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CELTIC-L  October 2006

CELTIC-L October 2006


Re: <listowner> comments, was Re: celtic triple goddess paradigm


William Kennedy <[log in to unmask]>


CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.


Fri, 6 Oct 2006 11:21:08 -0400





text/plain (353 lines)

Very well put, Ray and thank you! It has been difficult to keep from responding, not wanting to inflame, and not wanting to make 'ad hominem' comments, but I would have suggested that all of Mel and Vyvyan's and some responding postings could have been better carried on in private e-mails between themselves, ESPECIALLY as they have yet to accept the basic conditions you have articulated. I would reiterate these for the record as: 

Topics strictly related to Celtic arts and cultures and languages
Facts expressed as facts to be substantiated by sources; 
Personal opinions identified as such, (likewise conjectures, tangents, and  beliefs)

And one that Mel has not apparently read, or has not understood, or chooses to ignore:

NO HTML, all submissions to be sent in plain text.

It couldn't be much simpler, and I would rather not see another email sent in HTML by anyone, so my vote is filter it for us if you can.

-----Original Message-----
From: CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of R.Karl
Sent: Friday, October 06, 2006 10:58 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: <listowner> comments, was Re: celtic triple goddess paradigm

Dear Mel,

Mel Erskine-Richmond wrote:
> Dear Raimund -- This is your idea of cosy? The sort of atmosphere in 
> which discussions may continue?

Well, this is not about my or anybody else's ideas about cosy. It's 
about offering the possibility to discuss Celtic culture in a reasoned 
and sensible way. And quite generally, the atmosphere here is usually 
fine. It's only when people can't stick to the set topic of the list - I 
repeat, Celtic culture - and can't accept if they are told that they're 
off topic, that problems arise.
Let me repeat this again - all discussions on topics of Celtic culture 
are fine, even if only somewhat remotely connected to the topic of the 
list. But there are some things that are off topic. Dinosaurs are one 
such off-topic subject, unless a link to Celtic culture can firmly be 
established. As of yet, you have miserably failed to demonstrate such a 
link. So, as of yet, they are still off topic.

> This is not a moderated list --- so you should not interfere with the 
> flow of  discussions by inserting your will to create a narrow agenda on 
> what is and is not appropriate.

You are right, this is not a moderated list. This is why your mails 
still go through to some 500odd people's email accounts, rather than 
being filtered out well before that.

But it is not a general discussion list of everything that comes to your 
mind. It is a list with a set topic - a topic that, btw, you yourself 
set many years ago - and as such, it should stick to that topic. It is 
my role as content owner to take care of that.

This is for the reason that those 500odd people that are subscribed to 
the list are here because they want to discuss the set topic, not have 
their computers cluttered up with everything you (or anybody else, for 
what it's worth) happens to fancy at any given moment in time.

As such I don't and won't interfere with any on-topic discussions, 
unless they degenerate into flame wars. But also as such, I will 
interfere with discussions that are as off-topic as they come.

If you don't like that, unsubscribe. It's as simple as that.

> The role of the list is to promote discussion, not to inflate ego. 

Oh come on, Mel. If you feel like insulting me, do it off-list, please.

> Dissecting every letter or cherry-picking certain letters to dissect
> is approaching a form of megalomania.

Well, that's a matter of opinion. Dissecting letters which are both 
off-topic and break list rules, however, is the only thing that I, as 
content-owner, can do short of blocking the offender. If you prefer, 
I'll simply block you address, without any further comment. But I'd 
rather not.

Anyhow, if you don't want your emails dissected, stop sending stuff that 
doesn't sand up to scrutiny. This list, as you rightly say, is not about 
inflating egos. As such, if you send unsubstantiated speculations, you 
will have to live with the fact that they'll be put under scrutiny. 
Which, if what you send is not standing up to it, will result in it 
being dissected.

> Get a life, and let others use the list as it was intended.

Thanks for more insults.

As I said, I've been running the list for about a decade now, and there 
haven't been many if any complaints so far. If you intended the list to 
be something else, sorry about that. But then, you shouldn't have called 
it 'the Celtic culture list', but something else, and you shouldn't have 
abandoned it some 12 years ago, but kept it running the way you liked it.

Since then, by and large, almost everyone has been quite happy with the 
way this list has ben run. So perhaps you intended something different, 
but this is what it has grown into. It now actually is a 'Celtic culture 
list', whether you like it or not.

> Sure you don't get my perspective, as your viewpoint is very rigid. 

Well, maybe it is, maybe it isn't.

> But you should not allow yourself to misuse the role of leadership
 > by preventing people from enjoying a discussion.

