Droughtlander 2019

I’ve said before I hate that particular term…it’s so negative. Maybe something like “OutPause” would be better…I don’t know. Honestly, with the way things have gone in life this last week, I think the whole idea is pretty silly.

I’m relatively new to the Outlander universe. A teen maybe. I didn’t discover the books until 2009 while working for St. Vincent DePaul in Oregon running the book department. Being everything we got in was donated, some really interesting things would come through the store: that could be a whole post by itself and if anyone expresses interest maybe I’ll write it. To properly shelve the books, I read lots of jackets to understand where to put the books. I’ve always had a thing for Scotland (maybe I lived there in a former life) so reading the jacket for Outlander intrigued me and I bought that book for myself to take home. Ah yeah….where things went from there! LOL

I’m not as invested in the books as the readers who have been with the series from the beginning might be (time in, all that early fandom stuff with Diana, etc.) but I have read the books through several times each and find them in turns soothing, motivating, enlightening, entertaining and engrossing. I was quite excited to hear about the series and especially Ron Moore as we were both big BSG fans and knew Ron had a unique talent with shows.

I am one of those people that decided early on to not stress differences between the books and the series. Diana said up front to “put the books DOWN” and take the series as its own unique entity. I took that advice to heart and have not regretted it. While there have been some things I didn’t like (true of ANY series I have EVER watched) and some disappointments with moments from the books that didn’t make it on-screen for whatever reason, I have never been so upset/stressed about it as to flip out and go on SM rampages. I’m sure I’ve covered this in MANY other posts so won’t repeat myself – go look if you like – I’ll wait.

Back? Ok – so here is another beef. This whole ‘Droughtlander’ mentality. It makes me mental. I mean, yes, the show is off the air till next season. For all the ‘fans’ (using that term VERY loosely) that spent the last six months bitching about how much the show is pissing them off, they should be happy. I mean, they can focus on other stuff now – but they don’t seem to be.

For all involved that seem to think this is such a horrible ordeal as to have come up with the name ‘Droughtlander’ in the first place I beg you – get a life.

Diana’s books are awesome and the show is great – but there are other authors and other shows to find and explore and fall in love with. There are other terrific actors and artists out there that need support just as much as Sam and MPC and all the great charities the Outlander stars support. Check out a new genre you may not have explored before and you might be amazed at what you find.

Inspiring

For some, and even better suggestion is to take this love of Outlander / Scotland / historical time frame / ??? / all of the above and turn it into a creative passion. Volunteer at a local museum or historical re-enactment place. Turn this passion into a hobby and/or a creative craft that you can enjoy and maybe make some money with. Find a unique thing that you are passionate about and put it to use. Right off hand we have several people who craft jewelry, knitters/crocheters, cross-stitchers, bakers, writers, artists…I mean…just about anything can incorporate elements of your favorite books/shows/movies.

Even a couple of the Outlander ‘stars’ are busy with ‘other’ expressions besides their acting. Aside from acting projects outside of Outlander, Sam has MPC going and Richard Rankin is showing his photos at a gallery in NYC! How exciting is THAT!

It’s so very easy to criticize and critique something – go out and do your own ‘art’ in whatever form to find out

  1. a) it’s not so easy
  2. b) what you find a beautiful, near perfect expression others will hate
  3. c) not matter how good your creative endeavor is, there will be those that have never done anything like it that will tell you how you should have done it to make it better or more something THEY would like and
  4. d) there is more to life than any one passion

 

All this may seem like a bit of a harsh/angry post…and I guess it is. I had an incident a few days ago that reminded me, very poignantly, just how brief and precious and beautiful life can be. That, while books/TV/movies are wonderful and great escapes – they are NOT ‘life’ in all it’s messy, wonderful moments. That sometimes no matter how hard you try – you just can’t fix something. Honestly, my heart is bruised and seeing so much angst over a TV series just irritates.

Love some of the fun, positive stuff fans are doing to keep the show ‘alive’ while it’s on hiatus…but I would also love to see some of the things they are passionate about besides Outlander. Perhaps, by sharing other likes/loves/interests/passions they will introduce people to something new that they too can explore and enjoy.

Peace

 

 

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Outlander’s “Fans of Worth”

As a follow-up to my last post, I wanted to go positive. My last post was a backhanded slam at people I think are being very poor fans of Outlander. They frustrate me and, honestly make me pretty angry when they claim to be the ‘supportive fans’ yet attack, bash, bitch, whine and moan.

