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Please someone help me with Dogville

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kenmorefield wrote:

: You make some valid points, and I thought/hoped in my post that I avoided a one

: side is "all right" and the other "all wrong" dichotomy.

I avoided it too. But I still think one side is MORE right than the other, which is why I have any opinion at all.

: Peter T Chattaway wrote:

: : Wow, and here I've always thought there was something arrogant or self-centred

: : in the embedded assumption that "I want to discuss this topic on my own terms

: : instead of taking part in the larger conversation" mentality.


: I don't necessarily disagree with this sentiment, but I do think the phrase "on my

: own terms" is too vague to be contrasted meaningfully with "taking part in the

: larger conversation." The first reveals an attitude, the second a format.

Well, one could just as easily say that calling the larger discussion "someone else's discussion" suggests an attitude of some sort, too. And you certainly engaged in some pretty bad caricature when you suggested that those of us who post the occasional "ahem" do so because we have the attitude that "If I had this conversation six months ago, you can't have it now." First of all, some of us post "ahems" even when we were never part of those original conversations to begin with. And second, the whole POINT of posting an "ahem" is to let people know that the conversation they are looking for already exists, and to draw them into it.

: Having one and only one acceptable place for a conversation may be some

: people's version of having it on their "own terms"--may make it easier for some to

: monopolize, bully, or shape the conversation to their liking, or at least try to.

Oh, hardly. But it was you who suggested that people should start new threads so that they could have "your own" conversations instead of "someone else's". If that does not mean, in essence, having a conversation on your "own terms", then I don't know WHAT it means. (Side note: I admit that my response to your posts here is influenced by some dim memory of you posting something here once that implied that a thread belonged, as it were, to the person who started it, or something -- a principle I don't think we have EVER followed in ANY of this board's incarnations.)

: Beyond that, I think (at this thread demonstrates) there can be legitimate reasons

: for not wanting to take part in "the larger conversation" other than simply "I want

: to discuss this topic on my own terms."

There may be such legitimate reasons, but I don't see how this thread demonstrates them.

As it is, Sara openly admitted her reasons for starting this thread (hence my comment about the "milk" and the "meat"), and at least two other people posted links to the original thread, and it was only when we seemed on the verge of bringing "meat" into the "milk"-only thread that I suggested steering things back there.

: The characterization of new threads/voices/ideas as "crumbs" that lead to the taken

: for granted "greater riches" borders on a claim that posts are de facto more

: insightful, more valuable, more hepful simply by virtue of the fact that they were

: there first.

Not quite. What it is, is a claim that existing threads, simply by virtue of having been around for a long time, are almost always bound to have more content -- and certainly in the case of Dogville, much deeper content -- than a single post that sits all by itself until other people start to answer it.

And please don't conflate "threads" with "voices" and "ideas". That's misleading, and I think you know it. Some new threads represent OLD voices. Some old threads are continually informed by NEW voices. What we are discussing is threads, not voices.

: Is it possible that this attitude (or even the perception of it, whether it is accurate or

: not) taken towards participants who aren't part of the fraternity of

: long-time/frequent posters makes some of them reluctant to participate in

: older/bigger/more volatile threads and prefer to have a conversation about the

: material that is on a different frequency than the one they've found?

Lots of things are possible. But it's not like the longer threads are always referring back to earlier posts -- who has the memory for THAT? The whole POINT of keeping all the posts together in a single thread is so that the thread ITSELF can be our collective memory, our storehouse, the place that produces all sorts of fruitful things if we ever decide to go back and browse through it some day.

I think you're enough of a "fraternity" member to know that our threads are very adaptable, and if someone posts something on a "different frequency" to an existing thread, then that's perfectly fine. It keeps things interesting. And accessible. And user-friendly.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I want to weigh in the discussion between having keeping the discussion of a film in one thread or allowing for many.

Conceptually, I like the idea of keeping all discussions about a film in one thread. This just makes the message board more organized, and easier to navigate and manage when looking for information on a film. I like the idea of going to ONE thread to read all the thoughts, opinions and discussions about a film. On another message board I'm involved in I try to keep the discussions of a particular film or topic in one thread.

Having said that, in practice, limiting all discussions of a film to one single thread doesn't work very well because it can stifle both participation and discussion, especially to those who were not involved in the discussion when the thread. Good discussions depend on a natural flow and momentum. Acheiving this when you try to keep all the posts in one thread is very difficult. For example, if a person wants to jump into a thread where the last post was made a year ago, that person will have a better chance of generating a discussion by starting a new thread, imo.

I think there is a relatively simple solution (at least conceptually) which Peter mentioned: just link the threads together. I think having some index of film titles that you could click on and see a list of all the existing discussions of a film would be a cool thing. I don't know how difficult this would be to do, but I think it would address both concerns raised by Peter and Ken.

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--and (like MichaelRay above) they may have insightful things to say that are worth hearing.

I'd just like to say that Ken made my day. Thanks! biggrin.gif

"Did you mention, perhaps, what line of industrial lubricants Jesus would have endorsed?"

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