Partisan Happy Fun Time

Textkit is a learning community- introduce yourself here. Use the Open Board to introduce yourself, chat about off-topic issues and get to know each other.

What to do about Partisan Happy Fun Time

You're imagining it.
8
31%
It must be in a classical language.
8
31%
Send it to a new forum subspace.
10
38%
 
Total votes: 26

annis
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Partisan Happy Fun Time

Post by annis » Wed Jun 14, 2006 9:58 pm

It may be that this is a figment of my imagination, but it seems to me that in the last few months the tone of political and religious debates in various parts of Forum have been getting increasingly snippy (from all sides). Maybe others don't think so, but I know one or two others who do.

There are 100s of hugely popular political web sites that allow free participation. I'm perfectly capable of reading those when I'm in the mood (a few times a week, tops), so I've never been thrilled with some of the lengthy political slug-fests we have here. Perhaps most people don't care. Given the tone here during the last presidential election cycle, and the current increase, I'm wondering if I shouldn't just start avoiding all non-Greek boards early.

Some time ago the political bickering got so bad on the classics-l list that they instituted a rule: all discussion of contemporary politics must happen in a classical language. I briefly mentioned this to Jeff, but he suggested maybe just creating a subforum for political debate.

The poll isn't binding, but I was curious to know what other people thought.
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Post by William » Wed Jun 14, 2006 10:45 pm

I find it annoying.

I don't come to Textkit to listen to religious sermons or read someone's bitter political rant. I tend to think less of the posters who make a habit of airing their religious and/or political views.

Maybe a forum just for politics would be a way to contain it, but if people like this sort of thing who am I to complain?

WB

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Post by Paul » Wed Jun 14, 2006 11:01 pm

Will, please tell me you're kidding. Doesn't it read "Open Board?"

Are you required to read all posts? Howard Stern used to tell people to change the channel if they found him offensive.

Your response to speech you don't like is to mute it? I just don't get it.

Cordially,

Paul

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Post by annis » Wed Jun 14, 2006 11:46 pm

Paul wrote:Are you required to read all posts? Howard Stern used to tell people to change the channel if they found him offensive.
I do regularly skip entire threads, and there are currently two semi-regular posters whose posts I just skip.

I'll freely admit here that my motivation is basically lazy — I can handle the current filtering just fine, but I'm not sure how that's going to work if the PeterD School of Political Provocation becomes standard. I have a good chunk of time for my Greeky pursuits, but it's still a precious resource.
Your response to speech you don't like is to mute it? I just don't get it.
This is just wearying, Paul. I'm not wanting to mute a bloody thing. If I go to a meeting of orchid nuts, I expect to chat with orchid people about orchids and related fields, and some non-orchid related chatter as friendliness. I wouldn't go to hear a talk on engineering. I have this fantasy that Textkit could be similar.

As I said in my first post, maybe most everyone doesn't see it that way, and I can just devote my time to the Greek threads. But in private conversation at least one other textkitten mention to me that it seemed the tone on Textkit had taken a nasty turn in recent months. It seemed so to me, too.
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Post by Paul » Wed Jun 14, 2006 11:55 pm

annis wrote:This is just wearying, Paul. I'm not wanting to mute a bloody thing. If I go to a meeting of orchid nuts, I expect to chat with orchid people about orchids and related fields, and some friendly non-orchid related chatter as friendliness. I wouldn't go to hear a talk on engineering. I have this fantasy that Textkit could be similar.
Please forgive me if I am wearying you. But Texkit is similar. There are 4 boards devoted to Greek; 4 to Latin; and then we have the Agora and Composition boards. Within these boards people are generally on task.

So, why can't the "open" board be open? I can live with its snippiness, and even its occasional nastiness.

Cordially,

Paul

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Post by annis » Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:10 am

Paul wrote:I can live with its snippiness, and even its occasional nastiness.
Well, personally, I'd rather not. Political argument these days seems a uniquely efficient way to generate ill-will, and it has been my experience on other forums that this ill-will rarely stays put.

