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Passions in Poetry

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Poet deVine
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since 05-26-99
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Hurricane Alley


0 posted 06-06-99 04:04 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Question? If my poetry offends someone, will they have the right to ask that it be removed?
Ron
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Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


1 posted 06-06-99 05:00 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

My first instinct was to give a flip answer: of course! Anyone can ask for something, but that doesn't mean they'll get it.

But your question is really a very serious one, and it deserves a serious answer. Unfortunately, I don't really have one. Coincidentally, I spent most of the morning writing an FAQ page for the main Passions site, and one of the issues I address is why some poems don't get posted.

I don't post poems that I think are in bad taste. Yea, I know that's pretty subjective, and I've heard all the arguments about censorship. But Passions is kind of like my home. I love it when people come into my living room to visit, and I think of all our visitors as personal friends. I know that sounds like a cliche, but it's nonetheless true. Still, there are some things no one will take off a friend, some things that just aren't suitable to bring into my living room. Especially when I also have a lot of young people visiting my home.


Like what? We have a section for erotica, and there's a lot of really excellent poetry there. I'm not a prude. But I won't post poems that are little more than descriptions of lurid sex, either. There are places for those, but Passions isn't one of them. I also won't post poems that are pure blood and guts. Same reasoning. Finally, for several months now, I've avoided posting any poems that seem to glorify suicide. While I try to avoid moral judgments, I think people drawn to self-destruction need help, not encouragement. And, yes, you'll find exceptions to all of these rules. Hell, I don't even believe in rules - but I recognize that the alternative is much worse.


But that isn't really an answer to your question at all. That only addresses the issue of what I find objectionable. I'm not an expert on poetry, and I'm sure as hell not an expert on morality. The only reason I make such choices is because I'm in a position where I have to make them (not making a choice would, in itself, be a choice). That doesn't make the choices right, and I know it!

So, what happens when my choices don't coincide with yours? What happens when you find something objectionable and I don't? Do we remove a poem or ban a poster because one person in the forum finds the material offensive? Or should the number be two? Or maybe three? Should we take a vote, and follow the general consensus? Should we simply ask the poster to remove their own offensive work, with the hope and understanding that all of our people are here for the right reasons and will willingly comply?

I don't have any real answers to your very, very excellent question. But maybe that's a good thing. Maybe I'm not the one that should be trying to answer it. I'm already in the position of being the one that has to enforce the rules (with a little help from my friends!). Just as our government has a separation of powers, maybe it would be better if I didn't also have to try to be the legislative and judicial system, too.

Maybe the rules should come from you - and the others on the forum. I'm open to suggestions, my friends ...

Ron
Elizabeth
Deputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Moderator
Member Rara Avis
since 06-07-99
Posts 7296
America the beautiful


2 posted 06-09-99 11:08 PM       View Profile for Elizabeth   Email Elizabeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Elizabeth's Home Page   View IP for Elizabeth

Well, first of all, there is the obvious: if somebody posts a poem in this forum that talks about the things we are asked not to talk about (i.e. what it says when you register), then it might very well be taken off. I am talking about graphic descriptions of sex, racism, etc. That's not what these forums are meant for. But what about something else? For example, what if a Christian posts a poem about God, and an atheist is offended? Maybe that is far-fetched, but there are all sorts of people who use the Internet.
In the old forums, there were some claims that a poem published at Passions had been plagiarized. When only one person said so, Ron did not decide to take it off just because one person said it was plagiarized. He eventually said he would take it off, but only after three or so people claimed the same thing. Maybe we should do that here-if too many people are offended by a certain poem, it should be taken off. People are different, and are touchy about different things. One person may love a poem, and the next may be deeply offended by it. A vote like Ron suggested would also work. What do you think guys?
Alicat
Member Elite
since 05-23-99
Posts 4277
Coastal Texas


3 posted 06-10-99 02:32 AM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

I think that would be a great idea. Or, with a different spin, we vote, and moderator tallies votes, with administrator called in for tie-breaker or presidential veto.

