Scott Hardie | October 22, 2004
I tried to put up with the rudeness around here because some authors clearly enjoyed it, but it has gone way too far. Several authors, people who have been using Tragic Comedy for years, have informed me of their intention to quit, and I can't blame them. *I* want to quit, and this is my site; I wrote it myself. If this were anybody else's site on the web, I'd have stopped reading weeks ago, and that's terrible. Yesterday an author posted an open invitation for other users to insult one another -- that's literally the precise opposite of what Tragic Comedy is. (He was right in predicting that it wouldn't last; I have finally been driven to censorship.)

In the interest of keeping the peace, wooing back the original authors, and putting this shit behind us so we can get back to discussions worth having, I have removed James as an author with my regrets that it was necessary, and I want to send as clear of a message as I can that this hostility and rudeness will not continue. I want this to be understood by the new users like Amy and Todd before they get to thinking that it's acceptable, and to the old users like Dave and Anthony who should know better than to let things get out of hand like this. Everybody needs to chill out, think about each statement instead of replying on auto-fire, and remember that old axiom about being a part of the problem or a part of the solution. Don't just pay lip service to the ideal of community decency; how about actually being decent to each other?

Some have said that hostility has been going on for some time around here, but I disagree. In all of the arguing that Mike and Anna ever did, and for a long time they were considered the two hotheads around here, never once do I recall one of them insulting the other personally. As far as I'm concerned, they're good examples of how to debate contrary viewpoints respectfully and rationally, without resorting to put-downs, flames, or shouting. They did sometimes lose their tempers, but they didn't lose their senses of decency. They didn't do things like call each other 'Communists' for having a difference of opinion; that kind of insult poisons the discourse by dismissing other ideas, and it's the kind of insult that needs to stop being made around here.

This problem extends beyond the lack of respect authors are showing for each other; the language itself around here has gotten toxic, and I say this as a guy who swears like a sailor most of the time. Phrases like 'man, I hate those fat bitches' and 'I hope ... more people in Boston develop drinking problems and beat their wives' are obnoxious and do not belong here. There are thousands of other web forums out there with no decency standards in place; I hate to side with the AOLs of the world wide web and police my content, but it has come to that. Even if you have something negative to say, and we gripe all the time, there's no need to be degenerate and hope to offend people. I have discovered the limits of my tolerance for self-expression.

If you're not interested in a polite community forum (or you're upset that I censored James), then by all means find another outlet for your rancor so we can both be happy; no hard feelings. If you stay, it must be with the understanding that there are community standards here that will be observed. Some of us have been writing here for years and consider this community exchange an important part of our lives, something that has made better, kinder, and smarter people. We will not see it thrown into the trash bin.

Lori Lancaster | October 22, 2004
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Scott Hardie | October 22, 2004
Yeah, Jim Sanders or something. It was Erik Nelson in disguise. That version of TC had only 2-3 days to live before we changed over to php/mysql and deleted all the old content, so Erik asked my permission to post under a fake name, and I agreed to let him goof off a little since it was harmless. I regret it on principle, but it gave us a good standard as the kind of thing we don't want to see around here. :-)

Scott Horowitz | October 22, 2004
Scott, I have to say I agree with you. Being one of the newer users here, I wanted to test the community. I like to joke around, and I think any comment I have made wasn't directly towards anyone. I have spent more time using this website than any other, and I think it is a great site. I will try in the future to be "more respectful of people". I love the outlet that tragic comedy gives though. It is a great forum to express opinions, and even have a little fun arguing. I have to admit I was a little sad when I read Mike was leaving the forum. Even though, I disagree with 98.754345% of his opinions, his posts were educated and well thought out, and gave me a run for my money in terms of arguing back.

I really hate censorship in all aspects. But, I understand where you are coming from here Scott. Maybe we should have a "petition" thread, where everyone agrees to respect everyone else on here?

I also hereby apologize to anyone I have accidentally offended on this thread, and will try not to do so in the future.

Jackie Mason | October 22, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | October 22, 2004
Thanks, Scott. I'm sorry that you had to deal with this.

Scott Horowitz | October 22, 2004
Just FYI, I rate this site as the third best site on the internet..
In order.

The Internet Movie Database
Celebrity Goo Game

That is all.

Scott Hardie | October 22, 2004
Thank you, Scott, for the compliments. This is one of my favorite sites too. ;-) Anyway, I think you've been respectful throughout; I'd be surprised to hear anyone complain about a comment you'd written.

I will miss Mike too.

Anthony Lewis | October 23, 2004
In my case, I don't think it was a lack of respect. I made my statements. They were general statements, and someone unfortunately took them personally. I've never attacked anyone personally on this board, or called them anything outside of their name. Things got heated for sure, but I was never in a place where I was going to disrespect anyone or become verbally abusive. I can't speak for Dave, but I wasn't going to that place.

I came REAL CLOSE near the end of the thread, but I thought the better of it.

I don't think you'll see it out of me again, unless someone here likes the Washington Redskins. There might be more trouble. :-)

Jackie Mason | October 23, 2004
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Amy Austin | October 23, 2004
Hi, Jackie... you must have missed the posts about the parallels between sports & politics -- some folks have *exactly* the opposite attitudes about the importance of each, and to get into team talk can be just as bad as watching the debates in the middle of a whole crowd of the opposite party!

