Judgement Hat says respect the tent

We are a big tent… a really big tent. There are misties of all stripes and walks of life; the point is that we are all included in this forum. Part of inclusivity is respecting other people. I’ve noticed that some folks are managing to be disrespectful in easily avoidable ways. I’m puttin’ on my Judgement Hat, that is rude!

I don’t care what your political, religious, moral, or other concerns are, there is no call to ever make someone feel badly for things they cannot change about themselves. If you don’t understand them, or you think it is a choice, or you think they are sinners, whatever, that’s your business. THEY are the ones who get to tell you their truth; questioning their word is rude. You don’t have to like who or what they are, you don’t have to believe in it, but you do need to respect them or you are being rude.

I’ve been seeing a bunch of side-long, passive-aggressive comments about politics and social issues on here lately. I feel some people are taking advantage of our collective desire to be fair to everyone and apolitical… keeping the trolling light may keep you off the mods’ radar, but it is still trolling. Using code words or euphemisms doesn’t change that. Provoking someone into breaking the rules or getting a slap on the wrist may feel like a victory to you, but it is only to you. This forum isn’t about ‘owning’ anyone. That is not participating in our community in good faith, it is being deliberately rude.

But, you say, why do I have to be careful what I say, I have freedom of speech?! Well, part of being in a society is surrendering some of your rights for the collective good. Heck, part of being an adult is controlling your tongue. I’m sorry you can’t be a jerk to people who are different from you, but that’s not good for our community. You know full well what you are doing, and it is rude.

And for those of you who don’t think you should have to consider the impact of your words on others, those who don’t see a need to be kind to their fellow man… that is definitely your right. Now please go away, because I have no time for your rudeness.

Judgement Hat out!

… sitting back and waiting for the chorus of “I don’t think it is so bad” and “you’re over-reacting,” or maybe, if I’m lucky, “you are blowing one isolated incident out of proportion” (I have no particular incident in mind).


I’m here to subvert your expectations!

If I ever made anyone feel uncomfortable in any way because of something I said here, I sincerely apologize.


@Pantalones Hey, whatever you and one isolated incident out of proportion get up to together is nobody else’s business.


Agree :100:%. I try to keep my posts neutral and good-natured. I sometimes tease a bit but it’s kindly meant, and my intent is that that person will get a chuckle out of it, too. If not, please tell me ASAP and I’ll remove the offense and never do it again. I don’t want to cause any hurt feelings.

We’re all here from our varied walks of life to celebrate MST3K. Anybody who’s here to troll is a dickweed and can BITE ME. :innocent:





Ah, here is where I pull out my “Do you know what this means?” Hat.
Has any of the “BUT MY RIGHTS!” crowd ever read that particular passage?
I think not.
It states, and I QUOTE:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

And it means, The First Amendment restrains only the government.

Yes, individuals have the right to say what they want.
But (there’s that ever present word), individuals have to live with the repercussions of what they said.
I learned this in 8th grade History.

::::walks away shaking her head, over the state of edumacation these days::::::

::::wanders back:::::
Oh, yeah, I forgot…

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended:
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend.

::::::exits, stage left:::::


Now I’ve got the “We’re A Danger To Ourselves And Others” song in my head. How’d that happen? :thinking:


shake hands GIF by RiffTrax


That, too.

The guy who wrote the “Shake Hands” music was a guest on the Found Footage Festival a year or so back. I loved it when the hosts pointed to another video where a certain once-prominent nighttime soap star was explaining how to achieve the perfect raccoon-looking-out-of-a-charred-log '80s eye makeup. They told him not to pick on her too much, because she always did her own makeup on set.

His response: “Well, she should’ve used a mirror.” :laughing:


Two counter-points:

  1. The spirit of the First Amendment applies to society at large. To wit, if society doesn’t respect freedom of speech, there’s no way the government will either. A popular example people will trot out is “You can’t yell fire in a theater” which comes from Oliver Wendell Holmes’ judgment in Schenk v. United States. He said:

The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic

It sounds so reasonable doesn’t it? And yet, what was the case about? It upheld the conviction of men who were urging draft resistance in WWI. (I think it also gave us the “Clear and Present Danger” “standard”.)

And this is the reality: We aren’t ever talking about “shouting fire in a crowded theater”. We’re saying “this idea is dangerous and people should not be exposed to it” which is completely counter to the spirit and letter of the First Amendment.

  1. The government currently wields such power over the private sector (or, if you like, one segment of the private sector wields such power over the rest of it through the government), that it can and does routinely threaten businesses for not complying with its desired speech codes, and thereby does an end run around the First Amendment.

I entirely agree that “Don’t be a jerk” is a worthwhile injunction that addresses 98% of the problems. But regarding the 2%, epithets and derisive terms for people who espouse certain political beliefs shouldn’t be a sneaky way around the “No politics” rule.

