Friday, June 20, 2008

There he goes again....

OK--let me clarify a couple of things right at the beginning here... I SO didn't want to write this post, but the more that I read 'out there', the more I felt I needed to say something. Secondly, I hold NO judgment towards anyone one I generalize about here, though I might point fingers and do a little name calling. I'm not sure. Thirdly, even though I usually close comments when I pontificate, I think I'll leave them open.

I'm not sure where to start with this. I originally thought of writing a fairy tale, but things are too serious for that. I don't want to come off as sounding superior than anyone, either, but I don't know where exactly this will all lead...

I have come to be much more aware of "community" in the blogger world. Within our own HNT community, some of us have witnessed some severe attacks on the whole concept. A couple of years ago, there were some very nasty things said about a particular HNTer. For the most part, they were made by 'outsiders' who had no clue about the nature or concept of HNT (either you get it, or you don't. That's still a bit of a problem today...). Unfortunately, there were nasty comments made by her fellow HNTers as well, and eventually, she closed down her site. But HNT persevered through that adversity, and today we are a pretty friendly group of nekkidists. Sure, there's still some people who think that HNT is nothing but fat people looking for an excuse to show skin, but after 3+ years, HNT holds quite a bit of credibility, whereas many of the naysayers have come and gone. Tenure is often a good thing.

One positive aspect of this community is the open-door feeling we have for new people to join in on the festivities. No membership, no applications, no registrations. You want to be half-nekkid? C'mon down! What I welcome from this is the chance to see what communities the newbies come from. And this is what my pontificating is about today (wow--only took 4 paragraphs to get to the point...). If you are unaware of what I'm about to talk about, then consider yourself lucky. I'm not going to link, or name names. You can be anonymously horrified, much like I was. If you DO recognize what I'm talking about, then I think you know where I'm going with this.

There's another community out there that I was not aware of until a couple of months ago. It might sound familiar (except the half-nekkid part). A community of bloggers from all points of the blogosphere. A community that had very specific 'favorites'. A community much like ours, in that you could find the same circle of commenters on everyone's sites within that community. Not a bad thing. But then "it" happened. Let's refer to it as the "Situation". The Situation involves flirting, adultery, deceit, desertion, back-stabbing, disappointment, and a variety of other words. And probably alot more that we'll never know about. At the core of the Situation were two of the more popular bloggers in that community. Three actually, but I can't tell how involved the third was within the community. Maybe even a fourth. Strangely, these two or three or four are not at the center of this story. It's the rest of the community. As I began to get a sense of what had transpired, I became acutely aware of blogger boundaries that had been crossed.

All of a sudden, sides were chosen. And if you were on one side two weeks ago, you might be on the other side now. Two-facedness (huh?) was running rampant. And the name-calling. Oh, the name calling... And the stone-throwing and the self-righteousness and the pontificating (trust me--I wouldn't last a day over there!). As I read dozens and dozens of comments, and then another dozen different blogs, each with their own take on the Situation, I came to realize that I didn't particularly like this community. True, there were some who tried to make peace and calm things down, but they were pretty much ignored.

The second wave of action came from those who looked at things over there, and decided that if this is what blogging was all about, then they were going to close things down, because the "fun" factor had been taken away. The inevitable third wave was the same people deciding that they wouldn't close down because calmer heads prevailed and talked them down.

So what was/is the outcome of all this (and there's really SO much more)? An entire community of bloggers who have stuck their collective noses into the real life business of 3 or 4 single bloggers. Noses that had NO business being involved. Noses that compounded and extended the stress and strife of those individuals. And, at the same time, attacked each other. Nothing is ever going to be the same over there. Friends turned on friends, strangers stirred the pot, things were written that can't be erased, fantasies turned to reality, and realities didn't match the fantatsies.

How does this affect our HNT community? In reality, I don't think it does at all. Maybe we're all insecure enough in ourselves that we know that we need to play nice. Maybe we just don't take ourselves too seriously. Whatever it is, I hope that we never get to the point that they did. There are a few from that particular community that also do HNT. My point to them would be that you're more than welcome here. We will welcome you with open arms, a smile on our faces, and without prejudice. I would hope that they have already experienced that.

Am I suggesting that the HNT community is "better" than this other one? Of course not! Let's face it. We have plenty of adulterers (sorry for the harshness...) who make no bones about it. We have a variety of bloggers who still think that HNT is a "sex thing". We have mommies. We have professionals. We have students. We are an equal opportunity community. We've learned how to play nice. But I know that we'd rally around our own if we ever were somehow attacked by the ignorant. And we'd be really nasty, too!

After looking back at three years of HNT, I think we're a pretty good bunch of people. Sure, we have our quirks, but that's a natural occurrence. So I say raise your hands high, and then give yourselves a huge pat on the back, and a high five to the person next to you. In the grand scheme of things, we're doing just fine!

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