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May 27, 2005

Comments

You do not insult me.

i disagree. your sample non-insult is a longwinded way of calling someone ignorant, misinformed or clueless - it's still an insult, and is usually intended as one, no matter how clever or subtle the words.

I'm supposed to get married tomorrow. The officiant had an accident, someone lost her cell phone and someone else forgot to bring his phone charger and hence had his phone off, my dad's luggage got lost, and there are a couple of family feuds I'm just finding out about which are going to screw up the seating. I don't know why people do this to themselves. Anyway, it's a tough time to be civil.

I'm supposed to get married tomorrow.

Holy crap! Congratulations!

Can we get a Happy Marriage Rilkefan Memorial Open Thread in here posthaste?

Better wait to see if I survive the next 26 hours and 18 minutes, or the "memorial" part might be too fitting.

rilkefan,

I know it doesn't seem like it now, but that's minor stuff. However, if you need to invoke it, don't forget that today and tomorrow you and your fiancee are THE BRIDE AND GROOM TO BE, who's happiness is to be paramount and the reminder of such is known to quickly settle all disputes (at least for a day or two).

Oh, and don't forget to use your new power to cut in line for another piece of cake. MMmmmmm, cake.

i disagree. your sample non-insult is a longwinded way of calling someone ignorant, misinformed or clueless - it's still an insult, and is usually intended as one, no matter how clever or subtle the words.

I have to agree with this. With respect and love for C.S. Lewis, his construction and the sort of linguistic gymnastics hilzoy is advocating are no less insulting than simply telling someone "I think you're lying, and as evidence to support this statement I submit foo bar baz."

This kind of flowery language is witty and often entertaining to read, but at its core is still an accusation of dishonesty, nonwithstanding the ironic (and transparent) assumption of good faith which anyone with an IQ above that of an oven mitt knows is neither honest nor heartfelt.

I have no reason to automatically assume that most of the regular posters and commenters here are lying, so most of the time I shy away from accusations. But when certain people demonstrate--by consistently repeating false statements long after they've been corrected--that they are deliberately and knowingly lying, there is no value in validating their dishonesty by sugar-coating it. It needs to be called out for what it is.

R:

Wolle die Wandlung. O sei fuer die Flamme begeistert.

Best of luck.

Chamomile tea for everyone, flavored with Benadryl.

Congratulations and Good Luck!

"It needs to be called out for what it is."

Why?

If it is obvious to everyone, it is simply tiresome to alert the crowd to that which most are making great effort to ignore. If it is not obvious, it should be argued with cites and such so as to make it obvious. Whatever is done should be done in an entertaining fashion.

"Charles is ruining the site." went from offensive to boring to funny again because it was so boring. It is back to boring. I can forgive anyone except a bore.

I'm supposed to get married tomorrow.

Congratulations!

rilkefan,

Mazel tov.

" there are many ways of getting your point across that do not involve incivility"

There are, but your example was not, I think, one of them. It is a mistake to believe that linguistic aptitude or metaphorical imagination have any bearing on whether a comment is accusatory or insulting. There's a nonzero number of commentors who seem to believe it, and believe that if rather than 'you're a liar', they offer 'that's a fine talking point but you know it isn't true', they're somehow more civil. The test of whether a comment is civil or not is whether the commentor genuinely means to communicate civilly and with goodwill towards his or her fellow commentors, not their choice in phraseology. To suggest otherwise is, I think, to encourage a kind of style-over-substance that naturally does much to encourage style but little to encourage substance.

Lewis' response, for example, can be boiled down to 'So you feel bad about it. Good, you should feel bad.'. His version is more enjoyable to read and I'm sure was more fun for him, but in a test for whether it's appropriately civil, it would pass or fail just the same as the short version.

No, no, no. Lewis's comment is ironically channelling Mr. Collins's writing style in Pride and Prejudice. His friend was probably able to read through the tortured, fake-nice hyperbole to get the joke.

This kind of triple-coded insult wouldn't work on a public blog, obviously...

I've often reflected that you can tell what a nice man Charles Dodgson was by the fact that in his guide to writing letters he recommends that if one must criticize a friend when writing to them, make your criticism of such hyperbolic proportions that your friend will know you don't mean it. Well, clearly Charles Dodgson's friends could tell he didn't mean it, anyway...

Congrats to Rilkefan; someone is getting a very sharp spouse.

What if someone actually is lying? Is it wrong to call them on it?

