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
It Had To Be Said
Random Acts of Unkindness
Chocolate for Your Brain
Virginia Lee: I Ain't Dead Yet!