Re: Kiss & Make up

Ernest Prabhakar (
Mon, 11 Aug 97 10:11:20 -0700

<nofill>How sweet. I mean that sincerely.

Ron wrote:
>>We've had some confusion here, folks. And the fault is mine, in my use
of the words "this crap". Apparently both Adam & Ernie thought I was
referring to the koans themselves as crap, and that I was unable to "get"
them. <<<<

Actually, that was not my concern. I did understand that you were
referring to Tim's post as crap, not my koans. What confused me is that
I thought that you thought that I was defending all of Tim's posts,
including his use of profanity and insults, rather than merely his right
to post.
I think I confused myself with that last sentence, so I'll leave it at that.

>>Let's look at Ernie's koan for a moment. The Master and the disciple are
naked at the beach. ... I think I got the koan quite well, actually.

Any interpretation must fall far short of the unutterable truth, but you
are not far from enlightenment.

Another point of misunderstanding I'd like to clear up:

I wrote:
>Tim can call people fuckin stupid, but no koans are
>necessary. Someone else tells it like it is, and we gotta call the local
>cop/chaplain out to keep the peace.

Ernie then wrote:
>> I can see how Ernie's interpretation
is possible. I'm not asking for anyone to censure anyone. I 'get' the notion
of total democracy - no censure of any speech. But I ask for this notion
to be applied fairly. When Tim enters bits into FoRK that others find
offensive, we bite our tongues and say nothing for months at a stretch -
that is the FoRK way. But on occasion when others (including me) have
entered bits into the FoRK stream that seem to be objectionable to
part of the community, there appears to have been a need for the "chaplain"
to say a few words of harmony & communion.<<<<

Fair enough, and I see how you got that interpretation of my
interpretation (oh no, here we go again). As an itinerant chaplain, I get
to choose which sins to lambast in my sermons. I keep my mouth shut about
fornication, profanity, and ad hominem attacks, though I don't like any of
them. I step in when I feel like the fabric of the list itself is in
need of reinforcing. My criteria is usually when: a) three or four
people have gotten embroiled in a dispute, and b) when people start
invoking the Sanctity of the LIst in their arguments, rather than
simplisitic "You are an idiot" statements.

I am not trying to censure anyone in particular, and not consciously
preferring Tim to anyone else. However, my particular button gets pushed
in those circumstances, which is why I respond.

>>But equally, I don't want censure of anyone else. If you want real democracy,

you have to apply it fairly. A flamewar is bits just like any other. <<<<

As are my homilies. If people have a right to make war, how much more do
I have a right to make peace? If you can use a sword indiscriminately,
may I not use the pen? If it is acceptable to insult someone, is not
reasonable to censure someone?

Also - and I admit I may not have done this as well as I would have liked
- I try very hard to censure *behavior*, not people. I don't say, "You
are right, you are wrong." That's why I went with koans (parables, if
you will). I want people to try to understand. I don't want to force
behavior, and I want them to choose enlightenment. I preach Correct
Behavior in the hope that people will choose it. People are, as always,
free to ignore me.

>>feel a certain sense of closure with this, hence my "Kiss & Make up"
subject line. This is a time of healing. Ernie, Adam, and others' posts could
not bring this saga to completion, because this was between Tim & me. <<<<

Which is certainly what I would have hoped for, though perhaps I lacked
faith. My point was precisely that Mom and Dad aren't going to judge
between you, so you need to work it out on your own. Which I am glad to
see you did.

>> Adam & Ernie both
noted that the one offense that is unpardonable on FoRK would be providing
the subscription list to a mailbomber. Why? I mean, if butterfly wings are
significant, maybe the mailbombers have something to tell us too? <<<<

Hey, I didn't say it was unpardonable. Eternal damnation would mean
removal from FoRK, and I carefully shied away from that. My point was
rather that there is a certain threshold of malicious behavior which would
merit a concerted response from the Powers That Be. That isn't to say
people would not be allowed to argue their case, or that there may not be
any redeeming value in such behavior. After all, there is some redeeming
value in eating Rohit's cooking, too.

-- Ernie "gag me" Prabhakar
Sometimes Chaplain of FoRK
High Pundit and First Mocker</nofill>