Friday, November 18, 2005

Look, but Don't Touch

I must have been is a weird mood the other day because I posted more to RSD than I have in total over the past few years. RSD is like my crazy extended family. If you answer the phone and are willing to speak with them about some inane family drama, before you know it, you are sucked into a black hole of need, pain, and hurt. Thank god for caller ID.

Anyway, the day started off fine as I was able to pontificate somewhat clearly on all the refined aspects of my knowledge. Slowly, though, as the dialog increased in pace and more and more folks put their hooks into the slithering thread, I started to develop a real "RSD Voice". Then I lost my mind and self-control. I started spewing out vile and belligerent retorts. I frothed on my computer as I made it a personal vow to skewer those that couldn't see the subtle nuances of my well-reasoned points.

I awoke from this frenzy when my computer made its "new mail" beep. One of my friends, who I just skewered, had, out of kindness for my plight, sent me an e-mail that basically said "What the fuck are you doing?"

My apologies seemed like non-Bounty paper towels in the face of a deluge. I had to promise that I would get back my "look, but don't touch" mode, and, once again, be thankful for caller ID.


aj said...

I just did an RSD search for your recent posts looking for this “vile spew.” I don’t think you sounded like a jerk at all.

I do know what you mean about “RSD Voice” though. I find that when I post stuff to RSD (never) or the blogs (starting to be something like almost never) I always take the most extreme position of whatever I’m arguing. I think we feel protected sitting behind our computer screens and are emboldened to say some wacky stuff. As a result now when I’m at tournaments I sometimes hear people whispering, “There’s that crazy guy that hates coed and thinks you should punt it every time. About the only thing he’s right about is his assessment of the Count’s athleticism.”

gcooke said...


Thanks for commenting. I admittedly took some literary license. Probably an attempt to create some drama out of this "protected" world that you mentioned.

I wonder to what extent the "RSD voice" is a product of the culture. Almost like some Ultimate events in which heckling is expected. There is very little opportunity to work with folks on weighing various sides of the issue. In a sense, RSD devolves into a series of belief systems, and folks are expected to polarize in their opinions. I find unwavering adherence to opinions/belief systems to be a bit unattractive, and somewhat in contrast to the method in which I resolve issues with friends/co-workers.

I do like the blogworld as I think the sense of individual blog ownership demands respect. It meant a lot to me when Jim, for example, asked me if he could hijack a post. I also feel that the blog posts are more inquisitive, less strident, and generally more inclusive.

jtflynn said...

RSD is simply a subset of the public at large. Most folks aren't strong at critical thinking nor persuasion. Instead of well-reasoned discussion, you get political-styled polarization with a "he who shouts loudest must be right" menatlity. Thus, it's a warm fuzzy when those who are truly thoughtful and inteligent show their respect for your thoughts/arguments.

Your "RSD voice" might be akin to "nice guy off the field" syndrome, but i doubt you're putting any real damage to your reputation with the occasional strongly worded retort.

Such is life in the spotlight. As long as you're more critical of yourself than the public, you'll likely never cross any lines you regret.

former "nice guy off the field"
current "reasonable guy everywhere"

gcooke said...

"As long as you're more critical of yourself than the public, you'll likely never cross any lines you regret."

Wisest words I have heard in a while.

As I am spending more and more time on the sidelines these days, perhaps it is prudent of me to be quite concerned with this part of my reputation.

Thanks for your wise comments, Shiv.

Marshall said...

r.s.d. is the world at large: sometimes, you have to shout to be heard. Even more, though, you have to be controversial or inflammatory to be noticed. Extreme opinions and strong language result in attention.

But that's not the real point. Though you often give up the high ground by throwing the first curses, you did not come across to me as a jerk in any way. It's difficult to read words like "blatant cheating" and not respond, even if it wasn't you committing the play. [Whether Bil intended to pass such judgement or not in the rest of the post, those terms seem inflammatory.]

Related to the Total Recall thread elsewhere, I'm sorry to say I cannot remember the play in question, so don't remember who was involved. I guess it didn't make a big impression on me at the time, suggesting that I didn't think there was either blatant cheating by our marker or unspirited play by the stalled player.

"Look, but don't touch" seems like pretty good advice to me.

gcooke said...

The play was during our Brass Monkey qtr. I would say that it was in the second half. Nate had the disc about 5 yards out of his endzone (the one near the road). Jay was marking. Nate threw it to Finn, I believe, but Seth got the D.

I am thankful that I didn't come across too much like a jerk.

Tarr said...

What I lack in the virtues of grace, humility, and discretion, I make up for in accuracy, conviction, and persistence. As such, my "RSD voice" is not too different from my regular voice. Am am pretty intensely self-critical, though, so I've got that going for me at least.

Seriously though, even I, RSD regular, tend to try to stay out of discussions unless I think I have something useful to say that I don't think someone else will say. That's enough to keep me out of most discussions.

I know that when I read a long thread I have a tendency to skip certain posters and just read the ones who keep their signal-to-noise ratio high. Assuming there are others like me, there is some value in trying to make good points as oppose to simply shouting above the noise.

gcooke said...

Adam, I agree that you come across very much the same as you do in person, and your calling cards are, as you say, attention to detail and accuracy.

I feel that the RSD readers to treat you with appropriate respect, and that could speak well for the potential of the forum.