To Papa Chalk et al. Concerning the Rules?
I joined this forum in August for the sole reason of learning about DAWs and soft-based music creation. A few days ago, I wandered into this off topic site for the first time, found a thread already in progress, and ranted a bit.
Subsequently there was the post about going overboard, and an exhortation about reading the rules. I did reread the rules, but am still unclear regarding what is allowable and what is not.
I certainly understand and approve of the prohibition against profanity, as well as not allowing flaming personal attacks. That much is clear.
But in my experience, whenever I've heard that one can say anything "within reason," this qualifier tends to function as a catch-all free speech loophole that can then be applied selectively and arbitrarily.
For instance, I work in a hospital, and there is a general taboo against discussing politics with patients. I agree with this taboo. The last thing a sick, bed-ridden person needs is some staff member's political opinions shoved down their throat. But the de facto meaning is that SOME politics are off limits, whereas others are not. If I were to opine that Mother Teresa was good, and bin Laden is bad, no one would bat an eye, because the sentiment is universally shared and non-controversial. However, were I to say I like Al Sharpton more than I like Dick Cheney, then I'm being "political" and inappropriate.
And one persons "beyond reason" may be another's heartfelt honesty or insight. Back when the Western World believed the earth was flat, The Church considered Copernicus' and Gallileo's astronomical observations "unreasonable." Darwinian thought is STILL considered blasphemous in some religious circles.
So I'm confused and ambivalent. Since this is a music site, I think there is much wisdom in the old axiom of avoiding "politics and religion" as these subjects can have the effect of alienating people who would otherwise be harmoniously cooperative in music exploration issues.
But if there is to be an off topic place to discuss current events, then I believe that these events should be able to be discussed politely but freely. I, for one, have always placed a high value on tolerance, and do not judge people on a continuum of how closely their religious or political sensibilities resemble mine. Yet- especially given the volitile nature of today's global scene- frank topical discussions are bound to offend or upset some who harbor views contrary to what's being said. That's part of the price one pays for having open dialogue. One can't have it both ways.