Black Sails Finale

This post was written by my partner  ( @BlkOps6 on Twitter)  and, since he doesn’t have a good space to post something like this and I completely agree with what he has written, I’ve given him space here.

251561

Thoughts about the final episode of Black Sails.

One of the most striking aspects of the series finale for Black Sails is the almost unbelievable way that the writers were able to pull everything together for the finale. I was completely convinced after watching last week’s episode that there was absolutely no way that they could do a credible job in wrapping things up in only one night. I was horribly wrong. While so many story threads were left hanging out there to be finalized, the final hour not only pulled them all together, it did so in a way that didn’t seem rushed or contrived. Amazing work from the entire crew that puts this show together both in front of, and behind the camera.

Epic performances by the cast as usual but in the finale they took this to an entirely new level. One of my favorite aspects of this show is how they managed to portray pirates as real people with intelligence, emotion, passion. They were not at all “Disneyfied” as they are in most shows of this type. Instead the creators of Black Sails managed to make our hero’s and villain’s (sometimes the same character) real and not a caricature of the stereotypical pirate.

Each and every one of the characters in this show from season one’s opener to the series’ close, had an amazing journey. I love how they played on that in the finale with the Long John Silver and the cook hiding in the hold moment. So much to accomplish in this final hour and yet they managed to throw nuggets like that in. I can’t think of any other TV series that managed to do as well as this one for character development. Are the final characters that we watched last night anything like the ones we all met in episode one? Flint, Silver, Anne, Jack, and maybe the best example Billy Bones, could anyone have seen how these characters would evolve? I think not and that is the beauty and vision of the show’s creative team. Well done all.

The two things that stand out from the final show that disappoint me are that One: Billy hit the water and not the deck in his fall, and Two: Flint living out the rest of his life in captivity. I say that knowing it had to be that way and that maybe both are really for the best. Billy had to live on for the “Treasure Island” thread but man, I wanted him dead. Flint, with no war to fight and no direction to go from here would have been lost. In this way maybe he gets a semblance of peace. He truly did have to be “unmade”.

I would love to do a character study on each of the characters on this show but it would be redundant. It has already been done for us each and every week brought to us in vivid color by the show’s creators. They brought the depth and passion to the screen for us every episode. The cast gave us all the detail in their magnificent portrayals. Anything that I would write would pale in comparison to what they have already given us. Not only did they give us characters that I would be proud to “raise the black” and follow but they also gave us ones that we love to hate. That is such a hard thing to pull off but they did it admirably.

As someone living on a sailboat on the start of a trip around the world, of course this show would resonate in my bones, but if I were an actor, what they managed to accomplish in four seasons would make me proud to be a part of. In my opinion each of the cast on this show did amazing work to bring to life an incredible story. They should all be applauded.

 

Perception and Prejudice

Each person that reads or watches or experiences something, brings a lot of themselves into the process. How and where they were raised, their spiritual beliefs, education, the people they spend time with, the other books they read, movies they watch and things they study. All of these factors are mixed into to whatever an individual is currently ‘experiencing’ and colors it to their unique perception and prejudice.

So we can hope to come at this blog from a similar direction – here are some definitions:

 

Perception: a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression; intuitive understanding and insight

Selective Perception: Selectivity of information that is perceived. Process in which people tend to ignore information that conflicts with their values while accepting other information that agrees with their values.

Prejudice: preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience

 

When I write my fiction, I tend to go lean on details unless I need the reader to grasp something specific. For me, not having each thing spelled out for me (as a reader) allows me the fun of having my own view or perception of a scene. A field of wildflowers in a passage may give me a totally different image (coming from the Pacific Northwest) than someone reading the same passage that grew up in the mid-west or on the east coast or in Switzerland or New Zealand.

Take this bit from the book I’m currently working on:

            Jasmine felt as if she was being turned inside out then found herself swaying slightly in a well-appointed sitting or living room. It had a look and atmosphere of old-world grace and money, but she didn’t have time to study it. She turned quickly as the enemy placed her soul sister on a plush sofa.

 “There should be a blanket in the chest just there, why don’t you get one so we can cover her.” Nicholas watched this woman carefully if discretely. She was struggling – fighting a war within herself – and if she was who he suspected, he could only imagine how abhorrent this situation was for her.

            Jasmine flipped open the cedar chest and found a soft, light blanket. Cashmere? Quality, as everything seemed to be here, and stepped over to cover her friend. The temptation to just cover her face and kill this arrogant aristocrat was hard to resist, but she needed Sunny in her life almost like air or food. Since she had lost her brother, Sunny was the only thing that had kept her at least somewhat sane. She had to strike out somehow and since she had promised not to kill him – words were her only option.

 “Nice place, Vlad. Lots of color, very few cobwebs – I’m impressed.”

