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Perhaps a bit less aggro all 'round, if we might? - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
wemyss
wemyss
Perhaps a bit less aggro all 'round, if we might?

(Astoundingly, what follows is a commentary that I had completed – and failed to post – some days ago, and has nothing to do with the present discontents.)

 

There’s an old jest in which a chap says, ‘Oh, I’m an even-tempered fellow: I remain angry’; and there’s the stage Irishman’s claim that, ‘I never lost my temper but once, when I was a lad: lost it and never found it again’, of course.  Yet the peculiarly rebarbative nature of certain recent disputes on two communities I sometimes browse – disputes I can only assure you will not be tolerated at britpickery – has been unsettling, even to me.  I see that it is as true of the Internet as it is of parochial church politics and academic politics: the disputes are so savage because the stakes are so paltry.

 

I quite realise I am the last person to set up as a moral arbiter here (mind, you’ve no idea how many remarks I force myself not to pass), but my own failings of temperament do not of themselves make me incompetent to suggest that we all of us make an effort (call it a Lenten discipline if that makes you attend the better to it) to maintain some sense of proportion, humour, and a willingness not to assume the worst of – and place the worst possible interpretation upon the motives and meanings of – one’s opponents.

 

I do not believe that a good debate is anything other than a ‘contact sport’; yet even on the pitch, there are rules, and there is, or wants to be and once was, an ideal of sportsmanship that, along with the common law, the English language, and the herbaceous border, is perhaps Britain’s great legacy to the rest of the world.  Let’s all of us strive for that, shall we?

 

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(Deleted comment)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: February 22nd, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

All too true, alas.

It is the small nettle-stings that madden most, isn't it.

I'm greatly obliged for yr kind words.
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: February 22nd, 2008 10:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: All too true, alas.

One can see the same in many parishes. Most of the really nasty rows tend to have to do with things like carpets or flower rotas.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: February 22nd, 2008 11:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

Indeed.

And service music.
serriadh From: serriadh Date: February 23rd, 2008 02:24 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Indeed.

But that's not trivial!

;)
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: February 23rd, 2008 10:33 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Indeed.

Don't get me started on the illiteracy, poor taste, and (probably) unintentional heresy of Mission Praise, or we'll be here all day...
fpb From: fpb Date: February 23rd, 2008 10:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Indeed.

I must be the luckiest Catholic in two hemispheres, since I never encountered the sort of horrors everyone else seems familiar with. Well, my local parish priest once made me walk out of the church during Mass in protest at a truly horrible sermon, but it was not faddish - quite the contrary, it was reactionary even beyond Fascism. But, except for the odd lousy modern hymn ("we are one in the Spirit, etc."), I have been spared the liturgical horrors which everyone else seems familiar with.
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: February 23rd, 2008 11:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Indeed.

I've been in services where 'We are one in the Spirit' was the high point... (actually, I've no particular objection to it, though there are many better modern hymns.)
shezan From: shezan Date: February 22nd, 2008 09:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
... there are "present discontents"?

*/clueless*
wemyss From: wemyss Date: February 22nd, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

I'll email you.

Sadly, yes. But then, when are there not?
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: February 22nd, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm missing something. Or, from another point of view, I'm not; but your advice is very sound.

I quite realise I am the last person to set up as a moral arbiter here (mind, you’ve no idea how many remarks I force myself not to pass)

I'm reminded of the anecdote about Evelyn Waugh, who was once asked how he could be so nasty when he called himself a Christian, and replied "But you've no idea how much worse I'd be if I wasn't one." (Not, mind you, that you fall into the Waugh category, but the point applies more widely).
wemyss From: wemyss Date: February 22nd, 2008 11:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

I may, actually, be not too dissimilar in my vices.

As for the rest, well....

Thanks.
serriadh From: serriadh Date: February 23rd, 2008 02:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Is that whom Lewis nicked the idea from? All that 'Christianity doesn't automatically make you a nice person but it might be an improvement on the original state' idea?
fpb From: fpb Date: February 23rd, 2008 03:31 am (UTC) (Link)
It was probably the other way around. Lewis made the point in 1940 in a public debate, and Waugh was still comparatively young at the time. Or they might, of course, have arrived at it independently.
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: February 23rd, 2008 10:31 am (UTC) (Link)
That's what I thought with relation to the dates, but thank you for confirming it. Though I tend to the independent origin theory - it's true, but also fairly obvious, if you have any self-knowledge.
fpb From: fpb Date: February 23rd, 2008 10:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
There is fighting going on somewhere, and I am not involved?

I'm kind of relieved.

As for your remarks: if only it were that easy...!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: February 25th, 2008 03:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes, well. Give it time.

Were that it were that easy: true.
From: seneska Date: February 25th, 2008 03:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I realise I have been absent from discussions for a while, but I was astounded at the recent reception of the post at britpickery where someone, rather than trying to debate, simply posted the same comment repeatedly in response to every opinion shared. I'm certainly not going to mention names, since they have also posted in reply to this, but I feel compelled ask if this has become commonplace?

xx
wemyss From: wemyss Date: February 25th, 2008 03:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

No, I believe that was an inadvertence, and shan't happen again.

Accidents do happen.
From: seneska Date: February 26th, 2008 12:03 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: No, I believe that was an inadvertence, and shan't happen again.

Good. I'm happy to hear it.

xx
froganon From: froganon Date: February 27th, 2008 02:35 am (UTC) (Link)

debate


I admire a good healthy debate.
I detest those petty arguments that people with bruised eglos tend to get into.

spike
wemyss From: wemyss Date: February 27th, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

As Freud said...

It's all about the narcissism of small differences.
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