Dharma Queen

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mandala of Padmapani

I have taken the rather unusual step of deleting a site from my blogroll. I think that merits some explanation. A while ago I started to blog about the issues that were emerging on the very new community blog, Docudharma, but got too busy with more pressing matters to finish the post. This is as far as I got:

Not a week into its very successful launch, the new community blog Docudharma is well into its first major Docudrama. So young in blog years to already be deep in a multi-diary meta war. Not that surprising when one considers that one of the new blog's frontpager/administrators is none other than Armando. It seems someone dared to suggest that name-calling is less than constructive and suggested that fellow bloggers try to be civil. The reaction from Armando came swift and sure, in a diary designed to nip that civility thing in the bud.

The problem with this is that the folks who write this type of comment will wield "civility" like a club in an attempt to stifle debate. I know it. I lived it.

Yes, it's true. Armando is a battle-scarred warrior for the right to hurl vile epithets, and his temper finally cost him his comfy orange cushion, as detailed here.

A mere 382 comments later, DavidByron, of all people, completely nails Armando's central point.

Armando knows the correct club to use is to be a moderator and threaten to ban people.

Because that, indeed, is the central thrust of his tirade.

You;d be surprised (4.00 / 3)

how uncivil these civility discussions become.

I think discussing and urging "civility" should be a banning offense here.

I am only half kidding.

by: Armando

Strangely, Armando was right. The civility lecturing on that site has gotten downright weird, but the lectures are coming from the blog administrators; especially one ek hornbeck. With a hat-tip to catnip, hornbeck recently posted as a guideline for Docudharma behavior, the eightfold path of Buddhism.

The Four Noble Truths-
  • Life means suffering.
  • The cause of suffering is desire.
  • There is a way to stop suffering.
  • The Eight Fold Way.

The Eight Fold Way-

  • Right View
  • Right Intention
  • Right Speech
  • Right Action
  • Right Livelihood
  • Right Effort
  • Right Mindfulness
  • Right Concentration

And hornbeck means business. As further down in "meditations on the cause of suffering" he explains that infractions will result in suspensions and banning. Here's a snippet:

They are committed to ethical conduct, of which one part is Right Speech. Let's review the elements-

  • Abstention from false speech that deliberately lies and deceives.
  • Abstention from slanderous speech and the malicious use of words against others.
  • Abstention from harsh words that offend or hurt others.
  • Abstention from idle chatter that lacks purpose or depth.

Well, still working on that last one myself, unless you define it as gossip which some scholars do.

Another part of ethical conduct is Right Action- kindness and compassion, honesty, respecting the belongings of others, and keeping sexual relationships harmless to others.

If you don't want to be ethical- leave.

If you don't want to be here- leave.

We're here to work on the last 4 parts of The Way.

If you are developing new bad habits. If you are not abandoning old bad habits. If you are not developing new good habits or maintaining and perfecting the same-


Mental energy is the force behind right effort. The same type of energy that fuels desire, envy, aggression, and violence can on the other side fuel self-discipline, honesty, benevolence, and kindness. Without effort nothing can be achieved.

If you're not going to make an effort I'll not waste any of mine on you.

If I see you misbehaving I'll suspend you. If a Contributing Editor complains about you in the Admin Forum I'll suspend you.

First, no questions asked.

This is a temporary suspension. The intention is to keep you from doing any more damage to yourself or others. You will not be able to post (comments or essays) or rate.

A notification will be put up in the Admin Forum and as many Admins and Contributing Editors as care to contribute will discuss your case and debate the appropriate punishment. This process may take 24 hours.

Most punishments will take the form of suspensions, either 2 days or 1 week. You will not be able to post (comments or essays) or rate. You may receive multiple suspensions and they may be greater or lesser depending on severity and frequency of the offense. All Administrative Punishments will be reviewed by budhy.

Sounds like hornbeck is well on his way to becoming an illumed being. He's got it down, except for that idle chatter thing. Yeah, that one's hard. Further down the thread he demonstrates some of his perfected "right speech." I'll just post a handful for purposes of contemplation:

Pity Me. (3.00 / 3)

I don't pity you at all. You're a liar.

The Buddha would not save you if he could. Your path is your path and your path is the path of a known liar.

