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Forums » Peter Gabriel » A Whole Lot of Nothing -- Do Not Read Unless You Want to be Bored to Tears
Pat Parker22 October 2012 at 12:20amPosts: 2683 (0 today)Status: offline
This is a very, very long and (for the most part) boring post by me, Pat Parker. It’s not meant to sound superior or all-knowing and the only facts contained in here are the facts that I know personally to be true. Don’t say you haven’t been warned; don’t read it if you choose not to – I won’t know the difference. I’m not looking for any comments on it, negative or otherwise, but instead, I am writing it to satisfy myself, alone. This is just a great place to jot it all down, without actually having to "jot" it all down.
During the course of the last tour (SO Back to Front), I had been thinking about creating a thread that was similar to MAK in the USA’s thread (about our PG concert experiences); I had been thinking about how many of us have become connected through this PG forum – I was picturing us telling of our connections with other lunatics and how we met so-and-so and creating a sort of family tree and/or chain – linked by all of our stories. I was going to ask many of the lunatics who no longer come here to the moon to think about it and add their stories – even if only for that one short visit, it would have been nice to read the connections, along with the stories. I think it would help to give some of the history here to some of the lunatics who are fairly new (even though they’re not very new any more). That was my plan and who knows, perhaps a lunatic or two will choose to start up the thread. For now, I’ve decided, instead, to give just my own personal story here – although many of you already know it to the point of ad nauseum, I really feel the need to say some things here, give some explanations, even if I don’t truly owe anyone any explanation. The bottom line is that I am unhappy here, have been for the past few months; have felt a lot of animosity and anger, directed toward me personally, even on the simplest topic, a person or persons will take the opportunity to argue a point (that is usually a simple ridiculous point) and twist it so that it becomes argumentative. Now, it's not always with just me, but I'm writing my opinion here, so for me, it's been bothersome. I tolerated it all during the course of the tour because I wanted to keep in touch with the few friends I have here. But now that the tour is over and this place will sort of become a place to check in periodically, I've decided that I'll write the story I've wanted to tell for awhile. Seems like it's as good a time as any.
There are people here who know some things about some things and some one but are quick to judge, speak as if they have the entire story. I have grown weary of feeling as if I have to defend my every word, my every opinion and thought it might be best to give some explanation to myself, my story and why I am here -- on the forums. I just have always been of the mindset that if people are educated about something and still choose to have a bad opinion, well, at least they have an educated opinion. I am utterly, one hundred percent (100%) a fair person – in everything I do, in every area of my life – I have always been fair and have always wanted things to be fair. I’ve grown tired of the common response, “Pat, didn’t anyone ever teach you that life’s not fair?” My standard response has always been, “No, my parents never allowed me to use that as an excuse to not be a good person.” I believe still, that there are really very, very few things in life that aren’t “fair” and they are the things that I would like to be part of changing – poverty, illness, injustices. Anyway, I digress (imagine that?
So, I have decided to give an explanation to a few things that sometimes (and especially recently) have been bothersome to me. Of course, my story doesn’t need to mean anything to anyone of you here, but as I mentioned, I at least will have explained some things and educated you somewhat.
This website – petergabriel.com and the forums was the very first social networking/fan site that I ever came to – and it remains the only one I come to to learn about PG’s goings-ons. The entire internet scene was new to me (as it was for others) and the fact that I could read about PG on a computer was so very cool. When I realized that I could actually correspond with other fans – well, that was really neat! As the years have gone by and more advances have been made, I’ve been able to enjoy even more areas of the internet – youtube, and even facebook has now become common place for me.
However, I do have a problem with all of the internet communication in that as much as it can be a very good thing – helps people to find friends they haven’t seen in a long time, helps keep people posted as to the world’s events, etc., it definitely has its downfalls. The largest problem that I have seen (and personally experienced) with the social networking (and forums) is that people of all ages feel free to “speak their minds” – sometimes without regard as to whomever else reads it. It is sometimes done quite unintentionally, but more times than not, it’s intentional and meant to be hurtful, harmful even, and downright nasty. That is the bad side of this form of communication and most times, here on the PG’s site, it’s not so prevalent, but it does exist. Everyone can be guilty of it at one point or another; some are guilty of it and actually thrive on it – this is yet another downside to the whole internet communication style (in my opinion).
Many times, words are written and meant one way, while ready by someone and taken another way – again, face-to-face communication is simply the best form of communicating because body language makes up 60-70% of our communication (that statistic is true, by the way, not just made up by me). Words don’t always “read” the same way as they were “said” in your mind as you typed them. Again, another thing we’re all guilty of, but we are human after all and for the most part, communication problems get resolved fairly easy.
