Mast Donut - Deep Breath, Everyone

Daniel G. Fleagle (
Thu, 26 Aug 99 22:21:22 -0400

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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Hmmm. Various people have contributed:

> I think you should wrap it around your neck and leap off the end of the
> dock.

>[W]e should come up with a statement of our goals and expectations[...]

>[Q]uit the crap.

>There are numerous "newbies" who lurk on the list and they could take
>this stuff seriously.

>Asking moronic questions on a daily basis is not wit.

Or sentiments to that effect. Others have said:

>They don't call it "wit" for nothing.

>Hey [...], Lighten up a little.

>I was saddened to see the fight going on. Please, keep it positive !

>I find your comment to be blatantly discriminatory against us cretins.

I have to admit that I feel more kinship toward the second viewpoint than
the first. When I read Jim's recommendation that we send our engines
ahead for two weeks of high-altitude acclimation, I laughed so hard that
I nearly choked. And although he has contributed his share (okay, maybe
MORE than his share) of quips, I have also noticed that he has
contributed many thoughtful posts, certainly more than his detractors
seem willing to acknowledge.

If I had a point, it would probably be that we have a wide range of
tastes on this list, and I am very concerned by the self-appointed
Editorial Standards Board that has been taking Jim to task. There have
been a number of people and topics on this list that have offended or
irritated me -- for example, it just gives me the creeps to look at my
in-box and see messages on the subject of "tongue length" -- but I'm
certainly not going to ask the group to tailor it's discourse to match my

A number of people on this list -- some of them obviously very popular
with the other list members -- have taken up permanent residence in my
Bozo filter. Their messages are deleted, unread, as they arrive. I will
never complain about them on the list, and I wouldn't think of telling
them that they're there. That simply wouldn't be fair. In the same way,
I'd hate to miss out on Jim's comments on the finer points of mast-tuning
with "heavy toroidal casting[s]" because others might differ with his
sense of humor.

Speaking of which, one final point:

>Jokes are funny only if the intended audience gets it.

I don't know. I do a fair amount of public speaking for a living. Here is
my humor fantasy: I'm standing in an auditorium before one thousand
people. I make a joke that is so dry and so deep and so subtle that
nine-hundred ninety-nine people do not even realize that it is a joke,
while one guy toward the back of the auditorium is laughing so hard that
he is in danger of ruining a good suit.

Should the one guy in my example be deprived of his pleasure because the
hundreds of others don't appreciate a harmless joke? And before you
respond with concerns over safety, I'd be willing to bet that nobody has
shipped their engines or hoisted lead weights up their masts because of
any messages on this list.

Time for me to get back to lurking. If by chance there's someone on this
list that I haven't offended in this posting, please send me a private
message and I'd be happy to offend you off-list.

Thank you for your attention. DGF