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 A new cycle of the Moon. A personal response from Christopher J Gould

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Christopher J Gould
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Registration date : 2008-03-17

PostSubject: A new cycle of the Moon. A personal response from Christopher J Gould   Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:48 pm

So, what is happening here?



A short history.

During the time I was working on Sanctum 2, I spent a good deal of time working on the Outlaw forum on the Sanctum thread. This was a good time, some very interesting and intelligent people were involved. Some really interesting ideas were exchanged and developed. It certainly inspired me and developed my own thinking. I think this was true of other involved in the forum. There was a genuine feeling that 'something was afoot'.

At the same time I was getting increasingly upset and perplexed by the true nature of the Magic Cafe. It was clear to me that the purpose of it's existence was to get revenue from it's banner adverts. This meant that on the 'Pennies' forum a quite Mafiosi structure had arisen where a cartel of 'barons' dictated what was posted and what views were allowed to be expressed. This was only aggravated by the fact the board was run by right wing Christians.

This was not the place for the development of the art. But it was a good place to jerk off the latest Outlaw product or anyone deemed as a guru by the barons.

My response was satirical, this annoyed those who run this thing no end......... Result? Like so many other who dared speak against the hierarchy, I was banned.

The invite only forums were of no real use either. These seem to operate as gentlemen's clubs, very little of real interest is ever posted. Just a bunch of people reminding each other of their own gravitas.

Now, I know a fair deal about creativity, I teach it as part of the courses I run at College. We all know a great deal, we are all creative. This is why we are interested in this art in the first place, right? We all understand how creativity works, we all want to promote it's development, we all want to feel the high it gives us. Creativity thrives in group discussion. Sharing ideas, passing ideas back and forth and developing ideas with others is the most effective form of development and evolution. I know this from my work in education and through my involvement with other creative individuals. We also experience it from the library of skills, information and knowledge that we build up from years of study; an internal discussion with those we have never met.
For me, all of this was epitomised in the old Sanctum forum.

So my next step was to get together a forum that could continue this work. My original idea was simple; to put together a collective. The collective would meet, discuss and develop ideas. It would then pool resources to develop, manufacture, promote and advertise it's work. This was a great dream, and one that would have accelerated the art to new levels and created a real income for all involved in the project.

This was the rational behind the work

So, a lot of work was put into the launch of Alchemy Moon. All of my free time was consumed by the project. In the early days the group comprised of Alexandre, Andy Stevenson, Alton Thrash, Nathan Pain and myself (I really hope I have not missed anyone out). All of these people put in a lot of work to make it happen. Hopes were high, and something like the old Sanctum forum was starting to evolve. All the 'good old guys' were dropping in, and everything was looking good.

Unfortunately, illness and personal problems put a stop to my involvement (creativity has it's price!). For reasons I cannot quite remember, the Moon was loosing gravity, people were floating off.

So discussions got underway for a relaunch. During this time, Ron came into the fold and put in a lot of new energy. I felt really good about the guy and felt everything was in good hands. At this point, I left the scene for reasons I cannot discuss here. All I do want to say, is that it was unavoidable. It was very painful for me, as I really felt that I had let everyone down - the timing could not have been worse. So, the others decided to continue with the relaunch regardless. I was not around much during this time. However, when I came back the Moon was luminous. The guys had done a truly wonderful job. It was starting to discuss topics that could not have been broached openly on the Cafe and was starting to attract some very good people. It was really good to see the likes of Luke working with the team.

At the same time there were things starting to develop that I did not find healthy, but I kept quite for the greater good of the board's development - overall it was splendid, and testament to Ron and the others who were admins.

When it was feasible for me to do so, I came back. There was still a great deal I wanted to contribute (this time as a member, rather than an administrator - it was going well enough without my help). The Moon was very different to my original vision for the place, but it was good and did serve a valuable function.

For some reason, Alton took it upon himself to verbally attack me. This hurt a lot, as I saw Alton as a friend, and a valuable part of the development of the Moon. I guess my absence at the time of the launch did annoy people after all.
So I left - thinking to leave 'mentalism' altogether, it did not seem like an healthy scene at all. All those clashing egos with their gangs of groupies was frankly getting me down. Also, Alchemy Moon was beginning to take on the appearance of an 'old boys club', with its own hierarchy, rules, restrictions on who and what your could talk openly about. The 'freedom' of speech that had been so much a part of my original vision, had been reduced to the ability to say the word 'fuck'. I hear that on the new board, one has to sign to say that they are 18 to have this privilege!

I came back after a while, as I trusted Ron (kind of still do, in a odd sort of way) and I also had an odd email from Alton saying that he had forgiven me for his outburst. I was actually quite reluctant to post - but did so cautiously. My aim was to instil some of the ideas I would like to see develop.
Alex then made a reasonable post asking why a new rule (oh-uh, here we go!) had been created whereby you were only allowed on the forum if you gave your real name, suggesting instead that if the aim was to stop people using multiple accounts and posting anonymously (awww, spoilsports!), and that if a rule was needed it should be for people to be allowed to post under their stage name (especially as not many seemed to be following this rule anyhow - even the admins!). Obviously this makes sense , as many performers develop a character - with a separate identity and name - precisely to put distance between their profession and their personal life.

