I've tried.... really I have



  • edited February 2011
    ‘The mark of a civilised society is its willingness to welcome strangers’ Mark Twain

    Last night I went with family and friends to see the new National Theatre version of Frankenstein with Jonny Lee Millar directed by Danny Boyle. It was a preview but it is a stunning show. We were all struck with the many merits of the production and cast but also unexpectedly moved by the plight of the ‘creature’ (JLM, last night) who is cast out and cruelly treated because he does not fit it. At one point when cornered by a mob he cries ‘no man is a monster’ (or ‘weird and alien’ as you might put it Wisteria53) It got a standing ovation and I think the reviews will be outstanding.

    I came home and checked my email, and found this thread, all the bile, and the mindless personal attacks on me for the simple transgression of not being like the gang who want to run the place. I’d only come on here to be neighbourly, to share my enthusiasms (mainly for a more cohesive community) to celebrate my friends and family, point out unsung local heros and to brighten things up a bit. Maybe it was because it was late in the evening and my mind was on the play I have to say it had a very depressing effect on me. My wife, concerned, read all of this in disbelief and we discussed and realised how my son had felt last year when he was picked on at school. As a fairly strong adult it is salutary to find out how wounding a couple of casually malicious comments can be. But those of you who are parents (not I assume the first two posters) might more readily appreciate it.

    For those kind folk who have expressed some common humanity and compassionate humour in this discussion, and others – thank you. It is appreciated, and you are the good people a community needs.

    But the caldron crowd have won and I’m off to a nicer place. (In the meantime Andy, I suggest you take a look at http://yp.direct.gov.uk/cyberbullying/ )

    Dorcas has put me on Twitter (TollingtonTom) if you want to keep in touch with random thoughts and events in Lorne Road etc, maybe soon in the Observer, and for a sunnier view of life, StroudGreeN4real http://stroudgreen4real.vanillaforums.com

  • edited February 2011
    Very sad you've decided to leave Tom. I've found you hilarious and have loved reading your posts over the past few weeks. I don't know why people have found you so controversial. I even heard a group of strangers having an argument about you in the White Lion last night.

    I'm leaving SG.org also in protest. Following you on twitter.

    Good bye & Good Night Stroud Green. May you have many happy years discussing Pizza and plumbers.
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    It's all gone a bit Cairo.
  • Right, that bloody Barky Fox next?
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    Can we have a show trial? Commissar17 can organise it.
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    I liked the Twain quote, but I also think the best way to shape a community is to be part of it. There are rights and responsibilities that come with being online in a place like this. The community needs to work in a way that welcomes new members, but new members need to understand and learn the way that community works. So there's a balance there. Most sites do this with rules and moderators and nitpicking. We - very deliberately - trust people to be adults. I am very, very anti-moderation. We would rather turn the site off than turn it over to a committee vetting grammar and swearing. I would rather a community made an occasional mistake and learned from it than to try pre-empt every potential offence. I also like leaving threads up, where possible, as a form of collective memory. As for personal attacks, no-one on this site has taken the same level of abuse that David and I have and we're still here. Internet invective is trivial and easy, all light and no heat, so it's better to rise above it. For those who see elites and cliques, I think you'd be surprised at how few people know each other and how, in practice, people are reasonable and welcoming. Online, as in life, if you moan, whinge and seek attention, you might find people less interested in you than you might hope. That's not a clique. We've only ever had one rule and it's taken from that seminal piece of moral philosophy, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure: "Be excellent to each other"
  • edited 3:49AM
    I agree with most of your points. However, I do think there's a clique of about 5 or so people on here. It's natural to happen. I realise that Stroudgreen.org was created by two individuals and even if you don't intervene it's still under your control. Other people will surround you etc.

    I think the idea that it's a community is telling. I think the community of SG.org (very middle class, into SG as a pleasure zone rather than a place to live, probably access to a friend or relatives house in the country, skiing hoidays, shirt under jumper at the Seasons restaurant ) is only a small reflection of the wider Stroud Green community.

    And the chant 'Be excellent' does not take into account the amount of people who have been broken by life around here because they haven't had the priveleges that so many on here probably have had. By the way I count myself lucky and I do enjoy life and have lots of friends but I just think life is not fair for some.

    I saw it more as a forum when I started posting i.e. you post something and get comments. I didn't realise there was a social side to this. Fair enough if people do that although it can seem very smug at times. And I'm not someone who is interested in joining gangs and elites. I have been very popular at times and it's so tiring and flattening.

    I might not be right about what I've said and I'm interested in your comments.

