: Respect for the recently deceased


MazterCBlazter
Aug 26th, 2009, 06:39 PM
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ehMax
Aug 26th, 2009, 06:52 PM
Well said MB. I very much agree. :clap:

Dr.G.
Aug 26th, 2009, 07:50 PM
Well said MB. I very much agree. :clap:

Same here, Mr. Mayor and MCB. I tried to post some of the more positive comments that were made by Ted Kennedy. While I did not fully support some of his positions, in such threads as the one MacDoc began this morning, if you have negative things to say, by all means say them, but do so in another thread. That way, if only a few people want to share their respects they may do so, and if many people want to highlight a person's failings, they may also do so. However, this way, the initial thread of showing one's respect for a person who recently died is not taken off course by having to defend a person's lifetime accomplishments.

Paix, mes amis.

eMacMan
Aug 27th, 2009, 05:02 AM
I too agree.

I disagreed with Senator Kennedy on many issues but in later years unlike many of his colleagues he repeatedly earned my respect and believe me that is very difficult for any politician to do.

chas_m
Aug 27th, 2009, 06:01 AM
It's easy -- and classy -- to follow the old maxim "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" for the recently deceased.

There have been a couple of recent deaths about whom I could not think of a single nice thing to say, so I said nothing. This is hard for me, cuz I'm opinionated (no, really??), but it is, I think, the right thing to do.

Very few of us would agree with absolutely everything someone in public life does, but we try to remember the best about them. Unless we're hateful, childish, negative people. Looking over the comments (here and mostly elsewhere) about Sen. Kennedy, it's pretty easy to spot the sort of people one shouldn't waste one's precious time with.

EvanPitts
Aug 27th, 2009, 09:00 AM
Perhaps we should discuss all of the miraculous things that various leaders have engaged in, simply because they happened to die - like the amazing achievements of P W Botha when it came to empowering the white people of South Africa.

A person should be "remembered" for all of their virtues and vices, rather than turning things into a circus of good feelings that are nothing more than a sop.

bsenka
Aug 27th, 2009, 09:44 AM
Perhaps we should discuss all of the miraculous things that various leaders have engaged in, simply because they happened to die - like the amazing achievements of P W Botha when it came to empowering the white people of South Africa.

A person should be "remembered" for all of their virtues and vices, rather than turning things into a circus of good feelings that are nothing more than a sop.

Reluctantly, I have to agree. You don't hear people musing that dear old uncle Adolf was just widely misunderstood.

While I generally do take the "if you don't have anything nice to say..." approach, I still think that there's nothing about 'dead' that miraculously makes whatever one thought was worth ranting against someone no longer a valid complaint. Certainly you'd want to be tactful in the presence of their grieving loved ones, but on an online forum? I don't see why it matters if someone decides to call it as they see it, or if they like to deal with such things with black humour. People deal how they deal.

imachungry
Aug 27th, 2009, 10:17 AM
Perhaps we should discuss all of the miraculous things that various leaders have engaged in, simply because they happened to die - like the amazing achievements of P W Botha when it came to empowering the white people of South Africa.

A person should be "remembered" for all of their virtues and vices, rather than turning things into a circus of good feelings that are nothing more than a sop.

I agree with this.

Public figures, especially hugely famous ones, operate under different rules than less famous people. They're publicly traded in people's consciousness, and there simply isn't going to be a agreed upon time period where everybody makes nice.

Additionally, we have a celebrity culture that is about protecting famous people's hypocrisy at all times, so we now have a counter-effect (TMZ, etc) that is both extreme and often ugly. Thing is, it ain't going away, and when celebs die, it's dinner time. It's noble but rather quaint to declare a moratorium on comments in an age where blogs like Huffington Post have 10,000 comments pro, con and ugly within hours of a celeb's death.

To me, what's far more insidious and odious is the issue of anonymity, which makes people do and say things they would never do under the glare of someone else's stare. Rosemary Port, the blogger who was outed, is now feeling the pain of being an anonymous hater, and I guarantee you there will be a move in the future towards boards and systems that value people who post under their real name.

MannyP Design
Aug 27th, 2009, 10:40 AM
I don't think paying respect to one's passing necessarily means celebrating only the positive in a person's life. The media observed Nixon's passing with respect and noted his career--both good and the bad.

