This is a cool thing.
Dan Reus of Disruptive Diner contacted me a bit over a month ago and asked me to participate in this. Naturally, I had no real idea what I wanted to say or how I would say, which was compounmded by the format—Pekchuka, which means literally fast talking. I came up with something, which is posted above. I had fun. I’d have fun doing it again.
I suppose I should link to some of the news feeds about this, but I think it’s been sufficiently covered among those who give a damn that I don’t need to.
My people—what I used to think of as my people—have once more led with their chins and embarrassed the lot of us. Recently a mini-catastrophe, relevant to the exalted standards and reputation in which certain folks would like to believe the SF community maintains, explode-a-pated all over everyone in the carnival reaction to Jonathan Ross, a person of some note on the BBC and in England, being selected to host the Hugo Awards at the next worldcon in London. Seems Mr. Ross has a less than tarnishless reputation in popular circles as a comedic curmudgeon who likes to belittle people of various types, most notably women, and makes fun of everyone whom he considers targettable. I’m taking this on faith here as until this happened I had no clue who the man is.
He has withdrawn himself as host to the awards in the wake of what by all accounts has been a savage twitter attack on him and his family from, ahem, Certain Elements within the SFnal community. Or maybe not. It’s hard to tell with these things, since everyone can hide so neatly behind hashtags and handles and alternate personae. For all anyone knows, the whole assault may have been two or three exceptionally small-concerned misanthropes in a basement somewhere with too much time, a live feed, and no clue what it means to live in a community.
Neil Gaiman has written rather well on the subject. (So, yeah, I guess I’m linking to some of it.)
A couple of things occur to me about this, one from some personal experience. I’ve done time serving with an organization that had as part of its mandate the selection of Notables for certain public events. I’ve been in the proverbial “back room” while such things have been deliberated. My first reaction to this was “Didn’t the people who chose him have a clue what might happen?” And I thought, “it’s possible for enthusiasm to overwhelm common sense in these things, the whole idea of Getting Someone Important to appear can seem so rarefied as to pump nitrous oxide into any discussion and lobotomize a committee.” On that score, it seems to me, SF fans, even those in positions of authority, are often still just 12 years old. Even so, when some one among them says “This is not a good idea” it is incumbent on the others to listen and at least have a damn good reason for going ahead anyway. From what it looks like on the outside, this didn’t happen. Someone threw what weight they had around and stamped their feet and got what they wanted…and reaped a minor whirlwind.
This is why such things take time, or should, and why we need to get over the whole Big Name Personality Syndrome that affects too many of us. SF wants to be taken seriously, SF should grow up and take the world seriously. None of this should ever have gotten out of that Back Room. If Mr. Ross came with that kind of baggage, the issue should have died a quiet death long before invitations had been made and resignations proffered. That is called professionalism.
Still, no one is psychic. Mistakes get made.
But the second thing that occurred to me was what Neil said. Whoever, whichever segment of My People, decided to take it upon themselves to tell Mr. Ross what they thought of him and his family—you have acted the Ass.
Before the internet, before FB and Twitter, people got exercised about this stuff, talked trash among themselves, and maybe a few would write letters. Nasty fan mail has always been with us. But our technology has enabled us to show our true selves faster and more publicly than ever before possible and it is, in instances like these, ugliness incarnate.
Just what difference do you think letting someone know you think he’s on your “never invite for cocktails” list makes to either him/her or to the world at large? No, don’t overthink it, I’ll tell you. None. All it does is add a bit more vile to an already questionable brew. This is the snickering prankishness of chickenshit adolescents who think it’s cool to let everyone who already doesn’t know they exist know that they care very much about being ignored by making themselves even less pleasant than anyone realized before.
The ability to add your two-cents at a keystroke has enabled some of us to ramp up the ugly faster than their minds could possibly intervene with a cautionary “Maybe you should think this through before you Send.” In this instance, they have let Mr. Ross know how much they dislike him by demonstrating how much worse they can be than he.
Or, even sadder, these are people who do this habitually, without any stake in the debate, simply because they’ve become intoxicated by the sound of their own ignorance flashed across the world. “Oh, look! An Issue! Let me let let me, I can come up with a really cool insult, too!”
People who lead with their mouths and have nothing to say, who walk into any room, any party, often uninvited, with no clue how to behave or, apparently, even how to think. There is an arcane term for them—boors. They indulge boorishness.
