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Dear Joe Offer et al

Lighthouse 65 13 Jul 01 - 09:42 PM
Shields Folk 13 Jul 01 - 09:48 PM
SINSULL 13 Jul 01 - 10:15 PM
Malcolm Douglas 13 Jul 01 - 10:21 PM
Joe Offer 13 Jul 01 - 10:40 PM
katlaughing 13 Jul 01 - 10:46 PM
GUEST,Socrates 13 Jul 01 - 11:12 PM
Jeri 13 Jul 01 - 11:13 PM
Sorcha 13 Jul 01 - 11:22 PM
mg 13 Jul 01 - 11:25 PM
GUEST,khandu 14 Jul 01 - 12:30 AM
Max 14 Jul 01 - 12:36 AM
Lighthouse 65 14 Jul 01 - 12:50 AM
Clinton Hammond 14 Jul 01 - 02:00 AM
Mudlark 14 Jul 01 - 02:44 AM
Sourdough 14 Jul 01 - 03:06 AM
Lighthouse 65 14 Jul 01 - 06:48 AM
SeanM 14 Jul 01 - 07:21 AM
nutty 14 Jul 01 - 07:40 AM
Jim Dixon 14 Jul 01 - 12:25 PM
Bill D 14 Jul 01 - 12:47 PM
CarolC 14 Jul 01 - 01:47 PM
Pseudolus 14 Jul 01 - 02:03 PM
Amos 14 Jul 01 - 02:12 PM
CarolC 14 Jul 01 - 02:30 PM
clansfolk 14 Jul 01 - 03:25 PM
Lonesome EJ 14 Jul 01 - 04:29 PM
Lonesome EJ 14 Jul 01 - 04:42 PM
Art Thieme 14 Jul 01 - 06:29 PM
thosp 14 Jul 01 - 07:07 PM
CarolC 14 Jul 01 - 07:09 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 14 Jul 01 - 08:48 PM
Big Mick 14 Jul 01 - 11:02 PM
CarolC 14 Jul 01 - 11:12 PM
Big Mick 14 Jul 01 - 11:16 PM
CarolC 14 Jul 01 - 11:20 PM
Big Mick 14 Jul 01 - 11:24 PM
CarolC 14 Jul 01 - 11:31 PM
Edmund 14 Jul 01 - 11:42 PM
mousethief 15 Jul 01 - 12:20 AM
CarolC 15 Jul 01 - 12:32 AM
Joe Offer 15 Jul 01 - 12:34 AM
katlaughing 15 Jul 01 - 12:55 AM
mousethief 15 Jul 01 - 01:01 AM
Joe Offer 15 Jul 01 - 01:46 AM
mousethief 15 Jul 01 - 01:57 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 15 Jul 01 - 02:16 AM
Mary in Kentucky 15 Jul 01 - 02:38 AM
mousethief 15 Jul 01 - 02:45 AM
mousethief 15 Jul 01 - 02:47 AM
Mary in Kentucky 15 Jul 01 - 02:58 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 15 Jul 01 - 03:16 AM
Joe Offer 15 Jul 01 - 03:20 AM
Terry K 15 Jul 01 - 03:42 AM
Jon Freeman 15 Jul 01 - 05:47 AM
Don Firth 15 Jul 01 - 07:00 AM
Jon Freeman 15 Jul 01 - 07:13 AM
Don Firth 15 Jul 01 - 07:46 AM
katlaughing 15 Jul 01 - 10:21 AM
SINSULL 15 Jul 01 - 10:25 AM
Jon Freeman 15 Jul 01 - 10:33 AM
wysiwyg 15 Jul 01 - 11:00 AM
RichM 15 Jul 01 - 08:55 PM
GUEST 15 Jul 01 - 08:59 PM
catspaw49 15 Jul 01 - 09:10 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 15 Jul 01 - 09:44 PM
Big Mick 15 Jul 01 - 10:22 PM
Art Thieme 15 Jul 01 - 10:29 PM
Amos 15 Jul 01 - 10:42 PM
Amos 15 Jul 01 - 11:04 PM
CarolC 15 Jul 01 - 11:50 PM
Jon Freeman 15 Jul 01 - 11:55 PM
Sourdough 16 Jul 01 - 12:00 AM
CarolC 16 Jul 01 - 12:51 AM
Terry K 16 Jul 01 - 01:37 AM
Big Mick 16 Jul 01 - 07:23 AM
CarolC 16 Jul 01 - 07:28 AM
Wolfgang 16 Jul 01 - 07:38 AM
Jeri 16 Jul 01 - 08:35 AM
Amos 16 Jul 01 - 09:35 AM
SharonA 16 Jul 01 - 09:59 AM
GUEST,Douglas Adams 16 Jul 01 - 10:05 AM
Gervase 16 Jul 01 - 10:18 AM
CarolC 16 Jul 01 - 10:26 AM
CarolC 16 Jul 01 - 10:39 AM
GUEST,Shenandoah 16 Jul 01 - 11:07 AM
KingBrilliant 16 Jul 01 - 11:07 AM
CarolC 16 Jul 01 - 11:16 AM
Amos 16 Jul 01 - 11:20 AM
SharonA 16 Jul 01 - 11:21 AM
GUEST,Shenandoah 16 Jul 01 - 11:36 AM
sophocleese 16 Jul 01 - 11:48 AM
mousethief 16 Jul 01 - 12:10 PM
SharonA 16 Jul 01 - 12:10 PM
Jon Freeman 16 Jul 01 - 12:17 PM
GUEST,moonchild unlurking 16 Jul 01 - 12:26 PM
IvanB 16 Jul 01 - 12:53 PM
Art Thieme 16 Jul 01 - 12:56 PM
dwditty 16 Jul 01 - 01:11 PM
SharonA 16 Jul 01 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,Shenandoah 16 Jul 01 - 01:24 PM
bbc 16 Jul 01 - 01:25 PM
annamill 16 Jul 01 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,Shenandoah 16 Jul 01 - 01:47 PM
Jeri 16 Jul 01 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,Shenandoah 16 Jul 01 - 02:02 PM
dwditty 16 Jul 01 - 02:17 PM
Amos 16 Jul 01 - 02:24 PM
Lonesome EJ 16 Jul 01 - 02:35 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 16 Jul 01 - 02:38 PM
Joe Offer 16 Jul 01 - 02:50 PM
Bill D 16 Jul 01 - 03:22 PM
GUEST 16 Jul 01 - 03:23 PM
Ralphie 16 Jul 01 - 03:43 PM
mousethief 16 Jul 01 - 03:44 PM
dwditty 16 Jul 01 - 03:45 PM
MMario 16 Jul 01 - 03:56 PM
Ralphie 16 Jul 01 - 03:58 PM
dwditty 16 Jul 01 - 04:01 PM
CarolC 16 Jul 01 - 04:34 PM
mousethief 16 Jul 01 - 04:38 PM
flattop 16 Jul 01 - 05:47 PM
Barry Finn 16 Jul 01 - 07:20 PM
CarolC 16 Jul 01 - 07:29 PM
Big Mick 16 Jul 01 - 08:05 PM
Snuffy 16 Jul 01 - 08:47 PM
Lighthouse 65 16 Jul 01 - 11:40 PM
SharonA 18 Jul 01 - 12:22 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 18 Jul 01 - 01:53 PM
Lonesome EJ 18 Jul 01 - 01:55 PM
GUEST 18 Jul 01 - 02:23 PM
Wolfgang 18 Jul 01 - 02:41 PM
SharonA 18 Jul 01 - 02:42 PM
catspaw49 18 Jul 01 - 02:49 PM
Wolfgang 18 Jul 01 - 03:04 PM
Lonesome EJ 18 Jul 01 - 03:06 PM
katlaughing 18 Jul 01 - 03:11 PM
Wolfgang 18 Jul 01 - 03:13 PM
Jon Freeman 18 Jul 01 - 03:13 PM
Lonesome EJ 18 Jul 01 - 03:17 PM
Lonesome EJ 18 Jul 01 - 03:27 PM
Jon Freeman 18 Jul 01 - 03:35 PM
Jeri 18 Jul 01 - 03:44 PM
Pseudolus 18 Jul 01 - 03:46 PM
SDShad 18 Jul 01 - 03:47 PM
catspaw49 18 Jul 01 - 03:50 PM
Banjer 18 Jul 01 - 03:51 PM
Lonesome EJ 18 Jul 01 - 03:57 PM
SDShad 18 Jul 01 - 04:01 PM
SDShad 18 Jul 01 - 04:03 PM
GUEST,Amazed 18 Jul 01 - 04:03 PM
Don Firth 18 Jul 01 - 04:59 PM
nutty 18 Jul 01 - 05:04 PM
Jon Freeman 18 Jul 01 - 05:14 PM
SDShad 18 Jul 01 - 05:23 PM
SharonA 18 Jul 01 - 05:42 PM
sophocleese 18 Jul 01 - 05:49 PM
catspaw49 18 Jul 01 - 06:08 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 18 Jul 01 - 06:13 PM
catspaw49 18 Jul 01 - 06:24 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 18 Jul 01 - 06:29 PM
Burke 18 Jul 01 - 06:35 PM
Kernow John 18 Jul 01 - 06:39 PM
Jon Freeman 18 Jul 01 - 07:52 PM
Jim Dixon 19 Jul 01 - 01:23 AM
Skipjack K8 19 Jul 01 - 04:36 AM
Big Mick 19 Jul 01 - 09:51 AM
SharonA 19 Jul 01 - 10:50 AM
Big Mick 19 Jul 01 - 11:15 AM
Wolfgang 19 Jul 01 - 11:17 AM
SDShad 19 Jul 01 - 11:20 AM
mousethief 19 Jul 01 - 11:24 AM
catspaw49 19 Jul 01 - 11:28 AM
mousethief 19 Jul 01 - 11:29 AM
wysiwyg 19 Jul 01 - 11:36 AM
Wolfgang 19 Jul 01 - 11:38 AM
mousethief 19 Jul 01 - 11:38 AM
GUEST,Mudcat Fight Fan 16 Jun 02 - 09:22 PM
CarolC 16 Jun 02 - 09:34 PM
Big Mick 16 Jun 02 - 10:33 PM
Guessed 17 Jun 02 - 10:07 AM
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Subject: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Lighthouse 65
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 09:42 PM

Joe Offer and others - you really lost me on this thread. Here someone asks for a bit of help for a defenseless baby and all you guys do is go off on a tangent about the word prayer. Get over it! Just a place for music? Have you checked the majority of your threads lately? Joe Offer has gone down 100% with his lack of humanity on this one!


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Shields Folk
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 09:48 PM

there are a million other kids out there. lets pray for them all. one at a time.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: SINSULL
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 10:15 PM

Joe does not need my defense. His work on the Mudcat and generous offer of help anywhere anytime speaks for itself.

Lighthouse, I think you may be fairly new here. Joe was not objecting to prayer or praying for this baby. And "lack of humanity" is just not one of his faults, in fact that particular accusation is downright humorous.

He was simply reminding us of discussions that have arisen before concerning requests for support and prayer. If each of us placed a thread everytime we were in trouble, the Forum would be filled with such and this is a music forum. For example, in the past two months my father (88) underwent major surgery, a friend in her twenties lost her husband ON HER HONEYMOON, my greatnephew was born with pneumonia and has spent 10 days in an ICU, I delivered and tube fed a litter of kittens and 3 of 6 died, my brother divorced as did my niece, my son was released from probation and given the choice to leave a drug rehab...Shall I go on? Each of these events could have easily triggered a Help Me thread - that makes six for Mary. Instead, I PMd people I knew and asked for support. They in turn PMd others.
If my son had chosen to leave rehab, I might have put in a separate thread. Some events require an active support group or the knowledge of many of the people here. The Spaw Surgery threads are an example.

The other issue is that at times requests for prayer have turned into unpleasant discussions that come down to "my prayer is better than yours". I offered my support on the "baby" thread as did others. One person posted that he/she did not pray but would send blessings. In the past, a simple statement like that has led to some ugliness and that discussion also took up space on the Mudcat.

Max does not censor topics, discussions, etc. as a rule. Post any topic you choose and more than likely it will get a response or two or three. You have that right. Joe is asking that you think through the appropriateness and value of your post.

rankly, I am torn about posting to this thread. As I stated in the beginning Joe Offer does not need any defense.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 10:21 PM

Don't ever accuse Joe of lacking humanity.  He's one of the kindest, most decent people I've had the good fortune to come across in more than two years as a regular here.  I do realise that, as a newcomer, you may not understand that.  Please refrain from making such judgements until you know a little more about the place and how it works.


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Subject: Prayer and Healing Threads
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 10:40 PM

Lighthouse, I sympathize with the baby and the family, but that's not the issue. I realize that many of you who are new don't recall the last controversy we had about all this, back in 1999. Click here for an example. The person who started the "family in pain" thread admits that she doesn't know the family that was involved, but yet the thread generated all sorts of expressions of sympathy for her and everybody else. This same person started a thread last week because her sister's dog got lost and later was found, and yet another thread a few days ago because she's been having trouble with her children. I wonder what her children would think if they knew what she had said about them on the Internet.
The person who started the prayer request today isn't one who regularly starts such threads, but neither does the person seem to be very closely related to the child. If the person were a parent of the child, then expressions of concern and sympathy or whatever would be quite appropriate. If the person mentions the sad situation in the course of another discussion, that might certainly be appropriate. I don't question the seriousness of any of these situations - what I question is the practice of using a Mudcat thread to solicit prayers or healing or whatever. What is does is make a serious situation into a chain letter event, and I think that's just shallow sentimentality.
I think we should save our sympathy for the people we know - they're the ones who can benefit most from it. Sympathy for strangers is sterile, safe, and empty. You can do it with cut-and-paste, if you like, but does it really mean anything? Wouldn't it be better to visit a sick friend and spend a good amount of time with him or her, not just a cursory courtesy visit?
I'm not unfeeling. People who deal with me in person say I'm very sympathetic. However, I am opposed to the use of Mudcat for chain-letter healing and prayer threads for strangers. It cheapens things that should be thought of as serious situations, and I think that's deplorable.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 10:46 PM

Why don't you just name names, Joe, it's no mystery you are talking about me.

The thread where I asked for help for myself, is the first time I've ever done that here. I do not have to justify that to you or anyone else. What I can say is the support it generated for me and the time I am going through has been real. There is nothing shallow about it, including all of the phone calls, emails, and PM's I've received as well as real, physical offers of help.

You are belittling the community we've built here with your personal abhorence for what I am and do. Too bad you didn't answer my PM and insisted on keeping it in the threads.

kat


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: GUEST,Socrates
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 11:12 PM




I ask you both, "Does your karma suitya?"


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Jeri
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 11:13 PM

Oh for Pete's sake!


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 11:22 PM

It's started again.......oh crap. I was almost certain it would. Friends, we DID agree to keep it to e mail and PM.....perhaps the new ones don't know that, but they should by now, at least this time around.

Nothing against anybody personally here; I am just sick of the intercine warfare. Think I'll go away and just lurk for a while til this is over.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: mg
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 11:25 PM

I think as a list manager you have every right to say I don't want this or that kind of post and take action if you see them.

