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I haven't met anyone offline who behaves like a Twitter user, but those are real people posting. It's a mistake to think the Internet isn't real life. It is.
I disagree wholeheartedly. The internet is not real life. It is a place for people to throw spaghetti at a wall. Taking the internet too seriously is as foolish as taking ourselves too seriously.

At the end of my life, I want to have more to show for myself than internet profiles and the perceptions of strangers.
 

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The truth is somewhere in the middle, as usual. It's not all mob mentality, but it's also not all genuine advocacy. It's hard to talk about anything these days from a macro POV because everyone has their varying definitions behind the words they use and a lot of different instances get lumped together as if they are one thing. And they aren't.

There is one thing I can definitively say is capital T True in this thread...

Cats absolutely count. All adorable things count
Certainly cats count. In fact, you can kill off as many humans as you like, but leave the animals alone.
And that's this. 100000000000000000% this!
 

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I feel in love with The Hunger Games/Katniss Everdeen when she talked about trying to drown her sister's cat, so YMMV on cats. She doesn't actually drown the cat, but that very early moment really told me I could trust this author not to sugar coat shit. Which is good in a series about war and kids fighting to the death.

I disagree wholeheartedly. The internet is not real life. It is a place for people to throw spaghetti at a wall. Taking the internet too seriously is as foolish as taking ourselves too seriously.

At the end of my life, I want to have more to show for myself than internet profiles and the perceptions of strangers.
Sure, don't take it too seriously, don't take anything too seriously, don't assume facts not in evidence (like people's actual ASL, motivations, etc)... but if the Internet is not real life, what is?

Are phone calls not real life? Letters? Text messages?

Most of us spend a lot of time on the Internet. Especially in the last year. Indie publishing takes place mostly on the Internet. The people posting things online may be obscuring certain facts, but they are real people.

There are bots out there, sure, but there are plenty of real human beings, posting real things.

There's a difference between suggesting people not care too much what strangers on the Internet think (that's always good advice) and between saying the Internet isn't real life. It is. I'm here, in my office, posting on Kboards when I should be revising my book. I'm a real person and this is a real use of my time.
 

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The internet is a place where people project who they think they are, or who they wish they were, along with whatever thoughts are currently passing through their mind (also not who they are). We are what we do, so I suppose you could be right. For some people the internet is real life, it's what they do and they devote themselves to it, and maybe that's truer this past year. I'm just not one of those people, nor do I want to be.

Phone calls, letters, and text messages take place primarily between people who know each other. There's context and history, something most internet exchanges are missing.

TLDR In general, I think the internet is a place for talk, and real life is a place for action.
 

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I feel in love with The Hunger Games/Katniss Everdeen when she talked about trying to drown her sister's cat, so YMMV on cats. She doesn't actually drown the cat, but that very early moment really told me I could trust this author not to sugar coat shit. Which is good in a series about war and kids fighting to the death.
And if she had, she would've been dead to me lol.

ETA:

Seriously, though, I thought that was more about showing us her life was survival mode, how she could barely keep herself, her sister, and her mom alive let alone have energy for others. Doesn't she soften to the cat in a later book? Or am I just inserting myself into the narrative?

Second ETA:

I'm starting to think we can make any thread about THG lol.
 

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You are correct, my friend. My point wasn't that these people are bullying... no, it was simply that traditionally "free speech" has the moral high (and sacred) ground of people who called themselves liberals (which I am not using pejoratively). Calling people out for their writing is a form of bullying and precludes truly free speech. It presumes that some things shouldn't be said. I agree that there are hypocrites of every stripe, and that there is nothing new in it. I oppose those who favor restricting free speech regardless of their political bias.
If I in any way came across as making a political statement, I apologize. I just hate to see groups that were huge proponents of freedom turn toward restriction without acknowledging how sad that is.
No worries, I understand. I just feel that in terms of what we can write and not write, say or not say, there is an urge to oversimplify what is a terribly complicated subject. Take free speech for example, it's actually a more recent develop to hold sacred that we can say anything we want. I won't get into the history because Radio Lab did a great job breaking it down:


I think the larger point, is that freedom to say or write what we want versus responsibility to the welfare of the general public are a always changing target. I'm once again going to defer to Radio Lab on this point because they did a great job showing about when the written word can go too far and what should we do about it.


For me what it boils down to is that all speech, including our books, should be reflected in a case by case basis. So the next time a publisher yanks a title or decides to make some rewrites, we should look at the details behind the decision. Sure it's not simple like this=bad that=good, but things in life rarely are.
 

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There is a paywall for that article, so could you give those definitions?
The article basically says that everyone has been canceled, much in the way Warhol said, "In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes." The writer postulates that everyone who is famous and has an online presence has been canceled by someone.

