[Northkeep] The Northkeep list aka "Troubles in paradise"

Keith Duke KDUKE at fwmurphy.com
Mon Aug 19 14:56:07 PDT 2002

Fellow Northkeepers -

Awwwwww, maaaan!!

Just when we were getting to the good part,too, dang it! - Strong
Anglo-Saxon epithets, hurt feelings, and personal insults! I was really
waiting (with bated breath no less!) to see vile innuendos, character
assassination and threats of personal violence! Followed hopefully by a
full-blown "Late Renaissance Italian multi-family vendetta with multiple
fatalities" thing, and a tragic play to sum up! (And with luck turn it into
a movie - screenplay by yours truly - and make us all rich beyond avarice!)

Woohoo! Entertainment!

Then his Excellency comes along and plays the "Nazi!" card and the whole
thing is over.. Well, OK Fine! Be that way! <<huff huff>>


(Uhhh, for the humor impaired, the above was an attempt at humor...)

Seriously now - I gotta ask - Is this "list" in it's present incarnation
actually serving the needs of our little SCA community? Or better yet, is it
serving us as effectively as it *could* be? I sometimes think that a
moderated list would be a good thing. But usually not.

It seems to me that there is a whole lot of rancor and hurt/upset/anger that
gets *generated* - as in starts right here - on this list. That is in
opposition to the *purpose* of the list.

I am all for discourse - even heated discourse - over a plethora of
'relatively on topic' subjects.
I am also amazed that otherwise reasonable adults feel the need to keep
escalating the tone of their replies, thus making erstwhile trivialities
into quasi-flame wars.

And yes I do understand and agree that the principals underlying this are
*far* from trivial... Freedom of religion / speech / expression / pursuit of
happiness etc. ad nauseum, are the sorts of things that *modern day*
Americans have fought and died for. They are *not*, generally speaking, the
sorts of things that our *personas* typically did much for/with/about... (A
debatable point I agree, and one which I think would make a fascinating
conversation either here or in person...)

I would respectfully request, that all of us - friends, acquaintances,
neutrals and even those who detest each other - remember that this is a
public list. The audience includes people of all ages, religious
affiliations, ethnic backgrounds, and political sensibilities. For one
reason or another, it also includes a number of people who do not live here
in our environs, and do not actually *know* us as individuals, merely as the
collective "Northkeep"... This forum has in the past unfortunately served as
an unintentional vehicle for misinformation and utterly wrong impressions of
our group to the world outside of the barony. It can, in issues like this,
continue to serve the same purpose today.

As surely as any event that we hold, this mail list/group thing is *one* of
our very public faces to the world.

Please, let us not present a face such that people outside of Northkeep form
a *very* incorrect impression of us.
No grist for the rumor mills, no source for tales to tell, no handle by
which we can be manipulated.

In the future, let us not compound initial errors with *additional* errors
in our interactions here in this place.

We are mostly a gracious and kind group of people... But we do get our tails
in a kink occasionally.
It's because we care and we are passionate about our beliefs and opinions,
and what's right and what's wrong.

And, you know that's not all bad...


In the realm of "solutions not problems" I would humbly suggest the
following as an alternative to a moderated list:

1. Please keep in mind that Email is devoid of the non-verbal portion of our
interpersonal communications... There is no laughing tone, or giggle... No
theatric sigh or shrugged shoulders that would transform otherwise offensive
/ insensitive / mean words into a moment of humor or a sharing of
commonality of frustration...

2. Please do remember that we all have a delete key. (And email filters
too!) Mine sees a lot of use. Yours can too...

3. If you get offended by someone/something, take it private as soon as
possible.  Except for (fortunately!) rare individuals, most folks don't
start off with intentional insult as a goal...

4. Before you rip off a ummm... *harsh* reply to someone, with the intent of
reducing their world to smoldering rubble outgassing into vacuum, check the
"reply to" address lest your private communications become public...

5. If you are one of those folks who *looks* for a reason to be offended and
enjoys stirring the pot, I would respectfully request that you grow up.

6. Please don't post private emails to a public list without the express
permission of the sender. Bad bad manners, that.

7. It wouldn't hurt to keep in mind that *whatever* you write *might* get
onto a public list, in spite of your having no intention of private remarks
going out to the world...

8. Use a bit of common sense in things. Don't spam the list, don't subscribe
it to stuff, that sort of thing that is basic and reasonable.

I think that we can, will, and have *mostly* gotten along well in all the
rest of our SCA endeavors...  We hold our tongues, or avoid persons we can't
get along with, or seek out and reach some form of understanding, or
something.. We just don't have screaming fights in public face to face...

Why let *this* medium of communication be any different?

Well, that's my two rubles...

As usual, the opinions herein are my own, not those of my knight, friends,
neo-Paleolithic era Albanian grandfather, nor my left-handed,
semi-illiterate second cousin on my mom's side. (The one everyone says
"Ain't quite right.").
If you disagree with me, please feel free to drop me a line. I'm willing to
discuss just about anything...

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