Concerning Events at the Atelier in January 2004

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About the Atelier, Where It Happened

The purpose of this article is to lay out the facts, with posts referenced where possible, concerning Oetzi's interaction with the atelier and how he was affected by official sanctions. I apologise for errors and my inadequacies in GuideML; this was created rather quickly, and it depends largely on notes I took several months ago when I complained to the Italics about what Oetzi was doing to us.

The atelier is completely open to all comers, and has been open since April 1999. I prefer to see substantive discussion and I love role-play and a bit of surreality, and both of those elements have always appeared in conversations. Over the years, however, as the core group have gotten to know each other, a lot of personal news is traded back and forth, and in recent times the atelier had become something of a communal blog.

My role has always been that of hostess. I imagined up a rich environment in which to root the role-play parts and set out to be a sort of Miss Manners of H2G2, running a Victorian-style intellectual salon in the atelier while my landlords downstairs tend a science-fiction style set of labs and other flaky concerns. I launch the threads (which are numbered in hex) and make sure that continuity is preserved with respect to the environment and overall history of the place, and I keep an eye on the overall harmony of the place; apart from that, I participate like any other guest or 'salonista'.

Conversation 62X

F38024?thread=344183 , Conversation 62X, marked Oetzi's arrival at the salon. Post 837 marks the first time that Oetzi posted something truly sober-sounding and interesting, and as you see from subsequent posts, I was happy to converse with him. Here follows a list of other posts in that thread that are salient to this body of evidence:

post 950 "PTB is aware of my behaviour. But I'm not aware what PTB could be." What does this mean? It's contradictory.

posts 952, 953 - incoherent shouting

post 958 is my first formal admonition

post 975 - an apology

post 979 - denies stalking, admits to stalking

post 891 (veiled rebuffs)

post 986 - My follow-up to first admonition; note the rather inadequate response. Then he apologises in post 990.

Conversation 63X

F38024?thread=353891 marks the start of this conversation, which I initially typo'd and called 63Z.

post 141 was from Oetzi; he made some off-the-cuff insults about Afgncaap5. I didn't even realise until I went back to check just now that the post was subsequently hidden.

post 143 -- Oetzi somehow changes his preference settings and comes out with more out-of-tone remarks. Now the other salonistas have done with trying to disregard him, as you'll read on.

Post 159 - my second formal admonishment

Posts 171-172, Oetzi replies

Posts 173, 176

Post 183 - Oetzi now insults Z

salonista comments follow

post 192 - Oetzi now starts mis-naming Solnushka, calling her babushka, which (as we think he knows) is not all that complimentary.

post 198 - Oetzi reveals that he hasn't really been following along on the discussion that had been going on since he joined (Sol is British and has been talking about returning home and getting a lob in London) . d'Elaphant corrects him in post 199.
Read up to post 205, observe how Oetzi is beginning to fracture the discussions as more and more people react to his behaviour.

post 212 - My third and final admonishment. I tried to keep matters civilised (see posts 215-216) but Oetzi has continued to post intermittently since then. See post 220, where he appears to accede, but every now and then we get little potshots like post 303 or 354 which we think is intended to send the rest of us up. Yeah, we talk about the weather too, but we don't parrot Radio 4.

Conversation 64X

At the beginning of F38024?thread=360696 , I think we thought the matter was resolved, and I even gave the matter a one-sentence reference in the introduction. When Oetzi arrived, at post 59, he was sociable and communicative. Evidence shows that other salonistas made an effort to relate to him and his posts.

But there was a point during this thread when Oetzi began to behave antisocially once again, and this time the other salonistas resolved to ignore his posts henceforth. I don't have the time to delve into the middle of this thread to find the actual instances: others are welcome to do so. The real brouhaha begins at about post 2041.

Note post 2091and following. The volume of posts increases, along with the threats. Salonistas had been sharing recollections of childhood proto-sexual experiences, playing doctor and so forth, and comparing these experiences with the context of the modern child who is generally bombarded with sexual innuendo and advertising. Oetzi yikes'd post 2170, which described an encounter between two boys, on the grounds that it was "deviant," an action which caused extreme emotional distress for the researcher who posted it. Oetzi huffily reminded us that "If you describe an act of a sexual nature on this web site it becomes a public record. It is governed by several statutes. If the post had not been moderated by h2g2 I would have alerted the Home Office department concerned."

This is at best ingenuous, when you consider the virtual lovemaking that recently took place in F1732900?thread=376666 .

Conversation 65X

F38024?thread=367672 didn't last long. As I realised the extent of the destructiveness at the end of the previous thread, I closed the atelier at post 57. Hidden posts were all from Oetzi, and were along the lines of calling us names, describing me as a Nazi in jackboots, the atelier as a reptile pit... the usual. The last 3 blocks of posts consist of most of the salonistas unsubscribing ostentatiously, trying to communicate their anger to Oetzi.

Having lost his audience at the atelier, Oetzi then went on a h2g2-wide rampage. He declared later that it had been his intention to have 50 posts moderated within the hour! He succeeded, was banned outright for a week, and thereafter put on pre-mod on the h2g2 site.

Oetzi attempted to rejoin the atelier upon the lift of his ban, quite without apology, or, indeed, recollection of the circumstances of his going. He seemed to see it as a battle of wills between himself and me, one that he must inevitably win, and described me at one point as feeling "upstaged." The delays involved in pre-moderation of his posts, together with the collective determination of the salonistas to shun him as much as possible, eventually caused him to leave. Judging from posts he made to Italics' personal spaces, he evinced no understanding of why his posts were being delayed. He considered Jim Sangster's subsequent emails (which of course I haven't seen but presume to have been attempts to discipline Oetzi further) a form of harassment.

That was about when he created the Sirius account and vowed to remain on Collective from that point on.

And that is a summation of my evidence regarding what happened at the atelier.

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