LINKS TO THE PORT MANTEAU OF HORROR

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Request of the Horror Community...

I've heard a lot about the "horror community" these last couple of years. I like to think of it as a group of people common goal and similar interest that binds us together in some way. The goal is not necessarily to build personal relationships with everyone in the community, but to be united in our love of a "something"; a horror thing. To bring people into the community is a great ambition; to find those like us and those who might be like us. You think that the thing that binds you all together is the love of a genre. If you all like the same movies, the same obscure, outdated media format, the same poster art and have the same formative experiences ... this makes you a community. Sure, that's how it starts. Common interest yields conversation and then obsession takes over and we all drink too much coffee one night and end up in a group chat about the most important impact of Nightmare on Elm Street 2. Once your brain is infatuated with horror becomes aware of this great big ball of people out there with the same love, you're at least forming something. It's not the community though. It's not the community without love; not love of a genre or a movie or a thing, but a love for each other. We care. I've seen that in this community that is a very real thing no matter what a few cynical voices might say. We have to do better.

Not everyone is on the same page. That is a problem or at least it seems to be causing problems or creating the perception of a problem. During any given week you'll find a host of issues, from the controversial to mundane. Status update troll to the left of me, offended group to the right. Here I am, stuck in the middle with a bunch of people who are going to make fun of each other for loving a movie put out by a great distro company. Stuck in the middle with a bunch of people who want to form a lynch mob (insert cause here). 

Our community, our horror community, is not perfect, and the members there of are capable of making mistakes. Mistakes... you've made them, and I've made them and usually somewhere in that process we hurt others. We do not try to purposely hurt others. That is not love. We also recognize when someone has hurt us, the horror community, we need to remember that beyond the internet and the conventions and the movies and the obsessions, we are individuals who make mistakes. These mistakes can be the product of people who are in pain for any reason, who fail for any reason, these are people who need our help more. It's not always easy, and I'm not going to pretend to be holier than thou. I've not been the forgiving saint who apologizes, accepts apologies or has forgiven freely and without condition, but I'd like to think that that's the goal.  To love the individuals in the community and help them and BE a community, a horror community. We have work to do, and it starts now.

You can judge a society or a community by how it treats its weakest members. You can say that as many ways as it has been said throughout time. You can quote them all. You can also take that to heart when we decide to cast the stones, to create scapegoats, teardown idols, victimize, enforce doctrine, create acts of hate that stem from roots outside of the very thing that creates community. How should you be treating people in the horror community? You wanna place labels and blame and assign penalties? Maybe you just want to subvert your intentions; glamorize your personal cause and slide people under your wheels in an effort to support a specific, selfish agenda. That is not community. That is not the horror community. The horror community should be reaching out to people who are in obvious need of help or guidance or a friend. We have enough enemies outside the community from petty government regulatory bodies across the globe to zealots enforcing their Hell upon us before we're even in the ground. We do not need hate inside the community. 

First steps. Simply be aware of what you're doing and your intentions. Think about the potential impact of your actions and words. There is no need to push anyone's face into the ground or drive anyone out or create demons from good people who may make mistakes. Not everyone has to "pay" for something. We do not need to play executioner. We should play brother or sister to these people. We have enough Carmody's (from the Mist). You don't need to be one.

Each of us has done something to regret, and some of us get called out on it and some of us suffer intensely for it. That being the case let's show some compassion. Let's figure out a better way to communicate our issues and let's stop creating acts of hate that do not make us a community, but rather tear us apart. Maybe it's time to stop with the sewing circles and try a hand at forgiving and developing real relationships with the people (who are real people with feelings and fallible) who comprise this horror community. Let's be better to each other... starting now.

- Dr. TERROR

Note: Every writer I have ever known has, at one point in their career, failed to use a footnote or an endnote or a bibliography entry. On purpose. Accidental. Every blogger I have known has used an image from the internet without getting permission from the copyright holder or embedded a YouTube clip that was uploaded illegally . Regardless or intent... malicious or not. Most writers I have met do not get compensated monetarily for their work, but rather are compensated in other tangible or intangible ways. Most get paid, just not cash on the barrelhead. It is paranoia to believe that the community takes the actions of any one of us and applies it to us all. No one is out to get you or your cause. Artists create images based on other images for which they have not been granted permission to use, not in parody or for fun, but for profit. 

Maybe it's best to try to help out these community members or realize that we are imperfect and sometimes that's okay and sometimes we need to help others realize that being imperfect is just as important as being right or just or creating consequence and punishment. 

13 comments:

  1. Great words. Shared this on the "Scares That Care!" Facebook page. Thanks, Doc! ~Joe Ripple

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    1. Thanks Joe. I truly appreciate it. Your cause is beautiful. I underwrite non profit insurance in my day job, and the Scares That Care mug is always there on my desk. Starts so many good conversations about what's right with the horror community.

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  2. A growing issue that I've noticed involves some of the more notable names (bloggers, website editors) in our community. They come off as a bit biased/egotistical and won't acknowledge other individuals because they don't have the same "connections" or personal views. It's almost becoming like a clique.

