Bring It On!

To all of you at BIO!

January 27th, 2007 | by Craig R. Harmon |

In the last couple of weeks, several people have, reluctantly, walked away from their close association with Bring it On!, at least temporarily, due to being insulted or demeaned in one way or another by commenters, Conservative commenters. I feel great sadness that people should feel driven from a place where they formerly felt only support and love.

In spite of good intentions, I have a history of insulting people with whom I chat. This is not something restricted to BIO! but seems to occur at any discussion blog at which I remain for any length of time. One group blog shut down altogether. Although no one named me as the cause, I got the distinct impression that I was a major contributor to the strife that did cause its demise.

Back when BIO! was in its first incarnation, one regular was so incensed by something I had said that the person called me a monster, the worst that this person had ever encountered on the internet. I soon left the BIO! community over this.

When I returned under its new format, this same person was still posting but I have not seen a post or comment by this person since. Either the person changed online names or, most likely, left the community altogether. Coincidence of events? I don’t think so.

In recent weeks, I have drawn “I find that insulting” being repeated in one form or another by one person after another about something that I’ve written, including at least one who has taken a break from BIO!

In short, in spite of my desire to befriend, I find myself sabotaging, by my debating, the very friendships that I seek.

This cannot go on. Not for my sake but for the sake of this community, I will be taking a break from blogging and commenting here at BIO! I care for and respect you all too much to continue causing any of you such distress.

Bless you all. You have enriched my life in many ways. Good-bye.

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  1. 23 Responses to “To all of you at BIO!”

  2. By Dusty on Jan 28, 2007 | Reply

    I really wish you wouldn’t leave Craig. I find your comments thought out and well written. I was slightly offended at one recent post, it was aimed at me for some reason and one comment did not sit well with me..but in the big picture it was no big deal Craig. I got over it and moved on. Please consider rethinking your hiatus dude..there are so few intelligent conservatives that are willing to engage the other side of the aisle..it would be a huge loss for us here at BIO and me personally. I will even root for the Bears if that would keep you onsite :)

  3. By Paul Watson on Jan 28, 2007 | Reply

    Have to agree with Dusty (except for the rooting for the Bears part), Craig. So far in our many heated discussions I think I’ve been insulting you rather than vice versa.

    But, if you are determined in your course, then I wish you good luck and hope you’ll hurry back. Even though we barely agree on anything (except Monty Python), I enjoy debating with you.
     

  4. By Dusty on Jan 28, 2007 | Reply

    And, if I am honest I KNOW I have been insulting to you on numerous occasions and you have never gotten nasty in retaliation. You have far more patience than I do Craig.

  5. By James Brown on Jan 28, 2007 | Reply

    Who are you??

  6. By Steve O on Jan 28, 2007 | Reply

    Craig, you are by no means the reason for the strife going on in our little community.

    You provoke discussion and make people stop and think about what their convictions are. Please don’t leave.

    C’mon, sit down and have a beer and think this one over. 

  7. By Craig R. Harmon on Jan 28, 2007 | Reply

    Thanks, guys. This isn’t forever but I gotta figure out how to do this without offending people that I care about. That, more than any of the disagreements, hurts me most of all. Maybe I just have to spend less time chained to the laptop and more time reading the books I haven’t gotten to or finished yet and, when I do comment, scrutinize my words more carefully…never press the submit button before I’ve read each comment as though I were someone who disagreed with me to make sure I wouldn’t be offended. I don’t know.

    Anyway, I gotta find out and that will take a little time. 

    James,

    I’m just a guy. 

  8. By Tom Baker on Jan 28, 2007 | Reply

    Craig, you don’t offend “people” you offend their ideas. That is a huge difference. You have every right ot offend their ideas. If someone can’t defend why they think they are right and you are wrong, tough luck. As one of the founders, I can tell you in all sincerity that this is exactly what we are looking for here. You are thought provoking and yes, sometimes irritating - but it’s because you poke holes in my world view, not because you belittle or are critical of ME. we won’t tolerate the blatant personal attacks anymore, but that isn’t your style.

    Take a break if you must, I do understand it, but think about what I’ve said. We need your type of balance in order to make sure that we are on the right track. Anyone who is offended because you disagree with them needs some thicker skin or a new home. We are not the “liberal lovers society,” we are a family.
     

