|The boyishness of the forums seem to fly in the face of modern trends in climbing, given that Arapiles seems to be crawling with attractive women nowadays (not like when I was young, why in my days … but I digress). Climbing forums strike me as an unlikely place to meet potential mates (I mean that in a Darwinian not John Howardian way). Perhaps they are the modern equivalent of the old VCC beard strokers.
The concept of moderators is interesting. The word moderate means to cut out the excessive and extreme, which is to dull things down and make them mediocre. No bad language. You’ll never see a nipple in the Daily Express. Or the word fahk in the forums. Unless it is impotent cartoon swearing. It **%$#@# sucks. Though, I called someone a m1nge one day without a response. Guess they didn’t know that it meant c00nt. See, now I’m doing it. Frank Zappa said that “Without deviation progress is not possible.” The moderators don’t subscribe to this or many of the other intelligent things Frank said. If any respondent gets too lively, they are barred. An ineffectual device in a world where internet addresses are easy to come by (try killthepig.com). The way to silence this dissent is to ignore comments, no matter how rational, from anyone considered a troll, or considered to be hiding behind a mask of anonymity. For god sakes, it’s the web! And, as Doug Lassi Hook would attest, anonymity is not the invention of the web. Many great satirists of the past have published their most biting pieces under other names. Of course, if you’re in the boys’ club, then you can be all sorts of a c0ck head with your comments and that’s OK. And knowing something about what you are talking (typing) about no longer seems a prerequisite.
And when I say ‘dodgy’ I’m betraying my stance, which is the opposite of the forum, where all opinions are rendered homogenous: there retro-bolting and placing fixed rings etc are admired and bolt chopping and conservative bolting frowned upon. It is good to remember history, because it has a way of catching up with one. An Arab proverb claims that ‘life is like a cucumber, today it’s in your hand, tomorrow it’s up your ahrse.’ And opinions are like that. Today, you’re the flavour of the month, the avant garde, and suddenly, history catches you under the chin, and you’re lying flat on your back, just another out of date and forgotten d1ckhead.