The Forum and Facebook

Ask and answer questions about Leonard Cohen, his work, this forum and the websites!
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Cheshire gal
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Re: The Forum and Facebook

Post by Cheshire gal » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:31 am

Thank you Marie.

You have expressed what I and probably most of us think perfectly. :D :D
'...and here's a man still working for your little smile' -Leonard Cohen
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donalagata
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Re: The Forum and Facebook

Post by donalagata » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:39 am

Thank you Marie for your observations and words of reason and wisdom....
Respectfully yours,
donalagata (Donna)
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Paula
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Re: The Forum and Facebook

Post by Paula » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:49 am

Another form of social disabilty is being smug and patronising.
Dublin 14th June, Manchester 20th June, O2 17th July, Matlock Bandstand Aug 28, O2 14th November, Royal Albert Hall 17th and 18th November 2008, MBW 11th July 2009, Liverpool Echo 14th July 2009
Cate
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Re: The Forum and Facebook

Post by Cate » Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:09 am

If it feels like a semi-protected environment on the forum, it is because people behind the scenes are deleting the spam.
Yes, exactly it feels like a very homey place for me. I may be a bit shy talking to people I don’t know very well or feel self conscious posting in some areas but I know that in a sense we are all connected and feel a bit like we're extended family. There seems to be a special connection for those who enjoy Mr. Cohen’s work.
The newsgroup is still there – I occasionally go there to peek or read. I don’t post, as that very much feels like a private space … you do have to be careful what you click on there though - the spam is crazy! (thank you so much to all of those here who work so hard to keep the spam away)

Between Facebook and here – I like here better, but I use facebook a little bit (I have a pretend farm where I can kill plants just like in my own garden).
An example of where facebook and the forum have bumped slightly was in the announcement of the dates for Madison, which was announced on facebook with what looks like many people being invited there, but wasn’t announced here. I learned that the dates were posted because of a post here (left by mutti I think) but couldn’t find the information until Avi left a link. Everything of course worked out and the information is here now as well.

Side note about the benefit of the forum – as I mentioned, like many here I’m shy … since joining the forum, I have noticed that I am a little more comfortable speaking with people in real life that I don’t know (which may or may not be a good thing) Until joining the forum I could not have imagined talking to people I didn’t know online.
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Re: The Forum and Facebook

Post by ladydi » Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:29 am

Thank you Marie for your wise words. I've followed this thread since its inception but have held back for several reasons. I appreciate Leonard Cohen on so many different levels. I am also what some of the faithful fans for the past 40 years might label a "newbie", and therefore in their eyes I have no credibility. Many years ago in Canada, I was aware of Leonard Cohen on a certain level, but whether because of my circle of friends, or the fact that I married in 1969 and moved to a remote area of northern Arizona, he was simply a musical/poetical name in the background that I quickly forgot.

In 2008, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions, I was smitten by this elegant, handsome man reciting Tower of Song. Shortly thereafter, a hopeful on "American Idol" sang Hallelujah. Next day it was the largest hit on iTunes ever! I wandered onto Youtube...watched Jeff Buckley...and then noticed a syrupy video of Leonard off to the side in Germany in the 80's. I watched, and I have never been the same again.

Yes, I may be older, but I'm relatively new to Leonard. This doesn't make my passion for his poetry and his music any the less than someone else. I read the Forum daily for several months before registering. Almost immediately I became aware of the "old guard", but that wasn't a problem. I was there simply to learn and enjoy. So many of us joined in 2008 and we were full of excitment. We were happy....we added tons of smilies to our posts because of the joy within us....and some felt it necessary to make fun of us. But we persevered. Hundreds joined only for presales and then drifted off. I used to welcome them but then stopped. However, in 2009, on a flight to San Jose from Las Vegas, a man behind me asked "are you ladydi?". He then thanked me profusely for being the one person who welcomed him to the Forum, and how much that meant to him.

This past year has been one of intense joy....and introspection. I've come to realize all the levels of personalities on this wonderful Forum...and the cultural differences. I've become very aware of the insecurities of some (my own included), the obsessions of some, the normalcy of others who originally I might have thought strange. We are a wondrous group, unified in our appreciation of the man, Leonard Cohen, and his magnificent gift.

There is a definite post-tour letdown, which is normal. I remember comments from band members that after the intense 1979 tour entire families were disrupted, divorces happened, and lives were changed. This last tour was 2 1/2 years! Of course we have a bit of malaise. Fortunately mini-meetups have helped. We share through emails, phone calls, lunches....and Facebook. Many of us have become life-long friends. However, the Forum is still where most of us turn for all news and comments regarding anything Leonard.

I am looking forward to Madison 2012, as I hope it will give many of us an opportunity to meet and get to know each other better. One person has united us all, as diverse as we may be. I do hope the Forum can remain the home for all of us.

