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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Anatomy of Conflict

Moved on! Check TheCairoCalls

Nothing about a Cuban missile crisis here...
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...).
Sounds funny?
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!

Moved on!


I first read your post criticizing SM yesterday morning, and I though it an interesting and valid criticism. I didn't even think of responding because I thought you were civil enough and that SM would take it in good spirits.

SM's replies (comments included) were one thing, but still they were civil. But the commenters? Are we all just a mob with a "love this blog to death and hate the other one" mentality? And the accusations that you support suicide bombings, and that anyone who watched that movie would be giving money to terrorism?

Can we step back for a minute and look at ourselves? Blogging--the Internet-- is the perfect place for civil dialogue and debate, yet people seem to use it for the exact opposite.

I commend you for your level headedness, and I encourage you, and others to criticize anything they don't agree with on any blog, including yours. But please, keep it civil and avoid the black-or-white mentality.

By Anonymous Alb Sayed, at March 08, 2006 4:27 PM  

Tomanbay, the two of you are among the more valuable bloggers on the net, and i read you both every day. Yes, both of you say things that I don't agree with, but we need both viewpoints. The posters -- on either site -- who didn't see this and who 'took sides' should go back and read what you both have written.

(both of you)

By Blogger Prup (aka Jim Benton), at March 08, 2006 5:55 PM  

I'm starting to think that Tomanbay and Sandmonkey are actually the same person..... Either Sandmonkey is Tomanbay on speed, or Tomanbay is Sandmonkey stoned.

Or not......(embarrassed by my lame attempt to be witty)

Anyway, don't pay any attention to Sandmonkey. Keep us updated with any and all news about the impending royal wedding!!!!!!!!!!

By Anonymous ChebMary, at March 08, 2006 6:33 PM  

Tomanbay -

I am an avid Coptic blogger from Chicago. I think you both are intelligent, compassionate and free-minded Egyptians!!

This little spat b/w you two is just something b/w friends or at the very least, like-minded individuals!!

We need more Egyptians like you two... A LOT MORE!

Please keep up the great work!! We should all take responsibility for trying to make Egypt a better place and I think you two are doing it.

Take care and God bless!

By Blogger Egypeter, at March 08, 2006 11:55 PM  


I would like to see more blood, guts, and profanity in your attacks, please. Otherwise, I am afraid I will have to change channels.

- A spectator

By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 09, 2006 3:31 AM  

Alright Tom; good you don't support suicide mass murderers.

So how about a well filmed ambiguous movie romanticizing and attempting to put a positive spin on the executioners and the act? A movie pretending to bear resemblance to reality but which is actually just a lie?

More details here:


By Anonymous shlemazl, at March 09, 2006 3:57 AM  

Speaking of conflict resolution, I am cutting and pasting a previous comment here, because, dammit, I need to see if Akagami Hamster works:

Hold everything! Let's not create another flame war where there shouldn't be one! We loves both you guys. Seriously. Everybody take a breath and go to http://www.cuteoverload.com and follow the link to behold the wonder of the Coveted Cuteness Trifecta made flesh in the Akagami Hamster. They say they can acheive world peace with that image, and all us Blog commentators would do well to look at that image before we post anything.

-Troy Z

Akagami Hamster can be found via:

By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 09, 2006 5:17 AM  

u both rock ok?- even though you both call us yr readers nut jobs.... but dont u think kiss and make up is a bit risky given SM s dress sense ?(thinking of the wetsuit last week. actually, trying to forget it) stay sane.. : )

By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 09, 2006 8:23 AM  

I'm one of the people who responded enthusiastically to SM's blog. My appreciation for him in no way diminished my respect for you.

#1) I believe you can both disagree without calling for a fatwa on one another.

#2) If the islamo-fascists take over, both of you will stand united in front of the firing squad.

Arnie from NY

By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 09, 2006 9:36 PM  

I do think that, for me anyway, the both of you do have some small amount of influence. You both give me a glimpse into what it might be like for an intelligent person with a conscience to live in a society that sometimes seems determined to shoot itself in the foot while trying to shoot everyone else who disagrees with them. Gah.

I think that both of you have been civil and entertaining while stating some very deeply held opinions. That, unfortunately, happens to be more than many people in the world are capable of.

By Anonymous Lolo, at March 10, 2006 5:43 PM  

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By Blogger asafshani, at November 23, 2014 3:23 PM  

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