I Vote for eliminating the BBQ Pit message board

The Straight Board Message Board, ideally, exists to promote the elimination of ignorance and the exaltation of Unca Cece. I don’t see how the BBQ Pit contributes to either goal–it’s would be like the Discovery Channel carrying the Jerry Springer show.

It might be tolerable if the petty disputes were contained in the BBQ Pit area, but fairly regularly now we’re getting battling people spilling over into the other forums, and it’s getting tiresome.

The earlier addition of the Great Debates forum was a good idea. The elimination of the BBQ Pit is an idea whose time has come.

Maybe some nastiness spills out into other forums, but at least it’s generally contained in the Pit. Eliminating the Pit won’t eliminate the scream-fests and name calling; they’ll just move out into the other forums full-time.

I agree with beatle. If you don’t like the Pit, then just don’t go there.

I personally agree with the OP. I think the BBQ pit reflects badly on the rest of the (forums? fora?)

I don’t see how that would cause fights starting in another area. All the moderator has to do is say “I’m closing this thread because it’s degenerating, please take your fights somewhere else.”

La franchise ne consiste pas à dire tout ce que l’on pense, mais à penser tout ce que l’on dit.
H. de Livry

Are you people reading the same Pit I am?

Relatively few of the total threads are personal attacks on board members. Most of them are people bitching about this and that. Kind of like MPSIMS without the gratuitous hugs.

People need to bitch the same way people need to share mundane pointless stuff. Remove the pit and you’ll see people bitching in one of the other forums. Is that what you guys want?

Skip the Pit if you are oh-so-offended.

Back off, man. I’m a scientist.

I gotta go on record as disagreeing here. Whitetho, I’m sorry I don’t recognize you, although from your profile you’re obviously an old reg from the old board, like I am.

The existence of the Pit was, IMHO, a stroke of genius on whoever created it (Jenny?). When things start to get nasty someplace else, the Pit allows a place to go and duke it out, without bogging down everything else. It’s one thing to continue a reasoned and civil disagreement in a non-Pit forum, but when the profanity, vulgarity, and cheap shots start coming, it’s nice to have some place to send the participants to. And, as oft-repeated, if you don’t like it, don’t go there.

The Pit helps keep things semi-civil elsewhere; that’s a benefit all the way around.


Jeez, I’m suffering from a series of senior moments in forgetting to complete thoughts in my posts this morning.

The point of my reference to the old board is: remember when we DIDN’T have a place like the Pit to go? Thread after thread degenerated into a flame war. If it wasn’t The George and Bob Show, it was Cyb or worse (hmm, was there worse than Cyb?) going at it. That sort of thing just doesn’t happen over here, except in the Pit.

“Who Is Mr. Ruda Duda?”

I’m not offended by the BBQ pit, I just think it’s a bad idea. The description says “If you must flame, do it here.” Why give people an area to hurl insults at each other?

If that’s not what people use the BBQ pit for, then those messages can be put in MPSIMS.

I know people say “we need the pit because people will hurl insults anyway.” I disagree. The moderators can oversee threads as they do now, and if someone becomes abusive, you can give them a warning or cancel their user. I don’t see how it’s any more difficult to say “Stop those insults” instead of “Stop those insults or take it to the pit”.

La franchise ne consiste pas à dire tout ce que l’on pense, mais à penser tout ce que l’on dit.
H. de Livry

Hmmm, someone in favor of censorship. Odd.

The boards are already being censored by the moderators. Threads move and disappear, and some people have been shown the door (to the extent that doors exist in cyberspace). But this isn’t part of an Orwellian nightmare, it’s just a case of a private establishment maintaining certain standards of behavior, just like other businesses ventures do with their patrons.

Alt.fan.cecil-adams is uncensored, misc.facts.straight-dope is uncensored, alt.angst is uncensored.

What is being discussed is merely an honest difference of opinion as to what types of Message Boards are consistant with the zen of The Straight Dope.

Most of the arguments in the Pit are with the “zen” of the SD. When posters take issue with someone’s logic (or lack thereof) they go there. I think it ultimately increases the quality of the other forums.

One of you go to the Pit right now and come back with a list of the thread you feel “reflects badly” (to whom?) on the SDMB community. There are a few here and there, but many are quite entertaining and make valid points, IMO.

