Are aforceforgood's posts offensive?

All things outside of Burning Man.

Are aforceforgood's posts offensive?

Absolutely. He intentionally aims to offend, and he's a good shot, but then refuses to cop to it when confronted.
2
8%
Somewhat. He's sometimes offensive, but not as frequently as others seem to think, and I don't think he really means to be.
2
8%
Marginally. His insensitivity is not a great thing, but I think getting offended is an overreaction.
2
8%
Rarely. Once in a great while he steps over the line, but mostly his comments strike me as humorous and/or harmless.
2
8%
Never. I have yet to read anything by him that I find the least bit offensive.
2
8%
Closeted. I think affg is a closet racist who is in denial about his own prejudices, which are nonetheless obvious to the rest of us through his posts.
5
20%
Who gives a shit? Can we go back to talking about the Barlow essay and the Governator?
10
40%
 
Total votes : 25

Are aforceforgood's posts offensive?

Postby Flux » Sun Nov 09, 2003 1:17 pm

Much of the discussion in the Barlow essay on Burning Man and Schwartzenegger thread lately has centered on the offensiveness, or lack thereof, of aforceforgood's posts there.

What it seems to be boiling down to is this:

Various people wrote:You're being offensive

aforceforgood wrote:You're being overly sensitive


Obviously, this all comes down to a matter of opinion. As I don't have a horse in this particular race, it occurs to me that a poll might be in order. If the preponderance of respondents are offended by affg's posts, perhaps he will decide that he needs to reconsider his communication strategies. If, on the other hand, most people find him inoffensive, perhaps those who have been offended will conclude that they are being overly sensitive after all.

Whaddaya think?
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Postby Kinetic II » Sun Nov 09, 2003 1:25 pm

I cast the first vote: Who gives a shit, let's go on to other things.
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Postby Flux » Sun Nov 09, 2003 1:31 pm

Kinetic II wrote:I cast the first vote: Who gives a shit, let's go on to other things.

Did you actually vote? 'Cause it apparently didn't get recorded.

Doh! My bad, it's working. Move along, nothing to see here, except Flux not being able to work a computer.
Last edited by Flux on Sun Nov 09, 2003 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Kinetic II » Sun Nov 09, 2003 1:38 pm

Yeah, I voted. I've been going back through the threads and I can see a few of his points yet I see the others. I'm glad I don't have to deal with Cali politics and the immigration issues so much. The thread like a lot of things on here has been good for introspection and challenging belief systems. So while I'm staying neutral I'm getting a lot of good info here. Maybe I'm offering a bit of the silver lining in the cloud of darkness that's descended around this place. Nah, I'm just hallucinating again.
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Postby alice » Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:00 am

Kinetic II wrote:Nah, I'm just hallucinating again.



awwwww!

wish i was.
bitch all you want - it won't change nothin.
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Postby aforceforgood » Tue Nov 11, 2003 11:34 am

Just for the record, I voted for "marginally". I can see how someone would be offended by "If your culture is so weak that learning english can kill it, then it deserves to die.", but I also explained that I felt that for learning english to be able to destroy someone's culture basically meant that they'd have to abandon all of their previously held beliefs, and I don't think that's a rational statement.

I do a lot of that, taking arguments to their illogical extremes to show why they're silly, and I guess people are apt to get offended by some of that.

But I think the real test of whether or not what I'm saying is racist is judge how well the statement stands up on it's own if you subtract your emotional reaction to it. Do that, and think about the statement, which has several suppositions contained within it, namely;

Does learning english destroy your culture?

Hasn't the person learning english made a value choice that english has some usefulness to them?

Does learning to think in a different grammer and syntax mean abandoning all of your previous knowledge of your own language? Or is it possible to retain that knowledge while being enriched by what you learn from the new one?

Isn't it the responsibility of those whose culture it is to preserve it, even if that means by teaching their children in english about it? How is it logical for someone to go to a new country, because apparently there are things they like about the culture of that country, and then act like said country is actively trying to destroy their culture by asking them to please not be a drain on the economy by learning to communicate, thanks very much?

