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Author Topic: A little word or two about me...  (Read 3464 times)

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berto

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Re: A little word or two about me...
« Reply #6 on: Wed, May 17, 2006, 03:58 »

Enjoy posting here, and tell a friend about us.  :Q

I'm still having some "techie" issues that I'm talking with Fer about, but I've been talking up the GLR at a couple of other forums, so hopefully it will bring more people here.

Mogul

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Re: A little word or two about me...
« Reply #5 on: Thu, Apr 13, 2006, 01:08 »

Hello Berto,

I am happy that we have won you for our forum! We have made certain efforts to create boards suitable for discussions on various LGBT-related issues (or some other topics of interest). Our high-flying plans see this forum as a cozy place for gay and lesbian posters, them being "gay republicans" or not (yet). :P Therefore, any topic of LGBT life is of interest. However, our community is very small so far, and some of us (at least me and K6) sometimes unconsciously drive away a little bit to our favorite issue: "In the gay state, it will be like ...".  ;D

Hope Kyle will be also tickled to post here more often - his contributions are very insightfull, and his slight irony tempers the heated debates to the civilized level again. I'm sure that Feral will make short process with the homophobes, shall they ever appear in this forum - but to date we only had troubles caused by controversies within the "family". It is sometimes difficult to judge over a particular controversal post (free speech vs  moderate insults), but in doubt we can shift a contribution to archives.

Enjoy posting here, and tell a friend about us.  :Q
"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!" Salvor Hardin

Jaix

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Re: A little word or two about me...
« Reply #4 on: Wed, Apr 12, 2006, 09:47 »

Bert!

Nice to make your acquaintance!
This is a more sedate group....not too much controversy, but lots of ideas!  That is why I come here, to mine the ideas and listen to Feral and Vicky =D>
You have more stamina than I do for all the rabble rousing.  I would have left those forums long ago.  Endlessly churing conversations with the right wing nut cases aren't my cup o' tea.
We don't live that far apart.  I live in Idaho, yes the Fundamentalist center of the world, but no one has burned a cross on my lawn yet.  You might call me a "neo-hippie", as I am in my thirties and missed most of the scene.
I am of Dutch/South Afrikaaner extraction, liberal, "Greenie".  I live in a nice, but way too big for one, house.  About midway between the two places I work.  The university and hospital locally.
I am currently rebuilding a very old house in New Orleans, that I just recently bought.  Lots of work!
When I get any time I prod, arbitrate, conjole  :Y, and plan with my collegues in the Commonwealth Kingdom to find us a bit of mud to call our own.
Again nice ta meet ya!

Jaix
PM/GLCK

Feral

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Re: A little word or two about me...
« Reply #3 on: Tue, Apr 11, 2006, 18:58 »

By the by, in case it somehow slipped by you, in the grand old tradition of strikes a  Babble Strike Forum has been created. Time will tell how it fares. Since they are using software similar to this forum, I think babblers will, in general, be well pleased with their new home.

Not that I want you to go away.

Never that.

Don't register there, 'Berto.


Edited to add:

While it is still early, I note that the strike babble has the same regard for GLBT issues that rabble babble has--something that more closely resembles contempt than anything ordinarily aligned to progressives. Hey...maybe it's just an oversight. Wait...is it ever an oversight?
« Last Edit: Wed, Apr 12, 2006, 04:01 by Feral »
Stonewall was a riot.

Feral

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Re: A little word or two about me...
« Reply #2 on: Tue, Apr 11, 2006, 18:32 »

Glad to have you, 'Berto.

It is my hope that you will find nothing even vaguely resembling the trolling that used to take place on 365. Homophobic slurs and anti-gay preaching (from any religion) are not acceptable forms of speech in this forum.

OH--and there's a jokes thread running in the External Members Forum External Members Forum 
Stonewall was a riot.

berto

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A little word or two about me...
« Reply #1 on: Tue, Apr 11, 2006, 17:39 »

Errr.... yes, well... all about me. Or, at least *some* about me, anyway...

I joined GLR awhile back, at the invitation of one of the Big Cheeses here, "Feral", but I've never posted here yet. There was a couple of reasons for that, not least of which was that I was a regular inhabitant of another forum already, which consumed *far* too much of my time as it was. But it was a forum where, for the most part, I was engaged, entertained and happy. It's the largest, most successful and well-known left-of-centre political forum in Canada (yes, I'm a Canadian), and I hung around there for almost 2-1/2 years. I even coaxed Feral's BF to try it out there, and he liked it and became a regular there as well. Fer was less enthusiastic [ ;) ], and only posted there for awhile before giving it up, frustrated by the "straights" there. I admit that some of them were frustrating -- even maddening at times -- but I persisted, as in part I considered it my "ministry to the straights".

