Proposal for a "Town Hall" meeting at Colloquium
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,200
    I propose that we gather at some point during colloquium and have a town hall meeting regarding the future of this forum.

    I have found the increasing acrimony, vitriol and divisiveness to be one of the single least attractive features of this forum of late.

    A very small group here seems to exhibit an elitist mentality that I'm quite certain undermines any credibility the organization might (might) otherwise enjoy but for the dismissive and insulting tone of superiority certain dominant participants take when posting their responses.

    We as serious-minded Catholic sacred musicians have it bad enough in our own trenches. We regularly deal with unpleasant, uncharitable, irrational, shrieking people tearing at our emotional, spiritual and professional fabric in the hopes of drawing blood and defeating our goal of reclaiming our unique Catholic identity as expressed in our liturgy and its attendant musical language. Why on earth would any one of us want to log onto this forum if the same unpleasantness awaits if we dare to post a comment or start a discussion that will only draw the same dispiriting response from those "regulars" who for reasons I'll never fathom seem to enjoy savaging their colleagues over something as generic as a recommendation of a website resource?

    There are lurking "newbies" who come here seeking information, advice and guidance but generally discover that far from well-reasoned and clearly expressed ideas, responses, recommendations for resources, etc., they stumble upon what I've come to describe as a "poo throw at the primate house." Perhaps that's not the most "professional" description, but I think it hits the nail on the head.

    I think the future of the forum and the public perception of this organization vis-á-vis this forum needs to be addressed before we reach a tipping point and permit this group to eat itself whole.
  • You couldn't have said that better David. Thank you!
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    who for reasons I'll never fathom seem to enjoy savaging their colleagues over something as generic as a recommendation of a website resource?

    So merely posting a caution that a website should only be used as a tool and that we should be mindful to not just use it in the same way that many use the commercial publisher's magazines is now "savaging our colleagues?"

    I think that you also vastly overstate the importance that other people give to this forum. You imagine that "newbies" come here with baited breath to learn everything that they need to know and must be quite dispirited to see discension within the ranks. The reality is that people trying to learn google around and probably see this site as one possible resource out of 100 - each with people with opinions. And they read some, sifting through them all and come to their own conclusions.

    I don't think that a forum of any kind hosted by any organization is or should be there to tow the party line of that organization and present a united front.

    Actually, if you're so worried about the CMAA's image, maybe the site should just be delinked from the main CMAA page and warnings posted at the top that say "This page is simply a public forum; anyone may express an opinion and not all or even most represent the CMAA."
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,200
    I think PGA's comment here illustrates my point, QED.
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • Dauphin35
    Posts: 31
    I have to say, I've been lurking here for a while and I find most of the discussions perfectly pleasant and informative, if sometimes a little eccentric, but eccentricity isn't uncommon among musicians.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,891
    I think eccentric is a good word to use. We do have some extreme positions posted, at times. This place is still a good place to find excellent materials that are generally free.
    Thanked by 2Gavin canadash
  • I agree with David Andrew's assessment of the drift the CMAA forum, though I wonder if an open meeting of colloquium attendees is the answer. It seems the nature of the comment box to give anger, self-promotion, misinformation, and vindictiveness an outlet. Just read the comments that now follow articles featured in the on-line editions of major newspapers. I also wonder how the CMAA forum can be policed any more than it is. Richard Chonak does, after all, have other interests and responsibilities in life.

    The forum does of course provide a service. Many church musicians live isolated from musical colleagues and find the on-line contact to be therapeutic, and we all at one time or another benefit from the information, support, and kind words of people encountered on the forum. But the forum has the capability to misrepresent the noble intentions of the organization. It should be noted that many talented persons crucial to the success of the CMAA colloquia, and Catholic music in general, rarely, if ever, post. Maybe more of us should ponder the virtues of their example.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    A few observations:

    - Ever since I got my first full-time job, I've had less time and energy to get exercised about anything going on here. I'm too busy doing music to care who's offending whom, or who our whipping boy composer of the week is.

    - Church music is not a job for the sane or those without a sense of humor.

    - Elitist is a label, and one that needs to drop from American discourse, political, artistic, and otherwise. I will say bluntly: If someone comes here saying "I am not a music director or chorister. Will someone tell me how to write a letter to my priest that the cantor should sing Bring Flowers of the Fairest instead of Be Not Afraid?", they are not among our peers. Nastiness (like that ridiculous hatred spewed by one poster against the usual composers) happens here as it does everywhere. When it does, it is appropriately challenged.
  • WendiWendi
    Posts: 638
    @PGA...while I respect your point of view, I think perhaps you UNDERESTIMATE the importance of the forum. I was one of those newbies seeking information.

    A little backstory...I grew up in the church. I got guitars and liturgical dancing, folk music etc...I was in my thirties before I ever encountered adoration or learned to pray the rosary. In my late 30's I went to my first Extraordinary Form Mass (although it wasn't called that). The Mass was beautiful, but the people had a siege mentality that projected much bitterness towards holy Mother church. I didn't share that bitterness, but fell in love with the music. That led me to seek information, which eventually led me here to the forum.

    If at that time, I had encountered the type of rhetoric that frequently appears here currently, I would not have given the people here much credibility. I wasn't looking for compromise, or for justification of using inferior music in the Mass. To be fair I also wasn't looking for help as a sacred musician. (I wasn't there yet).

    I was simply looking for some information that would help my husband and I choose a church to take our children to.

    It was in the reading of THIS FORUM, that I discovered the reform of the reform, and the need for people of faith to step up and 'take up the standard' of restoring sacred music to the liturgy. (As some of you know I've actually returned to school in my old age to get a music degree so I can help do that.)

    If I had witnessed the kind of sarcastic savaging of colleagues that happens here right now, I wouldn't have bothered. I would have drawn to the conclusion that the cause was lost, and put my energy elsewhere. I don't suggest this forum to new people seeking information anymore. I don't want to scare them off. Think about that.

    @ Randolph...the fact that those who really do have credibility don't post here, is actually part of the problem. I understand that they don't have time. (REALLY, I do.) But the fact remains that the public face of CMAA is the forum. The general public and new musicians form their opinions based on what they read HERE. It might be helpful if the leadership could come here more often and lead the discussion.

    This is my perception, as usual, YMMV.

  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    Well, wendi, I like and respect you, but we've disagreed before publicly and privately on our definitions of "savaging," and I'm afraid we disagree right now. That's ok.

    I actually view this forum as a great bastion of speech - with a TON of value.

    As for "important people" posting, some do (i.e. Andrew Motyka, Bruce, a handful of other diocesan/cathedral music directors who I can't think of off the top of my head).
    But the reason many DON'T is pretty simple: When you start working at higher levels you tend to have to get more political.

    Sometimes there is a priest, and you will hear him say all sorts of things as a pastor. Then he becomes a bishop. Suddenly, his opinions are much more ... vague ... and rare. Because he is in the spotlight and has to be careful.

    People who are GOOD at PR and are skilled don't tend to shut up; they navigate the public political waters well. Those who might doubt themselves in the PR area tend to clam up. They don't want to make a mistake and say something innocent that gets turned on its head (look at some of the comments that the Holy Father makes, and others in the Vatican for an example.) I think THAT'S really why such people stop posting here.
  • Paul_D
    Posts: 133
    The recent thread with the newbie/seminarian is a case in point. Something went wrong, and I wondered if I should continue posting here because of the overall tone that ensued. Yes, he was wrong, yes he vented inappropriately, yes the regular posters said nothing too far out. Yet there was a cumulative effect of ganging up on someone, and a bewildering ride through declarations of orthodoxy, heresy and points in between. How many of us really have to jump in to tell someone they are wrong?

    You fix a bent nail with a tap in the other direction; you don't pound it in with a sledgehammer.
  • Andrew Motyka
    Posts: 938
    Yet there was a cumulative effect of ganging up on someone,

    I've noticed this before (and been a part of it, unfortunately). Perhaps, when it comes to correction, we should all take care to note whether someone has previously offered the same correction, so a pile-on doesn't form unless you have something new to add.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Yes, that was a surreal thread, but some of that presented honestly, if oddly, because of the history of mirth over MJM's infamous and now pricey RT Gradual. I had a bit of difficulty wondering if the poor fellow was truly serious, I mean it was about "the same pitch."
    But David was a champion and took care of the need.
    About his proposal, I think (and always have) the colloquium could benefit by a well-managed "Town Hall" meeting every year. The after dinner presentations have always seemed a little awkward. I mean there's only 200+ folks, how hard could it be? And I do believe CMAA likes to self-refer as a grass roots movement, but there's a certain amount of "Who's Who in Trad Music" self-promotion that is not unlike bfrancks hyperbole about NPM conventions. IMO, FWIW.
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • BGP
    Posts: 215
    David, Others would it be possible to illustrate what you are talking about with some examples? There has always been some amount of tension and strong opinion in these forums I'm simply trying to understand what is being considered as innapropreate and on the rise.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,083
    There sure is way too much of many things. I'll mention one here:

    * Reaction: Many of us have cherished opinions and preferences, and some of us are very energetic about asserting them when someone expresses a contrary opinion. Sometimes the contrary opinion is only given in passing, so the clash of views takes the thread off its original topic. It would be better to abstain sometimes and ask oneself: do I really need to post this?
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,476
    I feel that a kind of unofficial moderation is on the rise. Folks telling other people what they should say, how they should say it, and what threads they should say it on.

    I'm as guilty as any about this.

    I like David's suggestion. I feel that there can be--besides basic bossiness and power struggles and that sort of thing--two good reasons for behavior like this extracurricular moderating. 1) Questions of the identity of the group: who are we, this people to whom I belong? What do we stand for, and how do we behave? What is our ethic? What are our goals? What are legitimate means?

    And then, not unrelated, are 2) Questions of belonging. If I don't talk like these people, behave like them, think like them, how does this affect the meaning of my involvement in this group? Either I have to change or the group has to change in order for me to feel comfortable. Hopefully if I just bring up the problem, which maybe the group doesn't even see yet, things might shift enough?

    I feel that face to face discussion would help to alleviate the kinds of fears that give rise to both 1) and 2).
  • francis
    Posts: 10,476
    This is a web forum. It is not 60 minutes. We all post things in real time. We all speak our opinions. Sometimes things are said about an individual or to a person that may not be in good form. In general, I feel this forum moderates itself well, and chonak watches the Ps and Qs. The latest thread about two composers was edgy, I agree, so it is important that we do maintain the protocol. I think that is the job of moderator and he does it well. Maintaining semblence of order is very difficult in real time, so it will never be 'clean'. Things will get messy here and there, but the freedom we have to voice our candid thoughts to me seems invaluable and far outweighs the mishaps from time to time.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    The Mass was beautiful, but the people had a siege mentality that projected much bitterness towards holy Mother church. I didn't share that bitterness, but fell in love with the music. That led me to seek information, which eventually led me here to the forum.

    A common phenomenon, Wendi, and I agree with you that this forum has been very helpful in providing resources, information and moral support for TLM musicians who are trying instead to implement a music program according to the heart and mind of the Church.

    Before I joined this forum, I felt, shall we say, a bit embattled since the local TLM paradigms were seemingly set in concrete---either a silent Low Mass or the Mass-as-professional concert-model. I simply wanted to follow the directives of De musica sacra and the degrees of congregational participation outlined there, but there weren't many people who had even the slightest idea what I was talking about until I came aboard here where I've found plenty of encouragement and direction.

