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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:51 pm
by NormanD
Charlie wrote:
Nurse! The screens! wrote:[ My views are as sincerely held as yours

Given that you don't even admit who you are, Nurse, it is difficult to consider the concept that there is anything remotely sincere in your views.

In any case please do not turn this into a personal tirade.

The forum has recently been blissfully free of this kind of confusion of the expression of views and the use of personal insults.

Words hurt more than you may realise.

The reply was:
Nurse! The screens! wrote:That's rubbish Charlie - everyone knows who I am on this forum. I'm Des Bowring, music lover, birdwatcher, lifelong socialist and all-round good egg.

I have every right to tell someone to fuck off when they continually question my sincerity or make personal insults whenever I dare raise my head above the political parapet. For some weird reason this person seems to have such a high opinion of himself that he assumed I was taking a personal swipe at him when I expressed concern at anti-semitism in the left! Paranoia or what!

I have every right to voice my opinions on this forum without having to put up with personal jibes from the official spokesman for world socialism.

If you have been, thanks for listening.

If I have misunderstood someone, they could point this out. I could explain myself further, or withdraw and apologise, or edit / delete the post. I have done so before.

If I invite someone to debate their position (particularly in the light of their earlier, contradictory postings*), I do not want to be told to fuck off.

I do not expect Des Bowring or anyone else to agree with my politics, which I try to confine on this Forum to those topics that have a political theme or impact. I welcome discussion or debate and have no intention of steamrollering other views or trying to convert. I just want you to know where I stand.

I expect someone to act on the Forum as they do in their everyday lives. To use language like this in a job would lead to disciplinary action, for gross misconduct. To act like this this in a personal relationship is seen as a sign of "abusive behaviour". To act like this on, say, the fRoots Forum would result in being quickly kicked off.

I have said to Des once already
please do not use insulting words at me, it's crass and unoriginal.
I repeat this, as nicely as I can.

I also add, when someone resorts to vulgar abuse, it's a clear sign that they have lost the argument.

* ... ght=israel

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:06 pm
by Des
Have a lie-down Norman.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:26 pm
by Charlie
Nurse! The screens! wrote:Have a lie-down Norman.

Alongside the hundreds of thousands of people who listen to World on 3, are many millions who listen to the World Service, many of whom do not have English as their first language.

Only a very few dare enter this forum, for reasons I'm not entirely clear about. Partly, the number of topics is daunting, and it is not always obvious how to open a new topic or reply to an existing one.

A few do meet the challenge, and I do not want to discourage them with bad language uttered by existing members.

In any case, swearing at people, in person or in a forum, simply angers the addressee but does not persuade them that the utterer is of course absolutely right, as he presumably intends.

"Have a lie down" is infuriating, but it's not swearing, so I suppose there is some progress being made.

Contrition is surely too much to expect, and politeness obviously out of the question.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:27 pm
by NormanD
Well, this is an unsatisfactory outcome. The sole comment from Des Bowring (above) is as bad as the original that sparked this whole thing off. I cannot abide a sneer, or jeer, as a response. It hardly qualifies as intellectual debate.

A Forum colleague has pointed out to me the terms and conditions for signing up here:
[i]“You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, sexually-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned (and your service provider being informed). … You agree that the webmaster, administrator and moderators of this forum have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time should they see fit.â€

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:27 am
by Dayna
Oh why does this have to keep happening? Why can't people just be considerate of other's feelings?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:47 pm
by Jonathan E.
Norman, old friend, this might be a good time to think about shoes and clouds — if I correctly remember the point of shoes and clouds.

I understand your frustration and annoyance at rudeness, but in clearing off you mostly hurt yourself (perhaps/perhaps not), and you certainly deprive the rest of us of your wisdom whether we always agree with you on every little point or not. Beyond that, you inevitably somewhat cede the field to viewpoints that frequently need well challenging. I know some of us can be bloody annoying, intentionally or not, but then so is much of life — and, while I respect your right to choose where to spend your time, you can't walk out on everything that bothers you, tempting as the thought may be. Don't let the bastards (or the multiple pseudonyms of someone who acts mostly as a court jester or village idiot — which says something about his own feelings of powerlessness, something that many of us feel) get you down!

