Thursday, April 19, 2007

Life Without 'God Is For Suckers'

The excuses people sometimes give for their actions can be very strange indeed, and often hide motives that they would prefer did not come to light.

For example, a fellow Moderator at the website 'Gods4Suckers' recently removed two of my posts concerning an American Congressman without having first contacting me directly to indicate that their sensibilities had been offended by them, and then went on to rebuke me publicly in the relevant thread for posting pornography on the site. Apart from demonstrating that person's lack of courtesy towards a fellow Mod., not to mention their rather strange view of what constitutes 'pornography', their actions are indicative of either a remarkable double standard or evidence of a more underhand motive.

My reasons for arriving at that conclusion are simple: apparently it was OK for me to write hundreds of posts in a similar vein about George W Bush, all and sundry public religious figures, or to ridicule the various theists or fundamental Xtians who were brave enough to visit the site from time to time, but as soon as I mocked a cherished Democratic Congressmen my two posts had to be removed without so much as a 'by your leave', or without an reference to me apart from a rather snide public accusation from the other Mod., that I had somehow befouled the site with pornography.

However, since no one had so much as complained about any of my other hundreds of comments regarding persons other than the Democratic Congressman in question, far less actually having removed any of them without reference to me in the past, despite their similar content, it indicates rather strongly that something else was afoot - particularly as the other Mod., regularly maligned public figures either she did not like or who's policies she did not agree with.

Now it matters not one whit to me whether my two posts regarding the Democratic Congressman were removed, per se, and I can ignore the remarkable lack of courtesy to me by a fellow Mod., and quondam friend, but it was quite clear to me that if my comments regarding the Congressman were 'beyond the pale' then those I had made about everyone else were equally so, and therefore they also merited deletion.

Accordingly, I spent some time last night deleting hundreds of comments of mine that I had the power to do as a Mod., before resigning from 'Gods4Suckers', but that still left an even greater number that I was unable to delete personally, though I have formally requested that everything I ever posted on that site be removed. I have been assured by another Mod., that she will personally remove all of those posts of mine, but whether that happens remains to be seen.

In the meantime, I wish to make it clear to everyone that I completely dissociate myself from the 'Gods4Suckers' site, and that I am not responsible for any posts that remain there which bear the pseudonym 'The Old Git'.

Finally, there are a number of people at 'Gods4Suckers' to whom I wish 'all the best'; I hope you know who you are, for I certainly do.

It was fun whilst it lasted.

26 comments:

Audrey said...

Well, I know I haven't been around GFS as much lately, but I'm pretty stunned anything would get removed.

However, when I think about it, I remember that I, too, used to be an American, and I sometimes forget that, down there, political party affiliation (among other things) is often treated as if it were religion.

Blind faith, no matter where is it directed, is still blind.

Hope it's okay if I still read your posts here.

Audrey

The Merchant of Menace said...

Audrey,

You are always welcome, for as long as you think that your visits here are worthwhile.

BEAJ said...

You'll be missed at GIFs. I didn't realize it was such a political hotbed.

Stardust said...

As long-time moderator, I just want to say that in all fairness, I admit that TOG should have been contacted privately about the comments in question. Perhaps if the reasons were explained this all could have been avoided. Communication is everything.

I am not the one who removed the comments and this is the first time comments of other moderators have been removed. We didn't have an established set of guidelines concerning removal of another moderator's posts, but we now have one (sadly after the fact). The comments removed was not for any kind of malicious motives, nor for any kind of political reasons (we have had many a heated political debate and love good satire, and those posts and comment threads are still there for all to read). The comments in question were removed by the moderator for reasons to avoid potential lawsuit threats for slander since no supporting evidence could be found anywhere to substantiate those claims. It's not satire if there is no truth in it. In the past, other's have been asked to curtail things when we thought things were going too far, and that is what should have happened in this situation. However, the other mod was only acting out of concern for GifS.

