Being Thankful

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Differing Opinions: Books vs TV Series

I have said many times and will keep saying it: I love discussion. Differing opinions and asking questions is what helps us all come to better understanding of any given topic. Being able to grasp another’s point of view gives us new insight and expands our thinking. This is good.

What I get frustrated with is complaining/whining/griping/bashing. There is a big difference and it’s all in how it’s presented and, going forward, discussed. A topic came up on social media today that really brought this into focus for me. It’s happened before but I managed to catch this one from the beginning and, for a change, am not mulling it for days before writing. The idea came easily how to present this so here I am.

Now, I am not saying what branch of social media this came on, nor will I name any names as I’m not trying to get people in trouble or start a war. If they want to make themselves known that is their prerogative. 

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This is what the discussion was about. The fact that ‘The Team’ chose not to include this scene in the television production. What sort of set me back was the original post which I will quote here:

“Still irritated they did not cut there initials _ rather Claire gives Jamie a big amber rock instead”

My first thought was, “Why STILL irritated?” The decision was made, filmed and it’s long passed. It can’t be changed, why complain about it now? And – to me – making the statement this way IS a complaint. There is no question trying to understand why this decision was made, no discussion for options; just irritation. My alternative to this might be. “Too bad they felt this couldn’t be filmed. Perhaps it could be incorporated in the future. Fans love it!” 

Please understand, like most fans of the books this is a favorite segment of mine! It’s something I might do myself and it comes across as so raw and real. This is also something that comes up over and over in through the life of the story. It’s a poetic and beautiful thing woven into the fabric of Jamie & Claire’s love story.

However, I can also look at it from the perspective of it being a great enhancement, a special touch whenever it comes up, it is not a critical piece to move the story forward. Given the time constraints of the series versus the books, I can easily understand the decision to leave this bit aside. Here are my thoughts on why the decision went as it did. Maybe. I have no inside info, just experience in theatre and my own thinking with some common sense.

The initial filming would have taken a great deal of time. Camera angles, how to make sure the ‘cuts’ are consistent over multiple takes. How to do the blood to be consistent and not mess anything up between times. If I remember right (and I may not) filming was already going long because of weather issues.

It also would have been time consuming as the series progresses due to make-up issues. If they had decided to do this scene, it would be two more scars that need to be consistently applied any time they ‘might’ be in the camera view. They would be on the actors’ hands, which tend to be on camera a lot and noticed. They would have to be consistent in each scene. Hands are not the easiest place to ‘stick’ something and have it stay where you want it due to movement and constantly touching/brushing against things.

The argument was made that, these were small cuts and not often visible so they wouldn’t have to keep doing them. Yet, if they had chosen to do this scene with all the implications, there would be fans furious if they didn’t continue to see these scars on camera. It’s a no win in the long run.

I would imagine, because – while a wonderful enhancement to the story – the scars aren’t a driving component, ‘The Team’ chose to leave this out allowing time (both in front of and behind the camera) for other things.

In listening to / watching many interviews and panels, something that Ron Moore has said many times really resonates with me. He, and ‘The Team’ are trying to make the best TELEVISION they can. It isn’t a book – it has completely different constraints and driving points. Ron likes the material, but ‘sees’ it differently than anyone else because he is using a different set of eyes. He is looking as someone who has worked – very successfully – in making television shows for many years. Producing / show-running good stories that play well on screen and will last. So far, he and ‘The Team’ have done a damn fine job! IMHO

Have I been disappointed in some things with the show?    YES

Have I wished something could have been added that wasn’t?    YES

Were there things the show did that made me say WTF?!     YES

Have I had some interesting, stimulating discussions about all these things? Some – unfortunately on SM it tends to dissolve into argument and I don’t enjoy that.

I’ll probably get bashed for this post by people saying they have every right to disagree and ‘discuss’ opinions about the show. I totally agree. What gets old is the ‘angry’ people that bash and complain; that get ‘irritated’ by a difference and slam the show and Ron and whoever else rather than actually discussing the idea and why it went as it did on screen. I feel sorry for them. Discussing means listening to the POV of others and weighing that against your own ideas.