So I was more that surprised that on the forum that so fucking well extolled fucking free fucking speech, that this could not be fucking debated openly. Even more upset when Alton rose up again with one of his unwarranted personal attacks. This time, aimed at Alexandre - now this really hurt as Alex is one of the few 'good guys' left around in this neck of the woods. A generous spirit who has helped many - being an enormous help to me in what was a difficult time. I did not mind so much when Alton insulted me, but it really hurt when he turned his spite on a good friend - and for no good reason, as far as I could tell.

I put up a reply where I pulled no punches in what I thought about this. This is one of the things that caused the adims to go scuttling off with their handbags- the other being the desire to attract certain people to the Moon who lack the emotional maturity to come without being assured undivided and uncritical worship.

Well, I wanted no part with the way that the Moon had developed. There was still a good deal about the forum that was very good, and still more that showed real potential. But, unfortunately, it seemed to be turning into just another discussion board - stuffy, full of it's own self-importance, reinforcing it's boarders with rules (written and unwritten).

There are a couple of things that I would like to put on record before moving on. I did ask Ron to post these points for me (Alex asked for the same in regard of points he made), this never happened, so in the name of 'free-speech' I will make them now.

There was an attempt to derail the posts that both Alex and myself made. First, Alex was asking a legitimate question - he was treated with contempt with comments like 'who the fuck are you anyway' and some weird idea that he was trying to advertise the fact that he had a famous relative!
The second point I want to make was that the post I made was to put right what Alton and others were saying about Alex. I wanted to answer the 'who the fuck is he anyway?' post by pointing out who the fuck he actually is. It is true that Alex and myself started Alchemy Moon. The aim of pointing this out was not to open a silly debate about who did what or who owned what - I really, really, really do not care. As I have said many times, I thoughts the admins were doing a good job, as far as I was concerned, the moon was theirs. All I wanted was a bit more respect and good manners for people who had been around from the very start.

So where does this leave us all.

Well first, all. Now that I have got that off my chest and attempted to put the record straight, I feel I can move on.
First, I do hope that Ron and the boys are successful with the new forum. I hope the power does not go to their heads and that they do try to install a spirit of free speech - on all topics. If they do this, they will have created something that is badly needed.
Believe it or not, my very best wishes go with you guys.

This leaves an interesting situation...... What to do with the Moon.

All I know at the moment of writing is that I have no desire to run a conventional forum. Firstly because there are too many already - as well as Ron's new forum and still another being set up by Black's Magic - (which is where I may dwell for my 'forum fix'). But there are other reasons. Forums, it seems to me, have their own momentum. A lot of communication in the cyber age is crippled by the fact the communication is not face to face with real flesh and blood people. This produces it's own dynamic, which leads to forums being like 'all cats in the dark'.

Still, at the same time, there is something to be achieved that has not been achieved yet. Something nearer to the original vision for Alchemy Moon.

Also, everything happens for a greater purpose. From the forest fire, new shoots grow in fertile soil. Also, ideas flourish if there is a need for them to exist, independent of the egos and the individuals who access the stream. There is a very interesting set of questions to be asked about our art. Questions that I feel closer to discussing. If this is true, and something bigger than pretending you can read people's minds is developing, it will develop somewhere regardless. The Moon may be the place for this to happen. If it is, the people needed will gravitate here. If not, then the Moon will die, but not in wretched hopelessness, as it will have seeded other things. I do not speak from a position of religious conviction, but I believe that all things that happen, fit into a pattern greater than the desires of any one person. So we will see.

I will write more details regarding what may happen here, and how to be involved in the next post.

But to conclude - what ever happens is what should happen. Hopefully Ron and the boys are off to realise their vision, and I am sure that they will succeed, I hope so. If there is a need for the Moon, it will rise again. It will probably set and rise several times! I do hope so, but what will be, will be - I will wait and watch, but I won't loose any sleep over it - sleep is for dreaming.
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Nathan Pain
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PostSubject: Re: A new cycle of the Moon. A personal response from Christopher J Gould   Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:51 pm

Always ready sir...

Nathan

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Kam Fanaian
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PostSubject: Re: A new cycle of the Moon. A personal response from Christopher J Gould   Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:41 pm

Sad to see all this happen.....but I was very touched by your instant generosity with me Chris, and I have nothing against you. I hear where you're coming from in your post and look forward to see where you think mentalism discussion should direct itself towards....

Kam
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Freddie Valentine
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PostSubject: Re: A new cycle of the Moon. A personal response from Christopher J Gould   Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:02 am

You have my complete support in whatever you do. Keep me posted sir.
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Nathan Pain
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PostSubject: Re: A new cycle of the Moon. A personal response from Christopher J Gould   Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:29 am

I love it when a plan comes together...

Nathan

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