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September 3, 2018 7:29 am  #1

cGrant & SOWNY

I know a lot of folks here have had serious concerns about one of our posters who goes by the name “cGrant.” Many have repeatedly urged me to delete him (I say him, because, despite his contention that he’s a her, I’m pretty convinced that’s not the case) since he has a tendency to be unnecessarily abusive, generally insulting, and it would appear constantly tries to take the exact opposite position about almost everything, whether he believes it or not.
I should also note that I have never received one bit of mail asking me to keep him here, while far too many have urged the exact opposite.
I have thought long and hard about this because, like Iain before me, I believe wholeheartedly in free speech and the ability of anyone to express themselves, as long as they don’t go over the top and remain respectful. Obviously it can be argued that, despite repeated warnings, cGrant has certainly not met those parameters on way too many occasions.
I have no objections to anyone who disagrees with me or anyone else on this board. We have over 700 members, and lots of visitors who simply read and don’t post. All are welcome. But when some of them, including Chris Mayberry, for whom I have a lot of respect, begin to leave over this one member, you have to wonder if protecting one benefits the whole.
I’ve concluded it doesn’t. And it’s not the first time. So I have reluctantly decided to ban cGrant beginning immediately. I’m sure many here will be applauding while a few will be calling it censorship. But I assure you I don’t take this lightly. My reasons, if you care to read on, are as follows:
1) Repeated rule violations  
When I took over this board, I thought I might rewrite some of the rules Iain had laid out. But it turned out they were so good, I didn’t touch them. One was about personal attacks. That one’s been violated a number of times. I’ve also discovered that cGrant’s email address, used to sign up here, is not technically real. It’s from a fake mail generator that doesn’t allow for any responses. That, too, is against the stated rules.   
Or as Iain put it, “You might think you're being creative with an e-mail account or login name but if I discover you're not who you say you are, or at the first sign of trouble, you're gone.”
2) Repeating the same message ad infinitum
cGrant seems to take special delight in telling most of us we’re old fashioned, that we worship CHUM and that time has left us behind. It’s a fair criticism, I suppose, although I don’t for a second think it’s accurate. Having fond memories of something does not make you old fashioned. However when almost every single post or reply makes the same point over and over and over and often insults the other board members, it doesn’t seem to be very productive.  
You’ll note it’s not because I find all this unworthy. He has a perfect right to that opinion. But it’s more the way it’s expressed than the thought itself. No one comes here to be insulted. And don’t forget Iain’s dictum about not being a dick.
Irvine, a user who sometimes leaves messages here, is one of the few who seems in agreement with cGrant on just about everything. But he’s welcome here because he makes his point without needlessly denigrating others.
3) The Loss Of Wisdom
This board used to have contributions from radio greats like David Marsden, Bruce Marshall, David Lennick and others. It’s possible they would have grown tired of this place and had other things to do. But I’m aware that some of them left specifically because they were tired of being abused by a certain poster whose nom de plume starts with a small “c” (or a large “Z”, since I’m convinced for a number of reasons I won’t go into here that they’re the same person.)
I know he thinks they’re all dinosaurs, trying to hold onto past glories. But they had a lot to contribute here and I miss their input. Now Chris Mayberry and Old Codger have joined them and I hope this move will convince them and others like them to come back.
4) This Is Not A Democracy
This is another Iain line, but I’m sure he won’t mind if I steal it. This board is free to sign up on and it will never cost you a dime. But it’s not free for me. I’m not sure if you’re aware but Iain paid to keep SOWNY ad free and I intend to follow in those footsteps when his paid term expires.
It’s not a lot of money – a little over $100 U.S. for about five months. But that adds up to over $250 a year or so for something that I will never get back. I don’t mind but when you’re paying the freight, you get to make the decisions about where that freight gets hauled.
5) The Aggravation Factor & My Own Health
Before I agreed to take on the task of being the board admin., I consulted with both Iain and Dale Patterson, who founded a version of this place way back when. Both told me to avoid it like the plague!
But I really enjoy the back-and-forth of ideas here and faced with the choice of pulling it down for good or taking it over, I opted for the latter. As some here know, I have been battling what I jokingly like to call a mild case of cancer.
To put it plainly, I simply don’t need the added aggravation of one bad apple while the rest conduct themselves appropriately. It’s not good for the health of SOWNY or my own. So like my surgeon, the best option for this board was to simply cut out the cancer and hope for a full recovery.
If you’ve been crazy enough to read this far, that’s my explanation. For those who think I’ve acted in haste, I assure you a lot of thought has gone into this since I took over the board in the spring. (Does that make it a spring board? But I digress.)
Do I think cGrant will try to return under an assumed name? I’m pretty sure of it. People like that rarely give up. And he might get through for a bit. But there are ways to detect it and he will be deleted if he tries it again. So while I’m guessing this isn’t over, at least there’s a respite.
Finally, I’m not trying to pick a fight with anyone or start a troll war. Instead, in the words of Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?”
I’m betting we can and I hope you’re willing to take that bet, too. Thanks for reading and posting. With one exception, you’re all welcome here.