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Our ghastly folk tradition

Herga Kitty 30 Mar 08 - 01:47 PM
sapper82 30 Mar 08 - 02:13 PM
Herga Kitty 30 Mar 08 - 02:17 PM
Herga Kitty 30 Mar 08 - 02:25 PM
Ruth Archer 30 Mar 08 - 02:26 PM
sapper82 30 Mar 08 - 02:28 PM
GUEST 30 Mar 08 - 02:31 PM
RTim 30 Mar 08 - 02:42 PM
Herga Kitty 30 Mar 08 - 02:45 PM
tijuanatime 30 Mar 08 - 02:47 PM
John MacKenzie 30 Mar 08 - 02:50 PM
Mr Red 30 Mar 08 - 02:51 PM
Gene Burton 30 Mar 08 - 02:53 PM
Mary Humphreys 30 Mar 08 - 02:55 PM
Ruth Archer 30 Mar 08 - 02:58 PM
tijuanatime 30 Mar 08 - 03:00 PM
katlaughing 30 Mar 08 - 03:02 PM
Herga Kitty 30 Mar 08 - 03:08 PM
Folkiedave 30 Mar 08 - 03:10 PM
Herga Kitty 30 Mar 08 - 03:17 PM
Gulliver 30 Mar 08 - 03:24 PM
Herga Kitty 30 Mar 08 - 03:41 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 30 Mar 08 - 04:23 PM
Herga Kitty 30 Mar 08 - 04:27 PM
John MacKenzie 30 Mar 08 - 04:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Mar 08 - 04:35 PM
Ruth Archer 30 Mar 08 - 04:35 PM
Megan L 30 Mar 08 - 04:44 PM
GUEST,The Mole catcher's unplugged Apprentice 30 Mar 08 - 04:44 PM
GUEST,The Mole catcher's unplugged Apprentice 30 Mar 08 - 04:46 PM
tijuanatime 30 Mar 08 - 04:50 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 30 Mar 08 - 04:51 PM
Herga Kitty 30 Mar 08 - 04:51 PM
Ruth Archer 30 Mar 08 - 04:55 PM
Ruth Archer 30 Mar 08 - 04:57 PM
GUEST,The Mole catcher's unplugged Apprentice 30 Mar 08 - 04:57 PM
the lemonade lady 30 Mar 08 - 05:09 PM
GUEST 30 Mar 08 - 05:14 PM
John MacKenzie 30 Mar 08 - 05:16 PM
Gene Burton 30 Mar 08 - 05:16 PM
The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive) 30 Mar 08 - 05:20 PM
Ruth Archer 30 Mar 08 - 05:28 PM
Richard Bridge 30 Mar 08 - 05:32 PM
Art Thieme 30 Mar 08 - 05:32 PM
John MacKenzie 30 Mar 08 - 05:33 PM
The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive) 30 Mar 08 - 05:41 PM
Ruth Archer 30 Mar 08 - 05:45 PM
Melissa 30 Mar 08 - 05:49 PM
Dave the Gnome 30 Mar 08 - 05:52 PM
Suegorgeous 30 Mar 08 - 06:05 PM
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Subject: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 01:47 PM

Matthew Parris responsible for Radio 4's latest Pick of the Week, just played an extract from a programme about black boys, including a traditional track of an Ulster singer (might have been Kevin Mitchell, but too brief for me to identify on one listening), and then made a horribly detrimental comment about it reminding him of our ghastly folk tradition.. I wish someone would put him straight...

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: sapper82
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 02:13 PM

"I wish someone would put him straight..."


ROFLMHO!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 02:17 PM

Well, he was being fairly enlightened on other minority interests, so I just wondered if someone could take him in hand to enlighten him on the value of traditional music and song...?

I might check out on Listen again - it was too soon when I posted before.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 02:25 PM

I've now checked the Pick of the week site - Matthew Parris played part of a programme broadcast on Easter Monday (so can be heard again until tomorrow - ) on the demise of the black boy
as a pub name. I found it particularly interesting because the broadcast excerpt included an interview with the sole black customer of the Black Boy pub in Bushey Heath, which is pretty near where I grew up.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 02:26 PM

Sadly, it doesn't appear to be available on Listen Again!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: sapper82
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 02:28 PM

Though Pick of The Week is not available on Listen Again, the Black Boy is available.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 02:31 PM

There is still a Black Boy pub in Hull -what demise is he talking about?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: RTim
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 02:42 PM

There is still a Black Boy Inn in Milton by Adderbury - see
http://www.blackboyinn.com/

And also at Bletchington - the village next to Kirtlington, there is a Black's Head: so in Oxfordshire there is still a presence - and both next to Morris dance villages.

