We have to talk among ourselves and see what each of us is willing to contribute and what each of us hopes to get out of such a place. It must satisfy those of us who feel we have something to contribute, including Ron, whose contribution must return enough to him in some fashion to make the giant difficulty worth taking on.
Bob this is one of the statements you opened this thread with. That's what's been going on. We've been talking amongst ourselves trying to figure out what we want from such a place and how we can make it work - Ron's guidelines inevitably come into that discussion and also the question of why the other place didn't work.
Yes a bit of confusion now ensues I think perhaps because as I hinted here:
posting your poem has kind of turned the thread into two parallel threads. I think your poem was worth much more than getting it entangled with all the backwards and forwarding of the discussion. Maybe it's not too late to disentangle it even now into another thread?
Ess and Grinch
Sorry Grinch but I feel Ess is correct here.
First, if you are right then I think much much more respect should have been shown to a moderator of 9 years standing. And again if you are really right about the point where the decision was made to close the forum being the point at which Pete made his (long overdue) remonstration with MF then I would be extremely disappointed in Ron. I find it difficult to believe that is the case, and were it to be so then I think I would need to reconsider my commitment to PiP. Sometimes I think a bit too much is made of Ron's ownership of the site and his efforts connected with it, which though considerable would be to no avail without the loyal dedication of his team of moderators. Ron knows this and I believe gives a good deal of respect to the views of his senior moderators, I feel sure that far from closing the forum because of Pete's behaviour he would have discussed the issue with him and given a good deal of weight to his opinion.
And once again I think you are wrong in attributing the failure of CA entirely to the actions of the regulars. Even Ron himself has stated that a good deal of the responsibility was his. If you mean that the actions of the regulars in the final days were the final straw which showed Ron once and for all that CA was not working then fine I will go with that. But as for those actions being the root cause of the failure, I think, by Ron's own admission that is not the case.
There was a pride of lions living on the Veldt. The dominant male, the King of the lions, one day decided that, except for prey absolutely necessary for survival, the members of his pride would henceforth harm no other living creature, moreover all members were to be given equal status and each member would show great tolerance of, and patience with every other member's behaviour.
Now it so happened that the pride was divided into three cohorts. The first of these was the largest and was a lovely place for socialising and friendship: relaxed, happy and with a rapid flow of quick fire repartee and gay chatter.
The second cohort was a small one where lions with a fiery desire to learn the skills of crochet repaired at intervals. In this cohort happy friendship was still the key, but lions were expected to adhere to certain rules in order that the process of learning could be conducted in an orderly way.
The third cohort was also quite a small place. This cohort was the forum for discussion of the ways of the lion, the various strategies for stalking and of course haute cuisine.
Now, the new strictures of the King of the pride worked fine in the first cohort. All was peace and light, and the occasional wayward member or buzzing insect was treated with benign tolerance or cheerful indifference. Everyone was relaxed and unstressed, the workload was light or non-existent and life proceeded cheerily and with equanimity.
In the second cohort the cohort leader was less happy. Once or twice a member was overly enthusiastic and pushed forward pieces of crochet work that were nothing to do with the lesson on hand. Moreover the constant buzzing of mosquitos was a distraction and an irritation from the work.
The leader therefore applied to the King and said, "Oh King, mightiest of mighty lions, while we humbly acknowledge the great wisdom of your recent decree, we would refer you to Para 8 clause 4 sub-clause ii, regarding, non-harm, tolerance and respect to all living creatures. This clause while being generally sound and principled is, in its present blanket form, preventing me from dealing firmly, yet fairly, with inside and outside distractions."
"No problemo" said the King - who btw had Roman ancestors - "we'll just addo a few little rulios to ensure that where necessary you can zappo the bugs and gently cuffo the miscreants."
Thus peace, order and learning was restored to the crochet learning cohort.
Meanwhile in the forum of the third cohort chaos reigned.
"It's a long story," said the Top lion in the cohort, when accosted by the King about the noise.
"The thing is," continued the Top lion mournfully, "we just can't seem to function, maybe it's our fault, but all the heart has gone out of this place. We can't seem to discuss the ways of the lion, the various strategies for stalking or even haute cuisine any more. I'm sorry to say it O all-wise King but your all embracing rules, while good and noble, seem to me to permit behaviour in our cohort which takes our minds and efforts away from the work that we need to do to make our place work harmoniously. For instance one or two members who have always been inclined to the frivolous, the off-the-cuff miaows and the quick whisker flicks, are apt to make light of our serious ventures, in a doubtless amusing, but sometimes tiresome manner, and in ways which lead to misunderstanding and friction O my King."
