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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 5:31 pm
by Charlie
garth cartwright wrote: you apply such an intensely personal perspective to your arguments that the debate becomes couched in combative rather than aesthetic terms.

funny to read this from you, Garth as it used to be characteristic of you to do this very thing. Where did Howard Male go?

garth wrote: I liked Dusty a lot when i was a lonely 16 year old.

timely comment from my point of view as I have been looking back on what appealed to me in my teens and early twenties - was all pop music aimed at such people back then, or did I hone in especially on "Cathy's Clown", 'Let's Think about Livin" and "Runaway"?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:16 pm
by Jonathan E.
garth cartwright wrote:Charlie, I'm a puddytat! Except when Bowie is mentioned and then I see only red . . .

And The Clash too, I think!

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:44 pm
by howard male
Hi guys. I hope you are all well.

Garth wrote -

Our friend Howard is recovering from a mauling dished out by the folk gang when he expressed a certain lack of enthusiasm for Jim Moray winning Album of the Year. Hopefully when fully recovered he will return to this forum. Those folkies are one ruff tuff gang - when I see them coming I cross the road and flee!


Garth. I mentioned to you recently that the folk/Moray debate in December of last year was a contributing factor in my withdrawing from the forum. But it was not because I was given 'a mauling' as you put it. I simply became exhausted by the pointlessness of trying to put across reasoned arguments in the face of childish reductionism (Folk V World, Songlines V fRoots) and cross-forum bitchery and tribalism. Not to mention the fact that anyone who dared to suggest that things could be organised a little differently was some kind of racist!

As someone who's - age-wise - just hit the speed of seven-inch singles yourself, Garth, you should be only to aware that life is too short to get drawn into discussions with people who simply have no intention of discussing anything. But above all I was annoyed with myself for wasting so much time failing to realise this.

But all that folk/world bollocks aside, I've long felt that I get a harder time of it here than anyone else. There are other people here who have been ruder, who have advertised a worst taste in music, who have name-dropped more extravagantly - yet I always seemed to be the person who it was OK to hurl abuse at, or jump down the throat of.

I'm not saying that I didn't perhaps occasionally deserve it, but I am saying, most of the time I didn't. While the forum was occasionally fun, more often than not I found myself questioning every word of every sentence before I posted it, in an effort to try to anticipate what was going to be taken the wrong way. This of course completely stultified any spontaneity and ruining my enjoyment.

And even when I did try to think before I posted, I would still mess up.

Although we've now patched up our differences, one forum regular recently accused me of loving the sound of my own voice. As I generally respected this individual's wit and wisdom, I had to consider that he might be right. And I didn't much like the idea I was the person he described.

But then on further consideration I thought, well, doesn't everyone on a forum like this have to like the sound of their own voice, in order to even think it worth while to tap out a single sentence? Isn't everyone here just a little guilty of this particular sin? Apart from Alan Finkle, of course, who just selflessly informs us of where we can see the best live music. Even when someone just lists their favourite tracks featuring a female bass player, they need to assume that their voice - their tastes - are worth communicating.

And even since I've left I still find the odd veiled jibe. Here's another one of yours, Garth. Under a topic devoted to the best music writing on this forum, you wrote:

How about some of Judith's lovely reflections on US music and how she first heard it? Adam on music technique? Howard as forum scrapper - his best scraps with Ian, Garth, Norman etc?


Judith's writing is engrossing and emotive. Adam is unsurpassable on the magical alchemy that is music. But all I've done here is have scraps?! The words, pot, kettle, and black immediately sprang to mind when I read that, Garth. I mean, really!

I don't think I ever put a single post up on this forum in order to generate a scrap. To generate reasoned and/or passionate discussion, of course. But I'm simply not a scrapping kinda guy!

Even my usual reliable supporter, Charlie, has occasionally ploughed in, along with the rest. There was the time I used masturbation as an analogy for creative writing. Ironically our then resident puritan, Gordon Moore, was one of the few people who sent me a private message saying he thought my comments were amusing. I thought they were amusing too, and was shocked that a number of people went all Daily Mail on me.

Likewise when I made a joke about last year's Balkan Fever Festival. Certain other self-appointed humorists here are allowed to come out with all kinds of non-stop japery, but not me. For some reason suggesting that if the Balkans had a fever, maybe it should go and have a lie down and press a damp cloth to its forehead - was going to result in half-empty halls for hardworking musicians, and a close-to-suicide promoter.

