I feel we have a great community of friends here at LRH.com.
99% of our members are people I would be pleased to invite to a party in the Living Room of my home. BUT once in a very great while we have an incident like the following...
I invite you to read the Topic 946 yard cow elk pics
if you want to understand the background behind this grumpy message.
Part of my frustration with how this Topic went is that it strayed too far and too long into ethics. As you know, I feel there are many other forums where ethics can be discussed. Several years ago when I started this Forum I did it for reasons other than to have one more place (among dozens of existing ones) to discuss ethics.
But most of my frustration on this Topic has to do with just plain bad attitude on the part of several of the participants. Kind of a "gotcha" mentality. Kind of "I am a better debater/arguer than you are and my (inane or minute) point is more important than the joy of others in reading and sharing the original story itself". And so many of the facts mentioned by the “gotcha” guys were just plain wrong but I didn’t want to make things worse by seeming to take sides.
I started this Forum mostly so I could write and read joyful stories of long range hunting. Most of this Topic was not fun reading for me, not very joyful. And on this Forum, like it or not, it is “ALL ABOUT ME”.
Some time ago, members started referring to this Forum as being "Len's living room" and needing to live by “Len’s rules”. Well, as I think about how this Topic unfolded in my living room...I am not very satisfied with my choice of guests. There were 37 people involved in this Topic. If this had been taking place in my real living room I would have said to my wife “who invited some of those guys? Let’s cut the party short today and not invite some of them back again. I don’t enjoy listening to the bickering, chest thumping and contentious arguing!”
So I am expanding on my philosophy regarding “guests”. I am not a very social animal but over the years my wife and I have given or attended some pretty neat parties that are of an annual, repeated nature. As an invited participant or as the “giver” there is always a fresh invitation list put together sometime the next year when the annual event is coming up. We hope that our host appreciated our good behavior and to we hope to be invited back to the good parties.
We also think twice about whom we want to invite back to our own parties. There is probably a little huddled discussion out there among guests when it is time for the next year’s invitation list to go out. “Given how long you went on and on about our wonderful children…I wonder if we will ever be invited back!” Or “I wonder if Frank who got drunk and spilled his beer over Kathy Backus’s blouse will be invited back!” Or the flip side…“Did you notice that Frank didn’t get invited back and I don’t know why not…he is such a nice guy and he was so funny at the last Backus party?”
Well, today I am real close to not inviting back a number of guests. Some of the participants in this Topic are just not fun people to have in one’s living room. We have something like 5,600 members. However, I don’t care if that number drops to 56 if some of them want to quit because of my “ living room guest” philosophy! In fact, just before I started this Forum in 2001 (?) I thought the answer might be to have an email list of just a dozen or so like-minded nice guys to share long range hunting thoughts with. Well, I am very glad I went this way instead because I have met online many, many great people that have enriched my life.
But…I am going to be way more selective in reviewing my guest list from now on. If you aren’t the kind of friendly, non-contentious person I would like to invite back to the once-a-year party given in my living room…expect to be de-invited. Don’t expect any totally rational reason that you think you understand or that you think is fair. Instead suddenly your membership will mysteriously disappear.