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Your Thoughts About Forum Flamewars

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*Warning: Here be dragons!*

**

> {quote:title=Swithin wrote:}{quote}That was very funny, Meingast. I mean the Genghis Khan/Julius Caesar references. But you didn't begin with a "levity alert," so I'll have to report you.

 

How's that above? Just an idea?? And like I wrote below, I ain't the brightest bunny in the forest...

My humble apologies... :( BTW, who's this Ceasar guy??

 

Anyway, hopefully that idea may make it onto a "TCM Message Board Netiquette" feature if that's what comes out of this thread??

 

*Warning: Here be dragons!* ("Here be dragons" being an ancient warning to the unwary: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Here_be_dragons)

 

*images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTqfy1qayzr9xWcClr2RM9*

**~TCM message board users being shown, by Charlton Heston, the new TCM Message Board Netiquette, written on virtual stone by the virtual hands of TCM...~

 

Edited by: RMeingast on Sep 15, 2012 11:09 AM

Trying to edit the colours...

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To answer your question, you may a play on "Veni, vidi, vici," a famous quote attributed to Julius Caesar. But I think the "here be dragons" warning should apply, not to levity, but to smugness and excessive self-importance. Those are the attributes that I find most scary and inflammatory.

 

There's a British expression I like alot: "SOHF." Stands for "Sense of Humour Failure." Too many people (in this world) suffer from that!

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*"In any case, I think you should lighten up. You seem to have set yourself up as the judge of what "adds to the discussion" and what is a "non-sequitor"* - swithin

 

Every unannounced appearance of George Brent's posterior in unrelated discussions or *2001* devolving into a discussion about "hocking a ****" are the types of "belching" posting behavior that I hold in low esteem. But I seldom post my feelings when these things happen. I just shake my head and silently "carry on." And I don't think you engage in such superflous commentary anyway.

 

Though I will apologise to you for adding images of original posters to some of my posts in certain threads. I thought the mention of a rare film like *A Message To Garcia* earned a rare visual accessory to go with it.

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I just recently had to deal with a member "chastising" me for derailing the "Smoking in the movies" thread by mentioning old 1950's ads suggesting Lysol as a ****. At the time I posted that, I didn't see it as too out of line for the thread, as smoking at one time didn't strike the population at large as being too hazardous. But I once brought up the Lysol thing to my doctor, as a curiosity, and he claimed he had seen those ads before, but couldn't imagine anybody in their right mind suggesting Lysol for that purpose. After another forum member posted a pic of one of those old ads, the following post quickly scolded me for not staying firmly "on topic". I just let it go.

 

 

People in these forums who take themselves too seriously have a problem dealing with those other in here that don't take ANYTHING seriously, and can't find a way to reconcile the difference. It can be frustrating when you wish to get a serious answer to a valid question, and the person you ask can't do anything but crack a stupid joke. I know too many people personally like that, and it's annoying as hell. I'm glad to say that there's not that many in here. And even the ones who ARE don't crack jokes that are all that stupid. Some of you are really clever.

 

 

But in my opinion, those who take themselves TOO seriously deserve what they get. When it comes to "Things To Take Seriously", one should always place themselves at the bottom of the list.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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I fear that my use of the George Brent metaphor did not have the intended result. I haven't been in that George Brent thread. I mentioned George Brent here as an allusion to his role in *Dark Victory* , where he played a doctor who has a file on Bette Davis, stamped "prognosis negative." I only mentioned the rear end thing in passing, because it seems to be such a popular thread at the moment. But what I was saying was that, despite all these flame throwings, this board will continue to flourish, and that the prognosis is definitely NOT negative.

 

I had assumed that every classic film fan would get the George Brent/prognosis negative reference without my having to spell out the name of the movie!

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Wow kyle, I am literally amazed at what you just said about the *2001* thread.

 

Why? Because that thread was locked due to its becoming extremely acrimonious; it had devolved into an argument about the Kennedy assassination, and by the time it was locked, nobody was talking much about the Stanley Kubrick film anymore.

 

You refer disapprovingly to someone mentioning a "****" ( eg, spitball) ; but that post is a perfect example of how sometimes it is appropriate to make a joke in a thread.

 

 

It was I who started the "****" remarks, by posting a clip from a Seinfeld episode in which four characters argue about whether one of them was spat upon by a baseball player. It doesn't matter, I won't go into detail. Suffice to say, it was a direct allusion to the Kennedy assassination and the controversy that ensued from it - likely because Oliver Stone's film *JFK* had just been released around the time of that Seinfeld episode.

