Hello everyone, and happy Saturday! Recently, I did something I haven’t done in a long time: I wrote a fanfic, one for Danganronpa to be exact. I was inspired to do it, because I admire the character Junko Enoshima, the villain of series, so much. To me, she’s a female villain in a class of her own, being feminine (meaning she’s not guy in a female’s body), a mastermind, unpredictable, and she doesn’t have to lean on any male characters to achieve her ends. She’s actually like a female Joker, and I love her character for it. However, that’s not the point of this post. My story, going along with the signature of yours truly, is violent, disturbing, explicitly sexual, and honestly may be the most horrific work I’ve produced yet, so I naturally wanted to share it with the world ^_^. Unfortunately, when looking for an outlet to get my work to the public and receive feedback, I was upset upon learning the king of fanfiction websites back when I wondered those grounds, Fanficton.net, doesn’t accept MA content. MA content has explicit sexual situations and violence, a criteria fitting my usual style of story.
Now, me being the researcher I am, I looked up what all the hubbub was about concerning Fanfiction.net’s banning of mature content. My research discovered they banned NC-17 content a while back, and the banning of MA content began when they allowed users under 18 to join the site in 2002. You have one side of the fence comparing what they did to book burning (After the ban was enacted, thousands upon thousands of stories were deleted) and violating one’s right of free speech, then you have others believing a “special interest” group of elitists, specifically a group called Critics United, are using the new rules to “purge” the site of works they deem inappropriate for their stomping grounds, then you have others, the lawful good types, that say Fanfiction.net laid out the ground rules for their site and if you break them, then you deserve to get banned. I, of course, have my own admonition for Fanfiction.net, and why I will not be joining the site.
The issue is consistency. After I read their policy, do you know one of the first things I found on the website? A lemon! No, not the greatest citrus fruit in the world for making drinks, but, in internet lingo, an explicitly sexual story, a Pokemon one between a grown Ash and Serena that made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. My research on Reddit also indicated that you can post an MA story on Fanficton.net… as long as you label it as M (Which this story was labeled as) and don’t surprise your readers too much with the content. Then it won’t get reported, right? But what happens when you piss off the wrong person or leave an honest opinion on another story, giving an opportunity for a slighted writer to “examine” your own? Your work may get targeted, while another violator gets a pass. Is that fair? I’d argue it isn’t fair to you, nor the community, and that’s the issue I have with Fanfiction.net. If you have a policy on your website, or a rule or law… anywhere, it’s not right to enforce it when you feel like it, whether to purge the site for space, to make a point, or to show you mean business (One of those lawful good types, who’s on the site’s side concerning the banning, left it! Why? Because she said she posted several stories in violation of their rules, but none of them got reported). It’s unjust to the people signing to your website expecting fade-to-blacks but instead get Fifty Fades of Grey whips, chains, and buttplugs. And it’s even more unjust to the people seeing MA stories on your site and then wondering why you removed theirs but not so-and-sos. Lack of consistency leads to corruption in a system, in people being able to abuse the policies to their convenience, and that corruption blossoms when you don’t enforce your policies initially and create a breeding ground of offenders. Then you have people, as I’ve read, who’ve invested chapter after chapter, sometimes novel lengths works, on your site, believing your policy is different, because you wrote one law but decided to enforce another. If you’re not willing to enforce your policies regularly for whatever reason, you need to be practical and either make your policy slacker, or create a more consistent means to enforce it.
And that’s my thoughts on the issue in a nutshell. From my experience, Fanficton.net used to be a balanced place. It’s where my sister got her start writing afterall, and she’s the one who inspired me to be a writer. However, their need to appeal to everyone along with the lack of enforcement of the policies they created, despite what side of the fence you prescribed to, created divisiveness in the community, a fissure among writers and readers who should be joining hands in artistic expression instead of slandering one another. It’s been noted the purge of stories hasn’t slowed Fanfiction.net’s following at all, but it has opened the gateway for competitors to grow, such as Archive of Our Own, Dreamwidth, and Live Journal. Also, as the story of MySpace and Twitter’s falling stock have shown, a few small competitors can take things a long way, that long way a painful journey to your site’s obsolescence. As for the writer, for the sake of his artistic expression, you’ll find my latest story, For the Love of Despair, on AO3 (Archive of Your Own) the moment they allow me to join their Beta (fingers crossed, rabbit’s foot over shoulder). If you find yourself offended by my deleterious style, please follow the rating system and tags presented, and don’t read it ;). But for the daring, and for the ones the right age, I invite you to my latest work.