Well, from my point of view, I'm not preventing people from enjoying 
discussion. At least not where topics relevant to Celtic culture are 
concerned. Everyone is free to go ahead and discuss on-topic stuff as 
much as they like.

If you see it as a misuse of leadership that I try to keep the amount of 
off-topic stuff that people have to delete because somebody keeps on 
pushing an agenda that has nothing whatsoever to do with the topic of 
this list, so be it. You are entitled to your opinion.

But then, you may perhapos be willing to grant that I'm also entitled to 
my opinion, which is that the job of the listowner is to keep the 
discussion both reasonable and on-topic.

 > The list is not intended
> to be a scholarly and dry dissection of Celtic culture. 

I never said it was. However, this list is also not a generic chat room, 
where you can chat about everything from little green men on Mars to 
deep fried Mars bars. As such, there have to be limits, limits that 
somebody needs to set and remind members to stick to. Otherwise, 500odd 
subscribers, who would like to hear more about Celtic culture, will have 
to endure endless rants about deep fried Mars bars and little green men 
on Mars.

Again, I repeat, had you read my original mail, you would have noticed 
that all I was asking for was to stay with Celtic culture rather than 
dinosaurs, to preface speculative rants with a clear indicator, and to 
give references if you make outrageous, unsubstantiated claims.

> It is an shared adventure among people who wish to build their
 > understanding, in a contemporary Celtic experience, among those
 > with heartfelt links to Celtic culture, and who are open,
 > tolerant, inquisitive, and explorative.

Well, and what has all of this to do with dinosaurs? How do dinosaurs 
feature in a contemporary Celtic experience, if you please?

Now, I'm living in a contemporary Celtic culture here in North Wales 
(and actually teaching and researching Celtic archaeology and history as 
well as contemporary Celtic heritage here), yet I've failed to notice 
that anyone living around here connects Celtic culture with dinosaurs.

I'm fine with sharing an adventure among people who wish to build their 
understanding in a contemporary Celtic experience, with heartfelt links 
to Celtic culture, in an open, tolerant, inquisive and explorative way. 
But you seem to be mistaking openness for lack of direction, tolerance 
for arbitrariness, inquisitiveness with wild speculation, and 
exploration with unstructured rambling (and Celts with dinosaurs and 
aliens, on top of that).

All the contemporary Celtic cultures are threatened enough as it is by 
various dominating outside influences, and thus are much less in need of 
fuzzy and cosy heartfelt links and adventures on the 'lunatic fringe' of 
alien invasions and cohabitation with dinosaurs than they are of solid 
and reasoned support of what actually is there and needs to be lived, 
understood and passed on to present and future generations of people 
with a heartfelt connection to them. This is why this list, in all 
openness, tolerance, inquisitiveness and exporatory mentality, needs to 
stick with what is actually there worth living, studying, transmitting 
and exploring, that is actual Celtic culture, than wild speculations 
which may be gratifying to you, but are of no consequence to anybody 
interested in actual Celtic culture.

> Your world view seems to be that you wish to rule over the group.  True 
> leaders serve, but do not rule. 

And yet more insults. How nice of you.

Actually, where I am concerned, this is not about me, or my leadership 
at all. This is about what and whom I am to serve, while running this 
list. Where I am concerned, this is actual Celtic culture and actual 
Celts, not the flights of fancy of someone who would like to see a link 
between the Celts and mesozoic Peruvian spacefaring civilisations.

> Culture is a gift and it interweaves and encourages others, not denies a 
> place to those who are uncomfortable with your desire to tyrannize 
> othersm or whatever you see yourself as doing. 

And more insults. I won't comment on this.

> You should instead be 
> humble, and adopt the Welsh perspective of leadership which is embodied 
> in the motto of the prince of Wales, "Ich Dien"  --- I serve. 

Which, of course, as you will undoubtedly know, is a German motto 
(German being my native tongue), and was introduced by an English prince 
of Wales, Edward the Black prince, allegedly after he took both 
feathered helmet and motto from John of Bohemia, against whom he had 
fought in the battle of Crecy (in France) in 1346. Of course, in the 
14th century, following the conquest of the Welsh by Edward the 1st in 
the late 13th century, was a period in which the Welsh and their culture 
were severely oppressed by the English, with several uprisings being put 
down, and culminating in the Glyn Dwr revolt against the English of 
1400-1413, which resulted in further heavy oppression by the English 
princes of Wales of Welsh people and culture.

But then, why bother with those nasty little details if we can have a 
bit of rethorical grandstanding, can't we?

 > A true leader is a servant of the people, not a hungry ghost
 > seeking to victimise those who come to the list.

