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» AnimationNation   » SideTopics   » No more political discussions here

   
Author Topic: No more political discussions here
Charles
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I'll address the situation and come to a final decision.

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Charles
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Okay, let's get this resolved.

First off, there were a few comments that got the Republican Convention thread going which I felt were heading the topic in the wrong direction right off the bat. So I cleaned it up a little, it wasn't The Mod that deleted them, it was me. He was blamed, but that's what happens when people jump to hot headed conclusions.

Also, I had a conversation with Thomas and we spoke about the use of The Mod account. Tom uses the account for enforcing AN's policies when it's needed. His intention of starting the Democratic Convention and Republican Convention threads using an account for moderating the forums was his way of saying please keep it civil. The adjustment's been made and moderator accounts won't be used for editorial purposes anymore, only for enforcing policy when the situation calls for it.

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Charles
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Concerning the 1st Ammendment and your right to Freedom of Speech on AnimationNation.com.

There is a long standing comittment on AN to freedom of speech, as you all know by virtue of the forum's many years of existence. There are also editorial policies which we hold in high regard, and by which all members agree to abide by as a condition of maintaining their AN account. This is a contract that you have with us, and part of that contract states in no uncertain terms, that we may close any account for any reason.

We've proven our editoral tolerance time after time after time over the course of approaching 10 years. Our tolerance and good faith has been taken advantage of many times by members who we know, and by individuals who we don't know, who in their own way, breach the agreement they consented to when they opened an account here. In virtually every instance, we give these individuals not just days or weeks, but years to adapt to the vibe of AN's community and the editorial policies we maintain. When the abuse of our policies gets so bad that it becomes a hopeless cause, we're left with no choice but to close an account.

For example, your right to free speech on AN does not include a right to harrass our members, or our staff, collectively or individually. If you can't get along with others, AN is not the community for you. If you're a mean spirited individual, AN is not for you. You're going to have a difficult time here if you're looking to stir it up with well meaning folks, and you won't last as a few have found out over the years. If you can't exercise a good degree of tolerance for others, no matter what their viewpoint or where they're coming from, look for another site to engage in.

Good people leave when our editorial policies are abused, and there's no topic that lends itself to abuse as much as political subjects. A member does not have the right to the use of AN that is so extreme that it affects the goodwill of our community. When that happens, it's much easier for us to close one account for the sake of the many who depend on us for maintaining editorial balance and a healthy communal environment.

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Charles
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Consider this also please, that on AN, we trust you to use your better judgment and to be responsible with our format. This isn't a blog, where the blog owner has the option of reviewing your comment before you publish it. Unlike a blog, you have the privilege of creating and starting your own topic at any time.

And if you feel that AN does not give you the editorial latitude that you need or want, then you always have the option of practicing your 1st Ammendment right by using your own blog or website to express yourself as you see fit.

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Charles
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Now that we've covered that ground, here's the way that I've always perceived political discussions on AN to be conducted.

Ever seen Meet the Press or Face the Nation, or some news program where people who have opposing views face each other? Sure you have. If they can be as politically opposite in their views as we are, and they can have a spirited exchange without throwing chairs at each other, then we should be able to do it here.

Some of our members think this is the Daly Show or Colbert, where comedy along with snarky remarks, belittlement, satire, ect are the norm.

We can't have both. It's like oil and water, no matter how much you stir it up, they don't mix. You can't conduct a considerate discussion when your style is continuous sarcasm. In the end we wind up with what we've got here.

I'm still undecided about whether or not to open the Side Topics Forum to politics, but I'm leaning against it. As much as I enjoy talking politics here, I don't think it's possible to keep the tempo in line with what I described above without risking the same thing that we experience almost every time we talk politics.

I'm opening up the thread to the input of our members. Your perspective is welcome and will help with a final decision.

The thread will remain a featured topic for the time being, locked in place at the head of Side Topics page.

