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Mudcat - changes in style and profile

Will Fly 22 Jun 14 - 08:02 AM
GUEST 22 Jun 14 - 08:42 AM
bbc 22 Jun 14 - 09:35 AM
Janie 22 Jun 14 - 10:13 AM
Big Al Whittle 22 Jun 14 - 10:58 AM
skarpi 22 Jun 14 - 11:33 AM
Bill D 22 Jun 14 - 12:45 PM
Dave the Gnome 22 Jun 14 - 01:33 PM
Will Fly 22 Jun 14 - 01:47 PM
Will Fly 22 Jun 14 - 01:48 PM
Big Al Whittle 22 Jun 14 - 03:38 PM
Janie 22 Jun 14 - 04:41 PM
The Sandman 22 Jun 14 - 06:21 PM
Dave the Gnome 22 Jun 14 - 06:26 PM
Rob Naylor 22 Jun 14 - 07:24 PM
Janie 22 Jun 14 - 08:52 PM
Janie 22 Jun 14 - 09:18 PM
Jack Campin 22 Jun 14 - 09:20 PM
Big Al Whittle 22 Jun 14 - 09:59 PM
Janie 22 Jun 14 - 10:28 PM
Phil Cooper 22 Jun 14 - 11:34 PM
The Sandman 23 Jun 14 - 12:02 AM
Rob Naylor 23 Jun 14 - 12:48 AM
Mr Red 23 Jun 14 - 03:36 AM
Mr Red 23 Jun 14 - 04:02 AM
Brian Peters 23 Jun 14 - 04:54 AM
Mr Red 23 Jun 14 - 09:13 AM
Richard Bridge 23 Jun 14 - 10:18 PM
JHW 24 Jun 14 - 06:25 AM
ian1943 24 Jun 14 - 07:23 AM
Crowhugger 24 Jun 14 - 02:52 PM
Kenny B (inactive) 24 Jun 14 - 06:37 PM
GUEST,big al whittle 24 Jun 14 - 06:53 PM
Steve Shaw 24 Jun 14 - 07:33 PM
Mr Red 25 Jun 14 - 04:08 AM
GUEST,Will Fly, out of town 25 Jun 14 - 04:37 AM
GUEST,Giok 25 Jun 14 - 06:35 AM
GUEST 25 Jun 14 - 09:37 AM
GUEST 25 Jun 14 - 09:51 AM
GUEST,Peter 25 Jun 14 - 10:14 AM
Jeri 25 Jun 14 - 10:21 AM
GUEST 25 Jun 14 - 10:27 AM
GUEST,Giok 25 Jun 14 - 11:31 AM
Bill D 25 Jun 14 - 12:01 PM
Mark Clark 25 Jun 14 - 12:25 PM
Azizi 25 Jun 14 - 02:40 PM
Richard Bridge 25 Jun 14 - 07:00 PM
GUEST,Azizi 25 Jun 14 - 08:29 PM
Steve Shaw 25 Jun 14 - 09:05 PM
Alice 25 Jun 14 - 11:23 PM
DebC 25 Jun 14 - 11:49 PM
MGM·Lion 26 Jun 14 - 12:07 AM
GUEST,Will Fly, out of town 26 Jun 14 - 03:42 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Jun 14 - 06:45 AM
GUEST,giovanni 26 Jun 14 - 01:05 PM
MikeL2 26 Jun 14 - 02:15 PM
GUEST,Ed 26 Jun 14 - 02:28 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Jun 14 - 04:15 PM
michaelr 26 Jun 14 - 07:44 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Jun 14 - 07:47 PM
michaelr 26 Jun 14 - 08:05 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Jun 14 - 08:11 PM
bbc 27 Jun 14 - 01:38 AM
Steve Gardham 27 Jun 14 - 02:52 AM
Steve Gardham 27 Jun 14 - 02:58 AM
MikeL2 27 Jun 14 - 05:59 AM
MikeL2 27 Jun 14 - 06:03 AM
mayomick 27 Jun 14 - 09:28 AM
GUEST,Giok 27 Jun 14 - 09:33 AM
Stu 27 Jun 14 - 10:03 AM
Tattie Bogle 27 Jun 14 - 10:06 AM
MGM·Lion 27 Jun 14 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 27 Jun 14 - 11:14 AM
Richard Bridge 27 Jun 14 - 11:53 AM
Jack Campin 27 Jun 14 - 11:54 AM
MGM·Lion 27 Jun 14 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,Azizi 27 Jun 14 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,giovanni 27 Jun 14 - 03:42 PM
Steve Gardham 27 Jun 14 - 04:13 PM
Joe Offer 27 Jun 14 - 04:37 PM
Steve Gardham 27 Jun 14 - 05:32 PM
Rob Naylor 27 Jun 14 - 05:35 PM
Amos 27 Jun 14 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,Ed 27 Jun 14 - 06:26 PM
Richard Bridge 27 Jun 14 - 06:41 PM
Richard Bridge 27 Jun 14 - 06:42 PM
Joe Offer 27 Jun 14 - 06:49 PM
GUEST,Ed 27 Jun 14 - 07:16 PM
Janie 27 Jun 14 - 07:38 PM
Janie 27 Jun 14 - 07:40 PM
bbc 27 Jun 14 - 10:58 PM
MGM·Lion 28 Jun 14 - 01:12 AM
MGM·Lion 28 Jun 14 - 01:38 AM
Joe Offer 28 Jun 14 - 04:54 AM
mayomick 28 Jun 14 - 08:41 AM
bbc 28 Jun 14 - 09:23 AM
Steve Shaw 28 Jun 14 - 06:16 PM
GUEST,Ed 28 Jun 14 - 06:52 PM
Steve Shaw 28 Jun 14 - 07:08 PM
Joe Offer 28 Jun 14 - 07:25 PM
GUEST,Ed 28 Jun 14 - 07:31 PM
Joe Offer 28 Jun 14 - 07:42 PM
michaelr 28 Jun 14 - 10:24 PM
Joe Offer 28 Jun 14 - 10:54 PM
Bill D 28 Jun 14 - 11:56 PM
michaelr 29 Jun 14 - 02:24 AM
Joe Offer 29 Jun 14 - 03:02 AM
GUEST,inkling 29 Jun 14 - 03:48 AM
Ole Juul 29 Jun 14 - 04:02 AM
Backwoodsman 29 Jun 14 - 05:03 AM
GUEST,Eliza 29 Jun 14 - 06:35 AM
bbc 29 Jun 14 - 07:43 AM
MMario 29 Jun 14 - 08:34 AM
GUEST,giovanni 29 Jun 14 - 11:48 AM
Steve Gardham 29 Jun 14 - 11:53 AM
Bill D 29 Jun 14 - 12:10 PM
Backwoodsman 29 Jun 14 - 01:03 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Jun 14 - 01:24 PM
MGM·Lion 29 Jun 14 - 03:23 PM
Steve Shaw 29 Jun 14 - 07:06 PM
Joe Offer 29 Jun 14 - 08:08 PM
Steve Shaw 29 Jun 14 - 08:27 PM
Wesley S 29 Jun 14 - 09:09 PM
Ole Juul 29 Jun 14 - 11:38 PM
Joe Offer 30 Jun 14 - 01:59 AM
Ole Juul 30 Jun 14 - 03:03 AM
Joe Offer 30 Jun 14 - 03:36 AM
GUEST,Grishka 30 Jun 14 - 07:14 AM
Richard Mellish 30 Jun 14 - 07:24 AM
MGM·Lion 30 Jun 14 - 07:45 AM
Dave the Gnome 30 Jun 14 - 07:48 AM
bbc 30 Jun 14 - 08:45 AM
GUEST,Grishka 01 Jul 14 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,giovanni 01 Jul 14 - 04:13 PM
Ole Juul 01 Jul 14 - 04:29 PM
GUEST,Grishka 01 Jul 14 - 05:28 PM
Richard Bridge 01 Jul 14 - 05:45 PM
Larry The Radio Guy 01 Jul 14 - 05:50 PM
GUEST 01 Jul 14 - 05:54 PM
Ole Juul 01 Jul 14 - 08:21 PM
Janie 01 Jul 14 - 10:06 PM
GUEST,Grishka 02 Jul 14 - 05:49 AM
GUEST,Azizi 02 Jul 14 - 07:52 AM
Dave the Gnome 02 Jul 14 - 08:33 AM
GUEST,Grishka 02 Jul 14 - 10:06 AM
Musket 02 Jul 14 - 10:18 AM
Dave the Gnome 02 Jul 14 - 11:00 AM
Wesley S 02 Jul 14 - 11:27 AM
Richard Bridge 02 Jul 14 - 11:45 AM
GUEST 02 Jul 14 - 11:47 AM
Wesley S 02 Jul 14 - 11:49 AM
Musket 02 Jul 14 - 12:04 PM
GUEST,Grishka 02 Jul 14 - 12:23 PM
GUEST 02 Jul 14 - 12:36 PM
Dave the Gnome 02 Jul 14 - 12:55 PM
Steve Gardham 02 Jul 14 - 04:44 PM
Richard Bridge 02 Jul 14 - 04:52 PM
GUEST,Grishka 02 Jul 14 - 05:07 PM
Dave the Gnome 02 Jul 14 - 05:12 PM
GUEST,giovanni 03 Jul 14 - 03:25 AM
GUEST,Eliza 03 Jul 14 - 03:34 AM
Dave the Gnome 03 Jul 14 - 04:53 AM
Tattie Bogle 03 Jul 14 - 05:21 AM
Musket 03 Jul 14 - 05:30 AM
Stu 03 Jul 14 - 05:47 AM
GUEST,Grishka 03 Jul 14 - 04:45 PM
Richard Bridge 03 Jul 14 - 06:09 PM
Ole Juul 03 Jul 14 - 09:17 PM
GUEST,# 03 Jul 14 - 11:38 PM
Joe Offer 04 Jul 14 - 12:39 AM
Richard Bridge 07 Jul 14 - 03:04 PM
Joe Offer 07 Jul 14 - 06:27 PM
Richard Bridge 08 Jul 14 - 04:38 PM
GUEST,CL!NT WESTWOOD 15 Jul 14 - 11:57 PM
GUEST,CL!NT WESTWOOD 16 Jul 14 - 12:05 AM
Janie 16 Jul 14 - 12:21 AM
Janie 16 Jul 14 - 12:42 AM
GUEST,An old-timer 16 Jul 14 - 02:51 AM
GUEST,MerryMary 02 May 15 - 09:55 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 02 May 15 - 10:53 PM
GUEST,HiLo 03 May 15 - 09:44 AM
GUEST,Pete from seven stars link 03 May 15 - 04:47 PM
jacqui.c 03 May 15 - 05:49 PM
Jack Campin 03 May 15 - 06:43 PM
michaelr 03 May 15 - 07:15 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 May 15 - 07:18 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 03 May 15 - 09:56 PM
Joe Offer 03 May 15 - 11:53 PM
akenaton 04 May 15 - 05:14 AM
Greg F. 04 May 15 - 09:04 AM
GUEST,Pete from seven stars link 04 May 15 - 04:05 PM
Noreen 04 May 15 - 06:20 PM
Joe Offer 05 May 15 - 02:44 AM
GUEST,HiLo 05 May 15 - 03:04 AM
Musket 05 May 15 - 03:40 AM
GUEST,HiLo 05 May 15 - 04:15 AM
Will Fly 05 May 15 - 05:48 AM
Musket 05 May 15 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 05 May 15 - 09:37 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 05 May 15 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,# 05 May 15 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,# 05 May 15 - 09:48 AM
GUEST,Pete from seven stars link 05 May 15 - 12:22 PM
GUEST,Noreen at work 05 May 15 - 01:00 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 May 15 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 05 May 15 - 03:59 PM
Keith A of Hertford 05 May 15 - 04:03 PM
Amos 05 May 15 - 05:11 PM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 05 May 15 - 05:33 PM
Keith A of Hertford 05 May 15 - 09:15 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 May 15 - 10:39 PM
Janie 05 May 15 - 10:42 PM
Joe Offer 06 May 15 - 01:26 AM
akenaton 06 May 15 - 02:42 AM
Keith A of Hertford 06 May 15 - 05:25 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 06 May 15 - 05:54 AM
Keith A of Hertford 06 May 15 - 05:56 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 06 May 15 - 06:22 AM
Keith A of Hertford 06 May 15 - 06:39 AM
Steve Shaw 06 May 15 - 06:39 AM
Steve Shaw 06 May 15 - 06:41 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 06 May 15 - 07:31 AM
Keith A of Hertford 06 May 15 - 07:32 AM
Keith A of Hertford 06 May 15 - 07:36 AM
Jack Blandiver 06 May 15 - 07:45 AM
GUEST,Wheres that bloody cookie? 06 May 15 - 07:54 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 06 May 15 - 07:55 AM
GUEST 06 May 15 - 08:10 AM
Keith A of Hertford 06 May 15 - 08:13 AM
Keith A of Hertford 06 May 15 - 08:15 AM
Keith A of Hertford 06 May 15 - 08:17 AM
Steve Shaw 06 May 15 - 08:24 AM
Keith A of Hertford 06 May 15 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,Jon Heslop 06 May 15 - 08:32 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 06 May 15 - 08:37 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 06 May 15 - 08:52 AM
Keith A of Hertford 06 May 15 - 08:59 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 06 May 15 - 09:04 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 06 May 15 - 09:06 AM
Keith A of Hertford 06 May 15 - 09:18 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 06 May 15 - 09:25 AM
GUEST,HiLo 06 May 15 - 10:10 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 May 15 - 10:35 AM
GUEST,HiLo 06 May 15 - 10:47 AM
Keith A of Hertford 06 May 15 - 11:08 AM
Musket 06 May 15 - 11:20 AM
Keith A of Hertford 06 May 15 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,Pete from seven stars link 06 May 15 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,leeneia 06 May 15 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,gillymor 06 May 15 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 06 May 15 - 01:20 PM
GUEST 06 May 15 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 06 May 15 - 01:40 PM
Keith A of Hertford 06 May 15 - 02:46 PM
Joe Offer 06 May 15 - 02:46 PM
olddude 06 May 15 - 03:08 PM
An Pluiméir Ceolmhar 06 May 15 - 03:43 PM
olddude 06 May 15 - 03:52 PM
Musket 06 May 15 - 04:06 PM
Amos 06 May 15 - 04:06 PM
Joe Offer 06 May 15 - 04:15 PM
Musket 06 May 15 - 04:21 PM
Steve Shaw 06 May 15 - 05:29 PM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 06 May 15 - 05:38 PM
akenaton 06 May 15 - 06:00 PM
Joe Offer 06 May 15 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 06 May 15 - 07:00 PM
Steve Shaw 06 May 15 - 07:21 PM
GUEST,HiLo 06 May 15 - 07:30 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 06 May 15 - 07:56 PM
Steve Shaw 06 May 15 - 08:11 PM
Steve Shaw 06 May 15 - 08:19 PM
GUEST,HiLo 06 May 15 - 08:56 PM
Steve Shaw 06 May 15 - 09:13 PM
olddude 06 May 15 - 09:15 PM
Steve Shaw 06 May 15 - 09:56 PM
olddude 06 May 15 - 10:11 PM
Amos 06 May 15 - 11:08 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 May 15 - 11:16 PM
olddude 06 May 15 - 11:19 PM
olddude 06 May 15 - 11:53 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 07 May 15 - 12:06 AM
olddude 07 May 15 - 12:17 AM
Janie 07 May 15 - 01:14 AM
Musket 07 May 15 - 02:43 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 07 May 15 - 03:39 AM
akenaton 07 May 15 - 04:12 AM
akenaton 07 May 15 - 04:18 AM
Keith A of Hertford 07 May 15 - 04:49 AM
Joe Offer 07 May 15 - 05:13 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 07 May 15 - 05:15 AM
Steve Shaw 07 May 15 - 05:19 AM
Spleen Cringe 07 May 15 - 05:29 AM
GUEST 07 May 15 - 05:29 AM
Keith A of Hertford 07 May 15 - 06:04 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 07 May 15 - 06:18 AM
GUEST 07 May 15 - 06:36 AM
Keith A of Hertford 07 May 15 - 07:49 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 07 May 15 - 08:03 AM
Musket 07 May 15 - 08:48 AM
Steve Shaw 07 May 15 - 08:57 AM
Keith A of Hertford 07 May 15 - 09:18 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 07 May 15 - 09:35 AM
GUEST,# 07 May 15 - 09:44 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 07 May 15 - 09:48 AM
Spleen Cringe 07 May 15 - 09:53 AM
GUEST,# 07 May 15 - 10:04 AM
Stilly River Sage 07 May 15 - 10:05 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 07 May 15 - 10:24 AM
Spleen Cringe 07 May 15 - 10:25 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 07 May 15 - 10:49 AM
olddude 07 May 15 - 11:54 AM
Spleen Cringe 07 May 15 - 12:04 PM
Amos 07 May 15 - 12:13 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 May 15 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,Pete from seven stars link 07 May 15 - 12:47 PM
Backwoodsman 07 May 15 - 12:56 PM
olddude 07 May 15 - 01:12 PM
TheSnail 07 May 15 - 01:21 PM
Spleen Cringe 07 May 15 - 03:01 PM
Joe Offer 07 May 15 - 03:13 PM
Joe Offer 07 May 15 - 03:25 PM
TheSnail 07 May 15 - 03:33 PM
akenaton 07 May 15 - 03:57 PM
Spleen Cringe 07 May 15 - 04:18 PM
Steve Shaw 07 May 15 - 04:24 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 May 15 - 04:25 PM
Steve Shaw 07 May 15 - 04:32 PM
Steve Shaw 07 May 15 - 04:36 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 May 15 - 05:01 PM
GUEST 07 May 15 - 05:03 PM
Steve Shaw 07 May 15 - 05:14 PM
Joe Offer 07 May 15 - 05:18 PM
TheSnail 07 May 15 - 05:23 PM
Steve Shaw 07 May 15 - 05:24 PM
Steve Shaw 07 May 15 - 05:32 PM
Joe Offer 07 May 15 - 05:33 PM
Joe Offer 07 May 15 - 05:41 PM
GUEST 07 May 15 - 05:51 PM
Musket 07 May 15 - 05:52 PM
TheSnail 07 May 15 - 05:58 PM
Joe Offer 07 May 15 - 06:03 PM
Joe Offer 07 May 15 - 06:19 PM
TheSnail 07 May 15 - 07:07 PM
Steve Shaw 07 May 15 - 07:12 PM
olddude 07 May 15 - 07:21 PM
akenaton 07 May 15 - 07:22 PM
Jeri 07 May 15 - 07:41 PM
Spleen Cringe 07 May 15 - 08:18 PM
Steve Shaw 07 May 15 - 08:29 PM
Steve Shaw 07 May 15 - 08:30 PM
Janie 07 May 15 - 08:34 PM
Spleen Cringe 07 May 15 - 08:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 May 15 - 08:59 PM
olddude 07 May 15 - 09:11 PM
Steve Shaw 07 May 15 - 09:24 PM
Spleen Cringe 07 May 15 - 09:51 PM
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Subject: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Will Fly
Date: 22 Jun 14 - 08:02 AM

I'm a comparative newcomer to the 'Cat - my first post was in August 2008 - but I've been a regular reader and irregular contributor to it since then, and it's interesting to see how it has changed in just the last 6 years.

One of the interesting things that struck me as a newbie in '08, and still strikes me today, is the subconscious, but very definite, division of the membership into what I might call the "Old Guard" and the rest. And I hope that term is acceptable. There are many Old Guard members here who were here at the start of Mudcat, who recall its early days and the things it represented - some of them are even Mods - and who have common bonds and relationships both musical and personal. This can be a daunting start for a new member of any forum, not just Mudcat, but it's something one has to live with. This is not to cast aspersions on the Old Guard by any means, and I've rarely had a problem with being a new-ish member of Mudcat, but it's a fact.

One of the other interesting things is that the average age of the membership is quite high. I did a trawl about a couple of years ago (I think) and, by the age info from those who replied, the average turned out to be around 70 or 71 years of age. That's pretty high by many forum standards. What we're seeing at the moment is increasing reports of illness and - very sadly indeed - the deaths of much-loved and long-standing members. I'm 70 myself this year, and still feel as frisky as a flea for most of the time - and there are good ol' guys and gals here much older than me. But what will we all look like and where will we all be in, say, ten years time? What of the 'Cat then?

There's also been a significant change in the type of posts and contributions to posts, mainly "below the line" in the B.S. section. I've rarely contributed much to this, preferring personally to discuss music rather than, say, religion and politics. It's obvious from the current crop of postings that many members have stopped posting down there, or even altogether, because of the nature of the discussions. I look at them myself from time to time and consider many of them to be a waste of space, what with personal insults and the endless circuitous arguments coupled with the seeming impossibility of anyone ever changing their minds or engaging in any kind of agreement. It seems to me that many members, including particularly those I've called the Old Guard have got fed up with the same feuding few accusing endlessly accusing each other of ignorance, lying, blah, blah and blah. It's a sad comment that one of Spaw's last comments in a thread was how "pissed off" he was with the Cat. Who could have blamed him?

So where will we all be in ten years' time - assuming we're still here - and what will Mudcat look like as the membership subtly changes? Was it all very "cosy" ten years ago - cosier and friendlier and more of a community than now - and, that's the case, will it be even less friendly and cosier in the future?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jun 14 - 08:42 AM

I was thinking along similar lines, but as one of the chief cat-bellers when matters got right out of control a while back, felt it wasn't my place to be too up-front about it. But at the same time, the best tribute anyone could give to Spaw is to follow in his tracks, earthy but not gratitously obscene, knowledgeable without beiing bigheaded.
There are younger performers out there, indeed I guess I'm one, being 20 years younger than the norm, but still positively aged by comparison with some. The trick is to ensure our grandchildren get to follow where we did, doing new things with the old tradition. Bits of Bellowhead were doing that with kids from Lambeth, not labelling it as "Folk" but as a different approach.
Part of the problem is that the music industry tried most determinedly to crash anything which wasn't punk or rap in the late 70s as a means to recover financial control of the sector, and in particular had it in for folk, the main drive of the concept album scene.
Having thrown the baby out with the bathwater, they came back somewhat apologetic a couple of years back, their scene becoming moribund, and nobody would go with them. Whether that's a good or a bad thing I don't know, but I think we are back in their bad books as a result. So don't look for cultural encouragement now.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: bbc
Date: 22 Jun 14 - 09:35 AM

Thoughtful post, Will. I am one of the Old Guard &, for the past several years, have only dropped in, once in a while. The beginning of Mudcat seemed, to me, to exemplify the best of the Internet, enabling like-minded people, around the planet, to get to know each other. We shared our lives, online, & many of us have even met in person. It was a joy! As time passed, new folks came in & the tone of the forum changed--in my opinion--for the worse. It truly grieved me & I dropped out. Even so, I hated to give up the wonderful friendships I'd made. I find it interesting to see so many of the "old" names on the catspaw-related threads. It seems that, though many of us have become, largely, silent partners, we're still checking on the community. The thought heartens me.

Best,

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Janie
Date: 22 Jun 14 - 10:13 AM

I don't think there is anything unique about the way Mudcat has gradually edged away from being a community. Still makes me sad.


The Decline of the Online Message Board


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Jun 14 - 10:58 AM

most of the old guard seem to have come from stateside. and the problem seems to me that the statesiders look on the Brit scene with incredulity at the depth of the bitterness between the various factions.

they've never had a period where the schisms imploded and destroyed half of the folkscene. they've never had a period where the top folksinger in the country has said, is Tom Paxton a folksinger -my god no!

their top traditional singers are perfectly understandable to the man in the street - whereas ours have laboured mightily to distance themselves from the pop cadences and chord progressions of simple songs.

so they look on us with bewilderment, and are shocked at how we express ourselves. I admit its not attractive. but basically its just two sets of people who are both striving in our own way to keep our culture alive. there is actually in most cases quite a lot of respect between the warring parties.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: skarpi
Date: 22 Jun 14 - 11:33 AM

Once I was in here a lot , now I am not , well I wonder why ...

all the best Skarpi .


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Jun 14 - 12:45 PM

There was a famous quote from Yogi Berra about some restaurant:

"Nobody goes there any more- it's too crowded."

Somehow-- in addition to the relevant mention of the all-too-many obits, a significant number of the 'old guard' and others have decided to either leave or seriously limit their participation...citing their dislike of various trends and personalities. Once 'major' contributors begin to abandon ship, it becomes a trend.
No one seems to realize... or care.. that the way to make a forum what you WANT it to be is to stay and overwhelm & outnumber the perceived problems. We used to do that! There have been a number of posters... both member & 'guest'... whose 'contributions' were widely condemned and debated. The majority of us either debated them or ignored them.
   

Now, it IS the case that Facebook has usurped so much of some folks' attention that they can't be bothered to share life & opinions here, but it is also the case that Facebook allows one to see & interact only with folks they care about. (Mudcat did too, but many seemed unable to avoid wallowing in the MUD areas of Mudcat. "If you don't like it - don't read it!" was often suggested...but....)
Facebook, with its huge resources, also allows posting of pictures... and that is its major virtue.

So... when Mudcat started (and I have been here since Nov. 1996 and watched the song database be created in the 3-4 years before that) it was a music forum.... and 97% a FOLK music forum. If no one EVER discusses religion, politics or condoms (look it up) again, it will still be a valuable MUSIC resource.
   The thing is, music in general, and folk music in particular, have always been windows thru which to view and evaluate the world. It is totally natural to discuss, debate, share & analyze "life, the universe and everything" among a group who sings about it all! We have opinions.... it is just sad that some can't 'share' without anger, rancor and accusations.

