Essay Non-Fiction posted January 25, 2016


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A Delicate Treatise on Togetherness

Wasn't He Tarred and Feathered?

by michaelcahill




















 
Well, well, well. Is this FanStory? I swear I don’t recognize the place.

I haven’t been active lately, just lurking in the background sneaking in some good reads, popping by to say hello to some friends and posting a little piece once in a while. It’s still my home away from home, or maybe it’s the other way around.

To get to the point, this place has been overrun by some very obnoxious and unkind people. What shocks me is it doesn’t seem to matter to anyone.

Here is an example of what doesn’t matter:

A very kind and loving member posts a message under poetry requesting prayer for a beloved fellow member who is in terrible pain and suffering life threatening ailments. This post is received, of course, with thanks by our little family and promises of support as is normally the case here. Along with that was a one-star review because the message wasn’t really a poem. That would seem to me one of the most thoughtless and cruel acts I’ve ever witnessed. Anyone a little bothered or put out by that? As far as I’m concerned, the person who did that to my friend is unwelcome to ever speak a word to me and I will never speak a word to them. I’m shocked that anyone would not join me in that stance. Oh well.

There are several people running around downgrading work because they don’t understand a simple English word found in any dictionary. Oh, is that okay? What are they really saying?

“Hey, I don’t know that word and I don’t even know how to use a dictionary, but I’ll pass judgment on your work, no problem.”

“Duh. I’m not here to learn anything. I can’t be bothered to look up a simple word that most fifth graders know. I’ll just penalize you for my own ignorance.”

Then there’s the other reasons to mark down a piece:

“I don’t like poems about horror.”

“Hey, that guy was mean to that girl.”

“You used a bad word when that soldier got shot in the stomach.”

“I just wasn’t able to follow the story in chapter 44 of your book. Maybe I should’ve read the other 43 chapters.”

Well, the list goes on and on and I’m sure you are adding to it even as you read.

Are any of these acceptable site policy reasons to downgrade a piece? Hmm? What was that? No?

Gee. Then why in hell are all of you allowing this to occur on a daily basis here? Is it because the same fools are giving you fives and sixes? You like those don’t you. Too bad about your buddies, eh?

Do I have to speak the obvious? Do you think the site administrators would enjoy hearing endless reports of reviewing violations? Do you think something might get done if that were to occur?

Hey, what if every time each of us saw a review that was in violation of site policy we reported it? Naw, what am I thinking? Best, just bend over, take it like it is and cry about it. Much more fun.

Oh! Jealousy and envy! Yeah. Any of that around here? Hell, I remember that when I USED to participate. Yep, those WERE the days, entering contests, posting like it was going out of style, poetry, prose, books, rants, raves, lunacy, whatever … write, write, write. But, hey, mikey won a few contests. He’s a cheater. He only wins cause he’s a cutie pie. Oh … gee whiz, that’s kind of sad. You got it, I’m done with that. Well, writing then. Rankings are fun. Work my butt off, post, post, post. OOPS! Mikey’s just buying his way to the top. He can’t write, he’s just popular. Oh … nuts, kinda sadder. You got that too. No more posting either.

Guess what, I’m not the first. Look around. Hear the crickets? I have it on good authority, I’m not the last either. I know some damn good writers here who’ve just about had enough of this crap. If this is all so important to you that you have to stab people in the back and cut them down, there is something seriously wrong with you.

Oh, hell yes, I can hear you now. “Gee, Mikey, we don’t think that about you. Blah, blah, blah.” or “We don’t think such and such is this and that, blah, blah, blah.” Yeah, well isn’t that just the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard. But, you sure as hell don’t say a damn word when people are cutting your so-called beloved friends to shreds all over the site. If they’re your friends, why the hell don’t you stand up for them? Why do you let some jackass bad mouth your good buddy then give them a big kiss on their rosy red ass? Maybe you aren’t really a friend at all, yes? It’s a rhetorical question.

We are supposed to be artists. It’s supposed to be a THRILL when a fellow artist busts out with an awesome piece of poetry or prose. You aren’t supposed to be pissed at it or be jealous of it. You aren’t supposed to hate it, you’re supposed to LOVE it and celebrate it.

Well, I had more to say, but to hell with it. I used to love this place. But, it doesn’t look like many other people do. I have many dear, dear friends here. I also can’t quite help myself and I have to write, so once in a while I’ll post something. I hope some of this makes sense to someone. I’m hoping this isn’t one solitary piece gathering dust. I’d like to see the front page FULL of what you think. C’mon, fellow writers, let’s take this place back. No need to review this. Read it and write your own piece in response.  I don’t care what anybody thinks of this. But I’d like to see your piece front and center if you have anything to say.

Update: In the short time since I have written this piece there is already change. Several pieces are now posted and the response is overwhelming and exciting. There are even some who have come forward with great courage to admit their errors and vow to move forward in a positive way. To them and any like them, we welcome you with a clean slate and open arms. You will find this to be a place overflowing with awesome people and quite a few damn fine artists as well.

To the weary and disgruntled, like myself, I say, lets take all of these positive signs and recommit ourselves to our best effort. This can be done. It's being done already. You all rock!



 


Recognized



I didn't edit this. (I will) This is how it came out. Let the good times roll ... and probably my head with it.

Thanks to Gloria for the inspiration and the generous Gman, Giraffmang for the major assist in promoting this piece up a crowded ladder. Check out both of their excellent pieces on this same matter as well as Pantygynt's who has just entered the fray. Thanks to Kittykatnoel also for her help in promoting. I expect this is just the beginning. If the shoe fits folks, be prepared to get knocked out of it. We've had enough!



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