Mowing down psychological tall grass and tangled weeds; clearing the field and planting new seeds. Thoughts lifted from my angry days, when someone asks my opinion and then denies it. If I tell you my favorite color, who else would have the "right" answer? Challenge it, oppose if you must, but to correct it is to erase my existence. If we all had the same thoughts, there would be no need for democracy. Cogito Ergo Sum.


Day 55.

I'm not doing myself any favors here by giving them the heads up; I'm sure the number would get much higher without my hints.

But it just makes my scalp itch when I think about this.
Here's the "end" of the story.

He's gone, JCH. (3+ / 0-)

Recommended by:JCHFleetguy, Sister Quarterstaff of Undeclared Grace, linkage

We banned snafubar.

by Rain on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 07:40:55 PM PST

I saw that after I answered n/t (1+ / 0-)

Recommended by:linkage

To find out about me:

by JCHFleetguy on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 07:58:24 PM PST

January 15, 2010.

I really should let this perpetuate itself a little longer before I post this, but this will tell me if anyone at all is even paying attention.

You see, I cannot post any diaries or comments or delete my old diaries at Street Prophets, but I can still log in (and view hidden comments just like a trusted user - ha!). But I guess their system is designed to turn certain privileges "on" and some "off". So I logged "in" after I started putting these diaries up here and changed the link to my homepage to here.

no one from SP has noticed yet that this is here. 

Maybe they're proud of that.

But the thing that just blows my mind is the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for the site. The site was started in 2003, I joined in 2007, and aparently my early impressions were so favorable and I was such a likable guy that I was the token atheist (there are others, for sure) they used as an example that Atheists were welcome there.

In fact, the sentence in the  FAQ that answers "Who Posts Here?" reads like a "Believe it or not!"

Who posts here?

The quick answer is "anyone who wants to". There are a wide variety of people writing diaries and comments on Street Prophets. They include adherents of almost all systems of belief, sometimes including Atheists (see this diary). The majority of people posting here fall on the liberal side of the religious and political spectra. However, people of Conservative views are also quite welcome to come and share with us, as long as they do not attempt to interfere with the site mission. If you are polite, you will be treated politely. Unfortunately, there are some who post comments or diaries with the sole purpose of provoking others. These people are called trolls. Some tips and techniques for dealing with trolls are described below.

Now here's the count: That link above - the "here" link in the "Who posts here" answer to the FAQ is not my hotlink; it's the Street Prophets hotlink.

They sent me packing and talked defensively about having no choice but to do so; they held vigils to comfort each other (fuck the  guy who is so angered and hurt by it that he mentions suicide, he's just WRONG. The rest of them need a group hug and a prayer circle) - and the link is still there that even Atheists are welcome.

Maybe they have a point.

Maybe atheists are welcome there, then they'll needle, belittle, condescend and talk down to them long enough that they eventually won't be, but hey -

...everyone should see now that the guy was clearly broken and lost before he arrived, so the fact that he snapped was only a matter of time and the conversation that sent him over the edge was inconsequential to any of that.

In other words, if it already looks broken, go ahead and break it and it's not your fault.

So - here's the count. March 10 since January 14 is 55 days.

And that's the way it is, on the 55th day since we kicked out that crazy lunatic angry atheist, we're still holding up his first diary as evidence of what a welcoming place that even the atheists (gasp!) are welcome at the Street Prophets.

And let's not forget that the guy I had issues with is a self professed political conservatives, which just goes to show you that although Street Prophets describes it's own "blogfather" as the DailyKos (meaning that they descended from a place of politics that is not averse to dealing with faithful/religious/spiritual issues), they have acted as if they are indeed a place that puts the faith/religion/spirituality first and the politics second.

They know good and goddamn well that I'm not converting to conservatism/the Republican party, so it's OK to tell the atheist to fuck off and they haven't really lost anything.

Maybe in a strict membership count, no.

