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mentally ill club regulars

Jack Campin 07 Nov 08 - 06:53 AM
alex s 07 Nov 08 - 07:04 AM
Janice in NJ 07 Nov 08 - 07:50 AM
John MacKenzie 07 Nov 08 - 08:03 AM
Zen 07 Nov 08 - 08:06 AM
kendall 07 Nov 08 - 08:11 AM
The Borchester Echo 07 Nov 08 - 08:14 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 07 Nov 08 - 08:16 AM
Marc Bernier 07 Nov 08 - 08:18 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 07 Nov 08 - 08:20 AM
mattkeen 07 Nov 08 - 08:20 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 07 Nov 08 - 08:22 AM
mattkeen 07 Nov 08 - 08:28 AM
Dave the Gnome 07 Nov 08 - 08:47 AM
Acorn4 07 Nov 08 - 10:11 AM
theleveller 07 Nov 08 - 10:38 AM
GUEST,surreysinger at work 07 Nov 08 - 10:46 AM
M.Ted 07 Nov 08 - 11:03 AM
Barry Finn 07 Nov 08 - 11:08 AM
John MacKenzie 07 Nov 08 - 11:12 AM
maire-aine 07 Nov 08 - 11:43 AM
theleveller 07 Nov 08 - 11:49 AM
Maryrrf 07 Nov 08 - 11:57 AM
Scooby Doo 07 Nov 08 - 12:01 PM
Silas 07 Nov 08 - 12:08 PM
Banjiman 07 Nov 08 - 12:10 PM
Manitas_at_home 07 Nov 08 - 12:14 PM
Banjiman 07 Nov 08 - 12:18 PM
Musket 07 Nov 08 - 12:20 PM
Manitas_at_home 07 Nov 08 - 12:23 PM
Maryrrf 07 Nov 08 - 12:26 PM
Banjiman 07 Nov 08 - 12:26 PM
The Borchester Echo 07 Nov 08 - 12:30 PM
Scooby Doo 07 Nov 08 - 12:32 PM
Mark Dowding 07 Nov 08 - 12:34 PM
VirginiaTam 07 Nov 08 - 12:48 PM
The Villan 07 Nov 08 - 12:50 PM
The Borchester Echo 07 Nov 08 - 12:52 PM
Scooby Doo 07 Nov 08 - 12:54 PM
Silas 07 Nov 08 - 12:56 PM
Megan L 07 Nov 08 - 12:59 PM
The Villan 07 Nov 08 - 01:01 PM
The Borchester Echo 07 Nov 08 - 01:08 PM
Silas 07 Nov 08 - 01:11 PM
GUEST 07 Nov 08 - 01:11 PM
The Villan 07 Nov 08 - 01:13 PM
Jack Campin 07 Nov 08 - 01:19 PM
M.Ted 07 Nov 08 - 01:21 PM
Acorn4 07 Nov 08 - 01:31 PM
SINSULL 07 Nov 08 - 01:36 PM
Joe Offer 07 Nov 08 - 01:37 PM
Dave the Gnome 07 Nov 08 - 01:41 PM
Maryrrf 07 Nov 08 - 01:42 PM
Emma B 07 Nov 08 - 01:57 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Nov 08 - 02:10 PM
Maryrrf 07 Nov 08 - 02:15 PM
Acorn4 07 Nov 08 - 02:16 PM
Dave the Gnome 07 Nov 08 - 02:21 PM
Spleen Cringe 07 Nov 08 - 02:42 PM
GUEST,guest 07 Nov 08 - 02:47 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Nov 08 - 02:49 PM
Acorn4 07 Nov 08 - 02:54 PM
GUEST,Silas 07 Nov 08 - 03:11 PM
wysiwyg 07 Nov 08 - 03:39 PM
John MacKenzie 07 Nov 08 - 03:50 PM
Melissa 07 Nov 08 - 04:00 PM
GUEST,guest 07 Nov 08 - 04:27 PM
Andy Jackson 07 Nov 08 - 04:34 PM
Sorcha 07 Nov 08 - 05:03 PM
Andy Jackson 07 Nov 08 - 05:11 PM
romany man 07 Nov 08 - 05:19 PM
Jack Campin 07 Nov 08 - 05:26 PM
Andy Jackson 07 Nov 08 - 05:29 PM
Sorcha 07 Nov 08 - 05:31 PM
Tangledwood 07 Nov 08 - 05:57 PM
Emma B 07 Nov 08 - 06:20 PM
Dave Earl 07 Nov 08 - 06:22 PM
M.Ted 07 Nov 08 - 06:31 PM
Richard Bridge 07 Nov 08 - 07:38 PM
MAG 07 Nov 08 - 09:13 PM
GUEST,Just a thinking 07 Nov 08 - 09:47 PM
Art Thieme 07 Nov 08 - 10:53 PM
Barry Finn 08 Nov 08 - 02:10 AM
The Borchester Echo 08 Nov 08 - 02:41 AM
Silas 08 Nov 08 - 03:32 AM
Jon Bartlett 08 Nov 08 - 03:34 AM
Acorn4 08 Nov 08 - 04:22 AM
Musket 08 Nov 08 - 08:14 AM
Fortunato 08 Nov 08 - 08:38 AM
Art Thieme 08 Nov 08 - 12:33 PM
The Sandman 08 Nov 08 - 01:19 PM
Greg B 08 Nov 08 - 05:34 PM
Maryrrf 08 Nov 08 - 06:01 PM
Jack Campin 08 Nov 08 - 06:26 PM
Bill D 08 Nov 08 - 08:43 PM
quokka 08 Nov 08 - 09:38 PM
Art Thieme 08 Nov 08 - 10:02 PM
romany man 09 Nov 08 - 01:20 PM
Suffet 09 Nov 08 - 08:42 PM
Charley Noble 09 Nov 08 - 08:57 PM
Art Thieme 09 Nov 08 - 10:12 PM
VirginiaTam 10 Nov 08 - 02:50 AM
romany man 10 Nov 08 - 04:39 AM
Simon G 10 Nov 08 - 05:00 AM
bubblyrat 10 Nov 08 - 05:18 AM
romany man 10 Nov 08 - 08:47 AM
Maryrrf 10 Nov 08 - 10:09 AM
romany man 10 Nov 08 - 02:18 PM
VirginiaTam 10 Nov 08 - 03:05 PM
trevek 10 Nov 08 - 03:39 PM
Seamus Kennedy 10 Nov 08 - 03:49 PM
VirginiaTam 10 Nov 08 - 04:31 PM
Melissa 10 Nov 08 - 04:58 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 10 Nov 08 - 05:16 PM
Sorcha 10 Nov 08 - 05:51 PM
Melissa 10 Nov 08 - 06:05 PM
Bill D 10 Nov 08 - 06:12 PM
peregrina 10 Nov 08 - 06:14 PM
GUEST 10 Nov 08 - 06:36 PM
John MacKenzie 10 Nov 08 - 06:46 PM
Art Thieme 10 Nov 08 - 07:33 PM
Joe Offer 10 Nov 08 - 10:19 PM
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Subject: mentally ill club regulars
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 06:53 AM

Prompted by a few remarks in the "manners" thread and elsewhere recently.

How have people dealt with club or session regulars losing the plot?

