A word about GMG

I just wanted to put on record that I was sorry to have to cease my membership of the GMG Classical Music Forum a week or so ago. There were at least a half-dozen members there whose contributions I valued highly (Harry, Vandermolen, Karl Henning and others, for example). There were dozens more who were utterly decent people with a lot to contribute. There were also terribly pretentious Irish members, as well as at least one Australian member with zero sense of humour; but these were in a minority, whom it was easy to ignore.

Unfortuately, there were several members who thought that, presented with a CD album art image of a female artist, it was OK to comment on her cleavage. One in particular, was recorded to have posted, "Poor girl. She can't even find a dress to fit", because a bit of cleavage was visible in the black dress sported by the fine, professional and highly-skilled pianist in question. The poster was 74 and, I think, ought to have known better that women do sport cleavages but that one doesn't reduce a highly-skilled, professional woman to her cleavage. Some of us could hear the heavy breathing and dripping spittle accompanying such commentary.

Anyway: the moderators deleted some images that weren't in the least bit offensive, but they also decided to (a) do nothing at all about the casual sexism being espoused by several members (one of whom claimed such sexism was merely 'Latin temperament'); and (b) do nothing at all about me being told to fuck off three times in two posts by one particular member, in direct and obvious contravention of the site's own rules: not even a suspension for a short period. I get that you might argue that different cultures have a different view on the status of women and that a debate on that could be had; but I see no possible excuse for allowing one member to tell another to fuck off, even ironically or, as the member in quesiton has gone on to admit, 'in a fit of rage'. The rules of moderation are there precisely to mitigate against moments of rage.

There was some discussion about whether the pictures of female artists were provocative. I just want to state categorically that my issue was with the commentary, not the photographs and I couldn't care less about whether this or that photograph might be considered 'saucy' or not.

I have never once found a picture of a woman, in whatever state of undress, to be obscene. But when a picture of a talented female pianist is met with cries of (metaphorically speaking), "Phwoar! What a lovely pair of tits!", I do have a problem. No photograph can objectify a woman, but old men's grubby comments can (and did, in this case. Cato: you should be ashamed, just as much as Florestan). Excusing casual sexism as 'mere Latin temperament' should be no excuse, either. Apart from anything else, I've never personally met a 'Latin' who would be that casually sexist in the first place.

Anyway: as a result, I decided I wanted nothing further to do with the forum, despite the warm relations experienced with specific members therein. I took the trouble to delete 2,500+ posts I'd made there in the past, as I don't see any reason to allow my content to remain visible on a site that (a) won't even police decent norms of Enlightenment behaviour on its pages, but will; (b) decide to delete some photographs that I think no-one would take exception to, whilst simultaneously; (c) turning a blind eye to the gross and obvious violation of its own rules regarding posting 'fuck' abuse directed at another member.

It annoys me. I've virtually met fine people and enjoyed good craic with them and hopefully helped one or two of them out when necessaery. Membership of a place or organisation brings with it, however, a determination to adhere to common goals and values. Unfortunately, it turns out that the values of that particular place are, in the aggregate, not mine and not ones I wish to be associated with. I therefore wash my nether parts from their taint.

There is apparently some discussion on the site as to whether the 'avatar' I left them with constituted a man walking away from them in the sand, or towards them in the sand. I would refer such short-sighted and unimaginitive people to Mark 6:10-11 and direct their attention to the mention of sand, in whatever direction the walker appears to be moving. Learn your Gospels, people! I won't be back, basically. I don't post this, either, to prolong discussion or open it up to revision: I've made my decision and it won't be changing. I like some of the members there very much; I despise some of the members there very much too. I would encourage the decent members to re-think their membership, given the toxic company they're shacked up with. But I also don't hold my breath in that regard, so I'm not expecting apocalytic change any time soon.