    I've also met opposing viewpoints, but on the whole, any criticism I've encountered has rarely been vicious or personal. Quite frankly, I welcome opposing viewpoints and don't feel an idea or concept is worthy of belief unless it has been thoroughly vetted.

    EF musicians, if you want to call us that, seem to be slightly in the minority here, but there is a distinct advantage to that, at least in my opinion, since we can benefit from the experiences of OF musicians which are related in abundance here.

    We are, in some sense, in the unique position of establishing a new musical paradigm for the Latin Mass since the Extraordinary Form has lapsed from usage for such a long time, and we are obligated to do it right so it behooves us to learn as much as we can. I'm grateful for all the feedback I've received, even if it some of it has been negative. I feel I really need to know what turned so many in the Church away from the Latin Mass a generation or two ago and what steps can be taken so those potential mistakes or abuses aren't repeated ad infinitum.
    Thanked by 2PaixGioiaAmor Ignoto
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    If someone really wants to learn about chant and propers, the CMAA MAIN PAGE is the place to get comprehensive collections, documents, and information. Not a forum of opinions and ideas, be it this one or another.

    And I've never seen - NEVER SEEN - a situation where someone posted something here asking a genuine question and was not given honest, real advice, usually in an unfailingly kind way.

    And if someone's feeeeeeeelings are hurt by being "ganged up" on by people whom they don't know on an internet forum, they should probably see a psychologist. The other side of not "ganging up" is that someone might see one comment disagreeing with them and think "Only one person feels that way; no one has agreed with them."

    I've been "ganged up on" here and on other internet forums. And I couldn't care less. I'm still here, stating my opinion, taking heat where people disagree. It's called life.

    One final point - a discussion at the Colloquium? Why, because all the "important people" from here will be there? As though everyone attending are the ones with the real say?

    This has already manifested one negative attribute of this forum though: The ability to OVER THINK something to death.

    On preview:

    I've also met opposing viewpoints, but on the whole, any criticism I've encountered has rarely been vicious or personal. Quite frankly, I welcome opposing viewpoints and don't feel an idea or concept is worthy of belief unless it has been thoroughly vetted.

    Thanked by 3Ben Spriggo Ignoto
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,083
    Some of the 'unofficial moderation' (an apt term) doesn't seem appropriate to me: it strikes me as an attempt to control the conversation, often by telling this or that participant that he should feel ashamed; he is hurting the cause of sacred music by saying such horrible things.
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    I don't disagree with you Chonak, but such a person is free to fire back and say "No, I don't feel ashamed. Go read the documents. What I'm saying squares with them 100% and I stand by it 100%." Or some such thing.

    I do think that people should moderate themselves towards less "shaming" - although in recent cases it has been TOTALLY appropriate.

    There are lurking "newbies" who come here seeking information, advice and guidance but generally discover that far from well-reasoned and clearly expressed ideas, responses, recommendations for resources, etc., they stumble upon what I've come to describe as a "poo throw at the primate house." Perhaps that's not the most "professional" description, but I think it hits the nail on the head.

    For the OP, I also TOTALLY DISAGREE with this paragraph.

    What I see are discussions every day where people are given resources (I've been the recipient many times of music scans and the like from generous people here), receive job advice on navigating their situation, and generally experience community.

    Far from what you claim, I see the vast majority of responses and posts being written with "well-reasoned and clearly expressed ideas" etc.

    If you want to REALLY see a "poo throw and the primate house" go to the news blogs. There the commentary is infantile, uneducated, and generally not worth reading.
    Thanked by 1Jeffrey Quick
  • PhatFlute
    Posts: 219
    Why do people write so much on this forum?
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    Because we're probably all verbophiles which is closely related to being musicphiles. In other words, I think we all love to communicate ideas, be they musical or non-musical.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,174
    Why do people write so much on this forum?

