Since Donald Trump walked through the White House door to become America’s ‘bully in chief,’ we’ve noticed that there seems to be a seething anger and frustration among people who have begun to follow his lead online.
Presidents set the tone of the country, and we all know that the tones he is setting off are very unsettling, and in the past year cyberbullying has stepped up. It’s always been there, but when our leader is using Twitter as a weapon against voices he doesn’t like (or who disagree with him), it gives permission for others to follow suit.
To me, using the “Supernatural” fandom was shining a light on a microcosm which reflects how Trump is infecting our country with his hatred, racism, and bullying. While we were considering how to tackle this subject objectively, one of our writers mentioned a piece on Tumblr which really stood out to me for just saying it like it was. Rather than tiptoe around and try to appeal to everyone, this writer put it out there and held the mirror up for everyone to look at themselves. I personally liked the idea of having a real diehard “Supernatural” fan be the voice of the piece.
It came as no surprise that while many felt a sense of relief that ‘someone had finally said it,’ a small minority tried spreading their vitriol to disavow it. Even going so far as slandering us, and I would like to personally thank Entertainment Weekly for being so supportive with one person’s false claims.
The wonderful thing about holding a mirror up is that the real bullies wound up showing everyone exactly who they were on social media. They are using the exact same tactics that Donald Trump uses on Twitter by attacking, and when hit with a rational answer, they throw out a shiny object to distract from the fact that logic and rational thought is something they don’t deal with very well.
This was exactly why this piece was so important to me as we are allowing Trump to infect aspects of our lives that should be reserved in the form of entertainment. A show like “Supernatural” is a great way of escaping the fact that 26 people were shot to death in church this past Sunday, 30 people die every day in this country from guns but the Republicans and NRA tell us that by talking about it we’re politicizing a tragedy, the people in Washington that should be working for us are screwing over the middle class and lower income people by trying to take away their health care while raising their taxes.
With the way things are in America right now, we need a form of escapism so when this small minority needing attention tried to spoil a show like “Supernatural” for everyone; the time seemed right to discuss this. It wasn’t to dredge up old news as this group never seems to stop and every day they choose a new person or actor to go after.
Can you imagine: if the person on Twitter who literally spent over nine hours yesterday trying to round up people to force us to take the cyberbullying article down from our site used that time to call their local elected officials or volunteered for a cause they believe in, they could bring so much positive change into the world. That was another big reason for covering this topic.
When Trump was elected one year ago, I went through the same anger, frustration, and depression, but rather than lash out wildly; I realized that by showing our readers what Trump and the government were doing it would be more proactive and way more fulfilling. We can all make a positive change and realize that all the pent-up anger can be released this way rather than clubbing each other over the heads continuously.
Having lost a close friend of MTTG to suicide after being cyberbullied, here is a link to help that from happening to others.
So in response to questions asked about the previous article, we felt it only right to allow Surflove808 to answer the critics. We know that you can never satisfy everyone, this fills in those gaps that this small minority has tried to fill with hatred, lies, and innuendo.
So again, we thank Surflove808 for allowing us to reprint her piece of mind. This is the author’s opinion, and we respect it as we do all opinions. (this has not been edited and is in its original form)
Regarding my blog post re: The Joke Debacle, most everyone has been so thoughtful, mature, kind and open-minded about the discussion matter, even if they didn’t necessarily agree with me. So that right there, shows me that it’s possible for all of us to be more understanding with each other regardless of our ships or faves or whatever. And I’m an open-minded, open book, so even if you don’t agree with me, this is a safe place to vent concerns or frustrations with what I say. We can all respectfully disagree, meet in the middle or go just back to our own corners. Whatever.
I’d like to encourage those of you who are taking your frustrations out on anyone who agrees with points made in my article (on Twitter or wherever) to come speak directly to me if you have an issue. I wrote it, after all. My blog is helpfully linked right there in the article. I don’t bite. And for those of you who aren’t overly familiar with what’s going on, please check out the many, many comments attached to my actual blog post, and you will be able to see that there are far more people that are fed up with these bad apples, than there are bad apples. I hope. And if there are apples that don’t feel like they’re being given a fair shake, I’d like to hear from those apples too.