I truly regret this whole thing had to happen. I am the one who chose and invited The Old Git to join us, so I am very saddened about all of this.

Anyway, Old Git, I appreciate your time, enjoyed your posts, had many a laugh. Take care.

Kaylene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bean said...

It's just all wrong. That's all I keep thinking. I guess I just hate change. Sigh. Old Git, I will definitely be checking back here often to comment. You've had a profound impact on the way that I think. Your posts and comments have challenged me to rethink my own positions. Thank you. Be happy.

The Merchant of Menace said...

Stardust,

I have no wish to fall out with you, for I have no reason as yet to consider that you are not still a friend. However, I really must take issue with your comment, "The comments in question were removed by the moderator for reasons to avoid potential lawsuit threats for slander since no supporting evidence could be found anywhere to substantiate those claims," since you know that the facts show that your statement is manifestly untrue.

To reiterate, the facts are as follows:-

1.The Mod in question made no effort whatsoever to contact me to ascertain if there was any truth in the two comments, either before or after she took it upon herself to remove them, even though she had my private email and Skype contact details, and often used them when it suited her to do so.

2. She falsely accused me publicly in the relevant thread of posting pornography on the site, and gave that as a reason for her having removed my two posts about the Democrat Congressman.

3. She had not seen fit to take it upon herself to remove any of the hundreds of other posts of a similar nature I had made about other prominent people over the months, therefore the claim that the reason she had acted the way she did was to "...avoid potential lawsuit threats for slander since no supporting evidence could be found anywhere to substantiate those claims..." does not hold up to scrutiny.

4. Had the other Mod really been "...acting out of concern for GifS," as you erroneously claim, her first job should have been to contact me to ascertain what truth there was in the two comments I had made about the Democrat Congressman, but she made no effort to do so whatsoever.

5. The Mod in question has never removed any of the other dozens of comments I have made about the Republican President George W Bush, for example, even though she would have been unable to have found "supporting evidence" for those on the internet, yet those comments posed as great a threat to GIFS as the two made about a Congressman who belonged to the political party she herself supports.

6. Your charge that, "It's not satire if there is no truth in it," is also incorrect. Satire does not require veracity for it to be defined as such; all it requires is to hold someone or something up to ridicule or scorn, and its chief instruments are irony, sarcasm, invective, wit, and humour.

7. No one has ever expressed ANY disquiet to me, directly or indirectly, about the quality and nature of ANY of my posts on GIFS prior to this action having been taken by the Mod in question; indeed, the opposite is actually the case, since the only comments made to me up to now were ones of approbation.

7. Because there was no discernible difference between the two posts I had made about the Democrat Congressman in question and any of my other hundreds of posts I had made on the site before, about both prominent and less prominent people, I could see no reason why those others had not been removed. That forced me to the following conclusions:-

(a) If the justification for removing my two posts in question had been valid, then ALL of my other posts should likewise have been removed TIMEOUSLY, yet NONE had.
(b) Despite none of those other hundreds of posts of mine having been removed timeously, the Mod in question should have removed them at the same time she took it upon herself to remove my two about the Democrat Congressman, and her failure to do so demonstrated her unconcern about their content or implications.
(c) There was no substantive reason for any of my other posts being allowed to remain on the site; therefore it was incumbent that they be removed as a matter of urgency.
(d) It was quite clear that I could no longer participate in GIFS.

That was why I immediately removed all of my posts that I was able to, tendered my resignation to you, and asked you to remove ALL of my posts that I had been unable to remove - which you agreed to do, and which I now expect of you.

Furthermore, if you wish to retain my respect and friendship, please do not spend any more time insulting my intelligence with spurious defences for that other Moderator’s discourteous and underhand behaviour towards me. Having said that, I appreciate that you may feel that it is incumbent on you to defend her since you have to continue working with her, but neither the reasons for her actions which she posted in the relevant thread, nor the excuses you have offered for her here, have much merit, if any.

