Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bonobobabe

One of my friends, Tom Frost Jr., has had a bit of an online feud going with a woman who goes by the online handle "Bonobobabe." She has two blogs, one public knitting blog called Woolly Musings, and one private blog (which, out of respect for her wishes, I will not link to here); I stumbled across her knitting blog while doing a search for info on my troll.

In one entry on her private blog, she mentioned that she made it private because she was trying to avoid a "stalker;" she was referring to Tom. She said she wasn't sure if he had the address of the blog. Well, he does; I gave it to him the day I discovered it.

Why? Put simply, over the past two years, I have had it up to my eyeballs with people, particularly people online, who immediately judge people on the basis of one small area of their lives, slapping labels like "stalker" on many who, while they might make pests of themselves, are otherwise harmless, good people.

Tom is a good example. He is a highly unusual individual, no doubts there. However, I've gotten to know him fairly well over the past year. I originally wrote him when he posted a comment to Riin's blog to which I originally took offense. I wrote to tell him how I felt. I didn't expect a reply; I just felt the need to express my ire. To my astonishment, he not only apologized to me but actually went to Riin and asked her to remove his comment.

This caught my attention; in his shoes, that is exactly what I would have done. That's when I realized Mr. Frost was truly a man of honor. Honorable people seem to be in unfortunately short supply these days, particularly online. So, at that point, I decided to get to know Tom better. As we corresponded, I discovered that he was one of the most interesting, kind and unusual individuals I've met online. He has since become someone I regard as a friend.

Yes, Tom is a bit obsessive compulsive. Of course, that is one of the points of identification I share with him; I am a bit OCD myself. Yes, Tom's obsessiveness might make him fairly persistent in sharing his point of view but he is otherwise harmless. If he doesn't like you he might try to get under your skin but he'd never hurt you.

That is, in fact, exactly why it troubles me that Bonobobabe slaps the label of "stalker" on him. I had the same label slapped on me as well. The simple fact is, neither Tom nor myself would ever hurt anyone. Yes, we both sometimes make pests of ourselves to make our points, but being a gadfly does not make someone a stalker.

Bonobobabe at one point whines that she has a right to an "online presence;" she feels that Tom is trying to take that away from her by harassing her into silence. The thing she fails to grasp however is that, when you have an online presence, you have to accept the fact that there are always going to be people who comment on you. You're not going to like all of them, and they are not all going to like you; that goes with the territory of being a blogger.

As far as I'm concerned, the term "stalker" should never be applied to anyone unless they actually physically follow someone around, invade private accounts (like E-mail, bank accounts etc.) or they make threats. Other than that, not every person who decides to follow someone's public image is a stalker no matter how annoying they might be.

The troll on this blog is an excellent example. He or she is bloody annoying, no denying that. However, as a blogger, that's the risk I take. I put up with this idiot for over a year and did absolutely nothing about them because, by putting my life out in cyberspace, I invited comment; I deal with it. It wasn't until they decided to physically threaten me, complete with my street address in the threat, that they crossed the line from gadfly to stalker.

In the Star Trek episode "Elaan of Troyius," Elaan, the Dohlman of Elas, had to learn polite behavior before she married the leader of Troyius, a marriage that was intended to make peace between the two warring worlds. As the leader of her world, that was her obligation, but she spent most of the episode complaining bitterly about it.

Captain Kirk castigated her for her attitude, saying: "If you enjoy the privileges and prerogatives of being a Dohlman, then be worthy of them. If you don't want the obligations that go along with the title then give it up!"

With a little paraphrasing, I could apply the every same sentiment to Bonobobabe (and, by extension, all bloggers): if you enjoy the privileges and prerogatives of having an online presence then be worthy of them. If you don't want the hassles that go along with the territory then give it up.

The Dohlman of Elaas ultimately went through with her marriage, preventing a war.

Likewise, I think Bonobobabe should continue to maintain her online presence if that's what she wants; I simply think she needs to learn to deal with the consequences, good and bad, of that choice. I mean, what's the point of having an online presence if no one knows you're there? I think she should open her blog back up to the public, suck it up and deal with people she doesn't like.

Ultimately, that's what we all must do in life.

