In the darkness the trees are full of starlight (henwy) wrote,
In the darkness the trees are full of starlight

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The Hipocrisy of debate

You'd think I'd have learned by now but I'm always surprised and almost baffled when hypocrisy rears its head on blogs where people claim to want to discuss the issues of the day. While people often claim to want discussion, what they often seem to prefer is an echo chamber where they can simply revel in the fact that no one who responds will ever disagree with them and fail to heap adoration.

This runs against my grain to a degree I almost can't describe. While almost anyone will describe me as being quite opinionated in my views on a topic, I welcome and even love debating issues with those who disagree with me. Frankly, I find those conversations far more interesting than ones where we're all on the same page nad marching in lockstep. It seems that that sort of welcome for contradictory views is on the decline in our society, from the strong shift to political commentary from political news on tv/radio to the monocultures out there of strictly liberal or conservative blogs/sites. The goal seems to be to form these insular communities where everyone agrees with you and has the same worldview be it based on politicial affiliation, color, religion, or creed.

A while back I visited a site called Slant Truth, a blog I had found through links while commenting on the Duke Lacrosse case elsewhere. I made a few comments and in general left with a pretty positive feeling about the person running it and the blog in general. While we probaly would agree on next to nothing when it came to politics, world events, or race issues in general, he seemed like a nice and rational guy from the entries and claimed to welcome differing opinions as long as people didn't become nutjobs and degenerate into threat tossing. This was actually a step up since on other blogs and sites, comments had often been deleted simply because I might disagree with the owner. I thought that I had found another place that was lassie faire enough like Justice 4 Two Sisters for people with strong opinions on an issue to discuss it openly and without it degenerating into a flame-fest.

Here is his comment policy:

As long as you are not an asshole, you should feel free to comment here as much as you like. What do I mean by asshole? Well, if you disagree with me and want to say so, then by all means you should (and I can handle “bad words”, incivility, and all of that; you won’t get banned for swearing here); however, if it becomes clear that your goal is not to have a discussion, but to talk shit, try to disrupt the conversation, or make threats then I will ban your ass with the quickness. This space is my blog and I will do with it as I please.

Well, I didn't quite keep my promise to myself to check up on the blog and it was only a few days ago that I recalled to give it a look at all. A post had been made recently about the debacle on capitol hill with the fight over the raiding of congressman jefferson's office. I offered a comment that the support from both parties' congressional leaders likely wasn't what people were expecting when they laud bipartisan efforts. Half a day later, a new post came up about the duke lacrosse case was made concerning the 'innocent' arm bands the girls' team were set to wear and I also jotted off a comment. This one resulted in a response from a variety of posters so I kept posting.

Well, I'm pretty sure you can guess the ending from there so I won't bore you with it. I just find it baffling even though I shouldn't by now. Well, why don't you all judge for yourselves. Here is the thread. Take a look at my response and see what you think. Was my goal to not have a discussion? Did I try to talk shit? Did I disrupt the conversation? Did I make threats?
Tags: blogs, crime/law, duke lacrosse case

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