Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Sometimes, dear Pagans of the Internet, it's time to take a step back. Time to read old posts that might be from ten years ago, or two months ago, with new eyes.

And realize what a dick you were.

No one's immune, but some places foster a kind of mean-spirited, dog-the-newb, attitude that just doesn't work. I left a forum high and dry because the regulars were getting downright nasty - and then flouncing when they were told this. I take a long break, come back, and see the flouncers now calling people out (and having the gall to get angry when they don't take it so well).

It leaves a rotten, nasty, taste in my mouth.

I used to be one of those dicks, and then I got better. I strive every day to stay out of that trench, and every visit back to that forum reminds me to keep my nose clean.


  1. Sounds like the way I'm feeling right now about a couple of forums I belong to. I go back and forth with this. What's with people that the sharing of ideas has to turn into a bashing session?
    Sounds like you've become wiser.

  2. Sadly this is only too common, so much so it's hard not to get sucked into it. It's hardly constructive and yet everyone elbows their way in with their high and mighty opinions which from all of those years of experience -must- be true...

    It's good you've just said 'enough'. Not everyone is wise enough to stop early.

    Really, as a newb myself, such sites are really difficult to survive in. Occasionally someone kind points you in the right direction but a lot of the time it's 'tough luck'. Then when you think you know a few things you can join the big boys and gals and belittle the ignorant...

  3. I quit several soapmaking forums about 4 yrs ago for the reason you're describing. People being dicks. Honestly, when I realized what a time-suck it was, my visiting these places and participating and not really enriching my life particularly by participating (nor others' lives!) I pretty much headed for the hills. To this day, I get a good laugh when I remember people telling me "Oh, the flame wars are so much worse on the candlemaking boards..." All that fire in one place, eh.

    I think the thing that turns me off the witchy boards is the egos. I usually do not hang out long enough to read the discussions that turn into flaming trainwrecks.

  4. I have been dealing with this issue lately too. Recently I posted a number of helpful posts that took me a good bit of time to write on a particular forum (NOT having to do with magic--I quit posting on magic forums or lists a while ago). This forum was about frugality and sustainability. Someone posted a rant about how meat is necessary to human life and how it's sustainable and anyway, you kill stuff every day, and besides, society is collapsing, so ethics must go out the window. I made the mistake of responding to it. Not only was that post of mine removed, but all my posts were removed, and all the posts I responded to were removed, and all the posts that responded to me were removed. I felt like that pharoah in the original Mummy movie whose name is obliterated from all public works. I guess I must have touched a nerve. :) It did make me ask myself why I had spent that time writing posts that were helpful to others when I could have been using that time to work on my book or my sites and helping myself instead.

    It seems that many people online do not want help or to learn. They want instead to have their prejudices confirmed and their ignorance canonized, and the big egos want free blowjobs. I have seen this in all sorts of venues. So I have to be more selfish with my time and my information, even things as mundane as sources.

  5. @ Harold - the reason I keep sticking my proverbial wang in that bear trap is because foundation-ally, I do love to help people.

    I'm usually one of the people who will take a great length of time to explain things in a way that points out where the authors they're reading might be mistaken, but that it's not the poster's fault, it's the author's fault - and then provide some correct info in the vein they're looking for.

    Most people just tell the newfolks they're stupid, misguided, and fluffy and strike them off as potential Fellows. Some folks are beyond help, but most aren't.

    I can't stand to see people who have an "oomph" to their words discounted because they're new, and don't know that XYZ author essentially pulls stuff out of his butt.

  6. Sometimes these places serve a purpose---for a time---and when the usefulness is outlived, it's time to cut ties and move on. It can be worth it to wade through the BS to find the true gems that are hiding there. But who wants to be a dick by association? Not I, said the cat.

    If you are the Scylla that helped me out with fetches---thank you. Your advice made dealing with that place well worth it, and your call to help others rings clear.


  7. @ Dre - It's entirely possible I was that Scylla. It's not a common name. I'm "EntwinedScylla" on MW, Scylla on a couple of Trad/Hedge forums, and something to do with "Rum" on About.com

  8. What's disappointing is that for those that stay behind and try to improve things, it seems that the same patterns play themselves out over and over again. I know how to cleanse a space, but to cleanse a cyber-space? Could it be that one of the reasons the internet is so nasty because all it does is collect data without ever really purging anything?