Friday, September 2, 2005

Ban Ku Very Much

It appears I have been put on probation over at Marmot's Hole.

When I got onto the computer this afternoon, I wrote out five comments (
this at 3:58, this at 4:00, this at 4:28, this at 4:30, and this at 4:40), but then noticed that that they weren't showing up on the "recent comments" list at right. They appeared in the comments section below each post, but all of them had "Your comment is awaiting moderation" right below the top.

I don't know what's going on here, but during the samer period of time, several comments by
KrZ, Sperwer, KrZ again, Marc, and G1 all ended up on the list. Just mine. So it's obviously not a system-wide moderator's check.

It's possible that this is because two of my posts yesterday contained mild profanity (although that didn't prevent comments getting posted this morning), and/or because I am using a different computer with an unusual IP address.

But this comes as Shelton, the Marmot's Hole
Guest Blogger, complained of me making ad hominem attacks on him and picking on him for sport. It's possible that I've been a bit harsh, but my comments have mostly been very constructive and have always been echoed by others. And the last few times people were laying into Shelton, I held my tongue.

At the same time, the constructive comments people made have been almost entirely ignored by this pedestrian writer who fancies himself as a
journalist with something to say when he is actually just a blogger who occasionally has an interesting story to tell.

Shelton would like to think that it is only me who holds a dim view of his writing style at Marmot's, but that would simply be fantasy. I have nothing against Shelton personally, and I go to his blog occasionally and I even invited him to Yongsan for coffee (my treat) to talk about blogging, writing styles, life, and all that. But until he wakes up and smells that coffee he turned down, he will be a mediocre writer who is stinking up a cherished resource on Korea-related news and information.

I hope Marmot will see that I am
not alone in my views. But if he has decided to make this a choice between Kushibo and "Shelton-TeeCha" (as he is fond of calling himself in the third person), then that's his right. More power to him. I do not own or rent Marmot's, I am not a guest blogger at Marmot's, I don't pay for Marmot's upkeep, etc., so he can keep the Ahssa Hole just the way Shelton makes it, and I will just blog my insights here.

If this is all a misunderstanding and I was not deliberately flagged in some way, then I apologize to Marmot in advance for assuming he had done so (and I'd like to know what exactly happened). But otherwise, I don't feel that any of my opinions warrant being treated with tongs and oven mitts, and I would venture to guess that most Marmot's readers would also feel this type of treatment is overkill.


  1. Judging from the fact that also my comment to Marmot's fart post didn't show for some time in the side bar and had the "awaiting moderation" text on top of it, this doesn't seem to have anything to do with Shelton. (I do agree with you on the value of his postings for Marmot's Hole.)

  2. How long did it take for your message to appear finally?

    There may be something innocent at work here that I'm not aware of, but since I posted that message, many other posters have had their messages go up and Marmot himself has posted at least twice, I think.

    These five posts in question contain nothing offensive, so there is no reason for them to be blocked other than a general block on me. That this came right after Shelton declared me an enemy of his state of mind seems just a little too coincidental at this point.

    But if this is the way it has to be, fine. Being banned from Marmot's (for all practical purposes) because of opposition to Shelton's "guest blogging" is almost deliciously satisfying.

  3. My comment didn’t show up a few times either (like Antti’s). What happened (I think) was when people sent comments at the same time, the computer (?) simply missed or lost comment on the side bar.

  4. I don't think that's what it is, June. I've been in plenty of situations where many people were posting comments at the same time and this didn't happen at all.

    There were five messages over the course of an hour, during which time others were posting successfully, so I don't think it's that. The timing with Shelton's complaint was just too coincidental to be ignored as a possibility.

    The only innocent explanation could be that a previous post contained profanity so other posts later were blocked. The most "sinister" explanation might be that Shelton himself, as a guest blogger, has the blog access to be guest blocker as well. I doubt that's what's going on, but who know?

    Like I said, it could all be innocent. Maybe I'll try again today.

  5. Oh, and just a note, Shelton doesn't have access to the blocking function -- only I do (OK, technically not true, as dda also does since he helps me with a lot of technical issues, technically ignorant that I am).

    Okay. If the Marmot says it's true, then it must be.

    I apologize, Marmot, if you think I was unduly jumping to conclusions. But the timing and circumstances were just too coincidental for the possibility to be dismissed.

    I haven't checked to make sure things are okay again, but the lull has made me think that I should focus on building up my own blog with thoughts I would otherwise have placed on yours, so it may be a few days before I make sure my posts aren't stuck in moderation limbo.

    And just a friendly suggestion, if I might -- commenters are free to say whatever they like (for the most part), but as a favor to me, could you please cut Shelton a little slack.

    I have tried. Really tried. There were times when I held myself back, but sometimes he simply needs to be given a dose of reality.

    Among Shelton's problems (besides his writing style and his drive to have his name in print) is the fact that he really is often incredibly sophomoric about what he writes.

    That's exactly why I said that if he wants to be a good writer he needs to give up the hagwon job and go to grad school and learn about Korea.

    Yes, I know you have problems with some of the stuff he writes (and the manner in which he writes it), as do quite a few other readers, apparently. I'm well aware of this. But please, the Marmot's Hole is a blog, not the NYT. I appreciate that readers want to see the highest quality posts possible, but some of the slagging on Shelton seems, well, a tad excessive, especially given that I've been known to post absolute crap from time to time as well.

    Your "crap" is still world's better than most of his.

    I don't think anybody is doing him any favors by letting him think his crap is somehow good stuff. It's not.

    He needs to go back to school, and he needs to lose the "everything I think is a witty thought" attitude.

    Personally, I am sick of know-nothing people coming here and "playing" reporter. Even some of the big-name journalists in Korea are very amateurish in their knowledge base about Korea, and it shows in their writing.

    Another Shelton is the last thing we need.

    Marmot, I know it's your blog and everything, but I really think you need to consider pulling the plug on this guy. You may not realize what a service your blog is to so many people, and Shelton is crapping all over that.

    Nobody's complaining about Yangban or Oranckay. It's Shelton and only Shelton. His presence is turning your blog into "White hagwon teacher in Korea blog."

    And you know that for me it's not about Shelton's political views (supposedly we're in the same end of the spectrum).

    Anyway, I've said my peace, for now at least.

  6. [The following comment is a response to this comment to another post, but I have chosen to respond here due to relevance.]

    Ahssa staff (aka Shelton) wrote:

    Why don't you ask The Marmot to let you guest blog? I'm sure he'd agree to it.

    I think it's very telling that you would suggest this.

    Maybe you think that my criticisms of your posts on Marmot's Hole are simply because I would like to do what you're doing. If that is the case (and I emphasize if), then you are missing the point. (If it's not the case, then I apologize for the implication.)

    Marmot has never asked me to guest blog, and I certainly wouldn't go asking him. If someone wants to read my posts, they can simply go to my blog. If I have written anything particularly noteworthy, people will link to it at Marmot's, which has happened several times. Marmot himself has linked to my blog at least twice that I can remember.

    I'm not interested in aggrandizing myself by being a guest blogger at Marmot's. No offense, Shelton, but it seems that's mostly what you're about.

    I also don't really think that most of what I write about would be appropriate as a Marmot's Hole post. Much of it just wouldn't fit. If he ever did ask me to guest blog, I might do so, but it would be infrequent and sparing, with an emphasis on "guest."


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