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SNAKEBITE
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I've taken aggressive stances in my history on AN. You might consider me a guilty party. I have learned
to step back considerably over the years picking
and choosing my battles more wisely. so I don't
know if I would be the pot calling the kettle black or what. so take it with a grain of salt.

with that said, when talking politics one cannot side step religion. thats just tough. like I said before if you talk about sex you can't ask someone not to be perverted...not that I'm saying religion is perverted. hopefully I made the point.

I can personally see how both sides of the argument have their fundamentalists. By drawing conclusions of absolutes you are just as guilty as the next. so its hard to make your point when being general. but then again its hard to make a point when being specific because that can be excused as bias.

So what I guess Im trying to say is that if you let people have political discussions theres always gonna be conflict. I guess I would extend my thanks and gratitude for having an opportunity to talk with people all over the world, to learn new perspectives and even see that some I have are wrong, by doing my best to speak impeccably and try not to take things personal. I think this is a lesson and discipline we could all grow from.

Before there was the spoken word, there was the unspoken. our natural connection and communication with each other. There was no place for sarcasm or cynicism. after all how can you communicate that without the use of words. our natural way is to communicate impeccable. as in, pure, truth. say your peace and move on. when you take things personal you tend to have more conflict...again, not preaching, only sharing what I want to master.
its been a journey.

In political discussions I do my best, although fail at times, not to engage one person but to just make my feelings known. although its hard to not engage those who engage you I think ultimately it does me more good not to.

to just have a voice is powerful enough. to have a platform is all one could ask for. not need to
invest energy into people I don't know not agreeing with me...thats how wars start.

after all I can always turn off the internet in disgust as to how inferior you all are to me....god emailed me and told me so. [Wink]

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starla30
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Hello. Long time lurker here. I actually have a newer account (with my name attached) but I can't seem to log into it right now. Just throwing in my measly two cents here.

I often find the side topics forum quite entertaining. I visit general discussion to see how things are going in the industry, then I go to side topics expecting to be entertained. It's very interesting to see what fellow animators and artists have to say on a wide spectrum of topics, be it politics or things less inflammatory. It's usually fun and sometimes educational.

I suppose some people do go overboard and I really appreciate the efforts by the mods to keep this board going and running smoothly. I wish there were some other way other than barring political discussion, but I understand this problem has been a huge pain for you guys for some time.

Cristin McKee

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mojodesign
IE # 237
Member # 3158

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I just want chime in quickly and say that I love Gary's posts.

Perhaps this isn't the place for political discussions though? I don't know...not my call to make, but Gary, I'd love to know where else you post so that I can read 'em. Maybe you can start your own blog with your commentaries? Let us know please. There are obviously people on this board that like to hear what you have to say.

By the way, Charles, whatever you decide regarding political discussions on this board, you have my support too.

-Jose S.

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Shane Glines
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I have a feeling that Jon Stewart & Colbert have introduced more young people to politics that any serious news program- much like I decided to learn more about Ron Paul by reading Gary's posts on Animation Nation.

I keep reading these warnings to Gary and it baffles me. He uses humor to make his point- but often he comes off as more tolerant and respectful than the people constantly reprimanding him.

S.

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mojodesign
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Shane, you're so right. I was never into politics as a teenager. It wasn't until Jon Stewart & Colbert...until somebody I could relate to poked fun at how dysfuncional the system is, that politics suddenly became bareable to keep up with.

Last night I was tired as hell...could barely keep my eyes open, but I toughed it out just to see Jon Stewart & Colbert. Of course I'm paying for it today [snore]

Amazing. I went from someone who could care less about politics, to someone who can't wait to vote...and I think I owe it to "humor".

-Jose S.

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SNAKEBITE
IE # 101
Member # 17

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I agree with Shane and Mojo.

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SNAKEBITE
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I went from not caring less about politics, to being totally into politics to realizing politics is a joke. So it makes sense to use humor when referring to it.

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GaryClair
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I appreciate the support.. but please give it to Charles. He is a super busy guy.. and just wants to create a professional, harmonious and inviting environment that people want to come to.