“Bigot” has a dictionary definition1 But if your cute lil acronym or portmanteau came from 4chan or Fox News, you’ve transcended the adjective category and started name-calling. If you get a “political” response, you deserve it, so maybe don’t start with that crap.

1 a person who is obstinately or unreasonably attached to a belief, opinion, or faction, especially one who is prejudiced against or antagonistic toward a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular group.


It’s not always that, though. If someone comes into my home and starts shouting vulgar epithets in the name of freedom of speech, I can ask them to leave and if they don’t, I can call for police to get this person out of my home because that person’s freedom of speech does not supersede my right to dictate the standards of my private property.

There are limits to free speech and the problem I think we’re having nowadays is that no one wants to admit that we should limit ourselves and not require the government or anyone else to do it in order to keep us from being jerks to each other.



Does that happen to you often? It’s happened to me, I think, once in my life. (I mean, in contrast to social media where I’ve seen a lot of censorship over political issues.)

The problem with that, I think, is that “you should limit yourself” usually just boils down to “don’t say anything I disagree with.” In practice, here on this server, I’ve seen so many political statements just slide by because people agree with them.

I honestly think people don’t really know how NOT to be political any more.


Ooh, discussion… I like it!

In this case I tried to give a general guide to determining when to limit yourself, because I agree that otherwise it can easily become “don’t say anything I disagree with.”

I’ve been guilty of letting it slide when no one has been rude, but I also think there is room for politics somewhere on here. There’s a difference between, say, an offhand comment about the widely acknowledged impact of certain Supreme Court decisions vs. telling people they are wrong for how they feel about those decisions. One is grounded in reality, the other is purely opinion, a value judgement that ends up being rude.

I also dislike how we as a society (and here on this site) are treating all politics (in the sense of matters of concern to citizens) as politics (in the sense of being a subject of personal opinion), controversial and therefore untouchable if even only one person isn’t on board. There is a big difference between a reasonable difference of perspective and simply refusing to accept facts; they aren’t equivalent positions. We too easily fall into the Fallacy of Balance, assuming that both sides of a disagreement are of equivalent value out of a misguided sense of fairness. Facts exist: banning them because someone doesn’t like them is detrimental to any community.

So much that used to be a subject of agreement has become divisive, and with the dramatic shifts and see-sawing in actual politics at the local, state, and federal levels (in the US) many people feel that other people’s beliefs represent an immediate danger. It is difficult not to bring up life-or-death issues you may be facing because of someone else’s politics.

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I don’t understand what you are talking about, did you perchance reply to my post by accident…?

[sigh] What are schools even teaching these days?

(I thought you were responding to P.M.'s hernia comment. Things are moving too fast for me. I need to go back to MySpace, where it’s generally more placid. :wink: )

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I’m more confused now than before. I don’t think I was responding to any hernia situation-hope that gets better/I don’t know who PM is/but I’m alright. :face_with_spiral_eyes:

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I thought I was still on the Griping thread. :dizzy_face:

Sorry. It’s not your fault that I’m too old to cut the internet mustard but also too young to nap all day guilt-free.


I don’t see this as a particularly helpful guide. I’m not saying I personally disagree, but I think it is impractical, even a bit rude, to suggest that anything snappy someone shares from a particular source is definitely going to be unhelpful. More importantly, it creates an unnecessary sense of conflict, “us” vs. “the crazies.” I know you were speaking hyperbolically, but I think one of the greatest sources of political conflict today is excessive rhetorical hyperbole from leaders.

I’m not saying you have to take the highest possible ground. In my opinion it is helpful to say something like “Many of the cute little terms for outsiders used on strongly polarized platforms like 4chan and Fox, but not more moderate outlets, amount to name-calling. If you find yourself using those terms, you may be being rude.” At that point someone could ding you for being ‘political’ for not including any left-wing outlets (are because derisive epithets are equally distributed across the spectrum? I don’t think so), but I would argue that the statement is then sufficiently factual that it is acceptable. At least it provides a guide to selecting which epithets are likely to be divisive rather than stating an absolute.

Now, in the context of what you just wrote, I very much agree with you! If you use loaded language you are the one who ‘went political.’ As they say, if you don’t want to be called a bigot, don’t be a bigot. I don’t mind being called an SJW, because I happen to think Gandhi and Rosa Parks were great people, but if you call me that you had better be ready for a face full of politics. I would be justified to use some spicy epithets myself. I probably won’t. Probably.

I’m a little surprised the two topics haven’t been merged. Still grinding that axe…


I humbly apologize to anyone who showed up at my miniature castle last Sunday ready to plum-fight to the death over the Great Merge Controversy, only to find me not there at the scheduled time. I needed to pick and sell all the plums to pay off a certain… aggressive local lender. But I was too embarrassed to explain. :dizzy_face: