Better, Not Bitter

Earlier today, I received a message from a very upset gentleman. He was livid—with reason, too—because a different gentleman was unkind to someone who didn’t deserve it in the least. My first reaction was anger… towards the unkind person. I’m not the nicest of souls when I’m upset, so I didn’t contact him. I didn’t want to say things I couldn’t take back. I went and read on the evidence, instead. Then I contacted the person who was disrespected.

I was greeted by a sweet voice and an even sweeter disposition. I asked her for details. She explained that she messaged an individual, who had posted some of her work without her permission, to ask to be given credit. The person insulted her, in very nasty words… She contacted others, made the communication public on her Facebook wall and others tried to help.
                         
The fire of the helpers came very hot. So much so that the flames might have been blinding… After speaking to the lady, she and I figured out that the person in question had deleted the work that had been taken from her. We also figured out that the person had actually just shared a post that had been shared by someone else on Facebook.

But that was not the issue. The problems were the insults. So I contacted the offending party. I was upset. He was upset. His fiancée was upset. We were all pissed off, but talking… and we all understood—some faster than others *sigh*—that the offending party was wrong. Rudeness doesn’t begin to describe the behavior. He apologized, stepped down from the position that might put him in the same situation in the future. That isn’t a perfect solution, but it is a decent one…

Now, this is my problem. I won’t name the messengers, but I’ve received a total of 11 emails from people saying things like: “Edward Menten plagiarized again. And you defended him. How does it feel to get sh!t on your face?” others said, “Karma is a bitch!” and there were others along the same lines.

Can you see the problem here, my Wicked Luvs? Only two people, of those with whom I spoke, actually listened to me or took the time to go back and read. Only two people—Marjenna and Kirt—recognized the actual problem: Edward Menten was completely out of line and needed to apologize. However, everybody emailed me about a case of plagiarism (supposedly committed by Edward Menten) that didn’t take place on this occasion.

What is wrong with us that we are so upset by the past that we fail to stop, look at the evidence, and make sure that hearts and souls are taken care of before we jump to condemn someone for an offense that doesn’t even exist?

This post might have typos. I’m not going to proofread it. I’m upset and a bit disgusted by some of the actions and talks of some individuals who contacted me and others who just ran their mouths without doing any research.

But that’s okay. I’m also happy… Marjenna and Kirt reminded that although many of us are too angry to look for reasons and truths and to even care for one another, a selected few care to take the time to find solutions to problems in ways that make us better and not bitter. 
Weeping Angel by SunshineShelle 

42 comments:

  1. I wonder if people jump to conclusions based on past events (ignoring Edward's new understanding of plagiarism and all the lessons learned in the recent past) and just jump to "so and so did it again" because it's easier than thinking that it could have been someone else? Perhaps there is an unjust assumption that just because someone made a mistake in the past they're going to do it again. One would think that intelligent, educated people wouldn't get caught up that way and go running en masse with lit torches after someone who's already been burned.

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    1. Sweet Alan, I couldn't have said it better. We are so mad at the past that the present is not even there. When Kirk left a message, I contacted Marjenna, and read the past posts and contacted other people, did a little Googling... it took me less than 15 minutes to see the problem. Yes, Edward's manners leave a lot to be said, but few actually focused on that. It's sad that we've come to this...

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    2. That "once a crook, always a crook" mentality is really not the best example of human thought processes. Edward is not a crook, and doesn't deserve to be treated like one. Once condemned, forever guilty is a lousy approach to dealing with other people.

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    3. Exactly. And even if that had been the case, what is the point of contacting me to gloat? That is childish and low. How can we dance in someone pain with such glee? Is nasty!

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    4. So well said Alan. The Burning Times are alive and well, they have just taken a new form in the internet. People just need to be sentenced to a life of mirrors. :/

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  2. Honestly, I went to that post about plagiarism issue, but couldn't comment anything as I was totally out of discussion, and couldn't give any valuable reply and didn't want to give just any. However this post of yours, Magaly, shows that people are so not perfect... I hate insults, anger which come from a person, because words can cut us into pieces... Unfortunately, we face it way too frequently. It is appreciated though that he apologized. I am also sorry that you get all those negative energies.. I don't understand why people think they can just write something like this to you? I suppose you better do some protection spells, and just don't take all that too close to your heart, as I know that you are a person who still cares, and cannot ignore. Blessings and hugs!

