into the fire

melly explains it best. which is rather necessary, considering the sorryass state of a flamewar in which opinions are selectively deleted, as adressed quite succinctly by michele (be sure to read the first comment on that post, it’s a little added insight). that comment (well, it’s an email, actually) clearly re-states this fact: Tess did indeed take offense to melly and i posting about Jess, her CD collection, the robbery, and her wishlist, in light of the Holocaust. she fully admits this. ok. that’s not even a leap of logic. there is no logic. it’s just a petty personal attack, the motivation for which i cannot fathom. and the mention of a robbery and the Holocaust in the same sentence is rather an affront to the millions of lives lost, isn’t it? Ezrael helps to put this in perspective, as well. and i have to ask, if the Holocaust is our standard against which we must measure loss, well, i suppose we should respond to the victims of pretty much any crime with a terse ‘suck it up and deal’, yes? no, that makes no sense. none whatsoever. [edited to add] also, Faith has some perspective on this, the Holocaust is a very close personal part of her history.

the attack, passive-aggresively couched in the context of linkage to something universally appalling, was a sign of some deeper issues, of that i’m sure. the follow-up post contains more vitriol and rage than i’ve seen in one place in a long, long time. an ugly thing to see.

for the record, i’m with Nancy. i also think the Holocaust was a Very Bad Thing. it isn’t stopping me from helping my friends. i’ll continue to have empathy for those who suffer loss, and continue to be puzzled why this would piss someone off. you just never know, i guess.

26 thoughts on “into the fire

  1. I posted a comment on Tess’s post, but she dumped it and left someone’s rebutal to my words. I didn’t say anything mean. I even wished her well, but evidently disagreements aren’t allowed on her site. Amazing how quickly a nice gesture gets twisted all around in blogland.

  2. Yeah, wKen, I read yours before it was deleted. I went over there to read all that stuff after making an uninformed remark here in kd’s comments. It was well made and well stated.

  3. Interesting run-in you had there. Not that it comes as news to me, given past antics there, athough it is a little amusing to see some of the same names on the other side of the fence now.

    I don’t have a wishlist myself, as there’s nothing in particular I need or want, but a claim of pandering is a bit severe even when you disagree with them. The whole thing makes me want to go buy something from that list for Jessica (after all, it is her birthday) just to show that the kindness of strangers is not something to be scoffed at, ever, no matter what form it takes.

  4. Is this type of fussing and quarrelling what blogging is all about? If it is, then I think I’ll have to stop. It seems so pointless to me. Why do some folks have to go to the extremes that they do on their websites? Seems to me that there are some people who thrive on this kind of ‘cas cas’ (as we would call it in Jamaica). I see your point kd, and I did see wKen’s comment before it was deleted. It was a reasonable comment, I agree. Anyway, the likening of the burglary to the Holocaust was pretty horrendous if you ask me.
    All the fussing back and forth and expletives reminds me of the Jerry Springer Show! Anyway, I better shut up lest anybody thinks I’m taking sides and I get some rude comment on my site. As we say in Jamaica “cockroach don’t business in fowl fight”. (in other words, MYOFB!)

  5. Wow, I’m getting flashbacks. Last time this happened I realized that I can like someone a lot, but in some cases I have to stop going to thier weblog because there’s so much drama I don’t want to be sucked into. I have this “no drama” rule about blogging. I highly recommend it.

  6. So what you’re saying is it’s pointless to argue over there? Thanks for the warning, I’d hate to construct a long rant only to have it deleted.

    Please forgive me for turning this to a personal note (but you know I can’t legally say it on my site, and it will hopefully get buried in your comments.) But I gotta say this and it’s a similar point:

    Last year, when they took the kids away, we were 10 munites away from sitting down and having dinner. My son was crying at how hungry he was, and those hearless bastards wouldn’t let him eat while his sisters gathered his belongings. Fact is he didn’t get anything to eat until he arrived at the foster home at 11PM. That was only because they couldn’t take his crying anymore. He was 4, btw.

    While it’s true that anyone in my family could stand to skip a meal or two… that’s not the point.

    I’m imagining Tess making a snarky remark this little trivial event and put a link to starving kids in Ethiopia. And it makes me want to spit blood. We all have our moments of loss and pain and it doesn’t make them any less painful to know people have suffered worse so we should shut up.

  7. note: michele’s post has been deleted, including the comment that contained an email referenced above. here is the text of the email, which was in response to a comment of michele’s that was then deleted.

    * * *
    Oh, now, don’t get me wrong… I’m not deleting comments because of the attack on me. I’m a big girl, and rather enjoy the show. I’m deleting your comment because you didn’t bother to read the post all 26 othercomments, or watch the video, I’m sure. You see, you’re too busy defending your actions, and that of your “friends”, to comprehend what the intent of the post was about. That makes your thoughts null and void. See? Get it? Oh, and make no mistake, I WAS using your friend in my example (and you’d have known I make absolute claim to that if you’d bothered to read the comments), but it was you and your cohorts that pointed it out to her. Now, who’s to blame for hurting her feelings? Me, or you, her “friends”?