Diana
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mutti
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Re: The Forum and Facebook

Post by mutti » Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:27 am

Thank you Marie for your post and thoughts on this topic.
Very well said in my opinion.
Leslie
1988 Vancouver
2009 Victoria/Seattle/Almost Red Rocks/Las Vegas/San Jose.
2010 Sligo x 2/Victoria/Vancouver/Portland/Las Vegas x 2.
2012 Austin x 2/Seattle/Vancouver/Montreal x 2.
2013 Oakland x 2/New York City x 2/Winnipeg...
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Kush
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Re: The Forum and Facebook

Post by Kush » Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:36 am

brightnow wrote:
It has also been my experience that Brits are generally tactful,
Have you seen the political section? You cannot be serious....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekQ_Ja02gTY
DBCohen
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Re: The Forum and Facebook

Post by DBCohen » Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:00 am

Marie,

Thank you very much for your thoughts.
MarieM wrote:
No one should be subjected to a litmus test as to how long they have been a member of the forum, how long they have been a fan of Leonard's, or how much they post. … If Leonard's work is going to extend beyond today, it would seem important that people who discover him tomorrow have a welcoming place to come, a place where they are treated as an equal.
This is very well said. When I joined the Forum I received a very warm welcome, and I’ve always felt that anyone who joins - as long as they play by the rules - deserves to be treated as equal. This should be obvious by the nature of the medium.
MarieM wrote:
The forum is "non-profit," but it is not free. Jarkko pays for this site, for server space, but even more importantly, in time that he could be spending elsewhere. If it feels like a semi-protected environment on the forum, it is because people behind the scenes are deleting the spam.
When I wrote earlier that the Forum is “a non-profit, (almost) totally protected environment”, I was talking from the point of view of the average member. Here, unlike other places, one is not exposed to constant advertizing and soliciting. I was aware, of course, that someone is picking up the tab, and I indicated my admiration for Jarkko’s generosity; we would have been nowhere without him and we all know it. I’m also aware of the valuable contribution by the moderators. By using the qualifier “(almost)” I meant that although protected from external threats, one is still exposed to internal bashing; many of us had some bitter experiences, regardless of when they joined, as I’ve already indicated above.
MarieM wrote:
I used to analyze Leonard's lyrics and poems endlessly with others. Then one day I realized that there was only so much my head could do and I would have to start engaging my heart. Leonard then became a very private experience for me. I think this happens to many fans. The need to discuss dissipates and it is replaced with a desire to just experience.
LC, for me, was always a very private experience; learning to share him with others was the difficult part. But although the desire to experience, as you say, is certainly strong, I have not given up on analyzing either. Here I’m speaking of my own needs, which may be different than those of many others, but are certainly not peculiar to me alone. At this point I wish to quote from an earlier posting on this thread:
mnkyface wrote:
A couple of people have observed that the forum seems more academic, while FB feels more human. I do find this to be true.
I beg to differ. Firstly, I don’t find that the Forum is less “human” than Facebook in any way, shape or form. I’ve had many human moments on the Forum that I’m yet to experience on Facebook. Secondly, I find that the Forum can hardly be called “academic”; I’ve often been frustrated in my attempts to make it a little more so; and if ever it had such a tendency, this can rarely be found nowadays. I have nothing against people having fun and games on the Forum; let me reiterate this: there is absolutely nothing wrong with fun and games on the Forum; I enjoy seeing people having a good time and join them if I can (should I repeat it again..? I know I’m going to regret this 8) …).

It is very difficult to keep a focused discussion on the Forum; they always veer off in all directions; again, that’s OK too but it is hardly “academic”. Also, it had sometimes proven very difficult to even start a new discussion that requires serious analysis. I have several examples but here’s just one: last year Jarkko loaded on the Files a thesis on LC’s poetry by Beatrice Wolfe Watson; I don’t know who she is, but I found her thesis very interesting and tried to initiate a discussion of it, but nobody was interested. Some people who would have joined in such a discussion are gone forever: Greg is still greatly missed; others are no longer to be seen around the Forum, I’m not sure why. Many are busy with their lives, I know, I’m too, but still I would have loved to see some more discussions of the “academic” kind.

And finally a word to Cate: I was really touched by your posting; thanks to you, and to everyone else. There’s more to say but I’ve been carrying on far too long already.
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Diane
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Re: The Forum and Facebook

Post by Diane » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:29 pm

Yes, an interesting thread. My tuppence-worth:

What I come to the forum for these days is to reflect upon LC's most spiritual works, to have fun in the Barmouth thread, to learn about 'other music', and to keep up with connections that have become important to me over the years. Probably all that in reverse order. I don't imagine I will ever be able to leave. I don't though actively seek an increasing number of social connections, and that's one of the reasons I don't use Facebook.

I had the impression that others came here for their own set of reasons and were happy with Jarkko's forum. And yet reading this, the people who joined prior to the Tour do seem to have this feeling of not-being-welcomed by a notional "old guard". I agree with Paula and others that this is partly because the village became a city overnight, and interactions changed accordingly.

Also though, I would briefly mention a history of tension on the forum: As Doron said, Jarkko did once threaten, very seriously, to close the forum. Broadly, this was a result of escalating reactions against a long-standing issue with a proliferation of what the majority - but not everyone - perceived to be highly oversentimental postings in most threads. The issue did seem to resolve a great deal, more than sufficiently for the forum to continue, and we moved on.

