Update: Case59, the member to whom I am largely apologizing below has offered his own apology in a seperate thread: www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=35&m=2776762&p=1
He asked me to lock his thread so members won't be tempted to continue the arguments (for which we have both apologized) on his thread. I ask you to respect his wishes by not continuing them here, either.
Do read his apology which is rather more gracefully written than mine, and which, at least on my part, is gratefully accepted.
OK, here goes.
So, which should I do first, the apology or the context in which I would like it understood? I think I will start with an executive summary of the apology, then do the context and finish with the apology proper.
Executive summary: In several threads today I have made ill-advised, inappropriate and unfair statements about
Casey59, attributing to him personally things that are more fairly my frustrations with certain polarized discussions we have been having lately. It was unfair of me and I am sorry for that. It also made me a participant in the discussions when, as a moderator, I probably should keep my opinions to myself.
Context: Last night, right before bed I locked a thread that had been deteriorating all day. Members from both sides of the discussion had emailed me to complain, each of course indicating that the other side was causing all the trouble. Both sides were convinced that the other side had deliberately provoked the argument in an effort to get the thread locked, but the thread had gotten so overheated that everyone seemed to agree that, while it was a shame, the thread needed to be locked. They only disagreed on who was originally at fault.
The argument seemed to center around Casey who was, for the most part, saying things that I agreed with but in an abrasive fashion that didn't seem likely to change anyone's opinions any time soon. Casey cares about
the bald facts and on the bald facts I agreed with Casey, other members (notably DavidG but there are others) worry about
the tone of the discussion and the sensibilities of members who dislike hearing treatment decisions similar to their own questioned. I agreed with them that Casey was being insensitive. So I waited until Casey said something I found not too confrontational and then typed a quick response that started with "Thanks, Casey. Well said." and locked the thread giving him the last word. I then went to bed thinking I had defused the situation.
I woke up this morning to a rather frosty short note from 142 (who may still be mad at me) wondering why I wasn't more angry about
Casey's "Peanut Gallery" comment which he found offensive.
I rather groggily wondered what he was talking about
. Then reading over the thread I had locked I found that while I was typing the note locking the thread there were two more comments posted that I had never seen. The first was from 142 saying that Casey had quoted him out of context and the second was a rather snide comment (or so it seemed to me) from Casey that read Let's open it up to the peanut gallery now...142, you're first.
That was the context in which my "Thanks, Casey. Well said" appeared. URGH! It's not an easy job being a moderator here. We do try to stick together. I didn't like how that thread had ended at all. I had tried to wait until he said something unobjectionable so I could end the "Thank you Casey59" thread on an equitable note but I was too slow. This got me off on the wrong foot today and rather cross with Casey and when more threads popped up in which Casey was his usual polarizing self I pitched in which I shouldn't have done for lots of reasons.
Hmmm. While I've been typing this you guys have continued to lay on on the other thread. Not making it much easier. But whatever...
I haven't covered myself with glory in the past day or so on the forum. I allowed myself to become frustrated and took out my frustrations in ways inappropriate for a forum moderator. Several members have suggested that an apology is necessary and I agree. In particular I owe an apology to Casey59. Here it is. This is it. It's reasonably sincere. And it's all you are going to get and more than some of you deserve.
Now please stop fighting for a while. I can't do this every day.