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Author Topic: Really really late-blooming concertizing??  (Read 510 times)
kategilpin
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« on: November 02, 2017, 12:45:13 AM »

Started playing at 3, played to 20. Got distracted by side issues you don't even want to know about. Once went for 20 years without touching the keyboard. Finally came to my senses, and over the past ten years, have been working more at it than ever before. I'm now giving occasional local recitals. (And even getting paid for it! Though not a lot.) I'd be interested in your thoughts about this whole situation. One thing I notice is that high compliments make me nervous, because, you know, that's not who I am, that's who I was supposed to be before I turned 15 or so and screwed it all up. So--I turned 80 in August, and am currently doing a program consisting of all Impressionism: Suite Bergamasque, Valses Nobles et Sentimentales, Children's Corner. I like it, and apparently so do my audiences. What should I, in my right mind, be imagining as my pianistic future, assuming I'm around for at least the next ten years?
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Derek
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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2017, 01:30:15 AM »

No offense, but I would be willing to bet an enormous amount of money that you're not an 80 year old person. No 80 year old gives a flying crap about the future in an angsty way. Maybe I'm wrong, but one of my hobbies is trying to sniff out trolls on forums. It's probably a futile practice but it is one of many reasons I left this site years ago, too much of that nonsense here.
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lostinidlewonder
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« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2017, 10:15:19 AM »

As it is inspiration to see a young child play piano so too is it to see a senior play.
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« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2017, 11:19:53 AM »

Derek
No offense, but if you're not considered a senior pianist, you cannot possibly understand that someone older could have any aspirations about playing the piano, and therefore would sniff out a  troll that doesn't exist.    I am in my 60s, a returning adult student, and have aspirations that would certainly  make you laugh, and therefore will not be shared publicly.  

You can still dream and wonder regardless of your age: I hope I never admit that I am too old to do either one. Angst is not limited to the young.

Kategilpin, my hat is off to you!  Keep trucking and see what happens.   I hope you keep us posted, as I find you inspirational 
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Derek
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« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2017, 12:24:35 PM »

I have absolutely no problem with elderly folks playing piano, giving recitals, or otherwise, and didn't indicate anything of the sort.

However, my parents are 80 years old (so I'm intimately familiar with people from this very generation), and they would not word things this way in this or any other universe. It sounds like a teenager going: "What will people think of me? What should I do? Please help define me!" No 80 year old behaves like this. No 80 year old gets nervous like a young person does who is trying to fit in socially or gain admiration or what not. They don't care at all about that stuff. They're "over it."

This is too easy. Most of the time trolls are a little bit more careful with how ridiculous their posts are.

Also everybody who's been to this site long enough know there are a huge pile of fake handles, I remember it happening on nearly a daily basis back when I was posting a lot. Fake audition posts, fake posts everywhere. It's annoying.
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Derek
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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2017, 12:40:00 AM »

I just googled you and I think I found you kate. I want to offer my sincere apologies for my response to your post. I have not been well this week. If anything, please take it as a compliment as the way you wrote reminds me of a young, excited and energetic person. If you're still like that at 80 you are a blessed person.

Please also don't take my post as representative of this site overall.
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stephenv
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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2017, 02:13:03 AM »

I have three words for ya...Im nearing 70 and I say   GO FOR IT!!   
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kategilpin
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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2017, 03:13:29 AM »

Wow, Derek, I certainly hope you're feeling better this week. Have to say, though, that being ill doesn't excuse your outrageous post to me. Yes, I am 80, yes, my post was accurate, and if you think stage fright magically disappears at a certain age, have another look at, oh, say, Horowitz, who famously quit concertizing altogether mid-or-later career precisely because of stage fright.

Since I entered my original post above, I've given three recitals that were very well received, but I certainly didn't approach them with the idea that, oh, well, I'm 80, what could it possibly matter how well I play? I did have some minor anxiety--I take the Beta blocker, which is a huge boon--and why should I not? I want to give my audience the best experience I can.

I hope you're more en rapport with your parents than you were with me.

As for my not sounding like an 80-year-old, what the hell do you think an 80-year-old should sound like? We're not all doddering and drooling, we have not all lost our energy or curiosity, and yes, we're often still eager to make whatever contributions we can to this difficult world. And just FYI, aside from being intelligent, I'd say my sense of humor is what's seen me through. I suggest you try that. More--my post was intended as a genuine question as to what plans I might be able to make for performing at this point. You seem to have missed that.

