Let me make something perfectly clear right off the bat– This post is not a slight on Jeremy Tolbert or Steve Eley. I am humbled and privileged to have read for Escape Pod. It’s all the fucktards out there who need to have their virtual tongues cut out and smashed under very large and heavy rocks.
As many of you know, I am a narrator and a podcaster. I am also fucking pissed.
This last week, a story by the lovely Genevieve Valentine, read by me, was put up on Escape Pod. While I’ve listened to Escape Pod audio in the past, I never dived into the forums or comments on each. I usually got the episodes from Itunes.
As any curious narrator would be, I wanted to know what people thought of the reading. I’m always interested in constructive feedback to enhance my future narrations. If you thought it was deadpan, fine. I can take it. I’ll make a note and try to be more enthusiastic next time I’m reading about death. No, really.
When I went to both the forums and the comments on the individual stories on the Escape Pod site, I found myself barely controlling my rage at some of the comments. In case the entire Internet hasn’t been taught — there are ways of offering criticism that don’t include the words, “Suck”, “terrible”, “Bad”, “Boring”…. the list goes on.
It’s fine. A story may not work for you. You may be disappointed where the author (and reader) take you while on your journey. You may find yourself wondering why you stuck around for the ending. People are entitled to that opinion.
What people aren’t entitled to be are assholes about it. See: how to offer constructive criticism.
I was once a proponent of open commenting and forum posting. No one should be moderated. As I started my blog, visited Youtube, read news articles which allowed comments, visited friend’s sites, and saw the pretentious, asinine drivel flow like rabid spittle from the mouths of inconsiderate beasts who should never have been allowed an internet connection, my stance slowly changed.
See John Scalzi — “Moderation Matters”.
John is happy that most of the members of his community are civilized human beings who pride themselves on having compassion and understanding for other members of this race. It’s fun when you have an adult conversation comprised of adults acting like adults. It’s great to have lively discussions that don’t veer off into hate-filled, often unassociated tangents. It stops being fun when scum start adding their drivel to the mix.
See, here is the deal. I don’t care you said nasty shit about me. Really, I don’t. What I care about are the people who pour their hearts into bringing you content every week. What I care about are the writers who are telling a story. What I care about are the producers and editors who are mostly volunteers and don’t get paid for their effort and time. What I care about are the listeners who have constructive things to say.
So really, to all the people who can’t stop vomiting up shit and getting off on their self proclaimed righteous verbal masturbation; fuck you. Seriously, fuck you. Oh, that’s twice. You know I’m angry, now.
Places like Escape Pod who offer free content for the love of the genre, should be commended for their dedication and perseverance. Especially on the internet, where the term “asshole” is not only a state of mind, but now comes in anonymous flavor packs.
For the record, if you read this Genevieve, and countless others who’ve been ripped apart by people who really should be wearing muzzles and straight jackets and locked in rubber rooms:
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for writing, producing, narrating and editing.