Why did I do that? Why did I post that apparently irrelevent clip?

Because 1) as I said, the thread was no longer a civil discussion about *2001: A Space Odyssey*. In fact, it wasn't any kind of discussion about the film anymore, it had become, as I just said, a bitter and pointless argument between all kinds of people about Kennedy's death and the conspiracy theories surrounding it.

2) It looked to me like the thread was going to hell in a handcart, and that a few laughs at that point wouldn't hurt, so I posted the Seinfeld clip, which is, by the way, a hilarious parody of the Stone film, and in my opinion, would make anybody laugh out loud.

 

 

The reference, made by other posters, to a "****" was because in the Seinfeld take-off, it was not a bullet, but a spitball.

And by the time loogies were being launched, things had become pretty nasty indeed. In fact, I'm pretty sure it was partly because of that thread that Michael initiated this one.

 

 

But "to conclude" : I felt then, and I stand by it, that my posting the link to the Seinfeld episode in that thread is a great example of how at least sometimes it is completely appropriate to add "levity" to the discussion.

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Sepiatone, I read your comment about having been "chastised" by me in the Smoking in the Movies thread. My comment was actually directed to the other poster who published an image of a product that had nothing to do with smoking but he, in turn, obviously did so in response to a comment made by yourself.

 

First of all, I hope you were not offended by my comment, and, secondly, I see that you have since made another posting there that is "back on topic," so to speak, and I appreciate your followup contribution about the great Hoagy.

 

I really don't think that I made the comment because, as you wrote, I take myself too seriously. I did so because I've had a number of threads in the past that have been derailed by people joking around or bringing up different topics. I was passive at the time, saying nothing in response, and the threads were totally lost.

 

I've noticed that often if a person makes a jokey off topic reference on a thread it can lead to other jokey off topic references, to the extent that sometimes it can be difficult to get back on topic again. Having been burned in the past this way on a few occasions, this time I was quick to jump in to try to steer the thread back to its original topic. I was concerned that others might start bringing in a slew of advertisements similar to that off topic one.

 

I think there's a difference, that I hope you will understand, between this and taking oneself too seriously. I suppose, when one does this, though, it would be best to adopt a light tone in the "correction," if it is possible to do so. It's very easy, as we know, for some posters to get their backs up and I appreciate the fact that you were not one of those.

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> As for users expecting a more in-depth and serious discussion about films on the message board

("university-level course," or whatever), what's wrong with that?

If that is the general tenor of a thread, why jump in and "hijack" it??

 

RM,

Thank you.

 

I'll try to say it again, no one here is saying that humor is unwelcome here.

 

All that is being asked is to give some thought and discretion before interrupting a discussion (whether it is a serious "university level course" or just a nuts and bolts discussion or even a light hearted one) and posting a comment that is going to turn the conversation (or hijack it) away from the discussion at hand.

 

Whether it is the difference between Raisin Bran and Apple Jacks, bringing up George Brent's posterior in a discussion that has nothing to do with George Brent or his posterior or adding a politics to a thread that isn't political, it disrupts the flow of the original conversation and sends the conversation off on a tangent, often far removed from where it started and often it never returns to the original topic.

 

Some posters, like TopBilled, can be vocal about the discussion turning away from his original intent in threads he starts.

 

Is that the future of TCM City? Or is there some sort of middle ground that can be reached?

 

Again, no one is advocating that humor not be used here. What's being asked is to use some thought and discretion before interrupting a discussion with a post that has no relation to the topic at hand.

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LZ, humor is very subjective. It's hard to generalize about what it is; one needs to be careful.

 

But for me, the real conversation killer is the use of photos in a thread which is not primarily a photo thread. (Top Billed's character actor thread is, for me, an example of a photo thread where I love to see the photos). But when one is involved in an interesting discussion thread, and suddenly someone posts a whole stream of (usually relevant) photos, which pushes the text to other pages, that is a real problem for me, no matter how lovely and apt the photos/posters are.

 

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I'm beginning to think that a lot of people here must have me on "ignore".

At least as much as anyone else, and possibly more, I have posted a number of threads here, all of them ( ok, with the exception of the Apple Jacks business) carefully thought-out and carefully written, both to make sure I express exactly what I want to say, and to ensure that I do not offend or insult anyone, even inadvertently.

And yet for some reason nothing, or very little, that I write on this topic gets much of a response. You know what? I will be completely honest here: I come to these boards for many reasons - among them, yes, in-depth discussion about movies - but another reason is to interact with others, to read their opinions and to respond with my own. If I take time and thought to write something and post it here, and it gets ignored while others are answered, I feel frustrated and, well, "left out". It makes me feel as though whatever I have to say on the subject is not worth getting a reply.

