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Subject: The Late Unpleasantness rss

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Alexius Exfalso
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Fellow BGG'ers:

I've read the various threads over the past week on censorship and such like, and have thought very, very carefully before I sat down to put my thoughts to electronic paper. On reflection, what I am about to say is worth saying, but judge for yourself.

When first I joined the board, I was pretty happy - a groovey comunity of people who like things I like, it doesn't get any better than that. Then I saw this:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/16469

I could have pressed the 'summon the admin' button, but I didn't; rather, I wanted to see what the community did, how they dealt, whether they would rise to the bait, give into their atavisms. Some did, most didn't, the geeklist sank like a stone and I elected to give it the benefit of the doubt; after all, it could have been nothing more than a ripple on the surface of an otherwise placid sea.

The disputes this week are not about that thread, but they do have a bearing on it. You see, it has been argued that such threads are satire, and so ought to be permitted; that to censure such works is joyless, and that to censor them is indefensible. BGG'ers have the right to raise what they want, how they want, and as for those who are offended 'evil to he who evil thinks'.

Problem is this, though; we satirise that we find worthless or absurd. To satirise a religion, or culture, or lifestyle, or individual is to invite conflict, whether the satire be well grounded or not. As far as I am aware, that is not the aim of this site.

Me, I have to deal with rubbish like that on a daily basis - sadly, it is the times we live in. If I want to address it (and I do address it to the extent my knowledge and eloquence will allow) I visit a website dedicated to it. I come here to balm my mind, to read about and talk about interesting, pleasant, innocent things - and I dare say that goes for the majority.

To introduce such material onto the site is to disrespect the site's founders, and to disrespect the community. It is ignorance, naivety, else a love of discord for discord's sake. It is unlovable. Ultimately, it is dull. Ultimately, it loses the site members, actual and potential, and reduces it in time to a clique of fratboys.

I say 'enough'. Let's keep such stuff for the 'off topic' bits of the forum, or better still, leave the politics and sarcasm off board.

Let's acknowledge what this board is supposedly about: fellowship in a mutual hobby, nurturing the inner child, perhaps for some, having fun for all.

Let's acknowledge that having fun at the expense of someone else's dignity or feelings is a vice, and a mark of immaturity. And that regardless of what may prevail 'in the real world', we can choose to rise above it.

Someone is bound to come back with something along the lines of 'You got an issue - here's a tissue', and then bellow '****in' A!' and high five a buddy. Very well - but two questions:

1. How old are you, actually?
2. Do you realise how gormless you actually look?

Think about it.

This has taken longer than the Gettysburg Address, which means it is badly expressed. Thanks for your patience, and play on. I won't even so much as glance at this thread once I've launched it out there as I've said more than enough, and have nothing more to say on the matter. Oh, and it ensures I won't be tempted to vivisect anyone who chest-beats or branch-thrashes.

Over to you - BGG Abides.

 
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Lajos
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Alexiusexfalso wrote:
Problem is this, though; we satirise that we find worthless or absurd.

Oh no! I satirise everything, including myself. No-one and no-thing has the right not to be ridiculed.

However, I agree with you that 'satire' on the Geek is sometimes on a 'fratboy' level or even below. It can indeed be a bit childish. I don't object to bad satire, ridicule or even insulting statements (as longs as they're not about specific individuals), but I do object if these are anonymous. If you think what you say is worth saying, put your name under it.

dipdragon wrote:
there is one issue I find I strongly agree with - that of the off-topic GeekList.

Me too. Great idea. thumbsup
 
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Jon M
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I think that list you pointed out shows how usefull it can be to allow people free speech. You can then see who the total jerks are and can avoid them in the future. People should be judged on their comments and contributions. If they clearly show themselves as bigoted idiots it tells you something more about them so allows you to weigh their future comments appropriately (i.e. treat like a piece of dog turd on your shoe).
 
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Tom Hancock
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Just because you disagree with a viewpoint (or find it offensive)doesn't mean you have a right to have it censored from the site. It doesn't even mean that someone should consider censoring it.

I enjoy this site because its boardgames AND its a community. Guess what: people have a right to criticize your religion and if you don't like it, don't read it. What did you think the list was going to be about when you saw the title? I thought most of the thread was funny and light-hearted. A few of the comments in that thread are very pertinent to this one. Almost... prophetical.

Zombydawg wrote:
There is a certain irony to this list. It was intended as a somewhat light-hearted poke at Muslims in the spirit of doing a similar list for other religions, too. Docreason even made a comment about people having open minds and tweaking their own noses. The problem is that there is no such thing as a light-hearted poke at Islam (at least to a Muslim).
 
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Alexius Exfalso
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Oh feck: I cracked, looked and now have to answer. Human nature, huh - what ya gonna do?

Mr Hancock: People have a perfect right to criticise my religion and indeed everything else about me. Did I suggest they do not?

However...here, on a board dedicated to discussing a hobby, it is surely out of place and more than a little mean spirited.

Moreover, it is at odds with the cosmopolitan, 'citizen of the world' intent of the board.

 
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Antonio Chavez
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Since you are reafing the replies...

I read the list you alluded to, and I really, really do not see what is there to be offended about. In fact, it MAY even be a useful warning as to what games not to play when you are gaming with Muslims. I saw a couple of games that I had no idea could be offensive --and from the comments, I believe that they actually might be.

As long as they are not disparaging the religion, what's the harm? It would be like me being all offended by this list: http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/11067




Alexiusexfalso wrote:
Oh feck: I cracked, looked and now have to answer. Human nature, huh - what ya gonna do?

Mr Hancock: People have a perfect right to criticise my religion and indeed everything else about me. Did I suggest they do not?

However...here, on a board dedicated to discussing a hobby, it is surely out of place and more than a little mean spirited.

Moreover, it is at odds with the cosmopolitan, 'citizen of the world' intent of the board.

 
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Alexius Exfalso
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The discussion at the foot of the page did take a dark turn, however, and that is my point - when religion and politics rear their heads, things can and usually will turn nasty. At some point, the atavisms manifest.

Why risk it, when it is not the point of the board?



 
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