When I posted my angry rant last week, I didn’t expect it to gain so much traction. But it did…and it showed me I wasn’t alone, and that there are a lot of fed up fans out there, and justifiably so, who are looking for an end to this ridiculous inner-fandom civil war. I’m relatively new to Tumblr. I wasn’t expecting to become the unofficial mouthpiece for this issue.
I was approached by movietvtechgeeks.com asking if they could use my blog post in an article about the cyberbullying that’s happening in this fandom, so I said “Sure!” I’m honored that someone would want to print my rambling. But of course, it’s also opened up the floor on Twitter, yet again, for certain people to deliberately misconstrue the content and twist it to suit their own agenda in the comment sections. What they fail to realize is…they’re only proving why we needed this article in the first place. So, joke’s on them!! However…. now I feel obligated to come on here and clarify my intent and that’s friggin irritating.
Here is the article if you want to take a look see:
— Movie TV Tech Geeks (@movietvtechgeek) November 6, 2017
I NEED TO MAKE A FEW THINGS CRYSTAL CLEAR (apparently):
- I don’t have a ship. I don’t dislike shippers. (Ship away! I just dislike pushy people with no sense of boundaries) So please do not misconstrue anything I say as promoting or denigrating *a* ship. You do you. Let me do me. Well, that sounded vaguely dirty… you know what I mean. I’m just gonna ship me with myself now. Nobody can love me quite like me.
- I don’t stan an actor, and I don’t think that because someone likes “another” actor (whomever that might be) more, that it’s a direct affront to me or them. I tag all these “relevant to the post” actors because I think they’re all relevant to the success of this show, and sadly….also to this juvenile ridiculousness that seems to be brewing between fan factions.
But, if I’m being honest? Full disclosure: I do have a favorite! Jensen. Heyyyoooo! I think he’s an incredibly talented actor IN MY OPINION, and I like his extraordinarily expressive face. See? Simple as that. Is that a problem? And do you feel better now that it’s out in the open?
We can all have opinions, and favorites without “throwing feces like howler monkeys” to quote a certain dickhead angel. And as far as personalities and talent go? They’re all amazing, and they all belong, IN MY OPINION. The main cast, the supporting cast, new castmates, former castmates…. they all just…gel. You know? It’s some kind of voodoo magic. And they’re by all accounts, really decent people doing good things out there in the world. Without any one of them, it wouldn’t be the show we all know and love. And if you don’t love the SHOW, well….I guess fucking go watch something else? Right??
Listen….Unless you’re tied to a chair Clockwork Orange-style, and being force fed this show by some evil, covert government agency… you DO have other choices.
- I sucked it up and joined Twitter because there seems to be an attack dog, hive-mind situation happening that seems hell bent on cowing people into submission. That shit doesn’t fly with me. And if I’m on there and see bullying, damaging misinformation or harassment… I’m going to get in the fray. But I’m going to TRY to do it with honesty, integrity and a sense of humor. I want to sit at the adults table on Turkey Day. Not at the kids table with Weird Uncle Augustus. Know what I mean? Don’t be that guy.
AND ONCE MORE FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK: To be clear – I’m not speaking to ONE specific group of people. However, if you look into the mirror I’m holding up and see your own reflection? I’m probably talking to you.
4. I’m not going to choose a “side.” I choose the show, it’s actors, crew, writers, etc, collectively. Because they all work their asses off, both on and off the set to give us fans so much more than just entertainment.
5. If someone wanted to hold a mirror up to this fandom right now, via a juicy documentary on the ship wars, fighting factions, undermining, conspiracy theories, revenge tactics, harassment campaigns, etc…. I think its safe to say, we’re all gonna be pretty fucking embarrassed. Let’s hope that never happens. I’m cringing just thinking about it. But we deserve it, if we keep on with this petty bullshit, ya know?
