Discussion in 'Website Feedback' started by dzurisova, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    I really enjoy this forum especially the help recieved regarding the language. Most posters are very helpful, friendly, and interesting.

    It's a shame, though, that there is so much critism against the USA. I find myself feeling as though I have to defend my country often because many poster use this forum to complain about it.

    I wish the website's forums were more about the Czech Republic than a forum to post complaints about my homeland.

    I understand not everyone is going to be pleased with the United States nor would everyone want to live here. However, I thought this website was created to discuss the Czech Republic's culture and language.

    I'm sure there are many forums out there created soley to b_tch about Bush and the USA. I wish those wanting to do so would do it on those websites instead of bringing it here.
  2. MK

    MK Well-Known Member

    I understand how you feel. I also love my country and I always feel obliged to defend it against ugly remarks. If it was some of my posts which caused you to write this post. Please know it was not my intention.

    Unfortunately, it sometimes happened that nasty comment about CZ caused angry reaction comparing CZ and US points of view. Which then caused people got carried away and started off-topic war of words.

    I think when there is difference in opinions then it should be voiced. It is of no help to hide it but it is of no use to think we are able to solve it here. I do not agree with some posts sent to this forum, sometimes I answered them but I am glad they were sent here. There is nothing wrong either with passionate and vigorous debate or kind critiques on this forum when it is CZ related and do not harm other people feelings. Even if it do not change our thinking it is always rewarding to hear opinion of other people.

    Second though . Maybe we should keep international politics, unrelated personal opinions and these flame wars out of this forum. I will try to do so.
  3. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    I agree there is nothing wrong with political debates. They can be mind-opening. However, I did not join this forum to debate international politics. If that's what I wanted to do, I would have joined a different forum. I joined this forum to learn about the Czech culture and language. Correct me if I'm wrong, but to me that this forum was created so others can learn about the Czech culture and language.

    However, I am constantly exposed to criticsm of my country. Then I feel the need to defend my country. It gets tiring and all I really want to do on this forum is learn about Czech culture and language. Yet, when someone is trashing my country, I'm not going to sit by quietly without saying anything.

    Do you ever just feel like saying "hey shut-up enough already, I don't want to hear it."? That's how I feel about the international debates on this forum. If I were at a forum that was created for international debates then I would simply stop getting on the forum. However, I thought this forum was created for something else so that is why I joined.

    I suppose I could just stop getting on this forum, yet I would miss out on the reason I came here in the first place: to learn about the Czech culture and language.

    I don't know if it were some of your posts or not, but thank you for your clarification.
  4. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure, dzurisovak what do you wish. Do you want ban on talking about USA? Or only ban on this kind of talking about USA, which you don't like?
  5. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    What I wish is that those who want to have international debates about politics would go to forums designed to have international debates about politics. I don't wish to have those debates so I didn't join a forum to have an international debate.

    I wish to learn about the Czech culture and language so I joined a forum that is designed to educate others about the czech culture and language.

    I don't want to ban public speach. But there is a time and place for each type of speech. Forums are designed to bring together those around the world who wish to talk about certain things. This forum was designed to talk about the Czech Republic and those who join it want and should talk about that. If you want to trash Bush and the USA then join a forum designed to do so. Why do they insist on bringing it to this forum which was designed for something completely different.

    It ruins the forum for those of us who don't wish to hear it; for those of us who simply joined the forum to discuss and learn more about the Czech culture and language.

    For example, if I want to shop for new clothes, I wouldn't go to a junk yard that sells used auto parts and junk I don't care to dig through. I'd also get really upset if my usual clothing store started allowing the junk yard to sell it's crap there and I had to dig through it's crap to find the nice clothing I wanted. This forum is great and has a lot of good info. But lately I'm having to dig through the junk I don't care to read to get the info I'm interested in.

    Just as I would want the clothing store to stick to clothing, I'd like this forum to stick to it original purpose and those who want to discuss international politics to find the appropriate forum in which to do so.

