Thursday, June 09, 2005

More Parish Notices

Peter at Naked Blog has said that he no longer wishes to link to my blog because of our disagreement over the age of consent which was conducted in my comment box.
Should I reciprocate and remove my link to him? Or would that make me look equally childish?
Actually, judging by his past behaviour to websites he doesn't like, I may well get a solicitor's letter demanding that I remove the link. Or be served with an ASBO (Anti Social Blogging Order).

Should I even be writing about this because:
a) Peter might think that I give a fuck
b) It gives him more of the attention that he so loves
c) It may confirm some people's view that all gay men are drama queens. That may be true of Peter but I don't believe it's true of myself.

There are people on my sidebar who I disagree with strongly on some issues. But I like their blogs and the personalities that shine through the writing and we usually rub along quite amicably.
Peter mistook my robust argument for what he called 'cheap aggression' - or deliberately chose to do so.
True, I could have just said "We'll have to agree to disagree on this one, old chap." Or I could have decorated my disagreement with lots of 'with the greatest respect' and 'in my humble opinion' and 'if you don't mind me saying so'.
I once did that in an argument with Mo Mowlam and she said "Fuck off. We're not in a law court. Just say what you think and cut all the crap."

Many of you are readers of both blogs. Any views?


At 11:54 AM, Blogger Clare said...

Actually your sidebar has retreated to the bottom of the page...

I suspect that I really shouldn't express an opinion on this one, because I hardly know either of you and certainly don't want to appear to be 'taking sides'.

But I can never resist sticking me oar in, so here goes:

I think Porny Boy Curtis had a point when he said that your original suggestion that Peter hated his own gayness could be taken as an unpleasant insult. Whether or not you meant it that way, I'm not in the least surprised that Peter became defensive after reading it.

As for Mo Mowlam's comment, surely it's just sensible to adapt your discussion style according to who you are talking to? She is clearly the kind of person who likes to cut to the chase. But most people are more sensitive than that, and therefore need to be dealt with more sensitively.

For what it's worth, I think Peter is over-reacting. I also think that, if you felt like it, you could accuse Peter of being insensitive in some of his comments to you. But if you were to go down that route you would simply be escalating the situation.

Apart from that one comment about Peter's own attitude to his sexuality, I think the debate was balanced and reasonable.

If you don't want to be a drama queen, then the best response is surely to apologise for any offense that may have been caused, agree to differ and leave it at that. Allow the matter to die. Don't get drawn into any kind of war. And leave Peter's link in your sidebar. You like his blog, you want to link to him. Anything else would be pointless tit for tat.

At 11:54 AM, Anonymous asta said...

It's your blog and you can link, or not link, to whoever you want to.

I fully intend to keep reading both blogs.

At 12:00 PM, Blogger Clare said...

P.S. You might also want to either edit or remove the post that I'm currently commenting on!

I've just visited Peter's blog, and as far as I can see he hasn't posted anything about this matter. His reaction to you has been private, but you have now brought it into the public domain, which will definitely be viewed as an escalation of hostilities.

I know why you've done it - you feel wounded and in need of support / encouragement / validation from third parties. But it won't have a positive effect unless you edit it to be an olive branch towards Peter.

All IMHO, natch.

At 1:10 PM, Blogger mike said...

I've been following this spat with dismay, and can see differing mistakes from both sides. Other than that, I won't be drawn into further comment - except to say that, amidst much wisdom, Clare makes one small oversight: Peter has already blogged about this falling-out.

Like asta, I fully intend to keep reading both of your excellent blogs.

At 1:36 PM, Blogger Clare said...

I stand corrected. I saw Peter's initial mention of this spat (buried in the middle of a post and not very specific) but I didn't see his "delinking" suggestion in a comments box.

But he hasn't devoted a whole post to it, and hasn't discussed in any detail. I still think this post sitting at the top of Willie's blog isn't going to help matters.

At 1:52 PM, Blogger Merkin said...

I have read both blogs for a while, and see both sides of the particular argument as well, although I tend to agree with Willie's point of view about the inequality of ages giving out the wrong message about being homosexual rather than Peter's opinion being all about who was more ready for a penis inside them. Having said that, your sidebar (now way down the bottom of the page!) is entitled "Blogs I like" rather than "Blogs I read", so it's your choice really.

At 2:03 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

Thanks to you all for giving time to something so petty and ridiculous.