Obviously I believe that learning new things doesn't mean you abandon old knowledge. And that was always my point. I tend to like putting things in a way that challenges people to question their own beliefs that to them are so self-evident that they haven't looked at them in a long time, to dust them off and show me all the facets of their beliefs so we can explore together what those strengths and weaknesses are. This is the way I learn.

I am sorry that some have felt offended, but I still believe that was due to their own overreaction. There's been a lot of ignoring of context and picking and choosing from my posts to try and "prove" I'm a racist, and I really have a strong adverse reaction to that.

I'll go back and count up the number of times I asked for cites and got none or very few when I have more time. The only exception that springs to mind is Patience, and s/he didn't convince me. It was very frustrating to be called a racist, and when I asked for specific reasons why someone interpreted something in particular (meaning tell me what they thought was racist, and why) as racist and got nothing but a repost and the words "this is racist, and if you can't see that..." . Which I took to mean, "This offends me, I can't muster up a good argument for why it's racist, but it offends me, and I'm an enlightened morally superior dude or dudette, and therefore it must be."

What do I learn from that? That said dude or dudette is a superior moral person and I'm a troll or a racist? And I still have no idea why? Since obviously they haven't spelled it out to me, and my best thinking (and best intentions, namely, to be non-racist) brought me to the beliefs I have? Obviously, "this is racist, and if you can't see that..." ain't gonna cut it for making the world a better place.
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Postby Don Muerto » Tue Nov 11, 2003 7:35 pm

AFFG, I think a more useful tack for you would be to say something definitive that refutes the misperception you seem to be laboring under. Rather than demand proof and cites, etc. why not just come out and say how you feel about race and culture and clear things up?

For my part, I just reread our entire exchange on the Barlow thread. Sweet Jesus that sucked!

I want to apologize to you for getting up in your face. I still disagree with much of what you have said, but don't think I handled it in the optimal way. So, I am sorry for my contribution to this mess. That apology extends to those folks who could not help themselves reading that exchange even though it irritated them. (this means you, Trey)
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Postby III » Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:57 pm

>this means you, Trey

smooch
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Postby Don Muerto » Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:59 pm

<i>*wonders why III turned out the lights first, and why his breath was so rank and his beard so tickly*</i>
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Postby lolitadelagorgonzola » Wed Nov 12, 2003 12:23 am

.....Well of course he turned the lights out and didn't brush his teeth...word gets out you know about those potatoes in your pants....Hey, even I could figure that out.
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Postby Flux » Wed Nov 12, 2003 3:01 pm

You can look at the results at the top of the page.
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In my misguided opinion...

Postby Last Real Burner » Wed Nov 12, 2003 3:28 pm

My view on the matter can be summed up in one question.

Does this thread make my ass look big?

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Postby Bob » Wed Nov 12, 2003 5:10 pm

I have a few thoughts, though I don't care to vote.

Even if some of affg's typed comments could be interpreted as racist under some common definition, I think it's tedium at best and harassment at worst to single anyone out with a thread dedicated to their presumed failings. It's entirely different from engaging them in the context of a conversational thread. Even if it's meant to be ironic, it appears too much like a personal attack to consider it anything but flaming. If I were moderating the eplaya, the thread would have hit the bit bucket as soon as I saw it, if only to prevent similar threads from propagating.
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Postby Guest » Wed Nov 12, 2003 6:15 pm

Bob wrote:I have a few thoughts, though I don't care to vote.

Even if some of affg's typed comments could be interpreted as racist under some common definition, I think it's tedium at best and harassment at worst to single anyone out with a thread dedicated to their presumed failings. It's entirely different from engaging them in the context of a conversational thread. Even if it's meant to be ironic, it appears too much like a personal attack to consider it anything but flaming. If I were moderating the eplaya, the thread would have hit the bit bucket as soon as I saw it, if only to prevent similar threads from propagating.


