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Comment moderation

Moderation is a difficult balance. Some think we should do less of it, others more - at least in terms of letting through less smart-ass wisecracks at the expense of other commenters. Frankly, a quick look at any unmoderated site (example at (semi-)random here) tells you that if you instantly publish every comment you get, smart-ass wisecracks is what dominates. We've been having this debate on this site and its predecessors for nearly six years now - though more intensely since the move from e-mail to a comment management system in 2004, and we're still on the side that says we'd rather stop altogether than stop moderating comments.

In practice, I lean more towards James Govett's view that it is important to the quality and information-content of the debate that contributors feel safe from unreasonable attack, and that the balance of the site has (once again) moved too far away from this.

So, we will be tightening up. Given the need to keep workload down while operating with only part-time volunteer editors, one part of this will be a reduced tolerance for editing comments that need significant work before publication. In particular, any comment that contains anywhere within it any commentary - explicit or implied - on the intelligence or honesty of another Webdiarist, will simply not be published. Following specific complaints, comments that refer to other Webdiarists by nickname or any other name than that which they use themselves will also not be published. Notwithstanding our preference against removing published material, we will also remove anything that slips through that is reasonably complained about by the target of a comment. Complaints can be made either through a not-for-publication comment (write NFP in the comment title), or via the "Contact Us" page in the menu on the left of this screen.

A further point on moderation and workload: some of you write stream-of-consciousness stuff that needs a spell-check and extensive repunctuation to make it comprehensible to others: from here on, if it's too much work, we simply don't publish it.

Finally (for now), I think it also time to re-instate the old "no more than five comments per day from the same person" rule, that at least suggests to our more prolific posters that they think about whether what they are about to write is the most important contribution they want to make today ...

For more detail, see the Editorial Policy and How to Comment entries in the menu on the left.

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Go figure?

Being a timid creature, I would never presume to speak for Dr Duncan. Nonetheless, I shall venture for myself, David Roffey, and suggest that what you have engaged in is neither hyperbole nor litotes, but paradox.

D: I was kind of hoping for metalepsis, but undershot ...

BTW Kathy Farrelly

BTW Kathy Farrelly: Next time you decide to pay the good House Webdiary a fleeting visit and proceed to point out the odd spot on our carpet, would you mind first cleaning any mud off your boots?

And I am sorry to have to inform you that (if it is indeed you blogging away in the mud and mire of certain boggeries, as would seem from my perusal of at least one of them is true) my compassion probably will not extend to sending over the tractor to pull you out should you find yourself up to your neck in it.

So you will just have to extricate yourself. But again, I ask you nicely and politely, in the best traditions of WD, to clean your boots of any unpleasant matter that may adhere, before you visit us. And allow us please to clean our own carpets.  We can you know. But the carpets of those others, now they would be rather a challenge.  But you my dear may be able to offer them some advice. 

If however there is another Kathy Farrelly out there blogging in the boggeries, then I unequivocally withdraw all of the above.

Kathy sounds sweet to me

Jenny Hume; I had a quick look at some of Kathy Farrelly’s contributions to the blogosphere, or at a site called, of all things, Club Chaos, sounds familiar and reminds me of this site when Polly Bush got things cranked up for a while. It was fun. I could not find anything that resembled mud from Kathy, rather she sounds to be a bit of a sweetie and a little sensitive. Maybe I did not try hard enough to find the mud that you talk about, so Jenny could you point me to something that supports your comment.

Sugar and spice

Phil Moffat: Kathy Farrelly may well be the “sweetest” flower in all the land, (after me that is) and the most sensitive nettle in Hamish land. And yes Phil, I simply simply must give her credit that her blogs do not match the level of some of her fellow bloggers in the bog over at Club Chaos.

However! When “sweet” Kathy just pops over to remind us why she no longer comes to WD, sets herself up on the moral high ground, gives us a serve, then informs us she is departing never to return, (the inference being that the company here is not fit to keep), I felt, after Craig’s heartfelt resignation, it was incumbent on me to check out how consistent “sweet” Kathy actually is.

Craig Rowley……blogs of bile (such as the one Kathy Farrelly frequents, where you'll find the hypocrisy truly breathtaking). In those sordid sewers Kathy's filthy friends get about flinging the faecal stuff, accusing me and my colleagues of seeking too much censorship (and believe me they indulge in much slinging of more obnoxious, often defamatory, material -- which you'll find Kathy mucking in with no qualms BTW). 

So yes, there she is (or one assumes it is she) happily blogging away in the sometimes rather murky waters of Club Chaos at least. Not too many protest votes lodged there by “sweet” Kathy as far as I can see. Not even to defend our own sweet Marg.

