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Discussion in 'THE AIGBURTH ARMS' started by jmc2000, Oct 15, 2017.
Jeez now you know this thread means business!
Omg!!!! STOP EVERYTHING!!!
All of a sudden this thread feels worth it!
It certainly indicates a perception that this may be the case - and, as I've said, that's why the thread exists.
Given my attempt to keep the discussion open and civil (which has clearly gone south very quickly, lol) I think you could have moderated your tone for the sake of improving (rather than exacerbating) the situation - but it sounds like this is something you've been privately annoyed about for a while.
Your allegations (and I hope I'm not cartooning) seem to be:
- We post in-jokes and our interpersonal drama, then complain about other people's threads - despite posting a lot of content that others aren't interested in - which shows we think we're cooler than everyone else;
- We bully people (with your main example being Neil Old) and act as a unit to defend Nikki when she gets criticism back - despite your perception that she's in the wrong;
- We and other members of the perceived "in crowd" never get moderated, because we're popular or have been here ages.
We post in-jokes and our interpersonal drama, then complain about other people's threads - despite posting a lot of content that others aren't interested in - which shows we think we're cooler than everyone else
I honestly think you've got that backwards. I don't (personally) remember any of us letting off derisive party-poppers in other people's threads, until people started complaining (openly and to the moderator) about our posts and threads.
"You don't care about [horror films]? Fair enough - we don't care about your [clique-drama and in-jokes]" - that's pretty much the point that some of us have tried to make, but with the bits in square brackets swapped around. Complaints about contributions by @Shroud and his friends predate you, and probably even me, arriving on this forum. There's been a long-running trend where people violate the "glass houses" principle, and I think me and my friends were probably on the receiving end of that before we started complaining about other people's content or talking over it (but I'd be lying if I said I'm on top of everything that happens in the Aigburth Arms).
I hope you understand that you and me also live in a pretty fragile glass house. We used to have a problem where it was impossible to discuss plot holes (of the sort that you and me thrive on) without people getting angry about it. They would interrupt the back-and-forth to moan and gnash their teeth about how we should shut up. "For God's sake! Would you stop it! It's just a sitcoooooooooom!" We only seem to have beat them back through a war of attrition, where we kept discussing plot holes without caring what they thought about it. I think they mostly gave up and drifted away before you became an active poster - but the "just a sitcom" crowd could return at any time and take issue with our whole MO on the forum.
Where you overstep a line, IMO, is inferring negative personality traits from people enjoying memes and in-jokes - like they're trying to lord their "cool gang status" over everyone else.
What if someone said, "I'm sick of wannabe intellectuals like you and jmc, going in all our on-topic threads and trying to show off how clever you are - trying to ruin the show for us - implying that the rest of us are stupid, for wanting to enjoy some jokes without thinking too deeply about continuity - rubbing our noses in stuff you think we're too dense to notice - derailing every conversation with your mean-spirited nit-picking"?
You might feel insulted by such an ungenerous interpretation. You're simply trying to interact with like-mind individuals on topics you find interesting. If we're not going to live and let live, and use the "ignore" button to filter out content we don't enjoy, people could easily round on us, and call us a a pair of pseudo-intellectuals who want to spoil the show for others. "Why are you even here if all you want to do is moan about the show? It's meant to be a FAN forum, ffs," etc., etc.. Honestly - I've heard it all before.
So, do you have a mandate to bristle at in-jokes and memes? If some posters think they're cooler than everyone else... do you and me think we're smarter than everyone else? If some posters ruin threads with their wacky memes... do we ruin others by constantly picking holes in a show that we're all meant to be enjoying here?
We bully people (with your main example being Neil Old) and act as a unit to defend Nikki when she gets criticism back - despite your perception that she's in the wrong
I touched on this in my original comments on the "branding problem".
In most cases, when me or my friends are having a go at people, it's people who attacked first, or who (without knowing the details of the primary altercation) waded in to loudly support the ones who had (this is when the "bullying" accusation is likely to come up). Neil Old actually doesn't fit into that model, but that's the general trend. If you held a gun to my head and asked me to be critical of myself and my friends, I'd say we don't always retaliate in a constructive or non-disruptive way, which can alienate casual observers.
When I first met @Pumpkinikki, she was a quiet poster who focussed on the chatroom (which was official back then). During that period, I saw four people pick on her, sometimes in quite horrible ways - sometimes with no provocation, and sometimes because they'd got a situation wrong. The worst of those incidents spilled onto the forum, due to my own poor judgement (I was so incensed with someone's behaviour that I called them out on it in the Garbage Pod - thinking that the forum as a whole would care).