Naturally, a person only deserves respect if they earned it. It'll be interesting to see how G. W. Bush's passing will be observed when his time comes.

mc3251
Aug 27th, 2009, 10:51 AM
It is important to speak the truth, warts and all.
That said when someone passes there are people who love them and mourn their passing, and who want to remember what they loved about them. It is graceless and insensitive to immediately start trashing the recently deceased. If nothing else, let's give the families a bit of a break. We can return to our regular programming in short order.

MLeh
Aug 27th, 2009, 10:57 AM
To me the issue is 'allegations' versus 'known facts'. Many of these threads got ugly because of allegations, not facts.

I will accuse someone of something if they are in the position to defend themselves. But if someone is dead, they're not in a very good position to defend themselves. It's the same as gossip - don't say anything to anybody about anyone that you wouldn't be willing to say directly to their face.

And, as chas_m said, sometimes it's best just to follow the maxim "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all".

(Best to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.)

screature
Aug 27th, 2009, 11:22 AM
To me the issue is 'allegations' versus 'known facts'. Many of these threads got ugly because of allegations, not facts.

I will accuse someone of something if they are in the position to defend themselves. But if someone is dead, they're not in a very good position to defend themselves. It's the same as gossip - don't say anything to anybody about anyone that you wouldn't be willing to say directly to their face.

And, as chas_m said, sometimes it's best just to follow the maxim "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all".

(Best to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.)

Absolutely 100% agree!!! :clap:

Macfury
Aug 27th, 2009, 11:42 AM
I visit some international boards and a thread similar to the one here at EhMac emerged. Someone posted the death of Ted Kennedy as a news item and the response was an utter floodgate of invective with perhaps a few fond remembrances. The only difference is that neither group expected the other to "respect the dead," as if though the passing of a controversial public figure was a reason to declare a truce.

Most dead people villified here on EhMac never had any intention of coming here to defend themselves. We're entirely under their radar and the radar of grieving loved ones. The death of a politician, in my humble opinion, is no excuse to post mounds of drivel and sap unchallenged.

I did search the Ronald Reagan thread to which Gratuitous Applesauce referred. He certainly asked people to stop cursing Reagan--after obliquely referring to several reasons why people may wish to curse him:

Yet many consider Reagan and his administration to have been terrorists of the same order and to have been complicit in many more deaths than Bin Laden is accused of. Someone who may have been a victim of Reagan's contras in Nicaragua might think differently.

EvanPitts
Aug 27th, 2009, 12:26 PM
Reluctantly, I have to agree. You don't hear people musing that dear old uncle Adolf was just widely misunderstood.

Even though I tried to avoid Adolf in the scheme of things, it is interesting to look at it. On one hand, you have Adolf, who lead a pretty pure life - he mostly ate vegetables, was light on eating meat, did not drink, rarely smoked, tried to keep in shape, didn't drop his pants at a moments notice, and enjoyed a healthy amount of sleep.

Politically, he motivated a nation, brought a sense of pride to a defeated people who were being pilfered by other nations, organized youth, rationalized education, cracked down on crime, brought in a gun registry, built infrastructure, revitalized city cores, brought the Olympics to town, pushed for the rationalization of the automotive industry (the Auto Union), and initiated the development of the "people's car", the KdFWagen, and other associated industries. He also encouraged trade with other nations like the Soviet Union, and resucitated major sectors of industry like the steel industry, machining, and manufacturing.

No one ever discusses those notable achievements - achievements that is, say, a President of the United States even managed to cram two of those things into a term of office, would be considered greatness!

Even when it comes to crimes against humanity - somehow Adolf gets slagged, even though Stalin wiped out at least four times as many people in various "purges" and "collectivization", and Pol Pot oversaw the murder of more people by percent than either of the forementioned goons.

Then again, no one has assigned the stain of genocide on the various Presidents that stood up for slavery, or the various Presidents that engaged in the program to eradicate the First Nations; or the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom that oversaw the extermination of millions of people in India.

