Anybody have a problem with the word "niggling"? March 22, 2001 4:13 PM   Subscribe

Anybody have a problem with the word "niggling"? We already decided "fuck" was no problem amongst adults, will we shoot down innocent words?
posted by thirteen to Etiquette/Policy at 4:13 PM (56 comments total)

I find it way more offensive that Hal_55 calls people who disagree with him "gun-nuts" every other post, but I certainly would not want to stop him from being so charming.
posted by thirteen at 4:19 PM on March 22, 2001

"Niggling" sounds *way* too much like "niggardly," and as a proud niggard and miser, I am deeply offended.
posted by luke at 4:23 PM on March 22, 2001

I'm with you thirteen. As a walnut, I vehemently oppose crazy gun owners being included in my vegetarian protein-providing surname. I think I can call on the support of almonds and pistachios in this case, as well.
posted by accountingboy at 6:13 PM on March 22, 2001

As a firearm (I've been called "a son of a gun" more than once) I must protest the use of the hyphenated compound "gun-nut," as if I was somehow vegetative.
posted by kindall at 8:54 PM on March 22, 2001

Well, being a son-of-a-gun means that your other parent was something else. Otherwise you'd be the son-of-two-guns or something to that effect. If he/she was a cashew, the gun-nut compound would suit you well. I'm not sure if this is possibe combination, since I don't know how many chromosomes either a gun or a nut have or even if they reproduce.
posted by accountingboy at 9:15 PM on March 22, 2001

Guns reproduce asexually, actually.
posted by kindall at 12:10 AM on March 23, 2001

No problem with niggling. Problem with bozos who can't read a dictionary, though.

OED shows no possible offensive means for niggling, niggle, or niggler, although a niggler can be a "A lascivious person" and niggling can mean "accompanying with a Woman" (when it was last recorded by the OED that way in 1700) and niggly can mean "irritable, short-tempered."
posted by Mo Nickels at 1:12 AM on March 23, 2001

Clearly there's nothing wrong with the word, but it does seem odd how much pleasure some of you seem to take in flirting with the reprehensible.
posted by sudama at 7:55 AM on March 23, 2001

I'm with Mo. Niggling is one of my favorite words, and as president of the Chicago chapter of the Niggling Fan Club, I have not seen it used inappropriately in that thread.
posted by hijinx at 8:13 AM on March 23, 2001

Clearly there's nothing wrong with the word, but it does seem odd how much pleasure some of you seem to take in flirting with the reprehensible.

At what age was your humor gland removed? "Flirting with the reprehensible" (a pretty overheated term to spank people with, especially the generally levelheaded folks in attendance here) is more or less the foundation of comedy.
posted by Skot at 8:24 AM on March 23, 2001

egads, sudama. thought police much?
posted by Sapphireblue at 9:24 AM on March 23, 2001

Heard any good racist jokes lately?

I'm not comfortable with a group of white* people sitting around amusing themselves with words that sound like "nigger." I don't mean to spank anyone, I'm really just trying to figure out what's going on here. If not that, then what? If that, then why?

* white/mostly white, what ever.

posted by sudama at 9:54 AM on March 23, 2001 [1 favorite]

It's titillating in the same way other bad words are.
Remember the first time you said fuck?
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:35 AM on March 23, 2001

Not clearly. Maybe hypnotic regression would do the trick.

Actually, I have a sense that I probably whispered it, but I have no idea when or to who. Do you remember?

I don't think the analogy holds, though, for about 224 reasons.
posted by sudama at 11:06 AM on March 23, 2001

When "niggling" was first used in a post, it had nothing whatever to do with race. It was just someone using a word. Then some incredibly sensitive person took offense to it. "Niggling" is a good word because of the "iggling" sound. It sounds kind of like what it means.

I could (but I won't) come up with a list of words that sound the same as or similar to a racial slur. I'm not about to start filtering my entire vocabulary on the basis of what erroneous offense someone might take to it.

In any case, I can't imagine an innocent use of "niggling" causing half as much trouble as is caused by people going out of their way to look for offense.

And I hate to say it, sudama, but there isn't very much that you're comfortable with.

posted by anapestic at 11:07 AM on March 23, 2001

Sudama, look back at your first comment in this thread.

Now look above it, and count how many comments were making puns of the word 'niggling.'

5 out of 7 comments were talking about the phrase 'gun-nut.'