    And what else should we be doing?
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    More from Howard Gardner's multiple intelligence theory:

    Linguistic intelligence involves sensitivity to spoken and written language, the ability to learn languages, and the capacity to use language to accomplish certain goals. This intelligence includes the ability to effectively use language to express oneself rhetorically or poetically; and language as a means to remember information. Writers, poets, lawyers and speakers are among those that Howard Gardner sees as having high linguistic intelligence.

    Musical intelligence involves skill in the performance, composition, and appreciation of musical patterns. It encompasses the capacity to recognize and compose musical pitches, tones, and rhythms. According to Howard Gardner musical intelligence runs in an almost structural parallel to linguistic intelligence.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,476
    As a rather bossy aside, I'm not sure that we should try to be just a step or two above "poo throwing." I'm not conflict averse, but I personally don't feel this needs to be a helmet and pads type of forum.
    Thanked by 1francis
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,083
    The 'routine reminders' that appear (randomly displayed) in discussion threads now include a disclaimer: opinions here are those of individuals, not CMAA.
    Thanked by 2francis CHGiffen
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    I think we're MANY steps above that. As I said, read other forums or comment sections.
    If this were like them it would read like this:

    "I'm playing Gentle Woman this Sunday. Does anyone know if it's published in a higher key?"

    "Yeah I bet you play that crap."

    "Because he probably didn't graduate high school. typical. LOLZ"

    "Yep Catholics at their finest. Least he's not molesting kids."

    Not that this is a gold standard - but let's compare our forum to the above discourse, the likes of which I read everyday.
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,476
    I just don't see what is to be gained by this comparison.We could be great at discourse, not just not-egregious, if you know what I mean.
  • The 'routine reminders' that appear (randomly displayed) in discussion threads now include a disclaimer: opinions here are those of individuals, not CMAA.

    Though at the very top, the banner says Musica Sacra Forum underneath that, Church Music Association of America. Which is why so many associate it with the CMAA.

    Just a thought.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    Very valid point, PGA. Rudeness and depravity reign supreme in public discourse, along with pornography. I rarely go "below the fold" on websites these days. Does anybody else notice how things rapidly devolve when you go beyond the first webpage even on the most conservative (political) websites?

    This forum is a haven of respectability, civility and sanity in comparison.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW francis
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,083
    Sometimes I wonder if it would be useful for me to comment on postings more often, with little red-pencil notes, so to speak:
    • [Dear User, The style of this posting is escalating conflict, not helping to resolve it. --admin]
    • [Dear User, You're asking total strangers to voluntarily spend time doing work for your convenience. Don't get cranky if no one says yes. --admin]
    • [Dear User, If you want to talk about that topic, please start a separate thread for the purpose. --admin]
    • [Dear User, You're making a strawman argument: that is, you're not arguing against what the other person really said, but against an exaggerated version. Please keep yourself honest about this. --admin]
    • [Dear User, There's no need to repeat yourself. Readers can evaluate both sides already stated. --admin]

    But if I did a lot of that, wouldn't it come across as nannyish?
    Thanked by 3Wendi Jahaza Ben
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,439
    But what if someone started turning the RED BOLD into a sort of weird joke?

    [Dear User, That is a really great point. Furthermore, you are the most awesome member of this forum, and everyone should agree with you all the time. --admin]
    Thanked by 3Gavin irishtenor Ben
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,083
    [The admin would take drastic action against forgery.--admin]
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,439
    Thanked by 1Ben
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    Excellent, Chonak! Were you a debate coach in another life?

    Maybe you should just post a cautionary note at the top of the page:

    Warning: Enter at your own risk. Engaging in discussion on this forum may produce the following (but not limited to) feelings: Inspiration, humor, fluffiness, amazement, fulfillment and encouragement.

    Be advised that the following may also be experienced: Puzzlement, irritation, rejection, anger and depression.

