Apparently, 5 out of 10 people are communists

I was writing a response to the latest post about all the recent trouble on the MTStars board and I kept blathering on until it got so big I decided to turn it into a post.   For the past several months, we’ve been waging a cold war (so cold that we usually forget about it for weeks at a time) for free speech in our tiny corner of the internet.  Where to draw the line between saying what you feel and hurting the feelings of others.  The difference between an unpopular opinion and trolling.

I’ve managed to get two of my posts kicked in the past.  One was stupid and insulting, and the other was complimenting someone else for insulting another poster.  I have to say the administrator was right to do it, though I disagree with their methodology.  Oddly, the most insulting post I ever wrote didn’t get kicked or censored.  I called a poster insane and recommended they take their meds.  That really should have been banned and I regret writing it now.  Though the OP was suggesting that Obama was raising an army of Puerto Ricans and food stamp recipients to throw everyone in gulags.  Before I replied, they were the only ones who looked liked an idiot.  But it looked so fun, I decided to throw myself into the fire.  I try not to let them get under my skin, but it’s probably a good sign that every and now then someone can really outrage me.  It’s a fine line between tolerance and apathy sometimes.

My main disagreement is with this arbitrary separation of individual and group insults.  It would be wrong to call a poster an idiot, but it would be fine to say “I think all [insert race/occupation/political party/gender/ideology/nationality] are dirty thieves and murderers and are pure evil with no redeemable qualities whatsoever.”  When I told that poster they were crazy, I was being unnecessarily insensitive, but why then are bigoted generalizations allowed?  And if you insult any group, much less one with tens or hundreds of millions of members, why should you be immune to insult?  People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Still, it’s definitely no easy task to moderate, especially with a whole internet full of wannabe George Carlins like myself who think everything is a joke clashing with an army of bigots with fragile egos, and a sizable slice of innocent bystanders just trying to have a conversation in the middle of a war zone, probably hoping both groups of troublemakers will go away.  The whole situation is played out in real life by the Westboro Baptists.  I agree with John Kerry, Americans should have the right to be stupid.  That’s free speech.  Yet disrupting funerals for free speech?  I think they should be banned from doing it.  Basically, I believe you have the right to free speech and other people have the right not to hear what you have to say within reason (funerals, their own property,  closed assembly areas, etc.)

But what about a message board?  Does anyone who goes to a message board have the right to decide what another should be allowed to say so that they don’t have to hear it?  You could argue that it’s like T.V.  If you don’t want to see gender stereotypes don’t turn it to Lifetime or SpikeTV.  Don’t want to learn about history… then go ahead and watch the History channel, they don’t have that anymore.  If you don’t want to have a heated discussion (the only kind) about politics, don’t go to an internet politics board.  Yet it’s not a perfect analogy by far.  The TV could espouse views you disagree with, but it’s unlikely to directly insult you unless you’re famous.  In which case, all your potential rights to respect and privacy are moot because you’re now a zoo animal on display.  You’re the president of the United States, not some anonymous internet weirdo who deserves our protection from slander, bias and hate speech.

So, what do I really think about all this?  How would I handle it if I was the moderator?  I’d like to handle it in a way that everyone gets to voice their opinion, yet with no bullying, and everyone learns something about themselves and their fellow man.  So, in other words, I’ve got no clue, but I’ve got good intentions.  Those never led to anything bad.


About fanaticalhypocrite

I'm your average agnostic Irish Catholic Welsh Jew born in rural West Virginia as the mildly autistic son of a motorcycle riding nurse and an unemployed, ex-military, atheist theology major (likes there's any other kind.) Just another tragically disconnected member of the bitter American proletariat living in the twilight of U.S. world dominance. I'm a medical transcriptionist by day ("They're going to fire me tomorrow" has been my motto for 11 years), a security guard/campground host/lost & found department/problem solver/bouncer/bookkeeper understudy 24/7/365, and a nerdy wannabe writer by night. And also day. My life is basically a non-linear blender full of random activities. And now I run a blog because... why not? It's not like I was using my precious time to cure disease or end world hunger. Might as well tell a bunch of strangers about why [insert anything here] really pisses me off.
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14 Responses to Apparently, 5 out of 10 people are communists

  1. Sabura says:

    Greetings, comrade!