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    1. Protection spells galore! And many, many, many hugs ;-)

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  3. Good grief! Haven't they learned anything from the trauma of the past few months???? Are they gloating publicly or just skulking in the background like before? (way to go not naming anyone lol) And congratulations on not using your hammer, even though I'm sure your fondling it as I type :D XXX

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    1. Gina... lol. ;-)

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    2. I don't know how I feel about you placing cameras around my house. You've bugged my house, haven't you? If not, how else did you know that I was fondling my hammer rather fondly? :-D

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  4. I have turned this over and over. By the time I had heard about it, the post in question had been deleted so I only had the author's and others' original assertions to rely upon that this was a case of plagiarism instead of careless post sharing. Yes, I agree the main issue is the very rude way Ms. Gittings was treated; no one deserves that, even if she hadn't been sweet and understanding about it. I think a public apology was a very good thing. I think stepping down from direct inbox interaction is a better thing, though perhaps not best.

    I say this with compassion and with kindness in my heart, not anger - those who care for Mr. Menten should realize at this point that being in a public position may be too demanding for him at this time and encourage him to take some anger management therapy, or something along those lines. I honestly hope that the apology is sincere and he realizes this is not the way rational adults interact. I can sympathize with the amount of stress one takes on when they are in a public role, but when it gets to be too much, the answer is to get support, not lash out at people.

    Now that I understand the source of the plagiarism did not come from Menten, I would hope that those concerned will turn their eyes to the originator of the meme and ask them to do the right thing. And I know for sure at least some of those involved will.

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    1. I couldn't have put this any better, and you've stolen the thoughts from my head, Kestril.

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    2. I was glad to see that Edward stepped down from the responsibility of responding to inbox messages. It's a start. Hopefully he learns and grows. Unlike others we've seen who will bare fangs and lunge for the throat first, then ask questions later. Bah... it's all way too dramatical. :P

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    3. I hope so too Snowy. I really do.

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  5. "What is wrong with us..?" Well, let me list the things:

    1. We are too lazy to read what anything really is about, and certainly to go the extra mile to search out the different parties and ask straight out. So we make snap judgments, that are often wrong.
    2. We are jealous, grudge keeping bastards, who check in now and again at sites that have rubbed us the wrong way before, to find something to shove back in someone's face.
    3. We are small minded, insecure people who only dare to speak out when we're hiding behind a computer screen. And since we keep all other shit bottled up, we really lash out on-line.
    4. We are vicious provocative trolls, who actually like to make other people upset, then sit back and watch the outcome unravel.
    5. We have the attention span of a fruit fly. By the time we are proven wrong we are bored and have long since moved on.
    6. Internet has taught us we have no moral or ethical obligations towards other people (the Earth, or anything else) anymore.

    Even things like "Fuck you, you ugly bitch. I hope you get cancer" hardly raises an eyebrow anymore. Ain't humanity grand?

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    1. YOU said it sista!...if behavior like this continues we are guaranteed to go to hell in a handbasket...

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    2. Yes! Yes! and MORE Yes!!

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    3. Thank you, kind sisters.
      I would just like to point out that I know nothing of the people or incident this blog entry is initially about. I just shared some general observations of people's behavior on-line (and to a large extent in real life too, but that's another story...).

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    4. "humanity," there are days that I truly wonder (for hours) what the word actually means...

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  6. Your first couple of sentences told me that same- APOLOGIZE (azzhat- those are my words) lol....people just REACT, they DON'T THINK.... Its less these days that they do think... Maybe while they're in utero someone was drinking some tainted water? Less consideration... Easier to react than to think logically....Now I know u are laughing at that last sentence of mine....

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    1. You've made roar, but you already knew that LOL

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  7. Until last night I was unaware there was an issue with Mr. Menten. I did however, know there was a HUGE problem with this beautiful poem going around with a few other people's names attached to it without giving attribution to the original author. Not one but at least half a dozen different pages I follow had this poem posted with the page owner's name attached to it. Hence the post on my Timeline.