To back up and explain... I first met Fer's BF, Kyle on the forums at 365gay.com, about three or four years ago, and I was immediately struck by Kyle's analysis, thinking, writing style and wit. I was not at all surprised to discover that he had a journalism background (like myself), and I soon became a big ol' fan-boy of Kyle's posts. At that point, there was quite the regular crowd who posted at the 365 forums, and over time we had developed into a fairly tight-knit community. Sure, we scrapped amongst ourselves sometimes -- that happens in the best of crowds, but overall we were pretty tight. The worst thing about the 365 forums, though, was that they were moderated in a haphazard fashion at best -- if at all. That wasn't so much a problem between us regulars, but it became a serious ongoing problem because of homophobic "trolls" who came there for no other purpose than to harass us, or to preach at us (which I also consider harassment). At that time, there was no means of "signing in", so some of these assholes started using the same screen names as some of our regular posters, and stirring up trouble by impersonating different "regulars". Many of us complained to the 365 editors, but they seemed to view the whole thing as a pain in the butt, rather than a duty to keep homophobes off their site. We users became more and more frustrated, and the editors became more and more fed up. Then the 2004 US presidential election got closer...

As we got closer and closer to the election, the attacks from the trolls got steadily worse, with several of them developing a rather clear obsession with that site. By far the worst was one fellow from the southern States named Jim Britt, who was thrown out repeatedly by the editors, but who simply returned with yet another screen name. The editors eventually made it plain they were sick of our complaints, and Jim Britt gloated. Finally, a small group of us decided to do what the editors couldn't (or wouldn't) do -- we tracked down the identity of this asshole troll (which was how we discovered his name was Jim Britt) and we "outed" him on the 365 forum. We also made it crystal clear that if his harassment continued, we would be contacting his wife, children, workplace and church to tell them all about all the time he was spending at a gay chat room. We even threatened to write letters to his local paper. This all freaked Jim Britt out, and made him stop for awhile, but he always came back under a new name and started pulling the same homophobic crap. We'd catch him at it, threaten him, he'd promise to stop (again), and the whole pattern would repeat. (Again.) And Jim Britt was only *one* of these trolls.

As it got closer and closer to the election, it only got worse, until eventually it was downright vicious. And still the 365 editors did next to nothing -- in fact, they reprimanded US more than once for threatening Jim Britt, the homophobic troll! I was angry and appalled by the 365 editors' behaviour, just as much as Jim Britt's. And then it was Black Tuesday, and that disgusting, smirking, lying war criminal, George W. Bush, used every dirty trick in the book to defraud his way back into the White House. To say that there was shock, and tears, among the regulars at the 365 forum is an understatement. We were *crushed*... we were sooooo hurt, depressed, dispirited... for days and days and days. I will never forget some of the posts I read that Wednesday morning... Alfred, who was heartbroken to discover that his own neighbours actually hated him, people he'd lived beside for years... Emily, who wrote about breaking down and crying to discover that her own mother had voted against us. It was painful to read, and I cried myself. And even then, the trolls wouldn't leave us alone. They came back (including Jim Britt) to gloat and cackle and post all about how they were going to "deal with us" now that Bush was back in. It was *maddening*, and a number of us reacted by lashing back, with cursing and threats -- all of which merely delighted the trolls all the more. We raged and complained to the 365 editors yet again... and they shut down the forum.

For *two months* it was shut down, with no word of explanation at all. For all we knew, it was gone for good. It was at this same time that I started posting regularly at this left-of-centre political website in Canada, still angry at the injustice of having our regular forum closed so unfairly, and having no way to contact many of my old forum friends. I was bitter as hell, and wrote numerous letters to the 365 editors. I started out being polite and respectful, but with each subsequent answer I *didn't* get from them, my letters became more and more vitriolic.

Finally, about two months later, 365gay.com re-opened the forums, with a sign-in requirement, and little or no fanfare. But by that point, out tight-knit little online community had been shattered for good. People had drifted away to other forums (or something). Many of my old friends I never heard from ever again. The group that returned to post there was just a tiny remnant of what it once was, and to this day that forum has never recovered to the point that it was once at. Yeah, I’m still bitter as hell about that whole period....

