I am not surprised that there is disharmony on this site, every so often. It seems that critical commentary is only reserved for the special few. That special few, paradoxically, accuses others of being inappropriately critical. A lot of name-calling ensues.
I wrote an open letter to Rikkor, suggesting that he be more than negative about others on the site. I called it an open letter as I could have written to him on the personal message line. I could have done that, but that was not my point. I was suggesting that being positive and encouraging towards others was generally better than being constantly negative. My aim was not to attack Rikkor ad hominem.
I was surprised by a) the amount of support there was for Rikkor's negative commentary and b) the vitriol heaped upon me for raising the topic. It seemed, at the time (and it still does, I suppose) that while Rikkor's negativity is quite acceptable, other peoples' critical commentary is not. I was roundly told that it was not my place to be critical.
What surprised me most, I suppose, was the 'jumping on the bandwagon' effect. Those whom I had previously thought of as 'friends' (as far as that is possible on the internet) were suddenly drawn into the playground brawl. I was told that I was occasionally 'a prat', like others. It was suggested that I withdraw from the chat room for a period and to be careful about what I chatted about.
I find it odd that one person can consistently be critical of almost everything that happens on NB but that if anyone else so much as raises an objection, it is shot down in flames. With the one exception, NB seems to welcome only those on one side of the fence; a sort of party line.
I loved my time on NB. I enjoyed chatting and posting the odd sub here and there. I never aspired to writing front pages (this is, after all, not the Man Booker prize we are talking about here). I enjoyed the friendship, until I realised that as soon as objections to negativity or any sort of criticism were raised, the whole gang piled in to pull me into line. This is a shame.
It is often repeated on NB that there is a place for everyone. I hoped this was true but have reason to doubt it. I tried, in my 'open letter' to indicated that I was against negativity - and I still am. I am dissapointed in finding so much negativity towards those who do not, immediately, praise everything that is posted here. This is with the one exception of a member who seems to be lauded for posting continuously negative messages. I make it clear that I have nothing, personal, against Rikkor. He is clearly an intelligent and engaging character. I have enjoyed chatting to him. However, I still fail to understand why his comments are so easily appreciated when other criticism is not, not why he is held up as a 'supporter of good writing' when he contributes so little. Being a critic is far easier than being a writer. I have been both in my career.
I can assure you that I am not the wilting lily that I might have appeared when I adopted the 'maiden aunt' persona on NB. It remains true that I have mental health problems (so what?) and a broken shoulder, but that is not a rounded description of me. We are all more complex than we appear to be and - I believe - should be more tolerant of each other. We are all flawed. There is little point in the front-pagers taking the moral high ground any more than should our friend from America who contributes only criticism.
Nor, of course, can I take the moral high ground. I fully accept your right to dismiss this message in any terms you choose to use. Plucky xxx