"Liar" has somehow become a radioactive barb, when it was initially a descriptor applied to someone telling a falsehood or otherwise obfuscating the truth. I find it ironic that in a climate in which prominent political figures casually lie more and more, it's become common practice to become vehemently offended at someone who actually calls someone else a liar (witness the faux outrage over the contentious issue of whether or not John Kerry had actually called Mr. Bush a liar, and then the scramblings and parsings to demonstrate first that Mr. Bush had lied without actually being a liar, and then the similar wordsplicing to prove that Kerry had pointed out that Bush had lied without actually calling him a "liar.")

"Liar" is not the same as "poopypants." It is not a playground insult. You are not just flinging mud when you assert that someone else - even someone with whom you're having a civil and intellectually honest conversation - has distorted the truth.

"Liar" is not the same as "poopypants." It is not a playground insult. You are not just flinging mud when you assert that someone else - even someone with whom you're having a civil and intellectually honest conversation - has distorted the truth.

No, but I think it's fair to say that in 99% of common (especially blog-common) usage, it's inaccurate. It's become a synonym for 'confused' and for 'ideologically misguided' and for 'wilfully incurious' and for 'mistaken' and for 'differing in definitions of terms' and for a hundred other things, none of which mean 'liar', which is reserved for people who unironically assert things that they know full well when they assert them to not be true. No matter how much you think people who disagree with you are lying, they nearly always believe what they're typing.

OK; I concede error. I do think that 'liar' is uncivil; I now add mine to the uncivil list -- but not Lewis', since he was kidding, and as he was writing to a friend, he had some reason to be confident that his friend would know that he was kidding.

I nonetheless maintain that it is possible, e.g. by providing all the evidence that leads you to think someone is lying, to make your point without being uncivil. My example, however, was not one of them.

And rilkefan -- yay! and best of luck. (Why doesn't everyone just not feud during weddings? I have never understood this.)

JFTR, Hilzoy, where and when have you been on the receiving end of overt incivility here at ObWings?
I mean, you get arguments and counter-arguments on your posts (brilliant as they typically are) all the time, and I (as a fairly regular reader) haven't seen any open insults (i.e., comments starting "Hilzoy, you ignorant slut...." or anything) or accusations of "lying" per se.
Maybe in true Lewisian style, they are well-coded and/or pretty convoluted, but I'm baffled: please elucidate.

Oops, too quick to hit "Post"!
rilkefan: mazel tov!

Me? Not much, though TtWD did sort of make up for the relative absence of horrible comments directed at me when he compared me to Walter Duranty. I was just using me as a convenient hypothetical example, in more or less the way that on those (mercifully rare) occasions when I have to talk to students about ethnic slurs, I typically talk about imaginary anti-Swede slurs, being half Swedish.

I can't recall exactly, but I think Blue also called me dishonest once, and maybe also a person who doesn't love her country, and I have some vague memory of his comparing me to a car, though what that was about I don't know.

I nonetheless maintain that it is possible, e.g. by providing all the evidence that leads you to think someone is lying, to make your point without being uncivil.

I suppose I made the mistake of assuming Charles would read the comments in his own blog entry.

As for civility...there is civility, then there is faux civility, which I think might actually be worse than incivility.

If someone is lighting your house on fire, is it impolite to call him an arsonist?

Like others, I don't think that a larger vocabulary eliminates incivility, it just obscures it. Instead, incivility seems to be rooted in the inability to let someone else hold a different idea, which is pretty bizzare if you think about it, because it's not like you can pluck ideas out of people's heads and eliminate them by a display of verbal pyrotechnics. Of course, this sort of behavior does serve, if taken seriously, to undercut the standing of the person, and hench, it is just like bullying, as the goal is to make people like the insulter more than the insultee.

What I don't get is why people are so tied to their verbal pronouncements. I think a lot of incivility would disappear if people didn't feel that what they said or wrote reflects the totality of their being and essence and any attack on it constitutes an attack on their being. I don't understand why it is so hard to back away from an assertion, but it seems a lot like the coconut shell monkey trap, where you put a handful of rice in a coconut shell that has hole only large enough for the monkey to reach their hand in, but if they make a fist, they can't pull it out

Unfortunately, what I often notice is a sort of defensive posturing with comments, in which someone makes a short cryptic comment that encourages responders to get angry and start to flail while, at the same time, never revealing precisely how their cryptic comment reflects their personal beliefs.

