By Don Todde MacDonnell
It won’t come as much surprise to many of our readers that I’ve volunteered to write an “alternate viewpoints” column for the caid-rapier website. But *I* certainly had to stop and think about why I wanted to blog about delicate & contentious topics. I’m not writing here to start arguments (though that will probably happen). It’s not because I want a soapbox to be better heard. It’s not even because I like to argue (though see below). And only rarely will I be determined to convince you to agree with me.
I think (and I may be wrong) that my goal here is to start conversations on issues that people feel discouraged from discussing. Some topics have been shot down by an influential scarf in the past, and ought to be revisited. Some are “minority opinions”, but just maybe the majority agrees, and doesn’t realize it yet. Some are awkward to talk about without offending someone. Some are just not the Caidan way of doing things (and I aim to get some guest columnists). I may not always agree with what I’m proposing, but it may be the best way I can think of to float the idea.
So, with that in mind, some ground rules for this forum:
- I am fishing for discussion on each and every post I make (if that’s not so, it wouldn’t be posted in Counter-Disengage)
- In Counter-Disengage comment threads, you, the readers, are explicitly allowed to argue forcefully with me. Naturally, I’d appreciate it if you can back up the rotten fruit with a good counter-argument.
- However, please don’t be nasty to each other, or take hard feelings outside of the comment threads. Even hard feelings at me.
- If you want to send me a private email agreeing or disagreeing or swearing, go right ahead. I’d prefer to have discussion publicly, where it benefits everyone, but do what you need to do.
- Some topics have rough edges, and are hard to discuss without generalizing a group of fencers (it could be Westies, short newbies, or older & slower scarves). When I do that (and I will), I apologize for any offense; try to look at the bigger picture in your reply. Or don’t, but remember to aim the fruit at me, and not bystanders.
- I am open to posting guest content in this forum, anonymously or not. I will probably try to find a Black Tiger to tell us how they train, or an Atenveldter to tell us how they see Caidans, or folks from other organizations to tell us what we’re doing wrong. Please email me if you have something to say.