Most Entertaining Ethics Alarms Discussion Ever: A Salute

Ethics Alarms now pauses in gratitude to give a stunned and admiration-filled salute to all the participants in the still perking comment donnybrook that has followed what I thought initially would be a minor, fairly obvious post about the ethics of vegetarians hosting a wedding reception and imposing a strict vegetarian menu despite the protests of their parents that some guests would be uncomfortable. Triggered by a first-time visitor, her unique perspective and her sometimes  cloying way of expressing it, what erupted has been a 375+ comment multi-party debate that had everything: wild analogies, accusations, counter-accusations, common sense, enlightenment, gibberish, creativity, hypocrisy, Eastern philosophy, tangents, 60’s nostalgia, humor (intentional and not), at least two terms I had never encountered before but will cherish forever—“deepity” and “wackaloon” —-and even some ethics. In addition to provocateur livvy1234, who has registered more than80  comments so far and enough words to comprise a novella, key combatants include Joe Fowler, Karla Marie Robinette, Brian, deery, Elizabeth I, Michael, Libby Torgeson, Joy, Jan Chapman…but especially tgt, the Ethics Alarms 2011 Commenter of the Year, who really has justified his title with gusto this time.

Thanks, everybody. What fun.

46 thoughts on “Most Entertaining Ethics Alarms Discussion Ever: A Salute

    • Take it in small bites instead of all at once, if you don’t want to get too tired. That’s the mistake I made – till I quit.

  1. I checked out livvy1234’s personal blog, and astonishingly, on the SAME day, she posted a long piece about the discussion here, and moderated and responded to comments. So: she responded to comments about her post about the response to her comments about your post. Oscar Wilde said: “The worst thing about having nothing to say, is saying it”. Bravo, livvy1234. Bravo.

  2. I also checked her out and she seems to “make friends wherever she goes”. She sent a letter to the paper “shredding” a volunteer animal shelter for needing to euthanize very ill and animals that could not be adopted out. (dangerous beyond rehabilitation) People like her are the reason “no good deed goes unpunished” was coined. So yes, this information is off topic certainly but is evidence of the lack of logic and understanding reality to the point of being unethical.

  3. Mrs. Miller, this is directed to you because you live in the South. I am glad you “checked” me out. Go check some more, and then some. But there are two sides of a coin. Did you check out that I spent $15 grand saving unwanted North Carolina shelter dogs? Also did you check out I put money in the pockets of poor folk to attend to the medical issues of their pets. What did you learn when you checked me out pseudo name, Mrs. Miller. My name is Jane Tzilvelis, and I stand by my name.

    Did you check out the support I give to the NC General Assembly on abadoned and homeless pets left to die in animal shelters in North Carolina. And the particular article I think you might have read was about the Durham shelter. Yes, I have checked them out years ago. They used to hook up the gas chamber to a truck. Then they would kill the dogs via the fumes from the truck, Mrs. Miller pseudo name. Stand by your name. Stand behind what you checked out by offering your name. Or continue to hide behind pseudo names.

    I am delighted that Jack Marshall, tgt, Brian, Joe and all their friends are able to converse with me and make America a land of free speech. I am also on the Public Participation Project regarding free speech in America. I have made my statement about chip ins and pay pal. There….now you have some more juice to check out about me. I do not use facebook go to bed by eleven, lost my spouse Jan 27, and my loving 13 year old italian greyhound, April 14th. I do not smoke, drink one glass of wine once in awhile and enjoy debating on an energetic blog. And yes, Mrs. Miller, I do understand what “Bless Your Heart Means.” I am not too smart, rather ordinary, 63 years old, not a loony, have no criminal record, no auto tickets, and volunteer whenever I can to help seniors, for I am one myself.

    Why, bless your heart, Mrs. Miller I have passion for what I believe in. and will state my truth whenever I need to kindly, transparently, and for the most part, have not used a pseudo name. It was my decision to be transparent. How about you, Mrs. Miller?