    Personally I do not follow CoCW or Mr. Menten, but that is a personal matter for me and has NOTHING to do with his actions of the past few months with the Plagiarism police. I agree that maybe it's time for him to turn over managing of his page to others and seek some sort of education of how social media actually works or counseling for his anger issues. It seems to me his anger gets the best of him without much provocation at times.

    My only hesitation with this episode is that Mr. Menten seems to apologize but tends to try to justify not only his apology but his actions that lead to the apology.

    Thanks Magaly for your continued effort to bring peace where others only want to stir the shit.

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    1. I think some of the issues (and personalities) attached to this issue and issues of the sort never really change... they just rearrange themselves (if that makes any sense). Maybe one of these days they will fall into a good place.

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  8. This is revolting, The phrases "blood lust" and feeding frenzy" come to mind; I thought "Shark Week" was a media catch phrase. The mob mentality that has promoted the responses to this recent incident is no different than what we saw with the previous issues surrounding the same players.

    Magaly isn’t a plagiarist, nor does she condone plagiarism. For the love of the gods, people - she is an Author, who has had thousands of her own words blatantly stolen. ! !

    Magaly’s motivation, then and now, is NOT centered upon proprietary rights. Her focus is, and was, all about how we have approached the issue; how WE treated the accused. It is about fairness and compassion for both accuser and accused. Peacemakers often are wounded in seeking a resolution, and are maligned by those who would prefer to apply eye-for-an-eye justice. Fortunately for us ALL, these mediators also often suffer their wounds gladly.

    The torch-bearing gang that jumped on the “let’s string them up” bandwagon in August without bothering to understand the facts, didn’t care about reason, or highest good. They are the same ilk that is now attacking, dismayed because their prey/prize has once again been snatched from their dripping maws.

    So, when the traces of blood and adrenaline have dissipated, the lynch mob will skulk back into their watch towers, not having learned anything. “Harm None” isn’t only about not squishing insects.

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    1. *STANDING OVATION*

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    2. I hope we all learn a thing or three out of this one...

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  9. This is exactly what happened last time. Everyone reads from their own slanted point of view. There can be no other "right" but theirs. Everyone spouts off, not knowing or caring if there is more info available.

    Pagan Culture is the name of your blog. I would assume that most readers have some knowledge of the Pagan community. A community of people living their own lives, whatever they may be, and wanting to be accepted for who they are. Yet, I see a LOT of people being closed minded with no awareness that they may not have all the information to make an informed decision on the issue at hand.

    It saddens me that even in this beautiful place Magaly has created, others can bring ugliness and hate because they are unwilling to see that there may be a different point of view.

    Shame on those of you who are attacking first and asking questions later.

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    1. It is human to get emotional, you know? And so many times being human makes us forget to be humane. Sad...

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  10. Alan, Lorelei, and dougssunrise - all said it best. People who are out for blood need serious mental help. My other two cents is this: Any asshat who thinks badly of Magaly for helping this situation needs to be sentenced to a life looking in their own mirror and ONLY their own mirror. Gads.

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    1. The world needs more mirrors that don't distort the reflection of the self...

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  11. Recently, I have receive some things from our government and a national company claiming I owe them money. If I don't own them money, then I need to prove it. Of course, they give a list of proof that is acceptable which happens to include ONLY those things that have been officially approved of BY LAW.

    As above so below... the climate has changed in this country to: GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT.

    It just so happens that said government body could look up on the internet of another government body's website proof that I did not owe them money... but that is too much work and not their responsibility.

    THEREIN lies the problem: with a little work and inquiry considerable cost could be avoided by checking the facts. Something strange has happened in this country, however. First, checking out the facts by the finger-pointers is no longer their responsibility. What's more, what a fact is and what an approved fact is totally subjective... as if no one can be trusted for the facts anymore and the facts are the facts "if I say so".

    All of this makes me sick. At least the roman's were honest: they built the coliseum for sacrificing people for the sake of entertainment and public opinion. It had nothing to do with justice and everything to do with violence, class, prejudice, and hatred.