6. My blog post was not about for J2 “stans” or about Misha “stans,”for gods sake people. This post was about how splinter groups (for lack of a better term) were being damaging and disruptive (As they do.) and how it’s bad for EVERYONE when we let warring factions steamroll over everyone else, AND each other. This post was a direct response to the organized and brutally efficient Twitter campaign that somehow found its way into the laps of a handful of online news sites in an effort to publicize an off-color joke in order to take advantage of the current climate in the entertainment industry and start a viral witch hunt. *I just ran out of breath. Time for a James Brown pause*
7. My post was also aimed at the Twitter spamming campaigns that Shatner and Pellegrino, as well as J2 had to put up with in the past few weeks. And don’t feed us that horseshit about them bullying the poor fans that spoke their minds. NO. You collectively went on, and started shit, kept coming at them, and they defended themselves. And rather maturely, considering. It’s about groups of people that have gotten so wrapped up and out of control, that they’re poisoning this fan family. I genuinely feel concerned that some folks are confusing reality with fiction, here.
8. If you look back farther on my Tumblr page (?) to the good ol days of last Thursday (?) – particularly the Silent Majority post – that post is not in reference to anyfan or any actor, specifically. It’s in reference to the majority of fans who want to do the right thing, WANT to help out, WANT to just enjoy the damn show without all this drama and hate. But because they’re quiet, and they’re not able to speak their minds without fear of retribution…. they’re vastly under-represented. And so, the assholes of the fandom run amok unchallenged. THAT’S the majority I’m speaking of.
9. I abhor anyone that lurks around on social media looking for people to mess with. So, imagine my surprise and disappointment that now I’M that person, because of this fucking shit!! I’m only getting after people who are picking on others, but still… lurking, arguing. Utter waste of valuable time. Yours and mine.
Saturday night I apparently pissed off the leader of one of the SPN gangs (what do you call them??) when I called her out on her behavior and was ominously told: “Wanna see what happens when I tell my followers what to think and do.” To which I responded “I already have. And it’s deplorable” And then offered to provide her with my name, # and home address. She didn’t want it. I don’t know why. I thought it was funny! I NEVER get hate mail… and I was looking forward to some postcards. I’m old school that way. Don’t hate tweet me. Send me a hate postcard featuring something cool from your state.
Jokes aside….that’s the kind of crap that mobilized me in the first place.
I tried to have a reasonable conversation with this individual and even asked if she wanted to take it offline and talk. I followed her lead, conversationally, did snark back when required…but just when I thought we were going to have a reasonable discussion, she pulled the rug out. I tried. If you’re reading this and you feel misrepresented, or misunderstood, or you’re trying to misrepresent our conversation – the door is still open if you want to talk. But I’m not going to tolerate your bullshit, and neither should anyone else.
Who ARE these people? And why is this happening? That’s my question.
- I’m not here to listen to arguments that a 6-year old might find compelling in a court of law, such as: Well, Jensen told that joke a year ago, or Misha said ‘this that and the other thing’ back in the day…so why are you only talking about Jared’s joke?
Well…because this is not a tit-for-tat thing. I’m talking about the issue that is relevant RIGHT NOW. And this is far from a “blame it on Jared” thing. I feel awful for the guy. For both of them for even being looped into this insanity. The intent of my blog post was to address very current events that have been demonstrative of the current, toxic climate brewing in the SPN fandom. I’m NOT here to write the Unabridged History of SPN Actors and Their Fondness for Off-Color Jokes.
- If you’re all wound up and offended by what I wrote? It’s probably because I wrote this blog post not for you, but about you. OR, you’ve not been provided with context, content or clarity, and you got swept up in this manufactured hysteria and reacted. OR, you think I’m a total asshole, and that’s ok. I get it! And I understand how my post could make some of you defensive and prickly. But hey, as the saying goes… don’t start none, won’t BE none. On the flip side, as someone eloquently stated (ahem, Carol Hansson) “It’s ok to be offended….it’s also ok to not be offended.”
- I am not a rape apologist. And neither are the actors. And to even insinuate that any of us, by extension of supporting Jared or Jensen in this situation, are pro “rape culture,” is appropriating a term and using it so irresponsibly that you’re negating the real suffering of sexual abuse survivors. The more you trivialize it, the more you take away its power. Stop using manufactured concern for survivors as your jumping-off point for harassment, and START asking yourself what’s really motivating you to use that argument as an excuse for your behavior. BTW, #Metoo, and you sure as hell don’t represent ME.
