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Author Topic: Ottens message to all of us...  (Read 7596 times)
kiskolou
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« on: March 05, 2007, 03:25:01 am »

With Yaghish leaving our forum, the untimely death of steampunkopedia and numerous smaller schisms, I thought that the message on the front of Mr.Otten's website was important:

A MESSAGE TO ALL OF STEAMPUNK

The growth of the popularity of Steampunk has resulted in an immense expansion of websites and communities dedicated to the genre. Across the Web, there are forces that seek to spread the spectre of Steampunk and greaten its following. However, efforts undertaken by both myself and others to unite all that is Steampunk have so far been in vain. Stretched across the glimmering gears of rage, Steampunk lies shredded and betrayed in the glass of a broken purpose. We should never allow any vendetta to break the bond of our shared dream. We should never allow any hardship to stand in our way of reaching our goal—that being to produce more perfect collaboration and to provide for discussion and debate. Our common fondness of Steampunk and the like should be sufficient cause to impel us to institution, and thus I appeal to all for a revival of the values upon which we pride ourselves, and bid you to spread this message so that at no time in the near or distant future should we face ourselves opposite of each other, but instead from this moment onwards work in concert for the sake of Steampunk.

May the Steam be with you!

—N. Ottens


I just thought it was necessary to remind us all of what was important...Consider this a public service announcement?
Thanks Ottens!
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2007, 03:37:56 am »

Here here!
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2007, 04:45:20 am »

Truly!And cheers to that, it needed to be said.

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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2007, 07:09:47 am »

right on
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Datamancer
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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2007, 07:13:51 am »

Well said. Bravo, Ottens! I was glad to see that he joined up and contributed.

It's a shame that some people feel that they can "own" something as abstract and elusive as a culture and misconstrue "growth" and "expansion" as  "theft" and "betrayal".

I think we've all created something beautiful here...a friendly, helpful community of positive and creative members to ACCENT and COMPLEMENT the groundwork of the culture, not REPLACE or USURP it.

I, for one, am glad to be a part of it. Many thanks to Tinkergirl and Andy for providing such a place. Please don't get discouraged by any of the petty grumblings of the disgruntled. Be proud, and keep up the good work.
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« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2007, 07:56:35 am »

Unfortunately I feel somewhat responsible for initially provoking Yaghish.  I tend to use the term 'we' when posting about steampunk groups in general, to his frustration, but that really is how I'd like to see us.  Solidarity isn't a bad thing.  We've all got enough in common to show up in the same place and discuss the same issues, and the fact that we've all got different perspectives is just another way of saying that we've got a lot of different ways of solving the same problem, and that sounds like a reservoir of creativity.  Yay for runon sentences.

A.
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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2007, 11:36:29 am »

Nah, don't sweat it. It wasnt you by a long shot....there are all kinds of other factors and background B.S. going on here which I don't think need to be brought up again. I think we've all tried to welcome everyone with open arms (with one notable, well-earned exception), and if Yaghish wanted to come back, I think I echo everyone's feelings that he would be quite welcome.
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Col. Adrianna Hazard
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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2007, 02:41:34 pm »

It would appear that Jake has already expressed my exact sentiments. Here here!
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Clym Angus
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2007, 02:56:59 pm »

Interesting. So scisms are as prevelent here as they are in the voice acting community?

It would appear that this is a trait of all forums, that birds of a feather may flock together but with it come old and new pecking orders that cause trouble in the coop!

With any type of human endevor your going to get some small amount of "I'm better than you are". These sorts of scatagorical statements are mostly best ignored for the sake of a greater piece. Personally I think this site is great, lots of pretty shiny things, opportunities to get in the odd one liner, all good.

I find on-line war so tire some these days, best left to the Brittany Spears appreciation boards. Smiley
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Honky-Tonk Dragon
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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2007, 03:30:46 pm »

Interesting. So scisms are as prevelent here as they are in the voice acting community?

It would appear that this is a trait of all forums, that birds of a feather may flock together but with it come old and new pecking orders that cause trouble in the coop!

With any type of human endevor your going to get some small amount of "I'm better than you are". These sorts of scatagorical statements are mostly best ignored for the sake of a greater piece. Personally I think this site is great, lots of pretty shiny things, opportunities to get in the odd one liner, all good.