 

I have a very specific picture of this place in my head as the author. The furniture I picture, the colors, the fabrics, the trinkets or priceless pieces of art that may be present. I asked my partner what he pictured and it was similar but not identical to my thoughts. Not surprising since we have been mostly together for over 20 years and come from somewhat similar backgrounds growing up. But ask yourself what you pictured? How might your partner or best friend picture the same scene? None of the ‘visions’ is more right than any others, they are just different; colored and nuanced by each individuals myriad of experiences.

Prejudice, at least how I want to talk about it here, is a bit more complicated.

While where prejudice comes from holds true for all the same things as perception, it’s how it applies to reading a book or watching or movie or dealing with a different culture that I want to address. People tend to judge things, be prejudiced for or against them, based on their perceptions – but they often neglect to take into account the differences from where the thing is coming from.

 

Take the novel Outlander for example. People tend to judge/be prejudiced about the characters based on current time perceptions. You really can’t do that. To say something that was a cultural norm several hundred years ago was ‘wrong and/or out of character’ based on current ideas and perceptions robs the person experiencing the work of inherent lessons, insights or differences. While we as a modern society may not agree with something done in the 1700’s for a variety of reasons, you also can’t just dismiss them as wrong. Understand where that particular ‘norm’ came from and why. How was it important to THAT time and place? Embrace it for how it is different from current thinking and so expand your vision of things outside your own actual experiences.

This is true of almost any work set in times and places different from what we know and are comfortable with. While some readers may vehemently disagree with the scene in which Jamie thrashes Claire for her blatant disobedience and endangering of their party; others understood where/when it came from and, while they may have found it distasteful, didn’t let that one scene ruin the whole book for them. Some, not so willing to step outside their own perceptions and prejudices, put down the book at that point never to pick it up again.

Some people are very uncomfortable reading explicit sex scenes – this can be due to many factors. They can skip past such things or let it ruin the entire story. That is a choice. While I don’t judge people for their comfort levels, I take real issue with people that will go through library books and black out things THEY find offensive not giving others a chance to decide for themselves.

I guess what I hope to accomplish with this post is to get people to think a little bit. To, perhaps, listen to another’s viewpoint without judgment to maybe expand their own thinking and ideas. Even if it doesn’t change your mind, you’ve been exposed to other ideas and, hopefully, won’t berate another for their perceptions. You and they are coming to a specific experience from (possibly) vastly different directions and so your perceptions will not be the same.

I saw this during the recent upheaval with the political race and it is so appropriate.

perception1

Both people in this picture are right – they are also both wrong. It is a matter of perception.

My fervent wish with future posts is that people will keep this in mind while reading what I write. I come from my own unique place and so my ‘view’ will be different from anyone reading my thoughts. It may be only slightly different or a huge swing towards one side or another. It doesn’t make me right and anyone else wrong – it’s just a different perspective. My hope is that my own ideas and perspective might allow someone else to see the same scene or book or character in a slightly different way and so, expand that experience for them with a different facet to and already precious ‘gem’.

It is also my wish that – especially here – discussions are conducted in a respectful manner to expand each person’s experience rather than dismiss their perceptions as irrelevant.

Cheers!

 

 

 

I’m SO done!

For a few years I had a great job working in a second hand store in charge of the book department. This gave me wonderful opportunities to see and experience authors I might never have found otherwise. Several of the authors that are now favorites were found during this time: The Black Dagger Brotherhood books by J.R. Ward, The Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon, The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher AND Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

In contemplating this particular post, I did some digging. Here are some interesting bits I came up with:

so-done-meme-4

Now, in that two year stretch I followed many people and had a few follow me. I never expected to have more than 100 or so people following me, so my current number is a bit humbling. Some of the people that have chosen to follow me humble me even further as, they are people I greatly respect both as human beings and artists (in several areas of creativity).

I remember how exciting those early days were for the series on social media. The thrill that someone as knowledgeable and well respected as RD Moore would be at the helm. That they were going to have Diana participating and giving suggestions. The very idea of seeing such a beloved story come to life and all the discussion that went into it. There were some negative comments early on about casting – understandable as these were long beloved characters that people wanted to see done right. And they most definitely were. The negative comments died down fairly quickly and everyone on Twitter just seemed to enjoy the process.

I remember voting early on. We had a united front to get our show out there so it could be seen. Introducing it through voting to people who had never heard of it. Being told over and over what a great fandom we had. How the Outlander fans were appalled by the nastiness and in-fighting going on in other fandoms. Well look at us now.

So here is my statement: so-done-step-2

To the anti’s….honest….Sam and Caitriona are grown people that can defend themselves or not as they wish. Defending the fandom and its integrity is great, but several have stooped to the same abhorrent methods the shippers used and became just as much of a problem.