I could write for hours about what IS... what OUGHT to be and what MAY be... but... I'll just say that, as one of those older members (75 last month), I find the format of the Mudcat forum to be far superior to Facebook for creating and following topics. Perhaps it's just that my 'aging mind' won't easily adapt to FB's 'scroll off the page in an hour' format. (yes, I know there are ways to find things, I just don't with to spend 6 hours a day doing so! :>(
   I'm on FB... I just prefer here, so I'll 'mostly' be here...for the music and for the occasional topic of discussion... as long as Max cares to keep it going.

YMMV


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 Jun 14 - 01:33 PM

Sorry but I see this as an opportunity for many to start another load of shit slinging. Al reckons the problem is the traddies. Others will say it is the Brits. More will say it is swearing and cursing.

Sorry, Will, but I think your post, however thoughtful, will cause more problems than it solves.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Will Fly
Date: 22 Jun 14 - 01:47 PM

Dave - there are many opportunities in this world, but we don't have to take them all up.

The fact is, whether one likes it or not, that the forum has changed hugely in the few years I've been a member - mainly below the line - and I, for one, happen to miss many of the names who either don't post or rarely post any more. They were interesting, hunorous, worldly, intelligent and interesting, unlike much of what's around at the moment.

If my post causes shit slinging, as you call it, then the blame will rest firmly with the slingers. I've commented on the forum as I see it now - a personal view - and I speculate about the future, as any reasonable forum member is entitled to do.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Will Fly
Date: 22 Jun 14 - 01:48 PM

Interesting twice, in fact.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Jun 14 - 03:38 PM

I like mudcat . its a forum - where generally people know what i'm talking about. I don't have to explain who Pete Seeger was, or what a Gibson j45 is.

I don't say the problem is the traddies.   on the contrary - they do a lot of good work. many of them are my good and trusted friends.

On the other hand, their insistence that their vision of what folk music was, was folk music in its entirety , plus all the power that the middle classes exercise in Brit society - well and truly buggered up a movement that had captured the creative imagination of many ordinary English people.

I am genuinely sorry - if I have been part of the problem that you feel has eroded the appeal - and ruined the pleasure of other mudcatters.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Janie
Date: 22 Jun 14 - 04:41 PM

Don't think there is any question that Facebook has had a significant impact, Bill. Has resulted in dilution. One example is Big Mick's eloquent post regarding Spaw, made originally to Facebook on his own timeline. Much of what would have been our collective sharing, grieving and condolences to Karen and the boys is happening on Mick's time line as result. I'm not up to really trying to follow or participate there, in the Mudcat group on Facebook - where there are many separate posts with comments that get collapsed by the format when a certain number are reached and require you to "click on previous comments," and here as well. So I am missing the opportunity to collectively mourn in as meaningful a context as would have happened on Mudcat in the past. That is the result of my limited ability to adapt as well as my reluctance to give up on Mudcat. I feel bad about that. Appears Karen is more comfortable or adept on Facebook. That does appear to largely be a conversation among the "old timers" of which Spaw was surely one. He touched so many of our lives very personally, but it is clear the memories and early relationships built here on Mudcat go back to times many of us were not around to be apart of, many of those people no longer choose to be part of Mudcat, and I understand the need and desire for an "in-gathering" of folks that go back before my memory and knowledge,, with ties to each other and Karen that far exceed my own or that of the latter day Mudcat.

Like you, I prefer talking with Mudcatters on Mudcat for the most part, and when I do try to follow here, as well on a number of different time lines or the Mudcat Facebook group, I simply can not keep up or really participate. Not a complaint - it is what it is - just an observation. Pros and cons, and is a reflection of the modern and post-modern mobility of society.

Guess I'm part of the Middle Guard, Will Fly, as are you, if we must categorize. I came to Mudcat in 2002. At that time there were still a preponderance of people who did consider this a community - and the article I linked in my first post indicates that was much more common on-line then than it is now among many internet forums. Apparently we are not the only gathering place on the web where people once came together to discuss, debate and share ideas and information, but also to spur one another's creativity and humor. The silly threads of banter are gone. The wonderful story telling and collective fiction writing are gone and efforts to try it again over the past couple of years have petered out. Even the birder and gardening threads don't fly anymore. We don't share our lives and other interests like once happened. I don't know why that is exactly. I know I find myself still reading, but often not posting. And I probably still post a lot more than other folks who have been around awhile

After reading Will Fly's first post I was wondering if dividing the forum into above and below the line may have had an unintended consequence, but after reading that blog post, I would guess not.

Mudcat has never been an entirely harmonious community - what community ever is?   No community lasts forever. No dynamic system is static and all will change, and eventually explode or implode or simply succumb to entropy.

By the time I came on board in 2002 comments from the earliest members made clear Mudcat in 2002 was not the same place as Mudcat in 1996 or 1999. As Bill D. noted, Mudcat will probably be around a very long time as a significant music resource and archive. There will still probably be some social element well into the future, and hopefully it will be a social element that is relevant to those who mostly inhabit the place at that time. Hard to say. I hope I remain connected enough to be curious enough to at least observe the process.

Know this is rambling. Sorry. But not so sorry as to not hit submit:>)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Jun 14 - 06:21 PM

I would rather play my concertina


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 Jun 14 - 06:26 PM

Fairy Nuff, Will - I am sure you are right. But there will still be shit slinging!

DtG


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 22 Jun 14 - 07:24 PM

I'm a late-comer here. Starting looking at Mudcat regularly in 2009, but I've been a user of newsgroups, bulletin boards etc from back in the days of CIX (UK) and CompuServe (pre AOL buyout) in the very early 90s.

What I've seen from membership of a whole bunch on on-line communities in that time (alt.rockclimbing, compuserve outdoors, compuserve education, talk.origins, UKclimbing, weighlossresources, and a whole bunch of others over the years) is that all websites, and particularly their forum/ forum users, go through certain cycles, broadly similar but with slightly different outcomes.

There's an early flush of enthusiasm from the people who start the site. If the site becomes popular it starts to spin-off real-life meet-ups and get-togethers. This leads to a lot of real-life friendships and relationships ( including marriages and other long-term partnerships: I know of at least 50 couples, for example, who've met through UKClimbing.com, and that's just the ones I know personally).

There's then a period of people complaining that the site has become "cliquey" or is dominated by an "in" group. This is often not true as becoming "in" usually involves no more than being willing to participate/ contribute, but it's easy to see how less gregarious people can feel that a clique has developed.

Then, one of two things seems to happen....the site either declines in popularity, people leave and it eventually closes or becomes totally moribund. OR it remains active, but a lot of the original users leave, complaining that it's "not what it used to be" (of the 24 people who come to my UKClimbing Winter Meets in Scotland....permed from a "rolling population" of about 50, I'd say that in any one year, 2/3 of them are now "former" UKC-ers who either never, or hardly ever, log on there anymore, despite the site's high volume of members generally).

Occasionally a site has an injection of new enthusiasm from a second generation of newcomers who bring it back to life.

Sites that remain very active (and positively so) tend to be those where a good percentage of users have open minds and are willing to see change as a positive. That's one strong downside of Mudcat to me....there seems to be an awfully high percentage of people here who are stuck in a rut, looking back both musically and from a lifestyle viewpoint to some time in their youth when everything was much better than it is now. I've said before that it really doesn't feel very welcoming to young people from that viewpoint. I'm sure it'll keep going for as long as it can be hosted, as the knowledge database is a fabulous resource, but I suspect the forum use will continue to decline as older members go to the "Great Gig In The Sky" and are not replaced by sufficient youngsters to keep up a decent critical mass.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Janie
Date: 22 Jun 14 - 08:52 PM

Good observations, Rob. Certainly observations I will reflect on. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Janie
Date: 22 Jun 14 - 09:18 PM

If I may, Rob, would like more data. I'm a social worker, not a sociologist, but got most of my training back when social work was a sub-discipline of sociology and have always maintained a strong interest....Mudcat is the only on-line forum I have ever participated in. I am on Facebook, but that is a different beast. What are the time spans and the time periods of the forums with which you have experience on which you base your observations? I think length of time and time period are two separate but related variables.

Also remembering a thread from a number of years ago started by a former 'Catter who went by "Bee", if I remember correctly. Sad to say the defensive reaction of most of us, me included, probably drove her away - our loss. She started a thread that simply was observational and an invitation for us to observe the sociology in process. We didn't like feeling "watched" and were unwilling to "watch" ourselves. In hindsight, pretty telling.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Jun 14 - 09:20 PM

I used to post much more, and rather differently, when I was actively doing library research and had Bruce Olson and Malcolm Douglas to discuss it with. If I knew I was going to be in the National Library of Scotland every week, using it as a resource to answer random questions raised here was quite easy. (I suppose I dropped snippets from Scottish manuscripts with similar intention to the way Spaw used surreally imaginative scatology, to liven things up). Now I mostly use stuff I can find in this room, either in books I have, in my files or on-line. Doesn't compare.


there seems to be an awfully high percentage of people here who are stuck in a rut, looking back both musically and from a lifestyle viewpoint to some time in their youth when everything was much better than it is now. I've said before that it really doesn't feel very welcoming to young people from that viewpoint.

As far as what I play goes, I'm lucky in having guessed right with a few choices. Playing a wide range of genres and a wide range of instruments, none of them in a particularly stellar way, does mean I can fit in with what much younger trad-ish players are doing. (It probably helps that I genuinely respect a lot of them). A singer-songwriter or techie guitar player just has to hope that somebody will come along and fall at their feet in admiration of their party pieces. Mostly that means they just end up playing to an ever-narrowing, ever-ageing circle of their peers. Or just sitting at home behind their computers grumbling that nobody wants to listen to them.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Jun 14 - 09:59 PM

its so bloody sad jack that you seem to know sod all which way the world is turning.

guitar playing is mow a folk art - Richard quayles son has countless devoted followers who follow his website and buy his guitar lessons.

look at the music shops - full of people trying to express themselves - its an industry!

look at guys like Jake Bugg i'm willing to bet he played the goldem lion open mic in Nottingham - but I bet he never went to the folk clubs more than once, people like Bugg are the natural successors to people like Donovan - who most of your gang won't even allow is folk music.

bruce I never knew, but malcolm was very much - well dictatorial is putting it nicely, he knew about folk music - he reckoned.

but common sense never came into it. the doffin mistress was a Belfast song, he insisted. never mind that Sheffield was full of Irish people, whom common sense tells you would have made up a local version.
Its all had to be written in letters of stone for guys like Malcolm. but as wilde said the truth is seldom pure and never simple.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Janie
Date: 22 Jun 14 - 10:28 PM

Geez. I'm sorry and embarrassed. I didn't understand what the thread was about. Do me a favor and ignore what I posted. I'm a dolt.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 22 Jun 14 - 11:34 PM

I've stayed at the fringes, just pretty much posting when I thought I had something relevant to say. But circular arguments on nitpicking points can get old. I like the forum the way it's going. But the posters who seem to grind the old axe just get tiresome.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Jun 14 - 12:02 AM

In my opinion the best thing about this forum are discussions that pass on hepful information either about singing or playing, Will Flys you tube videos are helpful too.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 23 Jun 14 - 12:48 AM

Janie....sent you a PM.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Mr Red
Date: 23 Jun 14 - 03:36 AM

"Its deja vu, all over again" as Yogi Berra often said.

My rules for the 'Cat are (and you can use them if you wish)

1) Answer vituperation not the vituperer. Redress the accusation not the accuser. You get my drift. Don't feed the trolls (now where have we seen that before?) I do it sometimes to pour oil on troubled twaters (sic).

2) Take a lot of no never. There are idiots in this world, and there is alcohol. A magic potion for turning the erudite into blabbing morons. You can't see the empty cans.

3) there are (at least there is one thing to thank Donald Rump's felt for)
   a) "Known Knowns",
   b) "Known unknowns",
   c) "Unknown knowns"
   d) "Unknown unknowns"
   e) opinions beware c)
   f) when in doubt beware c) it applies to individuals too!
   f) if you haven't checked for c) check for 2)

4) this is a fun place. Erudition comes for free (where found).

5) don't feed the trolls

6) don't feed the trolls.

7) you got to be init to winit. Participate or gripe. Your choice. Lift the average by using 2)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Mr Red
Date: 23 Jun 14 - 04:02 AM

I just thought, apart from my experience (one remove) of a community that had a Farcebook membership, it got pretty libelous at times.

The thought:
   by allowing the bitter and angry to vent their spleen here (rather than the person/group they cannot reach) we are doing the world a service, as long as we recognise they are to be pitied, not engaged with. We know who they are (see above) sadly they don't!
Just like the driver, who, after an accident, says (first) "why did you?". The aggression is a form of defence against guilt. We know who they are!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Brian Peters
Date: 23 Jun 14 - 04:54 AM

With respect, Al, Malcolm Douglas did know his stuff, which is the reason people like me would always seek out his posts if we wanted to get the real story. There are of course a lot of different strands to Mudcat, but the stuff I usually head for is the traditional song background side of things. Malcolm put a lot of his own time and effort into sharing his knowledge here, as do several other people with a lot of good information in their heads. That's why I keep coming back, and why I spend much more time here than on FB.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Mr Red
Date: 23 Jun 14 - 09:13 AM

Malcolm Douglas had opinions. It is just that in as far as my limited knowledge could tell his opinions were far more informed and well researched than anyone I have had the pleasure to gain knowledge from.
He is missed for his knowledge like Spaw is missed for his incisive wit.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Jun 14 - 10:18 PM

Well my first post appears to have been in '99. I thought it was a fair-ish bit before that because I clearly remember posting about the millennium and how ill my (now late) wife was then, which I probably would not have done if I were a newbie at that stage. I suppose that makes me middle guard.

I come above the line a fair bit less because the experts on folk music ('54 definition) are no longer here, although the 'cat is still a useful resource for UK-ers to say and see what is happening where of a vaguely folkie nature.

I post below the line quite a lot less, first because I was asked so to do, partly because of the presence of posters who I am convinced are constructs, partly because there is more tolerance for views I regard as sociopathically right-wing, and partly because some moderation seems to have become more defensive of idiocy.

I do not of course accept Woodie Guthrie or Pete Seeger as "folk singers", or even largely as "folksong singers", but I am glad that a few members keep their politics alive.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: JHW
Date: 24 Jun 14 - 06:25 AM

Coming across other conversation sites looking for info I often find gratuitous screen fancywork which makes them hard to follow.
Long may Mudcat retain its simplicity of structure.
Agree with Mr Red on trying to stay focussed on the original question or premise.

I miss Malcolm Douglas too as I found him ever helpful as was John In Kansas in his speciality.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: ian1943
Date: 24 Jun 14 - 07:23 AM

How good is Mudcat? On Sunday I sang a tune of a hymn. Did a thread to find out whether this traditional tune was a song. It's Tuesday lunchtime now and I'm going to type out the words which I will learn then sing. That's how good Mudcat is!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Crowhugger
Date: 24 Jun 14 - 02:52 PM

We who remain are responsible for the tone and content, not those who have moved on for any number of reasons. This certainly includes yours truly who, participates much less frequently than in the past. I was surely never part of any guard though. I'm doing so much more music in 3d life that recreational computer time is scarce. I come to look up stuff sometimes, but rarely have time to read much or compose thoughtful content.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Kenny B (inactive)
Date: 24 Jun 14 - 06:37 PM

I have ben a member for at least 13 years (Lucky me) and only the number of trolls/members posting has changed downward.
The quality of the music threads & tech threads has remained roughly proportionate and informative.
The number of well? informed in the BS section and the vociferous pursuit of their informed? points of view or hobby horses has not diminished, this adds a bit of colour (often blue red green white and orange ...oops nearly forgot pink and purple) to the often humerus ( nudge nudge) and often contradictory posts (if you read them carefully)and the more they write the more likely they are to expose their inconsistancies.
I find a lot of the posts say much more about the folks posting than the post themselves say about the subject.

The Mudcat is still a great source of folk music and other music of all genres.
Robert Burns — 'O, wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
An' foolish notions

Long may it continue.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,big al whittle
Date: 24 Jun 14 - 06:53 PM

didn't mean to be nasty about Malcolm - or to attack his memory. obviously he had a lot of friends on the folkscene and on mudcat.

I was very moved by all the messages at the time of his death.

I don't think we really clicked. probably my fault.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Jun 14 - 07:33 PM

I'm only guessing, but, like about 95% of people who come to this site, I ignore about 95% of the stuff on this site. I have found it to be an incredibly useful resource on a large number of occasions. But I click on very few of the very large number of threads here. That is not a reflection of this site, more a reflection of my musical predilections (namely the traditional instrumental music of the British Isles and, mainly, of Ireland). The key point is that I click only on the stuff that might be of interest to me (sometimes I get a bit more adventurous than that, and it's often very rewarding so to do, but life is short). I repeat, I tend to click on stuff that I think might be interesting. Therefore:

I do not click on stuff that I know will be tedious (frequent) or offensive (hardly ever) to my somewhat thick skin. I recommend this approach to anyone with a thinner skin than mine. I can't remember when I started here, but what I do remember is that it was a place replete with cliques. That has subsided, and I think that's all for the good.

If you have a tendency to moan about offensive posts in threads about politics or religion, well the answer for you is devastatingly simple. Avoid. Click ye not. If you click on a thread that you know will give you offence, you are barking mad. Psychiatrists may have a more technical term than that reserved for you.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Mr Red
Date: 25 Jun 14 - 04:08 AM

The Mudcat is much like a dictionary in this respect:

Anyone ever read a dictionary from start to finish? Why would you?

But they are both there for you when ..... pick and mix as Mr Woolworth used to say (in the UK anyway).

Thanks be to Max.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Will Fly, out of town
Date: 25 Jun 14 - 04:37 AM

If you have a tendency to moan about offensive posts in threads about politics or religion, well the answer for you is devastatingly simple. Avoid. Click ye not. If you click on a thread that you know will give you offence, you are barking mad. Psychiatrists may have a more technical term than that reserved for you.

That's obvious - but it's not the point I was making. Of course it's daft to get offended by threads that will offend you. The point I was making is that there are several good people who have already been driven away from the site by the B.S. crap below the line. Good and knowledgeable musicians, as well as good people. And that's a sad fact which reading threads or not reading threads on my part or your part can't now alter.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Giok
Date: 25 Jun 14 - 06:35 AM

When I was 5 years old., I started school, and when I was 15 I left school, and went to work. Lot's of folks stayed on to 17, before they left, with higher qualifications. Some even went on to universtity, for another 3/4, or 5 years. Then there were those who became teachers, and lecturers, and eventually, even professors.
In my experience, the longer most folks stayed in education, the less they knew about real life, cocooned in their own small world of pedagoguery, and work politics.
I left school early, and grew up quickly.
I see Mudcat as a bit like school. Especially the urge to pop back to reunions, and see what that idiot from year 2, is doing now!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jun 14 - 09:37 AM

Time heals all wounds eh?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jun 14 - 09:51 AM

As for alternatives, does the Froots forum even exist any more ?

Can't find it on the revamped website ???


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 25 Jun 14 - 10:14 AM

The fRoots forum is long gone. The number of regular posters was in low single figures last time I looked at it.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Jeri
Date: 25 Jun 14 - 10:21 AM

fRoots went to Facebook. Look for fRoots Magazine.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jun 14 - 10:27 AM

"fRoots went to Facebook"..

Vox Amps also recently dumped their forum to move to 'social media'...

Shame, an archive of years of valuable user info and advice, and honest constructive criticisms, suddenly discarded,
to be replaces with a tightly controlled facebook page for marketing soundbytes and corporate arse licking..


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Giok
Date: 25 Jun 14 - 11:31 AM

Time wounds all heels.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Jun 14 - 12:01 PM

♫"Time has made a change in me.."♫


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Mark Clark
Date: 25 Jun 14 - 12:25 PM

An interesting thread, Will. Thanks. I see posts from people I haven't heard from in a long time.

I started lurking in '97, I think, but probably didn't post until '98. Does that make me "old guard?" I've always felt like a newcomer. I have one or two friends here that I knew before there was a World Wide Web or even an Internet. I found Mudcat because it had become the home for The Digital Tradition which started on floppy disks and was then hosted by Xerox, if I recall correctly. I was delighted to find old friends and happy to make new ones. These were people with whom I could discuss the music, the traditions, and our experiences as carriers and performers.

Since those early days, Mudcat has become a priceless resource for learning about all aspects of "folk" music. It contains lyrics, history, influences, instrumental instruction, and many wonderful anecdotes from both performers and scholars. While the information here isn't cataloged (catalogued) or indexed, it still may be the best starting point on the planet for researching a song. That is the result of twenty odd years of effort by a great many people who've cared enough to document what information they have. If Mudcat were a building, it would be designated a national historical treasure and given special status and support. There would be steps taken to ensure it's survival for generations to come.

I'm another person who doesn't post here much anymore. We mostly stopped talking about things that interested me and fewer people seemed to have any respect, either for musical traditions or for each other. Like some others, I got tired of putting a great deal of time into a music post only to have someone tell me I didn't know what I was talking about. I think I was a member at WillsPorch. If so, my membership has lapsed. That seems a better place for musicians to share what they do. Some of the members at WillsPorch are also active on another forum I use.

I think it's natural for Mudcat to have evolved over time. Max began The Mudcat Café as a blues forum and it's certainly strayed from what he originally had in mind. There's no reason it shouldn't also stray from what I had in mind. I only wish it was still the place for scholarship that it once was.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Azizi
Date: 25 Jun 14 - 02:40 PM

Here are a few somewhat random comments from a middle guard Mudcat member (My first post as a guest in Aug 2004- stopped regularly posting in 2009 for reasons that I've shared several times and touched on to some degree below).

With regard to Will's question "what will we all look like and where will we all be in, say, ten years time? What of the 'Cat then?", it seems to me that unless there is an influx of "new blood" than Mudcat will still largely be nostalgic about its past [as a forum] as well as largely stuck in the past with regard to the music that it focuses on.

I suppose it is to be expected that a forum which focuses on folk music would be more interested in the past than in the present and the future. But isn't there some new contributions to folk music that can be studied and discussed or do people think that there can't be new developments in folk music? Perhaps that's true for British folk music, but British folk music and its Anglo-American folk music cousins aren't the only types of folk music in the world. If Mudcat intends to remain focused only on certain types of folk music, then that means that its participants probably won't expand as it loses it old participants for natural reasons and other reasons.

It seems to me that if Mudcat is to be more than it was and still is (a rather good resource for information about and lyrics of certain types of folk music), then it has to consider broadening its participants. Note that I wrote "participants" instead of "members".

Folks here won't be surprised that I continue to lament the almost total lack of People of Color who regularly post or even sporadically post to this forum. The almost total lack impacts the type of information, song choices, and even sometimes the accuracy of the information and lyric interpretations that are found on this site for certain types of music such as African American influenced Old Time music and African American Spirituals, and early Blues. It was good to see Mudcat increase its study of Caribbean music- largely thanks to MorwenEdhelwen1 & Q, but there's much more Caribbean folk music to be studies and discussed if there were people here who were interested in those genres of music.

Also, one of the things that I love/d about Mudcat was/is its playground rhymes threads. A large number of the contributors to those threads were guests. And from their comments, many of those guests were/are far younger than the average Mudcat commenter. However, to attract younger populations, Mudcat probably has to include video posting along with text commenting. Is Mudcat willing to do that?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Jun 14 - 07:00 PM

I am glad to see Azizi post.

I would however point out that there seems to be a view in her post above that the music of People of Color is predominantly American and Caribbean. That does a disservice to the modern Pan-Afrikan movement.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Azizi
Date: 25 Jun 14 - 08:29 PM

Hello, Richard.

I appreciate your comment but want to clarify what I meant when I referred to People of Color on Mudcat:

1. I meant that there haven't been many commenters on Mudcat who have publicly indicated that they are People of Color (by stating that and/or who inferred that by their comments about their personal experiences.)

2. I believe that this forum could benefit from a broader base of people who regularly posting on Mudcat - including People of Color.

3. I acknowledged that Mudcat has had a number of discussion threads about various genres of African American and some genres of Caribbean music.
-snip-
I want to clarify that I have learned a lot from people who have started Mudcat threads on African American music or Caribbean music and/or who have posted to those threads.
-snip-
My sense is that most people here either don't want things to change or largely want the Mudcat forum to return to the way that it was in the past. If that is the case, then other people-including me- have to either take the forum as it is-including its rich resource which I think could be even richer-or choose to completely leave the forum or at least stop hoping for any changes that we want because they obviously aren't what the membership and/or the administration of this forum wants.

I've been tottering between these choices for a while. Hence my very sporadic commenting here (which I admit mostly promote some folkloric post or another on the pancocojams blog that I started when I got too frustrated with this forum.)

That blog often features a number of credited comments from Mudcat. I thank all those whose comments-including song transcriptions- that I have quoted in those blog posts.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Jun 14 - 09:05 PM

The point I was making is that there are several good people who have already been driven away from the site by the B.S. crap below the line. Good and knowledgeable musicians, as well as good people.

And why would a good and knowledgeable musician be "driven away" by stuff that (a) they are perfectly free to not read, and (b) that has nothing to do with music? I respect your posts always, Will, but this is total bullshit. People stop posting because they are bored or because they have moved on musically or because they don't feel enthusiastic about online forums any more. I repeat. If you are offended by material that you can't resist clicking on, you're barking mad.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Alice
Date: 25 Jun 14 - 11:23 PM

I have had nostalgia for the early days of Mudcat, but all things change. I come back once in awhile to look up lyrics or find an old thread about a song. I miss even more the session we had here in my town for about 10 years that moved from the original venue and then was never able to regain what we had. But, all things change. I'm glad this database of information is still here.

