The introduction to The Society of Honor, up there at the top of this page, tries to express an ideal, an openness to expressions pro or con on any issue, without need to descend to personal insult. After all, personal insult is rather like people washing dirty laundry in public or throwing turds on the wall of someone's home. It is not the highest representation of a kind and civilized people.
I am rather of the belief that if we (writers and commenters) strive to set a constructive tone for this blog, others will pick up on that tone and participate in the same vein. Open, for sure. Not pinched and high-falootin' with some kind of air of superiority. Just open and open-minded. With humor. With perspective. With intelligence. Critical but non-judgmental, if you catch the distinction. Leaning on the myriad of experiences and impressions that are available among a large group of smart people. Very different from those mud-slinging sites that aspire to be sensationalist and popular rather than inventive and constructive. Sites that just can't seem to separate issue from personality, as if it were a concept their minds can't grasp. Issue. Person. Different.
I do presume that the people who read this blog are intelligent. That is the target audience. They have a high school degree, probably some or a lot of college, and are interested in intellectual growth. And they are interested in the well-being of the Philippines.
So that's the idea, and I think if you read the comments on the article threads you will find that they generally live up to this ideal. Comments are insightful and they add a lot to the blog article. The article, after all, is not meant to be a definitive statement on everything. It is meant to provoke thinking.
The comment I deleted was placed beneath a note to JoeAm from Kris Aquino thanking Joe for a recent blog expressing confidence in her brother, President Noynoy Aquino.
Until now, I have not published an e-mail address so that I can receive such private messages. The only way Ms. Aquino could reach me was via the blog thread.
As of today, people have an e-mail address should they choose to contact JoeAm directly. It has been added to the introduction at the top of the page. I also welcome guest submissions - articles from others - at this address.
Anonymous replied to Kris Aquino with an insult to the President of the Philippines. I was originally going to put the remark in this article, separate from its original context, but . . . sorry . . . it is too personal, too insulting, and absolutely not necessary.
Now here is why I deleted the comment, my second deletion in four years of blogging.
The message from Kris Aquino was a thoughtful personal note to JoeAm. It started off "Dear Joe" and was clearly written directly to Joe. She's a busy lady. She did not have to write.
Kris Aquino is a guest of this blog, she is not the principal. She is in my internet home, behaving graciously, and I will not allow some heathen to use my hospitality to besmirch her or her brother.
What kind of person would insert his or her personal angers and obnoxious views into a courteous personal note like that?
I don't know.
Low class, for sure. About as low as a person can go. Especially since the message from Kris Aquino reflected on Mr. Aquino's subdued mood due to the plane crash involving Interior Secretary Robredo. Clearly, this was a serious and sincere message.
The remark from anonymous shocked and dismayed me. This particular anonymous is a very angry person, I would guess. He or she is certainly not nuanced as to courtesy and dignity. In reading this article, I would guess he or she will strive for rationalizations about how JoeAm is an idiot and it is his rightful and constructive duty to slam the president. It's the same kind of perverted logic you get from the thugs at GRP or Anti-Pinoy.
I debated for a short time as to whether or not to delete the message. Maybe I should let it stand so people can witness this disgusting display of incivility. It is what it is, eh? I don't need to protect Kris Aquino or President Aquino. They are public figures out front in a world that is less than kind. They probably deal with this kind of obscenity all the time.
But, no. I can't leave it there. It is too far removed from the tenor of the blog site that I aspire to produce. It dirties the blog. I don't want it there.
So I sigh a deep sigh, a real big deep, disappointed sigh. And punch "delete".
Sometimes we trust in others.
Sometimes they do not have the character to live up to that trust.