Well, for one I am not the prince of anything, nor the leader of the 
good people of Celtic-L. I'm the listowner, and thus responsible to keep 
the list reasonably on-topic and enable civilised and reasoned debate.

I'm also not victimising anyone. I have, quite politely, asked everyone 
to please stay on topic, and ruled out a specific topic until a 
connection with the topic of the list can be reasonably demonstrated, 
which so far you have refused to accept. I have, equally politely, asked 
everyone to provide sources if they make claims that are not within the 
range of generally accepted wisdom, or to methodically prove that such 
claims are merited by the available evidence, which again you have so 
far refused to accept. I also have, again equally politely, asked you to 
refrain from sending html-formatted mails to this list (n accordance 
with the list rules), a request with which you as of yet have refused to 
comply. Instead, you have insulted me, and flooded the list with rants 
about how discussion is being stifled by unreasonably restrictive rules, 
even though all but you who so far have commented on those rules seem to 
think them very reasonable and have expressed their full support, some 
even have asked for them even before I set them out explicitly.

In fact, it is you who are victimising everyone else, by sending masses 
of off-topic content to 500odd people even though you have been asked 
not to, by insisting on presenting wild speculation as if it were 
solidly established fact even though you have been asked not to, by 
ranting against rules that everyone else seems to think of as perfectly 
reasonable, and by now cluttering up this list with insulting complaints 
about how I run this list, plus some rethorical grandstanding that no 
one is particularly interested in either.

> Go and visit some other lists and see the difference between moderated 
> and unmoderated lists.

Well, I'm currently a member of about 10 moderated and another 10 
unmoderated lists, the moderator of 5 more lists and the listowner of 
another 4. I have sufficient experience in this field, believe me, to 
know what the difference is between moderated and unmoderated lists. And 
in fact, you would already have been kicked off most other unmoderated 
lists for the destructive and insulting behaviour you have put on 
display here.

> Find a friendly list, and see how people interact.  You seem fixated on 
> wanting to impose rules and structures, where flow is the norm, and 
> conversation is the goal.

Actually, this is a quite friendly list, where usually discussion flows 
without any intrusion from me or anyone else. And in the decade I've 
been running this list, I have hardly ever imposed any rules or 
structures, to a point that some listowners on other lists would 
consider to be serious neglect. I have been doing this to not inhibit 
discussions on this list as much as possible, unless there is very 
serious reason to do so or I receive considerable numbers of complaints 
frm listmembers both on- and offlist.

It is - mostly, but not exclusively - your disruptive and destructive 
behaviour which has required me now break my usual silence and say a 
couple of words. Since then, by throwing a barrage of insults in my 
direction, you have if anything proven that I waited too long with 
interfering. Now everybody has had to go not only through your endless 
mails and copied webpages, but also through the debate we are currently 
having - which has as little to do with Celtic culture as much of the 
rest of your mails.

> Take a long look at all these 'thou shalt' postings you are now issuing. 
> It is what happens to individuals who do not know how to serve.

Actually, I've issued just one such posting, in which I made three 
polite requests, to keep discussions going, and reasonably on-topic. 
These may not have served you, but they serve the vast majority of 
listmembers and their interests.

You may not like this, but this list isn't here to please you and stand 
at your behest with supportive comments if you go off on a tangent, nor 
is it there for some 500odd people to have to listen to what you want to 
get off your chest, whether it interests them or not. Once again, this 
list is here to discuss actual Celtic culture, not some fantasy that you 
might imagine as being part of it.

To finish this, let me say this: This list is not your personal 
playground, where you can do as you please and everyone else has to put 
up with it.

I may not be the sole authority on what is part of Celtic culture and 
what not, but neither are you. At the moment, however, I'm still the 
content owner of this list. Should the majority of members prefer you - 
or for what it's worth anyone else who is willing to volunteer - over 
me, I'm happy to step down immediately and leave the content ownership 
with whomever members prefer. If you want, we can have a public vote on it.

But until such a vote has taken place and I have been replaced by 
someone else, it is, if nothing else, a matter of courtesy to heed my 
requests, so that I can keep this list operating as smoothly and 
uninterrupted as possible.

> Let people be, Ray.

I will, if you let me. But that requires, at least as long as I am 
listowner, that you accept my decisions.




PD Mag.Dr. Raimund KARL FSA(Scot) MIFA
Senior Lecturer in Heritage and Archaeology
University of Wales Bangor
Department of History and Welsh History
Ogwen Building, Siliwen Road, LL57 2DG
Gwynedd, Cymru, UK
Email: <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Phone: (+44 1248) 351151/2247
Mobile:(+44 7970) 993891

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