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Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc

The Shambles 06 Apr 99 - 11:47 AM
Bert 06 Apr 99 - 01:08 PM
AlistairUK 06 Apr 99 - 01:32 PM
Willie-O 06 Apr 99 - 02:22 PM
Vixen 06 Apr 99 - 02:44 PM
Bert 06 Apr 99 - 03:42 PM
Vixen 06 Apr 99 - 03:51 PM
Joe Offer 06 Apr 99 - 06:20 PM
Bill D 06 Apr 99 - 06:46 PM
The Shambles 06 Apr 99 - 07:21 PM
Roger in Baltimore 06 Apr 99 - 07:25 PM
Bill D 06 Apr 99 - 07:49 PM
Bill D 06 Apr 99 - 07:54 PM
The Shambles 06 Apr 99 - 07:55 PM
Roger in Baltimore 06 Apr 99 - 08:29 PM
Joe Offer 06 Apr 99 - 09:28 PM
Art Thieme 06 Apr 99 - 09:45 PM
katlaughing 06 Apr 99 - 10:24 PM
Banjer 07 Apr 99 - 12:35 AM
catspaw49 07 Apr 99 - 01:06 AM
LEJ 07 Apr 99 - 01:25 AM
Banjer 07 Apr 99 - 01:35 AM
Night Owl 07 Apr 99 - 01:46 AM
LEJ 07 Apr 99 - 02:00 AM
LEJ 07 Apr 99 - 02:03 AM
Banjer 07 Apr 99 - 02:07 AM
Night Owl 07 Apr 99 - 02:07 AM
LEJ 07 Apr 99 - 02:15 AM
LEJ 07 Apr 99 - 02:16 AM
catspaw49 07 Apr 99 - 02:18 AM
Rick Fielding 07 Apr 99 - 02:30 AM
Banjer 07 Apr 99 - 02:31 AM
LEJ 07 Apr 99 - 02:34 AM
Banjer 07 Apr 99 - 02:35 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 07 Apr 99 - 02:38 AM
Banjer 07 Apr 99 - 02:43 AM
Joe Offer 07 Apr 99 - 03:53 AM
alison 07 Apr 99 - 05:32 AM
AlistairUK 07 Apr 99 - 08:20 AM
Ferrara 07 Apr 99 - 08:25 AM
The Shambles 07 Apr 99 - 10:13 AM
Joe Offer 07 Apr 99 - 01:16 PM
Rick Fielding 07 Apr 99 - 01:51 PM
Vixen 07 Apr 99 - 02:14 PM
Joe Offer 07 Apr 99 - 03:28 PM
Banjer 07 Apr 99 - 06:22 PM
Barbara 07 Apr 99 - 06:42 PM
katlaughing 07 Apr 99 - 07:12 PM
Big Mick 07 Apr 99 - 10:21 PM
The Shambles 08 Apr 99 - 06:37 AM
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Subject: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 11:47 AM

There are three things that prompted this thread.

The first was Max's April Fool thread. I have often thought of how Max must feel and I think he summed it up with the bit about being the host of the party. I would just like to say a big thank you to him for hosting the party, and inviting me to one that I feel very happy about attending. Up to finding The Mudcat, I had always felt a bit like Groucho Marx, I never wanted to join any club that would have me as a member. Clubs tend to be exclusive, this place on the other hand is an inclusive community.

I hope Max, that you can find a bit more time to join the party in future. One way to encourage this, I would suggest, would be to start a lot of Delta Blues related threads.

The second was some of the comments on that thread made by others but Joe Offer in particular. I will single out Joe and embarrass him immensely, as being largely responsible for the 'Voice Of The Mudcat'. By that I mean that if it is Max we have to thank for providing the framework and pushing forward the technical magic, and Dick and Susan for the DT, it is largely Joe we have to thank for the tone in which things are conducted in the forum. He alluded to this in the above thread by making the point that because of the limitations and other reasons that make the net a potentially hostile place, it is a good idea here to 'err on the side of civility' (my words not his). This is one of the main reasons why this place is special. All of those mentioned are responsible for creating this piece of sanity on the Net, all the things that the Newsgroups should have been, a place for adults all across the world to freely air their views, without being verbally shot down for being 'off topic' or talking about something that was on the 'FAQs' and all the other juvenile things that are found there.

This brings me to the third. It was noticeable to me, at least, that there was a subtle change of tone, over the last month or so. It was not a coincidence, that it coincided with Joe's absence from The Mudcat. Which was partly why I started the 'Come Back Joe, All Is Forgiven' thread. I would have probably left it there, for like music sessions, if you do not like what is happening there, the only recourse really open to you is to leave. You have no right to tell other people what or how to play, and if enough people leave, then effectively that is the end of the session.

I thought that I would mention it however after, quite out of the blue I received a Mudcat personal message from someone who had been a contributor to the forum, saying goodbye and that they were going to leave the Mudcat as they did not like the way things were going, over the same period I mentioned earlier. They said that they would probably come back after a while and see if the tone had changed. This was without any prompting from me, as I said it was out of the blue. The reasons given were that they thought there were people there, answering posts, who thought they were very clever (again, words to that effect). I have to be careful here, of course, 'one swallow doesn't make a summer', but I think we should take notice of this. There is of course no accounting for taste, but if this place is to be inclusive and welcoming to all, as I for one think it has been and should be, we do have to recognise that we will have to work at it to achieve this.

I am not going to 'lay down the law' as that is not my place, or anyone else's, but I am going to steal a speech from JFK's speech-writers now. Think Not, What Your Mudcat Can Do For You, But What You Can Do For Your Mudcat. Yes I know that was corny but it is what I mean and what I think Joe's approach has been, up to now and I think we should help him.

In effect this is a public place and there are things, like swearing that I don't like hearing there and that I will not do in a public place either. Some people would not, rightly or wrongly, want their children exposed to, what they would consider to be 'foul' language here and if as Max mentioned, he sees this as an educational site, we would surely not want to do anything to discourage children/students from being here. These are not my views on this subject, but I do respect those who do hold these views and I use it as example of some of the areas where we could tread lightly. There are many others that we do tread lightly, but we still seem able to tread.

The answer here I would suggest is balance. There is a fine balance here between music, humour and the serious stuff and if we follow Joe's, common sense approach, I think in time we could get the whole world here, or at least provide a model to show the world how these things can be done.

PHEW! Max how much do I owe you for the suggestions, so far? *smiles*

Love to you all from Iceland to New Zealand and all points in between.


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Bert
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 01:08 PM

....they thought there were people there, answering posts, who thought they were very clever....

Now don't go spoiling all the fun! I just love to pontificate on any subject, whether I know anything about it or not, and Mudcat gives me a place to do that.

So I will switch to my best pontificating mode.

There are postings now and then that get very emotional and state someone's views agressively. Now that's OK if we agree with those views, but there is a tendency to get annoyed if we don't agree.

I think most of us are mature enough to deal with this and still be friends. I know I've disagreed with many points of view that I've read in postings, but I still know that the people who made those postings are my friends. I know they still will continue being friends even though I may have posted something that is contrary to their opinions.

Due to the medium which we are using, writing tends to be somewhat terse and always come across less friendly than intended. It's something that we all have to make allowances for. Always assume that a message is intended to be friendly, it won't hurt if your wrong, will it.

There will always be one or two people who can't seem to deal with us and all our imperfections and if they leave we will miss them. I still miss Elsie.

So ask your friend to stay, we really do mean to be friendly. But we do have strong opinions about almost everything and we like to hear your opinions as well as to express our own.

You're probaly right about the language issue now that more younger people are joining us. I'll try to keep it reasonable. I dunno tho' most yougsters nowadays swear more than I do :-)

Bert. (who does go on a bit)


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: AlistairUK
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 01:32 PM

I think this going on a bit has to do with age, when you are younger you go on a bit about subjects not realising that you may be offending someone. As you get older you tend to go through a phase of not going on and then you start to close in on middle age and strt going on a bit again this time (maybe) not caring that you may be offending someone. ( I have known people who do that)

Anyway bert, you can go on as long as you like for me, having too little to say is worse than having too much to say.


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Willie-O
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 02:22 PM

So, can we still make fun of Ovations? I suppose any dedicated tiple-lovers are no longer here to annoy so we can carry on with that too, they won't be back.

To the comment that "due to the nature of the medium..." I have to respectfully disagree. I've heard this a zillion times because its become an Internet cliche, sorry Bert. The medium is the written English language. We all read it & write it, that's the minimum requirement for being here. Language can be exactly as friendly or unfriendly as you care to make it, and I believe that most of these messages communicate not only content but mood (including irony, although some folks are always immune to it) _very_ effectively. (If in doubt, check for the presence of Paw and/or Cletus in the message.) These little flash fires happen sometimes, e.g. in the discussion of the RUC, someone's description of an absent third party as an "enemy of folk music", a recent exchange concerning minimum wage, and of course in dealing with recurrent requests for Mariah Carey lyrics. Most of them lead to interesting discussions. Its important not to attack the person making the comment, its easy enough to phrase an argument on the content, ennit?

Fortunately practically everyone who's a recurring poster is willing to talk things out when theses little contretemps arise--this is obviously a quality-people outpost. If some folks post once, get shot down and leave in a huff--that's unfortunate, we should try to be especially welcoming. But I figure your essential Mudcatter will quickly realize the value of the place, I know I glommed onto it immediately.

I reserve unequivocally, though, my right to publicly wish bad things for Augusto Pinochet. That #$%^&*! He better not come around here. Thats when "its time to be not nice".

Bill


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Vixen
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 02:44 PM

D' Cats--

I hope I'm not one of the gratuitously clever folks, but even if I am, I guess I've got to the point where I will go on a bit and hope that anyone I offend either cares enough to work it out with me or at least doesn't condemn the rest of you because of what they think I've said.

