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A Plea for Civility

I'd like to step back a moment and take a look at the purpose of this list. My
assumption all along has been that any topic related to book arts was okay to
bring forth for all to discuss. Ethical considerations in book arts are, to
me, as valid a topic as any other on this list.  With that in mind, I cannot
agree with those on the list who do not want us to discuss potentially
controversial topics such as the use of animal skins in book binding.

The problem we have experienced recently is not the subject matter. The
problem is that some individuals think it is okay to attack others on the

The key requirement in mailing list exchanges is that we must treat each other
with respect and civility. I am very sorry that someone (who has since been
removed from the list) used verbal violence against a list member when
communicating his ethical problems with the use of animal skins. This kind of
behavior is not acceptable.

The topic of what materials we use, however, is worthy of consideration and
discussion.  I do think that list members should not be censored in what we
want to talk about, provided that we do so respectfully and with civility.  I
do not think ethical and potentially controversial topics will necessarily
"lead nowhere." The ancient Greek philosophers suggested to us that the
unexamined life is not worth living. Should not our examination extend also to
our work and our art?

Bertha Rogers wrote a respectful and civil message regarding her concern with
the use of animal skins. One may disagree, or not, but her concern is worthy
of consideration. She has provided a good model of how to bring forth an
ethical concern in a timely fashion and in a respectful manner. Also useful
were postings to this list that provided alternatives to animal
skins.Unfortunately some responded to Ms. Rogers' posting by name calling
rather than by addressing her argument.

If you are not interested in the subject being discussed, you can use the
delete key. I delete plenty of stuff that comes in this list. But I am not in
favor of telling someone on this list that they cannot talk about certain
issues related to book making because they are too controversial.  I am
convinced that any topic on bookmaking, including choice of materials, should
not be censored, friends.

Thanks for considering what I had to say,

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