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We should change this into a gossip channel

We should change this into a gossip channel
February 19, 2011, 05:33:53 PM
I can't speak for everyone, and don't want to, but it seems to me running a metal forum these days gets you into two sticky areas:

  • Discussion of new bands that aren't all that interesting, resulting in neurosis as "good" becomes harder to conceptualize, followed by a universal acceptance of just about anything, resulting in not only insipid discussion, but attracting the truly clueless.
  • Discussion of the old bands, and the good old days, until at some point we resemble old guys with shotguns drinking moonshine under Confederate (or insert name of other fallen nation here) flags while smoking corncob pipes. Advantages: it's honest, there's something to talk about. Disadvantages: nothing really new.

I applaud this forum for branching into classical, but most of us are just barely moving beyond initial knowledge, so that's not going to do it. I can't really get excited for MOST neofolk, ambient, techno, shoegaze, rock, etc. although there may be some isolated exceptions.

The second option leaves us mostly inactive other than during periodic boons, like when BEHERIT releases Engram and we have something to really admire, digest, praise and respect, or when Jeremy Vikernes rockets a Nordic turd out of his anus and we watch it sink, and can either lament the passing of meaning or try to talk ourselves into enjoying the simplistic tripe.

I have a few more suggestions:

  • We talk more about the literature, music, and cultural/historical/economic context of metal. May require actual research and learning, e.g. "work." However, it would have more meat to it.
  • We revisit the full catalogs of bands in the past, and figure out which of these albums really are essential, and which ones could go away and we wouldn't miss much.
  • We pick a new band and tie it in to its heritage in the past, then talk about that heritage, e.g. how does Fatalist compare to Carnage, Nihilist and Therion?
  • We talk about the philosophy of metal, or Romanticism, and leave the music off
  • We systematically listen to every single band since 1995 and try to pick out the five that live up to Emperor/Morbid Angel/Incantation/Graveland/Kong/etc.

Re: We should change this into a gossip channel
February 19, 2011, 09:09:32 PM
I am already sick of the yearly cycle of  build up and let down that is a new Burzum release, and its only happened twice; deprssinlgy predictable. I think a little bit of the nostalgic option is fun to talk about, especially when an old act surprises us, but I do agree that it leads to stagnation.

I do believe it is important for people to share something that they genuinely think is worth mentioning. But I can saw the obvious flaw with this. Everybody listing whatever crappy hipster act or repeater of the past that they think are worth a dime in order to get scene points. But I still think, to save us from listenning to the mountains of tripe that have been released since 1995 it is necessary to look forward. But I am also interested picking apart older releases, non-musical influences and which may be overated. But this also does happen quite a lot already on this forum, its just mixed in with too much moping about Burzum. 

Re: We should change this into a gossip channel
February 20, 2011, 04:32:54 AM
The last option you listed at the bottom is already in process. The problem is there isn't much worth being excited over. So checking out all of those bands is kind of like being a cubicle worm. Maybe a few bits of excitement but mostly tedium.

I do my best to try to alert others to sounds I find rewarding.

Re: We should change this into a gossip channel
February 20, 2011, 05:45:44 AM
I think Conservationist's post was extremely intelligent. (Except for the part about systematically listening to every song since 1995, that was a lol.)

From my experiences on other discussion forums and mailing lists, and from my thinking about this topic as I continue work on creating a website of my own about metal, I'd like to add a couple things.

What's there to say?

Scholars write about metal, but there are three critical factors here: (1) they need to write to receive their degrees in university; (2) they often get paid for it; (3) they often get published and can use the text as a credential to further their career.

On the other hand, if you're considering the prospect of writing some stuff intended for no other space than an internet discussion forum and/or an accompanying website in DLA, I suggest you think very long and hard... because you'll be working long and hard to be sure, and the question is a matter of productivity. Is it worth it?

Will you just be preaching to the choir, and if so what is productive about your writing? If you're going to really break new ground, and if your discourse is of a high level, then wouldn't you rather submit your article or paper to get published somewhere rather than keep it posted just here? Is there an in-between space between these two sides of the coin? Yes, for example a discussion forum can be a very nice medium to use at one juncture on the road to publishing.

