Saturday, April 3, 2010

Gentle April Post Number 3: Expanding The Gentle

Someone pointed out, in his comment at someone else's blog that I had "said [I] was going to be nice in April!" (He was alluding to a nasty comment I had made before him at that same blog.) In fact, what I wrote when I announced 30 Days of April Gentility was "those of you whose blogs I read should be prepared because my comments in the month of April are bound to be even more offensive than usual."

But point taken, Steve.

I have tried to remember all the sites where I have left any nasty comment so far in April and I have gone back to them and removed the comments. This is not an attempt to send them down the memory-hole; I am not denying that I wrote those comments. I did write them. What I'm saying is I think Steve was right to point out that it was pretty bogus of me to announce that I would refrain from any boorishness in April and then just be even more boorish and uncivil in my comments.

So I removed those April comments as a good faith gesture; as an indication that my Renunciation of All Boorishness for the Month of April has now been expanded to my comments on all of your blogs. (As far as I can tell, there is no way to delete your comment from a Wordpress blog; so, Wordpress bloggers, any nasty April comments I made are still there; you can delete them yourselves if you'd like to contribute to this month-long effort to Increase The Civility.)

This may leave me with very little to say when I visit your blogs, of course. I was never one for leaving short, sweet "good job on the PR!"-type comments. I can recall a time when I did leave such a comment at a blog whose owner was used to my boorish comments and the blogger in question contacted me privately asking, "What have you done with the real Glaven?" I don't want to throw people, so I may comment minimally for the rest of this month. But even if I don't comment on your blog much in April, rest assured I am still reading.

Further expansion of Genteel April, Stylistic Tics Division

One of the most annoying things I do on my blog — it is the single greatest source of complaints from commenters — is resort to using footnotes — often long, tedious and irrelevant ones. As stated in my previous post, that is my DFW homage, and I am the first to admit that it has become something of a textual tic in my posts. I think my writing is destined never to improve if I keep on relying on the same facile crutches; and I would like to see it improve, if only a little bit. When I first resolved in my mind to make April Genteel, I thought one of the first things that needed to go was the footnotes. But I didn't say that in the post in which I announced Genteel  April and, in my first April post, I made generous use of that loophole and use six footnotes.

I am, it seems, no good at policing myself so I have to write it out so that the rest of you (mostly Steve, I suspect) can call me on it: No more footnotes in April!


Now that the cheering has died down ...

I have to leave for my third running of the annual D&R Canal 5k. A race report will be forthcoming, either tomorrow or later today.

O, and I guess I should also issue a blanket apology to all on whose blogs I left uncivil comments this month: Sorry, folk!


  1. A month without footnotes!!! Well, crap. I use the footnotes as a way of getting myself up to speed. Sometimes I read the whole post, noting the footnotes, their context, and any meaning that might be there, and then go read all the footnotes, making sure I get it all put together in one seamless, coherent whole. Other times, I come to a footnote, scroll down to read the footnote, then back again. This warms up my fingers and scrolling abilities. Such as they are.

    I thought the whole thing about blogging in April was quite clear. But then, I'm like that. I'll be in a meeting, and after a discussion I will come to what appears to be a satisfactory understanding of the issue, it's antecedents, the procedures to get to the desired outcome, the acceptable though less desirable outcomes, and any other follow up that might happen. And then, from my point of view, the meeting goes off the rails into lala land, with pointless discussion of friviolities, impossible outcomes, arcane procedural points of dubious relevance and other such time wasting notions. Meanwhile I'm catching up on my sleep, waiting for the rest of the world to get with the program again and END the effing meeting already, please and thank you. The only meetings I like are the ones *I* run. Sheesh, how'd I get here anyway? Hope you're having a great Easter with Teh Heisenfamily.

  2. I missed the comment exclusion principle of April gentility. Mea culpa. But doing penance by eliminating footnotes seems a bit extreme. Would David Foster Wallace eschew footnotes? Would William Wallace? Would Wallace and Gromit?

    I'm sticking to form - I'm injured. Again.

  3. Bummer. Sometimes, I'll JUST read the footnotes, and base my comment on that.

  4. Hmmm... apparently threatening to punch one in one's Fallopian tubes (FYI it is 'oviducts' to those of us that have taken a biology course within the most recent 2 decades) is not considered ungentle.

    Actually, I am pretty glad you did not delete it. Truth be told, it made me a little hot *flamboyant tranny wink*

  5. no footnotes? okay, now the gentile gavin i'm okay with, but no footnotes? that's just...just...boring.