I strongly disagree with your take on this though, referring to you as not a list manager but as a regular member. My personal opinion is that this certainly has nothing to do with spam or chain letters, and doesn't conflict with praying for those nearer and dearer. I don't see how it could be anything but helpful (minus a few kooks who could hijack anything for selfish purposes.) I do see how someone could see it doesn't really apply to music, or that objects of the requests are not closely enough related or something like that, but in general, I think they are very valuable. you have people around the world praying for a little baby. What is the harm?

mg


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: GUEST,khandu
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 12:30 AM

"Joe Offer needs no defense." Amen to that. I disagree with his statements that prompted this less-than-civil thread. But, Joe is a compassionate, good man.

khandu


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Max
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 12:36 AM

OH, FREEDOM

Oh, freedom, Oh, freedom,
Oh freedom over me.
And before I'd be a slave
I'd be buried in my grave
And go home to my Lord and be free.

No more moanin' etc.

No more weepin' etc.

No more shootin' etc.

There'll be singing etc.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Lighthouse 65
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 12:50 AM

Then how is it that a thread titled Non Music Erection gets laughs while simple prayer causes an uproar? That doesnt make sense.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 02:00 AM

this place is funny!

:-)


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Mudlark
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 02:44 AM

There is a glitch in human beings, Koestler called it "the ghost in the machine." I don't spend a lot of time on forums but I've not seen one yet that didn't revert to this sort of thing sooner or later....this is such a great place to come and hang out, glean fabulous information, bask in the reflected glow of the brighter lights of folk music, have a few laughs. It seems so simple to avoid threads that put one off, for any reason, and enjoy all the rest.....maybe I'm missing something.....


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Sourdough
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 03:06 AM

Lighthouse 65, Welcome to Mudcat.

Mudcat thrives on new people coming and bringing new ideas and interests tinto the group. I hope that you find a lot to enjoy here. There are unusually fine and caring people who have gathered on this site.

No one could expect that a person with a week's experience with Mudcat (at least since your first post) would be aware of some of the issues that have been discussed at great length here or of the personalities, what individuals do, how they live, their values, etc.

If you are interested enough to follow through, reread what Joe O wrote. He's been very careful to say what it is he means and I don't see a lack of compasion in his statements. Of course, I do have the advantage of having seen a couple year's worth of posts in which he shows very clearly that he is someone with a great capacity for caring and someone who tries very hard to live up to his ideals.

Once again, welcome to Mudcat.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Lighthouse 65
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 06:48 AM

Sourdough - I am not new to Mudcat. Only my name is new - previously The Lighthouse but my cookie would not allow me to continue with that name for a reset hence the new name. I have been here for quite some time and have read many many many a post. I've seen many buttons pushed here between Catters and always stay out of it. This time I decided not to.

Here's a quote from Joe : I think we should save our sympathy for the people we know - they're the ones who can benefit most from it. Sympathy for strangers is sterile, safe, and empty. You can do it with cut-and-paste, if you like, but does it really mean anything? Wouldn't it be better to visit a sick friend and spend a good amount of time with him or her, not just a cursory courtesy visit? I'm not unfeeling. People who deal with me in person say I'm very sympathetic. However, I am opposed to the use of Mudcat for chain-letter healing and prayer threads for strangers. It cheapens things that should be thought of as serious situations, and I think that's deplorable. -Joe Offer-

Like I've posted before - what is the big deal about prayer/ Plenty of threads that come through can be deemed as offensive yet no one puts up a fight about anything, yet if you mention the word prayer it gets so many up in arms. What's "deplorable" is even having the discusiion that we are having now. others have posted that isn't the point - sorry but it is. A young baby boy is in serious health problems and all some around here are worried about are their own virgin eyes seeing the word "prayer" being mentioned. Where are they when the vulgar stuff appears? Why aren't they offended then? That's what I find puzzling and a bit troubling.

Mudcat has been used over and over and over for nonmusical purposes. I don't see any problem with someone asking for a little 'help" in the way of prayer for a little helpless boy who needs it. Why do you?


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: SeanM
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 07:21 AM

Joe et al?

I's seen pics of the man. He ain't et al in a while. Et SOME, maybe. On a good day, et most, possibly. Pro'lly could use some meat on his bones anyway.

Et al, though? Dunno.

M


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: nutty
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 07:40 AM

How about a little give and take fellas???

This is a difference of opinion and as such is not likely to be resolved - what's done is done

For my part , I'm on Joe's side - He was my first contact at Mudcat and I've always found him to be caring, concerned and courteous, and after all, he doesn't get paid for the hours he puts into Mudcat.
500,000 posts and he's probably read every one - well I'm prepared to rely on his judgement as I believe he is eminently qualify to make the decision.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 12:25 PM

Bravo, Joe Offer! Your post echoes many of my thoughts.

The Internet is a fine place for exchanging information and opinions but it is a poor substitute for friendship.

I have seen people ask for "hugs" in these threads, and I have seen others reply, "((((((((hug))))))))" -- and I must admit, I marvel at this. I think, why do they even bother? Assuming ANY kind of hug would really help, wouldn't it be a lot better to ask a REAL friend for a REAL hug?

While I admire several Mudcatters for their wisdom, knowledge, helpfulness, and humor (Joe is one of them), I don't think of any of them as friends. I find it hard to think of anyone as a friend that I have never met face to face.

I assume a lot of you HAVE met one another, maybe even frequently, and maybe that accounts for much of the apparent intimacy that I sometimes stumble upon in these threads. But frankly, I find it a little embarrassing -- sort of like walking into a room at a party and finding a couple making out. At least the thread format allows me to escape without anyone noticing I've been there!

But it's less embarrassing than puzzling, because "intimacy" over the Internet is kind of like trying to French kiss through a screen door. All that comes through is the sloppiness.

So, I agree with Joe: save your sympathy for people you know. Furthermore, when you need sympathy, turn first to those close to you: family, and the friends you see often. If, for some reason, those people are not sympathetic, consult a pastor or counselor.

Given a choice, choose a face-to-face meeting rather than the telephone, and choose the telephone rather than the Internet. Choose a friend who has proven his faithfulness over a stranger. For serious problems, choose a professional over an amateur. Choose privacy instead of a public forum; it will make both of you more honest.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 12:47 PM

Max has made HIS point...he does not intend to censor. (If things got totally out of hand, he might pull the plug on the whole thing and let the DigiTrad find a new home), but he tries to leave the inmates to get along inside the asylum.

You will find that people will ***NEVER*** quit disagreeing..in some wierd combinations!.. 'X' dislikes "this", but agrees with "that"..'Y' will allow "that", but cant stand "this"...'Z' thinks "this" AND "that" are ok, but not if you use bad words.. 'A' won't censor his language, but will complain about "that", while indulging in "this".

Substitute prayer, healing, Irish politics, religion in general, non-folk music, inane banter, bad punctuation & spelling, gross jokes, vulgar language, 'cliqueish' behavior, anonymous posting, and having the wrong size body parts for "this" and "that"...and any number of names for A,X,Y & Z and you have ....well, you have a community.

There are people I enjoy talking to here that I might not be close friends with if we were next door neighbors, and there are people whom I respect very much that I don't agree with. And there are people who are generous, well-intenioned, open, friendly, talented....and who I sometimes want to pick them up by the collar and shake them!

The one that is left seldom posts..*grin*
(and all of the above probably wonder about ME a lot of the time!)

I dunno why I'm writing this...I just wish...ahhh, you can tell what I wish, I guess....I wish being human weren't so hard.....


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: CarolC
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 01:47 PM

Jim Dixon,

The internet may be a poor substitute for friends in our immediate vicinity, but for some of us, sometimes it's all we've got. Sounds pathetic, I know, but that's how it is.

I'm one of the people who posted a thread asking for hugs. It happened during a time when I was experiencing extreme physical isolation, meaning I was having almost no access to other people (which is most of the time, actually, but I figure one hug thread is probably all I can get away with).

For some of us who experience physical isolation, it's not that we aren't making the effort, it's that we have physical limitations that make it difficult, and sometimes impossible to get out among other people, and some of us even live alone, and have no access to people there, either.

I'm not advocating either for or against prayer/healing request threads. I don't particularly want to get into that debate. But I thought it might be useful for you to know that not everyone is fortunate enough to have people they can get hugs from in the 3D world.

By the way... while my hugs thread may have caused you some embarassment, it helped me a lot. And I have made friends in the 3D world through the Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Pseudolus
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 02:03 PM

Jim Dixon wrote "So, I agree with Joe: save your sympathy for people you know. Furthermore, when you need sympathy, turn first to those close to you: family, and the friends you see often. If, for some reason, those people are not sympathetic, consult a pastor or counselor"

If that works for you than great, go for it. If other people want to go another route, I have no problem with that. It seems like "To each his/her own" doesn't seem to work around here. If there weren't any complaints about the existence of the original thread, it would have died a long time ago and this thread would have never started.

New people join the Cat every day it seems and they don't have the benefit of knowlege of agreements about prayer threads. I've been here around a year and I've never heard such a thing. I HAVE heard that the rule of thunb with flamers, trolls, and spam is to ignore them and let the threads die. If this is truly spam why couldn't it be let go as well?

Frank


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Amos
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 02:12 PM

But it's less embarrassing than puzzling, because "intimacy" over the Internet is kind of like trying to French kiss through a screen door. All that comes through is the sloppiness.

I'm cracking up here, Jim!!! Wonderful line!!

There are, for some, perceptions of connectedness that are transcendental -- that is, they sense from various indications the thought behind the screen. When they express hugs, etc. they are talking in reference to thought-exchange stuff, whether it comes about through cyber-notes, email, phone con, etc.

For others, the only reliable assessment of another is from his body language. It's different strokes, indeed, for different folks. One of the tolerated idiosyncracies that make the Cat so wacky and loveable.

A


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: CarolC
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 02:30 PM

...and for some, it's just knowing that there are people in the world who care enough to take a few minutes to post a little bit of kindness.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: clansfolk
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 03:25 PM

so many good points of view....... so many postings from so many people - several "music threads" at the moment have very few postings -ummmmmm does this tell us something

To those of you who I "know" either through their comments or threads I have no problem with passing my sympathies, prayers or support when they or theirs have a problem - like wise I am happy to share their good times and laugh at their funny stories, this I would do for any friend (or acquaintance) - If I am approached by someone I don't know in the street who needs help and I can, I will - is Mudcat any different?

If the subject line reflects the contents and I am not interested I don't click it - that's my solution!!!!

I like Mudcat for the people and the crack (spell it how you like) Long live Mudcat and its friendship....

Now lets stop bickering..............

Pete


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 04:29 PM

I wonder if what really underlies this squabble is the concept that there is power in joint prayer and positive energy, that the good wishes expressed, for example, during Catspaw's illness actually had a substantial impact on his condition.

Joe said that he thought the repeated prayers and goodwishes were a waste of space, that they cheapened the situation. Others feel that these posts embody something more real than a good wish. I respect both viewpoints, although I number myself among those who feel that actual good influence is generated by these prayers and thoughts. I consider Joe and Kat friends and I think this : Joe's post might have made an impact closer to his intention by posting to another thread, or by starting a new one. Kat, more than anyone here, lays her feelings bare, and is likely to start a thread appealing for compassion where others would be embarrassed to do so. Her threads are certainly no more out of place than many other "BS" threads posted here every day.

I understand and appreciate both of these people, as I hope they do me.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 04:42 PM

In re-reading what I wrote above, I realized that it appears that I'm saying that Joe thought the prayers for Spaw cheapened that situation. That's not what I meant. I meant that in general he seems to be saying that these kinds of wishes are repetitive and wasteful.

Sorry Joe..


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Art Thieme
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 06:29 PM

Joe is a fine fellow and is at the top o' my list. Joe, I do hope to meet you one of these days.

People, there's absolutely no need to agree on so very many fronts--religion being just one of those--probably the least of them all. It just does not matter---not in the long haul and the big picture. Friendships are rare enough as it is in this life. Those can be formed here at Mudcat as well as in person and loyalty engendered by those comaraderic feelings and emotions is a positive force from where I sit. JEEESH, be strong enough in your own beliefs to realize that the world need not be reformed in your image on every little nitpicking point. Recognize the uncertainty in spite of how certain you are on a given point. Agree to disagree and go on with your life. Nobody is causing you and yours harm by saying it's good to pray for a baby. Every time Carol tells me "the world is ending so be prepared" ---I thank her for the info, tell her I love her one more time, we kiss, and I politely say that I think even if she and her friends predict the end down to the last minute---the last second---with my last breath I'd be telling her it was nothing but luck. She and I would be smiling as we lay down for another good nights rest. It si simply so much less hurtful and strident if people just respect themselves and others and quit needing to march through each others neighborhoods proclaiming their righteousness and their right-ness-- as well as the other guys wrong-ness.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: thosp
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 07:07 PM

(CarolC)

peace (Y) thosp


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: CarolC
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 07:09 PM

Aw, thanks thosp!


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 08:48 PM

Joe, stick to your guns. There are other sites that offer prayer. I believe that Mudcat is overextended now with too much BS that has nothing to do with music and performing arts. I am at fault here myself by responding to some threads.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Big Mick
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 11:02 PM

Some pretty petty and silly shite.......

Joe is first rate, end of story. His contributions are legendary. One of the reason you can start any damn thread you want is because Joe is a volunteer. I have watched his role grow here............and his workload. Which is all done gratis. Like the site? Among others, thank Joe.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: CarolC
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 11:12 PM

I don't see pettiness or shite, Big Mick. I see a bunch of good people having some trouble agreeing on something that is important to them.

And I do thank and have thanked Joe Offer. More than once.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Big Mick
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 11:16 PM

I don't believe I asked what you saw. I believe I was one of those people expressing an opinion. You know full well what you are up to.............so do I. Kindly express your own opinions as I will do.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: CarolC
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 11:20 PM

Since I have posted to this thread, I think I am included in your broad sweeping flame of it. I don't enjoy flaming of any sort. Perhaps you would like to elaborate on just what it is that I am doing other than sticking up for myself.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Big Mick
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 11:24 PM

Carol...............You are defensive and trying to bait..........quite childishly.............No one is picking on you, but you seem to think they are..........it is in your mind......or you have a motive...........at any rate, I am not playing. Told you this before and I remind you now. I am not a flamer, my reputation is anything but. You have it in your mind that you are going to change that reputation, you made that clear in your PM to me. Mind if I not play? I am moving on and won't respond to you anymore. Don't like your style. And I think that the predicate of this is exactly what I said it was.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: CarolC
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 11:31 PM

Mick,

I still have the PM to which you refer in my archive. Would you care to retract any of your last statement, or shall I post it here?


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Edmund
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 11:42 PM

It boils down to this. There seem to be some people in this world who believe that the scales of fate can be favorably tipped by twisting the arm of some god or the other through prayer.
If I shared this view I would be praying and soliciting prayer from others daly ... even hourly. Joe Offer would have to ban my postings to hold me down. But,to me, this makes god a capricious and quirky kind of a being that I don't think I would like very much.
In Tibet beleivers spin prayer wheels filled with prayers .. every revolution sending hundreds of prayers to their god. I hope the Mudcat Forum doesn't become one giagantic Tibetan prayer wheel. I and support Joe Offer 100%
Edmund


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 12:20 AM

Much as I love Joe, I'm with Kat and Carol on this one.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: CarolC
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 12:32 AM

Sorry, Alex. I am not voicing an opinion on this issue. My first two posts were only for the purpose of illustrating how internet socializing can be a healthy and helpful thing for some people who are physically isolated. As far as whether or not it's good for the Mudcat, I don't feel qualified to comment.