"Liar" has somehow become a radioactive barb
Interestingly, in everyday conversation in Japanese, especially among younger people, when someone says something surprising, the other person will say 'uso!' which means lie. I remember getting really bent out of shape when that was the reply until I realized that there was nothing attached to the notion. If you haven't I strongly recommend the book (or the various threads on) Harry Frankfurt's entitled _On Bulls**t_ (they can be found by googling 'bulls**t philosophy_),

Jackmormon's observation is quite interesting, and pulls up the fact that within a community, the shared knowledge and context makes things that appear rude, condescending, insulting not so much and conversely make things that appear to be appropriate very very rude. My daughter just had her preschool 'reunion', and though she hasn't been bullied, talking to some of the other parents, I heard some horrific bullying stories. But the one that strikes me (in regard to this) is one girl who has a girl sitting next to her and what she does is call her name and then ignore her. Apparently, this isn't even a clique of kids doing this, this is just the one girl. What strikes me is that at the heart of this is just the idea that she is exerting power over the other person. 'hah, made you look' sort of thing, which, when transferred to a comment section is 'heh, I made you answer'. This encourages the person answering to load up the comment with some nasty, but very subtle (especially here, since overt nastiness is treated pretty harshly) zingers to ensure a reply to the reply.

On preview, I note that Hilzoy has reconsidered (an example of being the change that that she wants to see?) and JayC wonders if she has been insulted. I think that Hilzoy is not defending her honor (as it were) but trying to deal with questions in another thread.

And BTW, omedetou, rilkefan. The thing that is most disturbing about the actual wedding is that it seems to be a metaphor for the rest of your life, in that you seem to be losing control of everything and you really can make no more decisions. You are. Just get used to it ;^)

Rilkefan:

Happy wedding! On our weddingday the house couldn't be reached from the guests hotel because there was an unplanned parade, two of the witnesses were too late to witness, my mother-in-law felt it was so boring that she started reading a book throughout the ceremony and the party, my maid of honour got ill halfway the day --- and it still was the most beautifull day I could imagine ;-)

mazel tov indeed!

the only piece of advice that I got on marriage that I remember (told to me by a venetian glassblower on our honeymoon):

when you fight, hold hands.

all my best.

Congrats rilkefan! FWIW, my research (from personal experience and extensive interviews with all two of my friends) suggests that unless you are (a) a performer at heart and (b) blessed with uniformly wonderful family and friends, your marriage is more just something to get through rather than enjoy. Crionna may be correct in saying that a reminder that "it's your day" may help rein in unpleasant behavior, but in fact it's not for you so much as it is for the audience.

Re the original topic, it may be that hilzoy's model comment is no less civil in fact, but I find it both more entertaining for the audience and somewhat more conducive to continued conversation -- the humor and style take some of the edge off of what's otherwise a pretty unfriendly statement.

your marriage is more just something to get through

Erm, I meant of course, your wedding. This was not a Freudian slip, no no no no no, of course not. I swear, honey.

I think a lot of incivility would disappear if people didn't feel that what they said or wrote reflects the totality of their being and essence and any attack on it constitutes an attack on their being.

That's a two way street though LJ. Many commenters seem to believe that a single statement by a poster or another commenter reflects the totality of the writer's being and essence and attack them as if it were; as if to refute the comment one must utterly destroy the writer. You don't have to sugar coat things, but saying "some might see that as a bigoted comment because..." is much more civil than saying "you're a bigot", because from that point to admit that "Gee, I didn't think of it that way, thanks for the info" brands you as a bigot rather than someone with something to learn. In effect you leave the writer with no retreat. The result is a fight.

That's why the threads that are more fun, or drive many of us to discuss rememberances (like past wedding horrors) or even those that diverged into discussions about the appropriate tools to have in a home toolbox or arguments over the relative merits of beer, whiskey and BBQ are so valuable here and why Moe is missed. They remind us that we're not so different and that apart from some differences politically, we're all pretty much for and against the same things and have a lot to learn.

And now I'm off to hear a great vibraphonist at Yoshi's*

* See Josh, I get out to the hinterlands sometimes ;P

Rilkefan: Congrats and the very best to you and your bride. Bachelor party, yes?

Remember weddings, like funerals, are for everyone except the guests of honor. Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to live through it.

You will.

Will you read a poem during the ceremony?

All the best to Rilkefan and spouse!