At this point a captatio benevolentiae is required, and I should say that of course Textkit has a superior population, and there's no cause for concern. :) Actually, this is more than a rhetorical turn because for the most part potentially explosive discussions tend to keep to a reasonable temperature here. But I'm wondering if other people have noticed a recent raise in temp, or if I'm just going through the change.
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Post by Carola » Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:26 am

My feelings run both ways here - sometimes I find the arguments irritating yet I am uneasy about banning comment. Most of the Textkitters are (a) well educated & (b) reasonably intelligent, otherwise they wouldn't be indulging in such mind-snapping study subjects! It would be almost impossible to stop such people from having opinions about world affairs or just about anything else.
Perhaps we need to publish a set of rules: no comments that wouldn't be allowed in a debating team (ie no bad language, personal insults etc); no comments that might cause legal problems for Textkit. Also there are some subjects where both sides will never agree - various religious opinions as an example.
Then there are other subjects that will always cause comment: natural disasters, big sporting events etc. It would be a pity to ban comment on these items. Whilst I can very much understand William's views, if he belongs to an Orchid club he must be familiar with the odd irritating, opinionated fool who always disrupts meetings! Or do we only have these in Australian gardening clubs?
But I think we do need some behaviour rules.
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Post by Bert » Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:26 am

Introducing an other board is not going to solve a (bloody :) ) thing.
I don't think the problem is religious or political discussions but nastiness in those discussions.
You would just move the nastiness elsewhere.
I admit that occasionally I've had the urge to snap at some ludicrous ideas. Sometimes μὲν I do the wise thing and not reply, other times δὲ I give into the urge.
Quite a while back (nastiness happened then as well) when a rather nasty discussion was taking place, I PMed the appropriate moderator suggesting that (s)he step in.
I wonder if moderators should be less shy to slap offenders on the wrist when heated discussions turn into hot-headed arguments.
Maybe this is a bit distasteful at first, but we'd all get used to it.

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Post by annis » Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:58 am

Bert wrote:I wonder if moderators should be less shy to slap offenders on the wrist when heated discussions turn into hot-headed arguments.
I thought it was the job of moderators to delete spam.
Maybe this is a bit distasteful at first, but we'd all get used to it.
Oh, man. Then we'd have to write rules. Until now, Texkit has run along without anything but the very broadest of guidelines. A greater rate of wrist-slapping risks a greater rate of rules-questioning and lengthy meta-threads (I hope this one doesn't get to long). Or the moderators could be declared Infallible Interpreters of Textkit Tradition, and if a majority agree to a wrist-slapping, it happens. I don't know. I sure didn't start this thread with that in mind.

As much as possible I'd like people to listen to their better angels on their own, without the threat of a whack.
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Post by Bert » Thu Jun 15, 2006 1:40 am

annis wrote:
Bert wrote:I wonder if moderators should be less shy to slap offenders on the wrist when heated discussions turn into hot-headed arguments.
I thought it was the job of moderators to delete spam.
Surely you are more than a spam police?
annis wrote:
Bert wrote:
Maybe this is a bit distasteful at first, but we'd all get used to it.
Oh, man. Then we'd have to write rules. Until now, Texkit has run along without anything but the very broadest of guidelines. A greater rate of wrist-slapping risks a greater rate of rules-questioning and lengthy meta-threads (I hope this one doesn't get to long). Or the moderators could be declared Infallible Interpreters of Textkit Tradition, and if a majority agree to a wrist-slapping, it happens. I don't know. I sure didn't start this thread with that in mind.

As much as possible I'd like people to listen to their better angels on their own, without the threat of a whack.
I know what you mean and it shouldn't be nesessary, but moving discussions with a high likelyhood of nastiness to a seperate board just relegates the bad manners to that board.
I don't think that the rule writing would have to be that extensive. General rules like; Don't attack the person, no bad language, be cordial.
As to being infallible- The same degree of infallibility of a sports referee.
The moderator makes a decision, I abide by it whether I agree or not.
All you need is Jeff's okay.
Quite frankly, I was quite surprised at first that moderators did not assert their Jeff given authority very often.

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Post by Kasper » Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:21 am

Internet forums are like Thai food. It's always a combination of sour, sweet, bitter and well, a bit of chilly can be quite nice.

I must admit that when I see another post along the lines of 'Bush stuttered in a meeting 6 months ago, clearly he is not fit to be president' I am amazed at the speed with which I find the "Back" button on my server.