But thanks anyway.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 12:34 AM

You'll notice that I've tried to be very polite and logical in what I've said, and that I've expressed sympathy for the child involved. I've also stated that what I say is my personal position, not Mudcat policy. If the prayer thread in question were a solitary instance, I'd say nothing - but it's the third one this week that I've noticed (the other two came from Katlaughing, requesting support for her during the temporary loss of her sister's dog and with her well-detailed problems with her children). I am very upset that Mudcat has become mostly a bullshit forum, and that music information is now a very small portion of the discussion.

Nope, I don't think I was insensitive in posting my opinions in the prayer thread itself. You'll note that the prayer request was started by an acquaintance of the family involved, not anyone who is a direct part of the family's plight. I suppose I could have taken my comments into another thread, but I posted them in the thread where the issue existed because that's where it made most sense to put it. I expressed my thoughts logically and politely in a place where people would read it - that's what an open forum is for. If people want to protect themselves from differing opinions, then they should handle prayer and healing requests in the wonderful e-mail lists that WYSIWYG and Katlaughing maintain.

Well, at least that's my opinion. Even though my name is Joe Offer and people think that I am a figment of Max's programming, I do have my own opinions, and I think I have a right to express them.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 12:55 AM

Yep, it's definitely bullshit to turn to your friends in a time of need or to share something. Certainly don't want to build on the wonderful community some of us think we have here. Much better to belittle their need and trivialise it with condescending rhetoric.

The best advice ever is if you don't like the subject, stay out of the thread, pass it by. If you don't think there are enough music threads, start some more.

One wonders where you and your opinions were when "an acquaintance of the family involved" known as Big Mick, asked for help for his friend, whom most of us knew nothing about.

Have you asked any of the recipients of the thoughts, etc. how they've felt about the threads for them? Have any of them told you is was "tacky," "bullshit," of no earthly use to them, no better than a "chain letter?"

kat


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 01:01 AM

What I notice, Joe, is that it's not enough for you to have your say on this, and let others disagree. You have to go on and on and on on and on and on about it, voluminously, seemingly endlessly. Can't you let it rest? You've had your say. What the hell more do you want?

Alex


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 01:46 AM

Well, Alex, if I get vituperative responses to my opinions, wouldn't it be appropriate to come back with my own response? In a debate, is a person allowed only one chance to express and defend a point of view? I'd like to discuss this matter in a rational manner until we come to an acceptable compromise. We had a compromise worked out in 1999, but Kat and others seem to be itching to violate it and start the fight anew. Why is it that I have to turn over and play dead? Don't I have a right to have my say? I usually stay in the music threads until things get out of hand in the rest of Mudcat - maybe it's time for me to stick my neck into the bullshit and see if I can shovel some away. You'll also note that I rarely start threads myself - I just respond when I think I have a need to. Don't I have a right?
Do you have any suggestions for a compromise? You'll note I suggested two possibilites in the "prayer request" thread. Do you have a rational response, or is your argument strictly ad hominem?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 01:57 AM

Of course you have a right to have your say, we're not talking about rights here. At least I wasn't. Anytime somebody says "I don't think it was necessary to say that" people start making noises about "rights." I didn't say "you have no right to say that." That would be stupid. Why did you take it that way?

My point is just that you have made your point. You have posted a lot of words about this subject, but you're just going around in circles with the people you disagree with. It's become a "did not, did too, did not" sort of "debate" -- and yet you keep on. I was suggesting that maybe you could drop it.

As for Kat itching to violate some sacred truce, no, sorry, that doesn't play. You jumped in the "prayer" thread and started swinging the cutlass. She might have jumped in after you and started parrying, but yours was the first volley.

I will ask what has been asked before: there is a lot of off-topic nonsense that gets posted here. Why is it only the prayers for this boy that got your back up? Where were you when the prayers were for Spaw? I don't remember you shedding oceans of words to stop THOSE threads. You seem to have a very selective sense of what's good and what isn't good for Mudcat.

Awaiting your voluminous reply,
I remain,
Alex


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 02:16 AM

Alex-I know this is really none of my business, and tell me to get lost if you like but, I think Joe has made the point that in some of these threads no Mudcatters knew the people asking for help, Spaw is one of us, and is well liked around here, and because we know him our concerns for him are genuine.Where do you draw the line? Would it be ok for me to say my friends next door neighboor is ill please send your thoughts? If everybody posted a thread when they saw or heard of people in trouble there would be nothing else here.john


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 02:38 AM

John has a point.

I feel like I know several hundred catters. Now if each one made their personal concerns and problems a thread topic, we would soon be overrun with such.

Just this last three months I've been surrounded by terminal illness dianoses in close friends, divorce, alcoholism, bankrupcy...get the picture? I've talked with several catters, and their support is comforting. I wouldn't trade my problems/crises for any others in the world, but I can't help but think every single one of us has at least three a year just as serious. This multiplies out to be a very large numeber.

I really prefer personal communications. I've found my close Mudcat friends as well as 3D friends very supportive.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 02:45 AM

John in Hull: a good point, and well said. However, is that Joe's only point? If so, he could have said it once and had done with it. I once posted how annoying I found "happy birthday threads" and then I dropped it. I don't keep bringing it up, nor do I keep going into "birthday" threads and posting about how I feel about them. If you look at the VOLUME of words Joe has written on this subject in the last 48 hours, it's like 3 or 4 normal threads' worth. Who's wasting bandwidth here?

This is an open forum and members are free to post what they will. Max has made this very clear.

So why keep flogging the dead horse? What is in it for Joe to keep reminding us, ad nauseam, about his pet peeve?

And no, it's not because Spaw is a beloved member of our community. Joe has said of these prayer/healing threads in general, and I quote, I suppose that healing threads work very well as a source of comfort for those who believe in things like chain letters and pyramid schemes and television evangelism and eating to lose weight.

Perhaps we should start a permathread about "How Joe Offer Feels About Healing Threads" -- and when another one popped up, he could just post a link to it.

I really don't understand the level of what appears to be vehemence and irrationality coming from an otherwise rational, sane, and friendly guy. Nor do I agree with his "method" in attacking his least favorite kind of thread. And so I ask the questions I do.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 02:47 AM

(red in the face) actually my pet peeve is "welcome new member [name]" threads, not happy birthday threads. Ooops. I plead "late at night."

Alex


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 02:58 AM

Me too Alex, it's very late here. I found at least two typos in my previous post.

I enjoy saying Happy Birthday to somebody I "know," but it seems silly to keep saying it over and over and over...


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 03:16 AM

Thanks for reading what I wrote. I think this is one of the things we wont all agree on, I hope the baby concerned is ok, and I hope Mudcat recovers soon, it seems sad to see such nice people argue.bye.john


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 03:20 AM

Darn, Alex, I thought I was going to be able to recruit you for my campaign against happy birthday threads...
But gee, I think if you'll look, you can see that I have been neither vehement or irrational - that sort of stuff is coming from others. And yes, I've said a lot - but only to respond to people like you who have said something worthy of a response, or to clarify things that people don't seem to understand. Isn't that the nature of debate?
Or could it be that intelligent debate is no longer appropriate for Mudcat?

I'd be more than happy to stop talking about this subject. I thought this matter was resolved in 1999, and I didn't talk about it until it came up again this week, If the healing/prayer threads stop, I'll stop talking about them. If not, not. This thread is addressed to me, personally. Is there some reason why I should have to allow you to have the last word?
I said in another message that I thought threads about the illnesses of Catspaw and Barry Finn were appropriate - they're people that Mudcatters know, and their situations were serious. I think it would be fine for Kat to mention in a BS thread that her sister's dogs were lost and that she was having trouble with her kids - but I think that it was going way overboard to start entire threads about those personal issues. No, I did not see much value in the sympathy thread about Big Mick's friend - but I don't think Mick started it. I think you'll find that most of the healing/prayer threads were started by a very small number of people (and as far as I know, Charcloth is not one of them).
To correct another misunderstanding - Lighthouse said I was opposed to prayer, and that's simply not true. I pray every day. I just don't pray by cutting and pasting empty words on my computer.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Terry K
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 03:42 AM

Suffice it to say that there seem to be many people who get offended by these so called "healing threads". Would it be too much to ask that their feelings be respected? Would it be too much to ask that people consider their manners and go to appropriate websites to do their various things?

For example, I like golf, sailing and music. I wouldn't think of asking the Mudcat about golf or sailing, I would visit an appropriate site where I would be likely to find likeminded people with a common interest. So if my pet canary broke a toenail, which site should I visit to ask for "healing"? Why not take it to a "healing site" where it would be more appropriate - is that too much to ask?

Then those of us who feel embarrassed by this type of saccharin-coated crap would not be subjected to it. No, I don't have any special claim within the Mudcat. I don't object to BS threads because BS is part of life among normal people - but this healing stuff is a specialized area and should be taken elsewhere. I'm with Joe on this.

Terry


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 05:47 AM

It seems to me that the volume issue is an obvious one and is a reason why others who may like to have good thoughts or what ever choose to do so off line or elsewhere.

We also have history to go by and we know what the effects of the healing threads were to the forum. Although I can not defend impersonation, the post I have quoted below which was a parody, should give some idea as to how ridiculous things got:

Someone I know has just had her pet mouse die. Perhaps if we hold hands and light candles and think nice things, the little mouse may come back to life again and we can all feel really good about making a little rodent happy.

The fact that I know very little of consequence regarding folk music isn't important in terms of what I post - we can bring my friends' mouse back to life through our positive thoughts.

That's what mudcat should be about!

Let's not get distracted by the boring stuff about how songs originated or anything to do with music... Mudcat should be about feathers and alters and the ability of the human mind to heal

Kat

PS don't you think that the way I spell 'folks' as 'pholks' is really good?

Love you all

All in all, knowing the past trouble, the obvious implications of everyone started posting healing threads and with the knowledge that other people are managing to conduct these things elsewhere, I am inclinded to wonder whether the real issue is healing or the rights to post, regardless of the cost to the forum.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Don Firth
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 07:00 AM

I know only two people who post to Mudcat with any regularity face to face. The rest, I know only through the posts themselves. There are some really nice people here.

When two nice people that I have grown to like very much through their posts have a disagreement -- well, that happens. That's just part of life. But when the level of heat begins to rise and things start to degenerate into real unpleasantness -- well, that really bothers me. It bothers me even more when other people join in and take sides. The whole thing can escalate all out of proportion, and the ultimate result can be bitterness and feuding that can have catastrophic results. I don't think anybody wants that.

But -- be aware that we've had at least one visitor lately who has tried to stir up trouble. That visitor has already posted a comment indicating downright gleeful over this disagreement between "members of the inner clique."

I understand both viewpoints, and I am sure that with some calm discussion, a win/win solution can be achieved here. Why doesn't everybody just pull in their horns, calm down, take a day or two off, and do some soul-searching. Maybe some PMs are in order. And maybe everybody else should try not to pour gasoline on the fire. Okay?

Calm discussion, mutual respect, and it's okay to "agree to disagree." There is a practical solution here that should be acceptable to everybody. All right?

Peace,

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 07:13 AM

Don, read Sorcha's post. There WAS a pretty much agreed solution which lasted for some time.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Don Firth
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 07:46 AM

Jon, I hate to appear to take sides and I am not taking sides, but that was exactly what I was referring to.

The church I belong to has a telephone prayer chain. We already have an established procedure like that here at Mudcat. It just remains for people to make use of it. That way, those who want to be involved can be and those who are not into prayer for whatever reason won't be bothered by it.

What really torques my shorts is the fact that music threads have tailed off quite a bit during the last few months to be replaced by threads on just about everything else. I don't start them, but in a way I am as guilty as anyone else, because I often post to humorous threads, I do sometimes respond with a sympathetic comment for someone who starts a thread asking for that, and I have wasted an incredible amount of time and energy this week trying to reason with trolls until it sinks into my occasionally functioning brain cell that they are nothing but trolls.

There have been some monumentally great music threads on Mudcat, and I would really like to get back to that kind of thing. That, after all, is why I am here.

Let's hope. . . .

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 10:21 AM

JON! Please make it clear that I did NOT right that parody! The way you have posted it seems to infer that I did. Nothing could be farther from the truth.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: SINSULL
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 10:25 AM

Joe - you are an August baby. So..."A very happy unbirthday to you". I promise NOT to add a birthday thread for you or even post to one.

My prayers and good thoughts will be confined to PMs from now on with the exception of situations like Spaw's surgery during which I required as much support as I gave.
Mary


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 10:33 AM

Kat, I thought that my comment about not being able to defend impersonation made that clear but in case there is any doubt:

That parody was not written by kat/katlaughing. It was written by someone who had the nerve to impersontate her.

(this was before the days of the GUEST tag when such things were possible - a loophole that was swiftly dealt with).

Jon


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 11:00 AM

I skimmed about a third of this and then realized how glad I am that I have been offline for the last few days playing with my new computer. I won't be back here till I get the cable modem hooked up Thursday.

This thread and lots of others right now are way too full of people telling other people what they oughtta be doing about too many things. What we oughtta be doing is doing what we ourselves think we ourselves oughtta be doing.

Beyond that it's all noise!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: RichM
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 08:55 PM

Relax. If you don't like the title of a thread, don't respond to it.

If you don't think a thread should be here, let it die. ie, don't respond to it.

If you don't like healing threads, don't participate in them.

If you don't like a particular kind of thread, pass it by.

Rich McCarthy


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 08:59 PM

Thanks for putting this one RIGHT back on top!


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 09:10 PM

WEll, I guess Rich liked it, so he responded and that's simply following his own guidelines....and we all have our own.

Leej and Art have said what I would like to believe I would have had I been here. Great job guys. Very well put.

Thanks.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 09:44 PM

This thread AND the thread prayer request? Not appropriate here.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Big Mick
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 10:22 PM

Based on a PM that I got I want to clarify something. I am NOT opposed to Get Well's, Happy Birthdays, or whatever else that anyone wants to start a thread on. I AM opposed to the pettiness and the tone of certain comments. I respect Joe Offer greatly. We are cyber and 3 D friends. I disagree with him on the issue of what is allowed here, and that is OK. I think if I went back in the threads to some of "girls only" parties in the past, I would find Joe had posted. The same applies for him that I have always said to Clinton. It is what it is, and it would be wrong to tinker with that. I am a part of WYSI's prayer chain, and Kat's Positive thoughts list. If there are threads that are not to my taste I just don't go in.

