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I've seen some fairly repulsive actions in fandom but tonight I read of one that really pissed me off. It was all so unnecessary and petty and frankly the person who did it should be disqualified from the human race for lack of proper credentials.

What a vast, dangleberry-strewn arsehole.

Once I used to think of fandom as a virtual eden, where we could all skip and sniff the flowers, frolic among the butterflies, join hands and sing kumbaya and there would be free speech and rice pudding for all.

Naturally, the first flame war I was ever personally involved in cured me of that.
(I think Fisher Price's E-Division should start making My First Flame War™. Bells and whistles could go off the first time you get called "poohead" and you could hit one big red button to get the words "you're just like those mean toddlers who stole my teddy bear in kindergarten" to flash up on the screen)

These days I tend to think of fandom as a bit more like one big swimming pool. A giant Brockwell lido of the soul, if you will.

There are all kinds of people there. Not everyone is Kate Moss-like in their pulchritude, but then not everyone is a cokehead dimwit without the good sense that God gave a gnat either. I like to think we all have something to bring to the party.

Some people are doing the front crawl and some people are doing the back stroke. Some are even doing the butterfly. The flash bastards.

Some people are doggy-paddling but that's okay because they might learn to swim a bit better one day.

Some people dip a toe in then stay close to the edges, some people dive right in and make a splash. Different strokes for different folks, arf arf.

Some people are in the corner flashing and mooning at each other, giggling and fiddling with themselves. That's fine, I don't have to see it unless I swim over there, dive under the water and open my eyes. Not going to. Have fun, people! Don't go blind!

Over there, there's some poncey Esther Williams wannabe in an ugly cozzie yelling that she swims better than anyone else but no one ever thanks her for it, goddammit, and other people shouldn't be swimming in her way. Oh, and the non-swimmers support her in email. Whatever, Big Name Swimmer. Have fun in places where I am not.

The key to it all working properly is this: Under no circumstances should you wazz in the pool. And that's what these anonymous hate memes are. Effluent. It's like pissing in the swimming pool and smiling because no one knows it was you that did it.

Doing it might give you a warm tingly feeling about your nether portions and bring a rosy glow to the black coals of your heart but believe me when I say the warmth is only temporary.

Pretty soon we're all swimming in urine -- and if that happens, some nice, amusing people are going to pack up and go home. Where's the fun in paddling through effluent?

Now we all need to go for a wazz sometimes and anyone who reckons they don't is a saint or a lying liar.

All I am saying, people, is for the love of [your chosen deity], go to the [virtual] bathroom with a bunch of your friends in the manner of women everywhere since Eve and her daughters nipped behind the rose bushes for a quick bitch about how Adam was blaming them for the whole 'thrown-out-of-Eden' incident when he ate the bloody fruit as well, the fecking self-righteous pillock.

Bitch about stupidity in private. Mutter your nasty yet witty things to your friends over the cubicle walls. There is no moral high ground or classiness to being a snideyboots but you can at least minimise the hurt. I speak as a terrible snideyboots who is trying to be better.

Do not wazz in the public swimming pool.



(Would you look at that: not one smartalecky reference to a rubber ring in the whole post. I'm losin' me touch. )

Comments

( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
cofax7
Jun. 19th, 2006 12:33 am (UTC)
Do not wazz in the public swimming pool.

And posts like this one are why I am proudly infinitemonkeys' minion on my LJ interests page.

I have a thought brewing about the whole anonymous thing, which is that only since LJ has been around has it been possible to be truly anonymous in these battles. Because even back in the (bad old) days of XF wanks, you needed at the least a throwaway email account, that came complete with an IP address, to stir up shit. You couldn't post to lists or USENET without one; and if someone really really wanted to, they could maybe track you down (err, within limits).

So this anonymous thing is really a product of the whole move to LJ and blogs where anonymous commenting is technically feasible.

Which is another data point in my never-to-be-written essay about structure influencing the social dynamic of online fandom.

But, um. Back to your point: yes. Treating people badly means people leave. Such a hard thing to learn, apparently.
fialka
Jun. 19th, 2006 01:35 am (UTC)
Which is another data point in my never-to-be-written essay about structure influencing the social dynamic of online fandom.

Bring it on, sistah. (Readies pen for note-taking.)
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(no subject) - cofax7 - Jun. 19th, 2006 01:57 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - cofax7 - Jun. 19th, 2006 02:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fialka - Jun. 19th, 2006 10:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - infinitemonkeys - Jun. 19th, 2006 11:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cofax7 - Jun. 19th, 2006 04:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
marakara
Jun. 19th, 2006 12:35 am (UTC)
Brilliant!

I didn't know about these anonymous hate memes until someone here pointed them out and I'm still rather stunned by them. If you hate something, hate it and ignore it. Make that stand. It takes exactly zero courage or even less skill to sign in anonymously and yell someone stinks. And if that makes someone feel better, well, isn't it the small and hateful person who feels better by running someone else down.

There is a great world out there and a lot of fun and fabulous things to do. Anonymous hate memes - they're not one of 'em.

Take Care
Mara
loligo
Jun. 19th, 2006 12:43 am (UTC)
All I am saying, people, is for the love of go to the [virtual] bathroom with a bunch of your friends in the manner of women everywhere since Eve and her daughters nipped behind the rose bushes for a quick bitch about how Adam was blaming them for the whole 'thrown-out-of-Eden' incident when he ate the bloody fruit as well, the fecking self-righteous pillock.

