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Richard M.Roberts Banned from Nitrateville

Posted: Wed May 08, 2013 5:39 pm
by Richard M Roberts
In case anyones wondering why I have disappeared from Nitrateville, it's because MIchael Gebert banned me from the newsgroup this morning. Apparently free speech and facts make him and some other folk over there nervous, and as censorship has been rampant there of recent, with Gebert deleting not only my posts but those of others as well, I figured it was only a matter of time before he cancelled my ticket.

Well, we'll still be watching the prattling uninformed who have monopolized a lot of space of recent over there when we have the time, and if there are any truly egregious stupidities mentioned, we may post some uncensored corrections over here. Stay tuned.


Re: Richard M.Roberts Banned from Nitrateville

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 1:41 am
by Richard M Roberts
Hmm, one day gone at Nutrateville, and I notice that they're already trying to fill holes with"Best of RICHARD M ROBERTS" posts. Pathetic.

Oh, and someone said they didn't know what the last straw posts were, well, I've been saving my stuff of late knowing Gebert was deleting the slightest thing (he was really upset that I used the word "snob factor" last week and deleted a post, I argued to him that anyone bothered by as low level a remark as that, especially as it was not even aimed directly at anyone in particular must be having difficulty coping in general), and here they are:

From the SHOWBOAT thread:

This one was to that guy with the stupid and pretentious french moniker, who had said I was being "ridic" thinking Lena Horne could have ever played Julie in the 1951 Showboat:

"What's "ridic" is your above comment. It would have made as much and actually more sense than slapping Max Factor Dark Tan on ol' Ava Gardner and putting her redubbed in the part. Horne was indeed the best thing in the painful TILL THE CLOUDS ROLL BY and she should have been a slam dunk for the 51 remake. Once again, don't let intelligence, common sense or good taste keep you from opening your mouth.

As far as I'm concerned, Lena Horne could pass for anything she damned well wanted too.


This one was to the generally uninformed and frequently wrong Ed Lorusso who had commented that Lena Horne would never have considered playing Julie because she would never want to play someone who "passed for white":

"Lorusso, do you ever bother to do any actual research before just coming on and yappin'? You really should try it once in awhile.

Okay, this one's easy.To again attempt to further your education, go find yourself a copy of THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT III and go to Lena Horne's segment. There you'll hear her talk about how she lobbied hard to get the part of Julie in the 1951 SHOWBOAT and MGM said the Production Code would not allow it. Then she also talks about Ava Gardner (who was a good friend of hers) actually rehearsing to Lena's recordings of the songs she had made in trying to get the part, which apparently annoyed them both. Then you even get to hear Ava Gardner actually sing "Can't help Lovin That Man"in her own voice rather than Annette Warren's, which is not bad at all.


Hey, I guess we're having "Best of Censored Richard" day over here as well. but wasn't I just being horribly nasty and over the line of common decency?

richard m roberts (ran out of caps)

Re: Richard M.Roberts Banned from Nitrateville

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 8:28 am
by Louie Despres
It really sucks as you were one of the few who post there who actually has something to add. They'll be back to boring shit in no time.

Re: Richard M.Roberts Banned from Nitrateville

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 10:26 am
by Richard M Roberts
Well, it's been nice to see some nice words defending me over there at Nitrateville, greatly appreciated folks, and watching Gebert's attempts to mollify it by saying he got private emails praising him for finally getting rid of that horrible scourge of the newsgroup who bullies everyone into submission. Well, I've gotten a number of sympathetic private emails from various high powered (as if anybody in this area of interest really have any power whatsoever) and distinguished (well, there are indeed a few of those) folk who say they would be sorry to see me go and why they have left Nitrateville over the last few years because it has become either A. boring, B. heavy-handed on the civility policing over actual discourse, or overrun by pompous windbags who know less than they talk and have hissy fits if you suggest they might have it wrong and it has made it too much of A trying to deal with them. . So, if we're playing email poker Gebert, meet you and raise you. You show me yours and I’ll show you mine. Yawn.

