December 18, 2007

And another thing...

the car is gone. the cats are in danger.

The Casualties of Casual Dismissal

Let's see if we can walk through this one more time for clarity. Even if it's just my OWN clarity.

The problem with the Lane Hartwell sub-drama, where Mike Arrington cast Shelley Powers as a woman's-issue-obsessed fascist, is that his comment, if true -- which it isn't (Shelley will rail a woman as soon as she will a man) -- would mean Shelley is "a sexist." That's a silly and careless portrayal of Shelley's role in this space. Mike later gets to the crux of his problem with Shelley, that he finds her unpleasant. Those are two pretty different things.

There were many exchanges about whether Mike's remarks were sexist or careless or wrong or what. Especially on Twitter. All well and good.

Then, Eric Rice took Mike's comment and determined that it makes Mike "a sexist," which for the record, I do not believe it does. Characterizing someone else as sexist -- which is what Mike did with Shelley -- does not make him a sexist. Do you follow me?

The other problem is that now, Mike is looking at this whole sub-drama as Shelley and Company calling him a Sexist, which again, is turning the situation around and losing track of where the "hold-on-a-minute" began.

The other other problem is that Eric Rice did call mike a sexist in his video about what boycotting TechCrunch sponsors over this, and extrapolating from there larger questions on how we show our distaste to a Web 2.0 privately-held company that steps over the line ethically. It's a good question. But it also serves to take THIS PARTICULAR discussion, which started with Lane, into the stratosphere of open-ended meandering.

Apparently Eric twittered that a boycott was in order. I was not following Eric until after all of this started, but that's a mighty serious gauntlet to be throwing down on Twitter.

During the Kathy Sierra mess, I got emails from people who were contacting MY advertisers telling them not to advertise with me because I made de*a*th thr*e*ats (forgive me for not wanting to add more to my google cache). SO I have a sensitive spot there -- You don't do that shit unless you are ready to bring in the law with all of its force.

Besides, what would a web 2.o boycott look like -- oooo i'm not using idrive oooo. Boo!

I think a boycott would be useless anyway. Because the Larger Problem is not about Mike Arrington's gender concepts. It's that the web 2.0 and tech industries are littered with isms. Tell me there's anyone who doesn't get that yet.

And the larger LARGER problem for the blogosphere and twitterspehere is that a culture is developing -- thanks in part to time-saving, fragment-tossing platforms like twitter, that by design silence dissenting voices -- we have all become easy targets for extinction, the casualties of casual dismissal.

THAT's what bothered me about this situation, about what Mike said to Shelley, about what Mike and others said about Lane without asking Lane anything, and STILL DOES bother me.

The "you're just" mantra is getting way out of hand.

It is cultish and thought canceling.

Any voice that isn't Techmeme-vetted is so easily dismissed with the wave of the hand: She always takes the woman's side; he always piles on; she's just negative; he's just a troll; she's a suck-up, he's just a fascist.

READ: Stop being unpleasant. Stop being negative. Get with the program.

What that means is that the next conversation you take part in, your role has already been assigned, and you better fit it, or you will be reminded how you are supposed to behave.

That Shit Is Wrong. It's passive aggressive game playing, and those who execute it well to exclude differing opinions and critical thought ought not wonder why their victims get pissed off.

That's what's wrong with this thing for me.


December 16, 2007

2008 Dodge Grand Caravan - Does a Cat Really Have to Die?

I don't want to.

I don't want to give it back.

I love my (not my) new CarVan. I know it was part of the Test Drive Program for bloggers--influential moms (used to be an oxymoron) if you will.

I know I said I'd give it back on Tuesday. I know they're coming for it. Of course they are. Tomorrow's Monday. Tomorrow night I'll take our stuff out of it. Because Tuesday the valet guys come to get it.

Right? Right.

What are the chances Zach from Matchstick will get the flu and forget to execute the paperwork? Maybe I'll fall through the cracks, or maybe it will be like Oprah and Dodge will say: "Here you go blogging moms! This one's for you! MERRY CHRISTMAS!"

And I would not even sell it to get out of debt.

I would drive it and love it all the days of my life.

When Zach from Matchstick forgets all about me, I can live in my new CarVan. I can continue to play with heated seats and satellite TV and satellite radio and a car that starts while I'm making coffee. And leather seats. And the lady who tells me how to get to all the places I know. And the kids playing Designer World on the TVs. And the right side door that sometimes doesn't close when you press the button, and then you think it's closed and you leave the car open all night long in the driveway... hypothetically speaking.

And tables and swivel chairs. And wireless headphones. And the camera on the bumper that makes sure you don't run over the cats.

The poor cats.

What now?

CiCi and Rudy. Tuesday they are once again in jeopardy.

Do it for the cats, Zach.

Lose my paperwork.

You don't want the cats to die. I know you don't.





I knew it was out there somewhere! Hey, here's a coincidence: We got rain yesterday! I'm sure it's good for about another 1/4 glass of water from the bottom of Lake Alatoonna, so I think we're all set until about May.

Please have Margaret bring her own water when she comes though. I hate for her to have to share with Gil the fish.


Conference for So Me Solos

The ultra talented Stephanie Booth is organizing a very cool sounding event, called Going Solo, to be held in Lausanne in Switzerland. Going Solo isn't a conference for the megablogs and dozens of web 2.0 cos -- it's for the rest of us: freelancers of the web industry.

She'll be telling us more in the coming months. If you're out that way or can GET out that way, put Switzerland on your Google Calendar for 08.


From Mathew Ingram's discussion on Lane Hartwell.
  • I find it offensive that Michael Arrington would interpret this argument as some kind of collusion between women. I now have to consider the gender of the person I support/disagree with, before making a stand? - in case I get thrown a "But since Lane is a woman, it really doesn't matter what she did as far as you are concerned. She's a woman, so she's right." That remark was uncalled for, Michael. Now I'm stuck, if I support them it's cos I'm a woman, and if I don't, it's because I'm making a point of not being tarred with the "chicks stick together" brush.

  • jeneane 12 hours ago with 1 point

    Welcome to Web 2.0 Laruel.

  • leigh 2 hours ago with 1 point

    Sexism 2.0 more like......(but seriously, how depressing is the personalization of an argument around someone's gender? I guess now all we have to do is wait for someone to up the argument sophistication level and start calling someone else gay or a retard)

  • jeneane 0 minutes ago with 1 point

    It is Very Depressing. The passively aggressive get to look like angels as they continue to invalidate any points made by others, casting dissenting voices as "negative" or "woman" or "whining" [pick your term]. Those others -- the ones actually exhibiting critical thought -- then get driven out of the discussion, and driven nearly crazy.

    Next, when the "negative" "women" "whiners" are brave enough to call the passive aggressive power elite on their B.S., they're labeled as mean for launching ad hominem attacks.

    Those who do the invalidating score another win. The minions kiss their asses. And the beat goes on.

Halley's Ten Incher

What. What?!

(bonus video: Halley lobbies for a Fringlish button. :-))