Some heated debate, whether religious or political, can be quite amusing to the onlookers. Provided of course that a certain amount of decency remains.

I agree with Paul that the open board should be open. Where would we draw the line? Is 3G's "Hella" post acceptable or too far removed from the purposes of textkit (no offence intended G!). If you don't want to read a threat, don't read it.

I do agree with Bert that moderators should not be too hesitant in removing posts they consider too offensive.
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“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”

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Post by PeterD » Thu Jun 15, 2006 4:05 am

annis wrote:... but I'm not sure how that's going to work if the PeterD School of Political Provocation becomes standard. I have a good chunk of time for my Greeky pursuits, but it's still a precious resource.
Take it easy, Einstein!
Pot #1 calling the kettle black:
Topic: London, started by Annis July 7 2005
annis wrote:Oy

It's always awful to hear about carnage...
Yes, it is, Annis. Strange, though, that you have never started a thread about the continuous carnage that your country has been raining on Iraq and Afghanistan. PeterD.....I will not put up with racial slurs!--Kopio don't count?

Bert wrote:I don't think the problem is religious or political discussions but nastiness in those discussions.
Yeah, you would know, Bert.
Pot #2 calling the kettle black:
Topic: New Orleans, started by Lucus Eques, September 2, 2005
Bert wrote:Well, Peter, I don't want to go through the posts to find examples so I'll use your post here.
You listed 2 quotes in such a way that it appears as if the 2nd one is a reply to the first.
You were not lying but you arranged the truth in a misleading way.
That reminds me of a similar sort of thing I saw only a few a days ago.
"It says in the Bible, Judas went and hanged himself. You go and do likewise."
I am trying to recall if I ever in any way ever suggested to anyone to hang him/herself. Nope, I don't think so. Then again, I don't read the bible as often as you do.

Yes, I found your posting silly, infantile, and obnoxious, BUT I never complained, took it in stride, forgot about it, NOR did I go crying to any moderator. Sure, you clarified it later. So what! It was already said.
William wrote:I find it annoying.

I don't come to textkit to listen to religious sermons...
Are you sure?
Pot #3 calling the kettle black:
William's signature wrote:God loves you. Deal with it.
Because you sure fooled me!

When I come to textkit, I always come for the Greek resources first. However, for some time now, I haven't participated (that is, post) in the Learning Greek nor in the Homeric forums because I have postponed my Greek studies. Now and then, though, I will visit the Open forum, and I will reply to a post when I feel passionate about a certain subject, especially in matters of human rights. I do apologize if I show no interest about someone's bonsai collection or some other asinine topic.
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis

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Post by GlottalGreekGeek » Thu Jun 15, 2006 5:18 am

annis wrote:I thought it was the job of moderators to delete spam.
You Textkit moderators are quite spoiled. I was a moderator at a forum once which, though it had enough intelligent people to be worthwhile, it also attracted plenty of unintelligent and immature people. I had to put up with a lot of obnoxious behavior, indeed, I was made a moderator in the first place because the obnoxious behavior was reaching such levels it was overwhelming the forum's several founders. It was a forum with much more traffic, so there generally had to be at least one moderator checking the situation at least every half hour during high traffic times to make sure that the non-obnoxious members could have their disscussions in peace. Of course, the least plesant situation I ever got in was when some of the mature, upright, and intelligent forum members got in to a debate more vicious than I ever saw here at textkit. I had to spend two hours calming the involved parties down on my own before another moderator came online to support me.

I think the temperature is far from alarming levels (and if I have had any part in any temperature rise, I apologize and would like to have some instances pointed out so I can ameliorate my behavior). Personally, I am content with ignoring or abandoning political discussions which do not (or no longer) interest me. And since the trust and openess at Textkit is one of the things which makes Textkit special, I am against extensive restriction.

I also appreciate Textkit because it offers a greater variety of political views than any other forum I've been a member at. I generally find discussing politics less worthwhile when everybody will agree.

On the other hand, I think it is unfair to construe Annis' sincere concern for innocent people being harmed as being some form of racism. I might suggest to Peter that attacking other people is not a very effective way to change their political views.