    And thank you, Jack Marshall, for standing tall…it is about free speech, the American dream still exists, and by golly, we all think differently. I have held on to the conversation without calling one person a name, or belittling their belief!

  4. I realize the importance of pointing out unethical behavior and faulty logic but I think this has gone too far. This is no longer any type of debate on ethical behavior. It’s moved into the realm of humiliating another individual. Just stop it.

    • Sharon, I feel very humiliated, and of course you might be speaking about someone else. I have been called a wackaloon, my views are moronic, a troll trolling on blogs, someone just wrote “boom” to what I stated. I have been repeatedly misunderstood. All I ever wanted the last few days, was clear acknowledgement that my view was acknowledged kindly. Instead, I feel like I have been attacked repeatedly by pitbulls saying yuk ptui, and much more – my stance and continued blogging is drivel. The best thing is to review the entire blog yourself.

      I was also hinted at by someone as being an “animal” person and they feared for their family and life. Then I was hinted at as baiting. This is totally ridiculous.

      Mr. Marshall, at any time, and I am stating this publically, if you want me to leave this blog, I will go quietly into the night. I am not a person that sues, goes after people, I gave my name openly: Jane Tzilvelis. I also stated I enjoy energetic debates, and have repeatedly stated that I do not like being demeaned. Of course, these are personal feelings belonging to me, and I am always reasonable, and open to discussion.

      • Jane…please go to the top of the Ethics Alarm blog and read everything under the menu. There is quite a bit of information there. I believe that most people on this blog understood where you were coming from yesterday. You made your views very clear. However, I don’t believe that you understood where the people on this particular blog were coming from. This is not a blog in which all views are acknowledged or accepted in a “kindly” way. There is MUCH more to it on this blog. Please…read the information that Jack provided at the top of the blog. I hope this helps.

        • Sharon, thanks. I will review the rules, but if views are not taken with respect, then I will refrain from posting. I also will not be posting anywhere, as I stated publically, to Jack Marshall yesterday. I will only post on the veg issue. I found it all very interesting. I got to see myself from many different angles here, how I reacted, what I reacted on. I find it sad, (not being critical about it just sad), that probably most people here are younger than myself and I note a lot of coldness. The blog is not about anything more than ethics, but we could be a lot warmer in our posts…we are about one another…not power teams facing each other from opposite sides of the fence. I am not used to discussing issues this way, although I must accept it here. As I said, it has been a learning experience for me.

      • Jack, make it known I have never demeaned anyone. Who said yuk ptui to what I posted. You know this Jack. I respect your blog.

        • I demeaned what you posted, not you. I would again. If someone serves me a crap sandwich, I will, in fact, say “Yuk ptui!” I am demeaning only the sandwich (though I’m not happy with he who made it.)

          • Why do you and the group you hang out with here feel the necessity to demean what others say? Does this make you feel bigger, smarter, have more charisma when you demean what someone posts. Instead, why don’t you make a post about how to conduct conversation with others on blog rolls. I do not see you demeaning what your friends say here, Jack. If you disagree with what someone says, there is a much gentler considerate way to respond. That has been my point through the entire blog posting effort here. Furthermore, you and your compadres here thought it was okay to toss around a football…and that is me. You thought it was funny, did you not to call me names, demean my perspective. All of you are still in the infancy stage of knowing how to care for one another. You might think you know, but you all acted very immature. And who really cares here anyway? Right Jack? I have never demeaned what any of you said. I disagreed, accepted your opinions, and went on to state mine.

            Here is a video for you on non violent communication.
            I am sure you have heard of Marshall Rosenberg. I have done some study with one his teachers. He might be helpful to you and your friends.

