Dec. 17th, 2011

calliope_love: (Break: Handle your shit)
For the record, here is another reason I have been quiet -- and this is likely the reason I am going to stay quiet, except to write a bit of fic and fling out some icons here and there.

The Pandora Hearts fandom is, in certain places, turning into a cesspool of wank these days.

I am sure some of you are scoffing at my lack of tolerance; I'm aware that there are bigger fandoms who are much, much worse, as far as the petty fighting and idiots and trolls go. And believe me, I'm probably just as annoyed by all the people nagging for scans and translations and people who don't think things through before they speak and the people who exhibit a serious lack of reading comprehension as you are.

But here is something I have noticed. The entire world is plagued by people like this, in all areas, and it is always going to be. It is not the slightest bit fandom-exclusive. And whenever these people start to get a little too loud, the people who are a bit more clever -- by which I mean, mostly, possessing a tendency to think about what they are saying before they say it -- start to raise up as well as a result; they seek one another out as they start to contribute to the cesspool, and they form another group. Then these clever people start congratulating themselves on how awesome they are and everyone gets big heads in addition to having their knickers in a knot, and they start to forget that everyone involved here is a human being.

Yes. I hate to be the one to break this to all of you because quite frankly I would much rather stay underneath my happy little rock and not speak to anyone. But behind all of these stupid comments and nasty comments and sensible comments and funny comments, there are people with their fingers on the keyboard. And the thing with people is that you can never, ever assume anything about them, especially on the internet. Everyone has reasons for being what they are and behaving in the way that they do. It is very possible that these reasons will never be shared. But we cannot forget that those reasons are there, and that we will never fully understand anyone else simply by virtue of the fact that we live in our heads and not theirs.

You all may not believe that anyone could have a valid reason for plaguing other people with silly questions on the internet. I am hard-pressed to come up with any myself, beyond "too young to have learned yet" or perhaps "new to the fandom, which is growing every day". But those reasons are all the ones we really need, and just because I don't know any better ones does not mean they are not there.

I am bothering to type all of this out because in the past I have seen plenty of people inside of fandom and out ripped apart by thoughtless comments coming from people who completely forget that, ahaha, they don't know shit beyond what this person chooses to tell them. I am guilty of causing such hurts, too; it's a difficult thing to keep in mind all the time, this notion that I do not, in fact, know everything. Gods know I have an ego the size of Manhattan and I have plenty of episodes during which I take it into my head that I am better than everyone else.

But I'm not better than everyone else. And neither are any of you.

So everyone just take a step back, please. I know what it is like to think of oneself as a crusader for the noble and valiant cause of correcting the stupidity of the rest of the world, because again, I think quite highly of myself and am just as frustrated by inanity as you are. But being nasty and smug is not the way to fix anything. That's like churchy people trying to convert the heathens by telling them all in the most snotty way possible that they're going to burn in hell, as though simply being churchy somehow makes them a better person and gives them a free ticket to be an asshole.

Protip: All that does is hurt the heathens' blasphemous little feelings and make them hate your entire religion, which you are giving a bad name and thus ruining for everyone else. This is not effective. It does not breed change. It breeds animosity. Also, you are acting like an asshole.

So instead of smacking people down when it's very likely that you don't understand them at all -- again, everyone involved in this is a person -- try showing them what you want them to strive toward. Lead by example. You know that quote, "Be the change you wish to see in the world"? Do that. There are always going to be lost causes, but I promise you that more people are paying attention to you and your behavior than you think, and more people have the potential to be amazing than you are giving credit for. A lot of them are very young, you realize, and have no idea what to do with themselves. They will grow up. The ones who are already grown up will change. Do not underestimate the influence that you can have on strangers on the internet.

And think about this: Were you, at one point, an idiot saying stupid things on the internet?

I bet you were. I was, once. I was a shitty writer for a good long chunk of my life, too. And it was the people who went about their business being reasonable and pleasant and writing good things that taught me what I needed to be instead. It certainly wasn't any of the people who told me I was an idiot saying stupid things on the internet.

Now go do something productive.

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Callie

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