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Post by Kopio » Thu Jun 15, 2006 6:17 am

Personally I find it sort of entertaining. I must say that the outright infantile attacks on our president get a little old, but other than that....I like the idea of expressing your opinions. On this count I think I am with Paul. On the other hand (or as Bert put it...δε) I think that sometimes things get far too personal.

PeterD....I really like you, and I find your posts entertaining because you are completely 180 degrees opposite of me. I have never edited one of your posts until tonight, because I respect you even though I disagree with you. However, I will not put up with outright nastiness and racial slurs. My father used to say that phrase, I detested it then, as I do now. I have Middle Eastern friends (who are not of my faith, mind you), and I feel they should be judged on their own merits. I understand that you probably feel targeted (and perhaps William was a little too pointed at you even though I read it as largely tongue and cheek, which is your style) in this thread, which is why you probably used that phrase, but please refrain from the future use of such racial slurs.

Lastly.....One of the reasons that I have hung around here for so long, and become so involved in the community here, is that in many senses we are like minds. I would like to think that we tend to be a little more erudite and sophisticated than the average forum. Some of you have become friends even though I have never even met you in real life...it is still a strange thing for me to get a hold of, but ours is a community of ideas a loves. Loves of language, and the traffic of ideas most often centered around them. It would be my hope that we can all treat each other with a bit more maturity and respect and continue on.

GGG, I think we are lucky and spoiled here. I can count on one hand how many times I have used my Mod Abilities in the entire time I have had them.

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Post by Brendan » Thu Jun 15, 2006 8:40 am

Although I'm relatively new here, I have to admit that I've been dismayed at the number of political and religious discussions on these boards. On other boards, I have seen such discussions start as they have here, with a fair bit of good humor, and quickly splinter into invective, as it seems this very post has done.

I would happily vote for another subforum--in fact, I just did--in the hope of keeping the "open" board a place to "to introduce yourself, chat about off-topic issues and get to know each other." Some might argue that these poltical and religious discussions fall under the umbrella of "chats"; it seems to me, though, that many of these threads are begun and then conducted in spirit of provocation that is in no way designed to stimulate a friendly chat.

This does not equate to muting unwanted speech. It just means another subforum. Simply because the first community board is called "open" does not mean that all posts are appropriate here. I wouldn't post a Pharr question on this board. I also think that creating such a subboard would obviate the need for moderators to write more rules, enforce them, etc., which I think would be an unwarranted strain on their time. People who like these sort of discussions could post on that board, and people who don't wouldn't even have to go over there.

An alternative might be simply to expand the scope of the "Academy" board and urge people to post their missives, diatribes, and snarky political stuff over there. Perhaps the board I'm currently on could be renamed "Community" or something like that, and it would be at the poster's discretion to decide if a new topic would foster a sense of community, and therefore be appropriate here, or is aimed at devisiveness and so better discussed in the Academy.

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Post by Sanskrit » Thu Jun 15, 2006 8:52 am

I am not interested in American politics and I try to skip reading the posts about democrats and president Bush. I don't support the idea to open a new board for political debate, I would rather see a board on Historical Linguistics.

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Post by Bert » Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:26 am

PeterD wrote:
Pot #1
Pot #2
Pot #3
In fairness, I did say that I have given in to the urge to give a nasty reply.
William wrote ...debates in various parts of Forum have been getting increasingly snippy (from all sides). (emphasis mine)
It does not take much charity to understand his post as wanting to find a solution rather than find blame.
(I am glad that your Pot #1 Pot #2 Pot #3 examples did not include much nastiness.)

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Post by William » Thu Jun 15, 2006 11:06 am

PeterD wrote:
William's signature wrote:God loves ya. Deal with it.
Because you sure fooled me!
Perhaps I overestimated the amount of people who listen to the radio show where this is from. It is intended to be humorous, not a statement of faith. Just curious, Peter, have you ever listened to Marc Maron? That's where I got it from.

Well, anyway, in your honor, I have changed my signature.

Best to all,
WB

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Post by Jeff Tirey » Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:22 pm

I would like to submit my views and concerns on this matter.

Before I do, first let me state what is already known by many and that is that I believe the Textkit forum belongs to the group and not me. Yes, I created this site, but the forum has life from all the visitors whoe come here everyday. I myself, sadly, find it harder and harder to participate due to my workload.