It’s not just science fiction where this has been on display, its even worse in political fora. We scratch our heads and wonder why such third-rate politicians are the only ones who run for office anymore. It’s bad enough to be challenged by the marginally thoughtful, but to have to deal daily with sport pissers would drive anyone with any self-respect to question the value of running for office.
Finally, though, it is the anonymity afforded by the technology that exacerbates. The ignorant, the boorish, the cowardly can lob this shit from the presumed comfort of no one knowing who they are.
It accomplishes nothing.
I think it’s sad what has happened to Mr. Ross. There are ways of dealing with these sorts of things that spare feelings and have the benefit of not making everyone involved look like a fool.
I suppose we should be grateful that this is how it’s done, though. Tarring and feathering used to be the preferred manner and it could actually kill.
I downloaded a new plug-in for my blog Wednesday, a little something called Jetpack from WordPress. I’d seen other sites with a traffic bar showing visits, and I wanted one. The urge to know, not necessarily who, but how many people are reading your stuff runs deep.
The first day of its existence was both gratifying and slightly disappointing. So far this morning, no one has come to visit. Oh, well.
But I ran almost immediately into a snag last night. I received the notice on my task bar of an update for Jetpack, so I dutifully clicked it—
—and promptly lost the whole thing. It informed me that the upgrade failed and the plug-in had been deactivated. I couldn’t find it in my list of available plug-ins, so I tried to reinstall it. Which it also would not let me do. It kept informing me that the folder already existed. But I couldn’t find the folder in order to expunge it, so I was locked out of downloading the new version of Jetpack.
Not to worry. I found something else very much like it, but with fewer features—which is fine, I only wanted the stat function.
This has happened before. With maybe two exceptions, every time I’ve changed my blog theme it has been because an upgrade has been offered and when I accepted it, it trashed my files and I lost my theme and had to go get a new one. This is most annoying, because an inevitable consequence has been that attempts to reinstall the trashed theme result in the “you already have this” message, which bars me from having a theme I really like.
I have sworn off accepting upgrades. The only ones that work (knock on particle board) have been the WordPress upgrades.
I wouldn’t mind so much except there’s this little reminder on my task bar when I have one of these pernicious thingies waiting and I feel annoyed and irritated because I can’t find a way to just say No to them and make the reminder go away.
If there is one thing about the computer age that is one of the most irritating and cost-inefficient—and hugely expensive for business, I might add—it is this continual upgrading. I know progress is important, I know things get better with work, I know improvements are made all the time, but damn, give it a rest! I wonder how many people not directly involved realize just how much systems upgrades and changeovers cost in terms of time and lost productivity. Even a tiny, tiny enterprise like mine, one guy writing stories. Hours have I wasted when finally forced to change a software system or configure a new machine or learn a new template.
The other day I complained about MicroSoft Word. I dislike Word. I’ve been using WordPerfect for almost 25 years and for my money, WordPerfect 5.1 is still the gold standard. Simple, intuitive, did everything I wanted or needed. Why fuck with it? But I am now on Version 11.
The problem is, the publishing industry operates on Word, which is not nearly as easy to use or intuitive. And there are translation problems converting WP to Word which annoys my agent.
Also, I am still using Windows XP, which seems to be a very stable platform. (I still wonder what was so wrong with Windows 98—please, no litany of its sins, it was a rhetorical comment.) I am told we are now up to Windows 8 and some day I will be forced to junk my current machines, buy all new, and learn a new system.
Give it a rest. I mean, seriously. I know we have to keep the economy going, but this is ridiculous. It is not the same as the automobile industry. You can still drive a ’38 DeSoto on today’s roads, and having learned to drive that you can, with one or two minor adjustments, drive a brand new car. Your old model does not cease to function because the new upgrade won’t allow it to interface with other drivers.
Still. I manage. I’m just cranky. This is not Luddism, do not for a minute think I am anti-cool tech. But I also do not have a cell phone*. What I resent is the overcomplications involved in getting “up to speed” with what it au courant.
I have to go back to work now. At least English doesn’t go through upgrades that require us to learn, from the ground up, an entirely new language.
*Yes, it’s true, I have no cell phone. Donna has one, but it was purchased exclusively for emergencies when she took a job in West Jericho. I refuse. When I’m not home, you don’t have to reach me. This may sound selfish, and I agree to an extent, but we managed quite well being “disconnected” for significant parts of the day. I realize eventually I will have to cave in, but for now I will not participate in the Tech For Tech’s Sake culture. You want to talk to me, send me an email or leave a message on my answering machine, I’ll get back to you.
