I have been looking at your web site for, I guess, about two years now. I believe that you and Mr. Bryce bring a balanced and much needed perspective to many Masonic topics. I agree with your opening article that there is too much personal attacking going on and applaud your efforts to curb this. I believe that will lead to a greater participation.I appreciate TazMack's email to me and am reprinting it with his permission in its entirety.
I really would like you to get a little perspective on your story about my emails, Mirth Missives. Quotes from your article are in bold, and my explanation/response in normal face type. NOT every comment in your article receives this treatment.
I would like to thank you in advance for at least considering what I am about to relate. What you do with the information is up to you.
Sandy Frost has, alas, fooled you on several points. I shall try to enlighten you in hopes that you will edit your article to reflect the truth, as opposed to her “intuitive reporting”. But, again, what you actually do is up to you.
I never sent Sandy Frost an actual Mirth Missive. If you would like to see an actual, true copy of one, I will gladly send you one. Pick a Sunday Date in, lets say, Spring 2007 and I’ll send it to you.
The little figure you show of me jumping out of the computer is a copyrighted item, but you may use it if you so desire.
[Quote from The Taper] A February 2008 issue of a privately-owned, "unofficial" Jester-oriented newsletter titled Mirth Missives carried this comment atop its front page: [/end quote]
Notice that nowhere in any of the emails does it claim to be or insinuate that it is a Jester’s only email. This is a fiction Sandy picked up from a shrine web site --- a single anonymous source, her favorite kind of source. I had nothing to do with the web site and as soon as Sandy gave me the url, I asked them to take it down. They complied.
The e-mail has Jester information, but it is not a Jester e-mail. It has Masonic information, but it is not a masonic e-mail. It has patriotic information, but it is not a patriotic e-mail.
The disclaimer clearly states that
"This private e-mail correspondence is not affiliated with or endorsed by any corporation, organization or Internet Service Provider. The material contained herein is solely the responsibility of the author."
Additionally, this email goes to more non-Jesters than Jesters... more profane than Masons. So. Please be accurate when you describe the email as oriented towards one group or another.
into that which would rather remain hidden"
The things to remain hidden are the names, email addresses, phone numbers and other private information of members. We would not like this information exposed to crooks, who might be able to steal identities or harass men. This is the very information that she attempted to publish, causing me to assert my copyright to that information.
Would you like all the names and e-mails addresses of your subscribers published? Of course not. It’s a matter of privacy and security.
[Quote from The Taper] I don't agree with her that the contents are truly pornographic, but they are crude, juvenile, sexist and racist. The quality of the "humor" and the general layout of the e-zine remind me of something a 13-year old would create and enjoy. [/end quote]
As I prove weekly, I am not a computer professional. I am an old man doing something that keeps me busy. I do not have the computer skills of you younger folks. Think "am old geezer who types with one finger sitting at a computer".
The email also clearly states that you should pick and chose what you read. Not every item is for every recipient. Sexism and racism are in the eye of the beholder, so you have your opinion and I have mine. Clearly, you did not agree with Sandy's judgement that the e-mail was pornographic. So honest differences of opinion exist.
I don’t write the stuff, I just compile and pass it on. And just like everything else in this world, not everyone’s taste is the same. That’s why they make BOTH chocolate and vanilla.
[Quote from The Taper] If you read the comments section on Ms. Frost's article, you'll note that Mirth Missives publisher TazMack has been raising hell over the "leak" of his newsletter (he's the one who sent her a sample issue) and the list of several hundred subscribers, claiming "copyright violation." [/end quote]
I did not raise hell. I sent her the form letter that I got off the internet asking that she remove copyrighted material. Specifically, the names and email addresses of people on the directory --- as stated, this is not a subscription list, it is a directory. Past Grand Masters are on there so that other men may send them messages. The "leak" of the newsletter is irrelevant, as it is as secret as the thunder.
The “subscription list” is not a subscription list: it is a directory. Just as every person in your telephone book does not get a call from you, not everyone listed in the roster gets Mirth Missives. The actual Mirth Missive subscription list is less than 300 people. The Directory is a separate e-mail service, and Mirth Missives is another, and the other lists and notices I send to other lists are all separate and distinct, having little to do with each other.
Most people on that Directory list do get, however, what I call "GLOOM" --- obituaries.
And, by the way, I do not have a son who is a Judge, and me and my boys live in a different county from that judge. Just another example of her relying on a single source and not checking facts.
