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The Mudcat is Closing its Doors

Big Mick 02 Apr 05 - 01:01 AM
Swave N. Deboner 01 Apr 05 - 10:38 PM
GUEST,Jaze 01 Apr 05 - 09:30 PM
Little Hawk 01 Apr 05 - 05:55 PM
Azizi 01 Apr 05 - 02:57 PM
GUEST,MMario 01 Apr 05 - 12:54 PM
Charley Noble 01 Apr 05 - 12:38 PM
katlaughing 01 Apr 05 - 12:24 PM
catspaw49 01 Apr 05 - 11:19 AM
The Shambles 06 Apr 99 - 05:45 PM
dick greenhaus 06 Apr 99 - 01:12 PM
06 Apr 99 - 11:41 AM
Sam Pirt 06 Apr 99 - 08:00 AM
The Shambles 06 Apr 99 - 03:34 AM
Shula 06 Apr 99 - 12:39 AM
Shula 06 Apr 99 - 12:31 AM
Max 05 Apr 99 - 10:38 PM
Roger in Baltimore 05 Apr 99 - 10:32 PM
Big Mick 05 Apr 99 - 10:25 PM
Barbara Shaw 05 Apr 99 - 09:51 PM
LEJ 05 Apr 99 - 09:37 PM
Pete M 05 Apr 99 - 08:28 PM
Joe Offer 05 Apr 99 - 08:00 PM
Max 05 Apr 99 - 07:07 PM
AlistairUK 05 Apr 99 - 11:39 AM
Willie-O 05 Apr 99 - 10:18 AM
Shula 05 Apr 99 - 03:31 AM
bbc 04 Apr 99 - 11:52 PM
katlaughing 04 Apr 99 - 11:38 PM
catspaw49 04 Apr 99 - 11:18 PM
Joe Offer 04 Apr 99 - 10:17 PM
Art Thieme 04 Apr 99 - 10:02 PM
Joe Offer 04 Apr 99 - 09:50 PM
TonyK 04 Apr 99 - 09:26 PM
Shula 04 Apr 99 - 04:35 PM
Barbara 04 Apr 99 - 03:25 PM
katlaughing 04 Apr 99 - 02:12 PM
Banjer 04 Apr 99 - 02:05 PM
dwditty 04 Apr 99 - 12:43 PM
Peter T. 04 Apr 99 - 12:30 PM
katlaughing 02 Apr 99 - 03:03 PM
Lonesome EJ 02 Apr 99 - 02:47 PM
catspaw49 02 Apr 99 - 02:18 PM
katlaughing 02 Apr 99 - 02:07 PM
catspaw49 02 Apr 99 - 01:10 PM
Max 02 Apr 99 - 12:48 PM
Rex Rideout 02 Apr 99 - 12:27 PM
Frank in the swamps 02 Apr 99 - 06:48 AM
Ferrara 02 Apr 99 - 06:02 AM
Banjer 02 Apr 99 - 05:37 AM
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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Big Mick
Date: 02 Apr 05 - 01:01 AM

Good pull, Patterson! Perfect timing. You been keepin' on the meds? Significant event, eh? I would say so. Anyway, great job. Now get back and lay on the couch before I have to talk to the partners of Lane, Patterson, Fielding and Swan, Layabouts at Large and for hire, about expelling your ass for excessive productive behaviour.

I love ya,bro.

Mick


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Swave N. Deboner
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 10:38 PM

Max,

I just about choked on my brew when I saw this thread title. Nearly panicked until I saw the date it was started. I'd survive without the Mudcat, but life would be waaaay more boring. Seriously, I appreciate your perseverance, determination, and dedication to keep this site going. It has truly become a phenomenon. I get hours of enjoyment reading the threads and posts from so many bright personalities, many of whom I truly admire (not that they have the slightest clue when I'm here most of the time, and probably don't give a rat's patoot.) And thanks goes to the clones, too. Please keep the Mudcat home fires burning.

Scott

Sincerely,

Scott, AKA Swave N. Deboner


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: GUEST,Jaze
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 09:30 PM

Not funny, Max, but you rule. And thanks for all you do. And especially thanks for this incredible site. Amazing how important it's become for so many people. You should be very proud of what you've accomplished. From the bottom of my heart, I do thank you. James


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 05:55 PM

Well, I am relieved that my demise and Mudcat's did not coincide, as folks might have attached some special significance to that. I don't want to be responsible for all that.

I am just glad that no one decided to run an Obit for William Shatner today. The mind can only take so much.


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 02:57 PM

I have to say I read the title of this thread and got an "Oh, No!" sinking sensation in my stomach.

Then I remembered it was April Fool's day..

Okay, you fooled me that time.