I have two things to talk about that are related by the slenderest of threads. Bear with me.
First I’d like to say something about how marvelous is the age in which we live, at least from the perspective of someone who has now lived in a couple of “ages” since arriving on this planet in 1954.
A short while ago I had lunch. While having lunch I like to watch something, so I popped the DVD of The Right Stuff into my player and settled back to my roast beef and movie. While watching, it occurred to me how blase I’ve become at this technology.
See, growing up, movies were a Big Deal. My parents went every other week at least and took me. Going To The Movies holds a special, nostalgic place in my memory. It was a shared event, but more than that it was in fact An Event. TV was there, sure, but it was crappy and even at age four I kind of recognized the difference. Movies were Big, they were Special, they were Unique—and they went away. Though it was dependable. The first run theaters got the new films and ran them for a week, maybe two. The next batch were due in and they swapped them out, so the films went to the cheaper neighborhood theaters, usually only for a week. Plus, these were double features. You sat in the theater for up to four and half hours to see two movies. Before I was born, it would be two movies, plus—cartoons, a short subject, maybe a news reel. Going to movies was a significant amount of time and a major outing.
We brought our own snacks. Mom would make up some popcorn or put a brown bag of candy together, and we might—might—bring a bottle of soda to share. The concession stand was more than we could afford usually.
And after the movies left the theaters, they were gone. If you hadn’t seen them when they came out, during the three or four weeks they were in town at one or another theater, you were s.o.l. Some of the bigger hits might be rereleased a year or two later and a few films were perennially rereleased, but the vast majority did not come back. You had to remember them.
Television changed that somewhat when networks started leasing movies to show at certain low-traffic times, and then in the late Sixites and early Seventies there were a variety of movie programs—Movie of the Week, Thursday Night At the Movies, A Picture For A Sunday Afternoon. Suddenly all these old films started turning up again, and of course after ten P.M. local networks aired a lot of B pictures or films from the Thirties and Forties, but you had to stay up for them, and you never knew what you would get. (Some of my favorite memories with my dad come from Friday nights, sitting up late, watching some of these movies, some of which were unintentional howlers at which we’d poke fun.)
A lot of people today probably don’t see the wonder in being able to go to a store or online and buy a film and watch it at home. VCRs didn’t come in till the late Seventies (and the early models weren’t great), but it ushered in an age of comparative cultural wealth. The idea, when I grew up, that I could actually own one of these movies, for myself, and watch it when I chose to…
You forget occasionally to sit back and appreciate what we now have. It is amazing—the technology, yes, but the fact that I can drop a disc in a machine and watch The Maltese Falcon or Gone With The Wind or The Right Stuff whenever I please is…incredible.
That’s the good part.
The other amazing thing is this vast and complex online community—several communities, actually, some overlapping—that we have with more ease than it used to be to make a long distance phone call. It’s amazing. I can communicate with people I would never have known existed in one of those previous “ages” and talk about things only a rare handful of people I ever met face to face would even have been interested in before. Like-minded, like-enthused, like-whatever people around the globe who can now “chat” online.
And with whom one can trip over an area of sensitivity so fast and so inexplicably that it makes your head spin. I have recently had this shoved in my face just how easily some folks take offense and how impossible it can be to explain yourself or extricate yourself. Unless you want to be an ass, it is often better to simply leave the group in question rather than see the crap continually stirred.
But because it is so easy to leave, not to mention remain anonymous, I think many people never learn the nuances of real interaction. Distance used to serve a vital social function, namely keeping people apart by virtue of the difficulty of communicating. Letter-writing requires thought—the trouble you have to go through to draft the letter, address it, go to the post office, etc. I think tends to make people more thoughtful and thorough. It’s not like a casual conversation, which the ease of communication has sometimes turned the most serious conversations into because it is difficult to tell when it is time to stop cracking wise.
Further, though, once a foul has been made, it doesn’t go away. It perpetuates, spreads, and suddenly people all over may know all about the reputation you have earned through misadventure.
Part of the problem—a big part, I think—is the fact of the words remaining behind after the conversation is over. Spoken conversation has a half-life, very short, and events carry people past ill-considered phrasing or cliches, aided by the visuals, the body language and facial expression. But when you write something down, it has weight, and online exchanges acquire significance never intended for a brief exchange. You can consider the words, read them over again and again, and derive meaning and intent whether it’s there or not.
