Saturday, June 23, 2007
Repost For The Tony's (Well, Long After) - Alternative Stage Music, Vols. 3 - 5
And in honor of the upcoming Tony Awards, I thought I'd share a bunch of compilations I made up a while ago.
I call it 'alternative' because I use that term as a general label for anything that isn't done in the normal style of or serves as an alternative to the usual type of, in this case, stage music. I only mention it because some people might think it's a misnomer or that it's misleading as if it was alt-rock or something, but it's just a term I use in my own mind when I think about these things (and yes, I know I've mentioned it before, but I'm not great at categorizing music, so I don't realize it might be confused with the alternative music category until somebody points out that that might be misleading.).
And while I'm at it, just in case anybody was wondering (yeah, right!), I might as well mention that I tend to call it 'stage music'. Other people say show music, show tunes, or musicals, but I don't usually use those terms because to me THOSE seem misleading. Of course, maybe that's just in my own twisted mind. I sometimes say 'show music', but not usually because music is also used as underscoring for dramatic plays and not just for musical shows (though it's a distinction that doesn't usually come up, but I actually do have some stage underscoring in my collection somewhere, so that's why I do it).
And I don't usually say 'show tunes' because the word 'tunes' to me always implies melodies without lyrics or individual songs versus the whole score from a stage musical. It makes it sound like a song from the Hit Parade or America's Top 40 instead of the entire score or it makes it sound like a wordless melody that you hum instead of sing. If somebody talks about 'show tunes', it always makes me think, 'You mean just the melodies from a show?' For a split-second, I can't help but get confused. Also, the phrase has become a little pejorative. "It's not good music, but just 'show tunes'". People now seem to use the phrase to marginalize the music in the same demeaning way that they've used the phrases, 'elevator music' or 'easy listening', for instance. A label that instantly implies a category of music that people shouldn't like or that only a certain demographic should like. It used to be that a huge percentage of songs on the Top 40 came from the stage or from films, but now it seems to be treated as something as far removed from popular culture as opera or ballet, so the pejorative use of the phrase seems to reinforce that somehow. So, if you couldn't guess it by now, that's the term I like the least.
And finally, out of those three other options I'd probably use 'musical' most often, but I tend to think of film musicals when I say that, so I just say stage musical or stage music instead. Needless nitpicking or sound distinctions that are vital to our nation's security? I'll let you decide.
Also, if you're wondering why I started with Volume 3, it's because I left Volumes 1 & 2 (which I haven't made up yet) open. Many, many years back, I made up a 90-minute tape compilation I called 'Alternative Stage Music'. When I eventually got the capability to make digital compilations, I always wanted to make up a new version of the tape for CD, but I never got around to pulling out all the original sources and figuring out how I was going to reconfigure it to fit the extra time in order to fill up Volume 2.
That's always the problem with trying to convert the 90-minute tapes I really liked in order to fit 74 minutes onto a CD. In fact, so far I don't think I've actually re-done any of my old tape comps for that very reason. I'd either have to come up with an extra hour's worth of music that fits the theme to fill up a second CD or cut out 16 minutes from the original tape. A lot of the tapes were timed out just the way I liked them and worked very nicely thematically, so I've been reluctant to tackle that particular problem. Either way I'd be substantially changing some of the things I liked originally, so if part of my rationale was to digitally preserve my tape, I'd be defeating one of the purposes. Oh, well. It's probably another one of those things that only I care about...........Well, anyway, enjoy the current offerings of musical fun (and if I ever make up Volumes 1 & 2, I'll put those up too):
Where applicable I included the English titles for the songs in brackets next to the foreign language titles.
pw = you_dont_have_to_visit - on all 3 volumes
Alternative Stage Music, Vol. 3:
01 - Buenos Aires Cast - Tradition - from 'Fiddler on the Roof (El Violinista Sobre El Tejado)' - [in Spanish]
02 - Vienna Cast - All Der Jazz - [All That Jazz] - from 'Chicago' - [in German]
03 - Karin Huebner, Paul Hubschmid, Friedrich Schonfelder, & Chorus - Es Grünt So Grün! - [The Rain in Spain] - from 'My Fair Lady' (1961 German Cast)
04 - Rita, Char. Of Mrs. Pearce, & Chambermaids - I Could Have Danced All Night - from 'My Fair Lady' (1986 Israeli Cast) - [in Hebrew]
05 - 1992 Norwegian Cast - Med I Familien Vår - [Consider Yourself] - from 'Oliver!'
06 - 1996 Japanese Cast - Be Our Guest - from 'Beauty and the Beast'
07 - 1998 Mexico Cast - Everything's Coming Up Roses - from 'Gypsy'
08 - Italian Cast - Questa Volta - [Maybe This Time] - from 'Cabaret'
09 - 1998 Antwerp Cast - I Dreamed a Dream - from 'Les Miserables' (Belgian Cast) - [in Flemish]
10 - 1972 Swedish Cast - Vart Ska Min Kärlek Föra - [I Don't Know How To Love Him] - from 'Jesus Christ Superstar'
11 - Elenco Original Mexicano - Dios Salva Al Mundo - [Save the People] - from 'Godspell' (1996 Cast)
12 - 2001 Mexican Cast - Noches De Verano - [Summer Nights] - from 'Grease (Vaselina)'
13 - Mexico Cast - I Got Rhythm - from 'Crazy For You'
14 - Cast - Me Siento Guapa - [I Feel Pretty] - from 'West Side Story' - [in Spanish]
15 - Maaike Widdershoven & Cast - De Dingen Waar Ik Zo Van Hou - [My Favorite Things] - from 'The Sound of Music' (2002 Dutch Cast)
16 - Israeli Cast - Do Re Mi - from 'The Sound of Music (T'zlili Hamuzika)' - [in Hebrew]
17 - Oded Te'omi, Shlomo Bar-Shavit, & Rita - Why Can't The English? - from 'My Fair Lady' (1986 Israeli Cast) - [in Hebrew]
18 - Roberto Blandón & Susana Zabaleta - El Sueño Imposible (El Ideal) - [The Impossible Dream] - from 'Man of La Mancha' (2000 Mexican Cast)
19 - 1988 Hungarian Cast - Hallod E A Nép Dalát (Finálé) - [Finale - Do You Hear The People Sing] - from 'Les Miserables'
Total Time: 1:13:05
around 100 MB
Rapidshare links (You'll need both parts before extracting):
Alternative Stage Music, Vol. 3 - Part 1
Alternative Stage Music, Vol. 3 - Part 2
Megaupload link (in one big file):
Alternative Stage Music, Vol. 3
Alternative Stage Music, Vol. 4:
01 - 1972 Brasilian Cast - Superstar - from 'Jesus Christ Superstar (Jesus Cristo Superstar)' - [in Portuguese]
02 - 1991 Icelandic Cast - Tíðhnit - [The Time Warp] - from 'The Rocky Horror Show'
03 - 2001 Mexican Cast - El Rock Nació Conmigo - [Born to Hand-Jive] - from 'Grease' - [in Spanish]
04 - Cast - America - from 'West Side Story' - [in Spanish]
05 - 1992 Norwegian Cast - D'er Et Fint Liv - [It's A Fine Life] - from 'Oliver!'
06 - Elenco Original Mexicano - Todo Es Para Ti - [All For The Best] - from 'Godspell' (1996 Cast) - [in Spanish]
07 - Katja Brauneis - Im Grunen Irgendwo - [Somewhere That's Green] - from 'Little Shop of Horrors (Der Kleine Horror-Laden)' (1992 German Cast)
08 - 1991 Paris Revival Cast - Comme Un Homme - [Bring Him Home] - from 'Les Miserables' - [in French]
09 - 1992 Original Prague Cast - Drink With Me - from 'Les Miserables' - [in Czech]
10 - Cast - Mañana - [Tomorrow] - from 'Annie'
11 - Cast - Maria - from 'West Side Story' - [in Spanish]
12 - Israeli Cast - Maria - from 'The Sound of Music (T'zlili Hamuzika)' - [in Hebrew]
13 - Buenos Aires Cast - Matchmaker, Matchmaker - from 'Fiddler on the Roof (El Violinista Sobre El Tejado)' - [in Spanish]
14 - 1998 Mexico Cast - If Momma Was Married - from 'Gypsy' - [in Spanish]
15 - Spanish Cast - Seasons of Love - from 'Rent'
16 - 1995 Original Spanish Cast - Noche Y Día (or 'Dia I Nit') - [Night and Day] - from 'Te Odio, Amor Mío'
17 - 2004 Argentina Cast - Aplausos - [Applause] - from 'Applause (Aplausos)' - [in Spanish]
18 - Stanley Burleson - Hocus Pocus - [Razzle Dazzle] - from 'Chicago' (1999 Utrecht Cast) - [in Dutch]
19 - Mexico Cast - Open a New Window - from 'Mame' - [in Spanish]
20 - Emilio Aragón & Chorus - La Banda Llegó - [Come Follow The Band] - from 'Barnum' (1984 Spanish Cast)
21 - Israeli Cast - Rak Od Yom - [One Day More] - from 'Les Miserables' - [in Hebrew]
Total Time: 1:12:01
around 100 MB
Rapidshare links (You'll need both parts before extracting):
Alternative Stage Music, Vol. 4 - Part 1
Alternative Stage Music, Vol. 4 - Part 2
Megaupload link (in one big file):
Alternative Stage Music, Vol. 4
Alternative Stage Music, Vol. 5:
01 - Jacques Brel - L'Homme De La Mancha - [Man Of La Mancha] - from 'Man Of La Mancha' (1968 French Cast)
02 - Concha Velasco & Chorus - Hello, Dolly! - from 'Hello, Dolly!' (Spanish Cast)
03 - Mexico Cast - Mame - from 'Mame'
04 - Katja Brauneis & Andreas Lachnit - Jetzt Hast Du Seymor - [Suddenly, Seymour] - from 'Little Shop of Horrors' (1992 German Cast)
05 - 1991 German Cast - You Are My Home - from 'The Scarlet Pimpernel'
06 - Cast - Tonight - from 'West Side Story' - [in Spanish]
07 - 1998 Mexico Cast - All I Need is the Girl - from 'Gypsy'
08 - 1994 Mexican Cast - Suppertime - from 'You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown'
09 - 1995 Original Spanish Cast - T Eres M S (or 'Tu Ho Ets Tot') - [You're the Top] - from 'Te Odio, Amor Mío'
10 - 1989 Argentine Cast - You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me - from '42nd Street' - [in Spanish]
11 - Gerard Clavel - Sans Amour - [Little Bird, Little Bird] - from 'Man of La Mancha' (1968 French Cast)
12 - 2001 Mexican Cast - Amor Primero - [Those Magic Changes] - from 'Grease'
13 - Mexico Cast - The Real American Folk Song (Is a Rag) - from 'Crazy For You'
14 - Mexico Cast - Someone to Watch Over Me - from 'Crazy For You'
15 - Rex Gildo - In Der Straße, Mein Schatz, Wo Du Lebst - [On The Street Where You Live] - From 'My Fair Lady' (1961 German Cast)
16 - 2003 Original Russian Cast - Everything's Alright - from 'Jesus Christ Superstar'
17 - 1984 Hungarian Cast - Éjfél - [Memory] - from 'Cats (Macskák)'
18 - 1994 Japanese 'Blue' Cast - Come To Me - from 'Les Miserables'
19 - Björk Guðmundsdóttir & Tríó Guðmundar Ingólfssonar - Það Sést Ekki Sætari Mey - [You Can't Get A Man With A Gun] - from 'Annie Get Your Gun'
20 - Cast - El Gran Derrochador - [Big Spender] - from 'Sweet Charity'
Total Time: 1:13:42
around 101 MB
Rapidshare links (You'll need both parts before extracting):
Alternative Stage Music, Vol. 5 - Part 1
Alternative Stage Music, Vol. 5 - Part 2
Megaupload link (in one big file):
Alternative Stage Music, Vol. 5
Edit: On Volume 5, Track #1 - the filename & tags say 'Jacques Brel & Louis Navarre', but it should just be Jacques Brel (I don't know who the other man is who's playing Sancho, but it's not Louis Navarre). Sorry for the mixup.
I tried to use mostly ones that would be instantly recognizable (and ones with strong melodies) because those are the most interesting if you can't understand the lyrics. But even for all you polyglots out there, it should still be a fun collection. If you like stage music, you've probably heard a lot of these songs a million times, so it makes it especially fun to hear them in a different way. That's also why I didn't include other foreign language musicals (like Romeo & Juliet or Metro, for instance) that are either less familiar in their English language counterparts or weren't produced in English.
I've probably got enough material for 3 or 4 more foreign language volumes, but I stopped at Volume 5 because I felt I would start repeating myself even more than I already did on these comps. If I were to do a Volume 6, it would probably be a continuation of what will be on Volumes 1 & 2.
And yes, before somebody points it out, I know that it was a little bit superfluous to put in brackets that the Mexican casts were singing in Spanish or that the Paris casts were singing in French, but I was just trying to be consistent. (And now that I think about it, there have been times when overseas casts have actually performed their cast albums in English, so maybe it's not so stupid after all.)
If you have any corrections or additional info about any of the tracks, please let me know.
Notes on the compilations:
#01: How could I resist hearing a cast from Argentina play Jewish characters living in Russia performing songs in Spanish by American composers? And what better way to start off a non-traditional compilation but with a song about tradition?
#03: And even more irresistible are German actors playing British characters engaged in a phonetics lesson to teach English and singing a song written by an Austrian composer and an American lyricist that was originally about the rain in Spain while dancing to tango music. I'm still not sure if he's teaching her English or German.
#05 & #06: Two songs about hospitality in unconventional settings.
#06: And again, how could I not love hearing Japanese actors playing French characters that are (normally) inanimate objects while singing songs that were originally written by American composers and that have English, French and Japanese words?...................And while dancing the can-can, no less!
#07-#09: Three songs about hope, dreams, and self-delusion.
#13: The song is originally from Gershwin's 'Girl Crazy' of which 'Crazy For You' was a loose adaptation. And it's interesting to hear the consistencies between the American version & the Mexican version.
#14: And there's something really appropriate about hearing this song sung in Spanish.
#13-#15: Three songs sung from a first-person perspective (but that also really applies to #04, #09, & #10, for that matter).
#16 & #17: Dutch & Israeli casts portraying Austrian characters singing songs by American composers.
#16: And it's interesting that she chose to end the song on the low note like Mary Martin rather than on a high note like Julie Andrews.
#17: Shreiking is really the same in any language, isn't it? I wouldn't normally have put on a third song from the same musical, but it just seemed right to wind down the compilation with a song complaining about how the English can't speak English........especially one that's sung in Hebrew. Is it just me or is it fun to hear him sing about things like Soho Square, Yorkshire, Shakespeare, the Welsh, and America?
#18 & #19: And I really had to end with these two songs.
#01-#03: Three rockin' songs to start off the compilation.
#01: Sometimes the singer sounds a little like he's just inhaled helium, but I used this version because it had one of the strongest openings of any of the foreign language versions of the musical that I had.
#02: Out of the (what seems like literally dozens of) versions of this show available, I picked this version because it seems to rock just a little harder than some of the others. Is it just me or does every female Icelandic singer tend to sound a little like Bjork?
#03: I guess there's no Spanish word for 'Hand-Jive'.
#04: If you can get used to what sounds like a synthesized background orchestra, it's a pretty good version.
#04-#07: Three slightly ironic songs about the good things in the characters' lives and one slightly more earnest (but still ironic) song about wishing for better things in the character's life.
#07: I enjoy hearing her sing about things like skid row and the autobahn.
#08: Les Miserables was one of those exceptions that I included in that it's in the language that it originally started out in. But I included it because it's a great version and it's interesting to compare how it was in the original language and how it was when they converted it to English. It's fascinating how they kept the sound of 'homme' for 'home', went from 'Like A Man' to 'Bring Him Home', and presumably in the process, changed the meaning of the song, but still kept it an effective and meaningful song with the same rhyming sound.
#11 & #12: Two 'Maria' songs.
#13 & #14: Two waltzes from hopeful girls that imagine potential marriages.
#15 & #16: Two songs about love measured in terms of time.
#17: Sound quality isn't so hot, but I always loved this song and so it's great to hear it in Spanish. I guess this one could be a little less familiar to people, but it comes from a musical adaptation of the film, 'All About Eve' (unless my memory's playing tricks again), and it was Bonnie Franklin (from TV's 'One Day At A Time') that sang this paean to the stage in the original early 1970's musical (again, if my memory is holding up). I seem to remember that somebody involved (maybe Lauren Bacall or Bonnie Franklin herself) got a Tony for it, but don't quote me.
#17 & #18: Two songs about the magic of performance and relative appreciation of their respective audiences.
#19 & #20: Two rousing songs that conjure images of marches, ringleaders, fresh starts, & following your instincts.
#021: Again, the sound quality is not so hot on this track, but I used it because it had one of the best endings amongst all the other versions I had considered. Fantastic high note at the end.
#01: If you're just used to hearing Jacques Brel sing about things like love, death, & whorehouses, then this will make a nice contrast. It's a rousing way to start the volume.
#03: Not the best sound quality, and if I remember right, I even audio-processed it slightly so it was worse before that, but not being great at that kind of thing, I didn't want to monkey around with it too much. I don't have much of an ear for that kind of thing; I like to listen to vinyl, 78's, CD's, tapes, etc., so it doesn't matter that much to me. A lot of times tinny mono from the 1950's seems to sound better than 20-bit CD processing that's supposed to sound fantastic, but the mono seems to have more presence to me and the enhanced sound of some CD's sounds kind of far away to me. It probably sounds fantastic on an expensive system with giant speakers where you can hear every high and low, but it just sounds very distant to me, even with headphones on, so you can see why I don't trust my ability to judge these things. As a result, I keep the audio-processing down to a minimum except for removing some obvious pops or clicks or doing some fade-outs or fade-ins when I don't think it will alter the original too much.
#04 & #05: Two German love duets by four pretty good singers.
#04-#06: Three love duets by six pretty good singers.
#07-#10: Four exultant songs with a special emphasis on the occasional dance break.
#09: I really enjoy hearing them sing about Strauss, Mickey Mouse, the Mona Lisa, Gandhi, the Charleston, Valentino, Fred Astaire, & Camembert cheese.
#11 & #12: Two lilting guitar-driven (or at least it sounds that way to me) songs with backing choruses (and the occasional falsetto). It's interesting how they both significantly changed the meanings of the titles of the songs.
#11: Yes, I know what you're going to say....French actors playing Spanish characters in an American musical.
#13: Another lilting song. I love hearing a song that seems so uniquely American (well, I guess it can hardly be considered otherwise with that title) sung in Spanish (oh, wait a minute......now that I think about it, don't tell your conservative friends......they might think it's our National Anthem or something (and if you live outside the United States, that joke probably won't mean much to you........we had a small furor a while ago about Spanish language versions of the National Anthem that our president decidedly and publicly disliked)........actually, all things considered, I guess those conservatives wouldn't be listening to this compilation anyway..........especially in the border states. Although I guess we could send the National Guard to protect us against Mexican stage actors who insist on singing Gershwin rags.).
#14: A fantastic version.
#14-#16: Three songs about contentment and a sense of security from the ones they love.
#19: They took the melody of Irving Berlin's 'You Can't Get A Man With A Gun' from 'Annie Get Your Gun' and gave it new lyrics. I'm not sure, but I remember hearing somewhere that the new lyrics turned it into a song about a sweater. Some nice Icelandic person out there will have to confirm that for me. The song is an exception from the other ones in the compilations since the modified song isn't really from a show, but it definitely qualifies as alternative stage music.
#20: Had to end with this song. Hey, Big Guapo!
There are a lot of great performances here and fun orchestrations. I enjoy these compilations a lot and even if you don't like stage music, you may like these anyway. If you do like stage music, I hope you got as much of a kick out of listening to these as I did.
Alternative Stage Music, Vol. 1
[Update: Well, as you can tell, I didn't end up coming in until well after the Tony's, so I guess I did all that last minute rushing for nothing. But I'm pretty sure the music still sounds good anyway. Just think of it as being in time for next year's Tony's.]
I usually like to give these compilations a little more narrative flow, but I wanted to post them before the telecast on Sunday rather than hang on to them (though, to be honest, I wanted to watch The French Open this weekend, so I may end up posting this after the fact rather than spending hours chained to a library computer on the weekend). Still, I think they're pretty good listening anyway. (And I didn't have time to double-check the years or origins on some of these, so please excuse any lapses in accuracy! I think all the origins are right though, but sometimes my mind doesn't work as well as it should. Let me know if you see anything off. Thanks!)
I can't believe it's already been a year since I posted Volumes 3-5. Well, I know the stage music I post has a pretty limited audience on the blog, but I keep meaning to post more of it anyway, but I never get around to it. I can't believe Volumes 3-5 were (more or less) the 4th posts on the blog! It doesn't seem that long ago! Well, I've been meaning to get around to making up Volumes 1 & 2, but have only gotten around to it now. I guess that annual reminder of the Tony awards gets me motivated. It's always that way with those award show things. Same thing happened with the Oscar Winning Scores compilations; I don't think I realized the Oscars were coming up either until a week or two before. Talk about rush jobs. Well, there always seems to be more than enough to do without thinking about what's coming up.
Back when I said I was leaving a space for Volumes 1 & 2 (on the Alt Stage Music, Vols. 3-5 post), I mentioned that it was originally a tape compilation that I always wanted to do a digital update of. Well, so many of the tracks I used on that original tape are in storage that I had to re-do these things from scratch. Practically all the tracks are different from the ones I used on the original tape, so this pretty much qualifies as a brand new comp. And there's so much potential material that I could literally make up 10 volumes, but I thought I'd better limit it to 3 new ones for now (especially if I wanted to avoid the nervous breakdown).
The basic concept of these 'Alternative Stage Music' comps (or really any of the comps designated as 'Alternative') is to feature the music in styles or themes that are generally different from their originals. In this case, styles that sound different from the original stage versions. Of course, that could apply to almost any pop or jazz version so it's a bit of a cheat in this case, but I tried to concentrate on versions that you wouldn't normally associate with their stage counterparts. Still, I ended up using a few that sound pretty similar anyway (probably a factor of that whole 'rush job' thing).
Because there were so many possibilities, the selections seemed to cluster in the various volumes. Volume 1 seemed to have more rock and pop, Volume 2 centered around lounge & jazz, and Volume 6 ended up with a lot of doo wop, vocal harmony, and 1960's rock and pop. The original tape's Side B had mostly Motown, but so much of that seems to be in storage that I didn't get around to doing that one. Maybe one day that'll be Volume 8 or 9 (as if anyone but me cares at this point!).
So much of popular music used to come from Tin Pan Alley and Broadway that you really have an endless selection to choose from and many of the selections tend to skew to older ones; there don't seem to be as many rock bands today willing to do cover versions of songs from Spring Awakening, Grey Gardens, or Les Miserables, I guess. It's a real shame that pop music has strayed so far from the stage and vice versa. Although I suppose people would argue that a lot of stage music today has really moved more towards contemporary rock and pop, but not so that people would play it on the radio or that it would register on the Top 40 like it once did. Considering what the Top 40 looks like though, that could either be a good or a bad thing, I suppose.
If someone did a version of 'Mack The Knife' or 'Summertime' today would it become a big hit? Well, I guess it would depend on who did it, but it seems doubtful (not unless they added a lot of new lyrics like say, Gwen Stefani or Jay-Z did when they had their own 'stage' hits with songs like 'Rich Girl' or 'Hard Knock Life'). I suspect if somebody did a version of 'Summertime' today it would be considered more of a novelty rather than a legitimate bid at chart-topping (at least one that could be played on the radio or that might get a lot of downloads).
Still, there are an awful lot of people who did (and continue to do) cover versions of stage music. So, there's still an awful lot to enjoy. And you can always enjoy these as well (I hope)! Happy listening to all (assuming anyone is still out there who checks this blog!).
