This post was originally posted as a comment on BoingBoing, in relation to that site’s deleting of stories related to the sex columnist Violet Blue. I am posting them here, because, as the Violet Blue episode illustrates, BoingBoing can’t be trusted to maintain an impartial record.
I really do hope this issue is addressed because, as the situation now appears to this outsider observer, it reflects horribly on Miss Jardin, and by extension to the other BoingBoingers. It would be a shame if BoingBoing’s integrity were to be seriously damaged by this scandal. BoingBoing is a strong voice for openness and transparency in our electronic society. It would be a shame if the greater cause of freedom in our modern world were damaged by these disreputable actions.
Let us consider the facts -
BoingBoing has been disingenuous in it’s own official pronouncements. When the official Boing Boing moderator, Miss Hayden, posted the official BoingBoing post on the matter, she dismissed the severity of the deletions by claiming media reports of over a hundred posting deleted were too high. It has been documented that at least seventy postings related to Violet Blue were deleted. Not quite a hundred, but a massive enough purging of the public record.
Insinuations by Miss Hayden and Miss Jardin that Miss Blue is somehow responsible for the deletions through bad behaviour are vile, especially as they fail to disclose or deny Miss Blue’s assertion that Miss Jardin and her were “casual” lovers for a brief time. Miss Blue claims ignorance of any misbehaiour, and Jardin and Hayden have darkly hinted that a failure to disclose is to protect the parties from embarassment.
What is most likely is that Miss Jardin deleted the posts in the aftermath of her intimate relationship with Miss Blue. One can well imagine that the break of intimacy might have been more jarring to Miss Jardin than to the libertine Miss Blue. Perhaps some embarrassment over the nature of their relationship troubled Miss Jardin. She suggests as much to the LA Times in comparing her own actions to those of her own father in destroying some of his own erotically-themed work.
It is hard to believe that some public action of Miss Blue prompted the deletions, since then Jardin would need no coyness in explaining herself. It is also unlikely that Miss Blue was banished for acting as a groupie, as has been suggested by many partisans of Miss Jardin - Miss Blue is a successful blogger and columnist in her own right, and not dependent on BoingBoing for attention, nor are there any other reports of Miss Blue behaving badly to get publicity. She writes for Forbes magazine, for goodness’ sake!
So the likelihood is that Miss Jardin’s actions are from personal animus towards Miss Blue, probably prompted by the breakup of their love affair. There is no evidence of any other behaviour by Miss Blue that would have bothered Miss Jardin enough to withdraw her own work from the public sphere.
Other reasons given by BoingBoing, such as the “expense” of keeping these posts public are also fatuous. That this reason is officially cited by BoingBoing brings into question, again, their own truthfulness about this episode.
There is also considerable contradiction in the account of how the deletions were decided upon. At first, the action is depicted as one decided upon by mutual consensus, while later it has been asserted that the BoingBoing bloggers work independently and usually without consultation, and that the deletions were unilaterally done by Miss Jardin.
So the appearance is of Miss Jardin destroying her own work in petulant repudiation of a spurning lover, a depiction even more pathetic in that the spurning lover is oblivious to the original offense. One can well see why Miss Jardin has not been more forthcoming. Her actions were reckless and immature, and perhaps priggish. In the absence of any credible evidence otherwise, one must come to the sad conclusion that the evasiveness of Miss Jardin and BoingBoing is not in deference to Miss Blue’s easily embarrassed sensibilities, but rather out of embarrassment for their own bad behaviour.
We hope that Miss Jardin will put this matter to rest by a full and honest accounting. The openness of the discussion that this comment is a part of gives one hope, but just in case, I’m posting them on my own blog. As this recent episode makes clear, BoingBoing doesn’t have the best track record recently as an open and transparent public forum.
I am even sympathetic to Miss Jardin in her dilemma. No-one likes their intimately private life made public, particularly in such a unflattering way. I hope that she will consider the example of Lady Godiva. Sometimes riding naked through the town’s square can be the best thing for one’s reputation, if the cause is noble.
-Addenda in response to BoingBoinger’s comments, the numbers and names refer to the post numbers and the monikers of the posters.
@mdhatter,1546 - I made factually-based speculations, not insinuations.
What happens with BoingBoing is my business. It is a publication of far reach and its integrity is a matter of public interest. When its integrity is brought into question, the actions that bring that integrity into question is everyone’s business, no matter how personally embarrassing the underlying reasons for those actions may be.
A putative private lover’s quarrel is not my business, but as I explained to mdhatter, an important public forum’s integrity is my business. I merely cited facts to speculate on the likely cause of the resulting scandal. If BoingBoing is going to delete its archives on the basis of personal romantic involvement, that is a matter of public interest.
Miss Blue has claimed there was a sexual liaison and Miss Jardin has not denied it. If it were untrue there would be no reason for her not to deny it.
And to use some other slang, mdhatter, I just find it skeevy that Miss Jardin might be using a subject’s sexual acquiescence and acquaintance as a criteria for their inclusion in BoingBoing.
Finally, Arch, if you are going to try to use my own words against me, use them properly My language is neither rude nor the motive capricious, as suggested by the word petulant. My speculations are rather unpleasant, but I have tried to express myself without vulgarity or personal rancor.