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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Messages 1 2 

Why We Write What We Write. by my dear on 4 April 2003 5:51am
Iíve been attending forums such as this for many years now. The best forums, I find, are the ones in which forum members exchange interesting, different and challenging ideas (such forums are rare indeed). Unfortunately, most forums tend to be nothing more than clubs, consisting of cliques in which one must wear a certain hat in order to become a member.

Since Michael Palin is one of the worldís most thoughtful comedians, I assumed that his followers (if you people can be called that) would be equally thoughtful.

My experience thus far has proven that this forum is just like any other Ė thereís not much thought taking place here; most people are just firing off their posts without really considering what theyíre writing.

A couple of days ago, I created a post with the following title: ďIíve Just Bought A House In BaghdadĒ.

The gist of my post was that Iíd bought a home on the southern outskirts of Baghdad. The general response to my post was that I was being a thoughtless idiot for having posted such a comment during a time when so many people in Iraq (soldiers or civilians) are being killed.

Me thoughtless? On the contrary, Iím the exact opposite. In fact, Iím one of the most thoughtful people youíre likely to meet, and indeed I reverse the charges and suggest that many of you are being the thoughtless ones.

There were a number of ways that my post couldíve been interpreted. And yet, virtually nobody stopped to consider said possibilities. A few such are as follows.

1) I really did buy a home in Baghdad. Only one person considered that this possibility might actually be true. Unfortunately, that person withdrew the comment when the herd mentality kicked in.

2) It really was just a thoughtless joke.

3) It wasnít thoughtless at all. I was attempting to be sarcastic Ė the war in Iraq, which many people (myself included) believe to be unnecessary, is destroying peopleís lives, and is, in fact, displacing civilians from their homes. My post was meant to make people think about the innocent people in this war Ė the ones whoíre suffering the most.

4) Iím spamming. Iím attempting to anger people just to get a reaction. I really donít care about ideas at all. Iím really just an evil person with evil intentions.

5) There are, in fact, a thousand different reasons a person might post something at a forum.

Personally, I donít feel that I have to justify anything that I write (especially when Iím attending a forum titled ĎBlathering Oní). But for the sake of this particular post, Iím going to.

Paul McCartney (Iím sure you all know who he is), once made a comment in Pipes Of Peace, in which he announced with much mirth that: ďIíve just bought a house in Lebanon.Ē Lebanon, at the time, was in a pretty pickle, just as Baghdad is now.

My comment about having purchased a home in Baghdad was indeed meant to be sarcastic (see number 3 above). The Paul McCartney quotation popped into my head as I began to compose my post, so I borrowed it because I thought it was fitting for the idea that I wanted to express.

Okay, hereís my suggestion: before posting a comment, one should actually attempt to consider what another person has posted. If one isnít certain of the intent behind anotherís post, then perhaps the best that one can do is to remain silent and not post anything at all.

My hope is that anybody who reads this thread will also read my other thread (the one titled: Iíve Just Bought A Home In Baghdadí), and then consider some of the responses that were posted by the forum members. Itís my belief that, yet again, the herd mentality took shape, and people began to post without thinking - "What a horrible comment - hey, jerk, there're people dying in Iraq!" "Yes he is a jerk isn't he" "We must get together and proclaim this person to be a jerk!" "All those in favor of proclaiming this person to be a jerk raise your right hand and say I." "Right, the I's have it. Hey you, you're officially a jerk - we've just passed the resolution."

It's my opinion that what we have here is a case of political correctness asserting itself. But why not decide that for yourself. Donít allow me to do your thinking for you Ė youíve got a brain; why not exercise it. I accept Ė indeed, I encourage all kinds of comments and opinions.

By the way, letís not forget the reaction to Life Of Brian. Some people were so offended by the ideas that this movie advanced that they wanted the movie to be banned. Could it possibly have been that they simply didnít understand what the movie was about, and simply acted without thinking?

Indeed, didnít Michael Palin himself suggest something along these lines?

Ciao, babes.

Re: Why We Write What We Write. by Dreamchild on 4 April 2003 6:30am
I didn't reply to your post indeed I didn't read it sorry,I saw the caption and figured it had a war state meant to it but have just been avoiding that on the board latley I think I offened people in my earlyier post (I am so sad) but just trying to avoid it I know it won't make it go away but its better for my sanity.OK to the point I am repaly ing to this one because I see your point,people here do tend to go on with the others instead of trying to think out of the box.But I think they do that for fear of conflict.I myself has been presucuted on this board when I had completely good intentions behind it and it hurt me more than I thought possible.I have found that there are a lot of good people here hope you stick around because you seem like one of them..Hugs.
Re: Why We Write What We Write. by sleepydumpling on 4 April 2003 8:03am
I'm sorry "my dear" but you have not encountered a thoughtless or hasty person in my case.

Regardless of the intent of your post "I've Just Bought a House in Baghdad", I found it offensive. And I also find this post offensive, as you have lumped all of the people who responded to your post in one bracket, regardless of their intent. This is narrow-minded and even snobbish on your part. I respect your opinion, which you are entitled to hold, but I believe that staying silent in the face of offensive behaviour is the same as condoning it.

The fact was, your post was found offensive by more than one person (for whatever reasons). This is something WE ALL need to consider when posting, particularly as the written word (no matter how clever a writer you may consider yourself) will always be open to misunderstanding.