A last thought…..I can guarantee that there will be X number of people that love something with an equal number that hated it. Every ‘fan’ has their own special things that absolutely should have been on screen – there is simply no way to accomplish that with the time they have. Every single fan is right – for themselves. In the end, ‘The Team’ does the best they can to make good TELEVISION (not a reproduction of a book on screen) and Ron works to keep it faithful to the overall story, while appealing to a television audience.

Let’s be courteous to each other when voicing opinions, asking questions and having discussions. We all have our special bits from the books that are important to us, but we all view the story differently from our own perspectives, history and experience. I really enjoy ^most^ of the differences as it gives me a different view/perspective of the story and so makes it bigger and more rounded for me.

OH! And this discussion today did stay courteous and was indeed a ‘discussion’ as it progressed! The exchange just gave me a clear idea of how I wanted to explain this.

Cheers!

 

Done with the Drama

Once again (and aren’t we all just sick of this) bloggers all over the Outlander Clandom are writing about the war between the S-shippers and NSTs. Yet another battle a couple of days ago that drew in a journalist and made her SM time a living hell for hours (and there seem to be issues ongoing two days later). In the end, in concern for her safety, she ‘softened’ her ‘tone’ on an article that was in no way inflammatory unless someone chose to make it so. Many did. See her response here on FB:

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One of the sweetest ladies I know on Twitter sent out a plea not only for people to stop attacking her for voicing her opinion/feelings – but for her friends stop telling her to just ‘get over it’. I watched her try for hours to converse with some of the people involved in the mess; being incredibly kind and patient and all she got in return was slapped. It’s very sad.

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Two blogs have been written on Tumbler in the last couple of days by the same lady and they are spot on. Clear, concise – addressing the issue without attacking any specific person. If someone gets pissy about these commentaries, it tells me the shoe is fitting them a bit too well. These are on Tumbler (which I tend to avoid as a rule) but are well worth the read if you haven’t seen them already.

 FEMINEST ISSUES IN THE OUTLANDER FANDOM:

and

A “MIDDLE WAY” PERSPECTIVE:

I’d love to see this happen. Shippers are going to ship and, while I disagree with the practice of shipping RL people (think I’ve made that perfectly clear in the past), the only person on the planet I can control is ME. With that in mind….here is the deal for me as a fan of the Outlander phenomenon and all the marvelous people that make it happen.

 I don’t give two bloody shakes about what you do on your own timeline or in private conversations. I’d raise a serious eyebrow of doubt if ANY fan did not admit to at least one smoking fantasy with some celebrity at some point in their life. Normal….I have (though not with Sam). I’ve even known people who write them out as a fiction/fantasy story – and some are quite good. Shared PRIVATELY. Or…if the writing really is good….change the names and enough of the circumstances to avoid embarrassing yourself and let others see it.

What I can’t grasp is how anyone who claims to be a “fan” of ANY ‘celebrity’ – in this case Sam & Caitriona – would purposely do or write things that would embarrass them, make them angry or even hurt them. How is that being a ‘fan’?! How are being nasty to other ‘fans’, cyber-stalking, actual stalking, mobbing people that disagree with you, using foul language, threatening violence/sexual assault and basically being a vile human being things that would endear you to the very person/people you ‘fan’? Having such toxic followers – and it IS getting around the media that a small percentage of the Outlander fandom is extremely toxic and has caused some to stop covering Outlander – might limit Sam & Caitriona’s chances at future jobs because the producers don’t want to deal with it. It might give STARZ/Sony serious pause about renewing for a fifth season of Outlander. The fandom is very vocal about how much pull they think they have (voting for various polls/awards, Twitter/FB trending, live tweets, etc.) so that means they can have just as much a negative effect as a positive one.

