Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Tell us how you think the forum can be improved. We will listen.
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retrofuturist
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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:10 am

Greetings,

I just wanted to say something rather personal, that I'm sure will resonate with some long-term members, which I think is quite relevant to much of what has been said in this topic to date.

About roughly 4 years ago (possibly in line with Bhikkhu Bodhi's growing interest in activism?), this forum gradually became increasingly tilted and biased in favour of certain people and perspectives, and tilted against others. The Terms of Service became secondary to social engineering agendas, and protecting favoured friends and views, at the expense of others. We lost members due to this partiality... both the disadvantaged members who were banned or voluntarily left, plus those who disagreed with a forum being managed with such blatant biases. (I myself left Dhamma Wheel for about 4-6 months because of the latter reason).

Then, there was a period of upheaval and change, where David and I set about restoring the balance and putting everything back on a level playing field, with everyone equal under the Terms of Service. Those who had introduced the biases left the forum on their own volition, as did those who felt a strong allegiance to them who felt that they'd been hard done by. Thankfully, this departure was partly offset by the return of former members, but it was another unsettled period for Dhamma Wheel.

What dismays me most about all of this is that it was so totally unnecessary! It didn't need to be this way, and as sure as I'm still a member here, I'm committed to ensuring it never happens again. There is a scar across this community that is slowly healing, but there is a way to go yet, until our relationships are as congenial and mutually respectful as they could and should be.

To that end, what I ask of you personally, if you're amenable to doing so, is to hold metta, karuna and mudita in your heart for all past, present and future members. If you hold grudges against anyone for any of their involvement in any of the above, please consider releasing them for the benefit of yourself, for the other, and for the benefit of this community. If there are past members you know, who may have left due to some of the upheaval, who you would like to be here, please invite them back. If they happen to have been banned for their views and perspectives, please let me know and I will restore their access. As soon as people can let bygones be bygones, the faster the scar will heal, and the events I outlined will no longer cast a shadow over our community, and will serve only as a precautionary lesson for what we can never allow to occur again.

If you feel I hold a grudge against you personally, I assure you that I don't. If you need me to say that explicitly to you personally to help with that healing process, please let me know. If you feel in any way wronged by me, please get in touch.

Thanks for listening.

Metta, mudita & karuna,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by No_Mind » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:50 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:10 am
social engineering agendas,
This phrase quite resonated with me.

Back in March I had written that women cannot perform Hindu pujas since they have menstruation and cannot be a priest for few days of the month (being a priest is full time duty ..). I just stated the practice .. not that I see any merit in it or support it. For that I was jumped on and trampled with hob nailed boots by a hyper feminist. I was just providing info to David, not indulging in period shaming.

Someone gave me a long lecture about merits of not eating a tiny piece of fish weighing 4 oz once a week (because my eating that fish is apparently causing environmental degradation) but shied away from answering why he (or she) does not lecture his (or her) neighbours who drive a 24 valve 3.5 liter 214 cubic inch 450 horsepower SUV to kid's soccer game.

To make DW more Buddhist it has to be more culture neutral. Buddhists and Buddhist converts from across the world are not going to subscribe to California school of Buddhism (by which I mean "post modern Western political and social correctness meets cherry picked Dhamma school of Buddhism" .. ask members of that community to state if they fully and categorically believe in doctrine of Kamma and that a person who cleans toilets is doing so due to past Kamma and they would refuse to answer .. I can provide examples of such interaction from previous threads but am too busy to hunt down old conversations using keywords) and those who subscribe to the same have to have patience for those who do not.

I still read DW regularly. I am a more committed Buddhist now than when I participated here. But I am not going to ask any questions or engage here until more people of colour like me from across the world participate.

:namaste:

No_Mind
I know one thing: that I know nothing

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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by robertk » Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:24 am

why he (or she) does not lecture his (or her) neighbours who drive a 24 valve 3.5 liter 214 cubic inch 450 horsepower SUV to kid's soccer game
I drive one of those and so do my neighbours. :toast:

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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by No_Mind » Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:33 am

robertk wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:24 am
why he (or she) does not lecture his (or her) neighbours who drive a 24 valve 3.5 liter 214 cubic inch 450 horsepower SUV to kid's soccer game
I drive one of those and so do my neighbours. :toast:
Good for you :thumbsup:

The biggest I have ever ridden in is a 3.2 liter, 197 hp turbo diesel Ford Endeavour (five-door SUV variant of the Ford Ranger T6 four-door pickup truck and called Ford Everest in some markets). We are used to 1.5 liter compacts the size of Hyundai i20 and smaller SUVs and the Endeavour seemed like Titanic. Great ride though.

