Oh it was bound to happen eventually. What with all the net surfing and comment making and blog reading. No not me, HSB. (OK I am banned from one site but that’s a discussion for another day. OK a big political blogger wrote something negative about service dogs and the people that use them, and I let her have it. She then removed the offending part of her article but left up my comment trying to make me look the fool, which many people did comment on the fact that apparently I had no idea how to read. So I wrote her another comment and called her out on that bit of nastiness. Yes, in a "nice" ignominical way and using multisyllabic words I did call her a bitch, but it was well deserved and I didn’t use any four letter words either.) Well, he has gotten himself banned from his favorite website. Now granted there is a prominent warning that any negative comments will meet with being immediately banned, but I am telling you it happened right away. As soon as he submitted the comment. Is the guy that runs that site so geeky that he sits by his computer every moment and reads everything that comes in? I can just see him sitting right there besides his PC and his server watching out for negative comments.
What is that anyway, no negative comments. Granted if there was someone who wrote something nasty here I wouldn’t print it, but I wouldn’t ban them. Yes, I block people on twitter because of foul language or slanders or stupidity in general, but I don’t ban them from my blog. Come back and write another day. The truth is, if you don’t print someone’s comment they tend not to return. Well that has been my experience so far.
Anyway, I asked HSB did he use foul language or threaten anyone. He said no he didn’t. He just didn’t like what someone wrote or how they wrote. Now, if you are going to put yourself out there on the internet, not everyone is going to like what you read. In fact it is my understanding that some pole up their butts “professional” writers seem to be really threatened by us mommybloggers, that they are all losing sleep about us. It has become a cause célèbre among them to see who can write the most inane and nonsensical article about why they never read anything we write. No offense New York Times, (well maybe a little) or any other self-important publication, but we tend not really to write for you. Besides with the loss of revenue that you have been experiencing, I would not act as if you know what you are doing anymore either or quite frankly have any writers of any merit what so ever anymore. I understand several of their more liberal editorialists have lamented that this country is not a dictatorship so the President can implment his polciies without any problems. And the NYT wonders why they are loosing readers..
So how did HSB handle this little sojourn into the modern world of being thin-skinned? Not really very well at all. Poor kid started to cry like a banshee. Listen; there is not much that HSB really has right now. He just finished school, (Thank God) and is sitting around waiting to start driver’s ed. He loves to surf the internet and it is fun for him to read what other people write about different subjects and comment. Of course he is not supposed to be commenting, but that is a discussion I am going to have with him on another day, when he stops crying.
He cries actually every time he goes to the computer and he sees that he can’t access that site. I told him that he can go on millions of other sites, but as with everything with aspergers it’s the timing and the transition. It is the change and for him I think in some way the shock of what happened. Even if he had been warned and even if he had read it a thousand times I don’t’ think he really thought it would happen. What’s more HSB is adamant that he didn’t do anything wrong. He keeps screaming “first amendment.”
Now I have to explain to him how the first amendment applies on the internet. That it applies to access in a free society, but that doesn’t mean that the individual owners are required to let people print anything they want on their websites. Individual owners can make any rules they want and if you don’t abide by them you are banned. Yes we know that facebook lets any amount of disgusting racists, anti-Semites and misogynists onto their portal, but that doesn’t mean that everyone does. Luckily he still doesn’t want to do facebook, which to me is a good thing and we are not going to mention it as an alternative to anything.
I tried to explain to him that the first amendment also only applies to the government not the individual person. In my home I do not have to allow anything said that I find objectionable. My internet website is the same thing. He was still arguing his case with me. I finally had to turn to him and mention in a calmer voice, that it is all esoteric right now, because he is banned. If he wants I will help him find other websites that are similar to the one he liked. No he did not want me to help him. The truth is that he knows of dozens of sites that he likes to peruse. He doesn’t need my help in that area, but I felt it was a supportive offer, one that may make him realize that I was here for him.
The truth be told, I think the only thing he would have been happy with at that moment is if I could find any phone number to the head guy and call and get him reinstated. But from what we found out they are pretty strict on that site. Hubby came home and googled the site’s name and found thread after thread of people that had been banned and why they were banned. It seems the guy who owns the site is a real smuck. (No I do not mean smuck with the American slang definition, I mean smuck in its original Yiddish meaning which believe you me, cannot be said anywhere near little children’s ears. It makes asshat look rather genteel.)
Hubby also told me that HSB was still depressed about being banned by the time he went to bed. He tried to transition HSB away from the computer and the perseveration by trying to teach him to groom the dogs. The poor wheaton terrier looks like he has a rather nasty disease this morning (since HSB can’t mow the lawn in straight lines, don’t think he can shave the dog in straight lines either), but maybe it helped HSB move on. We will see when he wakes up. (Oh he is also seeing the therapist today, so maybe he can help HSB move beyond the incident if he is still perseverating.)
On another level, it may not be a bad lesson for HSB to learn at this juncture in his life. If you are told not to do something on someone’s site you had better listen. It is similar to listening in school in some ways. If there are rules of decorum in school there are rules of decorum on different websites. If you misbehave in school, you can receive any number of punishments. If you misbehave on the web, there are not too many punishments to be meted out so the one used most often is banning.
The irony I find is that this child who is so rule bound doesn’t seem to understand that the rules in other people’s venues apply to him as well as to everyone else. It seems that his rules are the ones he finds important and that the rules are only applied if he wants them to be. It is a very interesting occurrence. As a young child, I remember he did not climb on the top bunk of the boys bunk beds because the warning said you had to be six years old. And lo and behold on his sixth birthday, there he was on that top bunk. Now he has gotten to that age where he has decided what rules are important and which ones to follow. He has gotten to that age where he has decided that he knows everything and that older elderly decrepit folks know nothing. God I hate it when he acts like a teenager. By the way, this was also just the first full day of summer vacation. Crap.
Just in case anyone is interested, the meannie site on the internet that banned HSB is http://tvtropes.org/ .
Until next time,