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mattp

Negativity is bad for our sport

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In the last couple of weeks I have talked with several people who know of this site but do not post because they feel that the highly contentious nature of some of the discussion can only do more harm than good. It may be said that much of what appears here should be viewed as entertainment rather than substantive, so maybe we shouldn't take any of it too seriously. However, I must agree with those who are disturbed by the tone of some of the discussion here: insulting, abusive, and violent rhetoric do not belong on this site (or on the crag). I say this because they discourage or even prevent real communication and the exchange of information and, worse, this kind of conduct reflects poorly on the climbing community.

There are many hot issues which are valid topics for debate. However, the fundamentals of courtesy and respect are sometimes lost in the heat of the argument. Prior posts have asked the hosts of this site to exercise some oversight and enforce some ground rules. I am not sure whether that should be their job or whether the responsibility lies with all of us. What I do know is this: whether on the web or on the trail, climbers of all kinds need to understand that where our actions and words fail to convey a basic respect others, whether they are our friends or our perceived adversaries or just some jerk, our message is lost and we are simply flaming with no possibility of making a positive contribution to any discussion.

I recently encountered a "code of conduct for climbers" which has been promoted in New Zealand. One of the items in that code suggests that as climbers we should not engage in activities which reflect poorly on our sport. Holding a strong opinion and arguing one's point is one thing, but threatening people and calling them names is quite another.

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I agree 100% Just look at the rec.climbing newsgroup- a bunch of namecalling and whining. While it's ok to spray, poke fun at each other, and strongly disagree; abusive comments or threats while hiding behind your computer is chickenshit.

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Selective hearing/reading comes with age, use it. Asking folks to hold hands and sing We are the World sounds great, but is not reality.

Just like the TV, if you don't like what's on, turn it off or switch the channel.

Land of the free, home of the brave.

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Can you give me some examples of this? cause I always understand myself so without examples it is kinda hard to figure out what you mean wink.gif

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quote:

Originally posted by Dru:

Can you give me some examples of this? cause I always understand myself so without examples it is kinda hard to figure out what you mean
wink.gif

Dru, I wasn't picking on you specifically, so here's an example of what you climbers seem to understand, but us civilians say "what the fuck is he talking about?"

"Parking breakins OS-1 D-O. D. Hike OS Dry, steep 70 min. D moist, 3rd class scramble to base. OS most of pitch one & two. Pitches OS6+D 10 D one more time. LW.D acres of granite slopes and towers.....ad nausium.

I can understand some of it, and I'm sure you understand all of it. My point is simply how far removed from the main stream you guys are...probably rightly so ...heh, you're the ones up there busting ass and putting your lives on the line.

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I found that one kind of tricky myself until you get that OS is Outer Space and D, dreamer, but it could have been clearer. more examples! I will translate or use shortbus wink.gif

or is it the "3rd class, manky runout to offwidth jugs, take a Smoke Bluffs rack and 3 Crack N ups" lingo stuff you dont understand? cause there is no way to translate that. its like biochemistry . there is no easier way to say 2,4 hexadeco cistrans-butylpropionate

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quote:

Originally posted by Dru:

I found that one kind of tricky myself until you get that OS is Outer Space and D, dreamer, but it could have been clearer. more examples! I will translate or use shortbus
wink.gif

or is it the "3rd class, manky runout to offwidth jugs, take a Smoke Bluffs rack and 3 Crack N ups" lingo stuff you dont understand? cause there is no way to translate that. its like biochemistry . there is no easier way to say 2,4 hexadeco cistrans-butylpropionate

Now, back in the world the civilians would phrase it this way:

Went out hiking Saturday. I needed information about the hike so I read up on it in the current issue of "Trips and Trails" by Harvey Manning. The trail was real muddy and some asshole took a shit in the middle of the third switchback. Wasn't much better when I came to the little lake with the snow on it and found out I couldn't go fishing. What a disappointment my friends, but I did catch a glimpse of some of those young rapper-type kids climbing around on the mountainside above the lake. Gosh, that looked dangerous.