    It's a shame this forum is getting cluttered with something outside it's original purpose.
  6. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    I'd like to clarify that I'm not asking the website itself to BAN all discussion on international politics. I'm simply asking the website members to take those discussions to the appropriate forums instead of cluttering this forum with it.

    I'm simply stating my preference and asking the members to find a different forum in which to trash my president and country and allow this forum to serve its original purpose. If the members don't want to find a different forum and continue to use this one to trash my president and country than that is their choice. I then also have a choice. I can choose to stop participating in this forum or put up with it.

    I simply thought it couldn't hurt to ask.
  7. Ceit

    Ceit Well-Known Member

    I don't think international debates are quite the problem here. The source of irritation, as I see it, is that people take it upon themselves to make the US the focus of attention, without making any connections to the Czech Republic, let alone any other country; it's debate on US policy/government/history/etc. unrelated to anything else in the world, kind of like things are in real life (sorry, couldn't resist sticking my two cents in :p ). I'm no supporter of King George the Dubya and I'm no patriot, at least not in sense of the dictionary definition. But I also get a little bothered when people take advantage of any opportunity to give soliloquies on their own pet topics which have little or nothing to do with the original purpose of the thread or the forum, whether I agree with their politics or not. And after other posters politely point this out, they persist, and not only the first offender, but others join in as well. Granted, they may really be interested in learning about Czech culture, history and so on, but you would never know it from their posts. I couldn't support a ban on spouting personal opinions, misplaced as they may be, but maybe we should just ignore these people who seem to only be looking for a fight, or ask to have every America debate diverted from the original thread, instead of responding and egging them on.

    There, my b!tching is over, I feel better, thanks.
  8. gypzy

    gypzy Well-Known Member

    While I'm not defending or making excuses for people who get off topic and rip on the US I will give an "Oprahistic" or "Dr. Philish" explanation for this. There is only 4 days left to American midterm election and I think everyone, on both sides of the iasle, are stressed. Unfortunately, They come to this message board and complain politically about what they don't like in the US. It woudn't be so bad if the topic were "comparing Czech political views to American views" or something along that line.
    2 people can be standing in the same spot looking at the sky and one person says it's aqua and the other says it's turquise. They will argue about this and ask a passer-by what he thinks. The passer-by doesn't solve anything. He says the sky's robbin-egg blue. Now there are three people arguing about the color. I guess my point is that nothing is going to get solved just complaining on a message board.
    For people who are stressed about elections go on YOU TUBE and type in "fake political ads" for a search. You will be glad you did.

    I guess that's enough of my babbling,
  9. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    I apologize in advance for long post.

    I want to answer so exact, how I am able to, how I feel about it. I wrote it in Czech for myself and I tried translate it to English best I could. Because I like your posts, dzurisovak, and I see you as decent person. However I want to express my point of view. Of course, everything is only my personal opinion.

    Because USA are world power, they affect other countries, including Czech republic. What US government do, might affect my life. What CR government do don't affect Americans. For example, USA plan to build military missile base in CR is hot political issue here.

    Czechs are interested in politics, even international. People talk about it at home, at work, in pubs or public transport. It's common thing.

    You probably will not like it, but if citizen of powerfull state demand something from citizen of small state, they aren't in the same position. Citizen of small state will be feel in disadvantage and he take a defense position. For example, your request - stop talking about international politics or I leaving - can be considered as ultimatum. Although I know you didn't mean it.

    I like America and it's culture and people. I read many books and articles and saw many movies. But after all sometimes I don't understand American's behaviour. But I trying.

    So, I do my best to keep international politics out of this forum, if it won't be in title of thread (and you can avoid them then).
  10. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Well it was that long. I've typed much longer ones. :wink:

    Thank you

    Oh, please don't think that I was giving such an ultimatum. I in no way wanted to give that message. I said that I have a choice to either stop participating in the forum or put up with it. My comment about having a choice was said to merely point out that we all have freedom and we all have choices. It was in response to you asking what I wanted and I wanted to point out that I wasn't asking for a ban of free speech by this website. I'm not asking the website to ban such posts, but I'm asking others to allow the website to serve it's original purpose. Many of the people who get on this site are too friendly and helpful for me to leave just because I don't like continuously hearing about problems in the US. In fact, they are friendly enough that I felt free to voice my feelings here and I knew I would be heard. (Please note, when I say "heard" that doesn't mean I thought everyone would comply to my request, but that they would listen to my request and respond with sincerity.)