Shippers – I am SO SO SO done defending your ‘right to fan as you wish’ because you just won’t. You won’t quietly fan/ship and leave the rest of us alone to fan as WE wish. You started this war by attacking people that dared to disagree with you and it has not stopped. There is proof and all know it. I’m sick of the ‘we are victims’ – and ‘how is it ok to hate us?!” WAAAAAAAAA I never directly attacked shippers but I’m done being nice. You want to ship? FINE go bloody do it elsewhere and leave the rest of the fans who don’t happen to agree with you, are tired of constantly seeing your crap about it and sick of being attacked for views that don’t match yours, alone. You keep attacking and being nasty….all I can say is karma can be a real bitch…expect it to come back and bite you in the ass. It’s too bad all shippers are being painted with the same brush now –  but then, they haven’t done anything to deal with the problem either.

Honestly, we can never get rid of the fringe – just like in politics. The real problem children will be there; ignoring them won’t make them go away it just gives them more room to maneuver and get a stronger hold and longer reach.

So my second statement is to the rest of the fandom.

 so-done-meme

For all the people who just said ‘ignore them, they will stop eventually’, that didn’t stand up for people being attacked, that didn’t work on ways to fix these problems, that know some of these ‘problem children’ and have done nothing, that went blissfully on ignoring the problems because it didn’t directly affect you. I’m disappointed. This fandom as done some truly wonderful, awesome things over the last few years – can we continue to do that with all the infighting? Shippers vs the world….Jamie fans that are rude to those that like Frank….hateful things said to actors because of the characters they play….most of all, attacking each other over a diffence of opinion. I don’t mean honest exchange and discussion, I mean nasty names and comments if one person doesn’t agree with another. We always said voting in those polls we would never be a toxic fandom like we were seeing there…and here we are.

Is the whole fandom doing the bad stuff? Of course not – but enough that it has been well noticed and documented outside the fandom. I have tried to speak out here on this blog (not very effectively it seems) and be nice while doing it. I’ve tried to be a voice of reason in tweets, but people have to be willing to listen to the other side. So…I’m done trying. The few of us trying just aren’t going to cut it – the majority of the fandom would need to get involved to make changes and, at this point, I just don’t see it happening.

My online presence won’t really change much. I still plan to enjoy the show, interact with individuals and follow people or not as my own sense dictates. I’ll still vote when I can (though not nearly as often) and promote the great things that come along. I will 100% support the cast and crew of this show – but I’m done getting involved with the politics. I’ve tried. If you look back at this blog I’ve spoken out over and over and over again about the negative things that have gone on. I had one person I thought of as a friend dump me, unfollow me and ‘slap’ me verbally for ‘just stirring up trouble so people would notice me’. Few listen, few read the blog (compared to the size of the fandom) and if I’m not making a positive change with all I have written, what is the point?

I’m using lists to look at Twitter mostly now rather than going through my main timeline. I’m going to miss posts. Missing all the political stuff is fine with me. It doesn’t seem like I’m following many compared to the ‘stars’ …. But even the number I have can keep me on social media far too long. I have a life away from social media and Outlander. Other shows to watch, other books to read (and write) and other actors to follow and support.

Studying the fandom has been fascinating to me. It really IS a microcosm of the larger population. The fringe left and right stirring up trouble, lying and misconstruing/twisting things to support their own agenda. The far (not fringe) left and right getting whipped up by what the fringe says and expanding the problems/issues rather than looking for a way to make things better and then all the middle people that wish the rest would get some sense so things could actually get done.

As always….comments are more than welcome – be respectful, be coherent and sign your name. I won’t support some lame ass that is too chicken to put their name on their own opinion.

I think my next post will be about Frank. (Rubbing hands gleefully).

Time to get to work!

First, there are going to be some reading this saying I’m causing more problems than I might fix and to stop stirring up shit that is bad enough already. Well you know, I’ve tried to keep everything really neutral and just be a calm voice with what I’m seeing, but after the last few days…..not so much. I still want to be someone that helps fix problems rather than create them, but that doesn’t mean all is bright light and sunshine; sometimes you have to take a hard, unpopular stand to accomplish the necessary goals. Second this is going to be a long post – I challenge you to read through till the end with an open mind.

In the Outlander fandom, I have referred to incidents in my other blogs without naming names because I wasn’t trying to get anyone attacked. I still don’t want that, but I’m not so much for protecting people that are out of line anymore. Be responsible with how you respond to things – don’t attack, work to fix.

I am fed up with the minority of this ‘fandom’ making the whole look like foul, foaming at the mouth idiots to the rest of the world. And gang, by ‘minority’ I mean small number – this has absolutely NOTHING to do with race, religion, sexual orientation or anything in that realm. If YOU make it about that, look in the mirror you are part of the problem.

