• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are now available. The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy can be ordered here. A big thanks to the authors and Richard Carpenter for their tremendous effort in compiling this book! Also, the new solo piano album Richard Carpenter's Piano Songbook is available for ordering here.

Question for Harry. What are the rules?

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Murray

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Harry,

Are we to conclude from your action in closing a previous thread, that any discussion of religion/spirituality is discouraged/forbidden in this forum :?:

If so, fair enough. That's your perogative as moderator. I'm just curious as to why you didn't take similar action with regards to the recent thread speculating about the C's sexual preferences? That discussion was no less controversial, offensive to some, or "weird" than the religion thread :!:

I would appreciate if you would clarify just what subjects we can/can't discuss here, so that none of us make any future faux pas.

Perhaps it would be safest if we just discuss the music, and leave their personal lives out of it altogether (unless it relates DIRECTLY to the music in some way)?
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
Great question!
Had I known my comments were "against the rules", I would not have posted what I did, as my intent is not to offend. So, my apologies if I broke the rules.
I must agree, that I found the discussion of their sexuality somewhat in poor taste but still within the realm of open discussion on the board as I am a strong supporter of freedom of speech. I hope neither topics become off limits to us, as long as things remain civil and respectful of others views among posters.
Thanks for your consideration in this matter, Harry.
Mark
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
It was definitely a tough decision to close down the thread. One thing I've learned in life is that discussion of politics and religion in an open forum like this, or even in a workplace environment, often leads to hurt feelings and a generally bad situation. Here at the A&M Corner, we DO have a place called the Off-Topic Forum (For Animals Only), and it is there that politics can and will be discussed -- and that's fine, as long as everything remains civil.

The discussions here about Karen and Richard's religious beliefs started out on a semi-OK basis, but I'd hoped it wouldn't go on for too long -- it can be an uncomfortable topic for many, and really, these people's personal lives aren't any of our business. I consider both the sexuality topic AND the religious topic to be potentially offensive to some and invasive to the subjects at hand. The thread began (and was titled) with a Christmas album theme, something that many people might be interested in. The fact that the topic strayed was an issue as well. If the topic were clearly stated, and perhaps located in the Off-Topic Forum, just for sensitivities' sake, I might have allowed it to continue.

I didn't close the thread on sexuality because it just sort-of died out as a discussion. If it had continued much longer, I would have closed that one too. The kicker on the closed thread today was that a newcomer begged us to close it. That pushed me in the direction I was probably headed anyway.

I have no qualms about anyone's religious beliefs, but feel that those are personal matters best left between the individual and whatever higher power is involved. This is first and foremost a music discussion board and should remain so. Karen and Richard Carpenter remained rather private about their personal lives throughout their careers. I'm sure that they wouldn't appreciate the open speculation about their personal lives on an open forum like this, and I would prefer to respect their wishes here.

This forum has a private messaging function that could be used to convey matters like this to other members without openly displaying it for all to see.

I hope that this gives some guidelines as to where we'd like these discussions to go and where they shouldn't.

Harry
...with a lot of serious thought and reflection on the matter, online...
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
I don't have any problem with the subject matter myself, but I know there are some visitors who might feel otherwise, and sometimes we're just doing something as a courtesy to those visitors, if nothing more.

We had some nasty fallouts over the past couple of years...one was the victim of "political" discussions. Wisely we kept it in the off-topic For Animals Only forum, but the person who took it the hardest found any way they could to "get even", to the point of masquerading as another forum member and trying to split us all apart. (Fortunately we caught the person red handed, they played dumb--which wasn't a stretch, trust me :) --and haven't heard from this person since.)

And I think a lot of us who've been in forums over the years have learned that there are a couple of topics, like religion and politics, that are best not discussed in public. Let alone at the family Christmas party. :confused: Heck, I've been a member of some forums (back in the era when Compuserve was actually a good online service...mid-late 80's, early 90's) where a message would get pulled out, and a member harshly reprimanded by a sysop, just for mentioning the name of any other forum, or posting a usenet or e-mail address. (This was before the web became popular, like pre-1994.) After watching a few episodes like that, I've had a "tolerance" policy...in other words, I'm pretty lenient. Often too lenient for my own good.

There's no worry, though, about anyone being banned over this type of discussion though. That's not what we're about. Using this new forum system (vs. our old one), I've only had to ban one person on one other forum. (In fact, I've mentioned this in another current thread in our off-topic forum. See http://www.amcorner.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=585 .) A person really has to be high on the "ugly vile cretin" scale to make it onto my "sh*t list". :wink:

But I think as a rule of thumb, over the years, in other forums or newsgroups, I've seen arguments erupt over politics and religion which, IMHO, even outdistance the current Windows vs. Linux feud that takes place daily among the computing crowd. Arguments that have ended up with many hurt feelings, lost friendships, etc. I can often get caught up to where I want to get into the fray, but feel it isn't worth it. Life's too short to argue over something nobody can agree on. :)

-= N =-
 

Captain Bacardi

Well-Known Member
Moderator
I'd like to add one more comment: It's been known to happen that some A&M artists are aware of our site and on occassion they pop in to read some of the comments that folks make, and every once in a while they may make a post or two. While I'm not much of a Carpenters fan myself, I do appreciate what they've done over the years. But some of the sexuality comments on Richard were a bit bizarre, and frankly the people who made the comments need to get a life themselves. I'd be embarrassed if he just happened to drop in and read those comments.


