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.
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
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
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
> 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
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
> 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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