Now that I know that Max isn't announcing that he's closing Mudcat,
I can relax and read the comments that have been posted here.

Long live Mudcat!!


Azizi


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 12:54 PM

I wonder what the stats are now - they were 2.5 million hits a month /80,000 unique hits per month in 1999.

six years later?

Joe?

Jeff?

Max?


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 12:38 PM

Spaw-

Thanks for refreshing this one. I was oblivious to Mudcat at the time. Lord knows what I was doing with my life back then.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble, a figment of Mudcat


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 12:24 PM

THANKS, Spawdarlin' for refreshing this!!


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: catspaw49
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 11:19 AM

For those of you who weren't around back in these days, THIS was the classic April Fool's Joke. It was also a lot more as well. If you read it, you find that perhaps for the first time, Max begins to understand just how important this site has become to many of it's members and frankly it scared the lad a bit. But at the same time I think here is the first place he also began to really see and accept that he no longer had a website, he had a real community forming.

Just a month later the entire membership came together behind another event and the realization of true formed friendships and a real world community took a strong hold here which still remains among many of us today. Remember that this was long before "gatherings" of members that are so common now. Pretty much we knew each other through cyberspace only, but as events unfolded around the first of May, it became apparent to most that this was a real place and not just a cyber-site.

This thread was the first part of that turning point for Mudcat and it came completely together when we realized just how close we had become a month later. So this is not just a classic joke, but a significant part of Mudcat history. Hope you enjoy(ed) the read.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 05:45 PM

Brief reprise of the Thread Name Game.

The Mudcat is closing it's doors/Waiting for the Federals


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 01:12 PM

A thought:

If the estimated 80,000 unique visitors we get every month would find it in their hearts to kick in a buck a year, a) Max would have his expenses covered, with something left over, and b) I could afford to devote a substantial chunk of my time on the Digital Tradition database.

Both Max and I would be very happy if all Mudcat cost us was a buck a year.


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From:
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 11:41 AM

I was just going to shut up, but Shula's response, as usual so clear and right, set me off again. The phrase from King Lear -- "As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods, they kill us for their sport" -- is relevant. Because, as Joe says, the Web is such a strange, neutralizing and yet powerful place, any community group that is set up is going on faith that it is not run by the wanton boys who seem to run everything on the Web. This space is continually being threatened from the outside, not just by authority, but by people who are just drifting by, spraying graffitti, and so on. Just like other places we know. What has been heartening about this site is that -- thanks to Max, Dick, and Susan -- it stumbled on a way to bring the classic storytelling, chatting, and folk banter onto the Web, bringing tradition along. It has been even nicer that people have started to get to know each other off the site, preparing for Mudstock 99, 200, wandering along after Joe and Rick, and so on. There is so little of this on the Web (and not much of it elsewhere). That is why what Max did made me so angry -- this was an internal assault on the whole thing from the sustainer of the whole thing. As if it were one more wanton game, which could be fooled around with, and undermined without anyone being much better off or worse off. I think people who say that we should not be taking this site or its growing community seriously (the get-a-life brigade) are missing the point. This is part of life, and it has its seriousness and its good jokes too (thank goodness). What is raised by what happened is not (contrary to some respondents) "Now I can see how much this site needs protecting," but "Why should I care, why should I put myself on the line to help, since the person who runs it thinks it is all optional." That is what it says, like a lot of wantonness out there. That's why I think it was so damaging -- we will all survive the FBI, but we cannot survive our loss of trust in each other, however fragilely earned. Perhaps it is true, perhaps it is stupid to be sucked into thinking this is just one more Web site in a world of manipulation, but I don't want to believe that, and I don't think Max believes it either. It was just one of those dumb things people do, but it still makes me mad.

Yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Sam Pirt
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 08:00 AM

Ha, Ha, Ha, FUNNY. NOT!!!!!!!!

Bye, Sam


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 03:34 AM

Thank you Max.

(To the sound of 'The Last Post' playing quitely in the distance).


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Shula
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 12:39 AM

Dear Max,

So sorry. Would have been glad to leave you the last word, to which you are surely entitled. Was composing the foregoing all evening, and sent it thinking LEJ's was the last post. Please forgive my failure to re-check the thread before posting.

Shula


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Shula
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 12:31 AM

Dear Max,

Blame the intensity of the reaction, if you must, on the sort of critters drawn to this particular watering hole. Once a radical, always a radical. Best not rile some varmints.

Personally, I have decided to consider the episode instructive. It was a pretty fair "air-raid drill." Pete M. has a point. The Mudcat really *should* have plans for damage control in the event of hostile action.

