If Mudcat = Life, then OK, leaving Mudcat would be considered an act of suicide. But that can be said about almost anything when one equates it with the essence of being.
I know that for some it is exactly that. And that's fair enough, I don't have any gripes about the importance people put things, and the support structures that maintain them. I wouldn't assume, though that the Mudcat is one thing to all people. Had it not been for certain perceived similarities with a few experiences I've had recently, I would have probably left this thread alone and not posted to it, because in the general run of things, its subject matter wouldn't have been one I would have normally any interest in.
I don't like to talk about 'cliqueishness' or lack of it, at the 'cat; I have been pigeonholed into many...and into none, both at the same time. These kind of 'discussions' seem to go around in circles, and rarely get anywhere.
I don't talk about 'leaving the 'cat'. For me that phrase doesn't mean anything; or at least, doesn't mean the same to me as it would to someone else..or someone else. Neither will I be pedantic, and say (as Max has said), that it is only a website, or a number of computers; a folder on your desktop.
No, Mudcat is a community, all right. And quite a number of its inhabitants are good friends 'on the outside', also. I'm no different, although my Mudcat '3D' friends are over here, in my neck of the woods.
But to be honest about it, I don't come here to discuss mudcatology. I'm a 'hunter and gatherer', basically here for the music content, that makes the odd fray into political issues that I have either experience, or interest in. Politics is a dodgy subject, and all sorts of 'dodginess' gets brought into it.
I expect this, and I am prepared for it.
The reason I dropped my cookie (and here, I can only speak for myself) was two-fold.
Without being too specific about the first reason, let's just say that I felt the medium of the PM abused, and then over-abused. That is not a reflection on Max, or anyone involved in the maintenance of this site, and I wouldn't be so naive as to entertain the thought. No, it was a personal thing between two 'catters, and there I will leave it
Reason number two, was in no way related to the first one, and concerns not tempting fate.
When the policy statement in the CD thread was printed for all of us to read, I immediately saw that I was guilty of it. Even if I was only 'guilty' by someone else's edict. Which, depending on which way you looked at it, could mean any person, at any time. And as many remarked, the long slippery slope was in danger of being gone down. I preferred to 'leave the concert', than to be 'ushered to the door'.
It's a strange thing about professionalism in the music world; we are always expected to turn up on time, be sober, have all our strings, etc., in order, and put on a reasonably decent show. It is true, also, that very few of us have fulfilled all the above criteria, all of the time. But I take a look at the audience, try and get some sort of idea from the bar-staff (cos they're the ones that are serving the customers the booze), the nationality of any 'strangers' in the pub.
Outside of the Norwegians, who have no vested interest in what you play, as long as you rock the socks off them with it (and that is in NO WAY disparaging to my Norsk friends), and the Irish, who, here at least, know me, and what I play, and can be relied upon to accept most of the stuff I come out with, I go looking around for the English.
There are many songs that I can put in in the place of even something mild like 'Only our rivers run free'. Singing that song to a Norwegian/Irish audience isn't going to cause any feelings of discomfort among the listeners.
An English person, who has gone to the trouble of seeking out an Irish pub to listen to an evening of Irish music, should not be made to feel uncomfortable by the lyrics of some songs, when there are 1001 others to choose from, that don't touch certain nerves.
To me that is part of a musician's 'professionalism' as well.
I remember many years ago, I got stranded in a Loyalist club in Belfast. I was there with some Protestant friends, and we were there for the most innocent of reasons - getting a drink on a Sunday. Everybody was getting very drunk, and before too long, my friends started to crash out. I didn't want to stay too long in this place, and I couldn't get these guys moving at all. I certainly didn't want to be there at closing time.
But there I was, all the same, at closing time, in the middle of East Belfast, quite drunk, and now attracting the interest of some of the locals, who, having no drink (the bar being closed), spotted our table, with attendant half-consumed pints, and they decided on a bit of good, down home neighbourliness, and came over and interrogated me a bit.