And if you want a bit of an insight into “sweet” Kathy’s sense of humour then, she is probably still laughing as she says, at the wildcat cartoons alluding to our long suffering moderators here. Well each to their own as they say. Just so long as when she pops in again, she wipes any cat poo off her boots. You see Phil, she judges us by the company we keep. So let us do likewise. Nay?

BTW. We can expect a quick visit from dear Kathy since your sweet accolade has already been delivered to her.

And scratch scratch. Yes Phil, I is a tad jealous, coz you’ve never said I was sweet!

The company we keep

Hi Jenny, you are correct, yes, I have not called you a “sweetie”. I picture you as a passionate, sincere, good natured, fun and attractive woman. “Sweetie” could never do justice to someone with your qualities.

Also, I agree that Kathy may have been somewhat hypocritical in pointing out a stain on our carpet when Club Chaos has ample of same. But my earlier post related to the content of her comments not the company she keeps. I’m sure if you have a look at the company Kathy keeps you may find that we also share that same company. Geoff P, Will H, Michael P, Jay W, Phil U and others who contribute (or used to contribute) to this site. Some of the comments (at Club Chaos) made by the company we keep (though not by all) about other contributors to this site (Roslyn Ross & Angela Ryan for example) are not pretty and in my opinion unnecessary and childish.

Having said that I believe in free, uncensored speech and if the guys want to get together and have their childish bonding sessions then so be it. They are quite entitled so say what they want, in the same way I am entitled to say their comments are insensitive and unnecessary.

And as far as Syd and Daemon go, hell they kissed and made up yonks ago, so why don’t we just forget about it.

Cheers Jenny.

Phil :Please please

Phil Moffat: Please please. How could any lady live up to that. Maybe the first few, but attractive? I'd take a rain check on that one if I were you. Rain! What's that? Don't ask me. It's been six flaming years Phil, and tonight I'm in tears. Got a mop by any chance? And Hughy can go take a jump because if he had not been so mean for so long there might not have been such an upset in this normally harmonious rubbydub tonight. Oh the language uninviting of the farmer's wife afighting, and HWIAO (he who is always, well nearly always obeyed) never even said damn. Tis quite ashamed of myself I am.  But ta anyway, you have made me feel a tad better.  

Fully agree. If you won't say it here, then it is not right to head over to the opposition to can our own. And yes, I did note some familiar names over there. To give "sweet" Kathy her due, she does keep her dig in her own posts, as far as I can see. Onward, yes, onward. Never go back as my old man used to say.  Really hope old Syd makes it though. Hard way to die. 

Cheers Phil.

Some Questions for Daemon Singer


Daemon Singer
, “James Govett brings up an issue that is months in the past,...”

Yes, from about October 2005.

Daemon Singer, “... and yet proves that he comes in often to check what's happening,...”

I said I left Webdiary late last year and returned about a month ago to see if things had improved. And I also said that I felt they hadn’t.

Daemon Singer, “.. after saying he doesn't come here because it upsets him.”

I ask that you quote back to me where I said I don’t come here because it upsets me. If you cannot I ask that you retract your comment and apologise for misrepresenting me.

Daemon Singer, “ Anyone who has been to "Politics in the Pub" will recognise that the badinage and interplay referred to by Malcolm Duncan is normal......”.

I don’t know about that ( I don’t go to pubs) but, unprovoked insult and personal abuse are against the guidelines of Webdiary.

Daemon Singer, “being upset at being the butt of what is in most people's view merely a cutting response to a perceived foolishness”.

What gives you the right to make someone else the butt of your cutting response to a perceived foolishness?

Daemon Singer, “I don't really understand how one can come in here and complain that someone called them a name, and want them curtailed for it”.

Because its against webdiary guidelines.

Daemon Singer, “Politics by its very nature is confrontational ......”

Our parliamentary system seems to be but why does politics necessarily have to be?

Daemon Singer,”I like reading Malcolm's posts.....”

Do you like reading the posts where he insults other webdiarists? If you do please explain why.

Malcolm B. Duncan, “ To the thread, however. As I understand it, I am not allowed to refer (even obliquely) to dickheads or morons”.

Yes, that’s right. It’s against Webdiary guidelines and David Roffey said, “ I have asked the editors to move more toward the view that any comment that contains unwarranted language directed at another 'diarist should simply not be published”.

David R: I think it should be pointed out that "Politics in the Pub" is not a description of pub debate generally, but a long-running series of organised debates and discussions - see www.politicsinthepub.org - and BTW I would say that it is a much more staid and polite discussion forum than Daemon implies.

Would precious do?

