Third time! This time though, it's not as personal but a lot more complicated.
So I'm a big part of the Transformation/TF part of the fandom, a largely fetishized group with some very unique art. While I have yet to contribute, I have hit a small snag that bugs me.
I knew this artist, we'll call them Carlos, who was a moderately decent artist with some glaring flaws and almost no following. He came across very abrasive and rash, which may have pushed people away. I got to know him and he was the same with me but seemed like a good guy. But then he dropped a major bomb.
There's another artist in the TF world, let's say she's...Joan. So I met Joan first and she is CRAZY popular, bursting onto the scene of TF by saying she needed money for a pet's surgery. Her fame skyrocketed with her clean art and tfs, albeit more on dA than FA. And it was through her, or him, that they revealed themselves to be the same person.
So this mediocre male artist created an account to be a female artist with sympathy fans, and the same kinda mediocre anatomically incorrect art, but had done so in such a way to build up a massive following. Through this lie they amassed tons of fans and money, and nobody knows about this other than me.
This female persona had a very specific niche for tf, let's say she only did Foxes. And she was very strict about doing anything not fox related, and having a list of fox species for people to pay and pick for their tf. But then for some reason, perhaps nobody else wanted foxes, she bails on this and accepts all animals out of the blue. For no reason other than more money.
Then his normal male account posts a journal about getting tired of doing tf and I respond, saying that they might lose some fans if they drop tf altogether, but then they get all defensive at me, saying I'm the reason they quit skype, saying that dirty art is impure and filth among other things. The journal also insulted the furry community, calling it an emo ridden group of losers and just a horrible journal of horrible hate. It was so vile...he was dwelling on the clean days of tf but everything is dirty, nothing is ever 100% clean. It's not like it just started becoming naughty in the last 2 months.
Oddly, when we had chatted during skype and I expressed some disinterest in this person's affinity for chiptune and foxes, they freaked out at me. That may have been the downfall of our relationship.
Then, I blocked the male account because I was sick of being harassed by this liar and manipulator...but then I should check my messages a few hours later and find a note from the female account asking to talk things out. I ignored the note for a day cause I didn't wanna bother, but then when I decide maybe to give it a shot, guess what? She/He had blocked ME now!
Here's what she sent me:
“So lets talk like actual adults before anonymity on the internet. Clearly you're upset, clearly I misspoke, a lot of it lacks context, and I think that lead to a lot of wacky insults and mudslinging.
“So if you'd like to actually hear why I feel the way I do, with details, instead of assuming I'm a run of the mill miserite troll scapegoating a community that does not deserve it.
“And hey perhaps you could convince me otherwise but either way our last discussion was clearly some old salt in the wounds. Lets say we can heal like logical reasonable human beings?”
And so I can normally just block and remove a person from my life right? But this person works in the same vein of tf that I like and draw for, so every time I see their icon or name I just get knots in my stomach. I have a problem forgetting things and it's especially tough when I see their name everywhere.
My final question is this; How can I move on and not be so bitter? Sure we both said some things, but the hastiness of the blocking and the inability to accept each other's opinions, but was it just a doomed friendship? Or is it just a moral sensor going off in my brain whenever I see the people she's/he's duped on their account praising this liar? Should I expose them? Clearly they won't leave the tf community when they have so much money coming in from selling out their ideals by taking other species, so I'm at a real crossroads.
Thanks a lot Papa!
From your favorite Malayan Civet (since I'm the only one in the fandom lol),
Cassidy~! (age 17)
* * *
The Internet is such fertile ground for drama, isn’t it? And the online furry community is certainly no exception. Whenever I get a letter such as yours, Papabear listens to his gut, which always tells me one of two things: either there is more going on here than meets the eye, or I’m hungry. If I’m hungry, I eat, and then get back to the problem, which is this....
Carlos/Joan (hereafter CJ) has some serious issues going on with him/her. These are emotional and possibly psychological problems that you likely know nothing about. You only know what CJ posts and chats with you about, and that’s it. When something upsets CJ s/he lashes out and acts somewhat irrationally. Joan seems to be the slightly more rational side, while Carlos the more fiery, defensive, and angry side. CJ may be bipolar or have cyclothymia or bipolar disorder Not Otherwise Specified. Sufferers of these illnesses go from depressed states to high states to various degrees and frequencies depending on the type of problem. Another possibility is some form of autism, such as Asperger’s, which can cause someone to overreact or react inappropriately in social situations (and become hypersensitive to any kind of criticism). This would explain the reactions to comments about his/her TF work and about the TF art community in general.
One of the more difficult interactions in any community is to express empathy and to show compassion and support to someone you just met online who appears to be a mean person. It’s hard because you can’t usually tell if they are that way because they are troubled or if they are just mean by nature. What Papabear usually tries to do (not always because some people are so unbalanced that I just hope they see a doctor, but I can’t afford the time to deal with their many problems), is first assume that someone is that way because they are unhappy. Then, instead of criticizing them, I ask them if they need a shoulder to lean on and a sympathetic ear. I certainly would not criticize something like their artistic skills and, instead, would encourage their desire to draw and express themselves (a very healthy activity). Even if they are poor artists now, with encouragement, they could improve. (If people criticized me harshly for my piano playing, I would be sad and would stop trying, but they are encouraging me and that is why I am slowly improving).
I wouldn’t bother to “out” CJ as being duplicitous (and you’re probably incorrect in assuming you’re the only one who knows s/he has two online profiles). It’s not illegal and it’s really none of your business (are you jealous that Joan has seen some success because she is really Carlos? Perhaps Carlos is actually Joan? Who knows? Who cares?) Many artists get commissions, I’ve noticed, especially among furries, by pleading they need help financially for something. It’s a way of supporting people. Perhaps it’s a bit disingenuous, but it’s called feeling some sympathy toward others. I always look at it as a “there but for the Grace of God go I” phenomenon. What if I were not so lucky as to have a job and a home and a family? Wouldn’t I cry out for help, too? I would. I’d be asking you to buy my books, even if the books didn’t interest you or you thought they stank up the place.
I believe what you are experiencing with CJ is the cacophony of a cry for help. It can hurt the ears, indeed, but one way to alleviate it may be to give them a big hug, some tea and sympathy.
Hope that helps,
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