:: smooch ::
musesfool
Jun. 19th, 2006 12:53 am (UTC)
Yes. What you said!
veejane
Jun. 19th, 2006 01:24 am (UTC)
Welcome to the world of Metaphors By Infinitemonkeys. We are rich in the world when we can have wank explained in the manner of the lessons your mother spanked into your behind when you were three years old.

Hear that? Three years old!! Snacky's Law doesn't even extend that far back.
leadensky
Jun. 19th, 2006 01:26 am (UTC)
What you said
The anon thing I never will get.

Being pissy, carrying a grudge, causing shit just to start stuff? Been fanwanked back when F-W was still on lj?

*yawn* Been there, done that, and not too terribly well, either.

But that was *me*. As much of me as I let play on the nets.

And yeah, I will bitch about the ones skinnydipping when they start out screaming the toddlers and jump in my lane.

But it will be me saying it, and I'll sign my damn name to it.

Fucking cowards.

(And I have not seen the latest, my self, only rumors. Glad to keep it that way.)

- hg
fialka
Jun. 19th, 2006 01:33 am (UTC)
(Would you look at that: not one smartalecky reference to a rubber ring in the whole post. I'm losin' me touch. )

Skate = float? *G*

I keep seeing things about the things but not the things themselves, which is probably just as well since I never have understood the impetus to shit-stirring (or pool-pissing, to keep au courant with the metaphor) and I never will.

Though I was greatly amused to go looking for fandom_wank to contextualise it all, and find it deleted. Sometimes there is justice, even on the internets.
cofax7
Jun. 19th, 2006 01:59 am (UTC)
F-W is on journalfen now, has been for like 2 years. And actually the latest round of messiness didn't originate at F-W, but here on LJ. But most of those anon communities got deleted pretty fast -- I don't know if any of them are left.
(no subject) - fialka - Jun. 19th, 2006 10:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - infinitemonkeys - Jun. 19th, 2006 11:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - infinitemonkeys - Jun. 19th, 2006 11:58 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cofax7 - Jun. 19th, 2006 04:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fialka - Jun. 19th, 2006 07:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
vivwiley
Jun. 19th, 2006 02:08 am (UTC)
As always, you say these things in a much more articulate, sound and down-right brilliant manner than I could manage. Posts like these, and the opportunity to doggy paddle around in the shallow end of the pool is why I stuck around XF as long as I did, and why I am proud to continue to know some of us fellow swimmers (if I might continue to borrow your metaphor).

Thank you for this, and you are absolutely right - some people simply need to have their human credentials revoked.
se_parsons
Jun. 19th, 2006 06:20 am (UTC)
I am always amazed by the capacity people have to want to spectate and join in such things. Sure, I looked when someone I knew linked. But it is, frankly, BORING.

I'd class fandom wank in another class, actually.

This hate crap is all the same stuff over and over and I don't know why people even bother any more. Like nobody is aware the certain BNFs are disliked by certain other people, or that the newbie fanwriters think they should be more famous than they are, and the lurkers support them in e-mail, or etc. etc. etc. It's all just so BORING.

It's not like it even matters about anyone's reputation anymore. Fandom has gotten so large and diverse that people can always move to a new fandom and not be judged for their behavior. What is the POINT of a hate meme?
infinitemonkeys
Jun. 19th, 2006 11:43 am (UTC)
I agree about fandom_wank, though it is not for me.

FW may cross the line but I think that its cornerstone members know that its about decrying the action, not necessarily the person, and when it crosses into personal abuse it is time for a stompy foot. (I hadn't been there for a while until today so I am assuming that still holds true)

What is the POINT of a hate meme?

I think that if you're participating in a hate meme it's long past time you put down the keyboard and went out into the sunshine.
(no subject) - se_parsons - Jun. 19th, 2006 06:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
lenadances
Jun. 19th, 2006 12:58 pm (UTC)
I love you deeply.

Also, Punk has sent you a thing, or so she says. Please to join. There is a piece of my new thingy up in the YV zone.
infinitemonkeys
Jun. 21st, 2006 09:51 am (UTC)
I have no thingy. I checked every email account. No thingy.
(no subject) - cofax7 - Jun. 21st, 2006 03:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
comice
Jun. 19th, 2006 02:08 pm (UTC)
I love you madly, and you've just summed up very neatly why 'tis that I'm not much for swimming in the pool.
thalia_dmuse
Jun. 19th, 2006 07:00 pm (UTC)
I bow in your general direction. I couldn't have even come close to saying it that well.
kirbyfest
Jun. 19th, 2006 11:01 pm (UTC)
I have no idea what spawned this, but it was a lovely read regardless.

poncey Esther Williams wannabe in an ugly cozzie

Diet Coke, all over the monitor. Ka-ching!
dknightshade
Jun. 20th, 2006 03:02 am (UTC)
Here Via Metafandom
*applauds*

Very well spoken! Er, written.
infinitemonkeys
Jun. 21st, 2006 09:53 am (UTC)
Re: Here Via Metafandom
Thank you very much. Sorry for not replying earlier but I ended up reading the whole MsScribe saga and it took forever. Sometimes I despair of the internet
Re: Here Via Metafandom - dknightshade - Jun. 22nd, 2006 12:33 am (UTC) - Expand
( 35 comments — Leave a comment )

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