Just One Minute
Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Wednesday, October 09, 2002



Civility, and The New Fall Television Shows

If the networks can trot out their new televison series, I guess I can go into re-runs. I posted some thoughts on civility a while back, and I recollect that some maor hitter like Asparagirl liked them. Anyway, they're back, with an addendum for the current civility discussion.

The MinuteMan Way!

There have been some questions about what we laughingly call an "editorial policy" around here, so, to set the record straight, here is JustOneRule, and some addendum, presumptiously offered as a guide to bloggers everywhere.

The Rule:

There are no strangers here, as Will Rogers reminds us, just friends we have't met yet.

Simple, huh? But a little supplementation might be helpful, so:

A. "Be nice, and have fun". If you can't manage both, you pretty much have to tip towards "Have Fun". But if are running into this conflict a lot, you might want to look into your heart.

B. "Attack the idea, not the person". I know some wonderful people with some wonderfully daft ideas, so the distinction is worth maintaining. However, it is important to note the limitations to this "Attack the idea" concept. At a cocktail party, many a raving knucklehead who can not seem to grasp your subtle yet irrefutable logic can be silenced by a sharp blow to the solar plexus. Worth remembering, especially if you are wearing your track shoes and the wife remembered the Mace.

C. "Keep your sense of humor". Remember, someday, somebody somewhere will be laughing, or snorting derisively, at one of your posts or opinions. So you may as well laugh at someone else's right now. Carpe diem!

D. "Don't come between a person and their tirade". There are therapeutic rants all over the blogosphere, sometimes even sneaking into otherwise serious posts. You sort of spoil the fun by dissecting these rants in a spirit other than the one in which they were offered, and you know how we feel about "Having Fun". Any exceptions? Sure: for otherwise responsible journalists, or anyone who attempts to seriously defend their own fevered ravings, anything goes.

E. "E is for e-mail: privacy, please". If you send me something with a juicy, red-hot, smoking gun, career ending quote, you know I will be tempted to post it. However, I will respect your privacy and would be ever so grateful if you could reciprocate.

Simple rules, really. And other than (E), don't hold me to them: a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. Nice weekend, all.


Now, a bit of an addendum with respect to public figures: look, I'll boo at Yankee Stadium, but not at a Little League game. Your fellow bloggers are putting their blog up one post at a time, just like the rest of us - try to respect the effort, if you can't respect the output. OK, some fellow bloggers are so big they look like cross-over public figures, but still, 99.9% of us are not even big enough to be the flea that bites the flea that bites Paul Krugman.

That said, this is the internet - five minutes after Al Gore invented it, Rush Limbaugh invented the "flame". So, don't pretend you don't know the neighborhood.

Clear? I doubt it. Excellent!





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