Sunday, October 10, 2004

Requiem for a Political Forum

I've mentioned this place before. You can go to, and there's a link to discussion boards up in the right hand corner, and from there you can enter a set of forums that are mostly about football. But one of those forums is about politics. It's being shut down tomorrow.

Why is this important to allspinzone? It's connected to allspinzone's origin -- Richard and I were denizens of EMB-PS before he started allspinzone, and it's because of the raucus behavior there, the koolaid laced posts by neocons that he left that fourm and started this place. He was gracious enough to ask me to help him out. (And I'm very pleased that he has included Kate -- an ex-pat from Whiskey Bar.)

The EMB-PS (Politically Speaking) Forum was started about two years ago, give or take, because political topics were interrupting football discussions on other forums at It was created so that those who wished to discuss politics would not foul any other forums. And we know that nowadays politics is foul.

In mourning the demise of EMB-PS, allow me quote a respected PS poster, notplainjane:

I enjoyed this forum alot even when I was banging my head against my keyboard. God knows there were plenty of people with whom I disagreed, and they with me, but for the most part, we kept it on an informed level. I don't know if it's the proximity to the election or what, but the influx of hard-right posters who name call or worse, and the clones and so forth, have made it wearisome and utterly non-enlightening. Sure, call me elitist or exclusionary, but the overall IQ level here has dropped considerably, as has the insight and skill of the posters overall. I'd prefer if the Mods banned at will rather than close the forum entirely, but I can certainly understand that they have better things to do [work, lives, families] than police a bunch of yahoos who would rather scream than discuss.

In fairness, I will be marrying this poster, notplainjane, next year. But her point is valid. The forum was very worthwhile in some respects. There were folks on both sides of the aisle who had their facts and arguments together. A poster with the moniker of "13" is a complete marvel about the middle east and the Iraq war. "PFFB" knows his economics, even if I rarely agree with him. "EaglesFaninSF" is a genious with economics as well. "Toaster" can find a controversial article and cogently comment on it with the best of the bloggers I've seen. And "Northeastphillyguy", with whom I disagree on nearly every subject, knows religion to such an extent that I wouldf like him as a lecturere in my classes.

I will miss the EMB-PS forum. I will not miss the manifestation of partisanship that it represents. Any time I posted there I could expect personal attacks for the first five or six resposes. Some of those attacks were ugly. Like I mentioned before, that sort of culture was the reason for Richard Cranium establishing allspinzone. But EMB-PS was a unique and valuable place to me, and I'm sorry to see it go.

Where else could you go thinking about football and then able to talk politics?

Let me spin back to notplainjane's comments. It's the hard-right folks who brought the place down. We on the left were far too polite. We accepted the Terms of Service there. I don't think that's wrong, what we did. I just think it is dangerous what the right has become. And I'll go back to my love, notplainjane, to give the final word:

And it's not screaming for the sake of being heard; it's screaming for the sake of drowning everyone else out. You see it on the TV shows that masquerade as news roundtables and hear it on talk radio masquerading as debate. As goes the EMB PS, so goes the nation, and vice versa. While I am disappointed in this development as an EMB poster, I am far more scared for the consequences as a democratic nation.

God bless America if even folks on a message board can't get along.