Thursday, June 11, 2009

Blanche's Hangout-- No End To The Shame Commentary

Well you knew at some point, this was bound to happen on The B&C History Blog-- with it now necessary for me to use the blog, for pointed commentary related to B&C historical community housekeeping. I find it unfortunate this post needs to be written, but as some debates are fueled by honor and a belief in what's right-- sometimes you must digress to fight the good fight. The Bailey Tynes and L. A. Kindell info posted below is important to this history. So I hope after perhaps reading this account of my needing to deal with some B&C community nonsense and shenanigans-- you will spend your time, exploring other places on the B&C History Blog-- where the history is. As always, my thanks for your support.

You know, I'm a good guy. I'm honest-- I care-- and I usually won't choose to step into disputes, which don't directly involve me. I believe in taking the high road whenever possible. "However"-- every man has his limits. And I've now reached mine, regarding doings on Blanche's Hangout-- the B&C message board. In my view, this vestige of limited expression and childlike behavior, has reached a new low-- involving the heinous condemnation of both a respected B&C researcher and friend. As such, I cannot sit idly by without comment. I preface these expressions, by saying there are many fine individuals who participate not only on Blanche's Hangout-- but also on The Boodles message board, and here on The B&C History Blog as well. For those involved in these B&C outlets, please know my comments are aimed at a choice group of die hard B&C fanatics, who cannot seem to find any balance in forming their B&C opinions-- and who don't seem to desire a peaceful coexistence, with those who's opinions differ from their own. Others I trust know who you are, know your rightful place within wonderful B&C discussions-- and know how much I respect you, and your opinions.

Usually, threads on B&C message boards, involve a fair exchange of thoughts expressed in a polite manner-- free from personal attacks and nonsensical issues. When B&C are involved, discussions regarding this history "can" be spirited-- but are often cordial and intellectually stimulating. Well apparently not on Blanche's Hangout. There, a simple "Hey, what do you think"??-- can quickly morph into a vengeful, spiteful and downright vicious personal exercise in apparent hatred. And with supervisory guidance seemingly lacking, or asleep at the switch until it's too late-- these skirmishes can spiral out of control, into what would likely be fisticuffs, if the distances involved weren't so great.

I used to participate on Blanche's Hangout. However not just once but "twice"-- I was asked to modify or curtail my honest expressions, and attempts to speak or get at the truth-- objectively, fairly and politely. Finally the moderator of this board, said she'd heard too many complaints about me-- and asked me to participate no longer. However, since I had received "so many" e-mails and messages from members there, praising my style and posts-- I could only feel, these complaints were in reality, made by just a few narrowly minded insiders there. By the way, as the style and content of my posts hasn't changed-- for those familiar with me here, I would ask that you be the judge-- of my fairness and objectivity, in reporting on Bonnie and Clyde history.

Anyway-- an "over the top" unabashed love and adoration of Bonnie and Clyde often seems the rule, not the exception at Blanche's Hangout. Apparently, few divergent viewpoints are tolerated there for long-- before banishment and censorship can become a most unfortunate possibility and sometimes stark reality. Perhaps I have traveled back in time to pre- war Germany in 1939 or The Soviet Union during the cold war-- or to China well just about anytime. Perhaps I'm stuck in some time warp, and unknowingly-- cannot escape it?? No-- that's not the case. This "is" America in 2009 isn't it??

I have read through the entire thread sent to me regarding this latest war on Blanche's Hangout. My opinions are as follows: The ability of some to read and disseminate all the overly pro B&C information possible from a plethora of books, articles, videos and the like, over whatever period of time-- in no way equals-- the good, valid and important historical research, conducted over a number of years now by Tommy Methvin. Tom is a knowledgeable and well versed ally of this history. But beyond that, the insights he has learned in researching the Methvin family's involvement within the history of B&C-- are uniquely important. And in particular, his working closely with B&C Historian Jimmy Ray Gillman, on the Louisiana connection within B&C history-- which involves the end game for B&C and those who affected it-- cannot be ignored. As I am privy to many of the revelations which will be soon be exposed, based on "17" years of research-- I can tell you Jimmy and Tommy's upcoming book Waylaid-- The House Bonnie and Clyde Built, will surely be an important B&C work. The information revealed there-- "will" change Bonnie and Clyde history.

Great Researcher/Historians such a Tom Methvin, write of and contribute important historical information and valid opinion to this history. Fanatics on "either" side of the B&C fence-- are often instrumental in inciting passionate debate. With such "fervent" passion thrown about in either loving B&C or detesting them, sometimes the logic employed within these arguments is insightful-- but if overly impassioned, frankly can border on being delusional. As I've said many times-- its my belief a more "balanced" view of this history, in between the 2 extremes-- is likely closer to the truth. But one thing's for sure-- those who always support a singular point of view, without wavering-- and who ignore valid opposing logic and realities-- "ARE" closed minded. I would say its best to deal with
the facts as they "were"-- and not attempt to color them, based on any current B&C fandom-- as if using a 64 pack of crayolas to angrily re-write history. This level of irrational B&C "fervor" in my view, impedes objective reasoning, and although expressed as opinion-- without "some" element of logical balance, only diminishes the credibility of it's expounders.