Alice


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: DebC
Date: 25 Jun 14 - 11:49 PM

If it wasn't for the Mudcat, I would never have gotten to know:
Kendall
JacquiC
Jeri
Sinsull
Tami
Will Fly
My Guru Says
Irene
Joe Offer
Mick Lane
Rick Fielding

and those are just the ones off the top o' me head. I have acquired some amazing friendships here and I continue to learn a lot. As with any online community, it has it's ups and downs.

But the friends I have made here are worth putting up with any monkey poo that gets flung now and then.

Debra Cowan


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 12:07 AM

"If you are offended by material that you can't resist clicking on, you're barking mad."
.,,.

Just so. Equally, if there is a poster who regularly irritates one or gratuitously insults one [as GregF & Musket respectively currently do me], then don't read their posts, as I avoid those of the two named. If they go on nonetheless addressing me offensively or whatever, as one of these I suspect (from corner-of-eye noticing my name as I scroll past the post) may do, then they merely waste time & effort to no purpose, as I remain unaware of what they might say & so entirely unaffected by it.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Will Fly, out of town
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 03:42 AM

I won't prolong the argument, Steve, because - despite your accusation of "bullshit" (which is a good demonstration of what I mean) - I happen personally to know a number of people who have upped stakes from the forum because of the crap that's been spread.

Your own tone in response to my quite reasonable statement, is typical of the genre.

Enough from me.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 06:45 AM

Sorry, Will, but yearning for the lost golden age is typical of every long-standing forum I'm on now or have been on. When I started on here years ago, I repeat, the place was full of cliquey little in-crowds.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,giovanni
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 01:05 PM

Will, you are spot on.

I used to participate to a great extent as a member (not under my present Guest name) - attended meets where I met some delightful people etc etc.

Through Mudcat I was even encouraged to take up guitar, which continues to give me endless pleasure (even though I still can't play worth a damn!).

But the constant bitching and backbiting between self absorbed idiots brandishing double-figure IQs made me so disappointed I really didn't think it worth it any longer.

Three of the very worst of them have already posted in this thread...........but they probably don't know I mean them.

g


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: MikeL2
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 02:15 PM

Hi

I have been coming here since 2009 so I am a relative newcomer.
I came out of curiosity because I have been involved in folk music although I was involved in several other genres of music before getting involved with folk.

I found out that I knew several old friends here so that was immediately rewarding.

However as an Englishman I enjoyed most of the variety of posts here and especially with the American contingent as they brought some new thoughts and ideas to me. I don't agree with everything about British "Folk" music but hey.... as long as I enjoy playing it and people enjoy hearing it I am happy the call myself a Folksinger.

Of course I notice too the senseless idiots who insist on trying to ruin what is a very good meeting place. But I don't get involved, although I do occasionally read some of the threads where they continue to insult each other as well as anybody who tries to be sensible.

I have been amazed by the friendliness and helpfulness of many different people here. I have tabled many problems and every single one has been solved by the advice and assistance of members here.

Will raised an interesting point here about how this watering hole will develop in the future. Of course things will change. I have no idea in what way but I hope that Mudcat will still be around when my young 4year old great-grandson wants to read and discuss music with like-minded friends.

Many thanks to Mudcat and most of it's members for many happy hours.

Kind Regards

Mike


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 02:28 PM

I hope that Mudcat will still be around when my young 4year old great-grandson wants to read and discuss music

Fairly unlikely, I might suggest.

And even if it were, why on earth do you think that your great grandson will have similar musical tastes as you?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 04:15 PM

Of course I notice too the senseless idiots who insist on trying to ruin what is a very good meeting place. But I don't get involved, although I do occasionally read some of the threads where they continue to insult each other as well as anybody who tries to be sensible.

Well you might notice them but you don't have to click on their stuff. The vast majority of stuff here, especially above the line, does not contain the material you're complaining about. You are able to comment on it only because you keep clicking on it. I hate Page Three so what do I do? Well I don't buy The Sun every day so that I can be offended by it, that's for sure. Instead of moaning about posts you don't care for, an apparently popular pastime around here, ask yourself why you bother to read them at all.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: michaelr
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 07:44 PM

I first posted in December 2001. As you recall, that was right after 9-11, and I did not hesitate to wade into the debates ensuing over GWB's disastrous invasion of Iraq. Nearly 6,000 posts later, I don't come here as often as I used to, and frequently can't be bothered to reset my cookie.

The forum (and to a lesser degree, the DT) have been an invaluable resource to me in finding lyrics, researching origins, etc. And I have enjoyed helping out with chord requests and such. What I don't enjoy are the endless sniping and insults being exchanged among a small group of posters. If there is anything I've gained from that aspect of the Cat, it's a reluctance to discuss religion and politics. I very much doubt that anyone's mind has been changed here by anyone else's passionate screeds on any issue; in fact, I mostly see partisan entrenchment and ad hominem attacks.

The future of the Mudcat? I expect that Max will eventually (and am amazed he hasn't yet) tire of providing an arena for grouchy old men to take potshots at each other, and will shut down the BS section (good riddance), if not the whole forum.

The DT remains a valuable resource and needs to be protected, i.e. hosted somewhere, and so do the above-the-line forum archives. The Cafe itself is charmingly archaic in its format, but I don't believe that many younger people will have patience for it.

I want to thank Max for his dedication, persistence and sacrifices. If he does throw up his hands eventually at the immature behavior of people old enough to know better ---

YOU FUCKING JERKS WILL ONLY HAVE YOUR IDIOT SELVES TO BLAME!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 07:47 PM

I note the fact that you apparently can't see the irony in your final sentence, Michael.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: michaelr
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 08:05 PM

No, it's you who didn't spot it. I guess I needed to add a ;-)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 08:11 PM

That's all right then! ;-)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: bbc
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 01:38 AM

This is a debate that never ends. Some of us couldn't bear to stay, regularly, bur still keep a connection, now & then, for the sake of friends we've made. I'll see some, this weekend, at the Old Songs Festival, near Albany, New York!

Here's to folk music & friends!

bbc


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 02:52 AM

Whatever the problems posters present IMHO Mudcat performs a valuable service not provided elsewhere. The other forums I post to are very specialised and have a relatively small number of members. Here, whatever your views are you will always find someone to contradict you and that must surely be healthy and beneficial. In order to keep my research cutting edge I feel I need to bounce ideas off a wide range of people. I don't get this on the forums where just about everyone is in agreement because we're all singing from the same hymnsheet.

Yes, sometimes the aggression can be wearing, but it can also be quite amusing. There are plenty of witty people here, and I for one am happy to take the rough with the smooth.

I hold my hand up as one who has used sarcasm in the past and I regret that and try nowadays to keep it under control, just posting positive comments.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 02:58 AM

If you need another good reason for having a forum like this try reading through threads like the current long-running 'Mary Ellen at the Church turned up'.
Nuff said!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: MikeL2
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 05:59 AM

Hi Guest Ed

<" And even if it were, why on earth do you think that your great grandson will have similar musical tastes as you?">

I didn't say that my great-grandson will have the same musical tastes as me. I just would like it if he had a place like Mudcat where he will be able to exchange views etc about music. Whatever the type it is at that time.

Cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: MikeL2
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 06:03 AM

Hi
Steve

I was not moaning about anything. I am fully aware that I don't have to click on things I don't like. I click on them for my day's entertainment!!!!!

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: mayomick
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 09:28 AM

To me, Mudcat seems to have become more "trad" in the UK and Irish folk sense of the word. Do others share this impression ? From what I remember, Mudcat used to be a lot more trad blues orientated - with a corresponding relaxed, cool slightly-out-of -tune-but-so-what type atmosphere . Would those who originally thought up the Mudcat Cafe name choose it today to describe what this site is about ?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Giok
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 09:33 AM

Some folks don't get irony, but it doesn't stop them writing songs about it. (Allegedly)

"Ironic"

An old man turned ninety-eight
He won the lottery and died the next day
It's a black fly in your Chardonnay
It's a death row pardon two minutes too late
And isn't it ironic... don't you think

It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought... it figures

Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly
He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids goodbye
He waited his whole damn life to take that flight
And as the plane crashed down he thought
"Well isn't this nice..."
And isn't it ironic... don't you think

It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought... it figures

Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything's okay and everything's going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything's gone wrong and everything blows up
In your face

A traffic jam when you're already late
A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
It's meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife
And isn't it ironic...don't you think
A little too ironic...and, yeah, I really do think...

It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought... it figures

Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out
Helping you out

***************************************************


Blame Alanis Morisette


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Stu
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 10:03 AM

I've been here since around 2000, and in the early days things could get a little lairy (and occasionally downright nasty). Mudcat is many things to many people, and I for one am grateful it's able to be like that.

When I think of some of the people I've learnt from, one or two have totally changed my mind about some things. Divis Sweeney, Malcolm Douglas, the performers who post, folk i play in sessions with . . . all appreciated. I used to love Isaac McKittery's Drumcree threads. I still enjoy the rough and tumble of debate and still learn from people. Many take the below the line stuff way to seriously; sometimes it's a barroom brawl, sometimes reasoned debate; at least it's discussion.

As for folk music . . . the second someone tries to define it they are missing the point in my opinion. It's a broad church and all the better for being so. From the old traddies, source singers, carriers of the tradition, singer-songwriters . . . to crossovers like the Mumfords (ducks). It's whatever you want it to be and it's wonderful.

Viva the Cat!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 10:06 AM

I first came to Mudcat in, I think 1999, as a guest, on the recommendation of a friend as a good resource for song lyrics. This proved true several times more before I joined in 2000. Have checked what my first post was, and it was a Lyric Req for "Sam the Skull" (I'm a Glasgow Cat)- typical of my love of comic songs. I have apparently contributed to nearly 2,500 threads since!
I have made friends through Mudcat, some I have met,some merely conversed with via the forum, been to "Mudgathers" etc.
I have found that some people I already knew were fellow-Catters - all hiding behind our pseudonyms.
I have learned a lot from other Catters all over the world, and am very appreciative of the knowledge base of some of our members, and the trouble they take to impart information.
I have tried to help others, e.g. people who have asked where to go for music while visiting Edinburgh, sometimes met them myself, or pointed them to friends who could help.
I have had many a laugh at some of the really hilarious posts. And I've had lots more song lyrics, this site usually being my first port of call if looking for something.
This is all the good stuff about Mudcat: as some others have said the real downside is the nastiness that goes on in some quarters, point-scoring, the "great I am" mentality that pervades with some: no you don't have to read it all, but thread titles don't always predict what outpourings of venom and personal insult are going to follow!
I have tried not to be too rude to anyone (beyond pointing out that they have not read the thread properly and just duplicated what's already been said!)I have only once had an abusive remark directed at me, from one of the forum's regular spatter-gunners, so I took it with a pinch of salt and didn't reply - not stoking your flames, mate! My own maxim is "never say on a forum what you would not say to someone's face" - whether under cover of a pseudonym or not. And I don't mind people knowing who I am: nothing to hide, your honour!
I did for quite a while contribute more to the Scottish Footstompin Forum, but this has evolved into being not much more than somewhere to advertise your up and coming events: most of the discussion has disappeared, it never had anything to match the DT: there were occasional lyric requests, usually answered, but no database of them.

Then of course, there's Facebook and Twitter. I got barred from one Facebook page for pointing out, politely, that they had wrongly attributed the authorship of a particular song: I was told n to "stop stirring it" - when I protested meekly that, surely, the giving of correct information was not stirring, I was dumped and blocked! Just imagine if that admin became a mudelf! There would be a whole army of you off here!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 10:13 AM

"folk music . . . the second someone tries to define it they are missing the point in my opinion. It's a broad church and all the better for being so. From the old traddies, source singers, carriers of the tradition, singer-songwriters . . . to crossovers like the Mumfords (ducks). It's whatever you want it to be and it's wonderful".

.,,.

But, as Peter Bellamy used to say, why bother to call it 'folk music' when what you mean is 'anything music'? Why bother to give it a label at all?

~M~


Wossat!? Been here before? No way Jose!.....


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 11:14 AM

Mudcat reminds me of the kind of west country market town pubs I grew up around...

You get to know the dark corners, tables, ends of the bar, skittle alleys, and families & individuals to avoid
if you want a relatively safe & enjoyable nights drinking...

... and the nights of the week to avoid some pubs altogether...


The nearby seaside resort pubs that some weekends provide the best nights of your life,
but always carry the potential of a night out ending up in an ambulance...

Yeah mudcat...

Tried giving this place up but can never last more than a year before morbid curiosity brings me back again......


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 11:53 AM

I quite accept that one should welcome all sorts of music - maybe electric and acoustic in different places - and even tolerate country, Irish, and Country&Irish & C&W and "ratchet music" so long as it's somewhere I'm not - I just think that "folk" ought to mean, er, well, "folk". Sorry if my agreeing with you offends you MtheGM.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 11:54 AM

Azizi is somebody I always looked forward to reading, but I can well understand it must have been pretty lonely always knowing so much more about her subjects than anybody else here. Being appreciated doesn't keep you active on a forum as much as being part of a shared activity putting bits of knowledge together to make something new.

As Steve says, the "Mary Ellen at the Church turned up" thread shows how well that can work - but what, no African-American versions yet? WHY NOT????


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 12:37 PM

Well, OK, just this once, Richard. But be careful ~~ mustn't let it become any sort of habit, now!

☺〠☺~M~☺〠☺


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Azizi
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 02:49 PM

Hi Jack Campin.

Thanks for the compliment. But the reasons why I stopped regularly posting on Mudcat wasn't because I thought I knew more about the subjects I was interested in than anyone else who was discussing those subjects on this forum.

As I mentioned before, I learned a lot from a number of Mudcatters, including you, about the subjects I came to this forum interested in and other subjects that I was introduced to as a result of this forum.

The reasons why I stopped regular posting here are much more complicated than that and include some of the things that some others in this thread have already addressed.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,giovanni
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 03:42 PM

"Well you might notice them but you don't have to click on their stuff" - Steve Shaw.

Unfortunately, you don't come across the twunts until you've already clicked on the thread. Then you find yourself in the midst of unpleasantness - a bit like going into one of your favourite pubs only to find there's a bunch of dickheads going there now and making their presence felt.

And it is just the sheer mindless unpleasantness that does it. I mentioned 3 of the usual suspects who had posted in the thread - please take the hint, if you are a;

concertina player, or

a very old person who knew lots of famous folkies back in the day, or

a lawyer

then it just might be you that we occasional lurkers are really peed off about.

So please stop it.

g


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 04:13 PM

Ye gods! Are concertina players now to be made bedfellows with lawyers?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 04:37 PM

I don't think the anti-religious stuff was really vehement here until the last five years or so. I don't see any religious people here promoting religion, but those who oppose religion sure seem to think they have a right to insult and deride those of us who do.

I know they see themselves as righteous; but to me on the receiving end, it sure feels like bigotry. It seems to me that people with differing beliefs (or unbeliefs) should still be able to discuss things on a level of mutual respect.

I am a Roman Catholic, but I think nonbelief in God to be a valid perspective, as are the perspectives of Buddhists and Muslims and people of other belief systems. Although they are not my own perspective, I find them interesting and valuable. The only perspective I cannot accept, is the one that thrives on degrading and deriding and defeating what others hold sacred.

I suppose that's the nature of Internet discussion nowadays - to a great extent, it's all about defeating and destroying other people. Mudcat wasn't like that in its early days. There was a lot more tolerance and respect here, than there is now.

I think there's value in seeking to understand and appreciate our fellow human beings, even if their ideas are different from our own.

-Joe-

Oh, and by the way, "imaginary friend" is a good example of a bigoted remark. It oversimplifies the complexities and diversity of religious belief, and then derides it - and that really isn't necessary to do unless you have a compelling need to insult and deride. Civilized people can express the fact that they don't share a belief in a more polite way.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 05:32 PM

Absolutely, Joe.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 05:35 PM

Actually, Joe, I really disagree with you here. From what I've seen, most of the anti-religous stuff has been in response to digs and niggles from religious people pushing their agendas. They've generally said something which indicates either explicitly or by inference a sense of superiority or higher morals or ethics non those of a non-religious bent. At one time last year there were about 5 threads running below the line in which religion was being "debated" (if that's not too kind a word for it) and 4 of them had been started by people of a religious bent subtly or not so subtly deriding those who have no such feelings. To cry "foul" when they get a reaction is a bit rich, IMO.

A lot of the "deriding" that goes on is not aimed at peoples' beliefs as such, but at people making indefensible...ie plain factually *wrong* points... when trying to reconcile science with literalist fundamentalism. Similar derision would, I believe, accrue to someone who came on here promulgating a flat earth, or insisting that the moon landings were hoaxes, using "evidence" that was thoroughly discredited 20 years ago.

Anyway, I don't want this thread to turn into another religious debate, so I'll say no more on the subject.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 05:44 PM

The biggest difference between the heyday (as I recall seeing the tail end of it) and the subsequent ups and down is the notion that nullifying each other should be normal discourse. While there were always a few merchants of disrespect around, the tenor by and large was interest and continued discourse, not ad hominem slanging matches. Those who feel this is a fine and normal way to conduct a dialogue in a thread are sad and sorry cases, and they dissipate the positive energies of the community and act as a spanner in the works. This is also true of those who believe that cutting up others in a good source of humor. There are better ways to build a civilization.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 06:26 PM

Amen to that, Joe.

Whilst I'm a non believer, this still speaks to me:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdb2n02oTd


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 06:41 PM

Sad, Giovanni. Try to learn right from wrong.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 06:42 PM

PS. And man up and use your real, identifiable name, like I do and like Dave Bryant used to do.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 06:49 PM

Rob -

Yes, there have been posts from people who espouse a "creationist" agenda or who oppose homosexual marriage or make other anti-homosexual remarks. And yes, there have been many threads about the abuse of children by priests or in Catholic-run institutions. The proper response would be to address the issues and not try to make a blanket condemnation of a group whose members do not universally support whatever it is that is wrong. And yes, there is a certain pro-religion Mudcatter who starts a lot of threads and is an absolute pain in the ass.

There are very few people here who support extremist religious causes - but there are an awful lot of people here who paint all religious people with the same brush. And that's not fair.

To my mind, most people in most groups are just fine, and it's unfair to condemn them for the actions of other members of their group. Once again, it's a matter of addressing the issues.

Same thing with the troubles in Palestine - it's a serious issue fraught with injustices, but it's not a justification for Mudcatters to be anti-Semitic.

-Joe Offer-


Ed, your video link didn't work.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 07:16 PM

My apologies, Joe.

Missed the final 'o' on copying.

This should work better:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdb2n02oTdo


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Janie
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 07:38 PM

Guest Ed, I got "video does not exist."


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Janie
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 07:40 PM

Sorry Ed. I see you already addressed it. Should have read beyond that first post you did.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: bbc
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 10:58 PM

I agree with your thoughts, Joe.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Jun 14 - 01:12 AM

giovanni 03.42 --

If you mean me [or even if you don't] ~~

'stop' what, exactly?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Jun 14 - 01:38 AM

...just curious you understand

not that I give a winged act of procreation


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Jun 14 - 04:54 AM

I think that when we deal in insults, we destroy any chance of communication. What was intended to be communication, ends up as combat.

When I was young, I saw the discord and prejudice in my parents' generation, and I believed that my generation would get past all that and teach the world to live in harmony, singing folk songs together and enjoying each other's company. I still believe that's the way it should be, but somehow it doesn't seem to be working out that way.

I could hope that my children's generation would finally bring an end to all this discord, but they seem as cynical and combative as my generation has become.

Is there no hope?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: mayomick
Date: 28 Jun 14 - 08:41 AM

"those who oppose religion sure seem to think they have a right to insult and deride those of us who do. "
,

Joe . some atheists don't seem to realize that they give atheism a bad name [!]. "Ghlacadh neart aon fhógra" to them as they say in Irish : take plenty of no notice . From what I can see most non-believers on Mudcat are secular , live-and-let-live types who do not get off on verbally bashing up 90% of the human race .


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: bbc
Date: 28 Jun 14 - 09:23 AM

Joe, there is always hope, in the individual, if not the majority! Each one of us needs to keep on doing the best we can, step by step & day by day. Thanks for being one of the good guys!

Best,

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Jun 14 - 06:16 PM

I seem to remember that you've dealt out one or two hearty insults yourself, Joe. Maybe it doesn't count when you insult people as long as you have God behind you, huh?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 28 Jun 14 - 06:52 PM

Steve,

Why do you feel the need to be quite so unnecessarily aggressive?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Jun 14 - 07:08 PM

That was just honest, Ed. I'm not keen on people of religion implicitly or otherwise claiming the moral high ground. Joe has been a bit of a name-caller himself on recent occasion. Nice guy though he generally is, just like me.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Jun 14 - 07:25 PM

Darn right I've been a name-caller, Steve Shaw. When I see intolerance, I name it. And you have deserved the name on many occasions.

Anti-religious intolerance has reared its ugly head in Northern Europe and the U.S. many times in the last 500 years. The so-called "enlightened" people have enacted anti-religious laws in England, France, Mexico, and other nations from time to time - and the rhetoric of some here at Mudcat sounds very much like that used in the enactment of those laws.

I have respect for most atheists, and find a kinship with most of them in believing that non-ideological, critical thinking is essential. In fact, I feel far more comfortable with most atheists, than I do with conservative religious people. But there are a few atheists, and Mr. Shaw is a prime example, who share the rigid, moralistic, judgmental thinking of the most fundamentalist of the religious people. If you're an absolutist, if you can't allow for the value of a diversity of perspectives, then I can't talk with you - and you, Mr. Shaw, are among the most rigid and intolerant of absolutists.

Do I make myself clear?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 28 Jun 14 - 07:31 PM

Thank you for your reply, Steve.

Whilst I'd probably argue about Joe claiming the high ground, he's big enough and ugly enough to fight his own corner.

By the way, I'm a nice guy too.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Jun 14 - 07:42 PM

The only conduct I cannot accept, is hatefulness and intolerance. I won't bother claiming any moral high ground. It's not worth the effort.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: michaelr
Date: 28 Jun 14 - 10:24 PM

Ho hum, another thread derailed... providing the perfect illustration for why people get tired of the Cat.

There HAS to be some sort of moderation for any forum. Disallowing off-topic posts, for example. Deleting personal attacks. The anything-goes style that pervades here is encouraging the very behavior we deplore.

Silly, really.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Jun 14 - 10:54 PM

No, Michael, it's an issue that needs to be resolved. I'm tired of all the bigotry here.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Jun 14 - 11:56 PM

"There HAS to be some sort of moderation for any forum."

It has been tried. Trouble is, moderation has to be all or 'almost' nothing. Some forums don't even allow posts to 'take' until they are reviewed by mods.

Mudcat tried serious control for awhile, but Max likes MINIMAL interference, and attempting to censor and/or delete individual post only leads to more threads complaining about the process & suggesting 'cliques' and favoritism. It also makes some threads bewildering by seeing non-nasty responses to nasty comments. I gather really bad lines are still dealt with, but VOLUNTEER mods can't find & edit everything YOU might dislike!

After 16-17 years, this Mudcat forum has adapted about as well as possible. Max said years ago that restraint by members... and guest posters.. is the best system there is.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: michaelr
Date: 29 Jun 14 - 02:24 AM

"restraint by members... and guest posters.. is the best system there is."

Well, it's obviously not working.

Joe, how would you resolve it?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jun 14 - 03:02 AM

You have a point, Michael. Maybe the only way to have fruitful discussion on the internet, is to have controlled discussion. But I don't think Max is going to give in and authorize more control, and I know I'm not ready to give up hope in our ability to control ourselves. A lot of the people I yell at for being unfair, are people I think well of and believe that they should be capable of civil discussion. Maybe all we need is a few pints and a song or two, to settle things down.

Maybe the song thing is a good idea. I think that in the Good Old Days, a lot of were drawn together by the regular, worldwide singarounds we used to have on PalTalk.

In the meantime, though, have a beer on me.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,inkling
Date: 29 Jun 14 - 03:48 AM

Other personal forms-

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_%22-er%22

Upon the hearth the fire is red,
Beneath the roof there is a bed;
But not yet weary are our feet,
Still round the corner we may meet
A sudden tree or standing stone
That none have seen but we alone...


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Ole Juul
Date: 29 Jun 14 - 04:02 AM

The OP brings up some interesting points. Sorry to bring this back to the topic, but perhaps Joe and Michael could start another thread about their issue. :)

Will Fly said:"So where will we all be in ten years' time - assuming we're still here - and what will Mudcat look like as the membership subtly changes? Was it all very "cosy" ten years ago - cosier and friendlier and more of a community than now - and, that's the case, will it be even less friendly and cosier in the future?"

I'm thinking that the core strength, "cosier and friendlier" if you like, comes from there being a vital reason for interacting. I've been involved in numerous communities since Fidonet and early mailing lists. I think the ones which are vibrant and friendly are the ones where the participants are actively learning. There are questions to ask, to be answered, and exchanges of value. Two contemporary examples are the FreeBSD forum and the Vintage Computer Forum. These are strong communities which exist for a reason, and have interaction outside of the board.

