Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Negative culture in the blogosphere.

"I am a kind of paranoid in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy." - J. D. Salinger
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The discussions on this blog and a few others concerning negativity in the com boxes is a very good one I think.  Although I'd hate to see things becoming too polite, resulting in a greater passive aggressive tone, where it takes several days for dunces such as myself to figure out I've been bitch-slapped.  My negative comments here are mainly passive aggressive jabs, with a few spit in your face style jolts thrown in.  After I turned off anonymous comments, I realized I was censoring important pieces of criticism I would otherwise not hear.  Today I was called a snob - that is good - it helped me to hear that.
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I think some blogs cultivate a negative culture.  I recall a novice in a monastery telling me I sometimes write very passive aggressive posts.  He helped me with that criticism - unfortunately, I don't think I've improved much.  It is always easier to see the speck in another's eye, missing the log in my own - and there lies the struggle.  Stepping out on that limb/log a bit, I also want to point out that the culture we create on our blogs and in our little world, is the barometer of how readers respond.  Hence, on blogs that create a negative culture, negative - even mean spirited commenters - will respond.  The more negative the content, and by negative I mean content that is often mocking, sneering, scoffing, argumentative, suspicious, retaliatory, vengeful, vindictive, triumphalist, elitist, and so on - the more zealous the commenters.  Like generates like - or something like that. 
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"Your verdict on others will be the verdict passed on you."
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I may be wrong, but it seems likely that negative commenters frequently take their cues from negative bloggers - especially the authors who present as some sort of authority figure, who indirectly affirm and give permission to advance their crusade to other com boxes.  The same goes for so-called passive aggressive bloggers like myself - I in turn get the passive aggressive critics turning on me, along with the occasional mean-spirited types who take their cues from the former.  I'm not claiming those commenters of mine who respond with passive-aggressive contempt are themselves on any crusade they picked up from me however - I'm not part of any crusade or agenda.  Which may be another disappointment that inspires the ire of others.  Anyhow - I don't know any of this for sure - I'm just speculating again.
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However, the upshot of all of this is that many of us are so utterly convinced of our own self-righteousness, that we are beginning to imagine ourselves as being constantly persecuted for the faith.  Perhaps a few bloggers are persecuted to some extent for speaking the truth - but I doubt any of us are going to be arrested or shot any time soon.
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Out to get you...
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If 'they' are right, then we have to learn how to behave better in a hostile society.  It's hard for me to imagine Christians under Nazi persecution or under Communist rule, gathering in enclaves to mock and scoff triumphantly at their oppressors and opponents, rather than concentrate upon sustaining and deepening their own faith, humbly yet courageously resisting compromise in their moral resolve to persevere and build up the body of Christ - and in charity, disseminate the truth of Catholic teaching.  I have a lot of reforming to do. 
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Keep in mind, real martyrs are characterized by heroic virtue, especially charity, which moves them to pardon those who persecute them.
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I'll be at adoration today 'praying for forgiveness'...   The rest of you can go to ______!  
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What?  Lighten up! - I'm just kidding!
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Gosh, was that passive aggressive?
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Am I being passive aggressive now?
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Holy crap - I just don't know anymore.

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Update:  Wait a minute!  Wait a minute!  Mark Shea tells it better!  I wish I had written it.  Check it out: In Criticism of ______ ___.  It is excellent.

13 comments:

  1. Terry - I know how you feel. Now stop whining, you baby.

    :-)

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  2. LOL! Just you wait buddy!

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  3. I have written and deleted 5 comments.

    In short, Terry, I agree.

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  4. "Just the facts, Ma'am."

    That's all you ask for on your blog.

    Comments made regarding comments made on your blog always seem to drift off into name calling: misogynist, which just means woman hater, or some other scientific or political terms which actually means those commenting on the commentators don't have the smarts to make good comments on your plethora of subjects raised at your blog.

    At the end of the day, your blog edifies souls, even those that are most in need of God's mercy.

    My prayer is that some of the regulars would be Charitable towards those shipwrecked souls that find their way to your blog.

    I think now is a good time for you to publicly address your bloglodites.

    Here is a video that offers a few pointers:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kh9S1Hk975U

    Just substitute Novus Ordo, Tridentine, Clown Masses, and so on where needed.

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  5. I think I worked through this issue now and I'm ready to move on. Thanks.

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  6. When you ask for civility, you remind me of ADOLF HITLER!!!!!!

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  7. "If you don't behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you behave."

    The only thing sticking your tail between your legs gets you is a funny walk.

    A video for moral supportage:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLrrBs8JBQo

    Viva Cristo Rey!

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  8. "The Church loves controversy, and loves it for two reason; because intellectual conflict is informing, and because she is madly in love with rationalism. The great structure of the Church has been built up through controversy" (Catholicism Against Itself, p. 281.)

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  9. Terry:

    Have you ever heard of The Giant Internet Hand of Spanking?

    http://swistle.blogspot.com/2011/07/giant-internet-hand-of-spanking.html

    Reading this captured so much Truth. Really.

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  10. Terry:

    I have been thinking about this a lot tonight. I read another blog about these young Catholics (I am still sorta young, maybe middle?) and how positive and HOPEFUL they are.

    It made me feel like crap. Mostly because I dont have a lot of positive and hopeful stuff in my local parish - Yes I have the Sacraments, but as a husband and father, I look for FAMILY stuff COMMUNITY STUFF.

    So where then do we draw the line between criticism and defense of the faith and doom and gloom? Where does objectivity fall into negativity? When does casting judgment on actions slide into judging souls?

    It is hard... some of us live in the "War" of the faith... and it is hard to think about vacation when you are getting shot at. I don't know, maybe I just need a vacation... maybe I am just bitter and broken. I wasnt always this way...I blame it on my new location.

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  11. Amy - thanks - I just read it - great post.

    Joe - I think we all just have to make our mistakes and muddle through - hopefully learning something in the process. Faith, hope, and love.

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  12. "...I dont have a lot of positive and hopeful stuff in my local parish - Yes I have the Sacraments..."

    The Blessed Sacrament is Family and Community 'stuff'.

    There is nothing stopping a soul from taking a pot of coffee, a box of donuts, and a little card table to Mass and inviting the poor beggars to have a nice little treat after Mass.

    Priests are responsible for providing the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; they are not responsible for entertainment.

    When we are unhappy, it is because we have chosen to walk in the valley of the shadow of death.

    Work hard to make others happy by doing a little something.

    The Lord helps those that helps themselves.

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  13. The Giant Internet Hand of Spanking post was pure.genius.

    ReplyDelete


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