What else happens when I talk too much

Like a post I wrote in April, this is going to be one of those self-indulgent things bloggers write that's really just of some passing interest to maybe a few people. You're more than welcome to pass it by.

So anyone as cynical as I've been in my life would probably listen to what I said in Description 54 and wait for the other shoe to drop. Indeed, these concepts of transparency and honesty in podcasting and among those who do it have their shades of grey, and leave it to me to eventually tromp through them.

Around the start of this month, keeping up the PAB momentum, I met up with a few podcasters at a pub in town. Conversation and alcohol flowed freely, and moved to another pub down the street. At some point, while being recorded by one of the podcasters, another podcaster, perhaps the greatest standard-bearer among us of transparency/honesty, started dissing yet another podcaster who wasn't there, who's liked among much of the community but who I've found in my limited experience with him to be kind of a blowhard. Not evil by any stretch, but sort of annoying. I said something like, "well, I'm not one to talk about that guy..," gave the impression I was agreeing with the dissing, and then demured when a gesture was made to the recorder doing its thing. Demuring was clearly not the favoured activity of the night, so I was prodded, and I felt like I would get more hell for not saying anything more than if I had.

That, of course, was wrong.

So I went on, just basically giving my perception of the guy in a way that can only be fueled by three Guinnesses, one Steam Whistle and a lack of experience with small, Hemingway-esque groups. After that, we all continued with other directions in conversation, and only near the end, the recording podcaster announced that nothing would be edited out. I was in no headspace to dispute this, especially considering the temper of the night, so I left it alone, thinking he may reconsider. Not surprisingly, that's not how he does things, which I completely respect.

A week or two later, the recording was posted, and I could suddenly feel some empathy for Jesse Jackson - although there were no calls for the removal of appendages. :-) While I don't think I sounded as bad as I might have, I was still pretty mortified, all the more because I knew I had no one to blame but myself. However, I also waxed and waned about saying anything about it, in part because I hoped it would blow over, and in part because I didn't want to seem like I didn't believe in this honesty/transparency thing. But to be truly honest, I don't believe in dissing people by name in public (though I don't think Stephen Harper counts - see the complexity of the grey areas?). People have enough to go through without other people throwing crap at them. I'm not a flame war person, a person who starts fights and calls it debate, a person who thinks she can let any hurtful thing fall from her mouth and then hide behind the mantle of honesty to call it some noble deed. That's the US talk-radio mentality that I hate, which had actually fueled any anger underlying what I had said.

And yet, there I was.

When I heard that the "blowhard" in question had put out a new episode of his podcast, with a clip of what I'd said and a reaction to it, the bottom dropped out of my guts again. Of course, to react was not surprising, even warranted, but it just threw the reality up in my face again. Finally, I sent a message to the podcaster who'd recorded everything - not to say what he should or shouldn't have done, because that would've been stupid, but just to say how I was feeling because I respect him and care about his opinion of me. He gracefully explained his point of view and assured me not to worry, and even posted a comment to his podcast's blog saying how he'd been in a similar situation once upon a time that had worked out in the end.

After several days, a couple hours ago, I finally listened to that response to my drunken rambling. It was done mainly not by the guy I'd dissed, but his partner, and she gave as good as he got, though in a very very different way. Of course, that's as understandable as everything else. And because it was public, that's why I'm here writing this, when probably 90% of everyone has forgotten the whole thing.

When people get together, eventually dumb stuff is going to be said, people are going to get hurt. That's probably a big reason why I've not been good at getting together with people - I've been afraid of that happening, in one direction or another, or actually any direction. But that reality has to be faced. At least that's what I've been told by people who to me have made the messy messy process worthwhile - and considering all this messiness, that's saying something. But nevertheless, here on out, I'm keeping a tight rein on my own dumb stuff, and anyone who doesn't like that can kiss my ass. :-)

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