            • I’m truly sorry, Jane, that you feel beat up or mistreated. However, I will note that you wrote over 130 comments in two days. If you felt abused here, you must like abuse. I assume that if someone engages in debate, they do so voluntarily. As soon as the discussion is not to your taste, the proper response, it seems to me, is to make your objections known and depart. I know you deride legal reasoning, but there is such a thing as the duty to mitigate. You clearly are addicted to having the last word. That’s a bad problem to have here, because you are unlikely to get it, especially when you persist in writing provocative things.

              The reason your commentary inspired such a furious response, at least from my perspective, is that it is profoundly anti-ethical, and you were claiming the reverse. This is an ethics blog, in an ongoing ethics inquiry, and such a position as yours can not go unchallenged, uncriticized, and, ultimately, underided. Yours is a dangerous mindset (In my opinion. This is an opinion blog. “In my opinion” should always be assumed), one that allows unethical conduct to flourish in the world, and it must not spread, which it might if it is accorded respect it doesn’t deserve. “Go with the flow” is antithetical to ethics….it is cowardice and apathy, clothed in Eastern mumbo-jumbo. This is an unethical world, and most of the flow is toward evil, in part because of people like you. We have to swim against the tide of selfishness, dishonesty and irresponsibility, or we drown in an unethical culture. Similarly, “live and let live” is a facile appeal to subjective ethics and relativism. You’re not going to get away with that here, and while I respect everyone’s right to have an opinion, I don’t respect silly, lazy, badly-reasoned and dumb opinions, and won’t pretend that I do.

              Meanwhile, debate framed in New-Agey hippy speak–“I accept your feelings” and the rest, is just a fancy way of saying “whatever”—which my son will get punished if he uses to me—in different clothes. It is dismissive and rude, and dishonestly rude, without the guts to be direct. You had plenty of warning that I and others found this style of yours annoying, yet you kept doing it. It was the equivalent of your question to tgt about the chain-smokers. You were blowing smoke in the face of people who don’t like smoke, and refusing to see, or acknowledge, that it annoyed them.

              This is a forum for discussing difficult issues that people feel passionately about, and yes, I allow, and to some extent encourage, sharp exchanges. I have my own standards for when it crosses the lines. Trusted and serious commenters here get more leeway than newcomers—yes, absolutely. I allow my guests to be tougher on each other than I allow them to be to me—this is my right, as the host, and reasonable, since I am often fighting off several commenters at once, and don’t care to feel overly besieged on my own blog. Most visitors can take care of themselves.

              I thought some of the comments to you were excessive—Elizabeth I was mighty blunt, but that’s her schtick—but for the most part, they were within bounds. There is no ‘we’ here, and this is hardly a monolithic forum. We have representatives of the Left, the Right, Libertarians, Canadians, Australians, Brits, Koreans and more. On any given day, I get visitors from over 150 countries. We have housewives, retirees, bloggers, cartoonists, lawyers, doctors, police officers and fire fighter, teachers, professors, actors and military personnel. It is broad audience, with a broad view on a specific topic. I designed the blog this way at some professional risk (and have paid a price) by keeping it vernacular and free-wheeling rather than more academic and detached—in my opinion, ethics needs to lose the academic reputation and be seen as a natural and dynamic topic for everyone.

              People communicate differently, and are comfortable in different settings. Those who comment here, are comfortable here. People come and go, get ticked off, come back, or don’t. Something is working: This was the most trafficked month yet, and the blog has almost 2500 followers—not bad, in this niche. Your experience was unique, which indicates that the problem was what (and how) you wrote, and not those who read it.

              • Jack, I accept your apology. I am not interested how many people post on this blog. I am interested in considerate communication. You made the assumption that when I state, I accept your view, that I am saying “whatever.” This is not true for me. When I speak in ethics groups, or zen groups in sesshin for many days, there is no cross talking. We do not interrupt one another when someone is making their point, by demeaning what they have to say. NEVER. We ask the person speaking if they would like our thought about what they said. Now, this is a different place on Ethics Alarm, but being about ethics, I could not understand why people would demean what I had to say. Therefore I continued to stay on my bucking bronco to see if someone…anyone…would acknowledge what I had to say instead of trying to beat my thought to a pulp. For gosh sakes, this topic was about vegetables. Like tgt, whom you congrajulated for his/her consistency and persistence to “stay the course,” you never once told tgt or anyone to stop using demeaning language.