But I have no doubt that Gebert indeed hears from folk crying that dat evil ol tall guy has stepped on their dreams and egos by his horrible suggestions that they are wrong or something they did or believe in the area of movies may not be as terrific as they think it is. There are always people who run to Mom or Teacher and want to play classroom monitor and point the finger at others and have others make it all nice for them rather than have to take responsibility for their own lives and deal with their situation directly. These are also usually the folk who also get on these groups using silly-ass non-de-plumes and seem unable to take responsibility even for their own opinions even when talking about movies. They also seem to be frequently the ones who get the most upset when one calls them on something, which I find truly hilarious, you don’t really have an opinion kid if we don’t know who you are, I find it a bit surreal indeed to be arguing with “Mr. Tastypotpie” about film preservation and watching him(or her as the case may be, but they did call themselves MR. Tastypotpie) go into meltdown mode because I disagree with them. I’m arguing with a non-entity, but when non-entity complains to Gebert that I’m abusing them, and he’s yelling at me about that, I should feel bad for arguing with someone that doesn’t exist?

As for the ones who do exist, and I’m sure David Shepard, Rodney Sauer, Bob Fells,Ken Winokur and Ed Larusso are among the private throng cheering Gebert’s decision to dump me from the newsgroup, I’m equally amazed that my opinions hold so much weight for them. Theirs certainly do not for me as far as I’m concerned, but rather than trying to control free speech and thought by going and whining to the Administrator (why are they afraid to be cheering the decision in public?), if they are so disturbed by my words, that’s what a public forum is for folks, rather than trying to un-level the playing field behind the scenes, use it. It’s what discussion is all about, and you win some and lose some. If your ideas are so fragile that you can’t play fair to keep them, you might just want to rethink them anyway.

But again, why get that upset about it in the first place? The best thing about the written word and newsgroups like Nitrateville is that what you don’t want to see is so easy to ignore. I ignore 90 percent of the drivel on Nitrateville, but I do nothing to stop it. Yeah, I think the colorizing of photos is kinda pointless, but I’ve only looked at that thread maybe, once, then who cares, let em color away to their widdle hearts content.
Even on the old alt.movies.silent, when I saw a post heading that had the word “Chaplin” in it, and saw it already going over 400 posts after two days, I knew to steer clear, but why waste ones time trying to get it stopped? I’m sure the fine folks over here at silentcomedymafia see this thread and go right on (“Oh, who's Roberts pissed off this week? Ah whatever, did you see the new Smiling Billy Parsons on the Eye Institute website?”).

And c’mon Gang, the worse I’ve ever said to anyone on Nitrateville, whatever Gebert edits, if that they’re wrong, don’t know what they’re talking about, are snobbish about their opinions, or this may be a bit too important to them and they need to get a life. I know in this politically- correct nonsense of the World where there are no losers, only the last winner, that some of you out there have really thin-skins about being criticized, but if my words are really cutting through you like a knife through butter, you really do need to get lives. Gebert once lectured me that I should approach Nitrateville with the attitude that one never criticizes another’s religion or the beauty of their wives. I told him that I have never discussed anyone’s religion or wives on the newsgroup, we’re talking about movies here, and if someone else raises that topic to the level of their religion or their wives (not that that many on the group have women to begin with), that’s kinda, sorta, their problem, and it all goes back to that getting a life concept again.

But geez, I’ve had people come on Nitrateville and call me a horrible human being or question my penis-size, and in all these years, I only once, when a particularly psychotic stalker with an old axe to grind said some rather untrue, slanderous and completely off-topic things, have I ever went to Gebert and suggested he might want to use the scissors., which he did. Yet I’m the one banished to Bogeyland, and I’ve never come close to saying to anyone what has been said to me, nor would I go complaining to Gebert about it. I’m an adult, I deal with it directly and publically or I ignore it.

And most of what Gebert has been getting so hysterically censorious about of late is just good old film arguing, which is what you all come to read on these groups to begin with. The danger with trying to control the conversation from above is that it does nothing but make the conversation boring, and eliminate ideas that need to be out there. There is nothing laizzez-faire about the way Gebert has run things of late. Take heed of my treatment Gang, I’m the Canary in the Coal Mine about these things because I have strong opinions and stand up for them, but when I’m one of the first to leave, as it was with alt.movies.silent, or tossed off like on that other minor comedy newsgroup or Nitrateville, it’s more of a sign of more serious problems within that group rather than any failing of my own, and I’m never the last to leave.


Re: Richard M.Roberts Banned from Nitrateville

Posted: Fri May 10, 2013 5:21 am
by Richard M Roberts
I love it, after reading yesterdays batch of Roberts gripefest on Nutrateville I have finally had that life-changing revelation…….I’m Doug Piranha:

A small-time thug being interviewed by a a BBC Interviewer in a back-room office:

“---a week later, they came back, said the check had bounced, and that I had to see-----Doug.”


“Doug.” (thug starts to shake, takes a drink, swallows, takes deep breath) “I was terrified, everyone was terrified of Doug! I’d seen grown men pull their own heads off rather than see Doug----------even Dinsdale was frightened of Doug.”