(Right, how whiney can I get?)

I know this admission makes me look ridiculous, maybe kind of pathetic, but I'm being honest. If I just wrote for my own entertainment, without hoping to receive replies to what I've said, then I would not participate here at all, but would simply write in a journal ( pen and paper or online blog, whichever....)

 

Since we're talking about what is considered courteous behaviour on these forums, I thought I'd throw that one out.

 

By the way, this is not addressed specifically to lzcutter, it's just that she was the last person who posted here.

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Miss W., I think you've hit on an interesting point. I don't always respond to your posts, because I tend to agree with them and generally couldn't phrase the same issue better. I think one tends to respond to posts that one doesn't agree with. Maybe we should keep a better balance, and then the disagreements wouldn't seem so prominent!

 

 

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> I really don't think that I made the comment because, as you wrote, I take myself too seriously. I did so because I've had a number of threads in the past that have been derailed by people joking around or bringing up different topics. I was passive at the time, saying nothing in response, and the threads were totally lost.

 

> I've noticed that often if a person makes a jokey off topic reference on a thread it can lead to other jokey off topic references, to the extent that sometimes it can be difficult to get back on topic again.

 

Tom,

 

Thank you for verbalizing so well what I've been trying to say since last evening.

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Don't feel you have to justify yourself or your posting behavior to me. I am - and my opinion is - of no consequence.

 

Don't confuse my dislike of unprovoked and unrestrained "comical" behavior in here with me actually caring that it happens. I don't. I only expressed my disdain for it - as have others in this thread. But I don't expect anyone to stop making with the funny. Knock yourselves out.

 

Everyone is free to go about their business as they see fit. And I am sure they will.

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But sir -- as I've said to LZ, humor is very subjective. You say you don't like it (humor) here but that you don't care, yet you have "disdain" for it. How can one not like and have disdain for something that one doesn't care about? I find that amusing, and pleasantly so. So thank you.

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> But sir -- as I've said to LZ, humor is very subjective.

 

Again, the problem isn't with humor. The point various posters are trying to make isn't against the use of humor.

 

We're responding to the all too frequent hijacking of threads by an off topic response that is injected into a discussion that has little to no correlation to the original discussion. Frequently, this type of response is "jokey" in nature but still bears little or no relation to the actual discussion taking place.

 

Others than respond to the "jokey" off topic response with what seems like little regard for the original discussion that was taking place and is now interrupted.

 

Too often, once this happens, too often threads go off on these tangents and the original discussion is lost for good.

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I agree with you, and I think I understand your point. One just has to take care, because one person's tangent is another one's logical related segue -- that's the way people communicate. There is too much potential for bullying, if we take this too far and try to control the conversation. If someone posted a thread about the 1949 Little Women, and I responded that I preferred the 1933 version, there would be someone who would say, "Stick to the subject, which is the 1949 version!" You may think I'm exaggerating, but it would happen.

 

But I meant what I wrote about the photos. I really do feel that conversations get hijacked when (even related) photos are added, and then it becomes a sort of art show, and the discussion is lost.

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*"You say you don't like it (humor) here..."* - swithin

 

C'mon. No one has said that humor has no place here.

I said "unprovoked and unrestrained" in regard to the humor. If I wasn't clear, let me be more explicit.

 

One-liners about GB's butt started appearing across the Forums in multiple threads which prompted responses in kind (as TomJH pointed out). The same goes for other jokes that take on a life of their own and spread like an epidemic throughout the Forums.

 

It is how this humor spreads into other threads, other discussions or becomes the raison d'etre for some persons' activity here that I dislike seeing. Like the member whose major contributions here are mostly rants against cable systems and corporations.

 

*"How can one not like and have disdain for something that one doesn't care about?"*

 

It's not caring enough to make an issue of it. Only once have I called anyone out on it. It's like the neighbor's car alarm that goes off in the middle of the night. One might not like it but what are ya gonna do? Get upset and confront the neighbor or roll over and go back to bed?

 

Share Seinfeld stories, critique JFK conspiracy theories, compare the fiber content of breakfast cereals all you want. Whatever floats your boat. But reading or participating in such conversations are not why some of us come here. Or, dare I say, why the Forums were created in the first place.

 

Like I said before, everyone is free to go about their business. And I am going back to being silent on the subject.

