Jump to content

Rightist Bias In Cache Approval


MOCKBA
Followers 3

Recommended Posts

Ever since I read Orwell’s “1984” I’ve come to realize that you learn a lot about a society by finding what chapters of history they are trying to erase. Say here in Utah, people repeatedly vandalize and destroy signs commemorating Japanese internment camps of WWII. As to the perhaps most prominent Utah leftist, Joe Hill, there are no historical markers at the places where he lived, worked, and was executed by firing squad in an affront to the President of the United States and to the world’s opinion. Local textbooks keep silence as well.

I’ve been trying to pinpoint the location of Joe Hill’s 1915 execution, immortalized in a song of Woody Guthrie, for quite some time. It turned out that this place is now a city park, full of playing kids and picnickers and joggers, a site of Fourth of July fireworks, and just short walk from a cache named “Home Sweet Utah”. Total oblivion. There is in fact a plaque here, tucked away behind the trees, but it has nothing to do with this poet, union organizer, and martyr. The plaque merely confirms that there was a Penitentiary here, a grim compound behind 18’ adobe walls, where among others the descendants Utah pioneers served time for polygamy.

I feel that the site is as solemn as it is forgotten. Can one make it into a cache idea? How can one avoid being disrespectful, or worse, sacrilegious, yet still give the seekers the thrill of search and find, and the sense of connection with the past? Probably not by hiding a can of trinkets here. Probably not by asking the finders of a virtual to confirm the find by reciting the most irrelevant tidbits from the plaque, either.

So I try a virtual. That’s one of the things Utah geocachers are famous for, and new virts are approved almost daily. Most are simple historical marker virts honoring Mormon Pioneer history, but there are plenty of complicated virtuals. Multi virts; combo locationless which can be claimed both by finding the location and by finding some other bit of history; verification-less virts; whatever. The woes of virt approval seem to be a largely out-of-state phenomenon here.

Of course the Joe Hill historical virt, which I called “Silence of the Markers”, is promptly denied. Admin notes that 3 out of 4 confirming facts can be found on the Internet. Just think of it, the gist of the cache idea is that the marker DOES NOT mention Joe Hill’s fate. One HAS to find this info elsewhere, using other facts and names from the markers. But by the Admin’s logic, this makes the cache ineligible.

Then there is the usual can-you-hide-a-trad argument, which is applied by Utah Admin very selectively. Apparently only when a historical virt uncovers some unflattering history.

The last argument is perhaps the most telling. “It is so gruesome”, - Admin writes, “people may be freaked out”. This is a truly Orwellian bit of reasoning, that “the masses won’t understand”, “the people may come to wrong conclusion”. It truly makes me sick to the stomach. But I overcome this sick feeling and put together a proposal for a multi with a trad final part, and email it to Admin for comments or objections. Days pass, I get no response, and in the end I decide to turn to the forums. Not to get something approved; forget it. Rather, to present a study of ideological biases. You gotta identify them before you can confront them.

We get two caches – including a virt – honoring Orrin Rockwell Porter, the lead henchman of the early Mormon state, who boasted of political assasinations, and who escaped federal noose by drinking himself to death. We get a Christ-themed cache. The rules are bent, but overall, we are an anti-liberal, anti-environment, gun and ATV-loving society. We may be good sportsmen and decent human beings, but we don’t mind if he rules are bent in our favor. We just can’t possibly honor a wobblie.

Link to comment

The last argument is perhaps the most telling. “It is so gruesome”, - Admin writes, “people may be freaked out”. This is a truly Orwellian bit of reasoning, that “the masses won’t understand”, “the people may come to wrong conclusion”.

Maybe it's just your user name that makes them biased against you. :D

 

Edit:typo

Edited by cachew nut
Link to comment

You might consider contacting your local (or even county or state) historical societies about gettting a plaque or something for this overlooked person/event/etc. Especially if you would be willing to help pay for the cost of commisioning and erecting any such markers. This would help inform everyone who visits those location(s), just make sure everything factual and not legend.

 

As for the multicache proposal, check the address and email the approver again.

Link to comment

MOCKBA

I too find that the public in general doesn't know of the early history of unions and they things they went through to get things like a 40 hour work week. they beatings the shootings, lynchings and conspiricies that included using the state militia against women and children living in tents. Furthermore many don't care about some of the uglier sides of U.S. history,. But don't give up and do what you can to bring this out to others. It may give some that are intellectual food for thought.

Link to comment
.

The last argument is perhaps the most telling. “It is so gruesome”, - Admin writes, “people may be freaked out”. This is a truly Orwellian bit of reasoning, that “the masses won’t understand”, “the people may come to wrong conclusion”. It truly makes me sick to the stomach. But I overcome this sick feeling and put together a proposal for a multi with a trad final part, and email it to Admin for comments or objections. Days pass, I get no response, and in the end I decide to turn to the forums. Not to get something approved; forget it. Rather, to present a study of ideological biases. You gotta identify them before you can confront them.

