Good exercise of free speech, Mark. Responsible, reasonable statement of opinion. No surprise that I agree with you mostly since we both have journalism backgrounds.
First, I have to acknowledge what I see as improvement in overall moderating. Of course, it's a thankless job and a lot of people contribute a lot of work to keep good order here. Overall, I've never seen a better or more useful forum. A year ago I would have described the "moderator" as someone who thought this should be a sort of proper English gentleman's club (no offense intended to English or gentleman's clubs). "Damn Yankee" would probably pass muster then, but certainly not "damn Canon." It seems not to be that touchy now, and thankfully a bit more realistic in what is a rough-and-tumble world. My only real niggling complaint is there seems to exist a small clique of somehow privileged members who think a bit more of themselves than warranted while acting like the mass of posters are common rabble. But, that's my perhaps irrational perspective. Who knows!
What I've accepted is this place is kind of like a bar, let's say Cheers (although they don't know most of our names!). Let's call our bar the Lens Half Full. The people who run the bar want to make a few bucks while providing a place for people to interact with good order. There is a bouncer, and the bartender/owner keeps a shotgun behind the bar, just in case. We can stop in after work, talk about photo stuff, share some experiences, tell some stories, maybe learn how other people get along in the world of picture making -- and go home better folks for it. See you same time tomorrow at Lens Half Full.
Some folks may not understand what "good order" means. Sometimes a bouncer oversteps a bit. _hit, as they say, happens. Life is not perfect. We learn. We go on.
The comedian Ron White tells a wonderful story of being arrested in New York for being "drunk in public." Basically, he went into a bar wearing a hat. The bouncer told him to take it off as they did not allow hats. Ridiculous rule, but it's their bar. You want to be there you take your hat off. Ron puts his hat back on, and they throw him out.
Anyway, yesterday's purple thread was remarkable, to me, only in that so many people fed into his nonsense. It doesn't take long to spot an attention whore. When you do, you ignore him. That guy was not looking for advice, help or anything else useful. He wanted nothing but for people to pay attention to him. When you walk down a city street and see a guy who hasn't bathed in weeks wearing a torn, dirty shirt and waving his arms in the air warning that Napoleon has returned to get him, you ignore him. If necessary, you turn around and walk the other way. You do not engage him in a conversation about the Napoleonic Wars or the island of Saint Helena. (No offense meant to France or the French people. Vive la France!)
One of the things I most enjoy about free speech is that people have absolute freedom to embarrass themselves, show how dumb they are, whatever. We listeners have an equal right to make a judgement about whatever they say. The real crux of wisdom is how we react to what is said.
Yesterday we had a thread worth ignoring. Today, we have one worth participating in.