Rainbow poop, Poutlanders , Sheeplanders and Outlander on Starz

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I woke this morning to a post from Diana.  I’m always interested in what she has to say. After all, she wrote my favorite book series and I admire her writing.  And….bonus…she’s usually pretty funny.  Here’s what I heard her say today:

Writers have time and space to do what they wish.  TV writers and producers do not.

What works on the page does not necessarily work on the screen.

Some scenes in a book, although great to read, may not be needed to advance a story.

Sometimes additions for a visual medium may enhance a story.  We can see things from different points of view.

I think that about sums it up.  Now…here is what people heard ( according to the comments)

 ” I think the haters have been schooled “

” …no matter what “they” say ”

” …put everyone in their places ”

” Saddened you must make justification ”

” haters and nitpickers ”

” now everyone just leave her alone ”

” if you don’t like it don’t watch and shut-up ”

Of course these are just a few of the lovely tolerant responses. (yes, I’m being sarcastic)

I’m not blaming DG.  She has every right to share her perspective and opinions.  And, I love that she does. I believe her motivation was to speak reason.  What I’m not sure she fully appreciates is the power her words wield in the fan-dom. When she speaks it becomes gospel. It is as if word has come down from on high. Despite what she intended, it’s obvious that her words will be used as a justification to destroy free-thinking.  The response to her post leads me to believe that her words are being interpreted as a “set down”.  I’m seeing a shift from, “isn’t it wonderful how we are able to share our ideas” to “It’s us against them”.

You’ve all heard the term “Poutlander”.  Definition: Poutlander; noun, a fan of the Outlander series of books who is still complaining about who was cast for the TV series a year after production has commenced and still doesn’t think Claire’s rump is round enough or Jamie’s hair is red.

How about this term you may not have heard, “Sheeplander”?   Defintion: Sheeplander; noun, a fan of the Outlander series of books who refuses to accept that the Outlander TV series may not be perfect and feels the need to start every sentence with ” The show is different from the book”.  It is rumored that they may believe that Diana and Ron actually poop rainbows. All those who dare vocalize a concern are deemed disloyal haters or nitpickers who need to die! (ok, maybe not die, but they sure want them to shut up).

I wouldn’t feel good about being lumped into either one of these groups.

I’m sure Ms. Gabaldon was trying to help the situation.  I believe that she was trying to clarify and explain what happens in an adaptation.  I’m sure she is baffled by what she perceives as a stubborn refusal by some to let go of small details and changes.  But…no good deed/idea goes unpunished.  Diana’s choosing to make her “opinion” of the TV series know is tantamount to Declaration of Independence saying all men are created equal.  How do you argue with what the author thinks?!  “Well, Diana says….”  will become the battle cry of all those who want to put dissenters in “their place”.  Discourse about the show will be reduced to re-caps with cute quips, pictures of the actors’ various facial expressions and pictures of Sam’s butt. ( not that I don’t enjoy laughing or looking)   And of course….praise for the genius of all involved.

I discussed my fear that an intelligent discussion of the shows’ merits and failings was being threatened. A friend and fellow fan, who happens to be very asute at cutting through bullshite and seeing situations clearly, told me it was going to get more and more difficult to say you didn’t like something about the show.  Clearly more cynical than myself, she believes that there is too much on the line for anyone in the fan-dom to express disatisfaction without impunity. She believes that unless you are getting paid to be a critic anyone who doesn’t “love” every thing and everyone involved will be ostrasized.  I don’t want to believe that is true.  I kinda of hoped that the fact people cared enough to discuss the show was reason enough to believe the show was worth watching.  “You know…Outlander…that show everyone is talking about.”  But, instead this atmosphere of intolerance of others ideas and feelings is starting to remind me of something…blind loyalty…mindless fanaticism…..hmmmmm.  Anybody remember some really movies about a teenage girl and her vampire boyfriend?  Shiver  

So…here’s my early Christmas list.  Tolerance. Manners. Open-minds.

And a pile of rainbow poop cuz I’d really like to see some.
Word count: 444   Last e
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41 thoughts on “Rainbow poop, Poutlanders , Sheeplanders and Outlander on Starz

  1. ConnieH

    My rainbow contribution is blue because I totally agree. Different strokes for different folks. Shooby dooby dooby.🎵🎶🎼

  2. Sue V

    I have it on good authority that a dog that ate a 1 lb. bag of M&M’s did a credible of job of pooping rainbows through the house the next day.

    (On a serious note, never let a dog have chocolate — it is very bad for them to invest.)