Not that Kennedy was any of this - I think his "crimes" were rather mundane, and overall he lead a fairly virtuous life with some degree of achievements. I do not think, in comparison, it is a bad thing to point out some of the vices, because it makes him human, rather than a ubermensch. In the scheme of things, Clinton has far more stain on his hands, his perverted lifestyle, the rape of various young women, financial ripoffs, Ponzi schemes and the selling of swampland, not to mention his authorization of the assassination of Vincent Foster. Ted Kennedy never did anything like that - in fact, all the things that happened to Ted that were bad can be attributed to hitting the sauce too much...

EvanPitts
Aug 27th, 2009, 12:29 PM
Naturally, a person only deserves respect if they earned it. It'll be interesting to see how G. W. Bush's passing will be observed when his time comes.

With great respect, as he is the first brainless person ever to have inhabited the White House, which is a beacon of hope for others that are brainless and drug addled losers... beejacon

imachungry
Aug 27th, 2009, 02:19 PM
T
I will accuse someone of something if they are in the position to defend themselves. But if someone is dead, they're not in a very good position to defend themselves.


It's entirely the opposite in the case of very famous people: their entourage gets on Larry King and spins the good story. In the case of Michael Jackson, something resembling the truth is actually starting to come out. All the usual Jackson defenders can't stop the facts trickling out.

I think many of you are applying "normal people" rules to famous people, and they simply don't apply the same way. The rules are different.

imachungry
Aug 27th, 2009, 02:21 PM
Even though I tried to avoid Adolf in the scheme of things, it is interesting to look at it. On one hand, you have Adolf, who lead a pretty pure life - he mostly ate vegetables, was light on eating meat, did not drink, rarely smoked, tried to keep in shape, didn't drop his pants at a moments notice, and enjoyed a healthy amount of sleep.

Politically, he motivated a nation, brought a sense of pride to a defeated people who were being pilfered by other nations, organized youth, rationalized education, cracked down on crime, brought in a gun registry, built infrastructure, revitalized city cores, brought the Olympics to town, pushed for the rationalization of the automotive industry (the Auto Union), and initiated the development of the "people's car", the KdFWagen, and other associated industries. He also encouraged trade with other nations like the Soviet Union, and resucitated major sectors of industry like the steel industry, machining, and manufacturing.

No one ever discusses those notable achievements - achievements that is, say, a President of the United States even managed to cram two of those things into a term of office, would be considered greatness!

Even when it comes to crimes against humanity - somehow Adolf gets slagged, even though Stalin wiped out at least four times as many people in various "purges" and "collectivization", and Pol Pot oversaw the murder of more people by percent than either of the forementioned goons.

Then again, no one has assigned the stain of genocide on the various Presidents that stood up for slavery, or the various Presidents that engaged in the program to eradicate the First Nations; or the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom that oversaw the extermination of millions of people in India.

Not that Kennedy was any of this - I think his "crimes" were rather mundane, and overall he lead a fairly virtuous life with some degree of achievements. I do not think, in comparison, it is a bad thing to point out some of the vices, because it makes him human, rather than a ubermensch. In the scheme of things, Clinton has far more stain on his hands, his perverted lifestyle, the rape of various young women, financial ripoffs, Ponzi schemes and the selling of swampland, not to mention his authorization of the assassination of Vincent Foster. Ted Kennedy never did anything like that - in fact, all the things that happened to Ted that were bad can be attributed to hitting the sauce too much...


This is a ridiculous post. And worst of all, you don't seem to realize why.

GratuitousApplesauce
Aug 27th, 2009, 02:46 PM
I agree with this.

Public figures, especially hugely famous ones, operate under different rules than less famous people. They're public traded in people's consciousness, and there simply isn't going to be a agreed upon time period where everybody makes nice.

Additionally, we have a celebrity culture that is about protecting famous people's hypocrisy at all times, so we now have a counter-effect (TMZ, etc) that is both extreme and often ugly. Thing is, it ain't going away, and when celebs die, it's dinner time. It's noble but rather quaint to declare a moratorium on comments in an age where blogs like Huffington Post have 10,000 comments pro, con and ugly within hours of a celeb's death.

