Re: Thank you Tony Wagstaffe
To Henry... I certainly wouldn't want to give the impression of "piling on" Tony when he isn't here to participate. I was actually disappointed I couldn't get his reaction to the bunny picture...
But the "wolf pack" mentality shouldn't be a surprise. Tony managed to offend a lot of people. That's why he's banned... again. The fact that many folks here did not get offended by his method of discourse doesn't negate the fact that many were. I think there's a not so subtle inference in many of the pro-Tony supporting posts that the folks who were offended were somehow unreasonable in being so.
People get to have their own reactions. I don't think that, in general, it's reasonable to tell folks they shouldn't respond to something a certain way just because one doesn't have that same reaction oneself.
The lack of civility in contemporary culture has been oft commented on. Folks from a younger generation than mine have coined a term, "keeping it real". My own observation is that more times than not when someone says, "I was just keeping it real" they were simply being rude. In a culture in which lack of civility or rudeness is something of the norm, it isn't surprising that many folks have simply gotten used to it. The fact that some folks have become less sensitive to these things doesn't mean it's not still rude.
In a world of political correctness, it is often refreshing to hear someone just say what they think. I don't have a problem with that as long as they stay with those opinions without personalizing them. It's one thing to say that one believes that a technique won't work or that a method of training isn't good martial arts. That's an opinion and can be argued out. It's another when one starts inferring or even outright stating that someone is somehow less as a person because of his or her way of training or method of doing technique.
There are people on this forum who represent the entire range of opinion as to what Aikido is and why we do it. I am the first one to argue out what I think about that. I'll say when something appears to me to be bad budo, I'll state when someone's take on the art seems less thoughtful than what I think it could be. But the discussion should be about the Aikido. And the discussion should be done in the spirit that, once I have had my say, other folks still get to have very different opinions about the subject. Once I have had my say in a discussion, I usually just stand back... the folks who were persuaded have been so, and the folks who weren't won't be by my hammering them and demeaning them.
As folks have already stated, the vest majority of people manage to post on the forums without getting banned. It is a rarity that this happens. I know for a fact, because so many have told me, that far more people leave the forums and do not participate at all because of the tone these discussions often take. So I would say that, if anything Jun is rather tolerant. He allows quite a range of discussion, even argument, before he steps in.