I'm the bad guy here.

I thought bringing up the prostitutes and to knock religion in political discussion was relevant because of how often the moral high horse and religious card the Republicans use in their propoganda.

It's obvious that my viewpoints and opinions are monstorous and extremly poignant, the truth hurts like a mo-fo. And It's apparent to me NOW that i'm incapable of conversing with normals.

Whats frustrating, is that I thought I WAS being on my best behavior. I just don't know how to talk any other way, especially the way other people here want me to..

I'll just have to agree to not discuss politics and religion on AN anymore.

I'll just talk about how awesome the animation industry is. (stares blankly into space)
... I can hear Kevin's heart rate going up. [Big Grin]

And just for Jose I started a blog about my political viewpoints here: http://sepore.blogspot.com/

I'm counting on you reading and commenting.. you and me buddy!!

I apologize for people bringing attention to myself, and making a spectacle of this..

I'll get on my tugboat and go back to b*tthole island.

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Shane Glines
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I do sympathize with Charles, because I've operated some discussion boards and I know what a thankless and time-consuming job it is.

But In my experience, it wasn't the people like Gary with strong opinions that made the job difficult- it was the sensitive types and humorless crybabies who hate the idea that there are people in the world with opinions different than theirs. Since they can't come up with a good counter argument in the discussion, they instead send email and pm's to the mods whining and complaining and protesting.

S.

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Ganklin
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there's a difference between satire that colbert does and ridicule which is how pretty much every political debate here has broken down into for as long as i've been posting.

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jeffnevins
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I have yet to find a better animation forum online. And I've looked. Is there one? [Smile]

Hearing news from an animator's perspective is pretty cool. Sometimes I get my news here first, since I don't watch TV or get a paper.

The other forum I visit most often has some limits on links & images posted. I wouldn't want even those too limited, but it might be a compromise, rather than limiting topics altogether.

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My game art & animation-
http://www.tangerinepop.com/GraveShift2/

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SNAKEBITE
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yep, Shane, its all about the cry babies.

Yo Offbeat, I hope you're just kidding when you say you won't discuss politics..then I won't feel normal anymore with less people to agree with.

just don't engage the cry babies.

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GaryClair
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Would anyone be opposed to me talking about fake politics?

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/al_gore_places_infant_son_in
Al Gore Places Infant Son In Rocket To Escape Dying Planet
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EARTH—Former vice president Al Gore—who for the past three decades has unsuccessfully attempted to warn humanity of the coming destruction of our planet, only to be mocked and derided by the very people he has tried to save—launched his infant son into space Monday in the faint hope that his only child would reach the safety of another world.

"I tried to warn them, but the Elders of this planet would not listen," said Gore, who in 2000 was nearly banished to a featureless realm of nonexistence for promoting his unpopular message. "They called me foolish and laughed at my predictions. Yet even now, the Midwest is flooded, the ice caps are melting, and the cities are rocked with tremors, just as I foretold. Fools! Why didn't they heed me before it was too late?"

Al Gore—or, as he is known in his own language, Gore-Al—placed his son, Kal-Al, gently in the one-passenger rocket ship, his brow furrowed by the great weight he carried in preserving the sole survivor of humanity's hubristic folly.

"There is nothing left now but to ensure that my infant son does not meet the same fate as the rest of my doomed race," Gore said. "I will send him to a new planet, where he will, I hope, be raised by simple but kindly country folk and grow up to be a hero and protector to his adopted home."

As the rocket soared through the Gore estate's retractable solar-paneled roof—installed three years ago to save energy and provide emergency rocket-launch capability in the event that Gore's campaign to save Earth was unsuccessful—the onetime presidential candidate and his wife, Tipper, stood arm-in-arm, nobly facing their end while gazing up in stoic dignity at the receding rocket, the ecosystem already beginning to collapse around them.

In the final moments before the Earth's destruction, Gore expressed hope that his son would one day grow up to carry on his mission by fighting for truth, justice, and the American way elsewhere in the universe, using his Earth-given superpowers to become a champion of the downtrodden and a reducer of carbon emissions across the galaxy.

