Thanks for your message, Harry.
I've been lurking for quite a while, with somewhat similar feelings myself. I was thinking about unsubscribing this week. The list has definitely changed in character over the last year or so in particular, and it's sad, because for a while it was a very nice place to 'hang out'. The problem with lists is that they can be destroyed by just a little venom, and here there has been a whole pile, for a long time. If it was a pub conversation I would have gone home long ago.
I remain convinced that most of the stuff on this list matters very little in the grander scheme of things. For me, what we say makes little positive difference unless we first consider the attitude with which we say it. As little attitude gets communicated successfully over email it is usually a longterm bad idea to have open, free-for-all communication among people over email, particularly when many have never met in person or shared a conversation with each other in good old-fashioned face-to-face (preferably with an open fire, but they aren't very environmentally friendly so I can dream ...). Quite frankly, many of the things expressed on this list have been appalling, and most of them from a select few. Pity.
I'm signing off too. Those of you that I already know, I remain happy to know you, and will keep in touch from time to time. Please do the same. I live in Sheffield now, by the way, teaching at Sheffield Hallam University (first permanent job), going to very basic fiddle lessons, and attending sessions with my much denigrated inanimate percussive companion every couple of months. Once I get my own place I will be happy to get visitors (with advance notice, and more likely to get a positive response if I already know you!! :)
If anyone is interested in setting up a moderated info and discussion list for 'Irish traditional whatever', I would be interested in its existence. May not join, but I would consider it if friendly human beings were involved.
In passing, while I appreciate the complexities possible in sound and thought sculpting, I am not interested in either unless they bring me to a richer relationship with myself and with those around me. Complexity without heart misses the point of whatever 'traditions' I may value, as far as I'm concerned. The same goes for passion without substance, meeting without time to spend, labels without peopled meaning, or listening while waiting to speak. There's a lot to learn out there, and many people to learn from/with, and if you think it's information they're doling out, I'm guessing you're missing the boat. Less about the what, more about the how, is some of what I've picked up from some of the people I've hung out with who happen to be on this list. Thank you for that.
All the best,