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28 October 2008

This is goodbye. I don't feel comfortable or safe here anymore. [More:]This used to be a light fluffy loving place. It isn't, anymore. And I think once that genie escapes the bottle you really can't stuff it back in.

I love you all and I will miss you but I need to spend less time on the internet and more time living my life.

And do be careful with the cilantro.
Not knowing any specifics, I assume that one of the reasons you don't feel comfortable or safe here is that people call you on dropping statements like "I don't feel comfortable or safe here" without any further explanation.

I'm sorry you feel that way. I think things could have gone quite a bit differently.

Best of luck with the living-life thing.
posted by mudpuppie 28 October | 23:03
I don't have cute flats that match.

I was gonna wear my cute heeled short boots but they wouldn't look good with the outfit.
posted by bunnyfire 27 October | 23:10

The heels are for standing on the necks of poor people.
posted by box 28 October | 09:30

That was the last straw, for me.

I can deal with honest conversation, but that was just mean, hateful and rude.
posted by bunnyfire 28 October | 23:09
Adios, best of luck in the "real world" (eee, sounds scary!)
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 28 October | 23:11
yup- that WAS fucked up.
posted by small_ruminant 28 October | 23:12
Well I pretty much try to avoid you entirely but plenty of people here seem to like you so maybe you can come back after the election season is over.
posted by puke & cry 28 October | 23:14
I have to say that it took a ton of restraint on my part not to respond to your comments here.
posted by special-k 28 October | 23:15
That was a pointed comment, yes. I think that in a perverse way, though, you tend to invite pointed comments because you don't actually address/engage the more thoughtful ones. People get frustrated. It's no secret that your politics are different from the politics of the majority of participants here. There is nothing wrong in that, in and of itself. There is nothing in that that invites hatred here. You yourself acknowledge (or imply) that people here are generally kind.

If you're leaving because there's been a breakdown in the discourse, I think it's fair to point out that you have been a part of that. I also think it's true that any political opinion you express will probably be jumped on. But you know, this is a political season. This site is made up of people who believe what they believe. Conversations like that are going to spring forth. It's just a fact.

Let's not steer away from the fact that you have helped create this, bunnyfire. I'm sorry you feel unsafe. But I think that could have been headed off a long time ago -- and by you. The way you handle political threads isn't really a shining example of how to handle political threads. So it's a little bit unfair to cry foul when other people don't handle them well either.

Again, I wish you the best in real life.
posted by mudpuppie 28 October | 23:19
Mudpuppie, this is supposed to be a friendly place. This isn't Metafilter.\

Or at least it didn't used to be.

And that is why I have to go.
posted by bunnyfire 28 October | 23:26
Fly on then, little sparrow.
posted by mudpuppie 28 October | 23:29
bunnyfire, you simply don't get it. Glad you've decided to move on.

posted by special-k 28 October | 23:35
I'm not glad. Sorry you're leaving, bunnyfire.
posted by small_ruminant 28 October | 23:44
I'm not glad. Sorry you're leaving, bunnyfire.

me too.
posted by MonkeyButter 28 October | 23:47
I'm not really sure what to say, other than I look forward to emailing you and asking you questions about your political beliefs, as you invited me to do a while ago.
posted by TrishaLynn 29 October | 00:28
Plenty of people have participated here and then stopped. Most don't announce their intentions. I think it's better that way.
posted by mullacc 29 October | 00:32
I would be happy to have a coffee and a cookie with you sometime IRL, dear. Good on ya for getting right with your life on your terms. Be well.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur 29 October | 01:24
This used to be a light fluffy loving place. It isn't, anymore.

When I think back about threads that have turned acrimonious recently, most of them were started by you with the full knowledge (and, one can't help but suspect, intention) that it would rile people up. I wish you well, but do leave knowing that you were quite plainly part of the problem.
posted by cmonkey 29 October | 01:45
Check back in whenever you feel like it after the elections, bunnyfire. It's a tense time all around... I personally feel like a mad, careering drunk, two-thirds of the time maniacally refreshing news and poll sites, and the other third desperately trying to pry my brain away from the election by any means possible. I certainly wouldn't want to be trying to relax at a site that was majority pro-McCain, so I can understand your decision.
posted by taz 29 October | 02:26
It's always a shame when someone who has been here a long time decides they no longer want to hang out here, because it always feels to me as if the community has failed that person in some way.

But you know what? Plenty of people have tried hard to engage with you lately and you have just ignored them. Perhaps it's because they challenge beliefs that you hold dear and you don't know how to respond, perhaps it's because you hold the opinions of others in such low regard that you don't warrant them worthy of response or maybe it's something else altogether. Nobody has treated you with the lack of respect that you show for other people's opinions and that has often resulted in an escalation of frustration all round. Sure, that comment you quoted above is a bit below the belt, but I suspect more of a symptom than a cause and certainly not representative of the interactions that happen here all the time. But you know that.

Still, I'll miss you while you're gone and I wont be able to admire you for sticking to your beliefs no matter how unpopular (particularly when you know in advance the reaction you will get). Come back when you feel you can - we'll still be here and nobody will think less of you for taking a break.

God speed.
posted by dg 29 October | 03:15
You were as disingenuous as anyone I've ever met. Go hang out with the freepers if you can't defend your beliefs and assertions here. I think that's really where you truly belong.
posted by trondant 29 October | 03:19
Think about coming back a few months after he election. Tensions are high now..
posted by danostuporstar 29 October | 06:13
When I think back about threads that have turned acrimonious recently, most of them were started by you with the full knowledge (and, one can't help but suspect, intention) that it would rile people up. I wish you well, but do leave knowing that you were quite plainly part of the problem.

posted by chewatadistance 29 October | 06:53
I'm popping back in to say something.

I did not start those threads to be disengenuous. I happened to start those threads because they are as much my life as others-jonmc in his bookstore, mygothlaundry with her real and painful struggles....I made the mistake of thinking it was okay to be myself here.

This thread has proved me right. If I can't be here now, no need for me to be here after the election.

And whuffles?

They are fictional.
posted by bunnyfire 29 October | 07:06
bunnyfire, you are a good person. I didn't read the original thread but I imagine box was trying to be funny and clever but it came off as mean. I shouldn't speak for him but that is my opinion because I get the impression that he is a very decent person.

It's always nice to take a break from the internet. Like others have said, things are extra tense at the moment. I hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving, a very merry Christmas, and a happy new year. Take good care, bunnyfire.
posted by LoriFLA 29 October | 07:07
whuffles to you bunnyfire.

Again, things are very tense. People interpret differing political opinions as a personal attack. I wish it were not this way, but I think we're all guilty of it to a certain degree.

I cannot wait until this election is over so we can all start thinking and speaking of other things. Like turkey and stuffing!
posted by LoriFLA 29 October | 07:10
How can we miss you if you don't go away?

And by that, I mean of course, don't go away and then no one has to miss you.

bunny, you've been a dear friend for years now, and I know you sometimes get tired of being the odd man out, but I also know that you can't stand to be away, so I feel confident in saying, "See you real soon."
posted by ColdChef 29 October | 07:22
bunnyfire, luv - 7 of the 10 posts you've made here in October have been election-related. I don't think anyone else has made so many, or even come close (though I'm not keeping track, so I may be wrong).

This is obviously something you want to talk about, and you're bringing it up a lot, but you also know that most people here disagree with you, politically. If you wanted to just come and chill and talk about other stuff, you should have posted about other stuff. If you want to post about politics, you need to be okay with people disagreeing and even being rude.

We don't edit comments (with very rare exceptions), so there's no guarantee of being comfortable or safe when you want to wade into deep waters. To everyone's credit, people here really are a lot more restrained and polite, even about emotional issues. You've been pushing to talk about this particular emotional issue a lot, though... for whatever reason, and your chances of being offended increase as your number of political posts increase, which is something I'm sure you already know.
posted by taz 29 October | 07:54
Look, when I and another bunny are talking about footwear and someone else cracks that my high heels are for stepping on the poor, that is beyond the pale.

Most all I have shared here has to do with me or what is happening locally-it's as much a part of what is going on with me as the grandbun's birth was almost two years ago.
I am in the thick of it (not my choice, an accident of marriage) and I wanted to talk about what was going on in my life.

It's not my politics being rejected.

It's ME.
posted by bunnyfire 29 October | 08:52
I'm not glad you're leaving, bunnyfire. We may disagree politically, but I tend to stay away from those threads.

I hope that in a few months this place will calm down a bit and you feel safe coming back.
posted by muddgirl 29 October | 09:27
Wow, I need to start checking back in here.

bunnyfire, we've never butted heads. I think I'm happy about that. But I'm of two minds here. Part of me is sad, because I love MeCha for all the same reasons you do/did. It's a fun place, to laugh, share, emote, cry, and be myself. I came here because it wasn't MeFi, and I was tired of that rot.

And I think I'm saddened because you feel like you're not welcome.

But . . . the more jaded side of me wonders if you might be feeling, in your sense of rejection, what so many others have felt as a result of the opinions you hold, and those who align with you. And you know, maybe that's not such a bad thing.

Either way, all of me wishes you good luck, and I hope you continue to learn and grow.
posted by tr33hggr 29 October | 09:35
i have a fish of disapproval. in my pants.
posted by quonsar 29 October | 09:50
It's not my politics being rejected.

It's ME

That probably feels good to say, but it's not you, or your politics, that's being rejected -- it's your refusal to recognize your own complicity in setting yourself up as a martyr figure. It's your behavior.

You have been mostly (with a few refreshing and encouraging exceptions) refusing to engage in a substantive, earnest, and respectful conversation about your beliefs. You have also then thrown out bait like the thread you are upset about right now (which, come on, was not about footwear and you know that, as do we all. It is indeeed disingenuous to suggest that you thought it was). You know these threads are likely to act as bait, because others you have posted that are just like them have resulted in similar conversations in the very recent past. It is almost as though you wanted to keep going until you prompted a result bad enough to create a small drama over.

You DO have a choice about what political activities to engage in, and you have choices about what to say in posts and comments. No one but you is responsible for the things you do.

Politics is the daily stuff of my life, too. In the last two months, I have been to numerous events and been involved in many hours of volunteer work and writing about this election. Regardless of that fact, I have restrained myself from posting about it frequently, because I know that politics is a topic people will become tired of and that the political atmosphere is sensitive now. Just because I'm engaged in political life doesn't mean I need to bring it here and lay it at your feet, poking at you for a response. When I do post something political, I do my best to stay honestly engaged with it and not go flouncing off in a huff when someone, disagrees with me, as you have many times.

I think what you are calling "unsafe" others might call "being accountable for the effect of your actions." When you post or comment here, you are inviting response, and the response may or may not be to your liking. Political contributions are likely to draw political responses, and you know that. Take some personal responsibility. No one comes here to victimize others. You're not a victim, you're volunteering.

I do think a break from the internet is a great idea. Get outside, talk to people you really know. Since you want to consider yourself open-minded about politics, I challenge you to talk to someone in RL on the other side of the political aisle. See if you can start a coffee-shop discussion group with some ground rules you find accessible, and try to find some common ground with people - try to really understand them and ask them to understand you, while being willing to be honest and forthcoming and admit your own shortcomings when you are willing to point out those of others. I getting away from the dramatic dynamic you've set up here will do you a world of good.
posted by Miko 29 October | 09:51
As usual, Miko has hit the nail on the head.

And whuffles are most definitely not fictional. I would know. I invented them.
posted by Specklet 29 October | 10:12
Miko, you are awesome. I wish I could put things as eloquently as you do.
posted by msali 29 October | 10:40
nthing Miko.

I wish you well during your time off, bunnyfire, and I hope you spend some of that time reflecting seriously on your own behavior and resolving to take better responsibility for the ramifications of your behavior on others, whether or not you decide to come back to mecha. Playing the martyr is not an honest, healthy, or happy way to be in the world, completely regardless of one's demographic or political beliefs or personal life.

Take care.
posted by scody 29 October | 10:45
Wait, wait, now, now.
If bunnyfire repeatedly insisted on pleading ignorance to what seem to us to be painfully obvious, made moreso by frequent repetition, let us give her the benefit of the doubt:
She is incapable of being consciously aware of her own actions, behaviors, disregard of others or perspective when there are tiny details to pick apart as personal attacks because her fragile sense of self is threatened by questioning that which she espouses, which she did finally admit at one point to not having thought out to any conclusively significant degree.
Her need for our indulgence and pity is not helped by enabling her to play out this same persecution complex over and over, when she has repeatedly claims she is not capable of perceiving it.

So godspeed to the help she needs, because it is not and should not be here.
posted by ethylene 29 October | 10:49
This is all my fault, I should have never posted that NSFW appliance.
posted by StickyCarpet 29 October | 11:09
Add an s, drop an s, but i'd feel safer and more comfortable (as would others) if we didn't indulge people's psychopathologies.
There are forums for that, and the decent ones have moderators with the verified qualifications to prevent the perpetuation of misinformation and enabling negative behaviors.

This is why group therapies are not recommended for those who seek validation that perpetuates and exacerbates this type of thinking.
posted by ethylene 29 October | 11:12
mygothlaundry with her real and painful struggles....

No, don't drag me in here as an example, please. When my life got overwhelmingly awful, as it has in these last three months, the worst of my life, I decided to quietly take a break for others' sake as well as my own. (When your life is so impossible that you're bound to derail a 3 point weekly report by simply reporting the current facts than there's no point in posting it. It's not fair to anyone.)

I'm not interested in being the center of a pity party or the focus of some sort of group therapy. People here have been hugely helpful and totally sweet but in my mind, that is not what this place is about and when it got to the point where I couldn't focus outside my own head, then I knew it was time to quietly step away for a while.

So do not use me as an example, please. Miko & Taz & others above have said more eloquently what I feel as well.
posted by mygothlaundry 29 October | 11:42
You are awesome Miko. We made a special shout out just for you.
posted by special-k 29 October | 11:56
Wow that is so sweet! I loved the SF gang when I got to meet some of 'em not long ago. For the record though, I am as full-to-the-brim of fuckup as anybody...all we can do is keep tryin'.

And yeah, as eth and mgl pointed out, some needs just have to be met in ways other than online check-in with a friendly sympathetic cohort. MetaChat is great, but it's not fully therapeutic on its own.
posted by Miko 29 October | 12:30
bunnyfire, I've been trying to figure you out for ages. I have pointedly, though quietly, refused to react to you, because I didn't want to engage.

I agree with Miko and others who call for you taking responsibility for your actions. It's hard for me to understand how you can't seem to see that you have been poking the sleeping dog. That dog has meanly snapped at you when it can't take it anymore. That doesn't excuse the dog, but it certainly provides an explanation.

Here's what I've finally decided. I think that though you self-identify as an arch conservative, that identity doesn't reflect your true values on some level. That is why you've come to a place where the majority of the community has polar opposite beliefs from those you claim. I suspect that you are in the process of examining your core beliefs, and fighting with the possibility that they don't actually align 100% with what your friends and family expect from you. When you poke people here and they respond, it gives you external reassurance that "NO WAY could you be like THESE people, just look how horrible they are!" And then that allows you not to have to address your internal dialogue. It's scary to go against the grain in a situation like yours. Your husband is enmeshed with conservative politics, your church/religion requires that to be a good person you believe the way they want you to, and if you "Came out" (oh the irony) as being less than a perfect conservative, you stand to lose a lot. And you're not ready to lose what you fear you will.

But you're also not happy. I sincerely hope you are able to come to terms with your internal struggle. In the meanwhile, you may be right to stay away. If/when you come back, please be mindful not to poke anymore.
posted by Stewriffic 29 October | 12:39
Considering your politics flat-out advocate bigotry I'm amazed there hasn't been more hostility. Several of my dearest and longest friends are gay. It has been VERY VERY difficult to interact with you here knowing you espouse beliefs that see them as unworthy of basic human rights, and it is only my respect for everyone else on the site that kept me civil.
posted by kellydamnit 29 October | 12:44
i don't want to go all diagnostic and probably shouldn't have used terminology like persecution complex so glibly, but let's not presuppose anything about her internal dialog or lack thereof.

i've mentioned before that there is a point when a policy of tolerance starts to collide with the sound belief that not dissenting alludes to and reads as consent.
There are so many issues i'm not going to bring up now about how very disturbed i have been on things said, with and without explanation, and, to focus on a specific point for clarity if nothing else, just the oft repeated position she hold against homosexuality is so offensive to me that i have often considered leaving myself rather than hold my tongue.
Others simply leave.
There's been a degradation here because of both those things, loss of users and self inflicted muteness, and there has been a dampening quality on this community.

If she cared about this community as a community instead of insisting on her personal needs being met by it, it may have been evident to her, and she has stated repeatedly that is has not.

"We do", "we are"--
We, as in this community, generally avoid lumping us into labels and groups and do not exist for the purpose of allusion to a faceless mob that thinks what one person does for the purposes of that person.
Here, when one agrees with another, they often say so themselves. As it should be.

Ultimately, people have to take care of themselves and no one can make someone learn, know or act towards that end without their want of it.

We are flawed and we are different and we are many things but what we are are individuals who care to some degree about a community we have had part in creating. The well being of its individuals is for the greater good of the community, so we try to assist, but we can't make anyone do anything they don't want to do.

Each new day does not obliterate the day before, it is just another opportunity to try again.

So all of you be well and come and go, but the things you don't want to hear don't go away because you say they do any more than Jesus rode dinosaurs.
posted by ethylene 29 October | 13:38
don't worry, if McCain wins she'll be back for the gloatfest of the century
posted by matteo 29 October | 13:54
We are flawed and we are different and we are many things but what we are are individuals who care to some degree about a community we have had part in creating. The well being of its individuals is for the greater good of the community, so we try to assist, but we can't make anyone do anything they don't want to do.

Beautifully put.
posted by MonkeyButter 29 October | 14:00
yup. and applauds miko, while I'm at it. Be responsible for yourself. and hi mgl.
posted by chewatadistance 29 October | 14:04
I'm mentally favoriting the living hell out of that last comment, eth.
posted by middleclasstool 29 October | 14:15
I don't know why I feel the need to type this. Maybe it's because I'm pretty sure people get it, but it's still just under the surface, so I'm not sure if people get it in a way they could articulate. Maybe it's because I just read this, and I'm having my daily WTF PEOPLE moment. Like I said, I don't know why I need to insert this into a thread that's (rightfully, thankfully) winding down, but I do. So here it is.

There is a very ugly (or is it delicious?!) irony in the fact that bunnyfire is leaving (or threatening to) because she feels uncomfortable and unsafe her. She feels that any disagreement with her opinions is a referendum not on those opinions, but on her.

So let me just say: Bunnyfire, welcome to how it feels to be gay on a site frequented by bunnyfire. Welcome to how it feels to be gay in the freaking United States. Never 100% comfortable. Never 100% safe. Always looking over your shoulder, wondering which person in the crowd hates you, which one would act on that hatred if given the chance.

