Friday, March 6, 2009

To Nibras Bawa, VIC And Sittingnut

This is a kind of open letter, one that hopefully will ask you guys a question that's somewhere in my mind and not yet fully formed. As I write this post I'm very optimistic that the aforementioned question will form some time before the end. Otherwise, things could get pointless.

I'm no kid, though I have a couple of my own. I consider myself a fairly mature and experienced business person and, in my more lucid moments, a pretty rounded individual, though lots of sit ups should help with this. I'm telling you this in an attempt to establish my credibility, for my question might appear as naive to many. Incidentally "naive" is a word I always have a problem spelling first time around, do any of you guys struggle with it? (that's not the main question by the way)

As most people who read this will know, all three of you have blogs.

Mr Bawa, you appear to be the newest entry into the Sri Lankan blogosphere, or the Lankanosphere as one of my heroes has called it. I find your blog captivating, interesting and annoying, all in extremes. It seems that you are successful in your chosen field with some strong opinions and it's fair to say that much of your blog centres around the Lankan advertising industry and its close relatives.

Mr In Colombo, you are known to most in the Lankanosphere. When you write a post we read. I usually disagree with you, but I respect your passion. Many people also agree with your opinions, that of course is their right. As far as I can make out your very popular blog has been in existence since May 2006, which surprised me as I thought it was older than that. I also hope that one day you'll allow me to call you "Voice" as I know your friends are allowed to do.

Mr Nut. What can I say about you that people haven't already thought to themselves? From what I can make out your blog began in August 2005 with this fledgling post. That means you're the longest established blogger out of my three chosen people. Like VIC you don't need much of an introduction to the people who may be reading this.

Now I sincerely hope that you interpret my question in the spirit in which it's intended, one of genuine interest in something that I honestly don't understand. It's this:

Why do all three of you choose to try to present your points, arguments and views in such confrontational and insulting demeanours?

Seriously, it puzzles and bothers me and I'll try to explain why this is so by telling you a bit about my mentality.

I believe that there is little more effective than constructive and positive dialogue. And this is by no means a post in which I advocate peace talks as a current way of solving the situation in Sri Lanka. I'm merely talking about blogging and life in general here.

I respect the way people like Indi and Dinidu articulate their views, though I don't always agree with them as well. They present their points in what seems to me to be a thought out approach, weighing up pros and cons and talking intelligently. Apart from the rare deviations in which a "fuck off" or similar might have appeared they come across as level headed guys.

You three, VIC, Nibras Bawa and Sittingnut have clearly made some kind of decision that the way forward for you is to slag off the people who don't share your opinion. You name call, you insult and you make a habit of hitting below what most people would define as the belt, even on a sarong where it can float a bit. Again, I'd like to emphasise that I mean this as accurate commentary, not some sort of attack on any of you. Once I filter out what I see as the wholly unnecessary padding you often make good points.

Surely it would be better to make those points without all the shouting and name calling, so others would view you with more credibility?

For example you Mr Bawa have made what many seem to think are some insightful and constructive comments on the Sri Lankan ad industry, yet you've managed to do it under a cloud of homophobic and insulting writing. Why did you choose this approach? Perhaps you took a calculated decision that some sort of sensationalism would get peoples' attention quickly. Maybe I'm missing the point here.

VIC, in one of your posts you talk about Dinidu like this:

"Do you hear the “tone” of a sucking LTTE ass licker who is fed by all the rich NGO’s headquartered in Colombo? A tone of a real traitor, who’s enjoying a tiniest of a victory to the tigers?"

Why? I don't get it, just because you have different views?

Sittingnut, you write things like this

"by peaceniks i mean people who think peace is worth any cost (even cost of human rights, justice, democracy, and freedom ). that is people like paikiasothy saravanamuttu, jehan perera, jayadeva uyangoda, sunila abeysekera, sunanda deshapriya, nimalka fernando, rohan edirisinha, jeevan thiagarajaha, and their ilk (and their underlings like sanjana hattotuwa). and their fellow travelers in the sl blogosphere like hypocrite (son and tool of a corrupt political appointee) and his cronies."

And I really fail to see what you think you'll gain from that kind of delivery. If it's because you want to appeal to some people then surely you'll only succeed in appealing to the people who already share your opinions anyhow?