“What did he do?”

“He used--------sarcasm-----he knew all the tricks; Dramatic Irony, Metaphor, Bathos, Puns, Parody, Litotes and-------- Satire. (holding back tears) He was vicious!”

That is, of course, a piece from Monty Python, and a very funny one. It is based on the premise that an exaggerated idea taken beyond normal logic is funny, like the idea that someone could be terrified of sarcasm and consider it horrifying abuse.

Well, that was the 70’s, this is the tens (which followed the zeros, the best and most accurate way to describe that decade), and like so many things of recent we once thought too silly to ever happen, they have become reality.

It was about what I expected, four of the nameless ones (actual total count 6 pro Roberts, 6 anti- Roberts, with Bob Lipton on the fence, but still ass-kissing the moderator, and a nameless one who was bummed that I was banned, but was wishy-washy about the outcome) and a couple of named ones got up and cheered and beat their chest about the horrible abuse they have received. You could almost hear their voices tremble and feel their bodies shake in fear and rage at this horrible bully that ruined their lives, who made them fearful of even daring to speak on Nitrateville lest the shadow of Doug Piranha would loom over their post and smite them with (tremble) …..sarcasm.

Don’t you understand, they want you to know that they were victims……VICTIMS!!.........VICTIMS!!!!!!!!!

What a bunch of babies.

To begin with, I got news for you folks, no, none of you are victims. In a society where any slight unpleasantness that inconveniences one for even a few hours apparently makes one feel the need to have free counseling paid for by the state, this idea is rampant, but I’m sorry, not in the broadest connotation of the word, even for comic exaggeration, can you ever be considered victims. The three women held hostage as sex slaves in Cleveland for twenty years, THOSE are victims. The people killed in the Bangladesh Factory collapse----victims. A woman who has her purse stolen on the way to Wal-Mart but is otherwise unharmed---victim. Whiny people who have such reality issues they need to hide behind pseudonyms to be able to get on a newsgroup to say something about a subject as unimportant as movies and gee, if someone disagrees with you and maybe even has a little fun with (tremble) sarcasm and it, like, really messes with your self-esteem for weeks, invalidates you as a person (well, invalidates you as an anonymous person perhaps), and it makes you awash with fear to speak up because the next time, they might tell you you’re wrong and be (tremble) condescending (yeah, I’m being it here, ain’t it justified.)-------not victims.

And not even anonymous actually, at least not to me, one of the nameless ones has had an axe to grind against me for years ever since Slapsticon decided to stop using their services and has taken the opportunity (but only when they were sure I could not reply in return) to try to slam me in any way they could. Another is someone who has never liked me and said so to others even though I have never done anything to them, in fact have barely ever spoken to them, even in terms of any film fencing on Nitrateville. Yet they want to perceive themselves as victims. Eric Stott even wanted to be a victim, even though he admitted I have never hassled him in any way, but because he’s still dealing with the horrible trauma of a professor being rude to him once in College he wanted to sign up for that free counseling and get some sympathy.

All I can say is that if I’m the worst monster you ever have to “victimize” you, may you never find out the truth (I guess you shouldn’t actually wish that they personally discover the true meaning of being a victim, I really mean them no harm and then they could feel justified in their whining).

You know, I’m starting to understand Gebert’s problem. These are the majority of the types that frequent Nitrateville these days, these are his crowd. It seems to happen that way in the life of a newsgroup, they usually start out with a group of solid experts or people with the particular interest that brought the group into being, and it goes on fine for a few years, then some of the people run out of things to say or lose that particular interest, or just don’t have the time like they used to. Then other people start to join in who may not have the interest or expertise of the original group, and they begin to discuss things that have little or nothing to do with the original groups intent and this drives other original members away who get bored or annoyed with having to deal with the newbies who think they know something and get upset when told they don’t. It usually ends up with the group in some form of collapse, or running with a Golden Silents “Circle the wagons, home school your kids, and kick and keep those other heathens out!” mentality.

I’m sure those still there at Nitrateville will cry that it was me all by my widdle ownsome who has caused so many to leave the place in throngs and their number of daily hits to go down, but funny, a lot of those original experts who left are the ones who are still my friends, and several of whom have written to remind me that I am far from the first to leave the group, and whose response to my recent expulsion has been “So? Why were you still there?”. One good friend even went so far in his unconcern to say “You will wear this like a badge of honor”. He may be right, when the company gets down to the majority being that sort of level, sometimes it feels better being tossed out than just quietly leaving. At least you know you’re not one of them.