What does cancel mean in this context? A person decides to not support a celebrity by ignoring them (no liking posts, no buying their books, albums, etc.). It's a way for someone who is powerless to show that they disapprove of what the person is doing by not supporting them. Some have resulted in actual cancelations (Ie Rosann Barr), some seem to have little effect (ie Taylor Swift).

The article also goes in the origins of the word cancel in the context of canceling person (kinda cool, something I didn't know until now).

The one sentence summary is that if you're famous, you've been canceled by someone, somewhere.
 

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Sure, don't take it too seriously, don't take anything too seriously, don't assume facts not in evidence (like people's actual ASL, motivations, etc)... but if the Internet is not real life, what is?

Are phone calls not real life? Letters? Text messages?
It's not quite the same thing. The point here is that on the internet, we're all talking to strangers, all the time. When you pick up the phone or write a letter or send a text message, it's usually to someone you know, someone you've met in real life (unless it's a professional call, but that comes with its own set of rules).

On the internet, the extent of our reach is unlimited. And, at least for most people, untraceable. This means that a lot of people take it as a free ride to behave in ways they never would in real life.

An example? The comment section of almost any YouTube video. And trolls, in general.

Is the internet real life? Yes and no. It isn't in the sense that a lot of people use it as a way to blow up steam, and thus end up acting in ways they wouldn't in normal life (though I suppose one could argue that THAT is who they really are, and thus it's more real than RL?)

But then, of course, you also have forums like kboards where folks tend to (mostly) act the way they would in person.

So it's a bit of a blurry line.

Still, after some reflection, I'd agree to say that the internet is real life. Not because people act real, but because it's been with us for so long now that life without it would be very weird indeed (just like electricity or phones). So, by necessity, it has become a PART of real life.

But it's only that, a part of it, and not always a very reliable one ;)
 

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The internet is a place where people project who they think they are, or who they wish they were, along with whatever thoughts are currently passing through their mind (also not who they are). We are what we do, so I suppose you could be right. For some people the internet is real life, it's what they do and they devote themselves to it, and maybe that's truer this past year. I'm just not one of those people, nor do I want to be.
Sure, but that's true offline too. Maybe not to the same extent, but that's how people behave. They project who they think they are/want to be.

The Internet is a tool that connects people all around the world, in all sorts of different areas. It impacts our online and offline life.

Sure, I agree, that people who scream on Twitter might not say the same things, in the same tone face to face (they might though). And I agree the anonymity of the Internet brings out the worst in people... but it's still real people behind their computer screens. Someone wrote that rude comment on YouTube. They took the time to post something horrible.

Maybe they wouldn't say it to someone's face... but it was still a real person saying a real thing, potentially hurting another real persons' real feelings.

I get what you're saying, take what people say on the net with a grain of salt, but saying the Internet isn't real is erasing all the offline consequences of those things, and acting as if it's not real people. Sure, the net brought out the worst in someone, but the worst was in that person.

The mean things people say online have offline consequences. Cyber bullying is a big problem.

We lack a lot of the context of in person, or even video or audio, conversations. But we're all real people with real opinions.

And if she had, she would've been dead to me lol.

ETA:

Seriously, though, I thought that was more about showing us her life was survival mode, how she could barely keep herself, her sister, and her mom alive let alone have energy for others. Doesn't she soften to the cat in a later book? Or am I just inserting myself into the narrative?

Second ETA:

I'm starting to think we can make any thread about THG lol.
No, it would have been awesome! My inner vegetarian still loves it when cats and dogs are treated the same as other animals. Pigs are smarter than dogs, yall. I haven't been a vegetarian for many years, but I still love seeing people's cognitive dissonance challenged.

She legit tried to kill the cat IIRC. She tried to drown the cat, but she failed. The scene is there to show she's trying to survive, yes, but a lesser author would not show that scene, or let Katniss hate the cat so/refer to the cat as "another mouth to feed." "Save the cat" is the actual name for the cliche way to make a character likable. There's a book named after it!

Spoilers you probably know by know for the end of THG trilogy...

She hates the cat until her sister dies & then the cat is a comfort, but I don't think she likes the cat, so much as the cat is all she has left of her sister.

Well, of course, THG is like Seinfeld, applicable to so many situations.
 

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The article basically says that everyone has been canceled, much in the way Warhol said, "In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes." The writer postulates that everyone who is famous and has an online presence has been canceled by someone.

What does cancel mean in this context? A person decides to not support a celebrity by ignoring them (no liking posts, no buying their books, albums, etc.). It's a way for someone who is powerless to show that they disapprove of what the person is doing by not supporting them. Some have resulted in actual cancelations (Ie Rosann Barr), some seem to have little effect (ie Taylor Swift).
That's not quite the same as getting up on a soapbox and trying to persuade others to cancel someone. That's what I think of as cancel culture. As an individual, there are lots of things that I choose not to partake in, but I don't consider myself to be a culture.
 