And maybe it's time to consider that you have created something so fine and unique that, like Galatea, it has taken on a life of its own. Why not enable your beloved "baby" to "outlive" you, by planning for its future in the event of the loss of its "parent?" What loving and responsible "parent" would do otherwise?

*********************
Once, in my callow youth, I did something disgraceful on April Fool's Day. In a monumentally adolescent lapse of judgement, I plotted with a schoolmate that he should pretend to have a diabetic crisis, and I should "inform" our teacher. We anticipated the pleasure of greeting our plump and prissy English instructor, on her red-faced return from a marathon run to the cafeteria for orange juice, with the cry of "April Fools!" We expected her to be annoyed, non-plussed, and embarrassed; she was all those things, and more, but not until much later.

At the time, she simply sat down and wept with relief that one of her pupils was not really dying. We were too young to anticipate how deeply such a thing would affect her. We didn't know this silly old biddy had feelings, she was just a *teacher* after all, and a relentlessly strict and demanding one at that. But the revelation that she had any sort of human emotion was not the shocker. It was that she loved us with all her antimacassared old heart.

It can be fearful to glimpse the truth. And burdensome. It is unwise to think of automotive fatality statistics while driving. And who would marry or procreate these days, going by the odds? To know that one is sincerely and greatly loved is, indeed, fearful and burdensome -- and highly unsettling. It changes things, makes us painfully self-conscious. Which is why the grown-ups so rarely let us see how much we mean to them.

You have discovered, quite unintentionally, how much *you* mean to a goodly number of folk whom you have only known here in what you believed was a small way. We will get over our dismay -- most already have. The question remaining is: will you be able to forgive us for betraying the depth of our affection?

Fondly,

Shula


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Max
Date: 05 Apr 99 - 10:38 PM

Sorry for the previous post, I had my panties in a bunch. I want to say too that this was not a ploy for money or gratitude.

Sometimes I feel like the host of a party, so much responsibility that I fail to enjoy the party. Truth is, I really have no right to complain. For the most part, I get out of the Mudcat exactly what I want. I learn from all of you, I find friends and people like me and that like the things that I do. I enjoy taking your suggestions and critisisms, and even the long hours that go along with them.

Perhaps I will play another joke next year, but certainly not about the Mudcat going away. I can surely say that the Mudcat's existence is about as solid as could be. We have consulted lawyers, and get permissions and licenses to publish all the things we do, we are non-profit and are not making money off of others' hard work. We are an educational resource, and it would be a grand injustice to shut us down. For now, my other company Onstage, needs all the same technology that the Mudcat does, so the expenses are managable and intertwined. As long as Onstage is OK, so shall be the Mudcat. If anything ever happens to Onstage, worste case scenario is that we need a raise some funds to host the Mudcat.

The Mudcat gets about 2.5 million hits (about 80,000 unique visitors) per month, more than ever anticipated, which does require more computational power than we may have at any given time. Again, worst case scenarios are temporary outages or slow service. We do the best we can with what we have and can afford. If these things bother you, either go away or make a contribution or buy a t-shirt or some cd's and books, and we'll buy a new server or better software etc. We are not suffering here. If you can find a better way to spend your money locally please do. If you can take your kids out for ice-cream instead, please do.

Perhaps from now on, no one is allowed to complain or criticise or suggest unless accompanied by a contribution or sale. If no money ever comes in, the Mudcat and Digitrad will still be here. I want more though, I want to always be able to make it better and bigger and faster and more reliable. I would like to see Dick doing it full time too. And it's as simple as that.

So lets take the edge off the situation and put an end to this thread. No more posts here. Lets talk about better things like FOLK. Thanks everybody.


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 05 Apr 99 - 10:32 PM

Thanks, Barbara, you said it more firmly and more concisely than I could have. There is no reason to think that this site go on forever, for much of the energy comes from one person, or more precisely, a few people.

Let me digress a moment. I volunteer at a weekly folk coffeehouse twice a month. It was started by two women who didn't want to keep travelling to DC to hear good folk music. Eventually, the two split up (one woman was running another weekly venue as well). The remaining woman realized that the coffeehouse was not going to be something she could do forever. With wisdom, she divided up the tasks that needed to be done and slowly began farming them out to individuals (I became a host/emcee). Eventually, the place could run without her and now it effectively does, she is just one of a cadre of volunteers and she is not in charge. A constant worry is how to replenish volunteers.

I say all of this to reinforce what Barbara says. The 'Cat runs on Max's good graces, finances, and legal responsibility. One way we can all help is to send a few bucks his way. I plan to continue to do this. I encourage the rest of you to do so. I suspect what little I send may be more important emotionally to Max than it is financially. In some way his position is pretty isolating.