  8. I made a comment over there at Tess place, I thought it was a good thing to link to the Holocaust stories and video because I think people should and need to be reminded or taught about it. I just read her entry as it was and the rest I know nothing about.

    People mean what they do. They write what they mean. And everyone write something someone else doesn’t like. It’s just how it is when we’re tons of people with different backgrounds and opinions out here.

  9. Uncle Xkot’s blogging advice

    Weblog politics got you down? Hey, don’t stress out. Uncle Xkot’ll help make things all right. 1) Drama is fine for soap operas and reality TV, but try to keep

  10. um. Nico? really, this is about so much more than just ‘it’s nice to link to holocaust video’. it’s nice if you do it in a way that’s not a direct slam on other people — see email referenced above for clarification.

    she used the example of a friend who got robbed, and some other friends (in tess’s words) ‘pandered to her wishlist’ in an effort to help her get some of her stuff back, because it’s her birthday. so this is what tess said was *bad* in light of the holocaust.

    it’s apples and orangutans. no logic.

    i’m not saying the holocaust wasn’t bad. or that we should forget it. but using it to slam someone for ‘materialism’ is wrong.

  11. I don’t believe that the second entry was actually about the Holocaust. The first one, yes, and if her new interest is that subject, more power to her. However, the second was mean spirited at best, and using an event like the Holocaust as a smokescreen for something else entirely is appalling.

  12. i actually used that clever little witticism in her comments. i’m pretty sure it’s gone now though…

    and yes, i read your post, it’s excellent.

  13. Poor Nico, always sticking his head into things he can’t imagine. It’s nice to know nothing about the post right above yours where Tess explains exactly what she meant.

    Given your past anti-semetic tendencies, your lip service to something with you clearly do not comprehend is insulting.

  14. I witnessed/read the whole exchange, and even attempted to offer my two cents, but I have a different perspective on the spirit of the original post and of the comments left by everyone involved.

    It was clear to me, early on, that tempers were flaring all over the place. And once people get that worked up, things are only going to go from bad to worse … and that’s exactly what happened.

    My new rule: no blogging or commenting when angry. Yeah, like that’ll last for about a day. 😉

  15. Kd, I just told you I commented over there because I thought it was nice she brought attention to the Holocaust stories, as I said I didn’t know anything about the materialism stuff or the one it was directed to and therefor I didn’t say anything about it over there or here or anywhere else. Think it’s kind of strange then that two people manage to make my three comments where I don’t even mention your friend Jessica to an enormous interferance from my side.
    The reason I told you that people will always mean a lot and write their opinions about it, was to say that you shouldn’t care about it or let it get into you.

  16. You know, when my sister came back to her flat to find the door open and every CD she owned missing (along with the present she was about to give to our Mum) it never once occurred to me to liken it to the holocaust. You live and learn don’t you?

  17. Geez, what a mess. I’m rather pissed that she used such a great website for Holocaust studies to further her “point” about materialism. Especially when you listen to the story she wanted us to hear – Gerda Weissmann Klein Describes liberation in Czechoslovakia by U.S. soldier (under personal stories)
    That example has nothing to do with materialism pro or con. Ms Weissmann is sharing a liberation memory. It is beautiful and moving – and has nothing to do with what Tess was theoretically trying to do – or so I assume. I mean, it’s all very well to lecture against materialism, but that wasn’t the example to use.

    If she was really wanting to educate and not making a personal dig at someone (which I just can’t help but interpret that as, and she admits it too – I read all the comments and can’t see any other interpretation) she should have used a better example. As it is she merely trivialized a liberation story. And then tries to blame everyone in the comments for trivializing it.

    I find myself disgusted with people who bring the Holocaust into an arguement only to stiffle disagreement – “you can’t criticize me, I’m citing the Holocaust.” And my response “no, I’m criticizing YOU, YOU are using the Holocaust to make yourself seem scholarly/humanitarian/noble/whatever.” She could have easily talked of the lack of materialism of Mother Teresa, etc. – there are other instances.
    Boy, I’m glad I was off-web yesterday. Bleh.

  18. kd: I posted this at tessrants. Let’s see how long it takes before it is deleted.

    My post:
    First, just so you know, I’m holding the door open with my foot, and will back out under my own steam, as quietly as I arrived. I won’t slam the door, and certainly will keep my ass as far away as possible. Wouldn’t want it to get hit, you understand. I won’t be back, either. Quite frankly, it smells like the Monkey House in here, and I don’t stay long when poo flinging is the norm. Will you read on?

    Here’s why I dropped by: I’m a frequent visitor at Melly’s and kd’s sites. By some strange coincidence, I found Melly through another post removed from hers by a degree or two. Later, I found kd. Both of these women seem to be interesting, thoughtful, intelligent, caring individuals, loyal to friends, and compassionate. While it is not always true that what you see is what you get, since bloggers often self-filter, I think that maybe in your case, your blog is an accurate representation of who you are.

