Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Everything in moderation


I spend a lot of time reading blogs, and comment at quite a few of them. Even when the blogs I'm reading sport "moderation" policies -- comments not appearing until approved, etc. -- I seldom find my comments 86ed. Not even when I get a little frisky, as I did at According to Nikki awhile back (and this post serves as a nice opportunity to flog a link to the young lady's site; huzzah!).

I must be doing something right lately ... I've had two comments zapped in the last week, and at very ideologically dissimilar sites to boot.

The Huffington Post memory-holed a comment on a Roman Polanski rant (comment reproduced and expanded here). I'm mildly surprised by that, but not gobsmacked. "Serious" center-left sites often hew to priggish policies. Under such policies, you're only allowed to dissent if you either first extensively genuflect, or else come off as so rabidly insane that publication of the dissent has the effect of affirming the original columnist's "seriousness" by contrast.

The other comment disappearance, non-appearance, or whatever it should be called, occurred over at The Other McCain's place. That one's a bit unsettling, as Stacy and Smitty usually not only brook reasoned, or at least reasonable, dissent but handle it with aplomb. I didn't think the comment especially controversial. I simply disagreed with Smitty's claim that "Jesus was entirely a-political," and explained why.

The way I see it, there are three possibilities:

First, it's possible that there was an oversight, and accidental "delete comment" click, etc. Hey, it happens.

OrdinationSecondly, since the post dealt with religion and Jesus, and since my views on both are ... decidedly unorthodox ... there's the possibility that my comment was taken as blasphemous. I discount that possiblity. It's not like I called Jesus a rat-bastard sonofabitch or something. I just pointed out that he was very political -- a putative priest-king of the Davidic line, required as a Messiah to kick Roman ass, dethrone the Hasmodeans and (re)-establish the Kingdom of God, punished in the manner reserved for rebels against Rome, etc. Maybe referring to his marriage was the straw that broke the comment camel's back. Lots of people really get hung up on that one. I wonder if it would have made a difference had I signed the comment as a man of the cloth?

The third and most ominous possibility is that I've become persona non grata at the site, possibly for declining to either pretend that Stacy has answered questions he hasn't answered, or else "move on" in response to his Clintonesque "depends on what the meaning of 'is' is" kabuki routine.

That strikes me as the least likely possibility, but I'm bringing it up (instead of just, say, posting another comment and waiting to see what happens) for the same reason that I think so -- see Rule 4.

Unlike, say, Charles Johnson, The Other McCain loves a good argument and, within the limits of propriety, relishes being attacked. It brings in the hits (for him and -- via Rule 2 -- his interlocutor/opponent). Unless I called his mother dirty names or something, I have to think he'd choose to tolerate me rather than make me a blog unperson. There's probably more traffic in it, and I even occasionally hit his tip jar. Hannah Giles bikini photos Google bombs are, after all, ephemeral. A good set-to over possible raaaaacism, on the other hand, is a durable good.

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