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CML: Recent comments re TIG - a response

In the CML, I made a couple of comments about the TIG.  Nothing inflamatory.  I basically pointed out that I felt the TIG was a bit tightly moderated.  Just my opinion.

Rob Lingelbach, who runs the TIG, posted a personal attack on me in both the CML and the TIG.  I hope he will have the decency to post this response to the TIG as well, so TIG members will see both sides of the discussion.  If not, I hope someone who is a member of both the TIG and CML will cross-post it. You have my permission to do so, as long as it remains unedited.

Rob Lingelbach writes:

>You were not unceremoniously dumped, Jeff, this is what happened:
>1) you refused to pay a previously agreed-upon commission for the sale
>of equipment through the TIG.

Rob, please get your facts straight here.  I purchased two pieces of equipment through the TIG classifieds.  The selling parties were supposed to pay a commission to the TIG, but both of them  (respected NYC TIG members, names upon request) - said that they already made corporate donations to the TIG and would not pay a commission.  I was free to pay a commission if I chose to.  So I said, sure, I would -- even though it was the seller's obligation and not mine.  And I did, on both purchases.

One check was three weeks "late" because I was out of town.  (How a voluntary contribution can be considered "late" is a bit baffling, I admit.)  But I never ever refused to make such a payment, which was, again, a totally voluntary contribution.  I have the cancelled checks to prove it.

I have a feeling that few others (any?) have paid any sales commission to the TIG, and, also, that I have probably contributed at least as much to the TIG as most of the corporate sponsors have.  Yet I am not considered a sponsor, but a mere deadbeat.  I don't get it.
> (your subscription to the TIG remained active)
Why shouldn't it have?  I donated $925 to the TIG!  Had I done something wrong at this point?
>2) you then attacked the TIG publicly and me particularly.
Yes, I made an impassioned but somewhat misguided post entitled "State of the TIG" in which I stated that I felt that a good deal of self-censorship existed on the TIG because there was a fear of violating the advertising taboos.  I felt that this stifled the free exchange of ideas.  It was not intended as a personal attack -- I was questioning the TIG culture of promo-phobia.

I realize that many manufacturers post to the TIG, as do many people with hidden agendas.  (You once told me via EMail that you were sure that a certain colorist was compensated by a certain telecine manufacturer for his glowing comments, which were nonetheless posted to the TIG.)   But my personal feeling is that TIG members are no fools --they are smart enought to figure out when someone has an agenda.  It is a bit bizarre to see a forum where everyone has to tread lightly and constantly state that they receive no compensation from manufacturers.  Compensation comes in many forms...  not all of them monetary.  And most people have biases  even you.  Some of the posts that you let glide by are pretty blatantly promotional...  your "moderation" is applied with a pretty uneven hand.

But I was misguided, and have apologized for the post.  (I was, however, gratified to receive many positive responses to the post via EMail, and even a few phone calls.)

I do realize that people who spend many hours a day laboring over television commercials probably grow to be especially sensitive to (even sick of?) advertising in any form, and that may be the reason for a strict wall between the TIG and anything vaguely promotional.  But I still think that the wall you have erected makes it difficult to discuss some things openly.  I think the CML is much looser, and therefore better,  in that regard.  But that is just my opinion.
> (your subscription to the TIG remained active)
It did.
>3) you reposted, to the CML, email remarks of mine, adding your
>own 'commentary', without my knowledge.
This was a violation of net etiquette, for which I apologized via Email.  Again, I am sorry.  I didn't realize the egregiousness of my sin at that point.  However, at the time I did feel that your post was quite offensive to cinematographers, and thought that members of the CML might benefit from seeing the attitude that a leading colorist had expressed towards them.

I should never have quoted from you without your permission.

Then again, isn't that what you have just done to me, Rob?

I am not sure what is different -- I quoted you without your permission and posted it to the CML.  You quoted me without my permission and posted it to the TIG and CML.  Does that mean that Geoff should kick you off of the CML?

No, because I believe that a free interchange of ideas (even when heated) is better than censorship through over-moderation.
> (at this point your subscription to the TIG was ended by the
>	administrator [me])
It was.
>4) on July 30, 1997, 'JSnopes at aol.com' subscribed to the TIG; John
>Snopes claimed to be a 'documentary filmmaker in Muncie, Indiana'.
>For the following 7 months, Jeff Kreines, of Montgomery, Alabama,
>masqueraded on the TIG as John Snopes, of Muncie, Indiana, posting and
>responding with increasing volume and alacrity.

Ah, I've been outed.  I can stop living a double life.  Most TIG members knew it immediately.  It was a little bit of guerilla theater.  No harm intended, nor any done.

I missed the TIG, and wanted very much to participate, so I became John Snopes, of Muncie, Indiana.  I left many clues to my real identity, so most people immediately knew who I was.  (I don't understand what is so wrong with "increasing volume and alacrity" -- my dictionary defines alacrity as "eagerness," "sprightliness," and "cheerfulness" -- an accurate definition of my posts, I think.)

I was proud to wear the Snopes mantle, a fine family name from William Faulkner.   The clever trap you set for me (posting a fake negative comment about Kreines only to Snopes, but making it appear as if it was on the TIG) was very good detective work.  It was entrapment worthy of Linda Tripp and Kenneth Starr.

(For the record, I am a documentary filmmaker, and did spend two years in Muncie, Indiana making the film "Seventeen."  The clues were there for anyone to see...)

>The tradition of a right to anonymity on the internet is balanced with
>a skepticism toward those who don't identify themselves: I don't mind
>if someone wishes to remain anonymous.  As administrator of the TIG, I
>do mind, however, when the TIG is used as an instrument of mass
>deception, where subscribers are misled, via impersonation, as to the
>source of posted material.

Mass deception?  Rob, please, you are over-reacting.  Get a grip.

While Snopes was hiding behind a nom-de-web to gain access to the TIG, I don't see that any of his posts were deceptive in any way (except perhaps the one in which Snopes defended Kreines' reputation in responses to Rob's trap, which was never posted to the TIG).

I am vitally interested in what is discussed on the TIG, and would love to continue to participate in those discussions.  I have learned a lot from the TIG.  I would love to be back on the TIG, under my own name.  I have written you about that (before the birth of Snopes) but you never responded to my mail.  I offered to make a very public apology, as well as yet another substantial donation to the TIG.  But I received no response.  So Snopes was born.

I think that there is room in the TIG for a diversity of voices.  I would like to be one of those voices.
But I am a child of the Sixties, and believe that democracy and discussion should be interesting and messy and uninhibited.  You grew up in a different, more repressive era, and believe that the TIG should read like the SMPTE Journal.  It's too bad  you've created a great forum but keep crippling it.

Once the TIG started soliciting donations from members,  the TIG had a responsibility to its members to permit open discussion.  Moderation is one thing, but I feel that your overzealousness (perhaps the Kenneth Starr analogy is a good one?) is uncalled for.  Your members are smart enough to decide for themselves who to believe and who to distrust.  They don't need to be told.

I am sorry that it has come to this.  I would still like to be on the TIG, and feel I have something useful to contribute to the TIG.  If you change your mind, please let me know.  I will be

But in the future, if you choose rehash the above tale, please get your facts straight.

Jeff "Snopes is dead, long live Snopes!" Kreines
DeMott/Kreines Films

Thanks to Peter Stansfield for supporting the TIG in 1998..
No product marketing allowed on the main TIG.  Contact rob at alegria.com
956 subscribers in 36 countries on Sun Mar 22 19:36:44 PST 1998
complete information on the TIG website http://www.alegria.com/tig3/