How would any one of you feel if some person you didn’t know watched your every move on social media, then wrote explicit sex scenes between you and a co-worker they picked off your company website and posted them all over social media for the world to see? Discussed your sex life and who you may or may not be fucking? (yes – I saw a screen cap of comments made about Sam and that was the language used). How would any one of you feel if you got hundreds to thousands of tweets/IG’s/FB comments a DAY telling you who you should be shagging in your own private life? That you should just get busy and make babies with a specific person? What you should do, who you should be with, how to conduct your personal affairs? Had these same people sending tweets or other SM messages to your friends/family/co-workers accusing them of lying to cover up a relationship you have denied or asking why they aren’t supporting the relationship that is there? This is what some – supposed – “fans” are doing on a daily basis. And before anyone starts screaming – BOTH sides of this war are guilty of all these things. (To clarify…not all from either side are doing all these things. There is a small percentage making a whole group/faction look bad.)

For those of you – on either/any side – engaging in these sorts of behaviors….realize you are not a fan. You are purposely doing things to hurt others including the objects of your supposed affection. I’m not talking about ‘shipping’. I mean the list (in italics) two paragraphs above. There is no excuse for that sort of behavior and I seriously hope civil and/or criminal charges will start being brought against people who do things like this.

For those of you who choose to get offended about EVERYTHING…..get over yourselves already. A note about William Shatner here. He is who he is. Anyone who has followed him for even a few days should be able to see he has a very acerbic sense of humor. He is caustic and can seem very offending if you choose to take it that way. He’s taken a couple of slaps at me – I laughed. I understood the source and didn’t assume he was ‘attacking’ me or being mean – he was just being himself. If you don’t like his style and personality – stop following/interacting with him. It really is that simple. If you truly feel he has gone off the deep offensive end, report it and move on. Oh….and if you manipulate a harsh response from someone, pushing them to say something they wouldn’t normally – don’t pansy out and cry victim. If you started something, own it.

I am not easily offended. If someone calls me a fat-assed cow (yes I’ve been called that) it stings a bit but I realize the person is obviously stupid and move on. I assume people that stoop to such things have no concept of social skills or their own sense of self and pity them. Why get offended by stupidity? That is where I am with this whole war. The people that are stooping to this vile behavior (again…I am NOT talking about shipping in and of itself, even though I don’t agree with the practice) you are not worth my time, energy or emotions. I’ll spare you some pity that you are so miserable in your own life you feel you must attack others – but I have other things to do. I like Outlander, Sam, Cait and the other people involved in the show – but it is not the center of my universe.

For those of you being attacked for stating your own thoughts/feelings/ideas – report where appropriate, take legal steps if necessary and keep this in mind:

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If you don’t agree with me – that’s fine. Be respectful – use your grown up words to articulate your displeasure and/or thoughts. If you want to take a slap at me in the comments, that is ok too – but use your name. I won’t post anything under ‘anonymous’ as that is just a lame cop-out. You have an opinion, own it.

Note: I did a very slight edit for clarification.

DAILY LUV & APPRECIATION

I left ‘home’ (our sailboat) on July 12, 2016 to help my mate deliver (sail) another sailboat from San Diego back up to San Francisco for a friend. The job was supposed to take about two weeks max and be sort of a working vacation for my guy. He got paid for this and it got him out away from his daily grind and on the water sailing.

Unfortunately, there were several mechanical/electrical/engine problems that delayed us many days and we just finally got back to San Fran and our own boat yesterday (8/6/16). During this time I was seldom on the computer and when I was it was to check email and touch base with my BFF in Portugal.

I must say I did NOT miss all the whining, insults, mud-slinging, name calling, and nastiness that the Outlander fandom is in the midst of. Looking on Twitter today – SMH – if anything things seem to have gotten worse and I know I haven’t really seen any of the ‘bad’ stuff.

