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Re: Random Thoughts

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Anna Raven
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Anna Raven » 10 Jun 2020, 21:09

Welcome to the Random Thoughts thread. Here, nothing is off-topic and you can post whatever it is you may be thinking. Every so often, the pages are deleted. Sometimes around 8 pages but sometimes around 15. It's random!
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Aeon » 10 Jun 2020, 22:09

Happy Birthday to the most loveable, funny, smartest, Cute Intelligent German Guy here.

Although he fends off each and every lewd overture I try on him, I still like him very much.

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Anna Raven
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Anna Raven » 10 Jun 2020, 22:23

Aeon wrote:
10 Jun 2020, 22:09
Happy Birthday to the most loveable, funny, smartest, Cute Intelligent German Guy here.

Although he fends off each and every lewd overture I try on him, I still like him very much.
I am all of those things except German. ;)
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Blackcyclops » 10 Jun 2020, 22:38

Happy birthday Anna
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Anna Raven » 11 Jun 2020, 00:40

Blackcyclops wrote:
10 Jun 2020, 22:38
Happy birthday Anna
Thank you BC!
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Spectral Knight » 11 Jun 2020, 11:42

Seriously, a statue of Robert Baden-Powell is being removed because of threatened damage as part of this campaign to tear down icons of a bygone day.

This is a guy who dedicated his latter life to a youth organisation that focused on helping others and stressed the importance of helping others, not least community?

I'm getting a little pissed off with how applications of morality as we see it today is being applied to historical figures in such a way that rather than examine their pros and cons (and whilst RBP certainly wasn't perfect, his pros would massively outweigh his cons on anyone's balance scales), that they should be torn down and hidden from view. There should also be an awareness of what were cultural 'norms' - was he a racist and homophobe? Quite probably by today's standards. As were almost the majority of the population at the time - was he anymore of a racist or homophobe than the rest of his contemporaries? I'd be inclined to think he was more likely less of one than many of his contemporaries, given his experiences in Africa and India. Was the reason why he was celebrated due to those facets of his personality? Hardly.

I dunno, for me this is a little bit of a personal one. Some of my best friends to this day I made in my time in the Scouts and I had the opportunity to take part in experiences as a working class kid with no money that I never would have had without being a member and the time/commitment of volunteers in the Scouts Association, not least opportunities to become friends with people from well outside my social circle was invaluable.

Whilst we can apply today's moral codes against all figures of the past to recognise injustices, on the whole, we'd know they'd come up short on a personal level because (thankfully) we've become a more moral society - does this mean when their achievements that are completed unrelated to those historical cultural norms should be dismissed?

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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Blackcyclops » 11 Jun 2020, 12:42

It’s a tough needle to thread...

On one hand you’re absolutely right...on the other hand, there are some monuments that celebrate figures who in any other context would never stand because they represent an actual rebellion/insurrection against that very country. Then you have the added weight that some figures called for systems of oppression (like Confederate figures) or annihilation (like some figures who called for the destruction of Indigenous peoples) toward a group of people that you have to be empathetic to not glorifying those same people in their face. Not to be THAT person, but how would it look to put any number of Nazi figures in a town square where Jewish people, LGBTQ, Romani, etc people have to see them every day? Especially when monuments and such in public spaces almost always lack the context to situate that person so you can contextualize them.
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Lavettye » 11 Jun 2020, 13:51

The statue is being temporarily removed to protect it from being damaged in the protests. Would you rather see it violently being torn down and thrown into the sea, instead of it being safely removed and returned to its spot in a few months?

As for a permanent decision on what to do with the statue, taking it down would not dimish any of the man's accomplishments nor what you personally took from them. Leaving the statue up just like that certainly does not examine the man's pros and cons, as you put it. I agree that there should be a diagloue about it involving a weighing the pros and cons, especuially as the statue is located in a public area. I also have to admit that I know too little about the man to take part in such a dialogue or make up my mind about him.

Personally though, I find all such statues of historical people a bit problematic, as they seem to elevate and celebrate the entirety of that person (they are standing on a pedestrial after all) instead of just their acievements. I find symbolic statues that represent ideas, values, inventions and achievements much more powerful and meaningful. Abstract pieces or statues of nameless people, like two people hugging to show love and friendship. And in this case, it might be two or three children on scouts uniforms bringing the idea of unionship and loyalty across, for example. You can even have a plaque next to it, where it mentions the Inventor/creator of that concept, but I find that better and clearer. Nobody is that perfect to be put on a pedestrial with the entirety of their Person and life,..... and if they were (Maybe Ghandi or Mother Theresa) then they probably would be too modest to even want that.