The wonderfulness of our enabling technologies render us lazy, allow us to take for granted things which in an earlier time, with less speed and availability, would not have been so poorly used.
So instead of a thoughtless sentence being immediately apologized for, brushed aside, and forgotten, the offending sentence lingers, a solid legacy that reminds and continues to irritate. The down-side of modern ease.
Part of the pleasure of all these things should be from not taking them for granted, from a near conscious recognition of just how cool things are. On the one hand, we maybe have to grow thicker skins—certainly we have to learn new interpretive skills—and on the other maybe let our skins thin a little so we can sense the amazing gift much of this world is. Hard to know where to apply what and for a whole generation or two there is the perfectly understandable if annoying question, “What’s the big deal?”
Unfortunately, if you have to ask…
I do not own an Apple computer. I do all my work on PCs because, well, it worked out that way.
I had an Apple. First-generation MacIntosh, to be precise. It didn’t last.
My partner, Donna, got interested in computers back in the early and mid-80s. When I say “interested” I mean on the level of “hm, that looks cool, I wonder what it would be like to…” and not on the level of “that way lies the future, we gotta have one!” Being somewhat dense when it came to reading her enthusiasms (and separating hers from my own), by various strange avenues, she ended up getting a MacIntosh for Christmas. Computer and printer.
Her enthusiasm lasted a month. She’d gotten a job with a small tech company and worked on PCs all day and when she came home at night, the last thing she wanted to do was more work on a computer, even if it was hers. Besides—and this may sound odd—the MacIntosh was too easy to use. She was interested in the programming and the guts and the software. The MacIntosh was plug-n-play before there was plug-n-play and the software available for it—because it was Apple, it was all proprietary—was expensive! We acquired a math program and something else.
I was writing on my IBM Selectric. The MacIntosh just sat there.
Then it broke down.
This is embarrassing. The motherboard was flawed and one day it just went comatose. However, because we had used it so little, we didn’t push it to failure until it was out of warranty. We didn’t know it was the motherboard.
But before that we had run up against some of the annoying short-comings of the MacIntosh, one of which was file size. I decided to try writing stories on it. The rudimentary word processing program—MacWrite—was fine except I could never figure out how to put headers on it and the maximum file size was something like 8 or 9 pages. That wasn’t the annoying part. What was annoying was that it would let you get there and then lock up. There wasn’t enough memory left to delete anything so you could, you know, save the file. So if you didn’t take care—if, for instance, you got caught up in the story you were telling—you’d reach that limit and then lose the whole file.
(To be fair, this might have been an issue with that flawed motherboard, but we didn’t know, it was just maddening.)
It really was kind of a useless thing in our house.
But it was also kind of very cool. I mean, I write science fiction. I was looking at PCs and thinking “that’s not what computers are supposed to look like—the Mac is!” And I really wanted it to work right, to be as cool as it looked. There was something about it that prompted an “if only” sentiment.
Then I got accepted to Clarion. We decided I could take the Mac for my writing instrument. We got it fixed. That’s when we found out it was the motherboard. At the same time, we upgraded the memory (to ONE megabyte!) and bought an external floppy drive for it.
Because we had also discovered by then how difficult it was to translate Mac files to PC (to get a decent print out—-we had an AppleWriter dot matrix printer and I frankly never found a font that was usable; you have to recall that this was at a time when magazines and publishers were refusing to accept dot matrix manuscripts and I wanted to get clean laser printer copies, but the only laser printer we had access to was at Donna’s work, which was for PC…) we intended to trade it in on a PC when I got back, but it was just the right size for the trip.
I was the only one at Clarion with a Mac. Everyone hated the printer fonts I used.
Also, there was a heatwave that year in Michigan and the Mac turned out to be very susceptible to overheating. I had a small fan which I ended up training on the Mac. I backed up often to the external drive. It was a trial.
I was so glad to trade it off for a usable PC.
But I always had a soft spot for the idea of the Mac and later when they started coming out with better models and then the massive improvements after the whole Lisa thing made it the hardware to have, I wanted one. But by then I was doing all my work on PC and I was online and publishing worked almost exclusively with PC and and and…
And Apple products were so damn expensive!
