I, Daryl Wor, have been grounded in new friendships. A great many of my older ones have, as far as I can see, been destroyed by the new technology and the peer pressure of its addictive quality. What little knowledge I have been given to the whereabouts of my old companions in this life are that a few have been breaking free and their creative passions are thriving once again. Sadly it’s only 20% of whom I once was so close to who are taking that step back and reclaiming their lives.
In Facebook groups and such it is similar. With the 50th Dark Shadows Festival coming up in June I see the better behaved fans trying to host groups and online discussion become fed-up with the abundance of badly behaved people. They’re questioning if they want to attend at all with who they’ve seen online and might have to share the air with. Networks like these do tend to bring out the more infantile qualities in others somehow. One thing I try to inform my new companions about is the network is extremely easy to use for a reason: more people will use it and be advertised to. As with many things in our society it all is centered around making money. Our symbiotic nature has been preyed upon, yet again, for the sake of consumerism.
Since systems like Facebook are so incredibly easy to use and become addicted to, we find the types who cannot have much in the way of face-to-face interactions with people using these systems the most. Next we have the people who are fairly sound of mind but unable to get around much. It often feels like constantly watching the mentally ill attack the physically disabled. I just wonder at what point many users will look back on what they did or what they are doing and understand the damage that was caused.
My place in that is very straight-forward: I organically created a relief-series for Dark Shadows that incorporates other classic, problem-solving characters to lend a hand, which would change the format from a daytime-drama to a humour/mystery serial. Because I received so much silence I went looking for the answers as to why. Meanwhile I am watching communication abilities disintegrate in favour of short-note greetings on small devices with the habit to take what’s there but not to give much more than photographs. I’m being told falsehoods faithfully believed in from lack of information or the new systems hoodwinking the general public to engage in social behaviour that is, at best, unhealthy.
The more domineering types wander through and condescend me, patronize me, tell me things about what I’m doing that are also untrue, or at the very least try to behave in a bad pattern of “mothering” which I did not request. A single canon pairing, which I only mapped out in my work from viewing the original program and listening to the characters desires, has fans that see the opposition to it growing. The result is to become photo-sharing silent-worshippers of that pairing. A canon romantic-pairing is being militantly debunked in favour of one that is not canon. I’m seeing a disturbing form of proselytizing, as if a non-canon-romantic pairing can replace factual data when enough people are convinced of its existence via fanwork, and to top it off one-half of this pairing is deeply despised. He’s hated and always is laid the blame for everything that goes wrong; An odd form of mob-justice with nowhere to put it.
However the shyer types, the more empathetic types were being silenced. Or as Charles Bukowski expressed, “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.” Having lived in many versions of this problem I fired back. I reacted in kind. I would feel bad later but looking at what little in the positive was left to me and what was happening to the kinder people, well, if so many are allowed to be cruel and nasty without fear of repercussions? What’s there to worry about in responding to it with the same ludicrous assumption? As we know very well, when one ignores or shrugs off bullying or foul treatment in classrooms or otherwise it shows approval of those actions. This is what silence does and those who are silent have a role in that whether they like it or not. If you chose not to decide you still have made a choice.
I didn’t make that choice. I chose to speak up and expose the treachery being placed on others for doing something so innocent as loving particular characters and their tragic romances. And now I’m hated for it. (Although in small ways, I’m also embraced for it, thankfully.)
The Addams Family fans have been morally helpful for holding close to the darkness, even whimsically, and adoring their couple’s requited romance. The Ghost & Mrs. Muir fans have been supportive for simply loving a program, all its facets, and showing some were fairly aware of the troubles in the Dark Shadows fandom. Striving for a romance with so many metaphysical boundaries is part and parcel of Captain Gregg and Carolyn Muir’s dilemma, but somehow they manage to engage romantically. These parallels to Dark Shadows hold wisdom, understanding, and longevity.
So when my husband turns to me in some bafflement as to my determination to get the entertainment system working again and asks, “Why is it so important now to have the TV and DVD player hooked-up and running?” my answer is clear.
“Honey,” I tell him, “I put the show out there to get the discussion and I wasn’t getting it. It drove me crazy trying to find out why no one was talking to me. I believe I have all the answers now. Part of it was disconnect in communications via mobile-phones, social networks, and device-tech, much of the rest was fandom politics and a lot of these people having various forms of midlife-crisis’. I’m ready to go back to where we were in 2013 and build the show again. If people want it they will speak up enough and I will share more. If they don’t, I won’t.” He’s been quite satisfied with that answer. ❤
What everyone else wants Barnabas Collins to do, or not do, is inconsequential to me other than studying their own psychosis. What Barnabas Collins desires, wants and chooses he shares with me, as does his Josette in Maggie. And so this is true with all the other characters, Dark Shadows and beyond.
The nice lurkers are out there and they’ve been wondering for years when “everyone else” will do the talking. The problem with that is that the lurkers are everyone else. You’ve just been absolving your place in it. If you’re reading this you are a participant, especially if you’re paying attention. And so it is in almost all aspects of life.
I’ve created an entertainment product that doesn’t charge you anything but asks you invest a little time to support it by voicing your enjoyment. A strange concept? Would a money exchange have been preferable? Is paying for entertainment somehow a way of paying for the right to complain about it?
As asked in my first intro, “How can things be really good without trying to get money out of me?”
Vocal support in the positive, the details to what you like, unpack your adjectives of enjoyment.
Don’t praise me, praise the characters. It’s what I do when I listen to The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows. I fear myself at times by being able to create it, but when I forget that, I listen to Roger Collins and his family. I laugh in love right along with them and share in their contentment.
Is that too scary to do? 😉