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Re: Moderatorial bias/hypocrisy/inconsistency on Elfling

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  • Carl F. Hostetter
    In Elfling message 25083 ( ), approved by Elfling moderator and Elfling-d member elimloth :
    Message 1 of 5 , May 28 8:59 AM
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      In Elfling message 25083
      (<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elfling/message/25083>), approved by
      Elfling moderator and Elfling-d member "elimloth":

      X-eGroups-Approved-By: elimloth <draco@s...> via web; 28 May 2003
      03:49:23 -0000

      Helge predictably shifts from attacking the upcoming conference,
      "_Omentielva Minya_", and its organizers, to renewed attacks on
      Christopher Tolkien and myself and my colleagues. He begins by
      comparing Tolkien's son and literary heir to a mere (and somewhat
      deranged) Steward of Gondor, Denethor, with the implication that
      Christopher has self-interestedly _failed_ in his fiduciary duties (a
      remarkable statement from someone who dedicates his website to
      Christopher Tolkien, and to whose work Helge's own is fully indebted
      and mines heavily):

      > Hmm, literary deja vu! "When Denethor became Steward (2984) he proved
      > to be a masterful lord, holding the rule of all things in his own
      > hand. He said little. He listened to counsel, and then followed his
      > own mind." (Appendix A) As we know, his son Faramir didn't like this
      > style, and so the relationship between father and son grew cold...

      I wonder whether this moderator would pass a similar instance of
      "literary deja vu" that I could offer in response:

      "How this ill will grew and festered in the years that followed is the
      main matter of the first part of _The Silmarillion_: the Darkening of
      Valinor. Into the strife and confusion of loyalties in that time this
      seemingly trivial matter, the change of <thorn> to _s_, was caught up
      to its embitterment, and to lasting detriment to the Quenya tongue. Had
      peace been maintained there can be no doubt that the advice of Feanor,
      with which all the other loremasters privately or openly agreed, would
      have prevailed. But an opinion in which he was certainly right was
      rejected because of the follies and evil deeds into which he was later
      led. He made it a personal matter: he and his sons adhered to <thorn>,
      and they demanded that all those who were sincere in their support
      should do the same. Therefore those who resented his arrogance, and
      still more those whose support later turned to hatred, rejected his
      shibboleth" (XII:335-36).

      Or even better, how about:

      "Melkor repudiated all _axani_ ['laws, commandments']. He would also
      abolish (for himself) all _u'nati_ ['impossibilities'] if he could.
      Indeed in his beginning and the days of his great might the most
      ruinous of his violences came from his endeavour so to order Ea that
      there were no limits or obstacles to his will. But this he could not
      do. The _u'nati_ remained, a perpetual reminder also of the the
      existence of Eru and His invincibility, a reminder also of the
      co-existence with himself of other beings (equal in descent if not in
      power) impregnable by force. From this proceeds his unceasing and
      unappeasable rage."

      Helge then turns his sights back to myself and my colleagues, using a
      surely genuine desire to see the "Qenya Lexicon" reprinted (despite
      having declared it to be immature, largely worthless, obsolete, and
      chaotic, but we'll leave that aside) to imply, ironically, that there
      is a "political" reason for its not yet being reprinted (ironic, since
      if there were, it would be solely of Helge's own making), and even that
      we want to drive up the value of the "QL" by making it a collector's
      item!:

      > Are the reasons simply practical -- that you don't have the time,
      > money or whatever to reprint the QL? Or is it a "political" decision?
      > Are we to understand that Christopher Tolkien, "in consultation with
      > other members of
      > the team", just doesn't WANT to see this work reprinted? Or maybe the
      > team members themselves don't want to reprint it? Why on earth would
      > that be? I haven't noticed any really embarrassing editorial blunders.
      > I can't imagine that you are trying to turn the QL into a collector's
      > item?