------------------
Le Jongleur Aspirante





[This message has been edited by Alicat (edited 06-10-99).]
elvira
Senior Member
since 07-06-99
Posts 985
California


4 posted 08-16-99 06:10 PM       View Profile for elvira   Email elvira   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for elvira



[This message has been edited by elvira (edited 08-22-99).]
Nan
Administrator
Member Seraphic
since 05-20-99
Posts 24426
Cape Cod Massachusetts USA


5 posted 08-16-99 06:34 PM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

Elvira -
I very much appreciated your response to those two poems. Editing and/or deleting postings from a forum is a very subjective and sometimes difficult task. I feel that you reacted very reasonably to these postings - I perused them both, and subsequently deleted one of the two. The second, while it is fairly questionable, I deemed to be "not quite" over the line. If I receive another query about it, however, it shall be deleted as well.
Email me any time you feel that a poem is not appropriate........and Thanks..
JP
Senior Member
since 05-25-99
Posts 1391
Loomis, CA


6 posted 08-17-99 11:50 AM       View Profile for JP   Email JP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JP's Home Page   View IP for JP

Again, we get into the realm of regulating and censoring of these forums. Of course Ron, and the individual moderators have the right to remove any poem they want, and I firmly believe that a poem posted in the wrong forum should be "moved" to an appropriate venue.

I object to the idea that members of this site can 'vote' on whether to remove a poem or block a poet. Poetry is soooo subjective and no one should have the right to ask to remove or block another poet.

It becomes the TV debate, you have the remote in your hand (they call it a mouse), you have no need to read the poetry of a poet that you know offends you. If you choose to read it and become offended - live with it and move on. Someone else may find value in the work, and who are we to decide value for someone else?

Let Ron and the moderators do their job and police the forums for inappropriate content, and leave this whole subject alone - less we travel down a path filled with self-righteousness and spite.

------------------
Yesterday is ash, tomorrow is smoke; only today does the fire burn.
JP


DreamEvil
Member Elite
since 06-22-99
Posts 2442


7 posted 08-18-99 04:23 AM       View Profile for DreamEvil   Email DreamEvil   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit DreamEvil's Home Page   View IP for DreamEvil

It has been my experience that making a decision on something necessitates always making a decision on the subject. Further, the deeper into bureaucracy we go, the harder it becomes to see the poetry itself. Instead we see only what is allowed.

Lo and behold, I agree with JP on this one point.

------------------
Shall I indulge in flights of fancy hampered by clipped wings?
DreamEvilŠ


Toerag
Member Ascendant
since 07-29-99
Posts 5839
Ala bam a


8 posted 08-18-99 07:32 AM       View Profile for Toerag   Email Toerag   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Toerag

My poetry offends me?.....Can someone just delete me?.....Please?
Poet deVine
Administrator
Member Empyrean
since 05-26-99
Posts 25869
Hurricane Alley


9 posted 08-18-99 09:51 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Unfortunately, we are going to always have this problem. If I read something I find personally offensive, I don't respond to it. If I find something that I think is offensive to the entire group (for instance a poem on violent rape in the Adult Forum), I think we have the right to ask that it be removed. But no one person should have the right to say what is offensive. If there are a couple of complaints and the moderator feels a poem is offensive, the thread should be closed. The poem will still be there, but no one can respond and it sinks slowly into the archives. If it is extremely offensive in language and content (especially in the open forum) it should be deleted (with a note to the author outlining the reason).

Alicat
Member Elite
since 05-23-99
Posts 4277
Coastal Texas


10 posted 08-18-99 10:08 AM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

I wholeheartedly concur.

Alicat
Nan
Administrator
Member Seraphic
since 05-20-99
Posts 24426
Cape Cod Massachusetts USA


11 posted 08-18-99 06:33 PM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

....and you should wholeheartedly purr, you persnickety kitty....
LngJhnAg
Member Elite
since 07-23-99
Posts 3654
Boot+Kitty=Poetry in motion


12 posted 08-21-99 09:31 AM       View Profile for LngJhnAg   Email LngJhnAg   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LngJhnAg

I know this sounds really weird, but.... I am a very impulsive person (ADHD), and sometimes I post poems that shouldn't be posted. My "Kitty Kitty" poem, for example. I revised the poem as an afterthought, and used the responses of others as a tool for smoothing over a tasteless act. I don't mind at all if a moderator tightens the reins on me when I do that. As a matter of fact, I need that type of governor at times.

So, Ron and Nan and Alicat and all you other moderators - feel free to yank the thread if you feel I've strayed. I WOULD appreciate knowing why the poem disappeared, however. Feedback is always heeded and appreciated. Jusy call me Namby-Pamby...

[This message has been edited by LngJhnAg (edited 08-21-99).]


So is your secret fraternal bottom-feeder membership name Namby or Pamby? I is confused. Alicat

[This message has been edited by Alicat (edited 08-21-99).]
JP
Senior Member
since 05-25-99
Posts 1391
Loomis, CA


13 posted 08-21-99 08:41 PM       View Profile for JP   Email JP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JP's Home Page   View IP for JP

I hate to keep beating this rapidly decomposing horse, but PDV's reply to the (her) question made me stand up and take notice.

