62 3 mins 9 yrs

soviet airbrush

There is the great tendency to sweep things under the rug. I’ve seen it in families, in organizations. I don’t like it. Let’s have some straight talk.

Yesterday, Pete suggested that this post and subsequent thread be taken down, in the interest of civility. The comment was sincere . But I disagree. I think that the entire thread should stay up forever, especially the most vicious parts.

I recall a talk that the Rev. Billy Graham gave in 1995, in the immediate aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing. The audience expected to be comforted. But his first comments were a kind of chastising. ” What led you to believe that evil was gone from this world “? he said. Evil has always been with us. It always will be with us.

I said last night that some of the comments that have been tolerated here for years were not just wrong, but they were evil. If loud, repeated, reemphasized, never retracted statements praying and screaming for the deaths of children is not evil, then there is no evil on the face of the earth. The fact that the author was an incompetent writer, that he is a family man, that he has had reversals don’t change any of this. Evil is banal most of the time.

A thin lipped censor from California took down the comments soon afterward.Below is the original comment.

Submitted on 2013/03/29 at 3:39 AM

Pete, Daphne, mahons, all

Some of what has been here was not simply mistaken. it was evil, coupled with madness. The incompetent thinking and writing style does not mitigate these things.

They were not the comments of a good guy that occasionally got angry. It would be very wrong to say that they were.

The recent comments should stand forever.

Evil, in its usual banality, has lived here. If it has moved on, that’s a healthy thing.

Peace.

Trashed by Patty on 2013/03/29 at 4:46 am

Civility is great. But the proper response to evil is not a William F Buckley bon mot. It is wrong to be civil in the face of evil. Civility in the face of that is assent. Evil must be confronted, in a muscular fashion, each and every time.

I wish all here now a Happy Easter.

Peace.

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62 thoughts on “Good Friday

  1. Phantom

    Well I find it hard to understand why Patty removed that comment. I could understand although not agree with the removal of a barbed personal insult directed at her as an individual (we are all human and can react emotionally to personal insults) but that comment albeit fiercely accusatory was well within the bounds of argumentative discourse.

  2. There are many evil people around it seems, but thankfully none comment here. Actualy, this is one of the few “places” I know where people – clever or dumb, world-weary or naive as they may be, are all personally very decent and well-meaning individuals.
    (there used to be one or two really nasty characters around, but they have long gone)

    Troll is a buffoon, but nothing he said is really evil, as that requires a certain intention. As it is, he doesn’t think enough before writing nor understand the meaning of words enough for there to be any evil intent.
    He mouths off about, say, only dead Iraqis being good Iraqis etc, but you can be sure if he ever met one of them at work or socially he would most probably like him and be his friend. Evil people are different.

  3. Patty, ignore this post. Just move on. And Troll, if you read this…come back when you’re ready and don’t let any one person get to you. Use the ‘flick’ when things get personal.

  4. mairin

    Yes I agree it is best that this does not turn into a humdinger row between Patty and Phantom, but doesn;t it also prove how utterly pointless as well as wrong of Patty to remove the comment, especially as she knows the commenter can simply repeat the same comment on his own post or another thread. The simple lesson to be learned is not to censor (legal) comments out of personal pique. They will only come back to bite you in the ass !

  5. He knows that a significant number of those who write here, and a significant number of the probably larger number of readers who never comment here, are Sinn Fein supporters.

    And he has said, repeatedly, that he hopes than he would like for their children – not even them, their children – to die in a terrorist bombing. This is not any heat of argument mistake. It is something that he sincerely prays would happen. Just as one of the other dearly departed prayed to his equally satanic God for the carpet bombing of West Belfast.

    If these are not wicked statements, then what are wicked statements?

  6. I think it is immature of Phantom to go to these lengths to create a post such as this and use ‘evil’ as his theme; just as I thought it was immature of him to post the silly blog about Troll a few months back. He could have just stuck it in the comment section from where it was deleted. It’s all small stuff, Colm. Making mountains from molehills is asinine.

  7. Phantom

    Yes he has bombastically typed those words, but as Noel has pointed out above, in real life he wouldn’t seriously pray for, advocate or act to prompt such slaughter.