Now, my story is this: I have been a fan of Peter Gabriel for his entire career. I was a young teen when I attended my first teen concert with my brother, who fortunately, had the good musical taste to take me to his favorite band – Genesis. It was 1974 at the Tower Theatre – I’ve told the story many times before and that’s not my point here. I have followed both Genesis and Peter Gabriel ever since. I went more on the path of Peter Gabriel than Genesis, but still like both.
I have all of my ticket stubs, programs, whatever, from my shows – it’s just what I naturally did – after all, I was 16 years old and did all the typical teen things – the only difference was that my bedroom walls wasn’t covered with posters of Donny Osmond, David Cassidy, etc., -- I had a poster of PG as “Rael” holding toothpicks on his nose – I actually hung it on the cafeteria wall in school one day just for fun. The nuns didn’t think it was funny, so PG had to come down ?. I still remember painting my walls with Genesis logos, drawings (a flower?), etc. By the time I had graduated high school, all of my family and friends knew I loved Genesis. My boyfriend, Bobby, came to the Lamb concert with me – I was soooooo excited, he not so much. I said to him after the concert, “I wish I could see them every day of the week!” He just said, “Pat, by this time next year, they probably won’t be around and you’ll like someone else.” Never has anyone been so wrong! (And don’t think I haven’t reminded him of that years later when I saw him .
So, because of my love of PG, I have always been excited to read any news of him, to attend his concerts, etc., It was during the SO tour in 1986, that I attended the concert twice (that was the beginning of a common trend for me now). The SO tour was also the very first time I made contact with PG’s office – I had already written them before, inquiring about a “fan club” – I was given information on F.O.P.G. and Gabbleratchet. Unlike many others, I don’t have all of the Gabbleratchets that were printed – as much as I had been a fan all along, I hadn’t written to anyone until later, so I did catch up on some things, but still don’t have a complete and full collection of PG memorabilia.
In the early days of Peter Gabriel, he had a cult following, for sure and I sometimes wish for those days again (although I’m very happy for PG’s success – he definitely deserves all that he has). Over the course of many years, I had been in contact with FOPG, with Penny, and then Tina. I have always been grateful for any contact that I’ve had. Primarily, I would write a letter asking about a new album or tour and I always received an answer. I miss that type of correspondence also, but again, the internet has replaced much of the old-fashioned ways of communicating.
As much as I have been a fan, as many stories as I can share with my personal experiences at concerts, etc., I have always and still consider myself just a loyal fan – nothing more. I have always enjoyed this place (the moon) once I found it because it was great to get to meet other like-minded people – lunatics ?. I absolutely love hearing everyone’s stories – how they first became a fan, how they enjoyed a show, met PG, etc., I still come here for that very reason. I cringe at the thought that anyone would be mean, hurtful or jealous of anyone’s fun and joy of being a PG fan (or anyone else’s for that matter). However, sometimes, when reading here, that is what I read and I can say that I have personally experienced it – sometimes from a person or persons that I felt I have known. It’s disheartening when it happens, because it really is so unnecessary.
I have a wonderful collection of PG memorabilia – every single piece of paper, plastic or photo has significant meaning to me – I’m sentimental to an extreme, I suppose. Along with my memorabilia, I sometimes have a personal story to go along with it – I’ve shared some of those stories here or with other lunatics in person. I don’t think I’ve ever really sat down and told every single story to anyone – perhaps that’s something I’ll do one day – write it all down in a long and boring story of five paragraphs or more.
For the record (and for some inquiring minds, who have already asked me), I have never assumed I’m a better person than anyone else, I’m simply a fan, just like everyone else. Any opportunity that I have had to meet PG has happened on its own and with some help from myself – I am a strong-willed, highly optimistic person, with lots of spirit to achieve something when I put my mind to it. Fortunately, I know my limits (and the law , so I always “hope” for the best outcome and if it happens, it happens. It’s happened for me a few times – meeting PG, that is. One of the times was arranged for me by a friend (while I was working in event security, I was allowed to stay behind and meet PG – usually a big no-no, but I changed out of my uniform and it was okay). My other chance meetings were simply that – shaking his hand as he came off the stage, waiting outside of Wembley and having him sign an autograph, that was it – nothing more than anyone else could do.
A fellow fan asked me recently if I was able to go backstage to meet PG – “it must be easy to meet PG with your contact” – I wasn’t offended by the remark, but I clarified for the person, as I will here, that I have never gone backstage to meet PG. I do not attend a PG concert with that intention, although, I wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to meet him, for sure . I honestly don’t think that I’d be able to just “hang” with PG – not for five minutes. Perhaps if he had all day long and could wait for me to calm down, I might be able to speak clearly to him, but otherwise, I think I’d just be too nervous. I know that he is just a man – he’s just a man and I know that every day of my life, but for the 5 minutes that I might be standing in front of him, well, he’s Peter Gabriel, the man who I’ve been seeing in concert for 39 years!! What in the world do I say to him with that?
