Our Language: Take 1

Subject: re: re: our language
From: TomBuoyed@aol.com
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 15:37:31 -0800

Constance wrote:
>I just got online again and the first message I read more or less
>has the word "balling" in it. I think it is crude along with several
>other words, and would gladly quit this listserv if I have to read
>anymore crudities anywhere. It is enough that we are faced in our public
>life with all sorts of sordid information, I had hoped that at least our
>conversations would be a bit more circumspect.

Dear Constance,

If my memory serves me right, I believe that you unsubscribed Lefty's List in January of 1997 because you were taking a Waldorf School position in New Zealand. Now it appears that you are back in Oregon. So, welcome back to the USA and let me proceed to fill you in on what you have missed about Steiner on the Internet over the last year and a half or so.

I too share your disappointment and dismay at the coarseness of the language that sometimes appears on the Steiner98 Listserve. Gone are the days when we had a very attentive and upstanding moral moderator like David "Lefty" Schlesinger, who assiduously demanded a high moral tone for his Steiner Listserve.

Now please do not think that I am disparaging Jeffrey Mishlove, who is the Director of the Intuition Network, which is our service provider. But consider that there are upwards of 90 separate newsgroups under the umbrella of the Intution Network, and it is just physically impossible for Jeffrey even to monitor, let alone moderate, one specific news group the way that Lefty did.

As you may remember from 1996, Constance, and I'm sure the memory is as painful to you as it is to me-- yes I was guilty, many times, of expressing myself on Lefty's List in rude and crude language, which was but a symptom of my crass and cavalier disregard for the feelings of others and complete puerile insensitivity to the sacred nature of the inner being of each subscriber on the List. But Lefty's patience and perseverance with me finally paid off. He loved me in the best way possible. He gave me "tough love" by putting me on Review Status when I needed to be taken to task for such crass insensitivity on my part.

And finally, I grew to love Lefty in return, to cultivate a real gratitude to him for his care, concern and "tough love" for me. And Constance, it's a shame that there are no archives of Lefty's List for the beginning of 1997, for if there were, you could read my posts and see the transformation of my attitude as I cleaned up my act and my language and wrote postings that I hoped would be shining Michaelic examples for the others to follow, especially those who knew me in those gross and terrible dark days when I posted in 1996. By God and the grace of Michael, if *I* could reform, then so could *they*!

But alas, destiny would intervene. In the spring of 1997, Lefty decided that he could no longer put the time and effort into moderating the Steiner List, so he disbanded it. But before this event happened, I had contacted Jeffrey Mishlove at the Intuition Network and Jeffrey allowed me to moderate the dormant listserve as something that could be used in the future for a Steiner group. Thus when Lefty finally pulled the plug on his own Steiner List, a number of displaced subscribers joined the esoteric list.

Later the Esoteric list would change its name to the Anthroposophia List, and I was subscribed there for a time, but I eventually grew disillusioned and dismayed with the growing coarseness and vulgarity of the postings on that List. So I asked Jeffrey for my own private Listserve where we could discuss spiritual science in a positive, warm and heartfelt way and protect ourselves against the coarse, crude even vulgar element that infects our social intercourse over the Internet, and desecrates the anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner that can only grow healthy in an atmosphere where language is deemed sacred.

Here's an example of what I had to endure on that Anthroposophia List. You do remember Catherine MacCoun from Lefty's List? I don't know what happened to her sensibilities, but it was her constant shocking and salacious references to the male and female organs of fructification, using a pair of 4-letter words each beginning with the consonant "C" that finally drove me away from the Anthropopsohia List in disgust and dismay at the vulgarity to which even a woman of the Grail had descended!

Unfortunately, even I, setting such a shining Michaelic example for others here, have not been able to keep that crude, vulgar element out of my own Listserve. And what is most disheartening about the specific word that offended you, Constance, was that it was posted there by Hilmar Moore, a man whose future in the Anthropopsohical Society was so bright just a short time ago. Why, Hilmar might have been the first American representative of our "Baby Boom" generation to have been selected to join the elite Vorstand at the Goetheanum, but instead, he has fallen mightily from his high office and now posts regularly here on Steiner98 with all the crude vulgarity of a common dirt farmer.

I don't know how we can ever address this problem, Constance, but perhaps, if you and I were both to stand united against this onslaught of vulgarity... wait, your last sentence has just inspired me!

>Thanks to all.
>(If you think I am being a wet blanket and have no place on this list,
>please let me know and I'll bail out)

Oh, Constance, please, no! Please do not bail out! I would like you to stay for as long as you feel you can. Here's my inspiration:

I really don't care how wet your blanket is, Constance, for I am more than willing to crawl under it and discuss with you the many ways in which we might succeed in planting small seeds for the future fructification of the anthroposophical impulse in America and on the Internet.

As Jesus Christ said in the Gospel (my translation) : "Wherever two or more are gathered in my Name under a wet blanket, verily, I say unto ye, that the blanket will surely be dry in the morning!"


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