THE SAG - PART II by Richard Karsmakers
Dark clouds have gathered above ST NEWS, and especially above
yours truly. In the previous issue, in which I had taken the
liberty to criticise the way things are being done at the SAG
(Foundation Atari Users, the biggest Atari usergroup organisation
in the world), many people found that I had gone too far. Things
like that have seem never to have solved quarrels before, and
only appear to make things worse. Anyway, loads of reactions came
in, varying from extremely positive to equally negative (please
refer to ST NEWS Volume 3 Issue 4 for the article about which I
am speaking now).
I now know I have indeed gone too far. It might have been better
to let it all pass and not to write anything about the SAG. My
article was quite one-sided, as I did not speak with anyone that
was in favour of the SAG. Due to that (as well as my personal
involvement), some errors have penetrated in the article:
1) Mr. Maas was not the chairman, but the second chairman; Mr.
Wim Denie was (and is) the chairman (albeit temporarily).
2) The lines in the SAG's Atari Magazine that I found to be
annoying and in which certain statements were made about ST NEWS
were not written by Mr. Maas, but by Mr. Denie.
One of our own authors threatened to stop writing for ST NEWS if
I would go on this way. His belief is that he will only write for
those that handle rationally (he now also writes for the SAG) and
he hardly found my article rational. Indeed, he's right there.
But sometimes less rational things have to be done to achieve
things. He also found it 'a pity for Stefan'; Stefan now got MY
heat on HIS ass, and this was hardly fair for someone that just
took over a disk magazine. Well, he's right again. For all
clearness: Stefan had NOTHING to do with any of it (you can't
blame him for not rejecting an article submitted by his ex-
editor, can you?).
The meant author came up with some unaccuracies (which I stated
above) as well as the fact that Mrs. Lies de Jong was supposed to
have been thrown out of the SAG because she had wrecked their
book-keeping. Well, Mrs. de Jong happens to have a written
statement by another book-keeper that states that all book-
keeping was OK at the moment that it was handed back to the SAG.
Enough about that.
ST NEWS Volume 3 Issue 3
I shall not dig any deeper into whether or not the "SAG Article"
in the previous ST NEWS issue was correct or not. I do want to
say something about issue 3, though. In that issue's "Did you
know that...." column, I wrote something about the SAG allegedly
selling their PD on second-hand disks, after having seen that
they sold PD on about twenty different brands of disks on the SAG
day at Den Bosch this year. Well, this was mere speculation and I
have already offered my apologies to Mr. Denie for that (I wrote
these speculations just after having read the 'kicking' of the
SAG against ST NEWS), in spite of the fact that he again wrote
some quite unfavourable stuff about ST NEWS concerning us being
not trustworthy ('envious little groups that see the way to the
BIG MONEY blocked' - ten to thirty guilders per month is
considered 'BIG MONEY'?!) in the now most recent Atari Magazine.
By the way, Mr. Denie, you should write 'Karsmakers' (not
'Karssemakers') and 'Posthuma' (not 'Postuma'). And, again,
Stefan had NOTHING to do with any of it!
Let's mention some of the reactions that I got here. I think
they say enough about the article I wrote in the previous ST NEWS
"You didn't write your article objectively. Also, you say that
Mr. Maas spilled dirt on you, but aren't you doing the same to
"Very funny. Very spectacular!"
"What you have done is not really smart (it's rather stupid).
You're taking up a fight against the biggest Atari usergroup in
the world (5500 members), and you're not powerful enough to
"The SAG made a profit of about 100.000 guilders on PD sales last
year. They needn't have made a fuss about your '1 guilder'
request in the first place. What's 100.000 guilders minus 20 or
30 guilders? It's hardly 'commercialisation of the PD'..."
"Writing an article like that only increases problems instead of
"I suppose it's a compliment to the potential strength of 'ST
NEWS' that people react so heavily to what you said."
"OK. Now you've done it. I don't think you'll ever catch me
reading 'ST NEWS' again!"
"Great! It's about time SOMEONE took it up against the SAG!
"Is Mr. Maas the Dutch version of Dart Vader (Star Wars)?!"
"I will encourage my friends not to read 'ST NEWS' anymore..."
"The problem with you is that you're trying to fight a very
personal battle between you and Mr. Maas over the backs of the
readers. Your readers aren't interested in that..."
"My compliments to the best issue of 'ST NEWS' every produced.
But somehow, I really didn't think that SAG article fitted
"You needn't have written that. The SAG will fall apart anyway,
especially now 'Atari ST Nieuws' (the biggest Dutch ST Computer
Magazine, ED.) is decreasing interest in the SAG's magazine."
As you see, about every possible reaction has been received:
Very positive to extremely negative. I have even received some
anonymous calls of someone who never replies at the other end of
the line. This person calls several times every day and I usually
leave him listening to the loudest Kreator album I can find until
he hangs up (as a matter of fact, he's calling RIGHT NOW as I
write these lines and Kreator is troubling my eardrums - and his)
and finds some more quarters missing from his wallet. I even find
it quite amusing... Ha! He just hung up... Next time, I'll think
I'll start burping in the horn a bit.