Author Topic: So long and thanks for all the bananas


So long and thanks for all the bananas
« on: February 14, 2017 »
TAGS: social media, arcane, extremely arcane


Forum meta topics can tempt even the most steadfast recovering addict to stray, and I'm not very steadfast to begin with.

So there’s this thread over on CycleChat, SCP blocked for non opt-inners. SCP stands for Society Culture & Politics. It’s an area for debate only visible once you’re logged in. Don’t want to attract the wrong sort, people more interested in arguing for arguing's sake than in helping build that alliterative cycling community. Once upon a time I removed road signs too, so I get it.

The decision to add another cloak of invisibility stirred some users to rebellion on further ghettoisation of a board meant to contain what administrators like to call "robust" debate. Full disclosure: SCP is blocked to me anyway,1 after colouring outside the lines the summer of ’15.

Early in the thread Flying_Monkey takes the opportunity to wave goodbye to the forum. Yes, this Flying_Monkey (chatting with that Emily Chappell, as it happens). He had also been one of my Hospitality Tour hosts.

FM joined the ’08 diaspora, lo and behold landing in CC, doubtless on a mission to raise standards. I have no idea if he did. I know he wasn't thrilled with my own attempt to get meta – “sophisticated troll” was his contribution to my Bashometer, IMO earned by my effrontery in grading the professor.

By now you might be thinking the title has advanced tongue from cheek to raspberry position, but I’m not going there.

In Douglas Adams’s book, the dolphins took their leave just before the planet was demolished to make room for the bypass. Earth had been constructed for them, Gaia as computer finally spitting out the famous answer.

At this point I will man up and admit that I don’t have a thesis to fit the title. Easier to change the title, no? And yet I feel there is an apropos quality to it, however elusive.

So far my own goodbyes to CC are unevenly matched with my hellos. (Had to think about that for a sec.) I had every intention of checking out for good sometime toward the end of last summer, but wandered back in the other day to add a diary entry to my Velosolo Club2 thread.

From there it was an easy slide into the Cafe, where an avatar thread beckoned (we have history, avatar threads and I); then reanimating the bunny thread; finally culminating in an advertisement for my next London-to-Hastings ride. Now I'd done it. I was in again.

Throughout the day I felt the need to check in on 'my' threads, even though they have alerts for things like that, if only for the first reply, which is a sneaky thing forums like to do. While catching up you're meant to be enticed by everything else on offer.

What is on offer? A big crowd, including a cadre of lifers. A useful resource for cycling newcomers. Entertainments to suit a variety of tastes. A rich history of obscure references and good times of yore, as well as ancient grudges and oft-times grumpy cohabitation. A reading of the thread in question will yield the usual plaudits thrown up by comfortable denizens when the status quo is threatened in ways great and small.

FM’s departure was taken by some as a disturbance in the Force. While he is articulate and smart (possibly even enough to grade his own IQ test), he is also, to paraphrase someone else who has a way with words, easier to dislike than his opinions, thanks to a propensity for self-importance3 and a certain clumsiness with names, i.e., frequently dropping them. Likeability being highly subjective, the judgement is moot even as I cast my lot with the (very few) critics, taking care to point out that it is his online persona which attracts our terrible wrath, not him as a person. Indeed, he was a gracious host on my Tour. Note that there are plenty of people who loathe yours truly, for obscure reasons.

The monkey took his leave as I was coming back on board, to the extent that I am. This is still under internal review. One of my first acts was to contact admin, promising goodness in exchange for re-admittance to SC&P. That this has yet to be actioned1 I take to be a mere overslight, just as I do the withholding of valuable Wike kawma in my bunny fwead.4

It could be fairly argued that I have no place on CC, let alone SC&P. I find enough of the regulars irksome and occasionally even hostile to wonder at their sensitivity training, and despair at the obtuseness of some of the moderators and tribal elders. Disdaining what I see as the broken promise of a fun&friendly community, I appear to value it as a public utility. The people I respect who are deeply committed to it despite what I see as its flaws are its chief antidote and attraction.

The departure of FM is, I daresay, also now an attraction; not because we ever really clashed, and his presence was hardly an impediment to mine, but it offers my eyes the opportunity of a rest from rolling. That he once embraced acf then seemed to lose all memory of why or how it got so embraceable is also fundamentally chapping. (Did I go there after all?)

0. I started writing this on Valentine's Day, as it's my valentine to Flying_Monkey. CycleChat's loss is Mapleleafweb's gain.
1. Opt-in to SC&P, rechristened Politics & Current Affairs, was quietly allowed, so I guess I have my answer without the labour of a reply to my PM. Not a chatty sort, is admin.
2. The real Velosolo Clubhouse is here, naturally.
3. I'm not without sympathy.
4. Been there, done that. Not fond of rabbit stew, or thoughtless posts about it following OPs where stew is obviously not on the menu. /flounce