The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #4153 Message #22368
Posted By: Joe Offer
26-Feb-98 - 03:49 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: The Twentieth Century Is Almost Over
Subject: RE: Lyrics please:20th Century's Almost Over
I dunno, Bill. I generally don't like the idea of anonymity in a forum like this. The fact that we've come to know each other by name and personality is part of what has formed us into the friendly, lively group that we've become. If somebody here is going to call me a #@%&*!, I think I should be able to know who said it. If I know who the other person is, maybe I can resolve or avoid the problem next time. If we're identified by name, we're also pushed to speak a little more responsibly than we might otherwise, and I think that helps us keep things pleasant here.
So, if I'm against anonymity, I guess I better admit that it wasn't Max who edited out Alex's "asshole." A couple of months back, Max gave a few of us "edit" buttons, and told us to use them as we see fit. Usually, I use mine to delete duplicate messages or correct bad HTML or make links clickable, but I have given in to the temptation to do a little harmless, mystifying mischief on rare occasions. This is the second time I did something that might be called "censorship." The first one was an easy decision - it was a direct, nasty attack on another person, and it has no place here. This situation was a little different, and I'm not sure I made the right decision. I let the message sit for half a day or so, and then I edited it so it wouldn't be there for all time. Within the context of the old (very old) joke Charlie repeated, the "asshole" comment is funny. Out of context, it borders on being hateful - and it certainly didn't add anything to the discussion.
On the other hand, the anonymous comment that brought all this up didn't add anything to the discussion, either. All Alex did by starting the thread was ask for information. People who weren't interested could just as well have avoided the thread altogether. People have put me down on occasion for the same sort of thing, and it hurts. If a request for lyrics is not appropriate to this forum, the question will die a natural death in a day if there are no responses. I'd say the best way to respond to a question about other-than-folk music is to ignore it, or to gently point the person to a place where they can find the information. That's a great way to deal it. If they ask an impertinent question, give them a link to the International Lyrics Server, and whisk them the hell out of here (be sure the link leads them to what they're looking for, or they'll be back.....).
So, anyhow, I thought I ought to make sure that Good Old Max didn't get blamed for my act of censorship. If it wasn't the right decision, I'm sorry. I probably wouldn't do it again in this particular sort of situation, but I'd do it in a heartbeat if it's an unwarranted, personal attack on an individual. Hatefulness has no place here.