    It’s the online verbal equivalent of the angry parent who says “I’m gonna kill that infuriating son of mine”

  8. Ps – somewhat off topic, but related to the post title, Is Good Friday a public holiday in the United States as it is here in the UK/Ireland ?

  9. Good Friday is not a government holiday at the federal level; however individual states, counties and municipalities may observe the holiday.

  10. For what it’s worth…I’m at work today (and swamped with work) and covering for my colleagues in Canada where it is a holiday.

  11. Colm

    Good Friday is not a holiday here! My counterparts in Bermuda and London are closed not just this Friday but on Monday too but we are not.

    This once was a semi holiday. It was once a day when the NY Mets baseball team never scheduled a game. But those days are gone, and there’s money to be made, and why forego a payday in a post Christian world.

    A significant number do take the day off, but more in the spirit of a long weekend.

  12. //Yes he has bombastically typed those words//

    Exactly. Part of Troll’s naivety is the way he gets so mesmerised by cheap rhetoric – hence all those corny movie snippets and even cornier political speeches he constantly links to. He is more infatuated by swagger and bravado than by a real fighter or a real act of bravery. As long as he is not manipulated by anyone truly evil, he is as harmless as a child, and since he’s no longer in the army there’s little risk of that ever happening.

  13. We have ‘floating holidays’ allotted to us in my company (which is global), which religious types use for religious-related holidays…but the rest of us use when we feel like it.

  14. Here in the UK we are FORCED to take Good Friday off, and Easter Monday which is what we call a Bank Holiday – It’s an example of what Pete Moore would call the violence of state control 😉

  15. I finished on Wed and am on holiday until the 7th 🙂

    I agree with Noel & Colm, I don’t think that anyone on ATW is intrinsically evil. With the exception of two individuals, who I really do think absolutely believed the poison they posted, I have never, (metaphorically), raised my voice to anyone here.

    I tend to think that posts become vindictative when topics aren’t thought through and the contributor / commentator sees that the only way to respond is through personal attack. Fortunately this seems to happen only with a few individuals.

    I don’t think that Troll is as bombastic as he seems and comments the way he does without thinking or for effect. I’m sure if we mwt each other in reality as opposed to cyberspace we’d at least be civil to each other if not friends.

  16. Phantom –

    “Yesterday, Pete suggested that this post and subsequent thread be taken down, in the interest of civility.”

    It was more to do with protecting the blog. We should always be aware that this is not a closed forum and that everything we write can be seen by anyone. I often wonder what new visitors would make of the place. They’d take in the snapshot they see – the subject, the language, the grammar, the presentation – and decide in a second if it’s worth sticking round.

    If someone had gone further and seen a semi-literate regular called Troll offering to meet a regular called Phantom for a punch up, he’d have concluded that this is a dysfunctional blog full of idiots and he’d be gone. I wouldn’t have blamed him. I was embarrassed to be associated with that thread on this blog.

    I didn’t think the thread should be pulled to spare anyone’s feelings or reputation or in the interests of civility (telling someone to f- off can be eloquent in its way). I thought it should have been done to protect the blog.

  17. Paul

    We would all be completely civil and personable if we ever met Troll… it would be hard to do otherwise with his guns pointed at us 😉

  18. I’d almost want to work in Bermuda.

    Many of them get all the British holidays off ( including the Queen’s birthday, thank you very much ), as well as the US holidays, and some of their own peculiar holidays, including two days off for a cricket competition called Cup Match, where one part of the island plays the other.

  19. Actually Phantom, the Queen’s birthday is not a public holiday in the UK. Civil Servants used to get it as a ‘privilege day’ but it is now just incorporated into their annual leave allowance to take as they wish. I’m sure Pete would approve 😉

  20. Thank you for opening up your own post, Phantom to post your comment.

    In order that you understand me, I think you should air your dirty laundry in your own backyard, not mine.

  21. Pete 231

    I don’t agree, but I respect that thought completely.

    I just think that this type of ugly comment – which goes back years, and which has not just come from him – should have the brightest possible light placed on it. Sometimes sunshine can be a powerful disinfectant.