To me, what's far more insidious and odious is the issue of anonymity, which makes people do and say things they would never do under the glare of someone else's stare. Rosemary Port, the blogger who was outed, is now feeling the pain of being an anonymous hater, and I guarantee you there will be a move in the future towards boards and systems that value people who post under their real name.

Actually I think you hit the nail on the head, the issue is anonymity. This allows people to act out and give full rein to their ids without any seeming consequences. On the internet we feel that we can do and say things that we would never dare to if our real names were on theses posts. In the case of the blogger mentioned, I'll bet her post looked fairly typical when it was just another anonymous disser on the 'net, but when the comments are attached to a real person, she looks tactless and crude.

On another board many of us have been to, there's a section called "The Pub" or something, where the idea is you can give free rein to your expression without any of the ehMac-type self-censorship. So if I don't like what someone is saying, rather than politely refute it, I can just tell them they indulge in carnal relations with their mother and feel like I've somehow won. Yet in a real pub, if you took that line, at best almost nobody would want to have a beer with you and at worst, someone who is prone to physical violence might take you outside. In the real world, there are consequences to acting without any decorum, politeness or thought about anyone else.

But just because of this onslaught of thoughtlessness on the internet, I don't think holding oneself to a higher standard is necessarily "quaint". I think one of the strengths of ehMac over other places on the net is this insistence on a higher standard than the usual dregs of the TMZ-like internet. I think the test is, "would you still say this if your name were attached to it?"

The internet is a new media and is part of the public sphere. It actually is a part of the real world. Hundreds at least often read these posts here. I don't see what's wrong with attempting to set a higher bar. I will for myself anyway.

GratuitousApplesauce
Aug 27th, 2009, 02:47 PM
I visit some international boards and a thread similar to the one here at EhMac emerged. Someone posted the death of Ted Kennedy as a news item and the response was an utter floodgate of invective with perhaps a few fond remembrances. The only difference is that neither group expected the other to "respect the dead," as if though the passing of a controversial public figure was a reason to declare a truce.

Most dead people villified here on EhMac never had any intention of coming here to defend themselves. We're entirely under their radar and the radar of grieving loved ones. The death of a politician, in my humble opinion, is no excuse to post mounds of drivel and sap unchallenged.

I did search the Ronald Reagan thread to which Gratuitous Applesauce referred. He certainly asked people to stop cursing Reagan--after obliquely referring to several reasons why people may wish to curse him:

You're right MF, I shouldn't have made those references, it didn't strengthen my point. In my defence, I was relatively new to ehMac in 2004 and didn't want those who I was speaking to to think I was defending Reagan's policies as President in any way.

[Edit] Here's (https://www.ehmac.ca/everything-else-eh/20994-reagan-only-good-die-young.html) the old ehMac thread that's being discussed.

I'm not talking about declaring a truce, or curbing anyone's freedom of speech, just having a little good taste, manners or decorum, that one might have if we were sitting in a room together or at a public meeting rather than acting as anonymous internet posters.

My point is we share a basic humanity that transcends political positions and polarizations. Manners, decorum and other civilized behaviour allow us to air these differences without going to war. That's why I can respect you even though we seem to profoundly disagree on many things. My gut feeling is that the people I disagree with on ehMac aren't really as hard core as I might think and they might be surprised to find that I'm not the raving lefty maniac they think I am either. I'm actually a reasonable person that does normal things and probably has more in common with those that disagree with me here than differences.

EvanPitts
Aug 27th, 2009, 03:00 PM
This is a ridiculous post. And worst of all, you don't seem to realize why.
And exactly how is it ridiculous, especially in the light that we do not say bad things about the dead?

Max
Aug 27th, 2009, 03:03 PM
Well said GA.

I wish more people were more forthcoming about their identities. I went through a phase where it seemed desirable to give myself a protective handle and even adopt a sock puppet ID for cheap larfs, but nowadays I try to at least drop hints in my various online profiles that I am a real person with a name, a general location, etc. And I definitely consider such lounge forums as bars... you have a drink, you're relaxed perhaps, but you better mind your manners and be careful that something you say in the heat of the moment doesn't lead to a misunderstanding you end up wishing you'd avoided altogether.

