When You Fight Monsters
A chap called Nietzsche once remarked that when you fight monsters, don’t become one yourself. I have just been kicked off a LinkedIn group called ‘Authors, Publishers, Editors, Thin Skinned Sycophants et al’ or something like that. ‘Owned’ by a professor from the USA and managed by a self described ‘vindictive harpy’ who writes ‘speculative fiction’ (bodice ripping supernatural dudes with ripped abs). I started a thread about the current PayPal refusal to handle payments for certain categories of writing. It seems the group manager was not happy with the direction of debate and dropped several primary school teacher like hints to close the thread, yet we posters were not finished. I made the remark that I feared she might close us down, given her thinly veiled threats and she chose to take offense and be insulted by this remark. What I said was “I’m with Donna, although I confess I am beginning to fear my posts will soon be refused publication if my views dissent too much with XXXXXXXX.”
There were allegedly already people complaining to her offlist about my views and now this! I was asked by a couple of posters to apologize to her but I replied, ‘Why?’ I am not responsible for how she chooses to react to something I say, more so if I did not intend any offence or insult and I didn’t. I was making the point that here we were discussing what might be censorship and there was this pressure to close the discussion down and yet for what reason? Two of my attempts to reply were never posted until I started sending offlist emails and then all of a sudden one of them was posted. I was given another warning that I had better behave or else. I mean it was so pathetic and childish. Of course I was removed and no doubt they are having a wonderful time sipping their tea and doing their knitting and saying how nice it is now that big, bad dissenting voice has left.
Talk about thin skinned. But this is our society today. I was never rude or attacked anyone personally (although one bloke who is now well into his sixties insisted on posting a photo of him in a red jump suit on a motorbike back in the 70s and that was too much temptation not to mention) yet because I refuse to accept the mainstream view as decided on by the manager and her clique, I was accused of being childish and ‘snippy’. Whatever happened to writers having some guts and backbone and standing up for what they believe in and writing about it? If I had wanted to insult and offend they would have been insulted and offended in no uncertain terms but that wasn’t the aim.
Even another thread was censored by her to stop me replying which shows it was now personal to her and not about the discussion. I guess this is PC in action. Political Correctness as interpreted and applied by someone with a little power over others in a specific arena. So be it. That is the way of the world.It seems that we no longer want people to hold views and if they do either they can’t express them for fear of offending someone, or the view held must be the most inoffensive and sheep like option on offer. Fence sitting is an art form it seems. In these forums it appears the protocol is to offer your view but if someone disagrees then immediately flap about in the breeze and change to whichever way the wind is blowing. Sorry, but I refuse and I have paid the price. So be it. It does remind me of another quote, by Groucho Marx who once said “I would never belong to any club that would have me as a member”…