On the far left, we have the super shippers. No matter what anyone says – including the people in question – Sam & Cait ARE a couple, secretly married or about to be and the gods help anyone who disagrees with this viewpoint. (it’s all about the ‘love’ right? – but best not disagree) It goes from that ‘absolute’ viewpoint that will be promoted and protected no matter who gets hurt, easing down to “they look fabulous together and make a great team. Could be something there but it doesn’t matter”. After that you move towards the center and the MAJORITY of the fandom that could care less who they are dating as long as they keep doing an amazing job of bringing Jamie & Claire to life and are happy. As you move right, you have the same gradient moving to the ‘absolute’ of super-truthers or anti’s. Same problems – they are right and the gods help anyone who offers an opposing view.

When I say extreme in their views and tactics – I mean just that. I very recently started doing screen captures because I’m tired of what has been done and being told to just ignore it. The fandom has ignored this cancer and it has grown steadily worse. There is a lot I do NOT see because

  • I don’t have ‘active’ IG and Tumbler accounts. Have them but don’t ‘get’ how to use them. I am not that SM savvy to be honest, but I get by.
  • Most of the people I have found that have me blocked are shippers so I can’t SEE / document what they are doing. Guess that is why I’m blocked though trying to document anything is a very new tactic for me.
  • I was very careful from the beginning of my SM experience (especially with Twitter) in who I followed. Part of it is just mental self-preservation with sheer volume, but the other part is looking at people to see if I will enjoy their posts. I do try to respond to anything I’m tagged in, but I don’t follow thousands of people.

These hard liners – on both sides – employ tactics that I for one think should be prosecutable. The name calling and general harassment, most people can deal with that. When it moves to comments like “You are obviously mentally defective, just go kill yourself already” (this IS a direct quote and was from a shipper), absolutely VILE name calling/language, doxing (leading to attacking people around the target including friends, family & jobs), actively trying to get the target fired or in legal trouble and death threats.

I have to tell you, I am sick of the hard core shippers whining about how they are constantly attacked and vilified and how some in the fandom are just out to make them look bad. (ah…likely exactly what they are saying about me – especially with this post.) They are the victims. I say BULLSHIT. Some shippers simply cannot understand how they attract so much negative attention. Here is an example – and this is MILD, very, very MILD to some of the language I have seen and been told about.

screenshot-11_8_2016-7_47_51-am 

To moderate shippers – can you see why you have a bad rep and many people almost instantly have an issue when you claim to be a “shipper”? Some of these hardliners bait and goad otherwise sensible people into an angry outburst, spending a great deal of time ‘digging’ at them until they get the response they want. After deleting their own nastiness that prompted the anger, they hold this response up to show how mean and nasty this person is and that the poor shipper is just a picked upon victim. I’ve seen it happen.

To be fair – hard core “truthers” or “antis” often do the same thing. The one difference I have found is that shippers are far more likely to go WAY beyond the pale with less cause and are far more willing to pull in collateral to do damage to. I could be wrong about that, but I haven’t seen or heard of it so much.

To be even a little more fair – hard core book purists aren’t much better. If you want the show EXACTLY like the books, go back and read the books! The whole point of a different medium is that it is DIFFERENT. It’s a different audience, a different overall demographic and different viewpoint behind the story. You are absolutely entitled to your thoughts and opinions! But please, PLEASE….pretty please with sugar and sprinkles – express them like the mature adult you simply must be to appreciate DG’s books in the first place! Stop whining to STARZ  and trying to get people fired just because the show isn’t exactly what you want or expected. If you honestly feel the show is horrid and not what you want to see STOP WATCHING and let the rest of us enjoy it. Really is that simple. You want to debate and discuss in a civilized manner – most will engage you; but ‘most’ are tired of being attacked and vilified as ‘arse-kissers’ for defending something we are truly enjoying. If you can’t or won’t do that, please do take your time and money to support a show you can ‘fan’ and enjoy. You can keep being a fan of the books without being a fan of the show. It’s allowed, honest.

This stuff is going on…..every day. I’d been wondering why KD had stopped covering Outlander. She was so great on the panels and so much fun to watch when interacting with the cast and creative minds behind the show. Then she just stopped. When I thought about it, she ‘disappeared’ right after she did the interview where she asked Sam & Cait point blank “ARE you a couple?” They both said NO….. shippers didn’t like that. I’ve heard whispers she, like some other ‘journalists’ and bloggers, were viciously attacked on SM and threatened.

All the above was to let the bulk of the fandom (not that I have that many people who actually read my blogs) become aware of what is going on. Don’t believe me? You can find it if you look. Till recently I tried to mostly ignore the worse of it hoping people would get some common sense. I’ve had brand new people to the fandom tell me ‘oh I’ve had people tell me to not follow this person or that person as they are nasty’. Really? You don’t think people have the intelligence to make up their own minds for who they do or do not want to follow?

Honestly, this post is NOT for the fringe hard-liners on either side. They won’t listen anyway. I am addressing the bulk of the fandom that just wants to enjoy the show and our stars and all the people that bring us Outlander. Stand up – take our fandom back.