The net is indeed new and there's going to be a lot of teething pains as humanity transitions over to a much higher degree of electronic connectedness/monitoring/sharing/filtering. Some of this array of activities can be terribly unsettling and some other aspects are already very rewarding and positive. On the other hand, using one's relative anonymity to act out all sorts of rage, rebellion and intolerance is, more often than not, pretty slimey. Here's hoping it's mostly a phase people pass through on their way to online maturity.

And yet, in another sense, I hope I never grow so dreadfully mature that I forget what fun is and start to get cranky about the lighter side of online discourse.

EvanPitts
Aug 27th, 2009, 03:05 PM
You're right MF, I shouldn't have made those references, it didn't strengthen my point. In my defence, I was relatively new to ehMac in 2004 and didn't want those who I was speaking to to think I was defending Reagan's policies as President in any way.

However, those words carried truth - and Reagan, beyond his achievements, engaged in Iran-Contra, which not only saw death dispensed in Central America, but also in Iran and Iraq; established the reign of the terrorists by allowing a springboard for retreads like Bin Laden, did nothing to throttle unbridled greed on Wall Street or to strengthen regulation that would prevent massive financial failures, and completely struck out on the environment when he blames trees for creating Acid Rain.

I see nothing wrong in speaking the truth, even if the person in question had other notable achievements and dabbled with greatness...

screature
Aug 27th, 2009, 03:13 PM
Actually I think you hit the nail on the head, the issue is anonymity...

Exactly so GA, a very thoughtful post and you hit the nail on the head. :clap: :clap:

screature
Aug 27th, 2009, 03:24 PM
Even though I tried to avoid Adolf in the scheme of things, it is interesting to look at it. On one hand, you have Adolf, who lead a pretty pure life - he mostly ate vegetables, was light on eating meat, did not drink, rarely smoked, tried to keep in shape, didn't drop his pants at a moments notice, and enjoyed a healthy amount of sleep.

Politically, he motivated a nation, brought a sense of pride to a defeated people who were being pilfered by other nations, organized youth, rationalized education, cracked down on crime, brought in a gun registry, built infrastructure, revitalized city cores, brought the Olympics to town, pushed for the rationalization of the automotive industry (the Auto Union), and initiated the development of the "people's car", the KdFWagen, and other associated industries. He also encouraged trade with other nations like the Soviet Union, and resucitated major sectors of industry like the steel industry, machining, and manufacturing.

No one ever discusses those notable achievements - achievements that is, say, a President of the United States even managed to cram two of those things into a term of office, would be considered greatness!

Even when it comes to crimes against humanity - somehow Adolf gets slagged, even though Stalin wiped out at least four times as many people in various "purges" and "collectivization", and Pol Pot oversaw the murder of more people by percent than either of the forementioned goons.

Then again, no one has assigned the stain of genocide on the various Presidents that stood up for slavery, or the various Presidents that engaged in the program to eradicate the First Nations; or the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom that oversaw the extermination of millions of people in India.

Not that Kennedy was any of this - I think his "crimes" were rather mundane, and overall he lead a fairly virtuous life with some degree of achievements. I do not think, in comparison, it is a bad thing to point out some of the vices, because it makes him human, rather than a ubermensch. In the scheme of things, Clinton has far more stain on his hands, his perverted lifestyle, the rape of various young women, financial ripoffs, Ponzi schemes and the selling of swampland, not to mention his authorization of the assassination of Vincent Foster. Ted Kennedy never did anything like that - in fact, all the things that happened to Ted that were bad can be attributed to hitting the sauce too much...

This is a ridiculous post. And worst of all, you don't seem to realize why.

Uncommonly for me, (;)) I actually understand the point EP is making and (much of) it isn't ridiculous at all; just historical fact stripped clean of other extenuating facts and that history and how we view people is relative to what aspect of them we choose to focus on, who was the victor and who writes the history books.

FeXL
Aug 27th, 2009, 03:35 PM
Actually I think you hit the nail on the head, the issue is anonymity. This allows people to act out and give full rein to their ids without any seeming consequences. On the internet we feel that we can do and say things that we would never dare to if our real names were on theses posts...

...I think the test is, "would you still say this if your name were attached to it?"

I'd be very interested to find out if some of the more "in your face" kind of responses (and online personas, I suppose...) occasionally displayed on these boards would still be delivered in a face to face situation.