Re: Richard M.Roberts Banned from Nitrateville

Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 2:08 am
by Richard M Roberts
Lets see, who showed up there today. Ahh, AzJazzman, I was waiting for him. This guy has been stalking me on various newsgroups ever since I completely broke off all personal contact with him in 1998, and he’s always claiming to “know Richard better than anyone” and always trying to spread nasty bullshit whenever he knows I can’t be there to defend myself.

Well, any number of people have had nasty internet and personal experiences with AzJazzman, so I’m not too concerned about his words convincing very many folk, except the nameless one M Verdoux, who’s praying that they are true, but as far as him ever being a close friend of mine, he never was. I knew him on and off since the 1970’s, but his generally erratic behavior led to many years in–between of no contact, and when dealing with him, it was always at arms length, we were never personally close and most transactions between us were merely movie related. I’m not sure what Movie Nights he’s trying to refer to in his posts from the late 1970’s, the only Movie Nights we both went to then were at Jack Hardy of Grapevine Video’s home, and if I was banned from there, I was never aware of it, and as Jack and I have been friends going way over 30 years at this point, he comes to our weekly Movie Nights, transfers a lot of my prints for his Grapevine releases, and as Grapevine will be the main distributor of my upcoming book which is coming out in the next few weeks, can’t say it’s been much of a banning. As I understand it from Jack, he hasn’t had any contact with AzJazzman in over 20 years.

And as for my being banned from “numerous groups”, the number is two, Nitrateville and Silent Heck, some of you reading this have been banned from more groups than I have. And hasn’t been a bastion of wisdom and knowledge since my booting? Yep, I’m just burning bridges everywhere, that’s why I’m off to the East Coast three times in the next six weeks appearing at Conventions and Symposiums and numerous other Festivals the rest of the Summer, I’m so banned I have to turn down gigs. Maybe I should get myself banned a few more places so I can have more time to myself. Maybe I’ll ban myself from silentcomedymafia, that’ll save me some time.

Ahh, but you do have to love the double-standard hypocricy of Nitrateville and the Nitrateville concept of civility. I’m booted for being a meanie and supposedly abusing people, but now attempts to trash me personally by cowards who remain nameless when I can’t be there to defend myself are perfectly acceptable. Yep, it does indeed feel good to be out of there, and I certainly do not consider myself a “victim”. This is the price one pays for standing by ones opinions and ideas, and to do things in an area of interest that has become more and more filled with some rather marginal people with some serious personal problems and mental and emotional issues. You have to plow through a number of creeps, but when I look at the people who are my Friends and Supporters, and what I’ve been able to accomplish in this area of interest, and what I have learned, the marginal people still become marginal pretty damn quickly, and remain there.


Re: Richard M.Roberts Banned from Nitrateville

Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 7:46 pm
by Richard M Roberts
Checking in today, lets see how the silliness has continued:

To begin with, bravo Richard Warner, you called them on the trash job:

“Those who wanted Richard Roberts banned from Nitrateville have had their wish granted, rightly or wrongly. Now we have various Nitrateville members crawling out of the woodwork to trash a guy who's no longer here to defend himself. I find THIS both cowardly and offensive. Moderators, where are you now?”

And I then loved Michael Geberts mealy-mouthed response:

“A fair question. I felt it was best to hear from people now, know what the broader feeling about this was, and just get it out and over with, rather than let it fester under the surface. When this thread has sort of exhausted itself, it will be removed, as I don't want to leave something aimed at one person out there, for much the same reasons as... why I didn't want to leave anything aimed at one person out there.”

This is the man who has deleted posts that has whiffed of the slightest disagreement between two folk in the past, but hey, no, lets let the cowardly nameless attempted slanderers have their say, it’s Roberts their bashing, not any of our other holy nameless posters.

Again, one standard will do just fine.

You notice that I’m quoting directly folks comments today. That’s because I figure a lot of comments will indeed be disappearing soon, especially the Roberts-positive ones. Then again, the whole thread may indeed disappear, because I’m sure Gebert and the other Nutrateville controllers will try to whitewash their shame, not want to show the hypocrisy, double-standarding, and general pettiness, immature behaviour and small mindedness of the group and the ones bashing me who show themselves even more mean-spirited and childish. They won’t want to scare potential new members into seeing what disagreement with the “majority” truly means there, it might not help their already dwindling numbers.

And, you know it just galls them that I get as much attention when I gone as when I was there.