But I'm still hanging on to the last 20 minutes of my audio recording rant that I've released the first 20 minutes to in my other posts on this blog. You see, I have witheld some of that rant, because in the heat of the moment, standing by myself on that day when I tried to find some sense in talking all that out to myself, I said some things that - although genuine and true and from the heart - I dare not share with anybody on the "outside" (of my skull).

You and I both know there are words that when spoken trigger reactions, and no amount of context, explanation, or elucidation will ever change the perceptions of all the people who just know better what's in my head than I do.

"Well, I don't care what you meant, WE ALL KNOW WHAT YOU REALLY MEAN."

And that, to my astute observers, is why suicide makes so much sense to me.

If what I think and feel and can explain never matters, because someone else can erase, ignore, belittle or betray what I say by claiming they know better...well, then they are the ones who are making it clear that I serve absolutely no purpose in trying to change anything. A tree stump or a rock can accomplish as much, at least somebody can sit on them and rest for a while.

As a sentient being -

as a cogent, lucid, sober person who of his own volition can form rational thoughts and explain precisely what I mean by them,

if I am not permitted to explain nor defend that someone else has misinterpreted my words, or ignored the specific connotations thereof, then I serve no purpose here.

And sadly, it goes one step further than that.

John C Howell/Howard wrote to me personally at my private email and apologized for upsetting me the first time we miscommunicated to each other. To date I've saved him the embarassment of his assertion that we were both having so much fun together in these exchanges (when I explicitly told him back then I was very angry all along). I saw him as a person who was the antithesis of me - if every answer to every question or issue is simply some recitation of "chapter:verse", then there is no conversation that cannot be had by simply picking up a Bible and reading it myself.

It's a surreal, perversion of "freedom of speech". Freedom of speech, in a Constitutional argument, means that (with precise few exceptions; inciting a riot, treason, threats to the president) there is no limit that the government can place on one's speech.  Sadly a few people act indignant when their words perterb or enrage other citizens, and they say, "Hey, you can't tell me not to say it!"

...and they are correct. As a citizen, I cannot prohibit their speech. However, they are indeed delusional if they somehow believe that because their speech is protected by law that that also absolves them of the reaction other citizens can have upon hearing it.

This is easy to point out: If you go into a bar with all kinds of Harley Davidsons in the parking lot and lots of guys and girls in leather and you start talking shit about all the whores in the room and how Americans build shitty motorcyles - you'd better have your exits nearby and clear or they probably won't find much of what's left of you.

Yes, it's illegal for them to beat the shit out of you. But then again, you probably calculate that you're going to be a crimson stain on the dancefloor long before the police arrive, so you check your freedom to mouth off at the door and that's how you make it home that night.

On a blog, you're free to mouth off, and some people, like DanishBrethren of StreetProphets even call people like me "terrorists" - for if I say that their words have hurt me personally, then he feels that I'm "holding the site hostage".


I guess we can make rape legal now - after all, if the fucking cunt didn't react so poorly to that nice orgasm we gave her, what's the problem, right?

It staggers the mind how the argument got turned around that fast - if we just hammer on the guy who has a bad reaction to what we say and blame him for it - then we're still free to say any damn thing we want to about him, to him, to spite him. It's a great thing.

And to a point they're right - but lets' not allow them to masturbate themselves any longer into claiming that it's still an "open" community. It's open to people who don't say "ouch". Go along to get along, and if you can't do that, the door is over there. And if you don't walk through it on your own, we'll throw you through it and it will pooch you out into the parking lot when it hits you as it closes.

Now I'm not ever going to defend Rush Limbaugh - but to illustrate a point: Rush Limbaugh got fired by ESPN for saying something racially provocative during his time there. He cried on his own radio show that "There is no freedom of speech in thsi country". Um - Rush? Your freedom of speech was not infringed; surely the government had no more to do with his firing than they did in his getting hired in the first place. His bosses at ESPN fired him because they did not want to face the economic or social consequences of Limbaugh's words pissing off a lot of their paying subscribers or customers who patronized their advertizers.

And so in this context, I present my life - the reality of my living, breathing, conscious, corporeal form that can read or listen to the words of others and respond to them - as a counter to "free" speech.

