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!

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.

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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!

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.

Would love an “In Death” series – Who for Eve/Roarke?!

The “In Death” Series by J. D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts)

During an extended visit to my dad, I was looking for reading material. I finished the novel I was writing and wanted a nice break. My aunt had gotten my dad hooked on this series so he had most of the books there waiting to be read. This particular series moved very quickly when I ran a book department, but I had not gotten around to them in my huge list of things I wanted to read.

I am having a great time with this series, love the characters and am currently on book 25 out of 40! These are murder mysteries that carry the same characters throughout the series. For most of the books it takes me 3/4 of the way through, at least, to figure out ‘who done it’. This is good as I can usually figure it out earlier than that and I love a challenge! In some of the books, the who is given early on, but the how and why is very elusive. One of my favorite things in these books, however is the character interaction. The characters are layered and ‘real’ – they grow and evolve as the series is progressing. Being set a bit into the future lets the author have a bit of fun with things too.

Eve Dallas is the lead character; a tough as nails homicide cop who has a lot of personal demons to deal with every time she walks on a scene. She’s been alone most her life and, as the series is progressing, is slowly starting to get a small, loyal group of friends around her that she isn’t quite sure what to do with. She’s a good cop with a sixth sense of getting inside the bad guys heads.

Roarke is Eve’s counterpoint in the books. Irish, brought up in very rough circumstances and chose not so legal ways of making his fortune. Tall, dark, handsome & rich – he’s more than a bit dangerous both to Eve and any that would hurt her. Robb has written some smoking sex scenes between these two, but it’s also appropriate to who the characters are and, while well done, doesn’t overpower or detract from the stories. (I mean, my dad reads these!) Roarke is a very complex and layered character that struggles between who he has always been; stepping over, around and sometimes through the law to achieve his goals – and this ‘by the book’ cop he suddenly can’t seem to live without. It is not always an easy pairing.

There is a medley of supporting characters that are unique and intrinsic to each story. These characters, too, travel through the books adding depth and a growing sense of family. The interaction between all the characters is a huge part of what keeps me reading these books. A person could probably pick up any of these books to read and enjoy it as a standalone story, but starting at the beginning and working through is preferable to get the ongoing story of the characters in order.

I don’t tend to get hard ‘pictures’ of characters in my head – probably why I didn’t flip out at the casting for Outlander. I have a sense of the character more than a face or an exact body type. I got to thinking though, there are plenty of books for several seasons of episodes; who could I see as Eve & Roarke if this were a series or movie. This is what I came up with.

MariaHill1-Avengers EVE DALLAS – THE WOMAN BEHIND THE BADGE

Cobie Smulders plays Maria Hill on the Avengers movies. She seems (to me) to have about the right body type and height to play the kick ass Eve, though here hair would have to change to a mixed brown.

For Roarke?

ROARKE – THE MAN BEHIND EVE

Now my guy came up with a this thought for Roarke……must admit, the idea is growing on me.

Zach-McGowan-23 with credit
I could see Zach McGowan as Roarke…. the more I think about it the more I like it. 🙂

You can learn more about the books HERE

 

To Ransom a Fan’s Soul

No….not a misspelling. I’m not even going to attempt to recap or overview the Outlander series finale. There many really good articles already out for this and no doubt there will be more. This blog/rant/observation is about me as a fan and what I see in and experience from, other fans.

First, I see a lot of bashing out there. Every fan has something that is vitally important to THEM and when that thing is not included in the series it bothers them. They have every right to express that. While I personally think eye color, hair being THIS shade of red over THAT shade of red or which hand gets smashed by the hammer are very minor things to get in a snit about, they matter to others. I have a request for both sides of this issue no matter what the specific in question is. For the person that couldn’t care less – be kind. Every single fan has the right to voice their frustrations. For those of you voicing frustrations – STOP WHINING! Please tell us how you think and feel and why it’s important, but please don’t subject the rest of the fandom to what comes across as a toddlers temper tantrum or a teens moaning about how unfair life is.

Next, I continue to be utterly amazed by this show and the unprecedented access we have to it as fans. We’ve been invited in since the very beginning – the players interact with us, STARZ listens to us, and we make a difference as fans. This is a very new experience for me and I’m excited by it – and also very frustrated. Something I accepted going into this is that it wouldn’t be like the books. The story can’t be like the books because they are two very different mediums. How you get things across is very different, how the arcs have to go, how much you can do with only 16 or 13 hours to do it in.

I just don’t get people that think chewing on Ron or anyone else on the team about something you saw in the last few weeks will DO anything. Too much of this, not enough of that. The stuff you saw the last two weeks were filmed seven months ago. People are just digging into DiA and discussing it – problem is, the episodes are already mapped out for Season 2. If you really want to make suggestions, you should already be discussing Voyager. At the end of the day, WE aren’t writing this show. We as fans don’t see the vision that Ron and the writers have. We can’t see where they are going.

Some comments I saw looking through various articles/stories today that really show this.

“Too many side stories – not enough Jamie & Claire – THEY are what is important not all this other stuff!”

“Way too much focus on BJR and the rape / torture. Far more important to show J & C and healing.”

“Jamie is being emasculated just to make Claire look stronger. He’s a shadow of the character we know and love, a child rather than the mature man he is.”