:namaste:

No_Mind
Last edited by No_Mind on Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:52 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by binocular » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:57 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:10 am
To that end, what I ask of you personally, if you're amenable to doing so, is to hold metta, karuna and mudita in your heart for all past, present and future members. If you hold grudges against anyone for any of their involvement in any of the above, please consider releasing them for the benefit of yourself, for the other, and for the benefit of this community.
Although not just a few posters here think that I hold grudges against some Buddhists, this is not the case at all. The events with some Buddhists in the past made me doubt whether the Dhamma really is egalitarian and free-for-all. Or whether, like most things in this world, Buddhism, too, is just another instance of this dog-eat-dog world and I just need to accept that and my lowly station in this system.
I don't know how to gain clarity over this matter.

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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by catsquotl » Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:42 pm

binocular wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:57 am
retrofuturist wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:10 am
To that end, what I ask of you personally, if you're amenable to doing so, is to hold metta, karuna and mudita in your heart for all past, present and future members. If you hold grudges against anyone for any of their involvement in any of the above, please consider releasing them for the benefit of yourself, for the other, and for the benefit of this community.
Although not just a few posters here think that I hold grudges against some Buddhists, this is not the case at all. The events with some Buddhists in the past made me doubt whether the Dhamma really is egalitarian and free-for-all. Or whether, like most things in this world, Buddhism, too, is just another instance of this dog-eat-dog world and I just need to accept that and my lowly station in this system.
I don't know how to gain clarity over this matter.
The path does not equal the people that travel it.
Even though Theravadan buddhism is fairly new to me, I have been around the block a few times when it comes to spirituality in a broad sense. I found that everywhere there's people i like. People i dislike. People that resemble what i hold as ideal practitioners and those that to me look like users. I.e. doing it wrong.

What drove me here is that The Buddha described a path anyone can follow. Even and maybe especially walk it alone/ without the aproval of others.

Ihope this helps a little

With love
Eelco
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Please share your light in abundance
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Crazy cloud
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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by Crazy cloud » Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:11 pm

“Where there are humans,
You'll find flies,
And Buddhas.”
― Kobayashi Issa

:smile:
If you didn't care
What happened to me
And I didn't care for you

We would zig-zag our way
Through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain

Wondering which of the
Buggers to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing
- Roger Waters

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Mr Man
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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by Mr Man » Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:29 pm

Dear All
retrofuturist wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:10 am
The Terms of Service became secondary to social engineering agendas, and protecting favoured friends and views, at the expense of others. We lost members due to this partiality... both the disadvantaged members who were banned or voluntarily left, plus those who disagreed with a forum being managed with such blatant biases. (I myself left Dhamma Wheel for about 4-6 months because of the latter reason).
In my opinion now more than ever this forum is being driven by an ideological agenda.
retrofuturist wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:10 am
Those who had introduced the biases left the forum on their own volition

The old admin was removed and so was one moderator.
retrofuturist wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:10 am
, as did those who felt a strong allegiance to them who felt that they'd been hard done by. Thankfully, this departure was partly offset by the return of former members, but it was another unsettled period for Dhamma Wheel.

I wondor how many left due to a sense of allegiance and how many left due to not liking the ugliness of what happened and the new direction of the forum and how many are continuing to leave. One of those who returned has now left again because didn't "want to be part of a community that normalizes islamophobia."

:)

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retrofuturist
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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:10 pm

Mr. Man,
Mr Man wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:29 pm
In my opinion now more than ever this forum is being driven by an ideological agenda.

So you say.

...and say..... and say... :roll:
Mr Man wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:29 pm
The old admin was removed and so was one moderator.

From staff, yes... and the admin was offered a moderator role, if he wanted to moderate according to the Terms of Service. There is nothing new here, Mr. Man. When you own a forum, you'll be at liberty to decide who is on your team and what roles they have too. May you never have the misfortune of having to deal with rogue operatives who you consider friends.
Mr Man wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:29 pm
One of those who returned has now left again because didn't "want to be part of a community that normalizes islamophobia."
No one can please everyone. I think No Mind was onto something here...
No_Mind wrote:To make DW more Buddhist it has to be more culture neutral. Buddhists and Buddhist converts from across the world are not going to subscribe to California school of Buddhism (by which I mean "post modern Western political and social correctness meets cherry picked Dhamma school of Buddhism") ... and those who subscribe to the same have to have patience for those who do not.
And it's clear we certainly can't please a vocal minority of members who are wilfully determined to be a crashing bore of misery and quarrelsomeness, year in year out.