James Govett, what gives you the right to make someone else the butt of your cutting response to a perceived foolishness?

The English language, a tradition of rhetoric going back to the Ancient Greeks, a sense of humour (which I have yet to see displayed on your part) and effective use of all three to expose error, foolishness and wooly thinking.

Now if you would like in a rational manner to ennumerate those of my comments you find insult other webdiarists we can have a sensible discussion rather than bald assertion.   If all you refer to is the link in your original post, that has been dealt with at length and constitutes a miniscule proportion of my output.   

While I adhere to the views expressed in those comments, I'm just not allowed to express them in terms and have undertaken not to do so.   Yet, remember, different people find different things provocative.   I'm always mightily provoked by error, stupidity or illogicality.   Do you assert that, if provoked, I should not have a right to comment?

Guidelines are just that - the joy is in challenging them.

By the way, you always have the option of not reading a post.

As to your earlier comments about people revealing personal details that do not add to the debate, while it comes as no surprise that you don't  go to pubs, did we really need to know, or were you simply, for the sake of the debate, identifying an area of ignorance from which you could not contribute any useful comment?

Perhaps WD could alter the registration form to elict useful information before people are allowed to post.

It could start perhaps with: are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?

I'll leave it at that because I wouldn't want to run the risk of offending you further by referring to certain of the geography of the Blue Mountains.

Is Webdiary being high-jacked?

I would like to enter the debate about commenting if I may.

I have, over a long period of time, noticed to my dismay that Webdiary appears to be being high-jacked by three distinct groups of people:

The elitist, aren't-we-unbelievably witty, 'intellectuals' (who love to throw around pretentious titles like Doctor); the Israeli-apologists (who, if Israel tonight slaughtered all the Palestinians, would claim that it was merely an act of self-defense); and the God-botherers (who cling come what may to their forlorn hope of life-everlasting).

A fourth group, as yet ill-defined, appear to champion Howard and his right-wing, American suck-holing, capitalism-loving cabal. These three groups, aided by the fourth, seem to dominate more and more the general discourse between Webdiarists.

The management of Webdiary seems to be unable to counter their increasing control and seems unable to make sure that Webdiary is for the average punter (who potentially can provide the wide audience required) rather than for a few calculating, unscrupulous bookies (who appeal only to a small, narrow-minded, agenda-driven minority)!

Beware the termites! They may yet eat Webdiary.

 

David R: to repeat (please write out 1000 times): we publish almost everything we receive that fits within the guidelines: balance is therefore a matter for you lot what submit things rather than "the management countering their control". Still, always happy to receive accusations of right-wing bias for a change ...

 

No posting if Daniel doesnt agree with you...

Daniel, perhaps the solution is to change the Webdiary title from "Webdiary - Independent, Ethical, Accountable and Transparent" to "Webdiary - Agnostic, Socialist, Palestinian apologist and pacifists".

That way, you and Roslyn can solve the "palestinian problem" and lament the fact the the whole world is not as peace loving as you.

Unfortunately, because of the actions of some people Webdiary is rapidly heading that way anyway.

Will you be happy when there are no dissenting opinions at all?

"A fourth group, as yet

"A fourth group, as yet ill-defined, appear to champion Howard and his right-wing, American suck-holing, capitalism-loving cabal. These three groups, aided by the fourth, seem to dominate more and more the general discourse between Webdiarists."

Right. There's four groups we can immediately get rid of. Now, to the matter of just who meets what nebulous criteria - unstated - that should be allowed "general discourse", dominant or not. Perhaps a referee to call "dominant discourse!"

Perhaps the four groups mentioned would be allowed their own discourse - specific discourse on approved subjects and specific threads? You know, sort of like a quarantine unit.

Falsely accused!

David, I made no accusation whatsoever about right-wing bias by Webdiary Management. Methinks you protesteth too much! 

I'm sorry I wasted my time making what I thought was a constructive comment, one directed towards helping Webdiary.

David R: never said you had accused us of that - but you did 'accuse' us of 'not taking control' to prevent right-wingers posting - an accusation we're happy to accept ...

David Roffey says "What will

David Roffey says "What will not get published is a lengthy submitted comment that has several spelling and punctuation errors in every paragraph, plus a few strange added words and the odd sentence that doesn't make any sense at all ... some of you out there do write comments like that (one hesitates to say that there are more of them late at night ..."

David if one is to imply that writing comments late at night will vastly increase the risk that somebody will create sloppy posts with an unacceptable end result could the devoted readership ask that you refrain from making management decisions in that same timeframe.

David R: I can promise that!

Commenting

"In particular, any comment that contains anywhere within it any commentary - explicit or implied - on the intelligence or honesty of another Webdiarist, will simply not be published."   