Outright psychosis is maybe one of the easier ones to deal with - I've seen one person brought into an event by a friend while having some sort of acute rapid-cycling bipolar episode. Friend must have thought it would be good for her, and it might well have been, except that performing through somebody alternately shouting encouragement and bursting into tears isn't easy. (She was once a valuable asset to the folk scene, and I think I'd have done the same as the friend in his position. He couldn't have known what would happen).

Then there's the person who was once a good singer but is in terminal slow decline, unable to remember the tune most of the time, forgetting the words for nearly every song, and unable to read their own cheat sheet.

Alcoholism is probably the commonest problem folkies run into, but in my experience drunks tend to just stay away when on a serious bender (and others can go on performing past the point of being able to stand up). With drugs I suspect E is the worst in this setting - people get into foul tempers coming down off the stuff.

Events in pubs always have the easy option of getting the publican to ban people but that may not always be appropriate.

Anyone had to deal with somebody having established, persistent delusions, as from paranoid schizophrenia?


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: alex s
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 07:04 AM

no, but we had a man who had a prolonged "absence" in the middle of a song, which was a bit unnerving. He recovered and had no idea it had happened.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 07:50 AM

Folk music clubs tend to have their social service aspects as well as their social aspects. Here in North America, the folk scene is generally based in coffee houses, often church coffee houses, rather than pubs, so alcoholism is much less of a problem than in the UK. Outright psychotics are rare, and they can be dealt with on a case by case basis. The biggest problems are the socially maladept who make other people feel uncomfortable and sometimes even afraid. They include all of the following and then some:

• Know it all braggards and loudmouths.

• People who lack the rudiments of physical hygiene and grooming.

• Would be Romeos, especially the touchy-feelly huggy-kissy kind.

• People who suffer from Asperger's syndrome and other autism spectrum disorders.

• Biggots who get off on putting people down because of their ethnicity, sexuality, religion, disabilities, etc. Often they do this with what they think of as humor, and then berate their targets who "can't take a joke."

• Control freaks who insist that everything be done their way or else not at all.

• Elitists who get off on putting people down for not knowing as much about traditional folk music as they do.

• Just plain jerks, assholes, and pricks.

There is no one effective way of handling them. I do know of cases where someone is assigned a buddy who can tactfully tell the person when he (almost always) or she (very rarely) is acting out of line. Sometimes it works, but sometimes it doesn't.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 08:03 AM

I know places like that.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Zen
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 08:06 AM

Janice's list seems somehow strangely familar!

Zen


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: kendall
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 08:11 AM

I stay away from such places.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 08:14 AM

ALL f*lk clubs aka care in the community drop-in centres (with a strictly limited list of honourable exceptions) are like that.

The late and sadly missed Jean Oglesby used to talk about just how much they were saving the NHS just by being there.

However, I expect crocheting and stamp collecting clubs attract an equally bizarre clientèle. I seem to remember Anne Lister mentioning one she knew where they had a sideline hobby of gun-toting. Now THAT sounds scary rather than just bloody annoying.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 08:16 AM

Most people with a psychotic illness such as paranoid schizophrenia manage to control it reasonably well most of the time with medication, support from a Community Mental Health Team and so on. Sometimes, often because of an increased vulnerabilty to stress, they have a relapse of psychotic symptoms. When this happens, hopefully friends, family, neighbours and ,yes, even other folk club regulars can assist them, alert mental health professionals and enable them to get the support they need to see them through the crisis.

As far as folk clubs go, I suppose it depends on how they see themselves. If they pride themselves on being part of the local community they exist in or welcoming to members of the public, it would be a bit rich if they started barring people because they suffered from a deeply disabling, stigmatising and socially excluding condition. However, if the clubs see themselves as exclusive set-ups that exist purely for the benefit of regular members, I guess they can bar whoever they like, no matter how flimsy the grounds.

Try to remember that most people with a psychotic illness who attend folk clubs are no different to any other member, unless they are actually becoming unwell. In those circumstances they need suitable help not ostracisation (or labeling as "socially maladept" or whatever the term of the day is).

I do get a bit sick of people saying folk clubs are "not care in the community" - a phrase sometimes heard on Mudcat. Who exactly made them exempt?


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Marc Bernier
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 08:18 AM

I know these people. Maybe they can go to the festival set aside for dogs.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 08:20 AM

Cross-posted with Diane. I love that quote: "The late and sadly missed Jean Oglesby used to talk about just how much they were saving the NHS just by being there."

With my mental health social worker hat on, can I say that Ms Oglesby may have been talking in jest, but there's a hell of a lot of truth in that...


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: mattkeen
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 08:20 AM

Spleen
That Mudcatter speaks my mind.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 08:22 AM

Well Matt, that's because you're a decent bloke, rather than the sort of plonker who writes: I know these people. Maybe they can go to the festival set aside for dogs.

I take it there's no-one with a mental health problem in your family, Marc Bernier?


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: mattkeen
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 08:28 AM

If one hasn't had at least a brush with any mental health issues, I would say
1. Just wait - It'll happen.
2. Denial is not a river in Africa
3. Its sometimes the only sane reaction to the modern world


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 08:47 AM

and of course most of us club organisers must be a sandwich short of a picnic to carry on doing it!

Serioulsy though, we have, on occasions, had to deal with with behaviour which one can only describe as inapproprite. Up to now we have been able to handle it and, because it is often alcohol induced, managed to get the situation under control by sitting with the offender in another part of the pub until such a time as they go home or get better. The only time I have had a brush with non-drink induced psychosis the same pattern seemed to work. Quiet room, quiet chat. Difficult, especialy when irrationality kicks in, but we persevered and eventualy sorted it out.

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Acorn4
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 10:11 AM

We've got a twenty year old autistic son. He loves music particularly folk and Irish, possible because it's always been played around the house and in the car.

We have however stopped taking him to live sessions because part of the autistic condition is to have your own agenda. We are always conscious of the effect on performers of James becoming restless when he's finished his food/drink. He also , rather embarassingly, puts his fingers in his ears sometimes, not to reflect on the performance, but because of the way he hears certain frequencies.

We have, until recently, taken him to a local theatre which has performers on on Saturday lunchtimes, which he was just about able to cope with, as it's a situation that is miked up while people are chatting/eating lunch, and there is a girl there who has Down's syndrome who attends most weeks with her carers and copes very well.

It is a shame because James actually likes the music, but I think in many cases it can be stressful for the carers as well as the performers, and it depends on how the individual is able to cope.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: theleveller
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 10:38 AM

There may be a fine line between eccentricity and insanity but, for me, it's what makes the folk scene (and life in general) so interesting. It's the boring old (and young) farts who take themselves too seriously who drive me to distraction.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: GUEST,surreysinger at work
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 10:46 AM

"we had a man who had a prolonged "absence" in the middle of a song"
Sigh ....Sorry Alex, but this - sounds more like petit mal epilepsy to me... and that isn't a mental illness.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: M.Ted
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 11:03 AM

One of my favorite gigs ever was on Saturday nights, in a little restaurant/cafe that was in my very own apartment bldg. The audience were from the neighborhood, so had known many of them in a lot of different situations. One of the regulars was psychotic, a schizophrenic who lived on his own and wrestled with horrific demons--even still, except for the occasionally cryptic remark, his burden was never apparent.