There it is, my question.

Why have you adopted these approaches?

I don't know if any of you will read this but I'd really love to hear your answers, though I may be wise to wear body armour!

If anyone else can help me with this please feel free too.

Good weekend in the hot, hot heat of Colombo all. I'd much rather be complaining about the heat than the cold!


ViceUnVersa said...

I think age, maturity and blogging itself has a lot to do with this. If by nature you are an aggressive individual people will NOT listen to you. They will walk away from you without wasting time and space.

But the minute you put it out on a blog, on cyberspace, they will read you. Human nature is such. We walk away from uncouth people, but are curious enough when faced with the choice of reading what they have to say. But this too after awhile looses its attraction.

Blogs out of Pakistan, Gaza and China I read avidly. Because I choose to understand both sides of the story. Mainly those who articulate their differences progressively.

Informed choices I guess. With no offence meant I very rarely read Sittingnut and now Bawa anymore. I have chosen not to, I just can’t be bothered. VIC once in a while makes relevance so I still read him. A bunch of pissed off people who use their blog to exclusively rant and rave in it don’t make good reading.

I think the world has changed. For the Paradise Isle post 1983. For the western world post 9/11. In the case of the motherland war brings much despair, conflict and poverty. People’s desire to live for today resulting in the credit crunch is a real-time example.

In 1998 the Paradise Isle borrowed $300+ million from the IMF. Now we want $1.9 billion to move away from recession and for rehabilitation of the North.

Post peace talks and the UNP’s brief governance gave ‘Colombo People’ much hope from 2002. Many Diaspora even returned to the motherland. Then it all fell apart. Even some of the Colombo bloggers I most admire in Kottu reflect this. If you read their posts from 2005 this is very clear. A move towards apathy and shaken self-beliefs. They hoped against hope for a resurgence of a strong opposition to the current regime. All has failed. Their filial connections ensure life in Colombo is cocooned. But power more than money is the be all and end all of life.
Money helps cocoon you from reality.
Power gives you freedom.

If you don’t have a contact to the current regime your life pretty much in Colombo is POWERless. Believe you me for ten years I had a heady taste of that power. Until it left such a sour taste in my mouth and screwed my life up so much that I came to live in England. So I know what I am talking about. My difference is that come what may, I love Sri Lanka. And honestly that too is because I can still do what I want in the Paradise Isle within legal limits without hassle.

Therefore, those whose freedom’s restricted mindlessly rant and rave on a blog. Some top bloggers I am sure are intelligent to see their life falling apart and their writing reflecting this. Please don’t kill the messenger. Think deeply about what I have said. Agree or disagree but don’t mindlessly have a go at people for the sake of it.

I leave with a thought:
“When I started my blog and posting ads remember the call I got from Paradise asking why? My answer was really simple, BECAUSE I CAN. But borrowing your words RD, I make sure that when I bog sorry blog, I make sure that it does not affect me if I need to find my way back. All of you would have mapped my trails (intended) and tribulations through thinkfreed. If not for my friends in the Paradise Isle I would have lost my sanity. I for one sure am glad I have such good friends. All but three who are actually on Kottu. You know who you are.”

Good Morning RD. Saw this early morn, but wanted to have a good think before I posted. Sorry to make it this long.

Anonymous said...

The meek and the politically correct shall not inherit the earth ?

The bold and the passionate may ?

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

DD - thank you for what may well be the longest comment I have ever recieved. My first thought is that some people will listen to agressive people, just because they shout so loud and so forcefully.

I don't think I can add anything to the rest of your comment other than the obvious fact that it's all subjective, one man's rant of a post is another man's interesting read. GM2U2

Anon - Bold and passionate I agree with. Rude, insulting and name calling? Maybe not.

PseudoRandom said...

Out of the blogs you highlighted, I've only read a few posts by Sittingnut. And I have to say, I felt sad. Sad because there was a lot of stuff I agreed with, but it was buried under 6 feet of insults and profanity. Such a shame, because his message would only get through to the already-converted. Anyone else would just be revolted by his tone.

RD you said that some people will listen to aggressive people because they shout so loud and forcefully. I think that's what the 'shouters' think! There seems to be a popular school of thought that a discussion is a shouting match.