The only 2 that mentioned 'niggling' were luke's and Mo's comments. Does it look like they were 'flirting with the reprehensible?'
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:13 AM on March 23, 2001

As (I think) Peter Jennings once said on the topic of "niggardly," paraphrased, "Nobody thinks you're talking about Japanese people when you say 'there's a little nip in the air.'"
posted by kindall at 11:25 AM on March 23, 2001 [1 favorite]

Sudama, spit it out: Are you accusing me, by finding it absurd to be offended by "niggling" because it sounds like "niggardly," just as it's absurd to be offended by "niggardly" because it sounds like "nigger," of telling a racist joke?

If this is what passes for racist ... well, in a way, it comforts me. For the bar of outrage to be this low, it means the civil rights struggle has progressed a long, long way.

Insensitive? Perhaps. Crass? Probably. Racist? That's just nutty.
posted by luke at 11:49 AM on March 23, 2001

We've finally reached the completely absurd...people are being accused of racism because they're using words that SOUND LIKE "racist" words. And none of this would have come about if one person in the previously mentioned thread owned a dictionary, or perhaps a decent vocabulary.
posted by Doug at 11:57 AM on March 23, 2001

The racist jokes remark was an oblique attempt to point out that not everything is funny.

Nobody thinks you're talking about Japanese people when you say 'there's a little nip in the air.'

Whoever said that has a good point, but I don't see how it applies. Personally, I have a bigger problem with the word "denigrate" than with "niggling" or "niggardly", but this thread is about what the relationship of the word "niggling" to the word "nigger" is and what it should be.

On the one hand I agree that there doesn't need to be any relationship at all.

On the other, I think it's perfectly reasonable for someone to come to the wrong conclusion about the derivation of these words and to take offense. In the case that they do, there's often a subtext to the inevitable public ridicule which suggests that it's absurd to be offended by the word "nigger."

That's what I saw in here, and that's what I object to. I don't think it was directly on the mind of anyone who posted, but I think it's present in the atmosphere, and I think that it contributes to an environment that's hostile to people of color.

posted by sudama at 12:17 PM on March 23, 2001

Sudama, can you honestly say, looking back at the thread before you posted, that there was an 'atmosphere' with racial undertones? I want to remind you again that only one of the first seven posts made any sort of pun on the word 'niggling.'

posted by sonofsamiam at 12:25 PM on March 23, 2001

sonofsam, I think it's safe to say that racial undertones have been present from the start of the thread--considering that the entire reason the thread began in the first place is because of an earlier misunderstanding about the word. Sure, it was etymologically unsound. But let's be up front. Racial concerns were behind all of this before sudama said anything.

And Skot, flirting with the reprehensible might yield some humor--I don't really think it's always the foundation, what about slapstick?--but reprehensibility based on race can exclude some audiences, IMO. Is that worth it?
posted by nedlog at 12:57 PM on March 23, 2001

Sudama: "There's often a subtext to the inevitable public ridicule which suggests that it's absurd to be offended by the word 'nigger.'"

Nobody here has ever suggested it's absurd, implicitly or explicitly, and I continue to resent your accusations of same. What we're finding absurd is being offended by words that *sound like* offensive words, let alone words that sound like words that sound like offensive words.
posted by luke at 1:17 PM on March 23, 2001

honestly, I use the word "niggling" frequently, and have forever. I don't do it for a thrill; it's a good word, it sounds like what it is.

it's in no way related to a racial epithet, and I think it's a bit off the wall to make that relation.

sorry, sudama; I'm super sensitive on this kind of thing, but this strikes me as a non-issue.

posted by rebeccablood at 3:37 PM on March 23, 2001

In order for those who get indignant over the use of "niggling" to be taken seriously, they need to start exhibiting a little consistency in their outrage. If it is so wrong to utter this word, even though it can only upset those who are literally ignorant on the matter, why aren't these same people also:

1) Calling for the suppression of the works of that racially insensitive degenerate, A. A. Milne?

2) Boycotting ESPN?

3) Hating perky people?

4) Attacking paratroopers?

Oh, speaking of "nips"...
posted by aaron at 3:59 PM on March 23, 2001

How many times can I say there's nothing wrong with the word and not be heard? I have not suggested the word itself is problematic.

Often, words that sound like other words are related in origin if not meaning. How many words start with "nigg" anyway? (My dictionary lists three, plus variations -- all have been mentioned here.) It's an honest mistake, one we can choose to concern ourselves with or not.

