I became the site’s primary administrator about seven years ago when we had less than 2,500 members, and Jim Wilimont was solely in charge. I came on then as a helping administrator. Eventually Jim decided administrating the site was too much for him so he handed the reigns over to me.
I’ve done my level best to build our Rat memorial site into a meaningful forum for communicating 27 years of Rat history and beyond. The Rat holds a very deep history which has touched and influenced thousands of people both here and abroad.
Presently, our site membership is over 7,000 and we’ve got punk rock tentacles all over the world. As a parallel, New York’s CBGB Facebook site has about 7,500 members. It’s an indomitable fact that one can not say “punk rock” anywhere in America without acknowledging The Rat and CBGB’s. It’s sort of like the story of a genesis that has Punk as an opposite big brother and The Rat and CBGB’s as two opposite but similar sisters.
As the site continued growing, Michael Smith came on board as a co-administrator and together we were enabling new membership while also working diligently keeping advertising spammers out of the room. On balance, given the magnitude of it all, we’ve done a pretty good job keeping our forum on topic.
Then Michael passed away (R.I.P. Michael Smith) and I began having my own heart-related health issues. Another co-administrator was needed. [NOTE: As a side note, it would be great to bring on board a female Rat thread administrator — if anyone is interested please send me a message.]
A couple years ago I asked Brian Young to help out with the admin duties. Brian has been and remains a well-known Boston area DJ for WMFO FM Radio (91.5) who for many years has hosted a Saturday afternoon internet podcast show that thoroughly dedicated to punk rock n’ roll! Brain also was Facebook administrator to his radio show Crash Course for The Ravers which has an extensive membership, so he had experience. A friend of mine also, he was perfect for the job!
Overall, Brian has done a fantastic job. Via his radio show he’s helped to increase our membership and has brought lots of new and young awareness of the famous Rat scene. On his radio show Brian relentlessly and weekly credits Rat musicians and provides them a much-needed musical forum for live performance.
Marvel Comics sensationally has offered a comic book series entitled: What-If. Well, through a series of innocent mistakes we journied down the road of the fantasy vs. the reality experience.
What-If The Rat Thread Became Thigh Scrapers?
Well … that’s precisely what happened!
I can attest about a month ago, while exploring the site’s administrative settings, Brian made a simple mistake attempting to link an event he had on tap as an adjunct to The Rat site — he was only trying to boost awareness to both the Rat site and to his own event. He held no ill intent. He thought he was doing good.
Whatever happened in the process, he somehow managed to cross wires. His Thigh Scraper band group site became entwined with The Rat group site, causing the images and memberships of both sites to become reversed. So if you searched for Thigh Scrapers you got The Rat; if you searched for The Rat you got Thigh Scrapers — lol! Brian immediately went through 24-hour of agony trying to switch everything back to normal.
Unsuccessful trying to correct the problem, he contacted me and apologetically explained what happened. Mostly a writer and copy and paste specialist myself, I tried reversing the signals, but couldn’t. In the aftermath, we sent numerous messages to Facebook Help desperately trying to reverse what had happened. But trying to communicate with Facebook setting up a direct connection to God or Satan — take your pick — lol! Our prayers, our pleadings went unresponsive.
It turns out Facebook now sports a policy a site must wait 28 days in order to reverse the kind of action Brian inadvertently made. Over my 10-year Facebook history I’ve administrated about two dozen different group sites and several pages. One time in another forum about three years ago I made a similar mistake. However, then I was lucky and able to quickly reverse the process.
For whatever reason, Facebook now has a rule you can’t reverse this kind of action without waiting a month — must have something to do with terrorists, spying or censorship … who knows!?!
Brian and I communicated extensively with Facebook informing they had a serious problem with the way they’ve got inter-grouping sites organized. We were concerned not only for our own problem but that the same thing could happen to others. Hopefully, Facebook will correct this terrible glitch. In the meanwhile, we had to experience a month of agony and what I’m sure for many of you became lots of confusion.
Throughout this whole period we were hoping any day Facebook would perceive our messaging, become aware of our problem and bring everything back to the original state. Sadly, FB failed to come through. Whereas Facebook is not sorry for what happened, we most humbly apologize.
We’re sorry you sailed boats of confusion on seas of uncertainty.
However, in Voltaire’s world of “Punk Rock Candide,” the philosopher Pangloss — with a safety pin randomly stapled to his philosophical brow — would simply state it happened because it had to happen … and therefore it happened.
Which brings us back to the Marvel Comic World of What-If.
- What-If Cantones had been The Rat?
- What-If The Club was Bunraties?
- What if Fenway Park was on the other side of town?
- What-If there were no pay phones outside The Rat?
- What-If Talk to Loretta was Talk to Sally-Jean?
Anyway, for a month — in the World of What-If — The Rat became Thigh Scrapers and Thigh Scrapers became The Rat.
One last What-If.
- What-If we use humor over blameworthiness and What-If normal became abnormal or vice versa?
Anyway, our request for apology remains!
Back to punk rock n’ roll (it’s a Youtube link and okay to click Show Embed)!