Active Dog Emails

INTRODUCTION

Some time in 2001 (or very early 2002) I received an email asking that I add a band called Active Dog to my list of Canadians. Granted, the band was Canadian and technically was qualified to be on the list. However, since the band was a punk band in Vancouver in 1979 and disbanded after releasing only one single, I didn't feel they deserved to be on the list, which has as its mandate to inform the world about Canadians they may have heard of. The day I received the email asking to add Active Dog, I attempted to explain this mandate in the caveat listed at the bottom of the page and reprinted here:

OK, so this is the part where I solicit contributions from the huddled masses (i.e. you). But first let me say this: I put this page together to highlight Canadians for those who may not know they were Canadian. But I keep getting emails suggesting I add people or bands that nobody has ever heard of or, if you've heard of them, then you know they are Canadian. For instance, I received an email today asking me to add a Vancouver punk band from 1979, called Active Dog. This band had one song on a punk compilation record and their only other release (a single) came out after they had broken up! The only people who would know this band are the people who were there at the time, and the chances that they were not aware of the Canadianness of the band are nil. So please, if you are going to submit a name or an achievement, make sure it's someone we've heard of or that made a difference. (Yes, I added Active Dog anyway. Since the person who submitted it seemed to think it was an important entry because Buck Cherry had been a member [I have Buck Cherry on the list, mainly because of the California band called Buckcherry], I decided to add Bif Naked's four previous bands, which I'm surprised no one has sent me yet! [Bif Naked being more known than Buck Cherry who, the last time I checked, was a music critic for the local newspaper.] But that's all I'm adding. No more nobodies or coulda-beens, please!)

THE EMAILS

The following is a correspondence between someone offended by the above and myself. These are cut & paste jobs, so all grammatical errors and spelling mistakes are left intact. Only minor editing was done to protect privacy.

INITIAL EMAIL:

Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2002 13:28:35 -0700
From: RWC <moleculu@shaw.ca>
To: StickBoy@LeeAaron.net

Hey asshole, take any reference to "Active Dog" off of your sad assed
page and next time check your facts before you slag something you
obviously know nothing about.

MY REPLY:

Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2002 01:58:52 -0700
From: "StickBoy" <StickBoy@LeeAaron.net>
To: "RWC" <moleculu@shaw.ca>

Hello person who is afraid to sign his or her missive,

I should like to address your email one point at a time.

> Hey asshole,

Informal and yet obtuse. Are you in the habit of speaking to people's bums?
I'm afraid that my own would reply in a way that is commonly regarded as
rude, so I shall reply on its behalf.

> take any reference to "Active Dog" off of your sad assed
> page

There are only two references to Active Dog (I didn't feel the quotations
were warranted), therefore, the proper phrase would be "take either
reference". But since you didn't say please, I don't think I will.

> and next time

There won't be a "next time". They are already listed. There is no need to
list them again. They shouldn't be listed in the first place....

> check your facts

My own personal facts? I didn't think it was necessary to know anything
about me before adding that band to the list. Was I wrong? As for the band
being on the page - the page is a list of Canadians and the fact is, they
were Canadian. Which other facts should I have checked?

> before you slag something

Did I slag them? I don't think so. If so, do please explain how.

> you obviously know nothing about.

Oh, you got me on that one. It's true, I know very little about Active Dog.
In fact, all I know about them is what I read in the Last Call[*] liner notes.
And yet, I know that they are Canadian, and that's about all I really need
to know to put them on (and keep them on) my list of Canadians.

Thanks for writing. It's always a pleasure to hear from people who have
enjoyed my work.

--
a message from StickBoy
webmaster ... The Official Lee Aaron Web Site (http://www.LeeAaron.net/)
webmaster ... CanadianClassicRock.com (http://www.CanadianClassicRock.com/)
webminder ... Official Headpins Home on The Web (http://www.headpins.net/)
absentee landlord ... Another Useless Home Page (http://go.to/StickBoy/)


* Last Call is a 2 CD compilation of "Vancouver Independent Music 1977-1988". I clarify this for you, the web reader, who may not know this. I did not clarify it for this person because I expected that s/he would know it, what with having knowledge of Active Dog in the first place.

THE REPLY:

Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2002 06:43:00 -0700
From: RWC <moleculu@shaw.ca>
To: StickBoy <stickboy@leeaaron.net>

[address deleted], Vancouver
I really think you should, [name deleted].


For the sake of privacy, the address and name the person cited in the email have been removed.

