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The Final Pillar Falls

I'm officially retiring as a member or anything notable from the Fire Emblem fandom.

Last November, when I finally gave up FESS's ghost, I sent my members to Serenes' Forest. I felt that the site had a strong membership, had momentum, and a root that, while young and learning, was smart and could figure out what was going on. I felt the fandom was in good hands, as I felt that while FESS wasn't dead, it needed more work than I was capable of giving it, and I didn't want to let it rot.

Ten months after that fact, I feel like I made a big mistake. Josh is essentially running his site into the ground, and any attempts at helping him along have been either too caustic (Blacken, sometimes Fox), or ignored altogether, sometimes deleted to protect Josh's tenuous grasp on "respect" that a bunch of 14 year olds have for him. Having observed him for the past ten months, and his reactions to problems that have arisen, I've determined that he's completely incapable as the root administrator of his forum. He goes on and on about respect, completely misunderstanding the whole point of it is that it has to be earned, and that having an administrative position on a message board does not automatically grant the respect he so deeply desires and will enforce. His reactions to anything and everything, from Blacken to the ticket system to his staff, at first, I thought was disingenuous and some sneaky plot to ensure that he stayed in power, but the more I think about it, I don't find this to be the case. With Popo's resignation, the problem was that she told him about it, and he barely told her anything, almost as if he was hoping it would go away. She kept telling him and telling him, and he kept pretty much ignoring it, until she came out and finally said "I'm retiring" in public, and mentioning that she told Josh for three weeks. I called him out (PROTIP: I did not do that because of her line, I did that because I knew it was three weeks, so Anna didn't "cause" me to spout off, Josh; I did. I was going to say something anyway), and of course, that led to a discussion, grew into drama, etc. It's ANNA'S fault because she egged me on! (Wrong) It's MY fault because I didn't have my facts straight! (Wrong again; I had the facts before he did). It's BLACKEN'S fault, because he's Blacken! (LOL). Meanwhile, Blacken stood on the sidelines, clapping like a drunken circus seal.

I thought about this, and the more I think about this, the less I think it's a case of Josh hoping a problem goes away. I honestly think Josh, in his mind, honestly thought he was handling this correctly. He honestly thought this wouldn't be handled by the public the way it is, which of course contributes to the ideal that everyone is against him forever and just wants to see him fail. He honestly is so socially inept that he doesn't underestand what the fuss is about. He's not some mastermind clumsily trying to play politics, he's fucking Rain Man waiting for Wopner! In other words, he's not a bad politician, he's just incompetent at the main part of his job - dealing with his members that aren't 15 and compliant - and due to the pressure he's feeling, is starting to fight back the only way he knows how: discipline, warnings, and ultimately bannings. Whereas I very rarely let the negative aspects of my personality - my temper and sometimes arrogant nature - interfere with the way I ran my community, and did something about it when they did, Josh runs his community - a community that, again, I personally endorsed - almost totally based on his flaws: his lack of confidence in his ability, his lack of respect from his members, either perceived or real, and his impulsive decision making tendencies.

Quite frankly, Josh does not have the balls to ban Superbus. He respects Chris but fears Superbus, which I honestly don't even have the energy to dissuade him from anymore; kinda like the same way I like Josh, but think Otosareta Tenshi is at best incapable, and at worst the same obsessive little boy I banned back in 2004. But I do not wish to test this; he doesn't have my respect enough as an administrator for me to allow him to ban me, on any grounds. The irony would be too much for me to bear, as would the shame of a realisation that someone that foolish has any control over me whatsoever. I am fully aware that if Josh could find it politically possible to ban me with a minimum of fightback from the public, he would. I refuse to grant him the justification. I refuse to go out on someone else's terms.

The final straw for me was something that mel_makoro said in her Facebook; she stated that she didn't understand why some people insisted on hanging around at places that clearly either made them miserable or brought out the worst in them when they could just as soon leave. I felt this was aimed almost squarely at me, and at first, I bristled at the statement; it was very passive-aggressive, and I didn't like what was being intoned. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought it made sense. I only post at two boards on Serenes - General and Other Games, because the statfags have taken over the FE boards, and any attempts to change the subject lead to open parodies by people too stupid to understand what I'm saying - and barely even say much. I posted in some debates, but unless Crystal's involved, trying to debate there is kinda like trying to have a sexual relationship with my hand; there's little resistance, it's not altogether satisfying, and in the end it just makes a mess. I have absolutely zero respect for any of the other boards, such as FEFF and FEP. And in reality, a lot of even Josh's members don't know what FESS was or why it was relevant - or in typical teenage 'net anarchist fashion, disparage it as being so 2005 or some shit - and therefore, any clout I have just by being Superbus wanes by the day, until the day when Josh feels it safe to get rid of me the way he got rid of Blacken in one of his "oopsie" moments.