However. I do have a problem, and I think this is the place to air it. I was really upset with Max's April Fool's joke. Not offended, but I was really, sincerely concerned. I was prepared to consult attorneys and write to elected officials. I told almost all of my musical friends, some of whom use the DT regularly. They were all concerned. The whole problem was complicated by the fact that I do not have internet access at home, so when I left at 4 on Thursday, as far as I could tell, the 'cat wouldn't be around on Monday, except as maybe some kind of listserv created from all our email addresses.

Now, on Tuesday, I'm still feeling a little angry at having been "played with" so casually. I do have a sense of humor, and I was amused by a number of absurd goings on last Thursday, but for some reason, Max's prank affected me the way I imagine the original radio broadcast of "War of the Worlds" affected the general public.

I guess what it boils down to is this: I care about this "place" and its people. I didn't realize how much until it was threatened. Nevertheless, I think there should be some kind of line we agree not to cross--sort of like not yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. If someone anonymous, or some of our other pranksters had pulled Max's stunt, I'd be laughing still. But Max is one of the Mudcat junto, and I'm just not amused.

Just my $0.02. I've returned the soapbox, and the talking stick, to whomever wants them.

V


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Bert
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 03:42 PM

Bill Cameron, Yes you are right, but what happens is that we get lazy and try to type as little as possible. Well I do anyway. This terseness comes across and in my case is aggravated because, as an engineer, I find writing rather more difficult than those trained in more human fields of endeavor.

So I'll try to do better. I really don't mean to scare people away.

Vixen, Ouch! I can see how that hurt you. Please forgive Max though, he only meant it as a joke. I have found that people in different areas have different rules about April Fool's. Where I was raised, if a situation was challenged, then the prankster had to confess immediately, which Max didn't. I assume he comes from a family where it was 'the thing' to carry on the joke as long as possible. So feel free to chew him out. I told him that there would be a lynching party out for him.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Vixen
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 03:51 PM

D' Cats--

I have to confess I posted my last message here without reading any of the postings on the "closing of the doors" thread since sometime early yesterday morning. It seems that a lot has been said, and I've just been repeating it... I apologize for wasting bandwidth, and I appreciate that so many 'cats felt as I did....

This brings me to another rather selfish concern...I had not read all those other postings because once the thread gets over 50 messages or so, it takes an unwieldy number of minutes to get all the messages loaded and then get to the end of the thread. Is there any way to fix that? Or do I need to upgrade my PC???

Thanks--

V


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 06:20 PM

I had thought it was the 'Cat that was slow, Vixen. then I tried the computer at the library in Rockville, Maryland. Usually, library computers (especially Macs) are a lot slower than my Pentium 133/28.8 modem, but this library computer was smokin' fast - seems like the 'Cat can really work well with the right equipment.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Bill D
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 06:46 PM

*sigh*..it's the 28.8, I think, Joe...plus the busy-ness of the Mudcat at the time...plus the router system..plus your local IP...plus the speed of your Pentium...plus whether you hold your mouth right when you hit enter...plus whether you have burnt an offering today...

hope that helps...;>)


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 07:21 PM

In other words, Bill, it's magic.

I can go with that. *smiles*


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 07:25 PM

Hello everybody!

Boy, this April Fools thing just goes on and on. I think I understand what Shambles was trying to get at (poor English, but clearly understood by the masses). I even suppose I was part of "mood". I could guess who wrote to Shambles about their concerns. One of the "things" that came out of the "mood" has been the use of NOI. I don't know if that is 'Net shorthand, but it has become 'Cat shorthand. The intent is to allow members to play and to be clearer about when we are joking.

I suppose old Catspaw is in for it on this thread. He is certainly one wild and crazy guy and sometimes for me he is over the top. But the only thing that beats success is a try and for him to be as humorous as he is so spontaneously, some of it is bound to sink like lead with a dull thudding sound. I wouldn't want to rope him in.

I truly appreciate Joe and all he does, and I think you are right about his being a role model of Catiquette. However, I'm not ready to give him the responsibility or the power to keep us in line (and I suspect he doesn't want it). Joe, since he really is human and not a program (I shook his hand), can get quite frustrated and "short" with others at times. We all fall short.

I believe Shambles is dead on target with the "Ask not" phrase. I try to do a little "housekeeping" from time to time. I learned those tricks from Joe. On the whole I try to be welcoming to most newcomers (this is where I fall short the most). I spent some time once e-mailing two members who I felt were losing it on the threads, trying to bring back some civility that seemed to be lost. I have sent my money to the Mudcat. I have gone out of my way to search for songs I did not particularly care about, but which I felt I might locate. I've learned enough HTML to post active links for people and I use them frequently. I suggest we all do this to the best of our time and ability.