    For many reasons, including that the free floating anger and craziness can be very contagious.

    If that post was erased – a defensible position – should we also take down the post where unforgivable things were said about Daphne and her children? What about the other comments like that over the years?

    Yanking one post removes a manifestation of the indefensible, but it doesn’t do a thing about the continuing cause.

    Again, I LOVE the sharp elbows here. I’ve been slapped by Daphne, Colm, Petr, Allan, Pete, tons of others here, and I don’t necessarily want any of that to change. But there are bright lines that have been crossed, and I just don’t think that we should ever look the other way on those things anymore.

  22. I don’t see it at all as you see it, Phantom and – not being sarcastic or trying to be mean here – I actually thought that you might be embarrassed in the morning light by your comment.

    Your entitled to your thoughts/feelings and I, mine.

    And thank you for respecting my position that one’s dirty laundry should be aired out in one’s own backyard, not the neighbors.

  23. There are all kinds of people in the world. Those of us who older, well travelled or have served in the military know this.
    How do you get along with other kinds of folks who you would normally do your best to avoid.
    They ain’t cultured enough, they’re all mouth and no brain, they don’t share your politics or appreciate poetry. They read the Sun you read the Telegraph -even worse the Guardian! 😉
    So our Troll.
    He is passionate, bombastic, a gun-nut, if you’re Iraqi/Afghani/Iranian watch out! He wants your children dead..
    He swears, he gets angry, he apparently gets his facts wrong or his storyline or whatever. Maybe he ‘s a bit like Archie Bunker? We know (and invented him) as Alf Garnett from ‘Til Death Do Us Part.’

    So to some here he’s a real pain.
    He’s proved that to you over 10 years of blogging on ATW!
    The Troll and I have things in common. We’re argumentative, opinionated and pretty good (depending on where you stand) at insulting people.

    So maybe that’s why despite disliking his swearing, his rudeness, his “death to children” rants and his fascination with guns.. I cut him a lot of slack.
    He loves his wife and daughters.
    He’s proud of his country and he’s involved in his community.
    He’s pretty honest about himself.
    He works hard to provide for his family and he has studied to better himself.
    He’s loyal.
    He loves ATW and he may not say so, but ATW means a lot to him.

    Any of you us have been through a midlife crisis, lost a job, been made redundant or been rejected in some way, know how emotionally traumatic that can be. We cope in different ways depending on our personality.
    I think the Troll is struggling to cope, and unfortunately (it seems to me) it comes out in anger and aggression.

    My other observation would be that those who have been genuinely upset by the Troll might consider that there are other ways of dealing with a loudmouthed, opinionated and aggressive person who they think, often gets it wrong!
    There’s politeness, there’s tact, there’s addressing the argument with mildness or there’s not commenting.
    If we are talking and debating on subjects which often centre around making the world a better place, “showing respect for difference”, inclusivity etc., then that must surely apply to us as a group of bloggers?
    It’s no use pontificating on what needs to change or who we should reach out to, if we can’t cope or rub along with each other here.
    ps.
    (This does not give you permission to tell me to get lost).
    pps.
    I promise you there is nothing written here that I have not already told the Troll.

  24. I can’t imagine a more lasting tribute to a man with a persecution complex than to write about him on Good Friday. As I wrote on another thread, in accordance with this Easter season I expect him to return in no more than three days time.

    To me the Voldemort of ATW was more oafish than evil, though he clearly got way too worked up all the time. And people advised him of that, which was like shouting into the wind. He lashed out viciously and regularly and most often without provocation- and those who pretend he didn’t behave that way, well, they are pretending.

    And I think it is fair to point that out. Unlike Pete, I would much rather visitors here see people rightly challenged when they cross the line.

    I would however recommend an end to post topics pointing out the shortcomings of individual posters (especially before one is written about me). Not that such posts don’t have merit, but because they get in the way of discussion of the issues of the day which was the point of all this, isn’t it?

  25. Agi, your above post is full of holes.

    There’s politeness, there’s tact, there’s addressing the argument with mildness or there’s not commenting.

