This is a classic example of when an impersonal blogging system which an unwitting member of the public uses in order to become “a blogger” can unwittingly turn into an offence-giver extraordinaire and all I can say is, “You impersonal bstds, Blogger.”
I’m running this at my site plus OoL because the message is equally applicable and illustrates what happens when frail, fallible humans are caught up in a system they often are not even aware has given offence but they’re expecting a normal human response and get a curt, offensive message.
I ran a recent post on:
… which was about choices bloggers make which they may be unaware are not “user friendly” … but at least they can alter things, tweak them.
Today’s though is about something they just can’t alter.
There is a keen reader of our blogs who read the former post and a reference to a lady named Devonshire Dumpling and when she tried to go to the site, she got this:
That’s actually better than it once was – it used to just say, “Permission denied.”
Now, if you received that, you’d say, “F you too, lady,” or in the case of our more genteel reader from above, “Harrumph!” and I’d say, prima facie – quite rightly so too.
But that would be a case of not having the back story.
You see, this particular lady, Devonshire Dumpling, is deceased, long deceased now – she succumbed like many other of our friends and colleagues, and don’t quote me on this, but it may have been cancer, may have been some other long term illness.
And an indicator of her blogging ability might be that she was still on Blogger [even that’s going to cause offence to half our blogger/readers now]. Anyone who dealt with her knows she was a softly written, welcoming sort of person and many people loved her blog and blogging style. She was a nice person, not a curmudgeon like me.
But [and this is a big but], she was not one of tech’s finest IT exponents, not cutting edge shall we say – she was a blogger for whom Blogger took care of the nuts and bolts by and large.
I have it on the authority of someone who was close to her, that when she was in her last throes so to speak, she wanted to delete her blog but either she or someone else instead pressed the Blogger button which gives that callous message above.
And humans being human, we go off in a huff – I certainly did – thinking she, not Blogger, was the callous one. And that perception would have been wrong.
If I’d just stopped to think at the time – she wrote a comment on me which I find touching to this day [in the last post], she was a lady of kindness, as so many female bloggers of the non-SJW variety, of a certain age, are and she’d be horrified that people would be thinking ill of her this way.
All because bloody Blogger script kiddies had the human warmth of Attila the Hun.
Let’s broaden this
At my place, we tend to have the readers who can [cough, ahem] be described as “to the point”, sometimes “curt” and that can give offence. One left-liberal reader once asked me if I couldn’t “call off my Rottweilers”. Call off my Camillas? Not a chance.
Point is – what bleedin’ control do I have over anyone, least of all such readers who tend to be people who’ve had broad and long lives of their own and who deign to click into our sites now and then?
There are three points here:
1. That the average person is at a fair to reasonable level of IT expertise but no more and can get caught up in script kiddie errors and bureaucratic callousness – indeed, the script kiddies are changing things the whole time, just to justify their salaries and confound us. And the reason they are thickos is that they’re the new “graduates” rather than the old IT types;
2. That most of us, even grumpy old curmudgeons, can be quite sensitive at the same time we’re handing out brickbats;
3. That we often rush like a bull at a gate because online is a “rush, rush, rush” medium, preferring the short, three paragraph post to tomes like this and not given to “sit back and think, think, think”. I’m guilty of this.
Therefore, online can be a field of landmines and things which might appear to be my own callousness are in fact the bloody system itself and I can’t alter it. Man and machine do not always mix easily.
Now don’t get me wrong. Do you remember the judge who said, “You’re quite offensive, young man,” to which the young man replied, “As a matter of fact we both are … the difference is – I’m trying to be.”
I’m deliberately offensive to those who would talk utter bollox, who would try to do down any sort of hope for this country, to all these woolly-headed people who would usher in the invasion we currently have which is blighting our lands.
But on a one-to-one with you, I can’t see how a bit of politeness is not the best way, sometimes even a bit of human warmth. Hell, why not?
On the other hand, when some new example of f-wittery involving Blair or Obama comes out, my only comment is, “Lock the bastards up, throw the key away.”
Bottom line here, folks, is that most of our readers and us are essentially on the same wavelength but things get in the way – the shape of the phrases, the choice of words, plus the system – and that can cause instant offence.
And it was not actually meant to – we’re trying to give offence to those f-wits out there in the public sphere, not you reading this now.