This article serves as an eulogy, a reminder, a rumination, and in its heart, a personal tribute to a person whose affection, professionalism, and perseverance I shall engrave dearly in my heart.
I was a user of Limelight and had three accounts. It wouldn’t be hard to fathom who I am, since I know a website obtains useragent, and my email would’ve sold me anyway. I made no attempts to hide, but perhaps writing this from a blank account would be better that way.
I made friends on Limelight; I had good times on Limelight – bad time alike. People on Limelight were by and large kind and unassuming, a solace when I was in forced mobility and most downtrodden. But then, Limelight broke. It broke into pieces, and things were chaotic, even traumatising to some.
Before I develop my arguments further, I invite you to ask yourselves a question, what is a community? A community, according to its origin narrated by OED, is ‘The L.[atin] word was merely a noun of quality from commūnis, meaning ‘fellowship, community of relations or feelings’; but in med[evial].L[atin]. it was, like universitas, used concretely in the sense of ‘a body of fellows or fellow-townsmen’’’.
A community, in my view, is a group consisted by people comes from various walks of lives. There are ‘pioneers’, there are ‘founding citizens’, there are more equal people amongst equal people. Gradually, people formed Senate (literally means ‘a group of senior’), people formed clique. They’re first amongst equal, they are no longer fellow: fellows have some sort of equal footing, but some fellows become senior fellow, become readers, become professors. A hierarchy is formed, and in order to display its importance, the hierarchy erodes community, renders it a playground for those ‘equal-er’ people.
We formed cliques. Hierarchy has life on its own, so it grows on its will. Hierarchy grows effete, as the community grows forbidding and foreboding. We started to seek fame; we covet power. But what does power good for? After all, it’s all a sad website deployed with shabby Discourse, available anywhere for download. But we covet power, not love. The very moment of people coveting power but love, that very moment – community dies. Since the death has been spelt, it is just a matter of time before its closure. The closure is a result, not a cause. I would like to make an additional remark: in the case of Limelight, the closure was graceful, and timely, based on what I have known.
Community is somewhere we share, it is somewhere we see others – people from different locale, from various culture, from disadvantaged group or privileged middle-class. Unity in diversity, at least that’s the direction we should have been working on. Community collapses on the very moment we form the taxonomy of ‘us’ and ‘them’. We see them, we empathise them, we love them.
When we form cliques, they are bubble. If we live in a bubble, where flatters and compliments are the majority, noise will be too loud, so does silence. We can no longer hear truth. We can no longer see truth. We can no longer believe in truth even if is too obvious to ignore – so we attack the prophet.
If we were to find the guilty ones, we just have to look at the mirror. It is me, and you, who destroyed Limelight, and it would be you and me who would destroy Futarino. Our every slip in wording, our every unchecked hatred, our every mistake would create a crack in our hearts, in our eyes, in our community. It will break one day, if we let our hatred unchecked, and love unexpressed.
It’s my lamentation for Limelight, and it’s my reminder for Futarino. I am certain that Futarino as a website will end someday, and I hope when (not if) it ends, it ends gracefully, and would have left a positive impact. Surely, Futarino will live and carry on in every and each hearts, so it will live beyond its server and its time.
For things are decided, not by God, not by admins, but in your hearts. Love each other, and listen to all parties, and never forget to comfort the sufferers.
Madame M, you’ve toiled more than your share. Now it’s time for you to rest. For the generations to come, I wish nothing but good luck.
- From an observer, a sinner, a recorder, and a participant