I find on-line war so tire some these days, best left to the Brittany Spears appreciation boards. Smiley

I've been a little out of touch this weekend, so have missed some of the details of this...
Clym, you are so right... when a special interest group gets over a certain size, subgroups will form, that's just the way of things...
Still, I think our community can gain quite a bit accepting both Neo Victorians, and Dickensian boilerroom punks. I can't think of a better recipe for the stimulation of the imagination, and the prevention of boredom.
I can't speak for anyone else, but I think imagination is why I am here. It stokes my creative fires to see how other people are asking "what if" and THEN going and doing something. Some of that active imagineering is even what created this community. And I love that sense, when somebody asks a question on almost any topic, imaginative replies come back.
With all the twisted creative minds, and boilerroom savants we have here, I think we can hammer out a real community.... ok or at least a virtual one. It's only been a little over a week...
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« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2007, 03:34:08 pm »

"boilerroom savants "  I like that a lot.  Is that yours?
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Honky-Tonk Dragon
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« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2007, 03:50:45 pm »

"boilerroom savants "  I like that a lot.  Is that yours?
I believe so, though there should be a hyphen between "boiler" and "room", I'm borrowing a computer whose keyboard is shall we say... well broken in.
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Datamancer
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« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2007, 04:22:17 pm »

Wow. Ottens is closing the nov-net steampunk forum.

LINK

Dunno if that'll work because of the sessionID, but give it a whirl.
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Ottens
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« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2007, 04:36:35 pm »

My decision to close the Steampunk section at Nov-Net was partly due to the low activity there, and my belief that due to personal issues people were discouraged from posting and joining.  Also, it has always been my aim for there to be one Steampunk community where fans could gather and discuss--and with The Steampunk Forum, such place now truly exists.  I believe most of the Steampunk members from Nov-Net have already moved over to this place, however it saddens me to hear that Yaghish decided to leave.  Could anyone elaborate on his reasons for leaving?
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Datamancer
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« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2007, 04:48:39 pm »

I dunno...he posted this little rant, then left. He also made a comment in your forum about being "censored" here, but I imagine that was at the beginning of this thing, when he stepped in trying to defend his friend. It's admirable that he tried to defend his friend's honor, I guess, but I think some of the logic in the messages he posted was a little flawed.
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yaghish
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« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2007, 05:16:34 pm »

It´s new to me that I´ve left the forum, where I posted "I am about to..."

Being censored: it´s pretty much like censorship when critical messages are removed without any notice.

Please give me time to explain my thoughts. I´ll post them later. You can also see some of it in my own forum.
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« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2007, 06:28:28 pm »

I dunno...he posted this little rant, then left. He also made a comment in your forum about being "censored" here, but I imagine that was at the beginning of this thing, when he stepped in trying to defend his friend. It's admirable that he tried to defend his friend's honor, I guess, but I think some of the logic in the messages he posted was a little flawed.



That's not a rant. This is a rant: http://voiceactingalliance.com/board/showpost.php?p=295962&postcount=16

From a REAL foamer. If people on this board want to "knock cox" then it's best they know that a number of us are patent pending flame retardant. Cheesy
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« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2007, 07:57:48 pm »

I also believe that the steampunk community must remain a community in order to thrive.  Without a great number of interested souls, we all become just a bunch of crazy dressing, anachronistic wierdos.  Honestly, I'm tire of being strange, and much appreciate some folks with like minds to speak with.   Grin  The arguments and such seem a little out of place though...  When they do crop up, I still don't understand why.  From the information I'm able to discern, rants mostly seem to be about remaining true to the spirit of steampunk.  But that all needs to be taken a little more lightly than say, the spirit of democracy that really has some accepted truths and basis in reality.  Steampunk is all based a fictional world (or worlds), and is therefore much more open to interpretation than any concept based in modern reality.  Like Jesus says (stay with me here) "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."  What I mean is, if we are all interpreting this idea, who are any of us to tear down what another is building?  Especially when we are all here to have fun.

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S.Sprocket
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« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2007, 07:58:33 pm »

"unity through common culture" is a very interesting thing.

I have seen it attempted by Goths, Ravers, and Cyberpunks.  Each time the culture had truely flourished.  Even had a "golden age" of about 5 years or so, then, it became "popular" to identify ones self with the culture in the golden age.  People bought into the aesthetic without buying into the values and beliefs and the whole thing came smashing down like a house of cards on a shake table.