We get two caches – including a virt – honoring Orrin Rockwell Porter, the lead henchman of the early Mormon state, who boasted of political assasinations, and who escaped federal noose by drinking himself to death. We get a Christ-themed cache. The rules are bent, but overall, we are an anti-liberal, anti-environment, gun and ATV-loving society. We may be good sportsmen and decent human beings, but we don’t mind if he rules are bent in our favor. We just can’t possibly honor a wobblie.

I'm not the reviewer that handled you cache, but obviously I can see the cache in question. You quoted the reviewer's message to you out of context. To be fair, here is the full rejection, posted January 7th, the same day you submitted the cache.

We appreciate your cache submission but this cache does not meet the requirements. A physical cache could be placed at this location. Also, when you find a virtual cache you should find the answers that you need to prove that you actually found it. In your cache you can find the answers by doing a search on the internet without even going to the location.

And one more thing, the photo on the cache page of Joe Hill's bullet riddled body is quite disturbing and could freak people out.

There is in fact, a large close up photo of a dead, bullet riddled body as part of the cache description.

 

The reviewer that is working on your cache has not logged into the site since sometime friday, it's very possible the guy is away for the weekend, spending a day with his family, or even geocaching. I don't know how long it took you to go out, put together a multicache, and email the reviewer again, but even if you did it the very next day, you sill barely gave the guy a full day to respond.

Link to comment

I think the idea of making it part of a multi would be good if they don't approve your virtual.

 

If the cache approver doesn't think some people would be interested in this type of American history, you could always explain the history of this site on the cache page and then let people decide for themselves if they want to do it. I think if the person was 'warned' about what the cache was all about, they could make an informed decision about it. You don't have to give the whole cache away in the details but just enough to let people know that it might not be for them.

 

I went to a virtual at Babi Yar park here in Denver. The park is named for a gorge in Kiev where Nazi's killed over 100,000 people and used the gorge as a mass grave. It didn't 'freak me out' (although I understand it might be unpleasant for others). What it made me decide to do was come home and look for more information online about this tragedy. I found out a lot of information and I appreciate the cache owner for placing this virtual because I have learned more about world history. Not all history (American or World history) is pleasant but I still think it's good to know more about the world around you.

 

Just my 2 cents. Sorry if I offend anyone here. :D

Edited by Imajika
Link to comment
We appreciate your cache submission but this cache does not meet the requirements. A physical cache could be placed at this location. Also, when you find a virtual cache you should find the answers that you need to prove that you actually found it. In your cache you can find the answers by doing a search on the internet without even going to the location.

And one more thing, the photo on the cache page of Joe Hill's bullet riddled body is quite disturbing and could freak people out.

 

 

Interesting how quoting in context completely changes the viewpoint.

Edited by CO Admin
Link to comment

Well, I wrote that last post before I saw NJ Admin's post. A photo like that just might upset some people.

 

Maybe you could make it part of a multi though and do what I suggested before (let people know that it's not for kids or people that are faint of heart).

 

In any case, good luck on it.

Edited by Imajika
Link to comment

Interesting how quoting in context completely changes the viewpoint.

I have a theory that people read out of context then promote the emotional response when they quote. So it is really a problem of reading out of context, I hope. I'd hate to think people quote out of context on purpose. :D

Link to comment

Just be careful to make it an enjoyable caching experience and not some political statement. Remember this from the guidelines:

 

"...caches perceived to be posted for religious, political, or social agendas may not be listed. Geocaching is supposed to be a light, fun activity, not a platform for an agenda. "

 

That quote was from the "solicitations" paragraph, but could probably be applied to caches placed "to make a point" I think.

Link to comment

Hmm, selective quoting out of context. Smells bad.

 

Play by the rules and do what you can to get it approved the right way.

 

Don't point fingers at others and try to turn this into a case of selective approving, historical bias or anything else.

 

Sorry, unless I missed something else in the exchanges your credibility just went out the door.

Link to comment

I should have allowed myself more cooldown time, perhaps. I didn't see the context of the Admin's message in the same context as most of you guys did, but now I can see your point, especially about the violent image. I still fail to see the point about the information available on the Internet rather than at the cache site. For one thing not all of it was available on Internet, to the best of my knowledge. More importantly the rest of the info was not available at the site which was precisely my point.

In any case I must admit that reading a message with emotions fogging one's eyes is not the surest ways to get the info right. And if it turns out that I didn't get another response from UtahAdmin simply because one was out of town or something, then it embarasses me even more, and shakes the foundations of my conspiracy theory even more.

My usual take on UtahAdmin's standing is that we are really blessed with this. Responses are usually very fast, and if there are mistakes in approval, they are more often in favor of the submittor. Perhaps that's why I reacted so strongly ... just didn't expect to get this from the old local trusted Admin. Blush.

Link to comment

We have Virts at all kinds of places,some of these may even be war veterans memorials. There may be an agenda to political or personal agenda to have people visit these. I personnaly don't mind. Let them make their statement just like here in the forums. Just don't shove it down our throats or make it too graphic. Don't make it an agenda, just something to think on . It may be history whether we like it or am abhorred by it.

