Outlander: The Series

The last blog gave readers a chance to find out a little bit about me and my background. The idea was to let people in my head a bit for why I say some of the stuff I do. Of course, there is a lot more to it all – how I was raised, by whom, when, life experiences. All this figures in to how every person views things, makes decisions about them, likes them or not. What I like, others might not and that is ok. That is great in fact because, if we all liked the same things it would be a very boring place.

Anything I write – like any other writer out there – comes from a compound of all we do and know. Taking all the bits we’ve learned from infancy to now; school, reading, meeting people, listening to the news, deeper research into something that is of more keen interest and, in more recent years, surfing the web. No one dictates to me what I do or don’t like – including my life-mate. I don’t want to be (but likely will be) called a kiss ass, suck up, puppet or anything else suggesting my opinion is not my own. I also don’t want to be called bad names if I point out something I don’t like. My opinion is my own, not dictated to me by someone else to be regurgitated. I think for myself and write what I think. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to read it……………………though reading differing opinions can stimulate interesting discussion.

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With that thought in mind, this is what I think of the series Outlander adapted from the books by Diana Gabaldon.

 Bloody brilliant!!!!!!!!

 I could stop there – but just a short explanation.

Ronald D. Moore, the writers, Maril and the other producers, the entire crew (Jon Gary Steele and his team, Terry D and her team, set dressers, animal handlers, the people that have to schlep gear all over the Scottish countryside, and all those I’m missing)…henceforth known as “THE TEAM” – these people are taking a huge, many layered, rich, profound story of history, love, intrigue, politics plus much more and trying to cram it into being a television show. TV – generally speaking – isn’t all that deep. There are some great stories out there, and things that are fun to watch, but television is entertainment first and foremost. There is no way to cram thirty nine hours of book (audio book time is 39 hours 6 minutes for DiA) into just under twelve hours of television and make everyone happy.

Diana Gabaldon has woven so many enchanting, laugh inducing, tear spilling scenes into her books that are wonderful to read and enrich the story – but aren’t necessarily fundamental to the plot. These very scenes are often fan favorites that would be great to see, but there simply isn’t time to have them all.

For instance: the scene of Jamie avoiding some nasty guys intent to do him harm where he grabs a rather large, hard sausage as a weapon and ends up ducking into a brothel to avoid detection. Sam would have made this an absolute treat to watch and I would have loved seeing it – but I totally understand why it wasn’t in the show. The scene simply did not advance the story in any meaningful way and so the space was given to other things that did.

There are fans that say some of the scenes don’t have anything to do with the books and why are they there…they are a waste of time! This other ‘junk’ is taking away from Jamie & Claire and their ‘relationship’ (a note on that in a minute). It may not have anything to do with the BOOKS, but it may have a great deal to do with the STORY that is being told on screen that we as viewers don’t KNOW yet. Have patience. Have a little faith.

There have been many complaints about J & C not getting enough screen time for their ‘relationship’ (SEX). I disagree. I see a much deeper connection between them now than when they were burning up the screen. The intimacy is definitely there and sex isn’t necessary to drive the overall story right now – there are other things that need to be seen. I enjoy a good sex scene as  much as the next person, and while Sam & Caitriona are beautiful people that have explosive chemistry on screen making such scenes a joy to watch, I think it would have been distracting given the complexity and gravity of the time and place they find themselves and how compacted the storyline needs to be to get through the entire book. It’s obvious they ARE intimate – every look, touch, interaction lets you see that. It isn’t necessary to play it out on the screen. Of course – that is just MY opinion and I doubt it will be a popular one.

Overall, I love what THE TEAM is doing and will continue to watch and support the series however I can. Does this mean I totally agree with EVERY decision they make? Nope. But I trust that they are making a great television show based on some favorite novels. I like the differences, the points of view contrasting my own to give me new and broader perspective on the story as a whole. What would be the point of keeping it exactly the same? If I wanted exactly the same story, I’d turn off the TV and curl back up with the books.