There was another regular who had bipolar disorder, however, and could be very disturbing and, in an odd way, disruptive. Most of the time, she was "normal"-- quiet and mild mannered. On rare occcasions, she'd enter the room talking a little bit too loudly, with a manic edge in her voice. Even though she never did more than this, he effect was subtly and cumulatively unnerving. After a short time, the room was on edge. People who tended to linger would finish their meals quickly and leave, conversations were brief and muted, and when she left, both the wait staff and the cooks were drained.

For my part, it was all that I could do to play--I'd make a lot of mistakes, forget lyrics, and even which song I was playing, and my vocal cords would tighten and strain.

Peculiarly, I've played in hospital and extended care facilities and had my performances disrupted by all manner of behaviors--on more than one occasion, I've had to suspend the performance while audience members were restrained and removed--none of which were nearly as disturbing as the woman talking too loud and too fast.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Barry Finn
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 11:08 AM

"I know these people. Maybe they can go to the festival set aside for dogs."

Hi Spleen

I know Marc & in knowing him I believe he's refering to folks that would shun others with diabilities from festivals & venues & they could have a dog festival set aside for them

Marc has been a great contributor, supporter & a staff member of the Mystic Seaport Sea Music festival for many yrs & they put up with the likes of me, that speaks a lot for him & them

My own opinion is that it's not all that often that people with severe disorders attend folk venues & when they do they don't generally cause enough of a row to warrant any action at all, sometimes a word, maybe. They should be cut far more slack than your plain "arsehole". It only takes a person with a little sensability, tack, gentleness & understanding to put someone back on track. On the other hand if someone is medicated & has not taken their meds they should be told or asked if they missed their meds, that sometimes helps them put things in perspective.
There is usually one or two folks in a known or regular crowd who are good at handling a situation when it arises, they should be looked apon or called on to see to it.

Barry


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 11:12 AM

Isn't this Mudcat we all inhabit, just the same? We have our 'characters', we have people who obviously have 'problems' and we get those who are always sunny cheerful, and helpful.
Does this mean that we too are a form of 'Care in the Community'?

JM ¦¬]

(Maybe that's why I keep coming back here !)


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: maire-aine
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 11:43 AM

Wow, this brings back uncomfortable memories. While not exactly mentally ill, my mother began showing symptoms of Alzheimer's, but I continued to bring her to the Sunday night music sessions, so that I could play. Early on, she'd be content to sit with some of the other ladies and just listen to the music. As months went by, she'd become more fidgity and start asking when we were leaving every few minutes. Finally it got to the point that it was just too upsetting for her to leave the house and come to the pub, so we stopped going. But, bless their hearts, the other ladies took special care of her while she did go, so thanks to all of them.

Maryanne


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: theleveller
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 11:49 AM

"(Maybe that's why I keep coming back here !)"

Best therapy I've ever had!


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Maryrrf
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 11:57 AM

There is an individual I've seen at the Getaway who seems to have some form of mental illness. There is certainly something 'odd' about him and I have seen him get a little disruptive at times - interrupting people, blurting things out during performances, etc. I would estimate that he's in his fifties. I think he has been a member of FSGW for many years and he is very knowledgeable about folk music, sings along lustily with choruses and seems to very much enjoy himself. The 'regulars' seem to have accepted his 'oddness' and have developed a way of gently dealing with him when he has his moments and he is obviously welcome at their events. I applaud their tact, kindness and generosity. I can tell that his participation and attendance is very important to him and is a source of great enjoyment. Due to his condition, and I have no idea what it is, I would doubt that he has many social outlets.

I guess it is a tough call and would depend on whether or not the mentally ill individual behaves on a regular basis in such a way that makes it impossible for the performer or the audience to enjoy an event. Rightly, the organizers would have to take the stance that it's not something the club or organization can deal with.   It's all to the good, howevever if, as in the above case, a group can find a way to include the person and make allowances for the problem.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Scooby Doo
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 12:01 PM

I do not know why your even talking about mental illness on this group especially above the line.


Scooby


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Silas
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 12:08 PM

"ALL f*lk clubs aka care in the community drop-in centres (with a strictly limited list of honourable exceptions) are like that."


Give it a rest Diane, you know not of what you speak.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Banjiman
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 12:10 PM

I would suggest that if a club or other event (or performer) can't deal with an individual with mental health issues then the problem lies with the club or event (or performer) not the individual concerned.

A bit of tolerance goes a long,long way towards a better world.

Paul


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 12:14 PM

That's a lot to expect of someone who has no training in mental health issues.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Banjiman
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 12:18 PM

.....not really, just suspend your fear and react like you would to anyone else who is in an emotional/distressed state.

Paul


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Musket
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 12:20 PM

Years ago, I was involved with a mental health charity and a lady was on a local committee I attended and used to tell us the sad plight of her son. She said she would like some of us to meet him socially if she could get him to leave his flat for an hour or two, as it would do him good.

One of those weird moments... He turned out to be somebody who came regularly to our folk club with his guitar, write wild and wonderful abstract songs and although his delivery was err.. different, "I must be the only person using plectrums on a classical guitar" we didn't know about his health issues, as we seemed to always get him on a good day.

His mother didn't even know he came out, assumed he spent every night at home watching the box.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 12:23 PM

Are you sure...?


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Maryrrf
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 12:26 PM

In response to Banjiman - I think it depends entirely on the extent of the mental illness involved. There are some conditions that certainly would be difficult for a person with no idea what was going on to deal with. What about extreme paranoia, etc.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Banjiman
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 12:26 PM

.....well I guess it depends how you would react to anyone else in an emotional or distressed state?

You have another suggestion?


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 12:30 PM

On the contrary, silasperson, I could list the "f*lk clubs" which are problem-free and excellent. Wouldn't take long. But I might miss one, and to avoid doing so, I won't. I know very well of what I speak, having been at most venues in the land at one time or another, wearing one hat or the other. However, since I haven't the faintest idea who YOU are, you might remember to address me as Ms Easby. I'm highly intolerant of assumptions of familiarity.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Scooby Doo
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 12:32 PM

What are you in earth scared off?.


Scooby


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Mark Dowding
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 12:34 PM

"I do not know why your even talking about mental illness on this group especially above the line. Scooby"

Because people with whatever condition they have, have a right to be able to attend a folk club. Putting the thread above the line recognises that fact and doesn't hide it away like some people would like to hide mentally ill people away.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 12:48 PM

With my mental health social worker hat on, can I say that Ms Oglesby may have been talking in jest, but there's a hell of a lot of truth in that...

Spleen Cringe... You ain't just whistlin dixie. After my 23 year old daughter passed away (suddenly from illness) 3 and a bit years ago, I was a basketcase. If not for a desire to sing and honour the memory of singing with her (she was an awesome performer) and finding an environement to do it (the folk scene), I would be a drain on the NHS and society. Up until a year and a bit ago, I was stil seriously depressed, self-harming and though not actively suicidal I did not care to live. Folk music is keeping me functioning, actually giving me joy and keeping me off a CMHT caseload.

I hope that the folk friends I am making will help me and support me when memory loss and (hopefully) cantankerous personality surface. I hope I am able to support others in kind now and in future.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: The Villan
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 12:50 PM

I agree with Maryrrf

Autism is a typical example. I am sure there are many talented people out there who are on the autistic spectrum. If you know nothing about Autism, you will probably not know how to deal with such a person who is upset or doesn't seem to look at things in the same way as you and who lacks social skills.