I stood for the National Anthem (The Queen), that night. Apparently that was the only way I could prove that I wasn't a 'Fenian'. It's ironic, really. I was making for the door, when two 'gorillas' grabbed me by the arm, so I was standing anyway.
They let me go, after that; one fractured collar-bone, and a broken ankle, later. But I suppose they thought that the 'humiliation' of standing for 'The Queen' was enough.
I wouldn't make anyone feel uncomfortable like that if they were at one of my gigs.
There are many songs I can play. There are many songs I know backwards. But because I can do them, doesn't mean that it is morally right for me to do them, given certain sets of circumstances.
It may have been wrong of me to withhold the lyrics of Mrs. Stein..., in the earlier lyric request. But, as with a lot of instances of these kind of things, five or six people have been known to respond in the space of an hour, so I didn't see any problem. It just seemed to me that the whole notion of the song was being discussed before the words arrived. I didn't see anything particularly odd about that.
What should we have been done?
Just hit 'REFRESH', every time it was about to fall off the bottom of the page?
The only reason the 'discussion' went on that long was because no-one else had the lyrics, and outside of Áine's courage, I don't recall anybody else's being put to the test, because the lyrics did not become available until Saturday night.
It was when the intimidation charges started to be added, that I started to see a whole new dimension being uncovered, and I offered my membership, rather than have had the dubious humiliation bestowed upon me, of being 'shown the door'. To tell somebody to F off, though, is less aggressive than telling somebody to shut up, in my opinion. But I can only speak for myself here, as well
'Membership' is a state of mind, in my opinion, and, like any 'relationship', can go sour after a while. And because of a certain perceived policy shift, I felt obliged to surrender at least my 'physical' membership. I do not use the medium of Personal Message too often, and those who know me on this forum, and who 'get on' with me, have my E-mail address. Those are the bonds that mean the most to me here, if we talk in terms of a community. Being Guest,Brendy isn't such a big deal, and apart from the fact of giving DougR the added inconvenience of typing six more characters when he addresses me (*BG*), will not affect things one bit.
But it is true that the 'Cat will continue without any input from 'the big guy'. How can it do anything but?
There are many different kinds of writing styles here; some more reserved than others. We have had many 'language' threads here, also, and from what I can remember, I think we all decided we were all big girls and boys, and we didn't all go running off to mammy every time somebody barked at somebody else.
When one picks an issue to defend, no matter what it is, they leave themselves open for holes to be picked in their argument. And I will afford the same courtesy to others, as they do to me. And my 'rules of engagement' are normally determined by the other person.
Debate something with me, fine. Insult my 'intelligence' while you do it, and I react accordingly. That's me. But I don't believe in parcelling every sentence up in a little pink ribbon so that you can open it with silken gloves. I don't do that in ordinary conversation, and certainly wouldn't dream of going to that trouble in the printed media. Hell, I've got long nails on my right hand, and typing can be a real pain in the arse (*BG*). I will always apologise to a person if they have felt I have insulted them by what I have said. I have apologised to people on this forum before, and probably will do again. But I rarely 'jump down somebody's throat' without provocation. And when I do, It's normally for the reasons given above.
If Mudcat doesn't need a God, then, this is good to know. There is nowhere like this place on the net. OK, to me, it is not life; sometimes it seems like a bit if a soap-opera, where everybody gets a go at writing the script, but to me it's a website that quite a number of interesting people exchange views about everything under the sun, and that a fair cross-section of them, know each other socially. Most of these people are quite affable folks, some grumpy, but affable, and some quite pig-headed, and not so affable.
I take my chances with all of these people, every time I post something here, and I have had my throat jumped down on many occasions here. But those that know me, know me. And in a lot of respects, those are about the only ones on this site whose opinion of me I care about. My head's too full of other things to take Max's philosophical step, myself, though generally speaking, he is not that far off the mark.
Suicide, for me, would be the amputation of one of my hands. A lot different from not owning a computer.
But life, and the Mudcat, goes on.