Re: RARA-AVIS: Getting off-topic

From: Patrick K. Lee, MD (
Date: 24 Oct 2007

I completely agree with Charles. Moreover, to use statements like "I really don't know why you want to confuse this very simple issue" is pejorative, and underlines the need for some of these tangential discussions to continue off-list. I have already put some filters in for this list, and I would really like to not put any more.


hardcasecrime wrote:
> It does seem to me that there is a basic difference between
> discussing the death penalty (or any other topic) as it appears in or
> relates to fiction and discussing it purely as an issue in the real
> world. I'm not saying one's better or worse than the other -- it's
> not -- but there are different places where each is appropriate.
> If this were a mailing list about cooking, and people used it to
> compare recipes, discuss cooking techniques, share menus, review
> restaurants and chefs, etc., and someone started a protracted
> diatribe about cruelty to animals, would that be appropriate? It
> would be a perfectly reasonable topic to discuss -- but not in that
> location, since that's not the purpose of that discussion group.
> Similarly, a protracted discussion of the Anthony Pellicano case
> would not (I think) be appropriate on Rara-Avis -- he's a detective,
> but he's not a detective in *fiction*, which is what we're here to
> talk about. Now, if someone wrote a novel about Pellicano, fine; if
> someone said, "What novels resemble the Pellicano case?" fine; if
> someone wanted to talk about books that raise issues similar to those
> raised in the Pellicano case, fine. But to just talk about a non-
> fictional case itself, at length, for message after message after
> message, with nary a reference to fiction along the way? I doubt I'm
> the only person here who finds that annoying and disruptive. It's a
> conversation I might well be interested in taking part in somewhere
> else -- but not here.
> Just my 2 cents, obviously, and if the broad sentiment is otherwise,
> so be it. But this is not what I, at least, come to Rara-Avis for.
> --Charles
> P.S. To avoid any misunderstanding, I am not complaining at all about
> the *content* of anyone's comments. It's not that I am offended by
> one or the other sides in the death penalty debate, or that I am
> bothered by the discussion of sensitive topics, or anything of the
> sort. I only object to polluting a crime fiction list with an
> extended discussion of a topic other than crime fiction. Talk about
> the *connection* between fiction and the real world all you want --
> but when you start talking *only* about the real world, you're doing
> in the wrong place.
> --- In
> <>, Michael Robison
> <miker_zspider@...> wrote:
> >
> > Curt Purcell wrote:
> >
> > So does brutal interrogation, but I hardly see the hot
> > lights and rubber hoses of a Gold Medal classic as an
> > appropriate jumping-off point for a debate about
> > Abu-Ghraib or Gitmo. Why? Because fiction is
> > fiction. It's make-believe, no matter how "realistic"
> > it pretends to be. That's why I read it.
> >
> > ***************
> > Not much I can say to this. To me, the connection
> > that fiction has to the real world is what makes it
> > vital and relevant.
> >
> > miker
> >
> > __________________________________________________
> > Do You Yahoo!?
> > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
> > <>
> >

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 24 Oct 2007 EDT