If you want to see a record of this casts achievements for mental health awareness, LGBTQ rights, anti-bullying and women’s issues, to name a few – it’s a simple Google search away. That’s on your time. Not mine. Again….not here to write their autobiography. This piece is an opinion piece. I try to be balanced, but that’s as far as it goes. I’m not CNN.
- MISHA: Misha was not mentioned in my post because Misha was not under fire last week or the week before over this stupid bullshit. If I SEE that happening, I’ll write about THAT. But HE was not the focus of this mess. So I left HIM out of it. Does that make sense? And also? I’m not here to equally represent all actors at all times. That’s not how this works in the context of the subject matter at hand. If you want to see more adequate representation for your favorite actor – write your own op-ed. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
And Misha as well as J2, are probably more than a little appalled that some of their biggest fans (?) are committing to some shady behavior in their honor and in their names. Just a guess. They’re good guys, and this is probably not sanctioned behavior. If you think it is? Show me the receipts. Let’s do this honestly, using facts. Not conjecture.
- No, I do not excuse anyone’s behavior because of their physical attractiveness. Neither do most people. I am not a child (Thank you, Uma Thurman), and I don’t rationalize like a child.
- No, I am not doing this to seek approval from the actors, and neither is anyone else with the #istandwithJ2 hashtag. As previously stated, this is an equal and opposite reaction to the bullshit that brought us all here today. You’re grasping at straws at this point, if that’s the argument you’re going with. Speaking on my own behalf, I have nothing to gain here, except some new Tumblr friends with a side of troll.
- To reiterate on previous posts – I’m hoping that all of us will collectively start sticking up for each other when we see someone harassing a fellow fan online. Even if you don’t want to comment….maybe give the person being flamed those little heart thingys (likes?). Direct message them if liking their post doesn’t feel safe. Show them your support in some way, so that they don’t feel alone and so that they don’t feel quite so vulnerable to attacks from online bullies. We Have Got To Start Backing Up People who are just trying to express their opinions respectfully and are being slammed with responses that are belligerent, demeaning, threatening, obnoxious, etc. Otherwise – these jerks will just keep steamrolling right over the more gentle viewers out there. And a lot of them, are just kids. And this goes both ways. It has to, in order to be effective.
If you see something – say something. That’s my 2 cents anyway.
The world’s going to Hell in a handbasket, 26 innocent people were gunned down yesterday in a place they held sacred and felt safe in, and it just keeps happening.
Mother Nature has decided she’s sick of our shit and has been upending thousands of lives. There are actual sexual predators in some of our pasts and sadly, in some of our futures. And this “joke” has no relevancy or bearing on that sad fact.
Women, people of color, LGBTQ people, economically fragile people, physically fragile people, etc…are seeing their protections, rights and livelihoods eroded away in an alarmingly short period of time, and the list goes on and on… and THIS is what we’re dedicating our mental and emotional resources to?
This show is supposed to be an escape from reality, guys. Not actual reality.
Why are we harassing the actors and fellow fans of a television show that brought us all together in the first place? This is entertainment, people. I know how important this show is to all of us. And I know how impactful the message of this show has been. And I know that without this show, some of us might not be here today. We are some passionate sumbitches. I GET THAT.
The question still remains…. what in the actual fuck are we really fighting for and about, here? If someone can quantify and explain that to me in a way that makes sense, I’m all ears.
Has it really come to: “Maybe we need to devise a more sophisticated tagging situation so that people don’t keep dipping their chocolate in other peoples peanut butter.” I don’t know. But this is Nth level ridiculousness, and we need to figure it out before it gets even worse.
For now, I’m going to get back to enjoying this show for what it is, and putting my beautiful brain back to work on more important matters. I’ve spent a week in this muck, and it’s been… enlightening. I’ll say that.
And even though I don’t agree with some of you – I can see by the CSI-level attention to detail that a lot of us have applied to all things SPN… that we could actually be mobilized into an almost unstoppable force for real good and real change. If we wanted that.
We could probably figure out who ordered JFK’s assassination. Figure out where Jimmy Hoffa’s buried. Solve the mysteries of the pyramids…. help reunite missing kids with their families…Get Trump impeached… ahem. You get it.
Or we could just keep wasting our pent-up aggression on other fans, and the actors of our favorite show. Because that’s easy. Choices.
There, now I can drop the mic.