Vixen, crashing on 50 threads probably means an upgrade would help. When it seems possible, I will try to move long threads onto shorter sequels when they reach 100. I would suspect it would be impractical to do so at 50, because so many get to 50.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Bill D
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 07:49 PM

I'm not sure where to post this, but this is the shortest thread that really deals with the April fool explosion...

I followed that thread briefly...then lost track of it for a couple days...until curiosity prompted me to look and see what drollery was being bandied about..and I was shocked!!

Personally, I never DREAMED that many would take it seriously..1).it was, after all..APRIL 1...and,2) if it were true, I can't imagine that it would be posted as a thread..Max could easily put a BIG banner across everything in blinking red letters...3)things like that almost NEVER happen suddenly...you get warnings and discussions first..

but since it did get to some of us, I think it makes a certain kind of point..we are all very different people...and not just superfically..We process information in very different ways. I looked at the thread, said to my self, "silly joke"...and ignored it...some took it to heart and got very upset. .....and then I read this small story in the Washington Post, and it helped me deal with what I have seen here among my friends in the last few days.Please read it, but do NOT read too much into it...just note that science is discovering some very interesting thing about us all every day...

We are all here because of a shared love for music and camaraderie...but we simply do NOT approach it the same way..look at the many disputes and mis-understandings in the last 3 years...especially about differing attitudes toward humor! A ribald remark is funny to some, offensive to others....and it takes much longer to sort it all out than it did to make the joke..(the NOI system seems to be helping..*grin*) I suspect that all of us can point to places in our lives...family...church..music groups...work...etc., where situations arise in which people simply do not 'see' things the same way and will never agree. The only saving grace is that we usually realize that it is worth it to compromise, adjust, and forgive in order to have something important. This--the Mudcat community--is worth almost ANY amount of 'taking remarks with a grain of salt'...and please remember...all we see are words on a screen...we have no body language, voice inflections, or visual cues to help us know how our remarks are being processed..if in ANY doubt, take a few extra minutes to read what you are about to post.

There is a story..(apocryphal?)about a circus midget whose friends though they would play a joke on him..he always use a little cane in his act- it was part of his identity. So they would sneak into his room each night and saw a tiny bit from the bottom of the cane... Well after a week or two, the guy was convinced the he was growing taller...and he had NO other way to make a living in his life, all he WAS was a midget...so he committed suicide. I guess humor is what you think it is...


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Bill D
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 07:54 PM

oh...POOH! I used an '/a' instead of a '/u' and messed up the post..maybe Joe will save my sorry butt once more!..

HTML is like doing a search..it has to be spelled RIGHT!


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 07:55 PM

Roger

I did not suggest for one moment that Joe had or wanted the responsibility or the power to keep us in line or that we needed anyone but ourselves to do that.............. Just that we follow his good example.


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 08:29 PM

Shambles,

Sorry for my misinterpretation. When you said, "It was noticeable to me, at least, that there was a subtle change of tone, over the last month or so. It was not a coincidence, that it coincided with Joe's absence from The Mudcat" I concluded you were saying it would not have happened if Joe were here. I concluded it could have.

Just wanted you to known the breeding ground for my confusion.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 09:28 PM

.....well, I got confused about NOI, but I think I got it now. No Offense Intended, huh? Maybe I ain't as dumb as I look......
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Art Thieme
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 09:45 PM

This stuff has me grumbling to myself like Gollum in _The Lord Of The Rings___ as he skulks through the wet and the slime and the darkness inside of his mountain--- "gollum, gollum, gollum, condom, gollum, condon, gollum, gollum, gollum, condom, condom!" (HUGE DAMN SMILE-----OK???)

Love,

Art


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 10:24 PM

Right on, Art! and, yes Joe, you are right about the NOI, 'twas I who suggested it back in, I think, the can we lighten up a little thread.


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Banjer
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 12:35 AM

Hi(NOI),

I would assume then, (NOI) that the safest way to approach anything we do (NOI) is to use the NOI code a least 3 times per sentence(NOI). Also let us (NOI) forget the other(NOI) code that sprang to life, TIC, meaning of course TONGUE IN CHEEK (NOI)(TIC)

Banjer (NOI,TIC)


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 01:06 AM

Oh My...

Fork in hay absolutely correct and splendidly voiced...Bubba.

Sorry, I couldn't think of anything for Bubba (NOI)

Banj my boy, you've done it!!! That exalted 4-star rank is yours! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!

I've been unfortunately wasting my time on "Curtis & Loretta Thread"......I did try to make amends through my Max and the Paranoids thread, but I once again went astray with a bad "member" joke...then of course Alistair had to come along and discuss his concern over my seeming fixation on a North American marsupial's anal sphincter.(NOI) Oh well, I'm about to update all on the travels of 'Paw and Cletus so............

