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Ye Ole Lair of the Beasts

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So. I have decided to write a rant about BL. Although I never meant to. Although I hate the entire label of rant.

Be forewarned, this is going to be long so if you don't feel like going through a wall of text but still want to know what the hell I'm craping about, there's a tl;dr at the end of the text.

Anyway, how come that I, who has been more or less absent for a while, is suddenly writing a moralising rant about the state of the forum?
Truthfully, in large part it has to do with the fact that I'm seeing some problems that I come across IRL, only with some alterations due to the niche nature of this forum. And these problems have been present here on BL for quite a while, though they seem to have intensified in these last few months or so. Or at least that's how I perceive it, I could be wrong due to my absense.

And this absense of mine is where I want to start.
Partly it had to do with things that have little or nothing to do with the forum; namely my poor health ( both mental and physical ) and the academic problems resulting from it. And because of those problems there is now a virtually unbridgeable gap between myself and most of the forum, as I have fallen behind on new materials and lore and have neither the focus nor the energy to bridge that gap.
But more importantly, I feel like I have lost the willpower to reengage in the fandom and the lore. BL was, for a considerable time, an engine that pushed me into new TM stuff, from Angel Notes to Fate/Extra. Being part of the fandom meant being a part of a community and making friends here.
So why not anymore?

The answer is both a second part of the reason why I'm not that active anymore, and also the main issue I wanted to tackle with this post.
To put it shortly, it's because I find the forum hostile.

And no, it's not because I've gone to tumblr and returned an SJW. It's not because I'm a single-minded radical with no ear nor tolerance for dissenting worldviews and opinions. No, when I say hostile it's got to do not with people holding different beliefs or having different interests. It's about communication.
It's about the fact that BL has become a community hostile both to newcomers and insiders alike, with those not fitting in becoming either targeted or pushed away.

Before your fingers fly to your keyboards, no, I don't believe that BL should or can be some sort of safe haven for everyone ever, an all-accomodating utopia.
Internet is a vast space, and there's a myriad of smaller and bigger corners of it, with vastly differing communities of people flocking to them. I think it's perfectly natural and acceptable that these communities will be more or less a niche for specific types of people, that not everything is for everyone.

However, I also do not think that this should allow a community to become so closed, so inward-looking, that it effectively makes a hostile atmosphere for newbies, where people who are not part of (a) clique(s) ultimately leave, confused, angry, and hurt.
And it seems to me that BL has gradually receded into this exact state.
This is not down to ideological differences, differences in life experience ( at least not directly ), different taste in things... no, it mostly has nothing to do with that, and everything to do with how we treat each other ( yes, I'm using 'we' because I include myself in all of this ).

Communication in BL has grown toxic, hostile, intolerant. Beneath a veneer of casual dudebroness and friendly banter, there is an underlying problem of both an unwritten 'code of conduct' and a hostility to people who don't know the 'code' or otherwise don't fit in.
Yes, there are certain cliques of friends, mainly among older forumers, and no, not everyone has to be friends with everyone.
Yes, people clash and argue over things from politics to trash anime, and no, we should not silence ourselves or others in some sort of pointless quest for forum peace and harmony.

But at the end of the day we should be able to be CIVIL and POLITE to each other in spite of our differences.
We may not like some people, or disagree with others, or downright loathe someone, but we should attempt, to our utmost, to treat others with consideration, patience, and I dare say kindness.

Some people here are mentally ill. Some are disabled. Some have short fuses, some are not thick-skinned. Some hate NGE, some love it. Apart from genuinely extreme cases like rape apologists or paedophiles, which I believe shouldn't be welcome anywhere, I think everyone should be able to be a memeber of this forum. Everyone should have a say, and no one should be ostracised for what they say.
Everyone should be treated with due respect, kindness, and politness.

I am not advocating though policing. I am not trying to dictate how you all should feel or talk.
I suspect that many here take me for an extremist and a radical - and I probably won't argue - but I do believe in pluralism, in freedom of expression as long as it doesn't advocate restricting the freedoms of others. I am not here to tell you to think the way I see fit.

I am, however, saying that all of us need to rethink the way we act.

And this isn't me just trying to make BL a nanny state or seeing things that aren't here.
Why do you think Seika and the rest of the Admins and Mods introduced those rules? Because they were bored? Because they want to ruin your fun?

No. It's because this forum has serious issues with everyday communication between forumers. People get alienated if they don't fit with certain behavioral patterns, if they're not 'one of the lads'. I personally know several cases.
And when people get alienated and hurt, they either leave the forum or take the route of staying but putting some emotional distance, someting I have done myself. And this means no seriousposting because that means emotional investing.
So we end up with tons of 'shitposting' and then complain about quality of the forum going to hell.

And it's really not much that I'm asking we do.
Be more patient with people. Be more polite. Be kinder and more considerate.
Just be decent people.

Is someone just too annoying for you? Are they straining your patience and consideration to the breaking point? Then don't act like Petri and pollute threads with your bursts of negativity, and ultimately leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth. Either sort it out with them in private ( PMs, Skype, i don't care how ) or through a mediator ( mods are there for you ).
This hostile atmosphere is not something I personally want to take part in, and I don't believe new people would be too happy to stay seeing how we treat each other.

Tl;dr - please stop being hostile to each other. We must work on our communication and how we treat people. Latest incident with Prix and Petri is just the tip of the iceberg, and I'm sick of the forum being like this.
Be more polite, be more considerate, be more patient.

Please, for the love of god, let us be more civil and decent to each other.

This has been both a personal unloading of emotions and frustration, and a genuine, honest appeal to all of us here on BL.
And if there are people who think that this is an attempt at policing them rather than an appeal for us to be better to each other for the sake of making the forum a better place, then BL has truly and irreversibly gone to hell.

Polly out.


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  1. Zurvan's Avatar
    Was it Draconic?
  2. just Beamu's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Seika
    Woah, now those were some interesting ones before they got deleted. I don't think I've ever been called the Antichrist before.
  3. Seika's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zurvan
    Was it Draconic?
    They deleted it, so after a bit of teasing, I'd rather not go any farther into it.
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