I'd like to think that I haven't made a single post over the years on ehMac that I'd not deliver in person.

Macfury
Aug 27th, 2009, 03:43 PM
I don't think anyone who meets me would find me much different from my online extension. My opinions are no different here than they are in real life. I would say the only difference is that, in real life, if I realized that people had no interest in what I was saying or if my opinions were visibly upsetting someone, I would back off a little in expressing those ideas out of deference to them. In an online environment, nobody is a captive audience or stuck in the same party room--there's no strong disincentive to just ignoring the thread as there would be in real life, where you might literally have to choose to go home instead of listening to a blowhard who had opinions you despised.

Like Gratuitous' references to the neighbour who takes care of his cat, we might be influenced to seeing each other somewhat differently in context--coaching kids sports, mowing a neighbour's lawn, finding the owner of a lost pet--or behaving like nasty S.O.B.s. I think this is the downside of anonymity.

Anonymity's upside--I have had two upstanding members of online communities (not here) turn out to be serious criminals. If they had known more about me, I don't even want to think how things might have turned out.

screature
Aug 27th, 2009, 03:44 PM
I'd be very interested to find out if some of the more "in your face" kind of responses (and online personas, I suppose...) occasionally displayed on these boards would still be delivered in a face to face situation.

I'd like to think that I haven't made a single post over the years on ehMac that I'd not deliver in person.

Although admirable, I think that you would be in the minority FeXL. I know that in the past I have made posts that had it been in a face to face situation they would have been more tempered.

I have engaged in "flaming" wars in the past and inevitably ended up regretting it because of how I ended up feeling afterwards; stressed and somewhat disappointed in myself.

Over the last several months I have made a conscious effort, to the best of my ability, to remain diplomatic and as positive as possible at all times. I don't know how this effort has affected others on ehMac all I know is that I feel that I am better off for it and hopefully it helps to make me a better citizen of this community.

Macfury
Aug 27th, 2009, 03:45 PM
You're right MF, I shouldn't have made those references, it didn't strengthen my point. In my defence, I was relatively new to ehMac in 2004 and didn't want those who I was speaking to to think I was defending Reagan's policies as President in any way.

I get you.

GratuitousApplesauce
Aug 27th, 2009, 04:20 PM
Anonymity certainly has many benefits in the context of forums like this. The downside is when we use it give license to rudeness that most of us wouldn't indulge in in person.

But, I insist on remaining anonymous. In my thousands of posts there is probably a pretty good outline of much of my life with pointers to many personal details, as well as many quite personal revelations I've made. Having these easily attached to my real identity would make me vulnerable in some ways. I also run a small business and prefer that my limited professional online persona is the one that my customers see. In many ways what I've revealed about myself on ehMac is pretty close to who I am, except that much of my posts are about politics which is not really a major part of my day to day life.

That said, I try to post things that I think I could comfortably say to someone in a face to face situation, although I'm not usually as well spoken in person and on the fly. (no backspace key) Like screature, I haven't always done so here and elsewhere online, but have made efforts to temper what I say, because I'm not proud when re-reading flame wars I was involved in. Like Max says, I hope this new media can evolve into something approaching online maturity.

Cole Slaw
Aug 27th, 2009, 09:32 PM
You people really make me laugh with the RIPs.
I mean I remember how utterly gutted you all were when that loud mouthed TV pitchman died a while back.
I found him very annoying and am glad I'll never have to hear him shouting at 2 AM about "Magic Putty" or whatever it was he was selling this time round.
But at ehMac he's remember as "One of the Greats".
You guys ought to grow up and realize people die. You don't know these people (celebs) personally* and I'm sure if they were to be the ones reading about your death in the paper they wouldn't give a s*** about it.

* The only real exception to this would be "MazterCBlazter", who seems to have a personal connection with pretty much everybody famous.

KC4
Aug 27th, 2009, 10:57 PM
^^^(Cole Slaw post)
the downside is when we use it give license to rudeness that most of us wouldn't indulge in in person.

.... Like max says, i hope this new media can evolve into something approaching online maturity.
+1

MazterCBlazter
Nov 16th, 2009, 05:45 AM
.