I've just emerged from a bloody and unpleasant cat-fight on another blog of mine, where I dared to criticise a blogring owner for an action she took, who then posted an entry on her own blog about it and claimed to have left some sweet little comment apologising for and explaining her action on my blog, adding that I would probably not publish it though.
This supposed comment never appeared on my list of comments to be moderated, so I can only assume that she did not post it to my blog as she claimed.
Naturally enough, I had to respond to her accusation of censorship, and so suffered a gang of outraged blogring supporters trolling along to the rescue of this 'gentle and harmless' soul, and leaving extremely inflammatory and unpublishable comments on my site.
Should I be upset by this exchange? Or should I be enlivened? The former is probably more accurate than the latter, which is a shame. There was a distinctly 'hysterical' edge to the fight which I disliked, i.e. the remarks made to me were nearly all highly personal in tone and most did not even pretend to address the political ramifications of the blogring owner's action - which I'd sought to question in my original post. It was purely a 'you hurt my friend, now I'm going to hurt you' situation.
Their response bewildered me, though perhaps it shouldn't have done, as I know my own tone in blog posts is often abrasive, to say the least. But I did have a valid point, which nobody appeared interested in. I kept trying to steer them back to the reason I'd become annoyed in the first place, but no one was listening. By then, it had become a territory thing, a gang thing. By severing my affiliation with the blogring, I'd chosen to break from the gang and was therefore fair game for the nastier elements in it.
Meanwhile, the blogring owner herself carefully refrained from getting involved any further. She'd let them off the leash, then stepped back into the shadows, like the 'gentle and harmless' soul she is. No longer a simple disagreement between two people then, but an undignified online spat between one individual and someone else's gang of friends.
The poetry scene can be like that at times, I know. But at least most of us can spell the obscenities we're using.