[In the interest of bandwith, consolidated]:
Eric, the ever knowledgeable apple, wrote:
>Excellent post! Would you mind if I forwarded it to several of my
Not at all Eric. Actually, I'm pretty surprised. I thought that by sending an Uber-length email late at night, I was going overboard, or that people would think I was crazy. (Probably too late for that, heh.) I thought perhaps it was inappropriate for this list, but at least it was honest. Glad to be proved wrong.
>I was going to reply off list so as to not set fire to the oil that
>others have poured on the troubled waters, but reading toward the end of
>your wonderful (Hermit length :-) ) letter, I changed my mind. You have
>expressed many of my deeply held feelings and convictions so much better
>than I have managed of late, that I would like to thank you as publicly
>as you bared yourself (and I for one greatly appreciated the view <-
>insensitive sexist pun :-) ).
>TheHermit <Ever the "imported papaya" - laughing>
You know, there's something else I've discovered in my life as the effervescent weirdo: A little humor goes a loooooooong way. Isn't there an expression like, "Laughter is the best medicine"? In my school daze, I may have been the little rebellious infidel, but I was also the 'class clown' in many ways. Stand-up comics make people laugh by complaining about the daily drudgery of life, but somehow it's entertainment, depending on how you look at it. I've learned that being a humorous eccentric endears you to people a lot more than being one that is alienated. It's funny, how you can get away with a LOT more if you just add a smile. Mind you, I don't *try* to be a comedian when interacting with people, but my innate weirdness always tends to seep through to soften the blow of what I'm saying.
>.... in the internet and the discussions, I have discovered
>something much like "road rage", real flamethrowing complete with
>artillery. Most people in line in a store who have their patience, their
>point of view or their civility tested don't start ranting, insulting
>and finger pointing. But this same person in a car or in a
>chat.....well that is another story. And the keyboard is even more
>protection than the car!
Actually, I'm a pretty good driver, but I usually swear like a drunken sailor while doing so. I don't drive recklessly, but I feel much better yelling at the top of my lungs when the 80-something quadriplegic tourist going 25mph in front of me can't hear it. The difference on-line is that it's visible.
>I spend some time in a place I Call the snake-pit. It is in alt.atheism.
>The environment is chock full of sarcasm, cynicism, misunderstandings,
>insults, ridicule, and a fresh rotating crop of self
Why Xtians in alt.atheism? They must be there to argue and preach. I've also spent quite a bit of time posting on Usenet, and I have also "flamed" people a lot, but in my case it's usually more therapeutic than anything. I know that my friends are getting a big laugh out of reading it, and it's a good outlet for me, as there are no rules. Of course, the newsgroup (alt.music.pink-floyd) itself was much less serious than alt.atheism would be, and full of crazy people. However, there is an alternative. I mainly post to probably the only "flame-free forum" on Usenet. A group from a.m.p-f, sick of the idiocy and flame-wars, took over a defunct newsgroup [alt.freaks] in the hope of having a more "erudite" place to converse, and it's been a success. There are no arguments or quarrels between the small group of not more than twenty regular posters; mostly people post random thoughts, recorded dreams, rants, short stories/fiction, odd experiences, and interesting cross-posts. Occasionally a "troll" will invade, but that's like group therapy when we all take turns and have a blast tearing into them. The only real problem is copious amounts of sex spam. It's loads of fun, very supportive, very bizarre, and like a Usenet Heaven. My point is that it *is* possible to avoid the kind of list/newsgroup degeneration that you described. But it takes effort in getting to know each other.
"We don't need that fascist groove thang!"
So thanks for the positive feedback everyone! (Psypher included, although I don't directly address him.)