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: LEJ
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 01:25 AM

Just a short congratulatory note to Catspaw. It seems you have become the official BadBoy of the Mudcat(NOI). I hereby declare you the winner of the Art Theime Condom Award for mudcateer most likely to go Over the Top! I have to admit you have kept most of us off-balance with the constant shifts from humorous to profound to obscene to poetic and back to humorous. And I'm talking about in the same post!Every good community needs a red-headed Holy Fool philosophizing Possum Shaman, and By God (NOI) its you, Cats!...with a mixture of fear and admiration, LEJ


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Banjer
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 01:35 AM

THE EXALTED FOUR STAR RANK is finally mine!!!! Words cannot express my feelings... Long have I worked for that...I recall once in Junior High School a teacher besides giving me a D in English, also listed my conduct as a C, with note attached that C stood for CLASS CLOWN. That was my first award and I have worked long and hard for this most recent addition to my accolades.

Thanks again,

Banjer, BS, PHD, ID, GFU

PS I guess now I have to start working towards the oak leaf clusters for each of these awards...
PPS Congrats C'paw on YOUR award of BAD BOY of MUDCAT. (If you need an assistant, consider my application filed)


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Night Owl
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 01:46 AM

So...I have a question (IAS...in all seriousness)....how come we encourage Max to participate in these discussions and play a more active role in the comraderie created here, on his site(when he can find the time), but when he does post a message, we yell at him....to the point where, to protect himself, he has his "pants in bunches"...???(NOI) I trust he doesn't think he has to stay locked in his cage and is only allowed out to answer logistical questions. You guys are an incredible welcoming, encouraging, funny, articulate, supportive group...and I am in daily awe of the amazing wealth of knowledge and humor scattered around here. It really doesn't take long for a newcomer to "feel" the atmosphere here and the dedication to folk traditions. I think, paying attention to not yelling at newcomer's mistakes, (we would never yell at a beginning musician for hitting the wrong string or holding an Autoharp upside down), keeping patience with dumb questions (most of mine), and not losing the humor, goes a lot further than NOI/TIC every sentence......Having just read Banjer's post,I for one, would not have the patience to see the constant interruptions in the flow of conversations that excusing ourselves every sentence would create..(Just a thought....(NOI-NOI-NOI-NOI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)I also have to wonder how Max feels, now that his members have ignored his request to end this discussion.....talk about COURAGE! (TIC;TIC;TIC)


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: LEJ
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 02:00 AM

Well, you see Nightowl, this here thread is a classic example of "thread creep" in action. I mean to say Cats started talking bout Max, that went to offensive behavior on the Mudcat, then a discussion of the dangers of being coy and inoffensive ad nauseum . Thread Creep,,,it's the thing that gets me to read threads like "Norwegian Childrens Songs" even though I have absolutely no interest in that particular subject. If it generates 12 posts or so, you can almost bet they are talking about Polynesian Scrimshaw, or the relative merits of Martin versus Takamine guitars, or how to track a possum using a bent hickory stick, by the time you get there.


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: LEJ
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 02:03 AM

Meant to say The Shambles started this thread...sorry Shamb


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Banjer
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 02:07 AM

LEJ, I know a compliment when I see one, and that last post of yours is one of the greater ones I've seen as far as compliments go. It encompassess the whole character and nature of the community we call the Mudcat...What a droll existence this would be if we all thought alike.


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Night Owl
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 02:07 AM

LEJ...I really appreciate the enlightenment (and giggles)...that wouldn't be Catspaw's possum being chased, would it?


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: LEJ
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 02:15 AM

Why thanks...


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: LEJ
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 02:16 AM

...Banjer!


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 02:18 AM

Yeah, but by some really good friends.

Night Owl you are very special here too. Please keep the Music Therapy thread alive with your postings no matter how painful or joyous. We'll try to keep you going with really bad jokes. And remember, if it gets too tough where you work, I'm well connected at the "Neil Young Center for the Terminally Screwed."

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 02:30 AM

Oh PULEEZE! "Too clever?" Well then, how about: Too knowledgable, or too funny, or too emotional, or too profane, or April Fool's jokes that are too mean spirited? Plain old "STUPIDITY" offends me more than all the others put together, and I have found far less of that on the Mudcat than in the "real" world that I reluctantly inhabit!
What exactly WAS the "tonal change" in threads while Joe was gone? Please be specific, and tell me what would Joe have done to change that "tone". My God, I haven't been here for more than 3 or 4 months, and I know that if I want to purge pithy (and often oscurely brilliant) humour from my sensitive psyche that day..just don't read anything from that "Art" guy, until I'm feeling "less sensitive." Or if the smart-ass rural alter-ego thing is gettin' me down, why just tune out that "Paw" for a while. Or maybe those computer experts are just goin' on and on. Well by now I've figured out who they are, (brilliant eh?) and I just leave them be, until they get back to music, and then maybe I can join in. When I see something posted by Katlaughing, or Big Mick, my 3 months experience tells me it's going to be thoughtful and informative. Same thing with Alistair, with a little profanity thrown in for emphasis. I could go on and name just about everyone who posts regularly. For Pete's sake, we know more personal information about each other than many married couples do.
Two days ago in a rare show of spontaneous anger, I took Hank to task for using the expression "their women" in a context that I found annoying. I doubt that it caused him much offence, probably he just thought "damned liberal!" and carried on. Had he written back, blasting me with some solid argument,I would have welcomed the inter-action.
This morning Heather and I did something unique for us. After reading the paper and all the trite repetitive (and polite) reporting on this horror in Kosovo, we sat down TOGETHER and read the "Are You as Scared..." thread in the Mudcat. The opinions were riveting and the skill and style put to shame what we had earlier seen on the Toronto Star's editorial page.
I don't want the Mudcat to be SO inclusive that the brilliance, the silliness, and the cutting edge are forced to leave.