    And I do agree there's a thin line between complaining and whining. What is a pain to one person is pleasure to another etc. ... But there's a time and place for it. I know I haven't always been good at this.
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    I think the idea that there's any significant faction on here for whom Stroud Green is only a pied a terre is somewhat bonkers. The area's attractions as a 'pleasure zone' are, for a lot of us, exactly why it's also a good place to live. Though that does suggest something rather more Bacchanalian than the occasional pizza <s>and gang bangs in the back of the WLM</s>.
  • edited 3:49AM
    i wasn't empying that people were just here on a temporary basis and their abode was strictly 'a pied a terre' but I imagine that many might have access in some way to a holiday cottage in the Cotswolds etc. (for a weekend or week) from a family member.

    There is a community here who just live a life of pizza, pizza and more pizza and THE BEST PIZZA IS AT.................and by the way I like a pizza.

    There are people outside of that scene who just live here and go to the Twelve Pins etc.
  • edited 3:49AM
    Skiing holidays, relatives in the Cotswolds, dinners at Seasons? That's about as far from being a true picture of my life as possible and I would imagine it's the same for most people who post here. It's very presumptous to assume you can make judgements about other people's income and lifestyle on the basis of a few talkboard posts. Believe it or not I also 'just live here' and have even been known to have a drink in the Twelve Pins.
  • edited February 2011
    I was basing it on a few board comments of the inner elite here. I love the Twelve Pins as they have lovely Guiness. I'm up for a social event there. Anyone game?
  • edited 3:49AM
    Are you confusing SG with Hampstead? The people I know that live here are mostly, if you must bring class into the discussion, aspirational working class if anything. The social side to this forum is an unexpected bonus and something I enjoy. It is not at all elitist or cliquey, anyone can join in with knitting group, book group, choir (is that still going Checkski?), or other events or activities that are posted here. I too have a social life outside of SG but it's good to make new, local pals. I agree with Andy's point, that very few people on here know each other in real life but the very few members that I have met in the real world are lovely, intelligent and friendly folk.
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    I think you are right to be anti-moderation, Andy. I'm sure you wouldn't allow anything libellous, but it must be difficult to decide, at times. I wonder if on reflection you might agree that from now on there should be no threads about other members? TT may have been a wind-up, but you can't be sure, and since at very least he did no harm, I think it would have been better to have closed this thread. I would be mortified if anyone started a thread about me, and would certainly disappear in a trice.
  • edited 3:49AM
    I agree with you Annie. Aspirational working class. Although the season's crowd seem 'the shirt under jumper' middle class with access to a country cottage. It's good it's social for you, but can you please stop being so nasty. Let's bury the hatchet. It's up to you.

    A drink in the Twelve Pins (with others) over the next few weeks?
  • edited 3:49AM
    I didn't think that that post was nasty at all! I think I'll be off too. Season can be slightly chilly so the jumper over the shirt is probably a matter of necessity rather than a posh boy affectation.
  • edited 3:49AM
    @ Miss Annie.

    Yes, the choir is still going.

    And I agree with your points generally.

  • edited 3:49AM
    By the way, checkski, the general public is waiting for the next word!
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    @ Annie. Your posts to me in general. You seem to be very hostile at times. Just because I got fed up of a load of nosie from a bar.
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    You want a 50's word, or a current one that I don't like? I'll give you one of each.

    There'is or was all sorts of junk from The Goon Show, on Radio 4, or Home Service, as it was called then. How about "Niddle naddle noo" ? Not many TVs around then, so catch phrases from the radio were the order of the day. This one meant absolutely nothing - feel free to say it when you're feeling frisky!

    And from the present? What shall I choose? I know...

    Not very keen on modern teachers calling kids "guys". It sounds ingratiating, as if you are trying to be popular. Not sure why. Perhaps because, to my ear, it gives then the status of adults, and trendy ones, at that.

    That do?
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    @checkski - Possibly & there's precedent. But rules beget rules and I place quite a high value on legal, free speech. @kreuzkav - I think the reason people like it round here is precisely because there are lots of different types of people. Those from this site that I've met have been a constant surprise to me. Your them-and-us class war is probably wrong, mostly unhelpful and largely irrelevant. If you described any other group in the terms you've used, you would be accused of prejudice, plain and simple. I think it's best to take individuals as they are and not try to second guess where their second homes are. But I grew up in Swindon (which is near the Cotswolds) and sometimes visit my mum there, so you clearly mean me. And "Be excellent to each other" is a call for general tolerance, of everyone, to everyone. Which I think is pretty inclusive. Finally, I find the idea of leaving this site for twitter because *people can be mean* a bit like leaving a pond for the atlantic because you don't like water. I'm going out now and won't look at the site again for a couple of days. Knock yourselves out.
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    @Checkski. Did I make any spelling or grammar mistakes over the last few posts?