Therefore, I've decided to retire myself from the fandom for good. This is a bit depressing if only because I now know that my last act of true leadership - sending my members to SF when we closed - was a mistake, and that the things I gave Josh - a membership spike, and two outstanding staff members - have since been totally wasted by his rule. I guess there's always the Ashtray - Fox made an announcement there - but I have little desire to be a part of a board that is clearly and totally around at this point specifically to not be Serenes' Forest. The only reason there's activity now is because the natives are restless with the fandom, and I'm sure in a month it will die again as Blacken ignores it because he found another shiny thing to play with. In the meantime, I'm sure they'll give weight to the notion that they're "out" to get Josh and SF just by acting like idiots in their chat.

I have no intention of stating this on SF; threads like that just become overly dramatic, and I think Josh or one of his mods would delete or close it with a quickness that I can't comprehend, though I can't fault that as I would too. That, and I just never really respected leaving topics. I prefer to keep that to my own forum - my LJ, which is read by anyone I still care about in the fandom - and not clutter up his boards with it. I'm not even sure I'm still relevant enough except to people like WyvernSageLord for it to be a "big deal", anyway.

There are some positives to this. For one, I really did grow out of the fandom, and basically only stuck around because I felt like it was some sort of duty that I had to see out, which is really why I took the reins of FESS again after Jet and Zeph went cuckoo. This should enable me to make a clean break. Maybe now, Blacken will stop cackling like the fucking Joker whenever Josh does something silly. Maybe now, Josh can feel vindicated; after all, his poor leadership and terrible people skills have finally run Superbus out of the fandom, and another "threat" has been eradicated. Maybe now, I can see who my real friends are, as I've lost contact with so many people as they went onto other interests. And maybe now, I can focus on my writing and expanding my portfolio past DHGF, which is another story for another day.

The one thing that makes me sad about this is that there's a definite schism now between the "old" and the "new". The last notable names have all moved on. TF's barely around anymore, taken away by his real life work and mecha based anime. Cap has been gone for years, and finally left FEP to my knowledge after Exxeh foolishly gave him power. Eaichu and his pet girlfriend have reduced themselves to being useless trolls, mostly out of disgust (VERY disappointed in you BTW, Anne). Jet, if there's justice, is in jail somewhere. And I've finally left a fandom that was my home in disgust. In it's place are Vincent the Paper Admin, Josh, and whoever the fuck runs FEP and FEFF these days. I had hoped the fandom could continue to grow without me being involved in it, but between the games' poor American performance and the poor administration of the other sites, that's just not happening. Or maybe I'm letting one of my own vices - my arrogance - cloud my judgement.

I don't want people telling me how bad SF is in the future; I can see that for myself now, thank you. The reason I'm doing this is because I just don't care enough to do anything about it (if I did, Josh, your position WOULD be in danger), and wish to divorce myself from the situation fully at this point. I also hope that Blacken will finally stop with his fucking "I told you so"s, as for awhile, I heard of every bad thing on that board because Blacken decided it was time to go on another Crusade for something righteous; hopefully, by my leaving, he'll move onto something else as well and stop caring/paying attention to a fandom he clearly deems beneath him. Instead, I think I've made my peace at this point with what the period from 2004 - 2008 was; a time when I met a lot of great friends online, spring-boarded what I hope will be a lucrative online presence, met my future wife, and had a hell of a time.

It's just time to move on. Even if I know that I left on a losing streak, it's time to move on.

Comments

( 53 comments — Leave a comment )
hezul
Sep. 25th, 2009 10:40 am (UTC)
I can't help but find myself weirdly amused that FE fandom starts jerking off right as I've been sitting down to replay the games. It's like the cosmos is reminding me that no, I don't want to go back, one wanky video game fandom at once is about all I can handle.
superbus
Sep. 25th, 2009 11:09 am (UTC)
I used to think that I could help the fandom get past this shit; almost like "hey, there's a lot of wank, BUT I WILL CARRY US THROUGH".

Not only am I no longer under those illusions, I have to wonder if I was one of the major contributing factors to said wank, like what TF and Gunny have stated in the past.

I'm seriously questioning my leadership ability right now, because I almost feel like I should have done better.