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Banjer
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 02:31 AM

Night Owl, I have it on good authority (Paw and Cletus told me) that Catspaw does indeed have good connections at the prestigious Niel Young Center for the Terminally Screwed as he claims. He was in fact one of their first patients (inmates) and has Bed #1 in Room #1 permanently reserved for him. Also I understand he has a standing reservation for the padded one down the hall. I know this cause it's right next to mine!! (TIC, NOI, JK)

BANJER, BS, PHD, ID, GFU (NOI)


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: LEJ
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 02:34 AM

Right on,Rick! Well said!


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Banjer
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 02:35 AM

Rick, if you will notice the times on our posts you will note that we were writing and thinking simultaneously. You are certainly a hard act to follow but I hope that my post serves as a good illustration for yours!


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 02:38 AM

Lonesome, who you callin' a thread creep, anyway (is it because I picked the guy getting hit in the face by a rake)? --seed


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Banjer
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 02:43 AM

Don't you wonder about that guy hit with the rake? Was the resulting sound from him an A sharp, or if he fell could it have been B flat? Or maybe C stars? E gads.....


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 03:53 AM

I don't feel very comfortable about being pointed out, since I'm not the only one. I think could name a couple dozen of us who make a conscious effort to nudge the tone of the discussion in a positive direction when it gets nasty. I think it has become a pretty commonly held idea that flaming isn't acceptable here. Generally, I think that people and the discussion here are gentle and generous, and that's the way it ought to be.
But hey, the outrageous humor that takes place here is part of what makes this place so much fun. I don't think anybody can hold a candle to Art in that department - and I think Art fits that "gentle, generous" ideal very well. I have to say that Max's April Fool's ruse was pretty darn good. I got a good laugh out of it, even though I was not quite sure at first whether it was a joke or not. I'd hate to think that we need to kill our humor or handle everyone with kid gloves to keep the spirit of Mudcat going - but I do think we all need to do our best to see to it that everyone has a good time here. Humor is an essential part of that.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: alison
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 05:32 AM

Hi,

I don't think it was the tone so much that changed while Joe was away... it was the content.......

During that time.. there didn't seem to be very many requests for music (lyrics/ tunes etc)... but there were a lot of chatty type threads..... that isn't a complaint just an observation....... made by myself and others I was talking to. Also around that time there were a lot of newcomers, (again not a complaint... welcome to all of you)... so they wanted to ask questions which many of the 'old timers" here have seen dealt with before... but that isn't a reason to dismiss people off handedly as sometimes happens..... a friendly point towards the appropriate thread is more useful.

Plus there was (possibly still is) the problem with thread names being shortened because the titles in inverted commas were disappearing... so people were getting told off... for putting in "lyrics required" threads..... I know we get fed up with those threads...... but at least one of those people had the guts to tell us that he had just stumbled into the thread from a general search of the internet.. these people may have had no idea where they were... and some of the comments they received were probably enough to scare them off again.

Mudcat goes through cycles,(trust me I know about this **grin**)... sometimes there'll be threads that you just HAVE to check in on, other times there'll be nothing that interests you......... there'll be times when its mostly serious discussion...... and other times when everything has gone off on a complete tangent. Everybody likes different things..... some like the chats.. some like the serious stuff.

There are threads which have got nasty in the past, but we are all different.. and just like in real life, we aren't going to like or be liked by everyone..... we just need to accept that we are all different.

I love it here, I love the people and the fun, (I've had a few runs ins.. and worked through them)... but most importantly I have made some wonderful friends...... and that's what keeps me coming back.... long may it continue.

Slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: AlistairUK
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 08:20 AM

OH MAH GAAAD!!! I am know n for my profanity. I have just come back from a long session of washing my mouth out with soap and I will keep a lid on the effing language from now on...hey there might be little people looking in. As to the possum diviner, this wouldn't help paw 'cos the stick would block up the hole that he is particularly fixated on. I suggest the POSSUM CRYSTAL ON A STRING (tm) (c) as this has no danger of damamging the instrument before getting it onto a stage.


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Ferrara
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 08:25 AM

Joe, did you see the "Can We Lighten Up a Little" thread?