Is it possible that the interaction here is becoming less relevant with time? I see good questions about songs and history being posted, and excellent ensuing discussion, but with less younger people participating I wonder if this aspect can be sustained. In the world of computers there is much for young people to learn from veterans and when you have a mix (as on the VCF) there is a strong community. Here, where it seems there is a lot of reliving of older events by those who were there, I become worried that what I'm seeing is a sign of changing times with less relevance. In my mind there is no doubt about this board being a great resource, and continuing to be so, but the ability of the "cosy community" to sustain itself is indeed in question.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 29 Jun 14 - 05:03 AM

Old Juul makes a very good point. I post on a musical forum which exists for a very specific interest-group, and where information and advice is freely shared between members. It's also a 'members-only' forum (i.e. No 'guest' posters are permitted) and moderation is strong - trolling and flaming are very quickly and forcefully dealt with by the moderators, and posts containing foul language/sexual references are deleted immediately. Importantly, there is no parallel section to the BS section here on Mudcat - the forum sticks strictly to its defined Raison d'Etre.

It's a far, far nicer place to be than this forum has become - I spend considerably more time there nowadays than I do here, and I've made some excellent, genuine friends there. Members behave respectfully towards each other, even when strong disagreements exist they are conducted in a civilised manner - it's great to go to a forum where everyone behaves like adults.

Maybe it's time for a re-thinking of this forum's structure and practices?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 29 Jun 14 - 06:35 AM

I'm fairly new here, so haven't much right to comment. But I have been dipping in to Mumsnet (just to read the posts on various themes) and it appears there's more control there and non-acceptance of nastiness. For instance, someone on there started a thread entitled 'Ramadan Nonsense' and it was immediately moderated and the poster required to remove the word 'nonsense' from the title.
For me, the most annoying thing here is when two or three people post in a long and vituperative argument which isn't of any interest to all the others and drives them from the thread. The argument often gets more and more offensive. I personally feel this should be nipped in the bud sooner. However, I really enjoy the discussions in the BS section, and would miss it all very much if it no longer existed.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: bbc
Date: 29 Jun 14 - 07:43 AM

I agree, Ole Juul; good points. When mudcat began, there were not as many ways to meet & interact socially with folks over the Internet. Many folks I used to see on mudcat seem to be more on Facebook, these days. In addition, tastes change. I go, several times a day to flickr, Yahoo's photo sharing site, & contribute on an almost daily basis. In comparison, I may drop by mudcat every few days, if that, scanning the thread titles, but, rarely, opening them or participating. Still, the friendships I made there are of importance to me.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: MMario
Date: 29 Jun 14 - 08:34 AM

" it's great to go to a forum where everyone behaves like adults."

yet you say " moderation is strong - trolling and flaming are very quickly and forcefully dealt with by the moderators, and posts containing foul language/sexual references are deleted immediately."

CONTRADICTORY statements.

I belong to some highly moderated forums as well. Without the moderation on those forums I strongly suspect they would be defunct. It is my strong belief that the lack of moderation on the 'cat actually leads to better behaviour.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,giovanni
Date: 29 Jun 14 - 11:48 AM

Quite posibly, MMario, except that, as Eliza says;

"the most annoying thing here is when two or three people post in a long and vituperative argument which isn't of any interest to all the others and drives them from the thread"

I hinted at three of the worst offenders, two of whom have retorted in their typical juvenile fashion, quite oblivious of the fact that they are a massive pain to all and sundry.

There's no reasoning with people like that I'm afraid.

g


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Jun 14 - 11:53 AM

I'm with you MM.

IMO Mudcat reflects life in general. You don't have to read anything you don't want to. Nobody is standing next to you with a gun saying read this and then agree with it. If somebody goes off the rails or a troll comes on they are immediately shot down. Good healthy argument never hurt anybody who was not oversensitive. I have had heated disagreements with several people who come on here, but I would still defend the rights of my opponents to say what they have to say. NO SENSORSHIP except for overt bigotry and prejudice, which is already protected by law anyway. I'm sure if anything like this came on it would be immediately removed.

If someone goes seriously off-topic they could be requested by the moderators to start another thread.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Jun 14 - 12:10 PM

I know from 40+ years of association with 'folkies' that they have a WIDE range of interests... and often write & sing songs to match. Broadside Ballads were a real way of telling the world about events. At any gathering, it is common to hear as many discussion as songs.

All this is fine... until someone, or several someones... decides to take a combative position on a topic. I see why certain topics can arouse passion, but I never 'quite' understand why anyone thinks that insults & invective will change anyone else's mind. It IS possible to debate facts & analyze reason & logic without yelling... in person, OR IN PRINT!

I have engaged in many, many debates here in 12-14 years, but I don't think I have ever called anyone a nasty name or accused them of being stupid...etc... (I don't debate with anyone I consider to BE stupid- what sense would that make?) I debate & criticize positions, not people, and it makes me sad when others can't disagree without flinging mud.

That said... if I am in an RT gathering and the conversation isn't working, I can just walk away. Here I can just refuse to read...or at least not reply. Sounds simple, hmmm? Not to some, I suppose.

I would not like to see the openness go, and like Steve Gardham, I am willing to navigate my way thru the awkwardness for the gems that have inspired me.

(and... *smile*... Eliza is a breath of fresh air with her commentaries on life...)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 29 Jun 14 - 01:03 PM

Well I have to disagree, MMario and Steve Gardham! Not contradictory at all.

I'm convinced that the lack of flaming, trolling, swearing and generally puerile behaviour on the forum I referred to is precisely because the would-be flamers, trolls, foul-mouths, and buffoons who never got out of the school playground are fully aware that their membership (and therefore their ability to post on the forum) would be very short-lived indeed if they gave vent to that kind of behaviour. So occurrences are delightfully rare.

I enjoy civilised debate, and I'm happy to concede that others' opinions might have equal weight to mine, but I don't enjoy the kind of round-and-round, name-calling, abusive stuff we get here, and which ruins what would otherwise have been interesting and enjoyable threads. I left that stuff behind when I left school and started my first job.

My opinion FWIW. I expect many will disagree, and that's fine by me - just keep your disagreement civil please! :-)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Jun 14 - 01:24 PM

Okay, I've just speed read back through this thread looking for actual offensive remarks and I found only one posting out of 117. This could easily have been moderated by deleting the final offensive remark (mainly the language used) and then pming the poster explaining why their remark had been removed. People obviously have opposing views on the subject but almost all of the postings have been expressed without resorting to what I would call offensive remarks. I don't see a massive problem here.

Admittedly I've never bothered to look below the line as I'm only here for the music, so I can't comment on that.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Jun 14 - 03:23 PM

Funny about this moaner who calls himself giovanni [a Mozart nut? or an ordinary John with pretensions? or a genuine Italian? who knows? & who cares?] ···

but, as I was saying, wonder why he particularly takes exception to Richard & me and whoever the other one was? I mean, I can't in all honesty see where we are all that much more contentious than some dozen or so [at least] others, who are regular quite vehement arguers of their points & fighters of their corners on the forum. Suppose one should feel flattered to have got so much further than so many others up the nose of the poor sensitive little-dear fellow. If only, as I've already said, one could work up the slightest interest in his pathetic pusillanimous sniping·from·the·sidelines opinions.

Still don't know, at that, what it was that he was calling on us to "stop". Breathing, perhaps? Or posting anything coz he doesn't care for our tone & views? Oooohhh dear!

~M~


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jun 14 - 07:06 PM

Darn right I've been a name-caller, Steve Shaw. When I see intolerance, I name it. And you have deserved the name on many occasions.

Anti-religious intolerance has reared its ugly head in Northern Europe and the U.S. many times in the last 500 years. The so-called "enlightened" people have enacted anti-religious laws in England, France, Mexico, and other nations from time to time - and the rhetoric of some here at Mudcat sounds very much like that used in the enactment of those laws.

I have respect for most atheists, and find a kinship with most of them in believing that non-ideological, critical thinking is essential. In fact, I feel far more comfortable with most atheists, than I do with conservative religious people. But there are a few atheists, and Mr. Shaw is a prime example, who share the rigid, moralistic, judgmental thinking of the most fundamentalist of the religious people. If you're an absolutist, if you can't allow for the value of a diversity of perspectives, then I can't talk with you - and you, Mr. Shaw, are among the most rigid and intolerant of absolutists.

Do I make myself clear?


Well, nice angry post, Joe. Keeping your cool means keeping your head. I recommend the approach.

As I recall, Joe, you are very uneasy indeed with anyone criticising your religious nature, if not your religion, which you do seem to be a somewhat reluctant member of at times. You are uncomfortable with anyone criticising your attitude to religious anti-education in schools, feeling as you do that there isn't much wrong with little kiddies being taught myth as certainties (with your excuse that they are actually being introduced to "deeper truths", whilst sitting under wall-mounted crucifixes). You don't care for people (or maybe you do, but you refrain from defending them, let's say) who suggest that you should let children choose their own path in life rather than have them brainwashed almost from birth. You feel that the whole cosy social-religious thing is so valuable that it overrides the need to tell children the truth instead of a pack of lies.

Yet I'm the bigot and I'm the absolutist. Define "bigot" and "absolutist": someone who seriously invades Joe's comfort zone, perhaps? Tell you what, Joe. Quote any post or piece of post of mine that demonstrates bigotry. Quit chucking the words around, hoping that at least a little bit of mud might stick (as if I give a toss, to be honest) and either piss or get off the pot. And be like me in at least one regard: stay cool, old chap. Hope this helps.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jun 14 - 08:08 PM

No response, Steve.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jun 14 - 08:27 PM

That was a response, actually. :-)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Wesley S
Date: 29 Jun 14 - 09:09 PM

Steve Shaw - I'm guessing that at some point in your life you were given religious training of some sort or other. Or were you raised by atheists? Either way - you eventually grew up - perhaps - and decided for yourself what was true and what was not. So I'm guessing that getting introduced to religion at an early age doesn't always scar people for life. Eventually they turn into the person they want to be. All on their own.

Just a thought.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Ole Juul
Date: 29 Jun 14 - 11:38 PM

I found this to be an interesting subject. It has relevance to my interests in online communications and society.

Is there any reason why so many here are unwilling to discuss that subject? Are they shy? Were they unable to comprehend the original post? Are they unable to follow a line of discussion? Or are they just rude?

Those are serious questions.

Sorry to be so strong about this. I'm new here, but it is the intelligent level of discussion which is the main draw for me. I can even enjoy some good natured sparring, but this is just ridiculous. One might wonder if this degeneation is indeed the future of Mudcat. I hope not.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jun 14 - 01:59 AM

Ole Juul, rather than condemning some for not restricting their discussion to your understanding of the topic, why not re-state the topic as you understand it and ask the questions you think need to be answered?
To my mind, what I had to say was relevant. I expected the folk community to be tolerant of a variety of views, and it is distressing to me to find so much intolerance in a community that I would expect to be one of the few places where tolerance and diversity were the rule rather than the exception.
At one time, tolerance and good will were the rule here, and did not need to be enforced by moderation. That doesn't happen here much any more.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Ole Juul
Date: 30 Jun 14 - 03:03 AM

Hi Joe. I'm sorry if I didn't catch the relevance, and I should maybe have listened better. To me a discussion about current tolerance among specific people is not directly related. However, I'd be interested in how it fits into what the board will look like in the future.

"Ole Juul, rather than condemning some for not restricting their discussion to your understanding of the topic, why not re-state the topic as you understand it and ask the questions you think need to be answered?"

I felt like I did that 16 posts back. Hence (perhaps wrongly) I tried to make my point a little stronger. What I wrote is not the only interpretation of the topic, but I felt it was worth throwing out there for perhaps someone to improve upon. Here is what I quoted from the thread opener. I thought he summed up his query well with that.

Will Fly said: "So where will we all be in ten years' time - assuming we're still here - and what will Mudcat look like as the membership subtly changes? Was it all very "cosy" ten years ago - cosier and friendlier and more of a community than now - and, that's the case, will it be even less friendly and cosier in the future?"

My following comment reflected my idea of a way to look at that. I'd love to hear some other ways. There was a lady (sorry I can't see the name in this view) who started on a sociological take on the subject. I thought that was interesting, but she left the discussion.

"At one time, tolerance and good will were the rule here, and did not need to be enforced by moderation. That doesn't happen here much any more."

You probably have a good perspective on that. I haven't been around long enough to know. I could imagine that is what is happening on many boards. Nevertheless my own experience is that many communities are friendly, have their own culture, and provide a place to make friends. Just like the way it was at the beginning.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jun 14 - 03:36 AM

That's more clear, Ole.
You can use the Messages by Date utility in our QuickLinks menu to take snapshots of Mudcat traffic over the years.
I think you'll see that Mudcat was predominantly music discussion for its first three years, 1996-99. There were about 120,000 messages posted in those first three years. I believe 1999 was a year of big change here, and many people came to just chit-chat rather than to discuss folk music.
On the day before our 1-year anniversary, 30 Sept 1997, we had 133 messages posted
On 30 Sept 1998, we had 120 messages posted
On 30 Sept 1999, we had 434 messages posted. We had only 15 BS messages posted, but I think that's before BS: tags came into general use.
On 30 Sept 2000, 620 (173 BS messages)
On 30 Sept 2005, 507 (281 BS messages)
On 30 Sept 2010, 722 (356 BS messages)
On 30 Sept 2013, 381 (189 BS messages)


There was a "chat" utility for quite some time, and that took out some of the chit-chat. Now the chit-chat is handled on Facebook and other locations.

There were regular Mudcat gatherings in Europe over a period of several years, but I haven't heard of many recently. The U.S. Mudcatters were invited to the Washington Getaway in Maryland in 1999, and a good number have attended every year since then. I think the face-to-face meetings have a definite effect on online discussions. And certain Mudcatters have gone out of their way to meet other Mudcatters all over the world. Most notable was the Bill Sables/Allan Clark tour of the U.S. in 2000 (?), but there were others.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 30 Jun 14 - 07:14 AM

Tolerance is no absolute ideal; the ability to be tolerant is. Strong opinions can be argued strongly, and when all arguments have been uttered (- once -), people are well entitled to state (- once -) that they have not changed their opinions.

One type of discussion is about finding the truth together, e.g. about the meaning of some song lyrics. In the end, the contributors will either gladly agree, or declare the problem unsolved.

In another type of discussion, or debate, some participants start with strong opinions and try to convince others. Skillful arguers will modify their statements when they sense that they are losing. If one disputant uses unfair rhetorics, the other side can point that out, and thus score at least in the eyes of the "neutral" audience. Sometimes there will be clear losers, but in most cases everybody will feel happy to have made some point at least. Such debates can well be about "hot" topics such as religion, politics, and philosophy of science.

The handful of bilious Mudcat posters who cause the most discomfort are of quite a different attitude. They do not want to convince anybody of anything, and may not even be truly interested in their topics. Any topic will do, e.g. English grammar. When someone bothers to prove them wrong or unfair, or guilty of the very vices they are criticizing, they will simply repeat their statement. The reasons for this bizarre behaviour are not always clear to see, but may include a feeling of power by simple intimidation ("schoolyard bullies"), revenge for childhood wounds, or self-diagnosed heroism or martyrdom without suffering a scratch to their skin. Paradoxically, they all think of themselves as truly nice gals or guys, and some even have acquaintances to witness for them. Go figure.

If they argue that it is our own fault to read their bickering (whereas they shout "crucify" at any other perceived verbal offender): even if we could avoid it, that would not justify anything. Threatening to boycott them will also be of no use. Just do it.

To be sure: not all of the persons mentioned or alluded to in this thread are in that category.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 30 Jun 14 - 07:24 AM

A few posts back Michael said
> Still don't know, at that, what it was that he was calling on us to "stop".

GUEST,giovanni himself should really be the one to provide clarification, but referring to "the poor sensitive little-dear fellow" is an instance of criticising the person rather than what he says, which we could do without. Michael, you are old enough and should be wise enough to refrain from that. Most of your posts are much better than that.

On the very rare occasions when I look at anything in the BS area I usually retreat back above the line pretty smartly. But it is surely better for that area to exist for those who wish to use it than for those topics to be mixed in with the folk music threads.

I seldom give up on an above-the-line thread just because of a few ding-dong posts that aren't taking the discussion any further forward.

The repeated arguments between Jim Carroll and Steve Gardham about where the songs started can sometimes be a bit tedious for the rest of us, but they both have good reasons for their respective opinions and I don't recall them descending to personal insults.

There is one person whose postings on many threads are very often to rubbish whatever someone else has just posted, and less often to make a positive contribution. He gives the impression of nursing a big chip on his shoulder.

But we can take each posting on its merits. There are still plenty of wise words to make up for the less noble content of this forum.



Richard


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Jun 14 - 07:45 AM

Must differ, Richard. Respect to your opinion; but it seems to me there is criticism of the content of the animadversitary post by Signor Giovanni in the locution I chose to summarise him; as to his acute over-sensitivity to supposed overstatements on my part, which were in the main none of his officious put-in anyhow.

I would remind you of the fine French saying: Cet animal est très méchant; lorsqu'on l'attaque, il se défend.

Regards

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Jun 14 - 07:48 AM

The handful of bilious Mudcat posters who cause the most discomfort are of quite a different attitude. They do not want to convince anybody of anything, and may not even be truly interested in their topics. Any topic will do, e.g. English grammar. When someone bothers to prove them wrong or unfair, or guilty of the very vices they are criticizing, they will simply repeat their statement. The reasons for this bizarre behaviour are not always clear to see, but may include a feeling of power by simple intimidation ("schoolyard bullies"), revenge for childhood wounds, or self-diagnosed heroism or martyrdom without suffering a scratch to their skin. Paradoxically, they all think of themselves as truly nice gals or guys, and some even have acquaintances to witness for them. Go figure.

Sorry, Grishka, but that is what I find typical of what causes offense and arguments far more than any amount of playground name calling. Firstly, you use the phrase 'handful of bilious Mudcat posters'. I find that both cowardly and confusing. Who do you mean? If you are going to attack someone, at least have the courage to name them. Secondly, you then go into pseudo-psychoanalysis of both the situation and the people.   Chances are you have got it wrong in both cases. Finally you go on to insult whoever it is you are attempting to analyse by saying it is a paradox that they are 'nice gals or guys'. What makes you think they are not? Have you met any of them? Do you actually know then at all? I think you may need to take a good long introspective look before you go around casting any more accusations.

DtG


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: bbc
Date: 30 Jun 14 - 08:45 AM

Joe, I have great respect for your efforts, through the years, to keep mudcat a worthwhile site & community, but it just seems it's the same thing, over & over again. In spite of it all, though, community persists. On the East Coast (US), mudcatters gather, annually, at NEFFA in Massachusetts & Old Songs in New York. It's a joy, each time we meet in person, to continue the conversations & friendships we've started online.

Best, always,

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 01 Jul 14 - 08:17 AM

Dave tG, I described a type of behaviour and some possible reasons for it. If you recognize yourself, that is your own diagnosis. At least I am not boycotting you, as you see.

My main point is that the reasons are often not at all rooted in differences of philosophical or political opinions. (How do I know? When in such a thread someone starts discussing the topic seriously, they declare it an intolerable thread shift.)

My post was in reply to Joe's message about religious tolerance. No attack, just an explanation and advice for those who feel uncomfortable.

As for being a nice gal or guy: the behaviour I described is certainly not nice. The excuse is normally to act in self-defence or defence of others who are being or have been wronged. This may or may not be the author's true conviction, and may even be correct - it makes little difference here, if precise and serious discussion is blocked. In particular, it is not "nice" to make collective accusations based on misbehaviour of individuals.

How the accusers behave in their personal surroundings, I cannot possibly know, but if they really do differently, why so? (Musket tells us that he feels obliged to wear a mask in personal contact, which seems to imply that only Mudcat readers know his true self in that respect.)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,giovanni
Date: 01 Jul 14 - 04:13 PM

"The handful of bilious Mudcat posters who cause the most discomfort are of quite a different attitude".

I happen to agree with this part of Grishka's post.

I went on to mention that 3 of the worst offenders (among a greater number who hadn't posted) had posted to this thread, clearly unaware that they are a part of the problem. Two of them responded, both in the fairly pathetic way that one would expect of them, the other disappeared.

Here are a couple of lines from one of the responses;

"poor sensitive little-dear fellow. If only, as I've already said, one could work up the slightest interest in his pathetic pusillanimous sniping·from·the·sidelines"

In the past, we were used to a more grown-up type of response to differences of opinion, but this is the type of stuff that often prevails in Mudcat threads these days. No wonder so many of the old crowd have moved off to better places for our regular forum interaction.

I still keep coming back to Mudcat as it always meant so much to me, but I do notice that many others have taken a similar approach, rather than risk the juvenile unpleasantness that seems to prevail - and which seems to be accepted by those in charge.

So I'm afraid I think the only solution for Mudcat is more moderators' input.

g


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Ole Juul
Date: 01 Jul 14 - 04:29 PM

So I'm afraid I think the only solution for Mudcat is more moderators' input.

It certainly looks like it.

Any attempt by well meaning members to keep on topic will not succeed otherwise.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 01 Jul 14 - 05:28 PM

Giovanni, MtheGM is not always up to his own ideals of a gentleman's manners and wisdom of judgment, but never guilty of the troll-like attitude I was describing.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Jul 14 - 05:45 PM

Giovanni - you fail to grasp the essential point. The frequency with which I post has greatly reduced. My reasons are given. They reflect no credit on the'cat.

Accordingly, your problem, since it cannot be with the prevalence of my posts, must be with their central propositions: -

(1) I will not accept bigotry, particularly right-wing bigotry
(2) I do not accept religion as a source of authority or virtue. Mostly it has been a source of oppression.
(3) I will not accept the class war of the rich against the poor as virtuous. Remember, the way things are going, pretty soon the poor will have nothing to eat except the rich. Not, alas, my coinage.
(4) The expression "folk" must have a coherent meaning.

I think you have a credibility gap - except with the lunatic right, irrational believers in imaginary things, the oppressors, and, of course, the simply irrational.

QED.

Oh, are you brave enough to reveal your identity, yet?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Larry The Radio Guy
Date: 01 Jul 14 - 05:50 PM

I'm an infrequent poster, I know, but I quite treasure this forum.   But then again, it's really the only actual forum I regularly visit.

Yes, there are the rude and insensitive posts----some of it coming from the generally characteristics of certain posters, and other parts coming from that experience of suddenly being 'triggered' by something, writing a quick retort, and pressing 'submit message' before I talk myself out of saying what I feel like saying.

But I've found lots of support here when I've asked for assistance finding songs for my radio programs (Musical Therapy on Peach City Radio) and even for generating a great discussion for one of the programs.

I've also had many people try to answer various musical questions-----and I've, at times (despite my own limited knowledge in many musical areas) attempted to give some of my own answers.    And I've been 'corrected' sometimes diplomatically, sometimes not so diplomatically, when I've been wrong.

But that's ok.

I once had my wife look at a particular thread relating to an interest she had, and her comment was "they're all so polite".   It was different from what she expected, given the reputation of so many online forums.

So I sure hope that mudcat continues, and that we continue 'evolving'---whatever that evolution might look like.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jul 14 - 05:54 PM

You have implied that I am not on your list, Grishka, but still not said who is. No, I do not recognize myself. I do not know who you mean unless you name them. I do not wish to play a guessing game. Why not just say who you are referring to?

DtG


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Ole Juul
Date: 01 Jul 14 - 08:21 PM

This thread isn't going to get back on topic is it? It's like an irresistible itch that some people have to respond to certain things regardless of whether it is a way forward or even remotely relevant. Something suddenly pops into someone's head and out it comes, because it suddenly seemed so important to them that they felt people around the world (this is an international forum) needed to know about it.

Yes, people are polite here. In my experience that's very common on forums, and I frequent many. The issue here is really a matter of concentration.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Janie
Date: 01 Jul 14 - 10:06 PM

All in all, an interesting and perhaps invigorating thread. I especially appreciate the comments by those who are not so bogged down by our shared history of interactions and patterns with one another that many of us that have been on the site for longer are (or can) get bogged down in, myself included.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 02 Jul 14 - 05:49 AM

Dave tG, as I wrote before, my message was to those who feel very uncomfortable with a certain type of behaviour. I think that was the OP's topic as well.

A handful or two of Mudcat posters display this behaviour in varying percentages, and this, as you well know, includes you. You are not on my boycotting list because I am not so easy to offend. (Actually I do not have such a list; my reaction is always to individual messages and situations.)

There is nothing wrong with finding some messages "intolerable" and expressing one's anger, preferably also specifying one's reasons, preferably all in the same thread so that readers can judge by themselves.

Collective bullying, sniping, derision, trolling, etc. are different things, and offences in themselves, even if some of the victims deserve criticism as well. The effect may well be to damage the bullies' reputation and thus apparently justifying the victims.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Azizi
Date: 02 Jul 14 - 07:52 AM

I keep returning to this thread to see if commenters focus on any portion of Will Fly's original comment beyond this portion of the 4th paragraph "I look at them [post below the BS line] myself from time to time and consider many of them to be a waste of space, what with personal insults and the endless circuitous arguments coupled with the seeming impossibility of anyone ever changing their minds or engaging in any kind of agreement. It seems to me that many members, including particularly those I've called the Old Guard have got fed up with the same feuding few accusing endlessly accusing each other of ignorance, lying, blah, blah and blah"...
end of quote

That portion continued in the last paragraph: "So where will we all be in ten years' time - assuming we're still here - and what will Mudcat look like as the membership subtly changes? Was it all very "cosy" ten years ago - cosier and friendlier and more of a community than now - and, that's the case, will it be even less friendly and cosier in the future?"
-snip-
It occurs to me that I didn't focus on the "endless circuitous arguments" portions of that comment because I reached the conclusion some time ago that without more moderation that is what happens to many Mudcat discussion threads. And I also reached the conclusion some time ago that -in large part because Max doesn't want more moderation here, it's not gonna happen.