But at the same time I would like to point out that for Joe expressing his opinion he was excoriated. That is bullshit, pure and simple. He never mentioned a name and was just being straightforward in his opinion. That behaviour gets a lot of company in these here parts. But because it is "Joe Offer" many of you act like he doesn't have the right to an opinion because of his supposed stature. The man simply expressed his opinion. Clearly Kat and Joe have issues. I understand that, as was apparent earlier in this thread. I resolved it by simply ignoring the person. We simply don't mix and it is better for all that we just don't respond to one another. My humble opinion. The supposed "threat" made to me doesn't bother me, as I have all the messages archived as well. But the idea of wasting everyone's time with a squabble that can't be resolved is ridiculous. And I don't know that this one can be resolved either. But the bickering can.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Art Thieme
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 10:29 PM

Max obviously enjoys the chaos. Otherwise he'd take control of his site and delete everything with Birthday or BS or healing etc. etc. Personally, I do wish he would do just that---and only leave folklore and music threads. This place was worth looking in on every so often---but that's rarely the case now. That's just my personal feeling. Max is what the Beatles used to call a mixer---a gentle sadest of sorts who likes to see the stresses and waves that unbridled freedom can unleash for us few fish in our small pond. And I feel a loss as a result. But that will need to be o.k. because that is the way it is.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Amos
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 10:42 PM

(Loong sigh and quick flip to another channel)....

A


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Amos
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 11:04 PM

Friends, folksingers and veterans of the Snipping, Sniping and Snapping Vapors:

You can't manage something that you can't quantify somehow.

On my screen, when I come to threads.cfm this evening I count the following items among the thread showing in the default view:

1. Threads relating to music, song, instruments and musical lyrics, etc.: 87
2. Threads relating to miscellaneous chit chat of a friendly sort: 15
3. Threads relating to political or social issues: 9
4. Threads relating to Mudcat, what is wrong with it, how great it is, etc. -- community self-referentials: 7
5. Threads about prayer request: 1

This seems a tolerable ratio to me. We should keep in mind that while there are probably a dozen non-musical reasons for which we enjoy communicating, such as writing fiction,sharing family news, surveying fellow folksingers, discussing economic factors, etc... these ALL get the heading "BS". It is a very broad brush indeed.

If there were room we might do better to add some non-musical categories. But whatever. I don't think we're doing so badly. And we will always do well to extend kindness to those who are our friends. Meaning those who support song, and the inimitable knowledge, tolerance and humor of the 'Cat we all love.

A


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: CarolC
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 11:50 PM

Mick, you have accused me of something very grave in the open forum. And I maintain that it is not true. If you persist in making this accusation, I will have to post the messages I sent you so that people can judge for themselves. Do you really want that, or are you willing to consider the possibility that you are projecting motives on me that are not mine?


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 11:55 PM

Just for the record:

An abnormal number of old threads were refreshed today, mainly by Susan/WYSIWYG who I think was pulling up interesting threads did so in an effort to calm things down. I do not believe the balance reffered to above presents a picture that could be used to quantify a current Mudcat trend.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Sourdough
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 12:00 AM

Big Mick: I wish I had said that.

Amos: I will take your word for your counts and be greatful you went to the trouble. I now feel a mild wave of nausea when I see one of the squabble threads back at the top. However, when the messages are as worthwhile as yours and Big Mick's, I feel better.

I guess what I am concerned about is that new people finding Mudcat will look at these needless stir-ups by one or two people who have far more interest in honing an ability to cause upsettedness than in helping to shape an online community and not realize what potential it has. THat would leave Mudcat and us the poorer for it.

I resent that.

Thanks for helping make the issues clearer with reasoned articulateness.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: CarolC
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 12:51 AM

Since this thread is already near the top, and so as not to keep it alive any longer than is necessary, I will post my intentions now.

Mick, I will send this as a PM as well as posting it here. I consider this to be a very serious matter. If I haven't seen a demonstration that you are willing to retract your accusation within the next two days, I will seek out the advice of Max and Joe Offer on the best way to handle this so that I can publicly defend myself against your accusations in the least disruptive way possible.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Terry K
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 01:37 AM

RichM

I love your advocacy of relaxed tolerance.

Now go back and read your post while pretending that the 'Cat had been hit by a rash of paedophile threads.........

Just a thought


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Big Mick
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 07:23 AM

Absolutely my last word on this, Carol. Don't bother with personal messages. I am not interested in engaging in a public or private debate with you. I am not accusing you of anything, I only responded to your messages. You and I don't mix. That is OK. It is not required that we all get along. Why don't we just agree to ignore one another. I don't care for you, you don't care for me. Fair enough. Folks here seem to like you, that is fine with me. There is no need for a public debate. Seems to be pretty silly to me. I don't think that Mudcatters really give a damn if you and I are tangling. Better just to agree to part. And save your threats. I never have responded well to that sort of thing.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: CarolC
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 07:28 AM

Very well, Mick. I will prepare the thread later today and post it sometime in the next day or two. I have already outlined to you in a PM what I will put in the thread. I will not allow a despicably false accusation against me go unchallenged.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Wolfgang
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 07:38 AM

I think the healers got the message by now. THIS IS A MUSIC SITE.

I think it is worth repeating what Max had said in a similar quarrel 1 1/2 years ago.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Jeri
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 08:35 AM

I'm pretty sick of people needing an audience to have a fight with one individual. Carol, you can post anything you want, but keep in mind there was probably a good reason why it went on in personal messages in the first place. I won't thank you for trying to drag me into it. It's my opinion that you're calling in re-inforcements because Mick has said he won't respond. I don't want to see you try to escalate this shit and divide people up, which is what you're doing.

Most of us here are not stupid, or at least not stupid on any sort of consistant basis. Mick said "Carol...............You are defensive and trying to bait..." I think that's the accusation you objected to. No matter what your intentions were when he said that, isn't that exactly what you'll be doing if you try to prolong this?


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Amos
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 09:35 AM

Sigh... where's I put thjat channel-changer thingy?

A


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: SharonA
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 09:59 AM

To Wolfgang, Joe Offer and others who remind us that Mudcat is a music site:

I feel compelled to remind you that music is written by people to express what they are thinking and feeling, and to seek a connection with other people whose thoughts and feelings are similar but who may not be able to express them in the same way. Songwriters and listeners alike are human beings who (among other things) experience pain, suffering and loss... and helplessness in the face of fate... and comfort from family, friends and strangers who do connect with them in some way.

Are you saying that the only way we can make that connection here on the Mudcat Forum is through music — quoting lines from songs, or posting our own lyrics — and not through any other personal expression of sympathy or support?

There are songs about lost dogs; there are songs about friends' children who are in danger of dying; there are songs about strangers giving comfort and saying kind words. There are songs about prayer and healing, too. Why would these songs be okay to bring up in a Mudcat Forum thread while the subjects of the songs would be unwelcome???

To say "Take your prayers elsewhere" while conducting a spirited discussion of a Spiritual devalues that song and reduces it to meaningless notes on a scale and jumbled letters in the alphabet. You would sever the connection between the song and the people who can sing that song NOW and feel what the songwriter felt.

Please let us be human beings here, in all our richness and diversity of belief, and recognize that this humanity is what music is about... and who it's for.

There are also songs about feeling isolated and unable to find connection with or comfort from other people. If Mudcat banishes all expressions of good thoughts and support for those who ask for it, those are the songs I will sing to myself when I log on.

SharonA


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: GUEST,Douglas Adams
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 10:05 AM

I revert to the anonymous to be constructive.

As parody has already been visited, a little more. It was the doers and the thinkers that took the bold step of searching out a new world in which they could all live, but subsequently forgot to tell the middle men where they'd moved to.

Could the musically interested move to a new Mudcat Music Only Forum, and leave this place for the other stuff? Elves would have shoot on sight carte blanche to scub any thread or posting that was not directly relevant to music. A lean time for flamers and trolls. That leaves this place free for all such activities to carry on.

Out of sight, out of mind.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Gervase
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 10:18 AM

*oh bollocks!*
Is it the weather? Is it something in the water? Is it hormones? Whatever. Something seems to have bitten a lot of regular posters lately, and now we have Big Mick and CarolC (both of whom are liked and respected by most of us here, I'd say) threatening to part brass rags over something that - to an outsider - seems absurdly trivial.
And all that in the context of Joe's perfectly valid and personal statement that he doesn't go a bundle on touchy-feely threads for people he doesn't know. Something with which I happen to agree.
Call me a naive, sentimental idealist, but surely the point of a place like this is for us to be able to air our opinions and state honestly-held views. Bloody hell, if we all agreed with each other the Mudcat would become very tedious indeed, degenerating into a mutual wankfest where we all sat around congratulating each other on how luvverly we all were.
Carol - I've been hopping in and out of the Mudcat on an almost daily basis for the past four years, and I haven't the faintest idea what slight Mick happens to have dealt you. Most of the other regular 'Catters are probably just as ignorant. Why not let it stay that way?
Whatever the accusation, you are not diminished in my eyes; today I've called up a history of your posts and I like the person I see. You're clearly someone who loves music and who has a warm and open heart, a fine family and a view on life that I largely share.
And, in running through those threads to which you've made a valuable contribution, I can't for the life of me find any horrible accusation levelled at you - certainly nothing that lowers my opinion of you.
So walk tall and beautiful, and walk away. Mick's a fine man, too, and also blessed with a big heart. Why prepare to demean the both of you by posting something that will achieve nothing save a momentary catharsis when you hit the 'submit' button.
Bloody hell, there are people who post regularly here who I consider to be sanctimonious, pompous prats, but - bless 'em - even they add to the place. There have been occasions when, if I'd had a couple more pints or a couple more drams, I might have let rip and told XXXXXX what an arsehole I thought he was, but thank goodness I haven't.
This is not in any way addressed solely to Carol. It's more of a plea for tolerance from everyone. We should celebrate our diversity and sometime curmudgeonliness, not crap on it. Every one of us, at some stage, will say or write something that irritates someone, somewhere. (too fecking right, laddie – look at some of the shite you've written over the years!) That's life. And if anyone wants to tear my arse off over it, feel free to PM me or email me. But don't bust up the furniture round here.


That fancy coloured stuff up there - it's just me arsing around with HTML. Any resemblance to anyone, living or dead, is a pure cock-up on my part.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: CarolC
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 10:26 AM

Jeri, I'm sorry you feel that way. The accusation I feel the need to defend myself against is that I have stated an intention to damage Mick's reputation. I would never ever do that to anyone, and I did not state any such thing. To do so is contrary to all of my spiritual and ethical beliefs, and it cuts very deeply to be accused of it, especially because I never said anything remotely of the sort.

I think it's wrong to be talking in the open forum about what people have sent each other in PMs. That's why they are PMs. They are personal. Mick brought this out in the open, and he did it in a way that has no basis in truth. I believe he believe what he says, but it is an accusation that I cannot allow to stand unchallenged.

I will not be looking for support. I will ask people to please refrain from posting to the thread, although I will invite Mick to post if he chooses. And I will ask people to please refrain from taking sides. But I must set the record straight. It's my personal integrity that is being called into question here, and I want to have a chance to tell the truth.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: CarolC
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 10:39 AM

This is a direct quote of the accusation as it appears above...

Told you this before and I remind you now. I am not a flamer, my reputation is anything but. You have it in your mind that you are going to change that reputation, you made that clear in your PM to me.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: GUEST,Shenandoah
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 11:07 AM

I don't know how many Mudcatters are regular visitors to the Usenet folk music groups, but I've lurked in the on-line folk forums for many years, here and Usenet. There are a few former Usenet regulars who are now posting here, presumably because the flaming, baiting, and trolling is much better in Mudcat these days than in the Usenet folk forums.

CarolC--Jeri is one of the worst troublemakers of those former Usenet regulars, who have taken up residence in Mudcat. Jeri can nearly always be found at the center of a cat fight, stating vociferously that she will not get sucked into the middle of this or that flame war. Or others should not respond to this or that troll (which she nearly always will), and then seeks to undermine the credibility/reputation of the person she has chosen as her target in the thread where the war takes place. Some of us who lurk in both places, and have been around awhile, see that pretty clearly.

This is pretty typical behavior for her. Just click her name in blue, and have a look see at her posting history of late here in Mudcat. My advice--ignore her. She is mean-spirited, particularly if she has decided she doesn't like you. Looks to me like she has now made you her target for this thread. Don't let her get to you. You are one of the finer contributors to this forum.

Long as I've delurked, I'd like to comment on how disempowering it is, on this 3rd? 4th? Monday in a row, to see more of this stinking @#@#, and the only music threads, the ones refreshed by someone over the weekend in large numbers. God only knows what that is about.

Whoever suggested the idea that Mudcat should be/have a music only forum, I second the idea!

This place is being abused by member and guest flamers and trollers, and those who wish to use the forum as their personal soapbox/therapy group. A "music only" forum is an eminently sensible idea.

Who knows--we may even find that knowledgeable, thoughtful people, who actually prefer discussing music to commenting upon their own and other people's petty psychodramas, might start posting here again.

To a Music Only Mudcat, I say Hear! Hear!


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 11:07 AM

I agree with Joe etc - that if we all posted our problems then the site would be overwhelmed. I also agree with a lot of what Jim Dixon said. At a low ratio its not a problem because its easy to keep away from what you don't like - however if the ratio rises then it will have an impact on the site
I am happy to include the sick in my prayers, if they are 'catters or are close to 'catters. That's pretty much where my personal line goes though. Any other problem that is not music-related I am unlikely to be bothered about unless I know the individual - same as in 3D.
Having said that I bet I forget all that if ever I feel in need of a conceptual hug!!
Problem is, you can't separate the people from the music - and its unlikely Mudcat will go back to pure music threads. And it might be a bit dry if it did.
One point I would make though is that having started a thread on a personal problem, one shouldn't then take exception if any particular response isn't exactly what you were looking for - ie someones opinion doesn't agree with your own assessment of the situation. That would be self-indulgent.

Kris


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: CarolC
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 11:16 AM

GUEST,Shenandoah,

I will not get involved in what you are doing. I have never had any problems with Jeri, and I prefer to go by my own experiences when I form my opinions of her.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Amos
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 11:20 AM

I doubt we want the Mudcat to be an academic site. Musicians and lovers of music are complex and temperamental and so far, our commitment has been to encourage the great scholarship, the musical commentary, the discovery of lost lyrics, etc., and also, compassionately, share feelings and thoughts and personal stuff as well. And the per centages have not been unacceptable. They ebb and flow -- which is about what you'd expect in the nature of things -- sometimes leaning toward musical predominance, and other times toward personal, literary, or other things which are unfortunately all gathered under "BS".

Learning to deal with trolls and provocateurs of whatever motivation is part of a maturing of the community. "Barance!! Learn BARANCE!" (Karate Kid).

Tell you what guys -- let's breathe deep and remember our fundamental affinities here, and go back to that.

A


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: SharonA
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 11:21 AM

GUEST, Shenandoah sez: "...on this 3rd? 4th? Monday in a row...the only music threads [are] the ones refreshed by someone over the weekend in large numbers..." Two paragraphs later, (s)he sez: "A 'music only' forum is an eminently sensible idea."

Sensible it might be, but apparently it wouldn't be very active. This reinforces the point of my post above: music is so much more than the songs themselves. To segregate music from the humanity that creates it does not serve either.

SharonA


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: GUEST,Shenandoah
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 11:36 AM

As is your choice CarolC. But your highmindedness about Jeri seems a bit suspect when it appears in a thread where you are publicly attacking another poster. Perhaps my initial opinion of you was wrong. Like does, after all, attract like.

