If it's Wednesday, there must be drama. Some of you know about The Thing and some of you don't. Some people want to perpetuate the nonsense, some are now ashamed of themselves for not speaking out and some are standing on the sidelines wondering what the hell just happened. I guarantee you that a chunk of the fandom looked at it over the weekend and said, "Yeah, I'm outta here," and went back to lurking. Oh, they might watch but they won't participate in anything. Wanna know how I know that? Because it's happened before. I have friends who no longer participate in fandom events, who have given up their blogs or fic or vids or art or whatever they did FOR US and went away because they were either once targeted or they watched helplessly from the sidelines as someone else was and they were afraid that they might be next.
Fear in these situations, beyond an initial "holy shit," is a choice. We all have choices. What follows are my choices, the way I survive these dramas with my sanity, such as it is, intact. Please understand that the perspective that I'm coming from is one formed by participation in multiple fandoms over the years so while some of these may not seem applicable to the current situation they're still things I keep in mind.
1. Support the target. Email or message her or him (you thought this fandom was all female?) and offer your help. If you want to do Something then ASK what you can do and if the target asks you to leave it alone do that. There may be (and probably is) more going on than you realize or than has been said publicly. Realize that saying, "Well, what did you do to bring this on yourself?" is not only NOT supportive, it's target-blaming.
2. Know who your friends are. Not everyone in this fandom is going to get along. That's just life. While I'm personally and on this blog open to all comers I know who in this fandom has my back. I also have a good idea of who is most likely to stab me in it because I've watched them do it to others.
3. If you've participated in shit kicking then it's your responsibility to clean it up. Own it. Apologize for it. Keep in mind, though, that not everyone will get over it.
4. Get your facts straight. Understand that the argument you're wading into might have been raging across multiple blogs, Tumblr, Facebook, the message boards and through email for months or, in some cases, years.
5. Laugh. Laugh a lot. They can't kill ya and they can't eat ya.
So, that's what I have to say about it. I'm not saying that YOU have to do these things but I'd like to hear how you handle it. Comments are open as long as we can be calm. Be forewarned that personally attacking ANYONE else will get your comment pulled and you put on moderation. I don't want to do that but I will if this gets out of hand.