Tuesday, November 16, 2004

MetaBlog: See Previous Post 

Why does the below entry have no comments? Well, from a purely technical standpoint, I'd rather have deleted the ones we had, and started over. But blogger doesn't allow you to delete selected comments. I felt it was better to just get rid of them altogether.

But why delete any of them? People were accusing me of serious evilness -- evilness which the following blogentry specifically pre-empts, but apparently it wasn't enough. Things got out of hand, and we started calling each other names.

Okay, I started calling people names.

For THAT I am sincerely sorry.

I apologize for swearing. It was dumb and childish. But I was mad -- I was being accused of believing all sorts of things I didn't and wouldn't ever say, and all sorts of things I am not and never have been. Even the most mature of us have trouble being falsely accused, especially when being accused of such heartless evil things. I'd rather you all learn and understand that teachers are human, folks -- learning from robots is pretty silly.

For the content of the blog entry, though, I am not at all sorry. I stand by my position, and my fully appropriate tone, and the respect and care given to address not NMH or its programs, or any individual charitable organization, but a relentless issue of institutional ingrained-ness.

So please read this entire entry TWICE before emailing me with your comments. Please note, as well:

1. If it looked like I "belittled the presentation" look again. This was not about the quality of the presentation, and I said nothing about its quality.

2. If it looked like I was suggesting that I wasn't going to give to charity this year, look again. United Way is A charity, not the only charity. It's not the point, but I give plenty, and wish everyone gave more than they do now.

3. If it looked like I have problems with United Way, look again. This wasn't about a particular charity. It was about exclusivity -- so the case would have been the same for any charity or organization presented to me as "this is the one WE support, an you're one of us."

(3a. Okay, I do have some concerns with United Way and other similar blanket organizations. I'd rather advocate for direct donation to the programs that United Way supports than trust some larger organization to make the decisions about distributing those funds the way I think they should be. I'd rather give money directly to the food bank or the red cross than pay for the overhead administrative costs of United Way, too. But that's not the point, and I digress.)

4. If it looked like I was dissing the NMH Outreach Program, look again. Outreach is not United Way. Outreach is involved with more programs than just United Way, too, and I love that. I would have loved a presentation on giving through outreach, honestly.

5. If you're hurt, then let's talk. But I have read this to myself over and over again, and I find I can take no responsibility for hurting you. All hurts I have seen are based on MISreadings of the following text, and misreading is on you, the reader, not on me, the author. My complaint is with a tendency in organizations in general -- unless you are "organizations in general," then I have not suggested that anything you do or say here is problematic, wrong, or bad in any way.

If there's anything I can't stand, it's ignorance. Eradicating ignorance is why I teach. It's why I write. And it starts with close reading. So if the above italicized stuff didn't make sense to you, do us both a favor: go down to the next entry and read it. If you've already read it, read it over again. And if you have any comments about it, leave 'em here.

But try to be civil about it. And please, try not to accuse me of being stingy, uncharitable, anti-United Way, anti-Outreach, anti-NMH, or anything else that just plain isn't true and/or is specifically refuted by the contents of my actual blog post.

Thanks, friend.

posted by boyhowdy | 10:59 PM |

I missed all the drama in the comments, but want to say that I agree with you entirely. Your "organized vs individual giving" post made complete sense to me and I agree with everything you said. I can't figure out how it offended anyone unless they were looking to be offended, or if they only skimmed the post.

I have the same issues with United Way here at work. I donate to the charities directly for the reasons you stated in section 3a.

(I am using 'commenting' instead of emailing so that I can be public about my support.)
The giant "heart" sign at the campus entrance. The red ink filling in as the days pass. The twice daily drive-by reminder-guilt-trip that you haven't sent in your form and aren't part of the 100% "heart."
The personal (to the staff) email from your Dean.
That last one put me over.
I even felt bad that I did not increase my per-pay deduction.
Today I noticed that the heart was red all the way to the top.
When I think about it, every job I've ever had has given me the opportunity to give (to The United Way) through payroll deductions.
I REALLY don't mind giving!! But you're right, it is more "heart"felt when one takes the initiative.
My preference is food and clothing to agencies that don't get government support and serve people in my own community.
There's a small rundown house where volunteers called "Friends of the Night People" operate. And there, whether you want to give or receive, you can just show up.
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