Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Absolute Write Blogchain #13: Give Peace a Chance

The December Absolute Write blogchain (lucky number 13) has begun and tag, I'm it! Kat, over at A thoughtful life wrote about making lists, something I do occasionally. They tend to frustrate me because I'm forever not doing at least one item on my lists. Then Gillian over at Gillian's Food History talked about cheating in order to accomplish the day's tasks. Tina at Getting Confused and Coming All Undone took up the idea of food as a source of nurturing and the difference between gardeners and flowers (care-givers vs. care-givees). Then it was a smooth punt to me.

I suppose if my thumb were even the slightest shade of green (and it isn't. I'm a notorious plant-killer) I would probably try to make the flowers and weeds get along, claiming there's enough sunshine and water for everyone. I have a peacemaker streak in me that doesn't remain silent for long.

Online flame wars can be a lot of fun to watch, as long as you're not involved. However, if the subject is something close to your heart they can be very unsettling. Without the visual cues of body language and the aural clues of tone of voice, we are left with only the printed word. Words can hurt (that sticks and stones axiom never did make a lot of sense to me).

I've mediated a lot of flame wars but rarely take part in them. Last night, was quite a struggle. On a message board I belong to a member was denigrating the striking writers in the WGA (hence, last night's post). His arguments were filled with falsehoods, basically called writers lazy money-grubbing leeches (and the multi-billion dollar studios and producers were made of cotton candy and angel dust and deserve to keep those extra four pennies of profit or else he won't get good special effects in his entertainment. Quite an interesting take on things, huh?).

I desperately tried to stay out of the thread, but like a Godfather film, it kept pulling me back in. I did my best to keep my responses short and tried to end the flood of anti-writer posts that ensued. I'll admit, it hurts when people you considered nice intelligent men call you and your profession a string of invectives simply because they're going to have to watch reruns for a bit. That is, of course, at the heart of the argument. "I want my TV!" Well, shoot, so do I. But some things are more important than sitting through a rerun.

Yeah, I failed at my peacemaking mission. When I'm sitting squarely in the crosshairs, it's not my job to make peace. I either have to remain silent, burn people to a crisp or do my best to control my responses. I did the latter. I suppose that's the way it always is. If you're a nurturing person, you do it as much as you can but there will always be those who refuse the help. If you're a peacemaker you will occasionally find yourself in the middle of the war, much as you hate to be there. In the end we can't control everything around us. Lists won't do it. Food won't do it. Gardens won't do it. Peacemaking won't do it. Life will always throw you the occasional ringer.

And now let's see if Jen over at So You Want to be a Chic Chick can handle this ringer I've thrown at her. Take it away, Jen!

Here's the list of the blogs in the chain. Go read'em all and comment!

A Thoughtful Life

Gillian's Food History

Getting Confused and Coming All Undone

Life in the Middle

So You Want to be a Chic Chick


Twisted Fantasies

It Had To Be Said

Finding Boddie

Virtual Wordsmith

Random Acts of Unkindness

Chocolate for Your Brain

Virginia Lee: I Ain't Dead Yet!


DementedM said...

I feek you. Sometimes it's hard to bite one's tongue. At least flamewars are usually interesting to watch, like online soap operas.


DementedM said...

Hah that's what I get for typing with a newborn--I meant I feel you.


VirtualWordsmith said...

I tend toward pacifism, but man, if I feel something needs to be addressed, I throw my entire self into it. LOL

Anonymous said...

I find it amazing that many people don't REALLY care what the strike is about. They only see how it affects their small world, and choose sides based on their convenience factor. Yes.. I'm mighty irritated that all of my favorite shows are airing re-runs. BUT.. it makes me truly appreciate WHAT those writers do! They make me laugh every week. Or they make me think every week. They keep me entertained. Their talent makes or breaks a show (as does the talent of all involved). It is a true team situation. And no member of the team should be taken advantage of.

Great post!

Dawn said...

What a neat transition through the blog chain! I don't know how I missed this post earlier--it's a good one!

I get sooo worked up over forum fights, and I don't know why. It wastes so much time, arguing with people you know will never come around to your way of thinking.

Great life philosophy about controlling your responses, although sometimes it can be fun to burn people to a crisp.

I know, I'm evil. :D

Kate Boddie said...

While there have been plenty of times that I've wanted to shove people's words straight up their asses, most of the time I step back and think 'What the hell does it matter?' Why should I get worked up over some internet forum or chat where 99% spitting out bile would never do so in the real world because the glories of the intarweb allows such spineless people anonymity and thus a break from their consequences? It's not worth it although I might find myself dwelling a little over a little thing but once I come back around and see how asinine the whole thing is and how meaningless to my life it is, it's easier to shut out.

Gillian said...

I will put my case in a flame war, but normally only the once. If anyone's listening then they'll hear me and if they're self-obsessed and ranting, then saying it twice isn't going to make a difference.