Here is the deal with me in this ‘war’…..I hate IRL ‘shipping’ – especially when the REAL people have made it very clear in statements they are NOT a couple. I don’t hate the people DOING the shipping – I hate the shipping itself. I don’t know the people involved – I don’t attack them personally. I will always stand against that practice. I’ve done blogs on this specifically if you want to review. Why I Hate RL ‘shipping’ and Serious Line: Fan to Fanatic

There are many in the Outlander Clandom that want to get away from all the crap and fighting and be positive. Mika (@A_Badassunicorn) came up with the idea of #HugsforHeughan today as some ‘fans’ had been vile on his timeline recently. I thought, ‘why not a person each day of the week’……then I thought ‘why not expand it to EVERY day’! Maybe we can find a # that will trend easily and can be used for ALL these tweets/positive energy. #ThankfulFor or #AppreciationTweet or #GivingLuvs

Here is a calendar I just threw together. Feel free to use it, copy it, post it, share it, print it off, add to it, change it or just make your own.  I used people’s birthdates where I knew them (i.e. Cait’s birthday is Oct 4 so her day is the 4th of any given month, etc.). Once I got people in by birthdates, I filled in the blanks with people whose birthdays I didn’t know/couldn’t find and other areas that should be singled out for praise and acknowledgement (IMHO).

Calendar of Luvs and Appreciation

This is by no means an exhaustive listing – I put this together in about 20 minutes. If you really dislike someone on the list or just don’t feel enough to give them time, replace them with someone you think is important/special to you! Add others! HECK! Cut the Outlander stuff down and put in other actors or friends or groups or whatever you think deserve some LUVS!

The idea is to have a visual reminder that someone, somewhere could use and deserves some LUV & APPRECIATION every single day. I personally want to get into a habit of dishing out good, positive vibes and having this visual reminder will help me do that.

We will not all agree on everything about Outlander, it’s actors or any of the people associated with it. We will not all like each other or some of the things we do. We CAN all stay more positive, not make personal attacks and have fun without being snotty. It’s a choice. Choose wisely. (or you know, you’ll wither away to a creepy skeleton and the ceiling will fall in burying what’s left)

Best Drama Actress

Voting for a fandom can be a royal pain in the ***. It takes time. If it’s a one off vote, fandoms with more votes always win. If it’s a ‘vote as much as you want’ people get burned out and there always seems to be a certain amount of cheating to muck things up.

The Outlander Clandom is currently voting in the E-online TV Scoop Awards (with the Radio Times vote coming right on it’s heals). Outlander got nominated (by the fans go figure) for a total of 15 categories. We did well in this contest last year winning many of the categories we were nominated in.

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This year is proving to be a bit different. Our main competition in various polls/votes recently has been with the fandoms of The 100 and Shadowhunters. These fandoms have a specific agenda (that I don’t want to get into or debate) above and beyond just their show/actors and, I believe, are getting a great deal of outside help voting because of that. I could be wrong – but no matter how they are getting the number of votes they are, it is staggering us.

Those voting in this contest have been focusing almost exclusively on Caitriona’s vote. We are losing badly in most of the other categories because this has been the focus. Best Drama – Best Actor (both of which are in good shape) and Best Actress are really the main / most important idea for most of us. (Getting Best Villain would be nice too and we are ok there for now).

This particular category is supposed to be for Best Actress: Not a popularity contest or because the fans think the character was killed off simply because she had a same sex partner. Caitriona Balfe gives the Outlander fans a supreme performance as Claire Randall Fraser. Joy to sorrow, pain, anger, frustration – a dedicated actress who works hard to give us a great performance. While other actresses in this vote may be quite good, I doubt they have the screen time or range that Caitriona does. I know that is true in The 100 – I’ve watched the show (though I’ve stopped and the show has been ruined for me because the vitriol in the fandom).

I know this is a holiday weekend and voting is a pain. I get that.  I also know absolutely that Cait deserves this win. Vote once, vote 10 times…. do what you can to support our awesome leading lady. If I’ve given you enough incentive to vote, please do so here:

BEST ACTRESS VOTE HERE

Not convinced Caitriona is a better actress than the competition in this vote? Here are some more reasons.

