May 04, 2004

I got banned!

I actually got banned from leaving comments at a blog today. The woman who runs Sofiya the Grouch has decided, I guess, that I cannot post comments there anymore. She deleted the comments I left and banned my ass from ever darkening her comment boards again. I am sort of amused. She is, I gather, a graduate student in music school at U.T. Austin where one of her professors was allegedly killed by another student. I left a message of sympathy on her blog comments.

When next I tuned in, Sofiya posted the following concerning her reaction to the arrest. She said, if you don't want to follow the link, that she is sure the alleged killer is disturbed and she wants to interview all of his fellow students to present some sort of petition to show that the alleged wacko should not get the death penalty. Oh, and she wants to send him a care package.

Did you read the article above concerning the murder? The alleged killer used a meat cleaver to kill a woman with multiple sclerosis. That is absent from Sofiya's blog. Read her comment on this and you will be sure, as she is, that the alleged killer is being "vilified" and needs our help. So, I left a message on her comment board, as best as I can recall since she deleted it, to state that: one, the guy used a cleaver; two, she may not be in the best position to judge the guy's sanity; and, three, that she could easily muck up his defense by running around contaminating all of his witnesses and in doing so would be doing no favor for the guy.

She replied to my comment by noting that unless I know her personally I have no right to comment on her blog like this and she seriously doubts that she could do anything to gum up the system. That's as best as I can recall.

In any event, I replied to her that I had not been rude on my first comment but that contamination is an issue. Also, I figured that a blog is a public space and I could comment as I pleased. But, since she did not want to have anyone commenting who might disagree with her, I would refrain from doing so in the future. [Digression: I am a big believer that the remedy for speech with which you disagree is more speech, not banning the speech. It's a principal that has worked well for this country for a very long time].

So, I went back later to see if she had any reply and found that not only had my earlier comments been deleted, but I was now banned.

What have I learned from this? That if you consider yourself on the right side of an issue (here, death penalty), don't bother with facts (here, how the legal system works). It may be more important to do good (i.e., her investigation and petition), than to do right (refrain from f*cking things up for his attorneys). I gather that for Sofiya and her friends taking action is a comforting end in and of itself which will without question make them feel better about themselves. No room there for a messy discussion about whether it is the right thing to do. Nope.

How very odd. So much for civil discourse.

So, what are the rules for my comments' board? Well, I like lively discussions and hope to have some here. That said, I expect civil discourse. We're all adults here. Whatever happens, though, I highly doubt that I will ban someone for challenging my world view, however narrow my view may be.

Posted by Random Penseur at May 4, 2004 02:35 PM
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