RE: Plonking for fun and profit, was Re: Fred Reed - The Dave Barry of Racists

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Sat Aug 04 2001 - 15:00:03 MDT

Michael Butler writes

> Lee Corbin wrote:
>> Wow! First, do you know that "plonked" means that someone
>> has engaged an automatic process by which (roughly speaking)
>> a certain person's posts never even get to his mailbox?
>> If this isn't a frightened tactic of self-censorship, then
>> I don't know what is.
> You yourself have said it. :)

Um, Michael, no offense. But I'm really not clear what you
mean in this and some succeeding sentences. I believe that
you are often prone to sarcasm (though I could be mistaken).
In these serious exchanges, I would appreciate very much
some redundancy in your paragraphs---just for the sake of
understanding them.

>> I hasten to add, that quite often
>> experienced discussion list members employ plonking not to
>> prevent their eyes from meeting disagreeable points of view,
>> but rather because someone's posts over a great deal of time
>> have shown themselves to be without content, or too long, or
>> some other non-partisan cause.)
> Oh, gee, let's utterly abnegate the immediately prior paragraph.

Um, now is this sarcasm? I suppose so. What are you trying to
say about my first paragraph? Did you agree? Did you disagree?
I honestly cannot tell.
> Lee, I invite you to consider the evidently-unpondered possibility
> that _vocally plonking_ someone can be something very different from
> "a frightened tactic of self-censorship". It can be a tool of
> diplomacy no less than walking out of a stalled negotiation, or
> (as some have implied) the "cut direct".

Plonking is a "tool" of diplomacy? Sorry, but it is saying, "what
you have to say is so worthless that I'm simply closing my ears.
So take that! You!" We are *not* negotiating anything here;
we are trying to find what is true and what is false. Cutting
off communication (or even pretending to) does not further that

Now, about "frightening self-censorship". My choice of words
wasn't good, but I guess they get the idea across. I was not
talking about _vocal_ plonking, which (as I have said before)
is puerile in addition to what I said in the previous paragraph.

No, "partisan plonking", i.e., at least when it is done just to
delete incoming mail so that disagreeable arguments don't have
to even be noticed, is close minded and intellectually crippling.
(Again, I must hasten to add that experienced people on lists
have many "non-partisan" reasons for plonking, e.g., perhaps
plonking an entire thread, which not being personal, is entirely

> In my case, I had had enough. If you have deduced that the sole
> cause of my recent plonk was "partisan", I can do nothing for you
> except to tell you you are in error.

Michael, it is never true that you "can do nothing" for me
or anyone else. You can always point out what is true. I think you are about to do in:
> The behavior I was reacting to was indeed disagreeable.
> Was it a "point of view"? No, a simple (stupid) behavior;
> the (my) last straw for the time being.

Sorry; could you be more explicit? What was the exact "behavior"
that elicited your (a) _verbal_ plonk (i.e. announcements) and
(b) your silent plonk (if such existed)? Thanks.

> _Silently plonking_ someone is different. How would you, Lee,
> know to criticize?

Now what *are* you saying here? Are you saying that I have
ever _verbally plonked_ anyone? (No, I have never.) OH!
And I am *only* asking---I didn't mean to imply anything
by that :-) Are you saying that I since I couldn't know
that someone was doing it, I couldn't criticize it? Well,
I criticize people closing their minds to opinions that
they disagree with (if that answers your question, and
my apologies if it doesn't).

> Plonking means never having to deign to respond. It gives
> me more time to talk to scary looking street people.

Again, your meaning is obscured by probable sarcasm. Since
sarcastic behavior is often genuinely enjoyable and funny
(no joke), you might follow it up with another sentence that
amplifies what you really mean.

> Having said this, I do consider every plonk a species of
> failure. In some cases, it's a failure to avoid stepping
> in something unappetizing.

Why doesn't one just omit reading some post, or following
some thread? Lack of time prevents me from following all
the threads and reading every post. But I'm just never
sure (as perhaps you are) that I'll be *permanently*
uninterested in some discussion.


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