    @Miss Annie. Let me know if you're up for a drink at the Twelve Pins (with others).

    I love this forum/community. Anyone up for a drink at the Twelve Pins followed by pizza at Venezia, let me know.

    I'm off to a dinner party (aspirational working class one, and it really is) in East London. I might check the clientelle of Seasons on the way down.

    I look forward to any comments or abuse on my return.
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    @Checkski - you've just reminded me of Spike's wonderful _On the Ning Nang Nong._ I spent ages playing paper-scissors-stone as a kid with that as the chant along with game. In my head I always won on the jibber jabber joo.
  • IanIan
    edited 3:49AM
    I am off to Season tonight for B's birthday. I am wearing a jumper over my shirt. I've guess I've been told what kind of person that makes me ...
  • edited February 2011
    Ian, I'm on the table next to you.

    Going back a bit, I love the Frankenstein allusion: man creates a preposterous monster (who, in this case posts on a local forum). Monster gets on everyone's tits and is hounded away. Nice work. Really bloody good. Wish I'd thought of doing that.

    D'oh! Oh, hang on...

  • edited 3:49AM
    Ian's jumper had baby sick streaked down the front of it. Is he still country set?
  • edited February 2011
    On my way back from Finsbury Park Station at about 12.45 I saw someone coming out of Season's restaurant and hailing a cab. He was wearing a shirt, a v-neck sweater and a beard. So he wasn't a local. I presume the v-neck jumper over shirt brigade are probably just visiting Stroud Green. I'm sorry if I've offended any of you. I should be less prejudiced against affluent people. I know times are tough for them.
  • Hey, kreuzkav.

    Hope you had a good dinner ( I had a kebab from Kings).

    I understand that you feel some people have given you a hard time for expressing your idiosyncratic opinions. That's a bummer. I'd hate to feel like that. 

    I shouldn't take it seriously, though,  cos this is all flim-flam. It's words on computers. And no one here is as expressive with words as they are in actual real-life human micro-emotional, visual, smelly, cross-eyed, limping loveliness. The nature of the beast, I'm afraid. But we're stuck with it. 

    That said, everyone I've met in real life from StroudGreen.org has turned out to be a fucking star -- And we have a laugh when we reveal our "identities". Hmmm. Bit worried, actually because Four Eyes has done a runner and I know he's a fucking standard guy.

    You're a genius, too.

     However, I should tell you that you're right: there IS an Elite in Stroud Green -- a cabal -- and I'm the boss (do NOT tell anyone). If you want to be in my gang let's talk. But you've got to swear to my outrageous opinions and accept them ... Almost as if they're true.

    Joking aside a word to the wise: stop badgering Checkski. He's a senior citizen, who once made a jocular remark about exclamation marks. Ages ago now.  Don't take it so seriously, mate.  If you met in real life you'd be borrowing cups of sugar.

    C'mon. Peace. Love you all (except Rainbow Cranage).



  • IanIan
    edited 3:49AM
    @Kreuzkav the guy with the beard and the V neck you saw is one of the staff of Season.
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    @ Ian. He was with a woman and they were dressed up. The staff were tidying and cashing up. So I presume he was a customer.

    I am slightly joking about the Seasons. I might try it out sometime. I do think that as with the Old Dairy it does attract quite a middle class crowd. That's fair enough. I drink in the Dairy sometimes. My income is working class but my tastes could probably be termed middle class.

    @Philistine's Monster. I appreciate your nice post. I have tried to be friendly and civil on here. I realised I moaned a lot about a bar, but we've had to put up with years of noise (mostly caused by Chapter One). That bar was closed down for a reason. And not because the neighbours were over-fussy. I live on a main road and I accept the buses, garbage trucks, police sirens, people walking by and shouting. It adds a bit of atmosphere. I accept certain noise from bars is unavoidable but a bar can take steps to minimise the noise (as many do). A doorman, tables in by 11 etc. It's not rocket science. That's all we ask. I don't think I deserved the hostile response I got. And it seemed all the people who knew each other from the social events ganged up like a pack of dogs. I then promised not to chat about it again which I kept to. However, many people kept bringing it up and making digs about it when I commented on something else. And I didn't bring it up for months.

    It might be just words on a screen, but it's a real person writing and receiving. If someone creates a fantasy persona then fair enough. I will defend myself and counter-attack if someone brings me down e.g. Checkski. I think he can't hide behind being an O.A.P. and still be so patronising. But I like him now.

    I actually like most people on here. Otherwise I wouldn't waste my time here. I hope your kebap was nice. My dinner at my friends was lovely.
  • edited 3:49AM
    Checkski, thanks for both the new words. I totally agree on the 'guys'. NIddle naddle noo seems a bit further out than goodee but I'll try to use it at least once.
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