Midnight repost: No obscenities on Behind the Black

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs." --San Antonio Express-News

The tenth anniversary retrospective of Behind the Black continues: I first posted these rules pertaining to commenting on Behind the Black on December 31, 2017, but have always adhered to them.

Anyone, without registering, can come this website and comment about anything (though preferably in connection to something I have posted), as long as they act like an adult. If they want to point out an error in something I’ve written, great. If they want to disagree with me civilly, even better. All they have to do is keep their language clean and not resort to childish insults.

Over the years since I have been amazed how many people in today’s increasingly barbaric culture can’t seem to do this simple thing. Thus I think these rules bear repeating, if only to outline to my many new readers where I stand on this issue. (Note that since I posted this I have relaxed the rules slightly. First time offenders are now issued a warning instead of being suspended immediately.)
No obscenities on Behind the Black

I have stated this now bluntly more than a few times. I will not tolerate obscenities or curse words on this website. Despite this, today two different regular commenters thought it was perfectly fine to ignore these rules. One I have suspended for a week. The other might be.

The rest of the world might want to wallow in barbarism and ill behavior, but it will not happen here. This is my workplace. If you want to participate in the conversation on Behind the Black, I expect you to act like a civilized adult. If you can’t abide by these rules, then go somewhere else.

And don’t think it is okay to quote someone else verbatim and get away with this. As I noted just now in a reply to the suspended commenter, when Richard Nixon’s White House used the term [expletive deleted] everyone knew what it meant. It wasn’t a great solution, but it at least showed that they recognized that it was inappropriate to nonchalantly print obscenities, even ones spoken by the president. At the same time, they knew they couldn’t edit the transcripts, so they found a way to make it clear what was on the tapes without adding to the misbehavior.

Consider this a final warning. From now on I will not simply delete the obscenity and issue a warning. From now on, any violation of this rule will get an immediate suspension for a week. A second violation by the same person will get them banned.


My July fund-raiser for Behind the Black is now over. The support from my readers was unprecedented, making this July campaign the best ever, twice over. What a marvelous way to celebrate the website's tenth anniversary!

Thank you! The number of donations in July, and continuing now at the beginning of August, is too many for me to thank you all personally. Please forgive me by accepting my thank you here, in public, on the website.

If you did not donate or subscribe in July and still wish to, note that the tip jar remains available year round.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


  • James Stephens

    Mr. Zimmerman:

    I know the commenters to whom you’re are referring and it’s a shame you’ve had to make this statement. It’s your website and as it would be in your home we are guests who should be courteous to you and one another. It’s not too much to ask. A competent writer should be able to get their point across with out resorting to insults or vulgarities. The world is full of strife today, I for one try not to add to the discord. I try to keep any writings free from vitriol and constructive even when disagreeing. Little steps like these might just make the world a little better place. I appreciate your reporting and opinions and those of your commenters. But in the end opinions are just that and nothing to get worked up about.

  • Chris Lopes

    Some of us forget things, but a week suspension is an effective reminder. :)

  • John Hare

    I got a warning on another blog for using a character mix to signify the bad language in a quote. Only lost comment privilege long enough to apologize and get an explanation.

  • Jeffrey L Breuer

    I appreciate Bob’s willingness to provide a comments forum for me and all who want to participate. Consider it an intellectual challenge to bypass the seven words you can never say on television (Hat tip George Carlin), or any other in that category. And the seventh word really is a “friendly” word. With respect Bob..Thanks

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