Thursday, November 30, 2006

Defining My Blog Space

I'm a pretty easy going guy. While I'll freely admit my political and social viewpoints tend to be on the far left fringe of the spectrum, I do have a few that some would call "conservative" in the traditional (non-neocon) sense of the word, as well as some moderate views on other issues.

I started this blog with no specific purpose in mind. On November 23 I marked the 6-month blogging anniversary by saying--with tongue in cheek--that my primary intent in starting this blog was to do Friday cat blogging. All kidding aside, it has become a personal outlet for me to vent my frustrations, to offer my suggestions for making our nation and the world a better place, to foster compassion for others less fortunate, to inspire some rational debates, to educate myself more based on what I might learn from commenters with more experience with any given issue, and lastly, to simply entertain my readers. More importantly, I make no attempt to hide the fact that I am gay and have been in a relationship with my partner for more than 16 years. Furthermore, I focus a lot of my attention in this blog to minority issues and injustices of all sorts.

I have never had any specific rules and regulations on this blog regarding comments because, until now, it hasn't been necessary. One commenter who has frequented my blog from my earliest days has clearly disagreed with almost everything I've posted. My "troll alarm" sounded on several occasions but I let it slide. I have no problem with readers who disagree with what I say as long as they are willing to discuss it, offer up some of their own suggestions or alternatives, or simply tell me logically why they feel I'm wrong on any particular issue.

Lately, it has become increasingly obvious that I can expect no such dialogue from my dedicated visitor. His comments are consistently adversarial, malicious and clearly intended to provoke a hostile reaction in order to stoke some inner need to prove to himself that us lefties are scatterbrained illogical hypocritical bigots. One of the very few times he has posted a comment in agreement with me was when I posted a Woody Allen quote about being "a bigot, but a bigot for the left."

The shit hit the fan last night, in the post below this one, after the exposure of his identity and blog history. Here's one comment:

What have I done? Well. I thought that I was posting my opinions to an open blog that is published on the internet and free for all to view and comment. There was no disclaimer about any such restrictions. The owner of the site, Konagod, has not ever voiced his concern that I leave here. In fact he has been very free in allowing people to say whatever they want.

I admit that I do still receive the profanity and name calling here that I received at her blog, although not as vile here as there. You can verify this by reading some transcripts of the older commentary from there. All this for posting my opinion. I have never used profanity, called names, made threats or voiced specific hatred of individual people by name. All of which I have seen on most of the blogs in question.

Yes, Jeff does post his opinion. And again, and again, and again. In one recent thread, the banter went on repetitively for days with absolutely no productive outcome.

This is an open blog. And it is free for all to view and comment. There is no disclaimer about any such restrictions because I expect visitors to have the common sense and decency to contribute something--agreeable or not--besides provocative statements clearly intended to irritate rather than enlighten. Most importantly, I expect honesty and integrity. It's what I give, I have every right to expect no less in return.

I've only banned one other person from commenting on this blog -- a true whackjob in every sense of the word. The person took the photo which I have in my sidebar, posted it on his psychotic "blog" and asked his readers to pray for my salvation. And I got off easy compared to what he had posted about others.

This blog is not a business nor is it an advertiser supported magazine or newspaper; it's not comparable to a public park or library. It is an extension of me, my home, and my beliefs. I think of it as a commune...a safe place for people of similar beliefs to come and have a rational discussion about important issues. Dissent is inevitable from time to time. However, repetitive dissent for the sake of dramatic conflict is unproductive and unwelcomed here. Anyone with that intent may take their psychoses elsewhere. In fact, I insist.

(konagod:) Have you ever altered an opinion based on anything you have ever heard or read?

(Jeff:) Yes, if there is a compelling argument. I have yet to see that here.

Well, after 6 months or so, it's unlikely you'll ever see that here, and the time has come for you to move along. I wish you the best as you journey through life.

We now resume regular programming...

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