PDV said "If I find something that I think is offensive to the entire group (for instance a poem on violent rape in the Adult Forum), I think we have the right to ask that it be removed."

I have to ask why should we ask that it be removed, and while we have the RIGHT to ask Ron or the moderators anything, is it the right thing to do. Who am I to determine whether a poem would offend the group? If the moderator, or Ron, chooses to close the thread on something they find offensive to keep it from moving to the top - wonderful, let them do it. But by the gods, when we start thinking that we should have the authority to decided what is or is not offensive to the group, then we've just killed the underlying benefit of this website - exposure to new ideas and freedom of the mind and spirit.

------------------
Yesterday is ash, tomorrow is smoke; only today does the fire burn.
JP


Poet deVine
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Member Empyrean
since 05-26-99
Posts 25869
Hurricane Alley


14 posted 08-21-99 08:48 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

JP, I would demand a poem be removed that promoted bigotry! I don't believe in censorship but there's a time and place for everything...some things should not be posted here.
CrAyZeD
Junior Member
since 08-03-99
Posts 43


15 posted 08-22-99 05:39 PM       View Profile for CrAyZeD   Email CrAyZeD   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for CrAyZeD

I am too young to view the poetry in the adult forum but i can guess what all you grown ups write about. (wink wink) I think it is just wrong to remove a poem because it offends somebody. Look at how many great poets have written great poems which offended many poeple. An example of this Allen Ginsburgs Howl. It offended many people but its concidered a modern day masterpeice. I have always been one who beleives that a person shouldnt put cencured
stamp on something they think i shouldnt see. at the ripe age of seventeen i think its a travisty that im not allowed to read adult poetry but im allowed to go see a Rated R movie. Get your brains out of the gutter and open your eyes. what do u think your pretecting younger people from. Its poetry not a porno. I think that if the world read more poetry it would be a better place. but you wanna cencur it and label it for me. Im old enough to decide what is good taste for myself. i wouldnt want to decide what is good taste for others because it would be my opinion and it wouldn't be fair.
I hope nobody was offended by what i wrote
i also hope it doesnt get removed
JP
Senior Member
since 05-25-99
Posts 1391
Loomis, CA


16 posted 08-22-99 08:06 PM       View Profile for JP   Email JP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JP's Home Page   View IP for JP

Well, I agree with Crazyed, and at the risk of starting an all out war, I must ask PDV: Why do you feel it necessary to DEMAND the removal of a poem which promoted bigotry?

What congressional committee appointed you, or anyone, the guardian of what is or is not appropriate for the world to see? Censorship... a time and place for everything? Yes, in your own house, with your own children... not on my computer deciding what I should or should not be able to read.

I will state again, that the only person who should have the right to remove anything from this site should be RON, since it is HIS web site, and the moderators of the particular forums have the right to MOVE something to a different forum if they feel it is inappropriate for their forum.


------------------
Yesterday is ash, tomorrow is smoke; only today does the fire burn.
JP


Poet deVine
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since 05-26-99
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17 posted 08-22-99 09:21 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

JP, you are right. I do not have the right to dictate my beliefs to the forum.
JP
Senior Member
since 05-25-99
Posts 1391
Loomis, CA


18 posted 08-23-99 11:07 AM       View Profile for JP   Email JP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JP's Home Page   View IP for JP

Hey y'all, I didn't intend to stand up and shout - or to cause a lot of feather ruffling. This whole topic is one I feel very passionate about (appropriate for PIP don't ya think?)

Everyday, in the news, in the workplace, out in the world, I hear people talk about what they think others should have the right to see, read, write, hear or say. I have given much of myself to the defense of this country, our constitution, and our way of life - I belive strongly in the principles of the 1st amendment and consequently rant on occasion regarding censorship.

If I offended anyone I apologize - it was unintentional.




------------------
Yesterday is ash, tomorrow is smoke; only today does the fire burn.
JP


Poet deVine
Administrator
Member Empyrean
since 05-26-99
Posts 25869
Hurricane Alley


19 posted 08-23-99 01:52 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

I have always admired your outspoken comments, JP. If you are refering to me when you apologize, there is no need. I am so totally against censorship, it's not funny. Sometimes the best way to make a point is to hand the pointer to someone else - as I have done here.
CrAyZeD
Junior Member
since 08-03-99
Posts 43


20 posted 08-23-99 11:22 PM       View Profile for CrAyZeD   Email CrAyZeD   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for CrAyZeD

I relize that this forum is owned by other people and its not my decision but i think all poetry should be open to all people on this forum.
To me its kinda foolish to hide "Adult" poetry with a password when in the teen forum there are poems about suicide and death.
If what you wright is unapropriate thats your opinion. My parents should be the only people to decide what is unapropriate for me.
In society today we are always lookin for ways to keep from doing any parenting whats so ever so people put the decisions into other peoples hands. I think that is a sad truth. I have a lot to say about this topic but i dont have the time right now to type it all up. I post more or edit this message as I see fit

------------------
Dont bet your money on fast horses, bet your money on slow rabits.
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


21 posted 08-24-99 12:30 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

CrAyZeD, you might take a look at this old thread: http://piptalk.com/pip/smiles/Forum10/HTML/000002.html and the response I gave then as to the difference between an "adult" and a "teen."