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Exactly. I tend to treat these threads as if they were real-life conversations at a party, which tend to go off on many different tangents. To me, these boards are for on-line socializing among people who like classic movies. Serious discussions about films and film history are part of the socializing, but certainly not all of it....... The point that a serious discussion about a particular topic should not be interrupted by "open mic night at the comedy club" is well-taken. If I am one of the violators, I will try not to do that any more. But occasional non-film-related discussions, and humor, do, I believe, have their place on these boards.........Incidentally, sometimes the very people who are involved in a serious discussion on a thread turn the conversation in a joking direction.

 

Edited by: finance on Sep 15, 2012 4:03 PM

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> {quote:title=Swithin wrote:}{quote}To answer your question, you may a play on "Veni, vidi, vici," a famous quote attributed to Julius Caesar. But I think the "here be dragons" warning should apply, not to levity, but to smugness and excessive self-importance. Those are the attributes that I find most scary and inflammatory.

>

> There's a British expression I like alot: "SOHF." Stands for "Sense of Humour Failure." Too many people (in this world) suffer from that!

>

 

Thanks for the explanation re: the Caesar quote...

And I do agree with you about humour.

But there are different styles of humour, as I'm sure you know.

Humour can be entirely innocent and meant to make people feel better, but it can also be used as a weapon to express ridicule and hatred. I think we need more of the feel-good kind and less of the make certain targets feel-bad kind...

 

My use of "Here be dragons," followed by my lame attempt at humour, was just an example of what users could do in future. You could use any warning you wanted to instead.

I just related it to when people use the word "spoilers" to warn readers of what is to follow.

It could apply to humorous asides and photos being posted in any thread...

It was just a suggestion...

 

 

As for smugness, well, what can you do? For people to actually take the time to sit at a computer, log in to the message board, and compose comments, etc., takes some effort and people have to have some sort of outgoing ego to want to post comments for others to read.

If you were referring to me, I'm sorry if I came across as being smug?

In person, I'm as quiet as a church mouse and about as unsmug as can be.

In fact, I live a very humble life.

But I understand what you mean. Some users come across as being like Hugh Laurie's character Dr. Gregory House. Meaning they don't suffer fool's gladly.

Anyway, everybody on the message board is as different as snowflakes.

Different personal histories, different educational backgrounds, different personalities, different senses of humour, different social skills, etc.

Everybody here is different, so all we can do really is to follow the Golden Rule and have respect for others on the message board.

I thought a Netiquette for this message board would be a good idea.

I don't care who writes it.

Lzcutter, Miss Wonderly, TCMAdmin, etc...

Just so long as we all have something to follow that's maybe a bit more specific than the Code of Conduct... I copied an example in another post below of an excellent Message Board Netiquette.

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> {quote:title=misswonderly wrote:}{quote}I'm beginning to think that a lot of people here must have me on "ignore".

>

> And yet for some reason nothing, or very little, that I write on this topic gets much of a response. You know what? I will be completely honest here: I come to these boards for many reasons - among them, yes, in-depth discussion about movies - but another reason is to interact with others, to read their opinions and to respond with my own. If I take time and thought to write something and post it here, and it gets ignored while others are answered, I feel frustrated and, well, "left out". It makes me feel as though whatever I have to say on the subject is not worth getting a reply.

>

I read every word you write Miss Wonderly. As another user wrote below, I don't disagree with much of what you write so I don't respond. That's not "ignoring you."

You don't need to explain yourself. We're just trying to figure out how to eliminate as much as possible the negativity on the message board that leads to nastiness.

You have any suggestions about posting photos or humorous asides so that others don't get annoyed/offended?

I suggested using some kind of "warning alert."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

> {quote:title=misswonderly wrote:}{quote}

> I know this admission makes me look ridiculous, maybe kind of pathetic, but I'm being honest.

>

 

No neither ridiculous nor pathetic. Those words are reserved for me.

How ridiculous and pathetic can one be to leave and then come back, change one's mind and opinions so much (but always for the right, of course), and do what one said one would never do.

(See you Americans, this is Canadians for y'all - self-deprecating; humble with just a dab of smugness mixed in - no offence Swithin, just being silly; and striving to be polite and not offend nobody...)

 

For example, I can't see Kate Middleton ever becoming Queen of Canada.

We're too modest up in the Great White North. Can you imagine a famous Canadian, like Raymond Massey, Glenn Ford, Leslie Nielsen, William Shatner, Pamela Anderson (ok, forget her), etc., being caught topless by paparazzi? I didn't think so...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

> {quote:title=misswonderly wrote:}{quote}

>

> By the way, this is not addressed specifically to lzcutter, it's just that she was the last person who posted here.

