The Trouble with Trolls

Divergent blue

Definitely struggling with kind at the moment. Really frustrated with an issue that is a reoccurrence in fandoms because some people simply refuse to use an ounce of common sense or try to, in even a tiny way, live by that above philosophy. (As a side note, if you haven’t read Divergent I highly recommend it – might be ‘teen fiction’ but some deep truths if you allow them to sink in. I’m way past being a teen and really liked the series!)

TROLLS! People on the internet that seem to go out of their way to cause issues, disrupt a forum or just spread nastiness. This is an issue that has been addressed many times in many places I’m sure, so I’ll add my voice to the chorus. Not because I think I can say it better or am any better than anyone else, but everyone thinks differently and I may give someone that ‘ah-ha!’ moment when others couldn’t.

Now in the spirit of full-disclosure, I stooped to being a troll once. For about 15 minutes. I probably shouldn’t have done it, but it effectively stopped nastiness against my fandom for about 48 hours on that particular poll. If anyone really wants that story I’ll tell it privately.

People that bring up a differing viewpoint and defend it in a discussion isn’t someone I have a problem with. That is what forums are for IMHO. To see and maybe understand another facet, a different viewpoint that is just as passionate as your own. MY issue comes from the people that are abusive. Bad language, name calling, denigration, rudeness, and shit stirring just to rile people rather than to make a valid point.

Most effective way to deal with these people is not to ‘feed’ them. Don’t give them attention as that is what they want. They want to get people riled up, they revel in chaos and bad feelings. Ignore them (as much as possible) and hopefully whatever forum you are in will have admins that can block them if enough people complain. Private forums and poll comments are one issue…..Twitter is another.

Twitter is so great and so bad for the same reason. Things can spread far and wide VERY quickly. For trying to get people to vote like we are doing right now for #AlphaMaleMadness – it’s a great thing! When it has something to do with a negative….well….it can make it much, much worse.

As I type this it is April 28, noonish. Early in my day on April 26, someone posted something that Sam Heughan responded to. To several of us this looked like an invasion of his privacy which made us see red and leap to his defense. The bigger problem is I’m still seeing retweets of some of the ‘conversation’ today.

A few thoughts about this particular instance and this problem in general. Sam is a braw and canny lad that can well defend himself if he needs it. However – if HE responds too much to anything it gets the issue to a much bigger audience. Rock – hard place. Most stars/celebrities may have very fine retorts but can’t or won’t use them on open forums. Good restraint (way better than I have). Often then, some well-meaning fans jump in and defend. I think this is fine, we just need to do it RIGHT!

The ‘person’ that started this mess back on 4/26 obviously MEANT to cause trouble. I say this because:
1) this person blocked one of Sam’s main supporters before ever starting the issue with him
2) deleted the initial tweets so they couldn’t be seen
3) had obviously ‘set up’ the account for this as there was no info, the ONE tweet that could be seen (and since Sam had responded to this person twice already there was more to the story) had 2 followers and zilch else and
4) I just checked and that account has disappeared. TROLL!

I saw some postings this morning about Sam and some lovely blonde lady on his own personal time trying to pry, again, into his personal life. Hence – you all get a blog so I can vent!

Here is the deal…..responding to and shutting these trolls down is all well and good….BUT….you have to remember that responses, tweets, retweets, etc. ALL have the troll’s tag in them – hence – attention. Often Sam (or whoever was the target) has their tag there also, so they get hit with all the mess too AND it spreads it to an even bigger audience.

Here are my thoughts on this issue. If they help, great. If not come up with your own common sense guidelines for dealing with these things to minimize negative impact not only for our favorite celebs, but for each of us in the fandom.

Personal life is that. PERSONAL. None of our damn business! Are we all curious about things that go on in our favorite celebs life? Of course. Will we eagerly enjoy any little tidbit they want to give us? Absolutely. Should we publicly speculate or question them about their private lives? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Now, I have another celeb that is my ‘first’ love in actors. He is ultra-talented, very sexy and more my age <g> My BFF and I discuss him a lot, his life, his loves, what he’s up to, etc…..in a PRIVATE instant message. Her and I and no one else. Period. We don’t even tell our guys most of what we discuss there, its girl talk <g> Twitter is a very public forum. I only have about 260 followers at this point and I’m amazed at where all some of the stuff I post ends up!

Don’t speculate on personal issues or spread rumors. This one is pretty common sense. If a public figure wants to give out some personal news – Awesome – share it! Just don’t spread stuff you don’t know to be true or could be potentially harmful. We don’t want someone like Sam to basically walk away from social media because of abuse. That would be sad for all concerned.