Aside from that first generation MacIntosh, we have only ever owned one brand new computer. And now the PC products seem to be as cool as the Apple, so…
It’s fairly obvious that the coolness of newer PCs, the improvements in speed and reliability, the slick programs available, all that came about as a direct response to the challenge of Apple and Steve Jobs. Jobs created something with growing gravitic force that has been bending the rest of the computer verse into orbit around it.
And Apples are science fiction computers. I’m speaking aesthetically now. What they do, how they look, the ease of interface—this is where it should be according to the scenarios playing in the heads of science fiction writers.
I would like to upgrade all my computers to Apples. I’ve wanted to do that for years. It’s like really wanting to drive a high end, state of the art car, wear Armani suits, play a Les Paul, and drink only the best wine. It’s a Leica to everyone else’s Nikon, Luxman to Sony, Bose to a box with a speaker in it.
Steve Jobs made people want better.
Not everyone. A lot of people wouldn’t know “better” if it walked up and introduced itself. But many people. And he made them feel they deserved it.
And that there is a reason for better. This last may seem odd, but think about it. Many people settle. They get by. They manage. They accept what they think they have to and make do.
From time to time someone has to remind us that quality is not only justified but essential. That life shouldn’t be shabby just because we don’t think we can have better. For all the technical innovations Jobs spurred and enabled and midwived, it was this aesthetic for which he will long be remembered. He never settled. He didn’t think we should, either.
One of the years, I’ll own a Mac again.
Personal gripe time. This is one of those instances where I believe The Market is a hydrocephalic moron and people who put their undying faith in get what they deserve.
Shortly after the 4th of July just past, a St. Louis radio station changed hands. KFUO 99.1 FM had, for sixty-plus years, been our commercial classical station. Before the first Gulf War, our local NPR affiliate, KWMU, was largely a classical music broadcaster, but after that first foray into Mid east adventurism they became pretty much All Talk All Day. Mind you, I like some of what they offer—Fresh Air, Talk of the Nation, Diane Rheem—but I am a lover of music. My youth, in regards to radio, was all about music. I cannot tolerate most of Talk Radio, especially the right wing stuff, but I’m not overly fond of the left wing blatherings, either. Give me a good solid news show twice a day and then fill the airwaves with music.
This has become a subject of nostalgia for me, because for the most part the music scene on radio has devolved into mind-numbing banality and repetition. Catering to The Market has the net result of leavening out at the lowest common denominator, so instead of fascinating, new, or just first-rate music, we get the cuts that will appeal to the greatest number of whatever demographic a given station thinks it’s playing to.
After KWMU went All Talk, little by little I began listening to KFUO. They did not do as good a job, overall, as KWMU—I am a firm believer in airing complete works, so when I am offered A Movement of a symphony or what have you I am turned off; I want the whole damn thing or don’t bother (this is also true of other genres as well: I once got into a shouting match with a DJ over his insistence of playing the three-minute version of an Emerson, Lake & Palmer track that, in its fullness, ran to twelve minutes, and he demanded to know who wanted to listen to all that synthesizer soloing, to which I replied “people who like ELP, you moron!” Needless to say, I lost that one, but I resent the whole assumption that the attention span of people will never exceed five minutes—if you assume that and that’s all you give them, you train them to have short attention spans)—but it was classical music, and I find myself, aging that I am, more and more indulging in that genre (if genre it is) out of sheer boredom and impatience with most other forms. At least, on the radio.
So KFUO became my car station. (At home I listen to albums. I would eliminate DJs and commercials if I could. Playing my own discs, I can.)
Due to the demands of The Market, the impatience of shareholders, etc etc, management at KFUO—the Lutheran Church, basically—sold the station. It is now Joy 99, playing contemporary Christian pop…stuff.
I’ve attempted to listen to some of it, but I find it unremittingly boring. And I am pissed. Where can I now go on the radio to get classical music? Well, KWMU has taken advantage of the new high definition broadcast tech to split itself into multiple channels and has one dedicated to classical music. But I can’t get that in the car. Can’t get it at home on my stereo, either, unless I buy new equipment, which is a source of resentment as well. We live in an age where if one does not have the latest, most up-to-date Thingie, at a cost of X hundred dollars per widget, one cannot partake of the goodies available—and the media changes often enough that buying new Thingies is now every couple, three years.
Pardon my expression—Fuck That! This is the Microsoft model taken to extremes. It is a form of class division, based on tech-savvy and money. You don’t have to pass laws to keep the so-called Unwashed out of the Club, you just have to make sure they can’t afford the newest Thingie.