    If you experience the following symptoms while engaging in this forum, please disengage immediately:

    hyperventilation, seeing red, shouting obscenities, etc.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,174
    (NB: I hope I'm making sense here, and not looking like an idiot.)

    I've noticed something.

    I think we are a very passionate people here. That is, we passionately believe in our cause(s); and sometimes passions can get the best of one. Sometimes it seems, people come here and vent among colleagues, because, for different reasons (say, politics within the parish community, lack of like-minded-ness among local musicians, etc.) they can't vent to anyone else. Which I find to be understandable at times. We are all capable of blowing our stacks or 'throwing a spittle-flicked nutty', every now and again. I am sure that I have done it.

    Occasionally, there may people who when corrected about certain errors, don't accept the correction (whatever form it may take) and go bonkers. (I think we've seen some of that lately.)

    IIRC, we've had these discussions before about more moderation, trying not to 'offend people' too much, etc. and we have a good long discussion, and there might be a change (like the little reminders about etiquette) and then things go on normally as before. And then something happens and we have the moderation discussion again.

    I think, we can agree, that the last thing we want here is poor RC marking up every post like an high school English teacher. Next thing we'll be going after split infinitives. I hope that we are all adults here (well, more or less--sometimes we can be childish) and can accept what people have to say, even if we don't agree. Of course, if someone posts something that is particularly egregious then, well, it has to be dealt with by the admin, as has happened recently; but why do we have to turn Chonak into a nursemaid/censor so that people don't get hurt feelings? (Warning may offend people who are easily offended: ) I mean, really, are people today so easily offended by the slightest thing that we have to post warnings before we write? [Edit: posted at the same time as Julie, didn't see her 'warning' signs. LOL] I hope that we all re-read, more or less, what we write before we post, and after we post, and hope that we're saying what we mean, and that we recognize if our own writing is out of place and correct it. Though everyone occasionally gets a case of 'foot-in-mouth disease'.

    Now, I might not agree with everything that Melo, or Chuck, or Ben, or Julie, or Adam, or Kathy say, but, why get offended? What does it prove? Does it help me to get into a huff? Does it help you? Why am I asking so many questions?

    Well, there it is. Here endeth my long rambly rant of incoherence. Thanks be to God.
  • G
    Posts: 1,396
    Perhaps, when it comes to correction, we should all take care to note whether someone has previously offered the same correction, so a pile-on doesn't form unless you have something new to add.

    Hence, the "Thanks" button...
    [snark rethought and removed]

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • francis
    Posts: 10,476
    Warning: You are about to encounter the opinions of real, flesh and blood, passionate thinking humans. Then there should be two buttons:

    I Accept Human Beings | I Do Not Accept Human Beings
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,174
    Francis, thank goodness you didn't call everyone here "Men"! Just imagine the outcry!
  • G
    Posts: 1,396
    thank goodness you didn't call everyone here "Men"!

    Right, he's just speciesist, not sexist :oD

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,103
    Next thing we'll be going after split infinitives.
    [Purple bold rant warning] Oh, I should hope so! As the child of a grammarian, it sometimes pains me to suddenly and without warning spot an infinitive that is split so egregiously that it makes me wonder whether it is appropriate to perhaps politely or in really bad cases point out such horrors of what used to formerly be a gold standard of proper discourse.

    In my former life as an academic, I recall a faculty meeting in which a resolution was put forth - a good resolution, in fact - but it causes me to still broadly smile and to even laugh out loud at the manner in which the resolution was seconded, when a professor rose and said, "I second everything except the split infinitive." Of course, after a round of laughter, it was necessary to immediately amend the resolution and to then put it before the faculty for consideration.

    It was my hope to ultimately see a return to the old norms of not spitting infinitives, but that is something that we are unlikely to ever see in our lifetimes.
  • kenstb
    Posts: 366
    I think what is needed is more kindness. Musical people are very detail oriented. We have to be. Some of my best teachers were the most difficult to like because they were so brutally honest. Perhaps we would do better as colleagues if we could avoid the ad hominem remarks and stay on point a little more.