Please share with all involved doing the show as I know I’ll miss people when I do my tweet! THANKS!!!

Cheers!

Heeeeeeeeer’s Bree!

It’s one of those days that I wonder if it’s worth the effort to be part of a ‘fandom’. So many good things can be going on which can be so quickly overshadowed by negativity. I once heard that it actually takes 10 positive comments to balance out 1 negative comment. Now, this was talking about individuals and self-esteem, but I imagine the formula holds pretty true. We as human beings tend to be very quick to latch onto the negative rather than embracing the positive.

Today, we were (finally) introduced to the very lovely young lady that will be playing Brianna Randall/Fraser. Almost immediately came the:

She has brown eyes! That’s impossible if both parents have blue! How could they DO this?! WAAAAA (it’s not actually but won’t get into that)

She is too short!  WAAAAAA

She’s a Brit so her accent will be all wrong!!! WAAAAA

She looks nothing like I pictured Brianna! I’m SO disappointed!!! WAAAAAA

 

You all get the picture.

Italian mother.png(BTW – for me it would be a German mamma – but the idea is the same and thank you to @CandidKathryn for this meme!)

A few points here. All the negative nellies get to have their say – it’s their RIGHT by god to disagree whenever and however they please. Ok….that means I get to have my say too.

First, The Outlander books are some of the very best I have EVER read! They catch you up and wrap you into the story and you can see it all in your head. The thing I really REALLY wish people would keep in mind is – we all see it differently. How I picture Jamie is how I picture Jamie (or Claire or Bree or pick a character). MY interpretation of the words DG has put together to create the Outlander universe. It will be different from anyone else’s vision because no one else in the world has my exact background. To me, Diana created this world so SHE has final say. She can’t be ‘wrong’ because for Outlander she is ‘god’. (NOTE!!! I am not being disrespectful or blasphemous here…note the use of the lower case ‘g’. I am merely saying that as this world’s creator, she is the just that).

 

Second, while Jamie and the other characters are very real to each of us in different ways and for different reasons THEY ARE FICTIONAL CHARACTERS. They don’t exist in the real world….hence….there is no one that is going to look exactly like them physically. This is just something everyone needs to except as fact. Might there have been some actors closer in physical likeness to the different characters – perhaps. Could the ‘team’ have found anyone better to embody these characters? Not bloody likely.

I remember the hub-bub when Sam was first cast. People literally flipping out because Sam looked NOTHING like their beloved Jaimie! There is no possible way this guy could pull it off and the whole thing was ruined without a second of film having been shot. Yet, look now and no one can imagine anyone else doing such a fantastic job. Still see gripes about hair color –   *sigh*

 

Third, so far the casting of Outlander has been SPOT ON. The actors may not look exactly as the characters were described in the book (please refer to the second point above) but they have embodied the essence of the characters and totally brought them to life! Since the ‘Team’ has done such a fabulous job so far getting the right actor for the right part, I’m going to trust them on this one too! Sophie Skelton is a lovely lass who has some solid credentials behind her. For a short time acting she has a lot of credits behind her already. She also has some smarts it seems like and is willing to jump into the Twitter fray as it were. Sam tweeted that she “SMASHED IT”…… that says to me that she fits right in and will do a stellar job as Brianna. Also, as a relative ‘unknown’ she doesn’t bring any baggage from previous work – or not much. The other cast members seem pretty excited about this choice – so I hope everyone settles back and doesn’t ruin it for themselves with their own expectations.

 

None of the actors are going to exactly match the physical characteristics of the characters because the characters are creations of an (extremely talented) author. This will only be a problem if you LET it be.

Not every scene/nuance/line that is critical to you from the book is going to be in the series. It just is not possible. You are not going to agree with how the ‘Team’ does everything, accept that. If you want to discuss what you would have liked to see done differently, that’s great – but show some respect for the process and the people who do this for a living. It often isn’t what is said that is the issue – it’s how it is presented.

