Thursday, November 6, 2008

Worth a post, rather than just a comment

anonymous commented thusly at my All That Glitters Is NOT Gold post:

"maybe you will always be a self-obsessed adolescent crank, eowyn, but thankfully you no longer represent the majority in the u.s. your country has matured in this election in ways you personally might never achieve. but there is always hope, and always the ability to learn. here's an opportunity for you to grow up, and learn more about obama:


Okay, point one: Guessing you're British, or at least not a U.S. national, I'm not so sure asserting yourself as more knowledgeable or authorative than a U.S. national to make assumptions about U.S. politics is either wise or productive. (I sometimes have plenty to say about British politics, but you will notice that I back up my observations with British sources.)

Point two: Invective like "adolescent crank" not only is discourteous, but also unproductive. It's an instant guarantee that, were I really an "adolescent crank," I'd hurl back more invective, and true discourse would grind to a halt. And if I weren't, I'd make the assumption that you can't argue WITHOUT resorting to invective, and I'd have to ask myself whether I want to make the effort to go further.

As an illustrating example, my friend E.D. Kain, of Neoconstant and Indiepundit, once said to me that he considers posting under the moniker "anonymous" craven, if not cowardly. I replied that there are some isolated incidences in which it's necessary to post so; but we both agreed (as does the blogosphere at large) that a good reason notwithstanding, most people's credibility meter plunges when an anonymous makes an assertion about something. But you notice I'm not accusing you of cowardice. I'm even making the effort to assign you equal credibility with more openly named posters, so we can move the discourse forward.

Now. Having said that, I watched the video at the link you shared. It was quite well done, as is everything produced in Britain, by and large -- (and I lived there three years, so I feel confident in making that assertion) -- and factual, insofar as some aspects of Obama's life history go. But here's one rub:

I searched for John McCain Road White House after watching the video, to see whether the Guardian had sponsored a similar (and complimentary) documentary on Obama's opponent. After four pages of links to mostly Obama stories, I gave up.

The other rub: There remain several under-the-radar aspects of Obama's career that smell fishy. Sorry, but there it is. Never smoke without fire.

Now, if these observations make me an "adolescent crank," I can only say this: Adolescent? Being on the wrong side of teenage, don't I wish! Crank? Guilty as charged, on some days. Send the constabulary right over. I'll meekly surrender.

Add to that the charge of First Degree Wishing Not Only To Make An Observation, But Also Learn Something Without Having To Sift Through The Invective Filter First.


Anonymous said...

why blog to the whole wide world, when you only consider u.s. nationals to be knowledgeable, authoritative, wise or productive? how very egocentric of you, but not surprising.

change is happening for the greater good, regardless of juvenile attempts to avert and avoid. even mccain gets it.

you are like a teenage dinosaur stomping into extinction, but the u.s. is not. you are like a high school dropout, while the u.s. graduates.

credibility is not in names, but in actions. still, i like the expression 'your name is mud.' in your case though, this may give mud a bad name.

Walker Morrow said...

I find it kind of amazing sometimes, the amount of invective that can be asserted by someone with no actual identity...

E.D. Kain said...

Very nice response, Eowyn. Anonymous posters are lazy beyond anything else. If you can't make up a silly name to post under, you're just bloody lazy.

Hope all is well....

Eowyn said...

anonymous: "why blog to the whole wide world, when you only consider u.s. nationals to be knowledgeable, authoritative, wise or productive?" (emphasis mine)

When did I ever say that?

"credibility is not in names, but in actions."

Precisely. Like not resorting to insults. And arguing the merits of a particular argument, instead of throwing out generalizations.

Ah, well ...

Walk-Man and Erik, I have, on occasion, come across anonymous posters who preface their decision to stay anonymous (and who, by and large, argue cogently). I respect that they are up-front about their anonymous status, knowing full well that people simply won't take them as seriously as if they stand behind a name, however fictitious. (Most people use a fictitious or semi-fictitious online identity, but our true identity is easily discovered if one takes the trouble.)

The majority of anonymous posters, however, seem to feel that their statements are automatically granted credibility by simply stating them. They are either unaware of how they are perceived -- and I always try to educate -- or willfully dismissive; and, in that case, they take their chances.

I try to give everyone respectful treatment, regardless. I figure they stand or fall on their own.