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In Response to "new contributers please"

PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:05 pm
by jackdaw version
Charlie wrote: . . . recent bad language posts from Jackdaw don't help at all.

from viewtopic.php?f=1&t=13540

I also received this email from Charlie:
Charlie wrote:please think twice before posting - you seem to be going through a
Tourette's phase.

It's not funny and demeans the whole site

Maybe you need to take a break for a while and come back when you feel
better

And I am astonished — I really do not know what he is referring to. Here are are my two email replies to him:
Dear Charlie,

Is this for real?

"Tourette's phase" as in obscenities? Or what?

Just too many posts? Off-topic? Suddenly subjects are banned that I've raised?

I am honestly mystified. I don't get it.

Have there been complaints?

I think a little documentation or more detail might be in order.

It's your site and you make the rules such as they are but this hurts. I am quite utterly taken by surprise because I don't understand the grounds for what you're saying. I thought that I, and for that matter all other Forum members, have been behaving quite well. Discussion has been proceeding in a cordial manner.

Please, please clarify. At this moment, I am almost in a state of shock. I have had no intention of causing ruckus. In fact, quite the opposite as I have been explicit about several times.

I await your word. Thanks in advance for your reply.

and the second sent about an hour later because I am so utterly staggered:
Dear Charlie,

I've just skimmed through my recent posts. Everything I said in my previous reply is true in that I don't understand what the problem may be.

I am hurt because Sound of the World and your Forum are very important to me. I am literally shaking with shock and dismay at your email. Especially at this time I have attempted not to cause upset. I have followed through on my suggestion for "woo-woo" medicine for you and played one of your compilation CDs every day to help keep positive energy flowing — and have enjoyed them tremendously. As a DJ myself, I have come to appreciate just how good they are. Very, very good. I've listened to lots of compilations over the past forty-some years, I've also been a compilation fan, and your Otro Mundo one is in the very top tier, among the gods of the Pantheon.

You suggest I "take a break for a while and come back when you feel better". Well, I would briefly like to tell you how my life has been the past few months and let you know that the Sound of the World Forum has been one of the very few things in my life that has made me feel better.

My wife's father died suddenly and unexpectedly in early September. She immediately went away to California to be with her mother who is frail. At that time, my postings to the Forum dipped dramatically because I was so upset. I mentioned it to one or two Forum members, but basically just stayed away and felt my grief. I won't go into all the details of what's been happening over the last five months, but suffice it to say that we've had three conjugal visits while she's ploughed through a mountain of legal paperwork as well as taking her mother to doctor after doctor, taking care of their house, all the other things that need to get done and there are many. We are a very close couple and this has been a tremendous energy drain for both of us.

I've had to stay up in Washington with our two very old dogs, to whom I am very attached and who are both near the end of their lives. One can barely walk, has nerve damage to his rear end and difficulty controlling his bowel movements. This is very difficult for me. It's been a grey northwestern winter, fortunately relatively mild, but still they're hard to get through at the best of times and this has often felt like the worst. Much of the time I have been too depressed to post — besides a fair portion of the time the Forum was under attack by the outsider.

However, as always, things cannot stay the same and I've slowly come out of my shell and began to post more, especially when the Forum relaunched and there was little traffic. I got the impression that was a good thing because it encouraged some feeling of life and community. The Forum, as always, is where I find most of my intelligent conversation since it's full of people and conversation that are more like my own background in style than what I find around here in my real life. Many days I see no one else; sometimes I see no one else for maybe as long as four days. The Forum has been my lifeline, pathetic as that sounds, and I have valued it highly and attempted to not only do it no harm, but to provide it with some energy. It is not in my interests to "demean" it and you totally caught me by surprise with your email. I just can't see what's different about my recent posts than anyone else's or that my recent posts are out of line based on historical standards.

As it happens, my wife is due to return next week and I will have to turn my attention to some other parts of my life. My postings will drop off anyway. But, I have to say, I am hurt greatly by this email I just received. I still can barely believe it.

So, I guess that's it from me for awhile. I haven't been so hurt in a long time.

