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Thread: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

  1. Link to Post #61
    United States Moderator Mike's Avatar
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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Bluegreen the first piece of music I spent my money on was a CD by a hip hop group called Tribe Called Quest (I had gotten cd's as birthday gifts before that, and even vinyl records as a kid for Xmas, but I'm pretty sure that's the first piece of music I spent my own money on. The name of the album is " the low end theory". Made me think there, good question.

    Searcher, another great question. Transformative experiences are often unpleasant, I've found, even though the event or journey may foster some type of growth.

    Since I was roughly 27, I've been battling what was at first a very mysterious health ailment affecting my heart and brain mainly, but which I've come to learn is called (amongst other things) "mitochondrial dysfunction"

    Doing this dance with death over such a long period of time has almost driven me mad, but not quite. And thats not a bad place to be actually. If you can get close enough to hell but not enveloped by it, you can then articulate it coherently to others when you return from your journey. And I feel I'm finally returning from my journey to hell.

    Trauma is transformative because it forces you to sink or swim. It possesses great energy. That energy will either bury you or send you soaring. But what it won't do is allow you to lead a "normal" life. It makes you choose. In this way it can be a gift, in the same way a trip to hell can be a gift. The deeper the trauma, the more the resulting energy. The more energy created the greater the potential for both good and bad results. That's what I've found anyway.

    What it's forced me to do is learn the skill of articulated speech. Throughout it all, I've been forced to try to expain the most bizarre and frightening list of symptoms to endless doctors and friends and family ...all while having a very limited ability to think. I had to be able to articulate and explain them to myself as well in order to research solutions properly. In a way, I had to explain myself out of hell. It's all trained me to be a pretty effective communicator.

    Also, the experience has forced me to become quite tough, mentally. It's forced me to practice patience. And it's also helped me to consider others' suffering in ways I never would have otherwise.

    Thanks for your question
    Last edited by Mike; 19th July 2019 at 05:22.

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    Administrator Cara's Avatar
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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Mike, thank you.

    I had no idea you were dealing with this life long condition - your posts and presence on Avalon (the ones I’ve read and seen) don’t even hint of this to me (maybe I was just not looking for it). My impression of you is of someone grounded, articulate, who strives for lightness even in the midst of angst.

    I hear you on the transformative potential of trauma. After all trauma is an experience, albeit an extreme and intense one, and if experiences can be transformative, then intense experiences have the potential to transform us moreso.

    My younger sister was very ill for 9 years of our childhoods with a bone marrow disease - it was terrible for her, for my parents and all the family: unending pain and distress is difficult to bear and difficult to watch, very tough all round.

    I can only guess at how much tougher your much longer experience must be.

    And yet, she is one of the strongest, most persevering, most vital people I know.... she’s indomitable when she sets her mind to something and brings many gifts to the world.

    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

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    United States Avalon Member Valerie Villars's Avatar
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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Miss Mangosteen, I have wondered if it is considered crossing lines to send a friend request to Moderators. Or is that crossing an impartiality line? Because I actually like some of the Mods quite well.



    Much love to all of you. I realize you are all just as nutty as I am and it feels GOOD.
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone when we are uncool." From the movie "Almost Famous""l "Let yourself stand cool and composed before a million universes." Walt Whitman

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    United States Moderator Tam's Avatar
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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Pffft, no.

    Send away.

    As long as you don't stir the pot, you're fine.

    Side note: I plan on answering every last question in this thread, tomorrow. Only reason why I haven't yet is due to the fact that I don't have any internet access at home (that comes tomorrow), so I've had to do all my Avaloning on my phone (using 4G), which is annoying as all get out

    Just throwing it out there in case someone wonders why I answered you, but not anyone else

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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Click image for larger version

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    What's a few nuts between friends?

    Speaking of feeling good...

    Constance's Pecan icecream (I make this for family and friends)

    2 & 1/2 cups pecans
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup almond milk
    splash of coconut nectar
    1 cup of coconut sugar
    1 tsp of vanilla powder

    Dry roast pecans (or if you must, use a little coconut oil) until pecans are fragrant.
    Melt the coconut sugar with the almond milk or blend until the sugar has mostly dissolved.
    Add the rest of the ingredients, blend and freeze

    I hope this answers your question Val



    Quote Posted by Valerie Villars (here)
    Miss Mangosteen, I have wondered if it is considered crossing lines to send a friend request to Moderators. Or is that crossing an impartiality line? Because I actually like some of the Mods quite well.