That was the first time the "bullying" accusation reared its ugly head. To my continuing shock, more than one person turned on Nikki and attacked her when she'd been the victim of some frankly disgusting behaviour (with witnesses). That was when the "Nikki the Great" persona started to come out. If she sometimes seems to be going on the offensive, or is uncompromising when she's annoyed, I think it's because she's been under siege more than once and didn't get much support from fellow members. I'm not her spokesman, so she can pipe up if that's not the case. But her close allies are the people who bonded with her over altercations they witnessed in the round, from day one, who know that she was attacked first (and more than once).
Of course, I've said all that before - but I don't think anyone can object to me saying it again in a thread that exists for this specific purpose.
One of my concerns is that we don't always articulate why we've fallen out with people. But when we do, people sometimes grumble and say they don't want to know, or even get angry with us. I've been in a situation where people attacked me for raising a complaint against someone, and then, when I referred them to what upset me, refused point blank to read it. Those people would probably say we should keep our disputes off a Red Dwarf fan forum. Other people would say we should keep politics, endless horror threads, or even forensic discussion of plot holes off a Red Dwarf fan forum. So, this section cycles back to the first. Anyway - the point is, we don't typically go around picking on people for the hell of it, as Cloud said already.
With Neil, I think it's less about attack/counter-attack and more about a genuine personality clash on some topics. On the one hand, you have a fairly liberal group of Bremainers who are pro-immigration. On the other, you have a Brexiteer who started countless threads with a right wing focus, and posted in support of the BNP before becoming interested in UKIP. The two groups went through Brexit together and probably aren't natural "besties". Then you have a lingering sense of annoyance that some recurring topics get complained about while others don't, despite the fact we all have different tastes and can ignore each other (see the bit about square brackets above). I was surprised by the strength of feeling in Neil's original post, because I thought we'd been muddling along together in a Lister/Rimmer kind of way lately (note that some interactions are perfectly civil and even humorous in tone).
We and other members of the perceived "in crowd" never get moderated, because we're popular or have been here ages
People generally don't get moderated much. It's not that kind of forum. If you've been as liberal with the report button as you say you have, you must have noticed that. But people occasionally do get moderated, and @Shroud and @Pumpkinikki have both received tellings-off this year. So who's the "in crowd", if we're basing it on people who never get moderated?
I agree with what stu thinks about this. Also me and Nikki have been told off when we have went too fat by Seb. On that occasion it was only my long standing status that got me in less bother. Also Stu tells me and Nikki off all the time for things we have done.
Yeah he told us to lay off the cakes
Seriously though, as usual @R.I.P. 2000 is right. I also think he should be commended for not taking the same tone you used, when replying to you @Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century. Guess we'll await your reply...
I cant type. I am gonna leave it cause it made me laugh
Okay, I owe @Ant the Dragon an apology, which I will give insofar as I believe I was in the wrong. As I previously stated, I find Ant's posts have a negative effect on my forum experience. I chose to block him, which seemed a sensible solution, and it is, of course, the choice any member is free to make. However, using the ignore function should mean ignoring, and instead I used this thread as a location to mention my blocking of his posts and giving the reasons why. I don't actually know why I did that. I did misinterpreted the purpose of the thread, not having understood the relationships on the forum as it now stands, and I think I was eager to join in, as someone who was at one time part of the furniture returning to a much changed place. That was weak of me. Very weak! And it was unfair to even mention publicly my blocking of Ant's posts when the very nature of that blocking prevents his responding visibly to me.
@Ant the Dragon, I apologise wholeheartedly for this error in judgement. There's no excuse for it. I will unblock you for now so that you may respond if you wish.
All I'm going to say is: I've finally just cleaned up the Siliconia discussion thread. Blooming heck, that was a job.
I apologise for not being around while this was going on, I've had a pretty busy few days with one thing and another. It's partly my fault for not stepping in sooner but even so - and without going into again what was being said or what's been said in this thread - please don't let that happen again. It really shouldn't be allowed to take over the new series section like that. I'm particularly annoyed that it seemed to be settled and then got dragged up again - and people not only got into the same circular arguments, but in some cases were posting five or six times in a row while doing so. It's hugely irritating and a waste of my time.
As for the rest of this, it's not my place to step into the arguments you're having between yourselves, but I will say that if I'd caught the language that was reported by Deep Space sooner then yes, I might have had to give out some warning point. But on the converse side of things, as we discussed recently, I'm trying not to over-moderate on here. Perhaps when it comes to the RD section, I should have a firmer hand (and indeed am trying to). But as it is, with things hopefully having calmed down a little again (and that thread now cleaned up) I'd like to draw a line under it. So unless it happens again, let's please move on from it. Thanks.