Clare, it wasn't a 'suggestion' that Peter hated his own gayness. He has written that in his blog and the last time I quoted him on it he raised no objection.
I have already stated that no 'aggression' or personal abuse was intended. Peter, however, has refused to withdraw the accusation that I blog anonymously because of my sexuality. (It would be a bit pointless if I did because all my family and pretty much everyone who's ever known me knows I'm gay!).

Maybe I shouldn't have written this post, but bloggers, like journalists, can't resist turning anything into copy.
You say I like Peter's blog. Well often it infuriates me, which I suppose is part of its appeal. But sometimes when I've posted a dissenting comment I've had a very brusque, if not rude, reply. Frankly, those who can dish it out often can't take it.

At 2:16 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

Merkin, posting photos often buggers up the page layout but it usually rights itself eventually.
But any techie suggestions welcome.

I could always have a new category: Blogs I Read But Where I Am Persona Non Grata, although I wonder why I would be sending traffic to such people.

Why are we surprised that the blogosphere, and the internet generally, is so much like real life? Not that I often fall out with people in real life, being a person of almost saint-like patience, intelligence, compassion and good humour. Oh, and modesty of course.

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Clare said...

Willie, I don't think there's much point discussing any possible offense in too much detail - the fact is that Peter has taken offense, whether you intended any or not. And yes, he is clearly not lily-white himself. But the question is this: Is it better to stew over the details and get all upset about it, or to relax, apologise for any offense - intended or not - and move on?

Otherwise you just get entrenched warfare, where both parties feel aggrieved, nobody will back down, and things simply get worse.

You're unlikely to get Peter to give you what you want, so where's the point in trying?

Take the moral high ground and bow out gracefully is my advice.

At 3:06 PM, Blogger james henry said...

I fell asleep after eating too much toast, did I miss anyth- oh.

At 3:17 PM, Blogger Clare said...

Have just realised my input may be coming across as a bit harsh, so I thought I'd finish it all off with a big {{{HUG}}} for Willie, cos I reckon you've earnt one.

I'll shut up now.

At 3:52 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

James, if ever we needed the input of a comedy writer......and you didn't let us down.

Clare, despite all the words expended on this I'm not at all upset by it. Amused....and perhaps a little bemused.

The petty spats that occur in the blogosphere don't have much importance in my life. Nor does blogging, actually. I do it to exercise my brain and clarify my ideas and, most importantly, to entertain my readers. But one day I'll probably tire of it and press 'DELETE BLOG' and go and do something more useful or financially rewarding.

Thanks for the hug. Cyber-hugs are great because people can't see the dandruff on your collar.

At 6:32 PM, Blogger Lost said...

I'm just brand new and probably shouldn't comment but I'm going to anyways LOL
I think the whole thing has gotten way out of hand. I have to say that I don't really understand what anyone had to be offended by. Just my opinion of course, take it or leave it as you will. lol

At 7:40 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

Lost, I can understand you not understanding it. I don't really understand it myself. lol.
But thank you for being so understanding.
Double lol, with a cherry on top.

At 11:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't you both just take it to email to sort it out. Less entertaining for us but much more dignified for you both.

At 5:37 AM, Blogger JonnyB said...

Naaah... leave the link. I don't not listen to Bob Dylan records because he's reputed to be an awkward bastard. Likewise Naked Blog is the first one I read in the morning.

I had coffee with another blogger a couple of weeks ago, and amidst all our putting the world to rights, we came to the agreement that the blog world was sometimes annoyingly cosy-cosy nicey-nicey.

All I see here is a real-life spat - the likes of which real people have every day - intruding. You're a big enough fellow not to let it bother you, cos it doesn't matter in the slightest.

At 7:17 AM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

Anon: if Peter conducted all his spats by email his blog would be empty.
And we're both too old to give a monkey's about dignity.

JonnyB: some interesting points.
Of course, if Peter had written and recorded Like A Rolling Stone he could hurl abuse at me every day for the rest of my life and I'd feel honoured. :-)

I also hate cosiness and nicey-nicey-ness. Naked Blog is certainly an antidote to that although sometimes it feels like watching a car crash. But the daily spats recorded therein are happening in real life and people always say that in real life Peter is the most charming and likeable person ever to climb Arthur's Seat.
Falling out with total strangers on the internet is more fraught with problems and as we all know text is a minefield of misinterpretation which is why we resort to those wretched emoticons and acronyms, although I think there still isn't one for irony.

But you're right, it doesn't matter in the slightest and no, I'm not bothered. 'Do I look Like I'm bothered?'
I can't say 'we'll laugh about this one day' because I've been laughing from the beginning. :-)


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