Re: In Response to "new contributers please"

PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:41 pm
by jackdaw version
To be explicit (har-har!), what I am asking for is that the posts I made that caused such offence be pointed out specifically, so I may either excuse them, excise them, or exclude myself from the Forum in the future on the grounds of general incompatibility. Right now I feel as though I'm facing some sort of Star Chamber in a weird rewrite of Nineteen Eighty-Four — or perhaps I'm playing the role of Piggy in Lord of the Flies.

I'm quite used to getting into trouble because of my big mouth, but this is the first time I have not had the faintest inkling of what I said that was so disastrous.

I am hurt because Charlie is a person I admire and respect; I'd much rather have his approval than cause him to feel as though I've abused his hospitality.

Re: In Response to "new contributers please"

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:27 am
by Ian A.
I would not have thought you deserved blackballing. You may need to make large allowances for the landlord being unwell, on top of having recently experienced his premises being ransacked by louts and then hastily painted eye-watering blue by the search and rescue crew.

I'd have thought that any language regularly printed in the Guardian was acceptable, and they regularly quote the f and c words (and I don't mean "folk" and "cricket"). We are, after all, mostly grownups . . .

Anyway, you're also more than still welcome over on the fRoots board where we've kept your chair warm, as long as you don't keep spelling it "contributer" which my sub-Ed has finally dinned into me is foreign and therefore fucking wrong, OK?

Re: In Response to "new contributers please"

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:42 am
by Des
Jonathan

I always find your posts very interesting provided they are not too long. Sometimes the long ones are quite interesting as well.

Yours with faint but heartfelt praise,

Des

Re: In Response to "new contributers please"

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:33 am
by jackdaw version
I would like to thank you all for your varied messages and comments, expressed and unexpressed, cheers and regrets — "a few, I'm sure" to quote . . . was it Frank? . . . Or Sid? . . . I'm almost sure it wasn't Bryan Ferry.

So, look, I fully appreciate that Charlie is under stress, and the Forum is under stress — and I have absolutely no interest in this being a dumb duel or there being any further pain felt by anyone, so I unequivocally and irrevocably swear to accept any apologies proffered by Charlie, aloud or in silence, within in this Forum or the greater universe, whenever they come to be in the grand expanse of the space-time continuum — which, after all, supposedly goes backwards and forwards with no past, present or future.

I wish I could think of something funnier to say.

Oh, yes . . . and in return I will wash my mouth out with soap if I actually uttered anything that I would otherwise be flogged for. In other words, I apologize for any offences I may have caused.

OK? Let's drop it now. Let's just get on with "normal" forum.

PS Tonight I am playing, for the second night in a row and the third time this week Otro Mundo as my woo-woo medicine for Charlie. Please let's all put our energies positive.

Re: In Response to "new contributers please"

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:14 pm
by Ian A.
I. wrote:as long as you don't keep spelling it "contributer" which my sub-Ed has finally dinned into me is foreign and therefore fucking wrong, OK?

Oh fer chrissake, I've got it arse backwards again, haven't I? Good thing my sub ed never reads message boards (wise woman) or I'd be in big trouble. Does anybody else have mental blocks on certain words?

Re: In Response to "new contributers please"

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:56 pm
by Des
Ian A. wrote:
I. wrote:Does anybody else have mental blocks on certain words?

fRoots.

Re: In Response to "new contributers please"

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:29 pm
by jackdaw version
I received a follow-up email from Charlie:
Charlie wrote:Jonathan

Your recent posts have contained expletives and insults - how can you be
surprised? Wankers, cum, cock - I wish I did not have to write them out
myself to explain what I'm talking about

I have deleted them so they are no longer there to put off innocent visitors

To which, my reply:
So there is no evidence left in existence and I am now unable to explain the context or defend myself effectively. For one small point, Charlie, I am almost certain that I never used those past two words in your series of three. I'm not saying it's impossible that I did, but I think it unlikely. If I did, I think the context may have explained my decision to use those words.

I am a writer, maybe not a particularly elegant one at all times, but I do in fact think about what I write and do not post gratuitously or thoughtlessly. I don't expect every word to receive universal approval, but I don't just chuck 'em in because I can't think of another.

I don't like dictatorial, authoritarian places where the rules are murky and can change suddenly and without warning at the whim of the proprietor. Too much of the world is like that, and now it seems so is Sound of the World.

