Owning up to my mistakes and defending Ben Smith, all at the same time.

Last week wasn’t a great week for me for a variety of reasons. Apart from making a major blunder on this site, I saw some things on another blog which really disgusted me. Of my faux pas, I will refrain from discussing here at present, but of what disgusted me, well, that’s the topic of this post. I say this because I am in a “Gatemouth” moment; I will refrain from posting after the end of this month. I just have a few loose ends to tie up, and then I will reassess the utility/efficacy of my posts here. So I will be on hiatus before month’s end, or will be permanently gone thereafter. I am sure there will be many who would cheer this info.

Around this time last year, Luther Smith introduced me to the Gotham-Gazette website. He specifically showed me the link to the “Politicker”. Within days I was hooked. I was then and still is now, quite impressed with Ben Smith. I am amazed by what he does and how he does it. I like his style, common-sense, wit, imagination, knowledge and humor.

I think his postings are relevant and usually timely. Any political-news junkie will check in for a daily fix. I started a new habit. Eventually I started making comments in the section reserved for such. I used my full name because I felt strongly (and still do), that it’s the right thing to do, especially when you may want to critique someone in the mix. In time that became something a problem.

Maybe I gave out too much personal information about my political involvements. Maybe I ruffled some feathers (something Gatemouth seems to relish), but that’s really not the main purpose for blogging, at least not for me. There are opinions that I hold dear, after a lifetime of community activism, public service and political activism. The blogs offer an outlet. The hope is that you can engage in some rational discourse, which could be helpful and meaningful in your political work. Fortunately, I have held back on many many things I have wanted to say, just intuition I guess. And yet there were some things I said without regret. In time, the not too subtle attacks started. Invariably, I found myself having to defend my professionalism, my activism, my credentials, my alliances, so on and so forth. I even had to deal with my personal life at times.

Maybe I am too defensive. Somehow I think that’s the boxer within me. If you get hit, you hit back or cover up. If you have to defend for a while, you wait your turn to hit back. I felt it was all part of the give and take. What I hated though were those who attacked while hiding behind sobriquets. I found that gutless. I still do.

So last week, Ben Smith posted on his new site “Daily Politics”, a few items about the controversial development project in downtown Brooklyn. Nothing new, since he has been there before, and had done that before. What was amazing was the response these items generated over time. We have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous folks. Go see for yourselves. When discourse deteriorates to writing about fathers, mothers, lovers, wives, penis-size, motives and wiles, then one really has to reassess things. What are we doing here peeps?

I suggested before in a comment, that in order to post a response on these sites, one should be a registered member, with identification requirements to suffice. To me, this will lead to greater responsibility in postings. The egregious attacks on Ben Smith have left me saddened. Is this how we treat our pioneers? Is this what we succumb to, in order to make a point or win an argument? If this is what blogging is about, then you can count me out.

Stay Tuned.