I have seen my autistic daughter on stage with her chior in front of 100 audience. She loved it and smiled (that is unusual for her). Ask her to go and ask for something from another person and she freaks out. If you don't why she can't ask somebody for something, then you will not be able to help her and can in actual fact make the problem worse.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 12:52 PM

This is clearly an example of the screwed up loner types that I encountered all too often while:

(a) doing the "clubs" myself long, long ago
(b) driving others better qualified to play them
(c) compiling the "f*lk" directory
(d) visiting to tout for gig for others
(e) just going from time to time because I'm a masochist.

"silasperson" doesn't know me, even if he pretends to do so.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Scooby Doo
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 12:54 PM

Because i have a mental illness Mark Dowding.

Scooby


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Silas
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 12:56 PM

Diane, this thread is quite a sensitive one, I am sure that even you know what sensitive means, so butt out with your unwarranted arrogance and go and pester another thread.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Megan L
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 12:59 PM

I wish people would stop putting little labels round peoples necks because they are to damned lazy to be bothered getting to know people. EVERYONE is a human being Everyone has some mental problem even if it is just being a narrow minded biggot. GEt to know people they are an amazing species if you give them a chance.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: The Villan
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 01:01 PM

Mistake. Sorry

>> If you don't why she can't ask somebody for something, then you will not be able to help her and can in actual fact make the problem worse. <<

should be If you don't know why she can't ask somebody for something, then you will not be able to help her and can in actual fact make the problem worse.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 01:08 PM

No-one wants (or should want) to know about my illness and ailments, still less so do they want to listen to the silasperson tilting at imaginary windmills in such a crass and irrelevant fashion. Is this a mental illness? Who the fuck CARES?

I know a musician that I invariably come across at Towersey. He has Aspergers Syndrome. This means he's likely to just walk off in the middle of a conversation, that sort of thing. You deal with it by not showing that you notice, or are in any way bothered. Of course,Towersey showground is a bit bigger than the average pokey, clique-ridden "club".

Sounds a good way of dealing with rude, ignorant bullies with delusions of knowing people they don't but it's rather more difficult to make it work. I can, of course, just switch off the computer and go out and hope against hope that someone like the "silasperson" isn't where I'm going.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Silas
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 01:11 PM

I would imagine that most people would walk off in the middle of a conversation with you, you don't need to have aspergers to qualify for that one.

Rude ignorant bullies - now, why is that ringing a bell?


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 01:11 PM

Not necessarily mentally ill, but folk clubs provide a lot of lonely, socially inadequate/unskilled people with a place they can go on the cheap once a week and feel part of a community. If they weren't there, some of them might well deteriorate (the people that is, not the clubs, or yet again . . . ) Anyway, I always thought that's what Jean Oglesby meant. It only becomes a real problem when the number of them in one club becomes quorate . . .


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: The Villan
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 01:13 PM

I would suggest that everybody adheres to NOT FLAMING.
Having a go at an individual is not acceptable.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 01:19 PM

Autistic people can be a huge asset or a horrendous liability. I have a friend with some atypical form of autism (officially Asperger's as that got him into the benefit net, but almost certainly not). He's hugely entertaining and fits in just fine, most of the people listening don't realize just how odd he is. At the other end, I was once at a session where a carer brought in a very severely retarded and extremely autistic young man (so big and hyperactive it was surprising he didn't have *two* minders to keep him from running into traffic) who had no discernible reaction to the music but was determined to use our instruments as bats and footballs. Not his fault, but what on earth was that carer thinking? It's not as if the carer was interested either - somebody must have told him that folk sessions are a good place to get someone else to do the minding for you.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: M.Ted
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 01:21 PM

In my experience, most bad behavior in performance venues is connected to alcohol, seconded, on occasion, by those intoxicated by their own self-importance.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Acorn4
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 01:31 PM

Some of what you say about your daughter rings true of our son, Villan. You're right in that you really have to live with autism/aspbergers or work with it to fully understand it. On the other hand of course, all autistic people have their own personality under the condition.

I think the person's carer is the best to decide if it is appropriate to take them to a folk club. I've always found that the folk crowd are extremely tolerant.

Strangely, the only time I've really been put off my stride is by someone laughing too loudly. I do mainly comedy stuff so you'd think I'd be grateful, but it was one of those loud booming guffaws that carries over into the next three lines of the song.

Will have to think of strategies to cope with that one!


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: SINSULL
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 01:36 PM

This thread put in mind of an event which shall remain nameless where a family brought their Down Syndrome child and parked him at the dessert table so that they did not have to deal with him. He was happily stuffing himself with sweets when I asked him if he liked music. He lit up.
We left the food and went off to the room where there was singing and musicians. He and I thoroughly enjoyed it. When he knew the lyrics he sang along. Someone sang a slightly risque tune and he laughed and blushed.
If someone is a problem and interferes with others enjoying themselves, they need to be reined in or asked to leave. If someone is "different" and it makes you uncomfortable, don't make eye contact. It is your problem, no one else's.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 01:37 PM

Diane Easby and Silas, stop biting each other's necks and go back to the topic of the discussion. Your vitriol is escalating, and the rest of us find it tedious.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 01:41 PM

I quite agree with Diane's synopsis. I would say folk clubs, including ours, are a good mirror of what goes in in the office, in the factory and in life. In other words a mix of the big egoes, the shy, the unhinged and the sound. The good ones are run by the people with a modicum of common sense an the bad ones by the inmates. In my experience the former are in the greater majority but if Diane has found otherwise I sympathise with her and feel that I am lucky!

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Maryrrf
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 01:42 PM

I think it boils down to the type and severity of the mental illness and how it is manifested.   You can be compassionate and try to accomodate, but you can't turn a folk club or concert series into a care facility. In the case of our concert series, if a presumably mentally ill individual was being disruptive and ruining the concert for everyone else, we would politely, tactfully but firmly ask that person's carer not to bring them back. If the individual was turning up on their own I guess we'd have to address it somehow, but he/she would be firmly but politely asked to leave and would not be allowed back. We are take the same position with young children. If they can't sit through the concert quietly we ask their parents to remove them. We can put up with some fidgeting but not disruption. This is an interesting topic, and of course every case is different. I have been in a couple of folk clubs in the UK where there were individuals who I could tell weren't quite 'right' and as far as I could see they were accepted and treated kindly. None of them was disruptive.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Emma B
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 01:57 PM

I have friends who suffer from a bi-polar condition,

When actually 'ill' they can be both very creative and disruptive, sometimes simultaneously!
However to suggest they would not be allowed back is not to understand the nature of an illness that may only become 'severe' at infrequent intervals and could deprive a possibly gifted muscian/singer of normal companionship and an outlet for sharing their talent with us all.

A greater understanding of mental illness and, in particular, not to confuse it with severe learning difficulties would be a starting point IMO.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 02:10 PM

"...he/she would be firmly but politely asked to leave and would not be allowed back."

"We had to tell that Mr Spike Milligan he wasn't wanted at our club..."


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Maryrrf
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 02:15 PM

If we want to get picky I guess I should have said "would not be allowed back if they were going to be disruptive." My point is, yes I advocate compassion and would not exclude anybody who was mentally ill, disabled, very young, etc. as long as their behavior didn't ruin the event for other people. If you're running a folk club concert series then creating a comfortable atmosphere so that the music can be enjoyed has to be your priority.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Acorn4
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 02:16 PM

Yes, if we banned eccentic loonies that would get rid of most of us, wouldn't it?


