Author Topic: Bridging the Gap  (Read 617 times)

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Offline Woof-a-Doof

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Bridging the Gap
« on: January 14, 2010, 08:43:13 AM »
“Mankind censure injustice fearing that they may be the victims of it, and not because they shrink from committing it.”

Taken from Plato's "The Republic"

In continuing my search for understanding the vast divide between folks who view Straight Inc as a tragedy in their lives and those who see their experience as a life changing (for the positive) experience, I have stumbled upon this quote.

Many months ago (what now seems like years ago) there was a "gathering" held in New Castle, PA. The idea of putting together a documentary on Straight Inc. was introduced. The "documentary" idea brought about a rush of enthusiasm, as could be expected. It was abundantly clear that those with a negative experience would consume a majority of the time allotted for a 60-90 minute effort. As such, an idea that bubbled to the surface, in an effort to give the audience a well rounded understanding of Straight Inc. The idea was simply to include those stories of folks that found Straight Inc to be beneficial at the time and have since benefited from the experience. Thus, making the documentary balanced and unbiased.

If all the facts and facets of the story were told, the documentary would be informative, rather than propaganda. The idea of illustrating the negative and solely the negative would undoubtedly be skewed. The idea of the documentary being fair and comprehensive could best be reached only if all sides of the story be told.

Well, I am not sure of the status of the documentary. Financial concerns, logistical concerns amongst other concerns may have brought the idea to a temporary stand still. But that has not kept my mind from sorting out the questions and observing the obvious disparities between the ying and yang of the Straight Inc. experience.

I have learned, through locking horns with those who staunchly disagree, that this is no simple process. The challenge being; secure enuff, emotionally speaking, to approach another with opposing view, in a non-threatening manner and without feeling my own view point would also not be threatened. The challenge also includes a willingness to set aside the inexplicable need to be “right”. Could I be open, intellectually, emotionally and compassionately, to accept each experience as authentic? Could I maintain an open heart along with an open mind? Could the investment I have made in time, effort and in an emotional sense, continue without being threatened, when peering into the mindset of those with opposing views? Could I become a disinterested 3rd party, setting my own experience aside and allow for another’s experience without resorting to hateful, slanderous and general intolerance? Could I accomplish all these things mentioned and maintain my own sense of dignity? Could I tolerate these folks and save myself from the burden of all things hostile? Could an atmosphere of mutual respect be cultivated?

I have found this to be nothing less than a daunting task, to say the least. Disassociating myself from my own emotions, for the sake of understanding the other side of the story has proven to be one of the most challenging efforts I have attempted in my own recent history. For all the questions mentioned above (which are but a few I have) the answers are elusive. Essentially, sometimes yes, sometimes no…neither lasting for any great length of time.

My question, to you, the members of this group/message board…Am I alone in this quest for understanding. Does anyone see a value in this quest for understanding, other than my own understanding, (which I have held for over three decades). Has anyone else gone beyond the status quo of “Straight Sucks” and the polar opposite “Straight is Great” and made an attempt to understand the disparity between the two?

If so, am I asking questions that have no answer? Am I asking questions that are vague, inviting the yes/no type of answers? If not, are the questions moot and void of meaning, of value? If, indecisive, are the questions disturbing, generating more harm than good? Thus creating a further distance between differing schools of thought, encouraging further exclusion rather fostering an environment of inclusion.

For those from my own school of thought, I am not abandoning my allegiance or my commitment to reach out to those in need of support, understanding and healing. For those in the opposing camp, my experience (and views) have not changed and suspect they won’t. However, the divide between the schools of thought, I believe, need a bridge if only to create and encourage a tolerance, acceptance and ultimately an understanding.

I will be cross posting this on Fornits, Face Book (Straight Inc. Survivors, Straight Inc. Atlanta, another but it‘s “private“ and I haven’t been invited) and the Yahoo Straight Alumni in the hopes I may get a broad spectrum of responses. All of which will be greatly appreciated.

As always:
I wish much Peace
I wish much Healing
And further; I wish much Understanding
dave anderson
AKA: Woof-a-Doof
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
What is right is not always popular...What is popular is not always right

Offline Froderik

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Re: Bridging the Gap
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2010, 09:11:11 AM »
You raise interesting questions.

It's one thing to be in a discussion with someone, and another thing to be interviewing them for a documentary.

In a discussion, anything can happen. Emotions can easily get involved in the equation.

In an interview situation, the filmmakers would have questions prepared, and questions ready for potential responses to those questions. The interviews would be edited for quality purposes, but not censored. Once that part of the process is out of the way, it's time for the filmmakers to (if they wanted to, and I would want to) comment on the stupidity put forth in the interviews. Nothing wrong with commentary, that would not constitute being "unbiased" about anything. The interviews would be presented in their true form, not edited to say anything other than than what the person being interviewed wanted to say. There would be no 'propaganda.'