Indeed, historical and cultural norms should be considered when reviewing people of the past, but at the same time let's also not forget that it is the priviliged position that comes along with those cultural norms that even allowed for certain people to make up for past mistakes in their later lives, whereas billions of other (potentially better) people never had a chance to make the slightest dent in history.
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Lavettye » 11 Jun 2020, 13:56

Aeon wrote:
10 Jun 2020, 22:09
Happy Birthday to the most loveable, funny, smartest, Cute Intelligent German Guy here.

Although he fends off each and every lewd overture I try on him, I still like him very much.
Thank Aeon,
I like you too… for a safe distance. :mrgreen:

(and it was a little bit rude to congratulate me on my birthday, but not Anna on his when it was still going on. Due to different time zones there's a six hour overlap)
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Aeon » 11 Jun 2020, 14:13

I didn’t? :o :shock: :?

Oh... oh forgive me dear Anna.

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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by das_boot » 11 Jun 2020, 14:18

Happy birthday Lavettye!

@Spectral— totally agree with you for the most part... but the fact that the Scout movement has been openly discriminatory against LGBTQ+ people as recently as a few years ago? Sorry, can’t defend the movement at all. Appreciate that you have great memories of your time within the organisation, but when a group requires outside pressure to just do the right thing by social norms rather than doing it without pressure due to it being the right thing to do to eliminate discrimination? Sorry, no. Goodbye.
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Spectral Knight » 11 Jun 2020, 16:00

Blackcyclops wrote:
11 Jun 2020, 12:42
It’s a tough needle to thread...

On one hand you’re absolutely right...on the other hand, there are some monuments that celebrate figures who in any other context would never stand because they represent an actual rebellion/insurrection against that very country. Then you have the added weight that some figures called for systems of oppression (like Confederate figures) or annihilation (like some figures who called for the destruction of Indigenous peoples) toward a group of people that you have to be empathetic to not glorifying those same people in their face. Not to be THAT person, but how would it look to put any number of Nazi figures in a town square where Jewish people, LGBTQ, Romani, etc people have to see them every day? Especially when monuments and such in public spaces almost always lack the context to situate that person so you can contextualize them.
I think this is slightly different though - I would argue those that are commemorations of acts we are morally opposed to (such as Confederate figures), vs whereas in this case, the accreditation isn't for any prejudicial views RBP held or prejudicial acts, the act he was being remembered for is the founding of the Scouting movement, nor was his successes in founding the movement reliant on prejudicial acts.

No monument will ever give you the full details of the person and their behaviours - we'll only ever know a fraction of a person's personality but even so if we are valuing people's works and lives retrospectively I think there needs to be balances in how we do so, do their perceived negatives (from a modern perspective) outweigh the positives, and if not, is there still historical value in such memorials that justify their presence despite the negative weighting?

For example, should the Lincoln memorial be pulled down because of his racism, or should Washington state be renamed because George Washington' owned slaves, or do their relative positives shown throughout their life on the balance of judgement outweigh them?
Lavettye wrote:
11 Jun 2020, 13:51
The statue is being temporarily removed to protect it from being damaged in the protests. Would you rather see it violently being torn down and thrown into the sea, instead of it being safely removed and returned to its spot in a few months?

As for a permanent decision on what to do with the statue, taking it down would not dimish any of the man's accomplishments nor what you personally took from them. Leaving the statue up just like that certainly does not examine the man's pros and cons, as you put it. I agree that there should be a diagloue about it involving a weighing the pros and cons, especuially as the statue is located in a public area. I also have to admit that I know too little about the man to take part in such a dialogue or make up my mind about him.

Personally though, I find all such statues of historical people a bit problematic, as they seem to elevate and celebrate the entirety of that person (they are standing on a pedestrial after all) instead of just their acievements. I find symbolic statues that represent ideas, values, inventions and achievements much more powerful and meaningful. Abstract pieces or statues of nameless people, like two people hugging to show love and friendship. And in this case, it might be two or three children on scouts uniforms bringing the idea of unionship and loyalty across, for example. You can even have a plaque next to it, where it mentions the Inventor/creator of that concept, but I find that better and clearer. Nobody is that perfect to be put on a pedestrial with the entirety of their Person and life,..... and if they were (Maybe Ghandi or Mother Theresa) then they probably would be too modest to even want that.

