The Poison of Fandoms

First off, I want to say thank you to all those who still visited my blog, in spite of zero posts last month. A life of work and sleep leaves you little time to juggle all of the other parts of your life.

My last post was about Twilight Sparkle of MLP. I’ve watched more of the show in bits, and though she is still my favorite of the main/mane cast for personality, my most favorite characters are the setting’s rulers. However, this post isn’t about that.

I’ve been a part of fandoms, starting with the Sims, for seven years. I found out later on it was a grave mistake. Every fandom I’ve joined, especially those with a large following, proved itself to be a cesspool of poison. Essentially, there were rules about what made you a “true fan”, certain opinions were not allowed, and admins of certain areas proved to be extremely biased. Knowing this, it was very much against my better judgement to join a Facebook group for MLP, but in my new love for the show and excitement for the movie, I did. Within two days, I resigned. I suppose that’s a record.

The reason I left is, apparently, a fictional movie about ponies is serious business. So serious, any posted spoilers about said movie warranted banning any member who did so, and the admins, unsurprisingly, refused to consider they could be acting unreasonably (then again, I suppose that’s to be expected from someone who considers being the admin of a Facebook group a job). Remember, we are talking about a film of animation. Not poverty, war, hunger, homelessness, crime, abuse, or any other truly serious issue. A film aimed at under-aged girls. I love cartoons, something I’ve made very evident over the years, but it is not that serious. And I say this having bought an MLP shirt from the kids section at my job because it could fit me.

While the bright side is I wasn’t alone in my opinion (other members of the group agreed and were probably shortly kicked out, and members of the Disney group I’m in agreed that was out of line as well), it saddens me how difficult it is to find a community of any fandom that is rational and tolerant. It seems the only exception to this rule are small communities, which truly is a shame. Having had my love of so many things murdered by their fandoms, one of which I ranted about for a good while, I certainly didn’t want my merely one-month-old love of MLP to fall to the same fate, especially not at the childishness of Facebook warriors in a group I was a part of for two days, and with the movie coming out so soon. I left before my love for the show could take a heavy hit. But I can’t say I’m not disappointed with how poorly things turned out. Perhaps it was deserved for allowing my excitement to cloud my better judgment against joining the group to begin with.

I realize it is the internet, and social media websites in particular are notorious for being wells of addictive, yet poisonous muck. As much as I dislike it, it makes me understand the stereotype of people in fandoms being anti-social recluses with little going on in their lives. It’s a painful thing to admit, possessing so many loves of so much light-hearted media myself, but the toxicity I’ve found across so many fandoms isn’t allowing me to deny or be confused about why the stereotype exists. After all, why would someone who is content and enjoying their life feel the need to be controlling over something so trivial? The internet permits a huge amount of imaginary power, and power is addicting.

Of course, in the end, fandoms aren’t needed to keep a love of something going. I still have every intention of seeing MLP’s film and I am still very much fawning over the show. While the show’s lessons are occasionally questionable, perhaps the admins of that group missed the second half of the title: friendship is magic. I’m sure Twilight Sparkle, the princess of friendship, would be disappointed.

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Spoiled Like A Princess

First off, Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I figured I may as well throw it in since I’m posting on the holiday.

For someone who wants no children, I talk about them a lot. Then again, I have a strange knack for talking a lot about things I don’t have, whether I want them or not. Don’t ask. Chalk it up to “I think a lot”.

Yesterday, I saw a video on Facebook about a mother who takes her daughter to Disneyland several times a year because they have annual passes and live about 20 minutes away from the park. She sews costumes for her daughter. My first thought was, “Yeah, this is why I don’t need a daughter.”

I can’t deny it’s because I myself am female, but if I had a daughter, she would undoubtedly be a spoiled princess (or tomboy, if she preferred that)! If I had the finances and lived very close to Disneyland, it’s a safe bet she’d be going everyday. My only regret would be I couldn’t wear the costumes with her. Disneyland forbids guests over age 14 from wearing costumes. I understand the reason for the rule, but it’s one of the reasons I lost my desire to go years ago. Oh, well.