I had prepared more on this, and will be happy to cite and answer specific quotes and examples, of these nonsensical attacks and tirades-- evident on Blanche's Hangout if prompted. I will also say to some in particular there, if you would care to identify yourselves-- you're welcomed to come here and debate me anytime, or I will come to you-- whichever you prefer. At this point, apparently someone needs to help a few of you find your place-- as you and Blanche's Hangout are out of control-- out of bounds-- and out of free passes from me.

Both myself and others, respected within the B&C community, find the personal diatribe directed at Tommy Methvin on Blanche's Hangout "disgusting". Some objective B&C voices, now aware of this unsavory behavior-- have added their views to mine. It's been expressed to me that it's a shame, this B&C message board which started out as a good board-- has gone steadily downhill. Additional comments made have pointed out, that there are a couple of objective voices, who try to see both sides of the historical issues there-- and who are plainly disturbed at the personality issues which exist. But most telling of the comments of which I agree-- has been the statement that its wrong of the Blanche Board Moderator, to allow this abuse of Tommy to continue. And it's "downright hypocritical as well, considering she's censored you (meaning Winston) and others." On a personal note, I wish to say how much I appreciate this kind expression-- from an Historian I respect greatly.

These recent singularly sided rantings, exhibited by some narrow minded voices, who've apparently become the spokespersons for the B&C Hero Worshipers Society as seems to exist on Blanche's Hangout-- are perhaps a telling commentary, on where some B&C debate rests today-- seemingly in the gutter. The title of this post is Blanche's Hangout-- No End To The Shame. I call on Debbie Moss who although we've had our differences-- is by all appearances a good and caring person, and who's an important contributor to this history in her own right-- to seize control of her message board. I can only hope, she will chastise those who exhibit an overt lack of self control, and who seem to have no qualms, in directing hateful disrespect toward others-- who love this history as much as they do. It seems to me, that passion exhibited within this history, should be fine and welcomed-- but disrespect and hatred should not.

In closing I ask a simple question-- if banishment and censorship are the appropriate penalties for expressing honest and polite viewpoints on Blanche's Hangout-- then what are the penalties please, for the abhorrent behaviors of some of the chosen disciples of this board, who are now exposing it for what it truly is-- or are they?? I am hopeful Blanche's Hangout can rebound, and regain the respect it once possessed-- and "without" the nonsense, disrespect and censorship apparent there-- it would truly deserve. We need B&C message boards, as they are important forums for disseminating B&C history-- but not at the expense of honor, civility and historical integrity. Surely that cannot be the goal, of any B&C historical outlet.

Thank goodness for this comment by two caring members of Blanche's Hangout--

"From heartbreak some people have suffered; From weariness some people have died; But take it all in all; Our trouble's are small; Till we get like Bonnie and Clyde; life IS too short. we are all friend's here, let's just debate, and not make personal attack's. if i were new to the blanche board, i would think this was an argument between an old married couple. HA-HA-HA!!!"

A nice sentiment and lighthearted attempt at reconciliation. My thanks to you Ted and Karron for this peaceful expression. You are to be commended, in trying to bring some perspective and civility to these issues. But I fear the problem there-- may be more pervasive than even your kind words can affect. In situations such as this, I always say its the "Captain"-- who sets the tone for his or her ship and crew. And when your ship's sprung a leak, to me-- its time for the Captain to act.

Update-- I'm pleased to say the Captain acted, but in my view did the wrong thing in banishing Tom Methvin, while not even acknowledging issues with his arrogant and historically slanted detractors. More banishing, more censorship-- and perhaps with the wrong message sent. My view is, when you have 2 individuals who have squared off, and serious issues exist which affect the integrity of your forum-- the fair thing to do, would be to treat both combatants equally. If one goes-- both should go. I guess in this case, it was judged fair to protect some from the chosen fold-- while nixing a more objective voice for this history. Now and once again-- apparently a purifying of views there. I guess when all agree on everything, there will be nothing left to do-- but have a barbeque or something. Drinks anyone!??! I can only hope for a better balance for Blanche's Hangout in the future.


Russ said...

My God, Winston! I've never seen someone so eloquently hit the nail on the damned head! Hopefully all of the "key" people over on the yellow board know where this blog is and will read read your post.


A. Winston Woodward said...

"Thanks" Russ. On behalf of all I believe "in the right" on this issue-- I appreciate your thoughts.

t o m said...
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Taronda said...

I always enjoyed looking at the comments on the Blanche board, but agree that it has recently gotten totally out of hand. My heart goes out to Tom and I hope he will continue with the great website, photos and extensive historical knowledge! I admit that I am a Hamer supporter due to the fact that my grandfather worked for him many years. I also have a son in law enforcement and agree with Winston that times and policy are very different today than in the 30's. I think it a shame that people can be so rude and narrow minded simply because some of us focus on the facts and have a different point of view. Most of us try really hard to maintain our good manners, unfortunately others don't. Hold your head up Tom!