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 10:13 AM

Rick said

Oh PULEEZE! "Too clever?" Well then, how about: Too knowledgable, or too funny, or too emotional, or too profane, or April Fool's jokes that are too mean spirited? Plain old "STUPIDITY" offends me more than all the others put together, and I have found far less of that on the Muscat than in the "real" world that I reluctantly inhabit!

And asks

What exactly WAS the "tonal change" in threads while Joe was gone? Please be specific, and tell me what would Joe have done to change that "tone".

I will try to answer, bearing in mind that the "too clever" was not my observation. I think what they were trying to say and it is what I mean by the tone, was that during that period they appeared to be more effort made to be clever or smart or witty about and in the threads than there were to reply sensibly to them. An example of this and where I was guilty (if that is the right word), was the Thread Name Game. Which I thought at the time was good fun, but on reflection I think could have discouraged less robust people from posting.

You ask what Joe would have done to change that tone. Well I note that Joe is unhappy about being singled out here and I would like to apologise to him for that. It was done only with the best intentions but I can understand his discomfort and will not add to them by answering your question for him. Happily, he is back with us now and if he wants to he can answer. I didn't actually say that he would or could have changed the tone. My thinking went something like, things are a little strange here, I have not seen a posting from Joe, where is he, is he well, and are not things a little bit the worse when he is not here? I missed him.

It is a subtle thing, this balance between the music, the humour and the serious stuff, but Rick, it is still the "real" world here. We have to do the same things here, to get on with each other as we do in that "real" world. Maybe it is that perception, of this place being not "real" and that we can behave in a different way and if others don't like it they can leave, that is the difference between us?

And.

I don't want the Mudcat to be SO inclusive that the brilliance, the silliness, and the cutting edge are forced to leave.

Surely it is either inclusive or it is not, there are no degrees? I don't want the non-brilliant, the non-silly and the 'blunt' edged ones to be forced to leave either. It is not, fortunately, up to you or me to decide though. That is up to all of us, in every part of the world, that form that strange and precious entity we call The Mudcat.

Joe's short posting in this thread spells out exactly what I in my long-winded way I was trying to say.

Alison

I think all the things you said about that period were spot on, we do go up and down. Like wise words from another Galaxy! *smiles*

I suppose I look at it from someone who was forming an impression of what the Mudcat was during that period. A little bit like going into a restaurant to find only pasta on the menu, you may like pasta but after a week of only pasta you would probably find another eating place. We just get a little unbalanced sometimes, I think but you do have to stay around long enough to know that.

There were and are still, some pretty awful things happening in the world too, which also had a bearing, we all deal with them in different ways.

Maybe I am just a idealistic throwback? I think and desperately hope that there is a better way to do things and I honestly believe that this place is a start. Maybe we are not up to the challenge of The World Wide Web, maybe we are just not big enough yet to take in the full implications and opportunities that it offers. Maybe we only feel happy when we surround ourselves with people like ourselves?

The early pioneers of internet communication surrounded themselves with jargon an 'in' words, to create a new world in which excluded the majority of their fellow travellers. They used the same techniques as those that call genocide, 'ethnic cleansing', by calling insulting people, in a way that they would never do face to face, 'flaming'.

It appears that it frightens us to deal on global terms and we try to reduce it in size to enable us to order it. We form smaller groups, that we feel more comfortable with and we use the Net to find out who is on-line that lives in the same town.

Let's try not do that here, this something else but still, the "real" world, THE WHOLE WORLD.


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 01:16 PM

Ya know, the trouble with a thread like this is that the wrong people start feeling like they did something wrong.
Geez, Rick! You've made a fantastic contribution to this forum. So has Catspaw; although if I can't get this cat spray odor out of the house, he's gonna get fixed.
The only thing that doesn't seem to work very well here is personal attacks on other people. Most of us don't do that, but it does happen on occasion and it can tend to put a sour taste on things. If you want good examples of that, go to rec.music.folk. Even there, though, there are people like Abby Sale and Sam Hinton who do a lot to make the discussion interesting - I wish we could drag those two over here.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 01:51 PM

Gosh Joe, one of my points IS that from what I can see, NO ONE has done anything wrong! And I doubt that any one person (your name seems to come up often) is needed to "keep things in line" or " to keep the tone civil". (my phrases, I'm not quoting anyone else) I thought that the roll you fulfilled most often (hence giving you somewhat of a leadership situation) was helping computer illiterates like myself. But I never saw you as any kind of "moral conscience". (my phrase only) Perhaps before I got here, you did do some guiding, but I'm just not aware of it. I see this group as leaderless, which is why I'm so happy with it.


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Vixen
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 02:14 PM

D'Cats--

On reading all these and other posts, it's becoming abundantly and explicitly clear to me that we have a really, really, cool community of people here.

Smart, articulate, intelligent, and, above all CARING cats live here in Mudville. I'd sort of suspected it, but some of the more recent posts have really brought the point home. I can't wait for Mudstock 99, and I hope those Old Cats Home plans are getting under way. I figure I'll be ready for assisted living any day now ;> All I need, really, is a litter box, three squares/day, and a warm spot to curl up and sleep in. (i'm willing to share the litter box)

And, just fyi, insofar as it is within my poor power to do so, I have forgiven Max his lapse into April foolery.