  3. Skyla

    I agree with you somewhat. There are the super fans that take Diana’s words as gospel, as you said. There are those who can’t tolerate a different view on the mythology she created. There are some who, no matter how tactfully the dissension is written, still break out the torches and pitchforks! However, I also think that many of the dissenters bring it on themselves. So often, the dissenting opinion comes in the form of bashing an actor, whining that they didn’t get the scene they wanted or getting angry at others for their views. These scenarios, for me, initiate my instinct to protect. Protect the actor from unfair, biased and sometimes just rude comments . Protect the people who are trying their hardest to create a show that appeals to fans and non-fans alike. Protect those who truly, just LOVE this series in any form it comes in. I know that I cannot actually protect any of them, but I hate bullies who are brave when they aren’t face to face with the person, so I try my best.
    There are so many of us fans that fall into the “sane” category. Those, that when presented with an actual topic of conversation, can have a discussion full of different opinions, new angles on old scenes and deep theory without drama, name calling or anger. We are out gunned by the VERY vocal minority. I would love it if some of the more zealous fans could realize that they are not helping. They are hurting that which they love. I love Outlander, the books and the show. There are normal people out there who can love something and not think it is perfect. I hope you find more of us soon, Beth!

    • IFirst thanks for taking the time to reply. I have to say I have only had one experience with someone who felt the need to attack one of the cast. I’m sure there are more. And you are right….it’s like tv news reports…you always get a close up of the crazy person…not sure why. I wrote this because I’ve heard from so many folks who are actual afraid to say anything but “I love everything” I was hoping to just let folks know it’s ok…you can still love the show without loving everything.

      • Skyla

        After I wrote this, I read your post from last week and realized that you said everything I meant to say – you just did it better! I think part of the problem lies in the sheer numbers on some of the fan groups. With numbers in the tens of thousands, I think that some people can forget that there are real people on the other side of their screen. They get mean and nasty because there are no real repercussions. I agree with you so much that I would love to see more manners, more common sense and more introspection. Thanks for being the voice of those “sane” fans who need one!

      • Skyla

        I am a mom of 2 girls and the big sister of 6 boys and 2 girls and so therefore am experienced in ALL forms of poop, even mythological! 😉

    • Char

      I agree with this, thanks for expressing it. Of course the series has flaws. Nobody and nothing is perfect. But from the way some people have overreacted, my God, I’ve seen people complain that Ron Moore has “emasculated” Jamie because he’s jealous of him! If you’re enjoying the series, such comments (and I could list many more, each more lunatic than the next) can end up driving you around the bend.

  4. Well said Beth. But as long as there are places like your blog and others like it , it will be fine. The sheeplanders and poutlanders will gather in their spaces and those who love the show despite its imperfections will find their way to places like yours for a rational discourse. The trick is not to let a strident minority get you down.

    My rainbow color to you is yellow for sunshine!

  5. I think your friend is spot on…There will be a horde of fans to reign fire and brimstone on anyone who expresses a negative opinion regardless of how kindly it is put. I can’t say I haven’t been among the frustrati at least in spirit over a few things regarding the young man playing Jamie as being far too boyish–I disagree with that wholeheartedly, however I’m not going to the drive the issue home by torching anyone who does not share my opinion.

    I’ve read your blog quite a bit recently, followed you on Twitter as to have a more consistent update of your writings. The one about religion and the Outlander series has lead to some very interesting discussion between myself and my much beloved spouse person. (I must admit I’ve been impressed by his willingness to engage both the series and the books–Including his “so this is Jamie” response to first episode!)

    As to unicorn rainbow poo…I have no authority on which to speak…Though one does have to admit it would be certainly a topic changer. I can however speak on the relevance of never leaving a bag of Hershey’s Kisses on the coffee table for a thieving dachshund to gulp down, silver foil still in tact. Woof. Gone. Frantic calls to the vet, reassurance as it was milk chocolate and while still not good for her, not nearly as deadly. And of course we were graced to several bouts of sparkly poop. Lovely, just lovely.

  6. Gina1_MAC

    Beth,
    Thank you. The sentiment isn’t said lightly. I truly do thank you. At times I can put coherent thoughts together. I am much more gifted verbally, and occasionally written. That being said, I concur with you. I am a “no drama for your momma” kind of person. I am a pro at scrolling. It is a great skill. I go as far as suggesting that everyone using social media hone their scrolling skills. Scroll past some of those comments that may cause some not so kind words to come from their keyboards. Beth, if truth be told, I scrolled to the bottom of the comments without reading the others. *holds head high* It is another skill I learned. I express my own “kind” opinion. Not one marred by others thoughts. I may go back and read comments. But I leave mine knowing it is just that, MINE. Being kind goes a long way in the world. As I was taught, and as I taught my kids. If you don’t have anything kind to say…don’t say anything at all. This should be more so when posting. If typed with an attitude it probabaly wasn’t kind. Delete and rephrase. Or just delete. I want respectful discourse about the books, tv, show, etc.
    Long winded.
    Gina1_MAC

    • Gina thank you. Not long at all. I would like to write more about positive things, but find I have to write what I’m inspired to write and it kind of sucks that this is it. Hopefully, last time I write about this topic.

  7. THANK YOU! I saw that post tonight and I have to say it bugged the everlasting heck outta me. I almost vented on my blog about it, but now I don’t have to.