    Isn’t that somewhat contrdictory tou your ‘being pretty good at insulting people’?

    He loves his wife and daughters

    Just not others?

    He wants your children dead..

    I notice that you cut slack to people based on criteria of age, love of family etc. I’m sure that you’ll also understand that some will not accept this as an excuse to spew bile.

    As I said before, I believe Troll largely speaks before thinking but there are others here who have written thoughtful, condidered poison.

  26. What I hope will be my last comment on this – Troll clearly enjoys the place, even if he takes it all way too seriously. And despite his antics, I would think most people wish him well, myself included, whether he decides to stay away or return.

  27. “Isn’t that somewhat contrdictory to your ‘being pretty good at insulting people’?”

    Not in my opinion.
    I didn’t say it is GOOD that I insult people. In fact as a professing Christian I shouldn’t do it, and I am (mildly) surprised that more of you haven’t picked me up on it.
    I said it is a trait I share with the Troll, and if people laugh at or scorn my beliefs I will debate the issue, and I will bite back.

    “Just not others?”
    I don’t think he is very good at talking about stuff like that. Not everybody can be as touchy feely, tearful and a generally all round nice guy like me, you know.

    “I notice that you cut slack to people based on criteria of age, love of family etc. I’m sure that you’ll also understand that some will not accept this as an excuse to spew bile.”
    I don’t disagree Paul. I was always taught to respect people, especially older people. It doesn’t excuse bile or real nastiness.
    But even then there are different ways of responding to that bile. You could say,

    “I think most people will find that really offensive or in bad taste. Is that really what you meant to say?”

    There are different ways of dealing with people that’s all I’m saying, and I see some of myself in the Troll.

  28. There have been many friendly gestures that have been spat on.

    I can give multiple examples, but really don’t want to.

    I only mention this because I think it is so completely incorrect to say that tact and kindness have not been tried.

  29. “I only mention this because I think it is so completely incorrect to say that tact and kindness have not been tried.”

    That’s fine with me Phantom. If you tried it and it didn’t work, the next step has to be not responding.
    Please note I am not trying to blame anyone here. I am offering possibilities.

  30. I don’t think he is very good at talking about stuff like that

    No? I think that wishing kids to be blown to bits is very good at expressing hatred for a particular group by wishing their most vulnerable most loved people dead but, as I said, I’m prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt as I think his mouth opens before he engages his brain.

    I didn’t say it is GOOD that I insult people. In fact as a professing Christian I shouldn’t do it

    That’s okay I just thought it a bit rich to say you insult people while advising others on how to conduct themselves that’s all.

    I was always taught to respect people, especially older people. It doesn’t excuse bile or real nastiness.

    Ditto on both.

  31. I would have thought that having been metaphorically offered the hand of friendship via David’s generous and spontaneous act, that he might have realised that we really are not his enemies, and consequently that he might have modified his behaviour.

    When I made a similar remark a while back, I was accused of dispensing ‘cold charity’, in fact I didn’t view the gesture as ‘charity’, but more as a a token of ATW’s collective friendship, a helping hand. After all, we have known him for quite a few years and still show him a fair degree of latitude in his style, – and what else could we do?

    Many gentle hints were taken by him as opportunities for even more aggression, so much so that I truly believe he just doesn’t know how to ‘be friendly’, seeing it as some sort of weakness and not in tune with the image that he projects. The more we tried to help, the worse he got.

    However, as he has so often told us – ‘he is his own man’, – but so are the rest of us, – do we all have to metaphorically show him our ‘tatoos’ for him to understand that?

  32. You’d (LOL) make a good Englishman

    The English at their best are noble and fair. At their worst they’re genocidal with an obnoxious superiority complex.

    Perhaps we just had parents with similar values? (with the exception of my father being in prison for seven years 😉 )

  33. Ernesto,
    I was very disappointed when he had a go at you, but I am cursed with the perverse impulse to try and see the best in people. Along with that goes a weird sense of loyalty. If I am a friend I am a friend.
    You may well have done all those things too. It’s not for me to judge.
    Coming from a dysfunctional family I prefer harmony to hostility.
    Enjoy Easter!