I also think that profanity and insults only exist when the writer's vocabulary doesn't have enough depth to enable them to put their point across in a more constructive way...but I haven't read enough of these blogs to pass judgement in that respect.

Anonymous said...

hey RD any idea why Dinidu's site is down?

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Anon - No, but I'll put an APB out

Sam said...

World is very relative. Isn’t it? I never looked at those blogs that way, defiantly not VIC’s blog, because I didn’t have any reason to do so. I often read Sinhala blogs and compared to them, almost every Sri Lankan English blog, even Mr.Nut, respect the reader. So I believe, if you read Sinhala blogs, you may look at all them far more differently.

Can a blogger separate them from the culture they in? And if they do, do they represent that culture anymore?

Ian Selvarajah said...

Nice post, RD! I really hope one of the 3 will respond here. I do remember some conversations I had with SNut back when I used to blog more frequently and he seemed fairly reasonable. I wonder if people are just getting fed up?

The other question to ask is: Do these people really behave this way in real life? Many people tend to be much more vocal/rude when they're online and can hide behind a computer. Just a thought...

T said...

nice post RD. its a shame that they (ViC and SNut) use such retarded language in their posts, because under all that crap im sure there's something worth reading. Not being one of those "patriotic" types myself, i'd really like to see where they're coming from, but all that bile they spew in their posts literally makes me sick. Its like every sentence has the word 'pussylicker' or 'sucking' or 'arse' in it. Is that really necessary?

sittingnut said...

i will not make apologies for length . i will give you a lengthy comprehensive argument in answer to your question and assumptions bc you asked for it. be good as to answer the questions raised and provide the material asked for. that is your duty after what you said in the post
a statement about me and you.
i value honesty and truth above fake "politeness" and hypocrisy. may be in the rarefied world of your cocoon, truth and honesty is less valued.

we will establish your (double?)standard with regard to words
do you find my bold statement above confrontational and insulting ?
don't you think your post is insulting to me? and confrontational?
why not ? really?

please do answer. bc it will clarify your standards with regard to those words.
of course if you use double standards your whole argument fails .


(2)second ,
let us examine your quoted example.
everything i say there is true. and i have provided the evidence many times to back those claims.

peaceniks mentioned by name (i consider specificity essential when one says something adverse about someone, and loath hiding behind vague generalities) are clearly defined by their valuing of "peace" above human rights, justice, democracy, and freedom. there are many documented examples of them doing that.

by using name padashow and then denying it, and as a serial ranter against corruption while not mentioning his being a son of a corrupt (by his own standard, but with more evidence) political appointee, and many other ways, indi is a hypocrite.

since you are not denying the truthfulness of above, i will not go into further details about them. now . if you do later, i would be happy to


stating the plain truth may be perceived by some ( including you it seems ) as having a "confrontational and insulting demeanor. "

exposing moral value system of a person can be disturbing (and even "insulting") to some who may not want to confront reality or to let sun shine on it.
but should we not expose them bc of that ? esp when those ppl, based on those values, are prescribing courses of action, that can have direct consequences for us and other sri lankans ?
{ i believe we should expose }

hypocrites have always found confrontations with truth a bitter and insulting experience
but should we not confront them with truth bc of that?
{ i believe we should confront }

pl do explain your position

to the argument proper.
i will state the 2 possible meanings of you post and then point what is wrong with them
(i will use examples derived from the quote you used to explain it better )

you think that what i say has value and just the style is bad.
if so can you point to and quote an instance where the same point was made with a style acceptable to you? if you think you are able to articulate the same truths i expound without having a "confrontational and insulting demeanor", why have you not?
i have not seen you do anything of the kind. when have you opposed the peacenik value system? or hypocrisy of indi?

you don't have to use words like "hypocrites" and even "peaceniks " if you do not want, but if you can point to any instances where you have so opposed what those ppl do, please quote . i have not seen you do anything of the kind.

since i make the point and you have not( not even tried, ever), what is your right to judge my style?
do make your case

you think that what i say has no value.
same may be put another way
you think what i say cannot be said without being confrontational and insulting, and you don't want anyone to say it. again basically you are saying what i say has no value

if so, why hide behind criticism about style when your beef is with the substance ?