Just trying to walk the center line here. You seem to be a good person. I have no idea what this is all about, but whatever it is about, and whoever it is about, it isn't an appropriate topic for a public forum of any sort. Why? Because there will be always be those (like Jeri) who will jump right in the middle (as she just did), just to see the cat fight get going, and then provide their personal commentary on individuals in the thread (like you).

Or is this really about the fact I said I'd like to see Mudcat be a music only forum, since you don't seem to contribute much on that subject here?


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: sophocleese
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 11:48 AM

A music only forum might not be as rapid fire as this one is, but is that really a problem? We fall into the danger of counting as successful only those threads with lots of responses, but can we really say that a thread on the size of sombody's penis or arse is a successful thread?

BS Threads are the formula fiction,addiction fiction, mental popcorn, Harlequin Romances, Serial Detective Novels, 18th volume of Dragonquest whatever, that appear on Mudcat bookshelves. They're easy to read and easy to respond to. They are a way out of thinking about folk and blues music not an aid towards thinking about folk and blues music.

Music may be based on the experiences of real life, in dramatic moments or humourous ones, but in the transmission of a song music transcends the specific moment that spawned the song. Prayer threads, BS threads wallow in the experience but rarely climb out.

Its July and people are away and hot and things seem boring so they get picky, picky, picky. What a surprise! Ray Bradbury wrote a good story about people being murdered at a particular temperature he could probably do the same about Mudcatters getting snippy at certain times of the year. The balance has been lost of late so it makes sense to work towards getting it back again.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: mousethief
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 12:10 PM

They are a way out of thinking about folk and blues music not an aid towards thinking about folk and blues music.

They are a way of being community. They keep people around and checking back frequently who otherwise would check back very infrequently, and then far fewer of the actual music questions would get answered in a timely manner. Also I believe far fewer of us would hook up in real life if all this were were a "Q and A" site about music.

People are not just vehicles for the creation and delivery of music.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: SharonA
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 12:10 PM

Admittedly, it's difficult to find the music-related threads in the morass of other subjects on the Forum. Also, sometimes the attention-getting thread titles are misleading (for example, the one on contact pick-ups for instruments).

Is it possible to separate the Forum into two Forums (Fora?), a Music Forum and [as on Gilligan's Island] "The Rest", but keep both within Mudcat the website? If so, it would be ideal if people could still link a BS post to a related music thread on the Music Forum (or a DT listing), as they do now within the single Forum.

SharonA


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 12:17 PM

Sharon, splitting the forum has been suggested a few times. Max has made it quite clear that will never happen. For better or for worse, we have to make most of it as it stands.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: GUEST,moonchild unlurking
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 12:26 PM

Rarely do I tune in to mudcat these days and then only to see if there are any interesting guitar threads. I did, however, make the mistake of opening this particular thread and morbid curiousity has me watching it's digression.

Joe, kat, Mick, and Susan, have issues and have fought them publicly. They may not agree, but they stand by their convictions, can hold their own, and then agree to disagree. That's okay and it's honorable.

This latest attack, on Jeri, has me puzzled. I feel I'm qualified to comment on her behaviour because I've known her, both virtually and inperson, four years. She continues to be intelligent and kind. She admits when she's made a mistake and doesn't gloat when she's right. Jeri has written more "reason" on this forum than anyone else, in five years. She is the type of friend, who doesn't check in with you everday, but she's there when you need her. I would trust Jeri with my life.

I continue to be amazed at how people treat each other on this forum. It's as if, just because they aren't sitting right across from you, it's okay to be nasty to them. Oh, and before you comment, I'm not immune from that accusation, but I've had a long time to reflect on my own foibles.

To those of you who continue to comment on sacred cows and cliques ... there are a few people on this forum who have been here from the beginning or close to it. Those individuals have been instrumental in the growth of this forum and in making it a place where you can vent your opinion and talk about non-music subjects. Have some respect, for g-d's sake.

The civility on this forum has diminished at an alarming rate and it is not because of the individuals mentioned above or the old-timers, or even some of the newcomers. It is people who now come onto this forum and see only the chat and never see or saw any of the really good stuff.

Back to occasional lurkdom, for which, I'm sure, most of you will be thankful.

moonchild


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: IvanB
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 12:53 PM

moonchild, good to see you post. You've been missed. Hope to see you again at Getaway.

I agree with you re: the attack on Jeri. I have no idea or interest in what she may be posting on groups where I'm not a member. I can only judge her by her posts on Mudcat, and I've never found any reason to believe she's anything but a caring and helpful individual.

I agree with your assessment of most threads on Mudcat lately, but keep hoping the tide will turn to the point where you and many others will see fit to return on a more regular basis.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Art Thieme
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 12:56 PM

Seriously, I suggest we now go over to the Fred Rogers thread...

Art


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: dwditty
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 01:11 PM

Hi Moon, nice to see you.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: SharonA
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 01:18 PM

Jon Freeman: Oh. Sorry. Silly me, the newbie!

Well, then, I'll stick with the Gilligan's Island analogy: "[We'll] have to make the best of things; it's an uphill climb..."

SharonA


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: GUEST,Shenandoah
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 01:24 PM

C'mon people. I said, look at Jeri's posting history here. While she can be very kind, helpful, and does often contribute to music discussions. She also is, like so many others currently posting in this very thread, drawn to flame/troll threads like a moth to a flame.

How about a little something straight from the horse's mouth to make my point?

From Jeri's 15 Apr 01 10:17 a.m. message posted to the "Non-music...Why, oh why, oh why?" thread:

"(Just ask me - I used to routinely shoot my mouth off in those newsgroups and I'm just getting to the point where I can walk away in Mudcat, or at least discuss and not react.)"

I am of the opinion that names like Jeri, as well as many others currently posting to this and the other flame threads, are found just a bit too commonly in these types of threads.

I hadn't so much as looked in here even once in recent months. I was so deeply disturbed by the witch hunt that drove Bruce Olson from Mudcat for anonymous posting, I didn't think I'd ever come back again. I check in, and what is happening, but the very same thing. More witch hunts, attempting drive out people who clearly have some knowledge about folk music, and about the folk music scene. And of course, I find precious few, if any, really knowledgeable people posting in Mudcat.

To be fair, many of them aren't posting in Usenet anymore either. Why? Because they keep getting driven out of the forums by "well meaning" people like Jeri, who are just going to teach a thing or two to those people they disagree with.

I see by the most recent threads, the witch hunts are still business as usual, and that virtually no one is discussing music. All of us lurkers/guests haven't been successfully brainwashed by the Mudcat party line.

We also aren't idiots. We know there is the open forum here. And we also know how important your "membership has it's benefits" shadow forum of the PMs.

After all, you used the shadow forum so effectively in your witch hunt to drive out Guest #1 when you drove out Bruce Olson, didn't you?


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: bbc
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 01:25 PM

Well, the thread's at 100 posts. Can we stop now?

respectfully,

bbc


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: annamill
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 01:39 PM

Ok! That's a f**king nuff! First you attack Joe (what brought me in here in the first place), then you attack MICK, I believe someone even attacked MAX!!!! Now you're attacking Jeri!

I know all these people personally. Some have even been to my house. (Mick keeps promisin', but nothin' so far) Everyone of them is worthy of being called fantastic. ..and some who have posted here that I have not mentioned are too. That's 'nuff!

What childish nonsense! I'm way too busy for this crap!

LOVE, annamill


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: GUEST,Shenandoah
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 01:47 PM

Hey annamill, some of us felt the same way about Bruce Olson, as you feel about your Mudcat cronies.

Only difference between Bruce and the Mudcat elite, are that Bruce actually knows what he is talking about when it comes to music, and most the rest of you don't.

It is just this sort of non-music crap that has driven nearly every knowledgeable folkie who once frequented Mudcat, out of this forum.

But apparently, that is supposed to be JUST FINE with the passive/aggressive and emotionally needy among you, who, apparently, would just rather talk about themselves, amongst themselves.

Is it any wonder all there is left of Mudcat are the ashes of a formerly good on-line folk music discussion forum?


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Jeri
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 01:50 PM

Janet - LOL!


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: GUEST,Shenandoah
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 02:02 PM

To those who are interested in discussing American traditional music in a forum without this sort of invective, I invite you to join us in alt.music.bluegrass.

A wonderful group.

Hope to see those of you interested in music there any time!


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: dwditty
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 02:17 PM

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah - just my 2 cents.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Amos
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 02:24 PM

Shenandoah:

I don't recall Bruce being "driven off" in the way you imply, but, whatever the kafluffle was, his insight and wisdom about things musical is always welcome here as far as I am concerned. I would suggest that you let him speak for himself. I have always found him to be an intelligent, helpful and valuable colleague here.

But we each have to decide for ourselves how we are going to respond to irrationality, and withdrawal is certainly only one of the options. To use a term like "witchhunting" for a cyber environment where noone is obliged to take on board any viewpoint that is wrong, ill-reasoned, unfair or bigoted is a bit extreme. The real world referent is a practice that physically destroys people involved, where grace in response is meaningless, and the outcome usually is out of the target;s control! None of these things apply here.

I for one am sorry if some injustice or irrational messaging left Bruce O feeling like dropping off the 'Cat.

A


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 02:35 PM

I don't believe Bruce was "driven out", Shenandoah. He left of his own accord. He did indulge in several instances of anonymous baiting and trolling for which he received well-earned vitriol. I think, despite that, Bruce is missed here and would be welcome any time.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 02:38 PM

ANNOUNCEMENT

IMPORTANT EVENT !!!!!

THE FINAL SHOWDOWN CAROLC AND BIG MICK

ON ONE OF OUR FAMOUS STREETS DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED

TO BE FOLLOWED BY BURIAL CEREMONY ON BOOT HILL

CHAMBER OF DEADLY COMMERCE LAREDO, TEXAS

LICENSED BETTING PRELIMINARY AMATEUR SHOOTOUTS BARBECUE BARBEQUES


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Subject: Mudcat, formerly a music forum
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 02:50 PM

I saw in another thread that Mick Lane said this isn't a music forum, that's it's more of a hangout for people who like music. I think he's right. It used to be a music forum, where music was the primary focus of discussion - and delightful, intelligent, uproariously funny side discussions sprang from the music discussions. Now it's a cozy, friendly hangout for a bunch of nice computer addicts who know each other quite well and enjoy each other's company. There are music questions that come up regularly, and people will wander over and answer the question and go back to goofing around with their friends. The music discussions still arise on occasion, but they're really not connected to the main part of the discussion. Sure, there are more music threads than "BS"- but the music threads contain far fewer messages.

So, what's happened? The balance of Mudcat has changed, and I think Mick is absolutely right that this is no longer a music forum. He likes it that way. I don't.

Yes, there is a need for community and goofing off and prayer and concern and freedom - but do we have to sacrifice our reputation for music in order to satisfy the needs of our current community? Are we drawing and keeping people who want to talk music, or are they getting disgusted and drifting away?

I'm not completely opposed to anything that is currently happening at Mudcat. It's still a vibrant, interesting place filled with wonderful people. However, it is no longer primarily a music forum, and I would like us to work together to nudge us back into balance.

How can we adjust the balance?
  • Well, the first and most essential thing we must do is to maintain the discipline of silence and do not respond to trolls, flames, and Spam. We've had some horrible threads started in the last week, but what's even more horrible is that Mudcatters have responded to these threads at an incredible rate and ran many of them up past the hundred-message mark. The most deplorable thread was the "Erection" thread, and people responded to it with dozens of messages. People, what is it that drives you to prolong this insanity?
  • Another thing we can do is to provide a home for personal things that don't quite deserve the prominence that threads get. I think there's a pretty easy way for us to do this: Think twice before you start a thread, and don't start threads for personal matters. Feel free to say anything you want in messages within a thread, but don't start a thread unless you think it's going to make a discussion that's interesting to all. If you want to mention needs for prayer or birthdays or welcomes within a thread where it fits, that's wonderful. People around here generally are compulsively nice. If you start a thread, people will feel compelled to respond to you so you won't feel alone, even if they have nothing to say.
    A week ago, I was involved in a spectacular and very frightening car accident. I was driving the speed limit, and in my rear-view mirror I could see a pack of cars racing with each other, coming upon me at a tremendous rate of speed. One car hit me from behind, hit the car next to me, and ended up in front of me. A fourth car hit me from behind and pushed me into the first car. It was a very significant event for me (and the damages to my pretty red car were $5,000), and it would be perfectly appropriate for me to tell people here about it - but should I have started a thread to tell people about it? No. What significant things could people have said in response? Would have made an interesting thread?
  • One more thing I'd suggest: Find another home for things that are repetitive or not of general interest - and by that, I mean especially prayer, healing, birthdays, welcome, and requests for sympathy. Is Pete Seeger's birthday suitable for a thread? No, I don't think so. He has a birthday once a year, like clockwork, just like the rest of us. Is a new Pete Seeger album a suitable topic? Certainly. It's nice to welcome new Mudcatters, but is it appropriate to start of thread for each of the over six thousand people who have joined us? Nope.
  • I got a prayer request e-mail from the Mudcat prayer mailing list today, and it struck me how perfectly appropriate it was. I read the message with interest, thought for a moment about the person who needs prayer, said a brief prayer, and went on. The message was almost a gift to me, I think. I had asked to be put on the mailing list, and it gave me a moment to be thoughtful of someone in need. It didn't arouse controversy or question because it was right where it belonged. Such messages are welcomed by all who receive them, and I think that's how it should be. An occasional prayer request in the Forum isn't the end of the world, but where do you draw the line? There were three this week, and it seems that related topics on Mudcat multiply geometrically. So, I'd suggest that we make good use of the wonderful Mudcat prayer and healing mail lists, and start threads on such needs only when it's clearly a matter of general interest to Mudcatters.

That's my opinion. It's not infallible, and it's not Mudcat policy. Still, I think there's a need for us to work together to adjust the balance so Mudcat regains its reputation as a home for rich, intelligent discussion of music – mixed with a lot of fun and a lively community life.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 03:22 PM

I have spoken to Bruce O..face to face...about Mudcat & his feelings. He likes old music, and does not like wading thru BS threads to get to it...I suppose you could construe that as being 'driven off', but he knew very well what the score was, he just made a considered, adult choice not to post...just as several others have. (I 'suspect' he occasionally peeks in, but the 2-3 times I have talked to him, we didn't discuss it!)

..he tried very hard for a long time to cope, and just decided it was taking more time than it was worth...he made the point that we all know how to find him, and if anyone has any serious questions about his fields of interest, he'd be glad to help.

'taint very nice to read folks minds in absentia and explain THEIR motivations for them.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 03:23 PM

Joe....I don't know you, I'm assuming that you live in the US...
I live in the UK, and, to me, anyway, you make complete sense. (?)......I'm pleased to be here, Very happy with all the wonderful information that I've gleaned from threads,(various). Not too bothered by the others. I still wake up in the morning feeling OK....no "flamers,trollers or gargantuan reptiles" to haunt (or taunt) me.
Religious beliefs have led to a lot of wars in the last 2000 years or so.(don't want to start a Northern Ireland thread here....Don't even think about it!!!) Whether your, (or indeed, anybody's) God exists doesn't really matter, except to the beleivers....
Prayer threads?? Don't really have an opinion, except, that I hope that everybody who is ill gets better....That everybody who has lost someone, has close friends to support them......and, that everybody respects everybody elses rights......
With great humility, and much love to all who are in pain, for whatever reason, BIG HUGS Ralphie xxx
Can I stop now??.....And Will You?...(Not a particular message to Joe
) Applies to all...LOL!