Indeed, historical and cultural norms should be considered when reviewing people of the past, but at the same time let's also not forget that it is the priviliged position that comes along with those cultural norms that even allowed for certain people to make up for past mistakes in their later lives, whereas billions of other (potentially better) people never had a chance to make the slightest dent in history.
Lavettye - for what it's worth, Ghandi was a MASSIVE racist, and Mother Teresa isn't without her critics either. Does that make them fundamentally flawed? Well yeah, as we all are. But their positive achievements outweigh their negatives, and it's this that is what is important. No problem with a debate around it, but the very idea it should be removed to stop it being removed is a nonsense.

The statue in question isn't symbolic of Scouting - it's symbolic of RBP's role in starting the Scouting movement with the Brownsea camp, memorialising both the founder AND the location as the starting point of Scouting. Removing the statue from the location removes any context of the statue. (And he's sitting on a bench, not standing on a pedestal).

My point wasn't that the statue examines his pro's and con's (it doesn't) - my point is that retrospective morality deems us to not even have the debate about these figures, but to tear down memorials that are not compliant with a self-determined morality police without that debate even happening!
You could go through any public city and identify flaws of people/acts being memorialised, but it doesn't mean they don't have a role to play in a public space. If we look at what ISIS did in tearing down monuments and cultural relics that didn't confirm to their world view, it was seen as a cultural tragedy. I think it's much the same - pulling down memorials of the past without understanding of why they were memorialised in the first place.
das_boot wrote:
11 Jun 2020, 14:18
Happy birthday Lavettye!

@Spectral— totally agree with you for the most part... but the fact that the Scout movement has been openly discriminatory against LGBTQ+ people as recently as a few years ago? Sorry, can’t defend the movement at all. Appreciate that you have great memories of your time within the organisation, but when a group requires outside pressure to just do the right thing by social norms rather than doing it without pressure due to it being the right thing to do to eliminate discrimination? Sorry, no. Goodbye.
I kind of get where you're coming from, but if you look across the board, MOST organisations of a significant tenure, whether state or private, were homophobic or racist, even if unintentionally. Some still are, unfortunately. Very few would have experienced a Damascene conversion and just fixed themselves, not least as organisations are formed from individuals, and the individuals that make up a group will all vary, and most of those groups would have needed both external and internal pressure to change.
Social norms also change. That's not to say we should excuse past prejudices, but also understand there isn't a single 'penny has dropped' moment. If we look at the development of civil rights on a national or international level, it has been a slow-going and often hypocritical process, especially when viewed from today's eyes, much like the progression of social norms has been slow-going and often hypocritical...

Even within Scouting, variant countries' associations wildly different in terms of how discriminatory they were, if you compare the Scout Association to say the US equivalent.

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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by P-90 » 11 Jun 2020, 16:18

Do any of the Brits on here have any news of when we might be getting new (well not so new now) comics?
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Lavettye » 11 Jun 2020, 16:20

Spectral Knight wrote:
11 Jun 2020, 16:00
No problem with a debate around it, but the very idea it should be removed to stop it being removed is a nonsense.
The statue is being temporarily removed to preserve it and spare it from being damaged beyond repair during upcoming protests. That's not nonsense…. and I bet you'd see that if it were a statue of some other historical figure that you didn't know at all.

A week ago you argued with property damages caused by violence during protest. This is a protective measure against damages. Sure, the protesters shouldn't ressort to violence, but depending on how these protests will go, how the police and bystanders correspond and how high tempers will flare up, there's a likelihood that the protests WILL get violent, so why NOT take a protective measure to preserve a piece of art?
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Spectral Knight » 11 Jun 2020, 16:36

Lavettye wrote:
11 Jun 2020, 16:20
Spectral Knight wrote:
11 Jun 2020, 16:00
No problem with a debate around it, but the very idea it should be removed to stop it being removed is a nonsense.
The statue is being temporarily removed to preserve it and spare it from being damaged beyond repair during upcoming protests. That's not nonsense…. and I bet you'd see that if it were a statue of some other historical figure that you didn't know at all.

