The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0384 Monday, 5 August 2013
Date: Monday, August 5, 2013
Subject: Causes and Conditions or . . .
Two matters appear in today’s postings that affected choices that I did or did not make.
Everyday, I edited submissions so that they are formatted to my OCD specifications for how the SHAKSPER digests should appear. I also do make decisions about the appropriateness of some postings. Sometimes, I am correct in my assessment; other times, I am wrong. In all instances, I make it clear in my disclaimer (DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the editor assumes no responsibility for them.) that the content of each submission is the property of the poster. Like all disclaimers (Acme Pictures and its parent company Fox News are not responsible for the opinions expressed in the interviews on this DVD or television show.), the entity ultimately accountable for what appears is the “publisher,” in the case of SHAKSPER that is I since it is my name under which all Newsletters are distributed. When I purposefully or inadvertently send out comments for which I do not agree and may have strong negative feelings about, I perhaps naively hold the belief that members of this conference are co-equals with me when it comes to pointing out the inappropriateness of such postings. I make no claims to being neutral about my own opinions nor do I strive to present both sides of an issues; postmodernism and my other studies have taught me that I cannot escape from the causes and conditions that make me who I am. Any mistakes I have made are my own, and I assume ownership of them. As Lily Tomlin said, “Forgiveness is giving up all hope of having a better past.” If this shadow has offended, he apologizes.
Let me continue with a story that will have relevance later in this post. A number of years ago, I, partly in jest and partly with seriousness, asked my extremely verbal and skillfully argumentative older daughter “When did you become the center of the universe.” Without missing a beat, she responded “March 13, 1981” (her birthday).
I inhabit an aging body and mind, and consequently I no longer have photographic recall of all of my past actions.
So far as I remember, I have only “banned” one person in the history of SHAKSPER and that was recently after I sent a warning that certain repeated behaviors would not be tolerated.
A few years ago, when SHAKSPER ran from a server in my home study and not as it does now through the graces of Ron Severdia and PlayShakespeare.com on a hosted commercial server, I had problems with being, for more than a year, blacklisted by many commercial anti-spamming software companies. During this period, I lost hundreds of members as a result. I could explain technically what was happening, but that is beside the point. All subscribers, at one time, with HOTMAIL, AOL, COMCAST, and others (if I remember correctly) were all deleted from the membership rolls by the Listserv software I used to distribute messages. Also, subscribers from universities whose IT departments used one of these anti-spamming software companies were dropped. I had been not informed when these subscribers were removed, or did I know who they were. I spent most of my time during this interval attempting to stop the blacklisting. Anyone who had the misfortune to have one of these accounts was likewise not informed of the reason for no longer receiving SHAKSPER digests. When things did settle down, I made an attempt to identify as best I could those who might have been deleted and to invite them back since I could not be certain it they unsubscribed or were unsubscribed. The moral: sometimes causes and conditions are such that things happen for which no single act of intentionality can be blamed. There is better known way to express this pooint, but I will be dignified.
I DO ban some postings, but I do so after warning the poster that such posting will not be distributed and future submissions will be ignored.
If I were to ban someone from membership in SHAKSPER, I would do so after informing the person of the reason for my action.
Unless someone can produce evidence to the contrary, those with or without suspicious minds will just have to believe me. If I am mistaken, I will formally issue an apology.
Hardy M. Cook
Owner-Moderator-Editor of SHAKSPER