Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Response for the community on Tas (as requested)

Tas has repeatedly attacked the community and/or me including today in a post that members see as a mockery of illness. Tas appears to attempt to ape my post on Ron last night.

Tas tells everyone he was written to repeatedly. Tas doesn't tell everyone he was written once in the morning asking if he had a problem and that the later e-mails resulted from what he posted that had just been brought to my attention by community member Dallas. (As I was trying to get the post up and get to bed.)

Tas got one long e-mail. It went over what was in the post that I was holding off posting. I wanted to give Tas the benefit of the doubt and assume that he'd been misled and was responding that way as a result.

Let's start with the fact that Ron kept bringing up how he and Tas were called this or that. So I e-mailed Tas, Tuesday morning, to ask if he had a problem and to tell him Rebecca didn't blog at his site. In fact, it's short, so let's note it here:

Do you have a problem with me that you need to discuss?
Do you think Rebecca's been to your site?
I'm told you think Rebecca's been to your site. She hasn't. Anyone who thinks she has is mistaken. I passed on last night that I didn't believe she had and I've spoken to her since.
She's not ever been to your site.
If you have something you want to say, in your words, to the community, please pass it on.
Thank you.
-- c.i.

That was the only e-mail I intended to do. Tas didn't reply and I noted that in the entry.

As I was finally getting ready to post the entry, I kept checking to see if Tas wanted anything in it because it was intended to be my last word on the subject.

Dallas e-mailed a copy and paste from a post Tas did at his site. Tas called me a liar. I never knew about that.

I was shocked by what he wrote and thought, "How could I have not noted what he said!" I was cursing myself and going into the two e-mails from him. There was nothing that he asked to be quoted on. I wasn't sure he knew that. I began responding to that (in what would become a line by line response) when I had an e-mail from Tas. It was replying to my morning e-mail. I immediatly wrote Tas.

I wrote the following (2nd e-mail of the total, first of the night):

I need you to respond immediately to the e-mail I'm about to send.

Then this followed:

If you have something to say to the community, you need to note that by saying, "This is for the community" and indicating where your comment ends.
There's another e-mail to follow.

-- c.i.

The third e-mail was explaining what the post I was working on was. It was long. That may have been too long. But I wanted to be clear on the post I was working on and wanted to give him a chance to respond after he knew my reasons.

As I did in the post, I explained how I was ill (something he knew of the time he wrote twice the evening the apology went up). I stated he hadn't indicated anything to post in those two e-mails, his only previous e-mails.

Tas knew that. He knew it before I pointed it out. I was the idiot. (Again.) And he hadn't indicated anything to post. Ava's read over them, Rebecca's read over them, Kat's read over them. If there's any "please quote me here to the community" it's not in there.

He moaned in his e-mails about trackers/counters/whatever. How everyone had them. We've heard the song before.

So I was attempting to give him a chance to respond to the community.

Tas advised me to post his comments he'd made at his site. I wasn't sure that he'd read the long e-mail. My reply was:

Tas, I'll wait thirty minutes that I don't have to make sure you want that used. If we do use any of it, we use "*" for curse words.
That's probably weird to you but we do that to be work place safe. Because from the start I haven't wanted any member to ever get in trouble for viewing the site at work.
If I post that, I will post my replies. If you have something to say about trackers or counters to the community, that will go up instead.
-- c.i.

I didn't have thirty minutes. I didn't have time for any of that. I needed to go to bed.

But I waited. I wanted to avoid the nasty exchange if possible. (Which was only getting nastier, the Addendum, as I continued working on it and noting my replies.) Here's my final e-mail to Tas (the last one he'll ever get):

It's now been thirty minutes.

I can't stay up all night waiting for your response when I'm not sure that you're responding.

If you're composing and need more time, please advise and that's fine. Otherwise, I need to move on.
-- c.i.

Due to not hearing from him and wanting to take the dreaded high road and not be nasty, I omitted the Addendum to the post which was nothing but his comments posted at his site and my replies.

I told Rebecca what I was doing. (I updated her throughout.) She was against it. She said I was going to be burned. She was right and I was wrong.

Here's the thing, Tas posts nasty. In his e-mails he acts calm. For example, he doesn't scream "You are a liar!" In his first two e-mails, I'd never heard from him before, he e-mailed to say that he thought the community needed to know Google tracks, blah, blah, blah. We've been over that. You're late to the party, you missed cake & ice cream.

Despite the fact that he was in summer repeats, if he'd stated in either of the two, "Please quote me on this" and indicated what to quote, his comments would have gone up (even though members were being asked to take a two week period to calm down) I don't know if he and Ron get any e-mails or many. But we get a lot here. Maybe he was upset that he didn't get a response other one e-mail where I noted I'd spent the day at the hospital, I was drugged and I was tired. I started that e-mail with "Warning: I have no idea what you're writing because it's all running together on this end."

