Friday, February 02, 2007

Free at last


I vow to never join another group blog. And I vow never to attempt humor (outside of my own blog) with people who haven't a clue about my sense of humor.

But it has been a learning experience. I've learned not to engage pompeous or overly verbose people in a debate, especially about such burning topics as why the term "vanilla" when referring to someone who is not part of the BDSM community might be termed condescending (if you don't know what BDSM stands for than you are part of the group they are definitely referring to as "vanilla").

I suggested alternative terms like Cherry Garcia or Neopolitan, but that apparently fanned the flames of the controversy. It was too late, I crapped in the punch bowl of the community blog and the sheriff there called me out. After I suggested that people call me Cherry Garcia instead of Vanilla the self-appointed sheriff said (with quite a bit of righteous indignation), "Shame on you."

Apparently people in this blog community take there ice cream pretty seriously

Well it only escalated from there. I pointed out that I was joking but regardless there was such a thing as free speech. The sheriff of the community said that free speech didn't give me license to say anthing I wanted. I suggested he shouldn't take the sheriff thing too seriously. He told me that I was a real wit, and I quote, "A legend in my own mind."

Well that was it. Nobody hurls those kinds of insults at me. We did the virtual equivalent of guys belly bumping each other at a bar mouthing off at each and then walked away muttering.

As with a real dysfunctional community, people are still posturing as to what happened and what it all meant. I'm not fairing well in the translation. At last tally, vanilla was still the ice cream of choice for most people there and my little satirical tirade went over as well as the President's plan to send more troops to Iraq.

Bottomline, I've left the group blog and I'm really pretty relieved. I can look back at the whole ridiculous experience and laugh now, but at the time I was pretty pissed at the hypocrisy of it all. Freedom is freedom. Once you put subjective parameters on it (other than don't be hating) it ain't freedom.

So I'm home now. I don't have to apologize and I don't have to explain myself. And best of all I don't have to debate anyone about the merits or meaning of what I just wrote.

Finally, I feel free.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am familiar with the controvesy in Freedom's Place and must say it all seems a bit over the top. Could you please tell me though what BDSM means and if not knowing makes me vanilla, I am quite happy to accept that. I can assure you I have been called a lot worse. I am a friend of Whitesnake and you may call me Madame Butterfly.

Kindness (disarms the difficult) said...

hey tim, glad to have been introduced to your blog and i do like your sense of humor. you shall remain in the "list to the left" on my blog.

i am in to my second day of freedom... freedom from smoking tobacco that is. feeling a little dizzy and ditzy but otherwise ok.

don't wanna bore people with the "I quit smoking" post on my blog so i am commenting about it here. hope you don't mind! :-).

Hayden said...
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Hayden said...

delighted to have you back full time. Missed your wit on your home blog.

Tim ID said...

Welcome Madame Butterfly, Any friend of Whitsnake's is still a friend of mine. BDSM is an acronym for Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, Masochism. Someone not in that lifestyle is often labeled "vanilla" i.e. into boring, traditional sex.

Kindness, Thank you! I'm glad I'm on the left and not the right :) And congratulations on beginning your journey to non-smoking. Come back anytime you need support or gum.

Hayden, Thank you. There is no place like your home blog. And I really liked the comment you deleted, too!

Footpad said...

@Tim: I missed the controversy and by the time I was able to check in, it had all blow apart. I did see your post and thought it was funny. I'm sorry to see that the new community didn't fare well with it's fist great controversy. I am glad, though, that you've kept your perspective and continue to post your ideas in your own space. (Good thing you didn't go after their popsicles. I'm sure that would have gotten a cold and icy response.)

@Kindness: Hang in there! I went through that particular form of torture a couple of years ago, so if you need a sympathetic ear, let me know.

Hayden said...

;-)

Well, I went and caught up on things and decided I should just butt out and write something, well, vanilla. But only imitation vanillain flavoring, you understand. Nothing as delightful and intoxicatingly complex as the authentic, properly cured bean.... just - plain - imitation - vanillain - flavoring.

As a foodie, I find the use of the term comical and reflective of a diet high in processed foods and low in thought and taste. People, Vanilla is an Orchid! Vanilla is the Queen of flavorings, and each tropical area that laboriously grows it, hand pollinating every flower, produces beans with a markedly different flavor and aroma! There is nothing simple about vanilla.

But that isn't the point, is it?

whitesnake said...

What ever ya say whatever you do someone some where is gonna be pissed.


Vanilla, I don't do deserts.

Your always welcome at my place mate.

The thing that erked me the most was there at those that preach yet when opportunity arises their preaching means jack shit.

Have a Great weekend mate......I'll have a cold one for ya.... (Beer that is)
Anyone want to send some cold weather over here 42c here today....

Miss Bliss said...

This is where you belong. This is where you are understood not because your "fans" are a bunch of spineless, vanilla yes folks, but because you have wit and intelligence and have learned how to translate that into a unique humor for the common man. I enjoy coming here and seeing the world through your eyes and love that your opinions or beliefs aren't hammered into my brain nor do they make me feel that if I don't agree I am somehow misguided and ignorant.