I’ve recently been thinking about all of the great opportunities I’ve had when it comes to Peter Gabriel and yes, I have made some very nice contacts – all of whom are wonderful, nice people who put up with the likes of me and other PG fans – lunatics, indeed! ? I’m so very grateful to have had the pleasure of knowing PG (his music, etc.) all these years. I really want to be able to share my stories with everyone who is willing to listen; I really want to be able to hear everyone’s stories – I just wish that people would not feel it necessary to be so critical of another person’s joy. When I tell a story – here or in person – I’m not telling it to brag, really I’m not; I don’t think others are bragging when they tell their stories either. What’s wrong with a person being happy about something (sometimes it’s so very small) – why do people think it’s okay to knock that person down? I could live 100 years and still never understand that about people.
So, for all of the lunatics here who have chosen to read this, thank you for taking the time to read. I enjoy this place (the moon) very much, but sometimes feel that there are some who read my posts simply so they can argue with me, act rudely toward me and most of all just like to argue for the sake of arguing.
I am a long-time fan and I have every single right to be here just as much as you do. I have never come here just to argue with someone, nor to berate someone, nor to stir up trouble – yet those very same people like to accuse me of such.
I am a good person, I am open-minded, open-hearted (to the point of being used and abused for my kindness); at the same time, I am not afraid at all to take a stand -- whether it is to defend myself or another; I know that I can have a sharp tongue and I work on that all the time, but I never, ever, would intentionally say mean, hurtful things to anyone, ever. I do not put people down -- how shitty is that? Yet, there are some here who do that very same thing -- to me. Sickening, really. So, it's not a joyful place for me here and I cannot tell you how sad that makes me feel. I'll still keep coming here though because of my reason -- to read about PG.
Lastly, I want to share here that this year’s tour was so much fun – because of the kindness of some really great people (fans, PG’s team, and PG, himself). I do not know if I'll ever have the same fun experiences again, but I'm very happy to have shared some great times with many of you. I hope to read some exciting stories in the future. In the meantime, thanks for "hearing" me out and enjoy this place.
Kind regards to all,
Page22 October 2012 at 12:26amPosts: 814 (0 today)Status: offline
Your posts are never boring, Pat - I enjoy reading them, you have a great flare for writing.
Pat Parker22 October 2012 at 12:39amPosts: 2683 (0 today)Status: offline
Thanks, Page -- the flare for writing seems to match my flare for chatting -- as a friend always liked to say when he introduced me to others: "This is Pat Parker. Ask her what time it is and she'll tell you how the clock was built!" He loved saying that and I used to smile also . . . for the first 1,000 times I heard it!
Progressive jen22 October 2012 at 12:56amPosts: 5473 (0 today)Status: offline
I enjoyed that very much Pat, especially the part about the nun and the Genesis poster!
I agree with you, I wish we could all just get along and like you I will stand my ground to defend myself or someone else.
I also agree with what another poster said on a different thread, this site really has become more about selling things but that's the nature of the beast.
I miss the charm this place had a while back but I guess those days are over.
Jared C22 October 2012 at 3:28amPosts: 986 (0 today)Status: offline
Actually - a PERFECT post! Always enjoy coming to PG.com forums to see the posts with Harry Pawter at the helm It is sadly true that alot of negativity on the forums have turned it a bit sour, I just decided to pass over those parts - just wanna make sure I can still keep in touch with the good friends I've made here, read about Peter's adventures and the adventures of us lunatics as well, and maybe share some writing. It's a good outlet for a PG fan no matter how recent or past. I'm also glad for Facebook - lotsa lunies have been able to stay connected there also, I just would feel something missing if I didn't type in Petergabriel.com afterwards to check on the status' here, so I still do. I was so excited to get an autograph at last year's Live On Letterman show outside with many of you awesome lunies! I normally don't ask celebrities for autographs (Lord knows I meet tons of em in my industry), but for Peter, I had to make an exception. I actually know that his daughter Anne Marie is on Facebook too, and is a fellow New York filmmaker with some mutual friends. I also like the fact that PG himself is a big fan and promoter of the internet (regardless of it's negative aspects) - he's always kept up with the times, and I'm so grateful for all of the monthly video updates, brief as they may be.
I so look forward to hearing more stories here on your thread, Pat (and other threads too), and I'll keep you posted if I have time to organize a get-together in the New Year. Cheers!
Pat Parker22 October 2012 at 3:56amPosts: 2683 (0 today)Status: offline
I'm so glad you checked this out and enjoyed it. Like yourself, I always check in here just before I sign off for the night -- it's just a habit I suppose. Like yourself, I too, enjoy keeping in touch with lunies on facebook, but as I've said time and time again, this really is the place for me -- for PG. I've always felt "safe" here in being able to share information (whether it be about PG, my life, my work, etc.) and knew that it was kept here on the moon. Facebook is a wonderful network, but I often feel that it's too open -- too many people out there and not all of them have the best intentions -- so I've used facebook to connect with other people in my life and yes, now I connect with PG fans, but don't feel as if I can express myself there as I do here . . . just me, I suppose.