    Much love to all of you. I realize you are all just as nutty as I am and it feels GOOD.
    Last edited by Constance; 20th July 2019 at 07:11.
    Unity within the diversity

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    United States Avalon Member Valerie Villars's Avatar
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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Constance, your food choices say everything about why I thought you were about 30 when I met you. If only I could go back in time and redo some of my choices.

    Can I still call you Miss Mangosteen?
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone when we are uncool." From the movie "Almost Famous""l "Let yourself stand cool and composed before a million universes." Walt Whitman

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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Quote Posted by Valerie Villars (here)
    Miss Mangosteen, I have wondered if it is considered crossing lines to send a friend request to Moderators. Or is that crossing an impartiality line? Because I actually like some of the Mods quite well.



    Much love to all of you. I realize you are all just as nutty as I am and it feels GOOD.
    Dear Val, I will also respond to your question! We mods (I like to think of us as the Mod Squad ) really view ourselves as Avalon community members, with just the added cat herding duties..

    I think I’m not alone when I say I am always delighted and honored to receive a friend request. Even more so when it comes from a lovely individual such as yourself!
    "Love is the only engine of survival.." Leonard Cohen

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Quote Posted by Ken (here)
    cat herding duties
    Folks, forgive me for intruding here. It's not my thread — it's that of the other mods, all in harness. But I did want to share this, for anyone who's not already seen it.




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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    I’ve been reading along. No burning questions, partly because I was raise to not ask personal ones. Maybe it was the era; a time before selfies and snapshots of breakfast, lunch and dinner.






    Quote Posted by Constance
    And last of all but not least, Diary of a wombat by Jackie French. I bought this book for my son when he was small. He and I never tired of reading it to each other because of the belly laughs that would ensue whenever we did. My son has a keen sense for the absurd and a great sense of humour and today, I was reminded of this in spades.
    Constance, I received notification that “Diary of a Wombat” is unavailable. They miscalculated their inventory, so I ordered elsewhere.



    Last edited by RunningDeer; 20th July 2019 at 17:58.

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    United States Avalon Member Valerie Villars's Avatar
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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Now Bill, that is a weird coincidence because while I was working out I was thinking I should come home and post that very video here, which is hysterical.

    Ken, you are such a sweetheart. What a nice compliment. I'll hug that close to me all day.

    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone when we are uncool." From the movie "Almost Famous""l "Let yourself stand cool and composed before a million universes." Walt Whitman

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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Quote Posted by Valerie Villars (here)
    Constance, your food choices say everything about why I thought you were about 30 when I met you. If only I could go back in time and redo some of my choices.

    Can I still call you Miss Mangosteen?
    Why Val, of course you may still call me Miss Mangosteen

    I'm so grateful for your presence here at Avalon

    Quote your food choices
    What I'm really really interested in at the moment is all the metaphysical energies and properties of raw, live whole foods. Absolutely mind blowing stuff.
    Last edited by Constance; 20th July 2019 at 21:39.
    Unity within the diversity

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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    I trust that you will enjoy it every bit as much as we have!

    Quote Posted by RunningDeer (here)


    Unity within the diversity

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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Well, I'm almost ashamed to admit that I am too, but am finding it incredibly difficult to overcome a lifetime of being bought up on Louisiana creole and cajun food which I really, really love.

    But, I realized when living with and watching my beautiful, healthy horses, who are herbivores, that foods which are fed by light (the sun) and rain can not only sustain but exponentially add to the life force on this planet.

    But seriously, I'll bet you look the same when you're 80, because you eat such things. You literally glow with good health.
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone when we are uncool." From the movie "Almost Famous""l "Let yourself stand cool and composed before a million universes." Walt Whitman

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    UK Moderator and Librarian Tintin's Avatar
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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Quote Posted by Nenuphar (here)
    I love the opening post of this thread. The imagery of a warm, crackling campfire in the company of friends, new and old, is so cozy and inviting.

    In an attempt to be succinct, I think I might have come across as dry or cold. That was not my intent! There is a lot of information to comb through on this forum on any given day, so I try to do my part to keep the 'signal to noise ratio" in check.

    Let me rephrase my questions (or, at least, one of them)...