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Looks like some broader topics are creeping in. Let's steer back towards the specifics of writing, publishing, and reading.
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 · (Edited)
She legit tried to kill the cat IIRC. She tried to drown the cat, but she failed. The scene is there to show she's trying to survive, yes, but a lesser author would not show that scene, or let Katniss hate the cat so/refer to the cat as "another mouth to feed." "Save the cat" is the actual name for the cliche way to make a character likable. There's a book named after it!

Spoilers you probably know by know for the end of THG trilogy...

She hates the cat until her sister dies & then the cat is a comfort, but I don't think she likes the cat, so much as the cat is all she has left of her sister.

Well, of course, THG is like Seinfeld, applicable to so many situations.
Talking of spoilers, seems we're back to the cat. It has some relevance to the thread when it comes to sensibilities and the question of should we or shouldn't we follow publishers in hiring sensitivity editors/readers or take account of it for ourselves for what would offend others.

I made a one line comment earlier in the thread that at the midpoint in my WIP I've just killed the cat. Now I could ignore the fact that some people have said they would stop reading right there and carry on regardless with my original thought for a twist, when the MCs cat makes a reappearance and later the MC would discover the cat she found hung by a chord her patio was a toy cat. Or I could leave it as is and let the cat be dead. Or I could take out the scene for fear of offending animal lovers. As it is I'll be carrying on with my original thought as to how it will play out. If readers cant stomach the cat scene, then they won't stomach what's to follow, so it's best they stop reading.

The fact is that if I take away the scene for those who would be turned off and not read on to discover what really took place, I would likely alienate those who read the psychological/horror genre who would simply accept the original scene for what it was because they would expect to be shocked.

I can understand how some feel about animals as I'm a big softie when it comes to most animals, especially pets, but would the Godfather have had the same shock impact if it were not for the horses head scene. The fact is that you can't please everyone or stories would be bland. Fortunately, applying genres sorts most of it out.
 

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There is a paywall for that article, so could you give those definitions?
The 2018 article didn't really have specific definitions. More of a description of how it started, mostly on Twitter (they mention 'black Twitter'), but elements of 'cancelling' happened before 'cancel culture' became a term, and definitely before it became politicized. The article mentions several TV shows that were cancelled over certain actors saying offensive things, which appeared to have predated the term's widespread use. It also mentioned Mel Gibson, Kanye West, the soccer star Ronaldo Cristiano.
 

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The 2018 article didn't really have specific definitions. More of a description of how it started, mostly on Twitter (they mention 'black Twitter'), but elements of 'cancelling' happened before 'cancel culture' became a term, and definitely before it became politicized. The article mentions several TV shows that were cancelled over certain actors saying offensive things, which appeared to have predated the term's widespread use. It also mentioned Mel Gibson, Kanye West, the soccer star Ronaldo Cristiano.
Many times we focus on labels (and the concomitant grouping of things) more than the actual events. When events occur often enough to gain a label (to "become a thing") that in itself draws our attention. So, Twitter and others encourage us to think in terms of what is trending when that isn't particularly relevant. Even when our attitudes or behavior haven't changed, by focusing our awareness on a new segment they can create a sense of immediacy about events. It's curious really, because as has been pointed out, censorship of literature is certainly not a recent turn, nor is it always successful. After all, the demonizing of Fifty Shades helped make it a marketing success. In that sense, I find "woke" and "cancel" just garbage terms that actually have a variety of meanings, in the same way that politicians and marketeers practice spin. We replace thought with these simplistic (and often inaccurate) terms. As a case in point, in this short discussion, we've not managed to find a definition that will allow a meeting of minds. The only consensus seems to be that some people are trying to suppress stuff they don't like. Robert Heinlein famously wrote that a definition of democracy was a bunch of people passing laws against doing things they'd never do. Censorship is similar--people using whatever power they have (social influence, political or economic power) to discourage or prevent ideas they disagree with.

Since there will always be censorship, we can only acknowledge that it exists and then write our books. If we write simply to entertain and make money, then paying attention to the current hot buttons might make sense. If we write to express ideas and philosophies, then we need to ignore them while understanding the potential consequences. If we are in the middle (and I would imagine most of us are) then it's more of a minefield.

Personally, I've never understood or tracked the "cultural" mindset. I've lived too many years outside of my own culture both physically and mentally, so understanding the fluctuating concerns is a pointless and useless endeavor (in the sense that I won't get it right anyway). I'll just have to write the books I love to write with characters I understand and not worry about the fallout (that is, keeping in mind it is very easy to offend people without intending to).
 