    One of the problems in the church these days is that by being far too extreme in our criticisms, we alienate the very people we should be trying to convert. Like it or not, the only reason I ever came to this forum was because of its association with CMAA. I would expect that those who post would remember at the very least to be polite. If I said some of the things to a colleague in court that I've read here, I'd be sitting in a cell. Diverse opinions on music are wonderful and great knowledge of dogma is fine but courtesy and decorum are more important to discourse than either of them.
  • donr
    Posts: 971
    I think we should have an "airing of the grievances" like in Mr. Costanza's Festivus Celebration, forget about the "Town Hall"
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,891
    Time for another novena to the forum patron, St. Bitch-n-Moan.
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    I, for one, would be in favor of having a calm, thoughtful, informal discussion in Indy. Why there? Because it's in person, and people are a lot more civil and thoughtful when they're meeting face to face. I was fortunate to be a part of the very interesting discussion last year about leading choirs of volunteers, and it was a MUCH different interchange than what's been happening here recently. So take advantage of the opportunity, pick a restaurant and an evening, and just have a discussion to see what happens.

    I've been doing this internet discussion for a LONG time, perhaps beat out by RC, but not by much. I decided several years ago that I would no longer post anonymously, because of what I discovered it did to MY attitude. Some people here have good reasons to hide their identity, because of employment arrangements, but it's true that this gives you the incentive to "fire off a reply" with less thought to how the other person will feel when they read it. And all the quiet observers (such as myself) who don't want to join in the fray.

    The "poo throw at the primate house" can be an accurate description of what happens when emotions overtake sensitivity. And I appreciate the humor in the image.

    My own standard for posting things here and elsewhere:
    * Would I be proud if my mother and wife saw what I said?
    * Will the other people find it to be constructive and useful?
    * How could someone misread this if they're in a highly emotional state?
    * Is it truly important?

    That's one reason why you don't see many contributions from me. I try to only engage when it's actually useful, not just when I have an opinion.

    I wish I could be in Indy for that discussion!
  • Ignoto
    Posts: 126
    I support the idea that postings on this forum should be written with charity, or "kindness," as kenstb mentioned.

    I, like David, am cognizant of the newbies who come to this forum seeking information. As Julie and PGA have mentioned, I think that "opposing viewpoints" can allow for thoughtful discussions about topics and can help issues to be throughly analzyed from many points-of-view. The intellectual model of free, open discussion will ensure that the information discussed remains correct and accurate (such as by quoting from the liturgical documents when appropriate) for the sake of those who reach this forum through a Google search.

    I think it is important to emphasize our commonality, both here on the forum (for those who are unable to attend Colloquium but still post) and in a potential town hall meeting at an in-person gathering. As Salieri mentioned, we are a very passionate people. We all are, I hope, going in the same general direction to the same place, and I think it is useful to remember that important point. There just may be different roads or methods to get to where we're going. We all have unique environments and situations that affect what we are able to do at any given time. But we all are (or should be!) on the same "team."
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 2,000
    Would this discussion even be happening if we were all Catholics first and musicians second?
  • francis
    Posts: 10,476

    Yes, but we are not.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Careful, JQ, you're a hair's width within bringing Jesus into the equation with your question, und dass ist hier verboten !

    I think mein Deutsch was correct there, but RC will check for me, Ich weiss es.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,690
    This forum goes through periods of good and bad. It changes frequently. Whether your opinion is that this is a bad period or a good period, it will be a different place in 4 months.

    Get rid of the moderation and the rules. Let this place be a wild jungle of sacred music and allow folks to police themselves through discourse and dialogue (both public and private). Don't ban people, let everyone who has been banned back, etc.

    Find beauty in chaos.