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 02:21 PM

Eccentric? Me? I resemble that remark Sirrah and challenge you to custard pies at dawn!

:D


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 02:42 PM

Nice to see it's not all 'keep the loonies out'. Particular respect to Banjiman and Emma B.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 02:47 PM

Some performers also have mental health issues, I'm thinking particularly of bi polar. This will mean we don't know if we're seeing an 'up' day, or a 'down' day. Whatever, it is still this person's job, and you can't ask to book them in a specific cycle. Tolerance leads to greater education and perhaps wonderful moments.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 02:49 PM

How about Morris Dancers?


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Acorn4
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 02:54 PM

Ok in plain clothes?


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 03:11 PM

Sorry Joe, you are, as ever, quite right.

Apologies to all.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 03:39 PM

Anyone had to deal with somebody having established, persistent delusions....

A sometime band member was a deep-cycling bipolar with paranoid schiz overtones, on heavy meds, with "past" addictions. Then he was pretty heavily medicated for rheumatoid arthritis and some bone issues and thus-- to be brief-- very unpredictable.

We had to learn as a group how and when to invite him to play or jam.... how to help him participate positively.... how to develop boundaries.....

What ended up happening ove the several years he was around was that on his better days one could discuss policy with him, and then recall it to his mind on the bad days. He really WANTED things to work-- not always the case with others I am sure-- and that made him more reachable as he'd slide across from one extreme to the other..... the positive experiences accumulated so that he eventually learned, himself, when to come and when to stay home, pretty much.

Where the boundaries were laid had to do with the reality that some get-togethers were for US, and some were for others (audience, singalongers).... If it was a "just-us" jam of course he was welcome in pretty much any shape. But if it was anything close to a perfomance situation, we all agreed that he had to be in pretty good shape in order to participate-- had to be able to keep his attention manageably off of himself and his inner processes and on the outside world (and the band leader's guidance). I steered him through many a close-call situation, with his full cooperation, because I "understood" his situation pretty well and we had a good rapport.

So, it's complicated, and there are a lot of aspects to address, and you just do the nest you can.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 03:50 PM

Well judging only by those I have met. The people who recognise they have a problem, are easier to deal with, than those in denial. The hardest to cope with can be those who haven't been diagnosed as having a problem.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Melissa
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 04:00 PM

a group that doesn't want "peculiar" participants is not a Community..it's a Clique.

It seems to me that if you're doing something that's considered a decendent of the 'folk' that was collected from previous generations and find yourself offended by people who don't match your notion of who should be allowed out in public, you've slid off the path.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 04:27 PM

Also, some creative folk, they won't take any medication, because it might stifle their spark, which is their raison d'etre. Doesn't make it easier to live with them, but does make it easier to understand them.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 04:34 PM

From my very first folk club , back in 1968 , there have been "different" members. I am sure that most clubs have the blind member or two on their books; thank God they are usually treated as anyone else in our environment. Some people just have a slowness about them and and seem to live slightly apart from the main stream. The re-assuring regular faces at the folk club must be a relief from comments and stares which must greet them daily. Many clubs have a regular member with what today we call severe learning difficulties (a phrase I find insulting in itself by the way).
Yes sometimes these people can be disruptive, but thank your stars that you only have to put up with them for a few hours at most - a sensitive carer will usually take the more disruptive home early. Meanwhile, almost without exception, in my experience they contribute joy by radiating the sheer enjoyment of the music. I make no apology for referring again to our great "Family of Folk", all these individuals are just that, individuals. They are probably part of a loving, caring family and as far as I am concerned a valuable part of "Our" family.

Andy


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Sorcha
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 05:03 PM

Miskin Man, the term 'learning difficulties' is one of the BEST to actually describe the problem without actual labelling of an even MORE offensive term!

Our daughter is 'normal' in all respects but she has 'learning difficulties'! She has a LOT of trouble reading text. We tested out the yin yang for what was 'not right'. Found NOTHING...but she STILL has trouble reading and absorbing the printed info.

What OTHER term would you prefer???? Retard?


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 05:11 PM

Sorcha,
I just think it is way of not facing the truth. Difficulty in learning implies stupidity and that is certainly not the problem in many cases.
I think the term Retard is as offensive as you suggesting I might prefer it!

Andy (with some knowledge of the subject under discussion)


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: romany man
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 05:19 PM

as one of "those people" who suffers and lives with a long term mental health issue, can i just say, i personally dont want "tolerance" all i want is to be well again, sometimes i get to the point where indiference and stupid comments piss me off, oh i forgot, i should be under care in the community, sadly the community dont friggin care, i dont want sympathy or snide comments, just to be left to try and fight my demons not have to fight anything else, i struggle daily , but many dont even know i have a problem, perhaps if folk decided tp find out about mental health issues instead of just putting everyone in the same box, or just blanking the sufferer, thing might only might get better.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 05:26 PM

I never use the phrase "learning disability" at all, and if anybody does say it in my presence I'll use something that makes more sense back at them. The American term "cognitive disability" is LOT more accurate. I usually say "mentally retarded" where appropriate and in situations where the advocates of social-worker English wouldn't approve.

I spent some time working in a long-stay (= usually forever) psych hospital once. Sorry, but it is just bizarre to use the same label (1) for somebody who has only ever made grunts, has no no idea what a toilet is for, has eaten the wood off the windowsills and tried to bite another patient's penis off and (2) for somebody who just can't get past the six times table. Severe cognitive disability is *not* just about having a problem learning things. Blind people have difficulties in learning too - after all it's much harder for them to read stuff - would you have the label applied to them?

You CANNOT do social engineering by manipulating people's vocabulary. "Spastic" was an entirely neutral description of a physical problem once, and look what happened to that.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 05:29 PM

Romany man,
I felt every word of what you have written, it is so accurate and heartfelt.
I have a feeling that generally people are becoming more aware of mental health issues and I sincerly believe that things will gently get better.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Sorcha
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 05:31 PM

OK, Miskin Andy, I hereby APOLOGISE profrusely! Sorry! It's the 'text' thing again, I think. And yes, cognative IS a better word!


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Tangledwood
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 05:57 PM

We used to have a woman that attended our sessions, not all the time but fairly regularly. She could be a little irritating in that she would be frequently moving around and disrupting others in the process - nothing more than that, and her flute playing was a welcome addition to the session. Earlier this year she failed to make a planned family meeting and after a few days of searching her car was found in bushland. It was a month after that her body was found, apparently having suicided.

After that we learned that she had long term problems with depression but close friends, family, and even her psychiatrist, didn't recognise the imminent risk.

What can we all learn from this? I'm not sure, but I suppose we should recognise that any person we meet may be dealing with issues we know nothing about. Treat everybody with the friendship and respect that you would hope to receive yourself. It won't always help but it's not likely to harm either.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Emma B
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 06:20 PM

Romany man, thank you for your honest and open post.

The use of 'language' has been discussed long and often below the line, usually prefixed with 'Political Correctness gone mad'!

As Jack points out, as an English social worker, I find the term 'mentally retarded' very offensive although, as a life long sufferer from dyslexia, I aslo appreciate the inappropiate use of other terms as a cover-all!