When I read the post Dallas copied and forwarded, I assumed it was my mistake because I do make them often. I went to the e-mails thinking I'd not put something in that he'd asked to be quoted on. There was no request to be quoted.

Luke always says quote anything so we do that. Ty not only did say "quote anything," he didn't say "quote everything." He asked for nothing. What he wrote has been heard here before. The e-mails were pointless. The second one did close with a nice note of well wishes.

Tas is always very nice in his e-mails. He's just nasty on his site.

If he'd wanted to be quoted, he would have been. I'm not quoting him now. The community doesn't want him to quoted. They never want to hear from him.

Tas, take down the link to The Common Ills if you haven't already. We're taking down your link.

That's the panel's decision. I stated that we wouldn't take down a link. That was me speaking.
But I had already given the power over to the panel. The panel that made the choice made the decision to pull you and have the backing of members serving on the current panel.

That's their choice. Ron's not being dislinked because I did that link. I made that choice. Anyone I put up stays up.

But as Kara, Eli and Wally have argued repeatedly in e-mails today, the decisions on the links was their's when the decision was made. They see it as overturning a judicial error, righting a wrong. The arguments they make about who decides are valid and strong.

Therefore, against my own personal wishes, we are unlinking from you. We're not unlinking from Ron because I was the one who made the decision to put Ron up. (Ron's welcome to unlink from us.)

I don't know you, Tas. You've presented one face in a series of e-mail (two on that first day, more since yesterday including one, after what's seen as your parody of me, where you were again as nice as could be) and another on your blog. I only know the copy and pastes from your site and they haven't been that often. Ron vouched for you, as Eli notes repeatedly, and it wasn't my decision so I had no desire to use limited time by visiting your site.

I can't praise your blogging, sorry. I don't know it. (Other than the slams at me. And we may have linked to a post if a member sent it in, I don't remember whether we did or not.) You weren't Jude (Iddybud) or Matthew Rothschild or Katrina vanden Heuvel or anyone who comes up frequently. If you were, I'd remember you. I don't.

I know there's a person who comes off nice in e-mails and someone who trashes me and/or the community in posts. At one point, you urged your readers to e-mail me to tell me off for being a "liar." Tas, no one e-mailed.

You've claimed members e-mailed you. You've also claimed that a member posted at your site (and you and Ron whispered it was Rebecca -- it wasn't). I have no idea what to believe, you present one face in e-mails and another on your blog.

You call me a liar for not mentioning whatever you wanted to tell the community. Those two e-mails on the same day didn't ask to be quoted, didn't indicate that anything should be quoted.
You put up two posts on the matter. You didn't do heads up. Or even after the fact "heads up" like Ron. You didn't need to. You can post whatever you think at your site.

But it seems to me that if I felt someone had ignored my request to post my comments and it bothered me, I'd e-mail them to let them know. I never heard from you until last night, late last night.

I don't know that I'm the "liar" here. You didn't ask to be quoted, you didn't say, "Quote this."
You wrote about topics we've covered many times here. Members knew it, you were the one who didn't. Your ignorance of what we've discussed isn't my problem.

You read it as being slammed by an angry community, the apology, apparently. You were corrected on that by me. I even told you that you'd find a post from the week prior on counters ("Tuesday?") that dealt with what reasons some people felt they needed counters.

That's the last time I ever spoke to you until I e-mailed you Tuesday morning to ask if you had a problem. You're outraged and angry in your posts (which I hadn't seen then) but you're in no hurry to respond?

I should have been suspicious and thought of the passive/aggressive game. I didn't. I assume people are being aboveboard in their e-mails.

You were angry after our initial e-mail exchange (or played angry on your blog -- some thing you were just doing it to get attention -- if so, that's how little the community visits your site and if a member had gone to your site and posted, they would have e-mailed me at the very least to say, "We're being trashed!" -- never happened).

Keep blogging. We need as many voices as possible. I won't miss you because I've never visited you and you're not someone that the community ever really visited (Dallas was visiting because he knew the post on Ron was going up and he was checking to see if we were being trashed) or, if they did, you're not someone who ever said anything that spoke to them.

Either way, that's not with me. We're unlinking from you. That's the panel's choice. I would have personally left you up but, as pointed out to me, the power of links to bloggers was owned by the panel. If the panel can make the decision to link, they can make the power to unlink.

If you ever write something that speaks to the community, they'll note it via e-mail. But we won't quote you even then. The community doesn't feel about you the way they do Ron.

My take on it, they felt vested in Ron. They were very disappointed by his actions. It was as though an uncle got drunk at a party and started tearing up the room. (That's not suggesting Ron is a drunk before Ron e-mails that he was called a drunk.) You're embarrassed for him. You don't want to be around him while he's like that, but he's your uncle and you hope he can turn it around.

For that reason, if a member highlights Ron, he will be noted in an entry. That doesn't mean they have to write an entry on him. That just means that they have to e-mail in and say, "I like Ron's post today, here it is" and it'll go up (either what they want quoted or, if they haven't highlighted it, what I'm choosing to exerpt).