I've been here (in its many incarnations) so long and have seen it have its good times and bad times, but I think since facebook became popular, so many of the lunies just went there and stayed. I still keep trying to be happy here, but it's not always easy any more.
Funny that you should mention Harry Pawter, Jared -- his one year anniversary is coming up on October 23rd -- cannot believe it's been a year already -- sometimes it seems as if I've known him forever, while other times, it seems as if it were just yesterday when I was bringing him home. He's definitely a lot of fun and really likes his life here I think.
Good luck with your new job and I do hope that we can all get together at some point in the new year -- that would be most wonderful!
Wasn't this site created to promote (i.e. sell) UP?
Progressive jen22 October 2012 at 12:46pmPosts: 5473 (0 today)Status: offline
Yeah it was Caste but they used to be more subtle
chawin22 October 2012 at 3:47pmPosts: 165 (0 today)Status: offline
thats right caste,but you know aswell as i do,he hasnt written anything to promote since then!!!
Pat Parker22 October 2012 at 11:15pmPosts: 2683 (0 today)Status: offline
To answer your question, Caste -- yes, one of the first versions of the forums was during UP and that is when many of us "lunatics" began to get to know each other.
Please feel free to read the story here, ignore it, or add to it, but I really would prefer that your negative opinions about what PG has done or not done go elsewhere -- heaven knows there's plenty of those negative threads here on the moon.
I specifically mention how negative this place is and I'm not squashing anyone's opinions, criticisms, beliefs, etc., but I am simply requesting (and asking you in a polite manner) to refrain from adding them to this particular topic.
Caste -- I love you dearly and I've answered your question here because I'm assuming you asked it sincerely.
Thanks to any/all who read this thread. If it's not to your liking, that's cool, too.
It's not a negative opinion, just a statement.
I was there from the start as well and I never saw this forum as anything else than a vehicle for Peter Gabriel and his music: I am here mainly because i (used to?) like him very much - plus , as I always say, it seems that people who also love PG tend to be a little more bearable for me than almost anyone else, so in the end it is a good thing that this place exists (and unlike 'genesis' site, for free).
[See? I used the word "good" - twice! Now I have to wash my hands. With blood. ]
Pat Parker24 October 2012 at 1:02amPosts: 2683 (0 today)Status: offline
Caste, I answered your question and I know it's not negative, but I didn't want this thread, my long and boring ass story to have other discussions in it. There are plenty of them here and that's all I was saying to you. No worries here caste, I know you've been a fan forever and you have a much larger pg collection than I do, I'm sure! Just let me know when you want that musical box memorabilia?
Kind regards to all
Mic24 October 2012 at 12:56pmPosts: 25 (0 today)Status: offline
I'm only an occasional poster on here thesedays and I dont know that many people on here, but I loved reading your long post Pat. I know nothing of things you allude to in terms of you getting a hard time but sadly it does come with the territory on internet forums as I'm sure you realise. As Neil Young once sang; 'Don't let it get you down'.
Please hang around.
Mozo is Rael26 October 2012 at 12:15amPosts: 252 (0 today)Status: offline
thank you for sharing your personal experiences. i'm gonna miss reading them. i especially enjoy hearing 'bout the memories in your PG treasure chest. so let's look forward to the resurrection of the moon following "a year of interesting things." enjoy the break and see you on the flip-side. cheers.
MidlandFox3 November 2012 at 4:21amPosts: 50 (0 today)Status: offline
I've never corresponded with you Pat but that was a fantastic post. Thank you.
There will always be envious, argumentative and troll-like people in this world but I am fascinated to hear about PG before I first dipped into the pool at about 1981 after hearing Games Without Frontiers.
Don't stop returning here!
Pat Parker4 November 2012 at 10:23pmPosts: 2683 (0 today)Status: offline
Thanks to all lunies here! I plan to pop in from time to time and hope to read some of you here and share any news on pg, even if its only to discuss his absence for a year.
@ midland fox -- I do agree with you about it all and I do my best to not take any of the jealous words to heart, but alas, I am truly a human being and a very sensitive one to boot. So, I've actually been driven away by the sheer fact that I cannot enjoy posting stories here any more without worrying about the one or two people who do all they can to bash me and anything I write. It's simply bullying at its best and as much as I can stand up to anyone, the bottom line is that it's simply not worth it. I'm far more important to me than I could ever be to any one of them, so I am just going to take it easy for awhile. (That'll give me time to collect my thoughts and stories for later).
Kind regards to all