"Perhaps he will succeed where I have failed," Gore said.

Despite the child's humble beginnings, experts predict the intergalactic journey may have some extraordinary effects on Kal-Al's physique, eyesight, and, potentially, his powers of quiet, sensible persuasion.

"On his new planet, Kal-Al's Earth physiology will react to the radiation of a differently colored sun, causing him to develop abilities far beyond those of mortal men," political analyst Sig Schuster said. "He will be faster than a speeding Prius, stronger than the existing Superfund program, and able to leap mountains of red tape in a single bound. These superpowers will sustain him in his never-ending battle against conservatives, wealthy industrialists, and other environmental supervillains."

Although Gore and his wife voiced regrets that they could not accompany their son on his journey, they tried their best to equip Kal-Al for life on his new planet, providing the infant with a Keynote slide-show presentation of all human knowledge, a self-growing crystal fortress from which to monitor glacier shrinkage, and a copy of Al Gore's 1992 bestseller, Earth In The Balance.

The baby was also wrapped in a blanket emblazoned with the Gore family crest, which, because it is made of Earth materials, will be invulnerable on the new planet. It is hoped that one day it will be fashioned into a colorful costume for the boy to wear while fighting wrongdoers.

"In brightly hued tights, it will be harder for people there to ignore him when he takes on his new planet's lobbyists, auto manufacturers, and enemies of justice," Schuster said. "A bold and eye-catching unitard will give Kal-Al, last son of Earth, a formidable tool for protecting his new planet, a power more awesome than any his father could have dreamed of: the power of charisma."

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Squash Banana
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Hello all.

First, thank you, Charles, for laying out the dilemma so clearly, and for opening this topic to discussion. I think we all appreciate your attempt to maintain civility on the boards while continuing to allow an open forum for varied opinions.

Even now, however, I can't help feeling defensive: in the last two days of lurking, I've seen the people who disagree with the prevailing view referred to as "pussies" and, repeatedly in this topic, "cry-babies." To me, this indicates that, as long as politics and religion remain a viable topic on the boards, the disrespectful attitude of some posters is not going to go away. If someone asks you to please use a more respectful tone, and your only response is "Well, if they can't take it, that's their problem," then yeah, reasonable discourse is an improbable dream.

It's a shame, because I really DON'T want to see the opposing view silenced: I like engaging discussions that make me think. But Thumper's dad got it right: "If you can't say somethin' nice, don't say nothin' at all."

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SNAKEBITE
IE # 101
Member # 17

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Who defines whats a more respectful tone?

Also,
for the record, when I personally refer to pussies or cry babies, I'm talking about the people who have to email Charles of The Moderator to complain about other people instead of addressing the source.

if thats not you...then, thats not you.

But I don't represent the others
who use the terms.

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SNAKEBITE
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also, this board was founded on pointing out whats wrong with an industry. so if we followed Thumpers dads advice then we wouldn't be here today
as one of the most interesting animation industry message boards out there.

just sayin.

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Charles
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That was sound advice a couple of generations ago, and it serves as a bellweather to show just how far we've slid since then as far as civility in social discourse is concerned. What Thumper is learning from his father is to be honorable in your speech. You can say what you want to say without framing it in insults and profanity. Your word carries great weight, so use it responsibley and with consideration for others. That's a sign of strength, not weakness, but with today's values it's become twisted around and reversed.

In our time, if you're civil, then you're a chump, when you behave like an inconsiderate jackass, you have power and are admired. Messed up values. It takes a lot of strength to control what you say and how you say it. I believe that many people going around talking crudely and thinking they're bad asses wouldn't have been able to survive back then. It was a more rugged world, yet folks held courteous behavior in high regard.

Your comments are very helpful everyone, thanks for taking the time to contribute to this.

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Charles
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Ridicule and insults set people off, as well as intolerance for another's viewpoint.

