i’ve decided to voluntarily remove myself from Barbelith, the last active place for intelligent nerdy discussion on the web, after the latest developments in a stupid discussion on Racism and Grant Morrison’s Batman that snowballed thanks to an appointed moderator that usually acts like a troll out of a self-righteous, sanctified and elitist posture towards every member.
the short version is i stepped in to defend a guy from Portugal, got severely hostilized by said moderator [who, in his bipolar nature, prefers to use Extreme Violent Sarcasm ™ to make his point, rather than to moderate] and trapped in a rhetorical spiral that moves downward with every post. he then called for mine and the other guy’s banishing, in a policy thread that went nowhere.
some members had advised me in private not to let myself get sucked into the void and just let go, but the provocations where too strong. apparently the board’s owner has let those guys rule the place, so nothing can also be done on our side.
also: i thought there was a friendly way out of it. apparently there still isn’t: he pushed the guy from Portugal until this one snapped, and both of us kept been called for bad posting which we did not intend at all. this was a guy that once managed to piss off even Morrison himself and his wife. and in our case no action was taken: neither to ban us nor to try to reason.
say what you will about Warren Ellis’ multiple online fora, but at least the guy shows what the rules are upfront and him or his moderators take quick action, also explain them. i’ve repeatedly been called a ‘liar’ for giving my side of the story that wasn’t what the guy wanted to read and hostilized in a patronizing way that i felt was racist, from the very same people that were considering whether Grant Morrison’s Batman contained racist portrayals of black characters.
i’ very saddened by the situation, as Barbelith has been one of the best places i’ve been online; a place where you could talk about anything and people are always peeling off the several layers of a work of art, beautifully giving new interpretations to something that can be perceived as simplistic in a first vewing.
the side effect is that there’s an academic atmosphere that poisons the environment and makes a some people look like one-note elitists that do nothing besides stomp on others. i can’t feel comfortable in a place like this.
too bad it took over reasoning and creativity. so goodbye for now, Barbelith, thanks for the memories.