                For you, this was an entertaing blog situation. I come from verbal abuse, and am highly attuned to being verbally demeaned as a child growing up. When you state you have people from all walks of life blogging here in 150 countries, lest you not forget there are people who study ethics because of the way they have been abused, cheated, demeaned, etc. So those kinds of folks spend their lives healing from such treatment.

                I thought your blog would be refreshing. Instead, I see photos that incite violence, and grrr behavior…a child sticking his middle finger up! This is not ethical for me. But that is me. I will be leaving the blog to go to softer pastures Jack, on WordPress. I do appreciate the opportunity you have given me to stay on the bucking bronco. That in itself was healing for me. It has been my life journey. So there is a reason, and a season we meet people along the way.

  5. Jack, let me clarify one thing here. I am not addicted to having the last word.

    I hope you will retract your statement stating I am addicted to having the last word. I did not care for that implication.

    I continued to respond to the responses. Like I said, it was a learning experience.

    You, Jack, can have the last word.

    Be well, have a good life, may your day be filled with peace.

    I have stated my view.

    Final statement.

  6. Since Livvy has sworn, in her last word, that she will not seek the last word, let me pass around for consideration her description of her adventures here as she stated it on her own blog. You can judge whether or not it is a fair assessment.

    “….The last three days, I had the opportunity to post on a WordPress blog where the commentors appear to be friends of a sort with the moderator of the blog who is an ethicist.

    My viewpoint on a topic disagreed with the group consensus. Instead of stating simply, “I understand what you are stating, but I feel such and such way, my point of view was demeaned. Of course, I was free to leave the blog anytime I wanted to, but I stayed the course to see if one of them would acknowledge what I had to say without calling me names like a troll, implying they are fearful of me because they do not know what I might do to their family, calling my posts moronic and drivel, calling me a wackoloon, and baiting the moderator. Whewie!

    This blog was about ethics. Can you imagine? Can you imagine that in order to debate an opposing view,( these folks who claim they are astute in ethics and follow the rules and policies of the blog) enjoyed tossing me around like a football (it felt that way to me) for their fun and games? They further congrajulated one another for doing such a good job. Sad.

    The particular debated issue was not important to me. The issue was how we care for one another. How do we speak to one another on the internet? Because many of us seem to hide behind “fake pseudo names” we think we can get away with verbal abuse. This is another form of bullying, and don’t accept it. I gave them my name, told them to do a background check on me, a motor vehicle check, check me inside and out. But when I asked for their names, some of them, they hid like mice.”

    • Her account is inaccurate and she was treated fairly, was directed to resources and explained what the point of the blog was. After this occurred several times she chose to continue her nonsense, and was treated accordingly. I came to the conclusion her desire was just to illicit a response without any other purpose. By the way I really wanted to ask her to define what ethics was but it was after her final comment and I really didn’t want to open that can of worms. How she can come to the conclusion that everyone was on a team or otherwise was part of a like minded group is baffling as all it would take is a quick peek at any other topic on your blog to see how wrong she was.

      • Not only was there a conclusion that we were somehow a team…but also all friends or compadres…

        I will say this. If you people…whoever you people are…are having parties and haven’t invited me…I’m gonna be mad.

    • Oh the hypocrisy. It’s my last word, I swear, until I move the discussion to my own blog so I can really have the last word. Tgt, that is taking your ball and going home!