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"You can't always get what you waaaant, but sometimes, you'll find, you get what you need" the Rolling Stones. (Dru, I don't care if I didn't get it EXACTLY right, they will get the point) rolleyes.gif

I tuned into my favorite classic country radio station Monday morning to find it replaced by some "adult" talk radio station featuring a lady caller who was rubbing the reciever of her phone on her pubes while the host guessed the hair style. I changed the pre-set to something else. Point is - negativity is all around us and you should get used to it, I don't think I've ever been on a climb that was 100% positive all the time. This site is fun the way it is, if you don't like it, don't come here!

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Some of the responses in this thread have indicated that I should not take any insults too seriously and have noted that many of you don't want to see the site restricted to a bland collection of route reports. I absolutely agree with this and I gotta say that I derive a great deal of entertainment from the jokes and the banter, and even some of the inane responses to what were originally posted as serious questions. But for those of you who say "lighten up" or "don't come here if you don't like it," I just gotta say that SOMETIMES I think some of the rhetoric has gone a little too far and I gotta ask: do you think insults, harassment or threats encourage others to participate in your entertainment? Do you want this site to be frequented only by those who don't care if they might be the target of such flame? I know for a fact that some of the personal attacks are discouraging people who might have valuable things to say, or who might otherwise make some clever jokes.

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Well, gotta agree with ya there, matt.

Nobody should be hurling intentional insults or threats. That's just plain weak.

You've got to admit, though, the real reason we come back for more is because... we're ADDICTED! Just can't wait to see the next post. Constantly worrying if we missed somthing. Fervently reading each and every post. Wanting to get our $.02 worth in.

Face it! You just can't stop!!!!

Ohhh, the humanity! <sob, sob>

[This message has been edited by Jman (edited 08-08-2001).]

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Perhaps we should start CCA..Cascade Climbers Anonymous.

exerpt from meeting:

"Hi I'm Bill and I'm a CCaholic. I have not logged in in over 30 days" <resounding applause>

Seriously though, in the crowd I hang around and climb with if you don't have a thick skin you get your feelings hurt. It's easy to lose perspective and think that everyone should respond to jabs or whatever the same way. Well that's kind of arrogant and I'm certainly guilty of it.

The guys I jab at on this site are the ones I see can give as well as get so I think I've been fairly restrained. If not whoever has been offended can send me a private e-mail with "Jim, you're an asshole" in the subject field.

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More support for Mattp. It's possible to be witty and courteous at the same time. A lot of flaming is based on religious differences (e.g. bolting), and not everybody understands the issues. I'd actually like to hear a little more positive stuff - people do actually put up good, new routes. All I ever hear about on this site is bolt chopping - never credit to the people who spend serious time and money to put up routes for the rest of us. If they put up 20 good routes and one questionable route, we get 5 pages of flames. It makes us sound like a pack of assholes with no redeeming value.

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Yeah some posts have bothered me too. I don't believe threats have a place here. But I am unsure about placing limits on others. I have noticed that many climbers (myself included) like to go past limits. Up until last sunday my limit on Dreamer was nine pitches, now its ten. Before july I had never been higher than the top of Liberty Bell and now I've been to the top of Mt Rainier. I am content with no longer leading R rated pitches at my skill level. I have found a limit that I can live with for now. But someone else may be just warming up on those R rated pitches and want more. I guess I don't think I have the right to tell people they can't do something just because I don't like it. I guess I would support challenging people to behave better but not telling them to.

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No one should be excluded from coming here, but it's sort of like Darwinism.

You don't see the big creatures hiding in the woods do you? They just walk around like they own the place. Shocking folks might just be part of the game for them. I think that there has been a growing sense of when and when not to spray on someone's posts so there is certainly progress as the "rules" begin to be laid out. I notice no one posts to spray much anymore because it's like hanging out in the closet while the party rages on outside.

Many of the people that post with a certain mean spirited derision do not post behind a guise of anonymity. Even if it's a made up name many of those folks don't try to hide their identity. I think that makes a huge difference here. There are alot of people posting with faux names and no real identities. I mean who is Peter Puget really? Who is Drederek? This compounds the problem here I believe.