I don't expect anyone to concern themselves with use of the word "niggling", but I do expect white people to be aware of ways in which they create "white" spaces -- spaces which tend to diminish, discourage, exclude, or ignore participation by people of color. That's my only concern here. I'm not alone in being uncomfortable with the way it was handled here. In fact, it's still being handled in a way which would strongly discourage a person of color from sharing an unpopular opinion.

That's not what I want metafilter to be, and when I see it I'm going to challenge it.
posted by sudama at 4:08 PM on March 23, 2001 [1 favorite]

I'm not comfortable with a group of white* people sitting around amusing themselves with words that sound like "nigger."

Does anyone remember the name of the user who thought he could devise a proxy that functioned like a MetaFilter killfile, filtering out specific users from threads?
posted by rcade at 4:22 PM on March 23, 2001

In fact, it's still being handled in a way which would strongly discourage a person of color from sharing an unpopular opinion.

Sudama, this only makes sense if you're saying that the feelings of any person of color are always paramount to everything else - no matter how wrong (or even crazy) those feelings might be - purely because they're the feelings of a non-white person. Most of us will never accept that. Nobody gets a free pass to have totally wacky statements go unquestioned just because of the color of their skin.

And on MeFi, we have no way of knowing anyone's race unless they state it upfront. In any case, I'm not sure I believe that anyone's ideas would be dismissed here just because we knew they were coming from someone of a certain race.
posted by aaron at 4:34 PM on March 23, 2001

"...environment that's hostile to people of color."

I see it being insensitive rather then hostile. I also see it as being insensitive to stupidity rather then race. I am glad to most people of color are a lot less sensitive then sudama.

Sometimes I think your racist-o-meter is so sensitive that it not only detects racist vibrations being emitted by emerging life on Europa, but can even detect the patterns that with errupt in a spuriously racist comment to have yet been made on a thread not yet posted. Of course, I'm exaggerating right?
posted by john at 6:31 PM on March 23, 2001

Sudama, clearly you don't mind the word Niggling, but are upset by the fact that the white folks are using it as a joking substitute for the word nigger. Which in actuality they weren't even doing. Luke's statement was humorous, and poked fun at the fact that someone thought Niggling was racist because it sounds remotely like "nigger." Mo gave a little vocabulary lesson, and didn't "flirt with the reprehensible." It seems that you're using this thread to make a point (which may or may not be valid) which is pretty much unrelated to the posts in the thread itself. Which is why it seems nobody understands you.

posted by Doug at 7:30 PM on March 23, 2001

I think we've all established that no harm was intended in the useage of the word. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that everyone, including Sudema, has agreed that that is the case.

The only reason this could continue to be a problem is if anyone at mefi continued to use the word in such a way as to "make a point" or try to have a joke at the expense of others. I don't expect that to happen though.

As for "Gun nut" This is actually a native nut which is found in parts of Northern Australia. Harder than a Walnut, it's difficult to crack the outer shell without damaging the soft nut inside (which is not unlike a Macadamia, albeit smaller) It's almost impossible to harvest commercially, however is quite prized in some communities.
posted by lucien at 8:58 PM on March 23, 2001

As an adjunct to that, one can always take part in "Word Police Exam" thoughtfully provided by the Atlantic Online.
posted by lucien at 9:18 PM on March 23, 2001

I wasn't trying to spoil anybody's fun, but I still think if it felt icky to me, it felt icky to others. To me, it was almost so bad I didn't want to come back -- that's how I knew I had to confront it. I worry about people who will start to read this thread, get put off, and not come back -- what that might have cost MetaFilter. You say it's in my head, but I trust my gut on this one.

Bleh. Anyway.

Thanks for the link, lucien. Looks like a good book.
posted by sudama at 10:54 PM on March 23, 2001 [1 favorite]

Sudama, I understand were you're coming from. If it helps the case any, I've heard African Americans use the n-word to describe people of their own race. They also use the word h-word as a demeaning insult. I'd hate to niggle over the details, but I'd like to point out that I know that 90% of the people out there today are fairly civil most of the time, although they don't have to like each other for many reasons. I'd also like to point out that you're amongst a crowd here at MeFi that doesn't see color in other handles except for when it is needed to push the issue of racism. Some of my closest friends, which are African American, are not as sensitive to the problem as you are. In a way, I feel that it is a good thing in both respects. I see the end result, which is the ability to have inner respect....but I also appreciate your views, as you've been digging around and reading on the issue for quite some time. I know if I was, my gut would be upset as well on this one. I do feel, however, that we've reached a point where disrespect and ignorance are no different whether race is involved or not. And I also know that there are no longer collective forces other than ourselves seperating whites from blacks. It's on an individual basis, which is probably as far as it's going to go for quite some time (until we get everything else worked out, that is).

Sorry about being off topic, once again....I just got baited and had to niggle over the details.
posted by samsara at 7:40 AM on March 24, 2001

I wasn't trying to spoil anybody's fun, but I still think if it felt icky to me, it felt icky to others.

Do you know a single African-American who said that the wordplay in this thread felt "icky" to them, or is this the latest in a long line of efforts to protect them in absentia from the evil white race?

Sorry to be blunt, but you're the boy who cried race, and sooner or later the townsfolk will stop coming around when you have a legitimate racial grievance to address.
posted by rcade at 8:23 AM on March 24, 2001

I call bullshit on samsara.

I don't agree with sudama's interpretation of the thread in question, but samsara, you're just baiting. grow up.

posted by rebeccablood at 1:22 PM on March 24, 2001

posted by samsara at 1:52 PM on March 24, 2001

Although I do not see how I was baiting compared to everyone else...send me an e-mail if you want to express your opinion as to why. Thanks.
posted by samsara at 2:04 PM on March 24, 2001

If we stop using words that sound like other words that express distasteful sentiments, will those sentiments go away? Does acknowledging that a word sounds an awful lot like a racist slur and making lighthearted jokes about it to bring it out into the open constitute bigotry? Is this really the place for anyone to state that they 'expect white people to be aware of ways in which they create "white" spaces -- spaces which tend to diminish, discourage, exclude, or ignore participation by people of color'? And is that in fact happening here, where as several people have mentioned, no one knows of what race others are unless it is stated?

There are very real problems with racism that are not going to be solved by simply changing our vocabulary - the visible (or audible) signal of underlying problems. Sudama, I think I understand the point you're trying to make, but I also think (1) you've got the wrong forum for your agenda, and (2) you're focusing your energy on a non-issue.

The fact that someone would be sensitive enough to suggest that the use of the word "niggling" might be distasteful to some, despite it's completely harmless definition, shows that MeFillistines are aware of the subtexts you find "icky." Using humor to deal with it simultaneously acknowledges the issue and highlights its silliness.
posted by jennaratrix at 3:14 PM on March 24, 2001

In light of the overwrought email tirade I was subjected to this week, I can only hope that sudama will take this thread to heart and consider when he says "That's not what I want metafilter to be, and when I see it I'm going to challenge it" that perhaps it's metafilter isn't "his" to change and that sometimes the right thing to do is to respect other people's opinions though they differ from yours and agree to move on...
posted by m.polo at 3:51 PM on March 24, 2001

>jennaratrix: is that in fact happening here, where as several people have mentioned, no one knows of what race others are unless it is stated?<

while I don't feel that this was happening in the original thread, I do think it's worth noting that the point is the unspoken and unacknowledged assumption that the audience here is white. white people do this all the time, many of us live in a white world (and all of us in the US live in a world where white people hold most of the power). I *do* assume that most people here are white, based on what I've heard them say about themselves, and based on my vision of the average computer user who frequents places like metafilter.

but I tend to unconsciously assume that, anyway. only if this message board was conducted in swahili or arabic would I not. I unconsciously project my life experience onto a virtual community like this one. similarly, when someone mentions going to the doctor, I assume it's a man, but I only *notice* my assumption if the other responds to my "what did he say?" with "she said..."

this unconscious assumption of race is, I think, the point sudama was trying to convey. while I don't think it came into play in this instance, I *do* appreciate being reminded of my assumptions from time to time, since I think those assumptions can, at times, play out in ways I neither intend nor desire.

now, is it desirable for white people to watch their p's & q's when they think non-whites might be around, and not when they think they aren't? not really, from the point of view of knowing what people really think.

on the other hand, from the point of view of respect, I think it's the least one can expect. real conversations, and real exchange of experiences and ideas can only come from the point of view of respect.

fwiw, I think the lighthearted jokes in the original thread actually revolved around the "niggardly fiasco" rather than the resemblance of "niggling" to n*****. which is an important point, because sudama felt that the joking revolved around the second, and that made him (her?) uncomfortable. I wasn't uncomfortable because I saw an entirely different theme being riffed on.

posted by rebeccablood at 3:52 PM on March 24, 2001

What's being made fun of above is viewing things through a racism-witchhunt lens. A lens that distorts things, forms mirages, causes knee-jerk bufoonery, and inadvertently reveals zealousness.

