Crossroads – Sauce for geese and ganders

Date: 30 Apr 2011

Author: Tim

Have you ever heard the saying, “What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander”?

I have always interpreted that as meaning that no matter how you treat one, the other is deserving of the same, what’s fair treatment for one is fair treatment for the other. I always found that an odd concept to reconcile especially within the VC/OVC ~ it seems, consistently, that this so-called truism is not always the case. We take great pains to discuss, at length, rules and regulations that should be applied within the communities but though we discuss we fail to arrive at some form of workable solution to the lack of regulation and socially acceptable conduct that, in a great many instances, we actually experience.

In life, in the world, in just about every civilized part of it we have settled upon certain basic concepts which can be defined, broadly, as follows:

Common sense rules –

In RL a little courtesy, respect and common decency in communication and interaction are expected between adults, we don’t seem to be able to expect the same in the VC/OVC and I wonder why that is? Are we not, in the main, adults?

Group specific rules –

Just as in RL society there are community laws against “disturbing the peace” we consistently make rules about “required behaviour” at our forums and boards and yet, when faced with such behaviour, we often fail to take the action against it that we have prescribed.

Societal rules –

That in order to achieve a “good” society we are required to work together for mutual benefit. It would seem that the VC/OVC, except in isolated pockets, cannot work together for any length of time on any one mutual goal, so we seem unable to create a “good” society for ourselves.

In response to a recent article, “Crossroads – Of politics and drama” one commentator noted the following:

Quote: “Every community with more then a handful of people has ‘drama’.”

Quote: “Please show me any human community of more then 10 people that is free from what the community calls ‘drama.’.”

I have been doing a little research and I have come up with some examples, that I would offer, of “community” groups ~ and I am not just restricting this to VC/OVC groups ~ that enjoy places free of this so called ‘drama’.

The Steampunk Empire – The Crossroads of the Aether has a total of 7,292 members and within that number there are many different ‘sub-groups’ of various sizes. Three ‘drama free’ examples are the sub-groups The Cog of Acceptance with 908 members, the Epic Crafters boasting 88 members and The Aether Guild of Writers a group of 125 members.

Other readily visible examples are, Kindom, a newly established Otherkin forum that already boasts 48 members and no drama; the quintessential Smoke & Mirrors having 689 Total members, 45 Avg visits per day, 355 Avg views per day and 17 Posts per day with no drama. The discussion site for the commercial game developer Shrapnel Games is another case, the forums boast an enormous membership of 29,948 people of which 461 are “active members” and no “drama” and the Gemology Online Discussion Forum with some 4211 members and, once again, “no drama”.

Thus, it would seem, the indictment made by the quoted comments applies only to the VC/OVC and the burning question becomes, “If that many people can do it elsewhere, why can’t we?


Twentieth-century psychotherapists purported to have discovered that modern, post-Dracula vampyres, and vampyric relationships actually distorted their patients’ lives. The conclusions made from experiences reported to them, particularly the classic nightmare, were that attention was strongly called to the role of specific, common human psychological events in the creation and continual reinforcement of vampyre beliefs.

Sigmund Freud developed a line of thought that legitimized the human fantasies of the undead as a topic for serious scientific research. Freud, in developing a modern map of the unconscious, afforded psycho-analysts a model repository of denied desires, impulses, and wishes of a sexual and sometimes destructively aggressive nature. According to such Freudian analysis, vampyre tales expressed, in complex form, the fascination – both natural and unnatural – which the living takes in death and the dead. “Death wishes coexist with the longing for immortality. Greed and sadistic aggression coexist with a compulsively possessive expression of desire. Images of deep and shared guilt coexist with those of virginal innocence and vulnerability“. It is clear that Freud, and his early followers, were convinced of the assumption that the vampyre myth was grounded in archaic images of repressed longings and fears.

Is this the reason we cannot solve the problem? Are we so enamored of our “presentation” as the archetypal vampyre that we consciously place ourselves outside the normal framework of the social niceties? Must we consistently prove, amongst ourselves, that we are not governed by the normal social considerations of courtesy, respect and common decency?

Why is it that other social group, far bigger than many of our community groups are able to function within these observances yet we, of the VC/OVC are not? Surely we, the members of the VC/OVC are missing something somewhere along the line. If it is seemingly, so easy for these other ‘social online groups’ to be self-regulating why can’t we follow suit?

As the author of the comments I quoted at the beginning also noted; “Yes we are human first and foremost.”, if that is indeed the case then surely we have no more or less qualification and knowledge of what is proper than the members of the groups that I put forward. It stands to reason, therefore, that we should be able to create similar environments for ourselves… and yet we don’t, except in several scattered cases.

We each have the decision to make, for ourselves, that while we cannot govern how people will respond to us and to what we say or write, we can govern how we react. We can choose to exercise restraint and conduct ourselves in a certain way. If more of us chose the positive approach to these interactions then we might even be able to make a difference ~ certainly in the VC/OVC and perhaps a change for the better in our offline lives as well.

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