ASM, Vol. 1 - 01 - Sammy Davis, Jr .with Buddy Rich - Come Back To Me (1966) - [from the stage show, 'On A Clear Day You Can See Forever' (1966) (Lerner & Lane)]
ASM, Vol. 1 - 02 - The Supremes - I Am Woman - [from the stage show, 'Funny Girl' (1964) (Jule Styne & Bob Merrill)]
ASM, Vol. 1 - 03 - Louis Prima & Keely Smith - I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face - [from the stage show, 'My Fair Lady' (1956) (Lerner & Loewe)]
ASM, Vol. 1 - 04 - Dolly Parton - I Get A Kick Out Of You - [from the stage show, 'Anything Goes' (1934) (Cole Porter)]
ASM, Vol. 1 - 05 - Los Indios Tabajaras - Begin The Beguine (instr.) - [from the stage show, 'Jubilee' (1935) (Cole Porter)]
ASM, Vol. 1 - 06 - The Beatles - Till There Was You - [from the stage show, 'The Music Man' (1957) (Meredith Willson)]
ASM, Vol. 1 - 07 - Linda Scott - I've Told Ev'ry Little Star (1961) - [from the stage show, 'Music In The Air' (1932) (Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein)]
ASM, Vol. 1 - 08 - Splitsville - I'll Never Fall In Love Again - [from the stage show, 'Promises, Promises' (1968) (Burt Bacharach & Hal David)]
ASM, Vol. 1 - 09 - Ronnie Dyson - Why Can't I Touch You (1970) - [from the Off-Broadway stage show, 'Salvation' (1970) (C.C. Courtney & Peter Link)]
ASM, Vol. 1 - 10 - Love Generation - She Touched Me - [from the stage show, 'Drat! The Cat' (1965) (Ira Levin & Milton Schafer)]
ASM, Vol. 1 - 11 - Jacki Bond - Reviewing The Situation (1967) - [from the stage show, 'Oliver!' (1963) (Lionel Bart)]
ASM, Vol. 1 - 12 - Bobby Darin - Mack The Knife - [from the stage show, 'The Threepenny Opera' (1928) (Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht, & Marc Blitzstein)]
ASM, Vol. 1 - 13 - The Doors - Alabama Song (Whisky Bar) - [from the stage show, 'The Rise And Fall Of The City Of Mahagonny' (1930) (Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht)]
ASM, Vol. 1 - 14 - Captain Sensible - Happy Talk - [from the stage show, 'South Pacific' (1949) (Rodgers & Hammerstein)]
ASM, Vol. 1 - 15 - Hi-Skool - Summer Nights - [from the stage show, 'Grease' (1972) (Jim Jacobs & Warren Casey)]
ASM, Vol. 1 - 16 - Erasure - Too Darn Hot - [from the stage show, 'Kiss Me, Kate' (1949) (Cole Porter)]
ASM, Vol. 1 - 17 - The Fifth Dimension - Aquarius / Let The Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures) - [from the stage show, 'Hair' (1969) (Galt MacDermot, Gerome Ragni, & James Rado)]
ASM, Vol. 1 - 18 - Big Mama Thornton - Summertime - [from the stage show, 'Porgy & Bess' (1935) (George Gershwin & DuBose Heyward)]
ASM, Vol. 1 - 19 - Janis Joplin - Summertime - [from the stage show, 'Porgy & Bess' (1935) (George Gershwin & DuBose Heyward)]
ASM, Vol. 1 - 20 - Billy Stewart - Summertime - [from the stage show, 'Porgy & Bess' (1935) (George Gershwin & DuBose Heyward)]
ASM, Vol. 1 - 21 - Cher - It Ain't Necessarily So - [from the stage show, 'Porgy & Bess' (1935) (George & Ira Gershwin)]
ASM, Vol. 1 - 22 - Ray Charles & Cleo Laine - Bess, You Is My Woman - [from the stage show, 'Porgy & Bess' (1935) (George & Ira Gershwin & DuBose Heyward)]
ASM, Vol. 1 - 23 - Little Richard - I Feel Pretty - [from the stage show, 'West Side Story' (1957) (Leonard Bernstein & Stephen Sondheim)]
pw = youdont
Alternative Stage Music, Vol. 1 - Part 1 (Rapidshare) (around 70 MB)
Alternative Stage Music, Vol. 1 - Part 2 (Rapidshare) (around 54 MB)
Alternative Stage Music, Vol. 1 (Megaupload)
around 124 MB
Alternative Stage Music, Vol. 2
ASM, Vol. 2 - 01 - Trini Lopez - America - [from the stage show, 'West Side Story' (1957) (Leonard Bernstein & Stephen Sondheim)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 02 - Peggy Lee - Heart (1960) - [from the stage show, 'Damn Yankees' (1955) (Adler & Ross)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 03 - Edmundo Ros - It Ain't Necessarily So (instr.) - [from the stage show, 'Porgy & Bess' (1935) (George & Ira Gershwin)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 04 - Quincy Jones - On The Street Where You Live (instr.) (1964) - [from the stage show, 'My Fair Lady' (1956) (Lerner & Loewe)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 05 - Jackie Davis - Heat Wave (instr.) (1959) - [from the stage show, 'As Thousands Cheer' (1933) (Irving Berlin)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 06 - Toots Thielemans - Falling In Love With Love (instr.) (1964) - [from the stage show, 'The Boys From Syracuse' (1938) (Rodgers & Hart)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 07 - Astrud Gilberto - It's A Lovely Day Today (1966) - [from the stage show, 'Call Me Madam' (1950) (Irving Berlin)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 08 - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass - My Heart Belongs To Daddy (instr.) (1967) - [from the stage show, 'Leave It To Me' (1938) (Cole Porter)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 09 - Bob Thompson - The Song Is You (1960) - [from the stage show, 'Music In The Air' (1932) (Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 10 - Johnny Williams - The Varsity Drag (instr.) (1961) - [from the stage show, 'Good News' (1927) (DeSylva, Brown, & Henderson)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 11 - Bobby Hammack - This Can't Be Love (instr.) - [from the stage show, 'The Boys From Syracuse' (1938) (Rodgers & Hart)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 12 - Andre Previn & His Pals - Zip (instr.) (1957) - [from the stage show, 'Pal Joey' (1940) (Rodgers & Hart)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 13 - Al Hirt - I Love Paris (instr.) - [from the stage show, 'Can-Can' (1953) (Cole Porter)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 14 - Don Ralke - I Got Rhythm (instr.) (1960) - [from the stage show, 'Girl Crazy' (1930) (George & Ira Gershwin)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 15 - Johnny Keating's Kombo - Bali Ha'i (instr.) (1962) - [from the stage show, 'South Pacific' (1949) (Rodgers & Hammerstein)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 16 - John Barry - Baubles, Bangles & Beads (instr.) (1961) - [from the stage show, 'Kismet' (1954) (Borodin, Wright, & Forrest)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 17 - Balsara and his Singing Sitars - My Favorite Things (instr.) - [from the stage show, 'The Sound Of Music' (1959) (Rodgers & Hammerstein)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 18 - Stephane Grappelli - Makin' Whoopee! (instr.) - [from the stage show, 'Whoopee' (1928) (Donaldson & Kahn)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 19 - Jimmy Smith - This Nearly Was Mine (instr.) (1968) - [from the stage show, 'South Pacific' (1949) (Rodgers & Hammerstein)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 20 - The Dukes of Dixieland - If I Were A Bell (instr.) (1961) - [from the stage show, 'Guys And Dolls' (1950) (Frank Loesser)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 21 - Jaye P. Morgan & Perry Como - Two Lost Souls (1955) - [from the stage show, 'Damn Yankees' (1955) (Adler & Ross)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 22 - Carmen McRae & Sammy Davis, Jr. - People Will Say We're In Love - [from the stage show, 'Oklahoma!' (1943) (Rodgers & Hammerstein)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 23 - Mel Torme - Too Close For Comfort - [from the stage show, 'Mr. Wonderful' (1956) (Jerry Bock, Larry Holofcener, & George Weiss)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 24 - Judy Kaye - Taking A Chance On Love (1995) - [from the stage show, 'Cabin In The Sky' (1940) (Vernon Duke, John Latouche, & Ted Fetter)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 25 - Wayne Newton - But Not For Me - [from the stage show, 'Girl Crazy' (1930) (George & Ira Gershwin)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 26 - Lou Rawls - On A Clear Day (You Can See Forever) - [from the stage show, 'On A Clear Day You Can See Forever' (1966) (Lerner & Lane)]
ASM, Vol. 2 - 27 - Eydie Gorme - If He Walked Into My Life - [from the stage show, 'Mame' (1966) (Jerry Herman)]
pw = youdont
Alternative Stage Music, Vol. 2 (Rapidshare)
Alternative Stage Music, Vol. 2 (Megaupload)
around 99 MB
Alternative Stage Music, Vol. 6
ASM, Vol. 6 - 01 - The Platters - Smoke Gets In Your Eyes - [from the stage show, 'Roberta' (1933) (Jerome Kern & Otto Harbach)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 02 - Hash Brown & His Ignunt Strings - Smoke Gets In Your Eyes - [from the stage show, 'Roberta' (1933) (Jerome Kern & Otto Harbach)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 03 - The Skyliners - Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart - [from the stage show, 'Thumbs Up!' (1935) (James F. Hanley)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 04 - The Galahads - Hello Dolly (1964) - [from the stage show, 'Hello, Dolly!' (1964) (Jerry Herman)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 05 - The Four Lads - Standing On The Corner - [from the stage show, 'The Most Happy Fella' (1956) (Frank Loesser)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 06 - The Mystics - It's Only A Paper Moon - [from the stage show, 'The Great Magoo' (1933) (Harold Arlen, E.Y. Harburg, & Billy Rose)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 07 - The Browns - They Call The Wind Maria - [from the stage show, 'Paint Your Wagon' (1951) (Lerner & Loewe)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 08 - The Spaniels - Stormy Weather - [from the stage show, 'Cotton Club Revue' (1933) (Harold Arlen & Ted Koehler)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 09 - The Zircons - Stormy Weather - [from the stage show, 'Cotton Club Revue' (1933) (Harold Arlen & Ted Koehler)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 10 - Dion & The Belmonts - Where Or When - [from the stage show, 'Babes In Arms' (1937) (Rodgers & Hart)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 11 - The Champs - Once Upon A Time - [from the stage show, 'All American' (1962) (Charles Strouse & Lee Adams)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 12 - The Happenings - I Got Rhythm - [from the stage show, 'Girl Crazy' (1930) (George & Ira Gershwin)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 13 - The Mamas & The Papas - Glad To Be Unhappy - [from the stage show, 'On Your Toes' (1936) (Rodgers & Hart)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 14 - Jay & The Americans - Some Enchanted Evening (1965) - [from the stage show, 'South Pacific' (1949) (Rodgers & Hammerstein)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 15 - Chad & Jeremy - If I Loved You - [from the stage show, 'Carousel' (1945) (Rodgers & Hammerstein)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 16 - Gerry & The Pacemakers - You'll Never Walk Alone - [from the stage show, 'Carousel' (1945) (Rodgers & Hammerstein)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 17 - Ian & the Zodiacs - It Ain't Necessarily So - [from the stage show, 'Porgy & Bess' (1935) (George & Ira Gershwin)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 18 - Bill Page - It Ain't Necessarily So (instr.) - [from the stage show, 'Porgy & Bess' (1935) (George & Ira Gershwin)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 19 - The Zombies - Summertime (1965) - [from the stage show, 'Porgy & Bess' (1935) (George Gershwin & DuBose Heyward)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 20 - The Nice - America (instr.) (1968) - [from the stage show, 'West Side Story' (1957) (Leonard Bernstein & Stephen Sondheim)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 21 - The Cowsills - Hair - [from the stage show, 'Hair' (1969) (Galt MacDermot, Gerome Ragni, & James Rado)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 22 - The Chenille Sisters - Frank Mills (1988) - [from the stage show, 'Hair' (1969) (Galt MacDermot, Gerome Ragni, & James Rado)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 23 - Hurricane Honeys - Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man - [from the stage show, 'Show Boat' (1927) (Kern & Hammerstein)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 24 - The Chordettes - They Say It's Wonderful - [from the stage show, 'Annie Get Your Gun' (1946) (Irving Berlin)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 25 - Sally Mayes - The Party's Over (1994) - [from the stage show, 'Bells Are Ringing' (1956) (Jule Styne, Betty Comden, & Adolph Green)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 26 - Shelley Fabares - Bye Bye Birdie (1963) - [from the stage show, 'Bye Bye Birdie' (1960) (Charles Strouse & Lee Adams)]
ASM, Vol. 6 - 27 - Johnny Maestro & The Brooklyn Bridge - You'll Never Walk Alone - [from the stage show, 'Carousel' (1945) (Rodgers & Hammerstein)]
pw = youdont
Alternative Stage Music, Vol. 6 (Rapidshare)
Alternative Stage Music, Vol. 6 (Megaupload)
around 96 MB
TV Characters Sing Just For You, Vol. 2
Well, since the blog is still here, I thought I'd post this. It was done and sitting on the hard drive for probably 7 or 8 months. As usual, it's all the clean-up work (trimming, tagging, annotating, etc.) that I hate to do, but the selection and order hasn't changed much in all that time. It's funny, but picking the songs and deciding the order is the easy part. Often, picking which songs to put on a compilation is a really fast process probably because I already have lots of ideas about what to use by the time I start to make one. But it's all the after-process that seems to be the real bottleneck. Just writing these lame entries for the posts can take me forever. Just look at the Railway Children, for example. Everything on that one was ready to go (everything was uploaded, I had the links, etc.) from the time I posted the album cover. Everything except for writing the post and then by the time I actually wrote it, I didn't feel like saying anything anyway!
I guess I haven't worked on finishing this particular comp though because I didn't like it as much as Volume 1 or Volume 3. Sometimes that's the problem with these later volumes. You use up the best material on the first volume and subsequent entries seem to be filled with leftovers and are much harder to make work properly. This particular volume seemed to have less cohesion than 1 & 3, so I wasn't as interested in finishing it, I guess.
But after I finished it and listened to it again, I liked it better. It grew on me and it had more cohesion than I thought. I know I'm probably the only one who cares about stuff like that, but it's one of the primary things that makes me like one of my compilations or not.
Before I made digital comps, I had been making up tape compilations for a long time before it occurred to me that cohesion was something I was trying to do with them. I like them to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. If they're good, after you've listened to them, it's like being taken on a ride. Sometimes they go in one direction and then they morph into something else. They have different moods, themes or sounds.
So if I can't get them to do that, I don't usually think they're that good. It adds that extra dimension to listening to it that I enjoy, but I always wonder if anybody else but me cares about it. Of course, I make these things up for myself, so it's really kind of academic anyway, but still I always wonder.
I think of it as a kind of narrative to the compilation. I think it's why I add these boring notes to these compilations. When I first started the blog, you'll notice I put on these incredibly long notes (much longer than the boring ones you read now) because I always imagined people would listen to the compilations and then go back and read the notes later and they would serve as a semi-interesting reference for anyone who was interested. But then I realized from some of the feedback that people were reading them up front before they listened to the music and that it was exhausting them, so I stopped doing it as much. It should've occurred to me that naturally people would read them first. I just thought they would be interesting to read either as you're listening to the comp or afterwards, but I should've realized that people aren't going to want to have to keep coming back to the blog just to read the text while they're listening to the compilation. Duh!
Also, it didn't seem to make too much difference either way. People didn't seem to comment on them anyway so I suspected that I was the only one who cared about this stuff and now I only do it occasionally on certain ones. It hadn't really occurred to me until much later to include these notes with the files so people could refer back to them instead of having to come back to the blog. But usually I write the notes after I've already zipped & burned the compilations, so it didn't occur to me to do it until just recently.
And I always think of compilations as having 3 basic (and arbitrary) distinctions. I think of 'mixes' as one continuous piece of music with things like crossfades usually of many different kinds of music. I think of 'collections' as a looser group of songs with no particular order. And I think of 'compilations' as being individual songs in some kind of order usually with a particular theme.
So I think of what DJ's do as mixes. People are doing some great mixes all around the blogosphere. Like what Record Brother did with his great blaxploitation mixes, for instance. Or what Quite Quite Fantastic used to do or what Pops & Scratches or Abstract Fidelity does, for instance. Diverse collections designed to create a sonic picture.
And I think of what Timbo at Licorice Pizza does as somewhere between mixes (ones that create an aural landscape and that take a lot of hard work to make into a seamless piece of music) and compilations (because of their specific themes and selections).
And I think of what PixelMutt used to do as collections of songs. Fantastic collections of individual songs that were grouped by theme but in no particular order.
All kind of arbitrary distinctions, I know, but it's the way I tend to think of it, so if you see me using those terms on the blog you know what I mean when I use them. It's also why I tend to bore everybody by using the word compilation 50,000 times on the blog. I can't think of any other good word to use since all the other ones seem to mean something else to me.
Also, when I listen to someone else's compilations or mixes I often try and figure out what their particular narrative is. Why did they choose to put this song after this other one? Why did they choose this piece of music versus another one? But I think narratives are often very personal and hard to discern. I usually have a hard time figuring out why people choose the order that they do, but it's fun for me to think about while I listen to the great music. I suppose that's why I always wonder if people can tell what my narratives are. I think that's why I put them in the notes sometimes. I think it's always hard for someone else to tell what motivates other people in general. Unless we can climb into someone else's head, it's always hard to tell what's going on in there whether it's about why someone chooses a particular song or whether it's about what they chose to eat for lunch. Still, I like thinking about it as I'm listening to people's comps (the songs, not the lunch).
It's always a lot more fun for me if my comps have a tight cohesion and so I tend to think of them as a little dissatisfying when I can't get them to work. Of course, some of them can't really have that cohesion like Oscar Winning Scores or Soundtrack Gamut, A-Z, for instance. There really isn't much of a narrative there and the only unifying theme is the alphabet or the year, but that's also kind of fun. It's fun to try and come up with an entry for 'A' like Airport '79 that would sound good as the first track. Or 'Z' that has a good sounding finale.
I guess that's why I don't do instrumental compilations as often because it's much harder to come up with that kind of narrative. Or an interesting unifying theme that hasn't already been done privately or commercially somewhere. And with these things, it often falls to musical consistency rather than a thematic one. Or it alternates between the two at the expense of the other (I know, I know, again something that's only interesting to me).
Take the mystery compilation, for instance. I would add individual tracks to ones that were already set because they were thematically consistent, but they sometimes interrupted the flow of the music. For example, I added 'The Cheap Detective' after I'd already finished that section of the comp and although it really qualified more as a film noir, I really had to put it after Murder By Death since it was a virtual sequel to that movie. Originally, there was a more consistent sound in that section since they were mostly comical neo-classical pieces there. 'The Cheap Detective' was really a great loose jazzy piece that ends up interrupting the flow of music, but thematically I really had to put the two Peter Falk's together!
Or conversely, I didn't put 'They Call Me Mr. Tibbs!' right after 'In The Heat of the Night' even though it was an actual sequel (and not just a virtual one), but it didn't fit musically so I sandwiched 'Harper' in between the two. So it often ends up being a toss-up between musical consistency and thematic consistency on these things. Well, these are the kinds of silly things I think about when I listen to them. When it works right, it's a lot of fun, but when I can't get that overall flow or cohesion to work properly (either musically or thematically), the comps don't seem as good to me somehow.
So this TV Characters comp seemed to have less cohesion and flow, but after I wrote the notes I realized it had more than I thought it did, so that may be why I liked it better than I did before.
And not to make this post any longer, but I forgot to mention the whole reason I'm posting this. It was because 'Filmpac' so kindly mentioned that Volume 1 was popular in p2p and wondered if I had any more volumes. I never got the chance to tell him how much I appreciated hearing that. Not only because I enjoyed hearing that someone else besides me listens to these things, but because I stopped doing p2p 3 or 4 years back (partly because of the whole 'no online connection at home' thing, and because of other things going on) coincidentally right around the time I started making digital compilations. I had always intended on sharing them on p2p and I was always curious as to whether anybody would've downloaded them and so I'm very grateful to 'Filmpac' for letting me know vicarously how the 'TV Characters Sing Just For You' was received on p2p.
I guess now that I think about it, music blogging is another way to tell how these would be received, but it seems to be a whole different animal somehow. I guess because it's much harder to download something on p2p because of limited bandwidth, queuing, availability, etc., you really have to want it in order to pick something. It's much easier on blogs to sample things even if you're not that interested in them, I suppose. Of course, you get the advantage of comments on a blog versus the limited IM'ing in p2p to get feedback on these things. But still it's something I was always curious about and I really appreciated 'Filmpac' for telling me that. I finally get that question answered (at least on the TV Characters compilation). And since that was the first compilation on the blog and it was before I had any premium accounts, I still have no idea how many people have ever downloaded that comp, so it was especially nice to find out how it was received on p2p. (As if I needed another reason to like 'Filmpac'.)
Well, for anybody who still cares after reading this, here's Volume 2. As always, I hope you enjoy it! (Now that I think about it, I try not to post music people will find excruciating, but you never know.)
01 - Rowan & Martin, Judy Carne, Arte Johnson, Ruth Buzzi, Jo Anne Worley, Goldie Hawn, Henry Gibson, Gary Owens & Larry Hovis - Cuckoo Laugh-in World (1968) - [from the TV series, 'Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In' (1968-1973)]
02 - Patrick Macnee & Honor Blackman - Kinky Boots (1964) - [actors from the TV series, 'The Avengers' (1961-1969)]
03 - Barbara Feldon - 99 - [from the TV series, 'Get Smart' (1965-1970)]
04 - Edd Byrnes - You're The Top (1959) - [from the TV series, '77 Sunset Strip' (1958-1964)]
05 - Jackie Gleason - You're a Dan-dan-dandy - [from the TV series, 'The Jackie Gleason Show' (1952-1959)]
06 - Billy Crystal - You Look Marvelous - [from the TV series, 'Saturday Night Live' (1975-Present)]
07 - Mr. T - The One And Only Mr. T (1984) - [actor from the TV series, 'The A-Team' (1983-1987)]
08 - Larry Hovis, Richard Dawson, Ivan Dixon, & Robert Clary - This Is The Army Mr. Jones (1966) - [from the TV series, 'Hogan's Heroes' (1965-1971)]
09 - Ken Curtis - Dodge City - [from the TV series, 'Gunsmoke' (1955-1975)]
10 - Joe E. Ross - Ooh! Ooh! (1963) - [actor from the TV series, 'Car 54, Where Are You?' (1961-1963) & 'The Phil Silvers Show' (1955-1959)]
11 - Steve Allen - How's Your Sister (1964) - [from the TV series, 'The Steve Allen Show' (1962-1964, 1968-1972, etc.)]
12 - Ted Knight - Hi Guys - [from the TV series, 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' (1970-1977)]
13 - Jim Nabors - Gomer Seys Hey! (1965) - [from the TV series, 'Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.' (1964-1970)]
14 - Catherine Bach - Down Home American Girl (1981) - [from the TV series, 'The Dukes of Hazzard' (1979-1985)]
15 - Donna Douglas, Nancy Kulp, & Cast - Lady Lessons - [from the TV series, 'The Beverly Hillbillies' (1962-1971)]
16 - Cher (with Beavis & Butthead (Mike Judge)) - I Got You Babe (1993) - [from the TV series, 'Beavis & Butthead' (1993-1997)]
17 - Rick Moranis & Dave Thomas with Geddy Lee - Take Off - [from the TV series, 'SCTV' (1976-1981)]
18 - Michael McKean & David L. Lander - Squiggy's Wedding Day (1979) - [from the TV series, 'Laverne & Shirley' (1976-1983)]
19 - Bill Mumy - Sloop John B. '96 (1996) - [actor from the TV series, 'Lost In Space' (1965-1968)]
20 - Leonard Nimoy - A Visit To A Sad Planet (1968) - [actor from the TV series, 'Star Trek' (1966-1969)]
21 - William Shatner - Rocket Man (1978) - [actor from the TV series, 'Star Trek' (1966-1969)]
22 - Adam West - Batman & Robin (1976) - [from the TV series, 'Batman' (1966-1968)]
23 - Frank Gorshin - The Riddler - [from the TV series, 'Batman' (1966-1968)]
24 - Burt Ward with Frank Zappa - Boy Wonder, I Love You (1966) - [from the TV series, 'Batman' (1966-1968)]
25 - David Selby & Nancy Barrett - I Wanna Dance With You (1969) - [from the TV series, 'Dark Shadows' (1966-1971)]
26 - Renzo Cesana - (All Of A Sudden) My Heart Sings - [from the TV series, 'The Continental' (1952-1953)]
27 - Carroll O'Connor & Jean Stapleton - Two Sleepy People (1973) - [from the TV series, 'All In The Family' (1971-1979)]
pw = youdont
TV Characters Sing Just For You, Vol. 2 (Rapidshare)
TV Characters Sing Just For You, Vol. 2 (Megaupload)
around 101 MB
Notes on the compilation:
#1-#4: Some kooky cool cuckoo 60's tunes
#2-#3: Spy gals!
#4: Is that 'nervous number' he's singing about, '99'?
#4-#6: You're fantastic! (or at least you look that way)
#4-#7: People who are just too good to be true.
#6: When I first saw Billy Crystal do this character on Saturday Night Live, I thought 'Is he parodying Fernando Lamas on the Tonight Show?' because I remember seeing Fernando Lamas saying these phrases to Johnny Carson. But it seemed to be such an obscure reference, I was never sure until I saw Billy Crystal later explaining the origin of the character and it turned out that that was what he was parodying! I think that's why I enjoy it because it captures Mr. Lamas so perfectly without being a direct impersonation.
#7-#8: Mr. T or Mr. Jones? I just can't tell them apart. Well, they're both in the military (and paramilitary). If it weren't for the mohawk it would be impossible to tell.
#7-#10: Serving their nation and their towns in uniformed service (well, sure technically some of them didn't wear much of a uniform, but you get the idea).
#9-#10: The most suave and sophisticated lawmen you're ever likely to find.
#10-#13: Catchphrase songs.
#10: Here's a catchphrase that Joe E. Ross used on both 'The Phil Silvers Show' and 'Car 54, Where Are You?' Two for the price of one!
#11: Here's a song filled with catchphrases Steve Allen used on his show. How do you spell, 'Schmock, schmock', Clyde?
#11-#13: Greetings and salutations!
#13-#15: Some down-home singers.
#14-#16: Female issues? (The search for the right girl continues.....)
#14: 'I wonder what she'll say?'.....Well, Boss Hogg, just like Gomer, she says 'Hey!'
#16-#18: Well, do I really need to say what these 3 tracks have in common? (besides duos & dialogue breaks.......okay, they're all Ivy League scholars)
#16-#19: Rock excursions.
#19-#21: Sad and regretful space songs.
#21-#22: From Rocket Man to Batman....self-important self-mockery? You be the judge.
#24: 'I hope you know this is a girl writing!' I sure hope so too for your sake, Boy Wonder!
#26: Renzo Cesana played the suave 'Continental' on 50's television and has been so brilliantly parodied by Christopher Walken on Saturday Night Live. If I'm not mistaken, Renzo was also a familiar sight in various movies as the archetypal Italian character with the wandering eye. An actual wandering eye, that is. It seemed to me that one of his eyes was cross-eyed unless I'm confusing him with another actor. He seemed to appear in a ton of movies and TV shows.
The Big Bus (1976) (David Shire) [Bootleg]
Or I might've become a fan from his Broadway work with Richard Maltby on musicals like, 'Baby'. That was one of those albums that I heard played on the radio and then pretty quickly after went to the record store and bought the LP and then eventually bought the CD when those new-fangled contraptions came out (contrary to the erroneous supposition that file-sharers don't spend any money on their music).
In fact, now that I think about it, 'The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3' was the first CD I ever bought from F.S.M. when they were first putting out albums. I just had to have it; boy, I love that score. Though it reminds me of the funny story of how they charged $700 or $800 worth of fraudulent charges on my credit card that all coincidentally were for publishing-related companies back east like paper companies and newspapers. Well, maybe that's not such a funny story. Still, a great label with incredible releases that I would urge everybody to support (just not with phony charges and I would pay cash if I were you).
Or it might have even been when I first heard the theme from Farewell, My Lovely. I always loved that theme and was blown away by it. I think I only had a copy of the main theme, but a friend of mine was an even bigger fan of that score and gave me a copy of the CD with Monkey Shines on it. I didn't even realize the whole score had been released until he gave me a copy of it. I guess that disproves another erroneous supposition that generosity only existed after the advent of that dreaded thing known as file-sharing. I guess they missed out on the money I wouldn't have spent on it since I didn't even know it existed before he gave me a copy. Boy, I bet I really hurt their sales by not giving them that non-money. Of course, once I got a copy it made me want to buy the CD, but I guess that's beside the point.
So here's his score to the Joseph Bologna / Stockard Channing disaster spoof about the disastrous maiden voyage of an atomic-powered bus. The movie wasn't exactly a classic parody (and the score is probably not David Shire's best), but I still enjoyed it which is more than you can ask of any movie (or score), I suppose. As is the case sometimes with bootlegs, the music is pitched a little low, but you can always easily fix this by using some kind of normalizing software if it really bothers you. Or you can use volume control. (I don't like to alter these things too much before I post them. I'm terrible at it and would probably only make things worse, so I figure all you audiophiles out there who really care about these things would prefer getting an unadulterated version instead.)
This was about 4 years before Airplane (and Supertrain, now that I think about it). And 1 year after One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and Jaws, but that probably doesn't have to do with anything.
