While the Arthur fandom used to be one of those quiet places where kittens and rainbows roamed without care, it’s lately become a minefield of child-porn-esque pieces and Drama. Call-out pieces and retaliation pieces are becoming more common as the war gets dirtier, so I figured I should discuss my thoughts on the pieces. In summary: I like them, but you have to know what you’re doing.
The Arthur fandom really isn’t what it used to be. I’ve managed to take over the front page again thanks to my new Disasters series, plus some old pieces I forgot about that need some updating. If you dig a little you’ll find Travis2016 and his “smut buddies” writing deplorable pieces where children openly discuss the size of their genitals and whether or not they’re circumcised. Religion is no longer a hot topic in the fandom like it once was, but apparently sexuality is an issue we might need to correct Travis on in the future (because apparently all of the Arthur characters are gay and always had been, God help us on that front). He’s become a hotbed for traffic of the worst kind, people looking to be entertained by his deplorable pieces. I’m guessing that’s why the admins don’t give a single flying you-know-what about his pieces despite several reports and emails–they don’t care, and it’s clear.
So when do retaliation pieces become something we should pursue? I mean, we’ve discussed doing spoofs of Travis’s crap for a while, and I’ll admit the Disasters series was inspired partly by his crappy renditions of stories that rival low-budget SyFy movies in how inaccurate and stupid they are. I haven’t gone into spoof territory yet, but I’ve wanted to do it for a long time now.
What’s holding me back? Well I’ve been talking with ff.net user Katrace, who agrees those kind of pieces are fun to think about, but I admitted to her that they take a lot out of you. I recently wrote Justice to get at how I feel about Travis and his stories–anyone who can write that sort of crap about children probably has had inappropriate contact with children OR has had inappropriate thoughts about children, one of the two. I mean the guy is messed up, obviously, because it’s not a joke to him, otherwise we wouldn’t be having this conversation [Rule 1: Don’t retaliate against a troll. That’s what they want and you’ll only make them happier].
So yeah, the guest reviewer there is right: Principal Haney is Travis, and I mean it when I think he should go to jail, and it’s true that child predators don’t make it in jail without protection from guards. Prisoners might be there for doing dirty deeds, but in America, these are often people who have strong morals and don’t mind using force to get their point across. So prisoners who are cops or other government officials who were corrupt or committed violent crimes? They have to be in protective custody to survive their prison stints. The same goes for anyone who hurts children. That’s just how it goes.
It was therapeutic to write the piece because I, like so many others, am royally fed up with Travis’s crap. And I’ve wanted to do more pieces like that just to get my anger out, but I’m holding back. Why? Because sometimes it’s best. I’d just be adding fire to chaos. I just don’t think it’s right for the moment.
But another issue came up. One of Travis’s smut buddies reviewed my new one-shot Outbreak telling me to remove it. [Rule 2: Don’t EVER go after a popular writer about a rule issue publically until you talk to them. Especially if they have a lot of followers, and more importantly, if you’re on the “opposing team”.]. I PM’d him to try to get a private response because of Rule 2, and he responded in a guest review (unsigned so I’m just using my English Major skills here) that it was for copyright infringement for the product placement.
Was I upset? Yes, namely because he was so vague at first, so I was like “What? What did I do that’s so bad when you’re BFF is posting crap about children and genitals?” But I wasn’t nearly upset as BlackNeko20, who insists she’s going to do an entire series now filled with product placement just to get back at them.
So that’s where I’m going in this entry: Should one write retaliation pieces?
megan and I are close, and honestly I don’t mind her taking up for me. I wish more people were online last week to do the same because I really felt kinda alone. DM immediately came forward, then megan, but no one else was around. I got a review later supporting me, but I didn’t get nearly the response I expected, which brings me to my first concern for megan if she does go forward with this new series:
Is there anyone left in the Arthur fandom who cares?