Funnily enough, my boyfriend also agrees. When I showed up him the video and told him the above, he replied we’d both spoil our non-existent daughter if we could. I was a little surprised to hear him say that because he does not like taking care of kids at all. The next thing he said was: “If I had the money, I would be spoiling [his niece].”

To me, it’s genuinely one of the cutest things he’s ever said. His niece is the exception to his dislike of caring for kids. Even I have to admit I love his niece, despite having zero familial relationship to her and only seeing her a handful of times, and she also likes me, to the point she was once screaming she wanted me after seeing me when I hadn’t been around her for some time.

However, it still prefaces why neither of us needs kids. We want the adorable parts of raising a child without the awful parts, but there’s no way to separate the two. It’s the reason I stick to fantasy and Sims games, and he sticks to being devoted to his niece. Children aren’t novelties. Dolls are for dressing up and parading around. There’s so much more to children, and they deserve parents who are willing to take all the awfulness along with the cuteness. I regularly hear raising children is 90% awful and only 10% good, but the 10% makes up for the 90%. I think it’s only worth it if you’re willing to accept those odds from the start, and even some people who are already parents aren’t. Ouch.

Still, I also think it’s ironic and a bit funny two people who do not want their own kids think nothing of spoiling our hypothetical child if she did exist. Or he. The mother from the video also has a son who she lets get in on the fun. I only emphasize “daughter” because the video mainly focuses on the daughter.

Classism?

I had a very interesting “discussion” earlier today… if you can call someone throwing around insults like an elementary schooler because you don’t agree with them a discussion.

It seems it’s considered “classist” by some people to suggest it’s best to wait until one can afford to have a child before actually having a child.

Now, I do understand how that statement can be taken wrongly, but most people who say this are referring to being capable of, at the very least, providing for a child’s basic needs – food, clothing, and shelter – before having them.

Apparently, however, even that suggests a prejudice against poor people. Never mind I’ve most often heard that statement from people who know the hell growing up without enough food to eat really is.

Before I continue, let me say this: I am well aware situations can change over time. This statement refers to those who do not have any children, not someone who already is a parent, or whose financial circumstances crumbled after their children were born. No, this refers to someone who is currently struggling and, for whatever reason, chooses to bring a child into their struggle and, as a result, struggles to provide for that child, or ultimately cannot provide for that child, because of what their situation already was.

With that clarity out of the way, I truly fail to see how suggesting it’s best to be certain you can fulfill a child’s basic necessities before you actually have a child is “classist”. Even if you can provide nothing more than basic necessities, you are still able to provide for that child. It’s the bare minimum, but it’s still enough to keep the child alive. Somehow, no matter how many times I explained this, it was read as me saying “if you’re poor, don’t have children”. Interestingly, I never mentioned a particular social or economic class. That assumption came out of the mouth of the people arguing against it.

Let me use myself as an example. I don’t have any children and I don’t plan to. If, however, I somehow changed my mind on that and decided to have a child… that child would die. That sounds morbid, but the job I have cannot even provide me with shelter for myself. So, where would I attain shelter for my child from? Now, I could provide food and I could provide clothes… but where would I put them? I could keep the child in one outfit, so that takes care of the clothing necessity, but that child will become hungry over and over. Without shelter, where will I store the food? Or do I buy food every time the child’s hungry since I can’t store it? And where does the baby sleep? Where do I bathe this baby? Uh-oh. This is a problem. My child has no shelter!

Now, knowing full well I have no capability of providing that child with something so fundamental, why would I go on to have a child? Answer: I wouldn’t. Because I know I can’t!

Yet, that’s “classist”. Now, here’s the trick question: Did I say I wouldn’t have a child because I was poor or did I say I wouldn’t have a child because I could provide food and clothes, but not shelter?

Time’s up. The answer is: Because I couldn’t provide shelter. Everything in that paragraph refers to the child’s needs and my incapability of meeting those needs, or at least one of them.

