The Chewbacca Defense, Argumentum Ad Nauseam, and other manifestations of our Broken Base
So, that last blog post was interesting. Not just because of the article itself, either, though I think my point was made and well received overall by its intended audience, but because of the reaction to it.
The first comments were general support, enthusiasm, and an outpouring of why people are interested in the Destiel pairing. The straw man argument to move Castiel to the spin-off because of his popularity was dismantled, and I pretty much stepped back and let people talk. And then I made a tactical error, as far as preservation of smooth sailing is concerned. I called a hater a hater and asked them to stop, and painted a target on myself. It was fascinating how things changed after that.
WordPress isn’t Tumblr or Twitter. WordPress has a vast array of tracking tools, visitor logging, pingbacks and the like built into the back end of the site; it’s why so many popular blog sites and news sources and such use WordPress, so they can get information about their readers and know where they’re coming from and what they’re interested in.
I’ve never really cared about it before. I mean, the traffic to my blog hasn’t exactly been staggering because I rarely ever posted on it anyway. It was a holding place for links to other things I’ve done and for a couple of personal remarks. So, where did they come from?
The Destiew tag on Tumblr. SPN Anon Haven. A few individual J2/Wincest blogs and Twitters, where they were cross-posted with the intent of drumming up opposition. It’s interesting to note that even after that endeavor to send contrary opinions my direction, the majority came from one individual.
One IP address, using 17 different names, posted 26 times in the comments of my blog attempting to create the appearance of a majority. Even going so far as to sometimes post “I agree!” in another name on their own comments.
Julia, Elizabeth, Kelias, WinchesterSandra, Jjjjjj, Divinity, Alexandra, Serena, J2Bells, Fangirl09, Samantha, Kelios, Karola1001, Elaiyana, Viktoria, Sherley, Emily, IronMan. These are all the same responder. Same IP address. Same email address. Same source reference link.
Please reconsider your behaviors. You’re unhelpfully making your segment of fandom look unreasonable and ridiculous and you’re attempting to force dichotomy where there is none.
See, while my post was empowering to the Destiel fandom, it was not me encouraging the dismissing of the opposing viewpoint. Why, then, was it treated as something that needed to be trolled in an attempt to force me to give up my opinion? When that tactic went sour, I was labeled a “Crazy Pseudo-Intellectual Bitch.”
The sort of Proof by Assertion method that was illustrated in my blog comments is pretty much constant within the fandom itself. The attempts to belittle an opinion just by saying it’s a minority opinion or inflating apparent opposition are what prompted my commentary to begin with.
Supernatural is a Broken Base fandom. It’s been that way for a very long time, and every single episode, every convention, every interview tends to fracture the fanbase even further. We’re getting worse, and it’s pretty damn scary to begin with. Half the time if you look through responses to an episode from opposing viewpoints, you wouldn’t even be able to tell they were watching the same show.
It’s a problem.
I can’t heal a fanbase with a Kumbaya and a cup of cocoa, but I can point a spotlight at the tactics being used to force and further a “True Fans” mentality.