Fair enough Seb, you're right it should be kept out the RDXII threads.
It was all @R.I.P. 2000 s fault to be fair
Thanks for this. I'm glad the thread is now cleaned up. I was definitely guilty of posting many times in a row as I was very anxious to get my point across for every little bit, but I seriously need to learn how to multi-quote lol.
I also need to learn how to control my anger. For the record, I get easily offended and easily wound up by things people say.
I am sad however that some people thought I was orchestrating the whole thing as @Cruel Slayer thought. It's honestly not the case. I wouldn't do that. I hate conflict. I think RIP summed up what happened best in post #63 of the thread.
I shouldn't have posted the initial flames, and after all the responses, I shouldn't have allowed myself to get so wound up, so once again I am sorry about that.
When I posted the initial flames (I was feeling particularly irritable and frustrated with things at the time), I then went to work and was thinking about how I regretted what I said to an innocent member. When I got back home I was all set to apologise right there, but then I saw these digs back at me that really got to me, and I got very wound up over it and reacted too strongly.
Whatever people may suspect of me, I hate conflict. I find it distressful and uncomfortable. Also it can be hard to decipher what people really mean online, how they really feel, etc. That's just an online thing, applied to everywhere.
But from now on I'm going to work on my anger and frustration. The whole thing blew up bigger than it needed to be.
Anything that happened in chat is irrelevant in my estimation, though it's obviously crucial in yours. You say Nikki was ganged up on in there. Might be true, might not. I wasn't there, but I am here, and you asked us to comment on here. This is a forum. I don't use chat, and nor should I have to. As far as I can tell, the chatroom is a haven for drama and infighting and gossip, where half the users are secretly Danny. I'm not going to touch it with a bargepole. Does it really surprise you that people have a negative impression of chat, given all the drama it's caused just since I joined, and God knows what went down in there before my time. Maybe things are reversed in the chat. If they are, why can't you keep chat issues in chat. I didn't come here to use a chatroom, I came here to use a forum.
"Neilold has different political opinions to the gang's political opinions" - oh, that's fine then. Carry on. I get what you're saying, political types often find it hard to like people with the opposing politics, though I think this works mostly one-way because Neilold has been affable and hasn't harboured personal grudges over people being liberals. Obviously you're well within your rights to /dislike/ Neilold for his nationalism, but we're talking more about behavior. I mean a thread simply about /liking/ people would be weird, though it sounds like that's the sort of thing discussed in chat. I personally don't let politics get in the way of whether I like someone. There's smegheads on both sides of the political spectrum.
People can dislike each other without necessarily doing anything "wrong". The globalist gang doesn't like him because he's nationalist. There's no rule saying Red Dwarf is only for anti-nationalists. I mean Brexit went 52/48, so who's wrong? There's no "wrong". Left-wingers don't like right-wingers and right-wingers don't like left-wingers. We're random people whose venn diagrams overlap at Red Dwarf, but not necessarily anywhere else. And when some of them don't even talk about Red Dwarf, it's inevitable there'd be friction, especially in conjunction with a dedicated non-Red-Dwarf section and lax moderation.
Neilold was one example, but like I said I haven't been keeping notes and I'm not going to spend hours trawling for citations. Kry10 is another example. Do you genuinely like Kry10 or is the Kry10 thing sarcastic? What was the deal with someone organising a meeting in Manchester but it didn't work out, I recall someone getting stick about that. I can't be expected to have total recall about all the things I've seen that have led me to this perception. If someone wants to PM me with an explanation of all the chat-stuff I don't know about, they're welcome to. If someone also wants to PM me to explain what the Tex Rimmer thing is all about, they're welcome to. Ant E is part of your gang, but he seems to have a very different opinion about Tex Rimmer, but I don't know if the Tex Rimmer adulation is actually real or ironic.
People still do moan about plot-hole discussion. Ant E is one of them. How many times has Ant E come along and said "who cares?" in a thread. Or "this thread doesn't interest me". So I started doing it back to him in retaliation in his threads, which are often specifically about other members rather than, you know, Red Dwarf. Or that guy with the guitar in his photo who I think became a persona non grata after he disagreed with the gang's assessment of one of the chat dramas and didn't find Nikki in the right.