While we cannot accomplish 'social engineering' by the mere use of language I still believe that it should be possible/desirable to avoid words that have become 'corrupted' by usage as a term of abuse.

My apologies to anyone offended by my terminology; I maybe sought to refrain from some of the more 'graphic' descriptions provided and which I too have observed in my career.

Always remember it has been estimated that 'about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.'


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Dave Earl
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 06:22 PM

"Treat everybody with the friendship and respect that you would hope to receive yourself. It won't always help but it's not likely to harm either."

Yes - If only more people would.

Speaking as someone with my own (physical) "challenges" I've been on the receiving end of some of the things being discussed here. If people behaved in the way suggested by the poster of the above there wouldn't be half the problems in Society.

Dave


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: M.Ted
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 06:31 PM

Cognitive impairments are different from learning disabilities. Notwithstanding that, there are many people, including educational psychologists, who don't, can't, or won't differentiate between the two, which, ironically, is a sort of cognitive impairment and learning disability of it's own.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 07:38 PM

Ken, you didn't need to go so naked, but it was good that you did.   I think and hope that most of us will support you and try to empathise.

A friend of mine is bipolar for many years. A great musician on the upphase. You can't work a band with him on the downphase. It blew a 5,000 seater gig for me and some others who were riding in the back of his talent.

It also resulted with him living at my gaff for a while as a bail condition while he was on bail for attempted murder. Up or downphase when in the grip of his drug of choice (alcohol) he can be very disruptive.

But most of the time, while mildly ratted, he's a very definite asset to a session.

Moral: judge not lest ye be judged.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: MAG
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 09:13 PM

I have a public service job and we see lots of people outside the normal range of behavior.

A certain amount of tolerance comes with the territory; and, we have to set very firm limits with some. including time limits for being there.

I am with those who want a performance venue to be pleasant for the majority of attendees. I have bipolars in my family, and however much I love them, I don't think they should disrupt a public event. Same for the current active alcoholic in the family. her attention-getting behavior has us all wanting not to see her.

It can be a very fine line; if you have not dealt with someone seriously behavior impaired, you may not have the whole picture.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: GUEST,Just a thinking
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 09:47 PM

I have a friend he is now 18 years old who has been going to Pub's and Folk Clubs since he was a baby in arms. He suffers from Down's syndrome or dose he in fact suffer? Everyone who I know loves him people from far a wide return to his home town on Holiday year after year and say hello to him. He might have hearing problems and speech problems but he can sing a song with so much feeling he can make you cry. Oh and he still believes in Santa Claws I can tell you that watching him around Christmas Time will restore your faith in the human race.

Why is he so special? Well it's the way he has been brought up in part but it's also himself. I'm not going to put my name to this as I don't want you to be able to pick him out. Just remember that the fact is you do not know what someone can achieve or contribute until you give them the chance to do so.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Art Thieme
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 10:53 PM

Think back to the content of the first post in this thread.

Far be it from me to repeat myself ever, but as I may have intimated in another post of mine in this Forum: I was doing a set of songs in Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo (mid 1970s)and the stage was set up in front of the bears. The animals in one enclosure were acting just as was described in that initial post. I was annoyed -- until I realized they were bipolar bears.

ART THIEME


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Barry Finn
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 02:10 AM

Art, does that mean that the 2 of them were cold?

Barry


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 02:41 AM

Some years ago I knew a young (very young) chap who got told at his local session by a bombastic concertina player (not that all of them are like that but this one was / is) that he should get back home and stay there till he was able to play out, In a lot of cases, I'd even agree in principal but not this time. Ten years on, this erstwhile pre-teenager is a member of a top band and was a Young Folk Award finalist a couple of years ago. Said concertina player is nowhere, though probably still throwing his weight about. Is he genuinely "ill" or just a jealous, frustrated no-mark? Actually, I don't care. People's sicknesses, mental and physical, whether chemically-fuelled or not, are principally their concern alone (and that of professionals should they choose to involve them) and interfering (or "trying to help" as it is sometimes termed, is generally spectacularly unproductive and prone to backfire.

Speaking personally, there's no-one who could possibly "help" cure my damaged finger which prevents me from playing accurately or my vocal problem (finally diagnosed as dysphonia) so I don't want a thread about it but you can be thankful I remain unable to perform if you like. If I choose to feel down about it, for fuck's sake leave me alone.

Those who behave inappropriately in public (not just in "clubs") are just being a pain. Analysing and sympathising ain't gonna help. Probably the opposite. Then there are those cyber nutters with sod all to contribute but nothing better to do who launch into threads like this to air their paranoid, delusionary grievances. If some of you believe a "community" should be caring for them, let it not be mine.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Silas
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 03:32 AM

Out of respect for Joe and the other forum members I am not going to bite on Dianes baited hook, but I would say that those of us with experience of relatives with mental health problems would already know that these are valid human beings with problems that are just as real as damaged fingers or vocal chords. If I can take my brother/friend to a folk club and it gives him some pleasure, there is little enough pleasure in his life as it is, then I will do so. Everyone who take the time and (very little) trouble to get to know him a little find him to be a delightful chap, despite his obvious problems. I am fortunate in that he sits quietly enjoying himself and is no trouble to anyone, except when he hears a piece he particularly likes - his enthusiastic response can sometimes embarrass the performer. However, even if he were not quite so well behaved I would seek admittance for him, even if it was for short periods, to the average person he may not seem to be someone who is able to contribute much, and possibly that is true, but his disability should not be further punished by exclusions like this.

Saying that they are not my problem is helpful to no-one, and the real losers are the uncaring.

//


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 03:34 AM

Is there a doctor in the house? The medical side of this intrigues me, since my partner Rika got encephalitis and lost all her music (and the left side of her body). She relearned how to sing, but the left side never came back, so her guitar was useless. She learned duet concertina and plays one side instead. Her loss of music reminded me of Oliver Sacks' accounts of music and brain damage - how some brain injuries completely buggered up speech but left the music alone. I wonder if music clubs are particularly good at attracting people with brain damage. I'm not speaking now of non-physical and non-chemical mental challenges (or maybe I am - I don't know how whether they are distinct or distinguishable from the aneurisms, etc.). In any event, if we've a neuro in our midste I'd love to hear more about the relationship.

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Acorn4
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 04:22 AM

The classic case of the left/right brain issue is the person who has a stammer, but can play the flute/sing perfectly. There are quite a few examples of this around clubs.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Musket
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 08:14 AM

People suffer for their talent, and some of the best and most extremely talented artistes in any venture can be highly strung.

The more I think about it, the more I realise supernova talent is at least capable of a bipolar diagnosis.

Without them, great songs would not be written, great entertainment would not be available and we would be bored.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Fortunato
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 08:38 AM

until I realized they were bipolar bears.

No Barry, I think he means that they shared their blubber (so to speak) with boy bears or girl bears.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Art Thieme
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 12:33 PM

Preference, choice, whatever. Smoke 'em if ya got 'em---but go outside.

"Once you get used to it, insanity can be the most normal thing in the world!" (Avery Schreiber and John Brent "How To Speak Hip" -- 1960s)

Art


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 01:19 PM

folk clubs are also social clubs .
folk concerts are something different.
folk clubs, hopefully, have a nucleus of regulars,who as well as enjoying similiar music,are a community,who support each other.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Greg B
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 05:34 PM

A few responeses... Acron: Wow, I really admire you. Not just for
parenting an autistic child but also for having sensitivity to the
feelings of others. Too many parents of average kids feel it's
their right to inflict their kids behavior problem du jour on
the rest of the world, lest they repress the little darlings. How
easy in your situation it would be to become completely self-involved!
But you haven't. That is very admirable.

