No Good Deed Goes Unpunished – Opinionated Man

The Beauty of An Actual Diverse Community

Opinionated Man a.k.a. Jason Cushman over at HarshReality is what one could consider a powerblogger of sorts – whatever that term even means anymore.   He actually may be addicted to blogging to the annoyance of his wife.   Over time, he has used his site to promote other WordPress bloggers as well as to promote community interaction between all of us.

In particular, his WordPress Meet & Greet threads for bloggers have been fantastic and he has featured a weekly number of “Guest Posts” written by just about anybody who has come across his site – usually commentors and people who frequent the site.

I’ve written a few guest posts and enjoyed how it let me reach a wider audience with thoughts – I’m sure other guest posters have had the same feeling.    What I now realize is just how invaluable these guests posts are.  Jason isn’t a particularly political, controversial, or culture war type of blogger – though he’s written a few controversial posts.

This has attracted a community that is actually “diverse” and not in the artificial corporate  and blogosphere buzzword sense.   Your thoughts, posts, and ideas will actually be either critiqued, analyzed, and discussed by a group of people with all sorts of opinions.

Think about how significant and rare that it is.

Most blogging communities are echo-chambers in and of to themselves.  Dissenting commentors are labeled trolls and anyone who critiques the groupthink just a bit too much is ousted.  Actual dialogue is usually impossible because of the way dissenting opinions and the people who express them handle the internet.

This results in “safe-spaces” that are subconsciously and indirectly created – often through disabling comments all together or moderating them to an extreme fashion that the only people who frequent are the one’s who agree with essentially everything that is said.

These communities then usually rehash the same sort of crap.  Once in a while, they say something crazy enough to go viral to get page-clicks, and then go back to the intellectual and conversation deprived vacuum.    HarshReality’s community allowed you to actually talk with people outside of the usual echo-chambers and that is becoming harder and harder every day.

Places Where The Best Conversations Occur...
Places Where The Best Conversations Occur…

Something I noticed a few months back was that most of the conversations that took place – even where there was noticeable disagreements – were very amiable.  Jason isn’t big on censorship and comment moderation – so that makes the level of cordial discussion that too place even more surprising.

We may be about to miss that.

Well, Jason’s good deed of promoting and enabling a community was taken advantage of – possibly by a detractor – though we may never know.  Someone used his “Guest Post” feature to post “stolen” material.  I’m still not sure if it was copyrighted or not, but it did get attention and a warning from WordPress:


As the individual who agreed to the Terms of Service contract when activating WordAds, you are responsible for all content posted on your blog and subsequent Terms of Service violations.

It is far more than just those three. From the notes left by the investigators, I’d say probably the entire Guest Blogger Posts category is suspect.

The investigators re-evaluate rejected applications monthly. If they find absolutely no copied content after a much more thorough re-evaluation, they may re-approve your application. If they find even more copied content, they will likely permanently ban your application.



Now Jason’s  guest post system worked pretty well.   Bloggers who wanted to create a guest post would email him, he would briefly check it, and then post it later in the day.   Pretty simple and effective.

Perhaps maybe too simple, but time constraints are a thing and Jason often posted things by his phone and WP’s format isn’t exactly the greatest via cell phone.  For now, these are Jason’s parting words:

“I talk to everyone via email before they guest blog. I am not sure how what happened, happened… but either way it did. I got played.

My wife wants me to stop blogging. I have considered it. I don’t make a lot of money at my normal 40 hour job and blogging was my release… and possibly a way to chase a dream. Perhaps writing will need to take a rain check for now.

Be careful out there. HarsH ReaLiTy will be closed for a bit. Enjoy the articles, that were ALL written by me, and the free promotional posts.

Jason C. Cushman

-Opinionated Man”

If Jason does leave us, who will pick up his mantle? I don’t have alot of hope, but you never know.  One thing is for sure – they can’t be a control freak on a power trip – which limits our options on the internet severely.

