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Old 05-24-2018, 08:35 AM   #5
Forum Silver Medal
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: colorado
Posts: 349
Default Re: Old Dogs... New Tricks?

Norwood your suggestions are the best I've heard in a long long time. Sat at my son's baseball practice in Windsor trying to practice on my ancient ABW chanter with no countersunk holes and about threw it into the nearby pond. The kids I am sure heard me cussing (and I'm supposed to be a pastor with "Reverend" in front of my name no less...)

Working on the etudes section of Archie Cairns book is putting me in pain with both my ears and my hands.

I finally went and took a swig of Evan Williams and called it a day.

....ok...back to morning and school is OUT I made it through ONE YEAR as a special education teacher and didn't have a nervous breakdown...thank God for my pipes.

OH and regarding what Tim said--along those lines of "staying on our meds"...I guess I'll put this out there too and you can take it for what it's worth...I had a bad experience with some guy who (shall remain nameless here) was making all kinds of accusations on my selling my Wygents on a FB seller page, and said he was reading off of whatever I had put on HERE discussing my problems I had had with them at one point. He did NOT know if I had fixed them, refurbed them, or even if they were the same reeds. He simply was calling me a liar and that I was trying to dump garbage. I later found out he had been banned from BobDunsire at least 12 times and has kept making fake accounts, so this is how he is getting info. His assumption was that I was dumping them and started a bunch of garbage with me and then it went downhill from there--said I needed to be "red flagged" and more. Basically starting a flame war acting like he was Lord Protector of the Facebook sellers page. This from the dude who's been kicked out numerous times. I hope for that matter he's reading this and knows that I know he's been banned.

So, I know how things go on forum pages with people being judgmental and making assumptions and for that matter--not having a sense of positive intent when someone says something. I'd also say that when I started a group on FB for older pipers a few weeks back--my old geezer group--as Pip noted--my number one priority was to keep things positive, and if you're joking make sure its known you're joking because some people in this day and age do get over-sensitized when they don't know you and when its in text you cant see someones body language or face.

Anyone who knows me personally knows that I'm a sensitive person..but I teach kids and am teased mercilessly by some wonderful kids I'd adopt and take home any day of the week! I've got rhino hide on one side of my personality and soft suede on the other. So for me, I agree with Tim--as long as people aren't snarky or judgmental and give constructive criticism rather than just complaining about something--I'd love to discuss things here--even rather to--as long as its not something railed like "well if you EVER think you'll be a good piper or should even be HOLDING a set of pipes--you CANT do that (whatever it is)!"..that kind of stuff gets old and pushes people away.

Also--When you think about HOW MANY people are making pipes now and HOW MANY opinions there are about "who's the best?" theres going to be discussion--but a lot of times what I read on FB or other places in general concentrate ONLY one whats bad about one and not whats necessarily GOOD about the alternative. Alexander DeGraham makes pipes--put some photos up. Under the photo I read from some guy "that's ugly". Why do garbage like that? He has no clue how they sound, and its just a bullying slam. I'd never let a kid do that to one of my other kids at school for their work they've done--I don't care if its ugly in your opinion or not. It just does not need to be said. At some point you draw the line between "free speech" and having an opinion, and also saying you're entitled to your opinion but if you state it, will anything GOOD come from it? I had an old farmer in my church when I was pastoring who said "when in doubt, shut thy mouth". Probably should get that as a bumper sticker for a few politicians I know of locally too.

There was a discussion a while ago about a horsehair sporran that I make as a case in point--"run away" or the like was one comment. Well, thats fine if that's your opinion--but then why doesn't someone say "why" that is. I have a ton of stuff from Pakistan that's piping related--dirks, knives, a rabbit hair sporran--even a Claymore. What exactly is wrong with that? I'm not putting it into a Scottish museum and as far as the quality goes--well--I'm not an idiot--its good stuff. But if I wanted Pakistan made bagpipes and someone said to me "run away" I need to know WHY that is. Not just say "well anything that's Pakistan made is crap". "If you use Pakistan made bagpipes you'll never win anything"--well what if I'm not competing, and for that matter--why are they not as good? Giving constructive criticism is the key. State WHY and not just be snarky.

So the question I ask, is when people say "run away" and "that's garbage"--What possible good does that do without qualifying it? There is nothing worse for my students at Brush High School than when they are doing something and I say "STOP please!" and they ask "why not?" and I say "well, because I said so and I'm the teacher!". That won't stop the behavior, eventually it starts again, because they don't think theres any real reason for them to stop talking, poking pencils into the ceiling, spilling their water bottles..etc." But if I say "stop that--you're making holes and you're going to be paying for that ceiling tile--its 30 bucks"--well that ends it pretty quick. There is an aspect to CRITICAL THINKING that has been lost in our over-opinionated gripe filled society. As one of the moderators DID note--the piping community is divided. Why make it more divided? I agree with him 1000%. But if so there needs to be a discussion of why it is divided and make changes necessary to stop the divisions. Otherwise all the hope in the world won't stop the negativity, and I see negativity killing both people and organizations and schools and churches ALL THE TIME. Its the ONE THING I will not put up with at my school with anyone--even the principal. I call him on it, and he calls ME on mine.

The upshot from a couple folks I've talked to privately though--and this includes all kinds of pipers--is that they've gotten burned from someone on another website OR they've had something they felt was shoddy hurled at them here on BD and they just stay away. That's very sad. For me, that hurts me because when I need answers this is where I go--been here off and on since Bob was alive, in fact the last time before I combined by accounts Bob had reset my password and I still have his email--he was a great guy.

So that's my rant for the day. I hope it explains where I stand on snark and negativity but also on giving opinions. Unvalidated opinions that are negative hurt the cause. If our "cause" as a piping community is to embrace more people into the community, and get more young people involved, and HEAL some of the past hurts people have gotten from negativity--it CAN be done. I've seen it in many schools and other organizations. But you have to call it what is is and some need to "take their meds"--which for me means--when in doubt...

Last edited by plainspiper; 05-24-2018 at 09:34 AM.
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