On January 7, 2009 3:52:14 PM AST, Tom Frost Jr. wrote:
It appears that you might have succeeded in shaming her into slightly reducing the extent to which she censors us "stalkers": I see she just _approved_ a response by _you_ there!
Yes; I was somewhat surprised to see that. Not that there was anything particularly inflammatory about my comment itself but I thought she might have something against me since I admitted responsibility for deliberately trying to lead you back to her blogs.
I'm _not_ holding my breath, on the other hand, for her to approve any of _my_ responses there . . .
If you were holding your breath, you could breathe easy now, anyway. Go back and take a look; you'll see what I mean... ;)
Anyhow, in my latest . . . response there, I actually _complimented_ her, for doing her latest promotion of her eating habits in an uncharacteristically-for-her, devoid-of-negativity way. Specifically, she connected a certain set of dots which I'd never connected before:

[Editor's Note: In the blog posting in question, Bonobobabe was talking about how so many people tell her they "feel better when they eat meat" to which I replied in my comment that I feel better when I eat vegetarian.]

1. _I_ feel better when I eat meat (unlike her), _exactly_ like in her responding-to-that-concept blog title. She (and to a lesser extent, you) equates meat with junk food, which I don't.
That only speaks to the point I made on her blog that perhaps some people's bodies simply work differently. Maybe your body handles meat well; mine doesn't. Simply speaking, you, I and everyone has to decide to eat what feels right for each of us; no one standard fits every body.
However, I _would_ be happy if I could just kick the _extreme_ _version_ of that habit which I've developed lately (and which then spiraled out of control thanks to my Bible-thumping, anti-Muslim-bigot, "friend" taking me to McDonald's _thrice_ as often as _even_ _I_ _want_ to go there).
Funny you should bring that up. On a recent day trip to visit a friend I caught sight of a McDonald's when I got into her town. For some reason, I suddenly had a monster craving for a Big Mac. I didn't cave, though; like I said, my body feels too good when I keep meat out of my stomach and I wasn't about to subject myself to the... digestive problems McDonald's used to cause me... :P
But I also feel better . . . when I jump right into a creek regardless of the temperature . . .
Define "regardless of the temperature." We talking "polar bear" swims here?
[H]er censorship of that latest response there by me, is also a typical example of her ignorant, "better"-than-yours-or-mine, brand of - or in her case, I think complete lack of - humor.
As it turns out, she might not be so lacking in humor after all... ;)

5 comments:

  1. Second try at responding (this time from a library computer - my first try, a few days ago, having apparently gotten lost in cyberspace as a result of some screwballities that I can't seem to figure out about the new-for-me computer that I hooked up at home):

    It appears that you might have succeeded in shaming her into slightly reducing the extent to which she censors us "stalkers": I see she just _approved_ a response by _you_ there! (It's to the post in which she promotes her eating habits in an uncharacteristically devoid-of-negativity way.)

    I'm _not_ holding my breath, on the other hand, for her to approve any of _my_ responses there - even though my latest one, which was to that same post, was my first _unscolding_-of-her one in years!

    (For any of our valued readers who might have just hopped aboard, I feel that my scolding of her - during, BTW, the only once or twice a year that I even waste _any_ time doing a trolling excursion onto her blog - was justified by the fact that, for example, she did some boasting on her blog about doing vandalism. That should give our readers a hint, if her censorship isn't enough, about her character.)

    Anyhow, in my latest censored response there, I actually _complimented_ her, for doing her latest promotion of her eating habits in an uncharacteristically-for-her, devoid-of-negativity way. Specifically, she connected a certain set of dots which I'd never connected before:

    1. _I_ feel better when I eat meat (unlike her), _exactly_ like in her responding-to-that-concept blog title. She (and to a lesser extent, you) equates meat with junk food, which I don't. However, I _would_ be happy if I could just kick the _extreme_ _version_ of that habit which I've developed lately (and which then spiraled out of control thanks to my Bible-thumping, anti-Muslim-bigot, "friend" taking me to McDonald's _thrice_ as often as _even_ _I_ _want_ to go there). This version - which I've usually been in for the last several years, except when he takes me on that stupid gas-wasting cruise _4_ times a week and _O.D.s_ me on McDonald's - is: "Just any meat will not suffice; I feel better when I eat at _McDonald's_, with an _extra_ sausage in the Deluxe Breakfast".

