Friday, July 11, 2008

The Day I Got Censored on the Blog That Must Not Be Named

If you read yesterday's post, you might have noticed that one of my proposed blog topics was "my reaction to getting censored by the Men with Pens". Since I went on to talk about the Men (as a blog and individually) several times...okay, a lot in my post, I started referring to their blog as the "Blog That Must Not Be Named (again)" - BTMNBE(a). 'Cuz really, I wasn't trying to lure them by using their names.

James dropped by anyway, so I'm bound to tell this story. I think it's some sort of a law...

My tale of censorship

A few weeks ago, or thereabouts, I was reading a post on the aforementioned btmnbe(a) entitled, "One Easy Way to Clearly Convey Your Message". I loved the post and the comments, but didn't think I had too much value to add to the conversation, so I sat on my hands and moved on to another post.

I'd been away for a few days, so the guys had another post (with comments) for me to read. "How to Exceed Expectations" -- my fingers were itching to comment, not to mention numb from being sat on for so long, so I let my fingers fly. Well...my brain may have engaged at some point during the comment stage -- guess I can't blame the whole incident on my fingers.

A little background...

I'm not a prude. I never really cursed much as a young teen; it was just a personal choice -- I didn't use slang either. At nineteen I went through a sort of a cursing rampage. I was learning to use the words (badly) and using them all the time -- trying to fit in...it was horrible. Have you seen those stereotypical geeks in the movies trying to hang with the cool kids? That was me. Even thinking about it brings on waves of...something.

I digress. The point is, once I grew beyond that gangly stage, I grew up a little more and decided that on a whole cursing's not for me (to do - you can curse all you like; you're not me). I throw in a word or two for flavor every now and then, but I didn't even add "frak" to my general vocabulary.

Back to the comment...

I curb my cursing when I speak. I tend to think a couple of times before I curse in print. When I used a "profanity" in my comment, I debated and edited before finally putting the word back in and hitting "Submit" before I changed my mind again. I said, "...I'm tired of being fear's bitch...." All in all, I didn't think that was too bad. It was right for the context. It got the point across concisely. I didn't think anybody would mind.

Subscribe to Comments -- via email

I love to follow conversations on blogs. Some, like Friar's, I have to do by random drive-by because I don't check my reader often enough to know if someone is commenting on a conversation I'm following. I love the "Notify me by email" option. So, my handy notifier pops up to tell me that another comment's been made on "How to Exceed Expectations".

Back to the conversation...

I thank my little notifier, but let him know that his services are no longer necessary. I don't need to click through. I've already got Men with Pens open in a browser window. I scroll down to find the new comment -- but I don't see my name as I go down the page. I remember reading most of these comments. Mine would be about...here? Nope. Not there...That's just paranoia talking. Hmmm...Maybe I'm overlooking it. I should look again. Wait, what was that?!

"James on June 19th, 2008 5:32 pm *chases with a big stick* GET THAT WORD OFF MY BLOG, DAMMIT!"

Pottymouth censored? ...Wait...what?...

What does one call written profanity anyway. "Pottymouth" should be for speech. Pottypinkies?

No, he can't be talking to me...can he? Maybe my post is further down...it's got to be. It wasn't that bad...it was only "bitch". They wouldn't really delete me and yell at me for that...would they? I don't see my comment! He must have been talking to me. He didn't send email to let me know that I was being censored, though.... Would he? What do I do now? Write an apology in the comments? Email an apology? Slink away?

Rationality rears its head...

Take a deep breath and think about this, Green. My internal editor calls me "Green". Start at the top and read the comments again. Maybe there's a clue about who you offended. Maybe someone said something before James deleted your comment. Maybe...whatever, just read -- really read, don't skim. Read every comment.

Okay, I remember that one...and that one...and...and...and...that one's new to me...and

"Michael Martine Remarkablogger on June 19th, 2008 4:46 pm YOU COULD USE VIDEO.
(Ducks and runs…) Michael Martine Remarkablogger’s last blog post..Beginner SEO for Anyone" -- immediately precedes James's comment on getting the word off the blog. Okay. That makes sense. That's actually kind of funny...or it would be if I could figure out what to do about my comment being deleted.

Fear retreats. After all, I'm not fear's bitch, right?

My panic reflex is relaxing a bit. So, I've been censored, but not censored AND yelled at. I don't know why that makes me feel better, but there it is. Now to figure out my next steps. I'm reading the new comments, now, the ones that have been posted since I last checked. The brain kicks in again. My comment totally did not belong among the comments I'm reading. How could I be so far off the mark? No wonder James deleted "me". What was I even thinking?

You're not stupid, Stupid.

You're not stupid, Stupid. My internal editor's very straightforward. She has to be. Sometimes she even repeats herself to make a point. Would you really make a comment that's so far removed from the other comments as to be part of another conversation altogether?...

Does anybody with half a brain see where this is going?

Oh, that's right...this is the one I read but didn't comment on. In the words of Gilda Radner's little confused lady character from SNL whose name escapes me, "Well, that's very different...". Click....Scroll.... Yup, comment's still there, bitch and all. Nobody even seems to have noticed...and here I've been, all worked up over nothing.

It'll make a funny story some day....

14 comments:

James Chartrand - Men with Pens said...

Uhhh, yeah, you weren't censored at all. VIDEO from Michael Martine's comment was the offending word.

Want to get censored? Use "c**ks**ker." Now that's one word that won't make it onto our blog. Another? Make a hugely racist comment. Boot. Out you go.

But the rest? Fuck, shit, damn, hell, sonofabitch, oh my god, tabernac d'esti, bitch... it's all good.

Sheesh. We're not that uptight.

:)

Chief Cook & Bottle Washer said...

