Friday, March 30, 2007


Maria promises: inane, silly, goofy and cornball sexual humor from Manola returning to this blog real soon ... but in the meantime, I just wanted to say:


In keeping my eyes, ears and heart open, I receive messages and learn, even when those messages are hurtful or uncomfortable and unfamiliar, especially if they are directed to me, but all the same if someone else is the target. And so it comes as no surprise that in the past few days with many of my neighbors preparing for Passover, I "crossed paths" (I love that idea) with a quote from the bible that sheds some light on the Kathy Sierra issue, which is -- at the end of the day -- a gift and an opportunity to reflect on who we are as human beings in a community.

Don't for a moment think I'm a religious freak. Heck, I'm not even Jewish. As a matter of fact, what's the deal with price gouging during Passover? I went to Kosher World (around the corner on Arthur Godfrey) the other day to buy a couple of provisions and you might as well call it Priceover! But I digress ...

I'm a sucker for historical documentaries and so I've stayed glued to recent programs that explain the relationship between Jesus and Judaism. Mind you, when I did my first communion, the books kindly omitted that the last supper was a seder. Whatever.

As well, a friend of mine, Pepito Cohen -- whose grandparents used to sell ties in Romania and eventually settled in Hialeah via Cuba only to sell ties again, competing with ño! Que Barato -- well, he and I have recently discussed Kabbalah at length and its interfaith implications. "The bible was the first blogging machine," says Pepito. "There must've been twenty bloggers on Mount Sinai saying yo Moses, what you talking about? They all came with their tablets and started blogging on stone."


Look it, matzoh schmatzoh. Chicken soup is universal. To me, it all seems like many a thread in a seamless fabric. It all boils down to this: LOVE, or the lack thereof.

And so this quote from the Talmud by Hillel struck a chord:

"What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour. This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary. Go and learn it."

Oh and coincidentally, this dude I pledged my heart to when I was a wee wisp of a woman -- Jesus of Nazareth -- yeah, he was a contemporary of Hillel and was quoted as saying:

"In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets."

Please indulge my heresy for a moment, as this makes me go hmm ... I would like to take Hillel's quote slightly out of the context of Judaism in particular:

"What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour ... all the rest is commentary."

If this doesn't sum up the blogosphere and its potential to connect people in a positive way, I don't know what does. If the blogosphere should establish a code of ethics, a standard of behavior, well fucking duh ... this is how we should treat others in life and in cyberspace. Just because I can't smell your BO through my monitor doesn't mean you have a right to be an asshole to my IP address.

Clearly, the folks behind Meankids didn't have a spiritual bone in them when they decided snark was the new black. What level of professionalism -- let alone spiritual maturity -- inspired a group of peers to publicly start doing unto others what they would not have done unto them?

Or are these people co-dependent doormats who just love to be insulted, derided and threatened?


Quite unfortunately, Kathy Sierra wasn't able to turn the other cheek, as Jesus would have recommended.

There is a far greater message here that I hope you, fellow bloggers, will capture. Snark and negativity does have its place in the world, of course, and it's the basis for great humor. But I invite you to look at the source of such commentary as more of a clearinghouse for the ego rather than a pure, compassionate message from the heart. When "I" make fun of someone else, "I" am only revealing a great deal of my own insecurities. I welcome you to be consciously aware of blogging from the heart, even when it's nasty, funny or crude. It's possible to have a heart and still be snarky, as long as it's in context, with set boundaries.

If Web 2.0 is creating community, what kind of community is it? As Pepito says, "People have fought wars over the bible, the first blog. Is blogging going to be the same thing? The world is still barbaric. We have much to learn."

Indeed. But the world is changing and we have the power to turn things around. Hugh (whom I am not equating with biblical prophets, by the way, he's a fine bloke, but that's not the point) recently commented: "Love and goodwill are driving this revolution. The selfish will be left behind."

There's strength in numbers and even greater strength in love. And yes, if we keep coming from the heart, the heartless will be left behind. Blog unto others as you would blog unto you.

tags: , , , blogging, mean kids, snark

related: Helen of OY

Dyck don't take it personally, when I wander so much light headed in the moors, they all seem like game show hosts to me ... is Rochester a Pansy-Come-Too-Lately? Well, when is the price exactly right, darling?


Mighty Dyckerson said...

What a beautiful sentiment. But not half as beautiful as that frigging avatar! I'd like to love thy hoo-ha all night long!!

Dayngr said...

"I'm a sucker for historical documentaries and so I've stayed glued to recent programs that explain the relationship between Jesus and Judaism." I'd love to get a heads up if you know any that are upcoming. I'm really interested in this as well.

I think you hit the nail on the head with this article. You summed it all up with the quotes and your thoughts.

There is a Code of Conduct floating aroung right now. See: Blogger Code) What do you think?

Verticus S. Erectus said...

Too bad there isn't some sort of Blooger Police to enforce the Blogger Code, not through licensed, badge wearing cops, but through baseball-bat-wielding guys with names like Guido.

hugh macleod said...

[she wants me, i can tell]

Diesel said...

Great post. One thing I like about the blogging community is that jerks tend to sink to the bottom, and nice people are rewarded.

My whole blog is based on snarky commentary, and I almost never make fun of people. Well, I make fun of myself and idiots like Pat Robertson and occasionally Jehovah's Witnesses, but I have no agenda and no grudges to nurse.

That said, the blogger code can kiss my ass.

Manola Blablablanik said...

Hello all ...

I think it all comes down to common courtesy, yes? But if a Blogger Code exists, it's because obviously such principles haven't made it online.

So look ... Kathy Sierra and Chris Lock have made a public statement.

Dayngr - I'll email you ...

Diesel - exactly. Great way of putting it. Bottom feeders stay at the bottom, after all.

Hugh, what's up with the brackets? :-)

Ann Nonymous said...

"When "I" make fun of someone else, "I" am only revealing a great deal of my own insecurities. "

So true.

It's just a matter of numbers. he law of averages says that there is always going to be a % of people who will not follow standards of being human.

G said...

This was a wonderfully thought out, well written post. Couldn't agree more and got a laugh out of Priceover. Too true.

Babygirl said...

Your new profile pick is BEAUTIMUS! LoveLOVELove it.

Diesel said...

Manola - Come play in my caption contest.

Dan said...

Blog unto others as you would blog unto you.

Absolutely! You rock! I try to do this all of the time. Others, well, they don't care. But Gandhi says that we must be the change we see in the world. Amen.

Happy Easter, Passover or whatever!

Lara Wechsler said...

I love your blog always. I have so many friends that have blogs but when I come to yours I always see a real love for writing and a great personality!!!!!!

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