Category Archives: A Funny Thing Happened Logging on to the Forum

A Funny Thing Happened Logging on to the Forum (3)

The Highlander forum has died. That’s ironic, but moving on. I use to be an active participant in the forum, and it wasn’t just because I loved Highlander.

The forum boasted a talent pool of film makers, writers, artists, and people who actually made swords in their very own workshops. I discovered The Hunted when someone posted their video there. And as a result, I later met Mark and Ned who inspired the character Nicodemus Dean. So really, I credit the Highlander forum for some of the most amazing moments in my life, thus far.

Unfortunately, like most forums, this one was mired by a lot of uptight snobs.  These are people who would actually look down on you for discussing something related to Highlander, flat out belittling posters for wanting to explore aspects of, you know, the show the forum existed for.

I stopped going there all together a couple years ago. But recently, it came to my attention that the forum outright died. You can still get to the website, but you won’t be able to open up an account or interact. It’s basically just a piece of paper at this stage.

But two of the people who frequented the site are on my friends list. They are fellow writers and we have shared a mutually respectful relationship. And I suspect it is how one board member found my Facebook account.

At first I didn’t know who it was that was sending me a friends request. His profile page was written in a different language. So for all I knew, it was some spammer. Since he didn’t send me any message with his request, and I didn’t find his name in any of my groups, I promptly deleted his request and blocked the user.

Then he sent me a message, which somehow got through the blocking. Don’t ask me how. But when I realized who it was, I said, okay, why not. And I accepted him.

Almost immediately, he starts talking about a tarot reading I had given him. Okay, fair enough, I did a lot of those. And I’m not opposed to people thanking me if they appreciated the reading, which he did. But I made it very clear that I wasn’t doing those anymore and that I had placed the whole thing behind me.

Even after this, he asked if I would do one for him again.

So, great display of listening skills right out of the gate. Experience has already taught me that if I give him one now, he’ll only want more. so I tried to explain to him once again that I no longer do readings for people as they are emotionally draining, with little reward.

So he proceeded with the flattery. I was so accurate. He was skeptical, but surprised by my accuracy and so forth.

Well, he seemed to be genuinely asking me for help. So I gave him this caveat. I told him I would do this one reading for him but that I would not be on tap. He seemed to accept this term and I asked him what he was after. As always, I asked him to give me the least amount of information.

He proceeded to give me a paragraph or more. I told him to stop and reminded him that I work on very little information.  He seemed surprised, as if he had not been so moved by my “accurate” reading that he would have remembered the fact that I would have asked him the same thing back then.

So he dropped it, as I asked him. I told him I would read the cards and give him his answer the next day. He kept talking about the reading. I told him to stop.

Then he asked me why I left the Highlander Boards. I was frank in telling him, since I didn’t feel any worry that I would get some kind of social backlash. But I didn’t name specific people who had upset me because, frankly, I had put them out of my mind. I told him that this was something else I had placed behind me and that I no longer wished to discuss this.

He kept taking about it though. I asked him again, firmly, please drop the subject.

He then said, “I just hope it wasn’t me who drove you away.”

At that point I realized that he wasn’t going to listen to me. He made his regard for my feelings very clear, so I removed him from my list and permanently blocked him once more.

Maybe now people will realize that I’m serious when I set simple boundaries.

A Funny Thing Happened Logging on to the Forum (3)

Not that it’s going to help, but to prove to you that I can accept an appropriate level of criticism, I turn you attention to the British Comedy Guide. Because if anyone has nailed comedy, it is definitely the good men and women of the United Kingdom.

This forum hosts people from all over the world in varying stages of their own professional careers in comedy, be it stand-up, improv, live and in person, or just funny on paper. Some of the members can boast successful careers both on stage and on the screen and others are just testing the waters. While the advice can be critical and sometimes harsh, it is always given with the spirit of helping someone improve. So for those who accuse me of not having a thick skinned, take note of the replies that some of the British Comedy Guide members gave to the same Open Mic video that I posted on the Second Rate Paranormal forum.

Sootyj is a comic with an impressive history, as can be proven if you take a look at his website and resume: http://bespokejokebloke.co.uk/

His reply was short and to the point.