MY REPLY:

Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2002 08:26:10 -0700
From: "StickBoy" <StickBoy@LeeAaron.net>
To: "RWC" <moleculu@shaw.ca>


[address deleted], Vancouver
Now you are telling me things I already know....
I really think you should, [name deleted].
You really think I should ... what?

THE REPLY:

Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2002 09:01:08 -0700
From: RWC <moleculu@shaw.ca>
To: StickBoy <stickboy@leeaaron.net>

Listen [name deleted], I'll make this really easy enough for even you to
understand, I sent you in the Active Dog info in good faith because I
thought it would be an approprate place for it to be logged as we were
one of the first so called power punk bands in Vancouver, and you had
other bands that we played with on your website, IE: DOA (even Doug and
the fucking slugs for fuck sake, a pathetic band at best even back then)
I had no idea what a mistake that was. There was no accounting for your
arrogance in slagging the band as 'has beens' etc, I mean really, if
that were the case what the fuck are you doing worshipping Lee Aaron a
' never was' in any serious musicians thinking even with her now whining
jazz rebirth, but in investigating who you are a bit further I found out
what a pathetic, smart ass, wanker you truly are (Charlie Manson
bullshit, et all), Anyway I'm wasting far too much time repying to you
as it is, do what you want with the stupid slavering page no one will
see it anyway (Geocities). but you just might run into me some day, as I
live about two blocks from your house and you never know who you might
meet having a drink, on the Drive. All the best to you.

MY REPLY:

Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2002 15:08:54 -0700
From: "StickBoy" <StickBoy@LeeAaron.net>
To: "RWC" <moleculu@shaw.ca>

> Listen [name deleted],

It always amuses me when people use conversational terms in writing. How on
earth can I "listen"?

> I'll make this really easy enough for even you to
> understand, I sent you in the Active Dog info

You sent that info? What was that, like a year ago? How come it took you so
long to notice my comments?

> in good faith because I
> thought it would be an approprate place for it to be logged as we were
> one of the first so called power punk bands in Vancouver, and you had
> other bands that we played with on your website, IE: DOA (even Doug and
> the fucking slugs for fuck sake, a pathetic band at best even back then)

The page is not about quality, it's about Canadians. If it was about
quality, the page would be half as long (or less).

> I had no idea what a mistake that was.

Oh no, I take full reponsibility. If I had given the caveat in the first
place, you never would have sent it in, right?

> There was no accounting for your
> arrogance in slagging the band as 'has beens' etc,

I defy you to find on the page where I called anyone "has beens". I honestly
don't believe in that term and would never use it. I believe, if you would
care to re-read the section in question, you will find that I am clarifying
the purpose of the page - which is to let the world outside Canada know who
is Canadian. The addition of anyone who was never known outside of Canada is
a little silly and ends up making the site trivial rather than informative
and, dare I say, awe-inspiring.

I don't doubt the contribution of Active Dog to the Vancouver punk scene (or
even, the Vancouver music scene), nor will I argue their place in time. If
this were a page all about bands that never made it out of Canada, then I
could add a whole lot more, but it's not.

> I mean really, if
> that were the case what the fuck are you doing worshipping Lee Aaron a
> ' never was' in any serious musicians thinking even with her now whining
> jazz rebirth,

Fortunately for Lee Aaron (I guess), I am not a serious musician. :)

> but in investigating who you are a bit further I found out
> what a pathetic, smart ass, wanker you truly are (Charlie Manson
> bullshit, et all),

I thought you woulda figured out what a pathetic, smart ass wanker I truly
am just by my last two emails to you.... But thanks for checking out my
site! :)

> Anyway I'm wasting far too much time repying to you
> as it is,

... and I'm having far too much fun replying to you....

> do what you want with the stupid slavering page

Thanks for your permission. May I add that to the site? "Published by
permission of RWC"....

> no one will
> see it anyway (Geocities).

You found it....

> but you just might run into me some day, as I
> live about two blocks from your house and you never know who you might
> meet having a drink, on the Drive. All the best to you.

As resourceful as you may be (that's quite a talent, to find who owns a
domain), you do need to not jump to conclusions. After all, I'm only the
webmaster, not the webowner. You addressed this email to [name deleted], but that's
not me and I don't live at the address quoted in your previous email. That's
the person who owns the [domain deleted] address, that's all. But I'm sure that
person would love to have a drink with you. I, on the other hand, don't
frequent The Drive, so it's unlikely I'll run into you - unless you happen
to jump in front of my car. But now I'm just being silly....

Alas, I did not hear from this person again....
(And I changed my mind about adding a notice about his permission....)

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