 

Oh dear, that would preclude most of Mr Duncan's posts would it not David? Really, this bloke is the "ants pants" of the – not so – sly barb. Shall we make this retrospective do you think?   [David: no]

 

"A further point on moderation and workload: some of you write stream-of-consciousness stuff that needs a spell-check and extensive repunctuation to make it comprehensible to others: from here on, if it's too much work, we simply don't publish it." 

 

Now, churlish though it may be for me to point out, that should read: 

 

A further point on moderation and workload: some of you write stream-of-consciousness stuff that needs a spell-check and extensive puntuation to make  comprehensible to others; from here on, if it's too much work, we simply will not publish it. [David: I preferred mine]

 

It appears, David, that your sentence requires too much re-work to be published. But, as you see, I was able to translate. Something I suspect most Webdiarists capable of.

David R: as previously noted, I'm not referring to the odd error, but to comments that have more errors than they have text ...

Example unedited whole paragraph from a much longer comment: "Even the BBC failed the reliability test as others have demonstrated in reproting their bias.and containment of evens spin.The final peg wa the announcement of stopping the live feeds ,esp during a BIg event(like 7/7). The demonising of Mislems suits a few ethnic groups in Australia many in media,don't be surprised."

Set in the Pub?

Daemon Singer:  Anyone who has been to "Politics in the Pub" will recognise that the badinage and interplay referred to by Malcolm Duncan is normal and to be applauded and supported, and IMHO they should be either immune to it, prepared for it, or able to respond appropriately. 

I for one was not aware that WD had set its standards by those of the pub, and hence the language and personal abuse that thrives often in the pub has, IMHO, no place on WD. Many women take exception to pub talk, and for very good reason. Do you and all the other males here want WD to be solely a male domain? If so, then this lady at least will oblige. 

I think if you read the WD Editorial Policy that Margo set out, you will find that your posts to Syd Drate were marginal at best in terms of WD editorial policy. And if an editor fails for whatever reason to enforce the policy, then he/she takes responsibility for the oversight, but not for the breach itself. Again IMHO

There is a difference between posters good humouredly taking a rise out of someone, (and Malcolm has sent a few my way) as opposed to insensitive personal abuse. The posts for which you were censured by others used unacceptable (to them anyway) bad language and cast what appeared (again to them) as a smart aside to someone who had just the day before stated he had about four months to live. His post, giving that information was addressed to you.

(You are not really now saying you cast that remark at Syd before he posted his "bombshell", are you? Because if you are, how do you explain the fact that it was made 24 hours later and that you were clearly referring to that post. See reference to the new staffer for instance. Check it out Daemon and let me know if you want to stand by that claim.) 

You set fire to the proverbial kitchen Daemon, so it was up to you to put it out, and don't blame others if you got burnt. If a post offends someone, then you should be prepared to cop the reaction, vehement or otherwise, on the chin, apologise for the offence, and not seek to justify the unjustifiable. Again IMHO.

PS: I am sure Ian MacDougall can look after himself but I would be surprised if the general audience here agreed with your remark that his contributions to WD were meaningless in terms of the nature and aims of WD. If that is the Editors view however I am sure he will desist if called up on to do so.  But it sounds a bit like sour grapes to me.

Spelling

David: I note some of the comments about spelling. While some  commenters are no doubt just lazy I think we should not make too much of an issue over bad spelling. Some people are dyslexic and even spell check can let them down at times. So those who are chronic misspellers might find spelling a real challenge at the best of times. Some of the smartest people in history have suffered from dyslexia but often feel very self conscious about it. We do not want to deter people who might have a valuable contribution to make just because of that. Just a thought.  Cheers.

David R: no problems with occasional mis-spelled words, and errors of that sort. What will not get published is a lengthy submitted comment that has several spelling and punctuation errors in every paragraph, plus a few strange added words and the odd sentence that doesn't make any sense at all ... some of you out there do write comments like that (one hesitates to say that there are more of them late at night ...)

I am a bit confused

James Govett brings up an issue that is months in the past, and yet proves that he comes in often to check what's happening, after saying he doesn't come here because it upsets him. The overall impression I get is that all this started due to the interaction between me and Syd Drate, which sort of makes sense in some ways, but not many. Anyone who has been to "Politics in the Pub" will recognise that the badinage and interplay referred to by Malcolm Duncan is normal and to be applauded and supported, and IMHO they should be either immune to it, prepared for it, or able to respond appropriately.