I had an experience a couple weeks ago, in which I showed discomfort in approaching a black man on the street, because I stupidly didn't know how I should relate to him (due to metafilter threads previous). I tried to just continue, but he noticed my discomfort, and called me out by saying "What's up man?!" as he passed me, showing that he just should be related to. I knew I was in the wrong the minute I saw him, somehow.

Later, I thought the best course of action would be to destroy thoughts stemming from the concept of race. I know though, that thoughts pass, and that trying to destroy them on a categorical basis would only reinforce their effects.

Point being, working to reduce social injustice is a noble thing, but when your tools are reduced to the lens mentioned above, you'll be the fool.
posted by mblandi at 10:27 PM on March 24, 2001

buffoonery, damn!
posted by mblandi at 10:31 PM on March 24, 2001

to destroy thoughts stemming from the concept of race

It's like meditating -- you basically observe the thoughts and let them pass out of your head. It's the observing part that's tricky though -- it takes practice, since we're taught that because race shouldn't matter, we ought to treat it as though it doesn't matter -- it clearly does, and not because of a few metafilter threads.

Observing your racial thoughts & experiences is never easy, though it gets easier with practice. The key is to be honest but dispassionate when you catch yourself trying to apply a stereotype, when a racist thought or word arises in your mind, and so on. Understanding that we (in the US, at least) have all been taught to value white people more than people of color in countless ways since the moment we were born helps to get past the guilt that can sometimes result.

Just don't fall into the trap of thinking you can ignore it to make it go away. We're stuck with the notion of race for the forseeable future -- until you take hold of your conceptions and misconceptions, they've got hold of you.
posted by sudama at 1:45 AM on March 25, 2001

Everone knows we have racist thoughts, and are taught to associate racism with class and be just outright racist too, but being oversensitive to them, and encouraging people to be oversensitive and overreact-- taking hold of them, and strangling them-- looking for them so hard that ultimately they appear-- is not helpful.

Just like the practice I decided was faulty, this gives those thoughts a power and corporeality they do not have. It's a misconception, part of a problem far larger than racism.

Sometimes I think you would prefer to have a bunch of anxiety-stricken white people, constantly ruminating on the horrible racist stains that must flow through their minds. It is easy to see how that will not conquer racism. For what it is worth, I think your true mission is a noble one though.

Relating to people on the level of human-ness, in a human predicament, plagued by that situation, of which racism is only a part-- that could bring relations a long long way.
posted by mblandi at 1:14 PM on March 25, 2001

Everone knows we have racist thoughts, and are taught to associate racism with class and be just outright racist too
Speak for yourself, not me. That takes some gall.
posted by holloway at 6:51 PM on March 26, 2001

I'm going to boycott men named Dick.
posted by werty at 7:56 AM on March 27, 2001

posted by aaron at 10:06 AM on March 27, 2001

Everone knows we have racist thoughts and are taught to associate [race] with class

I don't know much about New Zealand that I didn't learn from a comic book, but in the United States this is about as true a generalization as you can come up with. There's a real sickness in this society. Happily, very few of us act on our racist thoughts, and a good number of us learn to see race and class as separate but intersecting issues, but sadly that's not nearly sufficient to eliminate race- and class-based oppression.
posted by sudama at 9:37 PM on March 27, 2001

Last night while my lass was chating in a webchat (I know, but what can you do) she tried to type "*snigger*"

I just thought you should know that.
posted by holloway at 8:11 PM on March 30, 2001

I love you too, holloway.
posted by sudama at 2:28 AM on March 31, 2001

(Caution -- US-centric commentary below.)

If "racist thoughts" means thoughts that someone (or a community) is a lesser human being merely because of their perceived race, then I might agree.

If "racist thoughts" means responding to someone differently because of their perceived race -- allowing race to be a distinguishing characteristic -- then I would disagree. "Color-blindness" often means "treat everybody as though they're white/euro-americans," shaving off any cultural distinctions at all. (For a similar example, the US is the only culture that lumps all the countries in the Central Americas together and calls them hispanics or latinos. El Salvador is not Panama is not Mexico, and their cultures are quite distinct.) I'd like the making and enforcement of laws to be color-blind -- that's equal justice -- but cultural color-blindness in the pursuit of some generic concept of normalized and nondiverse identity too easily becomes institutionalized oppression.