However, when the influx of new members occurred with the Tour, there was a sudden new surge of very enthusiastic posts. That established members did not respond to them as you might have liked in order to feel welcome enough, I think, is because your legitimate enthusiasm rang the wrong bells in the heads of those of us who were somewhat battle-weary. Of course, you couldn't have been expected to know about this, and it's understandable that you might have felt older members were keeping a distance.

Additionally, speaking for myself but also I suspect others, I have never been interested in endlessly discussing every aspect of LC's work. For me that is partly for the reasons Marie has given and also because I simply don't want to know every detail about him. That is not meant as a slight against those who do enjoy these discussions, the platform for which is after all the purpose of this forum. Some of the newer members like Sturgess and Arlene have contributed much of the news about the Tour, and brought numerous current and interesting articles here. That is a service for which I know there is a lot of appreciation. I also think it is excellent that people such as you Ladydi, MaryB, and Mutti, have welcomed so many of the newcomers, and contributed much in the way of positive vibes. Marvellous too, that many deep and lasting friendships have begun here, and continue to be made.

Doron, I think "academic" discussions do go on regularly, that you could pick up on and add your knowledge and views to. In any case, as you know, pendulums have a way of swinging one way and then the other, so I think "academic discussion time" will come back around. Whether such discussions occur here or on Facebook, or are copied to both places, I don't imagine sea-changes in cyber-interactions will obliterate the interest in such. It's cool that you started this thread and have put your strong interest in such discussion 'out there'. (Btw I am looking forward to reading your article on The Window that you have linked to in a few threads.)

It's good to see people expressing their views and listening to each other without getting abusive. Many have mentioned it, but I am not sure who exactly is thought to believe that something is proved or not by how many posts you have, years of fandom etc? I love this forum. I am ever-appreciative to Jarkko and his helpers for their generosity. I don't feel the need to apologise for how long I have been here, or what I come here for. Neither should anyone else. There's room for us all and we have no choice but to put up with each other:-)
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mat james
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Re: The Forum and Facebook

Post by mat james » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:49 pm

"Here's to the few who forgive what you do
and the fewer who don't even care."
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
Cate
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Re: The Forum and Facebook

Post by Cate » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:17 pm

mat james wrote:"Here's to the few who forgive what you do
and the fewer who don't even care."
:)
Diane wrote:There's room for us all and we have no choice but to put up with each other:-)
absolutely
I liked your tuppence-worth Diane ... as others have said this is a good conversation.
let me reiterate this: there is absolutely nothing wrong with fun and games on the Forum; I enjoy seeing people having a good time and join them if I can (should I repeat it again..? I know I’m going to regret this 8) …).
8) you might <grin>
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anneporter
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Re: The Forum and Facebook

Post by anneporter » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:57 pm

mat james wrote:"Here's to the few who forgive what you do
and the fewer who don't even care."
If this was on Facebook I would click "Like"!

Perhaps we are all just hoping to go down to Bill's Bar (if we can make it that far) and see if our friends are still there?
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mutti
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Re: The Forum and Facebook

Post by mutti » Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:42 pm

Diane re your comment
I also think it is excellent that people such as you Ladydi, MaryB, and Mutti, have welcomed so many of the newcomers, and contributed much in the way of positive vibes.
I am actually not one of the few who welcome the new people to the forum as that is not my way...
Lady Di (Diana), Mary B and Lizzy have been the ones who seem to do that and have welcomed many people including me and it was much appreciated at the time. I personally may be guilty of 'the positive vibes' persona which you mention above.
I seem to see the world as having the cup half full instead of half empty. I do not like sickly sweet comments either but do appreciate honesty
and kindness without being cruel.
Again this forum is incredible and I am truly grateful for it....
This line is perfect...
"Here's to the few who forgive what you do
and the fewer who don't even care."
Leslie/Mutti 8)
1988 Vancouver
2009 Victoria/Seattle/Almost Red Rocks/Las Vegas/San Jose.
2010 Sligo x 2/Victoria/Vancouver/Portland/Las Vegas x 2.
2012 Austin x 2/Seattle/Vancouver/Montreal x 2.
2013 Oakland x 2/New York City x 2/Winnipeg...
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anneporter
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Re: The Forum and Facebook

Post by anneporter » Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:50 pm

mutti wrote: I personally may be guilty of 'the positive vibes' persona
after all, love IS the only engine of survival....
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Diane
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Re: The Forum and Facebook

Post by Diane » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:44 pm

mutti wrote: I am actually not one of the few who welcome the new people to the forum as that is not my way...
Lady Di (Diana), Mary B and Lizzy have been the ones who seem to do that and have welcomed many people including me and it was much appreciated at the time. I personally may be guilty of 'the positive vibes' persona which you mention above.
Yes that sounds about right, Leslie, sorry to misrepresent you; I don't read many of the threads since the forum got busy, and probably "see" a different forum to everyone else. I think we all do this to an extent.

Anne, every time I see your avatar, I wonder what's on fire in that blue bottle...
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