As per James' note yesterday, I did go through the link he was kind enough to put in his post about the previous exchange between himself and Mr Duncan, and am confused in some respects as to why it became an issue. One holds a view strongly enough and one leaps to its defence, again, IMHO. The very nature of politics is that there are 2 sides to most arguments and substantially more to some. Mr Duncan does come across as biting in his wit and likely to not brook a fool easily and without note. In my current job, my last formal warning, delivered a couple of months ago was for exactly that. Also being sarcastic and flippant. I see all those things in Mr Duncan's posts and while I can see a person in a workplace (for me it was a 21 year old girl without the ability to tell the time), being upset at being the butt of what is in most people's view merely a cutting response to a perceived foolishness. I don't really understand how one can come in here and complain that someone called them a name, and want them curtailed for it. In the words of my dear mother "sticks and stones may break my bones etc...".

I like the broad brush of comments we get from our 31 posters and would actually prefer a lot more but we do what we can with what we have. To jump on someone's case because of a perceived affront, and then be supported in that is a mite churlish in one respect, and entirely inappropriate in terms of this place and what it's about in all other respects. Politics by its very nature is confrontational and rarely have I seen, or do I remember, in the modern era, a Parliament where the two sides were not at each others throats over every issue. Goodness we even call the two parties "Government and Opposition", not Liberal and Labor.

Ian MacDougall rubbished me essentially for using words properly to achieve a goal. In terms of the post which caused grief initially, for which I have apologised, outside of the use of the one word, all I did was respond in a way that was appropriate to the discussion at the time, prior to the information received from Syd, which then changed everyone's view in terms of appropriate for the moment, even though neither I nor they had any prior inkling that Syd was going to drop his bombshell.

I hereby place on notice that I reject all Mr. MacDougall's personal invective directed at me, and from here on in will ignore all his input since it is essentially meaningless in terms of the nature and aims of WD.

It isn't hard to just move past a post from someone, thereby ignoring it and as a result not commenting ergo beginning a community lashing, such as occurred last week. Why can't we all do that?

I like reading Malcolm's posts. I take into account his views are a bit to the left of someone like perhaps Karl Marx in some respects, but at least he is doing something. How many of the rest of us have put our hand up to actually stand for elected office? Pretty damn few in my view, yet we still lambaste his views, politically oriented or otherwise, as being filled with personal invective, snide asides and sarcasm, instead of getting up ourselves and doing something concrete to make change. For my money, if 10% of the non-thinking electorate were to support their "Politics in the Pub" view, with actual action, the whole political landscape would likely change, and we would have a government for all of us, prepared to act with "humanity" as part of the platform, instead of mere business ideology, as we are currently suffering because not enough people "played chess" over the result of their vote.

For James I would suggest ignoring Malcolm's posts entirely, or just stand up to him, by making comments which structurally identify the issue you object to or disagree with and support your view with facts, much has been requested of other posters in other threads, about the same or similar subjects. Remember however, by ignoring him, you will risk missing out on one of the snakiest political satires I have seen in decades with the possible exception of Brian Dawe and John Clarke, where absolutely no one is safe.

The Return and Return of the Daemon

With a certain ambiguity, Daemon Singer writes:

“Ian MacDougall rubbished me essentially for using words properly to achieve a goal. In terms of the post which caused grief initially, for which I have apologised, outside of the use of the one word, all I did was respond in a way that was appropriate to the discussion at the time, prior to the information received from Syd, which then changed everyone's view in terms of appropriate for the moment, even though neither I nor they had any prior inkling that Syd was going to drop his bombshell.”

He is only half right. The question here is: for what words did I “rubbish” Daemon? Daemon would say it was for what he said before Syd dropped his “bombshell”. That offers him a way out. But I say it was for what he said after the bomb was dropped. He continues here (his emphasis):

“I hereby place on notice that I reject all Mr.MacDougall's personal invective directed at me, and from here on in will ignore all his input since it is essentially meaningless in terms of the nature and aims of WD.

It isn't hard to just move past a post from someone, thereby ignoring it and as a result not commenting ergo beginning a community lashing, such as occurred last week. Why can't we all do that?”

It seems Daemon is unable to take his own advice, and to avoid returning so to speak, to the scene of the crime. But if he is at last moving on, allow me to set the record straight for others. That is, for those who may be unfamiliar with what this is all about, and inclined to accept what Daemon Singer says about me.

In the Workchoices under the spotlight thread, there was an altercation between Syd Drate and Daemon. On June 15, 2006 at 8:28 pm, Daemon wrote under the heading “Take a gander, Syd”:

Syd, whilst I would applaud your honesty, I have to say that for a successful businessman for 43 years, (I assume you have a one man operation since I reckon you would be a c*** to work for), I find it amusing how much energy you put into the Webdiary.