DLA already has some really nice articles, and I don't mean to criticize them. I benefited from them back in the day, but I was actually interested to read them, and I was in a mind space where I took the time to seek them out. If I hadn't gone looking for them I wouldn't have found them. At the end of the day you have to ask, are they elaboration of a belief system, laying it out in a descriptive fashion, or are they more actually persuasive, arguing for certain ideas through logical reasoning; if the latter, how successful are they, and if they're successful then shouldn't they be delivered to a wide audience?

The internet allows in modern times for the beautiful thing called aggregation. Increasingly as the art of aggregation is being better learned, it's realized that it's not so much where texts are posted to, but how access to them is delivered or granted. For example, if a bunch of you write high-level articles about metal for various publications around the internet, and then you maintain on DLA a list of links to these publications, what's the difference between that on one hand, or on the other hand posting all the texts directly to DLA in the first place? The texts' accessibility to DLA users remains exactly the same in each case.

What is this thing called 'community', or 'identity'? What is the *significance* of this forum's identity? Is it about the content or the people? Does it seek to create an image as part of its message to its target audience? How are the principles and ideals it holds reflected in the medium of its message?

In my view, the most important thing is to be crystal clear on all these questions. When any forum or medium for discussion possesses a very high degree of awareness about its relationship with its own subject areas and meta narratives, then I think it's very likely to be a success, whatever subject areas it deals in. Because it can't be clear and honest with itself about its own identity, and fail to fill a legitimate niche or void; the identity of the forum and its utilitarian usefulness are mutually contingent.

It's all about efficiency... which doesn't leave time to catalog every song since 1995! ;-) When a poster sees a high-level topic on the forum, what are they thinking? They realize getting into a heavy discussion will consume much of their time. What motivates them to want to discuss, then, a band's heritage, or etc? And moreover, if you measure the amount of intelligence being expended in that thread, could the forum be made to utilize said intelligence in more efficient ways, for the end benefit of both the poster and the forum and the ideas sought to be promoted?

To what extent have administrators of this forum established relationships with other high-level metal websites? How many people are there who would be interested and able to contribute to high-level discussion? What about the financial aspects of it, and is it sustainable? Has what you want to do already been done? Are you sure it hasn't been done, have you conducted research to be sure in the dusty alleys of universities it hasn't already been started? Etc. So many questions, and so many failed forums on the internet, so think long and hard, don't make a first move without a long plan.

Re: We should change this into a gossip channel
February 21, 2011, 01:59:11 PM
Will you just be preaching to the choir, and if so what is productive about your writing? If you're going to really break new ground, and if your discourse is of a high level, then wouldn't you rather submit your article or paper to get published somewhere rather than keep it posted just here? Is there an in-between space between these two sides of the coin? Yes, for example a discussion forum can be a very nice medium to use at one juncture on the road to publishing.

I think you're right and that ANUS/DLA should seek book publication. However, back in the day, this site was new and it galvanized this kind of thinking in metal. That shouldn't die either. Academia cannot support it because academia is fundamentally addicted to not making conclusions, only observations. Academics don't make choices; they make possibilities. As a result, this may be the best medium after all, but it needs some work, like an old pickup truck that's more bondo and rust spots than finish.

Re: We should change this into a gossip channel
February 21, 2011, 10:05:23 PM
back in the day, this site was new and it galvanized this kind of thinking in metal.

I can definitely appreciate this.