Pay attention to timeline! Look at what you are seeing. If it happened more than a few hours ago and its troll oriented….leave it alone. DM someone involved if you can if you feel you need more info, but to retweet things continues and spreads them when that may not be the best idea.

Don’t give the troll attention/shut them down. The best way I can think to do this (and if someone has better options PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE share!) is to get the word out to as many people in the fandom as possible without giving the troll power or attention. Put a space in their tag when you identify them (i.e. @ JaneDoe rather than @JaneDoe) so people can see where the problem is without having it actually go back to the problem. I personally took Sam’s tags out very early on in this last situation so he wouldn’t have all that mess – but not all did and I’ve been educated that that little blue checkmark gives him more advanced screening options (thank god). BLOCK this person if you feel it appropriate – deny them the access and attention they want.

THINK! All this has potential for abuse. Just because someone disagrees doesn’t make them a troll. Use such steps wisely. Perhaps if enough people block someone for say 24 hours they will get the message – maybe not, but it will at least keep it off Twitter for that chunk of people for a little while.

RESPECT!!!!!  This is what it comes down to is: RESPECT. For the celebrity (in this case Sam) and for yourself as a human being and a ‘fan’ of something. In some ways I actually pity trolls….they must be very sad, pathetic people if they feel this is their best way of getting attention – by tearing down rather than building up.

Ok…..rant over. Hope this is helpful. Would love to get other thoughts and opinions! Discussion is GOOD!

Outlander Fans #DOEPICSHIT

I want to use this space to tell you what is so right about Outlander! The magnificent job Ron and the whole team are doing cramming that huge, wonderful book down to just under 16 hours of television. What they are accomplishing is truly amazing and I’m so very, very pleased with the series. I’m using my voice to tell you what is right about not only the Episodes, but also the fandom, sometimes referred to as the Outlander Fanmily. Having had interactions with a few other fandoms in the last several months – I can tell you the Outlander fandom is truly great!

As individuals and as a collective, in small groups and large, we have done some truly amazing things. Money raised for charities, lifelong friendships, kindnesses extended across all walks of life and bodies of water. People finding new hobbies, learning a new/very old language, going out of their comfort zones and reaching out to other wonderful people. Very cool stuff. So proud to be part of such a great and positive fandom.

One of the cool things I’ve become aware of is a small group of very dedicated fans working to spread the idea of the series – and thereby the books – to people who don’t know about it. At the same time, they are working to help get the show noticed for things like the Emmy nominations and showing a dedicated fan base that wants the show renewed for as many books as there are to cover!

There are some great artists on the team making those wonderful memes I’m sure you’ve noticed. Like this:

CDEPgwUUEAAfyNW

Or these:

CDE-sm9UIAAYrsr      CDE7TsDVAAAbJjh      CDE0Y3kVIAASHeT

These memes and encouragements are to let the fanmily know about specific happenings. The #AlphaMaleMadness poll going on right now for one. #AlphaMaleMadness   Live Q & A’s, blogs or great information about the show and / or events.  Collecting recipes for a cookbook fundraiser

e3Mrpuh9(should I submit a Chocolate Zucchini Cake recipe you think?)

 

There are some truly fantastic artists working on this effort – but more are always welcome!

A big push right now is to get the current episode trending. There is a very specific way to do that and it takes all the Outlander fandom to accomplish. Each episode is given a specific hashtag BY STARZ to be used for this purpose. The more times that hashtag can be used a given timeframe the more likely we are to trend. This is usually done on the 9pm EST showing in the US. I think? because that is what the Neilsen ratings use.

There are a few rules with this: For Twitter it has to be an original tweet using the hashtag and at least three words. Try to make them something that would pique a person’s interest in the show and make them want to watch. Be creative. A retweet helps – but need to make a comment of at least three words and the hashtag. The more tweets from separate people we get the better.

I’m not completely sure about FB as I’m not very good with it – but the hashtags work there as well. Make comments, get discussion going DURING that hour as much as possible. The memes can be posted on FB – share them – get others to share them. We want to get as many people as possible interested to watch the show and eventually, participate in trending and voting.

All these efforts help keep the series viable to the money guys at STARZ.

The memes are fun and can give lots of info as to how to help. We all want this terrific series to be a major success and be around for many years to come.

Please feel free to ask questions if you have them in the comments section and I’ll do my best to get them answered.

Tulach Àrd!

 

Laoghaire my Deary – what HAVE you done?!

UPDATED 4/20/15 to include thoughts from Ep 11

First of all, I want to say that Nell Hudson is a terrific actress! I hope all the Outlander fandom is treating her with the respect SHE deserves and are throwing their vitriol for the character at the character and not the actress!

