Come roll with us with our heads towards the future

This distro is based on one of the most bleeding edge systems in the Linux world, always moving forward and when things go south, it gets fixed while rolling without losing direction. The nature of such a system attracts a certain type of people, the type that wants to be on top of their game, doesn’t avoid a challenge and is on a constant road of renewal.

In a way, you can say we’re a pretty awesome bunch of adventurers over here, comparing to our peers on other distros, and I have to say that this community has a very friendly and open view towards each other. This is actually a stellar achievement, since an operating system is binding us together which brings an international mixed group of people together from different walks of life.

In overall, there’s nothing to complain on you all, but once and again, tiny cracks appear on the surface and I’m talking about really tiny cracks in the communcation towards each other.

In an earlier article, I already shared our point of view on how we see you and the way you are interacting with each other. Recently, some communnity members pointed me to a discussion on the forum that is dividing the community and I have to say that it is a tricky one, since I understand both sides.

The reason is a joke that is posted on one of our threads and humour is very subjective. This joke seems very innocent to the one and very offensive to the other and as I said before, I understand both sides and to make you understand it better, I’m going to tell you a little history about myself.

At age sixteen, I came out as gay to the world and trust me, back in the eighties no one called out a parade for you doing that. As you can imagine, the remarks and behaviour I got thrown at, weren’t the mildest one but I didn’t care, people were talking about me before I came out and all I wanted was to get the truth out, instead of hiding behind a rock for others and most importantly for myself. Now that issue was taken care of, I used my sexual orientation as a shield, so nobody could hurt me anymore.

Back home the news was no big deal, having a sister who was a professional balletdancer and parents who had several gay and lesbian friends meant that I didnt have a hurdle to take on the homefront.

At age nineteen, I received a notice to fulfill my military duty and since I didn’t know exactly which study I had to pick, I couldn’t get out of it. There was a choice, I could serve my duty in The Netherlands or perhaps Germany or I could join the UN, and the latter was a choice out of free will and not forced in any way, so I chose the latter.
This was in the early nineties and the war in the Former Yugoslavia was raging. Since my military duty was mandatory, I was convinced that serving my duty that way was better than polishing shoes and marching without purpose somewhere in The Netherlands or Germany.

Back then, I was no Bear Grylls so to say and when I joined the training I got a lot of nasty remarks and behaviour thrown at me, but I was adament to earn that blue beret and be one of the soldiers that embarked that plane to make amends, no matter how much more push ups or heavier load I had to take to prove myself equal to my straight recrutes.

Whenever someone made a remark in general about someones behaviour being a nancy or a faggot, I jumped.
To make a long story short, I made it and went to Croatia as a bluehelmet. When I was there, that “macho” behaviour wasn’t as macho as during training, but remarks about calling eachother a Nancy boy was still there.

Without getting into details, the situation over there in Croatia went very grimm when I just arrived and we were counting on each other to get through it. During those times, the bond with each other gets stronger and you talk about fears and other feelings. One of my mates was pointing me out that everyone accepted me for who I was, but that those nancy remarks were just a joke and had no deeper meaning to it.
At that time, hearing the words that they completely accepted me, was already big step won and I decided to use those jokes to get it over with. In a way that helped, because the other guys and girls, were suddenly aware of the akwardness when I said it.

UN

Back to the present, we’ve come a long way since then about tolerating each other. Making jokes about gender, race or sexual orientation is a thing from the past. Having a variety of people over here means that a certain sense of humour or even innocent remarks is in the eye of the beholder.
I understand that there’s a generation out there who don’t see the harm of a nancy remark or remarks about women, I grew up with them.
On the other hand there’s a generation out there that grew up with the results of fights fought in the past, so no one can blame them either for calling someone on that behaviour.

In the beginning of this article I called us a group of adventurers that is constantly moving forward. Show that adventurous nature also in your behaviour towards each other and think twice before posting an innocent joke in your eyes.

Let’s rolll this community further into the future, just like our system does, go forward.

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When dealing with strangers online, especially in a community in which not everyone shares the same native language, it is imperative to assume people are acting in good faith. Without that assumption, no community can survive, because there will always be people offended at all sorts of thing.

When someone makes a stupid joke, we should not jump to conclusions and assume they are acting out of malicious (homophobic or whatever) intentions. Assume they mean well, maybe they are a bit careless. And have a thick skin, learn to laugh at your own expense, life’s so much less stressful that way.

We should always assume that everyone has good intentions. It’s better to be disappointed in individuals, than to assume the worst in people and never see any goodness.

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:100:

…keep it “clean” and :innocent:

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While I agree on the taking things in good faith, I think it is a good thing to call out bad things done in good faith. It helps the fellow forum citizen cover the blind spot and better themself if they choose to acknowledge the feedback.

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Normally, yes, but not in this particular case. There was nothing at all homophobic in that silly joke. There was clearly no intent to offend anyone. The biggest, and the only crime committed was the poor sense of humour and a simple :man_facepalming: or :roll_eyes: reaction would have been a perfectly appropriate response, in my opinion.