The Big Bus (Bootleg) (1976) (David Shire) - 01 - Main Title
The Big Bus (Bootleg) (1976) (David Shire) - 02 - Cyclops Factory Explosion
The Big Bus (Bootleg) (1976) (David Shire) - 03 - Dan & Kitty
The Big Bus (Bootleg) (1976) (David Shire) - 04 - A.W.M. / Bus Travel
The Big Bus (Bootleg) (1976) (David Shire) - 05 - The Bomb
The Big Bus (Bootleg) (1976) (David Shire) - 06 - The Wrong Wire / Springfield Foam / Bath / Sybil & Claude
The Big Bus (Bootleg) (1976) (David Shire) - 07 - Sharing A Bath / A Good Bet
The Big Bus (Bootleg) (1976) (David Shire) - 08 - Harbinger Curve / Busport 1975 / Kitty In The Kitchen
The Big Bus (Bootleg) (1976) (David Shire) - 09 - Kitty In Jeopardy / Dan's Confession / Jack Returns
The Big Bus (Bootleg) (1976) (David Shire) - 10 - Cliffhanger / Dan Goes Over The Winch / On The Road Again
The Big Bus (Bootleg) (1976) (David Shire) - 11 - End Title
pw = youdont
The Big Bus (1976) (David Shire) (Rapidshare)
The Big Bus (1976) (David Shire) (Megaupload)
around 48 MB
The Railway Children (1970) (Johnny Douglas)
Well, as is usually the case with these things, it's all uploaded, but I just haven't gotten around to writing the post. It's all this clean-up work at the end that kills me!
I loved the comments that First Moon, Jason, & especially Planet Xtabay left. Again, sorry about that guys! I ran out of time and had to log out so quickly I never noticed this sitting here!
Well, I guess it won't be a surprise when it eventually shows up again. :)) But on the bright side, it did get more comments than my average post!
Well, since I posted the album cover it seemed only fitting to post the album as well.
Here's another soundtrack to a favorite movie from my childhood. Well, that designation probably doesn't mean much since a few hundred movies fall into that category, but it's still a good, entertaining movie. I hope you enjoy listening to this great memory of a great film as much as I enjoy posting it.
P.S. Boy, was that great commentary worth waiting for, or what? It takes a long time to write stuff this boring.
[Update: Man, these links have been sitting around forever. I hope they're still good. And in the interim, 'Filmpac' was (as always) so kind to post his own copy! Is that man generous and helpful or what?]
The Railway Children (1970) (Johnny Douglas) - 01 - Overture
The Railway Children (1970) (Johnny Douglas) - 02 - Roberta's Theme
The Railway Children (1970) (Johnny Douglas) - 03 - Mother's Theme
The Railway Children (1970) (Johnny Douglas) - 04 - The Robbers
The Railway Children (1970) (Johnny Douglas) - 05 - More Than Ever Now - [Vocal by Vince Hill]
The Railway Children (1970) (Johnny Douglas) - 06 - The Paper Chase
The Railway Children (1970) (Johnny Douglas) - 07 - A Kindly Old Gentleman
The Railway Children (1970) (Johnny Douglas) - 08 - Perks Must Be About It
The Railway Children (1970) (Johnny Douglas) - 09 - The Birthday Waltz
The Railway Children (1970) (Johnny Douglas) - 10 - Finale
pw = youdont
The Railway Children (1970) (Johnny Douglas) (Rapidshare)
The Railway Children (1970) (Johnny Douglas) (Megaupload)
around 46 MB
HERE'S THAT INCREDIBLY LONG ESSAY I WAS TALKING ABOUT (SOME REFLECTIONS ON RECENT EVENTS)
I might've been in earlier, but the library has temporarily reduced its hours over the last few weeks and been closed on the weekends, and frankly the atmosphere here hasn't exactly made me rush to the computer. And I still haven't felt entirely well, but it's really no excuse for not coming in sooner. But since it's the only set of excuses I have, it'll just have to do.
I finished the following essay a few weeks ago and kept adding things to it over the weeks, but a lot of the references are to things that happened over a month ago, so please excuse the lack of timeliness..............]
[THIS ESSAY ONLY REFLECTS THE CONDITIONS I KNEW ABOUT SINCE THE LAST TIME I CAME IN. THAT WOULD BE 'X' NUMBER OF WEEKS AGO (MAY 8, TO BE EXACT). ANY OTHER COMMENTS MADE LATER OR EVENTS SINCE THEN AREN'T REFLECTED IN MY COMMENTS. THINGS CHANGE SO QUICKLY IN THE BLOGOSPHERE, SO TAKE THESE WORDS FOR WHAT THEY ARE. MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THE SITUATIONS AS I KNEW OF THEM BACK THEN. THANKS!] [Update: And now, of course, more than another week has gone by, so it's even more outdated than before, but still if you desperately wanted to read until your eyeballs went blurry, you're perfectly welcome to continue.] [Second Update: Aw, just forget how long ago it was! I put some of my more recent thoughts at the end of the essay.]
Well, at least the blog is still here (but for how long, I don't know). Well, I finally read all the comments that were posted while I was gone. That reminds me. Based on some of the comments (especially ones by Greg), I think some people might be under a misconception that it's easy for me to go through and read hundreds of comments and then respond to whatever's going on immediately. That is probably the crux of Greg's beef with me and the blog. At least the stated beef. He has accused me of not protecting him from trolls and other nasty commenters and has called me a poor moderator for not stepping in and stopping it.
Well, firstly, I should make it clear that I didn't like the recent trolling and spamming. I abhor those methods though I certainly can understand the anger and frustration that was feuling it. I don't have that anger towards Greg, but I certainly can understand how the trollers would. I especially didn't like the cracks about Greg being a sex offender, etc. I felt all the trolling and spamming was way out of line, especially since things seemed to be settling down and were becoming a little more peaceful.
I do understand the points the trolls were trying to make though. And I actually do appreciate them being engaged and interested enough to be that mad. I think their primary objective was to harass Greg and get him to leave, but the thing they didn't realize is that when they disrespect Greg, they are also disrespecting me and this blog. By trolling like that, you are creating the very atmosphere that you hate Greg for creating. I did feel however that some of the trolls, especially 'Greg's #1 Fan' were using sarcasm to make a point. That's probably why I use sarcasm so much because I feel that it's instructive while at the same time being funny. The problem with what the trolls did is that after making that first point, they kept doing it. Then it started losing its ability to enlighten and started to make people reject the points they were trying to make. That's why trolling is usually so ineffective.
Usually trolls attack the blogs they're trolling, but in this case they specifically attacked Greg. I understand why they were so frustrated and angry at Greg. And ironically, I think some of them were angry at him because he had essentially driven me away from my own blog. That is partly true. Greg created such a bad atmosphere here that it was true that I wasn't as enthusiastic about hanging out at my own blog. When a blogger doesn't want to visit his own blog, that's a bad sign.
It's also ironic that that's one of the reasons Greg gave for reporting my blog to Blogger.com. That I did nothing to stop people from attacking him. I suspect that the irony is lost on Greg that he is part of the reason that I was discouraged from coming in to 'protect' him from these attacks. Irony is probably small comfort to Greg though.
Since there are always new people who come here, I should remind people that I don't have an online connection at home. This means I have to use other computers to blog (usually at the library). This means a certain amount of extra effort in all sorts of ways in order to do anything online. It also means I am not able to come in every day. And because it takes 20-30 minutes to install the various software I use there, it's not really worthwhile to just pop in for an hour or so to check in. You really need to stay at least 2 or 3 hours to make it worth it. Also, you can't walk away for longer than 5 or 10 minutes, otherwise the computers reboot and you lose anything that you've downloaded on the hard disk and you also have to re-install everything. That means you have to sit in the same spot for hours on end without much of a break. In other words, you have to have a real desire to blog (as well as the other 15 or 20 things I try to do online at the same time). Sometimes (especially when you're not feeling well), it's not something you jump at doing. You really have to want to do it. And as much as I would like it to be, the library isn't open 24 hours a day (and my idea of fun at night isn't necessarily to spend 3 or 4 hours at the library chained to a computer terminal). Hence, sometimes there are prolonged absences from the blog.
One of the other reasons I hadn't come in was that I was still working on that 'essay' I was writing about the whole situation with Greg, the people who left, and what I was going to do about the Request Post and the blog. That's not something I do lightly, so it took a little time. It also frankly was something I could only do a little bit at a time as I am still not feeling entirely well and it is frankly discouraging to ponder the situation at the Request Post for any great length of time. As a result, it took me way too long to address the issue. For that, I apologize.
I knew it was somewhat irresponsible to start a blog when I knew I wouldn't be able to maintain it properly, but I felt as long as other people didn't mind, I suppose I didn't either. I've said this in the past and so far nobody but Greg has ever minded. He's always the first (and mainly only) person to complain about the Request Post getting too full. He's also the first and only regular reader (to my knowledge) that has ever complained about me being a poor moderator. People have complained about some things here and there on the blog, but he's really the only one who's ever complained about me specifically. That should tell you something, in a very basic way, about how Greg differs from virtually every other person who has ever come here.
That also raises another misconception that I think people have. While I think of the Request Post as a forum, I think some people (other than Greg) imagine that it is a literal forum in which you can install an actual 'moderator' or screen who comes here. There is no way that I know of on Blogger.com to have a 'moderator' as people suppose. Perhaps it's a function on the new version of Blogger? But as far as I know, in order for someone to do that, you would need to give them a password to the blog and essentially hand it over to them so that they could moderate comments. As for Greg, I know he was referring to me in the figurative sense as moderator, but that too is problematic.
For the people who aren't bloggers, I should mention that as a blogger, there are only a limited number of ways that I can moderate comments:
1) COMMENT MODERATION: This involves turning on the function by which comments are only let through when the blogger allows them in. This way you screen which comments come in and which ones don't. I imagine that there aren't any readers here who've been here long enough to remember a time when I actually did have comment moderation on the blog. Check back into the archives and you'll see me talking about it. Suffice it to say, it was a disaster and I vowed never to use it here again.
And for something like the Request Post, it would obviously be prohibitive. I think people at ScoreBaby Annex know what I mean when they tried it. It loses all spontaneity and real-time effect. And would you really want your comments showing up here only when I was able to come in? What if I wasn't able to come in for a couple of weeks? I seem to remember Greg himself at one point suggesting that perhaps I should turn on comment moderation like he had over at his blog (though I could be wrong). Well, everybody's comments would only show up when I could come in. And if someone thinks it's easy to sift through literally hundreds of comments deciding which comments to let in and which ones to stay, I think they have an odd idea of what they think I want to spend my time doing. And if I remember right, the comments are all listed individually and not as a group. I would have to sit there clicking on each one to determine which ones to let through and which ones not to. People forget that blog entries are not generally designed for so many comments. Blogger.com didn't create comment moderation with the idea that you would be judging 3000 or 4000 comments. They're thinking more along the lines of 10 or 20 comments per entry.
I know it's very tempting to say, 'Turn on comment moderation' and everything will be fine, but until you have a blog that has comment sections like the Request Posts here with 1500-2000 comments in them, come back to me then and talk about how easy and smooth-running that would be for you.
Perhaps comment moderation has changed in the new version of blogger. I don't know. Maybe it's easier now and that's why people suggest it. But still, would you really want your comments showing up only when I came in?
2) TURNING OFF ANONYMOUS COMMENTS: Various people have suggested that I do this and I certainly can understand how they feel. But as I and other people have repeatedly pointed out, the majority of the bad and trouble-making comments come from people who have used nicknames, not anonymous people. And as I have also stated many times, I did not set out to run a blog that excludes anonymous people. It's easy to say 'Get rid of all the anonymous people', but as someone who surfed music blogs as 'Anonymous' for over a year before starting one, I was not suddenly going to create one where I excluded them. There's nothing wrong with blogs that do, but it was simply not the kind of blog I was interested in running.
And if I did that, I would have to exclude people like Breton Girl and Thingmaker, to name just two. For one person like that, I would put up with twenty other anonymous, but indifferent people.
But the main reason that excluding anonymous people would not ultimately make a difference is the fact that that is not the real root of the problem. I allowed anonymous people to comment before Greg got here and as far as I was concerned, it was fine. The real problem stems from an atmosphere in which anonymous people feel comfortable to attack. On this blog, there didn't used to be any reason for an anonymous person to attack anyone. I'm sure those same people were lurking around here, but they just didn't feel the need to be disruptive or annoying. And certainly not in a persistent way. But more on that later.
I know some people argue that turning off anonymous comments like they do at other blogs discourages people from being silly or stupid. But frankly, what truly discourages people from doing that is seeing what goes on here. I have always respected anonymous people here and they have always respected me. Once they understand what the blog is about or what the Request Post is about, they realize that it's simply not appropriate here to act a certain way. At least they used to. But again, more on that later.
3) DELETING OFFENDING COMMENTS: I have done this in the past, but just with spam. I can permanently delete those comments as if they were never there, and have done so before, so it is important for people to understand that it was never the actual spam that bothered me. Usually nasty comments (and I've had a couple recently in the main part of the blog) are made by hit-and-run commenters and not by regular readers.
The ones made by transient commenters don't particularly bother me (and I've actually left those ones up). They're usually made by people who don't read the blog and don't usually know what they're talking about. One of those commenters actually lumped me in with Zinhof & Chocoreve (while he was saying 'F*** You', etc.)! It makes me think I've got to post more psychedelia! It's actually kind of flattering to be grouped with blogs that I like that post so much material. But obviously this blog is very different from those in content, frequency, & availability of material.
The other nasty commenter read the most recent posts and thought I was in some kind of war with Greg (calling us both thieves, etc.). Since he hadn't really read this blog, he didn't realize that neither of us consider ourselves at war with the other (at least I don't, but I don't know how Greg feels at this point). And he didn't really know what he was talking about regarding other aspects of the blog or me. It was a general rant about music blogging.
These kinds of comments, while mildly disturbing, don't bother me at all in comparison to the spamming in the Request Post or the insulting kinds of comments made by Greg to other people in the past. Why, you might ask, am I bothered more by childish spamming where someone cuts and pastes the same phrase over and over again versus comments where people say 'F*** You' and call me a thief? It's because the former type of comment is made by someone who actually follows the conversation in the Request Post and visits the blog periodically or regularly. It's not the actual spam that bothers me; while it's annoying (especially to the other readers who have to put up with it), it bothers me more to think that someone who reads the blog is attacking it in that way.
Now with this particular spammer, you notice he only spams when he sees all the conflict going on. And he picks specific quotes to use in order to annoy the people who are arguing. He clearly seems to be trying to make a point (albeit, fairly childlishly), but I at least prefer that kind of spamming to the general kind that is meant to plague the blogger. This spamming that's been going on seems directly designed to satirize all the turmoil going on in the Request Post.
So let me make it clear, that while I understand this kind of spam, I find it more disturbing than some random guy coming in who doesn't know what he's talking about and whose spam I can delete, versus somebody who imagines that they are helping the situation by poking fun at the people involved to perhaps get them to stop, when in fact all that he is doing is attacking my blog (and me). I find it more disturbing because it is obviously a regular reader rather than a passing yahoo trying to make trouble. And if it is a regular reader, that means he obviously likes what he sees here otherwise he wouldn't come back. And if that's true, he doesn't understand the Request Post, the blog, or me, and he doesn't understand that he is attacking all at the same time and not just parodying and annoying the combatants. That means the spammer is trying to disrespect me (even if unintentionally) and that means I have failed in my job as a blogger if I haven't sent the proper message as to what this blog is all about. And this is why this kind of spam bothers me.
And on a general note about deleting comments, I am generally against it, unless it is automated or repetitious spam. As I've said, I even leave up the nasty comments directed towards me. Again, some people might consider this foolish, but again, I'm not interested in running the kind of blog that censors people's opinions, no matter how much I might disagree with them. That's another reason why I don't use comment moderation. And up until Greg came, I haven't had to worry about bad comments.
Which also reminds me. I've always meant to ask Greg why he deletes so many of his own comments. He certainly has the right to do it, but when you're trying to catch up later, it makes following conversations much harder. I've heard a few people suggest that the reason that he does it so often is because he's making inflammatory statements designed to get other people to respond and then they look like the bad guys later after he deletes his initial comments. Greg himself has suggested that he deletes so many of them because he combines them into one comment later on. I suspect that both are true. Since I download copies of the comment sections to read at home later, I know what some of Greg's original comments were before he deleted them. I would say that it was a mixture of both explanations, frankly. Though some of his original comments are fairly benign (and not really combined later on) and so I still wonder why he bothers to delete them.
At first, I thought it was because he wanted to save room in the Request Post so that it was easier to open a window to it, but if that were true, he'd be saving very little room, so I thought it would be silly if that were the reason. Then I thought perhaps he didn't want to leave a record of what he was saying, but I couldn't really see why not. Perhaps, if he was aware that some of the things he was saying were insulting, maybe he didn't want to come off looking bad later. But that doesn't make too much sense either because he left a lot of the most insulting things intact. So, it's still hard for me to tell why.
But it's another reason people were annoyed with Greg. Not because he repeatedly kept deleting his own comments, but because he kept doing it even after people told him that it bothered them. This is at the heart of the problem (but again, more on that later).
4) SHUTTING DOWN THE REQUEST POST: I was in the process of considering this (although obviously it is a somewhat Draconian solution to unwanted comments). Frankly, running a Request Post without people like Isbum, Rocket From Mars, Filmpac, Mel, Quinlan, Sallie, Watson, et al, is simply not the kind of Request Post I'm that interested in running. The only reason I started a new Post and haven't closed it down yet is because of all the good people who continued to show up there. I didn't want to slam the door in their face and that is the ONLY reason I have kept it open while I considered what I was going to do and say about this situation.
But this raises another misconception I think people have about the Request Post (and the blog). It is not simply about people making requests, posting links, and downloading music. If that's all it was about I could've gotten a bunch of robots to come in and do it. For me, it's always been about the spirit of sharing, the camaraderie, the good fellowship, the desire to help other people here, the sharing of information and opinions, and the basic sharing of the love of music. That's what the Request Post was truly about. I've mentioned or at least intimated this on occasion, but I suspect that a lot of people ignore the stuff I write since there isn't a link next to it.
But go back and read my comments in the older Request Posts and you see that I talk more about people's spirits of generosity than I do about the actual music.
I started the Request Post back at the beginning of October of last year because many readers were leaving comments asking me for various things that I didn't have. I knew that unless other people just happened to read those comment sections of older posts that it wasn't very likely that anybody was going to fulfill those requests, so I decided to collect them all up into one post and see if anybody else out there had them. I created the Request Post (like the blog) always with the idea in mind that it would be a long-term and more-or-less permanent post. That was partly because I felt it would take a very long time before people came in who might have the requested music, let alone be willing to go to all the trouble of uploading it and posting it.
I thought it would go largely ignored like most of the things I posted and would only have somebody sporadically comment once a week or once a month. And so I was fairly surprised when people started commenting right off the bat. Of course, there were only a handful of people to start off with, but relatively quickly people started coming in. The initial trend, after the breaking-in period, was for a lot of people (mostly anonymous) to come in and make a lot of requests. In fact, a lot of people were posting very large lists at first. But I think once people realized that their requests weren't being fulfilled immediately, they stopped making quite so many requests. I suspect that a lot of the people who made those early requests you see on the old lists disappeared after the first few days when their requests weren't immediately fulfilled.
It was understandable (especially in an online world where people expect a little more instant gratification), but I always thought it was funny because my attitude was that you might not get it today or tomorrow or even next week or next month, but maybe somebody will come in who has it six months from now and then you will still be able to get it. So my philosophy about the Request Post was that it was always meant to be around in case somebody wanted to request or post something regardless of how many people were there.
Now early on, if you look at the earliest comments in the Request Post, they were made by regular and loyal readers like Mickey, Isbum, Breton Girl, Mel, Sallie, and Rocket From Mars whom I all consider friends to this blog and hopefully by now, to me as well. And later on, Watson and Quinlan whose wonderful spirits were also so greatly appreciated and whom I also consider friends. Other wonderful people also stopped by like Blofeld's Cat and Detective Mitchell who eventually created their own blogs. And as is usually the case when you start your own blog, you run out of time and they ended up visiting and commenting less often. And Werther and Quidtum who also drifted away, but whose enthusiasm was always welcome. And then eventually Filmpac came with his wonderful desire to help people and his equally wonderful attitude and friendship, and then all the other wonderful people who followed after that.
I think I feel an automatic kinship with other people who like this music, but I always liked those people especially (as well as many others who came later) because of their wonderful attitudes, their generous spirits, their respect of and friendship to other people, their kindness and courtesy, and their wonderful taste. I think that's why I always consider them friends because I like those qualities in them so much and because they knew exactly what the Request Post was about and what I was trying to do with it.
There was a time in those early days when the ratio of people requesting things to people fulfilling them was rather high and just a handful of people like Rocket From Mars and Isbum were doing an awful lot of fulfilling for a large number of people. And despite the increased traffic, there was still that wonderful spirit of helping other people out, sharing, talking to other people, meeting other people who liked the same things, and making new friends.
In order to understand why so many people are angry at Greg, why so many people left, and what led up to the current situation you see now with the spamming, trolling, and attacks, you have to understand what the atmosphere was like before he came here.
I've seen a few comments by people that refer to the people who left as being childish or petty as if they were children who had had a silly tiff with Greg and picked up their toys and left. I can tell you as someone who has read every single comment on the blog in every post, let alone the person who created the blog and the Request Post, that this is not the case.
In my original essay that I was writing (and that frankly, I gave up writing after Greg said he was reporting me to Blogger.com and had to write this completely different essay instead), I outlined many of the things Greg did that annoyed, bothered, insulted, and angered other people using examples and comments from the archives. In light of him trying to shut the blog down however, it didn't really seem worthwhile spending a lot of time trying to explain to people why his attitude and behavior had led to all these problems. It seems kind of self-explanatory now (as well as being kind of academic at this point).
But I felt that people who hadn't really followed what was going on, people who had only come in occasionally or hadn't read past Request Posts, or newer readers who didn't understand what all the fuss was about, deserved an explanation. Also, I felt that Greg truly didn't understand it and so I wanted to explain it to him as well.
It's no coincidence that the majority of people who left the Request Post (and unfortunately, the blog) were some of the oldest, most loyal readers of this blog. They remember what it was like before Greg got here. That's why they became so angry. It wasn't just a simple little fight over nothing. Let me explain that.
Greg started posting comments at the beginning of January and by that time there was already a fair amount of traffic in the Request Post. Probably because people had more time during the holidays to visit in Decemeber & January.
From October to January, the Request Post had developed a wonderful atmosphere of camaraderie and activity and people got along wonderfully well. It was a fantastic place to hang out, share things, and talk to people.
Then Greg started commenting in early January. It wasn't bad at first, and just like now, Greg was enthusiastic, engaged, and often helpful to other people with information. But many times, he would be insulting, a little cold, and periodically obnoxious, demeaning, condescending, or harsh. He was quick to point out some perceived inadequacy in something that someone posted or liked, quick to reply with a link that often seemed designed to make people feel small or stupid for not knowing about something, and he generally changed the tone of the whole Request Post.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), I was sick during January and part of February and was not at the blog during this whole period. I came back in mid-February and by the time I got caught up (I think there were over 1500 comments in that post), it was late February-early March.
When I first read some of Greg's comments, my first impressions were that some of them were fairly insulting, overly critical, and somewhat harsh. But I genuinely felt at the time that Greg didn't understand that his comments came off that way.
I felt that some of that was because of the difficulty in interpreting intent when reading something in black and white. It's the same problem that chat rooms have, for instance, and why people use emoticons. It's not always easy to tell the spirit in which people are saying things. But that only applies to some of the more neutral comments that can be taken either way.
And I also felt at the time that it was Greg's enthusiasm for the music that would often come out in bad ways. His desire to get a soundtrack or score in the particular way that he wanted would often make him overly critical or insulting to other people. But when I first read his comments, I felt it was the enthusiasm that was driving it.
Also, time has a funny way of playing out on the blog when you're catching up on comments. When you're only able to come in once or twice a week, sometimes more sometimes less, like I am, time dilates and contracts in a funny way. By the time I came back and had caught up, it hardly seemed any time at all since Greg had been there, but in reality it had already been going onto its third month. This is entirely my fault.
These are some of the reasons I didn't say anything about it before. I felt that given enough time, Greg would conform to the vibe of the room and stop acting that way. That had been true of other people who came before. There were occasionally people who said harsh things or had misunderstandings prior to Greg's arrival, but they quickly learned what was appropriate to do and say by watching how other people acted in the Request Post or they quickly straightened out any misunderstandings. Everybody got along.
The problem with Greg's behavior was that it never really changed. He seemed totally oblivious to the fact that his behavior stood out like a sore thumb and was equally oblivious to the effect that it was having on other people there.
But with a dynamic, ever-changing environment like the Request Post, it is sometimes hard to tell these things. I know when Filmpac and later others started pointing things out to Greg about his behavior (or sometimes just erupting in anger) and leaving the blog, my initial reaction was 'Why can't they just ignore these bad comments like I do?'. 'Is it really that big of a problem?'
And I noticed that later on other readers would make similar comments to that effect. And that these were petty arguments and people were being childish, etc. But I started to realize the true depth of the problem when Mel and Rocket From Mars and others started saying things to Greg about his behavior. Not just because these are incredibly nice people (although that should certainly carry weight with anybody if they doubt whether Greg's behavior is bad or not), but I realized the real problem when I saw Greg's responses.
He would dismiss their concerns, fail to acknowledge that they might be bothered at all or that he might have done anything wrong to begin with, didn't seem to care whether anybody was bothered, and cared so little about them or other people here that he didn't mind whether they left or not.
It showed a shameful lack of respect on his part and more importantly, it showed me that the atmosphere of camaraderie and friendship here meant nothing to Greg. He didn't care enough about these people that he had been hanging out with (virtually every day) for over three months to try and apologize, reconcile, or alter his behavior in any way. It isn't about being wrong or right; it's about caring whether you bother other people here. It's about basic human decency, frankly. Or even if you don't care about those other people, say if you didn't like them because you think they insulted you, you should at least care about how you're affecting the Request Post or the blog. But Greg didn't seem to care anything about that either.
Now don't get me wrong, I don't expect Greg to hug everybody here and hold hands and sing around a campfire and I don't expect him to be altruistic in his attitude towards the blog or myself, if he doesn't feel that it's right, but by the same token, why would he keep coming here, if he has no regard for the other people who have gone to the effort to share things with him and everyone else here and why would he keep coming back if he had so little regard for me or this blog?
Look at his most recent reaction. He felt he was being harassed by trolls who were persistently attacking him. But rather than do what virtually every normal human being would've done and leave, he chose to stay and report the blog to Blogger.com for a term of service violation. His exact quote was:
'Good frickin' luck, because I just reported this damned blog and this terrorizing harassment bullsh*t to Blogger who WILL do something about this if Nomwl1 doesn't....which he apparently can't or won't.
Good Luck all......Blogger will likely shut this goddamn blog DOWN for good in order to stop this CRAP.'