  9. By Craig R. Harmon on Jan 28, 2007 | Reply

    Thanks Tom,

    But ideas don’t exist in a vacuum; they are part of the person’s world view, including how they view themselves. Asked “Who are you, many people here would answer, “I am against this GD war in Iraq” or “I am the wife and lover and friend of someone who is fighting this GD war in Iraq” or “I am pissed off at Bush and his entire administration and I want him gone”.

    Along comes a guy who not only wants the war to continue until we win in Iraq but who occasionally defends the Bush administration.

    I’m afraid the distinction between offending the person and offending their ideas is a tad too fine for me and I’m not ready to tell someone who is clearly offended, “Tough luck!”

    Besides…ask Dusty if it was her ideas or her own being that I offended last night. I think that you will find that it was her self, not just her ideas.

    In all my life, Tom, I’ve never been called a monster. It’s been probably two years since that exchange and I can still recite the words verbatim without searching for the thread it occurred on.

  10. By Ann on Jan 28, 2007 | Reply

    Craig, as a relatively neutral observer (I still have no particular allegiance to either of your – or our - political parties although, admittedly, I’m a little more left-leaning these days…), although I find it totally bewildering that anyone could possibly still have faith in this particular version of the ‘Republican’ party, I respect and admire your loyalty to them and hope, for your sake, that you turn out to be right and cynics like me turn out to have totally misread the situation.

    As for you causing offence: I don’t find you offensive at all, on the contrary. Generally, you seem respectful to all points of view and, like all good Englishmen (ha!), often remain courteous even when you’re cross (even to the troll – and even I, a committed pacifist, couldn’t manage that ;) . I’m sorry you feel as though you’re offending people but there are far worse culprits than you around here I can assure you.
    So, as Tom said, take a break if you must, this malarkey gets us all down at times but, I sincerely hope you – and LAW, Charlie and Tammara - reconsider and, are back fighting your corner soon.

  11. By Omnipotent Poobah on Jan 28, 2007 | Reply

    Craig,

    You certainly argue your points strongly, but that’s OK with me. I’m sure that some people take the insults personally, but I’m not sure that’s always the case. Sometimes the commenter is simply responding with the same vehemence you demonstrate.

    If you find this problem “follows” you from blog to blog, maybe you should evaluate your delivery rather than the content of what you say. But even if you do, there will always be someone who is offended, that’s the way of the world.

    I’m with Dusty that you shouldn’t leave, but you must do what you have to do. Just remember that some of us appreciate the opposing viewpoints.
     

  12. By ken grandlund on Jan 28, 2007 | Reply

    Craig-

    As one who has engaged in numerous debates with you, I feel that your absence will create a void that will be hard to replace.Your oppposing point of view is invaluable, and at times, we’ve even found common ground. Your attitude and your non-confrontational manner (at least in almost every instance) make your conservative leaning debate points more palatable, even when we diametrically disagree. Your calm debates actually make me consider more conservative talking points and try to find their rationality rather than dismissing them out of hand, such as when a purely partisan hack comes in shouting and screaming insults.

    I would prefer to see your posts and comments continue here, but I also value the necessity of ‘taking a break.’ But for me, a political community blog without reasoned opposition becomes less a community and more of a mutual admiration society.

    I hope at some point, you revisit this decision and come back to the table.

  13. By Craig R. Harmon on Jan 28, 2007 | Reply

    Thank you all. I just want you to let you know that I’ve read all of your comments and they mean a great deal to me. I am taking a break but I’ll be back.

  14. By steve on Jan 28, 2007 | Reply

    My two cents…  and I thought about this for a few hours:

    I came to BIO way back in the beginning, when it first popped onto the scene.  I came here because I followed someone who did not like what I had to say on my blog about Buy Blue.org.  (Probably something where I called them anti-Capitalist or something).  The point is, I can and I started commenting.  The thing was it was just after the 2004 election and it was a hot bed in the blog world if you were liberal to wonder what the hell happened.  There was  animosity and in the beginning, BIO was brutal to it’s conservative visitors.  The gloves just weren’t off from November 2004.  The liberals were ready to fight.  BIO grew and became host to a lot of the good people who started writing… good legit stuff.  (Honorable mention here:  Forbush and Ken)

    6 or 7 months later… we had Katrina.  I think it was a Labor Day, when I was cooking steaks and stuff, with a laptop next to the grill and I just argued with some bastard all day and it got really, really personal from the former commentator, who got a lot praise from his liberal friends that day.  But I wouldn’t take to the threats and I called the guy on it.  I was so mad, I wanted to fly to the dude’s city and settle it.  That’s when I realized that this blog thing was absorbing too much of my time, so I backed off…  And then watched the guy get banned from hazing some other unsuspecting blogger.