But at least it's an on-topic discussion, what's there to say about Tex Rimmer for the umpteenth time. At least there's different plot-holes with different explanations. At least it's about Red Dwarf instead of "we don't like this person, we like this other person". Also, it's never off-topic. We discuss plot-holes either in plot-hole threads or in episode threads. Whereas there can be threads about something else and then the in-crowd will come along and say "Tex Rimmer" or "dummy meme" and generally utterly derail to show their disapproval of the thread. I'm discussing Red Dwarf, you can't compare it.
I don't begrudge people starting threads about things I don't understand, like, or care about. Though obviously that's going to reasonably affect my perception of "liking" them, I'm not going to specifically complain about that in isolation. Though like what you were saying about Neilold, if someone has very different opinions, tastes, personalities then they're less likely to get on. It's the intrusion into other threads that makes it worse. When you see Tex Rimmer and other in-jokes cropping up in proper threads, then you look at the main page and see multiple dedicated Tex Rimmer threads in addition to the derailment, it adds up. Neilold doesn't start talking about horror films in the in-crowd threads, to the best of my knowledge.
The thing about the glass house, we're getting into the realm of simple personality clashes which can't be explained or gotten over. We can like or dislike people even when they haven't particularly affected us. Someone might very well dislike us because we like criticising Red Dwarf as well as praising it. But I mean, Red Dwarf is a pretty mainstream show, and as a scifi comedy it's going to attract different people who watch it for different reasons. I don't think Red Dwarf is particularly funny. But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy it, I enjoy it for the story and the feel and the characters and the wacky scifi concepts taken to extremes. It has a funny tone, but I rarely laugh at the individual jokes. Someone who watches it to laugh at the jokes might dislike me because of that, but it probably wouldn't cause too much drama and might not even come up unless someone started a thread asking who doesn't like me and why not. But if someone started such a thread, they're just be causing smeg and bullying, because nothing had happened. You started this thread in response to the argument in the Siliconia thread, which I wasn't even involved in.
You asked what people thought, I certainly wouldn't have started this thread. So I'm not going after you guys, you asked. And I've never reported anyone for simply posting something I didn't like, only things that were flagrantly against the rules (that I also obviously didn't like). We all have our pet issues. My pet issue is ad hominem abuse. In my opinion there should be zero tolerance for users directly calling other users names, which is what the rules say. You say no one gets moderated, well Neilold did. Maybe I could rephrase that criticism from "certain users don't get punished for abuse" to simply "certain users abuse" then.
NeilOld got an official warning tag because the gang complained about his avatar for political reasons, and it was found to be in violation of the rules. Okay, so why don't the gang get official warning tags for violating the rules. Ant E breaks the rules on a daily basis, does he not. I once saw him necropost a six year-old thread just to call someone an idiot. Maybe necroposting isn't against the rules, but ad hominem abuse is. So how should I interpret this. Maybe it's not favouritism of users, maybe it's selective interpretation of the rules with favouritism of liberal/left politics. Maybe @Seb is of the opinion that anti-immigration avatars are worse than abusive trolling. Possibly, but I think it's still reasonable to have a negative opinion about that. If ad hominem abuse is in fact tolerated, then why do the rules say it isn't.
The Tex Rimmer thing and the other things might be mostly contained to the Aigburth Arms now. But there was a time when they were cropping up all over the forum, even in threads where people were trying to talk about Red Dwarf, till @Seb kind-of-sort-of asked you to please-maybe think-about keeping it to the Aigburth Arms please sorry thank you. Here is my message to him dated June 30 2017:
What is your admin opinion on the way this forum is dominated by a clique who treats the official Red Dwarf forum like it's their own private Facebook chat? I came here to talk about Red Dwarf, not be anyone's best friend or worst enemy. But there's people here who hardly ever post outside the off-topic section. They have these in-jokes and personal vendettas, and come here to talk about anything except Red Dwarf. Do you understand all this Tex Rimmer stuff they keep talking about? Who is Tex Rimmer? I can't work out if they like Tex Rimmer or if it's sarcastic and they hate him. If the latter, isn't it cyber-bullying? It's toxic and alienating. Is it something to do with the argument about someone's friend being murdered? Rather than renaming the off-topic section, I think you should have abolished it. It might encourage some of them to actually talk about Red Dwarf for a change! The whole Tex Rimmer thing, whatever it is, is way out of hand. there's been several occasions where I've felt like saying "shut the smeg up about this Tex Rimmer person" but I've held my tongue.
Ultimately, is this thread about accusations of wrong-doing, or statements of allegiance? I mean we could say okay no one's wrong, they're just different. You don't like our threads and we don't like your threads so let's agree to disagree and tiptoe around each other - until an innocent (or not-so-innocent) third party initiates the next stoush where the chat-gang all coincidentally think the non-chat-gang-person is in the wrong.