In Remembrance: Opinionated Man

Opinionated Man a.k.a Jason Cushman recently had the unfortunate experience of being told by WordPress that “mass following” – which literally can include simply following too many people back – is now a WordPress crime under the “spam” category.    We all hate spam, but this is a curious redefinition and it changes how the game is played right in the middle of it.

It’s kind of like playing a game with an older brother that suddenly tells you about a new rule in the game that you didn’t know about, but it benefits him alot.  You check out the rulebook and its apparently there.

It grabs your attention doesn’t it?

Except in this case, there are A LOT of rules.  Often these Terms Of Service agreements and the subsequent rules that follow are substantial.  It’s often hard to realize you’ve broken a rule, simply because there are so many of them.  It allows WordPress to play a kind of “Gotcha!” game.   This was a moderator’s official explanation:

The follow feature was intended to help you read blogs that you enjoy, not as a means of promotion. Our automated systems may interfere with behavior that looks more like a spam bot than a human.

I find this explanation puzzling, considering that following someone is a means of promotion. It’s not exactly the same thing as “sharing” a post and/or blog would be via social media and other means, but it is promotional.

I suppose there is only so much a blogger can take, and Cushman has decided that his number is up.  Harsh Reality will now be going “Private“. I’m not exactly sure what that means and the exact impact of it, but being the genius that I’m not, even I know it’s not good.

HarsH ReaLiTy will go “private” next week. I will keep the domain since it is worth money and will decide what to do with the site later. I appreciate all the support, but please just let it go. No reason for other sites to get flagged or banned because of my little blog. Take care WP and I have enjoyed the past two years.

If you have articles you have shared on this website please copy and grab them before the 7 days is up. Thanks.

Jason C. Cushman


To myself, this is a dastardly and unexpected blow.  One of the primary reasons I continued to blog and started to enjoy it was encountering Harsh Reality.

I can still recall the first time I stumbled on his site and read the header and thought to myself, “Someone who wants to offend everyone at least once!”   In today’s day and age of internet activists who exist in their own bubbles, it’s alot easier to offend people than you would think, but can also be alot more costly, especially if the ensuing twitter lynch mobs have their way.  It’s why I appreciated Jason’s balls – (That is going to look interesting out of context.) – a lot more then most might.   Hopefully, OM stick’s around, but perhaps… just perhaps, he needs a bit of a break.

Here’s to Jason:

Your thoughts and insight are appreciated.

Get Over Yourself Because We Already Have.

My favorite Asian badass, Opinionated Man from Harsh Reality, strikes again in a recent post today involving one of the biggest problems that plagues mankind; those who dare to disagree on the internet. In the words of a modern day Asian wiseman, “Get Over Yourself.

One of my favorite responses I often see on message boards, forums, my own facebook, ect. are responses and posts to my own such as:

  • “I can’t believe you said that!”
  • “Tell me you don’t think this!”
  • “How dare you be this ignorant!
  • “You can’t say that!”

Newsflash. I said that, I’m not sorry, and I’ll say it again. Fine, we disagree. I honestly thought it would never happen.  Let’s leave it like that right? Wrong.  The hounds start to bark, the crows start to circle, and the night starts to darken.  Demands for your head, your job, your blog, and your imminent seclusion from internet and blogging life.


A growing number of narcissistic individuals on the internet – I’m shocked – seem to think that they not only should own and control their own havens of internet brilliant dialogue, but that yours should be included in their Iron Curtain like grip.

Do you not concur with the popular group-think on your blog and even Facebook? Then bow down, present your ass for punishment,  and plead for mercy and forgiveness for having alternative thoughts.   These kinds of folks won’t even stop eating their own, so they won’t care if they eat you.  This is why you must ignore them like they aren’t there and never back down.

This was just a slight offense and an apology and clarification weren't enough.
This was just a slight offense and an apology and clarification weren’t enough.