For instance, Ron Paul may be your candidate of choice, but calling people stupid for not voting for him or supporting him for president is not going to win you friends and it's not appropriate for AN's editorial standards.

On a related subject, you may not be a religious person, you may not believe in a supreme spiritual being, but your opinion that religious beliefs are based entirely upon myths is not the truth that you may claim it to be. It may be a truth for you, but anyone with a passing education in the subject of theology, philosophy, archeology, so on, as it applies to the history of religions and spiritual thought can easily rip that truth apart in the face of the scholarship that backs up these subjects.

As I pointed out in another thread, you cannot quantify personal opinion, but you can quantify historically documented places, personalities and events.

If you want to use AN to discuss your thoughts and viewpoints, don't resort to insults, ridicule, and blanket statements to bolster a highly opinionated position. Open your mind to objective thinking. It's hard to do if you're mentally and emotionaly committed to an extreme, and it doesn't mean that you'll necessarily change your mind if you consider an alternative viewpoint, but at least you'll fare better on the forums and we can continue to talk politics without having a war of our own.

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Charles
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It's all about growth. We've been here long enough to grow in respect for one another to a good degree and certainly for the forums. Look at how far we've come in our ability to exchange ideas, thoughts, perspectives, perceptions. You guys yourselves admit how excellent the AN forums are. Why compromise the editorial integrity that we've all contributed to by behaving like a troll, or letting your anger get the better of you.

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Shane Glines
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As Snakebite pointed out, neither he nor I were calling anyone on this forum names- which brings up one of the biggest problems of online discussion: the misreading of both words and intentions.
It's hard to have a civil discussion when people are eager to be offended and upset over things that were never even said.

S.

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Charles
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That's part of the pathology of online bevavior when it comes to a forum like this one, or any one for that matter. The word I use to describe it may seem strong, but it's defined as "any deviation from a healthy or normal condition". People react to insults and name calling, even if it's not intended but perceived as such. You won't be directing it at anyone specifically, but sure as hell, someone will take it personally and take offense. Happened more times than I care to remember here. I could write a thesis on the subject. Mix a political view into it and it makes it even worse. It's a genuine challenge, managing a message board. If you've ever experienced it you'll know. Done my best with it over the years when it comes to AN, I hope that time will bear that out.

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SNAKEBITE
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if difficult to balance communities I'd imagine. thats essentially whats happening here. we are a community. diverse as it comes. with strong sense and sensibility...and some people strong scents...lol

another great thing about the internet. I can read your ******** but I don't have to smell it.lol

all kidding aside, I'm sure theres lots of us that believe we're doing our best to be true to ourselves and not offend. maybe not all of us, but a great deal. I see a lot of respect on this site. I tend to engage certain aspects of discussions but thats my choice.


As much as I love the board I would like to see this site evolve. I heard a quote, can't remember if it was from a movie, documentary, book, radio, anyways. "You can't evolve without being involved"...so I like to know how I can help evolve this site outside of trying to be with how I talk? cuz I think that might just be something you'll have to deal with unless you're willing to pull plugs on accounts which you never do...for the most part...you're very forgiving.

so maybe the site has to become something in addition to what it is now. I know one person can't do that, so how can we make this site something more?

I know theres lots of members out there with skill sets that could fill in the gaps because they would just love to help. so many people here share their knowledge so freely and let the world know what they are doing I'm sure they would contribute some how.

After all the nature of this site is a voice for the animation industry. got to be involved to evolve. ya know. so what I'm sayin, C, is I can't offer much, but I can offer some kind of assistance to the evolution of this site and I can help you find someone to pick up where I left off.
I hope my example will get others to step up
and offer their time, even if its just a smidge.
collectively it could totally evolve this site
to what its suppose to be.

just sayin

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SNAKEBITE
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suppose to read

"so I like to know how I can help evolve this site outside of trying to be more aware of how I talk?"

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Charles
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AN has evolved a lot, especially looking back at its very beginnings.