Yes, it's 'Open Board'. It's the place you go to discuss anything non Greek or Latin. So the board does a great job of removing distractions from the Greek and Latin boards.

However, the Open Board is also the welcome board and for many it's the first stop for new members. It is here that people get a feel for who we are and what the tone of the overall forum is. I want the tone to be one of a learning community that is open to beginners. This can be shown through a wide variety of Open Board topics that are civil and intelligent.

One of the greatest charms of this community is its politeness and kindness to each other. The community is very encouraging and beginner friendly.

I would just like to see some balance here and not have political exchanges become the dominate tone of the open board. There's so much more that we could talk about! Yes, the mods have it easy here. This I think comes from the fact that we're all pretty well behaved.

So I ask everyone to keep a respectful and intelligent tone with all posts and I'm hopeful that the Open Board will show a variety of topics and discussions.
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Post by edonnelly » Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:45 pm

Is it really that out of control? I look at the current page of topics on the Open Board forum and I see (other than this topic) only two related to politics. I see one about the Grinch in latin, one about the new version of Textkit (looking good, by the way), a couple of introductions, a couple threads about different books or courses, a thread about sailing, one about the national spelling bee, one about a chineese restaurant called SPQR, etc. I don't see any political threads on the second page (except maybe the "outfoxed" topic) of topics. It just seems pretty balanced to me.

[Note -- I started this before Jeff's reply, and this is no way a response to his post, and I agree with his recommendation to keep a "respectful and intelligent tone"]
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Post by annis » Thu Jun 15, 2006 1:06 pm

PeterD wrote:Take it easy, Einstein!
I certainly don't exclude myself from adding to heat.
Strange, though, that you have never started a thread about the continuous carnage that your country has been raining on Iraq and Afghanistan.
Nor am I going to. This is irrelevant to the topic, and you make my point for me. Strange as it might seem, I have a wide life outside of Textkit, and that is where my political commitments take place. My own political views are probably quite like yours — though I often couch them in different language — but I seen no good reason to air them here. (Though I would add that I've had some very good conversations with textkittens, person to person, on potentially inflamable topics. In my experience at least, one-on-one is a more effective way to change opinions. YMMV.) This is a very small community by all measures, so there's no obvious PR benefit to risk provoking a nasty free-for-all here when there are plenty of very active real-life and online groups dedicated to my political concerns.

I mentioned the London mess because we have members from there.
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Partisan Happy Fun Time

Post by tjnor » Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:11 pm

I would rather see a board on Historical Linguistics-Sanskrit
I agree with Sanskrit that resources should be devoted to the ostensible purpose of this site.

I do have a suggestion. I think it would further the educative function of the site if the proposed sub-forum would include rhetorical analysis (based on classical models) of the various posters' arguments. Then free speech could flow and those with other interests could hone their understanding of the tools of argumentation. The rhetoric available could prove valuable to others as specimens for categorization and analysis.

A good site for reference is at http://rhetoric.byu.edu/. A good first term to look up there might be "vituperation."


Any thoughts?

Tim

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Post by Rhuiden » Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:19 pm

A persons religious and political beliefs are a HUGE part of who they are. In many cases, it completely defines who they are (at least the religious beliefs). I don't think it is possible to separate those out. As such, it is inevitable that those discussions will occur.

I do agree that everyone should be well behaved and I always try but occassionaly I will fail. I don't think there should be any limitations or changes.

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Post by antianira » Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:30 pm

Kasper wrote:Internet forums are like Thai food.

....mmmmmm...Thai food, I especially like the spicey peanut sauce.

Sorry, got distracted, what was the subject?

I actually hadn't noticed the nasty tone, because I never visit the political forums. I do like having an area where we can discuss other topics (and meet the greek people, who don't frequent the latin forums). It would be hard to determine appropriate vs. unacceptable non-language discussions. Different people like to discuss different things. Snip out the nasty comments and make sure the topics are well labeled so us boring people can avoid them.