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Ralphie
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 03:43 PM

Previous message was from Ralphie....Don't EVER, EVER, EVER, Think I would post as a "Guest"...I would never post anonymously....Cookie failure, apologies.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: mousethief
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 03:44 PM

That was a very nice post, Ralphie! Thanks!

Joe: great ideas. Anybody who wants to follow them is welcome to. Will you allow those who do NOT want to follow them their freedom of expression as well?

Alex


Sure, Alex - I'll allow people to do whatever it is they do. But does that mean I'm not allowed to express my own opinion? Actually, somebody pointed out to me in a personal message that because I have somewhat of an administrative responsibility here, I am somewhat more restricted in what I should say and do, and I need to be careful to maintain impartiality in all my posts. I admit that I may have pushed against that barrier in the last few days.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: dwditty
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 03:45 PM

I smile a bit when I notice those who have NOT posted here - and you know who you are. It occurs to me that, by Max's design, Mudcat is free to go pretty much where it will. Maybe it'll become a 100% prayer site. Maybe a 100% music site. Maybe a 100% clique-y, in-crowd site. Maybe Max won't like where it goes and, he'll shut it down. After all, it is his opinion that really matters. So what. I say let it go where it goes. Go ahaed and voice your opinion, but if the will of the people (hey, I remember that phrase) dictates a particular direction that may be in conflict with your particular view....well, accept it, voice your opinion some more, or go on to some other place. No big deal, really. Maybe it's just me, but it always surprises me to see how we react to words on a computer screen. After all, people, it is just a freaking web site (all be it, one that I love and will continue to visit regularly).

BTW, does anyone know what the plan is for the radio show tonight?

dw


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: MMario
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 03:56 PM

today is monday at mudcat. radio is tuesday, isn't it? Or have I lost a day?


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Ralphie
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 03:58 PM

Mouse....Ta Muchly!! dwditty.....probably can't access any US Radio over here in London town....But, to all UK readers....Friday nights Andy Kershaw show on BBC R3 has a brilliant Kate Rusby session on it. I should know....(Puffed Chest!!) Aw Shucks, I cannot tell a lie......LOL R xx
Ralphie, Click here for Mudcat Radio.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: dwditty
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 04:01 PM

You haven't lost a day, Mario. It's just that this particular Monday is dragging a bit. My mistake.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: CarolC
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 04:34 PM

Annamil, I don't understand your post. You said...

Ok! That's a f**king nuff! First you attack Joe (what brought me in here in the first place), then you attack MICK, I believe someone even attacked MAX!!!! Now you're attacking Jeri!

No one has attacked Mick. And I have not attacked anybody. I am defending myself against an accusation that was made against me about something that was allegedly said by me in a Personal Message.

I have been told by a Mudcatter that it is considered bad form to reveal the contents of PMs. So my question to you and to everyone else is this...

If someone made an accusation against you that you knew was false about something you put in a PM, and if it was an accusation that you could not let ride, how would you defend yourself without posting the actual PM in question?


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: mousethief
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 04:38 PM

Not sure you can, Carol. If somebody is saying things about a PM that you believe false, then they are responsible for publicizing the PM, and your posting of it to set the record straight doesn't (IMHO) count as a breach of PM etiquette.

For what it's worth, that's my opinion.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: flattop
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 05:47 PM

It's nice to see so many of the old regulars being irregular on this thread. Hello everybody.

I have only had time to skim the posts but I think the worst part is the opening message. Talk about poor etiquette! If Joe had a few good kat-fights, why can't Lighthorse 69 post blue clickies to the exciting and offensive posts so that we don't have to spend hours searching. Isn't there something in the faq compelling mudcatters to create clickies to the most outrageous items that they find? If there isn't, there should be. Haven't had time to read the faq either.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Barry Finn
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 07:20 PM

Hey Moonchild nice to know you're in the neighborhood & it'll be good to see you come Oct (always a pleasure). I'd have to say you're dead right on with reguards to Jeri. After playing/singing with Jeri over the years, at sessions, at parties, at my house, at Getaways I think I know her well enough to say that I do know that she's one of those people who'll be right there with a lending hand & a warm heart & never the one to play the unfriendly note in anyones direction. I know & play/sing with a great many others who feel the same way about her. In fact, up till now I've never heard anyone say even the slightest thing that wasn't in a positive light (not that if you can't say someting nice don't say any thing at all, it's always been positive) & I'm covering the span of a number of years.
It well may be that many of the long time posters don't post that much here anymore because of the lack of the music (this topic goes back at least to 1997 that I can remember) or it may also be due to the change in the way people relate to one another or it could even be a change in the weather, what ever the cause it's a very sorry sight to see what's going on here presently.
As to cyber friendships, I must know &/or have met about a hundred catter's & played/performed with or shared a stage of one kind or another with perhaps at the very least half of them & can only say that I am far off the better & richer for meetting in them in the flesh which would never have happened if it weren't for this site. I do believe that you can say you're rich if you have one friend & that (at least I can say, already being there) one can be ready to die content knowing that they have made may friendships in their lifetime. What does one say about themselves when they use their time going about & picking fights & making enemies? A poor soul?
I hope that this tread has had enough rope to now hang itself in shame so we can all get back on track. Good rythmns to bad trash. Barry


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: CarolC
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 07:29 PM

I'm sorry Barry, but I have to post to this thread one more time.

I have been informed that it could cause serious harm to the Mudcat if I post the contents of the PMs I sent to Big Mick. So I will not do so.

I stand by my assertion that I did not say what he accused me of saying. And I feel comforted in the fact that I have not posted any Personal Messages that were sent to me by anyone else in the forum.

Very sincerely,

Carol


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Big Mick
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 08:05 PM

Let this be the last post. Please.

Carol, I apologize for referring to the PM. I could have conveyed the same opinion without referring to that message. I sincerely apologize for referring to it and ask anyone who reads this message to accept that the mistake was mine. I am not apologizing for my opinion. In the future I will not respond to you. I may respond to some of the ideas that you post, but only in the general sense.

And Carol, Thank you for not starting a thread. I am just as certain of my position as you are of yours. But the only outcome of it would have been negative to the Mudcat. It is to your credit that you took this path in the face of something you believe strongly. I shall never again mention our differences unless you do.

Shenandoah, do us all a favor. Go back to lurking. We all know Jeri, and have been reading her posts for years. Whatever your axe is, go grind it somewhere else.

Joe, your last post has given me reason to pause. It is well written and has great merit. I need to rethink some things. To be sure we will visit the subject more as we go.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Snuffy
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 08:47 PM

Sorry to creep this thread onto music, but this seemed appropriate (from LET UNION BE IN ALL OUR HEARTS )

Cease your quarreling and fighting,
Evil thinking and backbiting.
All these things take no delight in,
While we are together.

cho:Let union be in all our hearts,
Let all our hearts be joined as one.
We'll end the day as we begun,
We'll end it all in pleasure.
Right-folla-rolla-rye, too-ra-lie-doe (3x)
While we are together.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Lighthouse 65
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 11:40 PM

Amen.

The End.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: SharonA
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 12:22 PM

Lighthouse 65 and all others: I'm afraid that, by request of Joe himself, it's not the end after all. Joe has taken his post of 16-Jul-01 (2:50 pm) listed above, and posted it on the Mudcat FAQ/Newcomer's Guide (including his anecdote about his traffic accident!). He has requested that any responses not be posted there, as he edits that thread regularly, but on this thread instead. In fact, mousethief posted a comment about it on the FAQ and that comment has already been deleted.

I have already stated, in this thread and in the "prayer request" thread, my opinions on the subject matter of Joe's post. However, I have a response to its appearance in the FAQ: I don't think it belongs there.

He prefaced the FAQ post with the statement that it was his own opinion, not Mudcat policy. However, its very presence there, its outline as a list of suggested behaviors, and the thread's position at the top of the Forum all give Joe's post an air of authority. The absence of any conflicting opinion following his own on that thread — and the quick disappearance of any other opinions that might be posted there — creates even more of the illusion of authority, especially to newbies who might interpret it as a line not to be crossed, considering its source.

Does this cross over into abuse of his position at Mudcat? My feeling is that it does. I thought that a Frequently Asked Questions page was a place to obtain information about a site's operation and policies, not a place for one person alone to express his opinions concerning those policies.

Also, Joe's opinions in the 16-Jul-01 post don't appear to be consistent with some of his earlier statements on the Mudcat FAQ:


"I think the general principle here at Mudcat is "civil anarchy." Max, Dick, and Susan have shown no desire to set rules for operation of the Mudcat. They are very gracious hosts, and it would be nice if we'd all follow their example. That should be the only rule we need."

Under LYRIC REQUESTS: "It's a wonderful thing that our Forum is a spontaneous free-for-all, no-holds-barred bull session."

Under WHAT'S NOT ALLOWED: "I refer most questions of etiquette to a truly wise person, Miss Manners, whose basic premise is the Golden Rule, that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us, etc., etc. I fully agree with Miss Manners on this.
"We believe that Mudcatters are blessed with common sense and admirable judgment, and should have little need of rules. The Powers That Be at Mudcat are tolerant of just about everything but intolerance..."

Under MUDCATIQUETTE: "I'm staying away from giving guidelines on etiquette.....Some people have suggested that there should be more rules around here, so that people know how to behave properly; and that this or that should be better-organized or have instructions that are clearer. Mudcat is governed by a principle of civil anarchy, and that principle gives Mudcat much of its spontaneity, intelligence, and friendly spirit."

Under WHAT ABOUT CENSORSHIP?: "We try very hard to preserve freedom of expression here at Mudcat....The Mudcat Cafe is a music discussion forum. Other activities are permitted and encouraged..."


Yet in his 16-Jul-01 post to the FAQ, Joe DIScourages specific activities. He had already stated in a 17-Jul-00 post to the FAQ: "I still think it's better not to use the Forum for stuff that's not of general interest" but has not, until now, defined that "stuff" and ignored his previously stated no-etiquette-guidelines-in-the-FAQ policy Again, I think the posting of Joe's personal opinion of what does and does not belong in the Forum should be stated in the Forum itself where the rest of us are free to discuss it, and should not be posted in the FAQ/Newcomer's Guide.

SharonA


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 01:53 PM

Freedom of expression is fine, but the purpose of Mudcat is to provide a music forum. General BS is one thing, but random BS has so invaded threads started with musical content in mind that it is difficult and time-consuming to find information. If both random BS and Music Forum are to co-exist, then a wall should be erected to separate them.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 01:55 PM

Sharon, you are right.

Joe's post, in my opinion, steps outside the bounds of a guideline for Forum Use (the intent of the Newcomer's Guide) and presents editorial opinion. Now there's nothing wrong with editorial opinion, but putting that opinion into the Newcomer's Guide format puts an official stamp on it, and unless Max has authorized it, it seems to step across the boundary of Joe's authority.That's my opinion.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 02:23 PM

My understanding of an faq is that it is unique to the particular forum it is to be used for, and should act as an "introduction to the ways we do things here, as opposed to the ways things are done in other forums."

FAQs are also places where one goes to find generalist and specialist information about the forum's purpose (in this case folk and blues music) which can act as a pointer to beginner/introductory sources of information about the subject matter the forum regularly addresses. To my way of thinking, this is intended to help newcomers/beginners to the forum or the music itself.

However, many FAQs are not maintained by site/list/newsgroup owners. So to suggest Joe Offer doesn't have the authority to put the guideline in, even if some current members disagree with it, may be incorrect for Mudcat. In most FAQs, one is provided with contact information for the maintainer of the FAQ (ie with a real name and email address) who can be contacted with questions. It does seem to me the whole Joe Offer thing is needless buffer/level of bureaucracy between site owners and site users.

Also, as a newcomer to the forum, I don't find much in the way of useful information (how we do it here information) anyway. I really don't consider the faq here to be a very good one, as FAQs go, for that reason.

The perma-threads are good though.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Wolfgang
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 02:41 PM

Lonesome EJ,

the whole permathread we are talking about is a mixture of information and opinions (not only from Joe). That did not start with the last entry. If I understand you correctly you advise to retire the thread and rewrite it without any opinion on how to do things best?

As for the editorial opinion on healing threads I have cited it in my last post, but SharonA doesn't seem to like this opinion.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: SharonA
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 02:42 PM

GUEST, if you have read Joe's 16-Jul-01 post to the FAQ and interpreted it as a Mudcat guideline and not as Joe's personal opinion, you have proven my point.

SharonA


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: catspaw49
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 02:49 PM

Well..........Joe has corresponded with me on numerous occasions and also very recently and has explained his thoughts quite well. I need to respond to his latest PM and I will, but this is a bit of a separate issue here.

Joe did say it was his opinion and of course he too is entitled to that as we all are. I don't really believe that anyone would expect him NOT to have an opinion and expressing it is not a problem. HOWEVER.....The FAQ/Newcomer's Guide is not the place (in my opinion) to post that info. Leej makes the point above:

Joe's post, in my opinion, steps outside the bounds of a guideline for Forum Use (the intent of the Newcomer's Guide) and presents editorial opinion. Now there's nothing wrong with editorial opinion, but putting that opinion into the Newcomer's Guide format puts an official stamp on it......

I couldn't agree more. What's next? cats and Dogs, Baseball, and the like? And then how about the only slightly related.....Name our band, a pub, travelling problems between gigs. It follows that over time, all BS will be called to "stand and deliver" and then be banished. It's been a long discussion here at times, but Max has repeatedly stated he wasn't going to separate the Forum and that he pretty well enjoys the BS himself.

We have so far pretty well coexisted and most people here participate in many types of threads. I know Joe is concerned over the lack of music emphasis, but I think Dave the Gnome said elsewhere that he sees Mudcat as a community of folkies who also talk about other things, which is only natural. Joe has a particular dislike based on some good thought processes for the "Good Thoughts" threads and I both agree and disagree, but that is between Joe and I and we can hash it out and remain friends.

What I would ask now is that the post in the FAQ be deleted as it heads down a slippery slope where the people here have repeatedly said they didn't want to go. I wouldn't object to statements that focus attention to newcomers on the music aspects and to try to keep the BS within bounds of some sort. Let's face it, some of it is silly as hell........but to make the statement Joe did, even as opinion, in a Newcomer's Guide gives it both credibility and begs the question, "What next?"

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Wolfgang
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 03:04 PM

I do not like the turn this takes. SharonA has posted a whole list of Joe's opinions (in order to demonstrate that they are not consistent) in the permathread. If it is a questions of opinions as such you should vote that these opinions have to be deleted as well. Or does Joe only have the right to post there opinions which the posting majority agrees with? The idea to these threads was that one person gets the right to edit these threads and that was a good policy I think.

Joe might of course decide to delete his post in that thread, but he might also say 'if you don't like my way of handling that thread do it yourself'. I wouldn't like that option at all.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 03:06 PM

Now it's a cozy, friendly hangout for a bunch of nice computer addicts who know each other quite well and enjoy each other's company. There are music questions that come up regularly, and people will wander over and answer the question and go back to goofing around with their friends. The music discussions still arise on occasion, but they're really not connected to the main part of the discussion. Sure, there are more music threads than "BS"- but the music threads contain far fewer messages.