As a former Mormon now resigned to singledom, I have to ask: do you already own a cuisanart?

And Crionna, can I presume by your remark about Yoshi's that you live in the East Bay?

Rilkefan,
My father gave me a valuable piece of advice on my wedding day: "Be careful what you say. Hurtful and harmful things cannot be erased. They just sit there in the air between you." You could appreciate the source of this recommendation if you knew my mother well! ;-)

Congratulations, and may you have many years of happiness together!

Anderson: Congrats to Rilkefan; someone is getting a very sharp spouse.

Yeah, I hear she's great too.

hilzoy: I typically talk about imaginary anti-Swede slurs, being half Swedish.

Okay, if you won't give us the DaveC Memorial Hemlock Soup Recipe Open Thread nor the Happy Marriage Rilkefan Memorial Open Thread, how about the Imaginary Anti-Swede Slur Open Thread?

and I have some vague memory of his comparing me to a car, though what that was about I don't know.

...or the Why Is Hilzoy Like A Car Memorial Open Thread?

John Thullen: Remember weddings, like funerals, are for everyone except the guests of honor. Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to live through it.

So, not like a funeral then.

Or, for that matter, a Why Can't Anarch Stop With The Open Threads Memorial Open Thread. Hey, I'm flexible.

Congrats to rilkefan. Just remember that when you hold your wife's hand when walking up the aisle, keep yours on top -- it's the last time you'll have the upper hand!

Congratulations Mr. and Ms. Rilkefan! May all the hassles seem funny in hindsight.

rilkefan, let me join the throng of well-wishers -- may you have many years of happiness.

Unfacetiously now:

sidereal: No, but I think it's fair to say that in 99% of common (especially blog-common) usage, it's inaccurate. It's become a synonym for 'confused' and for 'ideologically misguided' and for 'wilfully incurious' and for 'mistaken' and for 'differing in definitions of terms' and for a hundred other things, none of which mean 'liar', which is reserved for people who unironically assert things that they know full well when they assert them to not be true. No matter how much you think people who disagree with you are lying, they nearly always believe what they're typing.

This is all true enough, but there a number of problems with this reasoning. The first is that the belief defense wears pretty thin when someone maintains their belief in the face of the substantive evidence. At that point you could argue that they're not lying because technically they have chosen to disbelieve reality...* but the term for that is somewhat worse than "liar" and I doubt using it would improve matters any.

The second problem is that, well, you're correct that what we're really suffering is an epidemic of bullshit (in the Frankfurtian sense) and not lying per se, but we don't have an acceptable term for that nor really even a space within our conceptual lexicon to process it. How does one define the "wilfully incurious to the point of criminal negligence"? Can one consider them "lying by omission"? Is "zealotry" an appropriate term for someone who refuses to accept information that contradicts their internal Weltanschauung and simply asserts, as a matter of faith, that something holds? There's a huge definitional gulf here that, pedantry about "lying" notwithstanding, needs to be filled with a pejorative term, and fast.

The third problem is that it's enormously difficult in our present culture to catch people who are, shall we say, free with the truth if they're willing to continue being free with the truth in their defense. We know the Administration has done it -- hell, I put up a link (stolen from Kevin Drum) concerning Larry Di Rita's lies about the Newsweek story yesterday -- but so what? Nothing will come of it: our system of public justice (as distinct from our system of legal justice) only convicts those who admit wrongdoing, irrespective of the evidence brought to bear. There are occasional exceptions -- Tom DeLay might yet be one -- but they're notably precisely because they're exceptions. If calling such people "liars" will help stop this practice and give them the censure they deserve, I'm willing to accept a certain amount of definitional imprecision.

[I think I may have mentioned the troubles my dad had with a colleague who, having screwed up, a) blamed it on my dad and b) continued lying -- and, better yet, changing the lies with every new iteration -- non-stop for nine months before she was eventually given a lateral promotion to get her the f*** out of Dodge. The problem was simple: as long as she kept incessantly lying and never admitted her guilt, no-one was willing to actually contradict her and break any sense of "compromise". Had I realized that this would be a microcosm for modern American politics, I'd've made my dad write a book on it.]

