The Anatomy of Conflict
Rather, a more trivial type of conflict. Or so it appears.
I'm pretty sure that some of you had been following the argument me and Sandmonkey are having recently. (If you hadn't, read my post, and his rebuttal)
What is happening basically is that, being an avid reader of Sandmonkey's, I tend to agree with him on certain issues, while I don't feel particularly crazy about others. But, hey nobody said that reading for somebody means that you should agree with him on everything.
I don't want to get into the details of this specific argument, but I didn't like what he said about a specific topic, and I decided to take him to task. The guy replied and so far, he had been a class act (poked a little fun, but hey, I was a bit cheeky myself)
Anyways, the interesting part wasn't us (me and sandmonkey), it was the commentators.
Now, I really believe that at some point during human evolution the gene responsible for level-headed, unbiased thinking got lost. But you tend to believe (or hope more accurately) that this gene would be over-represented in the blog-reading population. After all, here are some guys who had the common sense to substitute manipulative mainstream media with media-of-their-peers. This idea is also enforced by all the talk about how blogging is really about the conversation, and not about the broadcast, or the juicy sound-bite. You also hope that the fact that most blogs are text based, permanent, and anonymous that people would be able to asses an idea for its merit, without regard to who is saying it, or what are the preconceived opinion about the group of people he belongs to (ethnically, religiously, culturally, socially, etc...).
Well it is. Because it certainly isn't true (BOCTAOE).
Our argument (which I think we aren't taking so heatedly) has evolved into a tribal tug. Not that any reader's input isn't welcomed, but commentators on both blogs were enthusiastically trying to prove their loyalty to the blog they read everyday (more on sandmonkey's side this one), or their hatred of the other blog. Some people are calling me a 'suicide bomber admirer' which goes to prove, among other things, the kind of black-and-white perception some people have of everything. For some reason, people can't get the fact, that people can disagree about certain things, while agree on lots of other things. People are so stuck in the you're-with-us-or-against-us mentality of yore (wait a second, didn't Bush say that...well, I'm having a truce with the man, so I won't go there). They also can't understand a sentence like "I don't approve of suicide bombings under any circumstances". Funny!
I can easily imagine how this can evolve. I can get all angry at Sandmonkey, and his readers, and write something foolish like "it is like the redneck road-show over there" (I wanted an excuses to say it! sorry!), and he can respond by saying, I don't know, something like "readers at Tomanbay's enjoy lobbing grenades on weekends", I don't know. At this point, more and more people will jump into the fray, and it will eventually turn into a scene similar to any street fight in an Egyptian street where two people will be having an argument about something, when people crowd, start taking sides, start shooting obscenities at each other, and in less than 10 minutes, what started as a little argument can escalate to a full scale war. Of course feeling loyal to my readers I would have to take an even nuttier stand against him, and he will be forced to do the same. And the cycle will go on, and on, and on.
Now take a moment to think about this: what I have just described is just a virtual argument in cyberspace between two bloggers. It is as close to inconsequential as you could possibly get. But, don't you see that this is the way most conflicts evolve in real life?
I wouldn't go any further. Just think about it!
P.S.: In case you're wondering, I like the Bugs Bunny way of solving conflicts. When Elmer Fudd would get mad, he will kiss him! Mwwwwah!