Starting with your last part, this has always been my problem with most forums and the clique mentality that seems to rule them. How can a newb "post intelligent SAILING RELATED questions/comments/observations" when they don't really know anything? And who defines "intelligent"? What it really comes down to is their attitude in the face of the "advice" they're getting from long-time members. Do these members approve of that attitude? And if not, what do they do? Ignore and move on?
This chick's first post in this thread was a perfectly intelligent question as far as I'm concerned...for a newb.
I looked through some of the other threads you mentioned and I certainly didn't see where she was anymore a "troll" or a "dolt" or a "lunatic" (your words, not mine) than anyone else posting in those obviously contentious threads. You'll notice I wasn't one of them BTW (counter to recent sentiments on "bullying").
When I first came to SN, I cut my teeth in OT - actually in a very sailing-related thread there called FightClub For Sailors. I don't ever go to SNOT anymore - and I was NEVER into PWRG. It's all boring as hell compared to sailing. So I just stick to the sailing threads now.
I think one of the problems around here is that SNOT posters tend to bring that angst out into the general forum - chasing each other through these sailing threads and piling it on. And I don't think that is good at all for the forum.
So, maybe, as you say, everyone around here is just getting old and cranky. But that's no excuse. Newbs should be able to post without getting jumped. Period. If one doesn't like their attitude - move on. It's simple...unless one has something to prove.
As for catamarans, for those of you interested in sailing - most of them sail very well if you know how to sail them. You can read about that from a few people who actually own them
That's where I'm headed.
Sorry Smack, but no. Newbs CAN ask questions, and they will be replied to. However the Newbs question should at least show that the Newb has done SOME homework on their own, or they risk annoying the people who could most help them. I spend my weekends teaching sailing to people that want to learn and are willing to make the investment of their time and money to make it happen.
"Catamaran or Monohull - which is best?" and "I am a 67 year old woman, with no sailing experience" and then copping an attitude to the replies: "There are obviously some really nasty hateful arrogant people on this site. I would not recommend this site to my worst enemy." Uh, not that I care but I would advise her to - GTFOH! (sorry, I can't see her posts, I only see other's quotes from her posts)
Lassiegirl asked a question which has been asked in several variations elsewhere in SailNet and in many other forums. Had she bothered to spend an hour or two reading up on the topic she would have found a lot of specific answers to questions about the differences between a mono and multi-hull. She also could have learned enough to have posed intelligent questions and not have come across as a dolt. But no, it was much easier for her to just post a stupid question and then chastise people that tried to help. - I admit that I was not one of the helpful few, but I did not start throwing stones at her while she was here either. I simply decided "dolt" and ignored her.
She was advised by Capta, Mark, pdqaltair, RegisteredUser, and SailingUphill (possibly others) to do some
research. She apparently took offense to this and got snippy. She reminds me of Jennifer Appel
in this respect (I see that she's up to $40!). Getting snippy in the face of good advice from respected posters that are trying to help you is just plain stupid. I learned long ago that ignorance can be fixed, stupidity cannot.
I am sure that the folks over at Sailing-Anarchy and Cruisers-Forum have been much more gentle and patient with people who want to be spoon-fed instructions on how to spend their money. I don't. Instead, I simply throw 'em on my ignore list, and celebrate when they leave. I hope that someday Lassiegirl and Bwalker42 meetup and sail away together - with their dogs...