      The moderator will respond that Helge is not making a personal attack,
      but only asking questions. I wonder, then, whether I would be permitted
      on Elfing to ask the following "questions" in kind:

      Does Helge really want to know why _Parma_12 has not been reprinted? Or
      is his "concern" a "political" issue? Does he in fact enjoy responding
      to every post by Bill with sarcasm, contempt, and innuendo? Why on
      earth would that be? Or maybe he's just a bitter, friendless, jealous,
      egomaniacal man who must tear down others to make himself feel good? I
      can't imagine that you are in fact interested only in attacking and
      discrediting Christopher Tolkien and the editors of Tolkien's works, to
      insinuate yourself between Tolkien's writings and students of Tolkien's
      language and to create and control your own version of Tolkien's
      languages, in order to make yourself feel important?


      |======================================================================|
      | Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org |
      | |
      | ho bios brachys, he de techne makre. |
      | Ars longa, vita brevis. |
      | The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne. |
      | "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take |
      | such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about." |
      |======================================================================|
    • elimloth
      ... [...] Yes, he tends to go for those well honed jabs at emotionally sensitive areas. It is a trait I have asked him (and others) to elide from postings to
      Message 2 of 5 , May 28 11:26 AM
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        --- In elfling-d@yahoogroups.com, Carl F. Hostetter <Aelfwine@e...>
        wrote in part:

        > Helge predictably shifts from attacking the upcoming conference,
        > "_Omentielva Minya_", and its organizers, to renewed attacks on
        > Christopher Tolkien and myself and my colleagues. He begins by
        > comparing Tolkien's son and literary heir to a mere (and somewhat
        > deranged) Steward of Gondor, Denethor, with the implication that
        > Christopher has self-interestedly _failed_ in his fiduciary duties
        [...]

        Yes, he tends to go for those well honed jabs at emotionally
        sensitive areas. It is a trait I have asked him (and others) to
        elide from postings to elfling.

        > I wonder whether this moderator would pass a similar instance of
        > "literary deja vu" that I could offer in response:
        >
        > "How this ill will grew and festered in the years that followed is
        the
        > main matter of the first part of _The Silmarillion_: the Darkening
        of
        > Valinor. [...]
        >
        > Or even better, how about:
        >
        > "Melkor repudiated all _axani_ ['laws, commandments']. He would
        also
        > abolish (for himself) all _u'nati_ ['impossibilities'] if he
        could. [...]

        I would pass this through and be disappointed in the tit-for-tat
        response. I would send you a note asking you to tone down the post
        because though innocuous to most, it too it a well aimed provocative
        jab.

        > The moderator will respond that Helge is not making a personal
        attack,
        > but only asking questions. I wonder, then, whether I would be
        permitted
        > on Elfing to ask the following "questions" in kind:
        >
        > Does Helge really want to know why _Parma_12 has not been
        reprinted? Or
        > is his "concern" a "political" issue? Does he in fact enjoy
        responding
        > to every post by Bill with sarcasm, contempt, and innuendo? Why on
        > earth would that be? *** Or maybe he's just a bitter, friendless,
        jealous,
        > egomaniacal man who must tear down others to make himself feel
        good? ***

        This moderator would not let that one through because of the
        unnecessary personal attack contained within. Carl, the only way to
        normalize relations if is all parties back down. Like kind responses
        continue or escalate the hostile feelings.

        Earlier you asked several modeeration questions that deserve an
        answer. Kai answered some of them and I will add that in general the
        level of rejected posts in elfling is very low, around 3%. Sometimes
        that number rises to 50% as happened earlier this year when
        literally every other post to elfling was someone asking for an
        elfish (sic) translation for a tattoo. The number of "elvish Love
        Ring" requests was nearly countless (well, 200+ in one month). The
        basis of the usual rejections reflect the policies stated in
        elfling's welcome page. It is only a handful of posts that fall into
        the personal attack category,and it is the case that the line I have
        to draw (and I am fairly certain Kai does this too) WRT personal
        attacks is fuzzy because it is difficult to determine a person's
        personal offense threshold. If I let a post through that approaches
        that line, I usually send a note back to the originator to consider
        toning down future postings. The point is to maintain peace in the
        commons.

        Elimloth
      • Kai MacTane
        ... That s a fair summary of my stance, as well. ... I d let it through if it stopped with the first two questions: Does Helge really want to know why
        Message 3 of 5 , May 28 12:20 PM
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          At 5/28/03 11:26 AM , elimloth wrote:

          > > I wonder whether this moderator would pass a similar instance of
          > > "literary deja vu" that I could offer in response:
          > >
          > > [...]
          >
          >I would pass this through and be disappointed in the tit-for-tat
          >response.

          That's a fair summary of my stance, as well.