The King growled ominously, and laid a heavy soft paw, claws retracted, on his chum's shoulder, as he said, "Simply ignore them then my friendo."
Top lion looked very uncomfortable, "My King we have tried to do that, but it becomes harder and harder as the balance between those who want fun and those who want both fun and deeper study shifts in favour of the former. You see I haven't yet mentioned the mosquitos."
"The mosquitosos?" queried the King.
"Yes, the mosquitos O King. They buzz. They sting. They fly in and bite and then fly off again. And all the while we are trying to concentrate. Plus we have the Gaudy Eagle."
Up went the King's eye whiskers. "The Gaudy Eagleo?"
"Oh yes my King," groaned Top lion, "He sits on a bunyan tree right in our midst and poops, over and over, it's hard to ignore him, and the smell makes our members fractious and irritable. One particular member by the name of Boonmean has become cynical and sarcastic. Not like his old self at all."
"Tough," said the King, "tell him to deal with it, and the others too. They must learn to handle the troubles of life, even in the midst of adversity."
"Oh, I did that King," the Top lion said, "I did that, and now look at us, a sorry spectacle. For rather than stay and suffer the torture of trying to work and concentrate while being pestered by mosquitos and pooped on by eagles, our best members simply left our cohort to wander the veldt. Now we are left with just the frivolous, and the cynical Boonmean who limps on pathetically, and of course the mosquitos."
The King sighed a deep sigh, "I knew all this thinko was bad for lions," he muttered to himself, "lions are meant for lolling and lazy chat, not for deepo stuffo, this is all my doing for allowing your cohort in the first place."
"Oh no great King!" remonstrated the distraught Top lion in agony, "the idea is good, the haute cuisine is wonderful, but we need a wee bit of help to operate amicably. Please O King in thine infinite wisdom and mercy, grant us the latitude to gently bat away the mosquitos or to at the very least wear protective insect repellant (£1.50 from M&S) to allow us to ignore them. Furthermore empower me to gently remonstrate with those would put frivolity and naughty fun at the centre of their agenda if I feel it is a disruption to the whole cohort. Finally let me ask the Gaudy Eagle to learn the language of Lion that he may discuss and debate with us on equal terms, and thus he may explain the where's and whyfore's of his regular poop."
"Never!" quoth the mighty monarch. "The prideo of the prideo is paramounto; never shall I jeopardise our credo for the sake of the discussion of mere lion ways and haute cuisine. Depart! and continue."
So the Top lion went sadly away, and what followed is of course well known history. The vicious Boonmean was even more cynical and sarcastic, the frivolous frivvled merrily and to the continued distraction and annoyance of some, the Gaudy Eagle pooped and the mosquitos bit, and gradually the oldest members grew worn out and disillusioned and wandered away into the veldt.
And worse than that, other wise lions from Africa passing by on their travels looked in on the cohort and, when they might have stayed to pass the night or even longer, the biting and scratching and sheer silliness that pervaded the place, caused them to wrinkle their lips in disgust and wander away. Thus the days and months and years wore by until one afternoon a particularly annoying super-mosquito entered the cohort. So persistent were his attentions that even the patient old Top lion was sorely troubled.
"Desist," he growled softly. But the mosquito merely poked him playfully in the eye.
SPLAT went the large furry paw of the Top lion; and the mosquito, though not clawed and therefore still unharmed, buzzed frantically.
"Enough!!" cried the aghast King seeing this, "Ah, woe is me, I see now my error, and that the wisest of my wise servants was right. This cohort cannot run harmoniously thus constituted. I hereby disband it. It is perhaps not possible ever to resurrect it - time and leonine consideration is required."
And so the cohort ceased to be and the few remaining members - and there were piteously few by this time - were cast into the barren veldt. Some blamed the King, some the Top lion, but one tenacious grouchy old lion blamed only himself and the other regular members of the cohort.
"We were wrong," he said. "Despite the frivolous ones, the mosquitos, and the Gaudy Eagle we should have all remained sweet placid lions. Despite the loss of our ability to think straight, and despite even the loss of the raison d'etre of the cohort, we should have tolerated, respected and purred at those mosquitos."
"But then," ventured one innocent little female lion who was a latecomer to the cohort and therefore somewhat sensible, "what would have been the point?"
"The point," ejaculated the grouchy one, "the point! The point of course would have been to uphold the decree of our dear and infallible King!"
"Oh," said the small lion, feeling most chastised and very stupid, "of course, infallible. Yes, I see now."