Courtesy & Common Sense

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What has become of the world when these two things seem almost impossible to find. The common courtesy of saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, of respecting another person’s opinion even when it doesn’t mesh with your own. The courtesy of allowing another to have an opinion that differs from your own and to discuss those different ideas without devolving into a juvenile shouting match of name calling and derision.

What ever happened to common sense?! The idea of the Golden Rule and simply being decent to other human beings seems to have gone the way of the Dodo. Small, random acts of kindness become a huge big deal because they are so unusual these days. Common sense that there are other people on the planet that have their own thoughts, feelings and lives that are just as important to them as yours is to you.

It seems in this time of ‘entitlement’ and instant gratification, people lean towards doing whatever is great for them and anyone they affect can just suck it up. As long as they don’t REALLY hurt them (i.e. physically) what is the big deal?! Do whatever is best for yourself and your gratification, to heck with everyone else.

This makes me utterly, profoundly sad and more than a little angry.

Fandoms….seem to be a microcosm of the world at large – an effective mirror. This smaller community within the larger community gives us an interesting picture of the world at large. Some of what we see is heartwarming; other things not so much.

For instance….the recent ‘squeezing’ of Mr. Heughan’s ass.

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I don’t want to start the war up again. The female in question (NOT a lady) has been slapped around on SM for a few days now. Not why I bring it up. I want to point at a recent, very specific example of what I’m talking about.

This chick wanted to grope some guy she doesn’t know because it would be a thrill for her – so damn the consequences – that is what she did. It was rude; it was selfish; it took advantage of a kindness this man had extended by allowing her in his personal space for a picture. It gave HER gratification while not caring at all how it would make him feel or the consequences of her actions.

Consequences – she got slammed across social media, especially because she bragged about doing this. It wasn’t an ‘accident’, it was a purposeful action. She has tried to spin it since the storm hit her, but a few too many have the original post documented for that. A very sweet man was put in an awkward position and a lot of people got very angry & indignant – and expressed this.

It’s not that Sam needs the fans to ‘protect’ him – he’s a grown man and very capable. We do feel protective though….not just of the people we love to watch, but of our privileges as fans and the impact such blatant disregard for Sam (or Cait or Graham or Ron or Terry or anyone else associated with the show) might have on future interactions for other fans.

Discussion about this topic was good! It gave the ‘community’ a very distinct focus to be able to hash out what is / is not acceptable. It establishes solid guidelines for those who may not be sure and helps everyone be on the same page. To be fair though….while constructive criticism of the ACT and the total lack of common sense or courtesy is a good thing, devolving into name calling and threats is not. That is not constructive.

We, as a fandom, have had some pretty negative stuff going on: the ‘shipper’ war, a feeling of entitlement about getting to see and experience while waiting for the next season, being snotty and disrespectful to Terry and Ron especially, but also Sam & Cait and others just because things don’t mesh with what someone thinks they are entitled to or how they think it should be; bullying and just plain old meanness.

I’ve also seen this fandom to some absolutely awesome epic shit! How many thousands of dollars have been raised for charity? Look at how we have made STARZ and the Emmy’s and other corporate types sit up and take notice of what a united fandom can do! We have banded together to defeat established shows and their stars in vote after vote and get OUR show and stars into some limelight!

Like the world at large, the Outlander fandom is a mix of all sorts of things. We have some really great, inspiring people in this fandom – artists and writers and bakers and those who just care and pitch in where ever and how ever they can to make a positive difference in other people’s lives. We have some really selfish, self-absorbed people that seem to have the purpose of making everyone else as miserable as possible. We have those between the two extremes that swing both ways depending on the particular issue at hand.

I know there are those out there that think I’m being ‘preachy’ and should just shut the f*ck up. Ignorance and stupidity really annoy me and I get steamed. I’m trying to get better about cooling off before I blog. I’ve said it many times. Courtesy and Common Sense. I’ll keep saying it. If we can practice these ideas the fandom, and the world will be a much better place overall. Express yourself without being mean or getting into pissing matches, listen to other POV’s – discuss, analyze, and expand your thinking with other ideas! What life is about! A couple of goofy guys really had this right and it’s such a simple concept.

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JACK DANIEL’S FUDGE

Since so many of the people I ‘hang’ with on social media at this stage seem to be ‘IN’ to whisky (can’t for the life of me figure out why {heavy sarcasm} ) … I thought I would share this recipe I found. Now, Debbie says it’s ok to share these but here is her FB page with all sorts of yummy looking recipes. She gets total credit for this – I just stumbled over it and wanted to share!

Debbie Douglas

JACK DANIEL’S FUDGE – PERFECT for the holidays!!

5 cups sugar(2 pounds)
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk…
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
25 large marshmallows, ripped in half
11.5 oz Ghiradelli 60% cocoa bittersweet chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup Jack Daniels, or a whiskey you really like. You will be able to really taste it!

1. Whisk whiskey with confectioner’s sugar, and set aside.

2. Foil and butter a 9 x 13 (or larger) baking pan.

3. Put sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla in a large pot with a heavy bottom. Stirring steadily until mixture boils, continue stirring while letting it boil for 3 minutes (time it, this is important). Remove from heat.