Anyway, I went back to posting at 365 a little, but a lot of the fun and comradeship was gone, and besides, I had this "new" forum home, www.rabble.ca/babble -- and as the fight over the proposed gay marriage law in Canada was just starting to heat up, I figured I could do more good by posting on a "progressive" leftist *straight* site, than simply by "preaching to the choir" at the 365 forum. (Which is why I privately started to jokingly refer to my time at the "babble" forum as my "Ministry to the Straights".) And I *did* do some good while I was there; I received numerous private messages (as well as public comments in the forum) that something I had written, or an article I had posted had changed someone’s perceptions, had influenced how they viewed the whole "gay marriage" debate. This is not to infer that I was arguing alone -- far from it. There was already a hardy band of LGBT folks (and some straight supporters) who were regularly doing battle with the bigots and the trolls there, too, a number of who impressed me immensely with their knowledge, passion and tenacity. Tempers ran high, but we refused to back down in the face of the bigots (who of course all based their arguments on the grounds of "morals" and "religious freedom".) It got ugly, but eventually -- as you all know now -- The Good Guys won, and the bigots lost. But it was a thoroughly draining, exhausting experience. I made some good friendships from that whole experience, but I wouldn't want to have to go through it again.

And, as a side effect of that whole time, there was a rule change at the "babble" site. You are no longer allowed to challenge the right of gays and lesbians to get married, not even on "moral" or "religious" grounds. If you do so, you will be banned by one of the moderators. So my "ministry to the straights" actually had achieved a few small advantages -- I was pleased.

So if all this is so great, and we've achieved so much at that site, why am I here? Well, as it turns out, it seems the management at that site is not nearly as "progressive" as many of its readers. Just within the last few days, they have fired their main moderator on some trumped-up complaint that she didn't get some stinking forms filled out that they wanted, so they fired her IN AN E-MAIL, after five years of faithful service (which included helping start up the whole site and helping build it into the success it is today.) Well, as an aside, this moderator is straight, but she has been a defender of our community in the past. So for that, and many other reasons -- not least of which was the crappy way in which the management their fired her, and the lame-ass excuse that they used -- I am likely going to stop posting on that site. I don't think I can post at a site that is owned and managed by people who would behave this way, and that is so directly opposed to what I feel are matters of basic fairness and integrity. There are a LOT of the regulars there who are up in arms, and who are talking about leaving and starting up a new site unless the management at "babble" rescinds this firing and makes some fundamental changes to how they operate.

But I find that I miss the company of my gay brothers and sisters, and so I have come here to test the waters, and to help support this forum that Feral helps manage. I will keep an eye on what is going on with babble, as I still have many dear friends from there (both gay and straight), but whether they end up fixing the problems with "babble", or start a whole new site, I'm going to try to cut back on my time there, and spend more of my time here. (Needless to say, if there are *no* changes at "babble", and the regulars don't succeed in creating a new site, I won't be spending any time there at *all*....)

So, here I am. In terms of who "I" am, I am a white Canadian of Celtic heritage (Irish/Scots), in my early 40s, I'm single, and I live in a gorgeous but remote valley in the interior mountains of British Columbia (the furthest western Canadian province). I am a writer, editor, layout and design person with a background in newspapers, and I have co-written a couple of short history books. I love politics, music, old (and some new) movies, reading, and soft recreational drugs (like pot, or mushrooms). I am endlessly fascinated by history, I can't dance worth a poop, I'm a bit of a hippy, I love telling jokes and making people laugh, I procrastinate too much but I'm also a workaholic under deadlines, I'm a sucker for kitties and doggies, and I'm very much an EX-Anglican (haven't been inside a church in *years*, I'm pleased to say). Feral and his BF Kyle are two of my most favoritest people in the whole wide world, and I love 'em to bits -- and they're both way, way, WAY smarter than I am. And don't let 'em try'n tell you any different.

I could go on, but that should suffice for now; this post is far too long already. But that gives you an idea of who I am and how I got here. Hope I'll make some new buddies here, and hopefully I can bring some new and interesting stuff to your discussions. Maybe I can even bring a few of the LGBT folks from 'babble" over here too, with any luck.

I'll check back here in a while, and we'll see some of you around, I'm sure. :)

'bert

(my "real" name is Robert, but all my buddies call me 'berto or 'bert... I'll answer to "Rob" 'bert or 'berto. Don't call me "Robert" unless I'm in trouble, please. :D And only a very few get to *ever* call me "Robbie", and that's only under "certain circumstances" :P )

C yaz....
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