So I thought - enough. I can't keep my big mouth shut. I can't be trusted to say the right thing. I piss off a sizeable proportion of people that come here, so it's time to leave.

You see, ironically, my greatest flaw is also my greatest strength: I care way to much what people think of me. I joined this forum to try to entertain (myself and others), to try to make some new friends, and to try to geneate some interesting discussions. I leave it as forum scrapper, Islamophobe, name-dropper, loudmouth, potty-mouth, and unapologetic Bowie and Bolan fan.

But to end on a more positive note. I hope it doesn't effect my face-to-face relationships with a few fellow forumites. The bottom line is that Internet forums do funny things to some of us. They make us act up, invent new voices (and names), write things to people that we wouldn't say to their faces, stamp virtual feet, and then slam virtual doors as we leave. Others, of course, are immune to all such nonsense and I envy them for being so comfortable in their own skins.

Have a fine time in 2009, all of you - and see you at a gig sometime soon (unless you see me first, of course.)

Best wishes

Howard

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:11 pm
by Charlie
howard male wrote:For some reason suggesting that if the Balkans had a fever, maybe it should go and have a lie down and press a damp cloth to its forehead - was going to result in half-empty halls for hardworking musicians, and a close-to-suicide promoter.

So pleased to see the name 'Howard Male' among the most recent posters, I'm loathe to be the cause of its sudden disappearance again. But I just wanted to clarify my expression of disappointment at the time that Howard called for a dampening of Balkan Fever.

Having over the previous years been a quick defender of Howard against other 'attackers', I now sprang to the defence of somebody who had cautiously entered the fray and immediately experienced what must have felt like a verbal slap in the face from Howard (of all people). It is true that I expected something different from Howard and if it had been somebody else saying the same thing, I might not have reacted. But I wrongly assumed that Howard would know I admired his writing and felt that he had slipped up this time.

I have been dismayed and disappointed that his reaction was to leave us altogether, as from my point of view he had been one of the voices that helped to establish this forum as a major platform of discussion.

I knew his retreat was partly because he had more important writing to do and projects to pursue. It continually amazes me that so many of us find time to post things here at all. There is always something more important to do!

But here we are, and I would welcome Howard's return without being able to guarantee his safety from surprise attacks. If the Sri Lankan cricket team can be vulnerable, despite purported protection by Pakistani police, what chance is there of fending off unseen internet assailants?

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:31 pm
by howard male
CG wrote -

But I just wanted to clarify my expression of disappointment at the time that Howard called for a dampening of Balkan Fever.


It was a joke, Charlie. This is essentially my point. Others make jokes here, I make a joke and the walls come tumbling down. Maybe it's just that I'm not very good at jokes, but I recall that at least three people mentioned to me that they found it laugh-out-loud funny. And it ended up drawing more attention to the festival than the promotor's post alone would have done.

But anyway, it's just one of many reasons why the above post is not a return but a bye bye. I'm not fearful of these attacks but they have gradually worn me down so that I can no longer imagine getting much pleasure from contributing to the forum.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:00 pm
by Adam Blake
Hey Howard, nice to see you back albeit briefly. I've done a lot of soul searching myself recently over my involvement with something that seems to upset me so often and I came to the conclusion I was either going to quit completely or just have fun and ignore all provocation. The latter course seems more enjoyable and so far so good. You can't reason with unreasonableness and it seems a shame to deny yourself an opportunity to talk about music that you like and that interests you in an informal atmosphere. Address the forum at its best and ignore the forum at its worst. You know it makes sense!
Best
Adam

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:41 pm
by garth cartwright
Howard, good to see you back and, mate, I was only joking about your best scraps. C'mon, you know I wasn't serious! Speaking of our scraps the first was over Ry's Chavez Ravine which you suggested was album of the year of 2004 or summat. Do u still rate it highly? I still can't stand it.

I'm with Adam on the forum - i just want to have fun and share info and see everyone get on. I've met some fantastic people through SOTW and learnt much and purchased much amazing music. It's a good resource and I think we all benefit from it.

On a final note: I proudly confess to having bought the latest AC/DC and loving at least half of it while remaining unmoved by the latest Oumou Sangare which is far too nice and polished to move a vulgarian like me. Laugh at me all you want, i'm laughing too!

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:34 pm
by Jonathan E.
Gosh, I'd love to join in but it's still before breakfast over here so I'm liable to say something silly — besides I have a tight schedule today because I have to LEAVE THE ISLAND, which is terrifying enough on its own, but more especially so when it is to go and have my right testicle examined. So, just laughing along WITH all of you as best I can.

