Yes, yes, yes... I know. My profile had the words "Forum Moderator" in it. So, before I begin my rant, please let me take a minute to explain, for
those who are not aware, some facts about that status.
I am not an employee of ATS. I am not sitting in a call center, somewhere in India, getting paid to be here in any customer support capacity. None
of us are. We are all members who were asked, and volunteered to help out with the community, gratis, simply because we love the site and want to
contribute to its ongoing existence and success. I was a member here before I was a moderator. If I ever step down or am removed as moderator, I will
still be a member here ( provided I don't do anything stupid and get myself banned.).
That is the reality of it. Member first, moderator second.
Some seem to think that the moderator thing is about d-ego and power tripping. To them all I can say is, truly, if you spent a day or two on staff? I
honestly believe most would say "You know what? This isn't fun at all. Can I go back to how things were?" It's rewarding in its own ways. But it
really can be a total hassle. Trust me, when there are 20-30 U2U's, back and forth, with an enraged member, over an obvious T&C infraction - and all
you, as a member first, really want to do is participate in a thread, or write one? It can be quite trying.
However, I am not here to whine. This is the rant forum, and I am here, as a member. Just Heff to rant! The above is purely for
C'mon - Get Brave! CARTOONS WERE DISCLOSURE!
Some of you, I am sure, like myself have been flat out jaw-dropped over the past week or two over some of the posts and subjects that have hit the
boards in that period. Erratic talk of freedom of speech, feeling an overwhelming need to do "what's right", and generally mind-numbing
points of view that have left me totally twitching and trying to understand.
Crusades often have that effect on people. They tend to leave all who aren't "true believers" kind of off to the side, watching in shock and saying
"Ummm... OK. Whatever floats your boat."
This isn't uncommon on websites like ATS. What is uncommon is the ferocity of such positions lately. Normally if a member or members wants to discuss
topics that ATS doesn't consider good for the community - once they calm down they usually say "Oh, OK. Cool. I know of other places to discuss that
subject anyway..." and it's over.
Lately, however. That isn't happening at all. In fact the opposite is happening. Folks are saying "You WILL let me talk about this here OR ELSE!"
and the crusade is off and running.
For a minute this, quite frankly, had me rather pissed off. You'll notice that, though usually pretty prolific in posting and creating threads...
I've been highly inactive lately. This is not by choice. I've been that busy dealing with the fallout from the recent crusades and have been bummed
But this morning, while I was in the shower - where I do most of my quality thinking, it occurred to me. These people are sssooo freaking fake
in their supposed sincerity. I mean it hit me like a ton of bricks. Sure, they crusade here - and it looks honorable and noble to some other folks.
But think about it. Are any of these people popping-up and saying "Great, I went to work today and tried to tell everyone there about my thoughts on
this issue. The boss told me company policy forbade such discussion... But, damn it, freedom of speech matters so much to me that I INSISTED he shut
up and let me speak. I got fired for my beliefs! I feel THAT strongly about the subject!"
Hell no they haven't. And they won't. Why not? Because they've got common sense! That's right. Sense enough not to tamper with their own lives. So
why do it here? Why front like a crusader when the truth is that you won't even bloody your blade? Why engage in empty rhetoric here when it's not
important enough to really stand up for?
Of course the answer is obvious. They do it here because there is nothing to lose here. Getting banned isn't really a threat. So it's the perfect
place to act like a crusader and to play games with whatever following you can attract. If they get banned along with you? Bonus lulz.
I don't see anybody saying "I believe a crime has occurred, how can I really make a difference?" Nobody has said "I want the FBI contact
information. You know what? I don't trust the FBI! I want the contact information to every foreign intelligence agency in the world! Can somebody
help me out! I AM GOING TO GET JUSTICE!"
If they were to say that? I'd happily Google for hours to find an answer for them. That's right, mean old, repressive mod Heff would contribute,
freely, his own time to assist. But that doesn't happen and it isn't likely to. Fake crusaders don't really want the Feds knocking on their front
doors to take a formal statement about what they say they believe. They don't want to be on record saying the crazy stuff they DEMAND the
"right" to say here.