Secondly, there are a bunch of great blogs out there that re-cap and break down each episode of Outlander. I’m not going to do that. I’m more about targeting something I really like or really bugs me or just seems to be a ‘hot topic’ I want to put my two cents worth in on.

Now on to a few thoughts about this great, and greatly hated character of Laoghaire.

This is a 16 year old girl that has been crushing on Jamie for half her life. She put him on a pedestal as a child, made him bigger and better than any human could possibly be. (None of us have ever done that right?! Ahem) Jamie playing the hero for her just cemented that ‘hero’ in her mind and heart. She believes this is true love and that Jamie feels the same.

This is also a lass that is canny to the ways of the clan. Mrs. Fitz is her grandmother and probably knows more about what goes on in the castle than Colum does! Laoghaire would have grown up watching and learning from her gran about gathering information. She had likely heard rumblings about Jamie being a possible successor for Colum and I’m sure that would have made him all the more appealing. She’s basically a servant and the idea of being a ‘lady’ would have been very appealing.

She is very good at portraying the ‘sweet innocent’ not altogether ‘there’ at times – but I think this is more an act than fact. She is good at manipulating. Her getting hauled out for punishment is one time she got caught. She may be ‘carrying a torch’ for Jamie – but she was obviously keeping other options on the line.

In the VO for ep9, Jamie says, “….presented me with more choices that would affect our lives for years yet to come.” All the choices he makes regarding Laoghaire are in this too. The choice of how he handles her, what and how he relays things to Claire about her – things we don’t ‘see’ and can only guess at.

Laoghaire is waiting for Jamie in that hallway. I’m sure she was aware that he had been summoned to Colum and was lying in wait to spring on him. He was distracted, wondering why he had been summoned and really didn’t have his head where it needed to be to deal with a love struck young woman. The way Sam/Jamie came across to me in that scene was…maybe a little guilty. Feeling like he shouldn’t have messed around with her, it hadn’t been prudent and he felt badly about it. He agreed to talk to her later partly because he felt bad and partly because he needed to get to Colum. I don’t think the implications of agreeing to that next meeting even dawned on him with all the other stuff going on in his head.

I mean, think about the guys you know. How often has your guy (in whatever capacity he is that) said ‘yeah sure I’ll do that’ or ‘we have to talk about this later’ or something similar and the time comes and they are clueless! It’s the whole idea of guys are waffles while women are spaghetti theory. (If enough people are curious about that I’ll explain it in another post). He got her to go away the quickest way possible and promptly forgot all about it. You can see that when she mentions it at the creek – he remembers when she reminds him, but it wasn’t in the front of his thoughts.

On the creek bank (I know I’m not using the proper terminology for that bit of water – sorry), Jamie is again distracted. Weighed down with a lot of really heavy stuff. The price on his head, the bad feelings between the brothers, the rift with his wife who he is very much in love with…… Laoghaire is the least of his problems and I doubt one of the many things he’s contemplating. Claire and their separation would be foremost on his mind I would think.

Enter Laoghaire, being very brazen indeed with a married man. My guess is that she left the castle with a good idea of where Jamie might be and had a nice secluded spot near there where she shed her clothes before approaching him. She starts out as such a reasonable, calm, soothing voice – a friend. This is comforting to him which he could really use. When she suddenly shifts, disrobes and offers herself to him, I think he’s more than a little stunned – and yes – tempted.

Jamie, much as I love him, is NOT perfect. Diana wrote her characters very ‘real’. ANY guy would be tempted in that situation. I mean come on, hormones alone would do it. He’s very sexually frustrated being newly introduced to the joys of intimacy and suddenly cut off from it. He obviously would have been thinking about Claire standing there which would have wound him up and suddenly he has under his hand a very fine breast. He wouldn’t be a red blooded male if he wasn’t tempted with it and Jamie is very definitely THAT.

While I don’t think his taking her punishment was anything more than kindness to a young lass (I think he would have done the same for ANY young lass in that situation and perhaps lad – but Laoghaire doesn’t see it that way) he DID snog her in the alcove. We as readers or watchers don’t know what was spoken in those moments OR if that was the only time. Even when he was kissing Laoghaire he wanted Claire, that was pretty obvious to us, but at that point, Claire wasn’t a possibility for him so, *shrug* he was scratching that itch a bit with a willing participant. Did he realize the depth of Laoghaire’s feelings? Probably not – most guys don’t at that age. It’s not as if Jamie had loads of experience with ‘relationships’. The kissing though – led her on. Almost any young woman having that sort of attention would see the guys with stars in her eyes and just assume he felt the same.