Max, I suspect we have encountered an age difference. Many of us are old enough to be your parent. Some of us, although that old, may be stuck at your age (right Catspaw?). As people get older, emotional ties can become more important.

I have forgiven you, which is more important for me than for you. I always knew no harm was intended. I know you already sacrifice more than most of us would lose.

Thanks.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Apr 99 - 10:25 PM

You know, I erased a start of a post to this message just before Max posted his. I wish now that I had posted it. It started ENOUGHT ALREADY!!!!!!!!! Max is not responsible for our health, our well being or our financial state. He is the person responsible for giving us this wonderful community. And for that we are in his debt. But it is a huge drain. I put a posting in this thread that was supposed to be taken tongue in cheek. It was supposed to make you chuckle and think about how much we love this site and how we are going to have to deal with supporting it.

Max, I indicated to you in my post that I would do anything to help, and I will. I and many others here are fully aware of the tremendous drain this site puts on you and your family. You have created a wonderful thing. It is my sincere hope that you someday realize the fruits of your labor. And the rest of you, lighten up. It was a joke and the man is entitled.

Mick


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 05 Apr 99 - 09:51 PM

Wow. Some folks are laying an awful lot of guilt on Max and an awful load of responsibility. Maybe we should all look at our dependence on the Mudcat community and consider whether or not we need to get more of a life. Max is not responsible for the rest of his life for keeping this site up permanently to amuse and entertain and inform us. It's great that he does, but not his life. Whether or not he loses money or makes millions on the mudcat, whether or not he was joking on April 1 or sounding off or whatever, it is our responsibility not to depend on the mudcat for our well-being. The idea that we should demand his continued responsibility and accountability is troublesome to me.

I enjoy the forum as much as anyone and run to the computer whenever I get a few minutes to browse, post whenever something stirs me enough and thoroughly enjoy reading some of the threads. Also, some of them are boring and uninformative and unfunny and uncompelling. Sometimes, the rest of my life waits because I'm too busy reading the mudcat to pick up my guitar, or too busy reading the mudcat to balance my checkbook or too busy reading the mudcat to do anything else. This is not Max's fault either. He created the monster, but I have to deal with it personally.

There have been threads identifying other discussion forums. There have been threads sharing e-mail addresses with mudcatters. There would be ways to get in touch with mudcat people and there are undoubtedly other people outside the mudcat who have compatible ideas and interests. I hope I haven't offended anyone, but I really think we need to lighten up (another thread) and leave the idea of entitlement and guilt out of the mudcat. Enjoy it while it lasts.


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: LEJ
Date: 05 Apr 99 - 09:37 PM

Max...you are doing a great job with this. Reactions to your Practical Joke break down into 3 groups:

1. Jokers and foolers like me, Catspaw, Alice and Bob who were hoping for this kinda joke from somebody and were willing to play along.

2. More sincere and sensitive phoaks like Katlaughing and Animaterra who were taken in not because of naivete, but because they were so afraid of losing something they value.

3. Folks like Roger and Peter T who got pissed off because you were seriously worrying group 2

I look at Mudcat as a party with great music and great conversation. It's also a lot of laughs, and I got a laugh out of this thread. But everybody needs to know that Max is putting on the party - and if you are having fun, you better thank the host. And Max, promise me one thing... you'll do another April Fools Joke next year! LEJ


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Pete M
Date: 05 Apr 99 - 08:28 PM

Well I suppose there are some advantages to being 12 hours ahead of the rest of you. What with that and the Easter weekend, I've only just caught up and missed all the fun. I agree with everyone about the serious loss to us all the closure of the 'Cat would represent, but come on guys, did you actually read Max's posts? I know a lot of you are not well versed in computers but a hot standby for the 'Cat with a 100% effective re-direction of all traffic by the ISP and no break in service? About as likely as Clinton keeping his trousers on.

Secondly, if Max really thought this was likely, would he duplicate the system within US jurisdiction? And to cap it all, he then typed in a supplementary message while hundcuffed!

Now if Max had gone ahead with the remainder of the plan, it would have been much more scary. Its been done before though Max in rather more serious circumstances. Transmision by the black propoganda station Soldatensender Calais was ended by it being supposedly "shut down" by the Gestapo complete with appropriate shouting, gun fire etc. The only problem was that the taped "incident" was transmitted twice!!

Anyway, as everyone has said, I think it has made us all realise just how important the 'Cat is to us, and that we should not take your contribution in time and money lightly. So seriously Max, a back up plan to distribute the 'Cat outside the US is not a daft idea. I can't offer 24hr access to my server currently, but I would be happy to discuss any way that I could add to the resilience of the site.

Pete M

PS catspaw, I've alerted the the appropriate people to the possibility that you lot may be installing a secret keel based on tiple technology to your America's cup boat.