He would rather shut down the entire blog and ruin it for everyone here rather than leave. If anyone had any doubts as to Greg's character before, why so many people left, or even why these trolls (with admittedly assinine tactics) were attacking him, this should prove beyond a shadow of a doubt to people how little regard he has for anyone else here. It should also go a long way to explaining why he generates so much hatred. This is the same level of disrespect for other people he has consistently shown here. He would rather tear the blog down around everybody's ears than either ignore the harassment, apologize or acknowledge some level of responsibility in these situations, or simply leave. All options that any normal, sane person would've employed. Instead he chooses to report a music blog for terms of service violations. Again, an irony that is probably lost on Greg (who coincidentally also posts copyrighted material at his own blog). Amazing.
And ask yourself, 'if Greg was so concerned with the harassment, why was his reaction to try and get the blog shut down?' If he had simply left and not come back or if the blog were shut down, the effect would be the same as far as Greg was concerned. Either way he wouldn't be able to comment here. But he chose the option that ruins it for everyone else. So you see, it wasn't the harassment that was the real problem. If it was, he only needed to leave to avoid it. But he wanted to stay and have the blog shut down instead. That should indicate what the real intention was (whether it was conscious or unconscious). His instinct was to destroy rather than preserve.
And notice how he blamed the blog for the harassment and not his own behavior or his presence. The 'goddamn' blog was generating the harassment. This is the way Greg's mind works. He seemed to mind the blog as much if not more than the harassment. Was he really bothered by the harassment or the blog? If this is the only place he receives this level of harassment, perhaps it's because people know him better here than anywhere else.
And I know Greg will say that he was reporting the harassment and not the blog, but he obviously knew that getting the blog shut down was a distinct possibility. So that argument really doesn't make much sense. It's like saying, 'Dogs from the neighborhood keep bothering me in this man's front yard. Well, if he can't or won't do anything about it, I'll blow up his house. He's had ample time to do something about this. He's seen this coming. I'm on his property so he has a responsibility to protect me from these dogs. No, wait. He doesn't even own it. The bank owns it. I'll get them to come over here and foreclose if he won't protect me from these dogs. I'm just reporting the dog attacks and not the house. These stray dogs hate me and they keep attacking me in his yard. I leave for a while, but they keep coming back and attack me every time I stand on this guy's lawn. He's not here often enough to protect me!'
Now if this were the situation, would that argument make sense or would it make more sense for the man to stop standing in another man's yard and provoking, sometimes with his mere presence, dogs that obviously hate him. I don't know, but perhaps I'm wrong about that.
But frankly, I'm not that bothered for myself. If I wanted to keep blogging, I can always do it somewhere else or launch a private blog (which, by the way, I still intend on doing either way.....just in case those people who left messages were wondering). Or I can simply stop blogging altogether. I'm not really bothered in that respect.
But I think I am more bothered by the idea that one music blogger would do that to another one. I've always considered my fellow bloggers to be in a great community and for someone to do this within that community, I find reprehensible. It just offends me on general principle. And I am deeply bothered at the idea that someone here would have so little respect, so little care or concern for all the other good people here that he doesn't care if he ruins it for everyone else. But I think the thing that bothers me the most in all this, is the fact that all those good people who left (and all the ones who stayed) had to put up with this level of disrespect and disregard from Greg for so long. And for that, I truly apologize.
At this point, some may be saying to themselves, 'But Greg was mercilessly attacked by these trolls.' Even Filmpac was feeling sorry for Greg at that point. And it's true, I felt it was way out of line what these trolls were doing recently (though unlike Greg apparently thinks, I didn't see any of it going on since I was away from the blog. Gee, I wonder why I didn't feel like coming into the blog for a while?). I especially didn't like the way they were using other people's nicknames to pretend to be 'Filmpac', 'Psycho Mike' and others. And I thought it was very unfair to Greg that these people started harassing him after things were settling down and I felt Greg was making an honest effort to be more neutral in his comments and generally avoiding starting trouble. To his credit, I also felt Greg tried very hard not to respond to the initial volleys in the latest round of attacks (at least since I last checked on Tuesday), but eventually couldn't help himself.
But again, ask youself. If Greg felt so harassed, why did he keep coming back? And consider these comments by Greg:
'This is the last straw.....whomever is psoting this terrorizing harassment has done it. This blog's days are going to be numbered, since I just reported this crap to Blogger.
GOOD LUCK, JERKS!
# posted by Greg : Monday, May 07, 2007 4:21:00 AM'
And then shortly after.........
'Thomas, here's B**tl*j*ic*, the original CD issue:
# posted by Greg : Monday, May 07, 2007 5:03:00 AM'
And then a little later...........
'BTW....Nomwl1 has seen how this nonsense has been progressing and has had ample opportunity to do something about this before.....and hasn't. It's gotten to the point where I don't need to take this harassment and terrorism any longer. What's been started up again here after a calm and rational period is nothing short of exactly what I reported: Harassment. PERIOD. Just as it's defined in Blogger's TOS violation (which I linked above and you obviously didn't bother reading): Defamation/Libel/Slander and/or Hate or violence....Here it is again for your (and others') benefit:
Report a Terms of Service Violation
# posted by Greg : Monday, May 07, 2007 9:39:00 AM'
And then after he had reported me to Blogger.com and had said he wanted to shut my blog down, he left this link to his blog the next day.........................
'BEACH PARTY (1963) - Unofficial Soundtrack with Frankie Avalon & Annette Funicello
# posted by Greg : Tuesday, May 08, 2007 4:35:00 AM'
Who has the gall, after they specifically and repeatedly say they want to shut your 'goddamn' blog down, to leave a comment advertising a new entry at their own blog??? Again, if anyone really doesn't understand why Greg generates so much hatred and attack, you only need to consider this kind of behavior to understand why.
And yes, he apparently felt so harassed he kept coming back to post comments.
And I should address this issue that Greg brings up of 'Nomwl1 has seen how this nonsense has been progressing and has had ample opportunity to do something about this before.....and hasn't.' While I do feel it is my fault for prolonged absences on the blog, I think it is supremely ironic of Greg to think that I can somehow protect him from people who hate him. Frankly, that would be a full-time job and that is not the job I signed up for when I created this blog. Greg expects me to be some sort of magical bulletproof vest for him so that nasty people will stop harassing him. I suppose he would want me to follow him from blog to blog protecting him from the hatred that he has generated over the many months. He is like somebody who comes over to your house, starts a fire, and then reports you to the police because you didn't protect him from the flames.
It is a snowball that he started with his continued insulting and demeaning behavior to other people here since the beginning of the year which has triggered off this firestorm of attack against him and he somehow believes that I can now protect him from that firestorm and that people should just forget about it and not resent him over it while he keeps staying here and other people are driven away from the blog. While I do feel this latest round of attacks is unfair, it is only the incredible gall of Greg that presumes that I can do anything to stop the hatred that he has so amply engendered.
As a fellow blogger, he knows that there is very little someone can do to prevent people from commenting in that way. Did he expect me to report my own blog to Blogger.com? Did he expect me to screen anonymous comments from people who are already using nicknames? Did he expect me to tell people to stop making these comments even after I already told people there would be consequences if the negative attitude towards others here didn't stop (and by the way, which Greg himself ignored and still continued to treat people badly until he drove a lot of other people away)? Again, irony is lost on Greg. Doesn't he realize that if I was going to stop someone from commenting, he would be the first on the list and not these trolls? Doesn't he realize that these people wouldn't be trolling, if he didn't act the way that he did in the first place or he didn't insist on hanging out in places where he's clearly not wanted or welcome?
But despite the fact that numerous comments from other people here have pointed this out to Greg in civil (and not-so-civil) ways, he believes this is my fault for not protecting him. What nerve he has. It's another example of how Greg refuses to take any sort of responsibility for his part in any of these situations. I think that may be the main reason why these trolls hate him so much. If he had taken the time to even once apologize for causing trouble, even once acknowledging his part in the trouble here, or had not acted so blithely or with such hostility to things around him, I have no doubt that people would not troll or spam this blog.
But again, Greg wants to blame the people who left, the trolls, the spammers, and ultimately me for all this. I fully expect him to blame the Tooth Fairy next. Anybody but who is really at the heart of all this. Ask yourself the basic question, if Greg had never come here, would I ever need to protect anybody from trolling, spamming, and attacks? Were these things here before he came? Were these things directed at anybody else? Greg is like the source of the Nile from which all troubles flow. He's like the Lake Victoria of the blogosphere.
And I've noticed some comments from people whom I like, like my wonderful fellow blogger, Dave of the equally wonderful Mostly Ghostly Music Sharing Blaaahhhggg!!! and Forbidden Crypts Of Haunted Music, along these lines:
'LOL...looks like a few people need to grow the hell up in here. I've been going over these requests sections, and fankly I don't see where the hell anyone gets off saying Greg is the cause of all of the bullshit around here. There are a few people who post here who obivously don't like him, and it looks to me as if they are the ones who keep bringing up the past childishness instead of letting it drop and moving on.'....
# posted by Dave : Monday, May 07, 2007 2:41:00 PM
And I suspect that Dave isn't the only one who feels that way. But this is one of the reasons that I'm writing this. It seems clear to me that people, even people who've hung out here, don't quite understand the situation with Greg. And although I haven't confirmed it by double-checking each comment, I suspect that the people who don't quite understand it are either people who don't come in as often or are relatively new readers who have only been here since Greg has been here.
Again, it is no coincidence that the people who left are some of the nicest and longest, most loyal readers of this blog. I myself could not fully understand why they couldn't just ignore his comments like I did. And I hadn't talked to them about it, but after I read Greg's responses to the things they were saying, I realized how bad the situation was and I tried to see it from their perspective.
The problem with someone like me who catches up on a week's worth of comments is that you are literally reading hundreds of comments all at the same time. When I would read all those comments at home and encounter one of Greg's insulting or demeaning comments or one of his annoying or irritating habits, I would think 'Oh, that's a little bad' and move on to the next 150 comments below it that I needed to read. But when I tried to imagine what it must've been like for people like Isbum, Filmpac, Rocket, or anyone else who was here, say every day, and experiencing that behavior in real time, I realized it must've been like water torture.
And again, it's no coincidence that many of the people who left were people who were posting an awful lot of music. Would you like it if every time you went to all the trouble of posting something, every day, for months on end, you encountered the possibility of having Greg come in and say something insulting about it, complain that something wasn't the way he liked it, or give a link to someone else who had also posted it to make them look stupid and superfluous?
Consider the group who left and ask yourself why did these people stay away? And it wasn't simply a case of a few people suddenly being childish over a few petty things. They tried to get along with Greg, day in and day out, for over three months. Consider the list of the people who left: Isbum, Filmpac, Rocket From Mars, Breton Girl, Mel, Sallie, Quinlan, Watson, Ronnie C., Bistis6, Jason, Tony, Scoredaddy1, and God knows how many other people have left or stayed away because of Greg's presence here. Some of the nicest people who have ever come here.
At this point, you may be asking yourself, 'Why didn't you just kick Greg out if he was that bad?' or 'Why haven't you kicked Greg out now?' In fact, some of those people who left may have been wondering the same thing themselves. That was another reason I wanted to write this essay.
But before I get into that, since I already had this written from my old essay, I figured I might as well cut & paste a few portions of it here to more fully explain Greg's past behavior, in case people still wonder what I'm talking about:
BEGINNING OF EXCERPT:
Take this response that Greg made when Isbum had posted 'Across 110th Street' with this footnote: '* dialogue tracks not included, sorry.' Greg said, 'Why not? That makes it an incomplete/inaccurate representation of the original album. Can you possibly provide an up with all the tracks from the album?' Now on the surface, this can be taken as a simple question as a result of Greg's enthusiasm over wanting the whole album, dialogue and all, and asking for a re-up of a more complete version. From Greg's point of a view, he was being reasonable. Now when I first read that, my impression was that it was slightly insulting. Now saying, 'Why not?' seems like an innocuous question, but I think most people would interpret that as being accusatory. When someone goes to the trouble of posting something, to characterize it as incomplete or inaccurate seems slightly demeaning or at the very least ungrateful.
But it's not the fact that Greg asked this question. We've all asked questions or posed statements like that before. For instance, I myself once remarked that one of Isbum's files was missing a track and that could be misunderstood as a criticism rather than the observation that it was. I was letting people know in case they didn't realize it or in case Isbum didn't realize. I suspected that he had left it out because it was a fairly common Jerry Lee Lewis song (and it was later confirmed by Isbum to be the case), but I thought I should mention it just in case. And I apologized because I thought Isbum might've misinterpeted what I was saying. But it's not the fact that we might say these things, but the way in which we say them.
I think from Greg's point of view (and forgive me for speculating on your own thoughts and motivations), he felt that was a perfectly innocent question. But if I had asked Isbum, 'Why didn't you include that Jerry Lee Lewis track? That makes it an incomplete/inaccurate representation of the original album....', it would come off as a reproachful criticism rather than an innocent question.
It's the attitude behind the statements. And this isn't always easy to tell in print. But in that case, the attitude seemed to be accusatory and was meant to point out some inadequacy of the posting.
And many of Greg's earlier comments didn't come off as being too bad, but take a comment like this one on January 30th in response to Quinlan's kind offer to rip an LP record set of MGM records called 'Those Glorious MGM Musicals':
'Quinlan, I used to have a couple of those, and today they're almost pointless because BETTER quality soundtracks have been issued on CD from original masters....those albums were "soundtracks" done right off the movies themselves.'
To characterize something that somebody is offering and music that they themselves enjoy as 'pointless' is fairly insulting. But I'm sure from Greg's point of view he felt he was discussing it in the abstract; original soundtracks are pointless in comparison to remastered versions (which, by the way, I don't happen to agree with). Or to emphasize the word 'BETTER' in all caps seems to suggest that what Quinlan was offering was somehow inferior (and not in a subtle way). Now that statement does come off as insulting, but I feel that from Greg's point of view he may not have meant it that way. When you try to read it from that point of view, Greg is saying that he also had these records at one time and that he prefers CD versions. But he didn't say it that way. The way it comes off sounds like he's demeaning Quinlan for offering it and for liking it. And it makes it sound like Greg is trying to put himself in a superior position by saying that he is somehow more evolved in his taste for better sound than Quinlan is. That he has gotten rid of inferior albums and has BETTER quality soundtracks now. It's hard not to fully interpret that as, at the very least, condescending.
There are dozens of these kinds of examples. These two examples are pretty mild in comparison to other things he's said.
But just in case anybody feels like I'm dumping all over Greg right now, let me just reiterate that based on his responses to various criticisms, I don't feel that Greg truly understands why people react the way that they do (and sorry to talk about you in the third person like you weren't here, but it's easier than me switching back and forth between perspectives). That's why I'm not angry at him because I feel that he feels that he is acting perfectly appropriately and doesn't fully realize the way his comments come off.
For instance, when I posted the Carrie soundtrack in the main part of the blog, the first comment I got was from Greg pointing out all the things that were wrong with it. My first reaction was that it was fairly insulting. But I felt that it was born out of Greg's enthusiasm for the soundtrack and wanting to compare both versions for any discrepancies. It wasn't so much the fact that he did that because I wanted people to be able to compare the two versions, but it was the way in which he did it. Again, the tone of the comment was that the extended version was fairly superfluous and that the recording was inadequate. Now I pretty much ignored the slightly offensive tone of the comment because I felt it was Greg's love of the music that was coming out in the wrong way.
But let's take other comments about the Request Post and the blog:
Here's one Greg made on January 21st when Blofeld's Cat suggested that maybe we should start a Yahoo group when a lot of blogs were being attacked:
'Well, the Yahoo suggestion is kinda pointless since the whole idea is this soundtrack sharing/discussion is supposed to be a blog thing.
Another Suggestion (sorry if this sounds harsh): This is SUPPOSED to be a Requests discussion in someone's blog.....and people are seriously overdoing it by just automatically posting soundtracks on their own without any requests. That's abuse of this blog, IMHO...I say cut back, folks and ONLY post what has been requested. If you want to just randomly and automatically post this and that....then start your own blog for doing such postings/sharing.'
Again, calling somebody's idea, 'kinda pointless' is probably not the best way to make friends and influence enemies. And I remember when I originally read this comment when I had returned from my absence. I didn't like this and a few other comments people were making at the time about what they thought this Request Post was supposed to be (particularly since I created it). And especially since I had already mentioned this at the end of Request Post #1 (and in other places, before and since). Specifically, that there were no rules as to what people could and couldn't post here.
Now some of this is my fault because I don't like to emphasize it too much since I don't want people abusing it by say, posting 100 rap albums or 50 current releases, for instance. They would be perfectly welcome to post anything, but I don't want people abusing that privilege. And people haven't. They understand the general vibe here.
Also, I suspect that some people skip over the things I write since there may not be a link associated with it. So they may miss out on some of these things. (I suspect that some people probably won't read this either, but it'll make it a lot harder for them to understand what's going on if they don't.)
But more importantly, when I originally read this comment, it seemed to be taking a swipe at Isbum and others for their postings. I especially didn't like that either. But by the time I came back, it was mid-February and so I didn't respond specifically. But it was one reason why I wrote at the top of Request Post #3, 'Kind suggestions are fine, but really I'm the only one who gets to make pompous pronouncements'.
Now Greg did preface his comment by saying that it was a suggestion and that he apologized if it sounded harsh (which, by the way, is the only time I can ever remember Greg apologizing for being harsh), but again I didn't appreciate somebody telling me what the Requests Post is supposed to be when I'm the one who created it. But I also understood that Greg was trying to look out for the Post (and the blog) when he made this suggestion, so I didn't feel that it was done in a malicious way (at least towards me).
That's the thing with some of these comments. When you look at them closely, you sometimes see good intentions mixed with bad executions. Or helpful information or links mixed with ambiguously interpreted attitudes.
But the real problem is the attitude with which these things are said and the intent behind them. These are just a few very mild examples of literally scores of comments which demeaned or annoyed people. I could go on indefinitely with these examples. Individually, they don't seem too bad, but cumulatively, it has an incredibly detrimental effect especially since Greg was clearly the most hostile and negative person here up to that point.
But let's take some later examples that caused real conflict:
When Isbum was nice enough to leave everybody an Easter gift,
'For my friends here,
an Easter present......
* note: this link dies Monday night the 9th.
Drive safely and have a hopping good holiday.
# posted by isbum : Saturday, April 07, 2007 1:03:00 AM'
THIS WAS GREG'S RESPONSE A FEW HOURS LATER:
'The same "limited Easter surprise" from Isbum was upped over at Share a week ago....link is still active, on this page:
# posted by Greg : Saturday, April 07, 2007 4:02:00 AM'
Now ask yourself, what was Greg's intent in saying that? Was he trying to be helpful? Or was he trying to put down Isbum's gift by putting 'limited Easter surprise' in quotes and saying someone had already shared it before?
HERE ARE SOME OF THE RESPONSES TO GREG'S COMMENT:
'Thanks for trashing my gesture Greg.
# posted by isbum : Saturday, April 07, 2007 10:12:00 AM
For Easter, are you going to be the one with the nails, the crown or the spear?
# posted by Anonymous : Saturday, April 07, 2007 10:26:00 AM
Well, there are some us who REALLY appreciate your gesture and thensome.
thanks again isbum :))
and Happy Easter by the way.
# posted by tony : Saturday, April 07, 2007 10:32:00 AM
@ greg---thank you! thank you!! thank you!!! Thank you so much for letting us know that! that was a really really important bit of info you gave us about isbum's post.
exactly what is your deal? could you please calm down? you seem hell bent on being a condescending jerk and alienating everyone who visits this blog. you have your own blog (and a very nice one too!) if you want to rain on people's parades please do it there.
@ all my friends and amigos---i haven't been stopping by as much because i've become a little bit 'pigged out' on soundtracks (and, if truth be told, some soundtack afficianados 'wink wink nudge nudge') lately....
i hope everyone is having a great Holiday.
'Til Next Time,
PEACE (and All The Best---of course),
# posted by Rocket From Mars : Saturday, April 07, 2007 11:57:00 AM
@ greg - I was going to comment but rocket said it so much better than I could. Thanks Isbum, know that your Easter gesture was much appreciated by everyone, except for you know who.
# posted by filmpac : Saturday, April 07, 2007 2:33:00 PM
AND HERE IS GREG'S RESPONSE:
Wo said I didn't appreciate his post? Isbum said it would only be up until Monday, so people can now have two links to download from....and people have said it doesn't hurt having more than one download link since things seem to get deleted so fast.
# posted by Greg : Saturday, April 07, 2007 3:00:00 PM
This sounds reasonable on the face of it, except that Greg didn't wait until Isbum's link had expired. He didn't say, 'Don't mean to step on anybody's toes, but if anybody wants another copy, I found one.' He never said any of that up front. He simply posted another link that makes it look like Isbum's gift is nothing special and he didn't care how he treated him or how everybody else reacted to it either.
Greg would argue that he is just being misunderstood, but I think the real problem is that people understood only too well what Greg's intent is. If he had really meant to provide people with a second link, why point out that it was posted over a week ago somewhere else? Does Greg even really care if other people are bothered by his behavior? Again, it's not about being wrong or right, it's about actually treating people with a little respect instead of dismissing the things that bother them. Look at how people responded when Greg said that. It wasn't only Isbum who was bothered by it. And it wasn't a case of just a bunch of malcontents or troublemakers not liking Greg. These were some of the nicest, most helpful, most generous people here. These are people who would never normally say anything bad to anyone here (and haven't, by the way). If you don't understand that, then you will never understand what is so bad about Greg's behavior.
It isn't that what Greg did was the worst offense in the world, but to me the greatest problem was that he didn't seem to care that he had bothered so many other people here.
And you have to understand that this kind of response to Greg only started after he had been here 3 months making comments like this. 3 months of him doing that kind of thing over and over and over again. Regardless of how he knew people didn't like it. Regardless of me telling people (well, really just Greg) to stop acting this way towards other people. Perhaps I shoud've spelled it out that disrespecting people was a no-no here. But frankly, I didn't think I needed to say something like that. I suppose I should also put up a big sign on the blog saying, 'Oxygen necessary for breathing' and 'The sun is yellow' while I was at it.
AND I SHOULD PROBABLY TAKE SOME TIME OUT TO DIGRESS HERE ABOUT RULES ON THE BLOG. Mel left a comment of his own in reaction to Greg's comments. In it he expressed his natural consternation over the atmosphere in the Request Post (which I completely agreed with, by the way), and he had this to say about rules:
'Next subject: Nomwl1, it was the late Spike Milligan who said,
In the world of mules
There are no rules.
Think about it – here’s where I don’t see eye to eye with you (let’s disagree without being disagreeable). When there are no rules, there is chaos.
Well, actually, you do have one or two, e.g. Enjoy and be kind. Pity this one has been broken so often.
Being a member of a music-sharing forum, I understand the reasons for their rules. You have to be invited to join. Anyone not toeing the party line is banned. The result is that we have a smooth-running and friendly forum without dramas.
In view of all the stupidity we’ve seen here from some of the anonymous visitors, I strongly feel that it’s time to close shop. Anonymous visitors should not be allowed in. Anyone who wants to join you should apply for admission, and only be OK’d after vetting.
Well, I’ve said my piece, and I hope that there’ll be some cooling down soon. If not, I will visit only occasionally, and become a leecher. I wouldn’t like that to happen. Not that anyone would miss me…
# posted by melnar : Saturday, April 07, 2007 11:37:00 PM'
Now firstly, I can't actually imagine a context or situation in which I would be disagreeable with Mel and I for one miss him from the blog terribly. But that's probably beside the point. I feel I owe him and anyone else who wonders why I don't impose rules here a fuller explanation. I've mentioned many of the reasons in the past, but there are a few I haven't elaborated on.
Firstly, there is nothing wrong with blogs or forums that impose rules. There are many wonderful ones out there that do. It's simply not the kind of blog I'm interested in running. For myself, when I see a list of rules that the person wants me to follow, that sends a message that that person is expecting trouble from the outset. Either do these things, or don't come here. Not only does that leave a bad taste in the mouths of good people, but it's like waving a red flag in front of the bad people. 'Come here and wreak havoc because this guy has a bunch of rules he wants us to follow.'
I'm not interested in telling people what they can't do here. I'm more interested in fostering the kind of atmosphere on the blog in which giving people a list of rules is simply not necessary. And it never was until Greg got here. Most everybody here has always eventually understood what the blog was about and what was appropriate behavior. If I did post a list of rules, it would practically have to be called 'Greg's Rules of Conduct' because it would only really ever apply to him. All the other later conflict, drama, flame wars, spamming, and trolling is as a direct result of his attitude, comments, and behavior, his intractable unwillingness to adapt, acknowledge or apologize, and the subsequent fallout from it.
He set the tone in the Request Post that said it was okay to demean people, to treat them with disrespect, and to bully and harass them in his own unique way. That sent a message to all the trolls who came later that that kind of behavior was all right regardless of whatever atmosphere I might try and instill here. And it didn't help that he had driven so many of the good people away who understood exactly what kind of atmosphere I was trying to create and maintain here. And regardless of me telling Greg to 'tone it down' (check back in the Request Post) or talking about negative behavior here, he still continued to do it. Witness the literally dozens of comments he got from other people telling him the same thing and he continued to largely ignore or dismiss it.
And that brings me to the second point. You can impose all the rules you want, but when you have such an extreme case like Greg who at one point somebody even gave the nickname, 'Mr. Obtuse', it ultimately doesn't make a difference. All the rules in the world won't stop somebody who is determined to be disruptive (whether they mean to be or not). I think a lot of the people who left now know exactly what I mean by this after having seen what happened at ScoreBaby Annex. The list of rules there didn't prevent that Request Post from shutting down. And it didn't prevent Greg from showing up there. This is another reason why I've never had rules here. It's like asking people for donations. You can do it, but there's no reason anybody will ever pay any attention to it. It's simply not in the nature of blogs. That's one of its strengths. Otherwise everybody would join forums instead of visit blogs. If people were interested in rules, they wouldn't visit a site that allows them to download music.
This doesn't mean that I'm arguing in favor of anarchy or chaos. My natural inclination is to have organization and order. But I think the better way is establishing, by example, a tone. Nobody should need rules telling people that they need to treat other people with respect or concern. The ones who do, won't listen to me, let alone read a list of rules. And the ones who don't, are the ones who, up until Greg's arrival, were the ones who came here. Also, if this were primarily a rock or pop blog, I would probably have put up a few basic rules, but frankly, the kind (and number) of people who like this type of music are usually the kind of people you don't need to spell these things out to. That's what makes Greg such a unique case. For instance, you don't see someone who likes musicals have the level of hostility that Greg does. Usually, they're happier, more respectful people.
Thirdly, everybody thinks they want rules until it applies to them. What if I had said, 'No bad language'. That would've meant that as soon as Filmpac or anyone else started dropping the 'F' bomb, I would've had to kick them out. What if I had said, 'You must post a minimum number of albums to stay here' as I've seen some forums do. That would've most likely excluded Mel and Breton Girl, for instance. Or what if I had said, 'No posting of anything unless people request it'. I would've had to reprimand Isbum. Or what if I had said, 'No Sendspace files'. We would've missed out on many of Watson's or Sallie's wonderful files. (Well, I did miss a lot of Watson's wonderful files, but that's a whole other story). Or how about 'No Megaupload' because some countries don't allow it or 'No Rapidshare' because of their fast deletion policies? All these rules make sense to someone else, and everybody imagines that they want rules......until it applies to them.
