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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Jack (Who is called Jack) Mudcat jargon and 'inside' jokes (95* d) RE: Mudcat jargon and 'inside' jokes 18 Sep 99

At the risk of being too serious about this, groups like the mudcat run a serious risk of becoming insular and rigid. The small group social dynamics, long term freindships, the fuzzy line between the 'business & purpose' aspects and the 'pleasure and socal' aspects of the group, and the high passions associated with a group like this make it particularly vulnerable. In this regard the Mudcat is very much like small churches or volunteer community service groups. Over time they develop an implied heirarchy with an inner circle and an outer circle. And while such a group may be very inclusive with regard to the fringe, they may not be very inclusive with regard to the inner circle and its sense of ownership.

Now I don't necessarily think that the Cat is at that point, but occasionally I hear things that raise my concern. Not only the inside jokes and vernacular, but also the strength of reaction to some of Max's changes, expressed worries that too many 'newcomers' would 'ruin the special community here', a sense of US v. THEM with respect to those who don't understand or appreciate folk and traditional like WE do.

As much as I would like to believe that such could happen to us, my personal experience seeing it happen in more than one organization tells me otherwise. The dynamics are there and it is incumbent upon us to resist them, and to always remember that Mudcat isn't about us and for us, its about folk and traditional music and for folk and tradtional music.

Again, I think the cat is in a good place overall, but it never hurts to keep in mind what can happen if we are not careful.

Best Regards


(Closing Soapbox program now)

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