I have no issues with either of them at the creek. She felt Jamie was hers and was stuck and she had to do something pretty ‘out there’ to get him to not do the honorable thing. (Everyone knows he’s honorable, just an obvious part of the package.) Jamie is trying to be kind and let her down easy after that kissing, but I think Laoghaire coming to him that way really solidified in his mind that he wanted Claire and no one else. Once his brain got working (the one above the shoulders) he stepped back. Nothing he said at that point would have made a difference.

A sensible female would have dropped it at that point, being in love or not. I’m sure all of us have had to bow out gracefully even though it felt like it would kill us. Instead of doing this, Laoghaire becomes a conniving, nasty little besom. The ‘ill wish’ – sure, but also setting herself up to be the ‘sweet young thing’. I have a feeling Mrs. Fitz suspected what Claire wanted and was willing to leave them to it.  Laoghaire went quickly from ‘sweet and innocent’ to nasty. What she says to and about Claire, the innuendos making it obvious she has some knowledge in this area and how to manipulate a response. The comment she throws out about Geillis – with the intention of driving a wedge between Claire and anyone she might find sympathy with. She is already working out how to remove this thorn from her side.

There is so much we don’t see as watchers or readers. It seems rather obvious that she sent the note to Claire sending her to Geillis – but how did she know to do it? What had she overheard? Was she really aware of what this would bring about? Did she care? Had she thought through that doing something to harm Claire would only bring Jamie’s wrath and displeasure – not his love? Likely not.

I see Laoghaire as a young woman who wants way more out of her life. We really don’t know that much about her. She’s related to Mrs. Fitz (which means she’s related to the kid that gave Claire the note) but what is her father like? Is he brutal? He brought her before Colum rather than dealing with it himself – but had he already tried to? How many times had she been caught in a ‘compromising’ position and her dad had just had enough? Had she learned to be conniving and deceitful to survive, or is she just a selfish nasty little twit?

What I love about really good stories is that everyone answers those sort of questions in their own way! The author / writers haven’t TOLD us so we surmise given our own prejudices. It’s deliciously fun and we may all of us be wrong compared to what Diana has in her head.

I love seeing different opinions (as long as they are presented without snotty remarks or nasty behavior) because they give me a new vision to see with. I may not change my mind, but new perceptions from other perspectives are always good for broadening the mind!

 

Now that I’ve seen Ep 11…….First I’ve read a couple of blogs on this episode – will address some of that later, but for now Colum. I don’t think he put Claire in harms way – but her being there already he wasn’t going to lift a finger to get her out. This would put Jamie back into play for leadership in his mind and the clan, for him, comes before ANY other consideration.

As for Laoghaire. Wow….definitely the manipulator! The little besom knew exactly what she was doing. Ron said in his comments he thought Laoghaire might well believe Claire had bewitched Jamie – she certainly believed in the ill-wish. She might believe in such things, but watching her it wouldn’t have mattered – she was going to remove this obstacle no matter what it took. I think she was very practiced at playing the sweet innocent when that wasn’t her true nature. She purposely set about bringing Claire down. I think it likely she overheard about Geillis being taken and just made sure Claire was there to be taken too.

Laoghaire is a beautiful young woman – had she used her drive and abilities in a more positive way, she would have done much better in life.

But that’s not what’s in the books!!!!!!!

I thought it might be a good idea to explain how I see the series so people will understand my perspective when I do posts about Outlander.

I last read the books through again just before MOBY came out. I haven’t cracked one open since. Ok that’s not entirely true; I was looking up a specific passage for an earlier blog so found it on my Kindle – but I don’t sit with the books open and compare back and forth! Likely I will read the current 8 again when the release date for book 9 is announced. I will own I am a book fan – but I’m also a series fan and they are TWO SEPARATE ENTITIES. I chose going into this whole thing to view them that way – another facet of a beloved story.

This is an ADAPTATION of Outlander….not an exact copy going from page to screen.

adaptation ad·ap·ta·tion (ād’āp-tā’shən) n. The acquisition of modifications in an organism that enable it to adjust to life in a new environment.

synonyms: alteration · modification · redesign · remodeling · revamping · reworking · reconstruction

By the very definition there are going to be differences. That is just fact. The BOOK of Outlander is the base for the series which is a completely different medium.

So far I have really, really enjoyed the differences between the book and the series. It’s a new way to see things, new perspective, and deeper ideas. I went in to this understanding that there would be differences and embracing that idea. I also have this perspective and have had since all the hoopla over casting. This is Diana Gabaldon’s creation. These are HER characters and HER story. She is very involved in this process and if SHE says Sam IS Jamie – then that is good enough for me. Same with Cait or any of the other casting. Same with the story.