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Post by PeterD » Fri Jun 16, 2006 1:24 am

GlottalGreekGeek wrote:On the other hand, I think it is unfair to construe Annis' sincere concern for innocent people being harmed as being some form of racism. I might suggest to Peter that attacking other people is not a very effective way to change their political views.
I did not, GGG. I most certainly agreed with Annis. I was just flabbergasted that there was nary a whisper regarding the ON GOING atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan where the death toll is in the hundreds of thousands. Surely the dead can't be all terrorists.

I am direct, GGG. I guess some interpret that as aggressive. I 'll give you an example: I consider you and IreneY to be the best thing to have happened to textkit in the last year.

There! How do you like them apples!

Take care.

~ PeterD, provocateur

p.s. Now, to deal with Kopio :twisted:

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Post by IreneY » Fri Jun 16, 2006 1:49 am

er... I guess a big "thank you" is in order (although I am sure I don't deserve such.... praise? :twisted: )


P.S. Re. the topic of the thread, I can't say I like strong language in what is -at least supposed to be- a civilised conversation but unless it is insulting (seen by the 'recipient' of the comments as such) I must admit to not minding all that much (too many internet and TV debates).

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Post by PeterD » Fri Jun 16, 2006 2:45 am

PeterD.....I will not put up with racial slurs!--Kopio

Yikes, Kopio, you almost blinded me with that size 24 bold! I have 20/20 vision. There was no need for it.

Actually, Kopio, neither do I put up with racial slurs. However, I felt it was warranted here to make a point---how else was Annis able to ignore such devasting death and destruction in Iraq and Afghanistan, on behalf of his own government, yet find the time to comment about the London tragedy that was, in mathermatical terms, 1/20,000 (at the very least) the destruction in scale??? He claims that he mentioned the "London mess because we have members from there." Do we not have any textkit members of Arab descent or heritage? I find that very hard to believe.

Ironically, I came across the aforementioned racial slur while vacationing in Florida, just a few months prior to the American invasion of Iraq. Before then, I had never heard of it. (Mind you, I live in Canada.) So, there was I one day, my cousin and one of his close friends (let's call him J, as in 'jerk'), all sitting at a beach cafe enjoying the female view. J, out of the blue, wanted to know how I felt about the impending war with Iraq. I replied that war is a scam, thousands of young Americans will die for nothing, and many, many, many more Iraqis will die. J replied, unemotionally, that sand ******* don't count. And that, Kopio, was when all hell broke loose...

We are 180 degrees opposite, you say? O.K., Kopio, let's put it to the test: I enjoy the soft caress of a woman. Do you enjoy the soft caress of a man? :)

Take care, Kopio.

~PeterD, provocateur

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Post by PeterD » Fri Jun 16, 2006 2:55 am

Bert wrote:In fairness, I did say that I have given in to the urge to give a nasty reply.
I found the hanging remark to be hateful, not nasty. I took it in stride and did not reply in kind.
Bert wrote:It does not take much charity to understand his post as wanting to find a solution rather than find blame.
There was no need to single me out. Like I said, when was the last time I started a political or religious thread? Even I don't remember.
Bert wrote:(I am glad that your Pot #1 Pot #2 Pot #3 examples did not include much nastiness.)
Honestly, Bert, I simply ran out of pots!

Take care.

~PeterD, provocateur

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Post by PeterD » Fri Jun 16, 2006 3:02 am

William wrote:Just curious, Peter, have you ever listened to Marc Maron? That's where I got it from.
No. I get my comedy from Fox News.
William wrote:Well, anyway, in your honor, I have changed my signature.
:D

Take care.

~PeterD, provocateur

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Post by PeterD » Fri Jun 16, 2006 3:06 am

annis wrote:
PeterD wrote:Take it easy, Einstein!
I certainly don't exclude myself from adding to heat.
Strange, though, that you have never started a thread about the continuous carnage that your country has been raining on Iraq and Afghanistan.
Nor am I going to. This is irrelevant to the topic, and you make my point for me

It is not irrelevant, and I have not made your point.

