Francine - harvest
I Blame the Dutch mpoetess
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More apathy.

The BTS has disappeared. Actually, it happened about a month ago, but I never overcame the lack of caring enough to poke around and find out why, even though I read the list, for my own amusement. (I don't know why watching people use anonymity to act like cranky 12 year olds with big thesaurii amused me, but it did. Also, always looking for my own name, because I'm always willing to believe I've written crap, and I'm always willing to be offended by people saying that things I know *aren't* crap, are.)

Finally found the one message that they (the official BTS members, as opposed to those of us on the mailing list, who varied from lurkers to occasional commenters, to slingers of outright viciousness that should make the original squad proud) left to announce their mysterious disappearance.

http://members.tripodasia.com.cn/badfanfiction/

I think I understand. They disliked the fact that they'd opened up their small society of muckspitters to people who would ask them to back up their assertions with honest discussion of what bothered them in the fanfics they skewer. They disliked it when people who started out with a scathing review that personally attacked the author, would back down when confronted by the author herself, politely defending her choices and asking why the personal comments. They disliked, basically, that an open dialogue allowed people to realize the recipients of their vitriol are human, and not always complete morons.

They did, indeed, become part of mainstream fandom, because the idea of *fandom* vs. just being a fan of the artistic product, includes the concept that behind the pixels on your screen, there's someone typing at a keyboard. Someone who might even want to engage you in intelligent dialogue.

And it looks like that's just too intimidating, or maybe annoying, for them. They would rather have the freedom from responsibilty that posting anonymous "Your fanfic sucks because your mother dressed you funny and your website's ugly" reviews, with no opportunity for rebuttal or discussion, allows. Because it's all about amusing each other, and getting off on the attention, and the other stuff, the actual caring about writing, is just too much work.

I suspect, actually, that they've drowned in their own pretentiousness.

BTS?

loreleif

2002-02-12 09:57 am (UTC) (Link)

Who or what are the BTS? I'd never heard of them (not that I'm sure that's a bad thing).

Re: BTS?

ex_verdandi713

2002-02-12 10:07 am (UTC) (Link)

BTS = Banfanfiction Terror Squad, a website wherein an anonymous group of folk kept a "hit list" of supposedly awful BtVS fic writers (I'm not active enough in the fandom to know whether they really were awful writers or not), flaming their writing, their websites, their appearance, any personal problems they made the mistake of mentioning in public, etc. ad nauseam, along with detailed fantasies of how each of them should be murdered. [shrugs] I guess if you like that sort of thing...

Gah.

loreleif

2002-02-12 10:15 am (UTC) (Link)

And I agonise over saying someone's grammar is bad?

-sigh- I guess I just see absolutely no point in being vicious or personal. Even the worst writer I've ever read is no-one I'd want to murder or give nervous fits to -- I was going to put that at the very worst, I wish they'd stop writing, then I realised that isn't true, either. At the very worst, I wish they'd get a good editor and pay more attention to what they're doing.

Spending time on vitriol and hate, beyond an occasional steam-letting-off, just seems so destructive and pointless to me. Geez, I sound hippie. :)

Re: Gah.

ex_verdandi713

2002-02-12 10:24 am (UTC) (Link)

Pass the tie-dye, then, 'cos I don't get it either...all else aside, it would seem more constructive in the long run to ferret out The Best Writers Nobody Seems to Read and give them a bit of a publicity push, rather than lavishing so much blood, toil, tears, sweat, time and attention on something you don't even *like.* But I'm sure I'm missing something here, so...

Re: BTS?

mpoetess

2002-02-12 02:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

Some of them were awful. Some of them were competent. Some of the attacks seemed to come down to personal preference.

Their offensiveness, to me, was never about simply saying "Here is a list of writers whose work I can't stand, and here's why." That, to me, may not be something I'd choose to spend my time doing, but I don't think there's anything inherently awful about it.

It was, as you pointed out, the flaming of "their websites, their appearance, any personal problems they made the mistake of mentioning in public, etc. ad nauseum, along with detailed fantasies of how each of them should be murdered" that really got everybody's juices going, including mine. One author, for instance, seems to have been flamed *purely* because of her website design. When I asked onlist what that was all about, i.e. what having a somewhat annoying website had to do with alleged bad fiction, then there was some "Yes, it's awful, la la, we hate it, we read it and it's ... pretentious, boring, purple, etc."

It really, really, really, seemed to be about entertaining each other with how bitchy you could be. I don't even think they *believed* half the things they were saying -- it was as if they were proving their own worth as writers by how cleverly they could put somebody else down.

Re: BTS?

reaming_uranus

2002-02-12 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

It really, really, really, seemed to be about entertaining each other with how bitchy you could be. I don't even think they *believed* half the things they were saying -- it was as if they were proving their own worth as writers by how cleverly they could put somebody else down.

Very true. How many BTS "critiques" devolved into insult fests, with list members trying to top each other with elaborate put downs? Uh, pretty much all of them.

P.S. Benaresq - hugs, but no curtsies from me. I wish I could claim partial credit, but I know I didn't have anything to do with BTS flying the coop.

Re: BTS?

benaresq

2002-02-12 04:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

P.S. Benaresq - hugs, but no curtsies from me. I wish I could claim partial credit, but I know I didn't have anything to do with BTS flying the coop.

Oh, you know who did? Was it just the Harry Potter shoutfest that did it hten?

Re: BTS?

ex_verdandi713

2002-02-12 04:56 pm (UTC) (Link)

The little bit I read of it was just *bizarre* to me--one person seemed to be getting flamed because she had a Princess Diana tribute page on her website. Whole paragraphs of bile devoted to *that,* while I sat there scratching my head wondering what on earth that had to do with the price of coffee in Buffy fandom...

reaming_uranus

2002-02-12 11:44 am (UTC) (Link)

I suspect, actually, that they've drowned in their own pretentiousness.

LOL! Unfortunately, I don't think the fanfic world is truly rid of the BTS. I'm sure they've found themselves a new rock to hide under, tucked safely away from the lynch mobs of insulted Harry Potter slashers.

Everything you've said about the BTS makes perfect sense to me, especially considering the list was disbanded shortly after an influx of new members (usually JA'd writers or their supporters) joined and dared to challenge BTS attacks.

I guess the BTS learned that toilet papering a house is only fun until the owner shows up.

benaresq

2002-02-12 01:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

Take a bow, Randy Flagg! The boy done good. :)

Amy, yeah, I agree with your analysis. I actually kind of liked the idea of an open-membership hit'n'bitch squad, and the idea of a list where flaming was allowed and encouraged struck me as a fantastic one, but they had more the feeling of being a massive gang of bullies, picking on a bunch of thirteen-year-old kids for fun. Nasty bunch, and no loss to the fandom.

mpoetess

2002-02-12 02:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

That's it. That's exactly what got to me -- flame away, if it floats your boat, though there are more constructive ways to say things, I think -- but be willing to stick around and defend your opinions. Acknowledge that the people you have flamed have a right to respond.

BTS pissed me off not so much becuse of the vehemence of their hatred of certain pieces of work, or even certain authors' styles, but because anyone trying to talk about the subject at a deeper level, anyone picking apart the flame itself, anyone trying to give real thought to their responses, was usually either ignored, or mocked for taking it seriously. The whole point seemed to be to create as entertaining a flame as possible, regardless of accuracy, and be applauded for how cleverly hurtful the writer managed to be.