 

I’m going to ask what I always do. Common sense and courtesy. To each other as fans, to Diana as the author, to the actors busting ass to bring you the best show they can, to Ron and the ‘Team’ who are working hard behind the camera to do the same. Discuss – don’t malign. To others like me that are really enjoying the show – please say so! Don’t try to silence others opinions, give some balance out there on social media! Thank all involved for their hard work and dedication. They may be ‘celebrities’ – but they are still people with feelings that appreciate a sincere compliment/thank you as much as anyone else!

I’m tickled to say that, while I’ve been writing this and doing some other things, I’ve kept a watch on Twitter and FB and as things have progressed the positive comments are starting to balance the negative! This is great! I so hope the trend continues because, as I said above, it’s a 10-1 ratio for balance.

 

Let’s give the newest member of the family a warm welcome and trust that she is exactly right to bring this character to life for the series.

 

 

THANK YOU STARZ

Note to STARZ

 

First – I apologize. This is long again but it’s what I felt I needed to say.

 

I have made no secret of my thoughts about this show and the fandom surrounding it. Most of my blog posts have been observations about the Outlander fandom as it is the first and pretty much only fandom I’m really involved with. This fandom can and does do EPIC shit! The money that has been raised for extremely worthy charities, the hundreds of people that have gotten healthier thanks not only to Sam and his Peak Challenge in conjunction with Bear Strength – but the care and support of the fans for each other to strive to reach their fitness goals, support each other in times of trial, rejoice with each other in triumph. This is an amazing group of people and I feel blessed to be part of it – most of the time.

There is, however, a disturbing trend in this group to whine. Nothing, it seems, is ever quite good enough and simply must be complained about. When all this started – everyone was SO excited to just be finally getting it on the screen…..but then….Sam looked nothing like Jamie, Caitriona was too skinny, wrong eyes, Duncan should have hair, those are not the proper knits for the time period and on and on and on. I think for the most part people have settled with those early decisions and have moved on to other ‘issues’.

There is still a lot of ‘discussion’ _ahem_ about all that was done ‘wrong’ in Season 1 – even though all the complaining in the world won’t change it. I have suggested several times that people start discussions about Voyager – aka Season 3 – as that is not set yet. No one seems interested in this idea which is too bad, but if the value of expressing what the fans WANT to see in season 3 before it’s set can’t be grasped I’m not going to waste my time or energy trying to make people ‘get it’.

Today I saw slams against STARZ PR – they aren’t doing enough to promote the show. Over the last few months there have been load of complaints that WE (meaning Outlander) isn’t getting enough attention/press/episodes/hype/or giving the fans enough pictures or information.

Sorry, but I have to stand up and say STOP!

First, STARZ PR has been AWESOME to the fans of Outlander and, like it or not, OL is not their only popular show. All the giveaways they did in December weren’t for the fans?!. I happened to win a set of the posters. I was expecting little 8X10 promotional pictures and would have been perfectly happy with that but…..NO….these are full theatre size, high quality, absolutely awesome posters! Signed by Tobias, Catriona and Sam as appropriate.

STARZ PR got the show spotlighted at Comic Con and the PaleyFest when the show was barely going – amazing! The premiers that they have done are way above and beyond what they have done for other shows and we, as fans, have a lot of access to both the team and the stars. They did THREE premiers for the second half of the first season: LA, New York and the UK. That’s huge and bloody expensive I’m sure. No, not all fans can get to these events, but this is way more than what fans for other shows get.

Doing a bit of research, I picked five other STARZ shows and looked them up. These are shows that even I have heard about and they seem to be fairly popular. Here is what I found.

DaVinci’s Demons: Season 1 had 8 episodes / S2 = 10 Eps / S3 = 10 Eps

Ash vs Evil Dead: S1 = 10 Eps / S2 = 10 Eps

Survivor’s Remorse: S1 = 6 Eps / S2 = 10 Eps / S3 = 3 Eps?!