But I will say this, leaving aside the humour just for a moment. It strikes me that professional writing and music criticism is largely (although not entirely) about expressing opinions on and criticizing the work of others. Sometimes kindly, sometimes otherwise, sometimes (quite frequently actually) regurgitating the press release. Sometimes those artists, Jim Moran say, are treated quite roughly. Sometimes the points made are bloody rubbish. You can hardly expect us mere hoi-polloi to stay on the sidelines and remain mute. It's the modern, interactive, new-media world. Frankly, if you think you have the right to dish it out, you ought to be damn sure you can take it — because we won't be quiet, doff our caps, tug our forelocks, and say, "Yes, sir, Mr. High and Mighty Journalist, professional consort of the muse, may I please have some more of your crap. It's perfectly obvious that your opinions are worth so much more than mine." That attitude is soooo C20. Completely lost in the slipstream, although obviously there are plenty of professional journalists who resent its loss.

Well, I said something, silly or not — now it's time for breakfast and testicle examination. I hope you all keep all of yours — those of you that have them anyway. Cricket balls don't count by the way.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:02 pm
by Nigel w
Sympathies, Howard. As you know, I have withdrawn from debating on here for similar reasons. As have several others of our mutual acquaintance.

Too much gratuitous personal abuse flies around on here that has nothing to do with arguing about music, politics or whatever else the topic happens to be. A few people seem to prefer to play the man rather than the ball - and as one of the loathed 'music industry professionals' who gets free CDs and concert tickets, you did seem to get more than your fair share of foul tackles.

Even though it only comes from one or two individuals, it poisons the atmosphere, makes it no fun and deters many good souls from posting , I fear.

What about all this as the theme for your next novel, though? Centre it around a website forum and its spats and arguments, which can give you all the big issues you could want. Then for the human interest, explore the strange existence away from the forum of all the odd people who post on it. Contrast the on-line boldness and bluster of the keyboard warriors with their disappointed and unsatisfying lives when they're not hiding behind fictitious names etc.

The first novel for the MySpace generation... or has that already been done?

Good luck. See you at a gig soon, I hope.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:25 pm
by Des
Nigel w wrote: Then for the human interest, explore the strange existence away from the forum of all the odd people who post on it. Contrast the on-line boldness and bluster of the keyboard warriors with their disappointed and unsatisfying lives when they're not hiding behind fictitious names etc.



Phew, I thought you were talking about me for a moment there, Nigel!

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:57 am
by Jonathan E.
Good news! The doctor says I get to keep my right testicle, at least for now. All I have to do is take an anti-inflammatory. Maybe wear a jock strap. I am no longer disappointed or frustrated in my life. In fact, I feel great — what a load off my mind! I can go back to enjoying my odd and strange life. And I am so excited — after years of working at it, cajoling people, prodding and pushing, the conservation easement on 178 acres of woodland behind our house has gone through. This means it will never be built on, but will always be there for native plants, birds and animals; the watershed will be protected; carbon will be sequestered; etc. etc. One day, about 500 years from now, it may even become authentic old growth again! Yes, life is sweet. I just can't quite imagine who it is that Nigel is referring to.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:00 am
by Adam Blake
Well done, Jon, for staying double-barrelled and rescuing the natural habitat (I'll get up there from N.Cal one day)

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:45 am
by Con Murphy
Without any obvious hint of irony Nigel w wrote:Too much gratuitous personal abuse flies around on here that has nothing to do with arguing about music, politics or whatever else the topic happens to be. A few people seem to prefer to play the man rather than the ball


....What about all this as the theme for your next novel, though? Centre it around a website forum and its spats and arguments, which can give you all the big issues you could want. Then for the human interest, explore the strange existence away from the forum of all the odd people who post on it. Contrast the on-line boldness and bluster of the keyboard warriors with their disappointed and unsatisfying lives when they're not hiding behind fictitious names etc.


Way to scythe through the lot of us with studs showing in your latest final post, Nigel!

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:54 am
by Charlie
Nigel w wrote: Contrast the on-line boldness and bluster of the keyboard warriors with their disappointed and unsatisfying lives when they're not hiding behind fictitious names etc. .

Bo Diddley vs Muddy Waters?
Captain Beefhart vs Howlin' Wolf?

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 11:00 am
by Des
Bristol Rovers v Bristol City?