It also occurs to me that I hoped that more people would focus on the portion of Will's original post that asked what will Mudcat look in ten years, because I wanted that discussion to lead to talking about something that I've been interested in for some time- increasing the field of people interested in folkloric approaches to music who want to engage in the presentation, study, and discussion of that music on Mudcat. Of course, embedded in that hope was the desire to identify more People of Color who would regularly post on Mudcat.

But then it occurs to me that if there's no increased moderation (and if that increased moderation isn't fair and consistent across the board) what would stop an increased pool of people who would regularly post on Mudcat from engaging in the same or other forms of circuitous exchanges and/or accusations and thus (I believe) turning off and turning away other potential commenters?

I'm not disregarding that (I think) highly negative possibility. However, I'm still wondering if anyone else who is reading this discussion thread want there to be an increased number of people who would regularly post about folkloric music topics on Mudcat? And, if so, how could this discussion forum attract probably younger, and possibly more racially & ethnically diverse regular commenters?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Jul 14 - 08:33 AM

Good points Azizi (good to see you here BTW). I think in 10 years time, if there is not an Android or IOS app for Mudcat it will be gone.

Grishka -

A handful or two of Mudcat posters display this behaviour in varying percentages, and this, as you well know, includes you.

Aha! So, now we are getting somewhere. So, now I know that you WERE referring to me after all and sorry, but no, I did not well know anything. If I did I would not have asked. All I need to know now is what 'this behaviour' actually is, preferably with some examples if you can find them, and I can begin to help make this place better by not exhibiting it again.

If you can indeed offer any help in making Mudcat a better place to be I shall reciprocate and advise you that I believe that your vague hints and insinuations are also making this place less pleasant. If you would actually say what you mean there would be fewer misunderstandings surely? Speak plainly and say what you mean and it would be a better place all round.

DtG


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 02 Jul 14 - 10:06 AM

Azizi, some topics of discussion have been with mankind for centuries and will never be finished - they may just lose importance. Others gain importance drastically, and I agree that cultural diversity is among these. Those of us who have grown up in a closed and apparently homogeneous culture have to adapt to global communication, which many find uncozy or even "alien". Some of us wish to isolate Mudcat from the rest of the world, and failing that, desperately try to plant their own flags wherever possible - purely virtually, not worth a cent or penny.

Dave, if you had not suspected to be "on the list", you would not have replied defensively. ("I don't know anything about any murder, I never owned a Smith & Wesson 60, I was with my wife yesterday at 3.15 pm, and anyway, he deserved it alright!") This is just for your information, not to accuse you publicly, therefore I do not see it as my obligation to find the couple of relevant threads I bothered to read. One of the titles was something like "Does militant atheism resemble a religion?", where you told us to shut up discussing while you were busy taunting each other. If you believe that this added to your good reputation, you are beyond advice. Just don't say I didn't try.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Musket
Date: 02 Jul 14 - 10:18 AM

Grishka just said "Musket tells us that he feels obliged to wear a mask in personal contact, which seems to imply that only Mudcat readers know his true self in that respect."

I obviously have a side kick called fucking Tonto then...

What bollocks.

I think I recall once saying that the problem with on line crap like this is that you say what you think whereas in real social intercourse, you occasionally mask your true feelings.

I reckon I would have said it in the third person too.

Anyroad up. As some on here already know, Musket is an amalgamation and the three musketeers share the log in. We bring our shared past to the table. I am the lead musketeer, otherwise known as Ian Mather. The other two aren't called Ian Mather, and just to confuse matters, Ian Mather doesn't go by the name of Ian Mather professionally.

What was this about masks????

Out of interest, you can never make Mudcat better than 70% good whilst 30% of people posting aren't good. Same as in anything else. We have people saying we should be more civil to each other, but if anyone wants me to be civil to homophobes, racists and bigots, they had better get used to some good old anglo fucking saxon.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Jul 14 - 11:00 AM

Dave, if you had not suspected to be "on the list", you would not have replied defensively.

There was nothing even vaguely defensive about my post, Grishka. I simply pointed out that hints and allegations have no place in honest discussions. I asked for further clarification and you are still not hedging your bets. You now say that I have been guilty of some sort of behaviour that you disapprove of but you don't feel any obligation to tell us what it is or back up the allegations? Well, tell you what, Grishka, I understand that you indulge in all sorts of unsavoury activities that may or may not involve a nuns outfit, a child's tricycle and fresh cream cakes. I do not feel the need to explain any further or offer any proof because everyone knows I mean. Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink. Say no more...

DtG


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Wesley S
Date: 02 Jul 14 - 11:27 AM

From Azizi:

"But then it occurs to me that if there's no increased moderation (and if that increased moderation isn't fair and consistent across the board) what would stop an increased pool of people who would regularly post on Mudcat from engaging in the same or other forms of circuitous exchanges and/or accusations and thus (I believe) turning off and turning away other potential commenters?"


Two thoughts after reading this:

In a way there are now two different Mudcats. There still is the community that wants to exchange musical information - to discover and educate. They are still here.

BUT - there is also another Mudcat of individuals that have an ax to grind with each other. A Personality Parade. They will argue endlessly about anything. They argue just to argue. That will never stop. We need to get used to it. They will never change anyone else's mind - so it's hard to figure out why it goes on. Like the man said - Do you want to be right - or happy?

And yes - there is a crossover between these two groups. Many people live in both camps at once. I've crossed over myself.

So the Mudcat has changed. It will never be what it was. My son will never be three foot tall again. He now wears a shoe size larger than mine. So be it. We'll just need to go with the flow....


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Jul 14 - 11:45 AM

I don't think, Wesley, that you have your finger on the pulse of the various acrimonious exchanges. Some (me included) think that the right wing idealogues who post here are truly sociopaths, examplars of the dark side of society, the sorts of things that those who UASIANS refer to as "folk singers" (so Guthrie, Seeger, etc) were wholly opposed to - the things we thought we would not see in a better world down the time-track. It's not about the personality, it's about world-view.

Mind you I'm fascinated to learn that there are as many Mithers as there were Marx Brothers, or Stooges...

Oh, by the way - I just started a music thread.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jul 14 - 11:47 AM

"they argue just to argue. That will never stop. We need to get used to it. They will never change anyone else's mind - so it's hard to figure out why it goes on"

======================

There is ongoing objective scientific research suggesting changes in the composition of aging male brains
can cause increasingl aggressive attitudes and behaviour....


.. just saying....


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Wesley S
Date: 02 Jul 14 - 11:49 AM

People who love to argue need an audience. If they don't get it they go away. To find it somewhere else.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Musket
Date: 02 Jul 14 - 12:04 PM

Trust me Bridge. There's only one rotten dirty stinking capitalist though, all the same. The other two actually contribute to society.... Or does the capitalist contribute? I get confused.

All for one and one for fuck all.

I've just been watching the Yentob documentary about Monty Python. I thought of some of our contributors when they showed a clip of paying to have an argument. That sketch would be rather redundant nowadays in one respect.

And accurate in another.




(Those BSkyB shares I wanted to offload? They were trading at 950 when I offered them to you. They are only 896 now. I reckon you are a better capitalist than I am Bridge...)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 02 Jul 14 - 12:23 PM

Dave, and whoever is interested, read your post of 30 Jun 14 - 07:48 AM carefully. For example, the sentence "What makes you think they are not?" (... nice gals and guys) - well, those who are not nice, are evidently not-nice - tertium non datur. You obviously think of particular persons you wish to defend, probably including yourself. Actually some people wrote about their desire to revenge their childhood wounds or about their pleasure of annoying others - no need for a Freud there (if I had any such ambition).

If you doubt that any behaviour of the sort I described exists at all, you can assume my point void, which addressed those who encounter it and feel uncomfortable.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jul 14 - 12:36 PM

There's definitely a few too many egotistical argumentative dickheads at large in this thread....

The "Plain English Campaign" would have a field day with their over convoluted smug verbosity............


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Jul 14 - 12:55 PM

You obviously think of particular persons you wish to defend, probably including yourself.

No, no, no and a thousand times no, Grishka. I do not feel the need to defend anyone, including myself, apart from from any outright lies. The sentence "What makes you think they are not nice?" was further qualified by "have you met them", or something similar. I guess the answer is no so, how can you say anyone is not nice when you cannot possibly know them well enough to give a qualified opinion? You may say they are acting in a not nice manner which could well be true, but to hint that they are in some way lesser persons is just not right. Once again, plain speaking. No hints or allegations. Especially those that cannot be substantiated. Or, in the words of our anonymous guest above The "Plain English Campaign" would have a field day with their over convoluted smug verbosity..........." Although, in fairness, the plain English campaign needs no quotes and there is such a thing as to many ellipses :-)

An old friend I would guess by the style. Conc maybe?

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Jul 14 - 04:44 PM

Sheesh!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Jul 14 - 04:52 PM

I would point out that anyone who says there was no nastiness in the old days has forgotten Martin Gibson and Gargoyle. And it was clearly purely for the love of being vile, without any attempt to promote or defend any principle.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 02 Jul 14 - 05:07 PM

Dave, you missed my point, but I'll take the hint and stop the argument.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Jul 14 - 05:12 PM

I probably did, Grishka. I understand very little of what you are on about but as we are getting nowhere and it is beside the point I will call it a day too!

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,giovanni
Date: 03 Jul 14 - 03:25 AM

It seems one of the problems has come to the surface in that people claim they only react badly to subjects like racism, religion, capitalism etc etc, none of which has much to do with folk music directly. Other forums I use tend to stick to their topics, so don't have the same problems.

My pet hate is bad manners. I generally react to bad manners in a dismissive way - "the chap is clearly a lout" - but if there's too much of it, I'll just quietly go elsewhere.

Rather like the village pub I mentioned earlier - if it starts to be taken over by ill-mannered louts, I'll find a different pub. Then if the landlord finds he's losing his customers, he might have a word with the offenders, get them to change their behaviour or they're barred.

In Mudcat terms, Max is the landlord and if his "staff" (the moderators) point out the pub/website is going bad, he needs to do something.

Which leads me back to Will's wondering where we'll be in 10 years time - I think if the ill-mannered behaviour is allowed to continue, the pub will either degenerate into a place no decent person will set foot in, or will go out of business because the landlord is fed up to the back teeth with it.

g


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 03 Jul 14 - 03:34 AM

Grishka is welcome to the nun's habit and the child's bike, but rather than waste them, please could I have the cream cakes?

Musket, I absolutely loved that sketch on Python about the argument:-

"Is this a sixpenny argument or a shilling one?"
"A sixpenny one."
"No it isn't."
"Yes it is."

Very like some 'discussions' on Mudcat!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Jul 14 - 04:53 AM

Will - Please accept my apologies. I mentioned early on that I suspected that the thread would become another battleground and then, instead of heeding my own warning, became part of the problem :-(

Mea maxima culpa.

DtG


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 03 Jul 14 - 05:21 AM

Yeah, we seem to be now debating definitions of rudeness, personal abuse, what's offensive or not, etc. Some posters seem to think using flowery language passes for wit, while derogations their fellow Mudcatters.
Too many people with too much time on their hands.
Bye for now.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Musket
Date: 03 Jul 14 - 05:30 AM

Aye, and if wit were shit, tha'd be constipated.

As an imaginary old bloke used to say whilst ramming a ferret down his trousers, gazing at the photo of Geoff Boycott on the mantlepiece.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Stu
Date: 03 Jul 14 - 05:47 AM

"Is there any reason why so many here are unwilling to discuss that subject?"

It's impossible to get a reasoned discussion going on Mudcat about the philosophical aspects of the science/religion debate as opinions on both sides are so entrenched. Many scientists I know (these tend to be palaeontologists) seem have quite open opinions on these matters, and many like myself were raised as Christians, Muslims or whatever. We rarely (if ever) discuss religion when we're together because it's irrelevant; it's all about the science. I'm guessing that there might be religious people who might like to get into some real nitty gritty discussion about the finer points of both philosophies but I can't see it ever happening.

It ends up with fundamentalists ragging up everyone else and a circuitous slagging match starts. I've always said these people are my best teachers, they are useful for ensuring one's argument is sound and has been researched adequately. I can be hard to see your work and that of your colleagues and friends being derided as dishonest and agenda-ridden but that comes with the territory.

There's little nuanced debate here in all honesty. The rough and tumble can be fun though.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 03 Jul 14 - 04:45 PM

Stu, I think your analysis is too superficial. It is not philosophical differences that create aggression. Rather, aggressive mindsets will search for convenient ideologies. If clan A envies clan B, and clan A happens to be Sunnite and B Shiite by heritage (rarely by choice), the leaders may opt for denominational differences. Chances are they do not know much about their religion at all.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Jul 14 - 06:09 PM

Why select Islam as exemplar?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Ole Juul
Date: 03 Jul 14 - 09:17 PM

Why select Islam as exemplar?

Excellent point. Indeed "folk and traditional music" would be more appropriate on this board.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,#
Date: 03 Jul 14 - 11:38 PM

'Excellent point. Indeed "folk and traditional music" would be more appropriate on this board.'

Check the music threads.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Jul 14 - 12:39 AM

I dunno. I think there may be too much effort spent trying to control what people say here, and how they say it. If somebody uses Islam as an example, why question that? If you think something else should be used as an example, use it - but don't try to suppress what somebody else has used.

If somebody goes a bit off track in a thread, so what? In general, we have expected people at Mudcat to have one and only one active thread on any given subject, and we combine threads if they are too similar - but that means that threads should be broad enough that people can say what they want to say without somebody telling them they're not on topic. In this thread, certain people have wasted a lot of energy telling other people they're off topic - well, at Mudcat, the tradition is that threads are very broad so that people can say what they want to say. In the Outer Banks thread, an unnamed Guest questioned my posting a description of my impression of the Outer Banks, instead of sticking to discussion of the hurricane. I'm sorry, but I can't imagine what rule I broke...

So, yeah, Mudcatters are getting older - although I'd guess the median age is 60-65, not 70. And yes, that may have some effect on how Mudcat develops. And yeah, Mudcatters generally seem to like traditional or traditional-style songs over singer-songwriter stuff. And yeah, some Mudcatters can get completely anal about the 1954 definition about folk music. But what the heck? If people can talk without putting each other down, that would be a wonderful thing - and that's the only thing I think we should be working toward: free, friendly, nondestructive discussion of anything and everything.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 Jul 14 - 03:04 PM

I'm sad to see GregF go.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jul 14 - 06:27 PM

This is what Mudcat threads ought to be like more often: Can one retune an electric organ easily?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Jul 14 - 04:38 PM

My organ is fine thank you and I don't need an electric one.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,CL!NT WESTWOOD
Date: 15 Jul 14 - 11:57 PM

Ok, apologies for dragging up this thread, but seeing as the intended thread
"This is really poor"
has just been closed in the instant between my previewing and posting,
I ask your toleration that this is a reasonable alternative - thankyou..

                     +++++++++++++


I thought - hoped - I was done with this thread... but.........

I'd mentioned earlier elsewhere how this was all becoming reminiscent of what I refer to
as 'the rogue mod wars' of a few years ago.

I can't remember if there was any positive outcome to that.
If any mod / mods were disciplined or sacked at that time.

Whatever, I wouldn't have expected such matters to have been played out in public view;
but trusted that it would have been dealt with effectively behind the scenes ?
The rogue mod being given at least a very stern warning & telling off by co-mods and mudcat admin.

The last few hours of activity here definitely seems to corroborate most of my 'constructive' criticisms throughout this thread,
as either Guest or CL!NT WESTWOOD.

'Me' ? - I try not to take personally any of the mudcat rough n tumble and relentless bickering nastyness - I have a thick skin
and a robust healthy dark sense of absurd humour.

A lot of even the worst of it can be hugely entertaining...

But the one thing guaranteed to annoy me is excessive intervention by any mod
who does him/herself seem to be taking matters too personally;
and showing signs of abusing their authority as a moderator.

This undermines the trust and respect accorded to the vital function & responsibilities of forum mod.

Not all forum contributers are skilled and fluent experienced writers.
some may spend considerable time creating and typing a post
that may be invested with serious emotions on the subject they are expressing.

To finish writing and submit such a post, only to see it arbitrarily deleted with no explanation, any kind of communication
or consideration from the mod, will invariably be frustrating and provoke anger and resentment.

Leaving the poster baffled and well pissed off.

How is that poster to know if the substance of their post is considered contentious,
or if it was just wiped out as collateral damage in a blanket bombing of a problematic discussion.

Which I seriously maintain is a cause of more potential problems in a thread
than any petty name calling between the usual combatents.

I know mods are volunteers and can have their bad days
dealing with what is surely a demanding and thankless job.
But the role requires that individual mods should try to maintain a consistent fair objective neutral detatchment,
- not to let themselves get personally involved in the argy bargy and grudges of overheated discussions and bickering.

Ok, it's 4.30 am and I should have had more sense and carried on watching late night tripe movies
than take one more look in mudcat before switching my PC off..

will I never learn.......???


g'night.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,CL!NT WESTWOOD
Date: 16 Jul 14 - 12:05 AM

CORRECTION: oops..

This bit went astray in the copy & paste betwen preview and post:

"Which I seriously maintain is a cause of more potential problems in a thread
than any petty name calling between between the usual combatents.

Yeah - right, members can PM their dissatisfaction and complaints to known mods - and guests can try risking opening a conversation with the mod within a post.

But surely the test of good effective mod skills, is that should rarely ever be necessary... ???

I know mods are volunteers and can have their bad days.... etc..."


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Janie
Date: 16 Jul 14 - 12:21 AM

guest, CW, I think feedback to the mods is a good thing, and you appear to post your criticisms without rancor. You have a lot of opinions about how the mods should conduct themselves. Have you considered e-mailing Max to volunteer to moderate? Put your principles into action?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Janie
Date: 16 Jul 14 - 12:42 AM

Hmmm. Just read your posts below the line on the closed thread, CW.

Am I psychic or are your yearnings to moderate sending out powerful vibes into the universe;^)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,An old-timer
Date: 16 Jul 14 - 02:51 AM

Strewth, that's 20 minutes of my life I won't be getting back. Reading through the closed thread, I mean. It's a while since I've posted here - Spaw's passing brought me back for a look - and, boy, what a mess!
You want to moderate this playground brawl? I wish you the best of British, mate (not that the best of British is seen here much. Most of the sniping, bitching and unpleasantness seems to come from the eastern side of the Atlantic).
A shame really. Ten years ago I could say that I'd learned so much about music and made some real friends on the Mudcat. Today I look in and see a festering pit of rancour and bile.
Yuk.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,MerryMary
Date: 02 May 15 - 09:55 PM

Dear Alice -

I was wondering, do you still have the music to "Green was the Laurel"? I saw you had posted it, once, but it will not let me bring it up (maybe because the post was from 13 years ago?) If you have it or know where I can find it, would you please email me at: merrymarymusic@hotmail.com?

Thank you!!

Mary, Grand Ledge, Michigan, USA


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 02 May 15 - 10:53 PM

Dear Merry Mary,

In the search box...on the upper left side of your screen please type the words ( green laurels ).

You will find a multitude of possibilities......

i.e. from 2003

"Then green grows the laurel and so does the rue"

Have Fun

Sincerely,
Gargoyle
Come back again soon.
Green Grows the Laurel (click)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 03 May 15 - 09:44 AM

I just want to say that I agree with Joe Offer on the subject of the anti religious bigotry shown on this forum. I find it odious in the extreme.
I disagree with Steve Shaw regarding his comments that one should stay away from threads that one might find offensive. Often threads start of as interesting and enlightening discussions, they get taken over by the usual bleating lot. Example, there was a thread above the line, Why Does Modern Music Sound so different, it was an excellent discussion and many people appeared to be enjoying it, I certainly was and I learned a lot. Then the same old lot appeared and the usual decline in civility occurred. Eventually the thread was closed..too bad , as it began as an energetic and amiable conversation.
I am sure that these people do recognize themselves as a problem but just don't care as long as their egos are fed. I am tired of them as are many others but they won't stop because they don't care about anyone elses views, they are a very self absorbed lot.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Pete from seven stars link
Date: 03 May 15 - 04:47 PM

Right on , Hilo !.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: jacqui.c
Date: 03 May 15 - 05:49 PM

Nice post HiLo - I'm in total agreement with you there!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 May 15 - 06:43 PM

Discussions of religion are an EXTREMELY small proportion of what goes on here. Right now, there is no thread either above or below the line that mentions any religious matter relating to any sect in its subject line. In the last few years, all I can recall are a few long-running threads about criminal activity by the Catholic priesthood and their senior management's efforts to cover it up and slander the victims. I find it hard to see how that constitutes "anti-religious bigotry" - nobody seriously contests the facts, not even the last two Popes - so where's the problem?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: michaelr
Date: 03 May 15 - 07:15 PM

"Anti-religious bigotry" is an oxymoron.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 May 15 - 07:18 PM

You're kidding, right? You didn't notice all of the bashing of the Middle East and Israel and Palestine and everywhere else - slugging it out over religion and politics have created some of the longest, most boring, and contentious threads imaginable. The regular visits by haters who put up anti-muslim threads, usually to do with the UK, but occasionally including the hate speech to include the fabricated Obama birthplace and religion.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 03 May 15 - 09:56 PM

"RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile....

When I was 30 I grew a very bushy beard then shaved my head just for a laugh...


.. any other mudcatters made similar daft changes out of boredom
with their style and profile...???😜


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 May 15 - 11:53 PM

...and when I hit 60, I had so little hair left on top that I wondered why anybody would ever want to shave his/her head.
But the beard's bushy, so that's compensation...


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: akenaton
Date: 04 May 15 - 05:14 AM

SRS, I think there is quite a difference in condemning the actions of Muslim jihadists and blanket ridicule of Christian folks like Joe, pete, or other peaceful followers of Jesus.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Greg F.
Date: 04 May 15 - 09:04 AM

the anti religious bigotry shown on this forum

I think you'll find if you look more closely and fairly that its more anti-science denier bigotry, anti-"Christian"[sic]hypocrisy bigotry, anti anti-inltellectual bigotry, anti-general stupidity bigotry, anti-racist bigotry and general anti-bullshit bigotry than anti-religious per se.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Pete from seven stars link
Date: 04 May 15 - 04:05 PM

Good one punkfolkrocker, made me laugh !.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Noreen
Date: 04 May 15 - 06:20 PM

Will, you might like to see a nice thread from 1999/2000 in which the Ducks invited all readers to turn up at the house they were renting during Whitby Folk Week for a Mudcat gathering/barbecue- all that was required was a mudcat t-shirt or badge for identification.

I remember reading it at the time, and wondering how it could be that these generous people who I'd never met, would do this, not knowing who might turn up. I went along and met some lovely people who are still friends to this day. We went on to have numerous mudcat gatherings at festivals and otherwise, which were all lovely and friendly.

That's just an example of what mudcat was like in those days. If you read that thread, you will see there is not one negative comment. Can you imagine what would happen if someone was so open and generous in a thread these days??

That's the main reason why many of us "Old Guard" :) don't come here so much any more, and I am very sad for the loss of those times.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 May 15 - 02:44 AM

I met the delightful Noreen in 2002, and rode through Yorkshire with her and a carful of folkies on the way to Whitby Folk Week. I met the Ducks there, too; and Kevin of Harlow, and John from Hull afterwards. And many, many others.
And I stayed with Bill Sables, IanC, and Micca.

I've met a number of Mudcatters in Ireland, especially on my most recent trip on my way home from Egypt in 2012.

And I see lots of Mudcatters every year at the FSGW Getaway in Maryland - usually a few from Europe, and even one or two from Australia.

And they're all still good people, and they're all still around - but they're here less often than they used to be.

The "New Guard" of moderators are trying very hard to turn the tide, to make Mudcat a more pleasant place again. Sometimes I worry that their restrictions are too tight, but we're all doing the best we can to bring the joy back to Mudcat. I hope it works.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 05 May 15 - 03:04 AM

So do I ,Joe.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Musket
Date: 05 May 15 - 03:40 AM

Fuck me gently and sideways on.

Only just opened this thread for the first time and had a scan through. I have been mentioned in dispatches twice, neither worth the effort of reply and both in a negative sense.

I find it strange that people distinguish between insulting individuals and insulting whole sections of community. For instance Michael and his well worn Islamaphobic rants but seems hurt when you dismiss his tirade as going ga ga. He'd complain more if anyone took his views seriously and challenged him.

Joe Offer doesn't always live up to the image of Joe Offer either. One minute he says he can't tolerate people dismissing religion as imaginary friend, the next saying he hates intolerance. (Remember emailing me in support of lies you were told by the most bigoted intolerant troll on Mudcat Joe? I haven't forgotten. Breaks the old mask.). I agree with Steve. Nobody bothers with religious nonsense till religious people invoke their nonsense into threads.

Musket became three people sharing a log in purely because it winds up and frustrates those who want a soapbox for their less savoury views without the inconvenience of being challenged. Attacking the person not the post is their way of dealing with it and a moving targets helps.

It works.

It also allows all three of us to enjoy the music threads without always being stalked by those who don't like their nasty tirade challenged in the BS threads.

Mind you, regarding music.. The image of Jim, Michael and Bridge stood at the counter in HMV shouting at customers saying that isn't folk!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 05 May 15 - 04:15 AM

I believe you have said all that dozens of times. We don't really need a repeat or maybe you three don't keep in touch and just say the same things over and over.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Will Fly
Date: 05 May 15 - 05:48 AM

Interesting to see that this thread has re-surfaced. I started it all those months ago in what Wordsworth might have called "in vacant or in pensive mood" - idly musing on the camaraderie and friendship that seemed to exist within a certain set of Mudcat members who'd obviously known each other since early Mudcat days.