As for the FBI/CIA/ASCAP infiltration, all US citizens entering NZ will be required to answer two simple questions: "When did you last see your Tiple?" and "When do you wear gum boots?" Any unsatisfactory answers will result in them being dressed in ram skins and put into a paddock with 3,000,000 sex crazed ewes!


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Apr 99 - 08:00 PM

Aw, Max - just remember how much we like you. We really do. I do wish you had more time to stick around and chew the rag with us. You're not only the Benevolent Provider of this wonderful site - you're fun to have around.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Max
Date: 05 Apr 99 - 07:07 PM

Man, what would happen if I really did close the Mudcat. I mean it is MY site. I created it for nothing, I lose money on it all the time, put myself in harms way with all the copyright bullshit, not to mention the individuals who don't like what I am doing, and the IRS. If I just lost interest, or ran into some hard times and shut down the Mudcat, I would be looking over my shoulder all the time for some crazed Mudcatter looking for revenge. These strong feelings at first made me realize the importance of this service that I provide, but now it makes me wonder why I bother. To be honest, I'd rather be a member of this site than run it. I realize now that the least I have to worry about is the copyright bullshit and IRS, it's the emense responsibility I have to all of you. I now apparently have to be careful what I say and do on MY OWN SITE.

To all those who I offended with this prank, I am sorry, but take a joke will ya, it was April 1st and you're just pissed you were the fool.


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: AlistairUK
Date: 05 Apr 99 - 11:39 AM

OK my two penny'th. I have been away for a few days, and in that time was itching, literally itching to get my hands on a comp to see what was happening ( the place i was staying at doesn't even have running water let alone electricity and ports to plug in a laptop. I didn't realise how much this community meant to me. So when I came on this morning I had a lot of catching up to do. When i saw the title of the thread I was not, and I reapet, not taken in by young master Max's shennanigans. But like most of you that came in after the fact, it done got me to finking a wee bit about the 'Cat and it's inhabitants. I was truly shocked at the thought that Shula may have had a relapse because of the prank, and really think that Max needs a gentle cuff round the ear for that :o), though I'm sure he is going to feel sufficiently contrite and guilt ridden for some time (yeah roast over hot coals yah dingbat :o) ) And I have never even spoken to Shula, never in a thread nor nuffink. So, you is all may bruddahs and sistahs and I wooden't like to lose any of youse finks ever.


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Willie-O
Date: 05 Apr 99 - 10:18 AM

Jeez, I stay away for a week and look at all the fireworks I miss. (Got preoccupied for awhile with maple syrup making (3.5 gallons so far from 60 taps) and started driving cab part-time (see "below minimum wage").

Art Thieme isn't serious all the time? Gosh, I thought he just lives in his own peculiar universe.

Max feel free to ship the Cat up to Canada where our intellectual freedoms are so confused nobody would bother you. Be prepared to be met at the airport by a marching band composed of Ovation tiples and charangos (scratch that armadillo hide and you'll find aircraft plastic), Cthulhu nose flutes and ten-dollar Chinese accordions. You'll spot them by the large amount of empty space surrounding them.

Bill


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Shula
Date: 05 Apr 99 - 03:31 AM

Dear Max,

While I'm none the worse for wear, it was, indeed, a trifle inauspicious for awhile. Fortunately for me, (and to hear my fellah talk, for you as well), I didn't see this thread until Saturday night, after the first three days of Passover, and by then the jig was up.

Unfortunately, I had already pitched a capital tizzy by the time I had read far enough to know you were having us on. Where does one put the adrenaline when it isn't wanted after all? I, for one, have had all the excitement I can digest, so please, Max, take pity on those of delicate constitution, and ponder the words of my favourite-sign-of-all-time: "You are responsible for your wake." (That is, if you don't wish to attend mine, any time soon.)

Yours, in times to come, most

Warily,

Shula

P. S. Max, Akiba asks me to tell "thet young fellah up tuh th' Mu-ud-cay-et, he bes' be a'mindiniz mannuz heah-aftuh, an' git a'holt on hissef, 'cuz," it wouldn't be seemly for one "landsman" to have to say of another, "But CH'AWnuh, he jes' a'NEE-EE-DID killin' sump'um AW-ful!!!"

P.P.S. How come, when Akiba reset the cookie to his instead of mine, the message posted under my name?