Thoughts drift through my socialist brain of you there answering the phone and selling whatever it is, then looking out the window as your boss's ComCar pulls up outside and off you go to golf with him.

Businessman you may be Syd, but to me, you will always be some Liberal's staffer, with a directive to attempt to outdo those of us equipped with a social conscience, to see if you can bring one of us down. It won't work because you are unable to comprehend social justice as a part of being alive

The use of asterisks allows one to self-delude that a particular word has not actually been used, while it has at the same time been well and truly conveyed. As Daemon says, he has now apologised. But an important question remains: what was the most outrageous? Was it the use of the word “****” in Daemon’s controversial post, or was it the advice he gave to Syd in the second? In Daemon’s view, it was the first. In my view at the time (which I have not altered), it was what came later, though admittedly the first was bad enough.

In response to Daemon’s post, Syd wrote inter alia (June 15, 2006 at 10:01pm):

Daemon, your assumption that I run a one-man business is wrong, and your second assumption that I am a c*** to work for is also wrong.

As to having a social conscience, I guarantee that I do more for the have-nots of this world than you do, this you can check by going through some of my posts over the past 18 months.

As for wondering how I put so much energy into WD, the fact is I have stomach cancer and have about 4 months to live, so I spend most of my time at home or in hospital.

That was the “bombshell” Syd posted after Daemon told him what an obnoxious fellow he must be to work for.

Twenty three hours later, (so he had plenty of time to reflect on that “bombshell”) Daemon responded to Syd, containing inter alia the following considered observations and advice:

As to the rest of your post, I really don't mind what your opinion is.

I also think you are full of shit when you say you only post here to wind "us lot" up, since to have the depth of feeling you obviously have, with the shallowness of knowledge you display in your posts, you have to be serious; just not have any real understanding of the big picture.

Perhaps I can encourage you this way. Sit down with the new staff member, get a book on chess, and together learn to play, in your final months. He/she will profit from knowing the game. You will profit by taking the time to do something for no other reason than that you can. Knowledge of chess would have helped you a lot in your day I reckon. It will also help take up the time you would otherwise be wasting here.

This was to my mind Daemon’s tour de force, at least within his chosen genre. Never mind four letter words. The condescension, arrogance and downright rudeness, particularly in the light of Syd’s situation, struck me as outrageous, and I said so. In my view, it is also dangerous to assume that one's own reality is another's. Daemon has since attempted to justify himself, and as routinely happens in such circumstances, has only dug himself in deeper. Syd, nonetheless has responded with a good grace.

I stand by my condemnation of Daemon on this matter (Workchoices thread June 18, 2006 at 1:51) and retract not one word of what I said. Anyone can access the thread and determine whether that reply constituted “personal invective” and if so, ask themselves who is the master invector here? (Note: I have since clarified my statements as regards the Editor’s decision to publish Daemon’s posts to Syd). Daemon did not like being called to account by me, or others. His attempted rebuttal of me (June 19,12.09am) concluded  with:

“And that is my last comment on this ridiculous exchange. Let's get back on topic”.

For that reason, I did not respond to it. OK. Fair enough. Let’s move on.

But that, as it turns out, was not his last comment at all. He has chosen himself to revisit the issue, attempted to excuse himself again, had a go at “rubbishing” me, and in so doing ignored his own further advice to us all:

“It isn't hard to just move past a post from someone, thereby ignoring it and as a result not commenting ergo beginning a community lashing, such as occurred last week. Why can't we all do that?”

Now if Daemon were reading this (which he won’t be, because he said so) I would advise him to practice what he preaches. But who knows? The passing years may see him returning again and again to the issue, just like a homing pigeon, and concluding each return visit with advice to us all to ‘move on’.

Modesty ill becomes me

What's a gel to say, Daemon Singer? Shucks. Dawe and Clarke - wow. When I first proposed a satirical column to Margo, I had in mind Not the South Coast News which my defective mind misrecollected as being by Paul Murphy rather than featuring him. It was, of course, as I found on checking, written by the highly talented Roy Slaven. If I have come close in any way that will be sufficient (the author commented entirely disingenuously).

To the thread, however. As I understand it, I am not allowed to refer (even obliquely) to dickheads or morons. It is fair game to call me a legal lickspittle and various other things referred to in the Govett link.   No adjudication seems yet to have been made on the highly offensive "aardvark".

David R: no, "lickspittle" is also out under the new revised dispensation ...

I'm with Jenny Hume on the c word - fine if used anatomically as in Hamlet or The Miller's Tale (albeit in its middle english variant) - those well known works by Jenny Hume's two favourite authors.

[You see James Govett, the interactions you so despise actually tell us something about the people in the WD community; they flesh their lives out and bring them alive as humans.]