As a writer working on my first novel, I can tell anyone that cares to listen there are volumes of backstory that are in my head or in my notes that are not in the novel itself. As big as the ‘Big Books’ for Outlander are, I’m sure this is still true. Diana may have events and history in her head which lead the characters to certain places that we as readers know nothing about. She may not, but given how complex and layered this lady tends to be, I think it’s a good guess that she does. There is just no way to get it all into a single book – there is so much stuff going on that the reader just doesn’t know about.

Given this bit of knowledge, I have to think that if Diana is ok with the changes in the show we should be too. Do we trust her or not? I mean…..while we are fans it IS her story.

Terry, Maril and Matt at least have all read the books. Ron has read up through the third book. Diana is very involved giving input and insight from her perspective. Ron has these people around him to let him know what repercussions certain changes might have on the overall story. I am trusting that they:

a) know what they are doing since they are quite successful in their fields

b) have a vision that will move things forward in a way I might not be able to see yet

c) will give us the very best show they can

So, when I blog or make comments about the show, this is the perspective I’m coming from. I understand that it is not going to follow the books word for word. I also understand that not everyone sees things the same way. Jamie does something in the series that person A thinks is totally out of character while person B thinks it’s absolutely in character and C hadn’t thought about him ever doing such a thing but are ok with it and thousands of variations. The creative team can’t please everyone. Diana doesn’t please everyone – she just writes the story as she sees it. When people don’t like something she’s written she pretty much says ‘tough’. I’m ok with that – it’s HER story. We can give our input to the creative team via emails and twitter and blogs and such – but they can’t please everyone nor should they try to. Watch the show and enjoy it, debate it, compare it to the book where it varies – open dialog and debate is a great thing. I just get sad when people get nasty and they are so busy tearing things apart that they can’t enjoy this new and wondrous facet to and old and faithful friend.

 

Cheers!

Outlander Reviews – The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Any fan of Outlander – whether the books or series – will admit whole heartedly that relationship between Claire and Jamie is the backbone of the story. Their love goes to hell, comes back, transcends time and is the foundation for two extremely strong, stubborn characters. It’s the living entity the Outlander story is based on – but most of us hate that Outlander is so often sneeringly called a ‘romance’. It is an epic, historical tale. ‘Romance’ stories have become something other than their original intention and are not well thought of in this time – but that is another blog.

Generally speaking I avoid reading reviews of anything as I find my personal tastes tend to clash with most people that review things ‘professionally’. However, blog reviews tend – more often – to be from everyday people, so I’ve been reading more of them. The world is a crazy, mixed up place and none of us think exactly alike.

I personally hate that these books and this show tend to be pushed as ‘romance’. It touches a bigger audience initially, but the very idea has turned off many as well – particularly males. I totally get that STARZ is trying to secure a specific audience initially, but I really hope they will downplay that angle a bit as the series progresses. I’ve been trying to get my guy to read the books for years. He consented to sit through the series with me (gruffly) but has now read the first book and was the one insisting we re-watch Eps 1-8 before 9 aired on April 4! The other books are queued up on his Kindle. Not that I am complaining. The series finally got him around the idea of it being a ‘romance’.

The problem with ANY review for anything is that the person writing it is biased. They just are – accept that as fact. Their viewing or reading or listening is going to be colored by their own likes, background, prejudices and a myriad of other things including what they had for breakfast that day! Keep in mind too – some people will just flat misrepresent something because they decided, before ever looking at the material, they weren’t going to like it.

Another thing us fans (especially the US contingent) are going to have to be prepared for…we are starting to get reviews from the ‘English’ now that Outlander is airing in the UK – and many of them won’t be kind. We have to admit so far the show does not show the English in a very good light. It’s written from the Highlanders perspective so this is understandable, but the English won’t care for it. There is still a lot of political strife between the English and the Scots – we all remember the high emotions during the YES vote just this last fall.

One specific thing that I’m already seeing issues on is the Gaelic and accents in the show. Having met Àdhamh – I know just how passionate he IS to get the language right! He told us how hard the cast, especially Sam, has worked to make it as accurate as possible. Is it going to be perfect? Of course not – these are not native speakers. Are there going to be production decisions made outside the language experts control for various reasons? Unfortunately yes. It happens. But overall I think they have done a damn fine job with the Gaelic and pray it brings a new interest for the language overall and helps revive it.