And recently I learned something from you...freedom does not give you a license to say how you feel, but it does give you the right. Some people just don't like when you have the same freedom they do. Tough shit.

anna said...

I had no idea what you were ranting about, so I went to checkout Freedom's Place. Holy crap, you and Buffalo sure got into it, eh.

I know I've used the term vanilla before and I never even considered that it would be offensive. I actually thought it was kinda cute - a basic flavour that every store and ice cream parlour carries, but still very yummy. I think that's how it's intended - not condescending, but rather endearing.

Tim ID said...

FP,
I was going to ease into the popcicle discussion and then maybe touch on pudding, but it's not a good sign if you can't get past the ice cream debate. I still maintain my Good Humor, however :)

Hayden, It's as good a point as any. I don't think it was really ever about vanilla. But the comment you deleted that really tickled me was "nothing like a furor to bring out the Fueher." That was classic.

Whitesnake, Thus the phrase, "Practise what you preach."
You have a good weekend, too Aussie dude.

Miss Bliss, Thanks. It's nice to have friends in the house and not have people telling to take my feet off from the furniture.

The odd thing about the whole issue of freedom of speech was that I never intended to insult or threaten anyone. I was just spoofing the label, "vanilla."

Anna, Yes, Buffalo and I definitely look at the world very differently. And ironically we read and are read by many of the same bloggers. Go figure.

You can call me vanilla anytime you want :) When I wrote the post on Freedom's Place I was just goofing. It wasn't until they started bullying me about it that I started digging in my heels and pushing back. I don't really care what people call me as long it isn't a gross generalization made without knowing me.

R. said...

Vanilla is an assonant of vagina.

That is all.

Tim ID said...

R. working on another dance, are we?

Lights in the wake said...

Too many people think free speech means you are free to say anything with which they already agree. Anything else must be suppressed and punished.

I haven't read anything over at the ironically named "freedom's place" and I'm not gonna start now. I'm just glad you've ended your reluctant participation and I can now read all your ramblings again.

Tim ID said...

Lights, Are you back from vacation? You were missed.

Shandi said...

I was MIA all weekend. I finally read about all this today. I asked Michael to remove me from "Freedom's Place". Not just because of your tif with Buff. I already found it ironic that there was a list of rules to be a member. I tend to break some of those rules.

Anyone that would chastice you for your sense of humor (that I found hysterical), would inevitably have issue with me. I'm much more offensive than you are. The first time I mentioned someone's "grill" I would have been flogged and chained to that statue of you they got over there.

Tim, you were the first blogger I read and linked to. Yours is the first I read in the morning. That will never change. I have more respect for you than ever.

Sorry I wasn't there to put my 2 cents in (not that you needed it). But, I addressed the issue on my blog (where freedom really exists).

Tim ID said...

Thanks again, Shandi. I was just reading your vanilla blog! It was cool...literally! I understand your reason for opting out of Freedom's Place. After the "you're a spoiled child" reaction I got when I expressed doubts about the purpose of the team blog, I guessed it was a matter of time until I would offend the collective senses there.

You were my first blog link too and will always occupy the place of honor at the top of my blog roll. Oh, and I don't think you could be more offensive than me (remember the pull my finger coat of arms) :)

Shandi said...

Well, I do agree that you're far more gross than I. I won't squabble over the "most offensive" crown.

Strange coincidence that you had recently voiced your concerns over the obvious and not so obvious list of rules at "freedom's place"? As I recall, both of us were concerned that we may inadvertantly piss someone off. This spawned the "little boy Tim" post I thought was more than a little condescending. Apparently you were right on the mark.

Anyhoo, I know you've let this go but I've only recently learned of it and am still aggravated.

The Bloggers of Freedom's Place said...
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THE Michael said...

As usual I'm late for the party.....but here goes nothin'.

Tim, I think the collective took their first exam and scored a "D" at best. When I first read your post that day, I had no idea it was going to set of the sprinklers, call out the Freedom's Place Volunteer Fire Department, who promptly rushed over to water down the duck pond.

Catching up on everything, there are quite a few posts that came in supporting you, since most took your post the way you meant, and didn't think you had to defend yourself regardless. I am really sorry that you were misunderstood and felt that you were being attacked. There are plenty of bloggers I follow, and every once in awhile they say something I might not agree with, but that simply puts me in good company, since I know there's plenty of stuff I put out that can either be misinterpreted or just flat out disagreed with.

I am going to stick with this thing for a bit longer and hope that this debacle was a learning experience for all involved. I personally think that we lost two of our best contributors, and I will continue to follow you and Shandi as I always have, provided of course that I can be forgiven for being such a piss-poor administrator, as well as involving you in my experiment.

Tim ID said...

Shandi, the polite thing to do would have been to argue with me a little bit longer over which one of us is more offensive. But let's compromise and say Lights is the most offensive.:)

Michael,
I took no offense at any of the posts that came before my "vanilla" spoof. I wasn't attacking anyone or putting down any race, lifestyle or choice. If I had been, there would have been no defense of the post. As it was, I was merely pointing out the absurdity of a label. If someone doesn't think something I say is funny, my normal response is, "Is this mike on?"

I guess it wasn't. But that doesn't excuse the subsequent responses. So good luck with that freedom thing.