Sunday, January 16, 2011

you only hear the music when your heart begins to break

U-NAS is released!

There are Tiny transparent panda avatars now. (Of course, there are also displacer beasts with raping tentacles, but hey. It's a big world.)

And now (not that the above has any relevance on this), Stolan.

This is a larger chunk of the same conversation I quoted a bit of yesterday. I'd like to quote less, but I think it covers a lot of ground that I want to bring up:
[06:36 PM] Emilly Orr: I am not the type of person who is all sunshine and unicorns. I'm just not. It's not in me. I had a problem with how Stolan blogged, and what he chose to blog about, because I think he picked several terrifying outfits in a row and said "Look! These are great!" And they weren't.
[06:36 PM] Emilly Orr: Whatever I am going through is separate from what I blog about (for the most part).
[06:38 PM] Renee Lowenhart: so instead you went to your blog which he showed me since he was emailed the link back and used it to harm him
[06:38 PM] Emilly Orr: Renee, these are things I would have said to his face. In fact, I said some of them to him as comments on the blog entry.
[06:39 PM] Renee Lowenhart: Then you should have IMed him and had an open discussion. That would have been more constructive, dont you think?
[06:39 PM] Renee Lowenhart: Public humiliation is a [horrible] thing
[06:39 PM] Renee Lowenhart: No one deserves that.
So, starting from here. I have to say, again, that she's right. Public humiliation generally never serves the intended purpose--and it wasn't the point of that blog entry, anyway--and she's right again, that I should have IMed Stolan, or sent a notecard to him. Either way, this likely should have started off private, and then gone public (if it ever needed to; it might have been completely resolved without a single blog post being made).

So why didn't I? It's certainly not because I hate or even dislike FabFree as a blog, or any of the bloggers there as writers. I've heard that accusation more than once; it has no basis in fact. So why didn't I simply contact Stolan privately, and speak to him one on one?

Everything I've been pondering points to two sources. First, that those I've contacted in the past have had a variety of reactions, all of them negative. Those have ranged from immediate descents into epithets clear up to legal threats and, in a couple memorable cases of designers with extreme attitudes, IMing me every few minutes just to make my day tank that much more--once for five days running. I wasn't geared to thinking that writing anyone, even someone new to the game (and perhaps especially someone new to the game, considering my battles with the Resident family over the past few weeks) would be receptive in any way.

Okay, so part of that I have to own. I didn't think of it, because I'd had bad experiences in the past, which is letting my past control my current actions. While we are all creatures of our pasts, the point is not to be crippled by our histories, but be informed and enhanced by them. Good or bad, they should exist to tell us what happened; not to tell us what not to do, ever.

How does the saying go, though? Kick a dog enough times, he learns to bite? I'm not a dog, but I'm getting mightily tired of the rumor mill, and that started two years ago.

Which brings me to my second point. I think several parts of me, two years ago, just...stopped. Was it the best reaction? No, not in any way. But there was, and is, a large part of my personality that, even having been warned in advance, just can't cope with radical changes in perspective. Going from lavish praise to acid spite spins my head, and not in good ways. That it's happened three times now should be telling me something, and clearly.

I think that also fed into what happened with the post about Stolan's outfit choices (and, for anyone who seems to have forgotten that small point? It was about Stolan's outfit choices and spelling, not his appearance, and not, specifically, him). I'd already largely disconnected from the grid, slotting it entirely neatly into the position of the three who threw me away....and oh, hello, that's relevant too. Losing a brother over ideological differences (he was a gay conscientious objector who--suddenly and without warning--became a fervent Bush supporter who told me that because he disagreed with me I wasn't his sister anymore...and two years later, Katrina swept over his home and I lost him entirely.)