Anyway, back to the posts. Here’s the winner:

“After sifting through the posts regarding Richard Roberts' being voted off Nitrateville Island, I must say that I am fascinated by the process. All manner of situations have weighed in: those that were afraid to post while Richard was active, those who would voice an opinion by PM only, those who openly did battle with RR, those who dislike him, those that like him, and those that he doesn't bother. The only thing missing is an inane post from the French gasbag. My conclusion is that RR will be missed more by NV than RR will miss NV. In some way or fashion, RR is our own Erich Von Stroheim, the man you love to hate. Without a recognized, site villian, we will have to create a new one. This isn't easy. Our script will run without arcs for some time. Things will be duller. Some of us actually took it as a rite of passage to have RR go ballistic on a comment we made. I had arrived; RR read my post, went postal on me, and, as always, I lived to tell about it. This site could use a little variety, instead of trying to be amazed by how well someone colorized a B/W still for the millionth time‘

Bingo Native Baltimoron! You get the Gold Cigar! You’re way to ahead of the crowd over there, you actually get the joke. And in the discussion after that of Chris Snowden’s idea of possibly creating a “Bleachers” forum section, basically a reverse variation on our own SCM 101 forum where people could actually chat freely and argue open and honestly and cause interesting debate (Free Speech, what a concept, and how it horrified the moderators over there. All the extra work! What work? Leave it alone and let folk have at it, those who don’t like don’t read), you NB asked the question “Could someone direct me to the Bleachers?”.

Glad you asked.

You see, we over here at Silent Comedy Mafia have been talking, and , you know, we do have a lot of space in the old clubhouse here, and really, it wouldn’t be that hard to put in a new wing devoted to the discussion of silent and early sound film in general, and we’ve been wanting to reopen the registration, but no one has had the time to put in new spamblocker protection, but hey, we can get to that as we put in the new wing, and perhaps it’s time that a new silent film newsgroup rise to take up the slack when another is imploding, kinda like what Nitrateville did when alt.movies.silent went south a few years ago…….

Silent Comedy Mafia/ Silent Movie Mafia (or just Movie Mafia, we’re still mulling it over)

The new wing is in progress, but the registration doors are re-opened, but we do ask that you re-read the rules before joining. You will have to use your real name. This really does eliminate a lot of the craziness. It’s just movies we’re talking about here, and those in fear of being stalked by some other internet looney realize, if they’re here, we’d know who they are.

I mean, for all the crazy fighting over at Nutrateville that they would like to blame me solely and personally for, (I was usually just answering and countering others first snarky assault.), gee, in the four years or so this group has been around, we’ve had no serious fights (even gets a bit too cordial around here a lot of the time), and in all that time we have only had to exercise moderator scissors once, and that was only a post that had let out Slapsticon news not yet for public consumption.

So if you want to come over for that more open honest, certainly more entertaining and less petty film talk, ring the doorbell, and we’ll let you in.

And I promise you, no colorized black and white stills.


Re: Richard M.Roberts Banned from Nitrateville

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 4:44 pm
by Louie Despres
Richard M Roberts wrote:And I promise you, no colorized black and white stills.


This may be the greatest news I have ever read on any forum.

Re: Richard M.Roberts Banned from Nitrateville

Posted: Mon May 13, 2013 12:31 pm
by Annichen Skaren
As much as I am supposed to be "serious" and all now that my Al St. John Project is finally growing into what I wanted, I have never and will never make a secret out the fact that I respect your comments and quite frankly find the honesty as refreshing as I find the knowledge important.
The members, or rat pack, that rule over at Nitrateville do not really like it when someone who does not belong to their little high school club point out that they are in fact wrong about certain things.
I find it devastating that Nitrateville is the first, and perhaps only, place where new classic film fans come and "learn", they are led to believe that what many of these self proclaimed experts say is the truth and that their word is law.
I hardly ever visit that place - I find it pointless unless I need to sell off something or want to plug a video, book, website etc. Once in a blue moon good information pops up though, but the pack mentality over at Nitrateville makes it more annoying than fruitful, at least for me.
Let's hope more film enthusiasts find their way over here.

Re: Richard M.Roberts Banned from Nitrateville

Posted: Mon May 13, 2013 5:51 pm
by Gary Johnson
I'm still mulling over the "canary in the coal mine" connotation. When the birds were found passed out down in the pits the workers knew the air was getting dangerously thin.
So how are you feeling lately, Richard? - a slight wooziness.....a little light-headed??
(I mean more than usual....)

Keep me updated. I'm slowly edging toward the adit just in case.