Showing him the door because he took a stance in defence of children look like insanity to me.
Mr. Russell sent me an email yesterday requesting that he be removed from this forum, which I did. He apparently did not agree with my use of the title Lolita and this seems to have been his way of expressing his displeasure.
Herb: If you read what Michael wrote, it sounds as though James showed himself out. He was not asked to leave, nor was he 'given the boot'.
I've been a member and sometimes moderator for various lists over the years on a number of topics. One thing I always try to keep in the back of my mind is that the 'net is not a dialogue, but a series of monologues. There's also no inflection, no body language, and it's nearly impossible to write 'tongue in cheek' without resorting to emoticons or expressly writing that you are doing so (which rather defeats the purpose). Add in that for some people English is not their first language, and you open the door to all kinds of possibilities for misinterpretation. One of my favourite quotes is: "I know you think you understand what I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard was not what I meant."
There's an old Native story about the 'perception wheel' that goes something like this... I'll write it w/o diagrams, so use your imagination.
Imagine a circle with four people around it. We'll call them 'A', 'B', 'C', and 'D', but you can substitute any names you want. In the middle of the circle we'll place an arrow. Now person 'A' looks at the arrow and, being a reasonably intelligent person, says to himself, 'That arrow is going from right to left.' Person 'B' looks at the arrow, and being a reasonably intelligent person, says to herself, 'That arrow is pointing toward me.' Person 'C' looks at the arrow, and being a reasonably intelligent person says, 'That arrow is pointing from left to right.' And person 'D' looks at the arrow and, being a reasonably intelligent person says, 'That arrow is going away from me.'
But they're all looking at the same arrow. Now there are two ways to deal with this. One way is to say, 'This is my arrow and so you have to see the arrow the way I see it or I'm going to take my arrow and go home'. Possible, happens every day, but it's also highly limiting in terms of what can be learned from it. Another possibility is to say, 'Well, that's not how I see the arrow, but I understand that you see it differently. Maybe if we work together we can come to some different understanding.' Also possible, also happens all of the time.
Now, if we remove the arrow and place in the circle instead a thought, an idea, a Way of Being, a religion, a government, or a picture of a child, and if instead of four people we have forty or four hundred or six billion, then everyone is going to see that from their own perspective. All are valid, for that person, at that time. Tomorrow or in the next minute their perceptions may change.
And the bottom line is, sometimes we may have to agree to disagree. And that's okay, if we can still hold to our own ideas and
respect those of others.
We can even bring this back to photography. In Holland, some child pornography is legal. In some Islamic countries, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition could get you into trouble. Who's right? Who gets to decide? And is it worth killing people to find out?