Ahem. Excuse me, that was paranoid of me. I have no reason to believe this is intentional. This is The Market, in all its lobotomized asininity.
Back for a moment to the new KFUO. It is boring. (I am beginning to recognize a pattern. Christian pop sounds somewhat-to-mainly Country. The southern lilt to the vocals, the excessively forced emotional warbling, twisting notes through laryngeal gymnastics for no reason other than to make use of a single chord for a few moments longer. Never mind the lyrics—I didn’t have a problem with groups like Creed, at least not initially: the music was interesting, the lyrics showed a modicum of ingenuity—just the American Idol approach to hyped emotionalism as substitute for actual content. But I really cannot abide dull music. Even when, initially, this stuff sounds like they’re getting down with some passion, it’s really just arrangement and playing with the compression. The simplest chords, the over-reliance on melody—almost always in major keys—and the de-emphasizing of anything that might distract from the primary message of the lyric content. Now, KFUO, having been a Lutheran station, played a great deal of sacred music. Most of which was GLORIOUS. Beautiful, sonorous, majestic, interesting! Composed by musicians who saw no reason to muffle their strengths, but put what they had into such compositions because the music itself was a form of worship, an offering to what they believed, honest and unhampered passion. Modern Christian rock seems to do everything it can to apologize for being rock. Of course, there’s a reason for this, since a good deal of what these folks espouse is a typical American attitude that sensuality is an enemy to faith, and let’s face it, rock is all about sensuality. So, too, is jazz, perhaps even more so, which may be why one hears almost no Christian jazz.) Boring is inexcusable, I don’t care what cause it is in the name of.
Somehow some one or more “consultant” companies told the new owners that this will attract a larger market share than what KFUO had been doing. For all I know, they’re right. I have little faith in the taste of the masses, as a mass. Most of the people I have ever known as casual acquaintances have exhibited appalling taste in the arts. You have to be aware to be sensitive to nuance, to passion, to genuine merit, and it seems that most people move through life barely conscious of their surroundings.
(I once had the most frustrating interchange with a woman at a party who kept complaining that everything I was putting on the stereo was “depressing.” Her word. Depressing. What was I playing? Flim and the BBs, Grover Washington, McCoy Tyner, things like that. I couldn’t figure it out until she demanded, somewhat drunkenly,”Where’s the singing?” Unless there was singing, it was depressing. Of course, by singing she didn’t mean opera, she meant anything she could sing along to. This was more music as sport than art.)
So after a couple of weeks of listening the all this strained pseudo-music sung by earnest C & W types against the most singularly undifferentiated backgrounds, I am officially peeved. I’d like my classical music back, please. I don’t care about demographics. There are dozens of other stations where one can hear similarly banal excrescence, albeit possibly without the juvenile nonsense worship lyrics. KFUO served an audience that is now not served at all, and I can’t help wondering if this is at least partly propagandistic. That this is as much an effort to force a single voice onto the airwaves, driving out the specialist, minority voices, as it is to maximize returns on investment.
Of course, that would be a bit paranoid, wouldn’t it?
Except that over forty years of listening to radio I can’t help but notice that every instance of a station or a show that reached a bit higher, took a chance on quality, played the unexpected or occasionally controversial—all those stations were, one by one, taken over and dragged back down into the stew pot of “popular taste” at expense of anything genuinely challenging or interesting. Regardless of genre. Mediocrity is the hallmark of the largest market share.
Have a good weekend.
Because I am a computer doofus, it takes me forever to figure out the simplest things. Sometimes. Like, for instance, activating the Comments function on this blog. I’ve been getting complaints from a few people for some time that they’ve been unable to post comments here for some reason. I’d go into the guts of the blog, make sure the right stuff was checked—especially the one that says Allow People to Comment?—and still, no go.
Well, there was a pre-registration function apparently which I’d set so only authorized Users could register and comment. Well, hell, I’m the only authorized user besides my webmaster. A small difference in nomenclature. I opted for the Everyone Can Comment thing…or is Everyone Can Register To Comment?…don’t know, don’t know.
Well, I may be a doofus but I learn. Click enough buttons and eventually you hit the right combination. The Comments function is now enabled and you all can start inundating me with your wisdom. Or what have you.
Thank you, Nicola, for testing it again. We are up and running.