Torchwood: S1 = 13 Eps / S2 = 13 Eps / S3 = 5 Eps / S4 = 10 Eps (older series)

Black Sails: another favorite of mine and a fairly popular show that doesn’t get anywhere near the PR shine that OL does from what I’ve seen: S1 = 8 Eps / S2 = 10 Eps / S3 =10 Eps

So, realistically in comparison…for its very first, untried season Outlander was given two seasons worth of episodes! Other series get 10 episodes for their second season and OL / the fans got 13! Yet all the fans seem to do is complain that we are getting ripped off! I’m sure that is not how everyone feels, but this is the opinion that seems to be the most vocal – I’m really hoping the positive feelings will be expressed more prominently as time goes on.

STARZ put together an amazing team. Ron Moore has been in this business a long time and is very successful in it. So are the members of his team. They have a vision and know way better than we do the constraints they have to work under to bring in a good show under a contract. We as fans are NOT THERE. We don’t sit in on all the meetings with the accountants and suits and have to please both the fans and the guys that sign the checks. My perspectives are different and while I may not LIKE the way some specific thing was done – I can appreciate the difference in vision and wait to see where it goes. I trust them to do what is right for the series to make it a long-term deal. I’m not qualified to judge or make comments about Ron’s job because I have never done anything close to it! Same for Matt Roberts and the exceptional team of writers, Bear McCreary with his haunting/beautiful music and Jon Gary Steele and all those other marvelous people that give us such a fabulous show – including the PR staff!

I have acted a little and done some production work. I have done some costume work and I am in absolute awe of Terry Dresbach! If I could afford the trip I’d go work for her for free for a season just to learn a tiny bit of what she knows. None of this ‘experience’ makes me even remotely qualified to judge what any of these people do and have done on a daily basis for years. There is no way I would have the temerity to say they are ‘wrong’ about any decision they make for this or any other show they work on.

I’m sure I have a few people fairly steamed right now so let me qualify and clarify. No one is going to ‘like’ every single thing done on the OL show. (ah…I imagine that includes the people working on it). There is absolutely nothing wrong with expressing that opinion and why you would have liked to have seen something different. I encourage this – I always have. What I don’t like and wish people would stop doing is judging something they are not qualified to judge (i.e. STARZ PR is not capitalizing on the GG buzz enough, wasting opportunities…etc) and doing it in such a way as to be all negative. Unless you WORK or have worked in a particular field – you simply do not have enough information to ‘judge’ it. We as civilians to that have no idea what all STARZ is doing to promote the show – I’m pretty sure it isn’t all just what you see as an ad on TV/cable. This is true of any aspect of production.

STARZ has been really great to the fans of Outlander – in my opinion. Yes I won the posters which is cool but it is very unusual for me to win stuff. They have done lots of giveaways, lots of promotion, lots of ‘fan events’ – so many things that other shows aren’t getting and yet what I see most often is negative thrown at them. Why should they keep doing all they do if all they get is crap in return.

There is an idea being generated right now about kindness. Being kind to each other as fans; being kind to the actors to that work so hard to bring these characters to life; being kind to all the production team that does so much to make OL the great show that it is. Let’s include STARZ in that and be kind and grateful for all they have given us.

There is an old saying that you get more flies with honey than vinegar. People are perfectly within their rights to express disappointment with something – but it can still be done in a positive way. I hope more and more fans start expressing, loudly, all that we like and appreciate about this great show and the marvelous people that get it on the screen for us.

A final tidbit to mull over. If the loudest expressions about the show on social media are negative (this was wrong, that was wrong, hated this or that, Ron/writers/STARZ is ruining the story, etc.) why would anyone checking the show out want to watch it? I encourage all fans to start tweeting, facebooking, tumblering (whatever your preferred SM platform is) all the stuff you love about the show. Counter a negative/judgmental comment with something positive. DO NOT attack the person! DO NOT attack the opinion – simply balance it with something positive.