Thanks to other folks who responded encouragingly!
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lostinidlewonder
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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2017, 03:22:34 AM »

In Derek's defense there have been fake posters and people who joke around in the past on here so many of us long time members are a bit skeptical when people describe wonderous stories. There have been a few people pretending to be seniors and one in particular who posted audio files of their playing, I can't remmeber who it was a few years ago, maybe some other members will remmeber.

Certainly you should inspire people to play and use your age as a motivator. If you can do it at your age why are people being so lazy and unmotivated when they are many years younger? Surely your body isn't as young as it used to be, you get aches and pains a lot easier than when you were younger but you push past that and do what you love. Performing is exhausting work yet you still do it. The music itself is wonderful but you as a person can motivate people a great deal, you should not feel shy and talk about your experience with piano a lot more in your concerts, it will give it a personal touch and inspire others.
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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2017, 03:24:44 AM »

Damn...she got fire~!


I don't have anything helpful to add but I'm just going add that you're inspiring. I'm bout 60 years younger and I'm always putting myself down (though my aspirations aren't as big as yours), so seeing posts like yours are really helpful!
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kategilpin
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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2017, 03:41:18 AM »

Dear Lostin--I've been online long enough to know about trolls of various kinds. I am sorry to see that it is apparently so easy to assume in this of all venues that if you play the piano at 80 you must be lying. My primary interest in playing has nothing to do with my age--it has everything to do with the music, and also, to a large extent, to the wish to try to regain some of the ground I lost by being a very confused teenager on her way to becoming a flaming alcoholic. (You can't play Bach on two drinks, as you all probably already know.) I got sober many many years ago, but was taken up with my recovery, as well as with other interests (including writing), not to mention the enormous loss of self-esteem I'd suffered both from my very difficult mother (who certainly didn't want to see me succeed at anything) and from the drinking years. It took me a looooong time to get back to the piano. And I simply want to do what I can at this point.

About my poor ravaged bod--yes, there's certainly that. I have lots of osteoarthritis. I have fake knees, hardware in my neck and eight fused vertebrae, a deformed right thumb (!) and I have to be sure to do my yoga side planks if I want to be able to sit at the piano long enough to practice decently without being derailed by acute pain in my scoliosis.

As for inspiration . . . I'm more interested in inspiring people with wonderful music than with the fact that I'm a dog standing on its hind legs, er, I mean, an 80-year-old playing piano. I will tell you I do notice my tempos (spare me tempi) are a hair slower than they were when I was 18. But if you want to know the truth, my memorization is still great, which is a good thing because I'm a terrible sight-reader. Came from my first teacher deciding--I was four--that I was too young to learn to read, therefore she'd play me the first several measures, and I'd play it back. I also get annoyed at people who are primarily impressed with my playing from memory. Guys--again, I'm not trying to show off my memory, ferchrissakes, I'm trying to deliver the music.

I think one thing that goes on is that most people are NOT yet 80, and have the classic stereotypical views that old people are deaf, blind, and in the last throes of dementia. Just. Not. So. Maybe if we get all that cleared up, I'll be able to post here occasionally without being viewed either as a fake or a freak.
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lostinidlewonder
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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2017, 03:55:15 AM »

Dear Lostin--I've been online long enough to know about trolls of various kinds.
Yes but I meant specifically for this forum, over the past 15 years or so we have had our fair share of fakers, probably more so than other places.

I am sorry to see that it is apparently so easy to assume in this of all venues that if you play the piano at 80 you must be lying.
It is just that we have had a pattern of people pretending to be older than they really are here, that is why Derek was at first suspicious.

My primary interest in playing has nothing to do with my age--it has everything to do with the music, and also, to a large extent, to the wish to try to regain some of the ground I lost by being a very confused teenager on her way to becoming a flaming alcoholic.
I feel, being a concert performer myself, that I find people want to know who the performer is as well as the music itself. There is a triangle of performance as Yo-Yo Ma put it: The performer, the music and the composer. We should aim to complete that when we are on stage in whatever way we see fit. Certainly I think speaking about yourself is important it gives you performance personality rather than just a recital.

About my poor ravaged bod--yes, there's certainly that. I have lots of osteoarthritis. I have fake knees, hardware in my neck and eight fused vertebrae, a deformed right thumb (!) and I have to be sure to do my yoga side planks if I want to be able to sit at the piano long enough to practice decently without being derailed by acute pain in my scoliosis.
If I was at your concert and you talked about these experiences you would have me hook line and sinker interested in anything you had to play. Life struggles is just an amazing thing to share with others, people will see you as human, they will relate to you a lot closer and listen to the music you produce with keen ears. It is not trying to gain sympathy I'm sure that is something you certainly don't want, but to reveal your inperfection to people and how you strive to perfom is very interesting.