Edited at 2009-09-25 11:09 am (UTC)
(no subject) - hezul - Sep. 25th, 2009 11:24 am (UTC) - Expand
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buddhamike
Sep. 25th, 2009 11:31 am (UTC)
I understand how you feel, believe me. It took every ounce of willpower for me to walk away from Popcorn Junkies. But at the end of the day, when I realized I was only sticking around out of a sense of obligation, and it was becoming way more work than fun, I knew it was time to walk away. When a passion becomes an obligation, it's time to find something new. You had a great run, but you're a lot more than Superbus, Fire Emblem icon. Time to find new ground to break.
superbus
Sep. 25th, 2009 11:41 am (UTC)
That statement makes me wonder how long Alex's going to stick with DHGF, honestly. This is why I'm working on two reviews and some demo articles right now; basically to take the pressure off of him and hopefully help bring him back around a bit. It's obvious he doesn't enjoy it anymore, and it's wearing on him. The situations mentioned - myself with the FE fandom, you with PJ, and Alex with DHGF, hell, I'll even include Scott Keith - sound eerily similar.
(no subject) - diehardgamefan - Sep. 25th, 2009 04:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
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blacken00100
Sep. 25th, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC)
Ten internets for you.

Perhaps eleven.
(no subject) - samuraiter - Sep. 26th, 2009 10:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - samuraiter - Sep. 26th, 2009 11:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
laylea
Sep. 25th, 2009 01:58 pm (UTC)
I can make my own decisions to troll a retarded situation, thank you extraordinarily much. I frankly don't care if you're disappointed. A bullshit situation deserves a bullshit response. And guess what -- you also contributed to said bullshit.

Pursuant to our conversation, this post amuses me terribly because you didn't arrive to this conclusion by yourself. You were the one who thought Josh was some plotting, double-talking villain trying to stay in power. I was the one who informed you that Josh is utterly socially incompetent, which is why this whole scuffle happened in the first place. Now you've written a monologue as if you came to this conclusion without any outside input in the least, without acknowledging your own wrongdoing in this situation.

But writing this is useless; I might as well post pictures of watermelons all over the place. It has the same effect.
superbus
Sep. 25th, 2009 02:06 pm (UTC)
You are right; I should have credited you with coming up with that. For those that are unaware - that being, everyone - I sat there while this latest bullshit was going on thinking that Josh was doing some sort of Illuminati type shit. It was Anne that broached the idea that he really was so inept socially that he really thought he was doing the right thing. I had to REALLY think about it to make it make sense... I still failed at that; I don't understand how someone can be that thick. But I don't think Josh is socially smart enough to be that good a politician, even in his bumbling way.

Is that what you wanted? Are you happy?
(no subject) - blacken00100 - Sep. 25th, 2009 07:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
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mel_makoro
Sep. 25th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC)
I will admit that the statement I posted on Facebook was in reaction to a comment you wrote on Serenes Forest. However, I was thinking of a couple of other people and a few past cases at the same time, which is probably why that comment on my Facebook came out as broadly/passive-aggressive as it did.

But seriously... why would anyone stick around a place that makes them miserable? You haven't had any love for forum stuff since well before ten months ago, and leaving an Internet forum really is as easy as just not going to it/signing into it anymore (that's basically what I did in either '06 or '07, and I wasn't even angry at anyone). I don't understand why people don't make such a simple, quiet move sooner.

Moreover, why go to a forum if all you're going to do is be a jerk in a blatant or not-so-blatant way? Why go to one forum, quote all the passages you think are stupid, and riff them on another forum? Why bother? These questions just beg another one: "Do you really have nothing better to do with your time?" The person who can answer that last question with a yes is sad, pathetically sad.

The only ways this event could really defeat you is if you make those past mistakes again, and if all the fan dumb has ruined your love of the game series. For the latter, I can speak from experience and say you can love the games and not care about the fandom.
samuraiter
Sep. 26th, 2009 10:32 pm (UTC)
:-) A wise M.A.N. once said this. Good advice.
otosaretatenshi
Sep. 25th, 2009 03:26 pm (UTC)
I'm going to prove you wrong, eventually. It's a personal vendetta of mine.

