As weblogging continues to evolve, so too do the social norms and mores that can't help emerge, I guess.
But more and more, I just don't get. In the early days, there were no rules. And tighter intimacy among bloggers created an environment where we spoke our minds, agreed, disagreed, clashed, bashed, inharently understood that one another's passions powered our writing, took it personally when someone took us to the carpet, but didn't let it cripple the relationship. Unless we didn't want a relationship. AND, that was fine too.
Now there are rules: Be civil. Don't argue. If you do argue, employ the rules of your college debating team. No ad hominem attacks. It is merely their words that are stupid, not them. State your arguments carefully. Back up what you say with statistics and research.
Hello, but if I wanted to go to work, I'd be at work.
If I wanted politics, I would have already sucked up.
This isn't my job site. This is the fucking Internet. Or is it now just one gigantic intranet of tightly-joined "opinion leaders?"
I know that when I disagree with something that someone writes, I don't cloak my dismay in "I believe the best way to..." or "In my opinion..." or "What it brings up for me is..." or "The way I see it is..."
THIS IS MY SPACE. THAT IS YOUR SPACE. OF COURSE THIS IS THE WAY WE SEE IT. EVEN WHEN WE SEE IT DIFFERENTLY. DUH.
Don't ask me to mask what I feel in diluted language and passionless drivel. If I think you're full of shit I'm not always going to say, "The way I see it, Bo's opinion about dogs being beaten as puppies to break their will is flawed." I'm going to say, "Bo is an asshole. He probably beats his wife too."
Okay? That's what I'm going to say.
Does that mean I'll always think Bo is a piece of shit? Well, if Bo also happens to write about how funding for AIDS research needs to be increased, I probably won't say, "Bo, who I said was an asshole for beating puppies and is wife is now an okay guy because he supports better funding for AIDS research." Instead, I might say "Isn't it a kick that Bo, of all people, wants more funding for AIDS research?" Or I might say to Bo, "Well look at this, Bo. We agree on something. Now let's talk about puppies..."
The thing I don't do is waste pixels on mamby-pamby qualifiers, or around-the-bush-beating lead-ins and conclusions.
That's for my real job, where the civil me spends her off-blog time.
So if you want politeness... well, sorry.
But not really.