    2. But I also feel better when I ride my bike than when I motor, or when I get up early than when I get up late, or when I jump right into a creek regardless of the temperature than when I decide to wait for a warmer day.

    I had always known that in the types of examples in (2), the kinks in the bad-habit-to-good-habit transition period (after lapses into the bad habit) are psycological as much as physiological. But I don't recall it having dawned on me before that that might be true in (1) as well.

    Like I concluded in my no-doubt-censored-by-her response, "Like my dad has always told me, there's at least one thing useful to be learned from 'anybody'. (That was one of two half-joking potshots at her that I included in this otherwise-complimentary response. The other one was that if she doesn't be careful with her sudden lack of negativity, "then I, [her] 'stalker', might get bored again and have to leave".

    But that only illustrates how her censorship of that latest response there by me, is also a typical example of her ignorant, "better"-than-yours-or-mine, brand of - or in her case, I think complete lack of - humor.

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  2. Not nearly as many "polar bear swims" as in my younger days. Anymore, I lazily go several years between each one of them. So, by "regardless of temperature", I was mainly referring to early-and-late-summer type swims.

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  3. Update: It appears that we spoke too soon about her having become a non-censor. Notice the brand-new (because if it wasn't brand new, I'm pretty sure I would have noticed it before, and even _more_ surely, it wouldn't so transparently expose, despite not mentioning me, that she was explaining why she censored _my_ _latest_, _still_-_civil_ comment there, only days after she'd said that she'd approve any "civil" comment) "Comment Policy" at the top of her blog.

    First, she'd edited out the last paragraph of my last otherwise-uncensored comment, under her spewing-of-anti-slaughterhouse-worker-bigotry post.

    In the uncensored part, I'd admitted that in my experience, out of a just-off-the-top-of-my-head random sample of three slaughterhouse workers, _one_ just happens to be of the type of slimeball ilk that she describes. (I _didn't_ say that that had anything to do with the fact that he worked at a slaughterhouse. Indeed, as I forgot to say, I _don't_ think that it does.)

    In the censored paragraph, I concluded by opining that therefore, she's not any more than 33% correct. Notice how, in her response, she slickly jumbled the sample around to change it to 50%.

    Second, there was _whole_ comment by me that she censored. Based on her own feedjit-spy section by which we, her opponents, can also tell when _she_ shows up there, she censored it right before writing her "Comment Policy" section.

    In that censored-in-its-entirety comment, I replied to her (in a long-winded, but very civil - and patient, for people like her who have apparently never lived outside cities, let alone chased cows and bulls in their life) that I _did_ hit and kick them sometimes and that I'd do it again!
    I explained that at that location in particular, where the 100' route from the barn to the slaughterhouse is across a 45 mph highway, you _better_ escalate to _kicking_ when hitting doesn't work, because how would she like it if I'd just stood back and let the next tractor-trailer that comes around the blind spot hit it?

    Bonobobabe doesn't like to argue - not even, as she's now remembered to add, when the opponent is being civil - _or_ let her opponent have the last word, so instead, she censored me in a manipulative way.

    Bonobobabe is the _worst_ _kind_ of censor: She makes up her censorship rules as she goes along. Rush Limbaugh, on the other hand, likes to keep the upper hand by cutting his caller off and then responding to them with a monologue, and that's why I decided early on to never call him, but at least he's _consistent_ and didn't _troll_ me into doing more responses and then change the rules when I wasn't finished talking, like Marcy did.

    I'm _almost tempted to call Rucsh and compliment him.

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  4. Hi, just to let you know ( if you weren't already aware ) that "bonobobabe" is deranged. Her comments on the private message board of radical feminist site radfem hub are included in a list of outrageously anti male comments that you can find listed if you google "radfem hub underbelly of a hate movement".
    How do I know it's the same bonobobabe as yours? She talks about knitting as being her other main interest on a radfem site I came across.
    She favourites youtube videos by the equally hate-consumed Pat Condell on her youtube channel, which seems at odds with her radfeminism, given that he's a man & all...I'm guessing that she's a deeply troubled person.

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    Replies
    1. "I have had it up to my eyeballs with people, particularly people online, who immediately judge people on the basis of one small area of their lives, slapping labels like "stalker" on many who, while they might make pests of themselves, are otherwise harmless, good people."

      Delete

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