The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #40429   Message #578727
Posted By: lamarca
24-Oct-01 - 11:11 AM
Thread Name: Mudcat and FSGW/Other 3d organ.
Subject: RE: Mudcat and FSGW/Other 3d organ.
Well, since I was the one kvetching on the other thread, I'll put my nickel in (but there's a $5 fine for whining...)

The "inner core" of the FSGW IS hard to crack. What many of the people who are "in" have in common, though, is that we are the folks who jump in do do the volunteer work to make the organization run. The FSGW was founded by a group of friends in the 60's. I didn't come along until the 80's, by which time I had missed a lot of shared experiences. I was just starting to sing, and felt shy and inadequate about my musical abilities. But I could set up chairs, fold newsletters, set up festival stages, etc, just fine! As soon as I started to join in to do some of the work, as opposed to just attending gatherings, hanging around on the outside and hoping someone would notice me, I got sucked in and joined the crew.

I think a lot of organizations are like that - the "insiders" tend to give more of themselves to the group, and get more back as a result. Even those of us slackers who have STOPPED doing the grunt work get to rest on our laurels in the social aspects of the group.

This is one difference between the newer Mudcat folks and the FSGW crowd. The Catters have mostly bonded through 'virtual' experiences, with occasional 'real-life' interactions. If more 'Catters start working with local folkies here, the divisions will be less obvious. But as long as folks here talk about "the Mudcat jam" when referring to a late night sing as though it were an exclusive group, as long as people are housed together in "Mudcat cabins", as long as people are introduced by their affiliation or lack of it with the Mudcat, there will be a sense of "otherness" about the group that is just as hard to crack as the FSGW core group.

For folkies who have no desire to join an internet chat group, there IS no other way to become part of the Mudcat community. It's not like being able to help out on a concert, or coming to sing a song at a monthly swap. A lot of folkies are Luddites at heart, and the thought of spending lots of time on-line instead of gathering with real people and making music together just doesn't seem very appealing. It doesn't help for folks like Charlie Baum to deny that any separation exists because there are FSGW members who are also Mudcatters- I have a foot in both worlds, yes, but I've stopped contributing to Mudcat because I'd rather spend my time reading and making music than wading through the constant flow of correspondance that binds people together on the Cat.

I'm asking that the Catters who come to the Getaway recognize that there are neat singers and musicians there who you haven't traded fart jokes with on the computer, share a song or a tune with someone who isn't wearing a Mudcat button or T-shirt, and let the folks here on line know about some of the people you met who don't have a "handle". I know that many folks have done that on the Memories thread; I'd just like to encourage a bit more self-awareness about how "insider" groups go both ways...