As for inspiration . . . I'm more interested in inspiring people with wonderful music than with the fact that I'm a dog standing on its hind legs, er, I mean, an 80-year-old playing piano.
Sure don't make your age the focal point but I think it gives your performance a nice touch. I think people are interested in your experience as a senior, you can demystify many ideas people may have about it all and even teach a lot more though it.

I think one thing that goes on is that most people are NOT yet 80, and have the classic stereotypical views that old people are deaf, blind, and in the last throes of dementia. Just. Not. So. Maybe if we get all that cleared up, I'll be able to post here occasionally without being viewed either as a fake or a freak.
Right and it is why I think you should use your performances as a platform for that education also!
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kategilpin
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2017, 09:28:49 PM »

Lostin--good points, and I am happy to have them, thanks! All in all, this has been a useful exchange, in more than one way. I am once more pleased to know that I don't speak like a fuddy-duddy, and I'm taking your suggestions to give a little bio material to my audiences. (I already have a bio that normally gets printed out on the back of my head shot or program by the, mostly, activity directors in the upscale senior residences I've been playing to. I'll think more about verbalizing some of that when I'm performing. I suppose the best way to do it would be in some (please, not too long, I drone on forever by nature) introductory remarks before I begin to play.

Also, thinking about it, I owe a thank-you to Derek for being so convinced I must be younger than I am. Heh.
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kategilpin
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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2017, 09:32:36 PM »

Oh, and dogperson, thank you! What a lovely post! (I'm both a dog and cat person, which is one more really good reason to get up in the mornings.)
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Derek
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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2017, 09:38:38 PM »

This IS a strange website. There are a handful of people who pop in for a few questions who don't become a part of the community. Then there are a handful of regulars who have been here for years. There's a subset of those regulars who are intensely abrasive people (I am emphatically NOT one of them). I actually honestly wonder if there's at least one person who has spent the last 10 years creating new handles, causing trouble and so forth who is a failed concert pianist who is intensely bitter at themselves and their life and they deal with this pain by adrenalizing themselves and others on a forum.

I have been a member of two other large non-piano related forums since 2008 as well and I can say this sort of activity is *extremely* rare there. There's definitely something amiss here.

Apologies again kategilpin, but beware, actual real trolls DO lurk here. It's a weird place.

I didn't miss the point of your post, I actually REJOINED this site after a several years long respite from it, and I was sort of dreading seeing the troll activity and felt paranoid about every post I read.

Now that I've had this particular experience I find I don't particularly care anymore though.
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Derek
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« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2017, 09:45:08 PM »

Lostin--good points, and I am happy to have them, thanks! All in all, this has been a useful exchange, in more than one way. I am once more pleased to know that I don't speak like a fuddy-duddy, and I'm taking your suggestions to give a little bio material to my audiences. (I already have a bio that normally gets printed out on the back of my head shot or program by the, mostly, activity directors in the upscale senior residences I've been playing to. I'll think more about verbalizing some of that when I'm performing. I suppose the best way to do it would be in some (please, not too long, I drone on forever by nature) introductory remarks before I begin to play.

Also, thinking about it, I owe a thank-you to Derek for being so convinced I must be younger than I am. Heh.

No offense, but no 80 year old would say "heh." They wouldn't be spending enough time on internet forums to realize this is a common word to use.  Tongue

That said, I did find a kate gilpin who plays classical piano who lives in CA who appears as though they may be 80, which is why I'm reluctant to declare with 100% confidence that you are not who you say you are. But a troll could protect themselves by finding a real person first, it occurred to me.

I do wish I knew the actual truth. One time a fake recording was posted here, and I could tell IMMEDIATELY it was a digital piano. I actually travelled 45 minutes (this was about 5 or 6 years ago) to a piano shop that had the digital piano I was certain I was hearing to compare the recording. Sadly, while I did correctly identify the piece as being a digital piano recording, it wasn't a match.

If only I could hire Sherlock Holmes to out the troll, this would be a better forum.

