Paul posted on the Hinesburg Front Porch Forum the other day that opinions should be kept out of FPF postings, asking neighbors to “keep things kind and helpful.”
A neighbor Frank replied…
There are few forums for expressing opinions, besides at coffee shops, hair salons/barber shops and… on our front porches. I say, keep ‘em coming [on our Front Porch Forum]. It’s part of what makes us a community. Indeed, as I am writing this on the 4th of July, I dare say the freedom to express ourselves is uniquely American.
Followed by another perspective from Craig…
I cannot disagree enough that we should not express our opinions or share news & information that affects us as community members on Front Porch Forum. The word “forum” itself expresses the goal of open discussion on matters that affect us on a broad level. It’s disappointing to see people suggesting that one of the only forum left to us to discuss community issues be limited to the innocuous and unimportant.
It sure would be sad if we had to rely only on government official announcements and the so-called “news” for information impacting us as citizens. Most of the important issues don’t get aired through those one-sided and for-profit venues. Democracy and freedom need a channel unfettered by government and corporate interests, like Front Porch Forum.
I find some of the most cogent and important information tome as a Hinesburgian on this site…
In days of yore, it was the public space — the Common or the Green — that was the place we gathered and expressed (and heard) uncomfortable opinions. In Providence, you can still see the speaker’s pulpit (the soapbox). In Boston, 200 acres were set aside for the purpose. And, yes, some of those viewpoints are potentialy offfensive to some, even repugnant. In the vaccuum of true journalism in mass media today, we need an electronic version of the public forum, and I am thankful a channel like Front Porch Forum exists to provide it.
I give money regularly to FPF to keep alive a public forum. I would not provide financial support to a non-forum where no ideas or opinions are shared.
Like all other media… if you don’t like it, don’t consume it. If you don’t like what the guy on the soapbox is saying, take another path, or block your ears. Hide your kids’ eyes. But don’t inhibit his freedom.
Then Jane posted…
I agree with [Craig] about Front Porch Forum being a valuable venue to express our opinions and ideas and I thank him for taking the time to express his feelings.
And it ended with a remarkable follow-up posting by Paul… a rare act of open-mindedness in this era of partisanship….
Sigh, still growing and learning. As I read posts and REALLY thought about it, I realized this IS a forum for ideas and opinions. Thanks for making me think again. It just caught me on a day when I was really tired, had read too many negative things in different forums, and I let those feelings spill out before thoroughly considering. Unfortunately, I wrote before fully thinking it through and realize that is exactly the kind of thing I was hoping others would not do. Hmmm, still growing and learning. Thanks, everyone.