All of which is to say, I hope you'll reconsider and grace us with your presence again. See you soon, I hope.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:32 pm
by Hugh Weldon
Seconded Jonathan, Norman I'd rather have you around than the man of many names.

"A needless scrap with the village idiot". Priceless, but true. You shouldn't disappear on his account

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:22 am
by Adam Blake
Hugh Weldon wrote:Seconded Jonathan, Norman I'd rather have you around than the man of many names.

"A needless scrap with the village idiot". Priceless, but true. You shouldn't disappear on his account

Thirded Jonathan, seconded Hugh.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 4:43 am
by Tom McPhillips
Just when you think it's safe to get back in the kitchen - the kitchen explodes...

weird how this continues to happen...

what's so difficult about peace, love and understanding...

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:22 am
by judith
Norman, I too am hoping you reconsider or at the very least, slip up when you're making one of those archive scans and accidentally make a post on the forum.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:58 am
by Charlie
I'm confused as to what to do.

At the most extreme, I could 'ban' the offender from contributing to the forum, or remove every post he has ever made, which would, among other things, deny us his welcome and perceptive report on Chango Spasiuk's recent concert.

Simply asking him to be considerate doesn't seem to have any effect.

Are there other actions that I am unable to see?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:36 pm
by Ronald
Till how far should you let freedom of speech into a forum? People can get upset about things others might think nothing of, but explicit rudeness should not really be tolerated, I always wonder why people resort to that kind of thing, probably because they have run out of arguments.

On my own forum a Congolese guy living in the US once said that if ever a member of the KU KLux Klan came on the forum and called every black person a monkey we should not remove it, I had to laugh when I read it, to this Congolese guy freedom of speech was more important.

I personally would not ban a person for swearing or being rude. The only thing you can do it ask him to use his/her common sense because a forum is a place where people are supposed to discuss the thing they love in friendship and not outdo one and other with god knows what.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:50 pm
by CantSleepClownsWillGetMe
Yes I too hope that Norman will reconsider and come back to the forum. He's a really nice guy whose contributions I welcome.

Charlie, perhaps you could ask Des to refrain from using swear words when retaliating against perceived rudeness? Surely he knows by now that responding in this way invariably means the person to whom he has made the remark - however annoying that person's original comment may have seemed to Des - will always end up looking like the injured party in any situation.

I know that the use of profanity is specifically mentioned in the sign-up rules, but if it were strictly adhered to then I suspect forum membership would be reduced by about 50%!

Anyway, we don't want a repeat of the situation where forumistas felt they had to stay up till the wee small hours so they could quickly log in under a second username and vote Des out twice! (yes, I actually saw this happen)


PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:27 pm
by Ted
If you look down the Forum Decorum section about half the posts seem to either directly concern Des or some spat Des has been involved in. He gets a level of attention here that is perhaps lacking in his everyday life. Banning him would feed his sense of victimhood - and you know he'd be back in five minutes under a different user name.

The most effective response might actually require some solidarity between the other users of this forum. While Des remains civil engage with him. When he starts abusing people ignore him. Simple. It just needs enough people to agree to it.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:11 am
by Jonathan E.
Ted's right. There's a big chunk of "Been there, done that" going on here. Imposing "Coventry" is an interesting idea, but . . . . One thing one of our wiser members said to me last year was that there's a certain playground quality to the Forum, which can be a problem if you let it get to you. I'm not sure that a formal declaration of "Coventry" wouldn't cater to that quality. However, as an informal operating principle, it strikes me as possibly worthwhile. Just requires a bit of self-control and refusal to take the bait.

Overall, it strikes me that Des is a very frustrated and creative person with a fairly large need for attention, and I agree with Ted that he is unlikely to get it in his "real" life. I can sympathize — but I've learnt (almost) that rudeness and gratuitous insults are not the way to get quality attention. You catch more flies with honey than shit. Some people think so anyway. Some people have a philosophy or theory that you break through the barriers of bourgeois thinking with direct and challenging roughness. Other people just get their rocks off by stirring up shit — which might yet be Des' motivation in which case we're fucked. Sorry about the profanity.

Any other cheap psychology on what makes Des tick? Perhaps not. Perhaps we should just ignore the whole damn thing.