    Thanks for the laughs, really needed them. I’m editing in overcaffeinated robot mode right now during what are my usual sleep hours. Ran out of work so much last week that I’m trying to cram in another 10 to 12 hours here on the last day of pay period. But, woot, I’ll be getting another new backup account soon (after pulling rank and complaining to my boss’s boss), so the overstaffed newbies can take over my primary where I’ve built up familiarity and speed and a nice collection of samples. TPTB are so logical and efficient where I work, they should really go into politics.

    • Loved the video!

      Before I was Fanatical Hypocrite, I was M*Modal Livestock over on the M*Modal board. Before I found the joy of the politics board, I spent my time complaining about my terrible company and defending my fellow complainers from all those over-achieving “Everything’s alright and you’re not even allowed to vent,” people. The past couple weeks have been particularly annoying at work, so I’ve been visiting the M*Modal board again. That and for a few days there I needed a break from the politics side before I lost hope in humanity:)

      Good luck with work. There’s always the chance that they’ll come to respect and appreciate all of us for the incredible job we do… or we could all stage an employee coup d’état.

  2. Sabura says:

    I know M*Modal Livestock! That makes perfect sense in terms of the quality of the writing. I’m an old MedQuister from back in the day (7 years with them, originally started with Transcriptions, Ltd.), up and quit when the “Harmonization” packet first came out, so I posted a lot at MTStars and on the MedQuist Board back when and still follow what’s going on out of curiosity. Now I’m with the other major beast that has a company board there (due to a buyout) and so part of yet another grand American duopoly, à la McDonald’s and Burger King, Microsoft and Apple, Visa and Mastercard.

    I just signed an e-mail regarding my continuing debacle with my employee number rather than my name tonight (“Signing out how I feel, us1234”). I don’t know if the person I’m dealing with is sophisticated enough to get my point about dehumanization or not, but at least I got it out of my system.

    • LOL about using your employee number. I actually did that back in the day with MQ. Worked for them since I turned 18. Then quit after two bad audits and went to a wonderful company, only to have it gobbled up by MQ, which became MM two months later. Back in the belly of the leviathan as it consumes all. I once described MM and Nuance as two giant Godzilla style monsters fighting it out and all us employees are the citizens of Tokyo. No matter who wins, we still lose.

      • Sabura says:

        Speaking of MM Livestock, just did a search for some of your posts, and you got me cry- guffawing with this one:

        Say, if you do the MyFace, you can message (and friend) me here, if you feel like it: www ‘dot’ facebook ‘dot’ com/mike.muckraker I don’t use it for much of anything anymore but keeping up with my sister, but it’s good for messaging. If you’re still TV-less, like I am, I could tell you about some pretty good sources for online viewing/downloading. :dangling carrot:

        • LOL I forgot about that post! I’ll have to find my old Facebook account or make a new one. I’ve got satellite TV now, but for a long time the internet was one stop shopping for TV. I personally use Hulu (I have HuluPlus) and because I already have Amazon Prime I use their service a lot. With Amazon Prime, you get access to tons of TV and practically everything has standard shipping for free to P.O. Boxes or 2 day shipping free to an address. I love it. It’s 80 dollars a year, but because I order herbs every month for my various diseases, it pays for itself quickly.

          • Sabura says:

            Regarding the MM downsizing: FH, my best wishes are with you. If things start to seem dicey, I could recommend this little company in Michigan which was one of the ones I worked for after leaving MM (also DSG, but they got eaten up) that did used to use DocQScribe. Kind of awful ESL dictators (lots of Flint area Muslims), depending on the account, but it was all straight transcription at the time I was there, so might be more tolerable if on voice wreck now. Very personable owner (extremely Christian, but not proselytizing), fair cpl rates (for straight, at least). Anyway, here’s the deets: Any port in a storm. (I wouldn’t be good for a reference, unfortunately, as I left on not the greatest terms — mainly my fault, admittedly.) Feel free to delete this post later, if you feel like it. Just wanted to pass on some helpful (but hopefully unnecessary) info. Bonne chance!