~PeterD, provocateur

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Post by Kopio » Fri Jun 16, 2006 3:46 am

PeterD wrote:Yikes, Kopio, you almost blinded me with that size 24 bold! I have 20/20 vision. There was no need for it.
Well....speaking of knee jerk reactions.....
PeterD wrote:Actually, Kopio, neither do I put up with racial slurs.
I didn't think you were the kind to drop those sort of words, and I understand your use and justification of the term, my point was and still is, I won't stand for it.
PeterD wrote:Ironically, I came across the aforementioned racial slur while vacationing in Florida, just a few months prior to the American invasion of Iraq. Before then, I had never heard of it. (Mind you, I live in Canada.) So, there was I one day, my cousin and one of his close friends (let's call him J, as in 'jerk'), all sitting at a beach cafe enjoying the female view. J, out of the blue, wanted to know how I felt about the impending war with Iraq. I replied that war is a scam, thousands of young Americans will die for nothing, and many, many, many more Iraqis will die. J replied, unemotionally, that sand ******* don't count. And that, Kopio, was when all hell broke loose...
My father was quite a bigot when I was a child. I remember being about 8 years old, and we were at the hospital (I don't remember why), and there was an african american kid there about my age. He and I were playing in the play area. When we were going home my father asked me if I enjoyed playing with that little (insert racial slur here) boy. It wasn't really even malicious. My father was raised in Arkansas and Kansas (not an excuse, just a fact). I remember him saying several other things to me of that nature when I was growing up. Around 10 or 11 years old I actually talked to him about it and told him I didn't like it, and I liked black people. He said he would stop and for the most part he did. I must say he was rather dismayed when the first album I bought (I was twelve) was a 45 of Lionel Ritchie ("You Are" on the A side, "Hello" on the B side)....mom and dad were puzzled! I white kid in a little cow town buying a Lionel Ritchie album! Anyhow....I deplore racist comments. I especially dislike them when they are uttered around me by fellow "white males" who think it's funny.
PeterD wrote:We are 180 degrees opposite, you say? O.K., Kopio, let's put it to the test: I enjoy the soft caress of a woman. Do you enjoy the soft caress of a man? :)
I laughed so hard when I read this my boyfriend came down the hall to see what was so funny :lol: :lol: :lol: !!! Seriously though....you slay me! This is why I am still so fond of your posts, you have such a sharp and pointed wit, I enjoy it immensely.
PeterD wrote:Take care, Kopio.
You as well, my friend. I have to add though, that I am very saddened that you have changed your sig. I still chuckled everytime I saw it :cry: :cry: :cry:

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Post by Kopio » Fri Jun 16, 2006 4:18 am

A funny aside. I went to the break room today, and guess what they were talking about.....you guessed it....Politics!!! It was entirely one sided and it was bagging hard on the "other guys" point of view. I have decided for the most part that when it comes to politics, especially at work (and for that matter from the pulpit) I am going to be like Switzerland...completely neutral!

I have lost friends when they found out I held the opposite political view. It still dumbfounds me!

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Post by edonnelly » Fri Jun 16, 2006 12:59 pm

Kopio wrote:It was entirely one sided and it was bagging hard on the "other guys" point of view.
This is why I personally enjoy the debates that do pop up here. There are well-informed and articulate people on both sides of most issues. In the "real world" the discussions tend to be more one-sided (and generally less well reasoned). And the poliltically-oriented websites tend to fill up with idiots just rehashing talking points they picked up on the Sunday morning TV shows.
The lists:
G'Oogle and the Internet Pharrchive - 1100 or so free Latin and Greek books.
DownLOEBables - Free books from the Loeb Classical Library

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Post by Rhuiden » Fri Jun 16, 2006 3:21 pm

edonnelly wrote:
Kopio wrote:It was entirely one sided and it was bagging hard on the "other guys" point of view.
This is why I personally enjoy the debates that do pop up here. There are well-informed and articulate people on both sides of most issues. In the "real world" the discussions tend to be more one-sided (and generally less well reasoned). And the poliltically-oriented websites tend to fill up with idiots just rehashing talking points they picked up on the Sunday morning TV shows.
I agree with this. I also enjoy the debates here because most have thought thru their position before the present it here. I wish it was that way everywhere.

