Taking the high road is hard…

September 22, 2009

Sigh.  I know I said that the blog was on break until 1 October, but this is a post which needs to be made right now.

I finally had to draw the line with Bonnie Bowes and Ben Acevedo, (the authors of the TFC,) and send cease and desist letters to them via email and snail mail.  They crossed multiple lines in posting about me and I was encouraged to put my foot down by multiple people who care about me.  The thought was/is that if I just continued to ignore them, after they clearly violated my privacy and clearly violated copyrighted works, that I would be as complicit in what they were doing as I would be if I continued to interact with them either on this blog or the TFC.

So, I tried to resolve the issue privately by sending cease and desist emails to them, imploring them to take my content and personal information down.  Of course this set them off and they republished my emails on their blog.  Which – frankly – made me see red for a bit, as it’s very frustrating to try to approach a problem reasonably, only to have the individuals you’re trying to open dialog with respond irrationally.  But, after confering with people much wiser than I am (both in my private and professional life) I was reminded that I know that I cannot control the behavior of others, I can only control how I react to it.

I have to say, that the siege that these two former friends have launched on me since mid-summer is exhausting, both physically and emotionally.  They have worn me out to the point where I don’t care what they say about me 99% of the time, I just do not have the energy to deal with it.  To be completely honest: I moved out of the apartment with Bonnie to get away from her and from Ben and from the toxic friendships I had with them both and to cleanse myself of the toxicity of the people who I was surrounded by when they were part of my immediate life.  It is my own fault that I have allowed them to continue to have a presence in my life and while I am frustrated that I cannot disengage with them six months out from having walked away from them, I firmly believe that I am meant to learn something from this situation.

I have not behaved as my higher self and I have made a lot of mistakes in dealing with this situation.  Whatever those lessons are, I am learning them and dealing with it.  I will not put up with their behavior any further and I will not sink to their level again.  Sending the cease and desist letters is my line in the sand and if it is crossed again, I will not discuss it or react to what they have done in public, I will simply act upon it in private.  Period.  The time for bullshit and juvenile behavior has passed, there are some things which are simply unacceptable to me and I will not tolerate anyone behaving as such towards me.

Moving forward: I am putting my foot down as far as conduct is concerned on this blog.  Both for myself, the people who have volunteered to write for this blog while I am working on other projects and people commenting on what is written here.  Yes, this blog is about discussing Internet dramz and shenanigans and fucking with people, but there is a way to have that conversation and perform those actions without being assholes and taking the low road or behaving in the manner which we are most critical of in others.

Therefore: there are now rules for posting and commenting here.  I have enacted Tim O’Reilly’s Blogger Code of Conduct.  Here are the most important take-aways from these rules:

  • I own my own words and am responsbile for the content that is published here.  The buck stops with me.  I will be in charge of deciding what is and is not appropriate content for this blog.  I will lead by example and will not sink to the level of trolls or griefers or assholes who try to pick fights with me.
  • Writers on this blog, myself included, will not say things in this forum that we would not say in public, face-to-face with the person we are saying it to.
  • When someone is behaving inappropriately, we will tell them so.  First in private, then if the behavior continues, in public.
  • Anonymous commenting and posting is not allowed on this blog.  People may use an alias, but they must provide a valid email address to the administrator of this blog before they are allowed to comment or post here.
  • Each individual must be accountable for their own actions.
  • Abusive and inappropriate comments and posts will be deleted.  If an individual continues to make abusive and/or inappropriate comments or posts on this blog they will not be allowed to participate in the conversation here.

If you don’t like the changes, go somewhere else.


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