In conclusion, Stardust, I appreciated the opportunity to get to know you. If you wish to continue with our friendship, that is fine by me; if not, that is fine by me too.

Pax vobiscum.

The Merchant of Menace said...

Bean,

Encountering people like you made my time on GIFS worthwhile.

You do not need any help from me to think critically and analytically for yourself. What's more, from what I've seen of your posts, you manage quite well in those departments.

You are always welcome here, for as long as it amuses you to visit.

Incidentally, I am happy, but it is sufficient just to be and to experience life in its fullness. May you continue to do so.

I wish you well. ;-)

The Merchant of Menace said...

BEAJ,

Thanks for those kind words.

I don't know what else to say to someone whose blog is superior to mine in every respect.

Perhaps that alone is enough?

All the best.

Jonzie said...

You'll be missed and I'll be checking your blogs from now on. It seems to me that often some people claim to be liberal and pro free speech just because they vote some party.
Anyway GiFS has not been the same for a while now.

Stardust said...

TOG - I will say no more about this, except to say that this was all very unfortunate to have happened. I reiterate that I wish you the best and that you continue to be happy.

Jonzie and all...You are right. Since the death of Sean last fall, GIfS has not been the same, nor ever will be the same again. Sean was not just another moderator...he was a friend. Sean had a spark, a passion, wit, humor, talent, that I will never be able to match...not in a million years. We still mourn the loss of our friend, so forgive us if we aren't "up to par" with past standards. We are struggling to do our best.

Along with the death of our dear friend we lost the following of people who were his loyal readers and a few great moderators, and they were also witty, smart, passionate, and even downright hilarious. I don't think there is a minute that goes by while working on the GifS website, or a post we write where Eve, jimmer, KR, Bob & all don't think about Sean...and know we cannot measure up to him. GifS was Sean's, and still is. We do the best we can to keep it going in his memory.

best to you all...

Hugo said...

While you are completely in your right to do what you have done it seems really spiteful for you to remove everything.
Makes it look like you don't agree with what you said anymore just because have had a fallout with GiFS, I had bookmarked some of your posts for reference, those links are now all invalid.
It's more like something a fundie would do.

Papalazarou said...

I think you jusr re-discovered one of the fundamental truths of life on internet "communities".

The Merchant of Menace said...

Hugo,

Whilst I did not intend saying any more about the incident, I cannot allow anyone to come here and make allegations which I consider unfounded without challenging them.

First, I did not fall out with GIFS, as you put it, which made the actions taken against me all the more surprising, especially as I discovered only accidentally that two of my posts had been removed behind my back and that I had been accused of publishing pornography on the site by a fellow Moderator.

Second, it was not spiteful to do as I did, simply a necessity brought about by failure of the party responsible for my resignation applying the same criteria to my other posts as she claimed to have applied to the two which she had removed.

And for those who still cannot understand the issue, if the reasons given by that other Moderator in the relevant thread, and those subsequently given in this thread by Stardust, had been true, then it was incumbent on someone to remove all my other posts because they fell into the same category as those which had been unilaterally removed.

Of course, you and I - and quite a few others - know that the reasons given for the removal of my posts were not the real ones, though far be it for me to speculate on what those actually were.

However, I believe that anyone with any integrity whatsoever would have acted in the same manner that I did, but if my actions inconvenienced you slightly, then please place the blame where it fairly lies, and not on me.

In any event, my actions were definitely not motivated by spite, and that's an end to it.

In conclusion, whilst it is gratifying to me that you saw fit to bookmark some of my posts, please think yourself fortunate that you have lost only a few bookmarks, whilst I have lost a great deal more.

The Merchant of Menace said...

Papalazarou,

It has been said that one cannot teach an old dog new tricks, but that is not true, for I have indeed "...re-discovered one of the fundamental truths of life on internet "communities"," as you succinctly put it.

Fortunately, I am as aware as you of the words of Balthus: "Nothing matters very much and very little matters at all!"

Here's raising a glass to you.