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: bbc
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 11:52 PM

I agree w/ so much of what kat said (must be that 1953 birth year!). Although Max is very involved in Mudcat himself, he evidently didn't realize the depth of the emotional connection many of us feel. Mudcat has become an important part of my daily life & I was devastated at the thought of losing it. I really *do* envy those of you who were at work that day & read about it after the fact. Those of us who lived through that afternoon were not very happy ducks. Even so, I have 2 things to say. First, although I still feel a little shell-shocked & wary & feel the "joke" lasted too long, I forgive you, Max, & will happily continue to support & appreciate your work. Second, I'm proud of the positive spirit of unity shown by the Mudcat folks. It was not a bad thing for us all to realize what we mean to each other. Here's to many more years of fun & information-sharing!

best to all,

bbc


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 11:38 PM

Catspaw, I don't really think you are the one who needs to be apologising. And, in fact I don't think Max needs to anymore. What I do think he needs to do is let us know, esp. Shula, that he now truly understands how important this community is to so many of us. I could really relate to what Shula's husband posted. I am an empath and take things to heart so easily, so it really was devastating for a few hours to think that we would all be lost to one another.

Joe, I have to disagree, also. In the short time I've been on here, I feel I can "read" the postings of Mudcatters pretty well, and most of the time know whether to take them seriously or not. I guess because Max isn't on here that often and not in the capacity that we all usually are, that some of us we unable to "read" him, but I just don't feel that about the rest of you. I think, in fact, that is what makes this such a fine community.

And, I DID joke about it earlier in this thread, so I know I haven't lost my sense of humour and fun. I took it at face value, was in a state of shock for about an hour and then went into action, as noted earlier, as a consequence I spent over six hours saving files, etc. As I said before, I am glad I did. Have already started editing the music therapy thread, but didn't need the shock of this to motivate me! Isn't "practical joke" an oxymoron?

Again, if Max is really serious about fundraising, I wish he would answer my question about direct payments from our checking/savings accounts.

Agreeing to disagree,

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 11:18 PM

I gotta' disagree with you Joe...although you are right about the many facets of communication that are missing. Art is quite correct in saying it takes one to know one. And I believe that certain nuances are transmitted here in cyberspace to the point of knowing at least the general demeanor of a person. I was frankly surprised that the 'Cat was up that day at all. I apologize to all for not showing more sensitivity. I was typing my first post on this thread when Max said it was a joke. So I came back and called him a wimp for not pursuing it further. I love this place as much as most of you and I'd be devastated without it. I had NO IDEA that so many would take this as such a vile thing for Max to do.

AND FOR THAT ... I HUMBLY AND TRULY APOLOGIZE.

I should have been more sensitive when I saw how upset people were, but it's not in my makeup to NOT try to chide them out of a funk first ... Again all of you have my sincerest apology. Art and I and some others look like vultures at the waterhole, but never think we don't care.

Perhaps because I see daily a side of this country that is so appalling and dismal, people who know me only a little believe me to be the genial buffoon. Those who know me well, and they are few, understand that my often bizarre sense of humor, and music, are the ONLY things that smother the anger; and I'm intensely angry all the time.

Sorry Max and sorry to all my fellow catters once again.

catspaw

PS--Before you say it Art, yeah you thought I had a bizarre sense of music!


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 10:17 PM

Well, Art, I think a lot of the nuances of human communication get lost here - that's why it's harder for people to catch onto jokes, or why they tend to take offense at minor things. Many of the aspects of communication are missing here, so people tend to fill in the blanks with their own preconceptions. it could be that our preconceptions tend to be negative, and that may be why people on the Internet seem to take a negative view of things that can be viewed in various ways.
Because of that, we have to bend over backwards to be positive in what we say here. You know, kind of like talking to your kids, or maybe to your ex-wife. Well, maybe not THAT...
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Art Thieme
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 10:02 PM

Say folks, I never for an instant thought this was serious. I had come in here on 4/1 looking for just that kind of thing. But Max, I guess it takes a jokester to know one. And God knows I've been taken seriously a hundred times here when I was actually joking. Rarely used to happen on stage. Wonder why? Guess there I couldn't keep a straight face. (I knew a gay guy who couldn't keep that either.)

Art


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 09:50 PM

Well, Max had already posted his sheepish confession by the time I saw this thread. Nonetheless, I was a bit worried until I got to the confession. It did get me thinking about what my life would be like without the 'Cat. It would leave a big hole, I think.
The initial message sounded pretty credible. Then somebody posted a message, wondering if it were an April Fool's joke. Max's second note, denying it was a joke, made the whole thing quite believable. After all, music sites are dropping like flies these days. My other favorite sources of lyrics (other than Cowpie) are all gone - International Lyrics Server, Rabid Squirrel's Jazz Archive, and Musicals.net. I think the alt.music.lyrics newsgroup hasn't been affected yet, so there's still one good source of lyrics for us to refer people to.
Anyhow, Max, consider yourself to be in the doghouse - but we still like you.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: TonyK
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 09:26 PM