 

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

 

There is a thread on quotes and context. YOU must not quote out of context or you will not be viewed as being credible.

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...62030&hl=quotes

Link to comment

Maybe it's just me, but I have a different reason for and perspective on Geocaching than MOCKBA seems to have with this particular cache.

 

For me, Geocaching is purely a game that is not at all about being directed to a site to receive an historical or political lesson (be it right-wing, left-wing, or wax-wing). To me, Geocaching is not about an "end" but about a "search".

 

If I want to direct a searcher to something in particular, I would just post a regular cache at a nearby site, and say in the posting "since you've discovered the cache, please stop by a nearby site and see why I feel so strongly about the XYZ event that occurred here in American history".

 

I've found several caches that intended nothing more than a fun hunt, but had me pause and look around once I got there. I have been frequently awed by the sights I've seen. But, I would never design a cache with the intent that the cache itself "teach" the cache-hunter something.

 

To me, that's just not the intent of Geocaching. Of course, maybe I'm missing something.

Link to comment

If part of the point of one of my caches is to draw attention to the history of the site, I just put it right on the cache page.

 

See here, here and here for examples.

 

If people are interested, they will read the page. If not, they'll ignore everythng but the coordinates and maybe the clue.

Edited by briansnat
Link to comment
If part of the point of one of my caches is to draw attention to the history of the site, I just put it right on the cache page.

I kind of migrated away from the trads where all you need is the coords and maybe a clue, and into puzzle caches where some reasoning or calculation is req'd to get to the destination. I mean all kinds of caches have a place but some areas are overpopulated with regular trads. There is never an excess of more challenging hides, including mysteries and puzzles.

My idea of converting the denied virtual into a multi was a puzzle, too. One based on poetry and history. So a cacher would need to immerse oneself into the historical stuff in order to find it. It would not be merely an interesting sideline like in your caches, but actually an integral part of the search.

This is the outline of the cache idea :listed coordinates refer the seeker to a song by Woody Guthrie. One has to match two other locations with Woody Guthrie's songs to solve it. One location is in last verse of the song identified at step 1. (SPOILER WARNING!) It is of course the misfortunate virt location. The other, final location relies on a clue from another Woody Guthrie's song ("This land was made for you and me"), plus a crude coordinate reference calculated from the data on the historical marker.

Link to comment

Personally, I don't like long drawn out cache descriptions--it makes for harder reading on the PDA.

 

However, here's another idea. Post general coords to the town. Write clues that get a person to the area that Joe Hill was killed and have them find a prominent landmark like a tree or swingset. Have them mark that spot and then give an offset to those coords i.e. "Mark this spot and then add .035 to the latitude and subtract .007 from the longitude. Go there to find the cache."

 

You could add other elements to the cache to force more research depth.

 

Some say it's about the hunt, some say it's about trading, and for others it's something else. It could be about getting out, seeing nature, or a whole host of things.

 

For me, it's about the adventure through time and space. Give me an interesting adventure and I'm happy.

Link to comment

There are plenty of photos of Joe Hill that are more appropriate. More importantly, seeing his body full of holes may make someone think he was a criminal, which isn't the light you want to put him in.

 

As a physicial cache you can still theme the contents, especially if you're willing to have a sense of humor about it. (And if you can't have a sense of humor about it, this may not be the best thing to try and make into a light family activity). How about some Woody Guthrie CDs, weebles (for Wobblies), American flags, and some bookcrossing books about the subject. Sure, in a week it'll be mcToys, but if that bothers you just go out and reseed it again.

Link to comment

Approvers are usually busy, so getting a cache approved quickly is hard, but shouldn't bother you too much. The whole "bias" deal, you could just get the cache approved as a "park" cache, and then later change is to memorialize the loss, because I don't see any reason to not be able to place a cache here if it meets all the other guidelines.

Link to comment

And one more thing, the photo on the cache page of Joe Hill's bullet riddled body is quite disturbing and could freak people out.

 

 

:lol: How does this person avoid the front page of the newspaper with all of the US and other soldiers " bullet riddled" bodies.

This is a type of censorship that is not in the domain of Groundspeak control.

This reviewer needs to be suitably chastised. :lol:

Notice that I am not asking for suggestions as to this. :lol:

Link to comment
Approvers are usually busy, so getting a cache approved quickly is hard, but shouldn't bother you too much.

I wonder if the 18 months that have passed since this post was first posted have made any changes in the OP's attempt to get it listed? :lol:

Perhaps we'll soon learn the answer as I have just dropped your question into an e-mail to him. I hope to radicalize the process by going directly to the source. :lol:

Edited by Team Cotati
Link to comment

I am going to go ahead and close this topic. Any possible benefit that might arise from re-visiting an 18 month old discussion of a denied virtual cache submission is outweighed by the confusion caused by the old thread being bumped. In addition, the original poster is no longer active on Geocaching.com.

 

The cache was never listed, nor was it re-worked into a listed multicache that started at or near the same coordinates.

 

The location would fit very well into the new replacement functionality for virtual and locationless caches.

Link to comment
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Followers 3
×
×
  • Create New...