And I'm disgusted by the idea you think I'd ban you simply because, like I did with Blacken. Blacken is Blacken, and fuck Blacken for being Blacken. However, I'm not going to ban anyone. I suspended people for 24 hours last night, hoping things would calm down. Laylea is a fucking troll, but other than that, things did calm down.
blacken00100
Sep. 25th, 2009 07:19 pm (UTC)
This is where I say fuck you a bunch of times to you because I'm right and it's inconceivable that I could ever be wrong but even if I was wrong nobody can ever tell me I am because I'll lose face and somebody might not think I was the HURR ROOT ADMINSTRATUH

Then this is where I clap my hands twice like a prim Prussian schoolmarm and say "go back to talking about the original topic, you are not allowed to reply to where I told you all to fuck yourselves"

Then this is where I realize that I'm not such a pissant and that only one of us (hint: you) does that kind of horseshit
(no subject) - aitherion - Sep. 25th, 2009 07:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
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swordsaint0
Sep. 25th, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)
It's a natural that activity at the Ashtray will die down. As I pointed out not long after we'd started, it's been an insular community from the beginning - it's not likely to attract new members and is, if anything, set up to REPEL them. This is so ingrained into the character of what the Ashtray is that it would take a total 180% in literally anyone of import there to make a difference.

There's also the fact that most of the community is centered around the IRC chat, which is more convenient than a message board in many ways.

To say nothing of Blacken's style of losing interest as quickly as he gains it.
blacken00100
Sep. 25th, 2009 07:24 pm (UTC)
Miles and miles of that one same style.

We live in IRC, what can I say? I've been thinking of relaunching it in some form or other, but like I said below--I'm not That Guy and I started that up with the express intention of never being That Guy.
blacken00100
Sep. 25th, 2009 07:12 pm (UTC)
Drunken circus seal? I FUCKING LOVE IT! BEST DESCRIPTION EVER. ARP! ARP! ARP!

And I've said (and re-said in Fox's new topic), my awesomeness graces The Ashtray only when other people make it interesting. There's a reason I'm not "root administrator", and Fox is the High Fucktard and not me. I'm one-of-the-guys and always said I was, except when I was getting wedged into a position I didn't want.
blacken00100
Sep. 25th, 2009 07:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, and regarding:

Maybe now, Blacken will stop cackling like the fucking Joker whenever Josh does something silly.

I could only aspire to be Mark Hamill.
(no subject) - otosaretatenshi - Sep. 27th, 2009 09:25 am (UTC) - Expand
angeling
Sep. 26th, 2009 04:23 am (UTC)
I keep trying to come up with a clever way of replying to this but the best I can come up with is 'lol'.

Josh's behavior right now warrants saying it's best to ignore him and go do something more productive, like have a chat with the nearest wall.
samuraiter
Sep. 26th, 2009 10:18 pm (UTC)
Hn. Fandom is like any tribe. A strong chief can carry it for a great distance, and you have done that, but the tribe can only survive if every member steps up to the plate during hard times. All the good leadership in the world cannot save a tribe that can neither hunt nor farm to preserve itself. FE fandom does not have enough people who can do either, metaphorically speaking, and, as a result, it will go the way of Sailor Moon fandom and revert to being a cluster of isolated Internet enclaves – 'ficcers here, stat monkeys there, wankers everywhere, etc.

The why of it can be debated ad nauseum, but that is no longer important. You are washing your hands of FE fandom and going your own way. You will always have a piece of it with you, as I always have it with me, but your journey must now take you to another place. For that, godspeed, and note how many of us will be going with you. The best part of fandom is the friendship that arises from it, IMO.

As to the politics of it all, I suppose it can be likened to the games themselves. Too many good units dead, too many bad units left on the field, not enough Supports formed, and the tent got sacked a number of times, resulting in irrecoverable losses. Restarting the chapter was insufficient to salvage the game, and, so, the cartridge has gone back to Game Stop.

You traded it in for something better. :-)
blacken00100
Sep. 27th, 2009 04:45 am (UTC)
Well put.
(no subject) - samuraiter - Sep. 27th, 2009 09:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
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leonhart29
Sep. 27th, 2009 06:16 pm (UTC)
I think you're doing the right thing here. (and from what I've read, I'm definitely not the only one who thinks this)

Sometimes fandom is a lot like parenting. Sometimes you have to let your "little one" make it's own mistakes and not clean up after it; however, unlike a parent child relationship, this time I think stepping away and not saving it from a potential trip to the bottom of a bottomless pit is a wise thing to do (and something tells me this little kid has packed a parachute or a rocket-pack).

If you don't have the love for FE you once did and it had become a chore instead an act of love - it's not worth killing yourself trying to save it.

*grin* You're Superbus! You can pick and chose and be wonderful in whatever you do - so stop stepping on the hem of your cape and take off!
togekid
Sep. 29th, 2009 01:42 am (UTC)
I'm surprised you're still wetting your panties over this fandom. It's been going downhill since a long, long time ago and it's not even worth the time and effort you're putting into it. You're better off spending time on your carreer and future wife.

Let it go, Chris. Let it go.
( 53 comments — Leave a comment )

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