I do not have a message board on my site because I have had more than one bad experience with message boards, particularly the ones hosted by "Boardhost dot com." I know that this is most likely not the fault of "Boardhost dot com," but the result of a few particular low-quality users who choose to cause trouble; but there's no way to get the point across to those few particular users.
I have been attacked on a personal level more than once, and sometimes without ever even writing a post of my own. I have narrowed the source of these attacks down to a select two or three people -- and that was the result of a lovely little e-mail exchange where, you guessed it, one of those vicious people with nothing better to do decided to launch an unprovoked attack. These oh-so-lovely vicious people have gone so far as to act friendly when they needed help, and then write things about me that got blamed on other people. They wrote things about others that got blamed on me. I've even had my life threatened over things these vicious people said about someone I couldn't have even picked out of a crowd...
Through these bad experiences, I have come to the conclusion that there's just no way to get the point across to some people. It does not matter how hard I try to uphold a standard of decency (and literacy), there will always be a few people who refuse to see things from any point of view other than their own. There's no order in a place where a decent friendly discussion of any ordinary topic can be turned into a string of personal attacks when there was no provocation whatsoever. There's no predictability in a place where hostile lurkers are waiting, not for a chance to make a point, but for a chance to make an attack.
I still remember what Mister Fain, the sixth-grade Band Director said when someone asked him about some show they'd seen on television; Mister Fain, quickly and politely replied with "I don't have a TV in my house because I can't control what's on it, and I want to control what comes into my house." Even though that was not enough to convince me or any other sixth-grader to give up television, Mister Fain's words have stayed with me all this time -- even though I'm a bit hooked on my hour or two a day of TV, I still remember what he said and how he said it because he had made his decision and he stood behind it.
This is My Site, I pay for it, I want to control what's on my site.
I want the people who visit this site to come away with a positive experience, not the negative one that would be generated by the presence of a message board. I hope I can share a joke or a phrase that makes someone smile; or maybe someone will see a picture here and say "Heyyy, I know that person..." or "Heyyy, I saw that car at the car show..." Maybe someone can read something I've written and say "Ya know, that's quite an idea, I hadn't thought of it that way." or maybe "Gosh, I know just how she feels." I want the people who visit this site to see that I stand up for what I believe in, and that I do my best to say my piece without making any personal attacks on undeserving parties.
I want this site to be like a book on a shelf -- if you walk by, you'll see it and you'll have a choice as to whether or not you open it up and look inside. What you see inside might not be exactly to your liking, but hopefully it might make you think a bit and it's certainly not going to harm you. Message boards are like rabid pitbulls hiding under trailerhouses with no skirting on 'em -- if you walk by, you might or might not get bit, but you don't really have a choice in the matter of whether or not the dog will jump out. When he does jump out, you're going to get bit or mauled.
My English book from my first year of college is still on the top shelf in my living room; but I didn't have to get bit or mauled to know not to go walking by those trailers with no skirting...
If you came here from a link on a Blog where I've left comments, Hi There and Welcome! I'm glad you're here and I hope you enjoy your visit as much as I enjoy keeping up with the Blogs that I visit regularly! There's some fun folks out there writing some great stuff, and I'm glad you found me! Also, if you're interested in leaving comments, I do have the comment feature enabled on My Blog but if you're looking for a place to be hostile, don't get your hopes up 'cause it's moderated, which means if you write something just trying to p!$$ me off, I'll delete it. This is my ship, I decide who gets to ride and who gets tossed overboard. "Fun Good, Misdirected Anger Bad!"
If you came here from the link on my CGB Message Board Membership Profile, or one of the Hearse Club Message Boards, Hey Y'all!! Thanks for stoppin' by!!!
If you came here from a link on an Alumni website from my highschool or college, or from the link on my MySpace profile, Welcome! How ya been? Drop me a line, let's chat a bit!
If you came here from a link on another dot-com, Hello and Welcome! I've got some great friends who link to me and it's good to see some of their readers are checkin' out my stuff too!
If you came here as a result of Googling Mister Fain, the sixth-grade Band Director, Howdy and Welcome to you too! I'm glad I'm not the only one who remembers him! Oh, and if Mister Fain is reading this, yes, I do still have my Trombone!!
If you came here because you saw the URL on the back of a trailer on the highway, Hello, Welcome, and I hope we didn't pi$$ you off in traffic -- sometimes Dad drives the truck, sometimes I drive the truck... We try to be as careful as we can, but $hit happens, and if we made you mad, we apologize.
Even if you got here and don't remember how you ended up at this site, I hope you enjoy your visit anyway!
If you only came to look for something to be hostile about, you're not welcome here and you should go on to some other site.