    You're right and I apoligize for not considering that. It seems, though, that many of the posts complaining about the States are coming from American citizens. But as I said earlier, there are forums created for such objectives.

    It just seems that lately there are so many posts complaining about the States that has nothing to do with CR. As gypzy said, perhaps its due to the upcoming elections. Maybe if/when the dems win congress on Tuesday, it will settle down and there won't be so much complaining. :wink: (Not that I'm hoping the dems win, but the polls seem to point in that direction. There are some personal advantages to them winning though, so I won't be that upset if they do) :wink:

    Thanks guys for hearing me out. Your responses allow me to feel well-heard. :)
  11. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    Thanks for pointing out this issue, dzurisovak. I'm sorry it has gotten bad enough to make you feel that you had to say something. I don't like it either when discussions are steered away from their original topic and become unrelated to these boards, which, as you correctly mentioned, are devoted to the Czech Republic. Jeff and I try to follow the threads as much as our time permits and we occasionally step in when things get out of hand. I admit that we have not been as strict as we could and probably should be. We would like to thank our other moderators who have been very helpful in keeping an eye on the boards.

    This is a good time to stress that the boards are here for everyone and all members are welcome to step in whenever they feel that a discussion has gotten off topic or has become inappropriate.

    This is true and it's a shame. Sometimes it seems that the only solution would be to lock the thread, which we really don't like doing because it keeps those who would like to post something on the original topic from participating. Anyway, if you feel that a discussion has gotten to the point where a moderator should interfere, please feel free to send a PM to 'My Czech Republic' or any of the moderators and alert us to the thread in question.

    Thank you!

    My Czech Republic
  12. mdusin

    mdusin Member

    dzurisovak, allow me to use the same rationale that you have used to weed out "political" debates from unrelated threads. You want everyone to stay on topic and you do it very eloquently.

    Now, how does explaining your "earliest memory when you found out there really is a God" stay on topic called "To move or not to move...", which revolves around whether to go and live for some time in the CZ?

    I think there is zero relevance with the topic of the thread. I think it is great that you felt so free to tell everybody about your feelings and that you felt "heard" which you so much appreciate in this thread.

    So, you appreciate the freedom for you to go off-topic but you do not appreciate if someone else goes off-topic. Could it be that you do not like people criticizing the US and your president? If this is the case, you are using double standard for yourself and for others and your so very smart and eloquent plea that started this thread turns into a farce.

    This is not a personal attack, I thought a little bit of perspective would not hurt.

  13. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    mdusin, thanks for your perspective. You state that

    This post wasn't about members simply just going off topic. That can happen at times. This post was about members using this board as a soap-box to trash the US and Bush. Certain members take almost every topic and turn it into a political debate. I was simply asking that if they want to get into political debates, to visit boards that are created for such. This board was not, and as you can see above, even the creators or those in charge of the board agree that it was not created with that purpose in mind.

    When I posted that, I was replying to a post already in that forum. Also, if you read that posts again, you will see that I said, "Perhaps we are getting off topic and these posts should be moved to a new topic so others can join and share their experiences." There are moderators that move things when people get off subject. I knew it was off subject, which is why I suggested it to be moved. I don't have the knowlege nor the freedom to move things myself, so I suggested it.
  14. mdusin

    mdusin Member

    dzurisovak, members can take any topic and turn into any other topic, this is how chats work. They may turn it into a political debate or turn it into a "first experience of God" debate, or whatever. I appreciate that and so do you. I will not look for more examples when you went off topic, do you want me to do so to prove my point?