    Everyone has different interests. Which topics on the forum would you love to see more participation and interest in because you, yourself, share those interests, or because you think those topics are important but overlooked?

    Are there topics that you feel have been flogged to death or that garner a level of interest that leaves you surprised/boggled?

    (I'll leave the second question as-is. It might not be a particularly refined way of asking it, but I am genuinely interested in your answers.)
    Hello Nenuphar :

    I would like to see more contribution, or at least a willingness for more of you to engage in some of the spiritually oriented material on the forum. That side of the forum seems to have been overlooked in favour of more geo-politically focused threads, certainly so lately, and although it's important to stay engaged and abreast of that material, seems to be creating a little imbalance.

    That said, perhaps some of the more spiritually inclined are, by nature, just a little less forthcoming than the geo-politically engaged.

    I'd like to hear their voice more frequently; listen to their music, and maybe join in on the triangle with them too And more on the human condition which has always fascinated me.

    I'm not sure anything has necessarily been flogged to death although some topics tend to attract more noise than others at different times. Things here tend to move in cycles I've noticed.

    Quite a while back there was quite a flurry of UFO related discussion (one of my main areas of interest and never boring!) and now it seems to be geopolitics, which I've always been intrigued by along with anything that's 'intelligence' related meaning, both terrestrial as in 5 eyes - alphabet agencies and the like - or the extra/ultra terrestrial. And more interest in the secret space program/s would be good to see, but, is a personal bias I admit - there's no pressure there; I would never try to force anyone's hand.

    One of my little frustrations or niggles, and it really is little, is that maybe some don't take the time to explore the forum more thoroughly before starting a new thread. Not a heinous offence at all, but, some threads do get started that have a related one already somewhere on the forum. But, as I say, that really is a no biggie in the grander scheme of things.

    Members here are very supportive, helpful and friendly and post relevant thread links in those situations, as we also endeavour to do on the 'team'.

    There are 90, 000 threads (nearly) and I think we've something like one and a half million posts on Avalon, or pretty close to that, and that's a heck of a lot of reading.

    The forum, it's quite a labyrinth, it's VERY big, and well worth exploring in greater depth, I think.

    “If a man does not keep pace with [fall into line with] his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” - Thoreau

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    Administrator Cara's Avatar
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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the mods

    Quote Posted by Rosemarie (here)
    Ok. Let’s get started ! I expect this will be a long campfire chat. Thank you all ! They say your choice of books says a lot about a person. I would love to know your favorite books to read and why would you recommend them ?
    Rosemarie, this is a tough one for me because I love reading and so many books are my favourites. Here are a few that I love

    The River, Rumer Godden

    http://www.rumergodden.com/river.php

    Quote You can't stop days or rivers...

    Harriet is between two worlds. Her sister is no longer a playmate, her brother is still a child.

    The comforting rhythm of her Indian childhood - the noise of the jute works, the colourful festivals that accompany each season and the eternal ebb and flow of the river on its journey to Bay of Bengal - is about to be shattered.

    She must learn how to reconcile the jagged edges of beginnings and ends...
    When I read this as a child, it seemed to speak to me so very well. The story is one of change and loss and a child's coping. Looking back now, I see I was also trying to cope with loss and change.

    ~~~~

    Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami

    http://www.harukimurakami.com/book/kafka-on-the-shore

    I really like all Haruki Murakami's books but this one is by far my favourite. He creates stories where the line between the world outside and the world inside the mind becomes blurry. The books are a little surreal: a little like being inside a kaleidoscope. I love them!

    ~~~~

    Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone, Eduardo Galeano

    https://www.boldtypebooks.com/titles...9780786744701/

    This is a book that affected me deeply. Both the way it was written and the perspectives of the stories were astonishing. I find myself still haunted by the memory of reading this. It is at once lyrical, mysterious and challenging.

    Quote The twentieth century, which was born proclaiming peace and justice, died bathed in blood. It passed on a world much more unjust than the one it inherited.
    The twenty-first century, which also arrived heralding peace and justice, is following in its predecessor’s footsteps.
    In my childhood, I was convinced that everything that went astray on earth ended up on the moon.
    But the astronauts found no sign of dangerous dreams or broken promises or hopes betrayed.
    If not on the moon, where might they be?
    Perhaps they were never misplaced.
    Perhaps they are in hiding here on earth. Waiting.
    ~~~~
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Quote Posted by Cara (here)
    Thank you for this thread.