I'm not sure much can be done about it, I mean as long as we're civil and lay off the name-calling, capslock and excessive exclamation marks, I'll be hanging around to dissect the rest of Series XII as per usual. Like I say, you asked, I hope I answered. I haven't been involved in the PMing in question, and I've certainly become acutely aware of ostensibly new users acting in decidedly old ways myself. If I was the PMer I would have warned them not so much of bullying, but that there's a group who are all friends and always back each other up in arguments with outsiders, which I think is a perfectly accurate observation.
"Anything that happened in chat is irrelevant in my estimation, though it's obviously crucial in yours."
Well, I certainly think it's crucial if you want to start making moral judgements of posters (and "bully" is a moral judgement). What happens off-forum matters in a moral sense. If I'm being rude to person x on the forum, and you call me a bully, and I explain that person x burned my house down, then you can't say "well I don't care what happened off the forum, I'm going to judge what I see here in isolation and say you're bullying person x."
People can say they don't care what happened off the forum - it's their prerogative - but they shouldn't then apportion blame and pick a side in a dispute, if they've made a conscious decision to only include part of the dispute. The person with the guitar in his avatar wasn't entitled to disagree with an "assessment", IMO, of what went on in chat because he never saw it. He could have stayed neutral, but instead he loudly accused us of bullying another poster. That poster had subjected someone to a campaign of bad behaviour, including making nasty remarks about her friend who died in tragic circumstances. Those remarks were made to her in chat and on the forum where she would see them. "Not caring what happened in chat" is one thing, but "denying what happened in chat when you didn't see it, and calling us bullies for being legitimately angry about it" is another.
The purpose of this thread is to understand where the ill-will comes from to see if it can be addressed, because I've been here since 2009 and don't especially enjoy it. The most noticeable (to me) manifestation of the bad blood has been when people call us bullies. If people think that (for example) turning on a poster and attacking him, after the events described above, is an example of "bullying", then that probably explains some of it. I don't see how it would be bullying unless we were lying. If it's literally a case of people choosing to make strong moral judgements of us based only on what they see - consciously excluding things that are reported to happen off forum - then I find that morally perverse. If it's a case of people simply not caring what happens off-forum, then my suggested remedy would be to not pick a side at all, rather than calling us bullies.
But that's only part of what you raise - it's just something I wanted to respond to first - so I'll reply fully when it isn't as late.
Oh boy...I'll maybe reply at some point. I dunno. Meh. I could understand this all better if we'd written love poetry about Tex Rimmer and stapled it to people's foreheads. But some of this stuff is just...wow.
Anyway, I'll leave it now. I'm sure Jmc can do a much better job of putting things across than me anyway.
This whole "clique" thing is blown way out of proportion, why can't friends on the forum have inside jokes? I mean I know that I'm often out of the loop, but I fully accept that it's entirely my own fault for skipping out on this site for months at a time. It all just seems like you have issues with members here being long time friends, and have sour grapes over not being "in" on some of the jokes!
@Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century you're too cowardly to listen so why bother? All I’ll say is you seem incredibly insecure and a tad boring.
I don't think it's sour grapes, but even if it was, what of it? It's still a division. I mean, let's say the division is caused by sour grapes: now what. Overt, prolonged in-jokes and in-drama are going to alienate other users and cause a split, it seems pretty straightforward to me that it should be a concern long-term. I don't really know what you want me to say. I don't understand why people are acting so surprised. What did you think would happen. We're obviously used to different forums, I don't know.
There's a division in this forum between the chat-clique and the non-chat-clique, which is like a tinder-box that periodically sparks up. That's what this thread is about. In this case someone said the inconsistency with Lister's guitar-playing bothered them, the chat-gang all disagreed, the first guy didn't back down, the chat-gang closed ranks, he felt ganged up on and lost the plot with an unnecessary amount of exclamation marks, someone privately said they'd seen this dynamic before but were too scared to say so publicly.
According to @R.I.P. 2000 it's been this way for many years, so it's not just Neilold and I imagining it. There's obviously others that have been driven off/left, and others grumbling in private messages because they don't want to be ganged up on when they accuse the gang of ganging up on people. I've never been involved in it and never said anything to contribute to it. But I have observed it. It's hard to miss. That one message to Seb was in my way of thinking trying to stop it, by having the moderator tell them to at least show some respect and contain their memes to their own meme-threads and generally behave like regular forum users. I don't have any authority. I can only look at the rules and report people violating the rules to the person who does have authority (which is what I assume the report button is there for).