That musing was brought on by the death of Catspaw - with whom I'd had one or two personal conversations about Mudcat. I knew that he was - to use his own words - "pissed off" with what Mudcat appeared to be at that time. I read yet again through the interminable, unyielding and repetitive theads in the BS section and thought of the other names no longer appearing in posts - names of interesting and reasonable members - who had given up getting involved or posted less for the same reason: being pissed off.

When I started the thread, my thesis that people were put off posting on Mudcat by the bilious nature of the BS section was ridiculed by some people. "Bullshit" was offered as a comment. "You don't have to open or read these threads, do you?" was another. Both comments ignoring the fact that it's not just individual threads which are offputting but the general, overall nature of that section at times. And both comments ignoring the reality that some decent and interesting folks - people known to me - really had left for just this reason. What is infinitely wearisome is the personal antagonisms that get carried over from thread to thread, no matter what the subject matter.

I'm certainly not squeaky clean in all this myself and have, regretfully, exploded on occasion. None of us is perfect, unfortunately.

As Noreen and other posters have indicated, meeting Mudcat people face to face at gatherings has, for me, always been a pleasure. The last time was when Max made his last visit to the UK and a few of us met up at a pub in East London for a natter and a session. A lovely night and lovely people. A pity that seems to get whittled away by dogmatism, pugnaciousness and animosity on the forum.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Musket
Date: 05 May 15 - 09:08 AM

Problem is HiLo, there have been dozens of times where it is relevant.

Perhaps you might enter my comment for an exhibit in a Ripleys Believe it or not auditorium?

😴


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 May 15 - 09:37 AM

I attended a number of Mudgathers and arranged a couple in Manchester, including this one back in 2006 and a weekend one that I vaguely recall! All good fun and everyone was very pleasant in the flesh. Sadly, in recent times, it has been shown that one or two of the 'old guard' that I believed were the good ones have now started to snipe at others using inconsistent or anonymous guest tags. I have always trusted people and taken them at face value. When you find your trust has been abused it does take the wind out of your sails somewhat :-(

Still, yes, it was fun but like everything else, nostalgia ain't what it used to be :-)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 05 May 15 - 09:40 AM

Will, wise words indeed. One of the reasons I don't post as much as I used to (quite apart from not having the time) is that it's not always possible to see the point of dong so. You'll add what you hope is a reasonably polite and coherent message to a thread, but all too often there are a handful of people rehashing the same few arguments they take across multiple threads without the fainest hope of resolution, and other contributions fall by the wayside. This may be because contributions like mine are too dull to engage with, but I also think it's because the general tenor that gets set is not conducive to a more wide ranging discussion (and when I say discussion I do mean that - last time I looked Mudcat was still a discussion forum not an argument forum). Though I have to hold my hands up and say that I too have ocassionally thrown a wobbler.

I think I'm a relative newbie, too, because I first posted (under my own name) in 2007.

There are still lots of good things about Mudcat, especially the database, but the endless sniping threads are not one of them. Can't really comment on the 'good old days' as I wasn't here...


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,#
Date: 05 May 15 - 09:41 AM

"nostalgia ain't what it used to be"

. . . and never was!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,#
Date: 05 May 15 - 09:48 AM

Why is this thread in the music section?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Pete from seven stars link
Date: 05 May 15 - 12:22 PM

....bet it won't be for long.....


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Noreen at work
Date: 05 May 15 - 01:00 PM

Because, anonymous Guest, it is of interest to many of us who don't venture below the line.

Why don't we venture below the line? Because of such anonymous sniping.
Please find something more productive to do with your typing fingers.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 May 15 - 01:05 PM

That guest # isn't actually anonymous, he's a member who isn't logged in.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 May 15 - 03:59 PM

I believe it is Bruce, aka Peace, Noreen. At least he is consistent with his Guest hash tag, unlike some who change it or prefer to be un-named when being nasty to others. I no longer log in because I got annoyed with PMs from people I would rather keep out in the open. I give Bruce the benefit of the doubt and presume he has similar reasons. Would someone please correct me if I am wrong.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 05 May 15 - 04:03 PM

Dave, who were you referring to as, "one or two of the 'old guard' that I believed were the good ones have now started to snipe at others using inconsistent or anonymous guest tags."


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Amos
Date: 05 May 15 - 05:11 PM

Perhaps the core issue is how one conceives of "another Mudcatter" (regardless of who). I used to approach anyone n this forum from a starting position of respect as a sort of first-contact rule of engagement. I made lots of friends in various degrees, and I still try to cleave to the principle.

It seems to me that others choose a different "first position" when they open the forum--namely one of ready antagonism and the will to do battle.

This (to my mind) is a fatal error.

A


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 May 15 - 05:33 PM

I am referring to one or two people I have met and trusted and they proved me wrong. I am not going to go any further but they know who they are.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 05 May 15 - 09:15 PM

Why not Dave?
Obviously they know who they are, but now the rest of us are bound to speculate.
People will think of those you have crossed swords with and think them guilty of false posting.
Me for instance.
Why will you not name and shame the guilty to spare the innocent from suspicion?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 May 15 - 10:39 PM

Someone deciding to practice discretion isn't to your liking, Keith? That's how fights start and threads get closed, posting everything out there. Dave is setting a good example by giving an example without throwing anyone under the bus.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Janie
Date: 05 May 15 - 10:42 PM

Now Amos,
Stop Making Sense


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 May 15 - 01:26 AM

Oh, gee, I just gotta say something about the post from Musket above (click). He condemns me for being intolerant...of intolerance.

His logic?
Intolerance is bad.
Therefore, intolerance of intolerance must be bad.

He's hell-bent on defending his righteousness in using bigoted buzzwords like "imaginary friend." Well, to my mind, to ridicule what another person holds sacred, is to ridicule the person himself. It is just as intolerant as it would be to ridicule a person because of race, disability, ethnicity, language, gender, or sexual orientation.

And yes, I plead guilty as charged, that I am intolerant of intolerance, in all its forms.

But I'm still trying to figure out Musket's logic, or lack thereof.

-Joe Offer-


And yeah, I think this thread has earned its place in the non-music section.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: akenaton
Date: 06 May 15 - 02:42 AM

Al this just shows how the generally excellent moderators can find themselves involved in the circular arguments that they rail against.

Surely the answer would be to cut out PERSONAL abuse and deliberate nasty ridicule as mentioned by JOE.

I am referred to by the "tolerant" individual as WORM, regardless of the subject under discussion ....how can serious debate continue under these conditions.
Keith is routinely abused, called an arsehole in almost every response to his posts......and much worse from the "tolerant" one.

Kill the nasty personal abuse from three or four individuals and the forum will improve and we can get back to civilised debate
Get rid of multiple use of usernames whenever they are discovered.

If some subjects are deemed too controversial to be discussed, make it clear and we will stop discussing them, or leave the forum.

All that said, the moderators do a difficult job very well indeed, they are not saints and sometimes let their own views influence the direction of threads.....but generally they appear to be pretty fair.

The irony is sweet when so called tolerant people go out of their way to insult and ridicule the personal faith of other members.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 May 15 - 05:25 AM

SRS, I am a long standing Mudcatter and until the WW1 threads on a very friendly footing with Dave.
His description of the guilty implicates me.

Dave, if you can not say who you are accusing, will you at least say who you are not accusing please.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 May 15 - 05:54 AM

Why will you not name and shame the guilty to spare the innocent from suspicion?

Because it is not my position to do so.

Dave, if you can not say who you are accusing, will you at least say who you are not accusing please.

I thought I made it quite clear that I was referring to a couple of people who used to be members but now use anonymous or inconsistent guest handles. Surely by process of elimination it is not difficult to deduce who I do not mean. :-S


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 May 15 - 05:56 AM

OK Dave.
They are not currently posting as members.
That rules many of us out.
Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 May 15 - 06:22 AM

It is just as intolerant as it would be to ridicule a person because of race, disability, ethnicity, language, gender, or sexual orientation.

Sorry, Joe, nothing or your list is a choice by the person being ridiculed and it is very unfair to ridicule a person for something they have not chosen to be. Religion is a choice and if the person choosing that particular faith cannot stand for it to be ridiculed then they are as bad as those who kill the cartoonists and writers mocking that faith.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 May 15 - 06:39 AM

We are a forum of folk brought together by our love of music.
Why do you need to ridicule other members for anything?
It is very unfriendly.

We can have diametrically opposed views and discuss them robustly, but why ridicule and mock people for their faith?
That is not in the spirit of Mudcat.
It is actually a personal attack that is specifically not allowed here.
There are not many rules, so let's abide by the few that there are.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 May 15 - 06:39 AM

Well, to my mind, to ridicule what another person holds sacred, is to ridicule the person himself. It is just as intolerant as it would be to ridicule a person because of race, disability, ethnicity, language, gender, or sexual orientation.

I don't agree with this. For a start, your religious belief is, or should be (we could reflect on that, of course...), a matter of choice, unlike the other attributes you list. Second, it is time-honoured (take that as being as pejorative, or not, as you wish) that religion protects itself by insisting on its own sacredness. I could be saying that at least we're no longer bound by aggressive heresy laws, but in many parts of the world that is de facto, or de jure, patently not true. Third, I don't hear too many people of faith admitting that the flaunting of religious symbolism in our schools and streets is disrespectful of people of different or no faith. You can't have it both ways. Fourth, most reasonable people of no faith would assert that you have the unassailable right to hold whatever religious beliefs you like and not be disrespected for them. I'm an atheist who knows many people of faith, but I never go around taking them on about it, even though I think they are harbouring a delusion. I can keep that to myself quite easily. But if we are supposed to be having free discussion about religion, here or anywhere else, the fact that atheists regard faith as delusional is a legitimate part of the agenda. Once heads of either persuasion are above the parapet, you don't get to tell us what is off limits. If you hold something as sacred, then presumably you are equipped to defend it to the hilt against all comers without getting too upset with people who are rather direct in their demurring. So do so with good humour and don't retreat into some medieval defensive mindset. Finally, attacking the belief is not attacking the man. If it sounds like is, it's because you're expressing your belief in a ridiculous way, for example by claiming that science is wrong and that "evolutionists" are charlatans, or that abortion is a religious issue. Otherwise, let's face it: you may be a man of faith but you don't go around all day with your hands joined, do you?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 May 15 - 06:41 AM

Sorry, Dave, I was posting at the same time as you. We overlapped somewhat.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 May 15 - 07:31 AM

Many folk songs mock people, organisations, religions and many other things. Should these not be allowed? It is a time honoured tradition to ridicule anyone and anything who steps into the limelight. One may even say it is a more traditional pastime than folk music itself :-)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 May 15 - 07:32 AM

. If you hold something as sacred, then presumably you are equipped to defend it to the hilt against all comers

Yes we have to be, but should not have to on Mudcat.
It is a forum of friends.
It is a personal attack to mock someone for their faith.
Personal attacks are not allowed here.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 May 15 - 07:36 AM

Many folk songs are about men killing women.
So what is your point.

Challenge someone's views and argue your own, but ridiculing and mocking someone for their faith is socially unacceptable, very unfriendly and a personal attack.
Personal attacks are what is killing this forum, and are explicitly forbidden in the one and only rule.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 06 May 15 - 07:45 AM

It is a forum of friends.

Is it? I've never met but a tiny proportion of the people on here, and only a two or three of those would I ever think of as a friend.

Mudcat has a very wonky aura of niceness which I find more troubling than the customary haranguing which at least feels honest to me. The personality cults and secret policing I find as noxious as the piousness and homophobia.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Wheres that bloody cookie?
Date: 06 May 15 - 07:54 AM

"Forum of friends"

This from someone who shouts "Liar!" at anyone who exposes the myths he perpetuates. This from someone who checks everything people say against whatever right wing web sites he enjoys and if he can't find it, assumes the person is maliciously lying. This from someone who stalks people around the threads. This from someone who mocks gay people whilst posting dodgy propaganda regarding how many people in The UK share his delusion, which he uses as a weapon in stifling debate. (Christians would never etc etc.)

Shouldn't you be out with Adrian Baker, canvassing for him today?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 May 15 - 07:55 AM

but ridiculing and mocking someone for their faith is socially unacceptable, very unfriendly and a personal attack.

So, I suppose the many songs mocking religion on the DT should be removed then?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST
Date: 06 May 15 - 08:10 AM

I slammed the door on a Jehova's Witness the other day, whilst telling them to fuck off. It was socially unacceptable I suppose, it was certainly unfriendly but heres the thing..

By assuming I might be mentally unstable and vulnerable enough, they made the first insult.

By the way Keith, is it a personal attack when your friend spews homophobic hatred, you back up his dubious sources of information and a member of Mudcat is vilified for no reason other than existing?

Ridiculing people for their views?? You ought to read what you put sometimes...


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 May 15 - 08:13 AM

No Dave, but we should not mock fellow Mudcatters for their faith.
Personal attacks are not allowed in the forum, but songs containing the most evil crimes are found within the heritage.

Guest without cookie, I have never done any of those things you accuse me of.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 May 15 - 08:15 AM

you back up his dubious sources of information
You mean the official figures from the official site.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 May 15 - 08:17 AM

Guest, why compare the nuisance of JWs to civil friendly discussion between Mudcatters.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 May 15 - 08:24 AM

I'm not to going to mock anyone simply because of the faith they happen to live by, but people of faith do not enjoy the immunity of avoiding mockery if they happen to express their faith in a ridiculous manner, or if they insist that Gods other than theirs (or no Gods at all) are inferior, or if they eschew reason, or if they try to impose their beliefs on anyone else. On the whole, that's what happens here. Keith, do try to differentiate.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 May 15 - 08:30 AM

Steve, I have discussed religion with you but you have never mocked me for my faith.
Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Jon Heslop
Date: 06 May 15 - 08:32 AM

"A forum of friends" ??? I certainly wouldn't want to go on one of enemies then!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 06 May 15 - 08:37 AM

"a forum of friends" ?????

you're all a bunch of buffoonish misfit bellends...

me too...

great innit !!!???😜


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 May 15 - 08:52 AM

No Dave, but we should not mock fellow Mudcatters for their faith.

I have not mocked anyone for their faith. When I tell you that you are fully entitled to believe in your imaginary friend as long as you don't expect me to, I am mocking your faith, not you.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 May 15 - 08:59 AM

Dave, I do not accuse you of having mocked me for my faith.
I do not believe you ever have.
Why do you need to mock religious belief though Dave?
Do you do it in the presence of faithful family members?
Why do it here?
Why not just say why you do not share the belief?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 May 15 - 09:04 AM

What is the difference between someone mocking religious beliefs here and doing it in song? If it should not be done here why have, for instance, Plastic Jesus in the DT? Why did Ed Rush and George Cromarty not just say they did not share the belief?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 May 15 - 09:06 AM

Oh, and why do you mock other peoples deeply held beliefs?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 May 15 - 09:18 AM

I hope I never have mocked anyone else's belief Dave.

Re songs, there are many that I disapprove of.
What has that to do with forum behaviour?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 May 15 - 09:25 AM

The songs are directly related to the forum and if the forum management are happy to allow songs that mock anything then it is also acceptable to do the same in the forum.

I hope I never have mocked anyone else's belief Dave.

Seeing as you brought up the dreaded WW1 thread earlier, I hold a deeply rooted belief that the British leadership in WW1 was bad. You say that there is a consensus amongst those who know better that it was not so and mock my belief as being outdated...


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 06 May 15 - 10:10 AM

Based on some of the comments here, anti semetism is fine because people choose to be Jewish.
Never underestimate stupidity.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 May 15 - 10:35 AM

Musket, the point you continually miss is that YOU keep bringing up the subject. Ake has a political/religious belief that most of us don't agree with, but he isn't preaching, you bring up this topic to turn the community gaze on this one political position in order to ridicule and try to drive him out. There are many other unpopular positions that members have expressed over the years, stated as beliefs and the topic moved on. But you, one or two or three Muskets, are rabble rousing and continually starting fights by bringing up the topic at every turn and insulting Ake until he feels the need to respond to defend himself. Your white-sheet moral indignation does not mean you are a better member of mudcat - to the contrary - you are one of the reasons Mudcat has become a laughingstock to members we would like to see here more often.

This behavior is a form of stalking. It's ugly and gets lots of threads closed. It is entirely predictable - we know that pretty soon you're going to find an opening in which to thrust your campaign to supposedly make it clear to the world at large that most of mudcat doesn't hold the same views that Ake holds. FINE. THE WORLD GETS THAT. I don't have to worry about reading this stuff I don't like coming from Ake, I get sick to death of reading about the opinions that Ake holds from you.

Stalker posts are frequently deleted by all of the moderators. It's like playing whack-a-mole around here when indignant fighters keep posting and reposting the same remarks, not only insulting the other member but now challenging moderators to leave the insults in place because it is your right to free speech. You usually earn the thread a quick trip to purgatory with this action - does it raise your endorphin level to continually take a piss in the threads here? Another one closed - do you make a notch on your computer case?

This thread is now in BS. Let's see how long it manages to stay open.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 06 May 15 - 10:47 AM

Completely agree SRS. But these types don't care that many people are sick to death of their ways, because they enjoy the argument for its own sake, not realizing what fools they make of themselves.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 May 15 - 11:08 AM

Dave, on WW1 threads I made the case that current historical knowledge is that the leadership was not incompetent.
I backed my views with evidence.
I did not mock.
I did not make jokes about it being impossible to be grown up and be one of my historians.

Discussing religion is OK.
Challenging belief is OK.
Mocking it is mocking people who do believe.
Mocking people is very unfriendly and a personal attack.

Our behaviour to each other on the forum is not linked to the content of folk songs.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Musket
Date: 06 May 15 - 11:20 AM

SRS.

Wrong.

All three Muskets make a point of being reactive not proactive when pointing out agendas thinly disguised as debate.

We react with knobs on.

Especially when the likes of Keith mock others and then have the brass necked nerve to post like he has done just now.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 May 15 - 11:58 AM

But I do not mock people.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Pete from seven stars link
Date: 06 May 15 - 12:10 PM

Hey, did anyone notice that this ere creationist made a successful prediction !   ...smile...          Yes indeed, some people may choose the Jewish faith, though I presume the point is, that if they are Jewish by "race" rather than religion. Perhaps a better example would be , if someone chooses to be homosexual. I wonder, whether, by the logic of some, it would be ok to speak of such , with the same vulgar mockery as
is deemed by some here as acceptable when used against God, Jesus, and those who believe in him.   I have no problem with posters disagreeing with me. I had long running discussion with bill, and he never made a habit of mockery . The only consolation is, that the abusive posters only succeed in demonstrating a lack of argument to probably everyone except their own party.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 06 May 15 - 12:41 PM

Once when I was kid, my family went swimming on a beautiful sandy beach with clear water on the Wisconsin River. From out of nowhere, nasty flies called sand flies zipped in, giving us sharp, painful bites, then zipping away.

No doubt the sand flies had their reason, but to us they seemed like malicious creatures which came to a beautiful place and irritated people just because they could.

The Mudcat is afflicted with quite a few people, mostly men, whom I think of as The Sand Flies. This thread has a lot of Sand Flies right now. They don't care about music, they don't want to help anybody, they just want to vent anger or display their supposed superiority.

Examples:

A catter writes about being attacked on the way to a folk club. She asks for sympathy and advice. Somehow the thread gets turned into another diatribe about Margaret Thatcher.

A catter writes about playing guitar on a remote island. Almost immediately somebody is posting about Shell Oil.

A catter posts a link to a YouTube of himself playing music. It will either be ignored or will start a round of adolescent hazing behavior.

The Mudcat used to be a place to get new tunes to play. But now I have several interesting new tunes I could share, that I got from a book from 1814. Chances are overwhelming that nobody will respond in any way. And there's no guarantee that they will be harvested for the DT.   Why should I bother?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 06 May 15 - 01:09 PM

You've piqued my interest, leeneia. I hope you do post those tunes.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 May 15 - 01:20 PM

So, Keith, you have now become the arbiter of what is mocking and what is not and what is relevant and what is not. Well done. I suppose I lose. Oh no, hang on, that is mocking isn't it...


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST
Date: 06 May 15 - 01:21 PM

* walks away again, shaking head *


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 May 15 - 01:40 PM

and leeneia

A catter writes about being attacked on the way to a folk club. She asks for sympathy and advice. Somehow the thread gets turned into another diatribe about Margaret Thatcher.

Very poor example. Read the thread again. One person suggests that it is a legacy of Thatcher, there are a couple of responses. Then someone jumps in to politely tell them to bugger off and they do. A perfect example of how people still look after each other here.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 May 15 - 02:46 PM

Arbiter of mockery Dave?
Not needed.
Mockery is obvious.
You stated that you only came on the WW1 threads to ridicule and mock me, saying I should "live with it."

You will be unable to produce any example of me mocking anyone for their beliefs.
I do not do it.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 May 15 - 02:46 PM

Thread #154815   Message #3706858
Posted By: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
06-May-15 - 09:04 AM
Thread Name: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
What is the difference between someone mocking religious beliefs here and doing it in song? If it should not be done here why have, for instance, Plastic Jesus in the DT? Why did Ed Rush and George Cromarty (the song's authors) not just say they did not share the belief?


Interesting question, Dave. I think there's a distinction to be made here, one that's hard for me to explain. Would it surprise you to hear that I learned "Plastic Jesus" in a Catholic seminary in the 1960s, and that it was a song that was almost universally enjoyed among the students and faculty? After all these years, I still like the song and its message. It pokes gentle fun at an idolatrous mindset within Catholicism that I think deserves a bit of ridicule. Another song that was very popular in my seminary was Tom Lehrer's Vatican Rag, although there are parts of that song that come very close to hitting a nerve. Another is Matt McGinn's The Pill - I think Pete Seeger used to sing that one on occasion. I didn't learn Bridget and the Pill until much later, but I think it falls into the same category.

There are also many songs that poke fun at aspects of evangelical Christianity. Two I like are God May Forgive You (But I Won't) and Woody Guthrie's There'll Be No Church Tonight.

So, what's the difference between these songs and Musket's "Imaginary Friend" and "God-botherer" mantras? It's a subtle difference, but an important one. The Musket Mantras are a bomb blast, meant to attack and destroy believers indiscriminately. There's no reasoning behind this sort of shotgun attack - it's just an attack. The songs I've listed target real, specific shortcomings within religious groups - most often hypocrisy, with is certainly an endemic problem in religion.

And that's the difference between bigotry and legitimate criticism. Bigotry attacks all members of a group, simply because they are members of a group. Legitimate criticism addresses a specific problem and the specific individuals who are responsible for that problem.

There's more I could say, but this is the general idea that I'm trying to get across.

-Joe-

I've spent a good amount of time thinking out and composing this message. I have to say that it's come to the point where it has happened several times that I've spent time to type up a message and not been able to post it because the thread has been closed in the meantime. I tend to think that it's better to resolve disagreements with reasonable debate instead of by closing threads. I also want to say that I take the time to write these things partly because of the esteem I have for people like Musket and Dave the Gnome. I may disagree with them, but I like them.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: olddude
Date: 06 May 15 - 03:08 PM

My name for it Joe is evangelical atheists. More annoying then doorknockers


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: An Pluiméir Ceolmhar
Date: 06 May 15 - 03:43 PM

Seems we forgot the rules somewhere along the way. From the Membership page: You are free to be anything you want EXCEPT unkind, impolite, argumentative or snooty.

Folk singers, especially in the American sense of the term, tend to have strong political views, so some political discussion is pretty inevitable.

I first visited the café as a guest to ask a question about the words of The Maid/Lass of Aughrim. Within less than 24 hours as my enquiry circled the globe following time zones, I got a fuller answer than I ever hoped for, and the info kept coming. I was quite amazed at the helpfulness, and joined to share what knowledge I could even though I'm one of those surly uilleann pipers, not a singer.

Eventually, precisely because it was a community, I joined the discussion on the off-topic topics, and ranted with the best of them. I think the Bush Iraq invasion was what removed any inhibitions I had, because I was so outraged by it and wanted to communicate my views as a European to US members. But then I realised that whenever I visited the forum, I was reading the BS threads before even looking at the music ones, and tried to restrain myself.

I never deliberately left, but stopped visiting for a while for a variety of reasons, including the fact that Chiff and Fipple was a better fit for my interests. But I still have fond memories of here, and still can't think of the Campsite at Drumcree threads without laughing out loud. What an outpouring of collective wit and creativity!

Recently, while learning a slow air, I automatically came here to find the words so that I could play the air properly, and was reminded of how much scholarship is available here.

I then posted a request for information here and encountered the same helpful reaction, both here and on the main C&F thread.

I'm probably best described as a lapsed mid-timer, not quite an old-timer but far from a newbie (BTW, how do I find out when I joined?). Sometimes a random event reminds me of past Mudcat discussions, e.g. when I recently saw a history (!) programme about the Vietnam War I tholught of some vets I got to know here.   And it's good to know that a genuine enquiry is still met with a helpful response.


PS
Just last week, Joe, I went to a singing session, and was delighted to hear a Lehrer fan sing the Vatican Rag, which I hadn't heard in 40 years. It came as Ireland is in the midst of a nasty national argument about a constitutional amendment to permit same-sex marriage. Must have been providential ;-)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: olddude
Date: 06 May 15 - 03:52 PM

That is awesome, welcome back. I love
VVatican rag.. And yes as a catholic I really do have a magnetic mary in my car and a chain around my neck with saints Lol.. Great song


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Musket
Date: 06 May 15 - 04:06 PM

Keep going Joe. It's sad to read but better than deluding people into thinking you are perfect I suppose.

No. None of us come out with outrageous comments. None of us ask that not being a member of any religious nonsense be respected. Being normal doesn't require respect.