    I would like to pose a two part question if I may:

    What is the most transformative experience you have had? How did it change you?
    Thanks Cara And welcome once again to the team

    To date, the most transformative experience I can recall was really quite a grounded one.

    It was when I wrote my first song; it seemed to come out of nowhere. I must have been about 18 or 19 years old at the time. All the music and words came together extraordinarily quickly, effortlessly, as if it had been beamed down somehow.

    That experience was the key to unlocking my creative force, my "genius loci" (spirit within) and I never looked back. That I realised was what had been held back in me up until that point. The doorway to new worlds was effectively opened up at that moment and my journey on the path to greater awareness and discovery began, in earnest.

    Music as the highest form of art?

    I wouldn't doubt it at all.
    “If a man does not keep pace with [fall into line with] his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” - Thoreau

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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Quote Posted by Iloveyou (here)
    First a big thank you for the possibility to ask questions. In case my question is too personal and cannot be answered - I totally understand. It might cross a line.

    The mod’s room must be a rich pool of knowledge and practical experience. I‘d love to ask what are your trainings, professions (careers, jobs) occupations, how do you make a living? If retired, what was your main field of study, expertise, practise?

    I do not ask to know who does what, only a collection of twelve - or many more - fields of activity. No personal information, just what mix of interest and professional experience is gathered there in the mod‘s room? It would make the image of the team a bit less vague and additionally, I‘m curious

    But again, no answer is perfectly accepted.
    Hello Iloveyou

    Well, the notion of 'career' has always been somewhat anathema to me, but, I appreciate what you are asking here for sure. And, yes, it's rich in colour and experience here in the engine room - on the flight deck even; no doubt about that at all

    I'm fortunate to be working here with quite the greatest bunch of folks I can imagine - I am blessed indeed

    Okay, I'll try not to make this sound too much like a CV but I can snapshot it (almost ) along these lines:

    My what I call, and have published somewhere, 'Journeys in Kymatica' (you won't find it online yet) began here 22°18′34″N 114°10′32″E and has seen me gaining experience in medical education, newspapers, publishing, journalism, finance, and probably more importantly outside of any of that paid work my (almost) self-taught knowledge in astrology, independent research, creative writing, and music.

    These self taught aspects in many ways mirror and echo the philosophies and the principles behind the Trivium Method and its more developed disciplines inherent in the Quadrivium.

    It's these principles I continue to try and develop further, and although I am making some progress, still have a little way to go. So you could say I am occupied in these pursuits at present along with creative writing and music-making principally, with some journalism.

    To earn some bread I am working with a very good friend of mine in his local photo-optics business which, and I quote, is:

    "..a specialist manufacturer of optical choppers and lock-in amplifiers, and distributors of a wide range of photonic products to the world’s cutting edge research market for more than 30 years.", mostly to university research departments around the world.

    So, I am gaining a little science experience too; learning more about light properties and waves, which is quite eye-opening

    Thanks for asking Iloveyou - I enjoyed answering
    Last edited by Tintin; 23rd July 2019 at 16:09.
    “If a man does not keep pace with [fall into line with] his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” - Thoreau

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  35. Link to Post #78
    UK Moderator and Librarian Tintin's Avatar
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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Quote Posted by Intranuclear (here)

    As for my favorite movie.. there are so many amazing films. I might choose a different film every time you ask me but for today, Chinatown. It’s a fascinating mystery and complex psychological drama that takes place in 1930’s Los Angeles. Brilliantly written, acted, and directed, it is beautifully filmed and the moody and evocative soundtrack is a classic!!
    Chinatown Now there's a movie too

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) to Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway):
    "I goddamn near lost my nose. And I like it. I like breathing through it."


    - - - - - - - - - - -

    Classic quote. (Forum said to 'Reply with quote' so, I have. Tee hee )
    Last edited by Tintin; 23rd July 2019 at 22:50.
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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Quote Posted by Valerie Villars (here)
    But, I realized when living with and watching my beautiful, healthy horses, who are herbivores, that foods which are fed by light (the sun) and rain can not only sustain but exponentially add to the life force on this planet.
    Oh my goodness yes! The life force in sun-grown food is just incredible.

    If I look at a bowl of fresh strawberries or cherries (lets face it, most fruit!), I am almost overcome with the joy of looking at something so vibrant and radiant and beautiful.