Back off, man. I’m a scientist.

It appears to be 4 to 2 in favor of the Pit at the moment…

Add me to the “fer” list, beatle.

I have only recently ventured there myself, but thought the “Learn to Proofread, FUCKOS” was absolutely hilarious.

I agree that the general rants about non-use of turn signals, not picking up after oneself, etc., could be posted in MPSIMS, but the Pit allows a certain freedom of expression not afforded in the other forums.

Keep the Pit. If it starts to outpace General Questions in the number of posts, be alarmed. Otherwise, read it if you like it; skip it if you don’t.

Sue from El Paso

The nice thing about all the different forums here at the Straight Dope is the variety. There’s a lot of different things you can do here.

And the even nicer part, you can skip the things you don’t care for and spend all your time on the things you enjoy.

For those of us who struggled through two forums when we were on AOL (you had your choice of General Questions and Comments About Cecil’s Columns), having this sort of choice is really cool.

You don’t have to like everything . . . it’s like dinner; you don’t have to eat all your vegetables. You can even feed 'em to the dog, that’s okay with us. :slight_smile:

your humble TubaDiva
Not your Mom

The pit has it’s place in all of this. I like it and see why it was started. If you are mad and just want to spew, that’s where you go. And most regular posters know they need to take their flame wars there. I vote to keep it. Like my vote means a rat’s ass…

I love the Pit.

I’ll go there, all pissed off and annoyed, post an original topic and end up laughing my ass off an hour later at all of the hilarious replies.

The Pit works.

Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, dogs are from Pluto.

I thought maybe The Pit could be set up as its own independent site, but www.TheBBQPit.com has already been claimed, apparantly by Microsoft, of all people…

All Hail Uncle Cecil! Buy His Books! Click On His Ad Banners!

Chalk another one up for keeping the pit. When I’m all in a snit about something, I stop in there, and by the time I’ve read a topic or two, I no longer have any need to post my gripe - I’m too busy laughing.

And, I think it says quite a bit about the general intelligence and maturity level of this board that the members are willing to leave off in other forums and take their gripes with each other to an assigned place. You hurl a few insults, clear the air, and all is good again - with no disruption of the other forums, and, usually, not even too much disruption of the original thread. It’s little things (well, maybe not so little) like this that make this board such a pleasure.

How about this one? The FUCK YOU thread

Like I said, the word fuck doesn’t offend me. But it makes the board look puerile.

Now that I’ve gone to check out the BBQ Pit (I don’t spend a lot of time there), I see that most of the threads could be in Great Debates or MPSIMS. And that’s my main point. What’s the need for the BBQ Pit? What purpose does it serve that can’t be served by another forum?

The only answers I can see:
[ul][li]It allows people to use the word “fuck” or other words that they think are “naughty” and get a giggle out of it. Well, I don’t see why those words aren’t allowed in the other areas.[/li][li]It allows people to gratuitously insult each other. (The description is “If you gotta flame, do it here.”) I don’t see why that behaviour needs to be allowed. I would imagine that people that are smart enough to read Cecil’s column can be smart enough to debate someone without resorting to the “Yo’ mama is so ugly…” kind of argument.[/ul][/li]
I will say, though, that I have to admire the conviction and forceful arguments of people like pldennison. If I ever was in the pit, I would want to make sure he was on my side.

La franchise ne consiste pas à dire tout ce que l’on pense, mais à penser tout ce que l’on dit.
H. de Livry

I don’t hang in the Pit much (though I do lurk), but the ONE time I got seriously torqued with someone, I was glad to have a forum to take the argument. If we had stayed in the forum we were in initially, we would have further detracted from an on-going conversation about something else and instead forced people not involved in the fight to put up with sitting through the fight. It’s nice to theorize that no fighting would be allowed, but let’s face it – that’ll never happen. So I think it’s good to have a place to take it where you can be indignant or furious or sarcastic or, yes, even offensive without involving people who probably would rather not be involved.

I also think some of the threads in the Pit (notably those posted of late by Alphagene) are hilarious. The Pit is where the P.C. gloves come off, and some of the things posted there are very funny but yet inappropriate to any other forum. I say keep it.