That’s the heart of the Travis problem: People have FLED the fandom in DROVES to get the f away from this guy, and I don’t blame them. I got outta Dodge too because he just sickens me to my core. I mean he really makes me wonder why I’m even writing for this fandom and posting my things publically, because I know I’m being judged for being near him, and so is everyone else [NOTE: I found a forum that claimed TimmyTurnerFan was as bad as Travis because he likes trains so much. So now Autism, because they used that word, is seen in the same light as a Fetish because of Travis, and I am FURIOUS about it. I’ll try to get the link when I post this up. NOTE: I’m at work atm so I’ll find the link later when I’m not in the open as much]
So who’s left? Do they care? I honestly don’t know anymore. I’m aware that people are busy. I have the same problem. I have a lot to do, and while I get more reliable internet time thanks to my job, some days I can’t just sit there and read fanfiction the whole time I’m there. So I’ve been meaning to read more too, and others are in the same boat. But Travis’s people are always on, always reviewing, and they ignore us because OMG DASL doesn’t write about genitals and parts getting lopped off.
It’s frustrating when you’re trying to write a normal piece, but retaliation and callout pieces have more weight to them in one’s mind because of the whole notion of them: You’re pointing out something with the premise that others will join you in your thought process. And there’s no one to join us right now. Where did everyone go? Probably to therapy, but yeah, there’s no one around.
Plus you have to be obvious when you write a piece like that. It takes a special spirit, and while megan has that fire, other writers have to be wary of pieces like that because it’s not easy to piss people off and deal with the consequences [Rule 3: Don’t call-out people or retaliate against something unless you’re ready for the consequences. If you don’t have the ability to ignore things, don’t do it. Ever. Wait until you’re ready or never do it…or pass it off to someone who can do that if you can keep your nose out of it.] megan is prepared, and I’m getting there (obviously, though it’s namely because I’m so mad), but I know others who probably shouldn’t.
I want people to share their opinions and express themselves, but this fandom isn’t the same anymore, and I’m beginning to think it never will be the same again. There’s just so much wrong with it, and so many people with like PROBLEMS. We need help from the admins to clean the place up so we can get back to the way things were, but yeah. I think that’s all a memory now.
I will say my Disasters series is something that can make points, so I’ve thought of doing call-out-esque scenarios. “Ash” is one because Travis’s volcano piece was absolute trash and I have to fix it. I got dark with it, I will say that, but I just feel so…I guess I feel alone right now. That’s why I want to write pieces where Communists do bad things or Born-Again Christians do things, just to target Travis, but part of me says “Who cares? People might read it but you’ll be on your own.”
But a call-out series like megan wants to do? That’s something I haven’t considered. I honestly do want to write for me right now, and doing pieces like that means I’m letting people control me. I’m going to support her, namely because she’d be coming to my aid if she does a piece like that, and she deserves respect. And if they go after her too, I’m going to be there for her. That’s what friends do for each other.
I feel like I’m rambling now so let’s wrap this up: I don’t mind retaliation pieces and callouts, but I think you have to be really careful. My bolded rules are important, so I’ll rephrase and discuss them here briefly:
Rule 1: Don’t retaliate against a troll. You won’t win, ever, so don’t even consider it.
Rule 2: Don’t EVER go after a popular writer, or any writer, about a rule issue until you talk to them first. They either 1-didn’t notice or 2-not breaking any rules. I wasn’t breaking any rules, yet I&L opened a can of worms by saying I did. Use the PM system the way it was meant to be used and talk to them first.
Rule 3: Don’t do call-outs unless you’re ready for the consequences. It takes a special mindset to deal with the consequences that might come with that, and you all know who you are when I say this. If you know things upset you easily or if certain things get a rise out of you, don’t do it. If you want it done anyway, maybe pass it off to someone else you trust, but only if you can ignore it.
So yeah, pick your battles. That’s the only thing I can really say here. I think that’s it for now, but I’ve been considering call-out pieces myself, so there might be more written in the future.
[Written June 10th]
[Instant Update added June 16th]
So megan has now posted her call-out/retaliation pieces, “discount price war” and “whopper of a craving,” but no one has responded like she wanted. Maybe we got our point across, maybe not. I think this just confirms my theory that a lot of people don’t actually care anymore. I don’t know why I&L made that comment anyway or why he hasn’t made it since. Maybe he figured it out and decided not to say anything else, which is kinda a part of Rule 2–you called someone out and now people are trying to target you. I just don’t know anymore, but I’m going to post this anyway just to get it out there. And I’ll add the link later so you guys can see that forum post. That really did royally piss me off, and I’d like your thoughts.