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Old 06-13-2017, 09:15 AM
john savoie john savoie is offline
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Edwardsville, IL
Posts: 133

if the phone don't ring
you know it's me
Old 06-13-2017, 12:34 PM
Catherine Chandler's Avatar
Catherine Chandler Catherine Chandler is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Canada and Uruguay
Posts: 5,537
Blog Entries: 33

I agree with Mike Juster.
Old 06-13-2017, 12:59 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 858

I must agree with Michael. Eratosphere's guidelines state:

"The Eratosphere bulletin board covers workshopping, discussion, and information related to poetry (metrical and non-metrical), prose and art. It is an adjunct to the Able Muse, a publication covering these topics."

In it's specific guidelines it defines the General Talk board as:

"Discussion of general topics, requests for assistance, and questions about policy or software".
But I would think that the general talk would be steered towards general discussion of poetry, prose or art, with some leeway. But a quick inventory of the GT board's current hot topics shows that not to be the case (The "Firing of James Comey" and "The British General Election" garnering a whopping 8,500 comments in one month). It's not why we all came here in the first place.

MJ: Social media is a reeking whirlpool of invective (and worse)

The Eratosphere is a uniquely erudite place. But not so much when you enter the General Talk board. There are dozens of other places online to electronically lock horns on politics. Why here? It's poetry (and prose and art) that we're after.

MJ: And maybe I would allow chat about puppies to improve our moods.

There's always the topic of "Share Your Good News" (on the GT board I think) for puppy talk
Old 06-13-2017, 01:59 PM
Simon Hunt Simon Hunt is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Monterey, CA USA
Posts: 1,764

1 respectful vote for GT remaining an open-discussion forum. Yeah, some go overboard, but I like having a place to discuss stuff, even non-poetry stuff, with erudite and interested people. There are always the options of not clicking on contentious threads and not posting to those threads...

I too would welcome William back, but I don't see how he's been driven away by bad manners here.
Old 06-13-2017, 02:28 PM
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Woody Long Woody Long is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Arlington, Virginia
Posts: 1,248

Originally Posted by Ann Drysdale View Post
...Perhaps we should return here to the old drawing-room convention, with a ban on three subjects - sex, politics and religion. ...
Those same three topics are traditionally taboo in the wardroom of a ship.
Old 06-13-2017, 05:31 PM
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Jayne Osborn Jayne Osborn is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Middle England
Posts: 5,047

Any PMs or even email from members will be deleted unread, as I need to make a clean and final break.
Bill didn't say he wouldn't look at this thread! I hope you are looking in, Bill, to see that you have friends here who don't want you to go away from the Sphere.

Some interesting viewpoints have been expressed, regarding GT etc . . .

For my own part, in the main I'd prefer general topics of discussion to continue (although I keep well away from political debates myself), but we'll never please everyone, no matter what we do.
I can recall a couple of contentious debates that have been about poetry, so I don't think there's any point in trying to keep GT to purely poetical subjects of conversation; people will still argue with those who have opposing views!!

But this is about Bill. If you are reading this, Bill, you can ask me to delete this whole thread if you wish to carry on as if nothing has happened, and I will. I hope you'll reconsider your decision to leave and not come back.

Old 06-13-2017, 05:46 PM
Erik Olson Erik Olson is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 1,140

I understand the liability that comes along with politics. It is impossible to enter any political forum without finding rage and vehemence produced from the disputants’ mutual unwillingness to give way to any opinion that may bring upon them the disgrace of being wrong. Flared tempers and injured pride are all too often concomitants of disputes over things as serious as politics.
I am puzzled and saddened by William's decision to leave. I am puzzled because I understand the threads in general talk are only a part of what constitutes Eratosphere and a wholly voluntary part at that. I am saddened because I felt that William added a lot to the sphere and I would miss his contribution. I wish he would reconsider.

Last edited by Erik Olson; 06-13-2017 at 06:20 PM.
Old 06-13-2017, 09:10 PM
John Riley John Riley is online now
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 3,335

It has to be said. Of course, I probably shouldn't say it but I'll step forward.

The problem with Bill and political discussions was Bill. He grew increasingly agitated when you disagreed with him. I wrote a few responses to him I labored over to make sure they were not disrespectful and accusatory and he would take a few words and distort them and respond loudly to that, claim insult, and ignore everything else I had said. No one drove Bill away. He drove himself away with his increasingly argumentative and shrill use of ideas and terms pulled from current right-wing rhetoric. Go back and look at his responses to me and the other "snowflakes" who didn't agree with him. I never stooped to calling him a name ripped from left-wing rhetoric and didn't see anyone else do it either.

The bigger truth I accept is it's not smart to get into these political discussions here and I haven't often. I stepped into the one with him because I thought he was the type of person I could have a back and forth with without it going off the rails. That was my impression of him from the poetry boards. I was wrong. Lesson learned. However, I just can't sit by anymore and let the fundamental fact be ignored. Bill drove himself away. No one drove Bill away. He is the one who couldn't stop agitating. The mayor of London was more interested in short skirts than terrorism was a recent post. All attempts to suggest to him that this was inflammatory and simplistic was met with rancor. But no one that I saw called him a name or was disrespectful to him.

Bill said he wasn't reading these posts. I wonder if that is true?

Old 06-14-2017, 01:03 AM
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John Whitworth John Whitworth is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 12,596

IMO pretty well everybody becomes agitated when disagreed with. Pretty well everybody here is of the Liberal persuasion but I have not noticed calm and reasonableness has any chance of breaking out. Any criticism of Obama, for instance, results in shrill vehemence.
Old 06-14-2017, 03:24 AM
Jayne Osborn's Avatar
Jayne Osborn Jayne Osborn is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Middle England
Posts: 5,047

Originally Posted by John Riley View Post
Bill said he wasn't reading these posts. I wonder if that is true?
As I said earlier, John, Bill posted that he would not read PMs or emails from members; he did not say he wouldn't read this thread. Why would he have started it if he didn't intend to see what the response was? We can't know for sure, of course, but I think (and hope) that Bill will be reading our comments.

But let's not turn this thread into another political debate!

One thing I have to say, which I think is highly relevant (and this is not aimed at Bill himself) is that Alex and I are fully aware that some of our members are bi-polar, and/or have mental health issues. We all must bear in mind that some individuals have major struggles in their lives, be they financial, emotional, health- or family-wise. Such difficulties can make people angry, unreasonable or just plain hard to deal with!

GT discussions at least allow everyone a chance to "sound off", if they need or want to. If we put it into perspective, what does it really matter if people agree or disagree with another's politics? That's the reason it's far better not to ''over-moderate'' that board - unless things get seriously ad hominem, what the hell? Let people have their say; if you don't like what you see, then don't go there!

We are all poets - and poets can be strange people! - but Eratosphere is a wonderful place where lifelong friendships can be forged, and have been. Many, many of us are great friends with others here. Bill can return at any time he chooses, and I sincerely hope that whatever caused him to abandon the Sphere will dissolve away, and be forgotten.

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