So much here, now, seems to be a kind of competitive identity group-grievance and/or competitive identity group-back-slapping exercise. It's so useless, demeaning, too, as it assumes a profound lack of self-confidence, pride, intelligence. It has to be off-putting, at the least, to anyone considering this venue.

I hope people will abandon this unnecessary, deadening style of discussion and debate.

Our Salon, so lively and potent at its onset and for quite a time after, would be wholly reinvigorated, a place of surprise and thought and enjoyment for many once again, and with new, interesting participants, and grateful longstanding members.

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Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on April 12, 2018 at 9:37am

Thanks, Anna!  You know, when I ask people here for an ok to use a piece on the radio, I most often ask to use memoir and poetry pieces.

Comment by Anna Herrington on April 12, 2018 at 9:42am

Just what I miss and what is the venue that helps us actually *see* one another....imho.

Comment by Anna Herrington on April 12, 2018 at 9:43am

...as well as helps us all understand the human condition from a different view...which just might help in a bit of deeper understanding...

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on April 12, 2018 at 9:48am

Indeed.

Comment by koshersalaami on April 12, 2018 at 10:01am

If you want the artistic posts, personal posts, non-political posts to be more of what’s seen, like them and comment on them.

That does, however, bring up an issue in terms of how traffic works. The artistic posts might generate a compliment or an observation or a question, but these posts don’t lend themselves to the same kind of back and forth that political posts do, acrimonious or not. You’re going to see higher comment counts on topics that are naturally inclined to generate discussion. 

“I like your use of light.”

”Thank you. That’s what I was going for.”

And..........we’re out. 

That’s one issue. What do we do if something artistic doesn’t speak to us? I’d sooner ignore it than tell someone “I don’t think much of this work.”  Of course, not all political posts get traffic either. Sometimes it’s just “Oh please, not again.” 

And there’s another: There’s a certain degree of reciprocation here, and that puts those who don’t comment a lot at a disadvantage. A lot of political posters tend to be particularly active commenters. 

Lastly, there’s a reason I really appreciate this post, even though I assume I’m one of the people this post is about:

If you don’t like the tone that you see, express your intolerance for it. The ONLY thing that will calm things down is peer pressure. If you tolerate it, you get it. 

If it’s bad enough and worth it, you can organize and agree collectively to call people out on stuff when you see it. “Please don’t do this. Thank you.” The advantage to that approach is you’re less personally exposed. 

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on April 12, 2018 at 10:10am

Where I find debate (over politics, art, what have you) intolerable is where its ostensible end is identity-group competition for either of the goals mentioned in my post and for the reasons I spell out. 

I agree that non-political posts warrant well more, most often, than the occasional brief response.

Comment by Rodney Roe on April 12, 2018 at 10:11am

Jon, feel free to come by and tell me I'm all wet anytime.  My ego will smart briefly as I mull over the alternate viewpoint.

Stephen King, in the forward to Seasons, commented that his previous work had been thoroughly panned by critics.  After a little wallowing in self pity he decided that they were right, and sat down at his computer, killed off a few elderly women and innocent children and felt a lot better.

Comment by J.P. Hart on April 12, 2018 at 10:16am

Smartly stated as well as humbly namaste worth....kind Jonathan Wolfman!

Although I ought be reading Joan Walsh's 'March for Our Lives' essay (current issue The Nation) please allow a brief take.
Collective consciousness rapidly approaches the 50th year since the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.
So today I'll buy out all available copies of 'They Marched Into Sunlight' (David Maraniss,the great WASHINGTON POST editor at large: 2004, Simon and Schuster) and distribute to Little Free Libraries. As a (what am I) mid-stride boomer? Obliviously I've a different REM value than say, the succeeding-preceding generation(s) who-for-God-only-knows have a higher propensity for suicide and felonious maliciousness.
And please note the pall-pause of mega-super-stars deaths ever since the 'vote rallys' prior to our 2018 electronic election.

I shall always speak highly of Our Salon, the rounds of experience, as well as the strangers that I'V met, one lucky bambino, to participate in free speech.
Fear the fear, guys!

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on April 12, 2018 at 10:18am

Part of a NOTE to me within the past hour (edited for anonymity and brevity).

"Thanks for your post.... The comments you make...describe perfectly why I am...[rarely]ever here. I don't mind intelligent dialogue between persons with opposing views, but the constant negativity and small-minded attacks are more than I can stomach on a regular basis. Politics being the basis...I also understand that my unwillingness to be a part of it [takes me out of] from other kinds of discussions. ... ."

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on April 12, 2018 at 10:19am

Thanks Rodney, JP.

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