is your argument that what i say (indi is a hypocrite or that peaceniks have the values i describe)is insulting in its essence, and as such is not acceptable?
if so, make that argument instead of the post above. why hide behind a post about style when your beef is with the substance ?
of course if you want to go for substance you have to counter with facts to devalue my evidence for calling them such and such . superficial stylistic criticism is an easy and old method of covering inability to engage in substantive criticism. is that you ?

i think truth about you is in the (b).
you find what i say unpalatable so you think the disagreeableness you feel is the result of my style.
is that the truth? :-)
if not i hope to see you make the same arguments as me against peaceniks and indi's hypocrisy in an engaging and empathetic style soon bc so far you have not done that .

i would be happy expand on the argument once you reply .
question is will you? and were you sincere?
we will see.

sittingnut said...

now that i have answered your main question here are some other points .

you say and dinidudealwis make their cases in well thought out arguments with pro and cons weighed ? really ? examples please (relating to sl politics). then i will be happy to show that they do not in fact make well thought out arguments with pro and cons .

as a self styled appreciator of intelligent well balanced arguments this is your duty to provide , so that your reader can judge the validity of the contrast you make.

for example i will take two important issues about politics ,
can you tell me what indi's well thought out position regard to use of violence to defeat terrorist ltte is ? does he approve it or disapprove ?
does he and did he, think giving more power to ltte will bring peace ? why? what were his well thought out arguments ?
is he in the middle without saying what the middle is? did he say the same thing in 2005, 06, 07, 08 etc ?and if there is a difference at various periods, did he explain why ?

or did he just run away and ignored those issues? if so do you think without dealing with those burning issues he can write about sl politics? is that avoidance of burning issues what you mean when you say they are level headed and intelligent ?
when you have the quotes, or post or posts, please link. :-)

again as an appreciator of intelligent well balanced arguments it is your duty to provide these to prove your point . don't you think so? why not ?
btw when you do that i too will provide my posts and quotes on those very subjects. then we can judge who made the reasoned arguments . without any profanity btw


you seem to imply that they do not indulge in what you call insulting behavior in their posts? really ?
kindly check dinidudealwis' recent post with "poem", he refers to me and links to my blog ( i saw you commented there before me).
as i made clear in a comment there i have not said anything about him in my blog, ever . he is never been mentioned in my blog up to now. never. and few things i said about him in any other place ( in his own blog mainly ) is based on what he said with quotes to back my point . as such his reference to me is totally unjustified.
so do you think that is reasoned argument on his part? how is that weighing pro and cons when he has imagined the whole thing? and how is that not confrontational and insulting behavior ?
how so ? explain yourself please

btw what do you call indi's padashow blog? are you saying it is ok while my truthful statements aren't ? btw i told padashow what to expect when his identity became known. you can find the comment there . as such padashow has zero right to complain. so why do you try to whitewash him?

fact is whatever i say about other ppl ( you included ) is proportional to whatever they have said about me before . only difference is i go to insane lengths ( see this comment )to justify the words i use against them, unlike them.

as i said this comment deal with other matters additional to main argument in previous comment

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Sittingnut - Thank you very much for your long and considered reply. I am actually typing this with a big smile on my face. I asked you why you chose your confrontational style in what I though was a genuinely interested manner.

No, No, and No. I don't think my post was confrontational and insulting to you. Rather, I don't see why you should feel that way. However, you clearly do, hence your confrontational and aggressive response. I don't want to get into some kind of childish online argument with you. I think you've missed the genuine interest that was in my question.

Never mind, I wish you well. Have a good weekend.

Serendib_Isle said...

On a completely unrelated note, I have linked this to one of my posts on advertising.

Just for you to know.


ViceUnVersa said...

GDMRD. Just got up.
Oh dear I think sums it up...

Anonymous said...

"Not being one of those "patriotic" types myself"

Almost sounds as if this is considered bad thing.

So what other types are there ?PeaceNiks? moderates, no opinions.

indi said...

Thank you for making this point in a - I think - respectful manner.

I don't know why they write - in my opinion - disrespectfully. It can make for better entertainment, but it can also get old.