When you see this kind of crap going on, say “This is NOT ok”. Report them. Shut them down. Make it so they don’t have a platform to spew their hate from. Absolutely do NOT EVER stoop to their level of hatred, threats and name calling. That doesn’t help. Be prepared – there will be backlash – but the longer we keep silent the worse it will get. Anyone who has been around this TV fandom from the beginning will almost have to agree this is true.

Shippers are GOING to ship. The only people that MIGHT be able to stop that are Sam & Caitriona – honestly it’s their lives so they are the only ones with the ‘right’ to tell them to stop. At this point, I doubt even them saying in clear, absolute language that they want it to STOP, no secret messages, NOT a couple or anything else will get the shippers to give up on shipping them. I had a shipper tell me one time “It’s all about the love! We love “love” and that is all we are promoting”……and then you harass, attack, threaten and dox people that disagree with you. As a fandom we can’t dictate how you ‘fan’ – but we sure as hell CAN work at stopping the hate. Truthers…..this goes for you too. STOP the nastiness. No derogatory names, threats, coercion or generally being vile just because you don’t like shipping. I don’t either, but I’ve never disrespected the PEOPLE – merely spoken against the PRACTICE.

We as a group need to stand up to the bullying. Don’t land on someone for shipping – they can fan as they want; land on them for attacking another member of the fandom when all they have done is exercise THEIR right to fan by say they think S & C are NOT a couple. Let ANYONE in the fandom that employs the tactics I described above know that such behavior is NOT ok and won’t be tolerated. The sort of messages I showed above are hateful and wrong.

There are steps to take in this sort of endeavor and you have to be careful not to give them a wider platform. If you want to step in and tell someone to stop bullying, take out tags that shouldn’t be in the conversation – especially the actors. This is true even if the original attack was directed at one of the actors. Leaving those tags in just perpetuates the message and allows a wider audience to see it.

Don’t fall to their level. Let the wrong-doer know the behavior is unacceptable without resorting to name calling, abusive language or threats. Simply state this is not ok, please stop or you will be reported. If you can engage them in a civil discourse – but all means. But don’t let it devolve. As soon as you realize they are just using it at a platform to spread more hate, walk away and report. Get others to report. Get screen captures of the bullying so there is proof. We can’t just ‘let this go’ anymore. Be strong against bullying, without being mean or vindictive.

Important note: look back at the thread to make sure you know what you are jumping into before you jump. Sam and WS had a great back and forth several days ago about a change in Toblerone chocolate. Some people saw it in the middle, assumed it was about the election and started spewing. Then they got all offended when WS (in his usual acerbic manner) corrected them. It was a prime example of not understanding the argument or even if there IS one before jumping in. Don’t assume on 1 or 2 tweets out of a bunch that you understand the discussion/argument.

14610985_207628882991673_4399261441485568404_n 

 Shippers will be screaming that they have the right to ship however they want and we can’t push them into a corner. Well…if you don’t want to be treated like petulant children being put in the corner, stop acting the part. Go ahead and ship – but be respectful. Don’t attack and bully people that don’t happen to agree with your take on things. Be civil and stop pushing YOUR agenda down people’s throats that don’t feel the same. You have every right to ‘fan’ as you wish? So does everyone else. You want people to stop getting mad at you and instantly going on the defensive when they find out you are a shipper? Stop attacking anyone with a differing opinion.

Anti’s…….please….don’t go trolling shippers timelines or tumbler accounts to FIND issues. That doesn’t help. People need to stand up if they get attacked and if they need to, ask for help. If you do see bullying – address it, but again, don’t sink to bullying yourself. If shippers want to ship on their own Tumbler deal or a blog page or a private FB group that most of us don’t HAVE to see – that’s fine. They attack on a public forum, Twitter, IG, FB (not a closed group) where lots of people can see and respond, by all means tell them that sort of language or abuse is not ok. Report this stuff. Have proof. Oh and go back in a thread as sometimes an outburst from someone is after a long run of harassment.

We are (or should be) a fairly intelligent fandom. This story is so much more than most of the things that are out there to fan about. Love and life and an enduring relationship of characters that are so easy to relate to and learn from. We have a group of people working on this show that have been very willing to participate in social media and engage the fans; don’t lose that for stupidity. Fan as you wish but respect everyone else’s right to do the same. Discuss things, get new perspectives, talk to others with differing opinions and viewpoints to gain an insight you hadn’t seen before – but be KIND to each other doing it. Don’t go out looking for trouble, but don’t back away from standing up for someone getting attacked either. Stand up for what is right and good in this fandom. Put out messages of hope and caring and understanding – don’t ‘promote’ hate and fear.

As always

Courtesy Oh….by the way….everything I just said above?
All that holds pretty true for the country and politics as well. Just saying.