The main reason for having a password-protected forum (whether it's called an Adult Forum or something else entirely) is so that people don't accidentally wander in and find themselves offended by something. They might still be offended, but it won't be an accident...

As for the poems in the Teen forum about suicide and death (and worse), you can mark those as a testament to my aversion to censorship - because there is no subject I find more distasteful than suicide. In the FAQ's at the main Passions site, I make it fairly clear how I feel about that theme. Unforunately, I don't know of any solution that isn't worse than the problem.
CrAyZeD
Junior Member
since 08-03-99
Posts 43


22 posted 08-24-99 05:56 PM       View Profile for CrAyZeD   Email CrAyZeD   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for CrAyZeD

If I were to post something that somebody might wander on in the teen forum and find it offensive would you put a password on that too.
Excuse the sarcasm but what Im sayin is that if people get offended thats not anybodys fault, its only an opinion. I would think that when people read poetry they expect that one day they might read something that is offensive but putting a password on it is wrong. What you should do is put a message something like "if you think you will be offended click here to exit type thing."
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


23 posted 08-24-99 07:46 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

No, if you posted something in the Teen forum that was wholly inappropriate and offensive, I wouldn't put a password on the forum. I would delete the post. (You'll find that sarcasm is rarely excused.)

As to your more valid comments, they seem to be based on what I think is an unspoken (and unwarranted) assumption that it's okay for poetry to be offensive to largely Universal human sensibilities simply because it is poetry. "...if people get offended thats not anybodys fault" (sic) is a complete cop-out. When communications falter and fail there is always fault. It's the writer's fault. It's the publisher's fault. And, yea, it's even the reader's fault.

Some things are subjectively offensive, and I think most of us would agree those have a place in poetry and art. As an analogy, some would find the graphics at Playboy to be offensive while others would consider them art. It's subjective. I would consider the material in our Adult forum to be subjectively offensive. It's tasteful and in many cases beautiful, but there are many people that simply don't want to be exposed to it. That's their right, and my solution is to put it in a place they have to make an effort to access. Yes, I could just put up a warning. It would certainly make life easier for Poet deVine and myself if we didn't have to take the time to give people access. But there's a surprising large number of people who don't seem to read things very carefully (things like "send us your User Name" or "don't post the same poem in multiple forums"), and I personally feel it would be another cop-out on my part to put the onus on the reader. We put the extra effort into protecting the forum (and it is an extra effort) to insure there are no accidentally offended visitors to Passions. Why? For the same reason you won't find those Playboy graphics posted at National Geographic - there's a place for subjectively offensive material, but it's not necessarily the same place as mainstream material. If you lump both together you give the visitor only two choices: put up with material they find offensive or avoid everything, including materials they would find pleasing. I don't think either of those choices is necessary.

CrAyZeD
Junior Member
since 08-03-99
Posts 43


24 posted 08-24-99 09:55 PM       View Profile for CrAyZeD   Email CrAyZeD   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for CrAyZeD

I never said that its ok for poetry to be offensive to 99.99% of the galaxy. Some poetry I will admit isnt suitable for a forum like this. But you dont hide tasteful poetry dealing with (for lack of a better word) taboo topics because people might be offended. Like when you added the dark passions section people are pretty sure they arent going to see roses and butterflies and litte fairies in a beutiful meadow. They expect poetry thats dark and gloomy. If a person is offended while in the dark passions section why are they in there in the first place. They should know what to expect. To use one of your examples, material from Playboy can offend some people, but a person who opens a magazine with a naked women on the cover should be prepared for whats inside the magazine.
Dont get me wrong, I appreciate the work all the administaters do to keep the forums open, I have read some great poetry in all the sections. I am not writing all this stuff to badger you or anything, I get the feeling you think I am. I am just using the forum to get my point across but the bottum line is that its your forum and you can do anything you want with it. If it mine though I would do somethings differently. On this issue I think its best we agree to disagree because I am not the best typist in the world and I spend like an hour typing this stuff. If you want to continue this discussion be warned that I wont be able to resist another round of debating.
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