    At this point, I started making “blog friends” from here.  I opened dialogue and opened up to the good ones around here and it got reciprical.  The proof in that was the vast amount of email I got last year when my son was born.  It was awesome.  I owed nothing to anyone here and I got the warm fuzzies from people who did not need to really care about it.  It felt good.  I realized from that point, that I should take BIO for what it is… a community, a good one at that, who cares about this country.

    What annoys me and I have expressed my opinion to this blog’s leaders is when some jack ass comes in here and just makes comments to bash people.  They get pretty abusive and they don’t l let up.  A great dialogue can be going on and suddenly, some dipstick comes out of nowhere to ruin a perfectly good thread.  It’s kind of stupid to want to continue on with that constant interruption.

    But it is worse to see someone brilliant from either side just give up.  This is a sad day on BIO and I hope it’s members can take this to heart:  Sure we’ve had some conservative dipsticks in the room like Sandy and Emmet (lol) but it’s a two way street.  You guys gotta realize Craig, Steveil, manapp, myself and others aren’t crazy for being conservatives.  We’re normal people just like you all and we want our way too. 

     

  15. By Jersey McJones on Jan 28, 2007 | Reply

    Oh, Jesus Christ.  Not another one.  Look, people, if you’re just tired of blogging, then fine.  I went through that for a while myself.  But if people are leaving because of the animosity in the discourse, then maybe the problem is me.  If I am a serious problem here, then I will stop too.  I’m a tough Jersey guy who speaks his mind and I know I can very rough on people.  I’m the same friggin way in person and there are people around here who can vouch for that.

    Craig, dude, you are one of the finest human beings I blog with.  I would rather leave than see you leave for the sake of everyone else.

    JMJ  

  16. By Craig R. Harmon on Jan 28, 2007 | Reply

    Okay, now people are talking about leaving to keep me from leaving. It’s just a break. I need to do some thinking about what’s most important in my life and how to communicate those things in ways that don’t inflict pain on others and bring out anger from them. I know I’ve struck a serious nerve when people call me “sir”

    So I’ve gone, in several years, from being the worst monster one person had ever come across on the net to being one of the finest human beings another blogs with.

    That’s progress. :^)

    Please, nobody go leaving to keep me from taking a break. People leaving is what I’m trying to avoid.

    Please, people, carry on.

  17. By Jersey McJones on Jan 28, 2007 | Reply

    Craig, please man, don’t go away forever.  You’re like a young (I mean you’d have to be younger) Bill Buckley, for whom I have only the deepest respect.  Please don’t leave forever.  This just wouldn’t be nearly fun enough without you. 

    JMJ

     

  18. By steve on Jan 28, 2007 | Reply

    Look Craig,  you have vacation time saved up.  Just take a few weeks then come back.  I suggest hanging out on some conservative blog communities so you can realize how fucked up those people are.  :) 

    Watch how fast they ban people.

    Oh and find out why those conservative blogs have like 25,000 links.  Talk about link farms!!!  Jesus!!

  19. By Craig R. Harmon on Jan 28, 2007 | Reply

    Um, is that PAID vacation time?

  20. By steve on Jan 28, 2007 | Reply

    No…only liberals get paid vacation time.  Freaking unions!

  21. By Paul Merda on Jan 30, 2007 | Reply

    Sorry to hear that Craig…  Hope to hear from ya soon…

    While we disagree on most everything, I find the debates we’ve had fun.

  22. By Jet Netwal on Feb 1, 2007 | Reply

    For what it’s worth, Craig, I never found you part of the problem, but I do consider you part of the solution.

  23. By Emmet on Feb 2, 2007 | Reply

    Craig, take the vacation.  I have for a year now.  The few times I pop in here is just to jab people and get there blood flowing.  It’s hard to change a (example) SteveO’s mind when he’s got blinders on.  BIO has changed ME.  I choose to take the side of the “RIGHT” on every issue here at BIO! but it’s not exactly always what I believe.  It is just to piss the dipshits off here at BIO! that never learn.  I just don’t take things personal anymore.  To bad most people here DO!

    Craig, see ya in a couple few weeks or months!  Happy Ground Hog’s Day!  Craig, I’m sure you saw your shadow today and will come back early in about six weeks.  Just a prediciton!

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