Personally, I am more offended at telling people to apologise and self-flagellate for making stupid jokes, than I am offended at the worst, most outrageous jokes imaginable. In fact, most successful comedians make terribly offensive jokes, that’s part of the humour. And it’s maybe also the reason why this particular joke wasn’t very funny (maybe it would have been funnier if it were actually offensive?). But as I’ve said in that other thread, just being offended does not automatically make one right, and just because I find telling people not to make jokes offensive, does not mean I’m right about it.

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Looks like that this thread as well will “derail” soon in the same way the other did.

:roll_eyes:

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Speaking of the Croatian War of Independence, I was there, I remember it like it was yesterday: the '80s and the '90s were my childhood. The only thing worse than the war itself were the final years of the communist Yugoslavia, with the complete collapse of the economic system, and the all encompassing poverty that resulted from it. I was in my teens when we first had running water and a functioning toilet in our home.

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Thank you for sharing that history! :enos:
I’m really glad that you’ve made it out in one piece from that bloody war!! :+1:

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I think it is best for us all not to go in that rabbit hole and dig deeper. We do repect everyones opinion, just keep in mind we’re a big international community with a love for Linux and it is certainly not worth to continue on and dig every single word and sentence everyone says. Let’s just take a step back and reflect.

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:de:

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:fr:

There’s a title on my shelf by Brigadier Ben Barry, “A Cold War”, oddly enough I know some of the characters portrayed in that book, people who are approaching their twilight years. Having read your commentary, and knowing what you and others who spent time in the former Yugoslavia went through, your commentary on moving forwards with kindness and a little perspective have far deeper meaning.

Hatred and prejudice sometimes grow from sparks to ignite an entire community. That’s no less relevant online than it is for any land suffered upon during our history. I would hope we can eventually move beyond such obsolete thinking, one step at a time.

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You are completely right, of course. But the way we speak about it makes it seem like this “incident” was sparked by hatred and prejudice. It was not. It was a stupid joke which wasn’t even offensive to gay people (except maybe to iMac users).

Yes, hatred and prejudice are bad, and should be condemned. However, I don’t want people to get the impression that members of this forum somehow act out of hatred or prejudice. That is certainly not the case and I’ve never experienced anything like that here. Quite the contrary, people on this forum are among the friendliest and kindest people online, and I don’t think we should call anyone here hateful or prejudiced, unless there actually is clearly demonstrable hatred or prejudice (in which case, I would be the first to say that such a person does deserve the privilege of being here with us).

I would say that this was a huge overreaction, but somehow, saying that is now considered a “microaggression”, too. Which is absurd. There exists such a thing as an unreasonable overreaction, and it is not hateful or prejudiced to point that out.

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I wasn’t referring to that item Kresimir, only Bryanpwo’s post about his experiences serving. The last paragraph was generalised, it’s time to move on :slight_smile: :+1:

This is what bothers me:

A member of the community makes a joke (without any intention to offend anyone!) and two other members make a fuss over it. After they are told (by a moderator): “relax, it was just a joke”, they escalate the situation and, ultimately, leave the forum (and, by the way, I’m quite upset at them for leaving over something like that, as I quite enjoyed having them around). And now everyone is talking about how bigotry is bad (which is the most obvious thing ever, and nobody disagrees with that, of course).

The implication here is clear, surely you see it, too. And I don’t think that’s fair towards the person who made the joke. That’s my entire point. I don’t even know why I care about it, I had nothing to do with any of it, I just can’t help but to be bothered by the implication.

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… and yet someone did take offence. Was the joke malicious? Probably not. Did it all escalate way too quickly? Yes.

Without knowing exactly what they’re thinking it’s very difficult to know whether it’s a reasonable or unreasonable reaction, and given everyone has led very different lives and will have very different views on things, how can we speak for anyone else?

Feelings are weird things - something innocuous to one person could be the most incendiary statement to another, and the only way to deal with the difference is to talk about it. Dismissing someone’s concerns because you don’t personally see them as an issue isn’t constructive and leads to escalation far more rapidly than asking something like, “I don’t understand - tell me why?”

It still might end up being an uncomfortable converstation which may not be resolved, but at least both sides know the other has made an effort to understand the other’s perspective. And, possibly, learn something new in the process.

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It’s a tough balancing act. We certainly want to be a welcoming community, but on the other hand, trying to think of everything that could be offensive to someone is ultimately a sisyphean task as it’s an ever moving target.

It would be nice to have a bit of life in the forum beyond strictly Linux. Get to know each other a bit.

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But surely, if I now explode in a hissy fit to your post and tell you that I’m offended by it and that you are dismissing my concerns, it would be appropriate to tell me: “oh please, stop being a drama queen!”, would it?

In fact, when I voiced a concern over some kernel patch back on the Manjaro forum, you did exactly that and locked the thread I started. You weren’t very bothered by how my feelings were being dismissed at that moment. And to be completely honest with you, you were probably right, as I wasn’t being very reasonable at that moment. :wink:

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I’ve just updated my profile accordingly :smirk:

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No, but then there’s no intention of being dismissive in what I wrote. I tried to make it clear that to understand something you have to ask questions without prejudice.

That might be a false equivalency - it wasn’t a discussion about something personal but rather something which could have easily been checked (e.g. reading the content of the patch file) and had plenty of discussion and review in the various linked mailing list threads.

There’s a difference between raising a concern based on supposition and dismissing someone’s life experiences.

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