What Bob said, and ...the poll thing fucks me up. It seems like a 'we can prove you're wrong for believing you're not wrong' thing.
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Postby Flux » Wed Nov 12, 2003 7:30 pm

Bob wrote:Even if some of affg's typed comments could be interpreted as racist under some common definition, I think it's tedium at best and harassment at worst to single anyone out with a thread dedicated to their presumed failings. It's entirely different from engaging them in the context of a conversational thread. Even if it's meant to be ironic, it appears too much like a personal attack to consider it anything but flaming. If I were moderating the eplaya, the thread would have hit the bit bucket as soon as I saw it, if only to prevent similar threads from propagating.


abeerinthemorning wrote:What Bob said, and ...the poll thing fucks me up. It seems like a 'we can prove you're wrong for believing you're not wrong' thing.

Harassment and personal attack were not at all my motivation in creating the poll, and this is the first I've heard of anyone having a problem with it. Aforceforgood himself didn't complain about it, at least not on this thread or to me personally.

I guess there's no point in reiterating the purpose that I stated in the first post of this thread; it's still there and still makes as much sense to me as it ever did. Anyone who knows me, or has read my previous 432 posts, knows that I don't knowingly harass or attack people.

Everyone, please feel free to petition the moderators to delete this topic; I have no attachment to it, and would not have started it had I known that either it or I would have been reviled as a result. Mea culpa.

Please feel free to flame away at will; I'm done here.
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Postby Guest » Wed Nov 12, 2003 7:46 pm

Shoot, Flux. I was looking more at the concept of the poll and a thread about judging someone posts.
Don't think you meant to personally harass affg.
I just think Bob made some excellent points, and I have had some strong negative feelings towards polls since Tawnee Lynne? got judged in one.
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Postby DE FACTO » Wed Nov 12, 2003 8:25 pm

Flux wrote:I guess there's no point in reiterating the purpose that I stated in the first post of this thread; it's still there and still makes as much sense to me as it ever did. Anyone who knows me, or has read my previous 432 posts, knows that I don't knowingly harass or attack people.

Everyone, please feel free to petition the moderators to delete this topic; I have no attachment to it, and would not have started it had I known that either it or I would have been reviled as a result. Mea culpa.

Please feel free to flame away at will; I'm done here.


Right on dood!
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you people are too funny.

Postby DE FACTO » Wed Nov 12, 2003 9:23 pm

you guys just crack me up!

really.
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Postby aforceforgood » Wed Nov 12, 2003 11:56 pm

Flux wrote:Thoughts? Reactions? What do you think, aforceforgood?


Well, I think it's interesting that you've edited out the largest voter block to try and skew the results into what you'd like them to show. Do you work for the government? Just curious.

You rationalize in your own mind that YOU know EXACTLY why those choosing the "who gives a shit" option to vote for do so because they truly don't give a shit, ignoring the possibility that it might simply be the least inaccurate option available to vote for what truly represents their feelings on the matter.

And I also think the sampling is way too statistically small to prove anything, even if it were possible to "prove" I were a racist or offensive by asking people whether they felt I was, especially while allowing them to remain anonymous and give no basis for this accusation whatsoever.

And really, I'm trying really hard to let this go, and I both appreciate and accept your apology Don, but I just can't resist twitting you on this, both because you deserve it and because it so beautifully illustrates a point;

Don Muerto wrote:AFFG, I think a more useful tack for you would be to say something definitive that refutes the misperception you seem to be laboring under. Rather than demand proof and cites, etc. why not just come out and say how you feel about race and culture and clear things up?


aforceforgood wrote: I like a lot about latino culture, their strong family ties, passion, etc.


And this was your response...

Don Muerto wrote:So the family ties and passion are good, but the laziness and theft are bad?