I, too, was totally taken in and immediately zipped over to the emergency e-mail site. I thought it strange that only 16 people had visited the site, but I was in emergency mode and missed the clue. I hope I don't have the distinction of being the last one on the e-mail list. It's good to see how close this community is. Often times you don't know who your friends are until the chips are down. For me, the opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. TonyK


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Shula
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 04:35 PM

Max:

I don't know if this will matter much, since you seem to have stirred attention for the need to support The Mudcat, but my wife was pretty ill after she read this thread. She had just recently felt well enough to start posting again, and was so happy to be back at her only cyber-pub. Then comes this prank. First she was severely alarmed by the ruse and then heartsick at the deception. And I mean that last adjective literally. Wasn't there a less traumatic way you could have solicited funds?

Akiba


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Barbara
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 03:25 PM

Now that a few days have passed and my heart rate is stabilized, I just want to say,
Max, you low lying piece of shit, that was a ****ing filthy thing to do, especially since so many of us worry when you fall offline periodically anyway.
I bought it completely.
If you had ponied up the FBI screen, however, it probably would have started to dawn on me I was being had, so maybe the moral (!?) is if you are going to pull of a really rotten practical joke, follow through with it. So.
I love cooking up practical jokes to play on others, I'm not so good at ones played on me since I hate to be tricked. I like to think I'm too clever to get caught.
So, points to your side, and I'll send you some money when I get through being pissed off.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 02:12 PM

Peter T.: well-said and thank you for your posting. I AM grateful it was just a joke and I don't feel ashamed at all. And, still really glad his mom stopped the rest of it. I wonder at what might have happened if he'd posted the fake FBI screen.

katlaughing, who would still like to know about the funding sugegstion......Max?


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Banjer
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 02:05 PM

Thanks again from me also MAX, this almost rivals Orson Welles' War of the Worlds radio broadcast....I, as Catspaw said also, am impressed with such an endeavor. Being cynical by nature, in the back of my mind I kept waiting for the APRIL FOOL to hit. Had this been for real it would certainly have taken a lot out of my daily routine. Thanks again for a wonderful board and a job well done for the 1st day of April.


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: dwditty
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 12:43 PM

For my part, I bit and bit hard (started the Emergency email thread). While the thought of losing the Cat was very distutbing, it made for a thrilling several hours - watching and waiting to see the outcome. I do not begrudge you, Max. For my part, it was a wake up call to let me know how important the Cat has become to me. In fact, thanks for the sharp blow to my cheek. I needed that.
DW


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Peter T.
Date: 04 Apr 99 - 12:30 PM

I don't think anyone should feel ashamed for being worried or about having their best instincts manipulated. Just because you keep a community (And this is a community) going doesn't mean you don't have responsibilities to it, in fact you have more. I think the joke was despicable. Using yourself as a victim -- including your daughter -- is not at all funny. It was both in poor taste and a betrayal of the people who come to this site. I think Max (of whom I have great respect for all the work he has done, and of whom I have written a poem or two in my time) owes people more of an apology than the one he gave. I don't say it was unforgiveable, but it is unforgiven by at least this participant. It is beneath contempt.

Yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: katlaughing
Date: 02 Apr 99 - 03:03 PM

Catspaw: thank you....you know the feeling is mutual!

kat


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 02 Apr 99 - 02:47 PM

As Lonesome E.J.'s wife I must add my five cents worth to the Max's Mayhem. Max, how could you? You certainly got all the attention you could possibly want. Now you know how much we'all love ya'll. But, enough already on the closing situation. What about this blues thing in Florida? I have been in love with the blues since I was 17, a long, long time!! Real blues, that is. Charley Patton, Memphis Minnie, Butterbeans and Susie and many more. I am a mere interloper in 'cat world but would love to start a blues thread.


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Apr 99 - 02:18 PM

Damn, but I do love you kat....PASSION!

catspaw


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: katlaughing
Date: 02 Apr 99 - 02:07 PM

Max,

It's not that we can't take a joke, it's that some of us are people of action and as such, took action, to the point of getting our Congresspersons' phone numbers and readying our pens for vitriolic rhetoric about the loss of something which means so much in our lives.

I do look before I leap, but if it is someone I trust, I guess I get caught leaping ill-advisedly, sometimes. I am glad your mother didn't let you do the other stuff, for my congresspersons, conservative and stupid as they are, would DEFINITELY have heard from me. And, my finger was ..this close to dailing ASCAP, as my brother is a member and I would have given them hell. Now I am glad I didn't call them, as it may have set off some alarm bells!

