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Keep It Civil! April 26, 2010

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.

Last Friday, I saw the video of Capstronaut either loaded or convincingly acting as such, and my reaction can be summed up in nine short syllables: “There but by the grace of God go I.”

While it’s true that I can’t drink, I’d be lying through my teeth if I said that I’ve never once looked longingly at an After-Dinner Drinks menu and wondered what Irish Coffee tastes like. I’ve never tasted alcohol in my life, due to drug interactions and doctor’s orders before I even hit 21. So I’m totally out of my element when I do a postgamer at RFD: I don’t even know the lingo, I just ask for a Diet Coke. But will I always be able to resist the temptation to try the stuff? Hey, there but by the grace of God go I. Man, if that’s what liquor does, I’ll do what I can to stay away from it, and most of you know the rest.

I wrote a post to that effect, which one forum had an absolute field day with, judging by my traffic stats. WordPress is having to rescale downwards about a month’s worth of back traffic just to keep up with today’s traffic–not to brag, just saying that’s how busy this page has been.

I also got the (by now expected, and I’ll get to that in a minute) usual abuse from a couple of hit-and-run posters. One has very graciously apologized since, and that apology has been accepted. I did not approve the comment, though, in order to protect that person’s name. No need for public humiliation here, we’re square.

So why do I have such a thin skin when it comes to comment abuse?

Part of it is the percentage I get, and part of it is the nastiness level in some of it. A while back, I actually got cyber-stalked, and that, folks, is absolutely, positively, no fun. Despite all my best efforts to block the abuse, it was still coming through, some of it even accusing me of being a modern-day Jeffrey Dahmer (though not in that precise verbiage). I was literally scared to sign on to my own blog. I was also pretty darn close to shutting this blog down and going to future Caps games in civvies, and I also had a fleeting thought about canceling my tickets outright. If I’m going to get stalked, it’s not worth it.

Now, fortunately, this joker’s ISP intervened before I had to call in the Montgomery County Computer Crimes Unit, but one more comment would have been it. And before anyone gets any bright ideas about hounding me out of the blogosphere, don’t try it: I still have the number to the MoCo CCU on speed dial. (I’ll show you my cell phone at a Caps game if you don’t believe me.) And I’ll use it long before I ever again contemplate shutting down this site.

I’m done being scared of notification emails. So ever since I got stalked, I have had a more or less zero-tolerance policy on comment abuse. If you want to disagree with my politely, welcome to it. I can debate some subjects until the topic’s played out, and never once take offense. (We Libras love a good civil debate.) But attempting to pass for members of the Capitals organization is not kosher. And telling me, by way of anonymous comment, to jump off the 400’s, or shoot myself, et cetera, isn’t even trying to pass for civil discussion, and up with that I shall not put. Be civil, or don’t waste your keystrokes to get in trouble: the only person who will see outright harassment, besides me, is your service provider. And if it’s REALLY over the line–too many, too nasty, too fast–I have no qualms whatsoever about referring the matter to law enforcement.

I’m not saying, “Comment on this blog at your own risk” here. All I’m trying to say is, “Keep it civil, keep it rational, keep it level, keep it polite,” you get the idea.

I do have a sense of humor…believe it or not! In fact, remind me to type out my, “Hey, Ref! Your name is Tucker, and you’re a big…” riff sometime. Don’t worry, it’s totally G-rated, despite what that one line would lead you to believe. (The payoff word on that line does NOT rhyme with “pucker.”)

But even though I do have a sense of humor, my tolerance for anonymous abuse went by the boards about five different “abuse@…” email addresses ago.

If I had more civil discussion on my threads, I could more easily dismiss the occasional abusive email. But when it seems like every other “Please Moderate” notification I’m getting lately is pointless, prima facie abusive, senseless tripe, can you blame me for being sick of it?

Civil disagreements and constructive criticism are one thing: how else is one to improve? But telling me you wish I’d get AIDS–it’s happened–is not kosher.

Again, I’m not trying to scare anyone here. If anything, I’d like MORE comments–just, please, keep it polite!–so that at least it doesn’t SEEM like the only comments I get are nasty ones. If you disagree, show me why, and walk me through how you got there. Agreeing to disagree, or picking apart the logic of something, that’s one thing. Asking me if I’m homeless (that’s happened, too), quite another.

I know this has probably dragged on for a few (score?) words too many, so I’m going to close this out. I’d actually like to have more discussion than I get: I just don’t particularly enjoy being told to shoot myself, you know?

Game’s underway, so I’m going to watch that and then go straight to bed. Something tells me it’s going to be an exhausting night.



1. John - April 26, 2010

Hey man,

Great post. Glad you accepted my apology – I’m sure it wasn’t easy.

I evidently forgot that my posts meant as a joke could actually upset someone or be seen as more than a joke.

Thanks again for accepting my apology. The “leap off the 400’s” comment was completely unacceptable and not at all representative of me as a person. I really had no idea who you were or what you were about when I made the comment – but my childish joke got in the way.

Hopefully you don’t mind me continuing to read your blog posts and hope to see you cheering on the Caps Wednesday.

(They really need it)

Thanks again for accepting the apology.

CapitalSpirit - April 26, 2010

I tend to forgive quickly when a sincere apology is offered: grudges are way too much work. Been there, done that, more t-shirts on it than I have for the Caps, I’m guessing.

You’re more than welcome to stay and comment. Just, yep, keep it civil.

Now, if that sort of energy can carry forward to Wednesday…here’s hoping!

Thanks for the apology, we’re square, and Go Caps.–CS

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