With the ammount of steampunks gathered in this forum, it is very safe to say we are quite close to a "golden age".  My only hope is that we don't come crashing down like all the other cultures before us.
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Josh of Vernian Process
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« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2007, 08:33:28 pm »

I also believe that the steampunk community must remain a community in order to thrive.  Without a great number of interested souls, we all become just a bunch of crazy dressing, anachronistic wierdos.  Honestly, I'm tire of being strange, and much appreciate some folks with like minds to speak with.   Grin  The arguments and such seem a little out of place though...  When they do crop up, I still don't understand why.  From the information I'm able to discern, rants mostly seem to be about remaining true to the spirit of steampunk.  But that all needs to be taken a little more lightly than say, the spirit of democracy that really has some accepted truths and basis in reality.  Steampunk is all based a fictional world (or worlds), and is therefore much more open to interpretation than any concept based in modern reality.  Like Jesus says (stay with me here) "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."  What I mean is, if we are all interpreting this idea, who are any of us to tear down what another is building?  Especially when we are all here to have fun.

I think the problem with everyone having different interpretations of what Steampunk actually is, is that we have this wide gap with the people like myself and Cory on the one side, who have been involved in creating a Steampunk community for at least 10 years (I think the first Steampunk FAQ was written by Cory as well). Then there are those that have just joined this forum, who are still figuring out what Steampunk actually entails (although they could have been into it for a long time, and not known it had a genre attributed to it). I remember when I first saw Steampunk content on the internet was about 1994 when it first started getting public notice. There were a few scattered pages (mostly started as reference material for Castle Falkenstein games), and then around I think it was 1998 I discovered Corys site (which was the first one that had a wealth of content, and not just links to various other media).

For years (actually until about 2003), I didn't think there was more than maybe 100 people who were really into Steampunk. Then I found the Anachrotech and Gears and Steam LJ groups in about 2004, and just last year I found Brass Goggles, Ottens forum/page, and was contacted by Andy about interviewing for his wiki page at Aether Emporium.

Now in a matter of days we've gone from 15 to almost 300 people on this forum. I'm astounded, and so overjoyed that the genre I've loved and nurtured for most of my life, is finally taking off! So you can see why the people like myself and Cory are very passionate about making sure that our love affair isn't misinterpretted, and remains true to the roots that we know and loved for as long as we can remember.

Of course this also causes the inevitabel "hurting of feelings" (as was seen in a topic that wa slinked to earlier in this thread). I would like to go on record as saying that, for me personally, while I have a very specific definition of what Steampunk is, and don't like seeing it changed to fit the times, I do also love all other forms of old world anachronism, and think it all belongs in one family. Steampunk just covers the Victorian side of things. If you post here and feel that your idea is more along the lines of Sky Captain, or even more post-apocalyptic stuff, feel free to talk about that stuff. Just post it in the off-topic forum (at least until I convince the admins to make a forum dedicated to Diesel/Sail/Clock/etc.punk.  Wink



« Last Edit: March 05, 2007, 08:35:58 pm by VernianProcess » Logged

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yaghish
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« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2007, 08:57:50 pm »

Without a great number of interested souls, we all become just a bunch of crazy dressing, anachronistic wierdos.
You ARE.
Don't deny it. You're just Neo-Victorians, without any steampunk spirit inside.

***

So you want the reason I leave this forum. Well, yes, I've decided I have to go, this forum isn't good for my health and well-being.

I don't feel very welcome here. There is a certain person high in rank here that keeps getting back at me because I refused to welcome his website in the now ill-fated Steampunk Webring (nobody here wants to join a project someone not part of the in-crowd has started, would you?) (how can anyone be so childish???). There are obviously some friends of him who back him up, without knowing what was the case. Nobody bothered to ask me about my decision, instead the person in question and friends left the forum on which this took place without any respond. Cowards.

OK, I can handle it. It was not the main reason.
I don't felt welcome when I replied in a topic and the next thing I noticed, was that my post was gone. It was not a very nice posting (I still don't think Cory is a steampunk in any way), I assumed someone protected a friend and just deleted the whole thing. A few days later, after some have complained obviously, I received a "sorry" PM. In other forums moderators post immediately a reply like "I have been stupid, I apologise for deleting your post."
Okay, I accept the apology, but I can't forget what happened and I can't take away the feeling it has given me: censorship. Don't mess with the mind of a paranoid man.