Addressing the allegations here, I never blogged under the Padashow pseudonym. I'm sure my father wasn't corrupt in either the TRC or any other capacity in government. Regardless, he himself has written asking for any allegations to be aired. I'm not sure what attacks on my family accomplish, but we're both pretty transparent and honest people.

But again, I think this is the toxin of bile, we're now talking about me personally rather than any of the ideas or issues.

I think Vice is right saying this is about maturity. I used to take things personally and I used to be fully flame on for months at a time. It's still fun, and a good blog fight is great entertainment. But it gets old.

I've matured and, I think, become a more professional, respectful blogger because I really want to reach people that don't agree with me. I actually do understand a lot of the positions Sitting Nut but it's like finding a nut in a turd. And he copies and pastes the same old attacks into every post, it's just boring.

I don't really agree with ViC that much at all, but we still treat each other with respect. I mean, he'll imply that I'm a traitor but he's not a dick about it.

indi said...

Or perhaps they're like the Rush Limbaughs of the blogosphere. I sorta see ViC as a bit like that, which isn't a bad thing. SNut, however, is personal on a level no named commentator could get away with.

The Times has an interesting debate on what role someone like Limbaugh plays in a media environment.

What Limbaugh fails to understand is that any successful political movement is built of both true believers and evangelizers. True believers, like Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, fire up the troops. They tell their followers exactly what they want to hear, and they instinctively resist any compromise of their hallowed principles. As a general rule, true believers live and work and worship among other true believers, and they like it that way. To the extent they engage the other side, the engagement takes the form of friendly but chilly mutual incomprehension or, more often, a shouting match. There is something admirable about conviction that runs this deep. But it limits the size of your audience.

The Benevolent Dictator said...

Rd.. didn't see this post in time so apologies for the delayed response. If you take my initial interactions with SNut via blogs (his, mine and others) I tried to appeal to his common sense and basic decency. Futile exercise it was and I gave up and recently started baiting him just because I can. Reading his answer to your question, I was thinking maybe you should have questioned his tactic of deterring dialogue by responding to a question with more questions accompanied by verbose drivel.

Good tried :-)

Java Jones said...

Hey RD - Only saw the post just now - I couldn't hold back my mirth! I guess you asked for it!!! Surely you had to be hip to SN's MO by now??!! 'Convoluted' is the best word I could come up with!!

Cheers buddy!

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

To All - I really did try, with very honest intentions, to try and understand. I hope VIC and Nibras Bawa may still reply though.

N B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rhythmic Diaspora said...

NB - Mr Bawa - Thanks very much for your reply. I think it gives some interesting info about why you write as you do. I hope the relocating has gone well.

Of course you don't need me to tell you this but you don't have to agree with my views and that's fine by me. But I don't think I called you arrogant and violent in my post, or even in my mind.

I don't know if you're a violent person by nature, though I would say that there's a large amount of aggression in your writing and swome arrogance yes, but I have some arrogance as well, maybe we all do.

You haven't hurt me at all NB, I'm just fascinated to learn about people in generla, some more than others. For wht it's worth I think the direct approach is great, calling a spade a spade and a gay a gay is a style that works for many.

However, I don't with the way you focussed and took the piss out of a person's sexuality as a way of invalidating his ability as a business person. I thought that was quite weak and frankly immature.

But, thanks again for reading and for the comment, it's good to meet you.


Anonymous said...

To be fair to VIC, he's a deranged loon about any perceived slight against Sri Lanka. Look at this comment about cricket

Anonymous said...

Shittingnut is just frustrated that he can't be as cool as the right-wing bloggers whose ass he licks on twitter - Love how he gives the impression that he's totally plugged into the US political scene and is not just some brown bugger in Sri Lanka reading and misinterpreting events there. I wonder why he doesn't link to his blog from twitter?

Voice in Colombo said...

I have made a reply post here. Please read it

Ele said...

Dude, Sittingnut is just nuts. Really, no pun intended. He says these names like it's nobodies business. I challenge you to find a post in which he doesn't mention those names and how they are money minting LTTE lovers and peacenik cronies blah blah blah. I could tell you some pretty funny stuff about him, but I won't because I'm not like that. Not like him. I don't bring out everyone's personal garbage the moment I'm losing an argument.

There's no point in asking them why or telling them maybe they'll be more effective if they change. It's futile.