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 02:45 PM

The programme included an interview with a customer (the only black customer) at the Black Boy in Bushey Heath, which I think is still going - I haven't had time to listen to last Monday's programme yet.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: tijuanatime
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 02:47 PM

Parris's remarks were something along the lines of: 'One of the benefits of the African presence in Britain is that we don't have to cling to our ghastly folk music'. Prior to that he described the singing as 'caterwauling'


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 02:50 PM

He made a disparaging remark after the short clip of an Irish unaccompanied singer, then said something to the effect. "That ghastly warbling makes me grateful that ???? came along and saved us from our own ghastly English traditional music" Or words to that effect. I was hopping mad, Matthew Parris has a always been on the waspish side, but a remark like that is a display of total ignorance on his part.
I wonder how he would feel if someone were to characterise his snippy remark as typical of the sort of waspish remarks made by many gay men.
Oh I am so cross at him, what an arrogant tosser!

Giok


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Mr Red
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 02:51 PM

Wasn't he a politician? Says it all doesn't it?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Gene Burton
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 02:53 PM

I'm pretty sure there was a Black Boy pub in Winchester too, last time I was down there (about 18 months ago).


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 02:55 PM

Yes it was Kevin Mitchell singing in that clip. He is one of the very best exponents of traditional song going. I reckon that Matthew Paris' education was very deficient indeed if he does not appreciate such wonderful singing.
Mary


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 02:58 PM

All of ths would be good fodder for Feedback - is it on at the moment?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: tijuanatime
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 03:00 PM

I believe it's just finished its run


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 03:02 PM

"Forward" him out, Kitty. Never, "straight" as my gay friends would say!**bg**


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 03:08 PM

FWIW - I've just posted this to the BBC POTW contact address (potw@bbc.co.uk):

Kevin Mitchell is a much better singer than Matthew Parris will ever be anything - his putdown of traditional music and song on this evening's POTW is a sad reflection on Matthew, not on traditional music.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Folkiedave
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 03:10 PM

Feeback is still on. Give it a whirl Ruth. (I'd do it myself but two appearances on Curmudgeons Radio (feedback) last year....................)

BBC loves Shirley Collins and devotes a whole 30 minute programme to her. Compare and contract.

As well as doing it in your own right - would it be worthwhile contacting the EFDSS - their magazine editor ought to be complaining too I would have thought.

And if you could mention that there is a decent radio folk show in Sheffield on community radio that knocks spots off the BBC coverage of folk music........

I shall write to the show's producer via the BBC complaints procedure. They know me well there!!


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 03:17 PM

I've received an auto-reply from POTW:

Thanks for your email. Unfortunately because of the volume of email we receive, we can't guarantee to read and reply to all of them. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/pickoftheweek.shtml

However, if you need a reply to a specific query, please visit the Radio 4 Contact Us page http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/help/contactr4.shtml


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Gulliver
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 03:24 PM

What is this thread about--sorry, don't have access to BBC.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 03:41 PM

Gulliver - it's about a gratuitously offensive reference on BBC's Pick of the Week Programme,to traditional song and music, from a BBC establishment pundit (gay ex-MP) who has no qualifications to rate traditional song and music. The example he cited as a reason for considering our traditional song to be ghastly was actually a shining example of how wonderful traditional song and music is!

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:23 PM

Does anyone here have the qualifications (what qualifications would you need?) to review a gay ex MP's on air opinion of folk music? For instance are you an ex MP or gay? Just asking.

Charlotte (the view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:27 PM

Charlotte why ask?

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:30 PM

Because she has to make some smarty pants snippy comment on almost every thread on Mudcat. Whether she knows anything about the subject or not.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:35 PM

It's a racist comment. I hope that it gets treated as such.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:35 PM

Regardless of his sexuality or political history, his remarks were ignorant and short sighted.

I don't need to be gay or an ex-MP to be able to see this.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Megan L
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:44 PM

Awww Giok yev made a new wee friend tae play wie how nice. Bye the way whose remark was racist?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:44 PM

"Because she has to make some smarty pants snippy comment on almost every thread on Mudcat. Whether she knows anything about the subject or not."

performing musician myself, with a number of years under my belt, and I do research before making any remarks. I do seem to disagree with you at every turn....