V


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 03:28 PM

Uh, oh. with Vixen around, I guess we'd better get Catspaw fixed or we'll have a bunch of Mudkittens to support.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Banjer
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 06:22 PM

Get Catspaw fixed??? I didn't even know he was broken.... Aw, poor wittle puddy tat...


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Barbara
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 06:42 PM

So Joe is fixed on getting catspaw fixed,and catspaw is fixed on a possum's behind, and Mudcat is fixed (wasn't broken) and at the risk of warping this thread beyond belief,
What Mudcat could do for me is post a proposed budget so I could see what kind a money you 'cats need, and for what in general, and then if you gave us a monthly run on it, we could see how we were doing with keeping our baby fed and clothed.
If it feels too much like a pledge drive here, post it on the 'Support the Mudcat' page.

Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 07:12 PM

Barbara,

My thoughts exactly. I used to pledge, through automatic deduction, $10 per month to NPR. I know some people can't afford that much and some may be able to a little more, but if we all put our "widow's mites" together and "pledged" a small amount each month, I think it would help.

I still wish we could set it up to be EEEZZZZ and cnvenient (said in SNL's Church Lady's voice)through auto deduct, but will send in my pledge around the 20th of each month. Even a dollar a month from each of those zillion hits per month would do it, according to (I think) Dick Greenhaus.

Maybe we should start a pledge thread? Except it might be embarrassing to some, huh?

Katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 Apr 99 - 10:21 PM

I LOVE YOU PEOPLE!!!!!!! Thanks Rick, Joe and Alison for pointing out the fact that everything is fine here. Joe is certainly one of the tonesetters here, but that is just because he is a very thoughtful person who loves to help folks and loves the music. My guess is that if you asked the folks in his church choir they would say the same thing. Rick has been here only three months yet it feels like he has been contributing a lot longer. That is the mark of a contributor who is thoughtful and caring. Setting aside for the moment that I shamelessly pursue the fair Alison through the hills and dales of cyberspace, she has been so helpful to all who have come here that it boggles the mind. She has made more MIDI files of tunes than anyone hands down. Even when she has been attacked, she has handled it with legendary grace. Then you get to some of the "newbies" that I have come to love to read. Catspaw, Katlaughing, Alistair, LEJ, Banjer. And the mainstays, God, Animaterra, harpgirl, Bill D, Seed, Shambles, Barbara Shaw, Blessings Barbara and all the rest. What's the point, of all this? It is that no one person gives our community it's flavor. And no one person, not even Max, is responsible for its success or failure. As Shula (is there anyone who doesn't love this woman?)so wisely points out, the creation has outgrown the creator. We are all responsible for it retaining that what makes it so special. I have said it before, and I will say it again. In the fullness of time, this community will be seen as an amazing social event. Walking through the threads is as real an event as walking through your neighborhood.

Which brings me to the last point. We know that most of the 80,000 hits that Dick referred to are not going to pledge the buck. But what about those of us who are subscribers pledging, voluntarily, to send $10.00 per month? And from time to time we post a thread telling newcomers that we do this to keep it alive and encourage others to do the same? Or if you have other ideas that you think will work better, lets here them. I just feel that it is time for those of us for whom this community has become so important need to step up if we are able. This is rambling but I would love to have more input on it.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Think Not What Your Mudcat Can Do For You etc
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Apr 99 - 06:37 AM

I am going to make a few generalisations here, please ignore them where they do not apply to your experiences.

One of the great pleasures in my life is to make music with people I do not know, or those I have met only occasionally at informal gatherings like sessions and singarounds. I find it a rewarding experience to communicate with them through music. I don't care what type of music is played, only that I can make some positive contribution to it..If I feel I cannot make a positive contribution, I don't play but just listen. It doesn't really matter to me what level of proficiency people have, it is more important that they feel they want to contribute.

What is important is to recognise what the purpose of the exercise is and to have the manners and consideration towards others to enable all the different players, instruments, styles and levels of expertise to produce music together.

When it works it is wonderful, maybe for only a few short minutes, but it is worth it... It usually works best when it is spontaneous,,, better when it is loosely planned and not at all when planned, structured and led.

The more obvious the leader or leaders are the more inhibited the participants playing become. The more obviously friendly to each other, the leaders are and the more banter that passes between them, the more inhibited the participant becomes.

When you are playing flat out, in a session that works and the music is good, life feels that it could not get much better.

What would you see though, if on the other hand, you were to walk in to that same session, hoping to play and it was in full swing????????

You would see a number of people obviously enjoying themselves, facing each other, around a table, with their elbows sticking out and with their backs to you.

You could force your way in, if you were desperate and confident enough, but it would be more likely that you left.

A few chairs facing out and few kept empty might make a difference?


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