    I do not see any "professional" Bush trashers on this site. I do not see any deliberate attempts of anyone to turn this site into a policatical battleground. Some members are unhappy with certain policies and politicians, many times while comparing the Czech and American cultures and perspective, and they voice their concern. Some members use irrational, emotional, simplistic but sincere reasoning. Very rarely they use offensive language. We all should be happy about this fact because there is so much arrongance and backstabbing around us, in politics in particular, if you allow me to use this example.

    Going off topic to raise a political inference is just like any other going off topic. Let the admins do their work, or ignore these guys like most of us do. Other members may chose to ignore your replies (as these are by definition off-topic, too) , or your going off topic. But do not apply double standard for you and for others just because you do not like what they say.

  15. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    It's not just about me not liking what they are saying.

    Let me give this example:

    Let's say you join a class to learn how to knit. So you go to knitting class and everytime you are there, a few class members insist on talking trash about your neighborhood. They say all kinds of things about your neighborhood. You put up with it for a while, figuring that they are all here to learn to knit and perhaps eventually they will tire of talking trash about your neighborhood and get back to the subject at hand.

    Time goes on and everytime you go to class there are more and more conversations talking trash about your neighborhood. Eventually, you feel led to look at them and say, "look, I came here to learn to knit and I'd like to politely ask all of you to please stick to the task at hand and stop trashing my neighborhood everytime we come here."

    Now, they could say, "oh, we didn't realize we did that so much and we didn't realize it bothered you so we will stop" or they could say, "it's a free country, tolerate our discussions or find a different knitting class."

    You then have a choice to do one of those things. But it didn't hurt to ask did it?

    That's all I'm doing here: asking. Now if you really have the time, energy, and desire to look into all my post and see if I ever went off topic, but all means do so. However, I don't think it has anything to do with what I'm asking people here.

    I'm saying that we all joined this forum to learn more about the culture and language of the Czech Republic. Perhaps we could do so without so much trash talk about my neighborhood. :wink:
  16. mdusin

    mdusin Member

    your examples are very nice and colorful but you keep repeating the same thing over and over again.

    I will repeat again what is my point. Members do not agree with certain policies and politicians. 99% of members sincerely voice their opinion. Members do not deliberately try to transform this site into a political battlefield. On the other hand, you want to relegate political debates to other designated sites. But you want to keep the freedom and opportunity for yourself to react off-topic to thoughts of others. Do not use double standard for yourself and for others.

    Off-topic is an off-topic is an off-topic. Of course you may politely ask that members do not go to a political off-topic while any other off-topic is okay. I will keep politely saying that a political off-topic is an off-topic like any other off-topic.

    I am all for compliance with rules, if they exists and if they make sense, but I am strongly against convenient double standards.

    You also use the word "trash" in your fables to describe opinions of others. Some people may call trash talking about your “earliest memory when you found out there really is a God". What would you think about that? I would not like it and I think that you would not like it either. Why don't we stop using the word "trash" in association with opinions of others?

  17. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    Sure, they can and they do, which doesn't mean it is appreciated, especially not when a discussion goes off topic and stays off topic. Our posting guidelines include a clear request to keep responses focused on the topic. We do allow for some leeway of course but we'd ultimately like to keep the boards more or less organized by topic so that users can easily find discussions that are of interest to them. For example, if I see a thread titled "Czech Wedding Customs" and I'm interested in that topic, I want to be able to click on it and read about Czech wedding customs. I don't want to get to page two and have to start digging through posts discussing the world's religions, racism or mail order brides, trying to see if any of the posts still contain anything on the subject of Czech wedding customs.

    I don't think dzurisovak is suggesting that any other off-topic is okay. She is pointing out that conversations turn into political debates and U.S. bashing too often. I agree with her and my suggestion is for people to take these debates to the Off Topic forum.
  18. BMoody

    BMoody Well-Known Member

    I'm guilty of going off topic myself. :-] Sorry mates! I'll try not to do it again.
  19. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    I apoligize for repeating myself over and over. I was simply trying to point out that this post is not about going off topic. However, if you believe it is that is fine because I'm tired of beating a dead horse.

    What Dana said sums it all up perfectly. I'm sorry I'm too long winded to say things so simply. :wink:


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