I don't feel welcome here, because only few actually read my postings and reply to it. In many topics, not only "my own", the willingness to actually read and understand what others write seems to be nonexistent. Many topics go off topic, get hijacked by other themes (like the Steampunk Erotics thread ), or turn into something that is called slow-chat elsewhere on the net (as in Steampunk Vacations, what do I care if someone will visit Seattle soon??? ).
It happens in a lot of forums. The only reason it happens is that administrators and moderators let it happen, and in some cases make it happen themselves.

I don't feel welcome, because when I say "I am about to leave..." it is taken as a given fact that I have already left. And on top of it, people don't even try to write my nickname the right way.

Not feeling welcome, however, was not the reason to leave.

Whenever I look into this forum, I hit the "show unread posts since last visit" button. Three to five pages of unread messages are shown then. 95% of these don't interest me a bit. When I look into the other 5%, I often see the topic has changed or someone is posting something totally irrelevant (like "me too!!!11one!11!eleven1!!"). What is the point of staying on a forum where only 2% of the topics is worth reading, and you have to spend half an hour (with an expensive modem dial-in luddite kind of connection) to find these threads?

The point only 2% of the topics are of interest to me is that my approach to steampunk is apparently very different from most other forum-members. Where Tinkergirl stated "we are recreating..." I though "what the f***? I am creating." I am creating a steampunkish world, I create steampunkish gadgets that can't be made IRL because they are made of imagination, and involve, apart from an alternative past (world) with its own laws of physics, materials that aren't found on our very earth (let alone in the Victorian Era). I am creating steampunk music that world will never hear if they don't have imagination. I am triggering imagination, not spelling out the facts for you.
 
Steampunk is to me in the same league as fantasy, science fiction and horror (if it's not a mixture of those, set in a setting the vaguely reminds of the nineteenth century). It's a genre in literature and some other arts, and what I create happens to be in that genre, more or less. Other people told me so.

What I expect on a steampunk forum, are artists who create, not recreate or spice up existing stuff with a layer of steampunk décor.  They don't bother "historical correctness" and go wherever their phantasy takes them (my own forum has stretched the theme to gothic horror and the kind of fantasy used in past times, as separated from modern epic fantasy; a wide field without boundaries). They might ask questions how to make their art, that's based on a fictive Victorian (or colonial, or Biedermeyer, or whatever) past or future, more believable (if you want a person as Napoleon to turn up in your art, you have to have some facts about the man) (do you know how poulair Steampunk is in France?). 
I also expect a good knowledge of the past, in order to adapt it and to make it your own and then get inspired by it in art. That involves a lot more that what I've seen here (I do miss any political threads, and anything about social structures, and anything beyond Victorian - do you realise England was an enemy of many other cultures at the time?), and it also involves the acceptation of the darker sides of the past - poverty, luddites, liquor-abuse, slaves, oppression, the inability of many to use the modern inventions, exploitation of the lower classes, pollution of the environment, the fall of empires, racism, starvation, superstition, spiritism, nationalism).
As for inspiration, I don't see a lot people here who are "inspired" (or probably haven't spoken up), only those who follow. It's just a kind of rigid recreation I see here, and a fear something might not be as genuine steampunk as is the status quo around here. At least I don't get inspired by what I read in this forum.

Okay, that was the main reason. If you're still tuned, I will give you some other items that bother me:

1. Everybody around here is pretending to be a "gentleman" or "lady". However, in the "It's a sad day for steampunk..." thread most of you have showed that this noble way of living is not even skin deep.

2. Any names starting with "Von..." of people who don't actually belong to German nobility is offensive to me. Why, for the sake of the gods, why, would you get a nick like that? Have you any idea what it implies?

3. The way the oppressive stalinistic architecture is embraced as "true steampunk" is repellent to me. Next thing will be that A. Hitler had such good steampunk ideas, and that his right hand A. Speer is the best steampunk architect. Oh, and there is Ceausçescu as well... It's fun playing with the past if you don't have to bear the scars, isn't it?

4. The focus on the USA and Victorian Britain. There's a lot more of the world than just that. Then AND now. Try to get a bit cultural sensitivity.
"Is steampunk an American thing?" was a question of me. I am pretty much convinced the Americans paste the label "Steampunk" everything, where I would say, "Grannies thing" or "Nostalgia", or "Reenactment", or "BBC Antiques Roadshow" (really, the latter is what I think of whenever I read in this forum, in Holland a similar show is called "Between Art and Kitsch" and thats exactly what happens here).