To opportunistically conflate the two of these for political reasons is either poorly considered or merely propaganda in action and IMO an example of the identity politics that has crippled politics in the US. No one race has a monopoly on racism -- in fact Farrakhan IIRC has distinguished blacks with darker skin from those with lighter skin and suggested some pernicious quality about one or the other.

(Quick story: A friend of mine with Aids tried to buy a "Aids Sees No Color" t-shirt from a local Nation of Islam chapter, but they wouldn't sell it to him. Aids may see no color, but apparently they did.)

ps: In terms of science there's more genetic variation within the "races" as we know them than between them.
posted by retrofut at 1:37 PM on April 3, 2001

I call bullcrap on sudama. Liberal guilt is as bad as conservative censorship.
posted by owillis at 5:59 PM on April 3, 2001

It really bugs me that this is the most active thread that I have ever posted.

I could understand getting upset with this word if it were being used in a cute way, dancing around inside a race thread, but it really irked me that it was called out for an appropriate usage.

I have nothing more to say, and it is way past the time I should have said it.

Oh wait, I do. Hal_55 is a name calling troublemaker, and I don't care if he ever comes back here.
posted by thirteen at 1:21 PM on April 5, 2001

I agree. You have nothing more to say. So quit saying it...

Since in everyday life my politeness is legendary, why do I pour scorn on the gun-nuts? Because we're talking about murder, death, pain, loss, grief; all of them intimately involved with human emotion. The gun-nuts' attempt to discount that and reduce the issue to a battle of competing, unemotional statistics is rather like a bunch of eugenicists arguing about whether the Holocaust was of any benefit to the human gene-pool. This isn't just a dry argument about the philosophical meaning of "freedom" and it isn't just prime-time entertainment on TV; this is a debate about the enormous emotional and social cost of unfettered gun ownership. As a result of the gun epidemic, murder, death, pain, loss, and grief have become everyday trauma in the lives of many real, flesh-and-blood people. While the gun-nuts play word-games with the "real meaning" of the Constitution, real people are being killed and injured, physically and emotionally. Something similar applies in the area of discrimination against minorities. I'm sorry if my reminding you of the emotional aspect of the debate upsets you. But if you can't face up to it, then stay out of the debate.

I suppose I could use terms other than "gun-nut" to describe the prototypical "gun enthusiast"; how about "person who is obsessed with guns?" "Person who likes the thought that he holds in his hands the power to kill those around him"? "Member of the Church of the Holy Handgun"? (Isn't it long overdue that the NRA acknowledged itself to be a religious cult?) But then you would accuse me of verbosity... "Gun-nut" encapsulates all those concepts, and is so much more concise, don't you think?

posted by hal_55 at 4:12 PM on April 5, 2001

Gosh Hal, now I have lots to say.

I would suggest your everyday politeness is a mask, as I have never seen you be anything but rude. Since I believe posting here is part of everyday activity, I see no reason why you should check your civil tongue at the door. I have no problem with your opinion (thought I do disagree with you), but I do take offence at you pejorative slang. The cute buffet of possible names you could call me does not impress me. If you think "gun-nut" is concise, perhaps you would agree "hysterical coward" fits you pretty good. To long? I am sure I can come up with something short to describe your censoring, holier than thou attitude by the next thread on the subject. (another 20 minutes by my calculations).

Where you get your insite that your reading of the constitution is the correct one, I do not know. I give you that you are so confident that your interpretation, that you are blind to any disagreement. You have on several occasions taken it upon yourself to tell others what their morality is and should be, and whined loudly that those who disagree do not truly understand the framers.I have to assume the great gazoo pops in from the future (and past!) and feeds you secret truth. The majority of your anger seems to come into play when people will not accept your obvious truths, maybe you are the one having trouble coming to grips with the emotional aspect of the debate. Likewise, I am not sure where you get the idea that volatile subjects bend the rules and allow you to call people names without being called on it. I am not upset by the facts of these discussions, and I do not see the connection between the suffering that I have nothing to do with, and your calling me a name. I turn it around, If you can't face up to playing nice, then maybe you should not play. I have not be a perfect gentleman in my time here and I was chastised for it. I think of what upset my fellow members when I post, and rethink my posts often. It would not hurt you to do the same. There is no reason we cannot be polite, if not friendly.
posted by thirteen at 8:56 AM on April 6, 2001

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