STARZ has done an amazing job marketing Outlander. Buses and billboards and TV/Cable and events and….yeah. But even so – people tend to get very focused on their own thing. How many polls have we participated in where people had no idea who Sam or Cait were and had never heard of Outlander? I’m thinking of the recent Zap2it poll against Misha Collins specifically. Many of them had no clue at all, yet the more we talked about it the more interested some of them got. So if they don’t know about Outlander or only think of it as a ‘soft porn romance’ they likely don’t know that Ron Moore is the force behind the show. That name tends to get some attention with a ‘wait WHAT?!’

I honestly don’t mind if someone watches the show or reads the books and says ‘I didn’t like this for XYZ, this is how it came across to me and that bothered me so I won’t recommend it’. That sort of review I have no problems with at all! It’s their opinion and that is very ok! We can’t all like the same things because how boring would that be! Where I take issue is someone who hasn’t seen or read the story and just grossly misrepresents it! (yeah, I spoke on this before and some of this blog is taken directly from that one – trying to be more generic here and not promote the guy I was ranting at.)

The question then becomes do we ignore or respond to the negative reviews. Give them more exposure or hope people don’t see them. Me personally say GO FOR IT ……………………..IF………………….you can give a clear, level headed, meaningful reply to counteract all the negative crap. Being a ‘rabid fan’, using a lot of bad language, saying what an idiot this person is really doesn’t HELP the cause. (And I have to thump on myself here as I tend to get a wee bit snippy when ticked off – mea culpa).

All we can do is promote the truth, about Outlander or whatever we are passionate about. Not all will agree and that is ok. Interacting with other fandoms on polls was a big wakeup call to ME about the responsibilities of being a ‘passionate’ fan. We had done so much good promotion for the show just being classy – talking passionately without being cruel to other fandoms. Being positive not only about the show but each other. We can encourage people with our comments to understand when a reviewer isn’t really being fair to the material, or is totally misrepresenting it. Call them on it – but be nice.

I am not perfect. I screw up on a regular basis. I am trying very hard to NOT respond to anything I get riled about until I’ve cooled off for a bit – don’t always manage it. Please feel free to call me on that. If I’m going to write things for public consumption I WANT to be held accountable. I may not change my opinion, just be more tactful about how I present it.

 

Pet Peeve – Makeup

 

To give everyone a bit of a break from Outlander related posts (especially as I’m working on another one), here is a pet peeve of mine.

I constantly see these ‘SEE STARS WITHOUT THEIR MAKEUP – SHOCKING PHOTOS’  I have so many issues about this but, I’ll try to address the important ones.

1) If they were honest they’d say ‘actresses’. Seriously are there EVER guys in these line-ups?

2) Most of these line-ups are just mean and very skewed in what is presented

3) These things are very, very damaging on several levels

 

#1. I don’t KNOW this for a fact, but I’d be willing to bet any of the actors (meaning males) that walk red carpets and will be stopped for questions are wearing makeup. They almost have to. Having been on stage and worked on a couple of sets, I know what that harsh lighting does. Unless you have a perfect tan or naturally dark skin you get totally washed out. You look like a ghost and it comes across very badly on screen. So why do the guys never get put in these lineups?! 

Because there is such a big difference in the look. The guys use the makeup to not wash out, the gals are all about the glam. The carpet events are where you make it the best you can – OTT – more beautiful than is real. That is fine. The problem is when you compare it to the other end of the spectrum!

This leads directly to #2. They take a picture of some actress all glammed up for a red carpet event and the comparison photo is her coming out of the gym after a workout. So no makeup, hair messy, face puffy and/or blotchy….of course they are going to look worlds apart and the second photo is very unflattering. What ticks me off about it is how they make it these women are looking so awful when they have gone out of their way to find pictures that will do just that! The comments also tend to be very, snotty. Some of these women are damn pretty without makeup, yet the comments say very unkind things.

To be fair….I have seen a FEW – a very few – comments that are nice. ‘Such a fresh face’ or ‘beautiful eyes’….but overall, they are unkind and frankly, not true.

Which brings us to damaging. First of all, for people that have never had to wear performance makeup – you just have no idea. I’m sure it has improved over the years, but it’s still really BAD for the skin. Even ‘normal’ makeup isn’t good for you really. It can give a great look and make you ‘pretty’ – but at a cost. I’ve had many people compliment me on my skin – for years. People tend to guess my age at least 10 years younger than I am – more often 15 – 20 years younger. I know absolutely it’s because I almost never wear makeup. No, not even mascara. Blistex Silk & Shine for my lips. If a special occasion I’ll put on eye makeup and a touch of blush. Something REALLY special (say a wedding) where I might have pictures taken (though I avoid cameras usually because of my weight) I’ll wear foundation with the rest. I worked with a girl in her 20’s that had really horrible skin and caked on the make-up because of that. Just looking at her skin she looked much older. I finally convinced her that her skin was that bad because of the makeup and got her to drastically change how and what she applied. Within a month her skin had vastly improved.