Capt. Bacardi
 

testerguy35

New Member
I guess I'm one of those people who should get a life :twisted:

As long as there are rules in forums, they should be followed, so now that Harry has clearly delineated those rules, I agree that it's only fair to follow them.

But one LAST defense of mentioning Richard's sexuality: as a Carpenters fan, I usually get questions about Karen's anorexia, and Richard being a 'closet case.' Apparently, somehow, in the American psyche, these are imbedded issues, and real. I've noticed that Carpenters fans get real touchy about this stuff. It's like I heard on NPR this morning: you'll rarely hear an Elvis fan talk about how he died. Elvis is too deified for them to 'go there.'

A topic of Karen and Richard's spiritual views are relevant, IMO, as long as people are not flaming each others' spiritual views in here. Re-reading the posts (before they were locked), I thought the discussion was benign and neutral. I found it fascinating that Karen had had a spiritual epiphany the year before she died...we know so little about Karen in the later years, so this was interesting whether we are religious or not.

How boring a forum would this be if we only talked about the same boring and safe issues over and over...? We can still talk about controversial topics as adults and not verbally attack each other (ie: call people names, tell people to get a life, etc). Yet, I respect Harry's position to keep this forum sanitized, clean, and safe.

Just my thoughts.
Steve
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
I stand by my decision. Consider that instead of "locking", some forums "delete" threads. I hope we never get to that stage.

Harry
 

Mr Bill

Gentlemanly Curmudgeon
Staff member
Moderator
Harry said:
The thread began (and was titled) with a Christmas album theme, something that many people might be interested in...

It strikes me as odd to close a Christmas thread over the mere mention of Christ or the (possible/probable) Christian beliefs of this forum's subject(s). Christmas is not about a jolly fat guy in a red suit, despite what the secular humanists (and pop culture) would like you to believe.

Like Neil, I'm not as big a fan of Carpenters as I am of the other artists with forums here, but I do listen to them and enjoy their music. And I do visit this forum about once a week to see if there's anything interesting. I, for one, would have locked it over the homosexuality discussion before I would over R&C's spiritual development or influence. But then, I'm not this forum's moderator, but as a staffer stand by his decision. :|

--Mr Bill
off to his usual forums...
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
It strikes me as odd to close a Christmas thread over the mere mention of Christ or the (possible/probable) Christian beliefs of this forum's subject(s). Christmas is not about a jolly fat guy in a red suit, despite what the secular humanists (and pop culture) would like you to believe.

I had no objections to the Christian references in the thread. In fact, those messages were handled rather intelligently and without any attempts to throw any religion down anyone else's throat. When it got into meeting the deceased "on the other side", I felt the thread had strayed a bit too far. Again, it was the urging of a new member who was obviously offended in some manner that prompted me to close the thread.


Like Neil, I'm not as big a fan of Carpenters as I am of the other artists with forums here, but I do listen to them and enjoy their music. And I do visit this forum about once a week to see if there's anything interesting. I, for one, would have locked it over the homosexuality discussion before I would over R&C's spiritual development or influence. But then, I'm not this forum's moderator, but as a staffer stand by his decision.

I appreciate it. And again, I would have closed that one down as well, but it managed to get back on track and died out, and even had a more substantive followup regarding the "Idle Rumors."

Harry
...wishing this whole thing would just go away, online...
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
Well, you could lock this thread too! :wink: But that would just start up another one, and, well...

-= N =-
 

DAN BOLTON

Well-Known Member
I've stayed out of this thread until now because I don't really follow the Carpenters that much, and their forum isn't a place I usually visit...but this thread concerns me...my profile says that I'm a Christian educator; and I am an unabashed A&M fan, and an amateur musician. I'm not much of a preacher, though...but here's a Bible passage anyway...

"...Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perefect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now."

That comes from 1 Corinthians 13:12, commonly known as the Love Chapter. I can't begin to know what Richard and Karen Carpenter's religious beliefs and creeds were and are, and neither can anybody else, because they were both quiet about them...and I think we should follow suit. What business is it of ours ? Why do you want to know? What are you going to do with what information you may be able to dig up? Rumors...well...unfounded rumors can destroy lives...and it is all unnecessary. I mean, would the notes to any of the Carpenters songs suddenly change if Richard were a homosexual? Are you gonna burn his albums?

I think this thread ultimately goes back to one we hashed around a few months ago, regarding fan's rights...we ultimately came up with the idea that artists really don't owe their fans ANYTHING...and whoever was trying to pry into R&C's private lives was really trying to make them accountable for living up to a self-imposed personal standard that they had no right to inflict. One of the main messages of THE LOVE CHAPTER is that love doesn't seek it's own way, and doesn't rejoice in wrongdoings...it doesn't even keep a record of them...so, personal preferences and beliefs shouldn't really matter. If you really care about someone, you do it, warts and all...


This isn't a very good place to preach, because it wasn't designed to be a church, or synagogue or mosque...private messages are better for that sort of thing...please, let's keep focus on the music...


Dan, Dan, the Reluctant Preacher Man
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thank you Dan, you've said it all way better than I think I have.

Harry
 

OceanKing

New Member
I noticed some striking similarities between a couple of posts:

testerguy35 said:
Maybe one day Richard will realize that there's a bigger plan and his pain of losing Karen may be insignificant compared to all the lives saved from the grips of anorexia? who knows...
DAN BOLTON said:
"...Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perefect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now." [1 Corinthians 13:12]
Wow, Steve's a theologian! Who'da thunk it? :D
 
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