John: If Rika's 'loss of music' happened prior to our first hearing
of her at Mystic two years back, I have to say that it's a case of
her having forgotten more about singing than most of us could ever
hope to know. That's one powerful chanteyman.

All: There are a couple of key aspects here which I learned from
experience.

The first is responsibility. A mentally ill person who is stabilized
by meds who elects to go off his or her meds truly is responsible
for the harm caused by that decision.

The other is risk. I have had an experience in the folk world with
a bipolar individual who made the above decision, and "acted out"
their particular pain by stealing. It was chosen to bar them from
folk club events (including camp) because we'd always felt like we
could go to bed with our instruments in a great pile in the dining
hall and come back to find them there in the morning. We valued
back. Their choice to leave the stability of treatment put that
at risk.

It's a case-by-case thing.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Maryrrf
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 06:01 PM

Greg B summed it up. There is no one answer - it has to be dealt with case by case, every situation/individual is different.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 06:26 PM

One case brought up here that I don't think got answered right:

There is an individual [...] who seems to have some form of mental illness. There is certainly something 'odd' about him and I have seen him get a little disruptive at times - interrupting people, blurting things out during performances, etc. [...] The 'regulars' seem to have accepted his 'oddness' and have developed a way of gently dealing with him when he has his moments and he is obviously welcome at their events. I applaud their tact, kindness and generosity. I can tell that his participation and attendance is very important to him and is a source of great enjoyment. Due to his condition, and I have no idea what it is, I would doubt that he has many social outlets.

This sounds like Tourette's syndrome or some related tic disorder. It's more like a physical illness than a mental one - and a horribly embarrassing physical illness, like some kind of incontinence or disfigurement. There are now a few good autobiographical accounts of it available, and the world would be a happier place if more people read them. (I have a very mild and infrequent tic disorder, which has almost never emerged in public, but enough to understand what people with the more severe ones have to put up with).


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 08:43 PM

Jack...it is more than that. He has been a regular in the East coast of the USA folk scene for many years, and has been a delicate problem for most of those years. I 'think' the last few years it has gotten worse. He is simply unable to relate to others with normal social graces, and has very little concept of what is appropriate behavior. He has been 'told' that certain behavior will result is his not being able to attend events, so he stays just barely inside the 'line.'

He DOES know music & performers, and his 2nd favotite hobby is going to music events and 'telling' performers about times he has seen them and telling other attendees how TO see them.
(You don't want to know about his main hobby.)

We have a great deal of difficulty finding him housing at the Getaway, as NO ONE wants to be in a room near him.

He is not an unintelligent person, and has certain real technical skills, and does manage to live by himself.....he simply cannot carry on a true 'conversation' except on matters of exchanging information and data on music, time, memories...etc.

   Whether some sort of modified Tourette's is also involved, I can't say...it may well be, but it is not a classic form.

It is quite an awkward situation, though 'managable' most of the time.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: quokka
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 09:38 PM

A couple of years ago I was at a gig where Matthew, a guy with Down's, invited himself up beside the singer and proceeded to sing along. The singer took it in his stride: When he broke his G string, Matthew kept singing,and he said: "Matthew, sing it for me - a man who knows the words to all my songs even though he's never met me before!" The next song was in Gaelic, sean nos style, and Matthew stood there but was quiet. After that he was persuaded to sit down. The singer's attitude was brilliant and everyone enjoyed the gig - especially Matthew!


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Art Thieme
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 10:02 PM

Bill D,
I believe I know him -- from years ago -- in D.C. concerts I did there--maybe at Piunewoods too. I don't recall a name, but was the other hobby to do with...oh, never mind. It doesn't matter, except that after I heard of his hobby I stayed completely away from him.
Before that I only wanted to stay away.

Art


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: romany man
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 01:20 PM

what a bloody can of worms has been opened, for those who wont understand , you need more help than me, for those that comply to political correctiveness, bollocks, to those that pussy foot around the issue , get real, and those that take the piss, i feel for you, my illness is not getting better but hell it aint gonna beat me, i will try and try to get my life back, this illness is and probably will kill me at some point, i have learned to be open about it, i will talk to anyone about how it feels to live life with this nightmare for so many years, please folks dont try and play the oh i know someone who has whatever, so that makes you feel better, please just try to find out or, even better try and see if you can help in some way, i like thousands of others have a life, im lucky i can walk, talk, and function ok, many cant, give time to think people please.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Suffet
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 08:42 PM

Greetings:

I also know the person from the DC area that Maryrrf, Bill D., and Art Thieme have been discussing, and there is a real chance that he is lurking here on Mudcat. He is intelligent and knowledgeable, as well as being a fairly good singer. He used to live in the New York City area and at one time long ago he served on the New York Pinewoods Folk Music Club board of directors. He still frequently comes up to he New York area.

All I want to say beyond that is whatever changes he has undergone have been gradual, and they haven't all been downhill. For example, he attended the picnic at Kytrad's house this past August, at which time he seemed much better than when he attended a house concert I gave for the FSGW two years earlier. He is still very much a valued part of our community, and those who have known him a long time continue work with him and support him as best as we can.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 08:57 PM

Damn! This is a good thread and I'm going to have to read every post.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Art Thieme
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 10:12 PM

On we go!!


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 02:50 AM

Well I feel bad for the fellow from DC and NY mentioned above. If he is "lurking" around Mudcat and reading this thread, how do think he feels about people openly talking about him? Makes no difference if the comments are negative or positive. It is insensitive to air what you think for everyone to see. If you truly cared, you would act appropriately with him and say nothing in a forum like this where everyone can read and make guesses, speculate and make judgements.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: romany man
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 04:39 AM

there are two sides to every theory, you have to back one or the other, as a sufferer, yes i mean sufferer, i see things one way ie i try to live my life as i should , but am aware that there are times when i cant, on the other hand there are people who think they have the god given right to say that oh you gotta problem, go else where, its no good bleating on about oh you are ill so i will be seen as a sympathetic caring sort of person who if you are lucky, i might even sit next to you , hell i mght even talk to you, oh look how good i am, and post threads to that . then there is the other side that says no looney, not on my watch, and then post threads to that general view, fine i can see both points , but however there is the middle road that gets missed, that is, ah that person has a problem, what can i do to find out more, in what way can i make a real difference, if you are uncomfortable with mental ill health, then look at what makes you uncomfortable and deal with it, sadly too many folkies seem to think that folk in all its forms is a purist area and only those that fit in and comply can have anything to do with it, god no wonder folk is seen as the poor relation in the entertainment world, folk is about people, good bad, black , white male female ill and well, not about some atificially set up area of music where only the best can join in.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Simon G
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 05:00 AM

Well said Romany man, and keep saying it, we all need reminding so contain our prejudices and welcome everyone who wants to participate.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: bubblyrat
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 05:18 AM

I used to suffer terribly with "anxiety" in my mid-twenties,and could be a real PAIN in folk-clubs,pub sessions etc., asking people for help,getting them to call ambulances,in some cases getting them to drive me to hospital themselves,blowing on my hands (to make sure I was still breathing !),taking my own pulse.It must have been AWFUL for people (it certainly was for me!),but I encountered nothing but kindness and understanding. So,a big THANKYOU to everyone in the "Folk Community" and God bless you all.What about now,though ?? Well,after Netley armed forces hospital,medical discharge from Royal Navy,years of general practitioners who didn't understand ,and fed me Librium,Valium,Barbiturates,and Monoamineoxydase Inhibitors (nasty things !), I finally got better after GIVING UP SMOKING and have been OK and drug-free for about eight years now !! There is a lesson there,I think. Well,certainly do NOT drink and take Librium at the same time,anyway !! I still like to play too loudly in sessions (attention seeking ??) but am much less trouble now,I think !! And so ,once again, a heartfelt THANKYOU to all folk-musicians and club audiences everywhere !!