    Starting at 51.04 and ending at 55.20 Shine, an Australian sharman, talks about his astonishing experience with the sun. You actually have to hear it to understand just how profound his story is. It is well worth listening to.


    Astral Connections: Shine - Didjeridu Master
    Unity within the diversity

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  39. Link to Post #80
    United States Moderator Tam's Avatar
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    Default Re: A campfire chat with the moderators :)

    Well, once again, I said I'd do something, then didn't! My apologies; my ADHD often gets the better of me. Not an excuse, just trying to make it clear that I simply forget. It's not that I don't care, or lack interest. I just get distracted, then distracted again, and again, and pretty soon, something gets delayed. Working on doing better, so please bear with me!

    Anyway, without further ado, here's an answer to all of the mod questions, in one post. Walls of text are my trademark, after all



    Describe a perfect day you have not yet had?

    This would likely change depending on my mood, but at the moment, it would be a day spent somewhere beautiful, either in nature or exploring somewhere new, followed by a long, extended meal with interesting people having great food and great conversation.

    The details on that would DEFINITELY change on a daily basis (the beach! the forest! a museum! Disney World while on edibles! Sushi! Indian food! Italian!), but the basic format I feel would remain the same.



    What is yall's favorite meal and what is yall's favorite movie?

    That's, like, impossible to answer. I really have no idea. Favorites in general I have a hard time with, since I get bored really, really easily and also get excited easily.

    So instead, I'll name one of my favorite food genres, which would be Japanese. Not a favorite, but I love the sheer variety of it. Some of it is so simple, yet so mind-blowingly good (sushi), some of it is really healthy, yet delicious, and then you have things that are so unbelievably creative and/or wacky, that you just...respect it. I'm down for a good bowl of ramen almost any day.

    Continuing with the Japanese theme, two of my favorite films are the original 1995 animated Ghost in the Shell, which is a masterpiece, imo, as well as anything by Hayao Miyazaki, particularly one named Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.

    Of course, I could give you a long-ass list for both movies and food, but I'll leave it at that for now.



    For the next questions, I'll be putting them all in one fat question, since they were all of Gracy May's that were sort of sprinkled around this thread. For the record, Gracy, I love asking probing, personal questions (I can be rude like that, I just like getting to the point), so I appreciate that you dove headfirst into the deep end.



    Anyway, here goes:

    How do you mods, both new and seasoned, see this forum differently than when you were a regular member, and, how do you weigh your responsibility of when to use force to keep the peace, and when to use deescalation skills to keep the peace?

    New mods how much have you thought about this when you were a member putting your self in a mods shoes, vs. how it looks now sporting that badge and a gun? Does the landscape look different now?

    Does it change the way you perceive yourself in relation to the other now just regular members?

    What ways do y'all interact with the forum in a more technical way? I know like sometimes youll fix a video link, move a post or a thread, what other kinds of tecchie type stuff that we might never even think about?



    Well, to be perfectly frank, I don't really see Avalon all that differently after becoming a moderator. To me, I'm still just another member, I certainly don't see myself as above anyone else, I just have more power, which, yes, as you pointed out, does inherently sort of elevate you a bit. But what I'd like to stress is that I don't see myself as an overlord or ruler or anything like that; I kind of have an issue with authority, I've always been a bleeding heart lady-of-the-people, so at the end of the day, I see myself more like a volunteer firefighter, if that makes sense.

    That being said, there have been changes in how I perceive Avalon. For instance, I have a newfound respect for how much work this place takes to run. I always figured it was no cakewalk, but wow, let me tell you, it's a lot like laundry: it's a never-ending cycle of work! Rarely is there never a growing pile of clothes to take care of. That being said, I f*cking hate doing the laundry, so it's kind of a bad analogy, since I would not have accepted the offer if I thought I would hate it. I quite love it so far, even though I've done pretty much nothing (got a lot on my irl plate right now), every last one of the moderators are amazing, interesting, kind souls, and I'm very grateful to be working alongside them...even if I'm not pulling my weight.

    So far, I've not had to personally step out and diffuse any situations of keep the peace. That being said, we're all very democratic about everything over here at the mod room, so it's not like any of us can just be the judge, jury, and executioner with impunity. While we all trust one another to make the right decisions, we also recognize that we may be wrong, so anytime a major step is to be made, we always put our heads together and discuss all possible options at length before making a decision. And if even one mod is strongly against something, we always talk it out. If only Congress were like that, as well. One can dream, right?