The last is simply definitional: "liar" usually carries with it not just a simple assertion of that which a person believes not to be the case, but an additional connotation of an intent to deceive. That's the truly hard part to prove since it's inherently Karnak territory (and therefore inadmissible to certain types of people); one can sometimes demonstrate a sufficient contradiction between actions and nominal beliefs to show the latter aren't genuine, but how on earth do you take that extra step to demonstrate that, to pick a not-at-all-controversial example, Bush deliberately told untruths in the run-up to war with an intent to deceive the American public? Absent a genuine skepticism -- or, more pointedly, present an unwillingness to consider the alternative -- it's functionally impossible to ever "prove" that assertion to any rigorous standard. It doesn't make it false; it simply means that those who want to believe will and those who don't won't and any notion of "truth" or "justice" falls by the wayside.

[The same is true of "belief" too, but then we're right back to the whole "disbelieving reality" schtick.]

The upshot is that while I'm willing to help crack down on abuses of "lying" as a surrogate for "mistaken" or confused; or for "ideologically misguided" or "differing in terms", provided that the ideology or the terms fall within acceptable bounds; I'm not particularly willing to play language patrol on people who are, for example, arguing that the Bush Administration "lied" in the run-up to the War in Iraq when the important thing is not the precise term employed to cover the Administration's collective mendacity but the fact of that mendacity itself.

Since this is a much longer and more pointed post than I'd planned to write, I'll forbear anything further except to wish rilkefan many happy anniversaries to come :)

* Less tendentiously, I suppose one could replace "disbelieve reality" with "reject the evidence as incompatible with their internal Weltanschauung and therefore false" but that's longer and not a whole lot more flattering.

One more thing: nothing about my original post was meant to suggest that long words made the difference. It was the assumption (ironic or otherwise) of the target's good will. The writing style was a combination of me being me and me having just reread the CS Lewis letter, which I adore, not the point at all.

Congrats, rilkefan, and best of luck!

I have enormous respect for people eager and willing to enter into what I think is life's biggest challenge, bigger even than parenthood*: the joining of two adult, sovereign individuals into sworn, permanent roommate-ism.

(*At least with parenthood you have more or less total control over your offspring for a couple of years at the start, plus the expectation of the kid moving out at some point. :)

Just one bit of wedding advice for you and your bride: Don't go into it thinking "This will be the happiest day of my life." That particular saying has always struck me as shortsighted, since it doesn't say much about your expectations for every day of the rest of your life afterwards.

That's a two way street though LJ. Many commenters seem to believe that a single statement by a poster or another commenter reflects the totality of the writer's being and essence and attack them as if it were; as if to refute the comment one must utterly destroy the writer.

crionna
That's an excellent point, and that looks at it from the 'attack' angle of people responding to others. Ideally, both sides should be considered.

And hilzoy, you are right that you didn't suggest a bigger vocabulary solved the problem of incivility. Sorry about constructing that strawman.

And Crionna, can I presume by your remark about Yoshi's that you live in the East Bay?

You certainly may not! ;) I live in The City below Lillie's Tower where Dentists from Danville roar on their dressers and tourists in recently purchased sweatshirts vainly* seek the steps to said tower.

BTW, if anyone is interested, the vibraphonist I went to see tonight was Gary Burton, discoverer of Pat Metheny and a four-mallet phenomenon. Nothing quite like a vibraphone to sound like water playing an instrument. His latest disc** is wonderful.

BTBTW, I learned today that restauranteur is spelled without the "n". Will the wonders of spellcheck ever cease?

*Unless they run into me. I'm very happy to direct them figuring I owe the travel karma wheel a lifetime of kindness to tourista.

**Of course I originally typed "album". Showing my age fer sure. Cheers!

Catsy: But when certain people demonstrate--by consistently repeating false statements long after they've been corrected--that they are deliberately and knowingly lying, there is no value in validating their dishonesty by sugar-coating it. It needs to be called out for what it is.

Offering this as an example of two ObWing regulars holding determinedly opposite opinions:

I believe that the 2000 Florida Presidential election, that delivered the Presidency to George W. Bush was a massive fraud. Tens of thousands of voters who were likely to vote Democrat were illegally removed from the electoral roll: tens of thousands of ballots were not counted: George W. Bush "won" by a margin of 537 votes: and when all the ballots were eventually counted and the result announced (unofficially, of course) it turned out that a majority of the votes had actually been cast for Al Gore.

Slartibartfast does not believe that any significant numbers were actually prevented from voting: that the ballots which were not counted would have changed anything: and that the margin of victory was insignificant. (He may also disbelieve the unofficial count: I don't recall that he's discussed it.) (Further, I may have got his beliefs wrong: if so, I apologise.)