These ladies can’t always have perfect skin because they ARE in makeup so much of the time! Besides, very few people in the world have ‘perfect’ skin – why should they? They are human beings with lives. Lovers, children, a career – a stressful career and we have no idea of their RL struggles.

The other thing that makes this so damaging (aside from, no matter how thick skinned someone gets working in Hollywood, those snotty comments have to sting if not downright hurt) is making it seem like that false beauty and perfection are better than the real person. What happened to standing up for the right thing and empowering women?! Stating – even passively – that made up, unreal beauty is better than who you really are is just……….not cool.

Honestly, on a couple of the ones I looked through, I thought many of the ladies looked BETTER without all the glam makeup! They had a natural beauty that was so much more appealing.

What I would love to see is some enterprising fashion or celebrity journalist do one of these ‘STARS WITHOUT MAKE-UP’ with a very different twist. Use the glam photos on one side, but on the other, have the ‘no makeup’ be just that. A posed shot taken by a photographer – just like for the glam shot. The lighting would have to be adjusted for that, but a truly comparable picture. Not catching them after exercise class or coming off a 15 hour flight or running out for an early morning coffee on the weekend! Make it a truly comparable thing!

A lot of big name actresses are doing ‘selfies’ on Twitter and FB and such – but it would be nice to see a known outlet do a real story on this celebrating what they can be all made up as the ‘actress’ AND the real woman they are at home. Heck, make it interesting and throw a few guys in maybe. Instead of saying THIS is more beautiful than THAT, have the person in question give an empowering quote or helpful tip about makeup or skincare or just care of yourself.

Just a thought.

 

THE THRASHING

Over the last few months, I have gotten into a number of…..erm……discussions (ahem) about the indignity that Claire suffered at Jamie’s hands. I’ll make this statement up front then you can decide if you want to continue reading or not.

Claire was given exactly what she deserved. Period.

Now for those of you still reading, let me explain. Oh and be warned I’m going to bring in something from Season 2/Dragonfly in Amber here – so bit of a spoiler.

outlander-clip

First of all….let’s all get on the same page as far as definitions. You will note that I did not use either ‘beating’ or ‘spanking’ as – by the definitions I found – neither is appropriate.

spanking
 the act of hitting someone with the hand, usually several times on the bottom as a punishment or for sexual pleasure:

Jamie obviously used his belt so that negates the spanking though it was confined to her bottom. Also, while he may well have gotten some ‘sexual pleasure’ from it, that was not his goal. His goal here, and he stated it very clearly was justice.
From <http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/spanking>

thrash
to hit a person or animal hard many times as a punishment:

This seems an appropriate definition of what took place in this instance.
From <http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/british/thrash>

tawse
noun 1. a leather strap having one end cut into thongs, formerly used as an instrument of punishment by a schoolteacher
verb 2. to punish (someone) with or as if with a tawse; whip
Word Origin C16: probably plural of obsolete taw strip of leather; see taw ²
From <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/tawse>

Very similar to ‘thrash’ and comes from the Scots so probably the most appropriate but most people don’t know the word so – I settled on thrash.

beat
to hit repeatedly:
They saw him beating his dog with a stick.
The child had been brutally/savagely beaten.
She was beaten to death.[+ obj + adj ]
He was beaten senseless.
From <http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/beat>

I get really rather cranky with people that insist Jamie BEAT Claire. He didn’t. I left the examples under ‘beat’ to show a point. The term ‘to beat’, to most people denotes a brutal act with the goal being to inflict pain and injury/damage. You might note too that while the other three definitions all explicitly say this is for ‘punishment’ – beat does not. To me – and yes this is just my opinion but seems to be upheld by definitions, a man who BEATS his wife is trying to hurt her both physically and psychologically. I’m sure many will disagree with me and likely I’ll hear about that – I can respect your opinions without agreeing with them. I hope you will give me the same courtesy.

Claire, was angry. She’d been attacked and Jamie hadn’t been much help initially. She was angry that she had forgotten her quest to get back to her own time, angry that no one was willing to listen to her as a woman and, I think, angry because she was falling in love with her new husband. She was sulking rather like a spoiled brat really. She was only focused on herself and what she wanted and how upset she was. Did she think, even for a moment, that the very last thing on earth Jamie wanted to do at that moment was leave her side? He was trying to find a way to get the price off his head and be a proper husband and it was a one off deal. What choice did he have?