          > > The moderator will respond that Helge is not making a personal
          >attack,
          > > but only asking questions. I wonder, then, whether I would be
          >permitted
          > > on Elfing to ask the following "questions" in kind:
          > >
          > > Does Helge really want to know why _Parma_12 has not been
          >reprinted? Or
          > > is his "concern" a "political" issue? Does he in fact enjoy
          >responding
          > > to every post by Bill with sarcasm, contempt, and innuendo? Why on
          > > earth would that be? *** Or maybe he's just a bitter, friendless,
          >jealous,
          > > egomaniacal man who must tear down others to make himself feel
          >good? ***
          >
          >This moderator would not let that one through because of the
          >unnecessary personal attack contained within.

          I'd let it through if it stopped with the first two questions: "Does Helge
          really want to know why _Parma_12 has not been reprinted? Or is his
          'concern' a 'political' issue?" After that, though, it *does* get into
          personal attack.

          I considered Helge's "Why Not Reprint?" post to be borderline -- just
          barely acceptable. And it doesn't accuse anyone of "enjoying... sarcasm,
          contempt, and innuendo", or of being "bitter, friendless, jealous, [and]
          egomaniacal."

          >Carl, the only way to normalize relations if is all parties back down.
          >Like kind responses continue or escalate the hostile feelings.

          And it gets particularly crazy when the responses are on two different
          lists! <g>

          --Kai MacTane
          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
          "Death and money make their point once more,
          In the shape of philosophical assassins..."
          --Shriekback,
          "Gunning for the
          Buddha"
        • Carl F. Hostetter
          ... But Helge clearly hasn t. And yet, contrary to the stated policy (under which one distorted application of which I was banned) which David Salo himself
          Message 4 of 5 , May 28 2:04 PM
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            On Wednesday, May 28, 2003, at 02:26 PM, elimloth wrote:

            > Yes, he tends to go for those well honed jabs at emotionally sensitive
            > areas. It is a trait I have asked him (and others) to elide from
            > postings to elfling.

            But Helge clearly hasn't. And yet, contrary to the stated policy (under
            which one distorted application of which I was banned) which David Salo
            himself drafted, including:

            "Obvious ... hate mail will cause the poster to be summarily removed
            from Elfling"

            and

            "a person who continues to violate list guidelines after having been
            warned will be assumed to be acting intentionally and maliciously, and
            will be immediately banned"

            and despite your repeated requests, Helge is _still_ allowed to post
            his "jabs". Why?

            > I would pass this through and be disappointed in the tit-for-tat
            > response. I would send you a note asking you to tone down the post
            > because though innocuous to most, it too it a well aimed provocative
            > jab.

            Did you ask Helge to tone down his posts? You say you did (see above);
            and yet he remains on the list (see above).

            > This moderator would not let that one through because of the
            > unnecessary personal attack contained within.

            And that is exactly what I would expect you to do, in accordance with
            the list's guidelines; that is _precisely_ my point. For if you apply
            those guidelines only to the one party, while allowing the other (who
            is in fact uniformly the _instigator_ of the personal insults) to
            repeatedly post attacks and insulting innuendo, you are hardly
            maintaining peace, or following the lists guidelines.

            > Carl, the only way to normalize relations if is all parties back down.
            > Like kind responses continue or escalate the hostile feelings.

            You are preaching to the choir. _I_ know this; it is for _precisely_
            the reason that I decry the (at best) inconsistent or (at worst) biased
            and hypocritical list moderation that allows Helge to continue to post
            his personal attacks.

            You can't tell me that you don't see an implication that I and my
            colleagues hope to increase the collectible value of _Parma_ 12 is a
            _personal attack_!

            History has shown that Helge will _not_ suddenly become polite; he must
            therefore be _strictly_ moderated, and held _to the letter_ of the
            moderation guidelines); and if he continues to abuse those guideline,
            he should, as the policy David Salo wrote promises, be banned (indeed,
            he should long ago have been banned, if David really believed his own
            words).

            _Why is Helge being held to a different standard from the rest of us_?
          • Carl F. Hostetter
            ... Well whose fault is _that_? ;)
            Message 5 of 5 , May 28 2:05 PM
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              On Wednesday, May 28, 2003, at 03:20 PM, Kai MacTane wrote:

              > And it gets particularly crazy when the responses are on two different
              > lists! <g>

              Well whose fault is _that_? ;)
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