The Birth of GolfCabal

"As much as possible, be on good terms with all men...and at least one woman." Roger's Will

Some TGC users have asked me for an explanation of why last Sunday, April 9, 2006, I stopped providing scorekeeping services to TGC. Warren Peters is not among those people.

So far, I have responded according to this philosophy, which is shared by many people, for example mates getting divorced:

The less you say, the better. No matter how badly people feel they need to know "what happened", they are never gratified by the telling. Every listener presumes that the party doing the explaining will spin it as much as possible in its own favor, so every listener finally makes a decision about "who is right" based on which one of you they liked best in the first place. Oddly enough, if you say nothing at all, everyone comes down on the same side anyway, they pick the same good guy and bad guy they would have picked if they did hear an explanation, but without the hurt feelings and violation of matters that were committed in confidence by a pair, now publicly revealed by an individual.

I imagined another effect of silence: "The facts speak for themselves, without either party presenting them as an argument or explanation." But this is an erroneous thing to believe, because most of the facts are unknown until somebody tells them. I have been encouraged to suspend my policy of silence by a TGC member whose judgment and counsel have been an asset to all of us. I'll call him "JC". (Do we have a "JC"? If we do, it aint him...)

JC thinks I should talk. He listed a set of "facts that have spoken (to him) for themselves", some understandings that are very sensitive to some of the same misgivings I myself have had, but have never expressed. Then he said:

"Perhaps it's not really feasible for you to give a clear public explanation for the action you've taken, but please understand that as it now stands, it looks like you abandoned the ship for no reasonable reason."

I am persuaded to offer an explanation, but I must preface by saying that this adjustment with my relationship with Warren, this separation (In VA, you have to be legally separated for a year before a divorce is granted) is like any other: It takes two. It takes two to succeed, it takes two to fail, it is always a shame, but often it is for the better for both parties, and certainly for everyone around them.

It is also true that divorced people often find a way to return to a comfortable pre-marriage level of friendship and mutual respect. But it does not happen if either one is a blabbermouth, so by explaining, I am potentially sacrificing the chance to be on good terms with Warren. As I said earlier, Warren has not asked me for an explanation, I'm guessing because he has a pretty good understanding of the reasons, the facts that speak for themselves, but also because he is a world-class master of remaining silent. I cannot picture him undertaking the task I now confront, I cannot envision him speaking the way I am prepared to speak, and he is the more admirable for it. On this subject, I have said but one thing to him "I want peace" and he responded in kind. That is all, and that is the general nature of our conversations during our entire collaboration. Well, sometimes I went on and on, but Warren was most always...pithy. Short, to the point. Fewer moving parts, fewer repairs, that's how he thinks, I think.

Okay, I hope by now I have persuaded you to not read on, but if you must, click here. Wait...

Warren, I hope you see fit to not read further. I have not logged onto TGC since last Saturday, for the sole reason that I know that some people will say things ABOUT me that they would prefer not to say TO me. My reverberating memory of such remarks could encumber my ability to cheerfully provide services to these folks long after they themselves may have forgotten or otherwise gained peace about them. In the same way, I hope you will provide me the same courtesy of a warning message about materials that might damage my psyche. They say "The truth hurts", but lies hurt just as badly. I mean to say, it's not the truth or falseness of a statement that makes it hurt, some statements are just naturally hurtful whether they are true or not. If you risk crossing the boundary, that's fine, but I beg you to not respond directly to me, lest conflict arise. It's my opinion that all such explanations should be public, that is, to everyone at once, to avoid the appearance of pandering. I'm going to tell everyone the same story here, and hope that everybody will tolerate my not discussing this topic ever again, once we clear the air. And I hope that you and I can continue or resume our LINKS relationship in the nearest possible future, I want all good things for you, and I value the collaboration we shared.

Okay, I hope by now I have persuaded you to not read on, but if you must, click here.