I can sense you're a little calmer than when you initially had your first strong emotional reaction to what I said, and are trying to reach out to me, and I don't want it to seem like I'm slapping away your hand extended in freindship, (which is not what I'm trying to do here, but I feel there's a point that needs to be made) but I can't help pointing out that the perception of me as a racist had a lot of help from posters who read a LOT into my statements.

In other words, I feel like no matter what I say, it could be twisted. Heck, I've been condemned for things I didn't even say, that were created out of thin air in someone else's mind.

Or to put it as someone else did in the other thread, and turn it around on you so that you (<--that's a collective you, not just you Don) might genuflect a bit more on your own postings here, it seems like no matter what "evidence" is presented to you, you will dismiss it, or ignore it altogether...
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Postby Kinetic II » Thu Nov 13, 2003 12:39 am

Just when I thought it was calming down we get the electronic equivalent of napalm tossed into the mix. This has the potential to go on and on...could all sides find some common ground and let this thing drop? Not everything online has to be peaches and cream but this is accomplishing little to nothing for all involved, imho.
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Postby DE FACTO » Thu Nov 13, 2003 12:41 am

Kinetic II wrote:Just when I thought it was calming down we get the electronic equivalent of napalm tossed into the mix. This has the potential to go on and on...could all sides find some common ground and let this thing drop? Not everything online has to be peaches and cream but this is accomplishing little to nothing for all involved, imho.


Hey this is Burningman.....the good bad and ugly are included.

It's called REALITY.
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That's right I'm pushing this to the limit!

Postby DE FACTO » Thu Nov 13, 2003 12:47 am

That's what this board is for. Ripleys belive it or not!

New ideas.
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Postby Bob » Thu Nov 13, 2003 3:20 am

Flux wrote:Harassment and personal attack were not at all my motivation in creating the poll, and this is the first I've heard of anyone having a problem with it. Aforceforgood himself didn't complain about it, at least not on this thread or to me personally.

I guess there's no point in reiterating the purpose that I stated in the first post of this thread; it's still there and still makes as much sense to me as it ever did. Anyone who knows me, or has read my previous 432 posts, knows that I don't knowingly harass or attack people.


Picture a casual observer browsing through General Discussion on the eplaya, seeing a thread title singling out one eplaya user with the proposition that their posts may be offensive, along with a poll that invites all other users to collaborate in putting additional focus on negative judgments of that one user, with the subject offense being racism --

That casual observer (me, for instance) is likely to consider the OP's post either an outright flame against that one user, or vaguely intentioned flamebait exploiting the classic hot-button issue of racism to make some sort of point about opinions and perceptions.

Whether or not you intended this thread to be a classic flame, it looked enough like one to make me concerned -- that new users might be completely turned off at the level of discussion, and that any user might think they're going to be singled out either by you or a raving me-too copycat.

Everyone, please feel free to petition the moderators to delete this topic; I have no attachment to it, and would not have started it had I known that either it or I would have been reviled as a result. Mea culpa.

Please feel free to flame away at will; I'm done here.


Something about protesting too much comes to mind -- I only revile this thread, its title, and the implications for eplaya users. Based on a few bbs posts, I don't know you or most other eplaya users from Adam or Eve, or well enough to excite love or hate on a personal level.

And I didn't propose a poll or an appeal to the admins -- to my knowledge, there aren't any moderators as such except for a minority of reactionary busybodies.

I only expressed my opinion in response to this thread, based on my own concern that (appearing to be) flaming another user in this way might constitute a precedent. I don't want to see any thread titles or polls like this on the board. On a first reading, as an example of the treatment of one user by the OP, and by others voting in the poll or piling on with right-on-this or me-too-that, it goes beyond the abstract, beyond whatever object lesson may have been intended, and simply contributes to coloring the eplaya as an intentionally uncomfortable environment. IMHO.
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Postby herself » Thu Nov 13, 2003 7:40 am

> why not just come out and say how you feel about race and culture and clear things up?

It's just not so easy. What if saying what I think sounds racist? But I'm unsure. One has to be careful.