 

 

 

Personal Responsibility

As a quick (for me) follow-up to my recent post.

I’ve seen many comments about how all the prevailing promotion of ‘Sexy Sam’ is somehow all STARZ fault. WTF?! Yes, the opening campaign to promote Outlander was ‘The Kilt Drops’….it was catchy, it got people’s attention, it did the job of grabbing interest to promote a brand new – and for the studio risky – show. Marketing and PR did their job, but I for one never saw them as putting Sam out there as the sex symbol he has become – that was the fans doing.

The real tragedy here isn’t that Sam has become a huge sensation. He’s paid his dues with years of hard work and it’s giving him great bennies now. The tragedy is that his so called ‘fans’ take no personal responsibility for their own actions. I’ve just been informed on Twitter people are sheep so they follow. I say that is a cop-out.

 

And – if you insist on being a sheep, at least find a decent leader.

 

Moral leader

Here is what I try to do when it comes to SM – I can’t change or dictate others actions, only my own. I’m not perfect. I screw up, I get angry and, I have drool days.

Before I post that picture and/or comment or innuendo – I think of someone close to me and replace them in that post. Would I want to post such a thing about my best friend or my brother or son or husband? How about your daughter or sister, your mom or BFF? Would you want such things posted about yourself? If not, why the hell would I/you post it about Sam or any of the other myriad of really great looking guys out there?! There is light banter and fun innuendo and then there is OTT – and really, we all know where that line is.  The same goes for Caitriona or anyone on the female side of things.

I’m not saying I am a saint, nor do I expect others to be – but take a little personal responsibility for your own thoughts and actions. Stop blaming everyone but yourself for what goes on in the world of social media.

 

I know there are a lot of FB groups that are doing activities, I’ve seen some truly cool creative people doing Outlander trees and finding ways to celebrate and enjoy the show/books until Season 2 starts. Find like-minded fans to come up with memes and such to positively support/promote the show from a grass roots place and get new people revved up about watching or reading.

 

On a related note – believe it or not, Outlander is not the entire world. STARZ has many other shows going on that need promotion and attention. I’m quite sure there PR department is working up some great campaign for Season 2 – STARZ & Sony wants this to be successful: i.e. make money for them. All good things come to those who wait. Is there not some other show or book or activity that you can find to take up your time until the new campaign starts?

 

Outlander is awesome on many levels – but it is one story out of millions.

 

There is a whole world out there. Find something to fill the gap until the new season starts.

 

 

Rally the Clan

Edited: 19 Nov 2015

Edited: 20 Nov 2015 with Note

*****NOTE*****
Folks – between some comments here, tweets, posts on FB – I’m seeing something that concerns me – a LOT. What I and some others are trying to point out here is that this is a FAN issue. STARZ has done tremendous work to promote Outlander and given the show and the actors way more coverage than I think just about any of their other shows. OL got 16 episodes to open with which is almost unheard of in the current trend for 10/11 episode seasons. Marketing picks up on what the fans are doing and saying….. and the vast majority of what they see is Sam and his sex appeal.  Please read the post below understanding that what is being discussed here is all on US the fans of the show! It is us that sets the tone in SM – no one else. One of the struggles OL has always faced is the perception it is a ‘bodice ripper romance’ which turns many people off. Looking at my timeline most days on Twitter and all the pics and gushing over Sam/Jamie – we as fans of the show/books are not helping that perception. I can’t and wouldn’t want to force anyone to my way of thinking – people are going to meme Sam – I’m just looking for some balance.

 

 

Not sure what it is about stumbling over Twitter conversations with a certain person as a participant that get me blogging – but it seems to happen fairly often. She is just very inspirational I guess! LOL

The discussion I stumbled over was talking about  marketing and Outlander. There were a lot of important bits and side threads that deserve discussion and interest and hopefully I and others will get ambitious and start shining some spotlights!