Okay. I have a known problem with being a discard, I get that. And due to it, I'd rather write on the blog (or play offline in other games) than connect in-world. Based on prior history of, even when polite, generally getting tirades back...this is actually a fairly textbook reaction. A + B does, in fact, equal C in this case...but there are a few additional things I'd like to bring up.
"Of course, this new condition in fashion may strike you as messy, shallow, dependent on borrowed ideas and visually boring, but don’t worry: like nausea, this feeling will pass."
This was from a review from the New York Times.
"I know you have four kids, but I don't want to see where they came from...A uterus is not a hotel. Stop it!"
Granted, this is two statements, on two outfits, taken from a longer Joan Rivers special, but I think the point's made.
"The actor has admitted he's not big on bathing, and he most certainly prefers rather ratty, mismatched clothes. Pattinson even manages to make the smartest of suits look disheveled. If we could give Mr. Pattinson two pieces of advice on how to transition from tween heartthrob to legitimate actor and public figure it would be these: tuck in the shirt and wash that hair."
This one's from Esquire Magazine. And believe me, I could have found tons more if I wanted to descend to sheer insult and mud-slinging.

There are people out there getting paid, making their livings, with all that that entails, tearing other people to shreds. In some cases, they're even encouraged, celebrated, given bigger and better shows or magazines from when they started. From small bloggers to corporations, it's nothing new in fashion--nor even the world at large, any version of the world.

I didn't shred anyone; I wasn't vicious or underhanded; and upon consideration, I don't think I was even that cruel. I said Stolan does a wonderful job on his own blog and a bad job on (and yes, his first) entry on FabFree. So he can only improve from there, right? Renee Lowenhart herself said her first posts make her blush to look back on now; I think nearly every blogger can agree with that. Style--and by this, I mean the style of writing, not fashion--takes time to develop fully, for anyone.

So I will offer this as an apology in kind: Stolan, I didn't consider someone who ran their own blog as new to the fashion or freebie review business; I am sorry, I should have taken that into consideration. I do take into consideration that English is not your first language, and that you will likely improve there, too, as time goes by. I don't think you should stop blogging; on the contrary, we have far too few male fashion voices on the grid.

And both Renee and I agree that the quality of items offered for men, specifically, are not as numerous as items for women, and where free or cheap items are concerned, that figure drops abysmally low. Perhaps I should have said it was a miracle that Stolan found anything at all to review. Kudos on the continued quest.

Finally, this is a short but targeted article on negative blogging, or, as some of us would prefer, honest blogging. I will do my best to put more thought into what I post, but if I think something is unnattractive, I'm not going to give it raves just to make points. That's not in me, either. Or, put another way, from Alicia Chenaux's blog, an entry written clear back in 2009:
"What if I blogged everything I was given, even if I didn't like it? And what if I SAID I didn't like it? What if I pointed out all the bad seams, over-pixelated hems, bad prim work, messed up sculpties? What if I said that the choice of colors is just blindingly ugly? What if I said that something was just a recolor of a template and then linked to the actual template on XStreet? What if I said something was just too overpriced and if I hadn't received it as a review copy, I'd never buy it?"
I don't blog fashion often, though I do cover it a fair amount of the time. I do try to cover, when I can, things that I'm given; far in the main are things I go out and buy, because I have never made a habit of asking for review items, ever.

But generally, when I'm given something that doesn't work? I've said so. And I've done that more than once. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Maybe the best approach is not to "take on" any particular blogger--and then watch the ensuing dramasplosion, as if on cue--but to seek out those same items and see if they do work. On me, or on anyone--or if they're just not well-made and that's why they're freebies.

We'll see how that goes, but after full consideration: I think the new kids at FabFree need to take this in stride and learn how to cope. Khalania is not ugly but she's forcing the mesh to do things it's not designed to do. If she thinks that looks good, more power to her. Stolan obviously needs more time on the grid, more time on the hunt, and maybe, in the long run, that will be good for him too--because he has his own style sense already, and even at under thirty days on the grid, he's managed to put together a few fascinating looks--if only on his own blog.