 

 

Healing Hearts

That title can be taken a couple of ways – and both are accurate.

There are people that have ‘Healing Hearts’ – they reach out to those hurting and act as a soothing balm to help ‘heal’ hurts.

There are also hearts that are in the process of healing. People suffering from physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual attacks, injuries and pain.

 1354227555_logo-hhm-working

 

The entire country (U.S.) has just finished a very nasty campaign process for the Presidency. Friendships and families have been ripped apart for taking opposing sides. Half the country will be breathing a sigh of relief, gearing up for the next steps – while the other half will be feeling totally betrayed by the system, terrified of what the next four years will bring and lots of anger. (Maybe not a 50-50 split, there are many that hate the choices all around, already feel betrayed and angry and just want to do the best they can with what they get).

No matter who voted for who – we are ALL Americans and, once the election is over – need to have ‘Healing Hearts’ in both directions. Working together to make the best of however the election turned out and bust ass to make sure we are never in this position again. Putting aside differences to make a better future for the whole country.

Enough politics.

Exactly what I said above – but insert ‘Outlander Clandom’. The ‘shipping’ war has caused some really bad feelings/hurt/damage not only by/to the ‘super-shippers’ but by/to the ‘super-truthers’ as well. In my opinion, this is a very small contingency of very loud, rude, obnoxious people on BOTH SIDES of this conflict. It really is time to put the nastiness aside for the betterment of the entire fandom. For the ‘super’ fans on both sides – I think the vast majority of the fandom would like you to ‘take it outside’ and leave the rest of us in peace. Same goes for those who can’t discuss logically what they do/don’t like without resorting to nastiness, name-calling and generally being vile.

I can’t tell anyone what to do – wouldn’t want that responsibility. When I write a blog like this I am giving MY opinion and observations. That’s it. MY perspective. Do with it what you will. Take it on board and adjust actions/thought process or don’t. Use any suggestions I might make here or don’t. The only person that can do anything about YOU is the person reading this.

That having been said, a few ideas.

 be_kind_to_one_another_square_car_magnet_3_x_3

Do your best to have calm, in-depth discussions with someone whose views oppose yours on a regular basis. Expand your thinking and get different perspectives. You may not change your mind about the given topic, but it might help you understand where the other person is coming from and find important common ground.

If another person is being rude, disrespectful, mean or attacking – disengage or do not engage. Engaging at that point gives them a platform and outlet for being nasty. If on social media, something truly offensive, should be reported. Take that step with calm thought and some checking. You may have just caught them at a really bad time and it was a one off lashing out rather than a consistent pattern of behavior. I’m sure there have been times when people have been kicked out of/blocked from social media platforms simply because someone was angry rather than for good reason.

Don’t be easily offended. Don’t take everything as a personal attack. Really look at it, examine how this person is with others, examine past interactions. If this person is truly a bigot or sexist (or whatever offensive) – walk away. Or, if the situation allows, have that discussion and exchange of ideas. Perhaps they do not realize what they are saying is offensive. (Yes that IS possible). Perhaps no one ever really discussed it with them. If you can’t do that calmly – don’t. Walk / scroll away and don’t engage that person. Block/mute them from your social media. This saves you getting frustrated/angry with them, and them getting frustrated/angry with you.

Take personal responsibility. If you got/get angry and spout off…own it. Apologize or at least calmly, rationally explain your anger/frustration/whatever. If you have a particularly strong belief, it’s fine to express that but once expressed, if it can’t be discussed rationally without it turning nasty, stop. Own what you do on social media – don’t hide behind fake accounts. I can see some people protecting their professional lives/job with a different persona on SM – but that doesn’t excuse creating an account with the express purpose of stirring up shit then disappearing.

Spread some kindness, peace, harmony, goodwill………….love.

 candles

There are thousands of great memes out there (I found the four in this blog in about 5 minutes plus several more). Make your own. Post them, RT / share them when you see them. Encourage people. Send positive vibes out there. Drown the crap in good energy. One candle lights another that lights another that lights another until few ‘shadows’ can remain.

In the end, we are all in this together. At this point we have this one planet and we – as human beings – need to start taking better care of each other. If we can’t do it as a microcosm fandom for some books that have evolved into a TV show – how are we ever going to survive as a species?

 long-story-short-they-forgot-that-they-are-all-brothers-and-sisters-cohabiting-the-same-planet-so-they-kinda-became-delusional-and-imagined

 

“FAN” as you wish – let me do the same

I’ve done several posts about things I see both good and bad in the Outlander Clandom. I have to assume – since I have zero experience in other fandoms – that these are not isolated issues, but things that are constants because people are people. I’ve also made the comment before that fandoms seem to be a microcosm of the world in general and it has been a very interesting study.

