In Defense of the Lounge
I don't have any objections at all to new bells and whistles being added to the site, but why not just ASK
about it, instead of creating a passive-aggressive thread which dredges up past issues and starts picking at old scabs?
In addition, dragging issues that existed in the lounge out here into the main forum creates the false impression that the lounge is some sort of festering swamp of racism and inhumanity -- which could not be farther from the truth. The lounge is a spot in which to stretch my intellectual skills, and though the debates may rage (and yes, sometimes insults as well), I rarely come away bored or without new angles to think about.
Discussions on racism have been quite active there - and that's what they are - DISCUSSIONS. It seems these days that one cannot discuss the issue of social problems between the races, without someone calling someone else a racist. SOMEtimes the label of "racism" is valid - BUT sometimes that label is applied based solely on personal perception, or invalid logic or political hypersensitivity. Those who point out the invalid logic are sometimes painted with the same broad-brush and similarly stamped with the "Scarlet R" as well.
I have an objection to these discussions being brought out here and presented as a lounge-wide problem, when in fact the issue is with only a problematic few. Everyone reacts differently to these few - my personal opinion is that you can either a) isolate yourself or b) stay and pick your battles in hope of persuading those few from their point of view.
I look at the Lounge as my personal corner bar. I go there because I LIKE to interact with people and I hate to drink alone.
There are different discussions going on at tables scattered throughout the room. I float between the tables and join in the various conversations as they interest me. If I am offended or intrigued by a discussion, I either jump into the fray, stay and listen, or walk away to another table. Sometimes the discussions get heated, and some beer gets spilled. Sometimes someone has a few too many and says some things that they later regret. Sometimes someone reveals themselves to be a total jacka$$. It's all part of the atmosphere of the bar, and I like it that way. And the beauty of it is that despite what was said at last night's session, most folks will show back up tonight for more -- because they enjoy the give and take. That's the way it works.
If you feel that you no longer want to come to the bar, then that's okay; if you feel that for your own good you should walk another street to avoid the bar, then I suppose that's okay too; but asking the city council to take the street sign down and remove the bar from the city maps to avoid your own temptation seems more than a bit excessive to me.
So now.... it seems like the WCTU is on the march against the Demon Rum and the Devil's Nectar and wants to paint my corner bar as a suppurating wallow for drunks and ne'erdowells. Personally, I resent witch hunts and guilt-by-association, but it appears that Carrie Nation is again on the march.