    Personally, when it comes to my own responsibility, I recognize that every other moderator's input is just as valuable as mine, and promise only to be unbiased in my decisions. For instance, a lot of people were super pissed about us making the Q thread private. Some of it was understandable, but it seemed a subset of those upset saw us as some kind of brainwashed, dictatorial hivemind trying to censor everyone, which is, frankly, kinda ironic, but also, total bullsh*t. I can assure you we are all different in our opinions and views (though we all agree on the core values), and the LAST thing any of us will ever stand for is censorship of any kind. I mean, for Chrissakes, look at Avalon. Not only is it free, and without advertisements, but anyone with half a teaspoon of objectivity will recognize that this is a place where all that is ordinarily censored is welcome to be discussed, as long as it isn't hateful.

    But with some of the Q threads, they became just that, so we decided to make ALL of them (both pro and anti-Q) threads private, since we were getting emails from people saying that they're getting tired of Avalon becoming a political, polarized forum, which simply isn't the case. It's just that popular threads are always on the front page. So we made all Q stuff private, as we felt it wasn't right to silence either side, but also didn't want any potential newcomers to think this was some alt-right political forum. Simple as that.

    But people will always complain, and you can't please everyone, so naturally, there was a lot of fallout.

    But I digress.

    Bottom line is, for me at least, there hasn't been a night and day change pre and post becoming a mod. In terms of how and when I would exercise power, I have a more hands-off, laissez-faire mentality. I don't really ever take off the mod-hat, but I also don't see it as a crown, if that makes sense. At the end of the day, I'm just a member like any other, and I try to keep that state of mind when making any kind of executive decision regarding Avalon. A level-head, fairness to all, and a lack of bias are the flavors of every day. I can't stand nepotism, or favoritism, or political bs.

    I guess that's just a part of how I see the world; of of my core principles is, essentially, that everyone poops.

    And by that I mean, we're all just people. One thing I really don't get, for example, is celebrity worship. If there's anything that life has taught me, is that you can NEVER judge a book by its cover, that assholes exist across all races, cultures, classes, and education levels, that you can have a PhD and be a total dumb-ass, or be a "hick" and be brilliant. I've had people think I lack respect or have an attitude problem because I refuse to idolize or obey someone just because they're an authority or a superior. To me, I don't care if you're the Queen of England, Elon Musk, or the janitor, I put everyone on the same level, and it's up to them to prove to me whether or not they get to go up or down any number of notches. People are people, and I don't give a single iota of a damn about status, wealth, or seniority. It doesn't mean I don't respect you, I believe in treating others how you want to be treated. It's just that, I don't get the whole blind-idolatry thing, whether it's with a celebrity or some kind of authority figure. In my experience, some of the most evil people are the ones that are most "respected" in society.

    I can't stand prejudice (though every last one of us, myself included, is prejudiced in some way), I have 0 tolerance for bullsh*t, and what I respect, more than lots of money, status, a PhD, or a uniform, are sincerity, critical thinking, and a kind heart. I take sh*t from no one, and I have no respect for assh*les, cowards, or the willfully ignorant.

    Rich or poor, sexy or ugly, educated or illiterate, aristocrat or peasant, I don't care. It's about the person, not the frills. Hell, you don't even have to be human. A Reptilian or Nordic alien could zap into my living room right now, and after waking up from my heart-attack, I'd treat them the same as anybody else, which means I'd give them a piece of my mind for infringing on my privacy

    Some people think I'm vapid for thinking this way, but I don't really care. Take it or leave it, that's how it goes with me. (that may have been a teensy bit cocky, but it is what it is)

    I kind of feel like an a** droning on and on about myself in this way, so I'll end it here. But you were clearly trying to get to the core of us all with your questions, so the goal of all that peacocking was to get the message across.

    Hopefully, Gracy, that answers all of your questions, but if you want me to elaborate on anything, let me know and I'd be glad to.



    Which topics on the forum would you love to see more participation and interest in because you, yourself, share those interests, or because you think those topics are important but overlooked? Are there topics that you feel have been flogged to death or that garner a level of interest that leaves you surprised/boggled?

    Another great question!