This is something we all have to accept. When someone finds something we post offensive, and says so (which is the right of each and every one of us to do so), we each need to take that on board and think a little harder next time before posting.

I'll thank you very much not to include me in your generalisations from now on, as I give each and every person on this site respect enough not to do so to them. I expect the same in return.


Re: Why We Write What We Write. by canaveralgumby on 4 April 2003 8:34am
Dear "my dear,"

I agree - sick to friggin' death of this PC, humorless trend.

HOWEVER, um, why don't you try posting some really obscure Michael Palin reference on a Paul McCartney discussion group and see how well that goes over.

- C
Re: Why We Write What We Write. by fattcslim on 4 April 2003 12:08pm
freedom of speech is oooo such a good thing, please dont take mine away i need it and love it,if you did buy this house or not if off no concern to others, they are allowed to read it just as they are allowed to ignore it, people people we sounds like the united nations, cant agree on nothing!!! please lets all smile and try to live together,and 'my dear' i do hope that the reason you posted the house in bagdad was for reason (4) because i think it worked if so lol
Re: Why We Write What We Write. by Helen on 4 April 2003 3:54pm
I second Kath's sentiment. Amen!!!
What is happening in Iraq is not funny. At all.
I know people who have loved ones over there putting their lives on the line. They wake up every morning and pray that they won't lose their husband and son today.
Not being, ahem, 'PC' or a "herd" I just think you needed to think a tad bit longer before firing off a smarmy little post that belittles the death, torture and destruction this stupid war has brought about.
Leave the sarcastic black humor to the pros next time.

It's my right to be offended by your post. I could not ignore it.

Re: Why We Write What We Write. by Layla on 4 April 2003 4:38pm
What is it with this onslaught of sarcastic psychoanalysts - their postings oozing with superiority and disdain?
Big deal, people get offended, people write silly posts - how come you find it so hard to deal with?
You wrote the post to get a response and you got one, if you wanted to annoy and offend then you succeeded - congratulations...

If you don't have to justify what you write then neither does anyone else, so maybe just give your opinions on the board instead of categorising everyone else - making people feel bad for theirs even if they are the same as other peoples ( which does happen) and thinking that just because you don't post silly stuff, that everything you say is more valid ( correct me if I'm wrong here). Being silly does not equal being an air headed sheep.

Yeah I changed my post, I am very gullible/stupid ( you decide - ) It doesn't mean that I didn't have my own opinion it just means that I changed it once I read the other posts and my few brain cells realised that it a joke. You must have got such joy from my apparent stupidity,allowing you to surround yourself with your wit and irony. Yeah no one's ever done that before.

There are also so many people like yourself who just assume that they know more, assume that they have thought thoughts never thought before - probably just as many as there are sites where everyone follows everyone else.

Anyway, why try and change it? If people here are clearly enjoying themselves then let them - what's it to you, no one is going to change for you( or anyone) anyway? Nobody is making you come to blathering on. Why even bother trying to get a reaction? No one here means anything to you, it would probably be better to just like say nothing and accept that people have different brains.

Come on - I think people knew exactly what life of Brian was about and also the post - there's not much to understand in the actual content is there? Maybe the intention of it in my case but not the content itself, so I don't see how that compares to life of Brian or how offence at content or even intention equals to not understanding. I think the response measured the level of sensitivity to that particular subject.

Anyway that's all I have to say - you can correct me if I'm wrong if you want...

(If this was also intended just to insult and for attention then you got me - congratulations again)
Re: Why We Write What We Write. by peripatetically on 4 April 2003 4:49pm
Hey, LAYLA. Good girl!! I didn't know you had it in you???? I'm so proud of you!!

Re: Why We Write What We Write. by ellenpc on 4 April 2003 4:54pm
Well, I've got to say 'my dear', it's amazing how I've managed to negotiate these 'mindless', 'bovine like' postings all this time without your little pearls of wisdom to guide and enlighten me.

I personally found your little piece of irony innappropriate and offensive AND surprisingly, I can recognise irony when I see it.

This makes an interesting little formula....

"my dear' posts an 'ironical' article,

majority of replies appreciate the 'irony' but found it extremely innappropriate and offensive none the less,

as 'my dear' sees that the post has not been received positively and appreciatively praised for it's stunning ironical wit, forsight and as an intellectual discussion starter, 'my dear'stamps their foot, starts calling people names, indulges in a spot of "my IQ's bigger than yours" bragging, sticks their intellectual tongue out and 'takes their ball home'.

Dear dear dear, what will Mummy say???

Ellen the 'cow' without a clue!
Re: Why We Write What We Write. by gwen on 4 April 2003 8:51pm
Look at this site sometimes, it's excellent. Not much of a chatterer myself, but you all enjoy chatting, from silly to serious, good. And now you are particularly privileged to have been visited by greatness. As you will all by your nature be following my dear's example and aping his/her erudition herdishly (or troupishly) from now on, to save you from looking like smug pompous prats, my very humble offering, if my dear will indulge me, is - it's not 'I' and 'I's', it's 'aye' and 'ayes'. Aye dear. But the rest of you knew that already, didn't you, despite your intellectual inferiority. 'bye dears.
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