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Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

I've been troubled by this thread since I first read it last night. I even checked through some of the threads that VM participated in to make sure that I hadn't been a part of the behaviour that he described that had led him to his decision to "say goodbye" (no I wasn't, but that was more to ease my own feelings of guilt than anything else).

I don't think anyone's behaviour towards VM was all that out of line. As Michelle pointed out in her first response, we've probably all had worse thrown at us. That said, I join in hoping that his post was not a signal that he was about to "say goodbye" to more than babble. Let's hope that the feeling passed.

[ 06 October 2004: Message edited by: Scott Piatkowski ]



Please, simply write a short note saying you are O.K. and join in any discussion. We promise not to ask you any question and not to raise the subject (unless YOU raise the subject and YOU want to talk).

Please, simply write that you are OK. We will not ask you what happened, what you did or did not do.

I too once had my dark day and said Good Bye. Later, some feeling of hope, some thought about people who care about me and I wanted to go back and join. I felt however apprehensive of all the questions I would be asked, until someone e-mailed me to say "Please come back, we promise no question will be asked. The subject will not be mentioned." I went back and so it was. Nobody asked any question. No mention of the subject.

Please, VanMan2000, Write you are OK, better still, please come back: No question asked. Promise.


[ 06 October 2004: Message edited by: lacabombi ]

[ 06 October 2004: Message edited by: lacabombi ]


Just a personal opinion, but I think we have made our collective point. We do care, we do want to help. There is not much more we can do but remain open to vanman2000 should he choose to return in some capacity.


I debated whether to post this publicly or not, since I haven't been in touch with VanMan myself. But I have had two people tell me privately today that their private messages to VanMan have been flagged as "read by recipient". I don't know when they were read, or whether VanMan is okay, and I'm not sure whether I'm doing the right thing by saying it here. But people seem to be really worried, so I thought I'd just let everyone know that.

VanMan, if you just want to read and not respond, that's okay. As lacabombi says, it's kind of intimidating to come back after all this. I'm just glad that there is at least a slight indication that you're okay.

Be well.

Performance Anxiety

I think we lost him. Let's hope Babblers exercise more decorum in future - we are here as a community to try and find ways to make the world a better place, not to bully, abuse, and finish off activists and the disillusioned from all walks of life who come to this board in search of critical dialogue and activist solidarity. I hope that Babble feedback forum nets some good constructive criticism for organizers that will help prevent the sort of loss that occured here today in the future. [img]cool.gif" border="0[/img]

[ 06 October 2004: Message edited by: Performance Anxiety ]


Performance Anxiety, this is not the place to make it about you, or to lecture everyone on what you think is wrong with the site. Nor is it the place to speculate whether we've "lost him." If you have a complaint, do it in rabble reactions.

And if you respond to this post here, I'll ban your account. I mean it.

[ 06 October 2004: Message edited by: Michelle ]


Just posting in order to have something positive on the Today's Active Topics page for this thread.

We're thinking about you, VanMan. That's all.


I think the idea that we finished off VanMan is repugnant.


Let's drop it, okay? This is one thread where we shouldn't allow ourselves to be trolled.

baba yaga

Thanks Michelle. I also like what lacabombi said.

I'm still rooting for you, VanMan 2000.

Screaming Lord Byron

Change is the only constant, VanMan. I'm confident you'll find a way to turn your predicament into something worthwhile.

Performance Anxiety


Originally posted by Michelle:
[b]Performance Anxiety, this is not the place to make it about you, or to lecture everyone on what you think is wrong with the site. Nor is it the place to speculate whether we've "lost him." If you have a complaint, do it in rabble reactions.

And if you respond to this post here, I'll ban your account. I mean it.

[ 06 October 2004: Message edited by: Michelle ][/b]

[CENSORED] [img]cool.gif" border="0[/img]

[ 06 October 2004: Message edited by: Performance Anxiety ]


Yes, that's such a bold statement you just made, PA [img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img] .


Again, I would ask that we not allow ourselves to be trolled on this thread.


lo'laHghach (honourable and worthy) to the Van Man!

I appeal to you not just give up on everything because times are tough. I see you live in BC, where I reside as well.