Instead of being grateful that he wanted to keep her as safe as possible and not subject her to more of the same ilk she had just survived, she was pouting because he didn’t listen to her. So, she wanders off and sees Craigh na Dun. Impetuously, she runs away. To Frank, away from Jamie and the 18th century – but without for even a moment thinking through the consequences of her actions. She does have a habit of this.

We all know what happens. The shouting match between them. Was great. Well done. Anyone who still has issues with either of these two awesome actors bringing these characters to life probably needs to find another show to watch.

So, they get back all safe and Claire IS sorry, but she’s still very focused on HER. She really has not realized the peril she put that group of men in. These men who, have accepted her into their clan, fought for her honor, brought even more English problems down on themselves and the clan – these men she put in harm’s way because she did exactly what SHE wanted to rather than listening to the council or orders of her husband. She is capable of taking orders – she did it all through the war. She understood that her commanding officer might know more than her and trusted that. She simply is refusing to trust Jamie and for that time and place, that is deadly. She needed to truly understand what disobedience could cause. She needed to really ‘get’ the injustice of what she had done to Jamie, the clan and honestly, herself.

We are also well aware that harsh punishments / justice are indeed common. Geillis thought nothing of a young lad losing a hand for stealing a loaf of bread. A hungry kid trying to eat. I don’t remember hearing any cries of ‘child abuse’ and long diatribes about this. Even Jamie  had no issues with the ear nailing and seemed to be quite familiar with it. Harsh punishments and a high sense of honor were part of the way of life – and death. Breaking oaths in that time got people killed or could. Claire broke faith with what are now her kinsman by running off and she specifically broke her promise to Jamie. That is huge and almost never touched on in all this.

So for all of you people who get so indignant about her thrashing, are you going to get just as pissed off in the next season when Jamie thrashes some men for not properly standing their posts? For, by their selfish actions of not paying proper attention, put the entire group at risk? This is Claire’s own comment about that incident:

“I thought perhaps I would be sick, though I gathered that the punishment was light enough, by the standards applied to such things…..” (Direct quote from Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon).

Jamie called these two men out, gave them a verbal dressing down then thrashed them. He was punishing them for putting the rest at risk by their actions – exactly like he does with Claire. She was treated like a member of the clan. Oh, and then Jamie has himself thrashed because HE was lax and it was HIS action that drew the enemy fighter to their camp and caused the initial problem. He expects the same punishment.

Now, many will come back that it’s different. Claire is a woman and his wife. I say it is NOT different. She had a responsibility to the clan. Men that had fought for her and protected her. She obviously was not ‘getting’ it as this was one in a long line of here doing her own thing and causing trouble. The very visceral enforcement by thrashing didn’t even totally work – but it did make her think through things a bit more often.

And yes, Claire is a woman and Jamie’s wife. As such, she was granted a LOT of leniency. She was thrashed in private not in front of all those men she put at risk. I think it’s already clear public punishment was common as well. Jamie was allowed, as her husband, to dish out her punishment. Under those circumstances I’m sure it would have been appropriate for Dougal to be the one to administer the thrashing. I highly doubt he would have been as lenient or as tolerant of her fighting back. She really might have gotten a true beating had Dougal been doing it.

I was ‘thrashed’ as a child. Not often because I didn’t like it. Part of the deal yeah? You want to avoid unpleasantness. The instrument in question for me was a board rather than a strap. After my first thrashing, I tended to weigh things with the idea of ‘if I do this do I risk that’? I tended to make better choices after that – not always perfect but better.

I am someone that believes it’s better to slap a child’s hand away from a hot stove or give a little swat on the butt to startle them away from something really bad or dangerous and have that bit of sting from either enforce the message. I am NOT advocating spousal abuse or child abuse or beating. I do believe in punishment for wrong doing and CLAIRE DID WRONG!

Jamie was not trying to physically damage her, though he was trying to give her enough pain for justice for all those wronged and to enforce the point of danger that she was just not letting into her head. She was thinking because she had lived through the war, that nothing in 18th century Scotland could be as bad or dangerous. But it’s a very different reality as far as danger goes and she DOES need to get it through her stubborn head she needs to listen and obey for her safety and that of those around her.

To me, Jamie is a good man in a really bad situation. He says frankly, that had she been a man the punishment would be far worse. He did nothing wrong. He didn’t ‘beat’ his wife – he didn’t abuse her. He meted out justice for a severe wrong done against himself, the men who were protecting her and, ultimately, herself.

Claire got exactly what she deserved in this. A harsh punishment to fit the crime, but given by a loving hand that ultimately wants to keep her and his clan safe.