NANFA-- regrettably, way off topic

Christopher Scharpf (
Thu, 05 Feb 2004 19:22:18 -0400

Several members have written to me off-list regarding the recent off-topic
posts. One said:

"Fine, one stupid (and ignorant) joke might be tolerable, but the continued
'humor' unfortunately shows the (by definition) ignorance and hypocrisy of
some members of this list. Imagine their outrage if the joke had been
slightly rewritten with Bush/Ashcroft/etc. at the receiving end of the

Another said:

"I was catching up on email and saw the bizarre (and borderline offensive)
off topic posts. Thanks for jumping in and trying to put the kibosh on
something that should be an embarrassment to our members."

And another said:

"Thank you for writing to stop the 'Liberal, Southerner...' thread. I am
surprised someone suggested you 'lighten up'- I am sure much more of the
list is irritated by the emails than supports them."

So clearly I am not the only person who needs to "lighten up." :-)

While I'm all for "a little shared humor" that "connects us vicariously," we
must also remember that this list is first and foremost an educational
forum, and not a private chat room for people to swap jokes and hold
personal e-conversations about non-fish topics. If you really need to
discuss these things, you can can e-mail like-minded members off list.

Also, please consider that this list attracts many non-NANFA members who may
be using the list to "scope us out." Imagine a newcomer joining this list to
learn more about natives, and seeing instead a bunch of e-mails from people
yuk-yukking it over how many bullets it takes for a redneck to kill someone.

> This list is composed of hobbyist, too, not just a bunch scientific
> pontificators.

I know you don't mean to suggest that hobbyists are incapable of
pontificating on scientific matters. That's an insult to hobbyists! But
inserting some levity into occasionally "deep" discussions does not mean
posting jokes that caricaturize one's political leanings or feelings about
hot-button issues such as gun control.

As B.G. Granier once so wisely put it, "It's about the fish, man!"

So can we please, pretty please, with a cherryfin shiner on top, keep it
about fish?


Chris Scharpf
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