It’s not enough to even delete a post, a tweet, ect these days. You actually need to dress in digital sackcloth and ashes as you admit your sins to an obvious disproving public.   This shit needs to stop and it STOPS with me, you, and all of us with balls.  That includes you ladies.

Let’s engage in a reality check. This isn’t your facebook. It isn’t your blog. You don’t control my blog. You don’t control Opinionated Man‘s blog. This isn’t Reddit. I know that particular mobs of people who can’t handle disagreement or alternative POVs want to downvote your thoughts into oblivion, but are stymied and enraged that they can’t!   This particular mob of internet group-think digital ravagers that inhabit fiefdoms with North Korean like intentions on internet discourse and dialogue however will give it all they have to make you recant. However, we won’t, because we dont give a shit.

Important lessons must be learned early for all self-respecting bloggers.  I’ll kindly, but firmly drill them in:

  1. Don’t give a shit.
  2. . You don’t need to care if people get offended over your blog, facebook, or twitter.  Life is short and you don’t want to be 90 on your deathbed having never voiced your true thoughts.
  3. As OM puts it ,“Even if the world comes crashing down upon you, own your views and don’t allow others to intimidate you into changing your opinions.” 
  4. Stand by what you think and NEVER back down.  Don’t apologize for what you think. Let the wave of intolerant naysayers crash against your polished steel sides.  You shall not be moved.
  5. Assert your thoughts, posts, and conclusions with the utmost confidence.

Don’t cave in on your blog for any reason, because it won’t end there. The pattern you set endangers yourself.  Imagine what is and has been next.  Your private life decisions may be next if you indicate you are willing to submit. Remember Brandon Eich from Mozilla? He lost his job because of this consistent subconscious desire by himself and his employer to give in and back down. Don’t be Firefox.  (Note that The Atlantic isn’t some religious conservative bastion of backwards thought.)

Armenia out. 

A Review: Opinionated Man – Harsh Reality

Jason Cushman is a proud Asian man who literally doesn’t give a fuck. In his own words:

“My goal with this blog is to offend everyone in the world at least once with my words… so no one has a reason to have a heightened sense of themselves. We are all ignorant, we are all found wanting, we are all bad people sometimes.”

He posts what he feels, when he wants, and in a very unique style in the blogging community. It is the primary reason why he stands out – his blogging style is specifically his own.

His blog, Harsh Reality, directly encourages bloggers to consistently interact with each other and he frequently features guest posts by other bloggers to promote this ambition.   His, “WordPress Meet and Greet” is another example of attempting to get bloggers to actually interact with each other and based on the feedback he has gotten, I’d say its been very successful.

The most important message I have seen reflected from Cushman is admonishing of fellow bloggers to carve out their own unique style.   If you desire an actual breath of fresh air and a writing style that you won’t see elsewhere, his blog is a must follow. (I’ve been following him for several months now.)

Let’s get real. In today’s blogging world, many bloggers are still very afraid from posting what they actually think because of possible backlash from dissident opinions.  Jason doesn’t care and he shouldn’t.  Disagreements are an inevitable part of daily life and that is manifested to even more of an extent online and in the blogging world.   Remember, life goes on. 
Usually there is very little moderation on his blog in a direct attempt to promote feedback – something I applaud.  State your piece, and he will state his.   One of my personal favorites is, “Women are Crazy (The way to lose your female readers)” .   The original post of it had over 2k comments.  It’s yet again evidence that when it comes to blogging, all publicity is good publicity.

I highly suggest his blog for people who are looking to improve their own as he won’t bullshit you with “easy steps”.  There is no shortcut for the time investment and gradual building of your blogging network – something he has repeatedly pointed out.

A quick golden rule for bloggers: Don’t spam and selfishly promote on others blogs if you wouldn’t approve of it happening on your own.  Opinionated Man’s, “WordPress Meet and Greet” however is an opportunity for all of us to self-promote in the right way. Try it some time.