(note: Apology for the mysterious formatting here. Somehow I cannot format paragraphs in this piece. Strange. Then again, I am forgetting where I am.)
Below is a comment posted in the nytimes.com “community” section following the article on the tragedy that fell on Greece yesterday with the murder of 3—well, actually 4, as one media observer here, said, since one victim was a pregnant woman—civilians in the midst of heated riots in Athens. It is a good example of perceptions about Greece and one that is highly popular.
However, that is not the purpose of this post. Rather, it is how the nytimes.com chooses to moderate comments made on their site that interests me. For while those who approve comments find it personally acceptable to post the thoughts of people like xiao wang—in their bid to show support for freedom of expression—apparently the comment I made in response to that of xiao wang’s was deemed unacceptable for publication, perhaps even posted, don’t know for sure, but then flagged and reported as inappropriate, and removed.
My response to xiao wang was this—
“It is you, sir, who are spewing trash, and in there lies your ignorance as well.”
Now perhaps someone took offense at my comment (if it had been posted) as being a personal attack… Don’t know for sure what happened. And perhaps it was a personal attack. But how personal could it have been since I have no idea who xiao wang is, or even if he exists?
Or perhaps my comment was struck down by the editors before it saw the print, buried by them. Don’t know that either. I did notice, however, that xiao wang modified his twist in a later post of his, which was also published by the nytimes.com, softened the blow, as it were, of his inflammatory remark.
Anyway, I found the whole thing a bit curious, because the way I see it, trash is trash, whatever its source, and to not be able to call it by the name, is, well, like trying to make sugar out of it, which may happen eventually, but after many, many years of decomposition and compression.
This left me but with a single opportunity at my fingertips…
And that was to add my check mark to xiao wang’s comment …
… Since I considered his remark—and there are many more where he came from, just take a look at the section, and you will find those who are not only tolerated as participants, but actively encouraged, in the current trend of trashing the country, Greece, and its people—nothing more than inflammatory rhetoric.
However, let no one think I am for sugar-coating the truth.
Indeed I think it essential to let people freely express their thoughts—
For how else would we know what they are thinking?
Or what is actually happening.
So I am an advocate of such ideals.
It’s just that that line—
That line of division and subtraction that leaves me feeling queasy sometimes.
May 5th, 2010
Greece is filled with all kinds of people like anywhere else.
Apparently, many of them don’t pay taxes, retire at age 51 and expect the government to pay the bill. They live ostentatiously and refuse to work like anyone else in such a position.
I guess it couldn’t last forever.
I just love it that the hard-working Germans, those curmudgeons of Europe, are having to foot the bill for their profligate, trashy, loud neighbors to the south.