There are many reasons why this Request Post has lasted so long and why it seemed to be so popular (even now, when so many good people are turned off by the atmosphere). 'No rules' is one of those reasons.
And fourthly, no rules is a form of self-protection. This is a reason that I normally don't talk about for obvious reasons. People who haven't given it much thought or are relatively new to blogging or file-sharing might have a harder time understanding it, but consider the example of the original Napster. The power of it was its organization, centralized database, and its wide network of people. But this same quality made it much easier to attack. It was eventually attacked out of existence (if you don't count its current pay-version). That's why so many subsequent p2p networks became decentralized. Those later networks had less organization, were more chaotic and harder to search, but were much less vulnerable to attack. Again, I suspect that some of the people who come here will have a hard time understanding that especially since some of that may seem counter-intuitive, but it's true. A certain amount of chaos protects me.
So you see, there are many reasons (and others I haven't gone into) why I have no rules at the blog and why I do things the way that I do them. Many of the things I do (or don't do) are designed to keep the blog going. If you've noticed, a lot of blogs and forums that had rules aren't around anymore. Would you rather have a blog that has rules, but burns out after three months, or one that doesn't, but sticks around for a year? It's a tricky trade-off, but I've always taken the approach that I wanted the blog to be around long-term. But sometimes you just can't protect yourself from people like Greg, no matter what you do.
END OF EXCERPT
I cut out a ton of the more obnoxious examples of Greg's behavior for time and space restraints, but I think you get the idea. Some people may wonder why I took some really old examples, but it was simply a starting point. You could go through literally thousands of these comments and find so many examples of his bad behavior I would have to start a new blog just to list them all.
And the examples I cited may seem mild, but so is a drop of water hitting your forehead. But imagine if I kept dropping water on your forehead every day for over three months. I think you see what I mean.
Think of it this way. Imagine that you were throwing a giant pool party where people were splashing around having a lot of fun and enjoying each other's company. The party's been going on for three months without any problems or bad feelings and is a bigger, better party than you could have ever hoped for. People are having a terrific time, getting along really well, making new friends, helping each other out, and treating each other with a lot of respect.
And then Greg joins the party and occasionally pisses in the pool. Every once in a while he urinates on other guests and they put up with it because everybody is still having a good time and he doesn't realize he's doing it. He just thinks he's relieving himself and there's nothing wrong with it. And it's not a constant stream of urine, but something he does every once in a while, but persistently. People try to get along with it even though they are bothered by it. They're still having a good time and trying to get along with Greg who is enthusiastic, but still manages to piss in the pool. Sometimes he does it underwater and it's not always obvious from the surface.
And then imagine that the host comes by once or twice a week. It's a house that he's been renting for five or six months before he ever started the pool party. He can't come by the house that often because he doesn't have a car but nobody really complains about it and most everybody (except Greg) is exceptionally nice. In fact, Greg is always the first and only person to tell the host the water needs changing in the pool. 'There's a lot of people in here. How about some new water now?' He says it even though he knows the host isn't there. Strangely, nobody else in the pool is complaining about it. Perhaps that's one of the reasons that they're nice people.
Or perhaps they know maintaining the house and the pool is a lot of work and they're gracious enough not to complain. The host knows it was rather foolish to rent a house that he can't visit that often or start a party that he can't oversee every day, but he figures as long as nobody else minds, it's okay with him. And he figures a party that runs by itself is better than no party at all. All the guests are civilized, gracious, generous and helpful people who have never caused one bit of trouble at his house and they know exactly the kind of party he's running. And for the first nine months the house is open, none of the regular guests ever complain or cause problems. Well, none of them except Greg.
So, since the host can't drop by as often as he would like, he doesn't really see Greg pissing on people that much, but he read accounts of it later. And imagine that for the first couple of months that Greg's doing it, the host is on 'vacation'. By the time the host comes back, Greg's been pissing in the pool and slowly but surely ruining the party atmosphere that people had.
Then, some of the people who are in the pool most often and who contribute in a big way to the fun, after three months of him pissing day in and day out, start complaining and getting mad, but Greg continues to do it anyway and acts like it's their problem or they don't know what they're talking about. The host even tells Greg to 'tone it down' with the criticism and piss, but he still continues to do it anyway.
Now the other pool guests who only come by every once in a while don't understand what all the fuss is about because they don't see it happen as often, they're willing to ignore the piss in the pool, or they're not the ones being pissed on.
Greg continues to ignore the other people's concerns, attacks them, or just pays attention to the parts that interest him. He never admits that there is a problem or cares about how the other people are bothered by it. This makes the people even madder. This starts fighting back and forth. Greg never acknowledges that people might have any legitimate grievances, never apologizes for bothering anyone, and blows up at the mere suggestion that he might've done anything wrong. This starts even more fights. This starts to attract the attention of anonymous guests who come in and think this is the normal behavior at the party. One guest even starts to repeat phrases he hears over and over again until it annoys people around him.
Then the host comes back and tells people that there will be consequences if this kind of attitude continues. (An attitude that never existed at the party until Greg got there.) The host even tells people the pool party and possibly even the house may shut down if they don't cut it out.
The original guests and Greg try to get along for a while, but Greg keeps pissing and annoying people until they just can't take it anymore. It's the last straw. He even pisses all over an Easter Gift that one of the oldest, nicest guests had brought to the party.
Then, one-by-one, most of the original guests leave the pool after trying to tolerate it for as long as they can and they go somewhere else where they can find the same fun, civilized party atmosphere they once enjoyed. Many of those that left had tried not to get into fights before, had stayed for as long as they did, and tried to get along with Greg after the host warned them, in part out of the memory of the great party they once had going and because of their loyalty to the host and the house. But eventually they just had to leave. But newer party guests call them childish and ask them why they can't all just get along with the guy who pissed all over them. 'Come back to the pool and stop being so childish! It's just a little urine. Just grow up!'
And then people suggest that maybe if Greg apologizes or tries to make peace with those people, things would be better. But he never says a word except to attack them or complain about them. They start to point out the things that Greg did to alienate those people, but he still pays no attention. He blames them and other people start blaming people for pointing these things out. People stop splashing and having fun and more and more people realize what the older guests were talking about. But newer guests keep stopping by, so the party goes on.
And then the people who left create a new party at a different house where the owner graciously allows them to hold it. They put a big sign above the door with rules on it. They specifically create the party to get away from Greg, but then suddenly Greg shows up there too. He doesn't piss on them, but just gets in the pool and gives out invitations to a party at his own house and then leaves. The people who specifically wanted to get away from him have a natural reaction and aren't too pleased. They ask him to stay over at the original pool party, but he complains and doesn't want to.
Then he goes back to the original party (which, by now, has lost a lot of the fun), tells everybody how irrational and childish all those other people are being and that he was being calm and rational. Meanwhile, he keeps handing out more invitations to a party at his own house.
The original guests ask Greg to stay over at the original pool party and to leave them alone at the new place, but other guests accuse them of not dropping it and of bringing it up all the time.
Then some anonymous guests who watch all of this happen start to resent the fact that a lot of the people are gone and that a lot of the fun they were providing is gone. And yet Greg is still here, so they start harassing him and calling him names. Other anonymous people start seeing all this conflict and start causing even more random trouble. People start saying the host should kick all the anonymous people out and everybody should just get back to splashing around in the pool. Everything would just be great if those harassers would leave.
But the host comes back and sees most of his old friends, ones who started the party in the first place, gone from the party - driven away by Greg, and in their place, he sees bitterness, attacks, and a big mess from the conflict all around the pool. Greg is still there and the whole tone of the pool party has changed. There are now a fair number of people in the pool who see this new tone and think this is what the pool party is supposed to be like. They start wondering why people are so hostile to Greg and what he's done to deserve this. He seems perfectly fine in the pool. But the attacks on Greg continue. This turns off even more people who watch the party, but don't want to say anything because the atmosphere is now bad. It even starts making people want to avoid the house, let alone the pool.
Things start to calm down, Greg is pissing less in the pool and newer guests still don't understand what's so bad about Greg. Why are so many people mad at him? He couldn't possibly have done anything so bad as to warrant all this hatred. But of course they weren't the ones being pissed on for three months. The newer guests start to accuse the anonymous guests of really being the old party guests come back to cause trouble. They didn't really know the old guests that well so they assume they must be behind all this tumult.
And still Greg stays in the pool. He's driven more than twenty guests away, he gets attacked periodically, but he still splashes around in the pool with all the guests who are still there. Even the host doesn't want to stop by his own pool anymore. This generates even more hatred by people who resent Greg's presence. Now Greg is one of the oldest guests left. Some people even start thinking he's the host. He talks more at the pool party than the host does. He helps newer guests who stop by and he continues to hand out invitations to the party at his own house (that looks remarkably clean, probably because he has fewer guests over there and he never wants to start his own pool party). This infuriates the anonymous onlookers even more.
Things seem to calm down again, Greg is being a lot less annoying to the partiers present and seems to be making an effort not to piss all over the other guests. Of course, this is made easier by the fact that there are a lot fewer people at the party making contributions that he can criticize. But he is still making an honest effort. All the while, this is making onlookers even more furious.
After a small period of calm, during which the party seems to be rebounding but is really just a shadow of what it once was, the trouble-makers come back with a vengeance and start attacking Greg in a way that seems way out of line and way over the top. They start hurling insults at him and calling him a lot of disgusting names, they try to disrupt the party at every turn, and won't leave him alone. It's hard to tell what their objectives might be. Perhaps they can't take the fact that he's still here after having ruined the atmosphere and they think by taunting him they can drive him away. Perhaps they want to show other party guests what kind of person he is by making him mad. Perhaps they just enjoy taunting him because he tends to explode in anger so easily. Maybe they figure since the great party was ruined by him anyway it didn't really matter how much havoc they caused. And it's hard to tell how many people heard the noise caused by the commotion and either stayed away or rushed to join in the free-for-all.
Greg rises to the bait each time and then eventually makes a good faith attempt to ignore it, but strangely keeps coming back to the pool party regardless of how much he's being harassed. And still the harassment continues. Greg feels he should be able to stay at the pool party regardless of how many people he's driven away and how much trouble it's causing. In fact, the original party guests left not only because Greg was creating a bad atmosphere in which they were being insulted and demeaned (as well as being pissed on), but because they knew if they stayed it would cause a lot of fighting and turmoil and they didn't want to wreck the party even further. Oddly enough, Greg had no such qualms about wrecking the party.
And the attacks continued until Greg gets so upset, he calls the police to shut down the party and get the host in trouble for not protecting him from the anonymous people who hate him for what he's done. He feels the host should've been there to protect him from all this hatred that he feels is so unwarranted and inexplicable. He feels he's just being misunderstood and anything he did didn't deserve all of this.
And he blames the host for being away for so long and not taking responsibility for his own party. Even though the host is away sick, pondering what to do with the party that is no longer fun, and generally reluctant to come in because he is discouraged by the atmosphere that Greg himself has created with his thoughtless behavior that has driven away so many of his old friends who don't even want to drive by the house, let alone come in. Greg tells everybody there that he hopes the whole house gets shut down and that he's not going to put up with any more of this crap. Then he comes back the next day and hands out another invitation to a party at his house.
That's the situation here in a nutshell. (Or it's the plot to Gulliver's Travels, I'm not sure which)
But now you can understand why it's taken me a long time to write about this stuff. And frankly, it was making me tired and sad to contemplate how Greg has acted over the many months, so I started and stopped writing this essay, in pieces and spurts. It also saddens me to think that people may have interpreted my relative silence in writing my opinions on the matter as either condoning it, ignoring it, or somehow agreeing with Greg or disapproving of those who have left. That again, is simply not the case.
It was a matter of time, energy, and a question of reflecting on what to say and do about the matter. Sometimes keeping up with the maintenance of this blog is a little like working on the engine of a car that's going down the highway at 100 miles per hour. When you've caught up with the last 500 comments, 500 new ones pop up. And these things always seem to happen when I'm ill or don't come in for a while. Perhaps people take that lack of activity as a sign to create havoc, I don't know.
And I don't say these things about Greg lightly. It's not my goal to attack Greg or say nasty things about him (even though it may sound that way, at times). It's simply to explain the situation in a way that people will more fully understand and to let people know where I stand on things.
As you can tell, I have a lot to say on the matter. And while I would like to think and talk about the blog 24/7, it's still meant to be a fun hobby that I sometimes do in small doses. I think Greg believes I should be in here everyday doing nothing but protecting him from bad people. Perhaps as the blogger, I do have an obligation to stem harassment. But frankly, everybody here knows the deal by now. Nobody here except Greg is naive enough to think I come in every day, and nobody but Greg would ever imagine that they have this unassailable right to hang out here regardless of the problems they cause or the level of hatred and harassment directed towards them. Is it his God-given right to drive away so many people from my blog and then insist he stay here regardless of the level of harassment hurled at him? Am I to protect him to my dying day to preserve his right to stay here unmolested? Or is he free to go elsewhere (just as he implicitly asserts about all the people who left), if this atmosphere isn't to his liking? You tell me.
If he insisted on running out into traffic while I wasn't here, I suppose he'd blame me for that too since I should've seen it coming and stopped it. What he really means is that I saw where his behavior was leading and the kind of response it was going to receive and I should've prevented this harassment. What? By throwing him out? Perhaps in that sense, Greg is right that I should've banned him to prevent this harassment from happening sooner. Or perhaps he naively thinks this is a chatroom where you can permanently ban members instead of the public blog that it is. If it were, whose name does he think would be at the top of the ban list?
And this gets me back to the point of why I haven't simply told Greg to leave and never come back. I'm sure some people have wondered, after all the trouble he's caused, why I would let him stay here.
Firstly, if I had thought Greg was doing it deliberately, I would've kicked him out in a heartbeat. But I felt that he was acting in a way that he felt was appropriate to himself. I would never kick someone out and tell them that they aren't welcome here for simply being who they are. That is another example of the kind of blog that I'm not interested in running.
We all have faults and habits that annoy and bother other people. I'm sure, for instance, that many people who come to this blog don't like these incredibly long posts I write. I'm sure it annoys people to have to read so much or to have to scroll down to get to the music if they skip the writing. But I'm acting in a way that is appropriate to myself and there is nothing wrong with that. Just as I felt that there was nothing wrong with Greg acting in a way that he felt was appropriate to himself. Again, I wouldn't kick out a person who was just being themselves unless I thought they were annoying or attacking people deliberately.
But, although I think it's appropriate to write these incredibly long comments here, I don't go over to other people's blogs and write 50 paragraphs on other blogger's comment sections. It would be totally inappropriate. Let's say, for example, I went over to Greg's blog and every time I commented over there (assuming for a moment, that he didn't have comment moderation on), I wrote 50 paragraphs. And let's say it started to bother a large number of other readers there. And let's say that no matter how many times they pointed it out, asked me to stop, wanted me to apologize or even acknowledge I was doing it, I just kept doing it until I drove many of them away? What do you think would be Greg's response? And what do you think would happen if I just kept staying at Greg's blog until so many people complained and harassed me until I finally got fed up and reported Greg's blog to Blogger.com for terms of service violations?
But I imagine that Greg has never once considered this from anybody else's point of view. You can see from my example that while my behavior was perfectly appropriate to myself, it isn't necessarily appropriate to act that way when you're a guest at somebody else's place. That is why I think so many people kept pointing out the fact that Greg had his own blog. They found it incredibly ironic (there's that word again!) and hypocritical that he would cause all this havoc over here and yet keep his blog free from it. Whenever I've visited his blog, I've hardly ever seen any comments over there. I'm not sure if this is because of comment moderation and he just hasn't had the chance to let them through, if there just aren't many, or if he screens out most of them.
But he's okay with driving people away here with his comments. Or people have suggested he start a Request Post at his own blog, but it seems to me he hasn't done that either. He apparently would rather bring the harassment down on this blog than his own, I guess. He's okay with shutting down this blog or getting the Request Post shut down over at ScoreBaby Annex, but he apparently doesn't want to contaminate his own blog with a Request Post.
I suppose it might be reasonable to wonder why he seems to spend more time here than he does at his own blog. In the past, I always liked the idea that he did that because you rarely, if ever see a fellow blogger do that. Once people have their own blogs, it usually absorbs too much of their time and they stop commenting here, so I liked the fact that he was the exception. But of course, after all the troubles he's caused here, it does beg the question why is he one of the only bloggers who spends more time elsewhere than at his own blog? Another way in which he defies the usual pattern.
Is he being a Typhoid Mary insisting and defiantly going around infecting other blogs while keeping his own blog clean and trouble-free? I still don't think he does it intentionally, but you really have to wonder sometimes.
But see, it is this nagging doubt as to Greg's intentions that have kept me from simply kicking him out. I don't tell someone lightly that they're not welcome here and never to come back. And that would be the only option. Because I don't believe he understands why his behavior is bad (if he would acknowledge it at all), I know it would be no use in asking him to modify his behavior and attitude. He would be bound to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. And so you would have to ask him to leave if you wanted to preserve a good atmosphere at the Request Post.
But like Rocket From Mars once said, even if Greg were to leave it would most likely not be the same. And I knew exactly what he meant by that. It may also have been one of the saddest comments made here. Once you get to the point where you have to kick someone out, you've already got a bad atmosphere. And once people know how easily that good environment can be disrupted, it ruins it for everybody. It didn't have to deteroriate, but all it takes is for one Greg to do it.
And even if everybody came back and Greg stayed away permanently, the bad feeling would still linger. It's like Greg set off a series of stink bombs in the middle of the room. He can leave, but you can't put the stink back into the bomb.
Even when people went over to ScoreBaby Annex, it was still with the bad memories associated with what happened over here. You can get on with the sharing (over there and here), but the stink never quite goes away in either place. That was one of the things that made me question the future of the blog. Not whether it could keep going. I could always keep it running no matter what. But people were starting to refer to it as 'that other place'. It was a place that good people were avoiding and it felt like the blog was becoming a pariah simply because Greg was now setting the tone over here. I started to feel like I should change the name of the blog to 'Enron' or something like that.
Greg often seems to wonder why people refer to him as hijacking the blog. This is the reason. He drives people away (including myself) by creating a bad atmosphere with the condescending and attacking tone and keeps staying here. That is a form of hijacking. But I should say that I wasn't exactly driven away from my own blog so much as I was discouraged from coming in as often in recent weeks. There didn't seem to be as much reason to come in or post music until I could write about all of this and until I felt better all the way around. Again, who wants to sit at a computer for hours contemplating this stuff? I even feel bad for all of you people who have to read it.
Which gets us back to the simple solution of kicking him out. Not as simple as it sounds. Imagine if I had said that to Greg. 'Because of your attitude and the problems you cause here, I ask you to please leave and not come back.' Maybe people would've come back. But Greg would've felt bad, I would feel bad for saying it, and the people who came back, after they got through singing, 'Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead' would've still felt very bitter about the whole experience. And the result would still be the same. Bad atmosphere and I end up running the kind of blog I don't want to run. One where I kick people out for being who they are.
So you see, he put me in an untenable position. He wouldn't change (at least not enough to coexist with all those other people), and as long as he wasn't 'attacking' the blog deliberately, I was reluctant to kick him out. And even if he could learn to get along with everyone who left, I'm not interested in running a Request Post where people just tolerate one another. That's not what I was hoping for or trying to do with it in the first place and especially after you've had the good environment we once had here, you're not interested in settling for mutual coexistence.
The people who left were part of the heart and soul of the Request Post and while I can always keep the Request Post going, I'm not interested in running one without that soul. Even though it was rebounding recently, it was still a little like a vampire. It can walk and talk and move around, but without a soul, it's just the living dead. Then it just becomes a bulletin board where people tack up requests and other people fulfill them and leave. A lot of the good feeling is sucked out. While that function is just fine, I'm not overly interested in running something like that. If I were, I would just start a forum where people just post things and you have a few discussion threads on the side. It would be very orderly and organized, but it would still lack that soul.
What made the spirit amazing is that people wanted to help other people out even when they didn't have to. Filmpac would search for something somebody was looking for. Quinlan would go to the trouble of ripping something and posting it when he could for the sheer love of it and the desire to help and share. Isbum would offer something wonderful just because he wanted to and not because somebody requested something. That is the kind of spirit I wanted to be around and those were the kind of people I wanted to hang out at my blog. And it was the kind of spirit that Greg never quite understood. He felt it was just a Request Post and people should just post things people asked for. And other people lately have held a similar attitude about what the Post and the blog are about. Well, as the person who created both, I can tell you that it's not simply about sharing music for me and never has been. If it were I would've just made the blog blank and put up a bunch of links. Or I would've turned off anonymous comments and told the anonymous people, 'You're not welcome here.'
As for that wonderful spirit, when you join a forum or a private blog, for instance, you make a certain commitment, albeit slight, by giving an E-mail, registering, etc. You are jumping through some hoops to get there and if you don't post there or join the discussion threads, some people might think of it as leeching or lurking. But that's what made people's efforts here so remarkable. They had no such commitment here. It's a blog. It's designed for people to come and get stuff without having to post anything. And yet people went out of their way to help people and share their love of music. People like Rocket and Sallie and Watson. Sallie didn't have to do that here. She has her own blog and one that keeps her busy. But she still wanted to share things over here that she didn't share at her own place. She wasn't using this place to advertise her blog or as a billboard for recent posts. (I don't mind when people do that either because usually they're just letting people know what's available, but it really depends on how people do it. Greg tends to do it in a way that makes you question his motives.) That's what makes Sallie (among other things) so special. That's what made so many of the people here special.
And it wasn't just the older readers who understood what the Post and the blog were about. Tony hadn't been here that long, and yet he knew exactly what I was trying to do. He was like somebody who had been here forever and I will miss him too.
And I will miss all the other wonderful people whom I suspect didn't fully leave, but don't really want to comment here anymore.
If I had the choice between, a) 10 new people coming here tomorrow who were going to post some of the rarest soundtracks ever recorded and who wanted to post all of their collections but didn't get the spirit of the Request Post, or b) getting all those old people back, restoring that old feeling, and they never posted another piece of music, but just hung out here and talked, I would choose that old gang. So as you can tell, while I loved the music, on a personal level, it's not just about the music for me. Frankly, I can go to dozens of other blogs and get music. It will take me probably the next 10 years to listen to all the music I've already downloaded from the web that I haven't got around to yet. I sometimes think it's foolish for me to still keep downloading, when I've got 90+ DVD's worth of mp3's I haven't listened to yet. And I'm way behind on my downloading. If I was caught up, the number would probably be 300 or 400 DVD's worth.
And just from my own collection without the downloaded stuff, I honestly don't need all that much more music from other people. So if somebody's tempted to think that I miss those people just because of the music they posted, they're sorely mistaken. And if somebody thinks I keep the Request Post open because of the music being posted or because I want to keep the traffic high on the blog, they haven't read enough of the blog to understand what it's about or what I'm about.
For the first month and a half that this blog was up, I had a total of about 300 visits. It was probably because I didn't advertise the blog and I had the RSS feeds turned off. But still, I didn't care. In fact, I have never advertised this blog. I have never once left my web address anywhere and told people to come visit my blog. So if people think the popularity of the blog or the number of downloads or comments is my main concern, again they are sorely mistaken. You hope all those things happen, but you never expect them and you certainly don't chase after them. Well, at least I don't much care. If I did, I'd probably be posting much more popular genres of music or I'd force everybody to use just one file storage option to boost my Premium points.
But what is important to me is to post music that I like and hope that somebody else out there likes it too. And to create a fun, enjoyable atmosphere here. And that people here treat each other with respect (and by extension I suppose, treat me with some basic minimum respect as well). And to encourage people to seek out great blogs and great music whether they buy it or listen to it somewhere. And to run the blog in a way that I would like if I were coming here as a visitor. All very basic things.
Mel was right when he observed something that I didn't even realize. He said I created two basic rules here. Enjoy and be kind. Without realizing it, I had created two de facto rules. Greg has made it hard to do either of those two things on the blog.
And so, in light of that and in light of his most recent actions in reporting the blog, there is a lot less doubt as to whether Greg is deliberately doing these things to attack the blog. He went from possibly unintentional disrespect to intentional malice. And his refusal to accept any responsibility for his part in any of the things that happened or his lack of regard for other people and whether they might be bothered by his behavior makes it an intentional attack. Ask yourself, if it had been anyone else.....if it had been Isbum or Rocket From Mars or Filmpac....if they had bothered so many other people, whether they thought they were wrong or right, would they have apologized for doing it, apologized for causing so much trouble to other people, to the blog, or to myself (and many of them in fact did apologize when they left), and would they have tried to reconcile or get along with the other people they bothered? You bet they would.
Did Greg do any of those things? Even once? I've read every single comment on the blog and I don't remember a single instance of him trying to do any of those things. Did he even once apologize to me for driving so many people away from the blog? Was he bothered that because trolls hated him so much that he was bringing all these problems down on the other readers here? Did he once show any compunction to any of the other people here about trying to get the blog shut down and ruining it for them as well?
Ask yourselves any of those questions and then ask me whether Greg is really all that bad or not.
When even your defenders start out sentences like, 'Well, I know Greg can be a jerk......' or 'I know Greg is annoying sometimes......'.
It was because I could never tell whether Greg was an evil mastermind bent on destroying the Request Post and the blog or whether he was just the Mr. Magoo of the blogosphere, blithely causing chaos around him while he blames and attacks other people, that I was so reluctant to kick him out.
But he has made it clear that he is somewhere between those two extremes and that his malice at this point is deliberate. He is no longer welcome here, and assuming that he hasn't destroyed the blog entirely, he should leave and never come back.
But that's another reason why I haven't said it before. Because I knew that even if I told him to or asked him to, he probably would still come back. Especially if he felt things had settled down. Look at what he did at ScoreBaby Annex. When somebody specifically creates a Request Post over there with the express purpose of getting away from you, and you still go over there, it's either incredible obtuseness, ignorance, or malice. When I saw him show up there too, I felt it was an incredibly passive-aggressive thing to do. You show up there, know that they will be upset, then you come back here, reprint the whole exchange, and make them look like the bad guys for having a normal human reaction. That's malice (with an order of obtuseness on the side).
I have the feeling that he would do the same thing here if I told him he weren't welcome. He would just keep showing up anyway. It's almost as if he wants me to shut down the Request Post or the blog just to keep him from coming back. Failing that, he would just report me to shut it down.
But I would be willing to keep the Request Post open if Greg stayed away and there was no more trouble in there. I wouldn't expect people who left to come back necessarily (I'm surprised and touched that Rocket came back. I suspect he may have done it primarily out of loyalty to me and for that I will always be grateful. With the atmosphere in there, it couldn't have been easy!), but for all the other good people who were still there and wanted to hang out, I would keep it open. I probably wouldn't be as interested in hanging out there myself, but if people really wanted it to stay open (assuming the blog is still around), I'd keep it open.