I think when black people take a really long time to cross the street in a crosswalk, and intentionally block my car from preceding, it's okay because they're asserting rights that in fact they did not have for a really long time. I can show them a little extra respect now since they got zero in the past.

That's how I feel. Is that racist? Yeah, kind of.

I hate to say it but I'm more and more w Ward Connerly: drawing attention to race in ANY CAPACITY is borderline racist. So there.

It's a tough subject, people don't really know what's right, and are afraid that their honest beliefs, which don't *feel* racist, may somehow *be* racist, so they keep the beliefs to themselves and never get a chance to explore them.

I've noticed, though, that kids have to be taught about race, it's not something they figure out on their own.

hh
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Postby aforceforgood » Thu Nov 13, 2003 11:21 am

Kinetic II wrote:Just when I thought it was calming down we get the electronic equivalent of napalm tossed into the mix. This has the potential to go on and on...could all sides find some common ground and let this thing drop? Not everything online has to be peaches and cream but this is accomplishing little to nothing for all involved, imho.


I disagree. I've been asked to reexamine my comments to check for racism, and I have, and now I'm asking those who've condemned me for things I never even said to examine their own perceptions and brain filters and comments for fairness. I think a great deal of good can come out of this, in the area of personal growth and a greater awareness of what is racist, and what is just an emotional reaction to buzzwords.

As for scaring off potential newbies- I think the reverse is probably true. I'd liken it to the Jerry Springer effect, where you can't help but peek at those having an argument, but with brainy people discussing difficult issues frankly and intelligently. In other words, sucked in by the tabloid sensationalism, and beguiled by the depth of intellectual discourse.

Yeah, it's kind of an uncomfortable subject, and I'd like to see it settle down, but I felt the point had to be made that there was a lot of unfairness in the accusations of racism coming at me. Though I do see how what I said could offend someone, which is not the same thing as being a racist, or saying racist things. My stopping point right now is that I feel there will always be someone to take offense at anything said in reference to race, (see my hispanic and latino point earlier in this thread for why it is impossible to not offend someone) and so I will probably choose to word my posts a little more carefully so as to avoid the racism card, while hopefully still challenging people to analyze their own beliefs for content and truth.

As for stating exactly what my views on race are, I have a hard time believing I could simply state that I don't view color or race as a factor in whether or not someone's a swell guy or an asshole and that would simply be accepted without people picking it apart to show whether I was as enlightened as they are to the 19th freaking decimal place. So I won't. As stated before, the laws of statistics show that someone will always take offense. You need look no farther for proof than the one guy who voted that I was a racist when everyone else didn't feel that.

With that, I'll let this go.
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Postby Isotopia » Thu Nov 13, 2003 3:36 pm

This has the potential to go on and on...could all sides find
some common ground and let this thing drop?


Why? For your comfort?

I'd disagree with this notion as well. Like it or not what started out as a nasty shit storm has gotten down to actual exchange of perceptions and dialogue. You may not like what you read but there's ideas and opinions flying back and forth in what I see as a pretty healthy exchange of views.

Remeber Kinetic, you've got the option to plonk just as I do.
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Postby III » Thu Nov 13, 2003 3:40 pm

>you've got the option to plonk just as I do

sure wish i did.

hey, maybe they'll make *that* one of those for pay services...

heh.

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Postby Don Muerto » Thu Nov 13, 2003 3:58 pm

Isotopia wrote:Like it or not what started out as a nasty shit storm has gotten down to actual exchange of perceptions and dialogue. You may not like what you read but there's ideas and opinions flying back and forth in what I see as a pretty healthy exchange of views.


Frankly, I don't see ideas or opinions being exchanged.
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Postby Patience » Thu Nov 13, 2003 4:18 pm

I'll trade you three opinions for an idea.
It's not that I hate you. It's just that I'm a much better person than you.
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Postby Don Muerto » Thu Nov 13, 2003 4:24 pm

Can I get 2 notions change?
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