Hey, how is everyone? I hope your day, night, or whatever is going well (Time Zones and all). Last week, at the height of my sickness, I experienced something that put my life in perspective for me: I almost died. It wasn't as dramatic as one would expect. There were no explosions, terrorist attempts, machine gun fire, or gangland attack. It was the simple fact that I nearly ODed (overdosed) on my medicine while I was sick. I'll humor those eating from the Falcon Feed:
I was working my daytime job: security work. I won't say what company and I won't say where for... reasons, but I was working, and I felt like hell. I was in the middle of my sickness, but it as the last day before my time off, so I said to myself I could rough through it, go home to give body the rest it deserved, then go on with my life. Throughout the day, I was taking some store brand Mucinex every four hours as the bottle prescribed. It enabled me to at least have the use of my nose, so I wasn't complaining. However, things took a turn for the worst during the last hour of my shift.
I suddenly felt the urge to sleep, an urge to sleep like the Sandman slapped me in the face, and the urge came so suddenly. Most would think it was exhaustion or lack of sleep, but I've worked till my body broke before, played all-nighters till 5 in the morning on a gaming console, and worked the graveyard shift more than once in my life, but I've NEVER felt anything like this before. It was a feeling beyond tired, like there as an overwhelming compulsion or hypnosis forcing my mind to sleep. I felt like I was about to fly, I could barely feel my legs, and a I felt slightly nauseous. I told my supervisor my symptoms, then clocked out early. She put on my timecard I was leaving because I was sick. When I went upstairs to our breakroom I had two options, and I honestly believe the option I chose enabled me to type to you today: I could have "slept off" what was wrong with me before going home, or I could think harder about why I was sick. I think it hilarious how no one I worked with could properly diagnose what was wrong with me: It took my own logic to save my life among vets, ex-military, and professionals. Or maybe their logic didn't factor into the situation at all. Maybe they didn't care.
But in anycase, I knew I had taken copious amounts of medicine throughout the night, and that, despite something I brushed off as an old wives' tale, I didn't take adequate food with my medicine. I ate dinner and a snack during my break, but that was it. I went in the bathroom, pushed my finger down my throat, and was sickened at what I saw and smelled. The entire bowl was blue, the same color as the medicine, and it smelled like nothing but the stuff. An entire toilet bowl of pure medicine. After I returned to the breakroom, one my co-workers at least gave me his left over pizza, I got a drink from the beverage machine, and my entire world lifted. No more tired feeling, no more lightheaded feelings, but I could still barely feel my legs. When I could comfortably operate them again, I went home.
When I went home, I stayed in bed for the next few days. I didn't take anymore medicine. My wife wondered if she'd need to call the hospital (something I'm surprised my co-workers didn't ascertain), but the danger passed. I was just shocked and sick. I called and told certain family members about my ordeal, but none of them seemed to care. Lessons I learned from this ordeal to pass on:
1. Make sure you eat when you take your medicine
2. When you face a life-or-death ordeal, nothing better shows you how the people in your life truly feel about you
3. People can die in surprisingly silly ways, so live the life you want to live (as long as you don't hurt anyone :P)
I used to think it silly reading about celebrities dying of overdoses, especially "accidental" ones. I used to always believe A. Someone was trying to conceal a suicide for insurance purposes or B. It was a Tom Clancy novel conspiracy. Now I know, given the right circumstances, it can happen, for it almost happened to me. It saddens me to think in a dimension somewhere there's a version of me who died sleeping in a breakroom, but he must be out there somewhere, for I had two decisions to make, and thank God I made the right one. Now I have a second chance to make things right. Be careful and safe out there, and live the lives you desire. It's better to live the life you love than to die in one you hate.