I agree with what you mean about the usefulness of less scholarly, more 'opinionated' sources of information and discussion. I think it's very useful, but it can be difficult to build incentives into its framework so that readers / members are encouraged to contribute content. I guess my first question would be: what would be the goal of having a community metal discussion forum open to outsiders, as opposed to a handful of people working together on a project (like the Hessian.org's webzine)? If you want to present a body of work that expresses a unique perspective, like ANUS and DLA does, and then you want a discussion forum to have like-minded people be able to engage in 'small-talk' for the sake of community and being able to relate and have friendships with similar people, then that's what you have. On the other hand, if you want a discussion forum to help do research and help add to the primary body of work, why exactly do you want to use the discussion forum medium? Is the forum open to the public? I mean it seems only people who share your unique perspective would be in a good position to add to the primary body of work, so why make it open to outsiders as well? This can dilute the content and also open it up to things like trolling. Alternatives would be private forums, a private sub-forum within a larger forum open to the public, a private mailing list, etc. Another possible use for the discussion forum medium would be to allow people who've read the body of work to ask questions about it and get immediate answers and back-and-fourth discussion about it, in an effort to help your unique perspective reach and change the minds of more people, although this would consume lots of time on your part to answer all the questions, time that could arguably be better spent adding footnotes and FAQ and stuff to the body of work to cover each potential question once and then you can refer all inquires to the appropriate places in the body of work instead of repeating yourself each time in back-and-forth discussion.

From what I can see on the surface, at the moment this forum is designed to be a little bit of each of these three possible uses, which does make things cumbersome. I think some members are unclear about it, so for example when a new member joins and has a very different view from that of ANUS and DLA they're greeted different ways by different members. Perhaps a more potent example would be how the forum's intention and meta-narrative is to some extent left open for ratification, so inevitably--whether in the spirit of cooperation or confrontation--members and/or groups of members compete with other members to ratify the forum one way, because that's honestly what they think the forum is supposed / meant to be so obviously they act accordingly... stances taken by some people because it's what they think the forum is supposed to be about, can be misconstrued by other members who thought the forum was never supposed to be about that, the other members can think the stances reflect ANUS and DLA paradigm. For example if someone says something stupid and you reply harshly, they may think ANUS and DLA is very harsh, whereas from your perspective they came onto YOUR turf so you responded accordingly (the problem is in their mind it's a public forum open to different opinions, they don't realize it's your turf). This can create drama and create a reputation, but more importantly it can detract from serious conversation (for example a new member may have something great to say, but they introduce themselves poorly and it spirals downward from there). Now this may only be a minor problem for a forum to have, depending on your opinion about it, but it's only minor in the sense of how much it detracts--on the other side of the coin there's what it could possibly be *adding* if it's done well, which should be the goal, to excel, not just to make it neutral... so even if it only detracts a bit, it also prevents potential from being realized in terms of the relationship between medium and message (a relationship I'd say has very broad implications).

Re: We should change this into a gossip channel
February 22, 2011, 03:45:37 AM
For example if someone says something stupid and you reply harshly, they may think ANUS and DLA is very harsh, whereas from your perspective they came onto YOUR turf so you responded accordingly (the problem is in their mind it's a public forum open to different opinions, they don't realize it's your turf). This can create drama and create a reputation, but more importantly it can detract from serious conversation (for example a new member may have something great to say, but they introduce themselves poorly and it spirals downward from there).

I know this was only a hypothetical example, but it seems to me that when new people are blasted on these forums it's not usually about turf. It's generally because of laziness (e.g. the newbie didn't read the applicable FAQ or the rest of the thread) or general stupidity, which is not really tolerated here. This intolerance towards the moronry is fairly blatant on the DLA so it's not easy for people to bumble into the forums completely oblivious of it.

Re: We should change this into a gossip channel
February 22, 2011, 11:46:25 PM
For example if someone says something stupid and you reply harshly, they may think ANUS and DLA is very harsh, whereas from your perspective they came onto YOUR turf so you responded accordingly (the problem is in their mind it's a public forum open to different opinions, they don't realize it's your turf). This can create drama and create a reputation, but more importantly it can detract from serious conversation (for example a new member may have something great to say, but they introduce themselves poorly and it spirals downward from there).

I know this was only a hypothetical example, but it seems to me that when new people are blasted on these forums it's not usually about turf. It's generally because of laziness (e.g. the newbie didn't read the applicable FAQ or the rest of the thread) or general stupidity, which is not really tolerated here. This intolerance towards the moronry is fairly blatant on the DLA so it's not easy for people to bumble into the forums completely oblivious of it.

