Moderation in all things.
Gets tricky when you do it on a website, though.
A little history, first. Bagatellen was begun several years back (2002?) by Al Jones, Derek Taylor, Nat Catchpole, Jason Bivins and myself. There was a perceived need for a site to review and otherwise talk about music (generally speaking, eai) that didn't have a decent devoted site. Talking about it at places like Jazz Corner engendered a certain amount of opposition so, in lieu of fighting about that, we set up Bags.
It seems to have worked reasonably well over the years. Nat disappeared (anyone know his story these days? Last I remember seeing anything was a photo of his baby), Al is patrolling undersea climes around the world (Hi, Al!), Jason pops in now and again but, I think, pretty much confines his music writing to Dusted. Derek and I make up the bulk of the reviews these days, with additional excellent contributions by Marc Medwin, Phil Freeman, Clifford (what is his last name, anyway?), maybe others I'm forgetting.
It's an open forum and anyone who wants to can pretty much write there. Aside from (usually) Clifford, we all leave open the Comments option on the reviews and there's occasionally much interesting back and forth, though much inevitable bickering as well. It's stalled somewhat in recent months, probably at least in part due to the infighting which, understandably, turns many off. Derek, who really manages the site, has pulled in the reins a time or two, stopping some needless nastiness. I'd never done so (actually, didn't know if I could!) until yesterday.
Briefly, I'd written a review of Lucio Capece's "bb". There ensued some decent commentary, including a post by our own Richard in which he made a typo (it's all your fault, Richard!). I followed with a (purportedly) humorous aside, referencing his typo as a possible alternative term for eai, referring to a recent, since closed, thread at IHM that had degenerated into personal attacks. Walt and someone else (using a nom de web, still a pet peeve of mine; wish people would grow up about giving their real names) began listing a series of their own concoctions in this regard.
Had I felt this was done in a good-natured way, while I still might have preferred the comments referred back to the Capece, it wouldn't have been a problem. But there was a snideness about them that aggravated me. Kind of, "The hell with the music under discussion, let's piss on this thread." I found it embarrassing, basically, and felt bad, in this case for Capece and his label but it would apply to anyone who sends out their work hoping for a serious listen and evaluation, only to encounter this level of childishness.
So I wrote Derek and said I wouldn't mind seeing those comments deleted. That's when I found out I could do so myself and...I did.
Well, there's been a little dust-up since then. Though it's a judgment call and I can see the other side's point, I'm comfortable with my move and think it'll work toward strengthening Bags in the long run, even if only slightly. There's a fine line between humorous asides and asinine jabs and people will obviously differ on where that line is, but if nothing else, I think the artists and labels involved are due a measure of common courtesy. Not deference, just basic courtesy. If there's a thread devoted to (would be) humorous names for eai, great, go for it. But to needlessly shit on a discussion of someone's seriously intended work, nuh-uh, take it elsewhere. At least with regard to my write-ups; others can make their own rules.
Of course, I'm probably just inviting further instances of the same, but so it goes; some people have nothing better to do.
btw, no moderation here, aside from the excision of penis spam and such (when seen, which is probably more seldom than its occurrence).