    • This was a riveting comment trail to follow. I so enjoyed it (in a guilty pleasure sort of way). Livvy makes it all too clear why the practice of ethics is important. Although she is interested in bettering herself in a way and is intelligent enough to express herself and write well- and is probably a lovely wedding guest to have- she is a victim (willing) of a dangerous and unethical frame of thought. She is in love with the idea of ethics… as it pertains to vague ideals of living in the moment, shades of grey, sex outside the missionary position (drawing from what she absurdly posted), thinking from the “heart,” the idea of knowing one’s feelings instead of their indoctrinated, limited thoughts, etc. New Age-ers and their ilk love to believe they are truly ethical, in my experience. But when it comes to real ethics Livvy is uninterested. Her beliefs have no discipline… She will tap dance in any direction just to support her already held beliefs. And when she is called on this, she will distract, blame, and call foul, all the while painting herself the bigger, more ethical person because she didn’t resort to name calling.
      I am glad she hung in there because I enjoyed reading all the responses, including painstaking explanations of rational processes. Although her point of view is frustrating she wasn’t a troll in my opinion. She offered a glance into the mindset of so many people out there…who think they are living ethical, socially conscious lives but have no idea or willingness to think rationally.

      • Excellent analysis and diagnosis, and this is exactly why the thread was far more important than the issue that spawned it. I was impressed with and proud of the Ethics Alarms readers who participated.

      • I think everyone who worked on this thread deserves to see Livvy’s (that is, Jane’s) magnificent, Ed Wood-like beyond-parody reply to this comment, which appears on her blog. This is such an inviting target that I would recommend allowing it to speak for itself: it is an eloquent testimony to the obstacles faced by those trying to establish ethical analysis and thinking in society….hacking through the equivalent of kudzu on the brain. I must make one clarification, though. Livvy tells Rika that the “commenters”—she regarded this as a coordinated exercise in web-bullying, apparently—said “Boom” “as if they were shooting” her. The things Livvy didn’t and doesn’t get would fill a tome, and among them is humor: the “Boom!’ was one commenter’s follow up to my facetious comparison of the debate between Livvy and tgt as like the science fiction movie “Scanners,” that concluded with the antagonists trying to each use his psychic powers to blow up his adversary’s head. I said—tongue in cheek—that this was how I imagined the debate ending, and that I was betting on Livvy to emerge with her head—such as it is—intact. After one typical barrage of New Age psychobabble, another commenter wrote “Boom”…as in “well, she beat me: my head just went off!” That Livvy thought this was a violent attack just goes to show how “listening” to opposing views, “respecting” and “accepting” them doesn’t mean very much if one lacks the capacity and open mind to comprehend what is being said.

        Here’s Livvy1234 at her best, and if you are near Rika’s head, look out:

        Good Morning Rika Psuedo Name,

        I hope this morning finds you in good health and good spirits. I am sitting here, enjoying a cup of coffee, with Thomas, my senior beagle, and Annie, my sparkling mini doxie. They just finished their breakfast. Momma cooked some turkey and carrots in the crock pot last night for them. They really enjoyed their breakfast this morning.

        I read what you wrote to Jack Marshall, ethicist, and moderator of Ethics Alarm WordPress blog last night in the following article:

        I am not commenting on Jack’s blog page anymore, and have decided to take my thoughts and keep them on my own blog page. I will use these posts I am making for future reference on the topic of unconditioning the conditioned mind. Unconditioning the conditioned mind is a topic of great interest to me. I study my mind through the practice of zazen or “just sitting.” This is a form of zen: form and formlessness exist in the practice.

        One never truly “knows” anything for sure, because they learn to experientially watch their mind through sitting facing the wall. There are many great resources on the topic. If you need some, I will surely post them for you.

        When one experientally observes the mind, many interesting things happen if they practice long enough. Although, I must state that there is no arrival point of zen practice. Zen students do not get degrees like in universities. So we practice experiental observing our mind to understand and broaden our narrow fixed views of how the world, and the relationships within the world truly are in any given moment.

