One year anniversary of 5-Filters

Well… it’s been a year today that we started this little board. It’s been an interesting journey!

Top categories are:

The top viewed threads were:

and the most active threads in terms of replies were:

Thanks, everyone, for your contributions over the year. Hoping for an even more interesting year to come!

Peace to all


I ran a poetry critique and discussion board back in the early 2000s. It was the high water mark of internet poetry (not my board, I just mean in general). My board was quite busy - about 150 members, and about 20 regulars (remember, this was still the early days of the internet). Poetry, by its nature, can be rather political. Then in September 2001 some guy in a cave in Afghanistan apparently attacked America. With all the varying views about it all, mayhem ensued on the discussion boards, including my own.

It’s not easy running a discussion board (you have to put up with people like me). My take at the time was that ‘anything goes’, with the usual proviso that there’s no hate speech, or calls to murder people, etc.

Like me during the early 2000s, you now find yourself running a board during an absolutely momentous time in history, and emotions are running very high.

Keep it open; keep it free; otherwise a board will quickly calcify/die.

You’ll probably end-up banning me from this board (over the years I’ve been banned from just about everywhere); if so, no hard feelings.

Thanks for providing an open speech platform during a time of extreme censorship, and good luck with going forward with it into the future.

Oh, and who is ‘admin’?


Thanks @RobG

I’m the admin for the board - meaning I’m the domain owner, responsible for the technical maintenance, and I currently pay for it. I’m also a moderator, along with two others, so I wear two hats. Going forward this will likely change and we’ll open a discussion to work out how the board wants to choose is moderators. At some point we’ll open up the funding too so it becomes truly community owned and run. I’ll probably keep my duties as a tech admin though.



Congratulations and many happy returns. Thank you for providing a much needed alternative to the now unfriendly TLN.


PP, back in the early 2000s it was, by comparison, horrendously expensive to have a presence on the internet.

I actually used to ask my board members not to post large audio or graphic files, because it chewed-up so much bandwidth, that I had to pay for.

I can imagine. Times have changed though. With a bit of tech savvy, Discourse (the software we use to run this board) allows us to keep this up for 5 quid/month. Quite a bargain! If we start to need more memory/bandwidth etc then I’ll open a gofundme page or similar.


PS - I’ve had my share of being banned from various internet forums too. It’d be something if I eventually got banned from this one too!

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Heaven forfend, Mr. D’Arcy!!

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Happy birthday to us! And thanks to our present adminner and talisperson.
But what’s all this about moderation - who is in charge of making posts less moderate then? Got to have balance :slightly_smiling_face:

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It was a very different world 20 years ago, when critical thinking was still in the fore.

Here’s another one of my crap poems, possibly the most misunderstood one (search David Blaine, Tower Bridge).

It’s a Spenserian, in tets. I know it’s bad manners to post your poetry, but on a Sunday evening you could do far worse than read a sonnet. I post it because it might have all that energy from 20 years ago.

The Yank In The Tank

We chased limelight to Tower Bridge
to see our dreams hang in the air,
where once stews sucked on Eckett’s ridge
and cholera took Bill Sikes’ lair.

I caught my breath, your gymslip dare,
as little girls sang songs to Dave,
the thrusting piles of finance there
now plunged into Fagin’s moist grave.

We thought it was rather quite brave
to swing with dollymops and rats
in such a very taboo place, save
for chic bistros and yuppy flats;

and I gave you a crooked grin;
you said: “shut-up and drink your gin”.


So necessary the Lifeboat is getting poisonous, didn’t bother to mention it but I had a whole post redacted by Dan recently with an admonition; “not to post such nonsense”! No incitement, no racism, sexism, transphobia or religious sectarianism concerned, Dan just thinks I bring the board into disrepute…


Admirably concise.

Nicola Barker got a whole novel out of it, and not a bad one, Clear.


Possibly not as harsh as rapper Zuby (another Awake And Paying Attention musician btw) who was suspended by Twitter last year for a tweet reading “ok dude”.

Back story:

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Karen, the latter day rappers do exactly what I do. They just do it in a slightly different way. I can listen to these guys and I know where they’re coming from.

Music (and that includes poetry) must be one of the most powerful forces in the human world?

What I do has no slick video or music production. It’s just 14 lines of text on a screen, and I write mostly in tetrametre (8 beats per line), whereas most sonnets are written in pentametre (10 beats per line).

This geezer was a genius, who wrote everything in just about perfect pentametre, including his plays…

Sonnet 18: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

By William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

It’s why you might find my poems a lot ‘faster’, because I mostly write at eight beats per line.

Don’t try this at home, kiddies…


Poisonous indeed. I apparently got banned during a recent thread (Dan “wouldn’t be smeared”) as I haven’t been able to log in anymore. (It’s here if you’re interested The Lifeboat News ). Never mind the smears I received…

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And I forgot to add that Shakespear’s sonnet 18 is a bit of a rip-off of a Herrick poem (they both lived at about the same time). Maybe Admin can create an ‘Arts’ section here for those who might be interested in this stuff.

To the Virgins, to make much of Time

Gather ye Rose-buds while ye may,
Old Time is still a flying:
And this same flower that smiles to day,
To morrow will be dying.

The glorious Lamp of Heaven, the Sun,
The higher he’s a getting;
The sooner will his Race be run,
And neerer he’s to Setting.

That Age is best, which is the first,
When Youth and Blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times, still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time;
And while ye may, goe marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry.


Welcome to the desert of the banned. Several of us are in the same boat. We’ll need more chairs…

PS it’s been my and others experience that smears perpetuated by the regular posters on TLN in defence of the majority view are invisible. It’s bizarre to witness, but it’s the culture of that board. There’s no smear too vile that it can’t be blissfully ignored as long as it supports the majority opinion. Given one of the stated aims of the board is to examine media bias, I always found the irony deeply amusing.


@RobG I’ve changed the “culture” category to “arts and culture”. Does that work? Or should I separate em?

Yep. I think the connection with media lens of yore has now been entirely forgotten. Goodness knows what they all fondly imagine that they learned.

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Thanks admin. I’ll avoid poetry stuff for the time being, because I’m sure everyone is bored with it.

But in a similar vein, Jacques Brel, who was another roman candle. It’s now difficult to find his music online.

Brel got through four packs of Gauloises a day… In the 1970s he had one lung removed because of cancer. The cancer came back to get him later in the decade.

Brel was quite brilliant, and I could post endless of his music vids.

Instead, one of the last songs he ever put out. It’s called Le Bon Dieu (the Good God). Brel knew he was dying, and in this quite remarkable song he comes to terms with it. It starts low key, but then builds up…


What! Are you mad, Rob! Never stop with the sacred arts of barddoniaeth a cherddoriaeth!

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