Katrien Jacobs on Fri, 17 Mar 2000 07:17:32 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-bold] Moderation Madhouse, Adieu!

What Matters (A look behind the scenes)

Nettime moderation has gone beserk. It was never an easy effort to create
friendships or establish communication with the nettime moderators, but it
boiled and exploded (again) in the last couple of days. A good cinematic
expression of the madhouse would be Harmony Korine's new movie depicting a
motherless household on the brink of death and catastrophe, temporarily
held together by an insanely self-conscious tyrant of a father (in a
masterful performance by Werner Herzog).

The older son is schizophrenic. He is a schizophrenic attendant in a school
for the blind. He is charming, has artistic talent and volunteers to recite
his Virilian poetry at the dinner table:

     Morning chaos,
     noon chaos,
     evening chaos,
     midnight chaos,
     morning chaos,
     evening chaos,
     noon chaos, ...

until the father goes over the edge, telling his son that he hates his poetry
and why he hates his poetry: because it doesn't rhyme at all, his son's
poetry doesn't rhyme at all, and it's too artsy fartsy. It's too fucking
artsy fartsy poetry your poetry.

Herzog articulates these lines slowly and theatrically, with a sense of
pleasure, but alas, his son is not of this world and has no reply.

I joined the nettime moderation team last November in response to a call for
female moderators. I was told that moderation means going inside the
mailbox regularly to clean out junk and approve messages for the list. I
interpreted the call also as nettime's effort to establish a better gender
balance within its moderation team.

Gender balance is not something which can easily be addressed at this
point, because we are constantly on the verge of masterful email-hysteria
which regularly appears on the internal moderation list. If somebody thinks
that an issue needs to be addressed, somebody else will come down with some
sharp introverted response to the situation. If somebody is about to take a
nettime initiative of some kind, somebody else will stop the iniative with
some brilliant and definitive remark.

Since my arrival in the madhouse last November, one of our initiatives was
hijacked, mutilated, its title "Reclaim The Net" was stolen and registered
as a DNS by Paul Garrin. A couple of moderators went into a fierce battle
with the enemy, and some with each other, and later "resigned" from the
team. But they did not resign. The moderators have been attacked left and
right by
various parties and are fighting back sometimes with decent lines. We have
been asked to close down the entire nettime for a while.
This was an honest proposal since there is indeed a huge discrepancy between
the diversity and vitality of the nettime list, and the hormonal madhouse
which runs the moderation team.

My last idiotic attempt would have been to post an announcement for more
female moderators (eight male moderators right now) but I was told that my
music was starting to sound very irritating.

Adieu then to moderation!

Katrien Jacobs

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