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: romany man
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 08:47 AM

good luck mate and keep on going, i know the medication dont always help, in many cases it makes it worse, or it did in my case, as i say i only speak for my self and my experiences, ive seen and heard some real crap from so called enlightened people, its like saying im not racist i know one and often speak to them, what crap, dont talk about it, do it, whatever your it is, as i say im probably at some point gonna either get well again and live my life albeit changed somewhat, i doubt if i will ever run my own company again, or be in a position to not worry about bills etc, or im gonna not be around no more. thats the cold stark truth of it. again thats just me. others have different needs, but most of all the most common need to all of us, is tolerance and understanding , not bloody sympathy, and lukewarm words.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Maryrrf
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 10:09 AM

I think overall the folk community IS tolerant and understanding, but unless they are trained about the specific mental health condition involved there is only so much they can do to help an individual sufferer.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: romany man
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 02:18 PM

sorry no training needed you aint gotta be a doctor to know when somethings wrong, try bloody asking instead of hiding behind smoke screens, we have enough problems.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 03:05 PM

I am not trained. But I worked as an administrator at a CMHT and I can tell you that a few of trained professionals (nurses, social workers and consultant psychiatrists) were hyper-emotional, out of control, manic/depressive, suicidal. It must be the stress of the job or the work attracts a type. I don't know.

What I do know is that I found it quite easy to quietly and attentively listen to the patients who were for the most part, genuinely lovely people, keen to be well and fully functioning. It did not cost me anything. It did not make matters worse. I hope it helped in any small way.

Kindness needs no training. One does need courage to be kind and tolerant. I think the big issue here is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of the unusual, fear of doing more harm than good.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: trevek
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 03:39 PM

I used to play a session where a number of the regulars were mental health professionals... and, without trying to be funny, seemed to be very close to the boundary line themselves. Also, a couple of the band members (myself included)had had run ins with mental illness.

Other people who were supposedly 'healthy' were often obnoxious arseholes by the end of the night through the need to drink more than they should.

Not quite sure what I'm trying to say other than its not always that easy to tell and, in many cases, its not that (socially) important anyway if you're prepared to get past the prejudice and stigma (and that includes the PC attitudes too).


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 03:49 PM

Art, Bill D, Mary, Steve and others - I too think I know the person you're referring to, and he shows at my performances as well.

Some of the folk-club organizers get mad at him because he can be a bit disruptive at times, but all in all, he's a harmless divil. Very knowledgeable about the music and musicians, which he will discuss loudly, in depth at less than the drop of a hat.

It's my belief that he has Asperger's syndrome.
He's less a pain in the ass than most drunks.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 04:31 PM

Christ's sake!!!

Why must I say it again? Don't indicate specific people on a public forum where the person in question might read. It appears to the casual reader as nothing more than gossipy.

How would you feel if you happened onto a thread where acquaintances were discussing something potentially negative about you? It doesn't matter if you make positive or negative comments about the person. The fact that you are discussing his problem, or more appropriately your problem with him attending sessions, in a public forum is insensitive and unhelpful.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Melissa
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 04:58 PM

I agree with VirginiaTam..discretion is a virtue.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 05:16 PM

I agree 100% with VirginiaTam, and in fact believe posts such as the ones under discussion should be routinely and immediately deleted as a matter of common decency if not defamation.

It saddens me enormously that this post I am writing now contravenes the Mudcat editorial policy (because I'm referring to it) when damaging and insensitive posts above do not.

I'm sorry Joe, but I will not become a member while situations like this continue to arise here unchecked. And I will continue to believe that I should say so here, not in a private email to you as you request.

Tom


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Sorcha
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 05:51 PM

GOOD GODS, this thread has degenerated into nothing but gossip. Joe, it's TIME to just deal with this.


Jack, you really opened a can of worms here, buddy.

If I were the person being discussed/gossiped about above, I'd be pretty upset. If he is such a 'regular' on the East Coast FSGW scene, I think we can 'assume' that he looks in here....

And, Guest Tom Bliss, I AGREE!


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Melissa
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 06:05 PM

I don't understand the need for topics like this. In my experience, common sense pretty much covers it..but, for the most part, I am pleasantly surprised that the touchy subject is being handled somewhat moderately.

Using someone as an 'example' was an indiscretion and the curiosity it sparked may be natural but it's not polite to talk about people.
Whether the guy is reading the thread or not, he's a Person and it's not nice to discuss him as if he was an Exhibit.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 06:12 PM

PMs sent to folks about this issue...


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: peregrina
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 06:14 PM

Sorcha, Melissa, Tom and Virginia--I'm with you.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 06:36 PM

I also know the person involved...but I must say the above posters have been pretty discreet. It would be entirely possible for him to read the posts above and not know he was the one being discussed.

Unless, of course, it's ME they mean :-)


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 06:46 PM

I thought from the start that this thread could open a can of worms.
Think it's run it's course now.

JM


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Art Thieme
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 07:33 PM

I do hear ya, and understand and respect your feelings.

Please realize that performers coming to town might be there for a fifty dollar bill for the whole festival after driving 2 days across country to be there. (Chelsea House in Vermont) Being understanding when someone, out o' the blue, loudly comes down on you from the audience because "you are singing a different version of a song that he knows the right way." Nobody has clued you to his "problems"---and all you are is pissed off at the moron---who does it twice more during your set.

You just want to get out of town quick! And when you meet up with other singers on the road, tales are told over drinks. The humor of it becomes a saving grace. Laughing at his antics and trying to top each other with your own reminiscences of particular folks can be a theraputic time--before you must split.

I am only saying that some of you don't understand that hitting a town uninformed about the 1 or 2 locals who can be problematic is annoying at best. It feels, remarkably, like an assault. The gig has to be done---there is no time for real super sensitivity--you don't have enough info. ---You fill the tank and hit the road---still pissed that the outbursts weren't minimized better by those in the folk club---or, at least, explained better to you.

Another side of the coin. All of 'em do have two sides---at least 2.


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Subject: RE: mentally ill club regulars
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 10:19 PM

Yeah, I know this is a dangerous area, so I've been watching the discussion. In general, I haven't seen a lot of posts that I would consider "mean-spirited," so we haven't deleted much.
Thank you all for handling this discussion with such maturity. Still, some of the posts refer to particular individuals with somewhat alarming specificity, and I don't think that's good for the persons involved. Better to talk about individuals privately.
I'm going to close this thread. If you want to start another thread on the topic, feel free to do so - but be careful to post in a way that individuals cannot be easily identified.
Thanks.
-Joe-


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