If, on the other hand, Greg refused to leave, I suppose I'd just close it down. There would always be turmoil there as long as he was there, and so I'm not sure I would see much point in it.
Which leads me to the fifth way in which comments can be moderated on the blog...........
5) SHUTTING DOWN THE BLOG:
People may wonder why, in my previous post, I kept referring to Greg as having 'attacked' my blog. I wasn't referring specifically to him reporting the blog for TOS violations. I was talking about his attitude and the subsequent consequences of it. He had done something that no link-killer, troll, or the RIAA could ever do. And he did it more effectively than they ever could too. He got me to think about stopping blogging by not only attacking people here, but attacking the very spirit of the blog. That's what made it so insidious.
If I had been attacked by link-killers (as I have been many times in the past), it would only make me more defiant. I wouldn't be angry at the link-killers, but I would just keep going. I generally feel the same way about trolls though no one has ever persistently trolled me or the blog. They've done it 'indirectly' by trolling Greg, and so they have also attacked me, but I knew they weren't really bothered by the blog, per se.
But Greg has attacked the blog like a barnacle, leech, or pitbull, attaching himself to the blog, never letting go until you either want to leave or you die (figuratively speaking). I know that sounds harsh, but I don't say that lightly. I say that as a person who has had a blog up for almost a year now and never once had a problem like this until Greg got here. I've never had a significant problem from any other regular reader here. I say it as someone who has surfed literally hundreds of other blogs over a two year period and before that surfed music websites, chatrooms, forums, and other various venues. And over those period of years, I can say that Greg is probably the worst person I have ever encountered online. And I have seen some pretty nasty stuff.
In fact, when I first started this blog, it was at a time when people were attacking blogs left and right and they were falling like trees in the forest. Link-killers and trolls were causing blogs to shut down. Bloggers were attacking other bloggers. Forums were feuding with other forums. It was back when people were attacking Hans mercilessly (and I guess they still are). They were creating literally dozens of blogs just to attack him. Making fun of his dead mother-in-law, calling him every name in the book, hacking his blogs and shutting them down, pretending to be him and saying nasty things.
I thought to myself, 'Is this a good time to start a blog?' But I still did it anyway. That's probably why I was a little more paranoid about the stuff I posted and the way in which I blogged back then. In fact, even in those days when I had less than 300 visits total, some joker still killed some of my links!
And so I was not naive about what could happen on blogs. If you've ever wondered why, over the course of the blog, I've kept saying that people who come here are exceptionally nice or why it seems like I effusively heap praise on them, it's not because I'm sucking up. It's because I fully expected when I started this blog to have all of the things happen here that you've been seeing lately. I was fully expecting trolls, spam, flame wars, attacks, nasty comments, and bad feeling. And so when it didn't happen, I counted myself very lucky and I never took it for granted because I knew what it was like on other blogs. And until recently, none of those things ever happened here. People had amazingly nice things to say here. I'm still somewhat stunned by all the nice things people continue to say. Like all of those wonderful comments in the most recent posts from people like Bridget, Helen, Scarabus, Alex, or MP to name just a few. Or ones from my fellow bloggers, like Sallie, Mel, Constantino, Verdier, Timbo (that comment about 'Secret Agent Man' really lifted my spirits!), & Meester Music. I was especially happy to hear from Meester Music again after such a long time and knowing that he visits particularly brightens my day. The same goes for seeing Jazz's name when I see it turn up. I miss his him and his blog and so it's always nice to see him pop up here. I will always be grateful for the encouraging comments from these wonderful people..
And prior to discovering music blogs, there was a period of 2 or 3 years there when I didn't go online at all (another long story). I still don't have an online connection at home. But before that, I spent some time doing peer-to-peer, spent some time in chat rooms, forums, and surfing music websites. I've seen some incredibly nasty behavior in those places. Some of the worst, most horrendous comments made by people in chat rooms. All the usual stuff you can imagine. I've seen deplorable behavior in p2p, seen nasty stuff in forums, and read many incredibly nasty comments amongst the literally hundreds of blogs I've surfed.
And so the stuff going on here is relatively mild in comparison to stuff that goes on in the rest of the blogosphere. And relative to the rest of the real world, it's still a tempest in a teapot. We could all be living in Iraq right now. But since it is my teapot, it's still important to me. And the issues of respect and regard for others is still an important issue to me regardless of perspective.
And Greg's comments relative to ones you see at other blogs are also pretty mild. If this were another blog, people probably wouldn't have been so angry at him because there would've been ten people acting a little like Greg. But relative to what people were used to here, it was very bad behavior indeed and like I said before, he is clearly the most hostile, negative, and harshest of any of the regular readers I've ever had here. Trolls can say nastier things, but never over such a long period of time.
And this is why I say that Greg is probably the worst person I have ever encountered online. I shouldn't say worst person. I should say that he had the worst attitude. It's probably because usually when people act badly, it's never so consistenly and persistently. On blogs, even when people say incredibly nasty things, they don't usually like the blog enough to keep coming back. Or they troll and just annoy people for a short period of time. In chat rooms, they would've banned Greg by now and so the exposure is limited. Although I've seen many situations where the people just came back under a different nickname and IP address. But on a blog, there is no way to 'ban' someone. But even in those cases, annoying other people eventually loses its appeal to the annoyers and they drift away.
Greg is the only person I've ever seen who so thoroughly ignores the concerns of other people, has such little respect and regard for other people, cherry-picks the parts of people's comments that he wants to respond to, never apologizes for anything, never acknowledges or recognizes his effect on other people, and never accepts responsibility for any of his actions. And to do it over such a long period of time. This is truly extreme and unique.
Now, despite the way it sounds, I don't like saying those things about Greg. I certainly don't hate Greg or have a lot of anger for him, but I suppose I don't have much respect for the way he's treated people. But it's not like I'm the nicest person in the world either. My nature is fairly negative, critical and harsh too. It's probably one of the reasons I'm willing to give Greg the benefit of the doubt. I'm not one to throw stones, frankly. Well, I throw them, but it's not right when I do it. And normally I would've said a lot of these things to Greg in private through, say, E-Mail before ever saying it in public. But because of my personal situation, back-and-forth E-mail can be a very long process. And I tend to check the blog much more often than my E-mail. (That also involves a long story) And I tend to be very bad at writing E-Mail. So unfortunately, I end up airing dirty laundry here. I think I would've been much more reluctant to say these things about Greg in a public way without speaking to him first, one-on-one, if he hadn't said he wanted to shut the blog down and didn't care how he hurt other people here. Still, I do recognize how unfair it is to say things about him to everybody like this.
But it still remains true that Greg is the only reason I seriously consider the future of the blog and the Request Post. And I don't mean just because he reported the blog. Even if I started the blog somewhere else, I question whether I want to continue. Not just because of a few problems here and there. Or a few fights and conflicts, etc.
I think it's that prospect of a future with Greg hanging around. You need a certain amount of enthusiasm to blog especially in my situation and I suppose a lot of that is fueled by a good atmosphere. Maybe more than I realized. Because I suspect that Greg would show up eventually either out of malice or obtuseness, it's a consideration that makes blogging a little less appetizing. Or even if Greg stayed away, it would be the knowledge that I had to deliberately exclude someone from my blog, let alone a fellow blogger, that would also bother me a great deal. Either way, it sort of saps your spirit.
I imagine the desire to blog and share music would overcome that feeling, so I don't like to say I don't feel like blogging. I suppose the best case scenario is that things settle down there, Blogger.com doesn't really do much of anything, Greg leaves and is content to stay away from the blog, and the other people come back. I don't really see that happening though, so I suppose that's why I'm not too enthusiastic right now. That and the fact that I just wrote a million words and I'm kinda tired.
And I guess I'm not all that enthusiastic about starting a private blog either. I've got a lot of interesting things I want to do with it that I can't do with a public one, but I'm not as enthusiastic as I should be I guess because I would be excluding so many great people. Well, really more that they wouldn't be interested in joining a private blog. Although a lot of the great people I had in mind responded, a lot of the other people haven't left comments or E-mails so I suspect that it's probably just too much of an extra hassle for them to join. I can totally understand that. It's the same thing that keeps me from joining more forums and private blogs myself.
Of course, I still want to start one. I'm thinking of it more as a cross between a closet and a bulletin board where people can keep in touch or post things they don't want seen elsewhere. Because of the relatively small number of people there, I would guess it wouldn't be very active. Of course, I didn't think this Request Post was going to be very active either, so I guess you never know about these things. Either way, I still intend on creating that Private Blog in addition to this one.
Well, I don't foresee me actually shutting down this blog. It would be a sort of last resort I suppose. I always envisioned the end of the blog would either be me or other people getting bored and drifting away; I would just post something every few months or something. Or I thought I would be attacked out of existence by link-killers, trolls, or Blogger.com. I never imagined that it would implode from the inside through the actions of one person over a long period of time. That's a scenario I never envisioned.
Of course, as far as I'm concerned, I'm not really interested in shutting the blog down. Even if nobody came by and I didn't post anything for a long time, I'd still keep it up. Of course, the question is whether Blogger.com will let me. Or if Greg will let me. I sense we still haven't found the depths of his malice yet. Or you never know what new Hound of Hell has been unleashed by all this turmoil. Ten Greg wannabes could be waiting in the wings. Once people think that's what your blog is about, it's hard to turn it back around.
Of course, on a personal level, it would be nice to stop blogging. I'd finally get more time to surf other people's blogs again. Up until now, that is really the only other reason that would make me want to stop. And even that reason has never made me seriously consider it. Just a fleeting thought every once in a while about how nice it would be to go back to being able to participate in other people's blogs again. I always feel I should catch up on the downloading here first before I start back up on other people's blogs. But I never seem to be able to catch up. In a perverse way, I was almost glad when fewer people were posting things here. I thought I might at least have a chance to get caught up. I'm still working on Request Post #4 (and some random files in #2 & #3) as far as downloading goes! And I figure there's no sense in taunting myself (let alone the sheer time involved) by visiting other people's blogs if I wasn't going to download anything yet. Though I always want to read them just for the entertainment value, I always seem to have so much going on on this blog that I'm never able to get to other ones. You find yourself reading another blog and you look up and two hours has gone by. Even before I started blogging, it was a real struggle to keep up with all those great blogs out there.
But mainly right now, my enthusiasm for blogging is pretty low. I would've certainly posted some music by now if it weren't for all these other things going on. I don't like painting Greg as the bogeyman in this situation especially since conflict is always a two-way street, but it's hard to think of it any other way. If he had not created this atmosphere here with his persistent attitude, first in treating other people in a certain way and then later in refusing to take any responsibility for it, things would've never gotten so bad.
And I occasionally ask myself, 'if I had been here more often could I have stopped that downward slide?' But even after I threatened consequences (i.e. shutting down the Request Post or the blog) if that behavior and attitude continued, Greg still acted that way, drove people away, and things just got worse. So I don't think anything I would've done or said would've ultimately made much of a difference. Once the skunk is on the bus, it's pretty hard to get people back on to have a good time.
Which reminds me of that whole set of comments I made discussing consequences. At one point, Greg & Filmpac had a discussion trying to interpret what I had meant when I made those comments. I realized in reading Greg's reaction to those comments that he had slightly misinterpreted them. And Filmpac had understood them perfectly. His interpretation of what I had said was completely accurate. It was then that I realized that Greg was only choosing to listen to the parts that he wanted to and ignored the parts that applied to him. I did make the comments general to everyone, but perhaps one of my faults in this has been not wanting to single Greg out. Other people seemed to be making those points already and I had hoped that Greg would heed their words and opinions; I didn't feel like piling on him as well. But unfortunately, he chose to ignore everything everyone (including me) was saying to him.
And so you have the situation you see now. I suppose I always have the basic desire to keep blogging, but the prospect of running a blog where so many good people like Filmpac, Isbum, Quinlan, Watson, Bistis6 (and so many other great people I don't want to think about) avoid it like the plague (while Greg's stated desire is that he hopes they shut the blog down) is not a blog that I'm that interested in running.
I hate saying that because it seems somewhat ungrateful to all the great people still here, but when I started this blog, it was always with the hope that exactly those kind of people would visit. But there doesn't seem to be much point in continuing a blog where people like Breton Girl, Mel, Ronnie C., Tony or Sallie (to name just a few) don't want to hang out. That is not a good blog and it certainly means that I've failed as a blogger if it repels such good people.
That is really the main reason I'm not that interested in the blog right now. Greg has driven those people away, driven the good atmosphere away, and with it my desire to blog. Certainly the blog (or the Request Post, for that matter) can always continue without those people. Nobody's indispensable (well, even I don't have to be here all that often). But it's the difference between a blog that survives and a blog that thrives. It's the difference between an okay blog and a good blog. It's the difference between a blog I have to visit because it's mine and a blog I want to visit because I have such a good time.
Those original people who left are the heart and soul of this blog as far as I'm concerned, and while I would always want to see them back, I would never expect them to come back to a place that holds such bad associations in their minds. They should never visit a place that doesn't have a good atmosphere where people actually respect and care enough about the other people to treat them well. And they should never hang out in a place where they can expect to be attacked or insulted by people like Greg. Frankly, if I was a reader of this blog and not the blogger, I would've had exactly the same reaction that those people had. I would have either left or perhaps stuck around, but just not commented. And so I don't blame any of the people who stay away one bit.
I do find it rather disturbing though to constantly read comments, mostly from anonymous people, that 'This blog is dead', etc. Again pompous pronouncements by other people besides me. For one thing, it plays into that misconception that the blog is the Request Post. I've seen some people here even refer to this as a 'Request Blog'. To me, it would be a little like saying because people weren't posting comments in the Trivia Post that 'This Trivia Blog Is Dead', go elsewhere for your trivia. All very silly pronouncements in my mind, but people are perfectly welcome to their opinion.
But it underscores a basic misunderstanding I think people have about the Request Post (and perhaps even the blog). I've noticed various comments from people that seem to suggest in their mind that the Request Post was designed as a vast resource for posting & sharing soundtracks. While it can be that, it is basically whatever the people visit want to make it. This is true regardless of whether one person posts one item per month or 10,000 people post 10,000 items every day. And does anybody see anywhere on the blog where it actually says, 'Soundtracks Request Post', by the way? And of course some of this is my fault. 'Request Post' is actually a misnomer. It quickly became much more than that, but I was reluctant to re-title it. Others have thought of it as a forum. I have always found that very flattering, but that's not entirely accurate either.
It has always been whatever people decide to make it. Otherwise, I would've posted an entire list of rules and regulations and spelled out exactly which soundtracks I wanted people to post and that they all had to be exactly 77.2 minutes long. Otherwise, you must all leave. It can be posted music, it can be discussion, it can be anything anyone wants. Everyone just assumed what they wanted to about it because they saw it at any given moment and imagined it was that. Original readers saw it as a friendly party and so it was one for a very long time. Greg saw it as a Request Post where it was okay to treat other people badly and as a billboard for his blog so that's what it eventually became. Trollers and spammers saw it as a playground since music wasn't being posted and then when they got tired, declared it was 'dead'. Everybody created their own realities.
Unfortunately, most other people could not live in Greg's reality and so that's why you see he is the one constant there. He comes back regardless of harassment, pleas, or questions. He made it what he wanted it to be. And now he wants me to protect his particular castle in the sky from attacks. And my particular reality is that I see it as either a fun party or just a regular comment section that people occasionally visit. The beauty of that system is that I don't force you to live in my reality. You make it as you go. And I'm just as, well, satisfied is not the right word, but acclimated to the idea of it being a post where somebody wanders in once a month and says something. That's what I thought it was going to be when it started. While of course, I would prefer it to be what it once was, I'm not desperately trying to return it to its former glory either. I'm okay with it being some place where you see a comment once-a-month. The only thing I really care about is that those good people who were left high and dry by all the conflict had some good place to hang out. Whether it's here or some place else is fine by me.
On a personal level, I would prefer it to be here just because it's easier and more likely that I would get time to hang out with them if they were here. I know that sounds ridiculous, but in practical terms that ends up being true. Just the extra steps involved in surfing another location make it harder for me with the limited amount of time (and library computer resources) I have online to surf (and being such a slow reader) that the more that happens here, the less I end up spending in other places. For instance, I don't think I've been to forums (that I was a member of) in about 7 or 8 months (I'm not even sure I'm still a member!). It's sorta all I can do just to read my own blog! And that would be the only reason I would prefer people to hang out here, but otherwise I am mainly bothered by the fact that good people might be harassed here or not have a good atmosphere to hang out in.
Unfortunately, it seems that even usually good and agreeable anonymous people here feel the need to create a bad atmosphere. [Update: I've actually seen the comment being made that it was okay to mess around here since nobody was posting any music anyway so what difference did it make? It's sad to think that people actually need music posted in order for them not to create problems. I suspect that this was from an 'anonymous' person (well, really not entirely anonymous) who really hasn't read this blog much. If I haven't set the proper tone here with the stuff I write or post than I'm not sure what more I can do. I shouldn't have to hold people's hands and hit them over the knuckles with a ruler to keep them civilized and to treat others with respect. Again, not the kind of blog I envisioned.]
When I make a private blog, then I'll force people into the mold I want them to conform to and the hoops I want them to jump through. But this blog is not just the Request Post and the Request Post isn't just about posting music, at least in my eyes. It never has been.
So when good people go and bad people stay, they determine what the blog will be. I cannot force good people to inhabit the blog anymore than I can force a smile on your face or tell you what thoughts to think. I can try and set an example which is what I've tried to do with things I've written on the blog and music that I've posted. It is up to people whether they choose to ignore that example or not. And apparently a lot of people have. And the ones who haven't have wisely stayed away.
Greg, I'm afraid may never understand this. He would like me to be the Mussolini of this particular blog and make the trains run on time so that he can stay here indefinitely. No matter how many other people he drives away. Then when people get upset and take it too far, he wants to stay and return no matter how much he feels harassed. He wants me to provide a comfortable atmosphere here for him despite the fact that he ruined it for so many others here including myself.
And to be honest, it pains me to say that because I genuinely do not want to hurt Greg's feelings. He hasn't deserved the level and methods of attacks hurled at him and I would hate to see my comments here fuel another round of attacks on him. I wish if people disagreed with him they would do it in a more reasoned way (no matter how futile that may be) and put aside the four-letter words, personal attacks, spamming, and threats. But still, I do understand that he continues to bring these things on himself and refuses to even take a moment to consider whether he initiated all of this. When you start a snowball and it crushes you, you can't really complain too loudly.
And it disturbs me to see other people blame those people who left (or the ones who remain) who have a problem with Greg. Like I said before, I think it's because they don't understand the problem with Greg's behavior fully. When you've only visited the blog since he's been here, you think that this is what the blog is about. The other people just look like whiners or petty people who can't leave these childish squabbles behind them. The irony is that they were some of the most mature, sedate people here. That's why they left. They didn't really need to be exposed to that childish attitude of Greg's. It wasn't just a case of a few people who had a personality conflict with Greg. It was a case of a large number of people not liking how he had ruined the atmosphere of the blog. Is someone childish for not liking someone who keeps setting off stink bombs in someone else's house and then refuses to take responsibility for it?
Nobody says you have to be perfect to visit and comment here. I don't expect readers who come here to be Stepford people or anything; it's not a cult where I expect everybody to smile and get along in perfect harmony one-hundred percent of the time. It would be pretty boring if they did. But people did get along here and understood how to act and behave before Greg got here. So I don't think it's unreasonable to think that people can visit here in harmony without bad feeling since they were able to do it before. The one element that makes that hard, if not impossible, is Greg. It's not the spam and trolling because it wouldn't be here without Greg. Are the trolls and spammers saying nasty things about me or the blog? Well, one person did say he thought I might be Greg in disguise. I didn't really appreciate that. But other than that, 99.9% of the trouble is not directly aimed at the blog, but at Greg and the trouble he caused. In my book, that means the trolls and spammers are not the cause of the trouble.
True, they have said incredibly nasty things about Greg. It's a severe overreaction to his behavior and I hate some of these things I'm reading and hearing about. But his continued presence seems to be fueling that hatred. And it's his dogged determination to ignore everything everybody says unless he wants to attack or refute it (often in a hostile way) that continues to fuel that hatred. And while I deplore the tactics and language that some people are using, and even my defenders say things to Greg that make me cringe, I can certainly understand the anger behind it. He encourages it with his reactions and continued behavior.
I think Greg imagines that staying quiet for a while or not pissing people off is as good as an apology or getting along with other people. The trouble with that is they are never sure if you're gone for good, so they continue to say bad things. You never state that you are leaving and never coming back, so they continue to harass you in absentia. And merely saying nothing or keeping your comments neutral and posting a link is not the same as good fellowship or camaraderie. Posting links while not saying anything obnoxious isn't mending fences and proving that you're being good. I know in your mind that it is a show of good faith and I do believe you deserve credit for that effort, but it is so subtle that it's a hard thing to notice amidst the din. And there is so much history of your abusive behavior that it is hard for people to forget or ignore it. I think you imagine that just because it happened a few months ago, people should just drop it and move on, but if somebody had pissed all over your party for three months, would you just move on? Now those aren't the people causing all of these trolling problems, but they're people who resent your past actions and current reactions.
It's a little like someone who starts a war and then says 'let's forget how we all got into it, let's just focus on what we're going to do about it now.' Well, that's all well and good unless the person who started the war is still in charge. If they're still around to make the same mistakes and provoke the same problems, then it does make a difference what happened in the past and how we got to this situation you see now.
That's what appears to be behind all this anger. And despite the fact that I tell people not to retaliate against Greg and to be civil in their disagreements with him, they still continue to do it anyway. It's a train that Greg set in motion and he expects me to stop it for him.
The sad fact is that you can never legislate people's attitudes. You can have all the rules in the world, but there's nothing that says anybody has to follow them. You can delete all the comments you want. You can screen out every offensive idea and thought if you so wish, but it never solves the real problem. The genesis of the hatred will always be there regardless of how you ignore it with comment moderation or insist on drowning out other offensive voices. You can't make people treat other people with respect in a blogging world. By either Greg or his attackers. It is this sad reminder of that fact which has probably turned off so many people.
As long as Greg (or anybody else) continues to go places and demonstrates to people that it's acceptable to ignore people's irritation (as he ironically claims I have done to him), to demean and belittle people who are just trying to enjoy themselves and other people's company, and to act like they own the blogs they visit (except when it comes time to take responsibility for it), then I suppose that atmosphere will always be ruined.
Perhaps the blog was a victim of its own success. Maybe if the blog had not become as popular as it did (for whatever that's worth), the odds would be against the Gregs of the blogosphere visiting. Or perhaps it was bound to happen no matter what. I just didn't think it was going to happen so soon. I thought some attacks or trolling might happen 6 or 7 months from now, but I didn't think it was going to be this soon.
Or perhaps I should've put a big sign over the blog saying, 'No obnoxious people allowed'. I thought 'Enjoy and be kind' sort of took care of that, but maybe the Gregs of this world can't read the small print. Maybe driving a lot of people away is acceptable in their world view. Maybe ignoring what dozens of other people say and attacking them as they leave and following them wherever they go is a good thing in that particular universe. I don't know.
I just know that I'll have to wait to see what the future brings. Some things are out of your control. Hate to leave this essay on such an ambiguous note, but sometimes as much as we hate it, we just can't control what other people do or how they behave. Even if I kept the blog going, I don't know what Greg or the spammers or the trolls are going to do.
I can only hope that we've all learned something from this. Even in the smallest things (which I consider this weird turmoil or even the fate of this blog to be), I think we can always learn something. And gaining wisdom doesn't seem a small thing at all.
[Addendum: And after catching up on the comments from the last two weeks, I see a lot of people made the same points that I did in this essay (even citing some of the same examples and quotes). I almost feel like I could've saved myself the trouble. And considering that Greg has managed to largely ignore any of the valid points people were trying to make, I suspect he will do the same thing here. He will focus on a few things I said and react angrily, cherry-pick the ones he considers to support his positions, and ignore everything else I was trying to say, if the pattern holds up.
I keep hoping for the best in Greg and that perhaps he will take in some of what people have said to him to reconsider his behavior and attitude, but at this point, I don't hold out much hope. And I say that not for the benefit of anybody else (anybody who is truly offended by Greg has generally left) or myself (I can't really do much more than ask him to leave which I have done), but I truly say that because I believe Greg does more damage to himself than anyone else by refusing to pay any attention to people. He creates this intense hatred around him and builds this huge defensive reaction (which I think we can all relate to when people are saying things about us), but he only ends up hurting himself the most. The only people who are willing to put up with his behavior now are people who don't know him that well, people who don't visit that often, or people who expect a certain amount of bad attitude online.
But I honestly lament for Greg because I still believe after all this time he doesn't understand why people hate him so intensely. When you demean and disrespect other people for so long, drive them away, and then a lot of other people see this and start trolling you, you can't just refer to it as harassment and terrorism without accepting some responsibility for what triggered it in the first place. It wasn't simply spontaneous hatred generated from nothing. It sprang entirely out of your attitude and behavior. That's something that's hard to take back no matter how you act now. The damage was already done and you continued to exacerbate it with your continued outbursts, refusal to accept other people's feelings and reactions, and your periodic anger and hostility.
But I suspect this will fuel your anger even more and for that I am sorry. But I am mainly sorry that it seems likely that you will probably be the focus of attacks wherever you go because people now know what kind of person you were here. And I would again urge people to stop attacking Greg in that vicious and personal way (i.e., setting up pages to harass him, calling him a sex offender, etc.), since it is way out of line and really counter-productive. But again I understand the frustration that people have for Greg and frankly, he started this fire and I'm not sure it's that easy to put out.
I noticed Greg citing two people whom he felt agreed with him and basically ignored the 40 or 50 other people who didn't. Now, just because you're in the minority doesn't necessarily mean you're wrong, but you have to ask yourself that if you can only cite 2 other people that you felt were on your side (and frankly, that's not exactly what they said....you ignored the entirety of their comments) out of the dozens of other people, maybe there's something wrong with this picture.
And I've read a few of the more recent comments by a few other people who blamed me for not moderating these harassing comments more. And while I accept any fault for my absences, anybody's who's visited for any length of time on the blog knows how this works and I suspect that these feelings were held by people who haven't been here that long otherwise I don't think they would be quite so generous to Greg. Certainly he doesn't deserve this level of attack, but neither is he the innocent victim here either. It probably only looks that way if you've only read the most recent Request Posts and nothing else. Unless you can say that you've been here from the beginning, I think it's much harder to take that stance without all the facts and nuances.
My continual presence was never necessary until Greg showed up here. He brought all of this down on himself and the blog and people only see the aftermath and think it's the chaotic atmosphere of the blog that is the problem. Well, it's funny how none of that existed for the first nine months the blog was up despite the fact that it had a lot of traffic before. It only existed after Greg got here. And until you can tell me that you've read most of the comments in the history of this blog (even some of the ones deleted by Greg), then I don't think you can claim to have the full picture of the situation.