It's not easy to have a conscience and be happy with what's going on in BC now. I sense an increased sense of hostility and lack of compassion among a growing number of people out there, including among the working class. So, it's not just you who feel not too positive about the future.

Today, it seems a lot of folks are feeling inadequate and overwhelmed, which sounds like your situation. It's not our fault. We did write the rules. We just have to play within them.

A colleague of both my wife and I is terminally ill. He has a year tops, but is still largely asymptomatic and can get around. It seems so goddamned wrong that such a good--and young--person, activist, with a young family should be struck down like this.

But he has vowed to keep working and doing what he does best until the last day. His strength is absolutely inspiring, even though it's very saddening and scary.

So stick to it. There are actually lots of folks out there who feel like you who are doing too many good things to give anyone a reason to give up.


BTW, hey moderator, is the VM2000 still registered here?

Note to Performance Anxiety: you have good reason to be anxious since your performance on this string was, with due respect, piss poor.

VM 2000 has made it pretty clear the situation he's dealing with is a lot bigger than what goes on here on the Rabble. Lighten up and quit being in such a rush to point fingers and blame people


Vanman, you really should not let people's comments or their belief and perspectives interfere with you calling it quits or saying good bye! They are just people with different ideas on different issues. Keep your head up and log on...............

L. Borogrove

I am new here and would be happy to talk with you Van Man.


Hey VanMan2000 please stick around and contribute.

Hey I get beat up here too just for expressing my opinions and EXPERIENCES.

Connecting with people in a big city can be very hard as I've experienced also lately.

I try to walk for half an hour to an hour everyday and this helps in many ways.

-clears my head
-exercises my body
-I get to see and meet people this way as well.

Please you are a valuable person.

Please do respond to the many people here who are asking about you.


sufjan fjan

was anyone ever able to contact vanman2000?

i have to say this thread leaves me very unsettled. i stumbled on it by accident, and wish that i hadnt, because im left incredibly sad.

ive never been so emotionally affected by something on a message board. i wish vanman2000 had left a message to let people know he was ok (even if was under a new name and new account)

does anyone know if another account was opened with vanman2000's IP address?


It is a disturbing thread. I just looked to see if my PM to him was still in my message box. I had kept it for ages, but I guess I deleted it at some point.

Actually I'm surprised that this type of thing doesn't happen more often on cyber communities like babble. I used to work on what's called a mental health mobile crisis team, and a good part of that was dealing with people who were feeling suicidal, both in person and by phone. For what little it may be worth here, most people who indicate that they might or want to suicide actually don't, and will make use of what resources are there. In terms of this case I'm guessing we won't know.

What was interesting on this thread is how babblers of various stripes, some who may not even like each other, came together and extended themselves to Vanman.

Makwa Makwa's picture

I just want to point out that for people who live with depression or many other life altering states of being, there is a good online resource that I and many others belong to at [url=]Wing of Madness.[/url] There is always active discussion there, and the chatline is going around the clock. Feel free to drop in and PM me there if you like, and I will hook up with you on chat anytime.


I checked it out Makwa, but it looks like you have to register to see the discussions. I'll probably do so at some time. I was interested in the med section because it looked from the headings like someone was talking about escotalipram, which I just stopped using because the side effects were worse than any I've had on anything else.

Anyway, when I get a moment I'll register. See you over there.

{ now I just take two of these [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img] [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img] every morning}


Thanks Makwa, I registered as well. Hopefully it will be a good resource.


I had written to him after he wrote that post. A day later, I discovered that the post had been "read". So I think he got through the crisis without doing anything.

I've never heard from him since, so I don't know whether he's okay now. I never knew who he was to begin with, though. That's the thing about discussion forums where people are anonymous. There's no way to know how people are doing if they just stop posting.

Vansterdam Kid

I think he ended up being alright. I'm not sure of course, and I hope he was, but I suspect it. I don't really want to go into why I think this, and like Michelle I sent him a PM that was marked as read the next day, though I have other reasons to suspect he was ok after a while.




Unionist, as a fellow, if former, unionist, I miss your posts.


Me too.   Best wishes and hope you are well, Unionist.   

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i never knew vanman2000. before my time on babble. it's an incredible thread. txs unionist!