    I really don’t care for sweeping generalizations about people that are a little dissatisfied with certain episodes. It isn’t that we are hard to please and are nitpicking every little detail and wishing every single line from the books would be in the series. The biggest complaint… (well, I think “concern” is more accurate)… I’ve seen is that there’s been too much focus on Frank, etc rather than on Jamie or on his and Claire’s relationship. It’s the basics that’s being left out, or priorities being mixed up. (Example: The honesty speech not being in the wedding episode… Jamie being out of character by leaving Claire alone while she was going into shock… Frank scenes that aren’t relevant to accelerating the story… there being more Frank scenes than Jamie/Claire scenes in the mid-season finale of all episodes).

    And about “Well Diana says…” —– All I can say is another Thank You! I’m so happy to see that someone else sees this.

    Just now I started typing my feelings over how annoyed I’m becoming over so many fans basically kissing up to her but… not gonna go there. I’m gonna take the high road because I fear I’d go on and on and I don’t want to do that in your ‘parlor’ so-to-speak. But I will say that every time I visit DG’s Facebook page… it’s starting to feel a little like junior high.

    It certainly did today.

    So THANK YOU for being a voice for the rest of us. We are not Poutlanders, or Sheeplanders. (Never heard of that last one until today. How…. creative?…. those folks are). We’re intelligent people that can think for themselves. We’re protective of these characters, and we love the books, so when we feel there’s an injustice slowly unfolding before our eyes we have every right to express our feelings, too. When we disagree with others we don’t lump them into categories and give them silly, made up names that sound like they’ve been uttered on school playgrounds. In short, I think we’re the adults.

    Great post! It was refreshing reading it.

  8. Thank you for adding a voice of reason! I think by and large the readers of Diana’s books are critical thinkers. We talk about plot points, question what we think will happen next and how it relates to other events (what IS in Brianna’s large bag?). We enjoy the analysis. It’s then reasonable to expect some discussion about the show, IMO. And as long as the discussion is not mean or ridiculously nit-picky, why is it bad?

  9. Oh, good heavens! I am not an emotional person, but I nearly cried reading both your insightful post and many of the replies. Apparently I am not alone after all. Others do share my concerns about the series, which have nothing to do with Claire’s physique of Jamie’s hair color, but with fundamental changes to the characters and themes of a much-loved book. Beyond that, however, I find a good analytical discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of a book, show, series, or whatever to be a stimulating part of the process of enjoying it. Meeting a solid wall of disapproval whenever I have murmured a faint “But…but…” about the series has been discouraging. When the responses to any perceived criticism run to “It’s perfect,” “So close to the book,” “Wouldn’t change a thing,” and the capper, “DG likes it so why are you complaining?” there’s not much room for a substantive discussion. I am so delighted– and relieved– to have stumbled across this site and look forward to reading it regularly.

  10. Carla

    Fanatical people bother me as well. Some people think they are less fans if they have an opinion of their own. It’s not the first time someone says to me that “it’s an adaptation!!”, or that I’m not a good fan because I’m criticizing the tv show.

    I’m not a fan of those authors who act as if readers didn’t exist but neither 8 nor 80. I love the fact that Diana is so communicative with her fans. But unfortunately sometimes she just speaks too much and helps to create more discord. I love that she is so attainable but I’ rather know she is absent, writing, than know she is definitely online. Invariably she will read things that annoy her and end up entering a spiral of endless answers. We do not have to know all the answers. We can survive that.

  11. Leeann

    Mostly I love the TV series. Yes there are differences but the only one that has annoyed me is the ring. And that is because I can’t see how Ron will sort out all the stuff like the inscription on the book ring…..BUT saying that I’m just going to trust it will work out!
    I’m sure the honesty talk will be held at some stage. Its like how everyone said but they didn’t show Roger in episode 1. We just had to wait!
    The TV series doesn’t need to be exactly as the book. I feel its doing a good job of following the spirit of the book. Its not perfect but still fun. I actually think it would be boring if it was exactly the same.
    I hated Frank in the book, but kind of like him in the TV series. Loved them both being at Craig na dun in the last episode.
    Overall I’m really pleased with the show, its not perfect but then neither is the book ( don’t Burn me at the stake!)

    PS I have to add that I’m really pleased with all the actors, even if I didn’t think they looked like they should in the beginning (ie really didn’t expect a bald Dougal)

  12. georgiafromga1

    Thank you, Beth, for voicing the very reason that this is my first Outlander post of any kind other than re-tweeting a particularly astonishing picture of Jamie Fraser. I’m sure the pastor of my church who follows me was utterly mystified. However, I have spent far too many hours reading posts where the tone went from conversational to unpleasant the minute someone gave a comment suggesting something in the show wasn’t perfect for them. The term “troll” is thrown about. Not sure what that means but suddenly any dissenter is one. Instead of offering my opinion I just bought myself a “Claire’s Ring” and moved on. I am thrilled that so many are being drawn into the Outlander world. I enjoy stimulating conversation where ideas and opinions are exchanged without rancor. I do not enjoy confrontation and ill-manners. Thankfully, I have three friends who have read the books and one sister who hasn’t. Having that outlet for discussion has saved me from wading in online many a time. Your Christmas List – Tolerance. Manners. Open-minds. May it be so.

    • Thank you. I posted this awhile ago, but reposted this morning after seeing another retweet about putting people in their place. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

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