There is anger towards Ron. But I think there's a lot of disappointment. (I could be wrong.)

But you? What was Kat saying? You've made no impression on this community. Recently, last night and today, you've been compared to Frank in Orlando. Trust me, Tas, that's not a compliment coming from the community. That means you've wasted our time with nothing.
You're not anyone that's made an impression. You're like an actress coming on a show to take over a role and it doesn't work out because she doesn't make an impression. People just yawn or look past her.

Maybe people didn't get a good sample of your work? I believe Ron's highlighted you and I think we may have quoted Ron highlighting you. That was when the community was behind Ron. Even Ron's recommendation then didn't matter.

Hopefully, you have a loyal following. And maybe trashing me gives you a bump in "hits." I can't see why it would but I've never listened to Rush Limbaugh show but your posts remind me of the sort of clips from his show that get played on Air America. You're good at anger, but you don't seem to inspire community members.

Jude inspires people. Even third party members like Jude. (I say even third party members because they assume it's obvious, and I think they're right, that come 2007, Jude's going to be endorsing John Edwards.) But Jude writes from the heart. Like Katrina vanden Heuvel does.
Maybe a site called "Loaded Mouth" was never going to go over with this community no matter what you wrote. But I get e-mails on Bob Somerby's writing, on Matthew Rothschild, on Jane Mayer, on Margaret Kimberely, on Danny Schechter and all these other writers. Kim Gandy at NOW to offer another example. Those people speak to the community. (In fairness, I got many e-mails on Ron before the slamming. Members did value his writing until that. Hopefully, if he spoke to them, they'll be able to value him again. "Trust the art, not the artist.")

You didn't. Maybe people didn't give you a chance. If that was the case, it'll be the community's loss. Maybe you just haven't found your voice (and that's why you use one voice for e-mails and another for your posts). I'm not going to go around carrying hate towards you.

I'm letting go of the anger with this post. I wish you the best. Whether you become a different kind of voice or stay the way you are. Krista said (and I may mispell this, let me know if I do Krista) that you were Poochie on The Simpsons. She says that's a character who came on Itchy & Scratchy for one episode and Homer did the voice but Poochie was gone by the end of the episode because the audience didn't respond. That sounds like a good comparison (I didn't see the episode, I'm going by Krista's summary). But that's with this community.

Hopefully you have a large and loyal following. And hopefully it will increase. You can be known as the person who mocks the ill if you want. That might grab you a shock jock factor. But figure out what your voice is and speak with it because right now you speak one way in e-mails and another way on the posts that have been copied and pasted.

Now that I've written this, I feel so peaceful and am thinking of the line from Stevie Nick's "Gypsy"* (on Fleetwood Mac's Mirage), "I have only love." I do hope the best for you, Tas.
I can say that and really mean it and that surprises me after the Addendum last night.

I think it was smart not to quote from that post. For whatever reason, you blog in one voice. I'm now able to remember you as the person who e-mailed. I am going to be responding to something you and Ron have blogged on. I've been asked to do that. I haven't read what you wrote and I've only half read what Ron's blogged on. It's not about what you said so don't think it's about you. I'm writing on the topic and on an attitude that bothers me. I'll say that upfront so you don't feel slammed. (It's about Arianna Huffington's blog that's forthcoming.)

Today, I was mad at you. I cried, my chest hurt. I could barely keep my head up (and everyone told me how awful I looked and asked if I needed to go home). At one point, I was just talking, answering questions about a project, and it was pointed out to me that tears were streaming out of my eyes. I hadn't even realized it because I'd been snotting up and tearing up all day.

What you appeared to do, to mock me, really hurt. It may have hurt more than you calling me a "liar" and shifting the facts around. But it really doesn't matter now. And I'll remember you as the person who expressed concern for my health in your e-mails. I'll take that as the genuine voice of Tas. I may be wrong on that but that's what I'll choose to remember because the pain in my chest is gone right now and I feel wide awake and not about to fall over the way I had all day, all evening and all night.

Best to you, Tas. And I honestly mean that. That's not a high road, I can say it and really mean it. So best to you, Tas.

Note to the community: This is not me playing gatekeeper. I've said what I feel. You can have your say.

The e-mail address for this site is

* Stevie Nicks' "Gypsy" refers to the fact that she wrote the song. She also sings lead but for anyone wondering who wrote the song, Stevie Nicks wrote it. There's a nice extended version of it on the Fleetwood Mac boxed set The Chain.
Note: To anyone worrying that now I'll allow the community or myself to be slammed, that's not what I'm saying. You've made your feelings very clear on that. You think I made a mistake by not replying here to attacks immediately. I won't ask members for a cooling off period again if you feel that we've been attacked. I may take a day or two to comment, but you'll be able to comment immediately and anything I need to say, I will add when I'm able.