    Second, I’ve done as much homework as I can, reading your archived rants about current events, children, love and relationships, YOU, people, etc., just so I could get a perspective on your overall attitude.

    When I read about this little dust-up, I resisted the urge to instantaneously side with Melly and kd, and clicked every reference link I could find to learn more. I wanted to be fair.

    What a lot of dust you can kick, Tess. You seem to enjoy it so much, too. Here’s what I found on your site:

    From the Rants by Tess archives:

    June 13, 2002
    I have a sick need for a certain amount of conflict in my life.
    People are so much more interesting to me when they’re desperately fighting back the urge to wring my neck. I like pushing buttons. I admit it. I am a shit stirrer.
    I will often engage others in discussion on taboo subjects just to experience conflict. Too many people avoid conflict, and have relationships based on nothing but “fluff”. Life is often about conflict, and in the family I grew up in, we expressed it, dealt with it and loved each other despite it. In my household, the idea that, “Some things are better left unsaid” was just… well… never a remote possibility. In relationships, people get all of me or nothing. Sometimes it’s ugly, but it’s never concealed…
    Posted by Tess at 01:17 AM

    June 03, 2002
    Things I Will Never Do
    1. I will never give my right arm. For anything.
    2. I will never walk a mile in your shoes, especially if there is less laborious transportation available.
    3. I will never put a cork in it. I’ll definitely pull one out, but no, I’ll not be putting one in.
    4. I will never beat a dead horse. Why waste the energy when I can exert the same force on a living, breathing, idiot human being?
    5. I will never blow smoke up your ass, or come remotely close to being mistaken for having done so.
    6. I will never bite the hand that feeds me, especially if it’s attached to the person that’s buying.
    7. I will never piss on your leg and tell you it’s raining, though straddling your leg isn’t a bad distraction from the outright lie I’m telling you.
    8. I will never look a gift horse in the mouth. I’m concentrating too hard on what’s in the goody bag.
    9. I will never dress to kill. I’ll just fucking shoot you.
    10. I’ll never make a federal case out of it. I’ll hunt you down myself, tie you to the back of my car and drag your ass until you beg for mercy.
    11. I will never fight like cats and dogs. I’m not that nice when I fight.
    12. I will never get back on the horse. That fucker just bucked me off.
    13. I will never grin and bear it. Not as long as there’s Morphine.
    14. I will never go off half cocked. I don’t do anything half way.
    15. I will never write checks my body can’t cash. The bank, on the other hand…
    16. I will never trust you as far as I can spit. End of story.
    17. I will never make a mountain out of a mole hill. It sounds like too much work.
    18. I will never give you a penny for your thoughts. They’re probably grossly overpriced.
    19. I will never piss in the wind. I don’t need squeeky tennis shoes.
    20. I will never play the hand I’m dealt if I can slip the Ace under my sleeve on the table without you seeing.
    21. I will never reopen an old wound. Pus makes me nauseous.
    22. I will never scrape the bottom of the barrel. Unless there’s chocolate in it.
    23. I will never get off the pot without shitting if I can help it.
    24. I’ll never take a shot in the dark. I’ll be much more accurate in the daylight.
    25. I will never tug at your heart strings. Unless I’m ripping them out of your chest.
    26. Walk softly and carry a big stick? Yeah, maybe half of that.
    27. I will never cross that bridge before I come to it. Duh.
    28. I will never work like a dog. Last I knew, PC techs don’t get 12 hour naps.
    29. If I’m dressed up, you can bet, there’s someplace to go.
    30. I will never bite off more than I can chew. More than I can safely swallow, yes, but never more than I can chew.
    Posted by Tess at 09:41 PM

    April 09, 2002 (excerpt, but still in context)
    ….Now, before you think I’m the rudest person on earth, let me tell you that I value beyond all of life’s little virtues good listening skills. I believe in sincerity, in looking people in the eye when they speak to me, in making sure the conversation is more about them than it is about me, keeping my comments short but meaningful, funny or intelligent, and going out of my way to make people feel comfortable.

    Got Somethin’ to Say?
    Think about what you’re doing, ok? If you’re irrational, disrespectful or an otherwise irritating asswipe, I’ll just delete your mind-spew faster than you can say, “Open a can of whoop ass on me.”

    Arrogance (

    \Ar”ro*gance\, n. [F., fr. L. arrogantia, fr. arrogans. See Arrogant.] The act or habit of arrogating, or making undue claims in an overbearing manner; that species of pride which consists in exorbitant claims of rank, dignity, estimation, or power, or which exalts the worth or importance of the person to an undue degree; proud contempt of others; lordliness; haughtiness; self-assumption; presumption.

    Overbearing. Proud comtempt. Haughtiness. Self-assumption.

    Add to that your self-proclamed love of shit-stirring, and you seem to really be working on cornering the market on arrogance.

    Spewed Forth By Jane (on Tess’s site) at August 19, 2002 05:39 AM

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