:?

If your portentous negativity weren't such a negative influence on this forum, it would actually be mildly amusing. Unfortunately, it just festers and stinks. It really is quite off. It's the kind of thing I'd love you to move past, but it seems you'd rather stink up the forum instead. Your choice...

Karuna,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:02 pm

Mr Man wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:29 pm
One of those who returned has now left again because didn't "want to be part of a community that normalizes islamophobia."
What about Trumpophobia?

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=30770

Should that be a proscribed phobia, or licit?

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Mr Man
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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by Mr Man » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:13 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:02 pm
Mr Man wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:29 pm
One of those who returned has now left again because didn't "want to be part of a community that normalizes islamophobia."
What about Trumpophobia?

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=30770

Should that be a proscribed phobia, or licit?
Hi Sam
I don't see the relevance of your question but if you are interested in exploring this perhaps start a new thread.

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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:24 pm

Mr Man wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:13 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:02 pm
Mr Man wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:29 pm
One of those who returned has now left again because didn't "want to be part of a community that normalizes islamophobia."
What about Trumpophobia?

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=30770

Should that be a proscribed phobia, or licit?
Hi Sam
I don't see the relevance of your question but if you are interested in exploring this perhaps start a new thread.
I think the relevance is clear enough, so unless the mods object, it can well stay here.

The claim was made that this community "normalises islamophobia". I take that to mean that some posts here express something like a hatred of Islam. (If it means anything stronger - e.g. that the management are actively trying to move the forum towards more Islamophobic stances, etc. - please let me know.) Now, as there is a parallel thread running which openly expresses hatred for Trump, I was wondering if there was any hierarchical ranking in the expressions of hatred which should be favoured. The Buddha advised against hatred, but it might be that some hatreds are, on a forum, less advisable than others.

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Mr Man
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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by Mr Man » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:43 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:24 pm
Mr Man wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:13 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:02 pm


What about Trumpophobia?

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=30770

Should that be a proscribed phobia, or licit?
Hi Sam
I don't see the relevance of your question but if you are interested in exploring this perhaps start a new thread.
I think the relevance is clear enough, so unless the mods object, it can well stay here.
Hi Sam

I don't think your question is relevant to the OP.

I think it is a false equivalence comparing antagonism to an individual and antagonism to a religion/large grouping (I personally wouldn't choose to use phobia).

It's also a false equivalence given the amount of hostility shown to Islam across multiple threads for a sustained period of time on this forum.

If there were multiple threads with Trump as the subject possibly some intervention would be needed.

You are also begging the question as I hadn't suggested that any particular type of phobia should be proscribed.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:07 pm

Mr Man wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:43 pm

I don't think your question is relevant to the OP.

I think it is a false equivalence comparing antagonism to an individual and antagonism to a religion/large grouping (I personally wouldn't choose to use phobia).
Entirely relevant, I think. I'm not making any equivalence, just noting that the existence of "Islamophobia" was cited as being relevant to the question of how "Buddhist" this forum is, and asking whether some sorts of antagonism or hatred are more licit than others.

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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by Pseudobabble » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:19 am

Mr Man wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:43 pm
I think it is a false equivalence comparing antagonism to an individual and antagonism to a religion/large grouping
I understand that you are talking about the proportion of incidents, but from a practical perspective, this is incorrect. Hatred of a person, and hatred of a category (of people, cars, w/e), both excite the same emotions and mental states, cause the same neurochemical cascades in the brain, and the same physiological and hormonal responses - raising adrenaline, noradrenaline, increased heart rate, etc etc. In fact, hatred of anything causes these changes. Which is why it is hatred per se which is advised against by the Buddha. It's not 'ok' to hate some people or categories, whether it be Trump or 'Muslims', because they don't accord with our societally conditioned morality.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by Bundokji » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:25 am

I like this forum and i thank those who own it and manage it. It is an act of generosity to offer a platform for Buddhists who live in a non-Buddhist countries like myself.