Sporadically, I mention the Florida election, and Slartibartfast pops up and accuses me of repeating errors, and we have a brief or lengthy fight about it depending on the thread topic, and really, it's almost come to the point where we could just say "Florida election fraud" and "Florida election NOT fraud!" and we'd know what we were talking about, though it might confuse others... ;-)

But I honestly hold my beliefs: and I do Slarti the credit of assuming he honestly holds his. Yet Slarti honestly believes I am "consistently repeating false statements long after they've been corrected" and I regret to say that I honestly believe the same of him. Nevertheless, neither of us are liars.

really, it's almost come to the point where we could just say "Florida election fraud" and "Florida election NOT fraud!" and we'd know what we were talking about, though it might confuse others... ;-)

Sadly, no, it wouldn't ;)

Anarch: Oh, yes, exactly like my funeral, and I hope yours, will be. ;)

Sadly, no, it wouldn't ;)

Well, I was thinking of newbies. ;-)

Anarch, it's my understanding that the prohibition on accusations of lying is in the "insulting other commenters/posters" category, not the "offensive language" category. So until the Bush administration starts commenting here, you're free to argue that it lied.

Ben Franklin attempts to learn humility:

"I made it a rule to forbear all direct contradiction to the sentiments of others, and all positive assertion of my own. I even forbid myself, agreeably to the old laws of our Junto, the use of every word or expression in the language that imported a fix'd opinion, such as "certainly", "undoubtedly", etc., and I adopted, instead of them, "I conceive", "I apprehend", or "I imagine" a thing to be so or so; or "it so appears to me at present".

When another asserted something that I thought an error, I deny'd myself the pleasure of contradicting him abruptly, and of showing immediately some absurdity in his proposition; and in answering I began by observing that in certain cases or circumstances his opinion would be right, but in the present case there appear'd or seem'd to me some difference, etc. I soon found the advantage of this change in my manner; the conversations I engag'd in went on more pleasantly. The modest way in which I propos'd my opinions procur'd them a readier reception and less contradiction; I had less mortification when I was found to be in the wrong, and I more easily prevail'd with others to give up their mistakes and join with me when I happened to be in the right. "

Did this method cure his pride and teach him true humility?

"I cannot boast of much success in acquiring the reality of this virtue, but I had a good deal with regard to the appearance of it."

"JFTR, Hilzoy, where and when have you been on the receiving end of overt incivility here at ObWings?....Maybe in true Lewisian style, they are well-coded and/or pretty convoluted, but I'm baffled: please elucidate."

They were devilish cunning: blistering invective cloaked as "great post, hilzoy", and volleys of scathing marriage proposals. No wonder she complains of incivility!

On the eve of your glorious day, Rilkefan, the words from the priest in The Princess Bride come to mind:

Mawwage. Mawwage is what bwings us togethah today. Mawwage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam...Then wove-- twue wove-- will fowww you fowevaw...So tweasuah your wove...Have you the wing?
The best to you and your blushing bride.

On the subject of civility, being accused of lying just isn't complete without being called evil as well. It's 85 in Seattle, so it's time to go out, enjoy the sun, tip over some old people, be rude to children and kick some pets.

"...and volleys of scathing marriage proposals."

I've picked up the impression these may not be met with the degree of comfort or innocent compliment they're presumably intended as, although I may be all wrong, for whatever that's worth.

"It's 85 in Seattle, so it's time to go out, enjoy the sun, tip over some old people, be rude to children and kick some pets."

Although I have much closer mountains to appreciate here in Boulder -- mountains I can walk to in just a few blogs, er, blocks (that was an actual typo) -- I occasionally miss Seattle, a town I became extremely fond of in eight years of living in. Do you prefer tipping old people, and the like, in Volunteer Park, Gasworks Park, or elsewhere, Charles? Would it be closing in too far to ask what neighborhood you live in? (Ditto other Seattleites, artificial or otherwise.)

I'll be doing my business against old people, children and pets today on the Burke Gilman trail with the kids, biking from Gasworks to Lake Washington. I grew up West Seattle, went to school at the U and now I'm in Everett, less than a mile from Scoop Jackson's house.