 

 

*Warning: You are about to experience uncontrollable laughter* (talk about smug - no offence Swithin, just being silly and poking fun at myself)

 

I hope after I've crossed the desert and arrived at Lzcutter's Oasis to slake my thirst for movie information, the well water won't have been poisoned??? :)

 

Edited by: RMeingast on Sep 15, 2012 5:02 PM

Trying to cross my i's and dot my t's here...

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I think I agree with some of what everyone of the recent posters has said. But I would like someone (other than myself -- I've done it already) to address the way a slew of photographs can derail a conversation. It happens with some regularity, and I think it has become a problem for me, because a good conversation gets sidetracked by the art show, even when the photos are meant to illustrate the topic.

 

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> {quote:title=hlywdkjk wrote: ( addressing misswonderly) :

> }{quote}Don't feel you have to justify yourself or your posting behavior to me. I am - and my opinion is - of no consequence.

>

> Don't confuse my dislike of unprovoked and unrestrained "comical" behavior in here with me actually caring that it happens. I don't. I only expressed my disdain for it - as have others in this thread. But I don't expect anyone to stop making with the funny. Knock yourselves out.

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> Everyone is free to go about their business as they see fit. And I am sure they will.

>

Well, if that isn't a dismissive post, I don't know what is. Polite, but dismissive.

 

I just want to address your above remarks with the following caveat: although we are clearly very different in our interests and comment-style on these boards, I've always respected your "voice" here.

But I am surprised and yes, offended ( and it takes a lot to offend me) that the post I took some time to write, carefully explaining the thought behind posting the Seinfeld/"****" episode, was more or less disregarded by you with a "hey, don't bother explaining it all to me. I know what I read.." type of attitude.

Kind of felt like when the teacher ( or parent) goes "I don't care who did it, I just want it fixed."

 

As I said before, and surely you agree with me ( and the Board Moderator himself, for that matter), that the *2001: A Space Odyssey* thread had descended into name-calling and bad feeling all around, and was most certainly no longer a discussion about the film.

I have little opinion about the Kennedy assassination one way or the other. ( And God forbid we get into that again !)

But - and I'm reiterating this from my earlier post about it - I posted the link to the Seinfeld episode because I thought it was genuinely funny, it was related to the Kennedy discussion, but without taking a "side" myself, and I truly thought it was time for a comedy break.

It was not showing off or deliberately interruping the thread, or whatever you thought.

 

 

If you had been following that thread, I'm sure you would know what I mean.

 

 

I am sorry that you seem to regard me as some obstreperous kid who just wants to yank the grownups' chains.

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Sep 15, 2012 5:37 PM

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> {quote:title=darkblue wrote:}{quote}

> > I think I'll stick around after all... I'm no Gil Carter, maybe only an Art Croft... But I think I better stick around...

>

>

>

>

> You know, I was a little worried, given the way many things are taken lately, that you might not recognize the smile behind my tease. That's why I explained that I don't use smileys.

>

>

>

>

>

> I'm glad you responded so good naturedly, and I'm glad you're still here.

>

 

 

No problems... Probably a better reference for me might be Randle McMurphy or Chief Bromden...

But we need to be careful so that we all don't become like Nurse Ratched.

Some balance somehow so that McMurphys on the message board can do their thing without other users not getting so upset so that they don't turn into Nurse Ratcheds.

Guess the Golden Rule thang ain't such a bad idea after all...

 

As for Gil Carter and Art Croft, I was upset about what happened to another user.

But that's flotsam and jetsam gone the lagan, if you get my drift...

 

Funny how I can be so loyal to certain users I've never even met in person...

Oh well...

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> If someone posted a thread about the 1949 Little Women, and I responded that I preferred the 1933 version, there would be someone who would say, "Stick to the subject, which is the 1949 version!" You may think I'm exaggerating, but it would happen.

 

Swithin,

 

It very well could happen (and has happened, I'm sad to say, in the past). The difference is that you would be at least be responding to the original topic ( *Little Women* ) which is different from injecting a post about cereal, actors' posteriors or rock and roll songs to a topic about *Little Women* when the conversation taking place isn't about those things.

 

Edited by: lzcutter on Sep 15, 2012 2:48 PM

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I see your point. There's a thread around -- I've gone into it a couple of times -- called The Art of Alfred Hitchcock. I fled -- each time I've gone there, it seemed to be a bunch of posters talking about their family problems, personal issues, little to do with Hitchcock, at least during my chance encounters there. That is frustrating, when you have such a great subject.

 

 

 

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