As a term of abuse however, except when used of me by the right wing of the NSW Labor Party [at least they aren't calling me "mate" yet] is beyond the pale. Why is it that we use sexual concepts as forms of abuse? The North American reference to incest taken up so readily by certain lebanese youths being a prime example.

Why not decent old fashioned abuse? Get more people reading Pope, bring back some style. Booby perhaps - oops - that's tits.   Dapperwit?   Dunces?

Or should we just be content with:

Some have at first for Wits, then Poets past,

Turn'd Criticks next, and prove'd plain Fools at last;

Some neither can for Wits nor Criticks pass,

As heavy Mules are neither Horse nor Ass.

David R: you can try looking up "berk" as well ...

point of order

Re: dickheads, morons and legal lickspittles

This is (IMHO!) a bit more than just a bit disingenuous, at least on one side:

"To the thread, however. As I understand it, I am not allowed to refer (even obliquely) to dickheads or morons. It is fair game to call me a legal lickspittle and various other things referred to in the Govett link. No adjudication seems yet to have been made on the highly offensive 'aardvark'.
David R: no, 'lickspittle' is also out under the new revised dispensation ..."


Web Results 1 - 11 of 11 English and German pages from webdiary.com.au for lickspittle. (0.23 secs)

hit#3:

Alphonse de Ponce looks forward to another 10 years of John Howard ...Philip Ruddock appointed to new position as Parliamentary Lickspittle. 2013. John Howard celebrates the international year of the deaf bastard. ... webdiary.com.au/cms/?q=node/1334

Precedence, anyone?

-=*=-

Yes, I complained about 'moron!' - but not because it was directed at me (although I admit I suspected it) - but on principle, and 'off-line' in an email, thus relieving the moderators of the necessity of having to decide to censor.

In the kerfuffle that followed, lickspittle was allowed and IMHO, correctly. I try to base my posts wherever possible on facts, not only to avoid any embarrassment of being shown to be wrong in public, but to make what I consider to be valid points, like pointing out (with proof available even if not always included in-line), that, say, B, B & H may validly be accused of grisly mass-murder for oil - among other things, but 'murder for oil' must stand until disproved. So far, all evidence points exactly at 'murder for oil'. Oh, like permanent bases, 100% privatisation, off-shoring of all profits, PSA's to ensure an absolute minimum of royalties... the list of cast-iron-abso-bloody-lute-rip-off preparations is looong. The US, along with the UK (who cares?) but also (shame!) we of the wide-brown-Aus have publicly set out to do it: murder for oil.

-=*=-

I don't usually do tit-for-tat, and even have a good friend who advises "Love your enemies". (So far, I'm not up to the last, i.e. loving my enemies, and especially not B, B & H, say.) The above referred-to 'not allowed to refer' poster must, IMHO, expect at least as good as he (brutally!) dishes out. Hmmm? A fair go? (Wait for it:) Justice? (Cue Costello: "Haw, haw, haw! - Let us prey.")

There is no point of order, resume your seat

As I hunker down for another robust round of unalloyed lawyer-bashing, (why don't we have a day where we all attack carpenters for example?) there are three points, phil kendall:

1. There is a difference between a "legal lickspittle" and a "Parliamentary Lickspittle".

2. There is a difference between a satirical piece and one directed in argument to an individual. Your comment, in my view, slighted my professional reputation and that of one of our more distinguished High Court judges. If yuou'd like to suggest it was not so intended, have a go old son.

3. The editors seem now to have banned the word lickspittle completely. That's a pity because it is such an evocative word. What makes it offensive, in my view, is its context and any qualifier attached to it.

Aardvarks.

David R: it is well known that aardvarks never hurt anybody ...

worse, worser...

1. Worse: I refuse to be threatened, intimidated (aka bullied) or patronised:

  "If you'd like to suggest it was not so intended, have a go old son."

I am neither his 'old son' nor anyone's dog.

2. Worser: if, as Malcolm B Duncan claims, he feels [his'n his mate's] 'professional reputation to have been slighted', then perhaps (in the interest of clarity, not to mention fairness or good manners) he might first explain a) the full intent of his triggering 'moron' remark, its specific target and exactly why it was made, further b) why he presumed to invoke the name of a 3rd party (assumed innocent, into such an obviously compromising position) and then finally c) the ethics of these actions.

(Note: 'a joke' is not funny unless the intended audience gets it; I personally found it far from funny; IMHO it did not contribute to any 'debate', this last amply illustrated by the 'moron' post having being expunged by the moderators.)

3. As if all that wasn't enough - no meaningful message reached me (purpose of WD?), except possibly of Dr Duncan's dismissive arrogance and apparent total lack of empathy.