So, what's happened? The balance of Mudcat has changed, and I think Mick is absolutely right that this is no longer a music forum. He likes it that way. I don't....excerpt from Joe's Newcomer's Guide posting

This is the segment I find most objectionable, and in particular the image of "computer addicts goofing around" and the part about "he likes it that way. I don't."

Should a Newcomer's Guide immediately introduce visitors to the most divisive topic that comes up on the Forum? And should the man who is responsible for composing and maintaining the FAQ state that he doesn't like the way things are on the Forum?

Opinion is fine, Wolfgang, but let's suppose that the Guide IS the first thing a visitor reads. Is the first impression to be that the Forum is being misused, and here's how YOU can help get it back on track?

The rest of Joe's post walks a line between policy and recommendation, which is easier to swallow.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: katlaughing
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 03:11 PM

Joe can state his opinion and debate it with others all he wants in the Forum, as the rest of us do. To have posted it in the Newcomer's Guide is wrong, for all of the good reasons cited above.

Thanks, SharonA for addressing this.

kat


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Wolfgang
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 03:13 PM

LEJ, thanks, that makes it clearer, to me at least.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 03:13 PM

I have to disagree with you Wolfgang, the FAQ should reflect how Mudcat Works and Mudcat policy. The editor of the FAQ is acting on behalf of and representing Mudcat. I see no place for such personal opinions.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 03:17 PM

Can't resist putting in my 5c worth! If we all spent more time on the phone these threads wouldn't happen! how do you all have the time to read all this stuff, let alone argue about it? Just curious, I haven't read all the above as LEJ might fire me for not "taking care of business"! By the way, some very nice people did a prayer circle for my terminally ill sister. While I do not believe in all that stuff, was appreciative of the thoughts behind it. Also, I think to be a part of a prayer circle or some such makes one feel less helpless in a situation which no one seems to have control over. Thanks for letting me butt in, and has anyone heard any good music lately!? LION .... LEJ's spouse


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 03:27 PM

I'd like to add that I differ from "Guest" who says the FAQ is weak on this Forum. I think it is one of the clearest and most comprehensive FAQs I have ever seen for any site. I also believe, whether he has the title or not, that Joe has done an excellent job as Administrator in the day to day maintenance of this site. That is one of the reasons this site is as vital and busy as it is.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 03:35 PM

I also believe, whether he has the title or not, that Joe has done an excellent job as Administrator in the day to day maintenance of this site.

I couldn't agree more LEJ and I know Joe from both sides, i.e. as Jon Freeman and as a JoeClone - I find he makes a great "boss". I just feel he has (as we all can) stepped the wrong side of a line in this instance.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Jeri
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 03:44 PM

I have to believe Joe didn't consider how this would appear. I have to believe Joe isn't the sort of person to censor a thread. Edit yes, but eliminate ideas he doesn't agree with?

Joe, you say it's only your opinion, but any differing opinions will be deleted from that thread. People will only see what you wrote. It appears as though you're saying "everyone's entitled to an opinion, but mine is the official one."

If you think about balance, what happens when you forcefully shove one side of the see-saw down?

Please note I'm not fond of prayer requests.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Pseudolus
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 03:46 PM

I was going to respond to this before but in this thread and the earlier "prayer request" thread but both of them finished (at the time) with posts imploring us to let it die. I was glad it did for a while. but this thread has been "re-opened" with good reason...thanks Sharon. Now that it has, here's my two cents......

I respect Joe's opinions, as I would anybody's. I agree with all of the posts that praised all of the things he does for this Forum. And I agree that he has the right to have those opinions. The problem for me is when the opinions turn to judgements. Joe has referred to the prayer requests as chain letter events many times. It doesn't seem to be enough to just say that he differs in opinion, he has to make the point that YOUR opinion, although you're supposedly allowed to have one, is silly. The quote that shows this to me most clearly is the following....

"I suppose that healing threads work very well as a source of comfort for those who believe in things like chain letters and pyramid schemes and television evangelism and eating to lose weight." - Joe Offer -

Just because you don't agree or can't directly relate doesn't mean that someone else can't get comfort in such a thread, AND it doesn't make them vulnerable to chain letters, pyramid schemes, etc.

I am really dissappointed....I haven't really felt like logging in lately and probably won't for a while. Again I could handle it if someone suggested, "there's a better way to do this". But if I disagree, my opinion should not be belittled......and of course, THAT, is my humble opinion........

Til Whenever..... Frank


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: SDShad
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 03:47 PM

I'm not sure the Newcomer's FAQ is the right place for Joe's posting, either, but for an entirely different set of reasons. That's not to say I discount or disagree with statements by Leej, Spaw, et. al. above--indeed, I think that if the Newcomer FAQ is deemed an appropriate place for Joe's suggestions, it should be done as less one person's opinion, but rather pared down to eliminate the personal and make it "rough ettiquette guidelines that we mostly can agree on and live with--they're not the law, but they're a good idea." Unlike others, I think Joe's intro to the post in the FAQ made it perfectly clear that it was personal opinion, but I think the same suggestions could be made a little more objectively and dispassionately.

But good suggestions they are, and here's where I get into disagreeing with the FAQ being the place for them. 'Cause the way I see it, these suggestions are much more importantly in need of being considered and followed by those of us already here, not so much by newcomers (the odd "I'm a newcomer here, hi!" thread is kind of silly and superfluous, but in the end does no real harm, unlike, say, some of this thread). Like many others, I read Joe's original version of this post and it gave me a lot to think about.

I've seen flaming/trolling attacks by both inside and outside psychopaths on other fora that were far, far worse than anything that's happened here in the time I've been around--one in particular springs to mind, on a forum which I to this day won't name publicly because it still exists, and it's quite possible that the stalker who plagued that community has continued to search for the forum long after we've gone underground--indeed, that's already happened once. In that particular attack, one by an outsider who had been a member of the forum years before and already caused trouble then, I took an active and central role in responding to the troll, posting a lengthy, impassioned manifesto of sorts that spelled out why this person--persons, actually, as it turned out--needed to leave the forum as not to destroy it, even though he/she/it claimed to "love [the forum] beyond all imagining." Many at the forum knew my real name, but I didn't post it under my forum handle of Shadowspawn, but rather as Ender Wiggin, because I didn't want to become the troll's special target. The troll pretended to take my post to heart--not without a lot of counteraccusation and pouting, mind you--and promised to leave.

This lasted all of three days, and he/she/it was back with a vengeance, finally forcing us, as I've mentioned, to take down the advertised address of the forum and essentially hide it in plain sight, where several years down the line, the troll still hasn't found us. Yet. But consequently our membership has dwindled to next to nothing, and the place is now just a minor hangout for a very small group of old and devoted friends.

Now, Mudcat is a much larger community, and I don't think one such troll could wreak the same sort of damage here. But the lesson I walked away with was simply this: responding to trolls simply doesn't work. Not even so briefly as to just say "you're a troll" and move on, ignoring them. Same goes for posting "ignore the troll" in a troll thread. Only serves to refresh it. I'll admit I've fallen down and still thrown the odd snarky barb at a Guesttroll, and have even got sucked into a bitchy political comment or two or three (or so....). But I learned the hard way long before I got here that trying to fight trolls is futile. So 99.99 times out of a hundred, so far I've resisted the temptation to say even a word to a Guesttroll--not that there haven't been some recent ones that have tried my patience.

And this is where Joe's advice is so much more important to those of us who are already here than to new arrivals. We know this place, we love this place, and so many of us have established genuine and lasting friendships here. When our friends or our place seem under attack, it's only natural to want to defend--that's what motivated the "manifesto" I wrote all those years ago. But more shite is perpetuated on the Mudcat by trolls and gargoyles and ttcms and whatever, and by those of us responding to them angrily for all the right reasons--which only encourages them--than by all the healing threads, hi I'm here threads, birthday threads, tavern threads, erection threads, and general BS and craic threads combined. Likewise, I think it's far too easy to get carried away by the spirit of the place--I, too, love the BS and craic--and start a thread for reasons that don't really hold up if you stop and think about it for a minute or two longer. I know I've done it, and I know others have done it.

So, a reminder--and perhaps a fairly frequent one--that we need to police ourselves--ourselves, mind you, not eachother--is far more important, I think, than admonishing newcomers not to respond to trolls. I'm not sure I would've had a clue what to say to a troll when I was a newcomer. Nowadays, I come up with all kinds of rejoinders to them in my head, but try never to post them.

I like that Mudcat is a place where folk and blues lovers hang out and shoot the bull as much as it is a high-minded folk and blues forum. 'Tis more human that way, and more enticing to come back. I'd never want it to lose that flavor. But I'd never want it to lose its musical-informational flavor either. And as the Internet gets bigger and bigger, there are only going to be more and more trolls and psychopaths out there who seek to take advantage of how open a place this is--and in my opinion, must be--to spread chaos and ruin. If we keep responding to it, we only encourage it, and it could threaten to drown out both the music and the craic. How do we remind ourselves of that freqently enough? Beats the hell out of me, but that doesn't mean we oughtn't to try.

But if we take a few seconds to think before we post, and try, each of us, to cut back a bit on the sort of posting that Joe mentioned, particularly in my opinion the responding to trolling and flamebait, and the most excessive and silly BS threads--policing, I will add again for emphasis, ourselves and not eachother--we can have our BS and eat it too.

So I've gone and written another little manifesto anyway. Oh well. Trust me--this one's much shorter.

Warmest regards to all,

Chris


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: catspaw49
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 03:50 PM

The ability of a FAQ to do it's job relies on many things and Joe has repeatedly asked for advice and gotten it. There are parts of it that I don't like (not the ideas, the layout) and parts that work really well. In the grand scheme of things.....It's too early to tell. Not much around here is cast in Bronze and with age things generally improve. The FAQ/Newcomer's Guide is not in question here.

The particular message that is in question just goes off into a territory where we have repeatedly said we don't want to go. I really believe that if Joe thinks this one through, he'll agree.

Could the idea behind his post as I stated above be better phrased? Yeah......I think it can. Even the most inveterate BS'er would at times like to see a little thought before posting a thread simply because you're bored (sorry Firecat). If Joe likes, perhaps we can draft up something that addresses the issues without sounding as though we are getting into the censorship routine. I'll write it with you Joe......ya' wanna'??

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Banjer
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 03:51 PM

This whole situation reminds me of the Eveready Bunny.... It keeps going, and going, and going.... WHY?


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 03:57 PM

we can have our BS and eat it too.

Now THERE is a graphic image, Chris! :>) I agree with what you're saying.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: SDShad
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 04:01 PM

Spaw, you made a point far better, and as usual, far more succinctly than I could, to wit: "Could the idea behind his post as I stated above be better phrased? Yeah......I think it can."

Exactly. I think there are some good ideas in Joe's post, and it might indeed be a good idea to divorce the ideas from the personal opinion factor, and post the result. I second the nomination of Spaw--wwwaaaaaitaminit...you cain't nominate yerself, can ya bub?--so I first and second the nomination of Spaw to work w/ Joe to work it into excactly such a shape as can sit proudly in our FAQ next to Amos's welcome. You can do it with a humor and a cutting-through-the-bullshittednes most of us lack, Pat, if Joe's game to ya.

But I do still feel us regulars need the reminder at least as much as any newcomer.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: SDShad
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 04:03 PM

Hey, Leej, I figured I was getting so feckin' pedantic there that I'd better throw in a little scatology or everyone'd nod off....

Shad


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: GUEST,Amazed
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 04:03 PM

Do you have any idea how lucky you are that this non-issue is what what you have to occupy your time ?? There ARE more important issues in this world. Jeez, people - get a life. Go outside - walk around the block. Smell some flowers. Go find a person in need and help them. Your focus on this is all out of whack. In my opinion.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 04:59 PM

In SDShad and catspaw49, I detect the voices of sweet reason.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: nutty
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 05:04 PM

Can I remind you all that these issues were initially, (in a previous thread), raised by a "GUEST" who was intent on stirring you all up and causing trouble.

And, boy , has he/she succeeded.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 05:14 PM

Not sure I agree here. What seems to be said is that if it is worded differently, it has the rights to sit in the FAQ where presumably it will be seen to be part of Mudcat Policy.

Please don't get me wrong, I would like to see some form of statement written on the issue Joe tired to address. I just thought Max set the policy not spaw and Joe or any other combination of us lot.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: SDShad
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 05:23 PM

Suggestions, not policy, is what these things should be in my opinion, Jon. I want Mudcat to remain as free and open as possible, for as long as possible. Does no harm to remind people how to act like they weren't raised by wolves every once in a while, though.

And absolutely, especially given the amount of controversy this has generated, obviously--obviously--final say rests with Max. Max may see all this as nothing more than a tempest in a teapot--which in the greater scheme of things, it is--but I have no idea. Of course, I'll reiterate I feel pretty strongly that it should be "hey, try to do things this way and we'll all have a better time" than carved-in-stone policy, but others may not agree.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: SharonA
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 05:42 PM

Jon Freeman sez: "What seems to be said is that if it is worded differently, it has the rights to sit in the FAQ where presumably it will be seen to be part of Mudcat Policy..."

That's the impression I'm getting, too, and I find it disturbing.


Jon Freeman also sez: "I just thought Max set the policy not spaw and Joe or any other combination of us lot."

The only definition of people's "jobs" that I could find in the FAQ is this, from 06-May-00: "Max runs Mudcat and is the Ultimate Guru of All Things Technical. The Digital Tradition Folk Song Database is operated by Dick Greenhaus and Susan of DT. Since Max and Dick and Susan don't have time to handle the day-to-day problems like duplicate posts and bad HTML and registration problems, Max gave "edit" buttons to some of us.... The only person actually known to have a button is Joe Offer.... Pene Azul [is] available to maintain some of the [technical] areas of Mudcat.... Max is the Ultimate Authority." There's nothing specific there about anyone setting policy, so the presumption is that the "Ultimate Authority" who "runs Mudcat" does so.

SharonA


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: sophocleese
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 05:49 PM

The FAQ is a place where some people see the Mudcat for the first time but mostly people read the threads.

Every time anybody starts a thread about any subject they are stating their opinion about what is and is not appropriate on the Mudcat. It may be short sighted of me but I cannot really see the difference between puppies, penises, or prayers as thread material (except that I suspect there are far more folk and blues songs about penises than puppies).


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: catspaw49
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 06:08 PM

Sorry....I wasn't suggesting writing policy and of course Max has it to be whatever he chooses. I think there is a place in the FAQ for "Starting A Thread".....or "How to" or something. I was suggesting as have others that it might be a place to offer up (as it were) a few thoughts. Nothing heavy handed or even anything like it.

My sole opinion here is that Joe's post has no place in the FAQ for any reason. Some suggestions for starting threads and having a bit of thought in the subject first does have a place.....the same as a spot for dealing with flamers and trolls. Personally, I'm tired of every Tom, Dick, and Harry, starting yet another thread on Seagull Guitars. But I don't care. We can leave it blank as far as I'm concerned.....but I'd like to keep a bit of the peace here if we can..........maybe we can't.