            • Sabura says:

              p.s. I have absolutely no idea if there are any openings, but it might be a good idea to call anyway and see what the availability might be like now or in the near future. Really one of the better places I’ve ever worked, in terms of fairness and flexibility at least, which you could mention you’d heard from an anonymous MT on the ‘net.

            • Thanks for the offer! That’s really nice. I think I’m at the point in my life though where I can’t do transcription anymore. It’s the only job I’ve ever had and after only a decade I’m well and truly burned out. The work is more of a reflex for me now. Once I’m out, I’m not coming back to it. Of course, I say that now, but hunger is the best spice and I imagine even transcription tastes good the longer you go without a paycheck.

              Luckily, I’m a 24/7 security guard/campground host now, which comes with a free house, so compared to most people in the workforce (including myself a few short months ago) I’m in a much better position. I may go part-time soon to see if that helps keep me fresh. After about 6 hours, I tend to start zoning out. That’s the great thing about a regular job. You get to zone out at your desk, hang around the water cooler, surf the web, hide from your boss in the ventilation system. Our job requires that every second you work you pay complete attention to the monotonous ramblings of doctors who barely speak English (even the English as first language ones.) While my boss constantly reminds me that lives hang in the balance of us meeting TAT, quality control and production. Meanwhile, vascular surgeon Dr. Shaky Hands who nicks a major blood vessel every third or fourth surgery complains because he wants all his paragraphs double spaced.

              On the other hand, other lines of work all have their problems too. That’s why I’m planning to live off my lottery winnings. Once they come in.

        • pc&si says:

          I remember that post! I notice I didn’t reply; must have been overcome with glee ^__^

          • Sabura says:

            Hey pc&si (mentally hearing that as “pixie,” hope you don’t mind), how you holding up? Just read your latest blog post, and I know what you mean about the unexpected ennui. Which beast were you previously in thrall to? (if you feel like divulging) Maybe my above lead might be of some help to you if you have DQS/M*Modal platform experience. Hang in there.

            • Which beast? Hmm, to quote our favorite former Alaskan governor, “all of them.” I am eat up with ADD, and it rears its head most often while I’m working. I obsess over music (one performer at a time; it’s weird), I write, I’m trying to improve my drawing skills, and I’m still peripherally involved in animal rescue. Any/all of these things are more interesting than whatever I’m doing at the moment, even if what I’m doing at the moment is another of these things.

  3. A dem/Fellow Traveler says:

    Ohmygosh, Sabura. Thanks. I remember that one very fondly. It’s a classic, speaks to the universal experience.

    I’m also a denizen of Tokyo, in territory currently claimed by Nuance. My current whatever her title is a little Energizer Bunny, planning and attending weddings, proms, graduations, while rescuing stranded parents after Sandy, attending concerts and art galleries, baking tables full of cookies for this and that. I believe it and good for her, but just reading about her plans for the day each day makes me glad I’m well out of reach. No exclamation points, but lots of cute pictures and descriptions of ways to turn a plate of cupcakes into a bouquet of flowers or something. If she weren’t handmaid to the devil, I’d admire her.

    I once spent a fair amount of my time at MTStars, not on the company boards, but the SR board, telling people how to invest in getting fast–when you could make nice money that way, then just a living but still worth doing. Fellow Traveler the Enabler died with that era. Now if I wander over there it’s just to wave someone goodbye or snarl at newbies. 🙂

    • I had a boss once that would send out recipes and what not, but I always got the impression that they were bots with programmed responses so they seemed like people. It was a little too Martha Stewart to be real.

      Handmaid to the Devil LOL. Yeah, I don’t even like being a cog in their machine, I can’t imagine being responsible for handing down corporate policy and enforcing it.

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