*That* reminds me of a good story! In '97, I was invited by a guy to see the infamous UF-FSU football game -- and as it turns out, he was a former 'Nole band member and had tickets right in the thick of it... on the *wrong* side of my Swamp! At first, it was a little weird -- there were about five or six of us scattered throughout... all in attendance with our 'Nole host friends, I suppose (and the Gators were sucking wind throughout *most* of a very close game... a very tense and entertaining game, I might also add) -- but we were all hootin'n'hollerin' and reaching across the sullen heads and faces of our 'Nole crowd to high-five each other whenever our Gators made a good play or TD. As it also turned out, in the final crucial minute of the game, the Gators came back from a 5-point FSU lead -- and what we thought was certain defeat -- with the most awesome TD ever! I almost fell over jumping up and down behind my very new boyfriend... and the half-dozen fans around me also cheered, as we were surrounded by a mixture of disgust and amusement -- it was GREAT... the best football game I ever went to. And then! Poor Dave -- in one of the best shows of losing sportsmanship I have ever witnessed -- went with me to my friends' house for the post-game victory party (it was in G'ville, remember -- no choice but not to go, really!) that was also attended by one of the poorest displayers of sportsmanship (winning *and* losing) that I've ever known. It could have gone *very* differently if the 'Noles had won that day...

Anyway -- sorry to get sidetracked and bore with my favorite game memory -- point is, while sports is nothing but fun for some folks, it's still a *very* sensitive issue for others... and I could easily see how that thread got out of hand. I care about sports & politics pretty much the same... I have my team(s), but I don't take *any* of it seriously enough to let it ruin my day -- there are plenty of other things to do that for me! ;D

Jackie Mason | October 23, 2004
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David Mitzman | October 23, 2004
Let me just make a quick point. It wasn't the fact that people hate the Yankees. As far as I'm concerned, hate whichever team you want. However, it was the direct attack on the fans of the team that got to me. That's why I was taking it personally because to me, you're attacking me as a Yankee fan. How should I respond to that? I tried to be calm about it but the constant instigation really got to me. I do agree that fans can be an obnoxious group and that goes for any team, not just the Yankees. My group is singled out because they win a lot, but we also haven't won a series in 4 years.

This is also not an attempt to start any sports debate on this thread, not my intention. I'm also not going out to attack anyone on this at this point, I'm just hoping we can keep the peace now that the baseball season is over (at least to me it's over!). Just remember, spring training is only 5 months away.

Anthony Lewis | October 24, 2004
Dave...I'm not trying to get into it with you again. I just want you to answer one question for me.

Obviously you don't feel like my comments apply to you. So If you don't feel like the comments towards Yankee fans apply to you...then why get upset? These were not comments about race or upbringing or religion like. I can see someone being upset about that. You just said that "fans can be an obnoxious group". If you had just said that, and then said "I don't feel like I am like that way" would have been squashed right there. Outside of this board, I don't know you as a person. If you said, "I don't act that way", I would have no choice but to accept that. I have a lot of friends who are Yankee fans. They are some of the greatest people on earth, and I love them dearly. But I know them. They aren't obnoxious. They get their digs in on me. I try to get some in on them...and we leave it at that. That love and respect is still there regardless. I just really wish you hadn't taken it as a personal attack, because it really wasn't at all.


David Mitzman | October 24, 2004
I know you're not trying to get into it with me. I got upset because even though we aren't all the same, we're still part of the same group. It's like when "John" gets upset because "Joe" makes a poor generalization about a group John is part of. I'm sure you're a nice guy and all outside of here as well, and I wish I could be up in NY next weekend for wings and beer with Steve and yourself (if you were going). I have no doubt it would be great fun.

I also want to say that one of my close friends is a Mets fan (hell he used to work at Shea stadium). He'll be a Mets fan until his final days. We rib eachother constantly about our allegiances but that's all. I have no problem with some harmless ribbing, but what I felt like in the last thread is that I became the subject of attack and maybe I overreacted a tad, but that's just my nature at times. I think we all just need to chill out (myself included) and get back into the fun swing of things. I'll obstain from politics discussion though because I really have nothing to say on that topic. That's not my bag.

Jackie Mason | November 3, 2004
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David Mitzman | November 4, 2004
Not to nitpick, but sure it would be the same. Interleague play has only since about 1997 if I remember correctly. The whole intrigue of a Mets/Yankees World Series was lost (to me at least) because they played eachother more than 6 times over the regular season, so there were no real surprises (except for Clemens hurling a broken bat). Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the games immensly, but the mystique was kind of removed since I had already seen them play against eachother so many times over that season and the few that preceded it.

What I wish they did for that World Series (it was the 2000 World Series for anyone that's curious) is produce the Subway Series helmets. They were plastic helmets, with an Apple on the top of it and connected to it a little subway car that would drive along the outside of the helmet when wound up. They made those for the original subway series (Yankees/Dodgers) back when the Dodgers were from Brooklyn. The sports card shop by my parents house had one on display.

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