Actually I think I'll just send you a message on linkedin and ask if you are a member of pianostreet, that'll clear this up. If you would accept my invitation and confirm it's you, it'll teach me a valuable lesson about paranoia on forums. I'd actually really appreciate it! Sorry again.
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kategilpin
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« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2017, 10:10:00 PM »

Oh, ferchrissakes, Derek, get a grip. I think I may be on Linked In, but I never use it. Jesus, I don't know why I should have any interest in supporting this craziness, but try me on Facebook. Better yet, go have a look at my website, http:www.wordsintoprint.com, left over from my years as a text editor. BTW, there are, these days, apparently four Kate Gilpins in the world: me, somebody farther east in the U.S., somebody in, is it New Zealand or Australia, and maybe somebody in the UK. Can't recall. Don't TELL me what an 80-year-old thinks or sounds like. It's ludicrous. You should be apologizing, not persisting. Or are you just trying to ensure I'll never come back to Piano Street?
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Derek
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« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2017, 10:11:00 PM »

Oh, ferchrissakes, Derek, get a grip. I think I may be on Linked In, but I never use it. Jesus, I don't know why I should have any interest in supporting this craziness, but try me on Facebook. Better yet, go have a look at my website, http:www.wordsintoprint.com, left over from my years as a text editor. BTW, there are, these days, apparently four Kate Gilpins in the world: me, somebody farther east in the U.S., somebody in, is it New Zealand or Australia, and maybe somebody in the UK. Can't recall. Don't TELL me what an 80-year-old thinks or sounds like. It's ludicrous. You should be apologizing, not persisting.

I AM apologizing, see my linkedin message. (and numerous apologies in this thread) I'm sincerely sorry if I offended you. Most 80 year olds wouldn't hesitate to accept an apology and would appreciate a younger person being humble.  Smiley
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kategilpin
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« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2017, 10:12:13 PM »

Too little, too late. And do tell us more about how humble you are.  Grin
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Derek
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« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2017, 10:13:35 PM »

Too little, too late. And do tell us more about how humble you are.  Grin
You have an opportunity to do a service to this site. There are more than just me who have been affected by the negative atmosphere here. Karli/Mayla, another regular, who is now a friend on Facebook, went so far off the rails she deleted all her posts. It's really really sad. I can't say for sure if it was the atmosphere here that drove her to do that, but I'm sure it didn't help.

so please accept my apology and my linkedin invitation, to help form a coalition of REAL PEOPLE who are friends outside this site, to ostracize and isolate the troll.

in fact...... I think I'm going to start asking more people to connect on facebook for that very purpose.
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mjames
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« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2017, 10:15:49 PM »

...this is beautiful, I love it when people fight. keep going I'm almost there.
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« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2017, 10:16:24 PM »

I'm not fighting with anybody, I'm trying to improve an online community. A real person would understand what I'm trying to do and accept my apology and help out. See my post in PF Website.
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kategilpin
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« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2017, 10:19:13 PM »

Yes, I don't like fights, either. One last comment, and then I'm out of here for another five  years or so, with thanks to the folks who have been helpful and encouraging: Derek, your comments are a textbook demonstration of classic ageism. It's every bit as bigoted as racism and sexism.
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« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2017, 10:38:51 PM »

I have some difficulty in believing what I'm reading. If people can't come on here and post when they differ from a perceived internet "norm" without being accused of being a troll (just because there have been a few historic outbreaks of trolling / impersonation) then it doesn't say a lot for people's trust. And this hypothetical troll has gone to all the trouble of adopting a persona which matches a linkedin profile? Well.. it could be the case, just it's not very likely and moving into conspiracy theory territory, and it's not like kate has made any extravagant requests or posted anything malevolent. I know the world's messed up, but what happened to thinking the best of people and taking things at face value?

And, to kate, if you can play at your age, why not? And still better if you are playing to people in senior residences, what a wonderful example to them that life can still be full of riches.
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« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2017, 10:48:14 PM »

No offense, but no 80 year old would say "heh." They wouldn't be spending enough time on internet forums to realize this is a common word to use.  Tongue

That said, I did find a kate gilpin who plays classical piano who lives in CA who appears as though they may be 80, which is why I'm reluctant to declare with 100% confidence that you are not who you say you are. But a troll could protect themselves by finding a real person first, it occurred to me.

I do wish I knew the actual truth ....


This is quite a pitiful excuse for an  apology!  We have one other forum member here who sees a troll in almost every new post;  you can join that conspiracy theory club but I just wish you would keep quiet when you come up with these wild assertions so you do not run off a new forum member who might  have made a contribution to this forum.  Kate is one of those that  I would've appreciated having around here.  