Why do you demand a link from me? (4.00 / 1)

You've lied in this thread.

AND you've claimed your Whiny Ass Titty Baby self is a tough as nails war correspondent who went to Oxford AND Cambridge.

Or some unproven crap like that.

Pity me.

I have no pity for you- loser.

"Whiny Ass Titty Baby," is one of hornbeck's favorite phrases, though sometimes he renders it in the simpler version WATB. (Note to self: Must check to see if that sterling phrase is from the Lotus Sutra). But, his most impressive example of "right speech" was imparted to one Sabrina an Pff:

Coward am I? (79.33 / 15)

Here I am.

I like it Swedish style, strapped together at the wrist and just the one knife, but I'll gut you any way you want.

It seems that some took offense at hornbeck's words and, apparently, did not think they exemplified "right speech" at all. In fact, it has been suggested that they constituted a threat of violence, which is illegal. Hmmmm....

This is not the first time the administrators of Docudharma have been accused of hypocrisy. There've been other incidents, like the way Buddydharma, site proprietor, promises in the site FAQ:

One thing we do NOT do here is pre-emptively ban. You will be warned, in public if you are getting close to being banned. You have the right to argue that, you have a right to appeal it.

But, then, pre-emptively banned people. This thread is really worth a read. It's a study in poor leadership. Peeder sums it up quite well, in his criticism of Buhdydharma.

Gotta say (5.18 / 17)
This public execution of Miss Devore, complete with "do you have anything to say before we turn the switch?", is one of the most bizarre things I've ever seen online.

I mean, where have we gotten to? It's as if new technology creates a regression in civilization.

But basically it's just about people having no experience with power over others.

The humor value alone, in that thread, when Buhdydharma explains his own spiritual guidelines makes it well worth picking through. Unlike hornbeck, he's not, in fact, a Buddhist. He studies "the tao." Oh, but he doesn't study "the texts." He's apparently also missed, in his studies, that simply no one spells it with a t, any more. It's Daoism.

But being a poseur is not reason enough for me to de-link Buhdy's site. It's funny as hell, but it's not cause for such a drastic step. It's the hypocrisy, stupid.

Look, I'm not now, nor have I ever been, looking to find some sort of utopia in the blogosphere. Every site owner does things I disagree with; things I would do differently were it my site. It needn't be terminal. But Buhdy's defense of his actions, which amounts to his repeated protestation that he is "not perfect," isn't gonna cut it for me.

I don't know. The site is young, and Buhdy is new to his leadership role. Perhaps both will mature and Docudharma will become a functional blogging instrument. If that happens, I will gladly re-link.

In the meanwhile, it's pretty hard to defend having site administrators -- people who can see every member's IP address -- like that pit viper Armando and someone who talks about gutting a woman in some archaic Swedish duel. Scribe summed it up well for me, in this exchange:

the fact that (5.18 / 11)
you are being totally dismissive and insulting to everyone here who objected to eks violent comment, and you are defending him every way you possibly can, which clearly means you have no problem with that kind of communication coming from one of your own admins. When I put that together with how I see you already stepping up to protect Armandos right to be assholish whenever he wants, while not allowing anyone to attack him, I see a good ol boys club in action already, bud. Whether you intended this or not,this is sure how it looks to me, for one.

After a whole ten days. (1.75 / 4)
Yeah THATS fair.


And if I was dismissive I wouldn't come here at all.

The standards of perfection are a bit strict don't ya think?

Yeah, yeah, we get it. You're not perfect. But, dude, you're not even tryin.'


Diane said...

I missed most of that, Curmudgette, I saw the Ek post when it first came up & thought, well, I wasn't sure what to think other than the parameters he set are not attainable in blog land.

As for Miss Devore and Marisa's crew, they stated publically on their blog, that they were going over to fillet Armando.

I didn't read the exchanges on DD, but I did read what they said at OG&P.

I dunno, for the most part I think he is trying to make a political blog without the drama, and of course, when you open the doors some will come just to fuck you up.

I really am not invested in the place, but so far it seems okay.

I'm going to have to go read the threads you spoke of to get a feel for it.

Oh and BTW, gimme a call so we can talk about that reading material you sent. I am interested in talking with you about it.

Diane said...

Oh & read this, if you want further "My Break" explanation, but I think you already get me.