I generally agree with this, I just used a blatantly obvious example. For this reason I added:

Quote
Now this may only be a minor problem for a forum to have, depending on your opinion about it, but it's only minor in the sense of how much it detracts--on the other side of the coin there's what it could possibly be *adding* if it's done well, which should be the goal, to excel, not just to make it neutral... so even if it only detracts a bit, it also prevents potential from being realized in terms of the relationship between medium and message (a relationship I'd say has very broad implications).

Heh, it's all abstract, until it suddenly manifests. The relationship between medium and message is very subtle, the internet opens so many different possibilities, and it can be hard to see all possible potential.

Re: We should change this into a gossip channel
February 23, 2011, 01:39:25 AM
This thread is a very good example of what I mean. My initial post spoke to a larger meta-narrative, but then it all got totally bogged down because everyone was coming from different places. Now the original poster wants to get back on track after his thread was derailed, except it's only that initial track that I ever meant to take issue with. But in that thread now I'm left in a difficult position, it appears as though I'm working to derail the thread and it would be tough for me to justify pursuing my initial criticism.

Re: We should change this into a gossip channel
February 23, 2011, 01:48:35 AM
We could all be clearer with what we have to offer, even if it is to lend better clarity. If there is nothing to offer, then refrain is best.

Re: We should change this into a gossip channel
February 23, 2011, 02:08:04 AM
We could all be clearer with what we have to offer, even if it is to lend better clarity. If there is nothing to offer, then refrain is best.

OK, so your first post in this thread--you being a global moderator in this forum--is to wrap as many levels of irony as possible into a dismissive statement. Conservationist is trying to talk about something here, and you're not even beginning to see it.

Here's another level of irony for you: one theme of this thread, particularly of my replies, pertains to the discourse of meta-narratives on discussion forums in open, transparent, organic fashion so that the organism of the forum can be coherent, cohesive and productive. But you show no interest in this discourse initially, this discourse about your very own forum, until finally you contribute to this thread a silly one-liner, only because you arrived here via trivial BS stemming from another thread, trivial BS that exemplifies well the poor state of meta-narratives on your forum.

PS - I think it should be said at least once, so you can be sure where I'm coming from: I very much appreciate your directness, and your reverence for 'superior' things, and I respect you enough to be direct with you in return and not strip myself of my tongue just cause I'm talking to a mod. You may wonder why I hang around here if I don't agree with DLA ideology very much... *that's* why, hahaha. It's a nice atmosphere!

Re: We should change this into a gossip channel
February 23, 2011, 02:48:45 AM
Was this another one of your failed attempts at refrain?

Re: We should change this into a gossip channel
February 23, 2011, 03:02:54 AM
Was this another one of your failed attempts at refrain?

This barb doesn't offend me, it only wastes my time to read it as much yours to write it. I wouldn't criticize you for taking pleasure in harming my feelings and taking pleasure in it, but you aren't accomplishing that. I just sincerely hope you were attempting to harm my feelings and take pleasure in it, because that's obviously the only possible point / usefulness of your post, and the only alternative is that you go about life unconsciously committing actions unpurposively, doing and talking just for the sake of doing and talking. So are we on the same page, or no?

Re: We should change this into a gossip channel
February 23, 2011, 10:06:51 AM
I applaud this forum for branching into classical, but most of us are just barely moving beyond initial knowledge, so that's not going to do it.

I wonder why there are still so few users interested in classical music. Are metal listeners and classical listeners antipodes, after all? Are those on this forum who like metal and classical merely the exception that proves the rule? Maybe the problem is merely that people do not know where to start. Or is this a silly thought, and "where there's a will, there's a way"?

Thought experiment: imagine that the object of essential metal were nothing more than to lead some individuals from rock music to classical music, and from the profane to the sacred. Once transformed, those individuals would then discuss other things, and differently...

Re: We should change this into a gossip channel
February 23, 2011, 01:14:01 PM
The goal all along is already healthy. The profane and sacred are each part of life. We would be more the holistic realist for embracing each. Rather than gravitating around one polar region or the other, our orbit instead encompasses both which is toward a transcendental, beyond good and evil view.