That, again, is the reason I wrote this. Because nobody really has time to read all of these things unless they really want to or unless they're the blogger (two categories I luckily happen to fall into), and so I wanted to try to make people understand why the blog is the way that it is now.....and to tell it from the perspective of one who has tracked it from the very beginning.
It is still funny to me to read all these comments by people who declare what the blog is, what the Request Post is, how it isn't what it should be, or what they think should be done with it. It is what it is. It isn't what people imagine it is. I can imagine it to be a peaceful harmonious place where people treat each other with respect, but unless people are willing to do it, all the imagining on my part, all the rules and comment deletion, all the 'moderator' action, won't turn it into that. All you need is one Greg to abuse the system to turn it into crap if he so chooses.
And as I've said many times, I set out to create a certain kind of blog. Any other kind of blog, I'm not that interested in running. It doesn't mean it's bad, it simply means I'm not interested in doing it. Telling me that I must turn off anonymous comments is like telling me I must post nothing but heavy metal and country-western albums in order for this to be a good blog. There's nothing wrong with doing that, but I'm simply not interested in it. Telling me I need to kick people out or delete other people's comments is like telling me I need to keep all my posts short and post something every day. Maybe it would make the blog better, but it would turn it into the kind of blog I'm simply not interested in presiding over. And ultimately, I have to please myself as much as I cherish all the people who visit. I'm not going to change the way I blog or the blog itself to please other people in part because I think it ultimately does a disservice to people who visit anyway.
I don't think I see much point in creating a blog that I'm not interested in. Of course, I have that now, but that is mostly due to the presence of Greg. If he insisted on staying here no matter what, then he creates a situation that is impossible for me since I would be forced to delete his comments or kick him out even more strongly or do other things that would turn this blog into something I don't want anyway. This is the reason I'm not sure if this was his goal in the first place. He doesn't seem to mind that he's driven almost all the people away from the Request Post. So his goals are still a mystery to me. I almost think he would be satisfied if it were just me and him here.
I know for a lot of people (maybe most) who read this, they may still have a hard time understanding my attitude on this. They may think, 'What's the problem? Do 'x', 'y', & 'z' to fix your blog, and that's that. Turn off anonymous comments, do comment moderation, kick Greg out, set up a bunch of rules, post more heavy metal music, etc. What's the problem?'
I think it's especially hard for people to understand if they assume my goal is to have high traffic, or to have a lot of people posting music, or to even have a conflict-free blog (none of which are necessarily my goals). But if I haven't made my goals plain by now, it would be hard to explain any more than I already have.
Also, I think people imagine that what they see happen at other blogs will work here. But until you have a blog that generates hundreds of comments, has Greg visiting for a prolonged period of time, and you've been running a blog for a year or more, then I think it's much harder to make that comparison. There are reasons why those methods may work or at least appear to work at other blogs, but each blog is different. Depending on the type of music posted, the number of people visiting, the kind of people visiting, the number of posts, the volatility of the blog, the amount of time it's been up, etc., conditions are different for each blog. For instance, comment moderation is viable if you intend to be in every day and you get maybe 4 or 5 comments in a single post. But do it for eight months straight with over 4000 comments, and then talk to me about comment moderation. And look at blogs that turn off anonymous comments. They may appear orderly, but then they also have fewer comments. What you're really saying to me is reduce the number of comments you allow and everything will be fine. Sure, I could turn off comments altogether and I would have the most orderly blog in the universe too. And I have seen the most vicious attacks on blogs that had anonymous comments turned off.
Or you can have a very peaceful atmosphere on a blog that has all of those features installed, but part of the reason may be because there's simply less traffic. It's easier to be peaceful when the traffic's low and there isn't one central location to make comments. That's why it appears to work on other blogs because people don't congregate in one spot as the blog continues to post new material. Turning off anonymous comments or deleting the occasional odd random comment works in an environment where you have maybe 10 or 20 comments in a particular section and where people don't gather together. And it appears to work if the blog has less overall traffic. For instance, does Greg's blog appear peaceful because of comment moderation and deletion or is it peaceful simply because fewer people visit it? All things that especially non-bloggers don't take into account. Before I was a blogger, I never thought about any of that stuff. I didn't even know how this stuff worked (and there are still big aspects I don't understand), so I think it is completely understandable that people imagine that if all those methods work elsewhere they should work here too. But as I say, every blog is different.
I suppose I could create the same atmosphere here that Greg has on his blog. Allowing only 1 or 2 comments to be posted and screen everything else out. But would it be the same kind of blog if I did? If I were interested in having that kind of blog, I would've created it that way in the first place. I wouldn't write nearly so much, I wouldn't post compilations that are bound to have a limited appeal, I would post more popular stuff, and I wouldn't have even bothered to put in a Request Post. But I blog the way that I do because that's what interests me. It's also probably why this blog is what I always think of as a 'rinky-dink' blog, but I suppose it's my 'rinky-dink' blog and I like it that way. So as much as it antagonizes people, I suppose I have to do it the way that I want to otherwise I don't think it's good for anybody.
So if that means a thousand people visit or it's just me and Greg here for the rest of eternity (well, I would probably shoot myself before that happened anyway), then I just have to keep blogging in a way that satisfies myself regardless of what people imagine the blog should be. That's all I can really do at the end of the day.]
[Second Addendum: Wow! I think I wrote that first addendum over two weeks ago! It's amazing how quickly time goes by. I keep thinking I want to come in and then I realize weeks have gone by. I suppose the longer I stay away, the easier it gets. Frankly, there's not much incentive to post anything when most of the good people stay away from the blog. I don't really have much interest in posting things for the benefit of Greg and a bunch of spammers and trolls. I know that's really unfair to all the other good people who may be checking in occasionally to see if anything's changed, but it's not really intentional on my part. I want to come in, but when it comes time to think of working on stuff to post, it gets much harder to put the effort in when you know you've just got Greg and his entourage to look forward to.
It's interesting. I don't blog specifically for the comments, but just knowing that good people are either gone, afraid, or disenchanted to comment really makes it much harder to want to put in the effort.
And I know all those good people who left their E-mail addresses and left really wonderful comments concerning a private blog must be wondering if I ever intend on doing it (assuming anyone still cares), but it's just that I haven't been online long enough to really get the whole thing going (let alone respond to people's kind E-mails). I sincerely apologize for that.
And I haven't had a chance to leave a comment over at Isbum's great new blog either and I've only had a chance to make a quick visit over there only once (and so I hope everything is still going well over there), but knowing that people have a good place to go also makes me less motivated to work on that private blog. I'd almost feel like I was taking something away from his blog if I asked people over to mine, but I know people are able to visit more than one blog, so I know it's kind of silly. But still, that feeling that all those good people have somewhere to hang out makes me less inclined to work too hard on that private blog, I guess. And I don't want to mess anything up for Isbum.
I always wanted to see Isbum or Filmpac or Rocket From Mars start their own blog since they are exactly the kind of people who should have one (great people with great taste in music with great collections and great spirits) and so it makes me gladder than you can know to see Isbum have one. And Isbum is exactly the kind of person who would do something as nice as to start one to help out all those people who wanted to have somewhere good to go. The blogosphere is filled with great and generous people as witnessed by all those great blogs out there, but Isbum (and many of the people over there) are in a special category. (And no, I don't get paid based on the number of times I use the word, 'great'.)
I also keep meaning to respond to all those nice comments people left on the blog in the past several weeks, but there's something simultaneously uplifting and depressing about going through them. I've read them all (well, except for the last couple of week's worth) and people have said some amazingly nice things in the past couple of months. I wanted everyone to know that all the things they said were not ignored by me (even if it seemed that way). Sometimes it's hard to know where to begin especially since so many people have said so many things, but if I have the stamina I intend to respond to them (someday).
There is an amazing backlog of things I want to do when I have the chance to go online and so it's equally amazing how little progress I make. I get a lot done, but there's so many things to check out, respond to, read, and research when I get online that it always seems a losing proposition.
I have used the time away from the blog though to get inspired to do some compilations and to listen to a tiny fraction of my backlog of downloaded music. Yeah, yeah, I know nobody but me cares, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.................]
[Third addendum: And that's where I stopped writing when I intended to come in and post this behemoth of an essay, but amazingly more than another week has gone by. I really wanted to try and come in before the Tony Awards to post some music, but as much as I hate to admit it, I selfishly stayed home and watched the French Open. I had fully intended to come in and do more stuff online, but I didn't realize the French Open Finals were that weekend, and so I ended up staying home. As attractive as the prospect of coming in to find out what fresh hell I might encounter when I came back to the blog after being away from it for three weeks as I spend hours stuck to a library computer might be, I amazingly ended up not doing it.
And now I see that same imaginative spammer (assuming it's the same one) has taken to cutting and pasting into every comment section (at least the ones I checked....I stopped after about the 5th or 6th one) that no more music was being shared here. Funny, all those posts with music on them must be my imagination or something. Maybe it's just a mirage caused by lack of water (or good sense).
Well, it appears that the spammers (and to a lesser extent trolls) have morphed into not just attacking Greg but now they're attacking the blog directly as well. I wouldn't mind so much if these apparently weren't being made by people who actually seem to be reading the blog and understand what's going on. I find it extremely odd to say the least that people who were supposedly upset by Greg and all the fighting going on decided the way to solve that problem was by spamming and trolling. And after the first several weeks of doing that didn't work, they must've decided it was the right way to go by keeping it up (which, by the way, is the proverbial definition of insanity).
The blog's still here (though Greg seems to be somewhat dormant as far as I can tell) and so what exactly is the purpose of spamming the blog in such an idiotic way? I don't mind so much from the standpoint that given enough time all this person's spam will be gone from the blog so I don't exactly know what he expects to achieve by doing it. Discouraging people from posting comments perhaps? Pretty silly because unless they intend to stay here for the life of the blog, it hardly matters. People will always post comments eventually.
And as they can tell, I still come back even after prolonged absences so unless they really want to be bothered to keep wasting their time spamming, I'll always delete it eventually anyway. Just because people might not want to comment because of it doesn't prevent people from downloading music. And those same people who might be put off from commenting can always go elsewhere to share and post music, so what exactly this particular spammer(s?) hopes to accomplish is really beyond me, but I suppose that's why they have insane asylums. Places where repeat spammers can pick up their mail, I guess. (And posting the phrase 'There is no music being shared here' dozens of times in the comment section of say, a post of a compilation that has over 80 tracks of mystery themes seems well, I hate to use the word again but, idiotic. Almost three hours of non-music, I guess.)
I suppose if the spammer's goal is to get me to shut down the blog, that hardly seems likely because of it. If anything, it would encourage me to keep it open just to keep deleting their comments. If, on the other hand, they wanted me to keep the blog open by spamming me then that would still be a stupid tactic. So, again, doesn't really make much sense. But, still I enjoy commenting on it because it gives me a chance to call somebody stupid without actually feeling too bad about it.
So to sum up, the goal of this spamming is to a) get people to stop posting music? Well, that would make sense if you just did it in the Request Post, but doing it in say, the comment section of the 'The Railway Children' just seems silly (though 'Filmpac' did still manage to generously post music anyway, now that I think about it!), b) get people to stop commenting? Well, after I delete the spam, people will still continue to post comments, so again, silly. And it's not like people post a lot of comments in the older posts anyway, so......still silly, c) annoy Greg because he's annoying? Well, since spamming is more likely to annoy the blogger and other people more than it does Greg, again.........it begins with an 's' and ends in a 'y', d) annoy me and the other people reading it? Well, since the person is apparently upset that music is not being shared here and he either wants to satirize that fact or he wants to warn other people who come here, then annoying me or other people here hardly seems the way to remedy that situation. Again.........well, you fill in the blank, e) get me to turn off anonymous comments? Well, that seems a pretty ridiculous way to do it. Since I haven't done it yet, continuing to do it won't exactly inspire me to do it now. No reason to think it would after such a long time, but of course, I may have to re-think that whole thing since we seem to have such a large percentage of anonymous people who don't have any respect for other people or this blog now, but it still qualifies as silly since they'd have no reason to think I would do it now if I haven't already done it, f) get a rise out of Greg just because it's fun? Well, since it's hardly likely that Greg is going to read the comment section of 'The Railway Children', then that's just.....no, wait, not silly so much as idiotic. Well, really it switches back and forth between being silly, stupid, and idiotic. It's multi-faceted stupidity. Okay, I just enjoy calling the spammer stupid and idiotic. Oh, now I get the appeal. Never mind.
Oh, that was kinda fun repeatedly calling the spammer and/or spammers stupid. But I'd get bored with all the cutting and pasting. I like to call them stupid the old-fashioned way. By typing in the words dozens of times. You know that is kinda fun. That spammer is stupid. That spammer is stupid. That spammer is stupid. (Though sorry to disappoint anyone, but I won't be deleting those last three repetitious spams.)
Well, since I doubt that the spammer will have the mental capabilities to actually make it this far down the post, the fun of calling him stupid and idiotic will just have to be reserved for me and the people who are reading this. And for all those people who read this far down, you can have fun seeing if he actually spams this post. That will be a secret sign between you and me that he is really, really, really stupid. Actually, that's a good rule-of-thumb in general. If you see any spam anywhere on the blog, then that means the spammer is trying to prove to me that he is as stupid as I think he is. Either way, I win. I either get a blog free from spam or after I delete his spam, I get the knowledge and confirmation of just how stupid he is, but I also get a blog free from spam. Really, a win-win situation for me any way you look at it. (I'm perfectly willing to trade the time and effort it takes me to delete his spam for the satisfaction of knowing just how stupid he is.)
I'm having too much fun. I should get back to discussing more serious matters..........Hmmm, can't think of anything actually. Spamming isn't like Greg for instance. I can always easily delete spam but I can't easily give Greg a personality transplant. The same goes for all the other malcontents and trolls who think attacking him is somehow making my blog better, I suppose. It would be nice if they all went to live on a desert island with Greg somewhere, but since that hardly seems likely, I guess I'll just put up with it.
You see, I always have the advantage because I will always continue to do it because I enjoy it. Spammers and trolls do it because they're bored and frustrated about something......until they get bored and frustrated with something else. Then they move on. It's the nature of the beast. You may think it's callous of me not to be more concerned with the problems they cause, but it's simply because I know it's not based on anything permanent. All these things pass. I've seen it a million times.
It's the same thing with people who are against file-sharing. Many of them are much like spammers and trolls. It can be about conviction (and it's not like I don't agree with some of their points), but the majority of people I have ever seen who rail against it on the web are less about the conviction of the wrongness of it so much as they are about venting anger and spewing hatred. Since it's not based on conviction so much as hatred, it's not as troubling. And the reason I say that is because it's like when VCR's became more affordable in the 1980's. Movie studios and television executives railed against it and tried to stop it not out of a true conviction that it was wrong, but because they were just afraid of some short-term loss of profits. They were afraid that people would never buy a video cassette or pay to see a movie in a theater because they could violate copyright by taping things off of television for free. But even at the time it seemed silly because it was like watching blacksmiths rail against automobiles or the telegraph companies trying to suppress telephones. As much as you think it hurts business, you can never make the technology go away as much as you would want it to.
But just like file-sharing, it's a reality that won't go away. Sure some people share music because they want to thumb their noses at the companies, because they want to get away with something forbidden, or because they just want to 'steal' stuff as some critics like to think of it (I suspect a lot of those people are the ones left reading this blog unfortunately). I imagine when commerical radio came out some people thought of it as stealing too. But most bloggers I've encountered do it because they want to share music that they like with others. There are some blogs I've seen that seem to have a 'stick-it-to-the-man' attitude, but it's clear that the majority of bloggers in the circle that we inhabit are more interested in sharing. It's based on conviction and not simply 'thievery'. If music blogs and p2p networks were to disappear tomorrow, people would still be file-sharing through E-mail, forums, usenet, newsgroups, et al. That's not because the majority of the people are committed to 'stealing' as a conviction or a principle, but it's because they have a basic desire to share their love of music. And they know realistically that they are never going to buy all the things they want. We would be trading tapes and CD-R's if mp3's didn't exist. It's a reality that isn't going away anytime soon and just like VCR's, you can't wish it away, you can only change your business model, adjust and adapt, and use it to encourage people's greater love of music like they did with film and a Blockbuster on every corner or later a Netflix in every mailbox.
I think anybody who's been reading this blog for a while pretty clearly realizes I'm not trying to distribute these files to the largest possible audience. I think loyal readers know I'm not trying to put Amazon.com or Walmart out of business. And anybody who's actually read the blog knows I advocate people buying the stuff they enjoy as well. The only people who complain about such things are people who don't actually 'read' this blog. They just want to vent anger in much the same way that spammers and trolls do. And in the same way they don't do much more than inspire more hatred and anger. Really productive stuff.
The reality is that even though this blog is publicly available and searchable, the thing you pretty quickly learn as a blogger is that even though you imagine that you're making something available to the whole world, finding something in the blogosphere is like looking at a drop of water in the Pacific Ocean. It's there for everyone to see, but discerning it is another matter. Sometimes people have looked for things on this blog that they knew were here and they still couldn't find them. So making these things available on blogs is not like freely handing them out on a street corner to everyone who walks by. In reality a very small number of people frequent any one individual blog. I think the real problem lies in the sheer volume of material available. In the past, when people had the desire to listen to something that they wanted to own and listen to many times, they would go and pay for an outrageously priced CD (well, in the old days when music lovers were more satisfied, they would actually pay for a more moderately priced LP, but that's a whole other discussion). Now, when they have a desire to listen to something, they have 500 albums to choose from. It's not any one individual download that's the problem, it's the fact that they simply don't have time to listen to everything and all that desire for music is being oversaturated and over-satisfied (if that's possible). That's where the real threat lies, I think, but it's not born out of thieving file-sharers, but the technology and the power of networking that the internet provides. That's not going away anytime soon.
And so just as it is with those who complain about file-sharing or those who abuse file-sharing, trolls and spammers are like the people without conviction. They are the people who just want to grab some music because it's free and see how much they can get away with. I guess that's why I'm not as bothered by these recent attacks (as perhaps I should be). Even if the blog stopped tomorrow, I'd still be sharing music with someone somewhere not because I'm just trying to grab everything in sight that's free and trying to give away everything to everyone. It's not based on some fleeting desire to 'steal' as some people might think just as conversely, spamming is not based on anything of real substance. Cutting and pasting the same phrase over and over again hardly poses a real threat because it's not exactly based on a reasoned argument. It's based on someobdy's ability to use 'Control-c' on their keyboard. I'm not entirely sure, but I think I could get a monkey to do that. Monkeys can be pretty annoying if they want to be, but unless this were the Planet of the Apes, I'm not going to be too bothered by it.
The thing I will always take away from my blogging experience won't be some annoying conflicts, childish spamming, or bad blood. The thing I will take away will be the people I met, their generosity and insight, the music they shared with me, and the enjoyment I got from their enjoyment. All this turmoil, tumult and attack is based on quicksand, but the other stuff is lasting. I will always be glad I met people like Isbum & Rocket From Mars, Filmpac & Mel, Sallie & Breton Girl, Timbo & JazzHollister, Mickey & (all the) Tony(s), Quinlan & Watson, Jordan & J.R., Bistis6 & Ronnie C., Thingmaker & Honored General, Detective Mitchell & Blofeld's Cat, The Amazing Mumford & Cedric, Vince & First Moon, Paulz & Potsdamerplatz, Mr. T & (all the) Scoredaddy's, Alex & Ruggo, Attax & 7 Black Notes, Ill Folks & Lazar, Xtabay & Esther, Telstar Ted & Phelpster, MisterLesterKeen & Meester Music, Loungetracks & Sansgarantie, John Hartigan & Rangeraver, Scoreman & IndyB007, Maimone Digital & Quidtum, 'D' & Thomas, JAMK & Flunkyrat, Robotgunfighter & Vinnie Rattolle, Number06 & Bongolong, Onzichtbaredj & Pastor McPurvis, Soundsational in all his guises, Dave & Jean, Jason & Muad'Dib, Alfrodo & Don Roberto, and all the other wonderful individuals and bloggers I've met along the way that my addled brain is having trouble coming up with right now. And all the great bloggers I never met or got to know too well, but loved their blogs. Too many wonderful people and too much wonderful music to mention along the way, that's for certain.
That far outweighs any recent nastiness.
Well, despite all this babbling I seem to be doing, I hope it's clear in all that clutter that at least as far as I'm concerned I have no intention of shutting down the blog. Blogger.com seems to have taken the sensible approach to their response to Greg's complaints. While I don't think they like harassing attacks any more than I do, I think they realize that censorship and shutting down the blog isn't the answer. Well, it never really was the answer, when you think about it. Deleting people's comments or getting rid of the blog isn't really going to get rid of the anger people felt (and feel) toward Greg. It's just not that simple. And as it has always been, the answer really lies in Greg's hands. If he just thought to once apologize or reach out to some of these people, most of that anger would've deflated and he could've avoided all of this. But he chose to do it his own way. (As I suppose we all must.)
And again, in case it wasn't clear, I again officially ask Greg to leave the blog and not come back. I don't take any pleasure in that. (If I did, I suppose I'd be as bad as the trolls & the spammer.) I don't like 'banning' people, particularly a fellow blogger. Believe me, it gives me no great joy. But he has single-handedly alienated most of the people who came here either directly or indirectly through his behavior and attitude and the extreme ire he provokes, so I don't really see that I have any choice as he regrettably is an extreme irritant to people. And as I said before, I would normally never kick someone out for just being who they are, but he has so clearly demonstrated that he wanted to shut this blog down, that he didn't care anything about the other people here, that he seems determined to bother other people wherever they may go, and this all constitutes intent on his part. That isn't just being who he is, but it goes far beyond just being annoying.
Some of it, I think, was prompted by feeling persecuted by other people and feeling that he was being misunderstood, but with the exception of some attempts at restraint and neutrality, he has shown at every step of the way an unwillingness to acknowledge, an inability to make amends or peace, a desire for destruction, hostility and provocation, and a general disregard and disrespect for other people here (beyond the cursory fulfillment of some requests and information). I'm not trying to say that Greg is some terrible, terrible person, but despite the excessive number of chances he's been given to fix this problem himself, he has chosen to do things that have only made the situations worse. His instincts as far as I can tell have never led to things getting better, only worse. Every outburst, every denial, every insult, every demeaning remark, every refusal of the facts or ignoring of people's reactions, responses, and feelings, all lead him to exacerbate every problem, not fix it. You can't incite hatred here and then come back and post links to new entries at your blog. It just doesn't work that way when you're dealing with human beings. You can't ignore the fact that they're outraged (well, except for the times you lash out) and advertise new shares at your blog and expect that it's all okay.
And again, who specifically says they want to shut your 'goddamn' blog down and keep coming back and doing and saying the things that Greg does? Does it makes sense to anyone that you would want to advertise your blog on one that you would like to see shut down? How many reports to Blogger.com do you have to make before it means you're attacking this blog? And if Greg still naively thinks that reporting harassment and reporting the blog are two separate things, it just goes to prove that he is being deliberately disingenuous. He wants to make that distinction, but then says that he hopes they shut down the blog.
Which reminds me. I was catching up on the last three plus weeks of comments in the Request Post and noticed more exchanges between Greg and the trolls such as 'Khan'. At first, just a few of the later comments caught my eye and I thought it was more mindless trolling, but as I backtracked the comments to when they started I noticed 'Khan' giving a reason for the trolling that I found interesting. He said he was simply doing it because he was frustrated about Greg and had no other outlet for it. Greg wasn't allowing any sort of dissenting comments at his own blog and apparently this was one of the only places 'Khan' could do it. It did give me greater insight into why trolls (at least some of them) were doing it. They were frustrated and had nowhere else to do it (unfortunately, as most trolling does, it devolved from valid points to mindless and annoying attacks on the blog by 'Khan', et al. I know he probably doesn't see it that way, but every troublemaking move on Greg is a knife in the heart of the blog.). They thought it was acceptable here presumably because very few people except Greg were 'sharing' music here (if you can call advertising his own blog and providing links by other people as sharing music). I suppose from their perspectives everybody (including me) had more-or-less abandoned the blog and that's why it was acceptable to troll in great quantities. Of course, they were doing it even when there was a lot of activity before, but I assume it was because of the outrage they felt from Greg still being here and so many good people having left.
Of course, the thing they don't seem to realize is that it does nothing but attack my blog. But they may not care about that either I suppose. They're bothered by Greg and his attitude, but they don't mind attacking my blog. Truly odd. Not as odd as Greg's behavior, but still odd.
Or they may have misinterpreted my reactions as passivity and acceptance rather than it simply being the different time-frame that it was. It's understandable I suppose. For many people who visited in the past, they might check in every one, two or three days so in a month that might represent 10 to 30 or more visits in a month. From my perspective, I'm able to come in sometimes only once or twice a week or what has happened lately, once every two or three weeks, that represents anywhere from 2 to 8 visits a month. Some (or maybe most) people might not understand why it would take me a long time to respond if they're coming in 30 times a month and I'm coming in 4 times a month. But each visit for me represents a huge backlog of things I need to do online in addition to all the things I want to do on the blog. And so catching up on hundreds of comments and acting on them is not the easiest thing in the world to do. In fact, every time I came in some new development would occur that would make me re-think my response. (Now, that's not complaining so much as explaining, but you get the idea.)
In fact, even now, the fact that so much spamming and trolling has been going on has made me reconsider what I was going to do concerning anonymous comments. I alluded to that change of heart in my last set of comments in the Request Post. I was adamantly opposed to turning off anonymous comments, but so much spamming and trolling that now not only seems directed at Greg, but the blog too (robotically putting 'There is no music being shared here' in all the comment sections is a big factor in my reconsideration) makes me think that too many evil people are hanging out here now. Not that turning off anonymous comments will really do anything to solve that, but at least I can live in denial and ignore it by turning off anonymous comments. Of course, if I do that I feel like I'm moving to the dark side along with Greg.
It reminds me of a trip I took to Singapore once. Beautiful country. It's a little like an adult Disneyland. The streets are impeccably clean and everything is orderly and beautiful. Of course, at the time I went there the president (? - I can't remember if they have a president or not) had the editor of a newspaper critical to him jailed. And I remember being told that if I had any chewing gum, I had better keep it in my luggage. Which at the time I thought was strange and inconvenient (especially since I had a pack of gum in my pocket at the time). If you didn't, you were subject to heavy fines (I think back then it was something like $500) and if I remember right, possibly jail. Their stated reason was that they wanted to keep the streets and subways clean. They didn't want gum mucking up the doors to the subways, etc.
So while I enjoyed the beauty and order of Singapore, I knew that facade came with a heavy price. (And some years later, they had that whole caning incident with the American teenager spraying graffiti. It was kind of disturbing that some people in America were talking about how we should do that here.) Hard choice though. I could have clean streets and repression, or gum on the sidewalks and freedom. I could turn off anonymous comments, become like Greg, and keep my subways free of the gummy mess of trolls and spam or I could opt for what I used to have. Still, I am considering turning over to the dark side and turning off anonymous comments.