        What is any given moment? Any given moment means falling in and out of delusional thinking as to what we think is reality. Zen is the practice of living in the present participle of the verb. It means living in the ING of the verb, not yesterday, not tomorrow, but right now this very second.

        So this is my practice. And for the record, I am not trying to be ”spiritual,” as some people have implied on Ethics Alarm blog post:

        Some of the teachers I have studied, that have helped me free myself a great deal from conditioned thinking are Jiddu Krishnamurti, Dr. Scott Peck, (The Road Less Traveled) Diane Eshin Rizzetto, Eihei Dogen Zenji, Shohaku Okamuru, Fred Eppsteiner, Patricia Phelan, Chogyam Trungpa, Kazuaki Tanahashi, Dairyu Michael Wenger. Sojun Mel Weitsman, Shunryu Suzuki, Kathleen Dowling Singh, Gurani Angali, Red Pine, Osho, Mooji, Eckard Tolle, Edward Hester, you Rika, my children, Jack Marshall, tgt, Pema Chodron, Surya Das, Richard Thurman, my dogs, my spouse that died, WordPress friends, people who hated me, people who loved me, my mother, my father, alcoholics, drug addicts, wealthy people.

        There are thousands of people that have touched my life since I have been born. All of them are my teachers. I bow to all of them. When I was posting on the vegetarian article so many times, I was watching something. I was learning something. The topic was not do or die for me. I did not have to win accolades from anyone. I was just some ignoramus who fell upon the Ethics Alarm blog and started commenting. I had no plan to make 80 comments. It was tiring for me to continue commenting, but I decided to do so, because I wanted to see if anyone would accept my point of view, acknowledge it. Instead, what I found was that I became (my feeling is valid to me) the butt of the joke. I became the entertainment, where certain folks could say, “Boom,” as they were shooting me. Anyway people could, they wanted to discredit my view. I found that hurtful. So far, no one can discuss it with me. This brings up the fact that how are we relating to one another on social media?

        When I stated in one response that my spouse died, January 27th, the “rule” was “it is irrelevant to the conversation.” I was shocked that people are so boxed in conditioned rules, obligations, duty, goods or bads, derilictions of duty, that I continued to respond “I accept your view, will you accept mine.” Then my words were called drivel, moronic, implications made that I was trolling, baiting Jack Marshall, might be a threat to tgt’s family. I further went on to give my true name and told tgt to do any type of background check he chose to do. I was told to enjoy some violent weather when I wished someone a lovely day.

        So, this was very interesting. I had to work with the feeling of anger, frustration, sadness…a host of emotional responses that came up. It was a good zen practice. I worked with what I was experiencing without pulling anyone down or wanting to hurt them.

        Now with regard to what you wrote who you think I am, because you only know me, from the comments I posted, I will share this. Some of the posts I made were the words of Jiddu Krishnamurti, Marianne Williamson, Diane Esshin Rizzetto, Darlene Cohen, and Dr. Scott Peck. Repeatedly, their words were struck down, touted as irrelevant, and meaningless. I found it interesting that no one could explore in conversation what I was trying to convey.

        Rika, how do you really know who I am, what I am about? Even if you were a therapist, or a social worker, you could not define me nor I define you. We are much more than what we write in a comment box on WordPress.

        One of the sutras I work with over the years is the Heart Sutra. It must be chanted aloud to feel it experientally down deep into the marrow of your bones. It is not ethical nor am I ethical. It is not religious or not religious. You see, Rika, we try and label everything and everyone and put them in categories of who we think they are. I am inquiring together with you here, if you should come upon my article.

        “Look, all relationship is based on the image that you have built about another and the other has built about you. Right? You cannot argue it, it is so. And these two images are the result of many years of memories, experiences, knowledge, which you have built about each someone and they about you. That is part of your consciousness. What is the relationship when there is no image at all between you and someone?

        Then what is relationship? If the image has come to an end, which is the content of consciousness that makes up your consciousness, when the various images you have about yourself, everything, come to an end, then what is the relationship between you and someone?