    What I'd love to see more of on Avalon is variety and debate. So many threads are just kind of links to other stuff, where everyone is all "Oooh, cool, thank you!", but there's really a lack of proper discussion in the sense of us all putting our heads together to figure things out. While there's plenty of it to be found if you dig through old threads, a lot of the newer stuff is more Facebook-like, where it's a tidbit of info or opinion that has a few comments, and then it fizzles out. Let's discuss history! Conspiracies! Books! Global economics! Climate change! ESP! Declassified files! ETs and abductions, but with a wider lens (think Jacques Vallee or John Keel)! Psychedelics! Life skills like urban farming or self-defense! Anything and everything that goes beyond the mainstream and tries to glean more crumbs of information about the mysteries of this amazing, beautiful, scary universe. In one word, I want discourse, rather than just dumping info and walking away.

    More specifically, I'd like to see more overarching connecting of dots with folklore, ESP, history, ETs/UFOlogy/abductions, MIC/government activity, cryptozoology, and all of the related phenomena. Something greater than the sum of any of these parts is going on, it's all connected somehow, and we need to stop being short-sighted and fixed in our perception and understanding of it all. We're all missing something, somehow.

    As for topics clubbed to death, I'd say Q/Trump in general (I'll refrain from a rant--for now), and anything that just kind of scratches at the surface of any given topic, rather than really digging deep.

    Who are the moderators ? I know Mike and Constance are because I see them moderating and doing a dang good job, then out of the blue I'll hear someone like Joe of the Carolinas is a moderator?

    I know this was addressed already, but for convenience, I’ll make a list of all mods/admins in no particular order:

    - Constance
    - Cara
    - Billy Mac
    - Mike
    - Billy
    - Tintin
    - Franny
    - James
    - Me (Tam)
    - Ken
    - Joe, who’s on a sort of hiatus as he’s got a lot on his plate outside of Avalon for the time being
    - Bill Ryan (duh) (mod/admin/Mr. Boss Man)
    - Hervé (mod/admin)
    - Tommy (mod/admin)




    What is the most transformative experience you have had? How did it change you?

    When I was 18, back in 2014 (bet that makes some of you guys feel old), my family and I went on a trip to Morocco.

    Since Morocco was until relatively recently under French colonial rule, a fair bit of the population there speaks French. It could almost be a secondary official language.

    As such, since all of us in my family speak French (my mother is Parisian and my father, Californian), we decided to use this to our advantage and go off the beaten path without too much of a language barrier. We opted for a sort of looped roadtrip tour of the Southern half of the country, starting in Marrakech, making our way across the lush agricultural region, over the Atlas mountains, then through the desert on the other side, all the way to the very edge of the Sahara, where Morocco meets Algeria, then back again. In total, it took 7 days driving around 8 hours each day (not including the many stops), but time flew because i was so incredibly amazing and fun.

    Anyway, the way it worked, was that they would stuff 6 or so of us in a sort of all-terrain van from the 90s (which are total beasts, btw), and show us around. We were led by a trio of Berber men, a Motley crew of real characters. There was this one guy whose name I forgot, a quiet, gruff ex marijuana drug lord, who was apparently quite respected in his circle but decided he wanted a more chill life. He was quite intimidating and a total badass, but deep down inside, he was a total teddy bear. Nothing like a violent cartel, more like a master smuggler. The guy who drove the van we were in was named Abdul. Abdul came down from a long line of sheep farmers, who trade wool to carpet makers. Abdul was an incredibly sweet, happy-go-lucky, funny guy. He was infectiously optimistic, had a warm gaze and these incredible eyes, they were a hazel-grey, almond-shaped, and framed by thick, dark eyelashes. Finally, there was Fahreed, who was this aristocratic, scholarly type who spoke 3 PhDs, was devoutly Muslim, and spoke 7 languages. A classic philosopher and intellectual, he was an endless source of knowledge on theology, history, and Berber folklore and culture. Each one of these guys were our lifeline, acting as tour guides/interpreters/chauffeurs/logistical organizers/middle men/chaperones. We saw so many amazing and incredible things, but right now, I’ll share one story.

    It was nearing the end of the trip. We had driven for a few days through the desert, which was peppered with these small villages and some larger towns, which were quite literally dirt poor, but the only forms of civilization around. It was both beautiful and heartbreaking to see these; beautiful because of how resilient the people were, how they adapted and overcame the unforgiving, blistering drought of the desert (they had brilliant natural construction and irrigation methods), but also heartbreaking for all of these same reasons. We saw a lot of abject poverty, but we signed up to see the heart of Morocco, and as a developing country, this was a large part of it.