Youre styles good

But 2 minutes in your one joke was cds reassemble frisbeez, that’s pretty weak sauce

Note how his critique was only about the performance. See the subtle way he chose not to make a personal attack on my entire life choices, as opposed to itheblaze, who felt the need to give me a “Good Talking To” in his response to the same video. (If you haven’t read the previous post where I quoted itheblaze, please click on the link above so that I don’t have to repeat myself)

And it made sense. From a stand-up comedy perspective, even I knew the story itself wouldn’t fly over in at the open mic in Fran’s, or at the Tavern at The End of the World. Further down in that same thread, another poster gave me advice about who I could study in the comedy world that would be more in line with the style I was going for in the spirits of helping me improve the set.

This is another far cry from the people on Talk Paranormal, who are far more prone to bullying behavior than you would expect on a forum that is geared towards helping people who may or may not be experiencing paranormal phenomenon. I mean, just look at the thread in the previous post again and go to the website. If that’s how they treated me just for posting something they didn’t like, would you be comfortable trusting them with a story that might earn you the same amount of ridicule in any other setting? I hope not.

So in closing, I want to thank the members of the British Comedy Guide for proving that my choice to post my work online was not a complete mistake and that functional adults using the Internet is not just a tale of the supernatural.

A Funny Thing Happened Logging on to the Forum (2)

Sometimes I like to share my work with people on the forums I frequent, mainly because I’m a glutton for punishment. If it’s a forum I’ve been to with any frequency, the responses can range from constructive to outright insulting and I keep forgetting that these are people who are so cowed by the people they encounter daily that it’s often more of a pressure release to rip a knew one into the sides of people they will never encounter in real life.

So I posted the link to this video on a second rate paranormal forum. I say second rate, because there are maybe a handful of users there at any given time. When I initially logged onto it, I was hoping to find a paranormal group in my area to join up with that shared the same goals and ideals as the group I was working with when I lived in Burlington, Vermont.

This is the response from one forum goer and I offer you the disclaimer here and now that I have not altered anything “iTheblaze” said. You can even click the link to the forum thread to verify it, although I can’t promise that the forum admin won’t remove the thread. I’ll add the additional disclaimer that it is not my intention to provoke a flame war, but rather to call attention to this one specific person.

What profound incident happen in your life that convinced you that stand-up comedy was the road to follow? I want YOU to take a truthful look at the video you just made. Out of the 4 people in the audience, plus the camera-man, that’s 5, not one flat out laughed. The old man that looks like prophet might have snickered a little. Kinda hard to tell with all that beard. I see nothing wrong with having a hobby, I mean, you’re not hurting anybody. I feel something like this though, you gotta be born funny.

Alright, if someone doesn’t like my performance, fine. I can handle criticism when I have invited it, but the line is crossed when you make personal attacks against my life choices. This is especially hypocritical when you remember that I posted this on a paranormal forum.

So this a forum where people post their experiences and ask, “Is something haunting my house”? Usually there’s a down to Earth explanation for their experiences and it’s perfectly okay to say so. But I would never go so far as to try “analyzing” the person who made the post.

They even tried to “soften” the blow by telling me that they don’t see anything wrong with me having a hobby. But when people who actually perform comedy for a living have given me positive feedback, do you think that I’m going to settle for the little nugget of “positivity” that someone hiding behind an anonymous screen name threw me? Hell no.

Recently, the CEO of Reddit declared that the trolls are winning. That the war on trolls is futile. I disagree for one reason: There’s no a war between trolls and myself than there is a war between myself and the Indominous Rex. It’s an amazing animal that didn’t exist in the fossil record but was a destructive force to behold when you saw it on the screen. But at the end of the day, it was just a fictionalized version of a big scary creature created by someone sitting at a computer screen. That is all anyone’s online persona is.

I can accept criticism for my writing. I can accept that people won’t always agree with me. But forum users, I want YOU to take a truthful look at the bile you post: You’re not one in million, you are one of six billion. If a movie like Howard the Duck has fans than you can bet your ass that there will be people who continue to encourage my work, whether or not you approve.

Also, if you’re thinking of writing a scathing comment in response to this, feel free to do so. Just remember that your response still counts as a hit to my blog and I will have won the battle of wits based on that alone. Enjoy.