The Merchant of Menace said...

Jonzie,

Thanks for your kind comments, even if it does mean that I'll have to continue thinking up things to keep you visiting.

All the best to you.

beepbeepitsme said...

I'll miss ya ar Gifs. Your posts always made me laugh and I mean that in a good way.

You'll just have to carry on the "old git tradition" here. I look forward to your posts.

BEAJ said...

I've never thought of my blog as being superior to anyones before.

The Merchant of Menace said...

BEAJ,

Of course you never though that, but that is no reason why I shouldn't.

Anyone who stands up to the baddies and the nasties, the hypocrites and the humbugs, the hateful and the horrid, is worthy of respect.

Personal integrity is a rare quality these days, and even fewer people seem to know what those words mean.

Keep up the good fight.

A l'outrance.

The Merchant of Menace said...

BeepBeep,

And your blog always makes me think which, even when it hurts, is a good thing to make one do.

Slainthe Mha.

Alan Mackenzie said...

Dear Liam,

I was not aware of this dispute until I read your latest article.

Would it be rude of me to ask if you could email me these deleted articles so I can comment upon this predicament?

Alan.

The Merchant of Menace said...

Alan,

It is not rude of you to ask, but it is not possible for me to comply.

Neither would I describe it as a predicament, more a sad indictment of others, though why someone of my age should still be surprised by other people's behaviour makes up for it in amusement.

Kind regards.

Papalazarou said...

Alan, I know Liam well enough to take his word on this. It also gels with my own experiences of such treatment being meted out by the ruling claque at the heart of many online communities whose true agenda is often obscured and comes to light only when it is challenged by posters.

JJR said...

Another GIFS reader sorry to see you go, but who will definitely bookmark your blog(s) for future reference!

Keep fighting the good fight on your side of the Pond!

Alba go Bragh!

I regret things went down like that, I had no idea. I for one have no particular love of the US Democratic Party, though I did vote for Denis Kucinich in the Texas Democratic primary last time round.

It was listening to John Edwards's jingoism regarding Iraq and continued military adventurism that drove me in despair to my first local GREEN PARTY meeting. Sadly, the local Fort Bend County Green Party was meeting that night to vote to disband itself and liquidate its holdings. I voted against, but was in the minority. The US Democratic Party will never do a damn thing worthwhile until they have genuine opposition on their Left flank. FDR would never have gone as far as he did back in the day if he didn't have Sen. Huey Long (D-LA) to Left and a still viable US Socialist Party to Long's Left.

Blair's New Labour are simply Thatcher-Lite, a Clintonian clone.

The US Democrats...Hillary is a warmongering b*tch; Obama is a fake; Edwards is still too jingoistic. Kucinich should just get a clue and run as an independent....I like to read a little blog called "Stop Me Before I vote Again", which bills itself as "dedicated to the Deconstruction of the US Democratic Party"; Says what needs to be said, rather consistently.
Wish more of my countrymen who self identify as Left-of-centre read it regularly.

Ah, well. I'll still visit GIFS, but I'll be adding your blog(s) to my weekly visit(s) as well.

Take care, TOG.

-JJR

The Merchant of Menace said...

JJR,

Your comments are always worth reading, and I welcome them here: thank you.

I see, also, that you have already left another more personal comment on my other blog, and I have replied to it over there, so I won't repeat myself here. Suffice to say that I hope my remarks come across as a warm and sincere thanks to you for having allowed me to know you a little; I also hope that they offer encouragement for you to reach the grand old age where you can join the exalted ranks and become a cantankerous old git with the rest of us.

All the best, my friend, and take care.

jeff said...

Old Git,

I was away from GIFs for a while and now find you gone. Very sad! And a tremendous loss for GIFS.

I completey understand why you made the decision you did. I've come close myself after denouncing Al Gore several times. Of course no one would miss me being there, lol.

Anyway, I will be sure to frequent this place often!

Best of luck!

Revenant