A week ago you argued with property damages caused by violence during protest. This is a protective measure against damages. Sure, the protesters shouldn't ressort to violence, but depending on how these protests will go, how the police and bystanders correspond and how high tempers will flare up, there's a likelihood that the protests WILL get violent, so why NOT take a protective measure to preserve a piece of art?
Actually the original statement from the leader of the local council was this:
While famed for the creation of the Scouts, we also recognise that there are some aspects of Robert Baden-Powell’s life that are considered less worthy of commemoration.

“Therefore, we are removing the statue so that we can properly involve all relevant communities and groups in discussions about its future, including whether a more educational presentation of his life in a different setting might be more appropriate
This isn't saying that is it temporarily being removed - it is saying it was being removed and that the purpose of the removal is to debate its future, and it might be put back.

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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Lavettye » 11 Jun 2020, 17:21

Well, here it says its's temporary: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-dorset-53004638

Anyway, that's far more time than I wanted to spend getting informed on a historical figure who wrote in his own diary after reading Hitler's Mein Kampf: "A wonderful book with great ideas on education, health, propaganda and organisation", because that's where it actually gets very very personal for me.
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Aeon » 11 Jun 2020, 17:24

Zeb Soanes is a hell of an attractive Brit.

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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Spectral Knight » 11 Jun 2020, 17:35

Lavettye wrote:
11 Jun 2020, 17:21
Well, here it says its's temporary: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-dorset-53004638

Anyway, that's far more time than I wanted to spend getting informed on a historical figure who wrote in his own diary after reading Hitler's Mein Kampf: "A wonderful book with great ideas on education, health, propaganda and organisation", because that's where it actually gets very very personal for me.
Note that temporary is in quotes...and this quote was released some time after the initial statement by the council.

I know you said that's enough time, but this article (also from the BBC) puts some of those claims in question. I'd really recommend reading this in terms of the claims being made against him and the context behind them.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-53007902

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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Anna Raven » 11 Jun 2020, 18:18

No worries Aeon! I didn't even realize Lavettye was having his birthday semi-concurrently, I just thought it was an honest mistake, but I was being a little bit cheeky.

Also, Happy Birthday Lavettye!

I also was a Scout and worked for several years at the largest Scout camp in the United States, Philmont. I have fond memories as well, and there were many many good things about the Scouts and their mission. But also many bad things, and I am glad they are getting called on them and changing. Scouts unfortunately has a reputation not unlike the Catholic Church of being both homophobic and yet somehow a safe haven for pedophiles, so it will take a lot of work to undo the wrongs they've done despite all the good as well.
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by EphemeristX » 11 Jun 2020, 18:59

Happy Birthday Raven!

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And happy birthday, Lavettye!
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by das_boot » 11 Jun 2020, 20:03

Spectral, I’ve got to be totally honest— If the last few weeks have taught me anything, it’s that I have absolutely no time for apologist behaviour. When the message was that LGBTQ people were to be excluded from the Scouts of America due to concerns of the influence they might have on other Scouts, or that gay scout leaders would be a risk of sexual predation against the children there? Nope. Also, the UK Scouts, from what I’ve googled in the last half an hour or so, didn’t make a statement on it until after there was a fuss made in the US... and then when they did, I distinctly remember people going to the press at the time, saying that they were asked to leave Scouting due to their sexuality.

Apologies if it offends you, and I mean that sincerely... however, if you really think that the excusing fairly modern incidents of discrimination because “it’s an old institution and a product of different times”, then I’m calling that absolute nonsense on that. If an institution that actively has a hand in shaping the opinions and outlook of young people was, until 2013, openly anti-LGBTQ, that’s active discrimination.
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Aeon » 11 Jun 2020, 20:10

Didn’t follow this because of ... well, reasons, so who is the good one and who is the bad one?

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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Cable » 11 Jun 2020, 20:17

Aeon wrote:
11 Jun 2020, 20:10
Didn’t follow this because of ... well, reasons, so who is the good one and who is the bad one?
I'm the good one. Stryfe is the bad one.
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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Aeon » 11 Jun 2020, 20:21

Cooool!

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Re: Random Thoughts

Post by Lavettye » 11 Jun 2020, 20:29

Thank you, Anna and Ephemerist.
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