Strangely, I have only fond memories of the old YGL and the boards that preceded, and couldn't help but wonder what the feck it was that kept drawing us back there again and again. I pretty much knew I had an addiction, but having much therapy, I decided to forgive myself for it, and spare any other poor sod the agony of having listen to me waffling on, even if they were getting paid an exhorbitant hourly rate. I was also much too humane to inflict it on the few friends I had left. When son and I were discussing Orwell's 'Room 101', son suggested myself reading passages from my book. He has a very cruel sense of humour that boy. I think that might make Annie laugh though.
When I arrived on the board, I blatantly announced myself as a Marxist/Feminist, I felt sure it would cause a bit of a stir, and I was delighted it did. I had tried a couple of other AOL boards, but they had scared the bejesus out of me. I always went to YGL when there was breaking news, and yeh, friendship. Actually, truth be told, I liked the company, and familiarity, even if if it often was with daggers drawn, I was in shock at the sheer anger and hostility that oozed from the cesspit it became. I jest, it was quite nice at the beginning. The lovely Lisa made me roar with laughter on a Maddy thread when she said 'some of us haven't hoovered since May'! I was a late arrival, but immediately felt at home.
I also felt exhilerated. I knew if I felt like having a laugh, there would be someone else online who also had the giggles. It was also a place to throw out random thoughts and find other crazy people who had similar interests. It was a place to rant and rave, knowing that someone would read it, and the feel the way that we did, and if they didn't, it was great fun arguing about it.
But then you have the 'deh, deh, deh' roll of drums, as the baddies emerge, shouting 'order, order,' we must get things under control. I think the discussing of potting sheds was seen as 'un-european' and therefore off topic, and swearing and cussing was going to be graded for severity, maybe 5000 report key hits for a c*nt, down to 200 or so if you forget how to spell feck. Therein began the great censorship wars of 2008, the point, I feel where the board divided, a bit like the yankies and the confederates. Sides were taken, loners were eaten alive, or spat out to be toyed with another day.
Social boundaries were torn down, the gloves were off. No blow was too low, no subject too taboo. Posters were accusing those who survived the first barrage of abuse and suspicion, of the foulest crimes imaginable. Real mental health issues were scorned, seen as a sign of weakness, a tool with which to batter the confessors.
Rules were made to be obeyed, 'we don't want your lefty sort here' was the battlecry of the self appointed guardians of our morals. Talking about inner thoughts, insecurities or weaknesses, became strictly taboo. There have been times when I have sensed posters inner pain and fear of sharing it because of inevitable repercussions.
I began to see the place as Animal Farm, complete with all the requisite pigs and dog pack. Hmmm, will have to have a re-read of that and keep you posted after I have designated roles. I will let the reader decide.
But back to the original board. I am still trying to figure out why we kept returning and returning. Some of us clearly hated each other. The nicer, more mentally stable of the visitors who passed through on the way, and were strong enough to resist the lure of an old fashioned Corrie street fight, got out while they were still sane and only dipped a toe in occasionally to see if the loonies were still ruling the asylum. For a long time they were.
To be continued.............