Now you sort of know how it feels, even if your experience with it is on some silly internet site, instead of it being a day-in/day-out concern.

I'll leave it at that. Don't want to get too soap-boxy or single-issue.

But seriously. If you have even a single ounce of common decency in you, and if you have any respect at all for the people here you've spent time with, try to take something away from that. Try to do your part to fix it.
posted by mudpuppie 29 October | 14:16
She feels that any disagreement with her opinions is a referendum not on those opinions, but on her.

pot, meet kettle. talk about your delicious irony!
posted by quonsar 29 October | 15:04
Here in the last week before the election, things are really tense. Count me as another Mechazen who has left most of her politics at the door. I've saved that for politicalfilter. Bunnyfire, many of your recent posts have been overtly political; did you truly not expect them to get unpleasant? Have you really shown the respect for other opinions that you want shown to yours? Also, I note that another mechazen responded to the comment with disapproval, which I think is a good sign.

Those who want to analyse & label bunnyfire's psyche; not a good use of MeCha.

Bunnyfire, let the dust settle, and then I hope you'll rejoin the community.
posted by theora55 29 October | 15:08
I happened to start those threads because they are as much my life as others-jonmc in his bookstore, mygothlaundry with her real and painful struggles

This is a perfect example of the selective blindness to which many people here are referring. To claim that your political posts are the equivalent of others posting about their lives is, frankly, horseshit. What goes on in The Bookstore That Shall Remain Nameless doesn't directly affect the lives of most of the people here, nor does someone's job search, what someone made for dinner, or what a great day it was for a bike ride in someone's home town. Not the same thing at all. Even then, if you had engaged in the constructive conversation referred to above, it might not have gone this way. You didn't; it did. I agree that some of the comments directed at you were harsh and possibly uncalled for, but I do think that this is a situation largely of your own making.
posted by elizard 29 October | 15:38
It's not my politics being rejected.

It's ME

Well, from my point of view, when your online behavior started to remind me of that of my Crazy Ex (a description confirmed by doctors, hospitals, etc. and currently residing in a 'group home' that does not accept non-crazy people), I no longer considered myself "comfortable or safe" in any forum with you. Especially since I have finally come to realize how much of her "delusional" behavior was in fact manipulative lying (which got her some very nice things in her life, that she subsequently broke). It was my own delusion, that I used to excuse my misdirected sympathy toward her.

In fact, the way you have staged your big exit here is chillingly similar to things she did that got me begging for her to return and abuse me some more. DISCLAIMER: Yes, dealing with someone in MetaFilter & MetaChat provides a very incomplete picture of how that person is in real life. But I don't trust you, and I can't imagine anything you could ever do to gain my trust. That's just me.

And it's really NOT your politics; I have also recently cut off a real life acquaintance who is a fervent Obamanite for the same reason. Politically, I used to think you were having a codependent relationship with the GOP, but now I can't imagine you in any relationship where you don't beleive you have the upper hand. And that's why I think you've given up on the Metas.

Good Bye.
posted by wendell 29 October | 15:56
Oh for pete's sake, y'all (including bunnyfire). It's a website. That's it. You're not living or working or even eating with each other. You can avoid each other all you like. No one here that I've noticed has seemed likely to come to my meatspace door and cause havoc. Comparisons to neighbors or exes seem pretty extreme.
posted by small_ruminant 29 October | 16:23
I'm wendell's ex. And I'm peeking in your window. Right now.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson 29 October | 16:31
No one here that I've noticed has seemed likely to come to my meatspace door and cause havoc.

::knock knock knock:: Better go answer your door, small_ruminant...

posted by ThePinkSuperhero 29 October | 16:34
Please come cause havoc at my place next, TPS. I'm waiting, with dangerous cocktails. (You, too, Flo)

And... I think we've all had our say and then some, so let's close this.

go here, instead
posted by taz 29 October | 16:48
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