'Regardless of his sexuality or political history, his remarks were ignorant and short sighted.'

It was an opinion, as right or wrong as it may have been.

Charlotte (the view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:46 PM

'Bye the way whose remark was racist? '

I think Matthew Parris's remark is being viewed as anti-English

Charlotte( the view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: tijuanatime
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:50 PM

The key word here is 'gratuitous'. For the benefit of non-UK readers, Parris was presenting Pick of the Week, which features highlights of the week's broadcasting. The excerpt in question came from a programme investigating the origin of the pub name 'The Black Boy'; it contained a very short clip of traditional singing, which Parris chose for the sole purpose of rubbishing it.

The gratuitousness is compounded by the fact that the BBC had broadcast two excellent programmes in the last 7 days - an extended interview with Shirley Collins and Morris Dancing from the perspective of team psychology. Either or both might have featured on any other edition of POTW.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:51 PM

I'm still shuddering from Kitty's second post about taking him in hand...


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:51 PM

Sorry, I'm just falling about at the idea of Matthew Parris being anti-English. He justn't seem to appreciate English traditional music or music from other parts of the British Isles....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:55 PM

An ill-informed and ignorant opinion, as I said. I can see why you feel the need to defend him.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:57 PM

"The gratuitousness is compounded by the fact that the BBC had broadcast two excellent programmes in the last 7 days - an extended interview with Shirley Collins and Morris Dancing from the perspective of team psychology. Either or both might have featured on any other edition of POTW."

Indeed - the programme on Shirley is still featured on the R4 website as Pick of the Day for last Tuesday, which would have made it a more appropriate choice....


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST,The Mole catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:57 PM

The are many people who don't appreciate it( English traditional music or music from other parts of the British Isles).......and yes I listened to The Black Boy programme...but I can't get bent out of shape everytime someone says something against it, we just soldier on. do the best that we can, and ignore the naysayers. The Tradition will outlive its critics

Charlotte (the view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:09 PM

How come they are allowed to talk about 'Black Boy' yet when a plant on Gardener's Question time called Black Man's Willy was taken out of the repeat of the program because of complaints? There was even an apology in their gardener's World magazine.

Like wot???


Sal


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:14 PM

There was a pub near Henley on Thames called "The Black Boy "---- sadly, due no doubt to political correctness, it is now called "Black Boys Inn " .
    In Her Majesty's Navy, we had various words ,phrases,and expressions for describing people like Matthew Paris ( no relation to Frederick, I hope ??) , none of which I will repeat here.( they are not politically correct ).I will, however, gladly offer some abbreviations, viz. BB, KJ,TB, BH.......


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:16 PM

Because the person presenting the programme is black himself, Lem Sissay, so it's apparently OK.
The programme itself was neither informative nor entertaining, and although billed as an investigation into the origins of the 'Black Boy' pub name, it came to no firm conclusions.

G


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Gene Burton
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:16 PM

The question nobody on this thread has addressed thus far is WHY is our music so often represented in such a denigratory manner; ie. what's the causation and where are WE going wrong (and something clearly HAS gone badly wrong; the UK must surely be the only democratic country in the world where the indigenous musical tradition is held in such low regard by the vast majority of the population).

There are no easy answers, and I wouldn't claim to have 'em all. But it won't do to blame it all on media bias; these pundits are after all only (broadly speaking) reflecting the views of their listeners. For what it's worth, I'd suggest we look at three major factors.

1) Are the breaks always going to the right artists? Are we rewarding orthodoxy over originality, virtuosity over passion? If so, is this contributing to a perception that folk music is a little bloated, middle-aged, fussy, lacking in edge?

2) How's the folk scene being run? Is it operating for the benefit of performers, or listeners...or for the benefit of a small self-perpetuating elite? (Please take the trouble to look within before jumping in with a knee-jerk, defensive response...remember, this is EVERYBODY'S music we're talking about).

3) Is there an extent to which some of us actually LIKE being marginalised, being part of an exclusive interest group spurned by the hoi polloi and thus being afforded a certain snob value status...(call it the "only gay in the village" syndrome, if you will)...and consequently not only don't CARE that the music's being ignored but actively encourage it's neglect?