This time, I want to call out a dozen Twitter accounts that, to me, embody the idea of ‘Fans of Worth’. I grabbed pics from these account’s Twitter feeds, Facebook pages or web pages just as examples of what they have to offer. No copyright infringement intended.

@purpleiris13 & @SummerPic – the ‘POP’ twins….these two ladies take a unique skill and give us wonderful memes and little videos about Outlander and the people connected to the show. They just did a couple for Valentine’s Day that are GREAT! (I also just got ‘popped’ and I LOVE it!)

OL Fans of Worth 1

@RRankinFans / The Rank and File – this group pre-dates Outlander – they are fans of Richard Rankin first, last and always. What makes them Fans of Worth for Outlander (again IMHO) is how they actively support the entire cast, not just their favorite. They vote, promote and love on Sophie, Caitriona and Sam as much as Richard.

@LaughOutLander – The memes this lady puts out are just epic. They are fun, sarcastic, funny, and sometimes just a wee bit twisted. With all the crap going on in the world (and the fandom) it’s good to laugh at the show and ourselves and perhaps the obsession we find ourselves living with.

OL Fans of Worth 2

@mymtbrain – always on top of/promoting voting without pushing or being obnoxious about it. Lots of RT’s for people to help them spread their messages and kind words for the fandom. Just always ‘there’ and positive for the show and the people and the fans.

@sqrlb8 (Beth) – As someone who does cross stitch myself, I really appreciate Beth’s contribution to the fandom. Not only does she take our favorite subjects and spend hours creating her works of art, she donates all that time and cost in materials to raise money for the charities our stars support.

OL Fans of Worth 3

@outlanderpod – I have had the supreme pleasure of hanging with Summer & Ginger at a particularly fun event. It’s been a couple of years ago now, but it is a favorite Outlander memory – for Kyle too. These gals have gone from ‘just fans’ to serious podcast journalists that cover Outlander with great panache. Plus, they are just kick-ass ladies who are fun to hear/be around.

@A_Badassunicorn – Mika is another fan that turned a hobby into a way to support charities that people on the show promote. She raised gobs of money for Bloodwise and Cahonas Scotland and World Child Cancer early on, and has expanded to supporting other worthy charities with her beautiful crocheted items. You can find her items on FB here CANCER CROCHET

OL Fans of Worth 4

@pixietwit – We have many fantastic writers in the Outlander fandom that do great recaps and insights on the show, the books and the people. Beth just happens to be one I really enjoy both in her take on things and how she writes them. You can find her work here My Outlander Blog

@OutLandAnatomy – This is another fan that added something unique to the fandom by combining their own knowledge with Outlander. Putting together great pictures/screenshots of the actors and knowledge of anatomy, the rest of us get these wonderful lessons about the human body. Detailed posts about the pictures tweeted on the OUTLANDER ANATOMY website.

OL Fans of Worth 5A

@OutlanderAmbass – This account just seems to cover everything. Their mission is to ‘promote all things Outlander’ in a ‘consistency positive light’. This is how the account has always come across to me, very positive and encompassing of ALL the fandom.

@OutlanderOnline – This account is marvelous for capturing so much! Screenshots, promotional shots, info from STARZ – just everything – and having it in ONE place! I also love that you can sign up for the emails and it all comes to your inbox. I have a special folder that everything goes into so I can find things if I want! It’s great!

This is by no means an exhaustive list! We have many, many ‘Fans of Worth’ in the Outlander fandom (I used to call it Clandom – but that never seemed to take).

My suggestion, pick your own ‘Fans of Worth’ and give them a shout out on social media. There may be some newer fans don’t know about or that they just haven’t found yet. Some may not feel like they contribute much and a ‘shout out’ might give them a big boost. Expand this idea to other shows/fandoms. Spread the love!

We often promote the actors and people working on the show, maybe during the off season (ok ok Droughtlander – hate that term personally) we can promote the fans…the regular people that are the audience that keep the show on the air.

So get on social media and give shout outs to YOUR favorites – promote these “Fans of Worth” so others can find them. Suggested hashtag? #OLFansOfWorth  – or something appropriate to other fandoms.

Peace

Fan of Worth

This is something I strive to achieve. Because I am human and flawed I often fall short, but this is my goal, not just as a fan but as a person.

I put this meme out periodically on Twitter. I do it as a way to hold myself publicly accountable – and as something others might see and want to embrace for themselves. I’ll add it here for reference. 

wolf message-ME

 I had to wait this week or so after the Outlander Season 4 Finale to cool off enough to write without attacking specific people. That isn’t how I like to roll. I may attack specific actions or practices (like RL shipping, personal attacks, bashing rather than giving honest critique/expressing frustration or disappointment). I’ll point out my concerns/irritations with actions and figure if the shoe fits, people will know without me pointing fingers at specific people. I usually work to point out practices or actions that I find disturbing and figure people can make their own determinations.

I sometimes long to go back to the early days of the fandom. I vividly remember the early voting when the sites had comments; how the Outlander fans were appalled with the attitudes and comments from other fandoms. The infighting over different ‘stars’ on the same show. We simply couldn’t understand how, if someone was a fan of a specific show, these ‘fans’ could speak in such an ugly fashion about it or the people involved with it. How many of us Outlander fans were completely turned off to another show due to the toxicity of the fans? I’ll never watch Dr. Who because of how nasty the fans were – and I/we quit watching The 100. The show was fine, but the vile, nasty, threatening social media spewing of the fandom totally ruined the show for me as a whole. I couldn’t enjoy the show (which I liked) because of how invasive the fandoms nastiness was. It seems a bunch of the Outlander fans have joined that club.

As I have said, I have no problem at all with disappointment, frustration or even anger with the show. It’s valid. Some people are feeling those things and that is ok. Now, just so we are all on the same page – here are MY definitions for you going forward in this post and any future posts I may do.

Personal attacks: Any name calling or denigration of a person. i.e. calling someone an idiot, maligning their acting skills (this is your personal opinion – please phrase it that way) anything making fun of or being nasty about their looks/physical appearance. Trying to get someone fired – etc. Instead of saying “x is a HORRIBLE actor/actress– she/he should never have been hired! What the f*ck were they thinking?!” Try “that actress/actor just doesn’t appeal to me in this role or they just aren’t making it believable for ME”. (Because I promise other people have no problems with that persons acting).

Bashing: “So glad this utter joke of a season is over! Horrible”

         “The writers are total idiots that have no clue what they are doing. They have totally RUINED this perfect story.”

        “I GET that it’s an adaptation, but these stupid people have destroyed what should be an easy thing to film! It’s all right there, all they have to do is USE it!”

BIG BIG BIG difference between explaining, with grown up words and language, WHY you are disappointed/frustrated/angry than just bashing the show.

Bitching/whining: “Why won’t these EXPLETIVE people EXPETIVE listen to us?! WE are the fans! We EXPLETIVE make this EXPLETIVE show happen! If not for us, there would BE no EXPLETIVE show! These EXPLETIVE morons better start paying attention or they will be sorry!”

Here is a blog that does everything right. The writer is sad, frustrated, disappointed and angry. She expresses herself well and really explains, without attacks, bashing, whining or bad language WHY she is feeling all those negative things. All the comments I read were equally articulate and respectful – while still making it plain these were NOT happy people. This was one of the few times I really got a good handle on where these people are coming from because I wasn’t rolling my eyes every ten seconds. This was a wonderful post and, while I’m sorry so many are frustrated, I applaud them for really making me think through what they were saying.

You Broke My Heart, Fredo: The Un-Making of Outlander

Please read this! While people reading this will see a lot of negative (anger/frustration/disappointment) it is all stated in ways that clearly show these are personal opinions only and others can and do LIKE the show just fine. It wouldn’t instantly turn someone off that may have just been looking to check the show out and maybe give it a chance.

I saw these two tweets right after the finale – but didn’t answer them there. I was angry at the attitude and it would have only intensified any exchange. I don’t want to fight with people, I (and many others) are just fed up with the personal attacks, bashing/bitching and whining.

Fan of worth blog

YES! Please stop watching – or at least stop with the nastiness. If you want to actually make some progress towards being heard, there is an old adage: You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Being nasty and vulgar just shuts people off – they won’t hear you. So YES…stop watching if all you can do is bitch. Watch or not, but stop bitching. Losing people with this mentality as viewers won’t be any worse than the possible viewers that may actually like/enjoy the show being run off by the nasty/toxic spewing.

Here is how I see it.

The show is what it is and it is not going to change. The writers/producers have their path and it is not likely to suddenly shift directions just because some whiny brats want it to. This leaves fans with a few choices:

Stop watching. Simple, easy, save money, don’t waste time/energy on something that so clearly bothers you. Also means you stop commenting. Outlander isn’t a show for you so move on to something else and let the people that like it – enjoy it in peace.

Watch – understanding this is what the show is. If you choose to keep watching with this understanding – that it is not/never will be YOUR vision of it – stop bitching about it. Discuss it, EXPLAIN why you are angry/frustrated/disappointed, but PLEASE stop attacking/bashing/bitching/whining. Many fans DO enjoy the show, love the actors and are interested in the differences between the books the series and I’ve seen comments from many of them that the nastiness is turning them off the fandom.

There are a few people I really like/respect on Twitter & Facebook that are engaging in this just nasty commentary – which I find very sad and out of character. ALL fans opinions are valid – but if you are THAT unhappy with the show, why keep watching?

WHY KEEP WATCHING

Sometimes it seems these people watch so they HAVE something they can bitch about, which is annoying to other fans and turns off potential viewers.

I encourage all to be a “FAN OF WORTH” – be it for Outlander or anything else.

 

 

Courtesy & Respect

Edited: Updated to reflect current issues Jan. 23, 2019

This is something I’ve written about several times coming at it from different directions. Two good examples are here Differing Opinions: Books vs TV Series and here But that’s not what’s in the books!!!!!!

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Discussion, asking questions, understanding the process – all these are GOOD things! Having differing opinions and viewpoints is great because discussing different perceptions help open up new facets to people seeing the same material.

My huge frustration is with people who just bash and whine showing little to no courtesy or respect for the actors, all the behind the scenes people and the process that are vital to the making of this (Outlander) or any other creative endeavor. These are skilled professionals doing a damn fine job and as fans, we need to respect that.

The Team (Ron, Maril, Gary, Terry, Matt, Toni, Anne, Ira and all the other writers, the directors, scouts and hundreds of others whose names/jobs we don’t even know) work their tails off to bring us the very best adaptation of Outlander they can. Their job isn’t to recreate the books, but to bring us (and their bosses) great television that will retain viewers and make the studio money. (They are doing a FABULOUS job IMO).

These people work long hours, often in miserable conditions (night shoots+Scotland+winter) with little in the way of breaks between seasons. Knowing a fair few creative people, I imagine that even on their ‘down’ time from the show it is never far from their thoughts.

The actors have been stellar – both in ability and their willingness to interact with the fans. STARZ has been wonderful doing multiple giveaways and exposure to keep the show going.

So what do I mean about Courtesy and Respect? Here is an example. These are not actually ‘direct’ quotes from any one person, but close to things I’ve seen the last two days after the recent episode and through the entire life of the show.

“You all just ruined the absolute most important moment of the series! How could you?! What were you thinking? RDM is an idiot that should be fired for screwing up the story!”

Or

“Fans have been gypped again! Totally blew such a great scene! Jamie/Claire/Jenny/???? was supposed to be/do/act THIS way – not the stupid/wrong way you did it. WTF were you thinking?!”

Or

“WTF? Jamie and Claire are the story here! Why are you wasting time on other characters when we get so few episodes! How can you be such f*cking morons! Just follow the damn book – it’s all right there!

Or

“What happened to all the great sex scenes?! You are totally screwing up this major love story! Jamie and Claire are still passionate people that have sex! Get it right for a change!”

VS

“I was so disappointed that this (pick something) was done differently from the books – it was a favorite bit. Could the writers/director/actor please explain why the decision was made to do it the way you did so I/we can understand?” Thanks!”

Or

“I have to say I’m angry. I just don’t understand the way the writers are doing these recent episodes. The balance of the story seems WAY off to me – and I know a lot of other people. Would you mind explaining how/why you decided to spend so much time on secondary story lines / characters at the expense of Jamie & Claire’s awesome story?

Or

“Many fans are really unhappy that the main romantic couple seems to be getting pushed into the background and aren’t being allowed to portray the deep, passionate feelings they have for each other. I get it’s not a ‘soft porn’ show, but you can have great intimacy without having to use sex (though I wouldn’t complain about that).”

 

Now…be honest if only in your own head…which of those questions shows respect for the people and the process? Which will promote discussion and add understanding? Which wind situations up in a bad way and make people feel defensive? Which is so discourteous it’s just plain rude?

Express opinions, discuss different viewpoints, give the makers of the show feedback – but do it with the respect they are all due and gratitude that we have a series to watch.

And please, please, PLEASE – let’s show that same courtesy and respect to fellow fans. I get that feelings can run hot and strong, but everyone has their own things that are vital/important to them and seldom will two people have the exact same bits they are upset about.

 

 

    

Highlanders vs Vampires

2 August 2017

As anyone with any knowledge of me knows, I have a ‘thing’ for vampires. Long before they hit mainstream popularity – again – these creatures have intrigued me. They are compelling in their complexity while being simple predators. So many different directions an author can go with them by tweaking various points of vampire lore…….ok I’ll stop now because it really isn’t vampires per se I wish to discuss here.