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On only her 8th credit, Caitriona landed a (granted small) role working with greats like Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo and Michael Cain in ‘Now You See Me’.

 

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For her 9th acting credit, she was working with big name actors Arnold Schwarzenegger (she played his daughter), Sylvester Stallone, Jim Caviezel, Sam Neil and Vincent D’Onofrio in ‘Escape Plan’.

 

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Her most recent credit (not counting Outlander) has her working with A-listers George Clooney and Julia Roberts in ‘Money Monster’. This iswhat director Jodie Foster had to say about Caitriona:

“Caitriona Balfe is amazing. She’s so beautiful and she’s so smart. Smart, smart and strong. Calm…and you know has this amazing presence.”

Here is the interview to see/hear: Jodie Foster talks working with Irish actress Caitriona Balfe!

Please, take a little time and let’s get the honor for Caitriona. She absolutely deserves it!

Vote here!  The vote ends July 4 so please do what you can in between B-B-Q and fireworks!

 

 

 

 

 

I am NOT an Outlander Fan!

This is a guest post from my partner & Outmander, Kyle. He does not have a platform to express things like this so I’m letting him use mine. This is his opinion expressed in his own way – I just copied and pasted.

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Why am I not an outlander fan? Several hours of thought after returning home from seeing Ron Moore in San Francisco, I realized that I do not qualify to be an Outlander fan. I am thankful for this.

I was reading all of the Q&A that Ron did after watching the SF Giants ball game and he gave an interesting response to a question. Someone had asked him if he enjoys writing or producing more. His response was enlightening. He said “I’m a writer”. That is how he introduces himself. Not I’m a producer, nor a show runner, but a writer.

This got me thinking where I fit with the Outlander fandom and where “my place in the world” is. I have had the opportunity to meet some of the people that make the show happen and each and every time I find myself really respecting the individual for who they are. Not exclusively for what they mean to the show, but who they are as a person. This has always been the most striking and eye opening aspect of getting to meet the “real person” behind the social or otherwise media persona. I realized then and there that I am NOT an Outlander fan!

I am a Ron Moore fan.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love the show. I think that it is an amazing adaptation of a great series of novels, by a truly gifted author. I have been (almost without exception) overwhelmingly struck by how well it plays on the screen. I am in awe of the talent of the cast and the depth of feeling they bring to the show each and every week. Amazing performances by not only the lead actors, but so many of the supporting cast as well. This show truly makes you believe in it. I am also constantly shocked by how intense and accurate the crew and staff have managed to create a backdrop and construction of an entire world out of our time and make it believable. That takes some major talent on the entire crew’s part. All of those people that we never see or hear about that make the “real stuff” happen. They all deserve our applause and admiration.

While appreciating all of this I still don’t think that I’m an Outlander fan. You see I love much more of Ron’s work than just Outlander. Truth be told I’m much more a Battlestar Galactica fan. I also love the work that he has done with other shows such as Star Trek. To me Ron Moore is more of a person than a show. That may seem odd, but here it is. So many of the “fans” that I read and interact with on social media on other venues seem to have this pair of “Outlander glasses” on. As far as I can tell they break down into two specific groups. The first group, the “uber fan”, seems to think that no matter what, if it has to do with Outlander it is wonderful, amazing, perfect, and just plain “the best thing ever”. Now, this might seem like the result that the staff and studios are shooting for, I however see several problems with that. The most obvious being that the person, actor, director, crew, producer, writer etc. gets lost in the mix.

Take for instance the Gaelic consultant Àdhamh Ó Broin (another that I have been fortunate to meet and get to know somewhat). To the typical “fan” if you mention his name the response will probably be “who”? If you continue with “he’s the Gaelic consultant for Outlander”, the response gets changed to “Oh, yes! Great guy! They are doing SO well with my favorite show!” The person himself gets lost. I am pleased to say that yes, he is a great guy. He is almost singlehandedly bringing a “lost” Gaelic dialect back from extinction. He is so involved in the resurgence of the almost lost culture of Scotland and he’s a fine warm and caring person as well. He is really “quite the kick” to be around.

