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Wrong!

There, I said it (eleven in a series)

Looks like there's been a major dustup in the LiveJournal world that I didn't even need to know about, much less care about. Such drama, "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing"! In situations like this, it seems some are so hungry for meaning in their lives that they whip up a "cause" from something small and self-involved, under a mask of "rights" and "advocacy." Righteous indignation is tiresome, and it's physically impossible for my eyes to roll enough to adequately respond to terms like "thought police" being used in reference to LJ. Please. If this is your definition of oppression or suffering, your world is terribly small and sheltered. Wake up. Read a newspaper. Maybe go outside for a walk.

(While I know that "fandom" is a popular and rewarding interest among friends I deeply respect, I'm happy to be a fan without all the other baggage. The craziness certainly can't be equated with the fandom construct, but it does seem to be an ample breeding ground.)

I'm glad not to need to take a side. The pressure to always have an opinion about everything is a self-important distraction of our time and culture, a far lesser substitute for a truly examined life. It's popular to rail against apathy, but well-chosen apathy might simply be a sign of humility and prioritized living.

That said, while I know some reactions to child sexual abuse (one of the dominos in this LJ drama) may seem extreme, I find it a far better motivation for action—even mistaken action—than those who cling to indignance even once their concerns have been addressed (regardless of whether they got their way—that's probably the real issue, aside from the feelings of power and significance that some may not want to relenquish). Dealing with issues surrounding child sexual abuse has recently become a regular part of my life. I've seen the effects of the powerful temptation to not even call it what it is, much less really address its implications and consequences. Who wouldn't want to avoid it? But we can't. We mustn't. It's not just a matter of lust and casual missteps, easily righted through self-examination and conflict resolution. It's deep sickness and brokenness, working out in patterns of power, control, and the violence of imposing will and action on those least able to resist. That's the kind of thing that requires response, even when it's not perfect.

Comments

I agree without reservation with your first three paragraphs. In fact, I resent the expectation that I must take a side.

The fourth paragraph? While I certainly hold no brief for child abusers, nevertheless I am also sympathetic to innocent bystanders who get smeared with a zealous broad brush, and I am not so quick to excuse those who are careless in slinging around the black paint. Divine Justice, the model and goal of all human justice, is exceedingly fine. "Kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out" is not the sort of thing God would say; thus, we ought not indulge that sentiment in ourselves either.
I think if I actually believed either smearing or killing were part of what's actually occurred on LJ, I'd probably agree with you. As it is, I find both terms excessive in relation to my understanding of what happened: LJ and SixApart took well-intentioned, poorly executed and communicated action, then made apologies for errors and reinstated accounts as appropriate. Accounts were suspended, not deleted (there may be some exceptions to this). It's impossible for me to even consider attaching concepts of "harm" or "crisis" to a 48-72 hour suspension of an account with a privately-held service. It's an inconvenience, and treating it as more than that seems largely bluster to me.
Oh, I agree that the degree of harm inflicted here was petty. I am referring to mindset.

I have heard that "Warriors For Innocence" threatened LJ with a wider smear campaign, which is what provoked them to (hasty and not well thought-out) action. I don't know whether that's true, but it's plausible, both because LJ management has always been lazy and laissez-faire, and because the sorts of people who go on moral crusades are generally not above cutting ethical corners for The Cause. You do not seem to have addressed the latter factor in your post; thus my comment.
I follow. My thoughts were really only about LiveJournal proper. I haven't given the Warriors for Innocence much thought, to be honest—I have no idea what I think of them and don't really feel the need to think about them at all. If people want to rant and rail on them, that's fine with me (if they're warriors, I'm sure they can take it and might even relish it—maybe the groups deserve one another). But anyone acting as if they've been horribly mistreated by LiveJournal has an extremely gentle definition of horrible mistreatment.
there is no other livejournal i find myself wanting to link to more often than yours.

love, your friend with bad grammar.
Link away—I feel like I may be poking a hornets' nest, but I needed to get those thoughts out to make room for new ones. Regardless, I'm glad you're my friend.
Good thoughts. Yeah - there are good reasons I've never gotten overly involved in "fandoms" in the sense you're talking about. :|

I couldn't agree with you more...

that is, unless I stopped to actually have an opinion about it... ;) Sorry - couldn't resist the irony of me bothering to leave a comment on the acceptability of apathy in certain circumstances... "yes, I think it's ok not to have an opinion sometimes, and I needed to share my opinion about that!" ;)

This is the part that I wanted to thank you for saying: "I'm glad not to need to take a side. The pressure to always have an opinion about everything is a self-important distraction of our time and culture, a far lesser substitute for a truly examined life. It's popular to rail against apathy, but well-chosen apathy might simply be a sign of humility and prioritized living."

I am occasionally called to task by friends who feel like I'm not doing enough to stay current with "what's going on in the world". My job is not to be a source of news or a regurgitator of it... my job is to glorify God. I best do that when I leave my life and my priorities in His hands, and if that means I sometimes skip the news to examine my own progress or to measure my days against His standard, well, that's what I'll do. It is enough for me that God knows all and has the only completely correct opinion about anything, anyway... I don't have to know it all. Praised be His name for that!

I'm never around anymore, but the few times I pop in, you always have something interesting to say. Thanks for that! Glad to see so many "happy" entries these days... it's a beautiful thing. :)

Re: I couldn't agree with you more...

"It is enough for me that God knows all and has the only completely correct opinion about anything, anyway... I don't have to know it all. Praised be His name for that!"

I agree! I tend to not keep up with the news either. I simply have different priorities. I figure if something really major happens, my friends will let me know!
"It's deep sickness and brokenness, working out in patterns of power, control, and the violence of imposing will and action on those least able to resist. That's the kind of thing that requires response, even when it's not perfect."

My Dad sexually abused two of my sisters, and several other children. Unfortunately, when one of my sisters thought about prosecuting, the time in which she could do so was almost up, and the fact that we no longer lived in the state in which the crime occurred severely complicated things.

My Dad is now a different person. Praise God he's starting to learn the Truth about real love, God's grace, and healthy relationships. I know he still struggles with temptation, but he has safeguards in place (people who know about this weakness) to help him.

I still would never let him be alone with my children. But I love my Dad.