 
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Derek
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« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2017, 01:28:35 AM »

Ageism would be if I felt that an older individual should not be playing piano. Ageism is not mischaracterizing somebody as younger or older than they are. My father plays piano and will be turning 79 this year. He's my favorite person in the world. Accusing me of ageism is the most ridiculous thing you can possibly imagine.

This site has a history, and an unfortunate history. It turns me off. It turns other people off. If we could get rid of the unfortunate individuals who have caused these incidents it would be a much better place.

It's possible for forums to be positive and uplifting places, I've seen it happen. It's just like corporations. Many of them have horrible, cynical cultures, some have positive and uplifting cultures. It takes work. It would take the members who value pianostreet to work together to connect outside of pianostreet and it would take nils (if he's still running things?) to help improve its features so it is more difficult for someone to abuse the community.

Kate can really help out here by accepting my invitation on linkedin and confirming who she is, it'll be a kind gesture to somebody who made an honest mistake on an internet forum. I really find it hard to believe a real woman who has seen the same amount of life wouldn't understand that I did in fact apologize, did in fact make a mistake and do earnestly wish to help improve this website. It DOES have a history, and it will take work to make it better, and we can all start by becoming friends outside of pianostreet.

I'm a longstanding member of the site and have contributed nothing but positive things, primarily in the form of improvisations and an index in the improvisations forum. When I've gotten into fights its generally about postmodernism in music, which let's face it, does suck. Haha. Since I've been here so long, and my life was literally transformed by being here (and meeting Ted), I value the place.

I would really appreciate help in improving this community. I am sorry again for offending.
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Derek
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« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2017, 01:55:54 AM »



This is quite a pitiful excuse for an  apology!  We have one other forum member here who sees a troll in almost every new post;  you can join that conspiracy theory club but I just wish you would keep quiet when you come up with these wild assertions so you do not run off a new forum member who might  have made a contribution to this forum.  Kate is one of those that  I would've appreciated having around here.  

 

I would like her around too, if she is really as new as she is to this site, she should recognize there's a history here and somebody (me) made a mistake. And further, she will recognize an opportunity to help improve this website. If she refuses (and I wouldn't blame her), well, that doesn't mean the rest of us can't improve the website of course, it just won't start with her it'll start with somebody else.
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« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2017, 02:27:10 AM »

Update: spoke with kate on FB. I apologized again. Reaally really sorry everybody. I am not ageist, I am paranoid, and particularly so of this website for some reason.

What's really curious to me is I haven't had anything like this situation on other websites. What is further curious is I've seen a good friend basically melt down and leave this site. What makes this site different?

I can't put my finger on it. Oh well...maybe I shouldn't be here either.
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« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2017, 05:09:00 AM »

I honestly don't know how I can single-handedly raise the level of discourse on Piano Street. (I'm not brand-new, I originally registered a few years back, actually, and didn't get much response, though this has been my first experience on the site of being accused of being fictional. :-) )

I think what's required to maintain a high standard of civility is what was used as a bylaw in another online community I've belonged to for almost 15 years: "Assume good will." Now, of course, when you do that, you do run the risk of being very occasionally disappointed. But that's SO much better than distrusting as the default, in which case you view the entire world as alien, and that's guaranteed to make your life a lot less happy.

I also recommend not making any more assumptions about people you don't (yet) know than you can help. That's the definition of bigotry, and, like making  your standard view of the world one of mistrust, it's YOUR life that becomes significantly less pleasant, and even less meaningful. IMO. So. I may come here from time to time. Of course, I do prefer to spend my online time with people who are using the internet to practice their skills in openmindedness and the wish to be more connected with the rest of us sharing the planet.
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« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2017, 02:00:41 PM »

It would seem you'd rather pontificate about bigotry rather than accept my apology. Please know this is unique to this website and its history, and my own memory of it. I have zero of these problems elsewhere. I recognize this particular problem was my fault and I apologized I don't know how many times for this honest mistake.

I also challenge the notion that I said anything bigoted. Being bigoted in this instance would have been declaring that old people shouldn't be playing piano. I said nothing of the sort. That you can't recognize the difference is its own kind of bigotry.

Definition of Bigot: ":a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially :one who regards or treats the members of a group (such as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance"

What I did: I mischaracterized you as younger, from your words.

As I apologized, I am not obstinately nor intolerantly devoted to my opinions in this matter.

And it is already clear I have no ill opinions of an older person playing the piano. That was never once a part of what I said.

Therefore, I am not a bigot.
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