If you wish to appear rational and proportionate, note the disgusting post above by Starry pete where he says being homosexual is a choice but having an imaginary friend is not optional.

Gay people are no more "choice" than my greyhound is a giraffe. Yet you criticise Catholic doctrine on the bigotry religion inflicts on gay people but if I do, I'm all the weird things you call me.

I am obviously not sophisticated enough to understand superstition and the values it infers on its members. If it's all the same to you, I shall exercise my choice to deride where silly medieval ideas such as creationism are put forward in debate. Until religions accept all people as equal I shall look down on those who encourage perpetuating divisive superstition.

If that insults you, well your support of institutions designed to control communities insults me. Touché.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Amos
Date: 06 May 15 - 04:06 PM

There is a world of difference between amicable parody and bitter denunciation, as between gentle irony and harsh, unkindly sarcasm.

The lesson unlearned by the few is that there is nothing one might want to say--no matter how impassioned--that cannot be said in a relatively kind manner. Sometimes finding the kinder expression is a bit of an art. To ignore that art is a self-confession of internal bitterness and misplaced anger.

A.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 May 15 - 04:15 PM

Once upon a time, I got a genuine Plastic Jesus and sent it to Bill Sables. Can't remember if I got him the glow-in-the-dark model, or the one with the Official Paint Job with the red cloak and realistic brown beard.

I didn't think the Sacred Heart Auto League provides Plastic Jesuses any more. Times have changed, and dashboards are no longer magnetic. I was wrong - This page says you can get your own Plastic Jesus from the League for a donation of "only" $25. No, I didn't pay $25 for Bill's Jesus....

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Musket
Date: 06 May 15 - 04:21 PM

The last bit got chopped off somehow.



I only make those points because despite all that, I respect Joe. I just feel he turns a blind eye to bigotry by those who use their faith as a tool whilst deriding those who challenge it.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 May 15 - 05:29 PM

Bigotry attacks all members of a group, simply because they are members of a group.

I do not agree with this. It is not bigotry to attack all members of the EDL, the neo-Nazi parties in France and Germany, any group that espouses antisemitism, anti-abortionists who seek deny access to abortion for all women, or any group that denies science in favour of creationism. It is a mistake to think that these groups are owed some sort of protection from blanket criticism regardless of the delusional and damaging nature of their views. I don't believe that attacking all members of a group espousing bigotry can be bigotry. In fact, those people deserve to be attacked, in the interests of the sections of humanity they seek to abuse. Generally, you are a member of a group because you want to be. This board has, at times, protected such people in the mistaken belief that banal civility should trump aggressive condemnation of bigots. On other boards the moderators pounce on bigotry and stamp it out, naming and shaming, not permitting it to sully their forums. That way, we don't even have to discuss it and things stay much sweeter. I know it's hard. But bigotry's ugly face isn't that hard to detect. Just a thought.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 06 May 15 - 05:38 PM

Joe or Dave, is that the same George Cromarty who brought out the wonderful album of fingerstyle guitar. The Wind in the Heather, in the 70s? Sorry to bang on about music, folks...


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: akenaton
Date: 06 May 15 - 06:00 PM

"That way, we don't even have to discuss it and things stay much sweeter."

I think that just about sums them up, Team Musket and their acolytes.

Correct me if I am wrong but isn't this the discussion section of Mudcat? If there are subjects you don't want to discuss, go and mow the lawn......Who are you people to say what we may or may not discuss?   That privilege belongs to Max and Max alone.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 May 15 - 06:18 PM

Good question, Spleen Cringe. I'll bet it is the same George Cromarty. You'll find a little more in this thread (click)

Musket claims I turn a "blind eye to bigotry by those who use their faith as a tool whilst deriding those who challenge it." I know full well that there are those who use religion as a tool of oppression and hatred. I wonder how Musket could get the idea that I turn a blind eye to that. It's something I've worked against all my life. I guess he's just making that allegation for rhetorical purposes, so I should ignore it...

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 06 May 15 - 07:00 PM

Joe - while you're here, saw a movie yesterday
you and some other USA mudcatters might find interesting
if not at least a little amusing...

It's a very dark satire; a good but flawed independent film.
Although it tends to get a bit self indulgently preachy,
it is overall quite satisfying in it's intelligent bleak critique of American culture...

warning: ..not for the squeamish

"God Bless America"

If you've not seen it, and think you might, best not to read too many spoilers....


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 May 15 - 07:21 PM

"That way, we don't even have to discuss it and things stay much sweeter."

I think that just about sums them up, Team Musket and their acolytes.

Correct me if I am wrong but isn't this the discussion section of Mudcat? If there are subjects you don't want to discuss, go and mow the lawn......Who are you people to say what we may or may not discuss?   That privilege belongs to Max and Max alone.


Talk about getting hold of the wrong end of the stick. You don't actually know what we're talking about, do you?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 06 May 15 - 07:30 PM

I find it odd, but not surPrising, that some bigots defend themselves by claiming to be fighting bigotry! They assume, I suppose, that their brand of intolerance because it is fighting, well, guess, intolerance! All bigots Are equal, some bigots are more equal than others, to paraPhrase George Orwell. Amazing logic.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 06 May 15 - 07:56 PM

funnily enough...

the movie I just mentioned is at core an unrestrained black comedy
dealing with the problematic nature
of our intolerance versus their intolerance....

Again, not for the squeamish -
seriously don't even attempt to watch it
if you are easily upset and offended...


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 May 15 - 08:11 PM

Stilly River Sage, I've reflected a little on your cri de coeur of 10.35. I found it quite instructive that, since your post, there have been several hectoring posts from Keith, absolutely typical of the man who follows people around threads limpet-like, and a post from pete who claims that homosexuality is a choice. You are silent on these things yet you accuse Musket, who rarely starts threads that endure, of stalking. As I have told you in PMs, I am not a fan of sweary insults (I am trying very hard these days...) and I cringe when those who might be seen as my natural allies indulge in such. I'm not bothered that they know that's what I think, either. On the whole, Musket is on the right side of things, the side that respects humanity's right to exist as flawed human beings and not to have to conform to the diktats of deluded religious moralisers or of those like Akenaton and Keith who are afflicted with medieval prejudices. There is room on this planet for those canny types who fret about outcomes AND for those who rage against wrong-headedness regardless. There's more to life than keeping things under wraps in the cause of keeping the forum sweet. Though you mods could try harder apropos of stamping on bigotry, even if it comes from from people you like (I was called a Jew-hater by one such, and you did nothing...). You need to think about that before you attack people who have right on their side even though they might throw tactical considerations out of the window at times.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 May 15 - 08:19 PM

I find it odd, but not surPrising, that some bigots defend themselves by claiming to be fighting bigotry! They assume, I suppose, that their brand of intolerance because it is fighting, well, guess, intolerance! All bigots Are equal, some bigots are more equal than others, to paraPhrase George Orwell. Amazing logic.

If this is meant as an attack on my post you need to say so. I love to be taken apart point by point and if you do that then I'll have it back with you. But this post of yours is just trash. I made my points in the best way I could but all I get back from you is this dyspeptic and ungrammatical diatribe. Perhaps you'd like to try again.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 06 May 15 - 08:56 PM

Unbelievable !


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 May 15 - 09:13 PM

Sleep on it, old chap. You'll feel better in the morning. Don't forget to vote Labour.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: olddude
Date: 06 May 15 - 09:15 PM

Hey Joe did your grandma have a bathtub mary shrine? Mine did, made my grandpa bury a claw foot tub on its side and put mary in the yard shrine.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 May 15 - 09:56 PM

My grandma had a huge great sacred heart picture on the wall. It was very graphic indeed,scary even, and it dominated the sitting room. She also had a holy water font in the hall for you to dip into to do a proper sign of the cross as you went in. I don't think the water was changed very often so I suppose the bacteria felt very holy. Oddly, we never talked about religion. :-)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: olddude
Date: 06 May 15 - 10:11 PM

She had that to steve. My grama was awesome boy she could cook.. Now my mom.. Well I ate a lot at grams Lol


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Amos
Date: 06 May 15 - 11:08 PM

I don't see that worshiping false idols--such as polychrome Virgins--is any more of a sin than wallowing in false emotions, such as chronic hostility.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 May 15 - 11:16 PM

Steve Shaw. I work for a living, and though I think I'm on here a fair amount, it is nothing compared to the time retired Mudcatters have at their disposal. No one has time to read every post at Mudcat. We're grownups here. There is a lot of stuff here that should simply be ignored.

Were you around during the troll days at Mudcat, worst from about late 2008 through the wretchedly horrid 2009 into 2010, and still pretty bad episodes into 2011? There were still a few fake accounts being set up by that individual in 2012. He comes back periodically - he was various names - Richie Black, Samantha Hudson, Tina Edwards, Bluesman, and lots of time posting using the guest name of active members. He took a stance that the BNP needed to speak out, and when Mudcatters started the Folk Against Fascism threads, he used that as his excuse to set up fake accounts here at Mudcat, and then when Max got rid of many of them, started setting up fake facebook, My Opera, Bebo, and Flickr accounts. We went for a while with an artificial truce - the BNP would not be mentioned and then he wouldn't attack people - except he didn't give a rat's ass about the BNP, that was just the persona he created in order to torture and torment people. Anyone crossed him and he struck. Once Max realized that, we stopped worrying about people talking about the BNP. Max finally got the last of the sleeper accounts out of Mudcat and facebook and flickr deleted his fake accounts (mostly, there are still a few sleepers we're aware of). I hope he has either died or is in jail, but whatever keeps him away from here, that is good.

We realized that he was setting terms to manipulate everyone in order to get his rocks off. If he wasn't pissed off about the BNP or the EDL (or now UKIP) he was pissed about something else. The point of all of this is, that the stalkers here today are pikers compared to that troll. But in their own ways, they are just as insidious.

People left Mudcat because of the fake accounts and that stalking, and now they're leaving because of this pissy stuff from those who feel entitled to the moral high ground and tell us at every opportunity how righteous and liberal they are. They're angered if some non-politically correct sentiments are shared in a thread, and then they badger the speaker/writer until (they hope) that person withers and dies and goes away from mudcat forever. They continually harangue (stalker-wise) from one thread to the next in a running battle.

Can you see why they don't impress me with their big liberal hearts? I share the same political beliefs, but I'm not about to spend my time starting fights all over the place and following individuals around, verbally pointing them out and what I perceive as their shortcomings until once again they feel obligated to turn to face the accusations and answer the challenge so the liberal moral defender can say "I TOLD YOU SO!!!"

This fighting is death by a thousand cuts compared to the true anxiety of the troll days. Do you want to know what my worst day was? The day that I found the troll had found a photo of a woman who looked kind of like me, who was standing in a school-like hallway smiling and baring her breasts for the camera. The troll photoshopped in the logo of my university above her, embossed the photo with my name, added it to a Flickr account of porn commingled with my family photos harvested from my facebook page (before I shut it down to any but friends). That flickr account was set up in my name and he then found university Flickr accounts, including my library, and linked to them, so anyone looking at photos of flickr associates of my library would see my name and that awful photo.

I am an administrator on many of those university accounts and was able to have the fake account unlinked and killed off (not fast enough for my comfort - sometimes FLickr would respond within minutes or hours, but on things like that it felt like days of waiting). So This stuff? A bunch of annoying mosquitoes by comparison.

I'm more angry at otherwise smart people like the Muskets and yourself for continually beating your chests and telling us how wise and accepting you are of liberal causes than I am annoyed at anything Pete or Ake or others have to say about their positions. I have tried reasoning with religious zealots, I might as well beat my head against the wall, so I stopped that (for the most part) a long time ago. Every now and then a pious remark sends me onto my atheist soap box, but mostly I ignore it. I used to duke it out with some old-time Mudcatters, but that is a waste of time because if they don't get it, they don't get it. You're wasting your time and everyone else's patience to keep harping on these things.

Frankly, having those members who have "right on their side" are an impediment to mudcat these days. It makes a lot of you feel more entitled to trash threads, to trawl through subjects hoping for an opening through which to pounce on your intended victims.

And you can't have it both ways. When posts are deleted, coming back and reposting the same thing several more times just shows us who is really being unreasonable. And there are a few who decide to push harder and insult the moderators in the reposts, daring them to leave their insults in place because we should be big about all of this nonsense and let misbehavior run roughshod over everyone else.

I consider most of you redeemable. The toxic guest posts by a few others who are here only to be nasty are dealt with swiftly and they are blocked when possible. The fact that those of you who simply fight all of the time are still here and allowed to post means we hope you'll eventually get smart and move on to rational topics.

Steve, I think you keep pushing on some of this stuff because you haven't realized the extent of the nonsense that we've had to remove. No one will think less of you if you ignore stupid remarks and (perhaps) later on a moderator will notice and remove the problem remark. It's a lot of work to try to delete select posts in a running battle. Better to close the whole thing.

This has run long, I don't have time to make it shorter (Mark Twain!) It has lots of my personal views, and I've given you examples of other hard times here at Mudcat. This is a great site, and top notch resource for music research. I'll conclude by simply stating that when you push us too far, threads get closed. It's on your heads, if BS threads last long or not. If you and others continually insist on "raging against wrongheadedness" then you are the agents of the closure of a lot of threads. So stop the fighting and learn to ignore the threads inhabited by people you don't get along with. I don't read all of these threads or see all of the insults. But I do see patterns when people post a lot, and those are the problems that get answered. If someone insults you and it should be removed, send a note by PM and then don't answer in the thread. There are several people who do that now who are much easier to get along with on threads because they know there is a remedy, eventually. Moderators eat, sleep, work, have lives. But we get to this stuff if we know about it.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: olddude
Date: 06 May 15 - 11:19 PM

Well there is nothing false about mary in my house but you are free to think what ever you like. Ya see my god and my saints makes me happy unlike the people that have a life so miserable that they need to start old lady bickering. Me I am happy and I fish too yah so Irreally could care less what anyone thinks cause its personal


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: olddude
Date: 06 May 15 - 11:53 PM

I figure everyone is entitled to live their life in what ever makes them happy as long as they respect others. However, that is not what happens all too often. Like many other old catters I get sick of the bickering and usually wonder why I hang around. Maybe it is just a disire for the old days of friends like spaw or art thieme or kat.. But as spaw use to say everything changes and he too got fed up. Sad actually. There really is not much left. It can change for the better again but I am not sure who will be left


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 07 May 15 - 12:06 AM

last year a keen new young creative musician/producer came here
seeking feedback on his 'modern' treatment of trad songs..

He lasted one increasingly hostile thread before being browbeaten out of here,
apparently never to return...😠

I'll be 60 in 3 and a half years,
and even I feel sometimes like I'm one of the youngest kids with an electric guitar tolerated here...???😜


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: olddude
Date: 07 May 15 - 12:17 AM

I am 62 punky and you are one of the good ones


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Janie
Date: 07 May 15 - 01:14 AM

Brave post, SRS.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Musket
Date: 07 May 15 - 02:43 AM

The alternative to being a bit sweary is to take some of this stuff seriously.

That would be soooo wrong. Far better to point and laugh. Mind you, there seems to be a split in the thoughts of Musket on that score. One Musket shouts at the source of bigotry, another laughs at it and poor old original Musket does whatever I think a post deserves. For instance..

Yes Joe. You keep telling us how you fight the people who think differently about your faith than you do. However, I can only comment on your track record on these threads.

I reckon of those Mudcat members who contribute regularly either side of the line, I know about half a dozen through folk clubs and have met or seen as a one off about the same number again. Being only human, I am sure that what I know about people I factor into my opinion of their posts. Daarn Sourrff Musket knows some I don't and McMusket lives too far from civilisation if you ask me.

The rest? Well I only have what you post to go on. Same as you only have what I put. To put Steve's point about me in perspective, I agree. Musket, any of us, fights fire with fire. Social media is not the place to be subtle. The only people who would get that are not the ones who should re read their own posts.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 May 15 - 03:39 AM

You will be unable to produce any example of me mocking anyone for their beliefs.
I do not do it.


How many times did you say "you lose"? Amongst other things that are now, as you well know, lost in either deletion or the crash?

Do you not think that is mocking someone? Said it before, we speak a different language.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: akenaton
Date: 07 May 15 - 04:12 AM

What Janie said...brave indeed.

The tactics employed by these people are on a par with the sickening abuse she received from the troll.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: akenaton
Date: 07 May 15 - 04:18 AM

I am also surprised that sorting out bad behaviour is left to the moderators.....If the membership want this section to continue tactics like multiple use of one username and personal abuse of any kind must be stamped out.

Is ideology really so strong that we are prepared to accept this sort of behaviour in its name.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 07 May 15 - 04:49 AM

Dave, in a real debate one side wins and the the other loses.
Even in school debating societies.
Declaring that one side has lost the debate, (or the football game, darts match, Snap, Happy Families or whatever) is not mockery.

You accuse me falsely.
I do not mock people.

Steve you accuse me of "hectoring."
Another false accusation.
In the same post you accuse me of being "afflicted with medieval prejudices. "

Will you give an example of one?
No.
It is made up bollocks.
Baseless personal attack.

Feel free to challenge anything I actually say, if you can.
Making false accusations is much easier for you though.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 May 15 - 05:13 AM

Musket sez: Yes Joe. You keep telling us how you fight the people who think differently about your faith than you do. However, I can only comment on your track record on these threads.

Specifically????

Innuendo is easy, Musket. How 'bout some facts?

And I don't "fight the people who think differently about my faith than I do." I think diversity is very healthy. I work against those who use religion for perverse purposes.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 May 15 - 05:15 AM

Constantly repeating "You Lose" is mocking by anyone's standards, often accompanied by the placing of the right hand, index finger and thumb extended to form the letter 'L' on the forehead. Yet you say you do not mock people. No point continuing as we seem to be, paraphrasing GB Shaw, separated by a common tongue.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 May 15 - 05:19 AM

You are railing against the wrong people, SRS. I don't care whether or not you believe me when I say I would love this to be a much nicer place. But it's true. You can riposte by saying I'm going about it the wrong way all you like, but the biggest culprits here are anonymity and the ability to post unlogged-in. It's actually very surprising that a website with this much traffic, with those attributes, is as nice as it is. I'm not going to keep banging on about the Gaughan website (it has much less traffic that this one), but you can't post there unless you are logged in, you can't be anonymous (you are allowed a pseudonym on the forums so you won't come up on google), so you can't hide your nastiness behind that. One moderator pounces immediately on any bigotry and shames the culprit. It is not all nicey-nicey by any means and you can say what you like, more or less. And it's more civil than here. If the model isn't working, change the model. The model gets the traffic it deserves. That's the internet for you. Since you posted your long post, two of the nastiest people here have continued to post, one bleating about being badly done to and the other pretending to support you. Believe me, he doesn't. On that other forum that I won't name again, they would both have been told publicly this morning to shut up. Or else.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 07 May 15 - 05:29 AM

Excellent post, SRS. Thank you.

I'd also suggest that "fighting bigotry" tends to work best when it's done in the 3D world - discussing these things with neighbours and workmates when the need arises, joining a trade union, getting involved in local campaigns, trying to live according to your principles and so on. I'm far from convinced that having the same increasingly vitriolic slanging matches with a handful of people who hold fixed but opposing views really helps to make the world a better place on any level. And it's an awful lot of energy to expend.

I'm an atheist, too, and have pretty strong beliefs about stuff like state funding of faith schools and the presence of bishops in the House of Lords. But I have no issue with others' personal faith even if I have absolutely no idea what drives them. I also recognise that to characterise people of faith as uniformly right wing, reactionary and bigoted is a nonsense - over the years I have been involved with campaigns and community issues where the religious people involved have counted amongst the soundest and best. Nothing can be reduced to the status of cardboard cut out.
_________________________________________

Joe, thanks for the link to the Plastic Jesus thread - good stuff. Especially interesting to read Ed Rush's post. I did the simple looking-at-Wikipedia thing and it turns out is was the same George Cromarty. His albums Grassroots Guitar and Wind in the Heather have some gorgeous playing - it's a shame neither have been picked up for reissue.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST
Date: 07 May 15 - 05:29 AM

"in a real debate one side wins and the the other loses. Even in school debating societies."

Those are debates with a time limit. The real world is different.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 07 May 15 - 06:04 AM

Time limit is irrelevant.
You win a debate by supporting your case.
I did that by quoting the historians.
The other side were unable to, so I said they lost.

The whole thing continued so I said it again a few times.
It is not mockery.
It is certainly not mocking someone for their beliefs.
I do not do that.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 May 15 - 06:18 AM

Like I said. Arbiter of what is and is not mockery and speaking a different language.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST
Date: 07 May 15 - 06:36 AM

In the real world you can encounter people at various points of the asperger/autism spectrum,
or other cognitive issues,
and adjust your approach to interaction & conversation accordingly.

On the internet, how can you tell ?

Are frequent tunnel visioned repetitive circular arguments a clue ?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 07 May 15 - 07:49 AM

"You lost the (debate, game, competition......)"
You are not mocked by that statement.
It is not mockery to be told you lost.


I did not mock you on the thread.
You belligerently admitted to mocking and ridiculing me, even though I only repeated what the historians say.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 May 15 - 08:03 AM

I can probably repeat "Like I said. Arbiter of what is and is not mockery and speaking a different language." as often as you repeated "You lose".


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Musket
Date: 07 May 15 - 08:48 AM

Assuming debates have a right and wrong, win and lose etc just serves to vindicate my earlier observation that you can't debate with Keith on account of his failure to grasp what debating is...

Mudcat can be and is a forum for lots of things but be buggered to keeping quiet whilst Akenaton and Starry pete use it to promote homophobia. I'll not be quiet whilst Keith keeps squawking, wrongly, that "statistics" back up Akenaton's hatred either.

If it's all the same to you, incitement to hatred is never ever going to be an unopposed feature of this website.

Says me, as you ask.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 May 15 - 08:57 AM

Spleen Cringe, I don't think anyone is accusing people of faith of bigotry simply because they are people of faith. It is entirely a matter of how elements of their faith are publicly expressed. And, of course, people of no faith can be bigots. If someone insists on going public with their faith I think I'm entitled to tell them I think they are deluded. The fact that they have gone public with a matter that could equally well have remained private makes me suspect that they would rather like others to join them, so my saying that they may be deluded is a sort of rebalancing. But they are not bigoted. Bigotry consists of attacks on sections of the community that arise from ignorance and prejudice. We see it here and, sadly, it is challenged only by ordinary members, seldom by moderators.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 07 May 15 - 09:18 AM

Dave, instead of just repeating your mantra, explain how it is mockery of your beliefs to be told, quite dispassionately, that you had lost a debate.

Musket, again, I did not do what you accuse.
I can provide examples of some exchanges if you like.
You can not.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 May 15 - 09:35 AM

I believe to be mocking. You are not mocking that belief to are you?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,#
Date: 07 May 15 - 09:44 AM

In the 1970s, Skokie, Illinois was the center of a national controversy. The National Socialist Party of America (Nazi Party) wanted to hold a march in the town of 70,000 people, approximately 40,000 of whom were Jewish. The case was tossed back and forth in various courts until eventually it ended up in Illinois' Supreme Court. Many of the lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union who argued on behalf of the Nazis to march were themselves Jewish. The resultant ruling was in favour of the NSPA. It was a freedom of speech issue.

"The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual's religious practices. It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely. It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government."

I think Nazis are scum at best. But I support their right to protection under the First Amendment. Had the case ended up in the US Supreme Court and been overturned, it could have resulted in the denial of gays' right to march and display the rainbow flag in this new century. Americans try to be a law abiding country and try to be reasonable I think. Does it always work out to everyone's satisfacion? Nope.

The problem occurs when cultures clash. People have the right to 'protest', but they do not have the right to call others names. The issue is one of both rights and responsibilities. American moderators seem to observe the First Amendment. It is not their place to interfere with that right. It is also their responsibility to censure personal attacks. I think they do that very well, and I've had some of my own censured.

Some people may not like that. In the parlance, that's tough beans.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 May 15 - 09:48 AM

I had a dramatisation of the event on DVD. Stared Danny Kaye. Very good film.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 07 May 15 - 09:53 AM

Musket(s), we know certain posters on Mudcat have abhorant and medieval views about the LBGT community. These views have been challenged repeatedly, and often in a manner that's more likely to entrench them than win over those who hold them to a more fully human perspective. The approach clearly hasn't worked, because you haven't won them over one iota. All that's happened is you've created a situation which allows the homophobic wing of Mudcat to portray themselves as a) victims and b) the reasonable ones. How does that make anything better for anyone, let alone those on the receiving end of oppression and discrimination? For posters such as myself, who share your views on the issue, it actually looks like you follow them from thread to thread waiting for them to say something you can pounce on which I can predict you'll deny. Yes, we know you don't like their views and neither do we, but it doesn't stop your approach looking crass, bullying and tedious. Positive statements about the stuff you do believe might be a lot more effective than the constant harrying and slightly stalky stuff. Frankly, when you're on a roll, you don't make Mudcat a very desirable place to visit. I wonder if we'd have to put up with less homophobic crap if some of these endless arguments weren't prolonged and magnified with such relentless zeal. I will also predict that you'll say something to the effect that you don't care that others find your approach boorish and boring, because your moral imperative to fight the good fight on even the most pointless of battlegrounds morally trumps such considerations... am I right?

And none of my business, but I wish the three of you would each come out in your own right. The shared identity is start to suck. One would be forgiven for imagining you work shifts to keep up the surveillance of the people you feel the need to police.

all of this in my opinion, of course. An I hope this doen't seems ad hominem - it's about your posting style rather than you.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,#
Date: 07 May 15 - 10:04 AM

Nine minute clip from 'Skokie' with Danny Kaye.