I'll tell you flat out I post sometimes as Whillans. The spirit that I post as the Whillans character matches the character of the real Don Whillans. It was supposed to be somewhat of a joke until some tweakers got all bent out of shape about it and started trying to dictate to me how I should behave. They learned their place as a result. I'm not neccessarily proud of that, but I don't like putting up with someone's shit that's directed at me either.

 

Mike, if you are who I think you are I've climbed some of your routes. Thanks for the work.

Lucky, I've climbed some of your routes. Thanks for the work.

Matt, I've climbed some of your routes. Thanks for some of the work.

JY, I've climbed some of your routes. Thanks for the work.

Alan W, I've climbed some of your routes. Thanks for the work.

Viktor, thanks for the routes and the work you put into your guidebook.

Dallas, Your winter climbs are beautiful.

JN, thanks for the guidebooks and the continued inspiration.

Mostly, I prefer to stuff my hands in cracks and place my own gear. That way I don't have to subject myself to someone else's standard. The standard is the same that the first ascentionist might have felt. Something like "Oh shit! Please let me get this piece of pro in." "Where the hell am I supposed to go?" Or maybe even "I'm cruising this. I'm in total control"

I say speak your mind here for whatever purpose you desire. The way this site runs now is just fine. It's like cable TV. You just turn off what you don't want to hear. There are other options.

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Although sometimes I have fallen short of being as nice as I should be, it should be noted that anonymity does nothing to ameliorate the derisive tone of a posting. In addition, in one exchange, clear lies concerning my actions were posted by someone who has reveiled his identity. Give me an example of when I threatened someone or lied in a post?

Those who frequent here - especially the post-a-maniacs- enjoy the CC.com atmosphere. I believe the point Matt was making is that the site could be so much more in terms of humor and information if more people felt like they WANTED to contribute. I do not think they feel excluded or intimated. They are simply repulsed by the behavior often exhibited here.

[This message has been edited by Peter Puget (edited 08-09-2001).]

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That's really their problem then isn't it?

More people coming forward to post is good I agree, but it's still not going to make the route beta any more impressive because most of the people posting here right now don't need it. It will simply continue to water down the mix making it less volatile in the long run.

Anyway, I hope you don't think I was using you as an example saying anyone had any dirt on you or anything. I don't even know who you are.

I always ask guys at the crag with dreds if they are drederek. That's how I met Leland W and then we had a nice conversation about rap bolting.

I'm not trying to be the poster child here, but I do enjoy sparking this debate because frankly this is about the thousandth time it's been debated and it always ends up the same.

There was even a time when some of the original Spray folks were going to retire and forget this site even existed, but then a whole new crew just came in making new waves.

[This message has been edited by mikeadam (edited 08-08-2001).]

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It may be just my peception, but it seems those who post here regularly are trying to entertain themselves and anybody who will listen, and I don't see the harm in that. However, if route information is sometimes dull, then the thuggish, school-yard-bully routines that appear daily have even less entertainment value for those not involved in the posturing.

I enjoy reading imaginative, funny posts. If this site were restricted to route information exchanges, I'd probably disappear. But before engaging in violent, threatening talk, and before launching into some inside joke that only the guys you climbed with last weekend could possibly understand, maybe we should ask ourselves whether anybody is going to derive any humor or value from our ejaculaions.

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I agree that we have to keep this site fun. Irreverence is a climbing tradition along with dirtbag humor. Lots of good post that are funnier than hell but draw plenty of fire.

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The bad thing about negative/off topic or just plain stupid posts is that it makes it more difficult to learn about new gear, get decent beta, or just talk about a cool climb.

My $.02

Dan E.

[This message has been edited by dane (edited 08-09-2001).]

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Interaction on this site is akin to arguing politics with your cranky uncle. Be prepared for emotional and illogical responses to what you view as intelligent and balanced arguments. Your uncle may even be reduced to asking you into the backyard to be taught a thing or two that his verbal skills have limited his ability to convey to you. Is this response immature, yes, but not unexpected.

Useful communication does happen on this site. Most of the “dialog” here, though, tends to be simplex transmission, all transmit, no receive, just like your uncle. I don’t take it as representative of the sport. It’s for fun.

On a personal note, thanks for your excellent website on Darrington (which I found through this site), and also for your personal efforts on trail maintenance there. I'll try to turn out next time to help.

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