My social media presence has been purposely limited for the last few weeks because I simply got tired of all the election issues. (Also, I tend to inhabit Twitter more than anything else for reference.) What makes me both sad and angry about the election isn’t the candidates (they both SUCK) but how everyday people are treating each other. We all have our histories, experiences and beliefs shaping each decision we make; meaning we will often disagree about topics that are of particular importance to us. Discussing ideas and philosophies to gain a better, broader understanding of any topic is a good thing – but it seems far too often people go at these situations with closed minds and personal attacks.

 541258_10151085511167687_919704822_n

The same thing is going on within the Outlander fandom. The conclusion I have come to is that the vast majority of the ‘Clandom’ are good people that just want to enjoy the show, discuss it, see what the cast & crew are up to and have a unifying topic to share and have fun with on social media. Unfortunately a few very vocal, nasty, invasive people that tend to attack rather than discuss fill the entire fandom with strife.

I had planned to do a post like this a while back, life got in the way. Here is where it started. I was seeing comments on Twitter and FB about how Season 2 was an ‘epic failure’ and ‘almost everyone’ really didn’t like it. While I had seen some comments about very specific things people were unhappy with, overall I thought the season had gone well and felt that was the overall opinion. So I did a little survey on Twitter. Here is the result:

 screenshot-10_24_2016-1_25_56-pm

I was disappointed that so few responded, but I think it’s probably a pretty accurate representation. I would put out the supposition that NO ONE likes every single moment of Outlander-Season 2 (or any other TV show they watch), but overall felt it was great television. I fall into that category.

If there are things you don’t like about the show, this season specifically, a direction….whatever…that is perfectly ok. DISCUSS it. Explain why you don’t like it. LISTEN to why other people DID like to get a different perspective. Verbally attacking/abusing another person for their opinion/thoughts/ideas is just wrong. I get really angry with people that say nasty things about Ron Moore and his direction for the show. He sees it with different eyes from long time book readers – he is not out to ruin a favorite story. Ron is damn good at his job….he makes good TELEVISION. His vision comes from a very different place and it will not match yours, or mine or anyone else’s. If you truly hate what he is doing, stop watching – just like you would with any other show.

Now what got me busy on this post again today (and I admit several things have given me big pause as I’ve been writing making me re-think and further ponder) was this tweet:

 fan-leaving-fandom-4-nov-2016-no-id

So….the fandom lost a supporter, someone that just wanted to enjoy the process without all the drama. That is a sad thing. I took this person’s ID off the tweet so they wouldn’t be hassled about it.

I’m sure there are some (if they even see this because they have me blocked…oh wait…blocking ME doesn’t keep them from seeing what I post, just keeps me from seeing what they post) that will be saying, “But we have the right to express ourselves and fan as we want to! You can’t drive us away!”…..Ok….but that works both ways. Take the shipping war as an example (since all know about it). If you want to ship, fine – but don’t attack people that don’t agree with you or insist that you are better/truer fans than anyone else. Same goes for the non-shippers. No attacking, name calling or running to WS or Sam trying to get people in trouble.  I happen to disagree with ‘shipping’ real people that have stated they are NOT a couple; I have laid out my reasoning in at least two previous posts: Why I Hate RL “shipping” and Serious Line: Fan to Fanatic. However, while I don’t like the practice, I don’t attack the people shipping. If someone feels I have actually attacked an individual, please show me and let me know so I can apologize as that is never, ever my intention.

Voting is another area of contention. Some people love to vote on these polls. Some don’t. Some really can’t for a wide variety of reasons. ALL these things are valid. Not voting does not make you less of a fan. Those that vote need to ask politely for votes – and let people decide for themselves. Give fans the information to be able to vote quickly and easily, find fun motivation in memes or comments and let people make up their own damn minds! Would it be easier to win some of these competitions with more fingers working? Sure! Some people don’t like the process or the time it eats up from other things or have computer access issues or many other things and so not voting is a perfectly valid choice and they are still a fan. Everyone has the right to ‘fan’ as they choose – but not cram what they feel is right down anyone else’s throat.

Am I doing that here? I suppose it could be viewed that way. The difference is I’m not brow-beating a specific individual or a few people with it. I’m not personally attacking anyone, calling anyone nasty names, belittling them, or trying to get them in trouble with anyone – I’m stating my position. Like it or not – that is on your head. Discuss your views with me – I’d love that!

My suggestion for people struggling with nastiness in the Outlander fandom is to limit who you follow, be willing to unfollow people that just don’t mesh with you and use the mute option if it really gets to a place you can’t deal with it. Don’t give up something you enjoy because other people need to mature a bit. Speak out if you feel up for that – but against the action/practice not people. Expect to take some hits if you do. Totally up to you how you handle all this.