5. A lot of things that are declared steampunk here happen to be vivid childhood memories of me. I don't need to recreate them. I remember. I remember them, and I hear the clock of my granddad tick in the background. I sniff the onions cooked in the kitchen. I smell the old books and the anti-moth stuff in the wardrobes where my grandma's clothes are, the same stuff people get high n here. I can see the darkened wood of my grandparents house, and the grim tiles in the hallway. I still hear their stories in my ears, how they tried to escape their stained past of war, hunger and religious suppression. I see the laterna magica and the steam engine my granddad build out of waste-materials.  I hear the phonograph play in the background, and the waltzes my grandmother loved so much. I can't recreate the past that's part of my memories. I can't change my live. I'd rather get stuck in my imagination.

I'm not mad at you lot, just very, very sad and disappointed. And that's why I leave.

Quote
Like Jesus says (stay with me here) "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
He also said, "I'm the truth, the way and the life" and that's what most of the members here seem to follow without any question when it comes to someones defintion of steampunk. (Damn, I'm not even Christian).

Quote
What I mean is, if we are all interpreting this idea, who are any of us to tear down what another is building? 
Why did over 100 people here did not care to build along what others have tried to build elsewhere, then? Ignorance, I guess. Politics, maybe. Think about it.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2007, 09:09:47 pm by yaghish » Logged
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« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2007, 09:16:46 pm »

I'd like to formally request that this topic be split at this time. I don't think locking it would be fair to those that have some constructive feedback to give?

Now it seems to be a double topic, one concerning Ottens statement on his site, and the other a continuation of the post Yaghish made (that was locked by Andy).
« Last Edit: March 05, 2007, 09:29:56 pm by VernianProcess » Logged
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« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2007, 09:18:25 pm »

2. Any names starting with "Von..." of people who don't actually belong to German nobility is offensive to me. Why, for the sake of the gods, why, would you get a nick like that? Have you any idea what it implies?

A small point - von Slatt is Swedish.

Please stick around, you write well and your posts are interesting.

Jake.
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« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2007, 10:21:23 pm »

so, i guess my question is...

is the art that people create with this theme in mind any less creative?

not knocking creativity for creativity sake, and definitely not knocking the scars of the past (I am living in Munich right now... everytime I walk past Odeonsplatz, I get the chills, everytime I pass the monument to the White Rose, I shake my head.  I am a rabid advocate of free speech and free thought, but it will be fist to jaw between me and ANYONE I meet who decides that the view of Adolf H were anthing but the worst evil this planet has seen.  And I have a feeling that even in evil evil America that you speak of, you will be hard pressed to find an educated person who feels differently.  So let's stop that issue where it stands.

The beauty of alternate realities is that they exist completly in the imagination.  We think about these things because it is fun to think about these things.  Why would we spend our expensive imagination time thinking about dictatorship and death to the environment?  (unless, of course, our heros are fighting that evil dictator)

I understand that you are a continental european and history has scarred this place pretty raw (I know it because I see it every day).  But the part of this whole thing is that it is supposed to be fun.  Fuck the philosophies, fuck the ways of life, fuck it all if it isn't fun.

If your Sci-fi horror stuff is fun for you, COOL!  That's the point, isn't it?  If you are a builder, there are LOADS of creative people here who are good to network with on the building side of things.  You say that you are a musician.  There are tons of music people here too.  Throw out some of your music... i would like to hear it.  Perhaps there is something that we can do to stay on topic... I probably had something to do with getting off topic on your exotics post, but honestly thought you were discussing the change in body type between then and now.  If you weren't, I am sorry.

I guess the thing is, you write well and you are obviously passionate, and that is what makes this place fun.  Don't go.  If there are hurt feelings, I am really sorry that people made you feel unwelcome.  But if you remember, I PMd you as soon as I saw you online again to see if there was something I could do to help you feel better here.

We need discourse in order to have conversation.

Just a thought.
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« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2007, 10:32:49 pm »

I'm seeing a lot of parallells here. This is a real de ja vu moment. Voice actors, chainmail makers hell every board I've been on there has been at least one "purity" thread.
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