I finally managed to get banned from an internet forum.
Even though I'm not what I would describe as mild-mannered, it's never happened before, despite the occasional flamewar.
Am I stunned? Shocked? Hurt? No. Amused. Apparently I was banned for "repeated circumvention of the word filter" (by which I think they mean "WTF?", and for posting a ranty post. The forum in question is an etiquette forum, you see, and they recently decided that posts that rant about poor etiquette in others — as opposed, I guess, to offering constructive criticism — is verboten. Either I missed the post stating this new policy or they decided to apply it retroactively, because as far as I can recall I really only posted one rant — a heavily edited and bowdlerized verion of my rant about how thoughtless people say obnoxious things to others about children, adoption, etc. The original unedited version is reproduced at the end of this post.
To paraphrase Hannibal Lechter, it was the best thing for me, really, as my etiquette therapy was going nowhere.
I think it speaks for itself and I need not comment further.
Let me use it as an occasion to segue into a free speech week topic and a rant about a pet peeve: stop bloody whining about free speech on the internet. I am consistently appalled that people who have survived junior high school civics somehow form the notion that their free speech rights are being violated when they are banned, edited, deleted, or disciplined on an internet forum. Back up there a minute, Abbie Hoffman. Private internet fora have no obligation to let you talk there, unless they have a private contract with you. In the United States, at least, with a few bizarre exceptions in jurisprudential freak-shows like California, the First Amendment does not compel private actors to let you talk on their property, real or binary. In fact, no coherent theory of free speech can require private actors to support your speech on their turf. If I have the right to rant in your parlor, your rights are diminished. Yet every time some jerkwad gets the boot from a forum, there's boohooing about free speech. It makes me want to brand the First Amendment on their ass.
Edited to add: here is the unedited version of the post which (as far as I can tell) got me banned. The version I posted there had all obscenities removed.
Attention people, most frequently but not always 30ish to middle-aged women:
1. If you have views on whether the people you are talking to should breast feed, kindly shove those views up your jiggly, self-satisfied ass. I swear to the everloving fucking Satan that if one more Tit Schustaffle starts telling me earnestly about the meds my wife can go on to induce lactation, or about how she can just pump her breats until they bleed to jump-start it, I'm going to lop the boob off the nearest Greek statuary and tenderize her kneecaps.
2. Ditto circumcision.
3. Unless you are offering to allow your listener to lay his/her xeno eggs in your chest cavity and let the spwanlings feed on your bloated, hollowed-out corpse, STFU about whether they ought to start having children.
4. If you think it is cruel to have an only child, and share that view in my hearing, especially while talking to someone who has only one child, I will hunt your children down and beat them to death with a ball-peen hammer — all but the one I deem least obnoxious. I shall then invite you to euthanize the last one so as not to be cruel.
5. Think someone has too many kids? STFU about it. If you were to go eat a bullet it would even things out a bit. If you go up to someone with three or four kids in the mall and tell them they are ruining the planet, expect to be shitting pieces of your birkenstocks for a few weeks.
6. Don't care for a name someone is planning to give, or has given, to a child? Keep it to yourself. You don't hear me bringing up your parents' inexplicable failure to name you "Whiny Pustulent Douchebag," do you?
7. There is no universe in which any sentient being thinks it is any of your business how much our adoption costs. There are single-celled bacteria living in my ass that are smart enough to realize that's a fucking obnoxious question. If you ask it, please be informed that I will not answer until you answer my question about whether your Valtrex prescription is more expensive than your incontinence undergarments.
8. If you ask "are they brother and sister" and I say simply and firmly "yes," that is a sign that the line of discussion is concluded. Smarter people would not ask the question in the first place in front of the children. If you follow up with "No, are they REALLY brother and sister," I will continue to say "yes." If I am in front of my children, I will simply keep answering "yes" to each escalation of this question and try to exit the situation. But you will be marked for death. If my children are not in hearing distance, I will invite you to fellate a diseased member of an unattractive species such as a rhino. (a) It's none of your business and (b) what the fuck are you doing pressing on that question in front of my kids, you cretinous jackhole?
9. If you've said "couldn't you have children of your own" or "what's wrong with you" or "don't you want your own children," you are simply too stupid to understand these instructions. Please report to the hog rendering pens to be put down. I'm going to feed your meat to uppity dogs that have gotten too smart.
10. If you ask me why I didn't adopt a REAL 'MURKIN baby, I am going to tell you it's because people like you are in the gene pool. Expect it.
Really, now. If you see yourself in any of these questions, the best policy would be just to STFU permanently on the subject of kids. Just STFU. Find something else to talk about. Because I've been nice so far. But I've got this mood on, see. And sooner or later, I'm going to be making a friends-forever bracelet with your teeth. They'll rattle real nice.
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