James,

Yeah...my internal editor laughed at me for a while over that one. She likes to believe she's soooo much smarter than I.

I don't think you guys are uptight at all. That's why I was shocked to find my comment "gone". If I'd stopped to think about that first, I would have realized my error faster (and with a lot less panic). :^) I will have to figure out the VIDEO reference one of these days. To date, reason (you've got other stuff to do) has overpowered curiosity.

Cool - a boot primer. Now let me see...

Patricia Singleton said...

Don't you love how quickly we panic over a supposed crime. When I read your comment here, it sounded familiar like I had read it. Glad you explained this whole situation. It is really funny, Not, what our mind can do to us sometimes. Like you, I don't cuss much but when I do it is to make a point strongly. Sometimes a cuss word just says it so much better. Using the word cuss instead of curse, my Southern country roots must be showing. Have a glorious day.

Chief Cook & Bottle Washer said...

Patricia,

Hello and welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

I don't know why the first instinct always runs to "What did I do?" Like when the thief beep happens to start when I'm walking out of a grocery store -- even knowing that I hadn't taken anything, my first instinct was always "prepare for the worst". I'm over that now, fortunately. I just keep walking...but slowly, so they know I'm not trying to escape. :^)

What part of the South? I'm Louisiana born; army brat raised.

Patricia Singleton said...

I was born in northwest Louisiana above Shreveport in a little town called Plain Dealing. It is on the Louisiana/Arkansas border. Started school in 1957 in Bossier City, LA. Moved to Haughton, LA when in the 5th grade. Moved to Plain Dealing in 10th grade. Graduated from high school in 1969 from Plain Dealing High School. College at NSU in Natchitoches, LA. Left LA in the 1970's and only go back for short periods of time. Have lived in Hot Springs, AR for 20 years.

Where in LA are you from?

Chief Cook & Bottle Washer said...

Both my parents are from Lake Charles, and that's where I was born. I lived there a couple of times (still have family there) and once in Leesville/Ft. Polk (jr.high & 2 years of high).
I seem to get back to Louisiana once every 10 years -- if the pattern holds, the boy and I should be taking a trip there next year....I didn't say close knit family. :(

Harrison said...

Hmm...guess I won't be leaving any quotes from "Deadwood" on our blog anytime soon.

Steph VanderMeulen said...

As I was reading this post, I was thinking, they would never do that, just for "bitch"! Maybe your comment ended in their spam filter...and then I read what happened. Hahahaha! Man, it sounds like something I would do.

I can get kind of sensitive about comment stuff, like when a blogger answers everyone's comments but mine. Now, though, I don't mind. Whatever. Maybe my comment was something they had nothing to add to, or something that just didn't interest them enough to answer. That's okay.

I've found with blogging that I need to think a little longer before reacting. It's hard to tell tone in someone's writing sometimes, and it's also too easy to assume what might be going on and be wrong about it!

Chief Cook & Bottle Washer said...

Heh, Harrison, that would be an interesting battle -- Penfight at the MwP Corral.
j: "Them words ain't welcome in this town, friend."
h: "Them words is from Deadwood, I like Deadwood. What's it to ya?"
j: "I don't reckon I care where they come from. They ain't welcome. I'm givin' you 'til sundown to get 'em outta my town."
h: "Yer town, is it? Well what are ya gonna do if'n I don't get 'em outta our town, pardner?
j: "Well, friend, I'm gonna have ta give ya the boot -- spur and all."
h: "You an' what army?"
j: "I don't need no army. I got me this here pen."
h: "You might notta noticed, pardner, but I got me a pen, too."
j: "I noticed. Can't say I rightly care."
h: "Ya think you're that good?"
j: "Reckon we'll find out at sundown."
h: "Why wait? I ain't changin' my mind."
j: "I ain't changin' mine, neither."

"All right...on accounta three..."

DRAW!

Sorry, mind ran away with me...or just ran away without me. :^)

Chief Cook & Bottle Washer said...

Steph,

I've gotten better about being invisible in the comments. When I first started, I'd comment and then keep refreshing the page every few minutes to see what someone--anyone--said in response. Then, when I'd get no response, I'd start getting frustrated. You know..."They responded to that? C'mon, my comment was funnier/better/cuter than that!" 'Cuz you know, our words are always the best ones. :^) I'm over it now...mostly.

Tone is a hard one. I keep having to ask myself, "Will they hear me laughing when they read this?" Sometimes I get taken seriously even when I think others will be able to hear the laughter. I think as long as "serious" wouldn't be totally and completely offensive, just let it ride. Those who get it will get it -- and everybody else might strike up an interesting conversation.

Anonymous said...

My biggest censor is my Mom.

I used the odd fuck-shit-asshole in my Blog, and she disapproves.

She says she'd love to tell her friends about my Blog, but she's too embarassed because of the language.

And she suggests alternative words I can use.

I tactfully tell her that I'm not writing to please 70-year olds, and nobody has to read my blog if they don't like it.

Still, I get the editorial comments on a regular basis.

It dosen't change my Blog, but it's just annoying.

Sigh.



-Friar

Steph VanderMeulen said...

Friar: with all the old people rants on your blog, they'd all be having heart attacks, anyway! LOL!

Chief Cook & Bottle Washer said...

Friar,

That's funny - but I think it depends on the 70 year old. My great aunt was a different bird. "Oh, shit", was one of her favorite phrases - used for punctuating humor, anger, awe -- whatever. I think one of the funniest things I've ever seen was Aunt T and my son sitting in front of her computer coming up with insults to use on some guy who'd antagonized her in an online spades game...and T, typing them in with two fingers.

Anonymous said...

@Steph

Oh, I have plenty of things to make fun of besides Old Farts.

(I just haven't gotten around to it yet).


- Friar