Emotion is effectively kept out of the interview process; there would be time set aside for venting later on. The filmmakers would have one another to vent to outside of the matter at hand.

I hope these thoughts at least scratch the surface of what you are getting at....
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Woof-a-Doof

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Re: Bridging the Gap
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2010, 08:28:33 AM »
“I hope these thoughts at least scratch the surface of what you are getting at...

(the following are responses to those on othe sites responding)

@Alex- Yeah…if the documentary is the focus. If the documentary were the focus, then you are absolutely correct, the interviewer (for everyone’s best interest) should have no Straight affiliation at all. And all that ya mentioned in the video department. Editing and what not, yeah…I guess your right. To quote that HBO Surfer’s sitcom "John from Cincinnati" a coupla years back…“Something’s I know, something’s I don’t know”. In following up on your second point, I agree that any commentary would be inappropriate.  Any intelligent audience would see the commentary as an attempt to lead the audience to a certain way of thinking. And the story, the intent of the story and the credibility of the story is fundamentally skewed at that point.

Yet the documentary is actually secondary if not tertiary to what I am getting at.

@Tom--Yes, absolutely, there certainly are more than two schools of thought. There are 360 degrees to every circle and that’s only a two dimensional view, for an object in 3D to be examined, it’s looked at directly, from the left, the right, behind, above and below (and all points surrounding the object, basically a spherical approach). Each of us are facets of the story. Each of us as individuals also have multiple facets to factor in (if only for ourselves and our sanity).

The number two, I used as a base number, for the sake of simplicity. Clearly it is much more dynamic than simply two. This and That. Good and Bad. Right and Wrong , Pro-Straight and Anti-Straight is narrow view with not much room for marginal wiggle room. With not a lot of room to stretch about, we become cranky, less tolerant of one another, if not become down right belligerents.

&Matt---yes, you and Tom make the good point that we are the sum total of our individual experience. If it were not for the past that we endured, we would not be who we have become for better or worse…like it or not. As mentioned earlier, as individuals, with multiple experiences, viewed thru various perspectives the mathematics of it can be staggering! Individuals, with similar experience, viewed thru Individual perspectives, which I think can be called or labeled as filters or as condition.

Whereas:

 (<Individual Experience> + <Individual Perspective>) X (<Time> x <Indoctrinations>+ <Memories> minus <Time>) = {Condition} or  {Filter}

The mathematics now become astronomical when one considers that each of the factors in the equation all revolve around variables/variances,multiplied by scores of individuals. I believe the estimate is 12,000. One step further, let’s consider; {Condition} or  {Filter} These factors seem to be the catalyst that sends good conversations into all out brawls. Because we each have different or at best varying degrees of {Condition‘s} we interpret thru our own set of {Filter‘s}. If we view ourselves as a bundle of {Condition‘s} and  {Filter‘s} interacting with other bundles of {Condition‘s} and  {Filter‘s} , our <Individual Experience‘s> , our <Individual Perspective‘s> all to often collide with  others {Condition‘s} and  {Filter‘s}. At this point, what is the real issue, individual experience/individual perspective or is it that our {Condition‘s} and  {Filter‘s}  are at odds with another’s {Condition‘s} and  {Filter‘s}?

Imagine the anatomy of a bullet. There is the actual projectile. Which sits on top of a casing, that is loaded with gun powder. On the opposite end, is the primer, when struck the primer “fires” igniting the gunpowder sending the projectile hurling towards its target. I think the {Condition‘s} and  {Filter‘s} become the primer that initiates our own explosive response to one another. My question then becomes; how does one disable the 'primer' that sets off the explosive responce?

Finally, the coffee is done… OY! It’s a bitch doing all this psychological trigonometry at such an early hour. It would be best that I don't write first thing in the morning, but that seems to be a pattern of opportunity than anything else. Soon the caffeine will be surging thru my veins and with any luck, clarity of thought may follow.

@Rich--That, is exactly my point! (I think, lemme re-read) Yup, that’s the point! The documentary  was a stepping stone of sorts to illustrate that point. I wanna know what happened, and I wanna know for the same reasons that you indicated. It ‘s  not that I am disgruntled about time lost in my adolescence (worked thru that), not that I am hyper-focusing on past events for the mere sake of having something to bitch about. More so I am evaluating past experience to better understand myself today. These “behavioral flaws” all seem to point back to Straight Inc. Not to blame Straight Inc, just that this is where I learned So Many things carried into the present time. Which directly effects those who I hold near and dear, this I think more than anything else disturbs me, and is most likely the prime motivating factor in striving to ‘understand’. Going further, in my efforts to understand and piece everything together, I have found that my one-sided views, my one-sided stance has only brought together 1800 pieces of a 2500 (or more) piece puzzle.

