The AGB Anti-Nastyism Code.
Doubtless I'll look like a tool, and I'm absolutely positive I'm making a rod for my own back, but here goes.
Imagine my surprise this afternoon when I logged onto the internet (no, that doesn't mean I sh@t my bathers) and had a good read through the comments on the Fourth Test post.
Cue the excellent Algy... sorry, Ginger.
As a long time lurker here, thanks Tony for your insightful and witty posts and Pat, thanks for your articulate and historical response to Boo's strange assertion that Roy 'brought it on himself'.
There were several comments made here over the course of the test(s) in relation to the Indians (and Serbians weirdly) which made me uncomfortable and lowered the tone somewhat. I enjoy this blog and the comments, precisely because there is generally intelligent and witty discussion taking place which enhances my enjoyment of the cricket. I'm pretty sure there are more suitable forums for petty name calling and stereotyping on the www.
Lots of people who run blogs step in toot sweet to put the kybosh on nastiness. Not me. I like nastiness. But there are limits. My limits.
(Often too toot sweet, in my opinion. It's like the kyboshers are revelling in their power to kybosh. Or maybe they are pinheads who want to prove how righteous they are. Or putting the clamps on a dissenting opinion. Or losing an argument. Or just maybe they are right.)
Those limits, though, relate less to what you say and more to how you say it.
Keeping it topical, I don't have a problem with anyone calling the Indians "curry munchers". But I have a big problem with anyone calling them "effing curry munchers". You Indians are welcome to call us Strayans whatever nicknames you have. Goondahs, was it? Dunno what it means, it might even be nasty, but if that's your sledge of choice, go for it. And feel free to call me a monkey. On the other hand, don't call me an "effing monkey" or a "hunting goondah!" Get my drift?
Similarly for sledges in code. Notorious Biggy crossed the line the other day when he wrote "Packer Black Hunts". I write it now to make a point, but comments like that will be scratched. For nob-vious reasons.
Thing is, if I was to sledge Biggy he probably wouldn't care because he has been reading this blog for years and would know I was having a lend of him, not having a lash at him. By the way, I have no idea what "Kerry Packer weeps" means, you effing hunt.
Nor do I have a problem with whatcha might call robust exchanges:
13th Man: "You deserve my contempt"
Boo: "And you're beneath mine."
But making a point TOO forcibly is asking for trouble. By all means say you don't respect Indians, if that's your thing. I mean, I don't respect Carlton fans, people with tattoos, Big Brother housemates, the wankers who pick the music played on 774ABC radio, Jews, Muslims, Catholi...
Anyway, walking the fine line between abuse and sh1tstirring is a juggling act. Or a balancing act. It's certainly matter of tact.
The difficult bit from my end is what to do if someone gets out of hand. Nabakov reckons this blog is like a pub: I'm the landlord and you commenters are the booze addled pissheads... I mean, patrons. Anyone who mucks up gets put in a friendly headlock as a hint to keep their shit together. He's right. Up to now my preference has been to ignore the hot-heads and hope they suss the tone of the blog, get a feel for the place and either fvck off or pull their own head in without my tuning them. More often than not, we all end up on friendly terms without me banning them or closing off a thread. I have never banned a commenter. I have never closed off a thread because of a sh1tfight. Nor do I have a list of approved words like the ICC or the AFL. All I've done in the five and a half years of blogging is edit the occasional obscenity.
So keep one thing in mind: IT IS THE TONE THAT COUNTS, FVCKERS!
You don't have to be an effing weather man to know which way the hunting cookie crumbles.