The one thing I have asked for many, many times in my blogs that I will continue to ask for is this:

Courtesy

 

Being Thankful

thankful-620x280

So once again, there is angst and drama in the Outlander Clandom. The culprit this time is a deleted scene from S2 revolving around the death of Faith. Once again, my biggest frustration is that SOME of the ‘fans’ rather than being thankful went into full bitch mode.

I am working to accept the fact that there is a small contingency of people out there that are going to be nasty. Nothing I or anyone else can say or do is going to get them to realize that there is indeed a difference between critiquing something and criticizing it. These people are going to be loud, rude and nasty no matter what just because they feel entitled to. I can’t imagine how some of the fans who follow thousands of people and see this nastiness on a regular basis deal with that much negativity in their life. I have cut my SM time to bare minimum with only a specific list I’m following on Twitter until after the elections because I was upset and angry all the time.

Beth Wesson did an absolutely fabulous blog about all this with links to two really interesting articles about fandoms and some of the issues that are coming out with social media playing such a role in the arena now. Please click here to read FANS & CREATORS…DRAWING A LINE OF DECENCY IN THE SAND.

 

Another recent blog that I really liked can be found here: A RESPECTFUL NOTE TO YOU, RON, ABOUT JAMIE. The author let her readers know her frustration without being at all disrespectful, whiny or nasty. It was a wonderful read.

Instead of duplicating the efforts of other writers better than myself, I thought with Thanksgiving coming up (Canada having already had theirs) I’d list off some stuff I’m thankful for rather than grousing (too much) about stuff that is frustrating me. So here goes.

I’m thankful that the last job I had allowed me to spend my days around books. Being in a second hand store that processed and resold donations, I was exposed to a huge variety of tomes I might not have looked at otherwise. I had to have a good enough feel for the book to know where to shelve it, and so I found many authors I fell in love with while ‘working’. This is how I found Diana Gabaldon and Outlander.

I am thankful that a ‘movie’ was never made of Outlander. Huge parts of the book had to be left out with 16 hours to work with – a 2-3 hour movie wouldn’t have come close to doing it justice.

I’m thankful that Ronald D. Moore saw something gripping in the pages of these books and was willing to put in the effort to get it made right and on a channel that would allow the grittiness, sex and violence that is part of the story be told properly without having to water it down for viewers.

I’m supremely thankful that Ron and his team work with Diana to keep (usually) the story on track. I’ve seen many stories where the original author is cut out of the process completely.

I am thankful for a solid group of extremely talented actors who get the essence of these extremely layered and complex characters. Actors who work very hard to bring that to the screen. People who give up a lot of privacy to make, promote and give this story to the fans. While they get paid for their time, it has to get old to so constantly be in the spotlight with no life to call your own. I appreciate their willingness to interact with the fans and hope they won’t feel compelled to cease that because of a small minority that insist on being nasty.

  • I am thankful to ALL the people behind the scenes that work so hard to make Outlander such a great show.
  • Ron, the producers, writers and casting crew that give the show its frame and characters.
  • Jon and the production team that give the production its base and background.
  • Terry and her whole team that dress it up.
  • The dedicated drivers who get everyone where they need to be when they need to be there.
  • The directors who put those elements together for a compelling hour of drama.
  • Specialists like Àdhamh and Claire who make sure the unusual/special things are ‘right’.
  • All the support people that work hard to make it all happen.
  • Basically for every warm body that makes this show happen as I’m sure I missed some above.

I am thankful for all those people above that take the time and energy to interact with the show’s fans on social media and (so far) haven’t shut them all down due to the inability of a few to express themselves in a grown-up, dignified manner.

I am thankful that this team shoots way more footage than they will use in the hour so they have options to make each episode the best it can be. This also means that we get to see extra footage when the DVD’s come out that make it that much richer. These are the extra bits that keep us going through Droughtlander and give us special moments.

Mostly, I am thankful that the responsibility for deciding what goes into each episode to be aired is not my responsibility. I may not love every minute of every episode – but it is a series that has done a damn fine job of portraying good drama. Not just a love story – though that is a huge part of it; not just a history – though that is its base. An excellent story brought out in a difficult medium with gobs of competition and doing well enough that it is getting to be ‘known’.

For the scene that many seem upset about – I’m thankful it was filmed at all and we got to see it. We as fans do NOT have a clue what all goes into these decisions. Yes it was a wonderful, well-acted scene that I enjoyed very much – but I didn’t miss it at the time the show aired. Expressing disappointment that it wasn’t included in the actual episode isn’t and never will be the problem I have with the fandom; the problem is a few, very vocal ‘entitled fans’ crucifying on social media the people that work so hard to bring us this show. There are days I honestly shake my head in wonder that Ron and the team don’t throw up their hands in disgust at being attacked yet again and say “fine – since we can’t make everyone happy we just won’t do the show at all.”

I’m very, very thankful that the cast, crew and all the wonderful folks who bring us Outlander are all sane, sensible people who are too professional to let immaturity from others dictate their actions.