It does seem as if the trolls and spammers want me to do it as much as the good people do. Frankly, it's not really the type of blog I want to run, but I think if people like Isbum, Filmpac, Rocket, Mel, Breton Girl, etc. asked me to, I would do it. I would not be happy about changing my blog into something that I wouldn't prefer and I wouldn't make the change to improve the blog or anything, but I think I might do it specifically because good friends asked me to. Because if it means that much to them, it means that much to me. But now that I think about it, since they don't really visit anymore it's sort of a moot point. Actually, maybe that does save me the moral dilemma of having to decide. Well, I guess Greg driving away most of the good people actually has its advantages.
Then I guess it would be up to the trolls and spammers. If they asked me nicely to turn off anonymous comments, I suppose I would turn it off just as a favor to them since they're the only ones who hang out here anymore. Yeah, I'll be expecting those requests real soon.
Oh, great. I just spent the last half-hour responding to one of Greg's comments and then I realized it was one of his imitators. I missed the first part of the comment that made it clear that it was satire. Frankly, it's getting hard to tell his bizarre rants from other bizarre rants. Well, there goes 10 really good paragraphs down the drain that I just had to delete. All that righteous indignation on my part and it was all wasted on one of his imitators. Oh, well. (Too bad too. There was some good writing in there.)
Well, it should at least again remind people that you don't have to be anonymous to cause trouble. (As if Greg hasn't proved that already).
And here's another comment by 'Khan' in the Request Post that was kind of interesting:
'No one on this blog posts music except Greg who posts crapola with dialog and sound effects. So why not tear the place down. What have we to loose anymore? This blog died long ago. The only reason to come here is to listen to the babble.
You love it and you know it. Or else why come here? When was the last time anyone posted so much as one song? This blog is about babble and has been for some time now.
You all come here to listen to me and laugh at my humorous commentary. Admit it.
No one is going to post music here while Greg is here. Since he wont leave Nomw1 or his proxy must regulate this blog.
That is the only solution. No one is going to share anything while Greg is here.
Well, if that arrogance doesn't rival Greg's I'm not sure what does. Greg doesn't own this blog, but I suppose now Khan does. Strange how there are literally hundreds of blogs where someone hasn't posted anything for a while and where there is no music being posted in a comment section, but Khan feels it's his God-given right to tear this blog down since he considers it dead. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but neither of you really needs to be here if you don't want to be. Neither of you has obviously actually ever read this blog, otherwise you would know what it was about. And both of you have the attitude that the Request Post is just about posting music. The people who left really knew what it was about. It wasn't a place to hang out and make trouble just because you feel like it or because I'm not here. (And I hate to break it to you, but I've heard commentary that was more humorous.)
Having said that and not to be ungrateful, I really do appreciate the fact that you seem to have my back and I do agree with you that nobody is likely to share music while Greg is here (or while his imitators pretend to be him......or while trolls continue to 'tear the place down'......or while spammers continue to spam even after I delete it). If you don't want to be accused of being as obtuse as Greg though, then perhaps you should consider that fact before you declare this or any other blog dead and consider it yours to do with as you please. I find that attitude as insufferable as Greg's frankly, though I don't like saying it to someone that I feel is basically on my and the blog's side. But really, how much could you have really liked this blog if you take that attitude? How much do the spammers like it? Are these really people who've enjoyed the blog, got the spirit I tried to have about it, read the archives or shared music with a good attitude like the people who left or are these just malcontents who want to tear something down because they're bored or dissatisfied? Do you think harassing Greg really solves anything or makes the atmosphere worse? It's like someone who puts up graffiti in a bad neighborhood. If you're tired of the neighborhood being bad, don't take the attitude that 'we have nothing to lose' by making it worse. That's just stupid. If you don't like Greg being here, do as the others did and stay away for the time being. Or try to improve things. Otherwise you're just attacking the blog and you're no different from Greg.
Even though I'm as partisan as the next person, I frankly get a little sick of all of this polarization. People just like starting wars because they enjoy taking sides, I think. 'I'm bored. Let's start a flame war somewhere.' It's not just about sharing music and it's not just about everyone getting along and not hurting each other's feelings. If it were it would be pretty boring. We'd get a lot of music and nobody would ever bother anyone else, but again, I could get a bunch of robots to do that. I like the fact that people are passionate enough to get angry at what Greg has done (or even if they're mad at me, at least it shows they're engaged). But causing trouble for the sake of causing trouble, or going over the top in harassing even Greg is not really about outrage anymore, it's about boredom. It's about wanting to attack something because you don't like it, but you can't be constructive about it. Or you have some time to kill between surfing other blogs. The truly constructive people either left or have tried to reason with Greg (as hopeless as that might be) or have tried to continue to share music and treat other people with respect. Trolling and spamming really doesn't do any of those things. Is it likely to make Greg listen or is just a way to satisfy some childish desire?
I don't mind pointed satire (in fact, I like it), but to claim that people only come here to read your 'humorous commentary' is about as arrogant as anything I've ever read from Greg.
You know, amazingly, as hard as it is to believe, I suspect there are actually a few blogs out there that don't ever post music in their comment sections. But the trolls and spammers are upset that 10,000 items aren't being constantly posted here. What exactly does that say? Does that imply that someone is glad to have any music posted by someone at all or does that say that they're incredibly greedy because they're not getting a steady stream of generous people to give them stuff? 'We're upset that no music's being posted here!' Well, as idiotic as Greg may be, at least the idea of posting something as opposed to spamming or trolling about not posting it makes more sense to me. But maybe that's just me.
Harassment isn't the same as moderation. Trolling isn't the same as cordiality. If people were truly upset about Greg's bad behavior, why mirror it? To teach him a lesson? Obviously, if it hasn't worked the first 1000 times you did it, it's probably not going to penetrate the first several layers of cement. To improve the atmosphere on the blog? Obviously not. To get people to share music again? Obviously not. To vent frustration about what he did to the blog? Well, all of us who don't have cement up there got it the first 1000 times you did it. To attack the blog because you're bored? Bingo! I think I figured it out.
Which isn't to say I don't appreciate the outrage people have (especially on my behalf). I do more than you can know. And I actually liked what 'Khan' and 'Greg's #1 Fan' had to say initially. But it quickly devolved into repetitious harassment (of him and the blog) and became a lot less interesting (and frankly not the humorous funfest you imagine).
I make the main part of the blog what it is, but the thing people tend to forget is that they make the comment sections what they are. They are only as good as the people who come here. And because this is the only place the trolls feel is a good place to attack Greg then they like to hang out here and make it what they want. If that isn't a Greg-like attitude I don't know what is. Perhaps instead of fighting fire with fire, you tried fighting fire with water once in a while? If you don't like a bad attitude, fight it with a good attitude instead. That's what a lot of the people who went to Isbum's place did, I suspect. They didn't stay over here and cause trouble. Or if they did comment over here like Filmpac or Breton Girl do occasionally, they try to do it in a civilized or reasonable way. They may get mad from time to time and engage Greg in some argument, but not for long and not to hurt the blog. They don't sit around declaring it 'dead' and make it worse. They actually share some music (albeit elsewhere). And before they left, they tried to make it good here for as long as they could stand it. That's constructive.
For the majority of the life of this blog, it didn't need me to come in every day in order to have a good atmosphere. That was determined by the people who came here and the comments they made (beyond the atmosphere I tried to instill in the main part of the blog). But instead of people being content with Greg being the only bad one here, they decided to jump on the Greg bandwagon and really make the atmosphere terrible. They weren't content that Greg be the only one. They wanted to clone Greg and reproduce his bad attitude all over the blog. Again, I hate to break it to anybody, but that's not about me stopping them or deleting their comments. That's about them.
This isn't about them being a flood and me being the dam that stops it. This is not a natural disaster, but a man-made one created by Greg and then helped by the trolls and spammers. But it is like terrorism. Greg was the first hijacker and just like with hijackers once you create that atmosphere, it's hard to ever return to a time when you don't need metal detectors and X-ray machines. Everybody wants me to install security to prevent hijackers like Greg and the trolls, but everybody knows the real solution to terrorism isn't to hunt down all the terrorists, install airtight security, or profile everybody who comes along. You can do all those things as a temporary stopgap, but the real solution is to create an environment where people don't feel the need to become terrorists. You help to create a good atmosphere and drive out or ignore the nasty people. And the few radical nuts left (like Greg) will become isolated. The trolls and spammers are like jihadists who have followed in Greg's footsteps. They think they're attacking Greg, but they're really just attacking the airport.
To me, the Request Post was always about the camaraderie of sharing the music, not just about posting music. And that was ruined by Greg (and he continues to try and ruin it wherever he goes by going places he's not welcome). He never understood that, but it's something the trolls and spammers never got either. Otherwise they wouldn't try to make it worse. They thought it was just about posting music too and so they were upset when it stopped. Except it never occurred to them that they could go to plenty of other places to share music. Or maybe they didn't want to share music? Maybe they just wanted to take music? Well, there are plenty of places to do that too. No, what they really wanted to do was hang out here and cause trouble. And they used Greg as an excuse. Initially, it was valid to harass him to some extent after he drove so many people away (or at least lambaste him for a while), but then it just became sport to people and that has nothing to do with anger OR the sharing of music that they were supposedly so upset about in the first place. And just like Greg, it's something that none of them ever got. They never got the spirit of this blog, of me, of the Request Post, or of the other people who left.
But again I don't expect the spammer to actually read this (considering he cuts and pastes, I'm not entirely sure he can actually read) since he won't bother to read anything that doesn't have music attached to it or isn't less than two sentences long, and I only hold out marginally more hope that trolls will read this (since I sense they actually do read a few things along the way), but I suppose this is really to let other people know where I stand on this.
Well, I didn't intend to write such a long third addendum, but as usual, you can tell I had a lot on my mind. On more practical matters, I've thought about various things I could do about the problems on the blog. In my opinion, as I've said before, I firmly believe that almost all the other trolling and spamming would disappear or at least diminish if it weren't for the fact that Greg continues to come back. And while I remember reading some exchange between Greg and 'Khan' in the Request Post about how it was clear from the two main posts I left at the top of the blog that Greg was not welcome here, 'Khan' did slightly misinterpret that (though I appreciated the fact that he was nice enough to point that out to Greg and defend me). 'Khan' rightly understood that the tone of those posts was one of disgust with Greg (though Greg didn't seem to understand that), but I didn't officially say I was banning Greg (though that may be why he assumed it was okay to stay here, but of course, that didn't stop him from showing up at ScoreBaby Annex or Isbum's place).
As I explained earlier, it's not something I do lightly and was still considering the situation and not going to make that determination until I had read what prompted Greg's reporting of the blog. But also in the exchange between 'Khan' and Greg, Greg reiterated the complaint about how I wasn't around to protect him from the attacks. Another supreme irony (Greg really seems full of them). He didn't realize that if I did come back to 'protect' him it would simply be to kick him out. That's part of the reason I wasn't entirely enthusiastic about rushing back here and posting this essay. I tried to keep up with the comments and consider other options, but he took that to be apathy, unwillingness, or inability to protect him. So incredibly funny, I have to stop myself from laughing about it actually. He didn't realize that that prolonged absence was really for his benefit. Otherwise, he would just have been kicked out of yet another blog even sooner. But even now, I don't like the idea of kicking him out.
Not, obviously, because he's such a wonderful presence that I want to have hanging out at my blog, but because I wanted people to know why, what led up to it, and that it was about a lot of issues that ran deeper than just kicking him out. I felt a lot of people didn't get what the blog was about or the Request Post for that matter (as I've tried to say a million times by now). Most people by now understand what's wrong with Greg, but some good people like Thomas and Petronius, for example, still don't understand. Others haven't really paid any attention to this stuff and so just think a bunch of jerks landed at the blog or they think the trolls and the spammers are the real problem and not Greg. But more importantly, I wanted people (especially the people who left) to know how I felt and where I stood on these matters and I wanted people to know what I was trying to do with the blog in the first place.
And kicking Greg out is really no solution to anything when you think about it. It alleviates the problem, certainly, but even blogs that are 'Greg-free' are always operating in reaction to that fact. It's like closing the borders to a country and kicking out all the terrorists doesn't really solve the problem of terrorism. Once that genie is out of the bottle, it's hard to put it back in. Greg is like Timothy McVeigh or Osama Bin Laden. And the trolls and spammers are his loyal entourage (i.e. nutty fringe element).
Once you create an atmosphere where people are always reacting to some extremist, it's not quite the atmosphere you want despite how peaceful it might seem. That's why I would still want to create a private blog in addition to this one. Of course, if I did that, people would post there instead of here anyway, so for all those people disappointed about the lack of postings here, they would probably still be disappointed.
If I wasn't so discouraged from coming in (between my illness and all the spamming and trolling and Greg hanging around, it doesn't exactly make me want to come in as often), I would work on it more, but I just haven't been in long enough to fully set up a private blog up, let alone contact everyone.
I've also considered the possibility of asking someone who might be in more often and whom I trust like Isbum, Filmpac, or Rocket to 'moderate' the Request Post. Well, I actually considered that even before Greg came here, but I never wanted to burden any of those good people with the responsibility. It was only after I saw that Isbum was willing to do it over at ScoreBaby Annex and later at his own blog that I knew that he would be willing to do something like that. I figured that if they wanted to run a blog they would've started one themselves, so I didn't want to dump extra work on them like that.
But now I wouldn't feel comfortable asking Isbum, for instance, because I don't want to take anything away from his own blog. It's like asking another blogger to come in and help run your blog. He's busy enough. I even feel funny bringing up the idea of a private blog because I don't want to take any focus away from what Isbum's got going over at his place. But I only bring up the possibility of him or someone else doing moderation (and again ironically an idea that Greg was also proposing....he didn't realize that the first step in moderating the post would be to get rid of him!) because of a really nice E-Mail Isbum sent me (and which I have yet to reply to......as is true, by the way, with all the other nice E-mail's people sent me and which I intend on someday answering....and thank you all very sincerely for the well wishes about my health and about the blog......I appreciate it more than you can know). He mentioned that he and others were anticipating my return and he made me realize that maybe he would be willing to do it over here though he didn't say that specifically. But I didn't realize that people were willing to come back here. I just assumed they had moved on and I had accepted it. Probably another reason I wasn't in that big of a hurry to rush back.
Again, not feeling that strong desire or inspiration to work on writing this essay or posting new music when it was mainly for the benefit of Greg and a bunch of trolls and spammers. Perhaps if there had been a little less trolling, but every time I checked in (albeit only a few times in the last few months) there seemed to be a new round of it to keep up with. It was hard enough to keep up with the hundreds of good comments back when people were posting music, but I don't exactly rush back to sift through hundreds of comments just to read trolls saying the blog is dead and to watch Greg put up more links to his blog. It wasn't intentional on my part to stay away, but the longer you do, the easier it gets. I had more time and energy to listen to music, organize the music I did have, etc. I even found myself working on more compilations or finishing up old ones. It's funny. I didn't think it would make too much of a difference, but I realize that even blogging as infrequently as I was before was interfering with that stuff more than I realized.
In fact, right now I'm listening to Garcia27's excellent Goldsmith compilation. Really wonderful. And what an amazing amount of work involved! I don't think I would've gotten around to listening to an 8 hour compilation like that before. Normally, I would've had to burn it onto disc immediately, but once I had more time to clean up the hard drive, I had more room to keep some of the stuff on to listen to it. And I'm finally able to listen to more files by Isbum, Filmpac, Rocket, Mel, Sallie, Quinlan, and Tony, to name a few. I think I went through about 10 of Tony's files while I was writing an earlier section of this essay, in fact. And I'm finally listening to some of Esther's files at Stax O'Wax. Just went through her luau compilation. All great stuff. Oh, and how great to listen to Sallie's musicals, Mel's mood music comps, Isbum and Rocket's rips, Filmpac's wonderful finds, and Quinlan's meticulous files. Hard to really muster up too much anger after that, I tell you. Oh, and listened to some Maimone Digital & Bistis6 files too. Of course, I guess all of these are from 3 or 4 months ago, but to me they were just like yesterday. (Of course, that's probably because I just listened to them yesterday.) Now if I can only visit some other blogs and listen to what they're sharing, I'd be in hog heaven.
Oh, but back to the less heavenly discussion. As I said, I had thought about asking Isbum a long long time ago about doing some moderation, but I didn't really want to impose on our friendship by burdening him with that responsibility. (Frankly, I always wanted to ask him if he would do cover art for some of my compilations too because I liked what he did with his own files, but I never wanted to burden him with that extra work either!)
But one of the other problems with that is that as far as I know there's no way of doing that on the old version of Blogger without basically handing over the password to the whole blog. Not really a huge problem because I trust Isbum, Filmpac, Rocket and some of the other people who left enough with the password, but I use it for other things so it would involve more than the security of the blog. Plus I would feel uncomfortable passing it around too much. A little like passing out your ATM code. But probably not much of a problem since I could always change the password to something unique.
But the problem with that isn't so much about trust as it is with potential accidents. It's easy with Blogger to click on the wrong option and accidentally change the blog around. I remember I accidentally wiped out the whole top of the blog once. Probably nobody here remembers that, but luckily I was able to retrieve the deleted HTML code and replace it (though to this day I'm not entirely sure it's exactly the same as it used to be). But as far as trusting them with my password, I know they would never abuse the administrator privileges. Of course, Isbum must've had some arrangement with ScoreBaby, and I always meant to ask him how they set that up, but I haven't had the chance.
The other possibility I considered was the member or administrative status option on the newer version of Blogger. In order for someone to do moderation on the Request Post while I wasn't here, they would need to be able to delete comments. And as far as I know the only way to do that is if you have adminstrator privileges. Now, I'm not sure, but I think on the newer version you're able to give that to someone else but switching over to the newer version poses its own problems. It's the reason I've never done it before. When they encouraged everyone to try the newer version of Blogger, they made it clear that if you converted over, any changes you made on your older version of your blog that might not be compatible with the newer one might be lost. And once you made the switch, you couldn't go back. So if say, the formatting wasn't right, or it messed up something else, I could never switch back to the original version. Any formatting changes I made or any other modifications on the blog right now might be lost. I don't even know if the newer version has the same link list options. That's why I've never made the switch. They said it was a one-way trip and up until now I never felt the need to take the chance to get a few new features that I didn't care about anyway.
So kicking someone out like Greg or the trolls or deleting people's comments doesn't really do much good unless I can figure out a way to enforce it. That might entail revamping the entire blog. So until I had more time to look into how to do it, I would have no way of keeping Greg out even if I wanted to. That's one of the reasons it's taken a while. I haven't had time to talk to Isbum or anyone else about it or research what would be involved in changing the blog to the newer version and what problems that might present. (I bet Greg's not in such a hurry for moderation now!)
And that's all assuming someone would be willing to do it. I would never want to ask Isbum now that he's got his own blog (and if you're reading this Isbum, please excuse the impertinence of even bringing it up) and I suspect that the people over there would prefer to hang out over at Isbum's anyway. I don't think they would be happy about any moderator here being hamstrung by my insistence on no rules, anonymous people, etc. I think Isbum or anyone else like Filmpac or Rocket (though I think Rocket could not come in often enough to moderate) would prefer the atmosphere at Isbum's place. Without main posts you don't get as much random traffic who are more likely to be potentially disruptive like they are here. This seems to be 'yahoo central' right now and once that happens I'm not sure if that ever entirely goes away. Another wonderful legacy from Greg. Thanks, Greg!
Most blogs don't really need constant attention, but apparently the people here need to have some perpetual adult supervision (and Greg needs something else, but I've never figured out what). I still find it hard to believe that this blog attracts the kind of people who spam and troll. You'd think those kind of people wouldn't be interested in listening to this kind of music! You'd think the kind of mind that runs to doing that kind of stuff wouldn't prefer to listen to the kind of stuff that I or anyone who used to come here would post. But I guess it takes all kind of people to make a blogosphere.
Well, I suppose it all comes down to Greg & the trolls. If Greg refused to leave even though the blogger asked him to (doesn't really seem to stop him from posting comments at Isbum's place, if comments I read here are to be believed), then I suppose I would have to start deleting his comments. Great. I can add censorship to my to-do list. Thanks, Greg!
If, on the other hand, he stayed away peacefully, the trolls stopped trolling, etc. I suppose I'd keep the Post open. Well, I'd probably keep the Post open anyway even if nobody posted any music. I don't mind discussion in there either as long as it's not idiotic trolling. But frankly, I don't see any need for anyone to troll if Greg's not here. I suppose in some perverse way it's a back-handed compliment. People wouldn't be so angry if they hadn't liked what was here before, I suppose. Of course, if they really had respect for it or the blog, they wouldn't be acting that way now, but I guess 50 percent is better than nothing. Of course, those are the same people who confuse the Request Post with the blog so I guess I couldn't really expect much from them anyway. I suspect they haven't even ventured beyond the main page, let alone even read any of it otherwise they would know what the blog was about. Certainly not babbling the way they do. I'm the only one on here allowed to babble. Babble and pompous pronouncements. My two main functions on the blog.
Well, I did warn everybody that this was going to be an incredibly long essay. That reminds me of another one of Greg's comments that I read. It was pretty funny; he referred to the two top posts on the main part of the blog as the essay I've been referring to. He thought those were the essays I was talking about and he was disgusted that I left them up there and that I didn't seem to be doing anything about the attacks on him even though I've had ample time to do it. It's funny beyond belief. He doesn't take the time to actually pay attention to what I say to actually figure out that those aren't incredibly long and those aren't essays. And he has the hubris to think I should pay any attention to him as to what I should post in the main part of the blog. He left some comment saying how I should take down the 'Greg, I'm deeply disappointed' post. Uh, did he think I was magically any less disappointed with him? Maybe I should re-write my entire blog depending on his whims and preferences. Oh, I forgot. I thought it was his blog there for a minute. Well, it was an honest mistake what with him thinking I have to operate on his timetable, put up and take down posts depending on what he says, moderate the blog and impose the rules the way he thinks I should, etc. I got confused for a second.
Well, I should probably leave this essay on a happier note, but I can't think of one. The only thing I can think of is to reiterate my apologies to anyone who has been inconvenienced, put out, repelled, or offended by anything they've seen on the blog (and that's just from the stuff I post). No, actually, I am sincerely sorry for anyone who came here to have a good time and left with a face full of crap (and that even includes Greg.....I don't wish him any more than he deserves, and that's really up to him to determine by his own actions).
It's odd, but people keep thinking of the comment sections of public blogs as forums that can be easily (or even should be) moderated. I suggest chat rooms or actual forums for true moderation if that's what they're looking for, but I do think people have the right to be treated civilly and with respect when they come here. Unfortunately, unless I forgot to renew by God-membership controlling people's attitudes and demeanor is out of my control. Ignoring and deleting isn't the same as respect and civility, by the way.
And equally unfortunately, Greg never understood any of that and he is by far the biggest offender (despite the subsequent trolling). All else is simply reaction to him. But I think Greg should be allowed to act that way if he wants. He should just do it at his own blog or other places that are willing to accept him for who he is. If those places don't consider it bad, then he should stay and be happy there. There's really no point in commenting in places that are upset by his presence. Even if he believes that it's just a few people, if it's clear that the blogger himself doesn't want him here, he, especially as a fellow blogger, should honor that. I hope that it's not more than I can expect from him. If he doesn't honor it, I am forced to conclude that the harsher things that people say about Greg might be true. I still choose to believe that he is not quite the demon that people paint him to be (even despite all the things I myself have said here). I think some of this just comes from his angry reaction to what people have said and done, but that doesn't really excuse his behavior here when everyone was being nice to him. Still, if Greg was truly the person he claims to be, he would stay away from places that don't want him there, not out of fear or anger, but simply out of some sense of honor. Again, I hope that's not too much to expect.
You'd think I'd be disenchanted with blogging, but I'm not. You'd think I'd be disenchanted with the people who came here considering all the bad apples who seem to be hanging around, but I'm not. Too many good people who don't troll, spam, and generally cause trouble to be all that upset. I am disgusted with Greg's attitude however, but I was disgusted with that before all the trolling and spamming started so I consider all of this temporary. As I said before, I have always considered the blog to be more-or-less permanent regardless of how many people stop by (or how disgusting they may be). The only thing that prompts that sense of finality (as in the previous post) is not knowing how many times Greg can report the blog before something happens, but I am glad that Blogger.com has been sensible about it. Otherwise, regardless of how long I may stay away, I always have the intention of coming back (even if it takes a while). If I stay away for six months or something, you'll probably know I've stopped blogging, but anything short of that and to me it's just a temporary lull. I have to admit that there is something awfully nice about staying away though. I finally cleaned out things on my hard drive that having been sitting on there for the better part of a year. And it gives me more time (well really, less distraction) to get inspired to do compilations and things. And as I listen to more of this backlog of music, my deep appreciation for the efforts of people here only increases tenfold.
For instance, right now I'm listening to a truckload of Quinlan's files (Bonds, musicals, and jazz, to be exact.......boy, wouldn't that make an interesting movie? A musical version of Bond with a jazz score? But I digress........). And as I listen, it reminds me of all the good fellowship he provided and the hard work and care that went into ripping these albums (and work on the artwork) just for other people's enjoyment and it makes me like and respect him even more (if that's possible). (And not to be too negative about it, but I can't help but be reminded of how often someone like Greg tore down that effort and offered so little of his own in return. He offered much effort in the way of surfing blogs and providing other links and information and that shouldn't be overlooked, but still it was never with the same sense of camaraderie.) Well, that's the spirit I miss from the blog, but I'm always glad that it is out there somewhere and that there are still so many people out there who haven't been driven away from the blogosphere by the tactics of spammers and trolls here and elsewhere. It's sad to think of how many people may have been repelled from the potential joys of music blogging simply because of the attitude of people like Greg and the trolls, but that ugliness has always been out there I suppose. It was when I started the blog and it will always be for as long as people choose to act that way, I guess. Which is not so much resignation or condemnation as it is a reaffirmation that all of these things come and go. All the turmoil and bad feelings flow in and out like the tide and as long as the blog's here, I just try to ride these things out. It never affects my attitude about the charms of blogging and sharing, so while I'd like to be angrier about these things, it's very hard to while I'm listening to an LP rip of 'Brigadoon'.
I do feel bad that people may have been inconvenienced by my absences from the blog and I also feel bad about not responding to their wonderful E-mails and comments in the way that I should have. With health concerns and the inherent attraction of not coming in or thinking about these things, I can only say again that it leads to all these unintentional prolonged absences and so I wanted to apologize again to all those people who may have been put out by it.
Uh, still can't think of that happier note to end on. Well, at least the blog's still here. That's something. I always take a certain amount of joy in that. And, oh yeah, there's some nice music sprinkled around. That's always good. Or you can find (or buy) lots of great music elsewhere. Seems that should make a few people out there happy. You'd think so anyway.
Enjoy and be kind! (yes, and that is said with a certain amount of irony)