I have not had the opportunity to meet any of the cast members but I am sure that this holds true for them as well. I have seen a lot of what Sam Heughan is doing with his charities and other projects. I know that Caitriona Balfe, Tobias Menzies and Graham McTavish have their own projects, charities and such going on as well. I loved Graham’s performance in The Finest Hours. I just have not had the privilege of meeting them yet.

Then there is the “second group” of fans. I would almost rename them “slams”. These are the people that for whatever reason, make it their mission to find fault. To them, nothing that Ron is doing fits with “their” view of the books and is therefore taboo. Jamie’s hair is not red enough. Why did they remove my favorite scene (even though it did nothing to move the plot forward)? Claire should be this way, etc. Anything that sits outside of their mental image or interpretation of the material is “wrong”. And they are very vocal in letting people know about it. A sub-group of this class of fan is what I call “the Jamie show” fan. Nothing, and I mean nothing else is important at all. The other actors, the time and effort that it takes to put on a production of this scope, the decisions that have to be made for plot movement, time, cost, etc. None of that matters. It’s all about Jamie/ Sam Heughan. This second group is the reason that I almost completely, stay away from the fandom.

Now both of these groups do have a few things in common. They both, for whatever reason, feel that the show “owes them something”. In some cases that may be a debt payment of staying more strictly with the books. Many times I find these “negative Nellie’s” so mentally draining that I retreat to protect my sanity. In others it may expose itself as a sense of “entitlement”. For instance the “We are the biggest fans, we deserve this person’s full attention. All others Stay Away”!

I’m sure that the average “fan” fits somewhere in the middle of these extremes, but these “sane ones” are not at all vocal. I rarely hear from them on social media or in other forums. I do interact with them if I happen to meet them at some gathering such as Àdhamh’s west coast Gaelic instruction tour both this year and last. These are the people simply sitting in the room enjoying the reason for being there. Their interest in an aspect of the show, a person involved in it, or as in that case, an understanding of the Gaelic language. They seem to be the “silent majority” to steal a well-known phrase. It’s the outlying ends of the fandom that make all the noise.

Both sides of this coin have, in my opinion, missed the point. For them it is all about the show. For me it is all about the people. The extreme positions of both sides have turned me off to the whole “fandom” aspect of Outlander. I retreat from the social media interaction of it to keep my sanity and to save my soul. I will continue to love the show. I will do my utmost to learn more about these fabulous people that make this production happen. This means from the top to the bottom. Every contribution is important. I haven’t even touched on writers, costuming, visual effects, set building, or the thousands of other people that make this possible for us all. For me at least, it’s the people, not the show.

If this makes me a Non-Fan, then I’m proud of it.

 

Girls and Dreams

 

I had a dream a few nights ago. My dreams aren’t something I’d normally choose to share and write about, but this one has been turning over in my wee brain. One of those times I can’t seem to shake the idea so, to the keyboard I go.

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In the dream I was sitting at a computer, though it seemed rather specialized. (FYI – I am NOT a hardware person so please don’t slam descriptions I’m sure I’ll get wrong – besides it was a dream). There was a keyboard, but also lots of knobs and switches and bells and whistles. I was trying to fine tune some music, or some dialog….something auditory. I was frustrated because I just couldn’t get what I was working on to sound like I wanted it to and knew it should sound like. I looked up and the wall that had been in front of me had turned to glass with two guys sitting at a much more complex ‘computer’ system fidgeting with the same bit of audio I was. I had to blink when I realized it was Ron Moore and Bear McCreary.

I don’t supposed the fact that we have finally managed to start listening to Ron’s podcasts had anything to do with this LOL.