I'd like to see AN continue. It's remains a positive contributor even though more people lurk now than before. I hope for it to go on with less anger, not to lose its edge or lose sight of what it is, but something to where people can interact with less of that attitude. At least until I can get a programmer to rework the site from the ground up and turn it into something different, always an option for the future. For the most part our members are extremely cool, but every once in a while it starts up.

Look at how many of the regulars have been missing the last few days ever since this moratorium went into effect. Like they have nothing to say if they can't be going on with the same ol drumbeat, as in the case of politics.

It's all good. Stay creatively productive in your life, that's the evolutionary priority I'd say.

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SNAKEBITE
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Well, I can't program but I can design and come up with creative concepts as to how the site can be. I already have ideas on how this site should grow.

Anyone here know how to program? lets work it out.
lets make this the coolest animation site in town!!

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SNAKEBITE
IE # 101
Member # 17

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I've been checking out Joomla templates. if you know the template you'll get that theres less programming involved and more customization.

We could still have he board but them we could
have better ways to display content. I have a couple members in mind for their own columns.

I think it would be great!!!

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Charles
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When it comes to political talk on AN, in retrospect when it was first burgeoning, there was September 11, the emerging conflict in Iraq, the contentious 2004 president election...

Each of the candidates running for office this year have the potential to become great presidents in their own way. For the first time in I can't remember how long, character is not an issue in the campaign. The break from politics on Side Topics is generating more activity in General Discussion, which is the way it should be really. I think it's a healthy thing.

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Charles
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Okay we're going to give it another go. We've been on the wagon for just about 3 1/2 weeks, and now that the presidential debates have started, it's a good time to try out politics on AN considering where we are in the election season and the campaign.

This is going to be hosted by yours truly, ladies and gentlemen. Please do not start a politically oriented topic on your own as I will likely either close the topic or delete it. Let me lead this so we can keep things productive, focused and even keeled. Thanks and don't forget to vote on November 4, 2008.

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rdelgado
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Charles,

I understand your eagerness to moderate this discussion. I myself became entangled in a forum here a few years ago regarding immigration that I am sorry to state became too personal, and what I learned from that unfortunate exchange is that insulting people because they disagree with you furthers nothing. In fact, it does nothing but sink people's feet even deeper into their opinion, and how can we make this existence a little better if we cannot at least learn to hear someone's opinion?

My politics are indeed progressive, and I am eager to vote for Obama, yet understanding the Conservative consciousness is, I think, the only way that we can not only further ourselves and a country and as a species. Do I understand how people can vote to cut funding for mental health treatment, institutional poverty and stand by while a bank is handed EIGHTY-FIVE BILLION DOLLARS? No, but I am interested to know how they arrived at their conclusions regarding race, religion, and yes, politics. The events of the financial decisions will affect not only us, but generations to come!
And yet we as a country need to learn how to speak to each other in this forum and in general, and until we do that, I feel like we are doomed to continue to ignore our mistakes.

I hope this note is not as mal-formed as I think it is, and I wish that at least we as an animation community can run a cleaner campaign than our so-called elected officials.

Sincerely,

Ricardo Delgado

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Charles
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Hey Ricardo, your comments are anything but malformed.

I remember when you were working a DIC, it was around 1991. You just got a gig as a production designer for an upcoming Batman movie I recall, and you were very excited about the job. I think it was the first major movie you were to be designing.

As far as political discussions go, they've been out of hand on this forum for a long time. That's how it got to the point where topics and discussions had to be limited. You have to be on this side of things to see and really understand what a problem it is when it goes over the top as has been the case for years. Members and visitors started to think that's all AN was about. It became a distraction for our core purpose, which has always been furthering the cause of artists in our industry.

We can have politically oriented topics, but it can't be the way it was. It has to be in line with what you describe, otherwise it becomes too much of a detriment.

Here's what's coming so you'll know what's next...

Discussion concerning the Vice Presidential Debate this evening, October 2, and I'll also be reactivating the Poll AN Forum so we can see how and who the community will vote for in the 2008 Presidential Election.

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