To answer your question, “do alumni need to BE that disinterested party, or are there other
parties who are objective and can gather real data, facts and information to
research the effects Straight has had on the 10's of thousands of survivors of
Straight and The Seed and Kids and others.”

Well, assuming we understand that the Documentary is NOT the focus, but that the focus is on myself as an individual…Do I need to BE that disinterested, objective party? Yes, I believe I do. If I do not, then my only frame of reference is my own stance, my own thoughts, my own insights, all of which contribute to a cyclic mode of thinking, which in the long run (and it has been a very, very long run) gets me no where closer to anything resembling an ‘understanding’. If I can achieve that disinterested, objective quality in my daily interaction with others who experienced Straight In, despite the label--good experience--bad experience, I believe it would serve me well.

Where else can I get a different viewpoint more quickly than from those who had an opposite experience in the same circumstance? Historically, the two (at minimum) schools of thought have been on the fringe of all out warfare with one another. So, if I go into the opposing camp, waving the white flag, calling for a truce. No doubt, this is no simple task for any number of reasons of which I can only speculate. Despite all of these things, there is an increasing need (for myself as an individual) to bridge this gap.

And as I bumble thru this period of discovery, I feel compelled to offer the findings along the way. I realize the insights are not exactly crystal clear, my apologies. I also apologize for the questions that also aren’t as clear as I would hope them to be. Yet this is unfolding, this is virgin territory for me...a work in progress. As I understand more, I think I will be much more able to articulate that which is taking place. In the mean time, I would like to thank each of you that have responded. I appreciate the support, the interest and the willingness to take the time to put your thoughts in black and white. Those lurking with further insight are encouraged to jump in and give your observations, inputs and insights as well. Oh yeah, in regard to the semantic mathematics above. If I get the time today, or maybe this weekend I will sit with some illustrating software to see if I can draw us a picture of the equations mentioned, I know that by simply reading them, they are choppy at best. Believe it or not I understood what I was getting at while I typed the words, and at the same time I knew it was lacking…so, more investigation is required and I will follow up on that.

In the mean time;
I wish much Peace
I wish much Healing
Woof
AKA: dave anderson





Quote from: "Froderik"
You raise interesting questions.

It's one thing to be in a discussion with someone, and another thing to be interviewing them for a documentary.

In a discussion, anything can happen. Emotions can easily get involved in the equation.

In an interview situation, the filmmakers would have questions prepared, and questions ready for potential responses to those questions. The interviews would be edited for quality purposes, but not censored. Once that part of the process is out of the way, it's time for the filmmakers to (if they wanted to, and I would want to) comment on the stupidity put forth in the interviews. Nothing wrong with commentary, that would not constitute being "unbiased" about anything. The interviews would be presented in their true form, not edited to say anything other than than what the person being interviewed wanted to say. There would be no 'propaganda.'

Emotion is effectively kept out of the interview process; there would be time set aside for venting later on. The filmmakers would have one another to vent to outside of the matter at hand.

I hope these thoughts at least scratch the surface of what you are getting at....
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
What is right is not always popular...What is popular is not always right

Offline Froderik

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cross-posting madness
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2010, 09:54:33 AM »
I probably didn't state clearly enough that yes I would WANT commentary (not to be confused with propaganda) included in the (hypothetical) film. If I were making a documentary, there would be no tricky editing to make it seem like they're saying something other than what they actually said...BUT...after we heard what Mr. or Mrs. PRO-STRAIGHT had to say on film, the scene would cut to one of us whereupon I (or whoever) would *speak their piece about what was said.* No holds barred. It's my (our) movie and we would not hold back, at all! This would be ~commentary, and not ~propaganda. There is a difference. This is exactly what I was getting at when I said "comment on the stupidity put forth in the interviews." Sorry for the lack of clarity there.

I think people who were in "the program" are fully capable of examination and presenting an unbiased portrait of what Straight was, sifting through emotions to get to the truth. Maybe some are not up to that task, and that's fine.

In regard to the topic in general: Emotions don't HAVE to get in the way, of anything. Everyone is different. I have no problem whatsoever talking to Pro-Straight people; I look at it as a challenge!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Sam Kinison

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Re: Bridging the Gap
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2010, 11:12:55 AM »
My question,pro-Straight or anti-Straight,is how can any intelligent person call this therapeutic when they see the program's inconceivably astronomical mortality rate.As the jargon went,these kids(US)were put in there to save their(our)lives.If the treatment was so successful,why are so many dead?I'm sure some blowhard will come up with rationalization to explain it,to me it's so obvious.The treatment was lethal.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »