Topic: Overstepping The Mark
To date I’ve always found this forum to be a welcoming place where people have joined because they’ve found something they identify with Joe’s music. It’s a great place with many fans of Joe from around the world. Yet at times what I’ve found is that some forumees, quite often the ‘older heads’ have been overstepping the mark and in my view taken the discussions too far where they’ve chosen to focus too personally on Joe: speculating on his health, his workload etc and this kind of intrusion I believe is going too far. Some appear to have taken the fan worship approach to a stage where to the outsider, it actually appears quite creepy. Let’s remember it’s Joe’s music that brings us here and unites us and that’s what the focus should always be on.
I’ve met Joe on a few occasions and he seems to be a pretty grounded guy with a good support of trusted people around him. One of the great things about this forum is that Joe himself posts on this forum and I’ve always enjoyed reading his contributions and perspectives. So I don’t feel particularly confortable to read posts which speculate as to how he is, or what he should be doing. That’s his choice and his life to lead. We’re just here to enjoy his music and spread the word to others, not talk about him like he’s not here, about his own personal life. The discussions from yesterday which have now vanished from the forum do suggest to me that like myself there are others who feel certain forum members have become a little too involved, imparting advice and instruction, looking to fight too heavily for what they percieve as Joe's cause and exalting him to a status where no dissenting word can be said. I’ve seen people from this forum post virtually non-stop about Joe on social networking sites too. This I believe is taking their passion for his music too far, indeed to the stage where it becomes obsessive and intrusive for others. Whether you have seen Joe 50 times in 50 states and met him on each occasion or just logged into his forum for the first time today having heard him on the radio, we are all just the same: fans of his music. He does not need a surrogate mother or father, leading him or casting scorn on others who do not choose to be as involved as they do in all things Joe. No hierarchy of fans is needed. Where we feel we have thoughts or insights into Joe’s life these should remain personal thoughts, they should not manifest themselves into intrusion or instruction no matter how well meaning they appear to be.
While music can be a great therapy and escape from the troubles of everyday life, I feel some might be transferring some of their modern day stresses too vocally into expressions of concern or defence for Joe. If Joe needs advice or instruction, I’m sure he has enough trusted people around him that he can approach and take counsel with. So I’d generally like to say, without wishing to offend anyone, that maybe some might like to take some time to sit back and put their admiration for Joe back into perspective. Music is an entertainment, not an obsession. You risk turning people off by going in too strong. Please let’s use Joe’s forum for the common good and remember why we all joined, rather than fall out. There’s no need to make enemies of other fans of Joe, nor to make enemies of those who don’t like Joe. Let’s try to keep it positive for Joe, and for ourselves alike.
Greenose AKA Duncan