Thanks for the reminder, Dave.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 May 15 - 10:05 AM

Well, so much for the guilty parties hanging their heads in shame. You all must have had the volume turned down in your heads if you read that. Usually there would be protests of tone and pointing fingers. I'll probably edit out parts of that later, no point in giving the old troll ammo.

We see it here and, sadly, it is challenged only by ordinary members, seldom by moderators.

Nonsense. A great deal of mischief is removed, before you see it. No one is keeping score, except a few of you who seem to have a running tally of insults. Maybe arguers should consider taking a week off from Mudcat, perhaps quarterly, just to let a few of the old squabbles drop well below the line.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 07 May 15 - 10:24 AM

.. surely who wins a debate should be up to an impartial referee,
not one of the debaters...???


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 07 May 15 - 10:25 AM

Steve, fair point about faith and bigotry. I think the problem on a site like this kicks in on a couple of levels as far as religion goes... when people of faith who also hold antidiluvian views on social issues post, it can sometimes appear that all normal rules of engagement go out of the window and are replaced by a kind of feeding frenzy on the part of some of those challenging them. And when the debate is purely about faith versus atheism, the atheists can sometimes lose sight of the sense of science and reason they hold dear, and it can all get a tad emotive and irrational.

Don't get me wrong, I too struggle with the notion of any faith that appears to be about winning your spot in the great hereafter by getting as many bums on seats as possible, rather than being purely about your personal relationship with your own notion of god. And as someone who really doesn't 'get' the idea or purpose of having a god, I would have to concur that, to me, all gods are imaginary. However, I'd also add that I doubt the imaginary friend position would succeed in winning over many hearts and minds (though I used to use it myself, mainly in the period after I broke with my own religious upbringing and later out of mischief. I don't any more).

There must be better ways of acheiving a balance in the face of evangelising. I'm not convinced a quasi-evangelical atheism is the way to go. I'd say that practical and acheivable stuff like campaigning for a genuine seperation of church and state might be a more effective starting point.

IMHO, as ever.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 May 15 - 10:49 AM

Soapy Tit-Wank? Wasn't he head boy at Eton when Cameron was there?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: olddude
Date: 07 May 15 - 11:54 AM

Here is an easy suggestion, start your own website and fight with whoever you want to. Frankly if I owned mudcat, I probably would shut it down


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 07 May 15 - 12:04 PM

A handful of old men with fairly shit views repeatedly taken to task on folk music forum. A major victory for gay rights

by our political correspondent

The battle against homophobia has taken a massive step forward today. Gay rights activists were thrilled and delighted to learn that a small handful of geographically seperated elderly men from the UK, posting on the general discussion section of an American folk music forum, have been repeated and emphatically told their views are wrong in the strongest possible terms. On conditions of strict anonymity, we were able to speak to one, or possibly three, of the organisers of the campaign, who would only answer to the name of "Musket".

"We consider that our campaign of vilification has been a resounding success," Musket enthused."None of the old men involved has actually changed their minds about anything, but that's hardly the point. It's as much about the thrill of the chase as the actual point of climax. We have also been able to resoundingly demonstrate that if you throw your weight around on these issues with the social graces of a water buffalo who has has spent the past decade grazing on nothing but high grade peyote, you too can completely alienate even the staunchest of your allies. That's the sort of moral triumph that gives us cause for celebration."

When asked about the rationale for the campaign, the Muskets retorted, "We believe these pensioners are breaking the law. However putting this to the test by reporting our concerns to the police is frankly not a lot of fun. Why do that when you can not only take repeatedly the moral high ground, but give it such a a thorough thrashing it end up looking like a Tory cabinet minister's arse?"

Pausing only to enquire as to whether your correspondent's wife "took it up the arse," the resplendent trio marched dewey-eyed back towards the battlefield for the next skirmish in this most important of struggles.

Unfortunately none of the subjects of Musket's brave campaign were available for comment. A source close to Mudcat suggested they were otherwise engaged in nurturing a symbiotic yet strangely sexless relationship with the various Muskets. "Love may yet be in the air," the source mysteriously commented.

Meanwhile, police spokespeople in London, Manchester and other cities reported a significant recent rise in violent homophobic attacks. When asked why the splendid campaign waged by the Muskets had failed to reverse this worrying trend, they declined to comment.

Excellent reporting! --mudelf


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Amos
Date: 07 May 15 - 12:13 PM

The fact that so much steam has been channeled into questions of who wins and who loses a discussion is prima facie evidence that the participants are unduly preoccupied with being right by making others wrong. This is very primitive logic, indeed--a sort of semantic brutishness that is both ineffective and unbecoming.

I recommend a close study of the posts of the late Rick Fielding and an emulation of his spirit of good-hearted conversation as a substitute for small-minded quibbles and efforts to dominate, which are a glaring waste of time.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 May 15 - 12:27 PM

Rick also started some of the best food discussions seen anywhere on the Interwebs. If you can't beat them, feed them! :)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST,Pete from seven stars link
Date: 07 May 15 - 12:47 PM

I let it go first time, perhaps someone else might point out their error. I was not making the loins that it is a choice, but should it be chosen , they would not be vilified for making a choice by those who consider it fair game to do the same to believers choice


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 07 May 15 - 12:56 PM

Errrmmm, could we have that again in English please, Pete?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: olddude
Date: 07 May 15 - 01:12 PM

Religious people who really are religious accept all people, others use religion for political gain. We are supposed to not judge others. Some don't get that I guess


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 May 15 - 01:21 PM

Much as I hate to say, I have to agree with Spleen Cringe. The multi-headed Musket and various others have full possesion of the moral high ground. They have right on their side. They represent worthy values and common decency. With no concern for their personal safety, they take on the forces of bigotry, prejudice and superstition.... and lose.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 07 May 15 - 03:01 PM

"Much as I hate to say it..."

Snailie, where did the love go?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 May 15 - 03:13 PM

There's a mindset here that I've been trying to understand for years.
In a post at 5:19 AM above, Steve Shaw says, apparently to SRS:
    Since you posted your long post, two of the nastiest people here have continued to post, one bleating about being badly done to and the other pretending to support you. Believe me, he doesn't.
According to my mindset, I would say the two nastiest persons posting to this thread are Musket and Steve Shaw; but I suppose that Steve is referring to akenaton and Keith A of Hertford, or maybe Pete from Seven Stars Link. Ake and Keith and Pete have often expressed ideas I disagree with, but they have always, always expressed their ideas in a civilized manner. Musket and Steve, on the other hand, go self-righteously ballistic every time one of the three opens his mouth. The conduct of Musket and Steve and some others is combative, and therefore problematic to Mudcat; while the conduct of the conservatives is not - even though not a single one of the moderators agrees with the basic philosophies of akenaton, Keith A., and Pete from 7 Stars.

Maybe this is an American-British cultural difference. Even the more gentle Brits here seem to express alarm at what we Americans see as normal conservative bullshit. And Ake and Keith and Pete are far more civilized and polite than are our "Tea Party Patriots" that keep threatening to take over the US in order to save it.

I guess the crucial issue here is LGBT rights. It's my understanding that no country on earth permitted gay marriage until 2002, when I think it was the Netherlands that legalized it. Since 2002, gay marriage has become legal in the majority of the 50 united states, and the Supreme Court may legalize it in the entire nation in a few months. That's an amazingly quick change for the US, so we supporters of LBGT rights are pleased. We have no reason to go ballistic over criticism of gay marriage, because we see that criticism changing into acceptance so quickly.

But the British mindset seems to be different. Brits seem to get more upset about opposing political ideas than Americans do, and many Brits seems to think those opposing ideas must be suppressed - that Mudcat has some sort of obligation to delete all comments that question the rights of homosexuals. Americans may not like what other people say, but they are generally appalled at the idea of suppressing what others say.

So, there's a difference. And it's very difficult to know how to deal with that difference. And while I tend to like Musket and Steve Shaw and Dave the Gnome and others, I just can't understand their perspective on this.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 May 15 - 03:25 PM

I learned how to make one of those "thumbs up" things last week, but now I've forgotten how to do it. Anyhow, there ought to be a "thumbs up" for this post (click) from Spleen Cringe.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 May 15 - 03:33 PM

That's Musket for you. Don't bother addressing what I actually said, just go for the smear campaign.

Spleen, do you still think I'm a folk Stalinist?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: akenaton
Date: 07 May 15 - 03:57 PM

I agree with most of that Joe.....I have always found you fair and although I am presently an atheist, I respect the personal views of Christians. Once again I am surprised that more of the membership do not protest the ridicule that you and other Christians here have been subjected to. I and most of the membership should be aware of the years of hard work you personally have put into this forum; and to be abused by people who are simply not fit to lick your boots is a disgrace.

On to homosexuality, I don't care a leaf about what any sexual minority get up to, other than the horrific health figures which pertain to that particular group. Failing to discuss, or suppression of the issue means that the annual rise in new infections will continue unabated.

Until someone can come up with a reason for these abysmal health figures, I will continue to oppose homosexual "marriage" on the grounds that the behaviour is dangerous and unhealthy.

Several here have commented that anyone who opposes homosexual "marriage" holds views that are abhorrent, medieval, hate filled....I do not see my views as such, in fact for a large part of my life homosexuality was criminalised, a law which I opposed strongly, yet these people do not see their attitude to Christians on this forum as anyway abhorrent or hate filled, but unlike me, they have no facts to back up their views, other than the fact That the Christian church also opposes homosexual "marriage"

The issue for them is ideological   "liberalism" good, "social conservatism" bad. The irony is, that these people are in reality the very antithesis of liberal.....they are the foetus from which Fascism grows.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 07 May 15 - 04:18 PM

Snail, I,d forgotten about that. I am far less dogmatic about these things than I was, so no, I no longer believe you are a folk Stalinist - in fact I can't even remember what a folk Stalinist is... So please consider accepting the apology I'm now going offer. Um, sorry!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 May 15 - 04:24 PM

Well, Joe Offer, I think that that post marks you as by far the nastiest person by far on this thread. Months ago I decided to remain direct but to avoid making abusive comments. Clearly, you haven't noticed. Unlike you, SRS has noticed. I have a PM from her to prove it. So you sound off as though you are no more than a casual and occasional observer "down here" and shoot your mouth off about a situation that is months out of date, without checking out the current situation first. That is unworthy of you and unworthy of the moral context in which you set yourself on this forum. In this thread I have tried to set out my honest views about the shape of this board. I do not expect many people to agree and I don't mind being shot down. But I do not expect to be vilified for expressing honest opinions just because I don't pull punches. Now, I'm told by SRS that bigotry is stamped on here before we have even seen it on the forum. I'm quite happy to accept that. But if that were truly the norm the bigots would give up. But they do not. When I started this post about twenty minutes ago the most recent post to this thread was replete with the most horrendous homophobic bigotry from Akenaton. I predict an adverse response to this carefully considered post from me but silence from you when it comes to his. Go on. Prove me wrong. Do the right thing. And do try to keep up before sounding off about stuff you haven't checked. That stinks.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 May 15 - 04:25 PM

Ake, most of us think you're connecting the wrong dots regarding those figures. In the US the statistics show that young African American men are most likely to become infected, followed by IV drug users. Centers for Disease Control. When you consider that the multiple partner part of this formula is the problem, then stable monogamous (i.e., married) relationships are to be valued. So don't punish them. And letting LGBT marry in no way threatens the marriage of anyone else.

That was easy to say, it didn't require hijacking a thread to say it. I will also point out that while trying to get the combative element to tone down their rhetoric does not serve as an invitation for any of the parties in question, even those who have been soundly trounced by that combative element, to feel the discussion is any more welcome. It still isn't. Agree to disagree on LGBT issues and find other topics of conversation.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 May 15 - 04:32 PM

Sorry, way too polite. You won't stop him that way, and you know it. His views are ten times more abhorrent that the worst that Musket and the rest of us can muster. By being so indulgent you are allowing bigotry to become respectable on this board. It's in your hands.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 May 15 - 04:36 PM

Though at least you did prove me wrong on one count.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 May 15 - 05:01 PM

Since when does rude bluster win an argument? It just makes everything worse, and no one is going to listen to what you have to say. If loud fighting is the intent, whether liberal or conservative, then threads will continue to be trimmed and closed.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST
Date: 07 May 15 - 05:03 PM

Joe Offers suggestion of a American-British cultural difference may explain most it. Each side being comfortable with their local limits, or lack of them, on free speech.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 May 15 - 05:14 PM

Well I don't agree with that. It sounds like you're saying that yanks are polite and Brits are rude. That is Incredibly sweeping and incredibly bigoted. Not based on any honest and objective analysis of tens of thousands of posts. When you have done that analysis, let's have your numbers and let's have the basis on which you assess each post. Otherwise, give up on this silly assertion once and for all.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 May 15 - 05:18 PM

Steve Shaw sez: Well, Joe Offer, I think that that post marks you as by far the nastiest person by far on this thread.

Gee, Steve, don't you think that could be a bit of an overreaction? You have a long history of aggressive, combative posts to live down. I concede that you have been more peaceable in recent weeks, but it sure as hell doesn't take much to set you off in a tizzy. I'm not quite ready to think of you as Saint Stephen, despite your apparent conversion. As I recall, St. Paul was quite obnoxious after his conversion...

I can't quite get the logic behind akenaton's opposition to homosexual marriage for health purposes. As SRS says and others have said often before, marriage reduces promiscuity, and that reduces the likelihood of transmission of disease. So, it seems to me that by now Ake should be a staunch supporter of gay marriage. Instead, he still puts it in quotation marks - despite the fact that it is the Law of the Land in many places.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 May 15 - 05:23 PM

I would just like to make it clear that the deletion of Musket's attack on me (actually fairly mild, just a bit bonkers) and the whiting out of my reply were nothing to do with me but entirely down to the moderators.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 May 15 - 05:24 PM

I have criticised akenaton's post without rude bluster. You will do almost anything other than stamp on this obnoxious person's bigotry. You can do it if you like. Address the issue. It can be done. You don't have to sit up 24 hours a day to do it. Shit on the bigotry every time you see it, name and shame him, and he will go away. At the moment he thinks he's in bed with you. Wow. You hold far more cards in your hand than we do. Get on with it. If your nerve fails you, have another look at his last post. It's disgusting, it sullies this board, and you know it.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 May 15 - 05:32 PM

Patronising and dismissive, Joe Offer. You called me the nastiest person ON THIS THREAD. Your response to my complaint about your misjudgement is well wide of the mark. You know I'm not exactly the kind of bloke to let you get away with that. Examine your conscience. Mine's clear.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 May 15 - 05:33 PM

I'm not sure whom you're addressing with your "yanks polite/brits rude" assessment, Steve. I think the difference is in how the two cultures perceive opposing statements. Brits seem to have more of a tendency to view opposing opinions as offensive - and they tend to want to see those opinions removed. Americans tend to see opposing opinions as wrong or stupid - and they certainly don't want expressions of those opinions removed because the statements are proof of just how stupid their opponent is.
Which is "right" and which is "wrong"? Neither. They're just different.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 May 15 - 05:41 PM

Oh, and Steve, what I said was, "According to my mindset, I would say the two nastiest persons posting to this thread are Musket and Steve Shaw."

That's my opinion, based on a long period of experience. You don't really seem to be working very hard to change my opinion. Your responses to me have been quite combative. You may be nice to SRS because you see her as the One in Authority, but you certainly haven't bent over backwards to be nice to me.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: GUEST
Date: 07 May 15 - 05:51 PM

Brits don't tolerate bigotry in polite company. Americans appear to tolerate it.

Not sure where that puts either on a polite-rude scale


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Musket
Date: 07 May 15 - 05:52 PM

So my posts are missing whilst Akenaton can lie about sections of society again?

SRS - as your facts on USA show a piece of reality, I can tell you UK figures. The majority of people living with HIV are "straight." The largest risk is the "born in sub Saraha Africa" demographic. The most responsible demographic is gay men, whose large numbers attending screening is a huge success story.

Shutting your eyes and sticking your fingers in your ears doesn't make Akenaton any better. He is homophobic and uses Mudcat to spread it. If you are in a position to ensure Mudcat members don't have to read distressing posts about their family, I suggest you do so and show some common fucking decency for once.

I know The USA well, spend about a month a year over there, and refuse to stereotype some of the nicest people I know. Not every American is a moderator, on Mudcat so not every American defends homophobic hatred.

Opposing views Joe? Civilised countries differentiate between views and incitement to hatred. Akenaton is a criminal by his posts and the legislation that does that was introduced by The Scottish National Party, which is nicely ironic, given his confused support for a party that opposes every shred of his existence. Steve isn't a criminal, I'm not. Get some perspective.

Alternatively, join spleen cringe and the snail in laughing at those who find hate sickening.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 May 15 - 05:58 PM

Americans tend to see opposing opinions as wrong or stupid - and they certainly don't want expressions of those opinions removed because the statements are proof of just how stupid their opponent is.

I think you will find that many of the British would agree, including me, which is why I find it odd that Musket's rather strange post was deleted. I had criticised him but he has been denied his right of reply. I was happy with his reply because it rather demonstrated my point about his debating style.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 May 15 - 06:03 PM

And Steve, whether you're nice or not, may not be the issue. It's your attitude toward forum discussion. It appears to me that you still see discussion as combat, not as an exchange of ideas.

And Musket, did you bother to read my 5:33 PM observation on the difference between Brits and Americans? Your opinion seems to be that expressions you deem offensive must be removed. My opinion is that they must be preserved, so people can see how stupid my opponent is. Those are two differing opinions. People can disagree without the world coming to an end. And it really isn't all that important whether one side or the other can claim victory.

But yeah, we do delete posts when they are overly combative, because they are deleterious to the well-being of Mudcat. It doesn't matter to us whether people have "correct" political opinions or not. We moderate for the sole purpose of the survival of Mudcat as a place for discussion. We have never acknowledged any obligation to delete or not delete anything. Our only purpose is our survival, not what you consider to be appropriate or not.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 May 15 - 06:19 PM

Agreed, Snail. When I was moderator, I tended to be far more reluctant to delete things - and I got a lot of criticism for that. Since my reluctant approach didn't work, the new team is being far more activist in deleting. That makes me uncomfortable, but I'm hoping it will work. I try very hard not to interfere.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 May 15 - 07:07 PM

Thanks Joe. May I just say that it seems to have escaped your notice that us Brits (as you insist on calling us) have quite diverse views.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 May 15 - 07:12 PM

I am not striving to change your opinion, Joe Offer. I put my points as directly and as honestly as I can. Take it or leave it. You don't strive to make me change my opinion of you either. Let's not be too arrogant about that. We have better ways of channelling our energies.

You're not sure who I was addressing? I was addressing the person whose post I was responding to. I'm a very straightforward and simple man, whatever my faults might be. Disingenuousness does not suit you. Avoid it is my advice.

Your 05.33 post is a shocking example of unjustified generalisation. Try replacing Brits and Americans with races of different colour. Or Jews vs Christians. Do have a little think before you post, Joe.

As for combative vs exchange of ideas, well I don't know how one exchanges ideas with a confirmed bigot such as Akenaton. I note your recent very gentle semi-rebuttal of his remarks. It doesn't work. In fact, it's counterproductive. He really does think he's in bed with you and SRS now. You give him succour when you shouldn't be giving him one inch. How lovely for you. You actually don't seem to know what is and what isn't "deleterious to Mudcat." We may not be the best tacticians at times, but we do at least know that much. Akenaton's bigotry, and he's not alone, is a cancer. You're feeding it. Then you shout at us for wanting it out. Shame.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: olddude
Date: 07 May 15 - 07:21 PM

Who the hell are you guys to critize Joe if I recall correctly in the 15 years I been here we didn't delete any posts because most people were decent to each other and discussed usually in a sane manner. Not true since so of you joined


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: akenaton
Date: 07 May 15 - 07:22 PM

SRS...With the greatest of respect you have misread the CDC fact sheet
Please go back and read it again, in percentage terms AND in real numbers, the MSM demographic is the group most massively affected by HIV. Black American males with HIV are in the vast majority MSM.
IDUs are actually affected at a relatively low percentage rate.

These figures flag up serious problems with male to male sexual contact. To ignore this situation, or to attempt to bring homosexuality into mainstream society, is in my opinion foolhardy and certainly not in the interests of homosexuals.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Jeri
Date: 07 May 15 - 07:41 PM

This is a pretty good demonstration of how trolls subvert threads. Silencing people=ridding the world of certain opinions; religion=bad; buttfucking... Any other favorite subjects people are missing?

Seriously, if you wander off where trolls lure you, you're part of the problem. Even if you THINK you're defending all things righteous, you're fucking up whatever discussion you've turned your back on.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 07 May 15 - 08:18 PM

Musket, Akenaton is only a criminal once he is arrested, tried and found guity. Until then, he is only a criminal in your own head(s). Either shit or get off the pot on this one. Please note that in saying this I am not defending his views.

I don't laugh at those who 'find hate sickening' - but I am amused by those who think haranguing one man on a folk forum, whose largely irrelevant views represents no-one but himself, strikes a blow for progressive ideas. That's all I have to say on the subject, because I have no wish to feed you, and now I'm going back to watching the election coverage and worrying about the Tories getting another five years.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 May 15 - 08:29 PM

Rubbish. This is basically a good board which could be predicated on principles of common decency. I've told you about a board on which this happens and how it's done. Zero tolerance of bigotry, no posting unless logged in, no anonymity. You're nice to Akenaton, you expect people of decent instincts to exchange ideas with him, you let him get away with murder and you pretend that you're silencing bigots at source but clearly you are not. Read my lips: if moderators name and shame bigots, the bigots go away. Why? Because you have made the ground barren for them. The people who moderate this board are one hundred percent the problem here. You attack those of us who want the bigotry gone and your main criticism is that we can get sweary. Get this into your head right? Sweariness in the face of bigotry may be a bad tactic but we are human beings, and the sweariness is ten times less bad than the bigotry you are so indulgent about. Just look at the gentle handling of Akenaton in this thread. Instead of squashing him out of sight, you indulge him. That is far more trolling than anything we can say. You are actually feeding a troll, for Christ's sake.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 May 15 - 08:30 PM

That was a response to Jeri.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Janie
Date: 07 May 15 - 08:34 PM

Well articulated mission statement, Joe.

But yeah, we do delete posts when they are overly combative, because they are deleterious to the well-being of Mudcat. It doesn't matter to us whether people have "correct" political opinions or not. We moderate for the sole purpose of the survival of Mudcat as a place for discussion. We have never acknowledged any obligation to delete or not delete anything. Our only purpose is our survival, not what you consider to be appropriate or not.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 07 May 15 - 08:38 PM

Joe, a thumbs up back atcha to your post of 5:33, with the caveat that some of us on this side of the pond would agree that the best response to the sort of views you're talking about is indeed to see them as stoopid rather than offensive...


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 May 15 - 08:59 PM

Alright, Ake - the lowest statistics regarding HIV bar none will be lesbians. There is no reason to prohibit them from marrying, right? And by the way, this isn't really the best place and time to take up this whole argument.

Musket x 3, you each need to get your own accounts. This whack-a-mole game drives everyone nuts.

Steve, I have worked to try to connect with a couple of people who seemed to be close to relenting on the constant fighting and bickering. But failing to understand that the fighting is just as destructive as the political view you disagree with, let me put it this way. You are using a scorched earth policy in your pursuit of a few people who don't share your views. This means everything in your path is trashed, threads closed, and the reputation of Mudcat as a place for interesting and civil discourse is diminished. We are grownups here, we understand that not everyone agrees all of the time. You need to BACK OFF. The Muskets need to stuff it. Talk about other things and let Mudcat take care of itself.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: olddude
Date: 07 May 15 - 09:11 PM

People come here for friends and music this is Not A free for all your political views are better than others views. If you want to continue to engage start your own site its easy enough. Like I said me I would shut down mudcat if I owned it. There is little friendship or music anymor . No wonder so many great people took off.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 May 15 - 09:24 PM

I do not pursue people. I hardly ever instigate arguments and all I do is react to what I see as outrage. You see that as a bad tactic and you may be right. But the moderators of this board have an even more rotten tactic. You indulge bigotry. Once again, since I last posted you have been gentle with Akenaton. I mean, can't you see that you are feeding a very nasty troll by doing that? If you really expect to get away with that on a lively discussion forum without several people of good intent, of humanitarian instinct, but who say to hell with tactics, getting very passionate, then you really don't understand human beings at all. Coming back to the matter of pursuing people, by far the worst offender on that score here, Keith, is rarely criticised by moderators. He is a baleful presence on this board but you apparently do nothing about him. You let Keith, pete and Akenaton run amok on this board yet you bollock the right-minded yet tactically-deficient people to kingdom come. I was once called a Jew-hater by a long-time member of this board, one of those guys who moan about people leaving. You did nothing. Stop bollocking decent people who want a decent forum, in spite of their tactics, and cast out your own mote. You are the problem.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 07 May 15 - 09:51 PM

"Tactically deficient" sums it up.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 May 15 - 10:09 PM

So what would you rather be? An unreconstructed bigot like Akenaton, or a flawed human being who wants to see a good forum but who may be tactically deficient? I know what I'd choose.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 07 May 15 - 10:11 PM

Neither, to be frank.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 May 15 - 10:16 PM

So what are you doing here then?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat - changes in style and profile
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 May 15 - 10:38 PM

Enough already. The fighting is a bigger problem than the bigots. Instead of taking a global view you're using tunnel vision. The fighting has to stop. If you want to fight these battles, find other sites that have this as their goal and work with them. Mudcat is a music site.

SRS


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