    Eventually, we arrive at a small city, where we were going to be treated to a stay at a very nice hotel with running water and real toilets, a luxury in these parts, and much welcome after days of sleeping in hostels and humble B&Bs.

    So we drive to the city center, past all of the poverty. There were so many street orphans in this city, toddlers without shoes being towed by an older child around aged 7, trying to sell little knick knacks, or kids walking out barefoot into the desert to fetch water. It was heart-wrenching stuff. These people were obviously famished and suffering from dehydration, and the lucky ones would sleep in slums made from palm fronds, cardboard, and tarp.

    One such slum bordered the hotel we were to stay at, which was walled off. And when I say bordered, I mean people were using the wall as shade and a solid wall for their little shanty structures. They were right up against it.

    So, at this point, I’m already quite upset, due to those children, as well as the fact that a lot of the other people in the tour wouldn’t so much as look at them, and of the fact that my cellphone I was using to snap pictures of the landscape and whatnot was probably enough to feed 50 of them for a few days.

    We brush past the kids, who were begging outside the parking lot, and into the hotel.

    And by god, is it luxurious indeed. It was gorgeous, no doubt. The lobby alone was a work of art, with amazing Morroccan tile floors and walls, intricately carved wooden furniture, incredible hand-knotted rugs, and ornate, kaleidoscopic carved ceilings and columns and arches.

    This only made me angrier.

    Then, we’re ushered out into the outdoor area, and two things kind of immediately punch you in the face:

    - A giant swimming pool with a built-in fountain

    - 3 huge tables, absolutely covered in trays upon trays piled high with enough food to feed 50 people.

    And right behind it, right behind it, was a wall behind which was that damned slum where emaciated orphans with bloated stomachs were drinking muddy water and picking through trash.

    I looked around in what I can only describe as devastating disgust, shame, and anger. The courtyard was full of fat white tourists who didn’t seem to give even half a **** about any of it, who greedily piled their plates with ridiculous amounts of food so their lazy asses wouldn’t have to make more than one trip to the buffet, only to throw out so much of it. There were people gorging themselves on cakes and racks of lamb and couscous and stuffed bread and fruit and cheese, serenaded by the trickle of the fountain/swimming pool, when not 20 feet behind them, native Moroccans were starving to death, struggling to survive.

    I burst into tears after that, more disgusted and ashamed and full of rage than I’d ever been before or have ever been since. A lot of the gluttonous pigs looked at me like I was some kind of nuisance, and I swear, I had to stop myself from getting violent when one lady snapped at a waiter to clear her plate off the table, which had half a chicken still untouched on it.

    I refused to eat any of the food, which in hindsight was rather petty and dramatic.

    In that moment, though, I hated the hotel, I found it to be obscene, ugly, an insult.

    Aside from that, the trip was incredible, but I will never forget that god damned courtyard and what was just beyond it. I mean, imagine, living in the slum behind it, hearing the f*cking swimming pool fountain when you’re drinking water off the street floor. Heinous.

    A part of me broke that day, and I’ve been a lot more angry and cynical since, but also more grateful. I was never ignorant of the world, of the destitution of most of the human population, of the injustices of colonialism, or many other dark and cruel aspects of humanity, but to see it, in front of your face, in such a dichotomy was literally nauseating. There’s no closing the tab when you’re there, in person, having to look those people in the face while your fellow tourists cart around their f*cking Louis Vuitton luggage.

    Anyway, if anyone wants to hear more about that trip, I have pictures, more stories, lots more to tell. I’ll make a thread if there’s enough interest.



    I‘d love to ask what are your trainings, professions (careers, jobs) occupations, how do you make a living?

    Currently, I don’t make a living. I’m stuck in a sort of depressive rut, doing not much with myself. I plan on returning on community college this fall, to wrap up my core classes, then I’ll study either interior design or photojournalism. Not sure yet. In the meantime, I’ve started applying for any odd job I can find after being unemployed for 2 years (you read that right).



    Not to put a date on anybody or anything, but what was the first piece of music you spent your own money on?

    I was 12, bought a Linkin Park album on iTunes.

    I know.


    I think that's everything! If I missed one, let me know.
    Last edited by Ken; 10th August 2019 at 21:13.

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