4. Add the marshmallows and chocolate, stirring until all of it is melted and blended into the sugar mix.

5. Give whiskey mixture a quick stir, and add it to the pot, stirring until fully incorporated.

6. Pour into a greased pan, and chill. Let mellow for a day before cutting.

To VOTE or not to VOTE – That is the Question

I wrote a blog about voting back in March originally and which was updated a couple of times in July. That piece was more about WHY we as fans might want to vote and how to be good ambassadors of our favorite show and stars. If you want to look back at that one here is a link WILL THE VOTING NEVER END?!?! I completely endorse voting in the various contests and do it as often as my weird internet connection allows me to.

I want to address something a little different here. Yet another way bullies are making themselves known and often they are the self-proclaimed leaders that are just supposed to be giving some ‘guidance & structure”.

Voting, like anything else in the fandom, is a choice. It is a personal choice and no one should feel brow-beaten or belittled for their choice. I can’t always vote as much as I’d like because of my internet connection or lack thereof. Sometimes I get so tired of being harped on I quit voting and walk away from Twitter and Facebook so I don’t have to see it anymore. I did that with one of Sam’s recent rounds – and was told rather snottily if I didn’t want to see the voting reminder to block or mute them. Wasn’t the reminders to vote that were irritating – it was their tone.

On both TW & FB I constantly see “We need HELP – why aren’t more people voting!!!!” then these people go out and make comments like “If you were really a fan you’d be voting!” I actually saw one comment that went something like ‘You have company over? Hide your phone under your napkin and keep voting.’

An often repeated idea in my blogs is ‘courtesy and common sense’. Be excellent to each other. Don’t try to dictate someone else’s personal choices. Appeal for help, state your case then let the people make their own choice. Making a wonderful meme that is fun and witty and gets people interested, then closing it with a command is a really fast way to lose people.

Why aren’t there more people voting? My personal thought is people in general don’t like to be told what to do, made to feel guilty about something or constantly nagged. Reminding people to vote with great memes, tweets and comments on social media is fine! It’s a good thing to put up voting links often with fun/creative pictures or comments. But nagging, being nasty, telling people they MUST vote – will tend to lose the very people you are trying to get to help you.

Many fans are just plain tired of all the voting. I’m one of them – but we keep at it anyway.  You finish one competition and start another or often have several going at once. Some people don’t want their whole time they have allowed for Outlander to be sitting and voting. Most fans vote when they can and a core group of really dedicated voters carry the main burden of winning these things. Every vote counts – every vote….we have had some really tight wins and losses where just a minor number would have swung things. What we need to do is get a much bigger and more diverse fandom to help when we have votes so it doesn’t fall on the same people over and over again.

A couple of tips:

Look at what you are RT’ing. Is it still timely? I’ve seen many contests where a frantic call for final votes goes out which is fine – but someone Retweets it when the vote has been closed for hours. This is true of any tweets really – pay attention to what they are asking for and the timeframe.

Don’t constantly say things like ‘panic’ or ‘mayday’ or make it sound like whoever is being voted for is behind or is in imminent danger of losing their lead. This happened a LOT in the radio times vote for Sam and at times he was literally MILLIONS of votes in the lead. I get that with the way the voting was going it was possible if we didn’t stay on top of it for that lead to be lost, but it wasn’t imminent. The problem with always ‘crying wolf’ is that when it really IS critical, people will ignore it because the scare tactic has been used too much when it wasn’t really true.

There were two votes going at the same time recently. Sam’s vote on Radio Times and Cait’s vote for E-online. Sam’s vote was really important – I get that. Big exposure, important deal in the UK because Radio Times is such a major publication. All good. What ticked me off was people so willing to throw Cait and her vote under the bus when it was not necessary. Sam was millions of votes ahead and people could have taken a little time away to make sure she was set in her race then keep them both in the lead. So much easier to maintain a lead than have to claw up from under 50%.

Radio Times

Not only was I sniffed at for suggesting in various places that we work on Cait’s vote some as Sam was more than stable, some people got just a little hostile. A friend got a DM from a ‘self-appointed leader’ chewing HER out for daring to promote Cait’s ‘fluff’ vote rather than focusing on Sam. That really, REALLY annoyed me. Not only was it hurtful, it made her want to just give up voting entirely. Sam was being well represented and she wanted to remind people of Cait’s vote – her choice and a good one.

First, free country anyone can promote any vote they want to. Second, I find it interesting that Cait’s is a ‘fluff’ vote – don’t remember anyone calling the ‘Alpha Male Madness’ a FLUFF vote (and the balance to the #GirlonTop vote Cait is in now BOTH of which are E-online with Kristin Dos Santos)…..oh right….we were voting for Sam so it was important. I adore Sam – I do – but he is not the only star on Outlander. He is not the only talent. He is not the only person on that show that works his butt to see it be successful.

I just found a far worse issue – and sadly, I found it on the Radio Times story about Sam’s win.

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Not only was what happened here totally out of line, it is now known to not only our fandom but anyone who reads comments on the article. Much as it pains me to say this, I believe it happened and that there were probably others. Please….do not put up with stuff like this. Call these people out. Don’t stand for bullying and let the rest of the fandom support you.

Radio Times

We have some wonderfully creative people in the Outlander fandom. See above.  The encouragements to vote are mostly fun and motivational. If you ASK for votes, explain why they are needed without making every request into a panic situation, and don’t constantly nag….I’m far more likely to vote. There are certain people on Twitter that, honestly, during a vote I simply ignore because of how they come across. ASK for votes, make it fun, make it easy for people to do it then leave them alone to make up their own minds.