago, a politician tried to sue his opponent for calling him a "liberal", and way back in the early 1950s or late 1940s, a man got in a bar fight when somebody called him a "conservative". That was when opponents of the New Deal continued to call themselves "liberals" and supporters of the New Deal "socialists"."

That was before men like Russell Kirk and Peter Viereck started the revival of conservative (Burkean and Metternichean) thought in America, and then William F. Buckley, Willmoore Kendall, Frank S. Meyer, and other such luminaries took up the title "conservative" as a badge of honor.

Today, to be a liberal in the original (or even in the New Deal-Fair Deal) sense of the word, one must be a conservative. Pim Fortuyn stood for homosexuals' rights, women's rights, legalized drugs, and the other freedoms, and therefore, he had to stand for the historic Western values which alone are the foundation of those freedoms. With his death and in his death, the battle lines were drawn....

Sean I think maybe you're onto something there. Is there a "Queer Eye for the Wingnut Guy" somewhere? I'm thinking maybe multicolored wingnuts braided into my new cornrow do! (Arranged in the order of the rainbow, of course.) Plus a giant cardboard wingnut to be worn as a crown!

And I dare not lose the Teletubby custard, or it'd be Teletubby custard's last (one night) stand.

Is that grade B enough?

Eric Scheie   ·  August 22, 2005 1:44 PM

That's pretty grave and deadly picture of that graveyard. As for that picture of SpongeBob, I must inform you of something you may know about already and are provbably better off not knowing about but I'll tell you anyway. I was compelled by such exigencies to post this comment in Dean's World. Whatever Nathaniel Branden's transgressions may have been, this one, far worse, most certainly demands stringent moral judgement:

James Dobson certainly is a wild-eyed radical, and worse, by my standards. I recently read that he quoted, favorably, a psychologist recommending that a man should shower with his son -- and let his son see his penis! That's disgusting! What a deeeeeeee-generate! Makes me want to puke! I'm glad my father never thought of such a sickening thing. The patriarchs of the Old Testament would have stoned James Dobson to death for saying such a thing -- and I would have joined them.

Just mentioning "Sponge-Bob Stinky-Pants" after this makes me feel dirty. I need to wash that out of my mind with some good clean Sapphism.

and:

The Bible unmistakably condemns the Now Unmentionable One in the most stringent terms in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. See Genesis 9:22-25. I won't even quote it here. In John 8:44, Christ says: "Ye are of your father the devil...."

Just to elucidate my reference to Nathaniel Branden in this context, this post here in Diana Hsieh's Noodle Food illustrates some rather quirky, quizzical, questionable, and (in the old sense) queer behavior on his part. Don Watkins (Anger Management) has his own evaluation of that episode here. None of this is to in any way equate or compare Nathaniel Branden, however you may choose to evaluate him, with that above-described Son of the Devil.

Steven, I particularly liked Don Watkins' remark:

great thinkers, scientists, artists are not revered for their mental or emotional stability

In any event, anyone has the right to ban comments or trackbacks for any reason, just as anyone else has the right to object. And in turn be objected to for his objection. And so on.

That's my Philosophy of Objectionism!

Eric Scheie   ·  August 23, 2005 5:00 PM

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