Just dropped in to see how everything was going after taking a "vacation" from the list since Memorial Day. I've seen a few digests during that time, but for the most part I've been out of the loop. I know there have been a few inquires directed towards me either directly or indirectly which I have not responded to. Please forgive me for that, but when you're out, you're out. During my absence I have continued to recieve a high volume of questions primarily about Masis and details related to same. I am more than happy to share my knowledge and my experiences with the group if and when anyone is interested. Unfortunately, due to the current trend for "political correctness" which I feel has gotten completely out of hand these days in our society; it has become impossible to seperate fact from fiction and apparently unacceptable to state ones opinion if it is in any way potentially offensive to ANYONE. This system serves those who have no conscience or intend to abuse the concept for a multitude of reasons, all of which are selfish. Just look at any news story about such a situation (like the recent controversy over the "Aztec" mascot for San Diego State University) and you will likely see a very small (and I mean VERY small) minority abusing this concept to its fullist. Personally, I find THAT offensive. To a degree, I feel the same situation is well under way here. Those who seek to mask their wrongdoing and manipulating of the system are in the extreme minority in this group, and yet the current policies penalize the over 500 (if I'm not mistaken) members of this group severely on account of this. I don't know about anyone else, but my purpose here in the past has been to freely and openly discuss matters related to our passion for vintage bikes and to establish a foundation of FACTS that our future generations of enthisists can draw upon with confidence. Once the persons who lived some of these "historical" events check out, only our base of information will be left behind for reference. I feel it is our obligation to maintain integrety in so far as the information we leave behind. The present system gives equal weight to fact and fiction, causing the overwhealming majority of listmembers to have to try to figure what is real and what is fantasy. In this, we accomplish nothing. Imagine what some future being will have to suffer through just to get nowhere, considering that the parties involved have passed away. The time to get everything straight is NOW. If some information is exposed as not factual and someones "feelings" are hurt, so be it. Personally, I feel that is the proper course of events. Presently the PC trend has pretty much relieved wrongdoers from taking responsibility for their actions and from others shedding light on these dark areas. It takes a lot of time to relate over 25 years of experiences that are directly in the heart of some of our interests, only to have them diluted to the point of useless by smokescreens and "counter information". Like I said before, I find that offensive; consequently my previous "vacation".
My question now is this. I am curious at this time to know how the rest of the group feels on these issues. If there are 500 listmembers worldwide, only a very small percentage are ever heard from on the list. The "core" of regular contributors probably numbers around 25 or so from what I've seen in the past. So what do the rest of the people have to say? While off the list I heard on several occassions that the "entertainment value" has diminished drastically, and I agree 100%, which is another reason I took a break; the thrill is gone under the oversanitized conditions at present.
I realize that Dale doesn't have time nor inclination to play referee or decide what is true and what is not. Clearly it is easier to say "play nice or not at all" to everyone without discrimination. That is commendable to be sure, but it's also just like being in kindergarten. As an adult, I have learned to reason and have developed a certain sense of right and wrong and the ability to control myself while still engageing in stimulating (and sometimes controversial) discussions. I will also dish back what someone else dishes out up to a point, if they want to play ball that way. It's part of what makes me feel alive as opposed to living a life on a diet of "milk toast". If others had the courage to do the same while still manintaing "a reasonable" amount of civility, and if people had the courage to call offenders to the carpet for stepping out of bounds or not playing fairly, I think we could all get along while still haveing a stimulating atmosphere. Am I all wet? This all makes sense to me, but perhaps I am an extreme minority on this issue; if so then I am more than willing to dry up and blow away. Just let me know. If this is impractical for or unacceptable for Dale, again I'm willing to spend the time I would otherwise spend contributing to the list for the benifit of present and future vintage buffs, on building frames and restoring bikes. I have an overwhelming amount of work to do, it would be very easy to dive into it without any thought of what might get missed or paved over on the list. That is not to say I would not be deeply saddened that this has taken place within our intimate community, but it is out of my control. It's Dales list and he alone puts in the time and effort to make this possible for all of us, and for that I am very thankful. I have tried to repay his generouity by contribiting everything I know at any time anyone has wanted to know and to make sure that everything I write is 100% true and factual to the full extent of my ability. Although by my nature that is not any "work" at all, still it requires time and effort at bare minimum.
OK, I've said my peace. The only question remaining is (in the immortal words of The Clash) should I stay or should I go? I know, you didn't miss me or even know I was gone. Maybe that alone is enough to decide which course to take. I'll lurk for a while in the meantime.
Heartbroken in La Mesa