I suggest we need to engage with these issues, ideally constructively and without resort to snideness and personal remarks. Any takers?


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive)
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:20 PM

I just Googled 'Black Boy pubs'

there are a fair number in the British Isles with that name. Were there more at one time?

Charlotte (the view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:28 PM

Oh look! This isn't the first time Parris has been gratuitously offensive for a cheap laugh. From Wiki:

"In his Times article of 27 December 2007, Parris took a strong line against cyclists, beginning his column with "A festive custom we could do worse than foster would be stringing piano wire across country lanes to decapitate cyclists",[4] going on to denounce cyclists on a number of grounds, particularly their alleged propensity for littering. This came as a shock to many cyclists, including some who had previously been caught by similar wires. Responses in the paper have included letters[5] and a column in reply mentioning, among other things, that litter is often found along all-motor vehicle routes.[6] Comparisons have been made to other issues of incitement and hate speech[7], which have been a controversial issue in the UK in recent years."


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:32 PM

Actually, Gene, it's not just the English musical tradition (and what the fuck has an Irish singer to do with that?) that is perpetually rubbished by the British (a very large part of which is foreign controlled or heavily influenced) media, but ALL English tradition, and I for one am very pissed off about it.

But because of the way the media are run, there is no significant outlet for contrary views, and nothing will change until we have our own Mehdi army.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Art Thieme
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:32 PM

Obviously we are dealing with a pugnacious churl and an impudent rapscallion. It is enough for me to know that he is wrong, and WE are correct.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:33 PM

In a nutshell Art.   YES


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive)
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:41 PM

I'm beginning to wonder whether Parris doesn't do this sort of thing deliberately, just to get a reaction. A chain yanker as it were. I might be wrong

Charlotte (the view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:45 PM

Errrm, isn't that what I said?

"This isn't the first time Parris has been gratuitously offensive for a cheap laugh. "


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Melissa
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:49 PM

Ok Gene, I'll bite.

There's nothing in my home area for me to base an opinion on The Folk Scene. Mudcat is the only example of Folk Gathering available to me. Initially, I was excited at the prospect of having found the opportunity to sort of 'hang out' with musicians. I figured the conversations would be informative, friendly and a nice way to fill time with a music community without having to put on shoes and go somewhere.
I will apparently always be an outsider here, and that's ok. The outer edge is a decent place to be, and I learn a lot by reading. Some of the stuff I learn is lovely and I can learn to be content out here rattling the shrubbery.

One thing I have noticed is that there are plenty of posts saying "gosh, where are the young/new people?! Why aren't they interested in this brilliant thing we call Folk?" Threads with those posts usually also include self-congratulatory "we're such a nice, welcoming type..nobody's friendlier than a Folkie" (remember, this is an observation, NOT a criticism. I understand I have no Rights of Criticism.) I wouldn't disagree. Musicians do have a natural tendency toward wanting the next generation to admire and emulate them.
In contrast, threads open frequently where someone who is obviously new to mudcat, maybe new to music altogether, sometimes clueless and occasionally their requests for help are phrased in a way that doesn't look polite. Those threads are often allowed to dwindle to the bottom and off the list for lack of response. Those posts are made by the young/new people who are supposedly non-existent. There's nothing here for them and they don't have a reason to come back.

If someone is curious about what 'folk' means (maybe a folk club/show/gathering in their area and they're curious, wanting to find out whether they're interested in going to see the thing?) Mudcat is going to show up on their online search.
They're going to come, read some threads, maybe make the error of opening an old thread (responses to old threads being opened is mixed, but it's not consistently pleasant) or asking a question about something that's been beaten to death already (where they are likely to be told something that sounds suspiciously like "hey dummy, why don't you use the damn mcsearch thing and find it yourself and quit bugging us--we're talking about something Important here!")

If mudcat is representative of the Folk Scene, I would say there's possibly a fairly strong argument for the idea of "Exclusivity" being a problem and source of shrinking interest.

It's sort of like burying a treasure and refusing to make a map. After we're gone, the hoard is lost.


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:52 PM

Takes one to know one, Charlotte.

:D

Dave (Not particularly interested in the view from anyones arse...)


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Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 06:05 PM

There are elements of truth in Melissa's posts. Some people are aggressive on here, particularly to a newcomer posting something a bit naive. But I do think that someone genuinely interested (young or old) would persist past this...

Sue


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