Sure it's an open community, but if you piss us off, we're going to ask you to leave.

"But what if my reaction was because one of your own pissed me off?"

"That's our perogative; its' our site. It's a 'safe place' for people of faith"

"That means that people of faith do have privilege over those who don't?"

"It means we reserve the right to declare by our own rules who was right and who was wrong"

"and what happens to the parties after your judgement?"

"We don't care. That's our privilege."

And so it goes. In a larger context I have had other accuse atheists in general of "attacking" faith - like when the ACLU files a suite to object to the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance, or to hear a Christian prayer at the opening of a courthouse session, or when there is a manger scene placed at the seat of civil government for all citizens. That, according to some Christians, is evidence that faith is "under attack" in America.

Why is it so egregious that a person who does not hold to any faith object to having faith waved in my face? Do you think I could run around town and claim that "G"od was a fraud and that churches are a place where only fools and liars gather and nobody would object?

This is where democracy may ultimately meet it's match.

That's a mouthful, ain't it? Yes, what I am saying is that democracy can fail. And Democracy (captial D) can fail when the respect for what it means is lost. Democracy is not merely means to an end - the Protestants who founded this country did not escape the rule of the British throne simply so they could create an environment that was precisely as exclusionary as the one they left behind. The men who founded this country declared that freedom was more important than religion, so that each individual must be left to find their own faith and method of demonstrating it.

John Howard was entitled by law to speak his mind.

Street Prophets can grant him deference and privilege to say it on their forum.

Street prophets can even exclude others who they feel violated their rules of decorum in their reaction to John Howard's attitude.

But what none of them has the capacity - whether or not the right to do so exists - is to somehow manipulate, control, censor, or otherwise have any certainty over how anyone else reacts to those words.

That's what got lost.

What Street Prophets said to the blogosphere, the liberal/progressive voters they serve, and anyone else who happens to trip over their site by accident is that their faith, their harmony as a site came before the feelings of one lone man (or two or three of us as one other got excommunicated and they strongly admonished a third).

That disappoints me. I'm sure they dont' care I'm disappointed, that's one of the privileges they exercised in my excommunication - out of sight, out of mind.

But I'm still here.

I'm going to carry this around for who knows how long. It's not healing now - since I still see my name show up every now and then and the whole thing is referred to in couched references and hushed tones.

And in the end, the mother fucker - yes, I want you to envision his mother crying through her tears begging him to stop because that's how I felt - was smiling, and confident, and not concerned about anyone but his own right to just keep on going.

That's fine, John. You can legally do that.

And some other people will simply silently slink away.

Others you can wind up and taunt for a while and they'll make a scene, and then the group chapperone will escort them out.

But in the end, there you were, a child of "G"od, and you effectively said, "hey, man, I don't care what my words or actions make you feel, I have a right, and I feel an obligation to make you feel them, and if you have a problem with that, I don't care"

And this is supposed to be a guy who, by virtue of his noble religion, is a better man than I. Remember - I'm the guy who lost my temper - I must have been sitting alone in the vacuum of space while sequestered on the Moon, right? It wasn't like I was a guy who was lauded in the group only a few weeks or months or for  two years before - somehow I just turned into a fucking monster and NOBODY can figure out how or why.

At least that's their story and they're sticking too it.

Good luck with that.

After all, I'm probably the only guy in the history of mankind that has ever lost his temper and acted out inappropriately, right? Surely, now that they've thrown me off the boat and sailed further away from me, there will never be another.

If it were that easy to believe the problem belonged to me and only me, the suicide would have been a forgone conclusion a long time ago. If I really felt that all the blame was mine alone - all those shrinks I'm not going to any longer can tell you that I'm a purely reactionary person. If I was pro-active, I'd be able to get past this.

It's all good. Other people can continue to masturbate their brain that things are precisely the way they see them - and only that way - and they need not adjust anything nor consider any alternatives. They're right, and everyone else is wrong.

They will act shocked if you accuse them of that, but in truth, the stand they took in this instance proved that is exactly how they see it.

Them good. Someone else bad.