“Too much sex/violence/nudity – I know what happens I don’t need it in my face. Focus on the important part – J & C’s relationship”

ALL these comments – are from book readers. As herself said in a post recently “PUT THE BOOK DOWN.” Seriously………………there are a lot of viewers out there who have never read the books. This show isn’t just for the longtime fans of the books – though Ron and the team are doing their best to make it as good as possible for those longtime, dedicated fans and still be a visual medium. STARZ Outlander is also for brand new fans that are being introduced to this story by the series. It HAS to stand on its own. The relationship is there, people who haven’t read the books comment often on how intense it is; how much ‘more’ it is than most television out there. All that is going on around them and the people close to them are part of their relationship and need to be shown too – unfortunately Ron and team doesn’t have an hour per chapter to do all that we’d like to see.

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Was 116 hard for me to watch – HELL yes. Was it too much – in my personal opinion, no. Ron did it right. This is such a pivotal point in the entire story. This one event haunts Jamie through all the books to come and shapes him in ways that make him the great man/character we are all so crazy about. In order for that to work down the line, the audience (the ones that don’t have all that background and thousands of words in the book) needed to really be there with Jamie, feel what he felt, break like he did. It was necessary and very, very well done. What I was thinking as I watched was – ‘wow – the torture is there, but you don’t SEE it as such. The initial forced rape – the branding, the rest is all creepy tenderness. It’s still a violation as it’s against Jamie’s will – but it’s what it does to the viewer’s mind – much like Jamie’s. How could we as an audience possibly understand and appreciate what Jamie becomes if we don’t taste it ourselves? Jamie was naked – but did you ever actually SEE anything? BJR walks naked from the bed, totally in character and what would have happened. How much of the uncomfortableness is what was shown to you – and how much was where your own head took you.

Same argument as above for the sex/nudity/violence etc. I have never felt (and most of the comments I’ve seen agree) that the show has been gratuitous. The book people know these parts of the story and don’t ‘need’ them – but the series only people do. There is no possible way to take one of Diana’s books and condense it down under 16 hours and keep everything. If the show focused on ONLY J & C – we’d have lost the series only fans a long time ago. The series is a facet on a larger gem – the idea is to get people wound up with that facet so they want to experience the whole gem.

As far as Jamie being emasculated………….I just can’t get this. Yes, I have read the series, a few times. In reading Outlander I saw Jamie as fairly mature but far from perfect. He makes mistakes, he has a temper he doesn’t control at times; he acts rashly and doesn’t always think things through. He is still doing that (though not as often to be sure) in MOBY. Emasculated? It takes a very strong man to deal with Claire. He doesn’t cow before her, he is her equal, her match. He doesn’t just bow to her will, he thinks through who she is (even before he really knew) and makes decisions that are good and right, not just in line with what he’s always known and tradition. That takes huge strength of character. He has Claire’s devotion, love and respect – a weak man wouldn’t have those things. I didn’t start seeing the Jamie everyone raves about until he had spent some time around his cousin Jared in Paris and had to start dealing with Charles. After he lived through the fire of BJR and Wentworth. AFTER he wanted to give up on life and take the easy way out. AFTER he was battered, bruised and broken beyond redemption in his own mind.

Gods I always go long on these. Eh……won’t say ‘sorry’ – but I hope I at least keep it interesting.

Finally – I want, as a fan, to redeem myself of any bad behavior, unkind words or abject stupidity that I have fallen to since the beginning of this adventure. I want to do this by trying, however inadequately, to give some praise and thanks.

Nope. Can’t do it. Too long and either will detract from the other. I want the “THANK YOU” section to be done right…not hurried or thrown out. So that will come a bit later.

The Trouble with Trolls

Divergent blue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blog Response

I’m the first to admit I’m not all that great at this social media stuff. I got a link to a blog site on Twitter which I read. I wanted to respond to that blog and have been trying to do so for well over an hour. It kept putting me in this weird loop.

One of the steps I took trying to post there was to create this blog to have an identity. Still didn’t work. However…since I have this spiffy new space – I’ll just post my thoughts here! Voila!

So, the blog that I read was this:  An Open Letter to Diana Gabaldon

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. All good. I disagree with nastiness and name-calling, but legitimate opinions are all just that – someone’s opinion. Here is MY opinion in response to the above blog.

1st – This is your blog and your opinion perfectly valid.

2nd – By opening this blog up to comments, you accept that the comments made, other people’s opinions, are just as valid. You scorched DG and were scorched a few times in return. Fair is fair.

3rd – as a FAT woman – I get so tired of all the political correct CRAP.  FAT – come on everybody say it.  FAT! For those of us so encumbered of body, embrace who and what you are and KNOW you are still a person of worth.  I am 5’1”, weigh in at 235 and will be 48 on Monday – I think I qualify as a FAT woman! As such, I am actually more offended by the blog than any of DG’s books. FICTION…a made up story that has touched countless lives in very positive ways.  Yeah it sucks that us larger gals (or guys for that matter) seldom get starring roles or the great love interests in the stories.  However, I’ve seen in RL that the guys that LOOK like the great storybook heroes seldom ACT like heroes. Sam just may be an exception. As a fat woman I say – get over it. I read fiction, like most people I’m sure, to get AWAY from RL; to find myself in another time, place and person.

4th – writing is something you obviously embrace. You write clearly, distinctly and well. So, use that talent to, how did you put it? “giving fat people positive fictional role models”. Write your own sweeping, stirring, life changing and embracing novels with the characters you seem to think are so vitally important to give the world instead of sniping at someone who has done it.