    I read an article not too long ago about former wrestler Diamond Dallas Page and his current operation of selling an exercise routine while running a rehab for broken legends of the past. He apparently will go through a list of people who have put their money towards his product and call them up just to say thanks. It doesn't matter if they're wrestling fanatics or not, he kindly calls them up to say thanks and talk about their goals or whatever is on their mind.

    Take that into consideration and the fact that these penmen/penwomen are producing a service of entertainment through usage of personal time. I don't care if you don't see eye-to-eye on certain things; if you took the time to read my work/like my FB page/join my group/purchase my product, I will take the time to thank you with gratitude. I've seen this done with interactive contests or even replying back to the simplest of messages.

    They're not superstars: lose the sense of superiority. If we're looking to connect a community together, it involves acknowledging your readers or fan-base.



    Great article and thanks for bringing these problems up! These are things that everybody needs to work on. We need to be a welcoming to community to people with all interests in this genre that we love too much.

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    1. The reason I started writing at all was to talk to other horror minded people because so few seemed to live close by. It's really come to life, and I love that we can connect around things like this. Communing with each other is paramount. The internet is real and we get to hang out with friends and help people every day. That's community. Even when we have someone in need of our help. Especially when they need our help. Thanks for the kind words.

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  3. I've actually been toying with writing something similar myself. Looks like you beat me to it and said it better than I would have. I agree wholeheartedly that the community needs to come together. No community is ever going to be free of "cliques," but some of the ones in the horror community seem to exist solely to backbite each other. A LOT of the people who do the bigger blogs, and even some of the smaller blogs, develop serious egos. Some of the most beloved and popular bloggers publicly say stuff about others in the community that really chaps my ass. Too much drama. I lost a gig at a major horror print publication because the editor found out I was friends with someone he has old beef with and decided to give me the silent treatment. That's the kind of immature stuff that needs to stop. We're all just fans, folks. Horror is what it's about, and if we all work together, it flourishes. True story, when I started SOC I emailed about 15 bloggers that I read and looked up to and asked for advice about getting into the blogging thing. One responded. ONE. We gotta help each other out more than that. I've made some friends in this blogging world like you, Groggy, Wolfie, Brobocop, EKG, Master Gio, Maynard, and a whole bunch of others that (with the exception of EKG) I've never actually met but consider friends as much as the people I know in real life. That's why I, and I'm sure I speak for many of the rest of you, keep doing this; contributing in some way to the genre we love and sharing that love with our fellow geeks. Well, to be honest, that and the free movies.
    However, I'm pretty sure I know what you were getting at with the whole "mistake" and "forgot a footnote" thing. The individual in question didn't "make a mistake." It was a systematic, repeated, and willful pattern of the worst crime imaginable in this community, stealing other's work and claiming it as your own. The individual in question, in my mind, betrayed and hurt the very community we're talking about and deserves to be made a pariah and never welcomed back. That said, it's truly disturbing the extent to which many are reveling in his/her downfall. The whole situation is just sad, not something to dwell on or enjoy. The person doesn't deserve sympathy, but it's just pathetic and classless to kick them when they're down whether they made their own bed or not.

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    1. Absolute truth sir.

      I think everyone deserves a second chance. After that... the hook. There has to be a plan for forgiveness. At least once.... if only one time.

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    2. Yes, the celebrating one's downfall thing is almost as disgusting as the plagiarism itself to me. Some of this people are certifiable, as well. There's an entire facebook group dedicated to this shit. People trying to one-up one another in there, as to who is the biggest "Spartacus" of bullshit.

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    3. I agree. We do not need to celebrate anyone's downfall, at least not with action that creates us the same as those for whom we celebrate. It's as simple as rising above and choosing to be part of a positive element. I abhor plagiarism as much as any writer. And for this particular recent incident I am not a happy camper, but we learn, hopefully that person has learned and if she's ever ready to make her way back into the community... I give her a shot (but not carte blanche). Though this isn't about her situation specifically and tackles so many issues. The last week too many and that being one that is seething with hate and creating divides unnecessarily due to some venom.

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  4. There are undoubtedly elements in the community, that feel like they are "above" everyone else. They band together only when necessary to stroke one another's ego, tear a person down that they have deemed an outsider or take some amount of credit for other people's accomplishments. Unfortunately, these people will NEVER be on the same page as us, as far as community goes, because they are in this to get attention that they don't get elsewhere. I'm with you though, man. And, in all honesty, I'm nearing the point to where I stop watching in silence and complaining about this behavior in private messages.

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    1. We'll work to fix it. I'm sure history has seen worse. I think the number of people who are upset about a dozen situations like this are ready to open up and make things better. Hopefully.

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  5. Thank you for posting this, Doc (I've shared it around Facebook a bit). I feel like, in the almost-five years I've been blogging, I've seen more than my share of backstabbing and cliquishness, and I know certain people who think they're big fish in a small pond have talked trash about me behind my back for not kowtowing to them enough. It's been bad enough at times that I've thought seriously about shutting down my site and finding something better to do with my time. Articles like this keep me going.

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    1. Thanks for spreading it around, Bill. Keep going! Your inspiring people to watch great movies. Case in point: Your recent Manitou piece ;)

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    2. Thanks Doc! I'm looking forward to this weekend. I finally don't have to do anything or go anywhere, so I'm going to lounge around and watch/review movies alllllll weekend long! :D

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