Incidentally: Princess Bride -- wonderful movie. Princess Bride -- far more wonderful book. (Although I did spend much of the length of a ride being from O'Hare to a major Chicago hotel trying to disabuse the convention gopher sent to pick me up for the Windycon (science fiction convention) I was one of a zillion guests at, back in the Eighties, of her insistent belief that S. Morgenstern existed and that the book was a rediscovered old book that Goldman merely provided the introduction for; I gave up after a while, and changed subjects.)

"... biking from Gasworks to Lake Washington."

Kewl. As I may or may not have mentioned here before, I've lived at two places on Capitol Hill (602 12th Avenue E, and 606 15th Avenue E), in the U District (4227 Eighth Avenue NE), and in the Denny Regrade (address escaping my brain at the moment, but it was a studio apt a couple of blocks from the Space Needle, on a block bordered by the monorail), back between 1978-1986. I haven't been back for over fifteen years, though, and I know the town has grown and changed a fair amount.

I did particularly enjoy walking home from work in Belltown, picking up ingredients for dinner at the Pike Place Market, and then home a few more blocks. I was amused years later to be put through a motivational film at a job (here in Boulder, about two years ago, actually) that used clips of the fishmongers at the PP Market to demonstrate people enjoying their work, or somesuch point.

It figures that they'd create the Science Fiction Museum only after I left town.

Currently I'm living in the vicinity of Greenlake, not far from Northgate in the Licton Springs neighborhood. Since I became a FTE at an e-com company on the Eastside, however, Jess and I will be moving over there in a few weeks, nestled nicely between Crossroads and Factoria.

For those to whom that means anything. :)

Is this an "I'm from Seattle too" thread? I lived there for a couple of years also, in Wallingford just a few blocks north of Lake Union and Gasworks Park. Used to ride the Burke-Gilman trail myself to the University. Don't recall seeing anyone kicking dogs or small children, so I guess Charles wasn't around.

"I lived there for a couple of years also, in Wallingford...."

Many of my best friends (and, okay, a sweetie or two) lived in Wallingford. I used to visit Jane Hawkins and Vonda McIntryre about once a week or so, along with a few other skiffy households, there, averaged over a few years, during the Eighties.

An awful lot more people seem to have lived in Seattle than grew up there, but I'm not fussy, having been an Artificial seattlite in my own time.

I didn't mean to neglect Greenlake, a lovely spot last I looked, in mentioning the two (or three, depending upon definitions and allusions) parks I most lazed in in My Time.

I'm born and bred in NYC, but, y'know, lakes and mountains: good addition to a place to live.

My favorite Seattle memory (before ubiquitous digital cameras) was a ramen shop on University Ave 10+ years ago with a cheery sign hand lettered sign that said 'Yes, we have espresso!' Perhaps now, that doesn't even merit an announcement.

LJ,

On a similar note, I remember visiting in 1992 or thereabouts. Inevitably I got lost, and was driving around some industrial area when I decided to pull into a gas station to figure things out.

Much to my amazement this typical grungy gas station had a sign in the window saying "espresso." That was a revelation.

And Crionna, can I presume by your remark about Yoshi's that you live in the East Bay?

crionna doesn't, but I do. I've been trying to convince him that there aren't really dragons under the Bay Bridge.

You certainly may not! ;) I live in The City below Lillie's Tower where Dentists from Danville roar on their dressers and tourists in recently purchased sweatshirts vainly* seek the steps to said tower.

You'd think that Mark Twain quote would be sufficiently well-known that people would pack appropriately for a visit, but it never seems to work out that way.

The amazing thing isn't the signs themselves, but the fact that they didn't say "expresso".

nestled nicely between Crossroads and Factoria.

It's not as bad as it sounds, as long as you're too close to the freeway. Bellevue suburbia. We ended up riding yesterday from the Wall of Death (under the Eastlake Bridge) to Logboom Park (and a little beyond) in Kenmore. The highlight was at a rest stop near Sandpoint, when seven baby ducklings waddled right up to us and tried to follow us around. One little duck was standing right on my foot, and they even let us touch them. Never seen 'em so tame. Mom and dad were nearby just sitting there. The second "highlight" was at Logboom Park when my son was riding down a flight of stairs and popped a tire and we didn't have a patching kit. Thank God for cell phones, because we found a bike shop less than a mile away that was still open after 5:00. Dinner at Red Robin and a tired drive home. Today we're going to Rachel Lake and maybe Snoqualmie Falls on the way back. Gotta strike while the weather is hot.

That would be not too close to the freeway.

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