A distinction was made by previous discussants between "Dhammic" threads and "worldly" threads such as politics and other social topics, implying that dhamma threads are somehow superior to worldly threads. Personally, i am of a different opinion. I tend to be more interested in the so-called "worldly" threads for the simple reason that it reflects on how we understand the Dhamma in events affecting everyday life.

In fact, i found the threads on Dhamma to be harmful, at least to me. The suttas are often used to justify a wide variety of views and understandings, more as a tool for rationalizing ones own biases and beliefs. While in the politics section of the forum, its easier to detect nonsensical views as there is less room to appeal to authority (the authority being the suttas in this particular instance)

After all, what we can speak about sanely, objectively and clearly as human beings is what is in the world. If there is anything outside the world or outside our common experience of it, we better remain silent about it.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by Pseudobabble » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:35 am

Bundokji wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:25 am
I like this forum and i thank those who own it and manage it. It is an act of generosity to offer a platform for Buddhists who live in a non-Buddhist countries like myself.

A distinction was made by previous discussants between "Dhammic" threads and "worldly" threads such as politics and other social topics, implying that dhamma threads are somehow superior to worldly threads. Personally, i am of a different opinion. I tend to be more interested in the so-called "worldly" threads for the simple reason that it reflects on how we understand the Dhamma in events affecting everyday life.

In fact, i found the threads on Dhamma to be harmful, at least to me. The suttas are often used to justify a wide variety of views and understandings, more as a tool for rationalizing ones own biases and beliefs. While in the politics section of the forum, its easier to detect nonsensical views as there is less room to appeal to authority (the authority being the suttas in this particular instance)

After all, what we can speak about sanely, objectively and clearly as human beings is what is in the world. If there is anything outside the world or outside our common experience of it, we better remain silent about it.
:goodpost:
Wittgenstein Tractatus 7 wrote:Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must remain silent.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by binocular » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:10 am

Bundokji wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:25 am
A distinction was made by previous discussants between "Dhammic" threads and "worldly" threads such as politics and other social topics, implying that dhamma threads are somehow superior to worldly threads. Personally, i am of a different opinion. I tend to be more interested in the so-called "worldly" threads for the simple reason that it reflects on how we understand the Dhamma in events affecting everyday life.
Excellent point!
The way people approach political topics is a practical example of applied Dhamma (or not applied).

I always try to bring Dhammic points into those worldly discussions, and from the way that people speak about worldly things I try to figure out what they really believe about the Dhamma (and the implications thereof).

But much to my surprise, and even bewilderment, it has happened several times that some people criticized me for this, and put forward an attitude of "This is the politics section, the Dhamma isn't to be discussed here" or "This is the politics section, a place where we can finally catch some respite from the Dhamma".

I'm all for the news and politics section -- as long as it is handled Dhammically.

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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:29 am

Greetings binocular,
binocular wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:10 am
But much to my surprise, and even bewilderment, it has happened several times that some people criticized me for this, and put forward an attitude of "This is the politics section, the Dhamma isn't to be discussed here" or "This is the politics section, a place where we can finally catch some respite from the Dhamma".
That's odd. I've never seen anything like that... was it PM'ed to you?

Either way, it's a very odd thing for someone to expect of you given the tagline of that forum is "A place to bring a contemplative / Dharmic perspective and opinions to current events and politics."

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by binocular » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:37 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:29 am
That's odd. I've never seen anything like that... was it PM'ed to you?
No, it was in open forums. I'll have to think of some useful keywords to find those posts.
But if you saw my reaction to Alan's hate Trump thread -- that reaction is based on such dismissals I mentioned earlier.
This is a very mild recent example:
perkele wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:09 pm
alan wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:40 am
Here is why I hate Trump, and why you should, too.
binocular wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:25 am
This post is clearly against the TOS:
2. Speech
g. Attacks against the Buddha, Dhamma, or Sangha, which violate the Intention of this forum (See Section 1. Intention for details)
Indulging in hatred and calling upon others to do so is undhammic.
Jesus... :rolleye:
There is and always has been a lot of undhammic discussion here.
/.../
That is just normal shitposting which has been an ancient custom here and across the web since beginningless time.
Either way, it's a very odd thing for someone to expect of you given the tagline of that forum is "A place to bring a contemplative / Dharmic perspective and opinions to current events and politics."
Maybe more people should read that tagline!

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