The one I want to pounce on first is a frustration from a (fairly large I’m thinking) part of the Outlander fandom with how promotion of the show seems to be focused primarily on Jamie/Sam and his sex appeal. It was brought up in this discussion that STARZ PR sees this focus from the fans and so that is what they give us and promote.

If we want this to change, if we want to be given other material and a different focus to the PR materials released, WE, as a fandom, need to show that to STARZ. Right now all they are seeing is “Sexy Sam”. Sam this and Sam that….pictures/memes/tweets etc. about Sam, often less than fully dressed and stressing his sexiness. We need to balance out all the tweets (and other post types) about how sexy he is with all the other stuff he is. Honestly – I like Sam a lot and think he is a tremendous actor, but I’m sick of seeing little besides his objectification. He is being reduced to nothing more than a body to be drooled over and that is a sad injustice to both the man and the intelligence of his followers.

We need to see more stuff like this!

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As fans, not only do we need to promote Cait, the other actors, costumes, sets, all the awesome pieces that make up the whole of the show – but we need to STOP objectifying Sam. Promote his ACTING chops – not his looks/body. Talk about his fitness program and push for people to be healthy, all the work he does to raise awareness and money for blood cancer research. We need to put memes, posts, Tweets and so forth out about THAT sort of thing, and we need to flood social media with it. And not JUST for Sam; Caitriona, Tobias, Graham and all the rest also need to be given our support and attention.

We as a fandom are doing a disservice to Sam as a human being if this is all we can focus on. I mean, he is in the People’s Mag Top 10 Sexiest Men. Great. He IS sexy on many levels, looks only being one of them. But if you look at HIS write-up compared to the other guys?! All about what’s under the kilt! That is just so wrong! He got 2 sentences compared to the other guys and one was about the kilt crap. Check out the differences in the write-ups in the top 10.

Screenshot - 11_18_2015 , 1_14_17 PM

One thing you need to be aware of – it may well get nasty, vicious and messy. The contingency of fans that only want the sex symbol stuff are entrenched and very vocal. They don’t like anyone or anything stealing the spotlight from their golden boy. When Sam and Cait were up against each other in that one vote, anyone who dared suggest we promote Cait for a change over Sam got slammed – hard. If you dare to suggest that Sam isn’t their personal toy or shouldn’t be objectified you get called names, nasty comments and sometimes outright lies told about you. Be prepared….

Sex sells and Sam is a hell of a package – I get that. But it also demeans. It demeans the person being flaunted, whatever they are attached to and, ultimately, the people that are focused on it to the exclusion of other just about all else.

I’m not on Instagram or Tumbler. From the few things I have seen from there I don’t want to be. If some of the more level-headed fans are on those platforms, please carry the battle through to them. We need to promote a strong voice, that there is so much more to Sam as a person than sexiness – that there is so much more to the show than sex and a sexy highlander

I totally agree that Sam is a tremendously good-looking, sexy guy. Obvious, I’m not blind and I am still breathing. I’m not saying never mention that or acknowledge it. What I am saying is this: there is already an avalanche of material out there about Sam and his sexiness which is why that is what STARZ PR pushes. What they see the fans focused on is what they will focus on. There needs to be a strong voice/presence pushing awareness for Sam’s other attributes, Caitriona, the writing, the costumes, the sets the hard work and dedication. That stuff isn’t as glamorous or ‘sexy’; but it is vital to the show as a whole. We have a huge percentage of fans out there that are grounded, intelligent people that want the main course not just the desert, but we are the weak voice right now. That needs to change – so go change it. Please in the comments, make suggestions for how we can achieve this voice. Some specific hashtags maybe?

Promote this, spread the word and come up with your own creative ways to do the same.