On the night I was last held captive against my will in a "hospital" the "doctor" asked me "Do you have suicidal thoughts?"

I said, "Yeah. All the time. But I'm (was then) 37 years old. I've had suicidal thoughts since I was 16. So that's an unbroken streak of over twenty years of successfully dealing with those thoughts, isn't it?"

They kept me for four days, and I was finally discharged "against doctors orders".

Street Prophets kicked me out for mentioning suicide. And I've already put up the link where the unforgivable gaping asshole who drove me to that point had months earlier had insisted that he knew so much about who I was and what my existential beliefs meant that anyone who really did feel as I said I did MUST be suicidal - but he was not admonished for saying so.

John C Howard can insist that anyone without faith must be suicidal and he gets a pass.

But if I, after having had this dickhead wave himself in my face for six months say that his words make me feel so insignificant and belittled and ignored that I wish I was dead - well, now I've gone TOO far.

God, I'm still waiting for you to rule on this one.

I can only assume that your silence on these matters must mean I was right all along and you're not there in the first place. Because I've tried to find you, God. You haven't said a goddamn thing to me, God. (ironic, eh?)

And so I start my count.

Six months after a prick with a Bible in his hand declares for me that anyone who does not have faith must be suicidal, two months after the people who claim they are an open forum for even atheists excommunicated a guy for saying that he felt suicidal thanks to the hypocritical asshole with the Bible kicked me out, they still have my first diary up as an example of how welcome the place is to atheists.

Go back and read that diary, if you would - please.

Then read a few more of what I wrote.

I didn't come in there to burn the place down and  tell them they're all full of shit.

In fact, the diary I wrote in August is most hard to explain.

Three years later: Catharsis, inspiration, friendship, renewal. Thank you all.

How did the guy who wrote that in August of 2009 become a guy who was so angry at the very same people that they had to throw him out by November?

Surely it was because there was something inherently wrong with me. Surely it had nothing to do with the reality that I blogged there constantly during those months. How many diaries and comments did I write in those months?

How many of them were put on your front page?

Boy, that guy just snapped, didn't he? Must have been something in the water. There's no way that such a radical change could have been the result of the people he was spending most of his time with during those months.

The defense rests, God.

One last thought that I keep forgetting: There is a thing called "troll rating". This can be applied to comments or to cookiejars (first comment by an author in a diary) to express the sentiment that the comment is just so egregious and flagrantly in violation of the spirit of the website, or just so vulgar and counter-productive, that it should be "hidden" from all but the site admins and the "trusted" users.

Not once in all my comments and diaries I posted during the two years I was at the Street Prophets did even ONE SINGLE COMMENT get a hide rating from ANYONE.

But somehow they had to ban me outright. That one says something to me; I don't know what you will think it means. But here were a group of people who never once took the opportunity to use the tools that were put at their disposal to give feedback and moderate the discussion; yet somehow a discussion was so far afield that although not one single person felt the need to ever hide a single comment, two users had to be banned.

And the guy who ostensibly started it all - JCHFleetguy - he says that he still thinks the whole thing was a wonderful exercise and healthy for all parties involved. Oh, isn't it just great that everyone who wasn't kicked out all came together for the group hug!

Wow. How little things change over the centuries, eh? Us: Good. Them: Bad.

Continue on.

Dear God, I wish I could believe in you so that I could have some candid conversations about matters here on Earth. I think some of your followers have a lot of reason (and yet sadly they appear to have little actual intention) to ask your forgiveness.

But I don't see that  happening; it's too easy for them to blame others and move on.

Let me know how that works out for you.

Not real easy on this end.

But that's the way "G"od wanted it, right?

This must be all part of "H"is plan.

Good luck with that.

We all know that whatever happens to the guy who wrote this diary, that sick bastard was broken and rotten long before he got to Street Prophets. They had no bearing on him what.



And if you can believe that,

well I want the drugs you're doing and ask you how you can take them and still pass the test.

Faith? Is that the drug?

Sorry, I can't take that pill, it makes me feel like a hypocrite.


Post a Comment