And that is the gist of it. If anything would prevent someone from providing the basic needs that keep their child alive, no matter what that reason is, to willingly bring in a child into the world while fully aware of that knowledge is irresponsible. My belief isn’t that poor people shouldn’t have children. My belief is anyone who knows ahead of time they cannot fulfill the most basic needs of a child shouldn’t go on to have a child until that changes. Economic class be damned.

However, let’s say for a moment this is “classist”. What difference does it make? At the end of the day, there is a child whose needs cannot be met by their parent(s). Somebody must feed, clothe, and give shelter to that child. If the parent(s) cannot do it, the child will either die of neglect or be relinquished from the parent(s) for that neglect.

There is a somewhat popular meme that says when people talk about getting a pet, they are constantly reminded of the responsibilities of owning said pet, but when people talk about not having a child due not being able to provide for said child, they are told they’ll “figure things out” or “God will provide”. I have heard more times than I care to count there is no “perfect time” to have child, but the idea of hoping things will just fall into place seems like a dangerous gamble to take with a responsibility that’s obviously much larger than a pet. If that gamble falls favorably, that’s wonderful. If it doesn’t, there will be consequences and the child will undoubtedly suffer the brunt of them.

Of course, in the end, it’s not my business and the responsibility of providing for that child is not mine. However, I think about this because, despite my lack of desire for parenthood, I don’t like the idea of any child being neglected. It is in no way fair to force a child into a situation where their needs cannot be met, and “life isn’t fair” should only refer to unavoidable events. Children should and deserve to be born into homes where their needs being met isn’t a worry.

To speak specifically about poverty, if someone is poor, but can still provide their child’s basic needs, there is not a problem. That child is fed, clothed, and has shelter. There is no issue here. If they are, unfortunately, too poor to provide those needs, there is a big problem. The message is not “Poor people shouldn’t have children because they’re poor.” The message is “People who know they cannot provide for a child’s basic needs shouldn’t have children because they can’t provide for the children’s needs.”

And if that is indeed classist, so be it. I care much more that a child’s needs are met than someone pointing a finger at me and screaming I’m classist. Of course, I would not tell any person they can’t have a child in the first place, no matter what their situation currently was. As I already said, it’s not my business and it’s not as if anything would stop them anyway. I only hope, for the sake of their child, they are certain.

I Called It

I was sent a very interesting article this morning.

EA’s Origin Might Delete Games From Your Account Without Warning

I knew it. I knew it. I absolutely knew it!
Really, what else could be expected when you have no option besides virtual possession of your buys? The user the article speaks about got the removed game back, but only after going through a big hassle to do it. EA did not want to give back that game. They basically only did it because that user was persistent. And as the article notes, other users had a similar problem.

If a company decides to pull your virtual purchases, you have to hope you’re stubborn enough to fight to get them back. Otherwise, you’re out of luck. This isn’t illegal. You have no real possession of that product. The extent of your ownership is a server you have to log into. The company can take them back whenever they want and if you don’t possess the energy for persistence, your only option is to get over it and move on.

Granted, it could’ve been much worse. This user lost one game. The server could’ve been hacked or shut down, meaning all their games would’ve been lost. Something tells me that story is somewhere on the horizon, and it’s getting closer.

Now, tell me again digital download only is the best.

The Irony Is Murderous

Remember I mentioned the person who told lies about me prided herself on not sending hate?

The friend of mine who follows her reblogged something from her. Guess what it is? A Winx-hate bingo card. And she made it because she felt “extra petty” that day.

Well, I guess being “extra petty” explains why she lied about and falsely accused me of things. She certainly has no grounds to be claiming maturity (neither do I, but I’ve never claimed such or acted like I do).

Yes, I realize I talk about this a lot and I’ve no doubt those of you who often read this blog are tired of it, but when I discovered that from my friend’s blog, I couldn’t not share it. For someone who claims fans of the older stuff are “nostalgic and biased”, she sure has one of her own against people who don’t think like her (like that wasn’t obvious enough).

As the title of this post says, the irony is murderous.