"Sayonara," for now.

Sorry, everyone, I just can't operate under these sort of conditions. Reminds me too much of boarding school, although at least there the rules were clearly spelt out and there was an institutional attempt that they not be applied capriciously. I appreciate all the kind and generous messages of support I received from people I value highly. What the future holds, I don't know.

Re: In Response to "new contributers please"

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:41 pm
by Nigel w
Sorry, everyone, I just can't operate under these sort of conditions. Reminds me too much of boarding school


I wish you would just take it on the chin, Jonathan.

It's Charlie's website. He's a genial and easy-going host but if on this rare occasion he feels your language has strayed outside the bounds of civilised discourse, then that's an end to it.

You either agree to moderate what you say - or you leave. Sorry you seem to have opted for the latter course. I really think that's a shame.

Re: In Response to "new contributers please"

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:53 pm
by jackdaw version
Nigel, I only ask how you would feel to be singled out under these circumstances and, I am convinced, be accused so unjustly and falsely and have the evidence, if there was any, destroyed?

It's a totalitarian technique.

Yes, it is Charlie's little site legally, but it's you and me and dozens of other people that have made it worth anything. I think his behaviour towards me in this instance was reprehensible and I don't have to hang around for more of it.

Re: In Response to "new contributers please"

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:57 pm
by Papa M
jackdaw version wrote: Reminds me too much of boarding school, although at least there the rules were clearly spelt out and there was an institutional attempt that they not be applied capriciously.


I am guessing that it was at boarding school where you originally learnt all about "wankers, cum and cock".

I am surprised and disappointed at the outcome of this saga.

I am expecting to be excommunicated myself having suggested that I'd like a threesome with the Unthanks.

And I will probably receive a public flogging for suggesting that Clarkson is a "Berkeley Hunt".

Re: In Response to "new contributers please"

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:00 pm
by Gordon Neill
Jonathan, I do hope you stay. I always find your posts entertaining and interesting. But why the whiff of martyrdom and the declaration that you 'just can't work under these conditions'? I know you're annoyed, but you can't reasonably suggest that SOTW is a dictatorial or authoritarian place. I think of the Forum as Charlie's place, a bit like sitting in his kitchen and having a chat, with all sorts of people of different ages and backgrounds wandering through. If you were sitting in his kitchen and he asked you to tone down the language, surely you automatically would. And you wouldn't suggest that he was being capricious or authoritarian. So why is it any different on the Forum? It's no big deal. You've used some words that Charlie has objected to. You're not the first, I recall that Howard got shown the yellow card a while back for a metaphor deemed to be a little too graphic. It's one of the risks of writing creatively. I suspect that it's just a matter of time before my keyboard goes a little too far and I get a ruler across my knuckles. But I'd just laugh at taking myself too seriously and accept it. I think you should too.

Re: In Response to "new contributers please"

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:01 pm
by Nigel w
jackdaw version wrote: It's a totalitarian technique... it is Charlie's little site legally, but it's you and me and dozens of other people that have made it worth anything. I think his behaviour towards me in this instance was reprehensible.


Well I'm sorry but I think that's a reprehensible thing to say.

Charlie totalitarian? I really can't think of a less appropriate word to apply to the man.

I would simply repeat my earlier plea to you : take it on the chin, accept that such language is not acceptable on this website and move on. If moving on for you means moving out, that's a shame. But so be it.

Re: In Response to "new contributers please"

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:16 pm
by Chris P
I imagine that if Jon Jackdaw did use those words (I don't remember it), then it was in mocking some dodgy & offensive porn spam that was posted here. I wonder if Charlie missed that due to Zee deleting it, leaving Jon's remarks out of context ?

Re: In Response to "new contributers please"

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:17 pm
by AndyM
I'm not sure I see this place as "Charlie's kitchen" (no wonder it's off-putting to newcomers if it really is that cliquey). I see him as the architect, undoubtedly, but to take that analogy further than I should, I wouldn't expect Christopher Wren to slap me if I swore in St Paul's Cathedral.

(Doubtless, swearing in church is another big no-no for some of you. No need to tell me.)