    In this situation, however, there are many many Edward Menton's on the internet. Edward is guilty of being unapologetic about who he is... which is ultimately his downfall but our benefit. He is honest about who he is and thus we know who he is. But he is an exception. There are many more who are guilty of genuine theft and bullying that leads to harm to others. But the majority of these nasty people hide so well we don't know who they are... and we remain at risk.

    I am glad you were such a help in this situation Magaly, truly. I am also glad you have been a voice of reason in such a sick and nasty situation.

    The truth, however, is: No one owes anyone niceness or courtesy. Swearing is totally legal and within the legal rights of anyone. Ignoring you, is equally OK. I don't approve of it, but it is within someone's legal rights to so. And, the truth is: So what someone was rude to you?

    As for the legal accusations- Well, in my past I have been accused of doing illegal things by nasty ass people. Do you know what I say? "Here let me call the police for you..." If people are serious about this, then they would have sought legal help that would have put a stop to this once and for all. But the strange thing is, no one does... and you have got to ask yourself why? Because this has nothing to do with justice... and like many others have pointed out... has everything to do with blood.

    Thank you for letting me share my long winded post.

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    1. You always add to the conversation, Mario, and I love that. I read your comment a few times since yesterday... and shook my head over and over. If society is a reflection of its members, we are in a lot of trouble...

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  12. I want to let people know I am apologizing for what I Said to Marjenna L. Gittings
    I was in a bad mood that day but that does not excuse my behavior how I spoke to Marjenna L. Gittings
    so I am apologizing to her for what I said to her

    I Did not Create the poem Graphic which is Found on Dozens of Pages and Halloween pages
    I DID NOT PLAGURIZE Marjenna L. Gittings I did not create it that poem has been online all over the internet before I Created COCW so stop saying I Created it when I did not .
    That poem is being posted on dozens of other Wiccan and Pagan pages and Halloween pages
    But I noticed nobody is going after THOSE PAGES just ME
    All I DID WAS CLICK SHARE that's it nothing else all I did was click SHare I am not responsible for someone random on the internet who plagurized Marjenna L. Gittings I had no idea who the poem belonged to and I deleted it off my page

    I went the extra Mile and I had Frisky take the Graphic and Credit to Marjenna L. Gittings so that can be passed around on the internet so she can get credit and Magaly created a gold Graphic poem too

    I did not plagurize I am going out of my way to Triple Check everything
    I am no longer going to answer Questions in the inbox
    I am still on COCW Still running it


    so once again I am sorry to Marjenna L. Gittings for my words and how I treated her
    that's all I am apologizing for

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  13. The reaction found in your emails demonstrates how absent critical thinking is within our community, if not this country. Such an absence explains how our politicians are elected & how legislature, which directly affects those voting for it in a negative manner, still gets passed.

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    1. We are emotional creatures, and I think that many of us allow our brains to be ruled by our emotions... when that happens, incompetence and lack of common sense runs wild and bites our heads off.

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  14. facts are inconvenient when someone sees the opportunity to vent their spleen, and the uglier the better. individuals can be wonderful people but human beings as a whole? nasty creatures.

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    1. "facts are inconvenient when someone sees the opportunity to vent their spleen..." I had to repeat that because it is so true. And I agree with how nasty sensible individuals can get, when they are set in a group situation. So very sad... and certainly nasty.

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  15. One big problem with communication is that it never ever takes place out of context. In an ideal world we would treat every interaction as if it was the first time we were approached by the other party, and were only expecting the best. In the real world... let's say, I struggle with the concept, and I bet most people do. We have bad days, the other person behaved like a dick yesterday, we just had a fight, the other one has the annoying habit of breathing through their mouth (or smells funny), they always come with stupid complaints, we have been asked about this very item three times already today, ... and sometimes, although we really shouldn't, we behave less than perfect.

    This is what I try to keep in mind if someone acts like a donkey. Unless the other person ALWAYS acts like a donkey. Then I put on the kick-ass boots. After all, I am not Mother Theresa. ^^

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    1. "ALWAYS" is such a definite word... I like to a wee maybe here and there, even if it's almost dead. I think "always" can make us expect the same even when it isn't happen. It is just a word that doesn't allow much change.

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