Look – I know everyone is going to do what they want and I can’t stop them nor would I want to. My writing this particular blog was to point out something that concerns me as a fan of a truly great show. People are still going to post GIF’s of Sam in the pond as Jamie and the sex scenes and of him with his kilt so you can almost see too much and go on and on and on with it. Fine. Their choice – all I am pointing out is that there is so much more to both Sam and the show. I don’t want some guy that has heard about Outlander going to Twitter to check it out and 95% of what he finds is SEXY SAM and drooling women. Nothing wrong with that – just needs some balance so he doesn’t run screaming away without ever giving the show a chance.

Tulach Àrd!

More to Life

omputers……so useful……so hateful……necessary evils in our current time. Mine crashed recently and, aside from terror at the possibility of losing all my data (yes I will be religious about off machine backups now), it was wonderful!

For the first time in years I was almost completely unplugged and it was really quite peaceful and productive. Very little Email or Twitter, almost no web surfing and no Facebook (I don’t do all this stuff on my phone…it’s a phone). It was nice and made me realize I had become very unbalanced.

Most of my online focus has been on Outlander – including this blog. There are so many great sites out there already about the story and many of them have been around since long before the series. Since I didn’t feel adept to keep up with sites like

Outlandish Observations
The Ladies of Lallybroch
My Outlander Blog
Outlander Musings now Dear Outlander

I chose instead to write about the fandom and my observations regarding that facet of things. It’s a fascinating subject.

The Outlander Fandom rotates me through joy, anger, awe, disgust, insight, frustration and a myriad of other emotions on all points of the spectrum.

Outlander (and all the other books within this world) is a brilliantly written story. It is an awe inspiring, thought provoking, lesson learning narrative with characters that are flawed, make mistakes; live, love, laugh and die. REAL. A story to get lost in, leave your own existence for a time and experience another and in doing so perhaps gain new insights with which to view the real world. But……in the end……a STORY, a work of FICTION.

The Outlander Series is another story. While based on the book(s), it has its own medium and voice; completely separate and unique from the book(s). (But that’s not what’s in the books!!!!!) Amazing actors, awesome backdrop (sets, costumes, music, Scotland), wonderful writing and a unique guiding vision. Still, at the end of the day, it’s a television show.

This whole thing with “Droughtlander” il_fullxfull_478145691_guj1

There are times I expect to see/hear of people smearing ash on their faces, wearing sackcloth and ripping their hair out. For the sanity of all involved – GET A LIFE!

They are books, a TV show and people. That’s it. All great, all worthy of attention and admiration; I am not dissing the story or anyone involved in it.

What I’m saying is that there are thousands of books out there….thousands of stories, hundreds of TV shows and many truly talented people you may not have found yet. Expand a little – hobbies, a different genre, new actors and authors to discover. Don’t give Outlander up – balance it with other things.

This fandom has done some truly awesome things (Outlander Fans #DoEpicShit); it has done some really ugly things. Some things are done I just can’t wrap my head around. Like this: Sam Heughan Owes You Nothing
As a fandom, as people …… should we not think before we act or type? Would Jamie say something hurtful to another clan member just to be snotty? Would Claire wound someone deeply, viciously out of jealousy? Would Jenny sit around whining that it was winter or would she get in and do things should couldn’t manage in the distractions of spring?

Would any of the real people involved here (Sam, Cait, Diana, Ron, Maril, Graham, etc.) invade someone’s privacy? Steal funds meant for charity? Stab people, which are supposed to be friends, in the back on social media in ways that are malicious and cruel?

I am completely aware that the Outlander fandom is not a singularity in all these actions. I’m starting to think “fandoms” are a good microcosm view of society at large….and that makes me very sad. If we have this much upheaval in a relatively small community that has a very singular focus……what hope is there for the world at large?

I might influence others, give them something to ponder – but the only person I can truly change is myself. To respect myself while trying to treat others with courtesy and common sense.

What about you?

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.

harrassment wiped

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.