Label You, Not Me

Labels are a popular topic on social media, especially in places like Tumblr that preach about not letting labels define you (ironically, while tossing them about like candy). Personally, I think it’s fine if you want to refer to yourself as something and label yourself, but not a good idea to let other people do it. Why? Well, that should be obvious. You get situations like what happened to me. And that’s a light example, compared to most of the things I’ve had said about me, both behind my back and to my face.

It’s funny how we can know what someone says about us isn’t true, but it can still bother us. Maybe because such people have the audacity to tell lies in the first place. Really, I don’t know what I expected from someone with that blog URL. That really should’ve make it obvious the person behind that blog is the type to tell lies and make false accusations.

The reason this comes to mind is out of everything I’ve ever been called, why am I treating “nostalgic” like a crisis? Or “blind”? Or “biased”? Or even “hater”? First of all, I am blind anyway. That’s why I wear eyeglasses. I have been called racial slurs before. Kindergartners have outdone that person when it comes to insults and I’m talking about back when I was one.

I’ve mentioned at least once before I like making lists. So, I’m going to do just that. Let’s go down the list of “nostalgic, blind, biased hater” and see how far we get.

Nostalgic

Let’s see. I saw Zootopia back in March and Try Everything is in my playlist. I saw The Jungle Book in April and the very awesome remix of The Bare Necessities is also in said playlist. Other movies I’m looking forward to are Storks and the new Disney Princess movie, Moana. And let’s not forget I enjoyed Inside Out, Big Hero 6, and…oh, yeah. I’m obsessed with Frozen and Frozen Fever. Did I mention those last two are actually hated so much, anyone who likes them is essentially deemed to not have a brain of their own? I’m also planning to watch Disney’s new show, Elena of Avalor, when it’s released. That’ll be the first show I’ve watched regularly on Disney Junior.

Blind

I wear eyeglasses, so physically, I am blind. What am I supposed to do about that? Talk to my genetics. Or my eyeballs. Whichever. Non-physically? You know what? I wish I was blind! Then, I wouldn’t see and be scarred by even half the nonsense I’ve dealt with over my life. Maybe being blind would’ve helped me deal with abuse and bullying better by virtue of not knowing it was happening. They do say ignorance is bliss, after all.

Biased

I’ve already talked about how deeming whoever doesn’t think like you is biased in itself, so I don’t need to delve much into this one. Let me sum it up: they’re called preferences. Just like how I think blue is a nicer color than pink. If we go with this “you only like something better because you grew up with it” logic (and I’ve already explained the fallacy in that regarding myself too!), I should despise blue and adore pink. But I don’t. I like pink, but it’s definitely not my favorite color and I do think blue is nicer. Make it blue!

Hater

I yell. I’m hot-headed. I will never deny that. Hateful, however? Hmm. I have an idea. Go talk to my best friend and ask her how hateful I am. Talk to my boyfriend too. Also, talk to the kids I look after. You can even talk to some of my family members. I do hate some people, obviously, and I hate some things, like how violence exists. I’ve said before I’m a cynic. And yes, this is an interesting choice of an insult. You’d think a hater wouldn’t have loved ones, yet I do. In fact, one of those loved ones is my abuser, who I’ve tried numerous times to reconcile with and the attempts keep falling out. So much for that.

Wouldn’t you know? None of these insults are true. Of course, I knew that, but the person who throws them doesn’t know that about me or anyone else these words have been thrown at. And how could they? It really does stun me how after all the nonsense I’ve dealt with, I can still be shocked people make snap judgements like that. Then again, I do it too, hence why I’ve been trying to teach myself not to do that. It’s harder than it seems, but if I weren’t trying, I wouldn’t write posts like these.

It will never sit well with me someone could tell lies about and falsely accuse me of things with no repercussions, but at the same time, it’s another thing I’m used to. My bullies got away with their actions, my abuser got away with hers, so why wouldn’t someone who tells lies about me on the internet, a place of complete anonymity if one allows, get away with their actions as well?

Plus, there’s the simple fact someone will always hate someone else and have trash to say. There’s nothing that can ever be done about that.