Monday, August 17, 2009

Mumbles (incoherently)

It's hard to express what's on one's mind when what's on one's mind would best be expressed by a phrase like "Frgghluh mmlrrgh nurr. Nurr, nurr. NURR." But it's been a week and I feel like I really ought to post something, so NURR it is...


This is pretty awesome. "This" being a post that features Carson van Osten's "Disney Comic Strip Artist's Kit." Everyone who's interested in comics (strips or otherwise) as a storytelling medium really owes it to themselves to look at the Kit. I'm glad I encountered it now, just a few days before I do a public critique of Jay Bardyla and Daniel Schneider's WEIGHTLESS (not FLIGHTLESS, as I previously referred to it, in fact, pretty much the polar opposite of Flightless.)

Link via The Beat.


The intense pressure of posting two to three times a week at Mightygodking has had an unforeseen effect on my general online demeanour, leading to me doing something I don't think I've ever actually done before, and definitely haven't done more than a handful of time, if at all, which is to post something and then delete it without someone else asking me to. This turns me into something of a hypocrite; I've long maintained that people should have the guts to 1) take responsibility for what they write by signing their name to it, and 2) stand by what their words, taking the heat and apologizing for them if they were out of line, but not deleting them.

Earlier this year I broke the first rule, posting under an alias at Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood site. As long-time readers may recall, I felt so bad about this that I immediately wrote a post exposing my own hypocrisy, if only to the two or three people who read this thing.

The second rule I broke a few days ago over at the Canadian Geek forums, after I launched into an unnecessarily snarky reply to another poster, accusing them of resorting to cheap rhetorical tricks to try and score points for a weak argument while using pretty much the same cheap rhetorical tricks to attack them. So I deleted it, I'd say less than a minute later and I think before anyone had a chance to read it. Even so, it makes me feel a little squicky.

The whole incident did bring my attention to the aforementioned effect posting at MGK has had on me. To me, the site's strong point has always been owner and prime mover Christopher Bird's humour, so when I was given a shot, my intention was to post primarily humourous pieces over there (something I wasn't entirely successful with this last go round.) But humour's not really something that comes naturally to me, it's something that I really need to work at (at least I need to do that to get it right.) In the face of needing to find two or three things I can spin comedy out of a week, I find myself framing everything I come across, every interaction I have as either grist for the mill (which is mostly OK and something I reckon most writers do regardless of what they're working on) or as a potential target for ironic mockery.

This is fine when I'm coming across, say, Sarah Palin being a lying, idiotic cowbeast. It's not so fine when someone who doesn't deserve to be a target ends up in the crosshairs. And that's what happened when I posted at C-Geek. Someone said something that pissed me off, and I opened up with both barrels when all that was really required was a flyswatter. I don't think I wrote was particularly unfair, or even unreasonably rude, and some of it I think was mildly amusing. But what I do think it was was unhelpful and unnecessary. Letting it stand wasn't going to help anything and in fact I think it would've pretty much killed any possibility of a civil discussion going forward. In the face of that, I did what I never do and deleted the comment. And under the same circumstances I'd do it again. But hopefully, now that I've noticed how I'm approaching things at the moment, the same or similar circumstances won't happen again.


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