This last year has been a tough one both personally and globally. Since October of last year, my daily stress level has been hovering around a 7 out of 10. I’m pretty sure many of you can relate. Along with crap I’m dealing with personally, I feel bombarded by bad news, new lows, and feeling powerless to effect change. But, I’m a survivor and a fighter. I can usually figure out what is worth worrying about and what needs to be let go of. I do what I can to help change my little part of the world and hope that if we all decide to do the same we can make changes that matter.
Outlander has been my little bit of escape from a world that is just too full of scary, monumentally important things. For a little bit, I can escape into a fantasy and share the fun of watching my favorite books put on the screen and talk about it with fellow fans. For the most part, Outlander has been a good healthy escape from the pressures in real life. There was a point mid drought that I considered not writing the blog anymore. It just seemed too trivial a concern. There were so many other things I could be spending my time on besides writing about a book/tv show. But, when push came to shove, I realized I enjoyed it and that was okay. We are allowed to participate in things we enjoy even if they seem trivial.
My blog has always been a place where people are welcome to discuss the show and books. I have never had much of a problem with my readers saying disparaging things about the author, cast or creators of the show. I have always been proud of the intelligent and articulate way they are able to disagree and still be respectful. But, in the last few weeks, I have seen some folks find their way to my blog who somehow believe I will give them an open forum to spew their disrespect, conspiracy theories, and vitriol. I will not. So, if you notice that your posts have been taken down or not approved, please understand you are not welcome. I TRULY don’t need more stress in my life and I am weary of opening my feeds and reading the fan drama du jour. I’m tired of looking the other way when “fans” use the cast, crew and creators as their personal punching bags and I certainly won’t tolerate it on my own blog page. I’m tired of the entitlement that makes it okay to forget there are real people working to bring a story to the screen they hope we will like. The whole thing is making me sad. I can understand critiquing the show, truly. I have done my share. But, it is starting to morph into something much less reasonable and sane.
I don’t really “know” any of these people who work the show other than through interactions on social media, but I do know they are real people who work hard and try to create the best product they can just like the rest of us do at our own jobs. No one deserves some of the disrespect sent these folks’ way. They can’t win. Even, when they try to engage fans and answer questions it all goes awry. On Twitter a fan responded to some of the latest disrespect by saying , “Here we go again actors can’t have political opinions and writers aren’t allowed to get insulted.” I found myself shaking my head in agreement, here we go again. There truly is a difference between critique and criticism. People making this show are prepared for one, but don’t deserve the other. They have done nothing to deliberately “ruin” anything for anyone, they have made creative choices. If you like them fine and if you don’t fine, but good lord…get some perspective and maybe some courtesy?
I’m starting to understand there are a lot of people who have a say in how this “product” gets delivered to us. Writers write things that don’t make the cut, actors act out their interpretation of the character, directors try to fiddle with a scene and the acting until it feels right, editors cut and rearrange and decide which scenes work with feedback from producers and the studio, and finally it gets put in the “can”. As fans, we truly don’t know what went down or what influenced what. My husband was a football coach for a lot of years and I had to sit in the stands and listen to people pass judgement on him. It was frustrating and I had to fight down the need to defend him. He reminded me often that he was capable of standing up for himself and that he had a tougher skin than I might think. I know these people are tougher than I think too, but damn …I keep thinking they shouldn’t have to be. I’m so friggin tired of living in a world where it is now the norm to be rude, offensive and judgmental of others. And today, I’m sad that one of my few escapes is starting to feel like one more pile of shit I have to deal with.