I am the last person here to author anything regarding censorship. I stupidly thought a compromise FAQ message might be written that would cover it.........Sorry, I was wrong.

Joe......Kill the freakin' message. It doesn't belong there.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 06:13 PM

Catspaw, what is this "we have repeatedly said"? Are you saying your opinion is the only one that counts? That's the way I read it.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: catspaw49
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 06:24 PM

No Dicho, I'm not. The topic of censorship and the like has been discussed here ad infinitum and will continue to be I'm sure. You can go back and refresh every conversation we've had on the subject. In every case there will be some dissenters, but the majority opinion....and by a wide margin....is anti-censorship in almost any form it takes. Yeah, kill spam, but if it gets posts, it gets posts and the posts to spam don't get killed.

In any case, the "WE" I mention refers to the Mudcat membership and although things may have changed, I doubt it.......take a look at the opinions on this thread over Joe's posting.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 06:29 PM

A lot of these postings are just the same people saying the same thing over and over. I doubt that Catspaw represents the majority. If so, it is sad for Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Burke
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 06:35 PM

Dicho, I'm not sure what opinion of Spaws you are saying is not a majority opinion.

As a (up to now) silent participant in this thread, I publically state that I agree that Joe's message, referred to in the recent discussion, does not belong as a permanent part of the FAQ.

Others have explained it in ways far better than I can.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Kernow John
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 06:39 PM

Dicho
Spaw says "we" he means catters plural. It is a path lots of people on mudcat have often said they don't wish to go down. It may not be something I would be unhappy with but give the guy a break there has been enough accusations on this thread already without starting fresh ones.
KJ


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 07:52 PM

I'm not particularly into things set in stone either Chris.

I suppose for me, I'd like to see something along the lines of:

"Please remember the main focus of this forum is music. Other subjects are fine but try to excerise a little restraint before creating a thread of a type that, if started by everyone here, would flood the forum, e.g. ..."

But that of course is just my view...

Jon


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 01:23 AM

I just went back and re-read Joe's post to the "Mudcat FAQ - Newcomer's Guide" and I have to say it's pretty damn good. Maybe you could tweak it here and there, and maybe Joe will, after things cool down a bit, but overall, I think he's right, and what he said needed to be said. I DO think it belongs in the FAQ.

I only wish it had been put there long before the habit of starting threads about whatever popped into someone's head became so deeply entrenched. It just goes to show, if people get away with something long enough, they will eventually come to think of it as their inalienable right.

May I remind you folks that Joe has never proposed actually enforcing his suggestions? By enforcing, I mean deleting offending threads. Yet you people are making him out to be some kind of would-be dictator!

You seem to want absolute anarchy, and clearly there is absolutely nothing stopping you from practicing it, yet you whine because Joe, the "authority figure," won't give you his official blessing for practicing it! Instead, he has the AUDACITY to make SUGGESTIONS about how you ought to behave more civilly! Am I the only one who sees the irony in this?

SDShad, your story about how you took your forum underground is fascinating. I wonder if a group of music lovers could do the same thing with Mudcat?


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Skipjack K8
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 04:36 AM

Haven't got time to wade through all this lot. Has the hair been split yet?


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Big Mick
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 09:51 AM

Skipjack K8................I would like to congratulate you..................you are the grand prize winner of this mornings very valuable and much sought after "Coffee In The Sinus Cavities" Award................................ROFLMAO.....LOL. Geeziz, would you give a guy a warning when you are going to do that, so I can swallow the coffee in my mouth before reading........ Great post!!!!

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: SharonA
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 10:50 AM

Jim Dixon sez: "You seem to want absolute anarchy, and clearly there is absolutely nothing stopping you from practicing it, yet you whine because Joe, the 'authority figure,' won't give you his official blessing for practicing it!"

Jim, in my 18-Jul-01 post here, I quoted passages that Joe wrote long ago in the FAQ concerning anarchy. Let me quote again:

"I think the general principle here at Mudcat is "civil anarchy." Max, Dick, and Susan have shown no desire to set rules for operation of the Mudcat. They are very gracious hosts, and it would be nice if we'd all follow their example. That should be the only rule we need."
"Mudcat is governed by a principle of civil anarchy, and that principle gives Mudcat much of its spontaneity, intelligence, and friendly spirit."

So, Joe has long since "given his blessing" for practicing anarchy, with whatever authority he wields at Mudcat. But as of this week, he has not only contradicted those statements by suggesting that certain subjects not be posted to the Forum, but also (and more importantly) he has indeed done something that I and others think IS audacious: he has posted to the FAQ expressing his personal opinion and has expressed the intention (and has followed through with that intention) of deleting any opposing views that appear there. In essence, he is abusing the FAQ by turning it into his own private platform.

That abuse is what I am objecting to. I also object to some of the terminology he uses in that post, which some people may consider inflammatory. And as much as I sympathize with Joe about his traffic accident, "What happened to Joe's car?" is not the sort of Frequently Asked Question that should be answered on that thread!

SharonA


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Big Mick
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 11:15 AM

Look, folks, let's clear up some things. Joe is not an authority figure. Joe does not lead us. No one I know wants him to do either. What Joe is is an incredibly dedicated volunteer who has more time to devote to this place than the rest of us. He has gained both perceptual and real status based on his devotion to this place. The real status is easy to define. He has the magic key, as do several others, and can straighten out problems, delete redundant posts, etc.. The key also gives him the ability to modify or delete posts. It is not the real status that concerns me.

Joe's perceptual status is that he is the "authority figure" here. Even though that is not true, it is still perceived that way. Because of that, when he posts something in a FAQ it is given the status of "rules". No matter the disclaimer, it is still perceived to be "the rules". But Joe indicates that it is his opinion, not a rule. Opinions are open for debate, but Joe tells us that we cannot comment on his "opinion", hence it is a rule. Not gonna fly, Joe. You can't have it both ways. And as I have indicated, you even use my name in your opinion. You interpret what you think I meant, and use that as the predicate upon which you build your rules. You got some of what I meant right, but other things weren't right.

Joe, you need to remove the post. You need to then re-write it without mention to anyone else and with just the suggestions for starting threads and content of threads. It is not proper, IMHO, for you to say to allcomers "This is my opinion, and you will accept it without comment". That is unless that is what this place has become. I don't think that it has, but it will take Max to tell me that. I accept completely your enhanced role as a volunteer with broad discretion to do things that help this place stay alive. I appreciate it and applaud you for the type of man you are. And in addition, I value you you as a friend. But when you are posting an opinion, do so in discussion threads. When it is a suggested guideline, label it as such and don't drag other names into it and make it controversial. And if it is a rule, tell Max to post and let us know it is so, or at least tell us that Max said it is so.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Wolfgang
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 11:17 AM

Sharon,

what you write about Joe's handling of the permathread is completely out of porportion.
It is stated clearly in the permathread that While most Mudcat threads are not censored or edited, I will monitor this one and maintain and edit it to serve as a guide to the Mudcat Cafe. Feel free to post questions and answers, but be aware that I'm going to edit this thread heavily.

This is by far not the first time that Joe has deleted posts in that thread. And I strongly object to your statement that Joe has expressed the intention (and has followed through with that intention) of deleting any opposing views that appear there. Joe would delete any discussion post, also those agreeing with his point of view.

You may argue that Joe's opinion on that may have no place in the permathread, but your accusation of him turning the FAQ into a private platform and deleting what he doesn't like is mean and wrong.

And as for how easy it is to construct inconsistencies in argumnetation, I'll do it with you for instance. You wrote Please, Joe, don't prohibit us from asking for good thoughts or expressing our support. If you make it a hard-and-fast rule that we need to do so through private messages only, then please say so in the FAQ with a blueclickey reference to some starting points to do so, for the benefit of GUESTs and new members who won't know better. Hasn't he done that and you're still not contented? See how easy it is.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: SDShad
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 11:20 AM

Jim Dixon writes:

SDShad, your story about how you took your forum underground is fascinating. I wonder if a group of music lovers could do the same thing with Mudcat?

Pretty much categorically, no, Jim. I wasn't telling that story for someone to think I was proposing it as a solution for the Mudcat, but only by way of explaining why I'm convinced replying to trolls accomplishes exactly nothing. Don't skip over the part where i wrote: "[b]ut consequently our membership has dwindled to next to nothing, and the place is now just a minor hangout for a very small group of old and devoted friends." Is this a fate we wish for the Mudcat? Can we continue to be a companion site to the DT if we try to hide our existence? Or are we to hide the DT to all but the unitiated as well? No, I don't want the Mudcat to go to that extreme of exclusivism of which some of the more lame trolls have accused us.

[Since, as previously mentioned, I'm protecting the anonymity of this other place, I'll just refer to it as The Place, so my pronouns don't get confused between it and the Mudcat.]

It wasn't a good solution to begin with in the original circumstance, but it was the only solution available. We did it out of desparation, and I would not want to do it again. Its negative impact has been considerable. I don't remember The Place getting a new member since 1996. I'm sure it's happened, but it's been by invitation only, and you can probably count 'em on one hand.

Secondly, and this is a large part of why it was the only solution available, many of the circumstances are radically different. The Place is, and has always been, much smaller than the Mudcat. At no point, even during its heyday in the early 1990s, did regularly-logging-in membership exceed 100. Probably less, especially if you want to pare it down to those who also actually posted regularly. These days, I'd say the regulars number fewer than 15. I'll still keep going to The Place until the day I die if it's still available, because some of those 15 are the dearest of friends, on the Net and in 3D World. I've crashed in their living rooms, been picked up at the airport for conferences by them, met them for lunch and dinner in far-flung areas of the continent, and offered them the hospitality of my own home. Some of you think the 'Cat has an intimate vibe (which it does)? Ain't got nothin' on The Place in that regard.

The Place began life as a private dial-up BBS in a midwestern city in the 1980s, and moved to the Internet as a student project in 1991. Many of my best friends there were, like me, outsiders who wandered in from an entry in a list of telnettable BBSs on the Internet--and that's another crucial difference, since the interface was and is a terminal session, not a web page. We blocked telnet access to the troll's site, but he/she/it just found another telnet account and came in from there. I don't know if web-browsing anonymizers allow people to post to the Mudcat, not having tried it, but the underlying principle still isn't the same.

Finally, the functionality and purpose of the Place were far different. It began and ended its public life on the Internet as an insider's toy where outsiders happened to be provisionally welcome (which, GUEST accusations to the contrary, the Mudcat is not). There were 13 statically-created message boards, and if you had something to say, it went on one of those 13. No threading, little archiving (except for the Poetry board), and no resources page or associated database. And rather than being a public forum for the discussion of folk and blues (and the perpetuation of the DT database), it was general in topic scope and essential parochial in focus (although its membership included citizens of other countries). It was a home-town BBS writ large. The Mudcat is something much larger and purposeful, another thing altogether, and to retreat the 'Cat into anonymity would certainly be its death--unlike the Place, I wouldn't follow the 'Cat into exile, out of protest. I'd keep the friends, but I'd drop the membership.

Because I am, philosophically at least, in agreement with John Perry Barlow's Cyberspace Declaration of Independence. I don't want access to large public Net resources to be available to only the initated and approved few. I don't want "absolute anarchy" as you have suggested some do in your post, but I do recognize that the Net was, and could only be, born out of a sort of slightly-moderated anarchy, and I'm still enough of an old-style Net anachronism that I'm still resisting the Pinks' efforts to impose meatspace Law and Order on the Net. I don't want authoritarianism on the Net in general, and even less on Mudcat.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: mousethief
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 11:24 AM

So then, Wolfgang, are you saying that it is okay for Joe to turn the FAQ into a thread on what Joe would like to see Mudcat become? Because that is what his disputed post, and the intent to delete any contradictory posts, does. Is that what you are defending?

Alex


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 11:28 AM

Well Mick, let's see if you have anymore success than I did. I do believe in some "Common Sense" ideas for starting threads which may also help out with my "Seagull" complaint, but only Max can delegate the rules regarding topics. At last check, this was still an open forum and has a wonderful content of creative anarchy.

Joe, didja' ever hear a song something about, "You got the right string baby, but the wrong yo-yo?" Opinions are fine, yours. mine, Sharon's, and hundresds of others here...."your string is fine." They posting of your opinion in a place where it can be taken for policy is not fine......."you got the wrong yo-yo."

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: mousethief
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 11:29 AM

Okay, clearly we need a part 2. This isn't going to go away soon, it would seem.

PLEASE continue discussion here (if you must continue it at all): Click.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 11:36 AM

It's been a long time since I "preached" here and ya know, I think I will this time.

There is something important I think has gotten lost here. I think we need to remember that Joe Offer (and everyone else around here) actually thinks and rethinks things from time to time.

Maybe some of us do that faster than others... but no one has a right to tell anyone else how fast to do it or in what direction. And the pressure to do so is not actually helpful, although venting may make the venter feel better for a short while.

What Joe posted in the FAQ was the best he could come up with at that moment to address something that was important to him. I would appreciate very much if everyone could please chill out a little bit and let things percolate a little bit. And I would strongly suggest that drawing Max into the fray would probably not be at the top of Max's list of important things right about now.

How about Tracing this thread onto your personal page and leting it just sit there for a couple of weeks-- while putting attention on some of the more gracious aspects of Mudcat for a time? (Music?) This debate will still be here to pick up again at any time-- have no fear of that! *G*

I speak purely for my own selfish self in this. I have a brand new fast computer and a cable modem and I can FINALLY hear all the Mudcat Radio, PalTalk, and online sound files I have lacked since November. I'd rather have a couple of you guys in that with me!

And I can help search up lyrics now too! So geeze! Wouldja gimme sumpin to DO!?!?!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Wolfgang
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 11:38 AM

Alex,

I strongly object to your use of the word 'contradictory' for Joe has not written anything remotely similar to that.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: mousethief
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 11:38 AM

PLEASE continue discussion here (if you must continue it at all): Click.

Alex


For the record, I deleted my message from the FAQ. I had only intended to leave it there temporarily. You'll note that only the first five messages of the FAQ are permanent. I delete the rest when they are no longer needed, or when they are incorporated into the upper portion of the FAQ.
-Joe Offer-

As Alex said:
PLEASE continue discussion here (if you must continue it at all): Click.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: GUEST,Mudcat Fight Fan
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 09:22 PM

Hey, whatever happened in the fued between Big Mick and CarolC. It could have been a slobberknocker.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: CarolC
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 09:34 PM

I met Mick at the FSGW Getaway last October. He gave me a BIG hug and said he was very glad I had come. I was very glad too. It felt really good to be welcomed in that way, and to be able to put an unfortunate misunderstanding behind us.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Big Mick
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 10:33 PM

It was exactly a misunderstanding, and Carol and I resolved it. And then I got a wonderful hug from her. We understand that we may not always agree, but that the disagreement is simply that and nothing more. I came out of it with a friend, I am very happy for that. Hopefully I will see her 3D at the upcoming Getaway.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Guessed
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 10:07 AM

Ah! communication - isn't it wonderful. The original thread was titled?
Communication has to send & receive adequately and acknowledge in both direction too.
I think we started on the wrong foot here. Lighthouse - don't be put off, but there are some nuggets for you above.


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