I could hear the audio, still not right….then as they fiddled with it, it shifted and flowed and sounded exactly as it should have. I was amazed and blurted out “How the hell did they DO that?!”

The glass wall parted in the middle and slid aside. Ron looked up and said, “Well get in here and we’ll show you!” I hoofed it in promptly to learn at the elbows of greatness…..fade to black.

Why do I relate this rather odd little dream? Why has it been bouncing around in my head insisting I throw it out and let people see it? I think, perhaps, I came up with an answer.

Growing up I was reasonably intelligent. I was raised by dysfunctional parents (alcoholics) and by my grandparents who were both teachers. I was raised very traditionally. I was encouraged to go into teaching. I was told to learn typing and shorthand so I could get a job as a secretary. I didn’t get to take martial arts class with my brothers because it wasn’t ladylike. I bowed to all this because….it’s how I was raised to be. (Fear not….I’ve gotten over my doormat stage in a big way though I do still slip and lie down occasionally when I shouldn’t.)

I had a strong interest in science. Not exactly discouraged – but certainly not encouraged. I loved to perform, but was only really encouraged to learn how to play the piano. I was good enough with very little work to have my teacher happy so I didn’t really apply myself. I think too many girls raised when I was dealt with the same sort of things…..I am concerned too many still are.

What does this have to do with the dream? I have a good ear. Picking out what instrument is playing or a voice on a commercial and knowing what actor it goes to. Picking up sounds – even slight ones – that are ‘off’ and finding problems because of it (very handy skill on a boat). While I didn’t apply myself with hours of rehearsal for singing, my choir masters loved me because I had ‘a good ear’ to adjust things. I did a lot of sound work through school…..helping run the sound board for the jazz choir (did I go out with the sound tech because I liked him and picked up the board or because I was interested in the board and that’s how I could get my hands on it? Interesting question I had not pondered before.) Sound tech (among many other hats) for the theatre department in college. I used that knowledge to step in and run the board for a band whose own tech failed to show up when a scout was coming to listen to them at the bar they were playing. (Guess I did ok – he signed them.) What if I could have done an internship or studied under someone like Bear McCreary? What might my life had been like going completely outside the traditional? I would have very likely pursued something like that – something in performing arts (stage is very addicting both in front of and behind the curtain) but it wasn’t ‘proper’.

I think Ron was in the dream because he is so often mentioned as an advocate for getting more women involved/treated equally and showing them more realistically on screen.

All this has left me pondering in these last few days……how far have we really come in encouraging our kids – especially our females – to really explore their strengths and gifts and reach toward something more than a traditional ‘safe’ job? Something past ‘proper’ and ‘PC’? What if one of my choir directors had really encouraged me to pursue that ‘gift’ of my ‘good ear’ in high school? Had taken the time to help me track down and explore what that might be good for. Would it have eventually led to me sitting in a studio helping tweak the sound to perfectly set scenes for a show like Outlander? Maybe – and wouldn’t that have been cool?!

I guess what it comes down to is – what can each of us do to change that? Encourage the straight guy that likes to play football but has a great eye for color and line and really enjoys working there that it is ok to go into designing women’s clothing. Or to encourage that head cheerleader to use her brains more than her body to advance herself in science or architecture or any other male dominated realm. That mousie, overweight girl (me) that absorbs things when allowed to that might have made a really decent supporting actor with very little encouragement. Traditional and being PC can be so limiting – not allowing for true gifts to be explored and utilized not just for the person possessing them, but all those that person touches. When I make it big as a writer (got to keep those positive thoughts pumping true?) how might I encourage someone else? I definitely haven’t taken a traditional route to get on this path – all my elective classes were geared toward theatre and acting – not writing.

Who do you know that you might be able to encourage? Help out? Steer toward a dream? Who do you know that could help them? How can each of us work towards making a ‘safe’ environment for any kid to express an interest/ability in something that doesn’t quite fit the mold people want to push them into? How about you? What is YOUR dream that may not fit into a neat package? How can you encourage that?