The banning of Padraig marks the lowpoint of the board for me... lower even that Luke starting threads based on News of the World gossip, lower even than threads entitled 'what music does your girl like' (whose entirely justified assumptions about the mainly male heterosexual make-up of the board tells its own depressing story).
What is most significant about this was not only the banning but the pathetic witch-hunt mounted by militantly complacent dope smoking dads which led up to it. Hang on, how can I attack Luke but defend Padraig, shouts the gliberal commonsensus? Well, because the problem with Luke was not his antagonism (antagonism is the lifeblood of any board worth its salt), but his trolling. Padraig is insulting, of that there is no doubt - but his posts are always serious and from a committed counter-commonsensical position. Luke's posts were solely and exclusively intended to provoke, which, surprise surprise, they duly did. Reading Luke over the past few months has been like reading the Sun: the same faux-ignorance and sim working class argot (those who don't know, btw, should be aware that both of Luke's parents went to university and that his sister is at Oxford), the same defence of a carefully cultivated ignorance and persecution of anything deemed to be different, especially if it is 'intellectual'. The fact that NO-ONE complained about good old salt of the earth wouldn't hurt a fly Luke but that there was a whole swathe of 'daddy daddy this man insulted me' tittle tattle in respect of Padraig demonstrates the current values of the board. The reason I haven't said much before is (1) that I haven't had the time and (2) that the quality of posting here has become so mediocre that I just don't care that much what happens any more.
All worthwhile boards are to some degree intimidating: that was certainly the case on alt.movies.kubrick (on which Padraig and I cut our teeth) when it was good. It was intimidating in the same sense that I used to find the NME intimidating, when Penman and Morley wrote for it. Intimidating in that it demanded something of you, made you want to be more than what you were, made you want to be worthy of it. ILM is intimidating. My problem with ILM is, again, not antagonism, but smugness - the one-liner, one-upmanship culture of getting one over on someone else with no deeper project.
But Dissensus, contrary to its name, has become like Cheers with marijuana instead of beer - you pop in, say something of no consequence or interest to anyone, don't even listen to what other people are saying, have your basic story about the world reinforced, blearily feel good about yourself, then wander out again. Padraig was right to rail against that. Politeness is the first line of defence for the existing order. Where I disagree with him is that there is much point bothering. The board is clearly set up for the likes of Wasteofspacenation and Confused to set a non-agenda of anything for a quietist life dreariness and kooky kalifornian drivel. The arrival of Gek Opel - is this one poster the saviour of Dissensus? - provides some grounds for hope, together with the continuning presence of some of the old UKDance crew. They have made the Burial thread such an unexpected success. Who knew? Serious, intelligent and evocative discourse about dubstep that actually makes you want to listen to it. (Part of the reason I have had limited interest in the genre has been the depressing delibidinizing association with some of the most relentlessly dull posters here.) So I am not going to cut off my nose to spite my face by saying that I won't post here any more. But I have little hope that the board can have its centre of gravity switched from lazy mediocrity.
So, put the Tellytubbies on for the kids, light up your spliffs, get your slippers out, and carry on. The world is just great, and who can say any different?