[Quote from The Taper] there's very little in the newsletter that is original.[/end quote]
Sadly true --- I compile and pass along items sent to me by subscribers, and the contributor is clearly noted before each submission. I am just not clever enough to compose too much original --- except, as you noted, for my good friend Fricke, and even most of that material is not original.
yeah, the part about controlled drugs)
Read the article. An unidentified man offers his left over blood pressure and diabetes medication. There were no takers. How many times have you been at lodge or church and hear one person offer another their excess medications. “I’d rather give it away than flush it away” was the way I understood the article.
[Quote from The Taper] The use of snippets from the newsletter that I'm publishing here falls under the Fair Use Clause. [/end quote]
That’s fine with me.
Here's the e-zine's disclaimer:
Thanx for lifting the status to e-zine … but it is not an e-zine and never aspires to be one.
Also, you left out the first part of the disclaimer, about not being endorsed by or affiliated with any organization..
"Mirth Missives is not for everyone. Particularly in business settings, some of the material may be problematic, possibly leading to sexual harassment or unlawful discrimination charges. To protect you and me, please do not receive Mirth Missives on a computer at your place of employment, or on a computer owned or installed at any fraternal or civic organization site. If you decide to print a copy of Mirth Missives, treat it as you would any other confidential mail and do not leave it lying around for prying eyes."
A little background would be enlightening... About 12 years ago, a man who worked with me received an email from a coworker on the company server. The email contained a joke that he found amusing -- it was not dirty --- it was a very clean joke about Southern Baptists not drinking in front of each other. His secretary opened the email and immediately took offense. She sued him and the company … and she won. After this gal won her suit, she complained about another coworker who kept an open bible on her desk. The coworker was obliged to take her bible home. Get my drift?
That is why the disclaimer is there. In our litigious society, people sue over anything and nothing
[Quote from The Taper] In closing, let me leave you with a joke or two from Mirth Missives.
Why not quote the non-objectionable parts... like the Roast Lines, or Yogi-Berra-Isms, or the Masonic Moment, or the Thought for the Day or the For the Trestle Board, or the Obituaries … a little balance would be nice.
I guess if your humor-meter is still stuck in the sixth grade and you spend your time at church trying to look up women's dresses, you might find Mirth Missives your "cup of tea," suitable for any private "men's organization." [/end quote]
See my comments about “Chocolate and Vanilla”.
[Quote from The Taper] But these men are Freemasons. These are the “pillars of the community.” Many of these men are present or past “illustrious potentates” and 33rd degree poobahs. The publisher of Mirth Missives wears a 33rd degree white hat.[/end quote]
I would like you to take note that you have been mis-led. This email goes to more non-Masons than Masons. The fact that some Masons enjoy potty humor does not mean that ALL masons enjoy potty humor. AND --- this is not an email that goes exclusively to Masons.
Also, the fact that someone's email address is listed in the directory does not indicate that he is a subscriber to Mirth Missives.
[Quote from The Taper] I've seen the distribution list of Mirth Missives.[/end quote]
Again, what Sandy sent you was a directory that has nothing to do with Mirth Missives per se. AND the majority of the people listed are not on the distribution list ---- but they are all Jesters. Should it be against someone's code to allow a directory of members of an organization to be published to other members?
[Quote from The Taper] I just find it disturbing that you're doing it en masse under the banner of a group associated with Freemasonry.[/end quote]
Please, be fair. This is not done under any organizations banner. And 300 is hardly en masse.
Sandy's half-truths, mis-leading rhetorical questions and sensationalism are but a few of the reasons she is so discredited. And she would greatly benefit from a fact-checker.
Widow's Son, I have held you in high regard for your insights and objectivity and ask that you fairly evaluate what I have related in this email. I trust that any Mason being thus enlightened would want to be a little more evenhanded. Even with a Mason who enjoys the occasional potty joke.
Thank you for reading this
Sincerely and Fraternally
PS --- if you think the jokes I sent were full of foul language, crude and sexists, you should see what I reject and just cant clean up.
And you can ignore the copyright at the end of this email --- it is automatically added to all my emails ... even Mirth Missives --- reprint what you like from this email.
As I ponder this, I see that I have treated his Mirth Missives email newsletter in a similar way to how many of my own detractors have treated The Burning Taper — as if it is actually a Masonic publication instead of it being a publication by a Mason.
Just as I find many of his jokes, cartoons and other content "unmasonic," so too do many people find the contents of The Burning Taper "unmasonic." As TazMack says in his email, "chocolate and vanilla." We all have different likes and dislikes, different opinions of what is "moral" or "Masonic."
I regret and apologize for assuming the roster of Jester members was the subscription list for Mirth Missives.
As a firm supporter of free speech and a free press, I believe that TazMack has the right to publish his Mirth Missives and send it to whomever he chooses.
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