Sep 5, 2008, 2:11 PM
In my time here it's been pretty common, I think, for posters to say "I think this discussion is off-topic." The difference is that instead of e-mailing Dana backchannel, or complaining on the moderator's board, I just pose the question to the thread participants: Is this off-topic? And then I give my own opinion, which is that I think these comments may be helpful but they're off-topic. If that's being somehow aloof and self-righteous, okay. But I don't think the policy here--for years--has been to just wait until Dana notices that a thread created to discuss rankings has turned into a thread where people ask for advice on the topic of (let's call it) "choosing an MFA program."
On a separate note: if you were regularly criticized on this board for taking a poll of other people's opinions, I wonder whether you would feel a little under the microscope, too? For years--years--there have been folks here who've tried to derail the conversation on rankings, not because they wanted to discuss something else more (as, if that was it, they'd just hop onto a different thread) but because they don't like what I've done. That's fine. But can we just stipulate that some folks don't like what I've done, and that that's no reason to turn a thread on rankings into something else? [To be clear, I don't think that's at all what Lynn intended; that said, I don't know that anyone here could read Big Hark's response and not feel that there was an agenda behind it (the word "hooey" was a clue, perhaps) rather than an attempt to preserve the rights of posters to post off-topic queries].
P.S. Bottom line is, I have no clout here and don't want any. I put out there what I thought. If the participants on this thread disagree, by all means continue doing whatever it is you want to do. If I really wanted to force the thread in a particular direction, I'd be doing things right now administratively that I don't do, haven't done, and don't want to do. Like I said, I put out there what I thought, and I never claimed any authority to (or desire to) impose my will on anyone.
(This post was edited by umass76 on Sep 5, 2008, 2:17 PM)