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phpbb

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Post by GlottalGreekGeek » Fri Jun 16, 2006 7:05 pm

I can appreciate your passionate concern for the horrors happening in Iraq and Afganistan, but around where I live these are discussed a lot. In my opinion, it's the more boring, yet important, political issues which are not discussed enough. For example, agricultural policy. The decades-old national farm subsidy structure in the USA a) somehow pays much more money to large wealthy farms than small poor farms b) encourages mass usage of chemicals which ruin the enviorment, instead of organic pest control methods which, without subsidy, would sometimes be cheaper than excessive chemicals c) it takes tax money *AND* raises the prices of agricultural products d) it ruins the economies of many third-world countries (I think this probably, at least indirectly, affects Afganistan, though not nearly as heavily as other third-world countries) which could produce many agricultural products at a comparative advantage. There have been some recent reforms, and I am certainly not an expert on the subject, but in my humble opinion this is as important, if not more important, than Iraq, and it is far less disscussed.

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Re: Partisan Happy Fun Time

Post by Democritus » Sun Jun 18, 2006 5:50 pm

annis wrote:It may be that this is a figment of my imagination, but it seems to me that in the last few months the tone of political and religious debates in various parts of Forum have been getting increasingly snippy (from all sides). Maybe others don't think so, but I know one or two others who do.
You are not imagining things, annis, I see it too. I accept it as a symptom of the times. Seems like the tone of debate everywhere is moving down several notches. There is bickering all over the place -- on TV, on the radio, in newspapers etc. It's not really any surprise that some of the bile shows up here in this forum from time to time. (O tempora, o mores, yadda yadda.)

I'm not online enough to know for sure, but I wonder if perhaps this forum is unusual because it is populated by a small group of people from quite different points on the political spectrum, and despite some of the nasty confrontations, they keep coming back for more. The bickering is unpleasant, but I believe the tenacity is a good sign.

I agree that the "open board" might be improved by a split into two parts, one which is truly open, and another which is "open" but where heated debates are discouraged. Something like a "dinner table" area, where religion and politics are not allowed, just to keep the peace. Fisticuffs about the nature of God and our leaders can be moved to the "public square" (or "the pub," heh).

After reading all the debates on this forum, one thing is clear -- some people have a great deal of extra time and extra mental energy available.

Well, then, if people have hungry minds, let's give them something more to digest.

Why not have a reading group, for texts in translation, or secondary texts? I think we might be better off if, instead of re-enacting the same debates that we hear on TV and the radio, we would instead turn our attention to some classics-related reading material.

I've always wanted to join a reading group, but I've never found a group reading any books that interest me. Just now I finished reading two books about the emperor Julian (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312989407 and http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0805776508). These books paint two rather different pictures of the man. If I have time I may reread Gore Vidal's book http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/037572706X, now that the previous books are fresh in my mind.

A debate on Julian's imperial and religious policies might be more enlightening, and more appropriate to the interests of this little community, than yet another debate about George Bush.

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Post by Deudeditus » Sun Jun 18, 2006 11:49 pm

That is very interesting G3. I live in an agricultural area, and there are a lot of problems with the ag system in general. Alot of people speak of Iraq as being the center of American concern, or that it should be. but rome fell from within, did it not? Our internal problems are indeed concerning.

N. Korea is more of a threat in my opinion than Iraq. And border security (NOT the deportation of all of our illegal residents, though) would take priority.

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Re: Partisan Happy Fun Time

Post by PeterD » Mon Jun 19, 2006 1:58 am

Democritus wrote: A debate on Julian's imperial and religious policies might be more enlightening, and more appropriate to the interests of this little community, than yet another debate about George Bush.
Ironically enough, Julian's reign was mired in religious debate. Pity he died so young, though (thank the Persians for that). If Julian lived another 20 years or so , the Greeks would have remained pagans---No Greek Christians, no Christianity as we know it today.

~PeterD, provocateur gentil

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Post by PeterD » Mon Jun 19, 2006 2:02 am

Changed my mind.
Last edited by PeterD on Mon Jun 19, 2006 3:41 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Partisan Happy Fun Time

Post by annis » Mon Jun 19, 2006 2:08 am

PeterD wrote:If Julian lived another 20 years or so , the Greeks would have remained pagans---No Greek Christians, no Christianity as we know it today.
Is that likely? As I recall the neo-platonic paganism he was offering never had many takers. Maybe Christianity would have been different from what we have today, but was it really possible to stop the Christianizing of the Greeks? Disenfranchisement hadn't stopped them before.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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