That's Not What I Heard
It kinda takes the fun out of it when you realise that everything you write will be read, digested, quoted, misunderstood, and used against you in a court of public opinion by people who do not understand that a blog like this is a journal, not necessarily a conversation.
I've been thinking about gossip lately, and its social function.
When I was younger, I believed that *all* gossip was inherently negative, mainly because I had been the focus of so much malicious gossip. I did not know that there could be another aspect.
But if gossip didn't have a positive social function, it wouldn't exist, it wouldn't be the focus of so much of our conversations, across every culture in the world. Gossip is not just about the information conveyed, but it also establishes and reinforces relationships between not just Gossiper A and Gossiper B but also Person C, the one being talked about. In a positive sense, it places A, B and C within a larger community or context, as being connected to one another.
(Though negative gossip serves a similar function in a more limited sense - A and B stress their relationship as being in opposition to C.)
Gossip happens. It's the lifeblood, the warp and weft, the ripple that fuels and animates communities. Doesn't make it any more unpleasant when it goes awry - or when people take hearsay or assumptions based thereon and use it as a critism to beat you with without being in full possession of the delicacy of the entire situation - but at least it explains where it came from in the first place.