Smoke and mirrors. Rhetoric. BS.
Another thing occurred to me... for awhile I wrote off some members as simply "unique". Every community has its out there crowd. ATS is no
different. But the shower tells all - and I had another epiphany.
You ever see a thread titled "Cartoons Are Disclosure!!!" and then a statement that the OP believes strongly enough in that fact that he/she is
going to test it by dropping an anvil on their head? Running off of a cliff to see if they really do hover there for 2 seconds? Smoke dynamite to see
if they'll survive the explosion blackened, and moving their nose back in place - from the back of their head?
Ya ever see a thread from somebody wanting to know where the real world Acme products mail order company can be found at?
Very telling. Very, very telling.
Getting out of the shower, awhile ago, I had this headful of thoughts, and pondered whether or not they were something I should or should not post (
personal accountability and judgement. Much easier than a removed post and 20-30 U2U's back and forth. Just sayin' ). Ultimately I decided to post
this rant for one reason. To try and give perspective to the logical and well intentioned members who sometimes get sucked into these crusades. In the
long run its those folks who end up getting the short end of the stick if things get ugly and go south. They are the ones who wake up and regret
things a few days down the road.
For them I say: If you see a member in meltdown and sympathize or empathize with them. Ask yourself? Do they really have a valid point that they are
genuinely moved by? Or are they just empty crusaders looking for an environment where they can stir the pot and get their jollies at the expense of
Well, hmmm. I'm going to be honest, I ain't that keen on talking to a mod but whatever.
But this morning, while I was in the shower - where I do most of my quality thinking, it occurred to me. These people are sssooo freaking fake in
their supposed sincerity. I mean it hit me like a ton of bricks. Sure, they crusade here - and it looks honorable and noble to some other folks. But
think about it. Are any of these people popping-up and saying "Great, I went to work today and tried to tell everyone there about my thoughts on this
issue. The boss told me company policy forbade such discussion... But, damn it, freedom of speech matters so much to me that I INSISTED he shut up and
let me speak. I got fired for my beliefs! I feel THAT strongly about the subject!"
You are right. It's really about image in the end. It's about feeding the ego. This is the reason why in my actual life when I encounter people like
this I just say "You are right" and let it go. You can't win. There isn't a thing you can do. When people call me ugly or stupid I say the same
thing. I just don't give a damn anymore, Of course, you don't have that luxury being a mod and all but it is what it is.
Humans are biased, cliquish and ego driven and this place is no different. Now if you don't mind, I need to go
let my hair down.
Whenever I see a thread going all "facebook" and stuff (and I have learnt to tell fairly quickly which ones do either by title or poster, or both)
I'll sometimes keep it open but not actively participate for one very simple reason:
The thread is not about a discussion, its about taking the podium and trying to convince people of their wrongness.
When this happens, I go to "top topics", "last 12-months" or "all time" and continue reading for what I came here for in the first place. Or I
go to my favourite contributors profile page(s) and continue reading their threads - what better way to get to know someone.
I do not envy you your task Heff - at least I can shoot off to my chill-out thread and hang with my homies when the threads turn sour.
I wonder who will take offence to your OP?......................
You get what you see in the online offer, we don't dissapoint our valuable customers. Des is bored of this hot babe, she is into cows.. now..if you
know what I mean..
Excuse the off topic conversaton, sometimes I can really go at it.
LOL I get it, hefficide as in heffa or another name for a cow
A good and valid rant. I myself take a period off from ATS for a few weeks to a month. Started after the election and once Sandy Hook happened, I've
pretty much just lurked. It just got a bit crazy and I felt that ATS was starting to mimick other websites that have few rules.
I do not need to repeat my beliefs as I have put them out there before and I found myself repeating myself time and again. I'm keep trying to come up
with a more salient point when I reply or post nowadays.
The last two months have been quite the emotional time for many, myself included, so I stepped away...for a bit anyway.
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