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Once a plagiarist, always a plagiarist?

So, still following the tale of MsScribe and feeling generally blah, I got to thinking about fandom and BNFdom and the things people do for both and why. What is so alluring about fandom is the way you can create your own identity, an online self, and some seem to go further than others. I for one is a lot more bitchy online than in rea life, probably because I channel it out here. And a lot of us probably polish ourselves to shine a little more. At what point does that turn into deception and lies, I wonder? Some do come into fandom lying and spinning tales from the start, some seem to get to a point where they want attention so much they create situations where they get it.

Fandom does have a hierarchy. In the very fanfic-driven ones, plagiarists are probably at the very bottom. And as seen in a link above, once you've committed plagiarism, you are painted with that brush and people distrust you. And at the top, you have those often called Big Name Fans, or BNFs. I suspect very few wants to be at the bottom. But at the top... Yeah, I think a lot of people want it. Not everyone. But certainly some of those who do also mock BNFs. Fame just has a certain magic pull on most. We mock the media fascination with fame, but we also fuel it. Humans are never simple, I guess.

But to get back to the BNF, the goal MsScribe was after if we're to believe the tale. There is something amusing about the thought of being famous for being a fan, but I guess what BNFdom is more about is rising to the top of that particular hierarchy. Becoming the alpha. Now, I'm not going to claim I was ever a huge BNF, but I did gain a certain level of fame in LotR fandom. I got a feel for what it might be like. And it can be quite addictive, but also very tiresome. Because fandom is fickle and for some, I think it's never enough. Perhaps that is why MsScribe kept doing more sockpuppetry. Perhaps that is why I keep writing fanfic. Attention is here today, elsewhere tomorrow, what will you do to swing it back, if that's your game?

Fandom is also about friends and communities. If you form attachments to people, you generally don't want to screw them over. Generally. It can still happen, of course, but more by being thoughtless or accident or some such. But then again, I've heard a few of those who did do stuff for attention say afterwards that it wasn't done with ill will. I believe some of them. So clearly, humans don't always think things through and friendship is no guarantee you won't get screwed over.

And yet, we keep on making friends. Fandom would be awfully lonely if we all distrusted each other. Some play it more carefully than others, some get burned more than others, and the two needn't be connected, ironically enough. Some people stick by their friends and might even refuse to believe there's been lying and deception, or some don't care. On a certain level, I can do understand that. If you've invested enough emotion in something, letting go is very hard. And loyalty does kick in. However, there does come a point where doing nasty in the name of friendship is no excuse at all, but everyone will draw that line differently.

Some of you here will remember the Thalia stuff, some will not. Summed up, Thalia was young and did a few things for attention that got revealed. I was pissed off at being lied to, others forgave. I got some flak for not forgiving, and I probably gave some flak for forgiving easily, in my view at the time. There is no key here, I think, no one approach that is wrong and one that is right. There's just human reactions and what they lead to.

I don't like being lied to. I don't like being screwed over. But like all humans, I will do both, and others will do them to me. And fandom is filled with humans and sockpuppets, and thus lies and screwing over too. A lot probably goes unrevealed. But when not, you get reactions like those you can look at in the comments over at Bad Penny, where the tale of MsScribe is being told. I don't know the truth of that one, since I don't have access to an unbiased, fully catalogued index of all information, but what is there is plenty damning. And so I wonder the why. I'm not sure I have any better answer now than when I started. I know that humans will be humans, but that is poor excuse and only at best a simple explanation. Perhaps it happens more online because it is a world where you can invent yourself, a world you can leave and start over in, reinvent yourself if needed. That sure is harder in real life.

So, the why probably has no easy answer, but it has a few explaining facts that might help towards an understanding. Fandom has some special cirumstances that some people will use. Humans will be humans. Fame will be fame. Shit will happen. Some will be forgiven, some will not. And undoubtedly, you'll probably always get flak, whichever choice you make.

But for me, I'm having a once-in-a-lifetime fandom forgiveness day. Today only, you may tell me if you've lied to ne and/or screwed me over that I was unaware of. I'll probably be hurt, but I am going to forgive it and never speak of it again. It's your choice whether or not you want to trust me on it, but I can pretty much guarantee this is a once-off. I can hold grudges like a champion when I want to. Do it in whatever form you like - anon entries will be screened and you can thus leave anon comment only I will see here. Or e-mail or IM or whatever you prefer, if you prefer to say something at all.

Either way - do be careful what you do in fandom, yeah? You might be human, but so is everyone else. They do get hurt. Even if it's "just" online.

That goes for me too, brain. Make a bloody note.

Date: 2006-06-20 08:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mad-troll.livejournal.com
Except for reading all your stories on ff . net (even those for/from shows I've never seen) and never ever reviewing anything I'm innocent.
Beside being The American President Who Is In Charge Of The world, that is.

Oh emo viking, have a chocolate ice-cream to drown the tears in.

Date: 2006-06-20 01:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misscam.livejournal.com
Being Bush is being Very Guilty in my book, dontcha know? :P


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