If he is playing to his gallery of (Oh, so easily impressed?) admirers - perhaps Daniel Smythe's (g'day!) "elitist, aren't-we-unbelievably witty, 'intellectuals' (who love to throw around pretentious titles like Doctor)" perhaps he (Dr Duncan) and his gallery could consider setting up an off-line email adulation cabal.

The rest is [to me] ... Wurst!

Common knowledge?

David R, I think quantity surveyors do an enormous amount of damage and create considerable hurt particulary to developers and responsible first-nesters who buy off the plan.   So I'd be keen to hear your source for "It is well known.." [here+paranomasia]

Daniel Smythe, where have you been? Well, lately. 3 groups with an additional one?    Do you think there might be some Palestinian apologists contributing to the site (it's getting to be a big yawn really - there are two clearly divided camps that will not give ground and those of us in the middle who just like pork - agree to disagree, regret the slaughter if that assuages your conscience, and move on to discussing something else)? 

We could have a debate about elitism or wit or what really matters - what practical solutions do you propose to our immediate problems like water or idiots (used in its technical sense of IQ 0-50) [obs] or solving the exodus of lowly paid teachers or nurses  or a myriad other things?   The problem is, we need coherent policy accross the board and if I think any particular proposal is silly, I'll say so as effectively as I can.

As to the quality of posts later at night, I suspect the "moderator" may have been referring to the influence of the grape or distilled grain rather than mere stupidity or tiredness.    Tired though we may be, heavens help us that emotion should come into it.

Aardvarks.

Venomous Wit


Malcolm B. Duncan
, "The best of this site, as I see it is garnering general responses to provocative/evocative thoughts".

And to finish the sentence....garnering general responses to provocative/evocative thoughts that have something to do with the subject at hand.

Malcolm B. Duncan, "Let's not, however, abate wit, humour.........."

It depends on the type. It's the mean spirited, personal, nasty, contemptuous, venomous type that I object to.

Malcolm B. Duncan, "...or what the Govett's of this world seem to abhor, the exposure of personality, humanity and commonality inherent in decrying pacifists, legumes and other forms of non-alcoholic substance abusing life."

I believe unprovoked insult and personal abuse have no place on Webdiary for the reasons I outlined earlier.

Easier to reply by and bye

1.   I hope Mr Roffey, if this is meant seriously, you will pay more attention to your grammar in future.   Subject, verbs, agreement in number ... little things of substance not typos.

2.    Anyone who posts a contribution, in my view, should let it run.  The best of this site, as I see it is garnering general responses to provocative/evocative thoughts.  There should be no need for the contributor to comment  more than once a (pick a timeframe for the urgency of the material but my guess is)  week.   If the contribution is seriously meant by an intelligent person, it should be equally possible for that person to distill the nature of the responses and reply to them in one coherent "so where are we now?" response.

3.   Let's not, however, abate wit, humour, badinage, ridicule or what the Govett's of this world seem to abhor, the exposure of personality, humanity and commonality inherent in decrying pacifists, legumes and other forms of non-alcoholic substance abusing life.

4.   Lighten up a bit.

5.   Get serious.

6.   See 7.

7.   See 6.

agreement in number ...

"smartass wisecracks" is clearly and demonstrably a collective singular noun describing the class of datums what are like that, neh?

The seat of the matter

I don't read the sports news but I had rather assumed it had something to do with underpants.

Toxic Nest

The collective singular noun is in fact smartasses-wisecrack. Otherwise known as a Toxic Nest of smartass wisecracks. 

Lost comments ...

Anyone who was logged on yesterday afternoon will have noticed that for a while there were no comments at all on the site. As far as I can tell, any comments that were submitted before that point were published (last published comment before that point is timed 2.44pm) - but it would appear that any comments submitted from then on until I repaired the mySQL database at 5pm disappeared - at least one from Geoff Pahoff did. If you put a comment in at that time and are wondering what happened to it, that's what happened ...

Easier to ignore the trite

The response limit is fine as long as one does not get asked to respond more than five times in a day. I have no problem with it. I and others I think try to answer questions when asked but am happy to leave them unanswered. It certainly makes it easier to ignore the trite, trivial, repetitive and irrelevant.

Although I suspect it will also curtail flow and enthusiasm because some threads do reach a conversational momentum where it is quite easy to post five responses in a short time.

I suspect what will happen is that people will write five posts but longer ones including answers to a variety of questioners.

David R: past experience suggests that it works reasonably well for people (and particularly for the original article author) to do just that - ie respond generally to a debate once or twice a day with one coherent wrap-up comment.

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