  34. You’re probably right Pauly!

    You know, when I was a kid I would see my dad punching my mother, I would watch her wind him up and up until he lost it.
    The Police would be called by one of us children.
    The Police would call him a coward for hitting his wife, but as I got older I reflected on the fact that actually he was a pretty mild peaceable man who like most of men of that generation had seen lots of violence during the war..

    But I have the hope that when I pop my clogs I will see them both again. If not, if there’s nothing it doesn’t matter.

  35. I am cursed with the perverse impulse to try and see the best in people

    I understand this well. I share this tendency, most of the time, probably for similar reasons.

    The opposite is awful – those who see the worst in everyone – but this too, can lead to major errors.

  36. Phantom,
    Absolutely.
    I am one of the friendliest people you will ever meet. I have a natural empathy for those “on the fringes”, and I am very open about myself and my affairs.
    If I think I have really upset somebody I am mortified and will try to put things right. But if people take advantage of my openness or repeat confidences well, my response ain’t very Christian.

  37. I am cursed with the perverse impulse to try and see the best in people

    I have had, at times, to deend upon the kindness of strangers and I have to say that not once have I been disappointed.

  38. Harri,
    that’s just plain daft.
    The wonder of Easter (if you believe of course -otherwise you’re going to Hell 😉 ), so it doesn’t matter either way) is that a real man chose to die on the Cross in my place, in your place and for everyone -if they can accept that.
    It has been pointed out that Crucifixion is not a Jewish form of punishment. Normally Jesus would have been stoned to death for blasphemy, but in terms of the act of Atonement, Jesus had to be conscious when he took the punishment for our sins, and only crucifixion allowed for that.

  39. s’funny….I was just the recipient of an email sent to numerous people from a former colleague who happens to be Jewish…wishing all of her friends “who are celebrating Good Friday a happy and joyous day!” She is the reason we blondes are made fun of!

  40. Agit

    To go to ‘Hell’ you still have to ‘believe’ .. and I don’t so I am going nowhere 😉

    And they are not daft, they are lunatics

    but in terms of the act of Atonement, Jesus had to be conscious when he took the punishment for our sins, and only crucifixion allowed for that.

    I really do not want to get into a heavy discussion on religion, you already know my views on that subject, but why only mention Jesus who died on the cross, tens of thousands of others died on the cross as well.

    but in terms of the act of Atonement, Jesus had to be conscious when he took the punishment for our sins

    I don’t think he had much say in the matter

  41. That is seriously scary stuff Harri.
    How easily it could be transferred to the UK..

    I only hope we can find enough liberals to act as intermediaries.. 🙂

  42. Since all Bangladeshis have not demanded that bloggers be executed, all immigration from there must ergo be fantastic

  43. Agit8ed, on March 29th, 2013 at 6:31 PM Said:
    That is seriously scary stuff Harri.
    How easily it could be transferred to the UK..

    I thought it was the UK 😉

    Well, it can’t be that far away

  44. That picture ..

    This one

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2301138/Tens-thousands-Islamic-activists-hold-prayers-streets-Bangladesh-capital-new-blasphemy-laws.html#ixzz2OxFGrXHL

    Reminds me of an old favourite song of mine ..

    Have you seen the old man
    In the closed down market
    Kicking up the papers,
    with his worn out shoes?
    In his eyes you see no pride
    AND held loosely AT his side
    Yesterday’s paper telling yesterday’s news

    Chorus: So how can you tell me you’re lonely,
    and say for you that the sun don’t shine,
    Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London
    I’ll show you something to make you change your mind.

  45. Agit8ed, on March 29th, 2013 at 6:39 PM Said:
    Harri,
    Pssst!
    Wanna buy a computer?

    Only if it’s stolen 😉

  46. Sarah

    I live with four daugters, my wife and mother outlaw so I have learned to adapt ..

    ‘When a women says ‘what’ it’s not that she has not heard you
    She is giving you the chance to change your mind’

    😉

  47. Agit, should I be wishing you a happy Passover, the Jewish celebration of the genocide of the first born of their enemies?

  48. Streets of London? Here you are Agi, I’m sure you’ll love this version 😉

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