Monday, November 12, 2007

Regarding the MOB and blogger behavior 

Gary Miller suggests that this MOB dust-up regarding a post on Anti-Strib (details of which you can find damn near everyplace else on the MOB, go find it yourself) is a "major test" for the office of the mayor. I wanted to review the rules of the organization before saying anything. This set is more than a year old, but I believe is applicable here. Rule 4 states:
Membership in the MOB is a privilege not a right. If you comport yourself in a manner that the MOB leadership deems inappropriate, your membership can be revoked at any times. All decisions in such areas are final and not subject to appeal no matter how arbitrary and capricious they may be.
I have stated that I have NARN as councilors in this matter, but all decisions regarding any membership revocation will be issued from this office and is the responsibility of the mayor alone. I will not pass responsibility on to others, and have arrived at this decision without counsel.

Having read the discussion on Mitch's blog and the attempt by Tracy to explain his views, as well as other posts in MOB, I am hereby ruling that Anti-Strib shall remain a member of the MOB.*

In the rules, as has been discussed throughout the MOBosphere, membership in the MOB requires very little. If you can read Brian's rule 3,
After a thorough vetting process, involving criminal background checks, retinal scans, and psychological screening, they will either confirm or deny your request.
...and not think the whole enterprise is more than a little tongue-in-cheek, you should check into Dr. Humor. My interview with Derek should have made this plain. And blogs that appear on the list get there through a pretty haphazard system, sprawling to now over 110 such blogs (some of which do not post and at least one whose owner is deceased.) Sad to say, there's probably 90 blogs on that list I haven't read in months, including Anti-Strib. For someone to try to attach the opinion of one one post on one blog to over a hundred others is a stretch worthy of Eyechart's best days at first base.

Satire, as a part of humor, is often used in politics. As Learned Foot states, sometimes it works well and sometimes it does not. Likewise, a good political rant can go badly awry sometimes, and other times it can produce a hell yeah! from the reader.

MOB has a tradition of rant-blogs, and though good political thought should (I agree, Pat) be held to a higher standard there is a place in the blogosphere as well for the well-sharpened stick in the eye. Not every blog is meant to persuade the undecided or engage debate. Context matters.

By the poster's own admission, there were points in the Anti-Strib article that were poorly worded and left impressions that he did not intend. That stick was not well-sharpened. We call that a teachable moment: The point where someone has done something they can regret and amend and learn from. As Flash points out,
To the point that I see a sincere effort on his part to amend himself. He could have just flew the might [sic] middle finger, in true AntiStrib fashion, but he didn�t. That says a lot to me, and those that know him.
I don't know Tracy outside of one visit to the Patriot studios as Michael mentioned. It would be a shame for that post to be the sum of what we know about him. While I don't think Tracy has amended himself -- only his post -- I take Flash's point as being the right one. Also, while we sometimes will have to chastise or bring to heel the occasional rant that goes too far -- and there will be more, humanity being imperfect -- there will only be a chilling effect if we do not tread lightly on one's speech.

Who one links to as a "daily read" is a personal decision, and whomever wishes not to display Anti-Strib as one has that right. But the MOBroll is not a choice of this blog or that. You may either display it all or none of it. Those MOB members who wish to take the MOBroll down because of its link to Anti-Strib or any other blog may be considered for violation of the privileges of membership, applying Rule 4 stated above.

It is so ordered.*

*Now, if you can't tell that some of this pomposity is also an attempt at humor, off to the Ministry of Silly Walks with you!

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