I recently left my co-pirate and our boat to travel back to Washington State to help some friends with a major move. Vancouver, WA to Colorado Springs. Major because these people are not quite pack-rats but close and not very organized. They had been in the same house for years and are some of my oldest/dearest friends, so on a plane I hopped. They gave me an amazing deal on an extra vehicle they didn’t want to try to move which gave me transportation. With that, I went (between the moving packing due to my friends schedules) for a quick visit with my sister’s family and to help my dad do a yard / estate sale. All told, I was gone three months. Very glad to be home.

I tell you this because, while I was with my dad, he took me to a half-off book place. WOW! Not a safe place for me to hang out as I am addicted to the written word and being on a boat, hard copy books just don’t do well due to moisture and lack of space. However, they have pocket books on sale for 25¢ each on Tuesdays and I managed to get the Sookie Stackhouse books (2-8) by Charlaine Harris for that fantastic price. This is a series I had wanted to ‘try out’ for a long time but just hadn’t gotten around to it (so many books – never enough time). I tracked down book one and dug in. I had found and read all 13 books in the series twice within a few weeks. (I read through fast the first time for the story as a whole then go back for detail – yes….even with Diana’s books).

Why do I bring this little story here – to a predominately Outlander fan page? Well for those that don’t know, the Sookie Stackhouse novels became HBO’s series ‘True Blood’. After reading the books I commented on social media somewhere I would have to track down the series to watch. I was warned, several times, that the series deviates from the books – BIG TIME.

Once I got home, I tracked down Season 1 of True Blood and have watched it. Yes…it varies hugely from the book. Part way through S2 and there are bigger and wilder variations from the book. There is one story line I’m not fond of – not because it is SO far removed from its book elements, but because it is very dark and abusive.

Where Outlander has combined some minor characters for time / continuity or had a major character pick up some small thing to avoid bring in yet another character – True Blood has major characters going WAY off book (this is highlighted with Sookie’s brother Jason in S2 which we are part way through) doing things that book Jason wouldn’t dream of.

UPDATE 7/22/19:  Having watched the whole series since writing this post, I can say the longer the series went, the farther off book it went. Totally changed the ending. Some things I wasn’t thrilled with (especially the ending) but overall it was good television based on fun, enjoyable books. For me, while they are the based in the same world with the same characters they are different stories – each to be enjoyed (or not in some instances) for their own merits.

So, how do I feel as a book lover first seeing these huge departures from the story I fell for? Great! I mean….it’s the same characters with a different spin, two great stories in the same universe with the same characters. It’s interesting to see the differences and some of them, I actually like better. Now that one story line I’m not thrilled with…..so what. Overall the show is a good watch with great twists. I’m not going to bag the entire show for one storyline that I’m not thrilled with. If I felt I had to do that I’d never watch ANY series.

Ron Moore and the entire team that bring fans the Outlander series have done a phenomenal job of being true to the books. Yes…there are a few tweaks and changes. As has been discussed, ad nauseam it seems sometimes, television is a completely different medium than print with different constraints and structure. While some people would like to see 20+ episodes per season, it is just not going to happen. I already did a post on Outlander vs other cable series and how we are spoiled with our numbers. (THANK YOU STARZ) changes that have been made might bring out something book people feel is minor or tweak something so it flows better on screen. The always present combining of minor characters or having a major character ‘pick up’ something so another character doesn’t have to be introduced. This is all common practice when converting from book to screen.

My point here? The series CAN NOT – WILL NOT – SHOULD NOT follow the book verbatim. How boring would that be?! Embrace those changes as new facets and nuances on much beloved characters and story or make yourself miserable. Outlander fans have no grounds for griping about ‘changes’ IMO – after watching what was done with True Blood.

And please Outlander readers….if you truly can’t stand the series and the team’s vision of it – just stop watching and go back to curling up with the books. Don’t feel the need to dump your aggravation and disappointment on people that are enjoying the show for itself. I’m told there is actually a subculture of people out there that watch shows they hate simply so they can hate them via social media. What a sad, sad thing. Life is too short to embrace so much negativity.

Not everyone love the same things. I’m sure many reading this don’t like True Blood or even want to see/read it. That’s ok. Some people like all the super-hero shows out now while others are firmly entrenched in comedy. JMO If you find you don’t like something – GREAT! One less thing to clutter up your life with. Find something you love and share that with the world. You never know, sharing your positive thoughts, love of new shows/books/music etc. may turn someone else onto it and make new friends.

Cheers!

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.

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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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