Okay? As far as I'm concerned, we're done here. But feel free to leave your comments in the comments section. Have at. Me, I'm moving on to other things.


Anonymous said...

I don't really agree that IMing or sending a notecard to the blogger is better. Personally I don't care if people talk about me, but if they talk to me it's like a confrontation. He is probably happy with everything he has done, proud of his posts and the clothes he has found. I doubt telling him to find better quality items, or that he could spend more time editing his writing would make him feel good, or make him change anything. Very few people want to hear that sort of criticism from a stranger. So, in my opinion, it's actually rude to IM him and tell him this, with the only result likely being that he would feel bad. If you feel like I do,then the only option is to keep your opinions to yourself, or chat about it to friends, on forums or your personal blog.

If he finds what is posted he can decide for himself if he wants to take it to heart or simply ignore and dismiss it. Personally I just feel having things removed from contact makes it so much better.

Saying something negative about someone (or their taste/ writing style) in a public setting is not always what I would consider public humiliation. It really depends who says it and where. For a highschool analogy I'd say IMing someone is like stopping them in the hall and telling them they have bad grammar. Posting on the fabfree blog or chat would be like standing in the packed cafeteria and shouting it. Posting on a personal blog is like sitting in the back of history class and talking about it to your friends. Sure the person might overhear, but they can pretend to ignore it and save face. The other two options put them on the spot and that is much more uncomfortable. At least when I imagine how I would feel if it were me.

Emilly Orr said...


I believe the implication is that I'd be less confrontational IMing someone, or sending a notecard, than publishing it. That whole, contacting someone privately would result in a supposedly cleaner, safer outcome for all involved, so that none of this unpleasantness needs to be aired in public, and no one needs to be disturbed in any way.

Which is direly amusing, considering other entries on the blog.

Serenity Semple said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Serenity Semple said...

(Sorry had to delete original post cause somehow my computer freaked and put in tons of spaces in random areas. @ @;)

Wow, that av is nice. I saw Fawkes floating around in it for awhile now and thought it was darn neat. XD

LOLOLOLOL towards the public humiliation thing that Renee said. I mean seriously people have opinions! GASP! Public humiliation is not what your blog did. Public humiliation is finding deep secrets or truely embarassing facts about people and taking pics or logs or whatever. People say video games suck all the time and it takes a lot more effort to put out a game (usually and sorry for the left field topic but it's a field I'm more used to) but you don't see the creators whinning about it to a crowd. They usually try to take some of it to heart and see how they can go back and improve things. Hnn...constructive critisism much?

"I know you have four kids, but I don't want to see where they came from...A uterus is not a hotel. Stop it!" - Towards that one, I was so amused. XD

The quote from the blogger about pointing out things they don't like about an outfit - I really wish there were blogs out there like that. I get tired of seeing the same overblogged item (even though I fell victim to this myself for charity), but if they did that then no one would probably send review copies or anything.

Side Note, found this song and kinda made me think of this post a lil bit. XD

Emilly Orr said...


Did you know Ladytron actually put out an official video for that song? I don't necessarily agree that every song needs pictures attached, but the various directors of Ladytron videos all possess a fascinating visual style that simultaneously manages to enthrall and unnerve. (Joseph Kahn did "Ghosts", Adam Bartley did "Destroy Everything You Touch", and Iszac Rentz did "Tomorrow", just to name three.)

I admit, thinking about the whole Fabfree situation, and the fallout, took up the better part of this week. And admittedly, I may not be accurate, but I get the genuine feeling that Renee, at least, doesn't have much experience with the various shades of grey, here. It's an instantaneous leap for her seemingly, from criticism--and I'll even go so far as to allow my post was harsh criticism--to public humiliation, which is a vastly different animal.

Review copies are the tricky bit, aren't they? We want honest appraisal of our work from reviewers. Which is why we send out review copies. But it also stings more for some people if there's a negative review, over a positive one, because that review copy was provided.