Today was one of those days too…but a different kind of one of those days. We actually seem to be making some progress with the kid. While she’s still often defiant, she spends time thinking about what she should do before she does it (at least most of the time), and that’s one of the primary lessons we’re trying to get across.
That’s a plus-even though the process is maddening.
On the other hand, I was surrounded by stupid and by obstinate on the internet. I interrupted that parade of nincompoops to watch and excellent Cubs game, but the poop is still there.
Most of us on the net belong to a hobby forum of some kind at one time or another. Involvement is cyclical and depends on time and desire. I’m not much of a joiner. I’ve belonged to seven forums in the nearly 20 years I’ve been online. Most of them I drifted away from.
One forum I’ve been a member of for nine years, first as ______________, a username I shan’t disclose, and then under my usual title moderan. It’s ostensibly a forum for writers. Most of the time it’s tolerable, and I have some good friends there. Once in a while it’s fun, and someone shows real wit and makes time pass easily.
Other times…well, it sucks. Currently it’s going through such massive suck that I’m contemplating a hiatus. Hell, I’m thinking about leaving completely, and flouncing just to make it official, before something actually blows up.
The culture of this site is such that all of these tyro writers expect candy and awards all of the time, and advice from people who have “been there”, and “done that” fall into the same category as “wannabes” with no discernible publication history or expertise.
Anything contradictory is seen as negative, as “no fun.” It’s much like kindergarten. I’ve spent the better part of three days having an argument via personal message with a moderator who cannot admit that he was wrong, and instead indulges in armchair psychoanalysis. “Skodt” is this worthy’s appellation.
The impetus for this whole thing was a poster that asked how to describe the smell and taste of pot.
Mr. Skodt chimed in, saying that he had no personal experience, but that burning weed smelled like skunk or like garbage. You know, that kinda cliched bullshit.
I basically told him he had his head up his ass, adding that I have had extensive personal experience which said that he was wrong.
He stood his ground. Still is standing the same ground, despite repeated proof. His ego cannot even conceive that he’s been schooled, and without effort.
His English usage is so bad that I could not reasonably call him a competent writer. He has no business teaching other people to do what he does.
I copied off all of the pm exchanges and sent the file to the administrators. Since I have been a longtime member, have been staff at this place, and have otherwise given my time and talent generously, I feel entitled to better treatment than writing messages to a sneering buffoon.
And not the only one. There’s a whole list of moderators and other staff who are just useless, who have no expertise in writing, publishing, or anything else, who feel free to give advice to similarly struggling people, most of them young.
From my “advanced perspective” (I’ve sold at last count one hundred and ten stories, thirty-two poems or lyrics, about two hundred news articles, and one book back in the 80s), this is maddening. It’s just clamor, and it has no direction.
I’m also tired of asking my friends on staff to mediate disputes that arise because people get their egos in an uproar when they’re hip-checked.
Another poster has a book coming out. She’s publishing through one of those pay-by-the-book schlock outfits, something that I ferreted out yesterday. She’s not good enough to publish traditionally, and apparently too stupid to do the research that would have resulted in a self or indie-pubbed volume. She refuses all help anyway. She knows what she is doing, in her own head.
Another cannot write coherently, edit, proof, or do anything resembling story, but claims that he will have a book out, has an editor and proofreader, and aspires to be an editor. I offered him a green visor I bought on eBay some time ago. Among other things.
These people need to be told the truth. I think it’s better that I do it than some editor or publisher do it when it counts. What happened to realistic self-assessment?
“Well, it has three 4-star reviews and two three-star reviews. I want to fire back at the 3-star reviewer because he only looked at the flaws and I only want smoke blown in my direction if not actually up my ass.”
I swear on a stack of Necronomicons that this is really the person’s attitude. It’s only slightly paraphrased.
I got a copy of the ebook from the publisher. Sad trash it is, about as literate and creative as Disney’s Mulan, a candidate for worst movie ever made in my not so humble opinion. Approximately as many grammarical/spelling errors per page as a Stephenie Meyer tome, and about as entertaining.
That’s the only review that will appear from this source. This party’s attitude has from the very start been so bad that I’m almost not sorry she’s being taken for a ride. And of course Moderator A refuses to do anything to help;it’s not his job.
The site almost slipped away before. I think it’s going this time. There’s no there, there, anymore. I haven’t had anything approaching an intelligent conversation since before my hernia surgery.
Sad. I know, your hearts bleed for me. I’ve pretty much decided not to go back, even if it means abandoning a couple of decent projects I have going. My former favorite part of the site, the monthly Literary Maneuvers, has been broken down by these dimbulbs and their demands also. My last entry, a first draft that I didn’t bother to edit, took the red ribbon.
It stopped being fun.
I don’t have time anymore, during those few precious hours when I can do what I want to do, to argue with people about anything. I sure as hell don’t want to be disrespected by some yutz forum mod with an ego problem.
So, in the spirit of Soundgarden’s Whitey Ford, here’s my take on the matter.
Hey, you. Yeah, you. Go fuck yourself. Do it in the road.
Hey, you, tyro writer with the gossamer skin. Fuck you too. Fuck you on wheels, with fire.
Hey, you writingforums litfic pencil dicks. Yeah, you. Fuck you with a rhino horn. When you turn to profile, I can see the sun through your ears.
This has been a recording.
names: Skodt, Lewdog, Shadowalker, Jamie. If you go there, you are forewarned of their assholishness. There Are more, but that’s a good start.
Hell, even some of the mods agree, but feel powerless to do anything. That speaks volumes.