        So, the mind- (includes brain, the physical organism, the totality) that mind has lived within the field of fragmentations, which makes up its consciousness, and without its content the observer is not. And when the observer is not, then relationship is not within the field of time that exists when there is the image you have about someone and someone has about you. Can that image come to an end as you live daily? If the image does not come to and end THEN THERE IS NO LOVE. It is then one fragment against another fragment.” (Krishnamurti, The Awakening of Intelligence)

        To call me names or what I write on a blog in a comment box, and try to define who I am, what the fabric of my being is about is conditioned thinking.

        Carolyn Hax wrote her thoughts about a young couple who asked for advice as to whether it was okay for them to serve vegan food at their wedding. That’s all the topic was about. And when somebody came on Ethics Alarm who offered a different view than what was being espoused by Jack Marshall, the moderator, and company, why was it necessary to tear me apart, analyze who they think I AM? For what good? For what reason?

        Yes, Rika, I am like you because you and I are made of earth, air, wind, and fire. You stated I have no willingness to think “rationally.” Rika, I see the rationality of the outer world which comes from the inner world of each one of us. I see the war, the suffering, the poverty, the starvation. Tell me about rationality and ethics. If everyone shut up for just one day with each other, we would begin to understand what relationship is. But our analytical mind gets in the way. And so it goes for thousands of years. We are stuck in our own mud collectively.

        Rika, you and I would have really enjoyed each other’s company at the wedding even if there were only lettuce to eat. We might have laughed, danced, got into a juicy discussion and formed a real relationship based on trust and understanding. Call me by my true name. Yes, I am sometimes this or that – sometimes not a hypocrite, sometimes spiritual and sometimes a great failure at it. I am you, and you are me. I am the yin and the yang, and so are you and the commentors on Ethics Alarm. We are beings having a human experience.

        One of the books that helps me on taking language apart, experiential living, and living as best I can in a way that reduces harm is Dogen’s Gengo Koan, Three Commentaries.

  7. Pingback: To Carolyn Hax of the Washington Post « realmanure

  8. It has been very interesting reading through all the comments. I even popped by Livvy’s site for a gander. I can’t help but wonder what the value of such debates are once the primary points and counter points have been stated, and restated; then restated once again ad nauseum. I don’t have the answer of course, but it has got my wheels spinning. Maybe there’s merit in it, or maybe it’s about flexing our egos, or maybe it’s a sort of meme warfare… ideas battling it out for control over our brains. Certainly, it is entertainment! The most I can say is that the spectacle of it all somehow subtracts from content. Worse yet, at a certain point those on the rational side of the argument only serve to give status to the mistaken party. When a clash of ideas turns into a Hundred Years’ War, even the winners get a bloody nose.

  9. I’m not sure whether to be happy or sad to have missed the latter part of these shenanigans as they were happening, but Livvy seems to fall under the same disorder as a lot of other one-off commentators on this site; they attribute the members of this site with a whole series of oft-spurious viewpoints just because we happen to disagree with them on one particular issue. I haven’t facepalmed this hard since Ronbo; and at least he had a consistent message.

  10. I skipped over this when it was still short because I can’t think of a culture where being disrespectful of your parents’ dietary needs at your wedding is encouraged. It’s a very simple thing, if your parents get sick from peanuts, having them in every dish is rude at best. I would be as much in arms if the opposite was true, and the bride and groom wanted to force their parents to eat meat. Forcing your guests to do anything at a wedding is bullying.

    When I decided to catch up I was amazed at the scope of it, and how many tried to bring it back to the specific topic and standard of the forum.

    One more area is that the whole discussion made for some interesting examples of writing, both the good and the bad. Writing simple and clear sentences in plain english is a strength for any writer who is trying to make a point. Many of the quotes slung around were not clear and on analysis had null meaning in the common language. Though the blog mascot should be Deepity Dawg, I think. 🙂

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