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The internet is a place where people project who they think they are, or who they wish they were, along with whatever thoughts are currently passing through their mind (also not who they are). We are what we do, so I suppose you could be right. For some people the internet is real life, it's what they do and they devote themselves to it, and maybe that's truer this past year. I'm just not one of those people, nor do I want to be.

Phone calls, letters, and text messages take place primarily between people who know each other. There's context and history, something most internet exchanges are missing.

TLDR In general, I think the internet is a place for talk, and real life is a place for action.
Maybe because I spend so much time online, I don't really do a persona. The people I've met online have become my actual friends too. It's my personal policy that I never post anything online that I wouldn't say to another's face or wouldn't want associated with my government name. That goes for social media, messagebards, DMs, my books, or anything that's supposedly protected by privacy software. I've seen too many people piss off the wrong person with too much time on their hands and end up getting doxxed.

I've also seen writers get too comfortable, even while under their work pseudonyms, with badmouthing popular authors(like outright personal attacks) because the internet doesn't feel like a real place to them. Then I get to watch in real time as that writer's query gets publicly trashed due to never researching that popular author's agent or publisher. Saw a similar incident with a writer trying to get hired by Netflix that nearly had me die from secondhand embarrassment.

I'm not saying you'd do any of those goofy things, just that since the internet comes with real consequences, then it's real life to me.
 
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No, it would have been awesome! My inner vegetarian still loves it when cats and dogs are treated the same as other animals. Pigs are smarter than dogs, yall. I haven't been a vegetarian for many years, but I still love seeing people's cognitive dissonance challenged.

She legit tried to kill the cat IIRC. She tried to drown the cat, but she failed. The scene is there to show she's trying to survive, yes, but a lesser author would not show that scene, or let Katniss hate the cat so/refer to the cat as "another mouth to feed." "Save the cat" is the actual name for the cliche way to make a character likable. There's a book named after it!

Spoilers you probably know by know for the end of THG trilogy...

She hates the cat until her sister dies & then the cat is a comfort, but I don't think she likes the cat, so much as the cat is all she has left of her sister.

Well, of course, THG is like Seinfeld, applicable to so many situations.
I'm for all animals being treated as adoringly as I treat my cat, smart or not, but alas, the world does not care what I think.

That sounds very her, and I haven't read those books in what feels like forever. I'm glad she came around, even if it's for the wrong reasons lol.
 

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Cancel culture is a made-up term from conservative media outlets. They've been "cancelling" everything they don't like since the dawn of time. It's only now when the disenfranchised are having more chances to have a say that this term cancel culture started popping up. I remember seeing so many people say they are canceling the NFL, Nike, burning jerseys, etc. when people expressed their free speech rights to do something as noble and benign as kneel silently.

If you don't like boycotts capitalism is the wrong economic system for you.

The more likely answer is you just don't want things that YOU like boycotted, but are perfectly fine boycotting or expressing outrage with things YOU don't like.
 

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It's not a culture. It's just been called that by media outlets so they can demonize a group. The same people who claim they don't like canceling have vocally boycotted (which is all canceling means) many things. I remember when the Dixie Chicks were "canceled" by Fox News because they spoke out against the Iraq War, I remember people trying to cancel Planned Parenthood because they help people with reproductive health, vocal boycotts at clinics that handle abortions, the list goes on and on. No one called this cancel culture. It's only called that because a certain group is losing the iron grip they once held on society.

Capitalism promoted boycotts if you don't like boycotts capitalism is the wrong economic system for you.
 

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It's not a culture. It's just been called that by media outlets so they can demonize a group. The same people who claim they don't like canceling have vocally boycotted (which is all canceling means) many things. I remember when the Dixie Chicks were "canceled" by Fox News because they spoke out against the Iraq War, I remember people trying to cancel Planned Parenthood because they help people with reproductive health, vocal boycotts at clinics that handle abortions, the list goes on and on. No one called this cancel culture. It's only called that because a certain group is losing the iron grip they once held on society.

Capitalism promoted boycotts if you don't like boycotts capitalism is the wrong economic system for you.
The Dixie Chicks got into problems because their (very overt) political message did not match the sentiments of their fan base. Country music's fanbase is conservative and patriotic. The Dixie Chicks were pushing a politically left-of-center message in a way that made it almost impossible for their fans to ignore. They would actually make political speeches before concerts. Agree with them or not, they were a little pushy. This wasn't a case of someone sifting through their lyrics for a vaguely subversive meaning and then canceling them because of it.

Also, that was almost 20 years ago. Our culture has shifted a lot (to the left) since then.

I wasn't aware that Planned Parenthood had entered the publishing space. So...that's maybe off-topic (?)
 
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