Ladies and Gentlemen
Before we can assess the state of the Crawfish Boxes, we must first define who we are, for indeed, the Crawfish Boxes is more than a URL somewhere on the World Wide Web, it is a community.
We are the Orange Rainbow, the Gorgeous Quilt of Astros fans everywhere, fanatics and thinkers, savants and sabremetricians, but all united in the love and joy we experience in our hearts and heads from the game and the team we all love
We come here to share our passion for the game, to argue, to commiserate, and lately, to revel in the fine wine that has become Astros baseball. Or craft beer if you prefer. Or Tennessee whiskey. It is a unique and strong bond that joins us.
So long as the community stays strong, united and engaged, then the state of TCB is good. That is for you to judge for yourself.
This time last year, so soon on the heals of the Astros thrilling victory in the 2017 World Series, the Crawfish Boxes experienced a crisis of leadership, as much of the beloved staff who made this place truly great decided to move on, which was of course their right. We still owe that staff a deep debt of gratitude. But during that dark time the community held together and today still we come together to talk and share our mutual interests in baseball and all things Astros. For me it is a special joy to share these things with you, my Astros family, and I am sure I speak for the rest of the staff as well.
Though strong we may be, there are looming specters that threaten our unity and harmony. Allow me to address these at this time.
Ignorance and stupidity.
Ye have a name. It is ad hominem. As one of our past Presidents used to say, “come, let us reason together.” Of course, most of us already do this. We may vigorously disagree, but let us fashion rational arguments in defense of our opinions and avoid personal attacks at all costs. The first to engage in name calling loses.
Dont’ let this happen to us.
Though we are an open and welcoming community, an alien race is streaming unhindered across the unguarded borders of our community, a race of trolls.
Trolls are sick people. They sense divisions in a community and for reasons rational people cannot understand they derive perverse pleasure in exploiting and expanding those divisions, using their words to create anger where before there was just honest disagreement. As plants thrive on sunlight and water, trolls thrive on hate, hate that they themselves nurture within a community.
Out tireless team of moderators just recently uncovered a gang of trolls, MS 5, five logins, names many of you know, but who were really just the same person. They would then start conversations among themselves, causing anger and dissension among others in the community, but it was really the same person yanking everyone else’s chain. Diabolical indeed.
Many of you may think you know who this is. You would be wrong. In fact, members of MS 5 were accusing others of doing this, when it was they who were guilty.
They are banned for now, but you never know when they may recross the border, so remain vigilant.
How do we combat trolls?
An electronic wall is impractical and counter-productive. However we will try to uncover and remove the trolls as they show their ugly faces before our community. But the best thing for each of us to do as a community is to ignore them. Don’t feed them. Do not offer them sanctuary by engaging them. Recognize that really stupid and inflammatory hawt taeks are probably intended to divide us, and if not, are beneath response anyway. If you must respond, combat irrationality with rationality, for cool rationality is to the troll what the silver crucifix is to a vampire. But ignoring them is better.
Trolls hate humor too, but avoid sarcasm.
We need more Fanposts.
This community is about you. It is you. The people whose names appear on the masthead do not have unique levels of skill or knowledge. Speaking for myself I know that many of the regular commenters on this blog are far more knowledgeable than me and teach me something every day. I’ve invited some of you to join our staff. Others have collaborated with us on articles. I want to encourage everyone to take your best ideas, even ideas you may have put in a comment, polish them, elaborate on them a little, and put them in the Fanposts. It’s fun. I’m very liberal about posting polished products to the front page. It’s how I got started. SB Nation wants to see this too.
The readers of this website deserve the informed and intelligent input from a wide range of sources, not just the half dozen or so that you read every day. Help us diversify. Your active involvement is the heart and soul of Crawfish Boxes. So please. Fanpost.
Shout out to GoStros1 and ABlindHog for their recent contributions.
We will suggest topics from time to time.
In summary, let me thank you, my special friends in Astros fandom, for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of this community, and for the honor of serving you.