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Icy North Started conversation Jun 22, 2006
I see the Battle of Orgreave is still alive and well in White City.
I'd like to show some more support - let me know if there's anything I can do. My previous battle with that mob ended up with them hurling a load of verbal abuse at me, yikesing my personal space, and asking me to leave the site - so I don't carry a lot of weight.
I suppose you won't be writing any similar items until this business is sorted. Pity.
Pinniped Posted Jun 22, 2006
I knew someone got yikesed for a 'Server Busy' spoof, but I didn't know it was you. Particularly petty, that.
Thanks for the support and interest. No, the reaction to this won't stop me writing and posting. Orgreave is only the latest in a long line of PR-testers, and it certainly won't be the last.
The only thing that holds me back from full-on assault, to be honest, is the fear that Jimster is small-minded enough to bolster the Guidelines just because I annoy him. It wouldn't be right if Researchers in general suffered as a result of my self-indulgence - even if that consequence was someone else's fault.
The problem with Orgreave is obviously its political sensitivity. I think the BBC fears a Daily Mail thrashing if it Front-Pages something that can be construed as wasting taxpayers money on a soapbox for undesirables. The reasons they're going to have to remove it from PR themselves are fourfold - it's a completely true account, it's subject is dear to me, it makes a point that everyone should think about and it seems to be appreciated by everyone but the aforementioned.
As for Jimster, well, what can I say? No organisation tolerates dead-hand administrators who hold back general potential for very long. Maybe he's got some incriminating pictures of the governors or something, but he's nowhere near good enough for the site, and so he doesn't feature on the list of people I heed. (That sounds arrogant, but in truth the list of people I do heed is a long list. In fact it's nearly everybody in h2g2 but Jimster).
If you want directing to some of the earlier test-pieces, let me know. All the ones that have become battlegrounds have eventually been rejected (Gorgon, Gunson, Babbacombe Lee (split form), River Don Engine (PROD form) and Flixborough come to mind). A few others were mysteriously tolerated (Batavia, Blake and Winstanley), though they're all at least as subversive as any of the problem-pieces in my view.
I do it because I like writing, I like testing myself and I honestly believe h2g2 would thrive if it took more risks. Everyone should push themselves. They've blobbed a piece of rubbish I wrote on the World's Oldest Lightbulb, which probably means it'll Front-Page as Editor's Choice, but I put no effort into it whatsoever. That's pathetic in my opinion. They know I can write better, so no editor worth the name should have accepted it. On top of that, their judgements on accuracy are completely arbitrary. For example, today's Front-Page Zeppelin piece has a passage in the middle that's based on ostensible fact (I could point to sources in contemporary journalism), but that's obviously fanciful on the simple basis of the distance between places on the map.
The Edited Guide, PR, Scouts, Jimster - they're all hung up on a definition of fact that might be necessary for the news Front Page of the BBC main website, but which has no place in a community writing project with amateur participants. If anyone refuses to believe that policemen cracked skulls at Orgreave then they are simply wrong. An editorial system that demands explicit evidence in this context is craven. Even then, I could authenticate the whole piece by cross-referencing the judicial record, but I have no intention of doing so. Why bother, when the product would spoil readers' pleasure as well as my own?
It comes down to that unspeakable relationship between writer and editor. The editor is the inferior species, but the better ones are capable of playing the secondary role in a symbiosis. The worst kind of editor that can be tolerated is a simple parasite, contributing nothing but sapping comparatively little energy from the useful organism. The one we've got, more's the pity, is a disease, killing the host.
There. I feel better for that. If you're looking for a way to lend support, then you're already doing it. Be yourself, that's all. There's no cause here except the collective one : hootoo is a theatre for the expression and creativity of everyone who joins it, and one day its central project will celebrate that fact instead of denying it.
Icy North Posted Jun 23, 2006
It would be nice to be a fly on the wall in the DNA/h2g2 planning meetings. I really can't decide whether they are running the site down through accident or design. Choosing a sub-editor to alienate the intellectuals and subsequently preside over its funeral arrangements is one way to do that without arousing too much suspicion, I suppose.
I think you're spot on with your assessment. You plainly annoy them and that's enough for them, frankly. They could accept your article under the current guidelines if they chose to interpret them that way. What if they "broke the rules" and published? Would they be swamped by similar articles? I doubt it (although I would of course welcome it).
I don't swallow the bit about Orgreave being politically sensitive today though. This happened 22 years ago. Times have changed completely. The police force has changed - Orgreave has clearly made them aware of the lengths to which they can go re brutality. Atrocities by servicemen in Iraq and Guantanamo are routinely covered by the BBC. I even heard that Mark Knopfler song about Orgreave on the radio a while ago!
The BBC used to be the conscience of the people, but I don't think even they would aspire to this today. Maybe it has slipped into Daily Mail territory. Some of the garbage on the news site would certainly back this up. It should be broadsheet quality, and any broadsheet would happily carry your Orgreave piece. Have you submitted any of your work to the press?
I've around ten articles in various stages of completion. I cannot match the depth or quality of yours, but I will always try to make people think differently having read them. I've lost some impetus after the treatment you received, but I'll finish them eventually. I think the best thing I can do now is to play my part in community activities - just posting here and there and being nice to people. Hard work sometimes.
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