I used to laugh about people who spent so much time chatting on the Internet; I thought they were pathetic and needed to get a life. Well, the shoe is on the other foot and I do not feel pathetic and I have a life, but the Mudcat is a big part of it, now, and I don't like the idea of being without it and the wonderful friends I've made here.

I do appreciate the long hours, money, etc. that you all put in. I tell everyone I know about it. I am excited about the new things you are doing.

I asked once before if you ever thought about setting up a direct doantion thing, where people could have a certain amount automatically deducted from their checking account every month to help support the 'Cat. It does NOT have to non-profit. This is how I pay my car insurance and IPS. I wold be happy to do this every month for the cat, like I used to do for NPR before they went mainstream, top 40 trash. So, how 'bout it Max?

call me a spoil sport if you want, but a good share of my time is spent as an advocate and PR person for underdog causes, so...yesterday I was ready and willing to put all of that experience to the forefront to help out.

Next April 1st, as some others have suggested, I'll abstain for a day.

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Apr 99 - 01:10 PM

I want to congratulate you on your scheming and planning, although as I think about it, I AM saddened that someone of your years would join us mangy old Toms. But...WELCOME!!! We get together each night about 1:30AM to scratch,lick,and howl. See you there.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Max
Date: 02 Apr 99 - 12:48 PM

Catspaw, funny, I had all those things planned. Pantleg (one of my Onstage guys) was going to funny up some photos of me getting arrested and perhaps some audio of a scuffle, Mike (another one of the Onstage Boys) was going to take the site down for an hour or so, replaced by an official looking FBI warning page announcing the active search for specific mudcat posters. I had much more planned, but thank my mother for thinking this was cruel. She probably would have let me go until I started thinking this a perfect fundraiser. She questioned the ethics while I pondered our debt. Anyhow all, I am very sorry for the scare. Some of you are genuinely angry at me and that bothers me. I will get to the Getaway this year and you will all have a chance to get me back there. And if anyone can make it to the Springing the Blues Festival in Jacksonville tomorrow, surprise me with your best. I can take a joke.


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Rex Rideout
Date: 02 Apr 99 - 12:27 PM

I read this a day late and my blood ran cold. I was suckered in from stem to stern.I'm sure releaved to hear that the handcuffing bit was all made up too. No one especially Max should go through something like that. I'm cooled down now after reading the other posts. Still, I have an old tiple hanging on the wall downstairs. I might just slap some strings on it and tune it up. Rex


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Frank in the swamps
Date: 02 Apr 99 - 06:48 AM

Ferrara, thank you for drawing attention to skarpi's kindhearted response to such a cruel joke.

Skarpi, thank you for leading by example.

Max, thank skarpi.

Frank in the bloody, bloody swamps.


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Ferrara
Date: 02 Apr 99 - 06:02 AM

Hmm... Max, when you get to the Getaway, there's going to be angry yellowjackets in your sleeping bag and wet salamanders in your shoes ... not to mention the little surprises the kitchen staff are going to slip into your food! -- But keep up the good work, we may relent and let you have more than one meal a day.

I was lucky to get into this mess when there were already at least 30 posts. I read the first four, then decided it was stupid to have a heart attack about something that had about a 1% probability of being true. So I went to visit my 84-year-old aunt (really!) and never did read most of the really scary stuff, and still it was so scary all my muscles tightened up.

Skarpi, I liked your post the best: "If this is a joke I forgive you completely." You must be a very nice person. None of the rest of us are going to forgive him until hell freezes over.

Love, Rita F


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Subject: RE: The Mudcat is Closing its Doors
From: Banjer
Date: 02 Apr 99 - 05:37 AM

I agree with what Catspaw said, I also greatly appreciate the devotion, time, and efforts on our behalf in keeping this wonderful site up and running. The hours of pleasure and enjoyment and education that have been derived from here unmeasureable.

HOWEVER!! I did spend the better part of yesterday evening at our local malls, rounding up and recruiting as many Paw and Cletus look alikes as could be found. Reg, Reg, and Reg look alikes were also sought and many found. I also found several folks wearing black suits and a small gold button on the lapel carrying what appeared to be tiple cases. I have comprised a small army leaving here today bound for Jacksonville. They are armed with a picture of MAX and have instructions to take no prisoners, but to take MAX alive at any cost.

Provided this meandering gaggle of half-wits can keep heading north, by north east for the six hour trip to J'ville we should have MAX in custody by Saturday AM at the latest. Then OUR fun will begin!! There have been many suggestions, all of them good ones, ranging from something as mild as HOT LEAD ENEMAS to really painful and sadistic ones such as being hogtied and forced to listen to Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls, (I think if such misfortune was to befall me I would prefer the hot lead).

Sorry Max, that we have to resort to such measures, but it is VERY well deserved.


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