Alright, it’s the Promised Time.
I think this is actually spread across more tumblrs but fuck if I’m doing that much legwork. I should’ve been keeping up but I didn’t and now the posts about who the fuck this newbie is who doesn’t know it’s supposed to be capitalized are lost to time. We’ll just be focusing on the main saga.
A third of the way into the month, they announce that I do reviews this month.
Note that this is very horrible but there’s no mention of how people can avoid the reviews. I actually can’t tell if this is because this is all posturing or if it’s because they may have missed that while missing the directions for how to get a review and the part where it starts on the first of January, and also the actually helpful person who promptly reblogged and said as much:
Honestly, that is the great mystery. Throughout this, I couldn’t tell if the main players are pretending to be stupid for a purpose or if they’re really this dumb. My best guess is it’s some sort of mix. People who are better at tumblr may be able to make sense of this.
They also pull out the tag farla quest which will go on to detail their continued failure to figure out how the January reviewing that, as they say, I do every year, actually works. Within a few days they’ll forget they have the tag but keep posting updates untagged.
And, of course, immediately after posting the attention pours in:
If you’re wondering at the bit about posting “regardless of if it’s correct”, the answer is going to be so, so much more depressing than you expect. Think of the semicolon bit as foreshadowing.
Can it get worse from here? Yep.
Now, this is where we get begin the main part where I can’t tell where the lies and stupidity intersect. They start off with saying I just spam the dialogue paragraph – nothing about what I’m saying is wrong, just that I always say it even when the other person is doing fine.
The general chatter keeps going so let’s just focus on the bits relevant to our tale from here on out.
And thus I get that first PM.
The PM chains will eventually end in Feb with me saying as clearly as I can that “I can treat you however I want because my friends and I agree you’re not people btw we’re the good guys you monster!” is fucked up. I get a private apology that will probably be out of their mind the next time they want Sempai to notice them, assuming they meant it at all and didn’t feel that apologies are just said whenever the other person is complaining about something.
In fairness to Tumblr, this is basically no different from Livejournal, it’s just the people there were largely able to grasp that posting in public meant people could see it.
Note also the assumption I’m acting in bad faith and this is just an excuse because I don’t want to read it, not because of the reasons I actually gave. A lot of what goes on here makes a great deal of sense looked at through the lens of no one actually meaning what they’re saying and figuring I must be doing the same thing. This may also be why the attempts at lying and manipulating are fine – look at how I just lied and manipulated back with my excuse there, right?
Anyway, my response is:
Jan 14It’s nice of you to want me to see something good for once, but again, this is the time I review fanfic posted in this month and I’m kind of busy with that.However, if your goal is just to make me look at the story and see how much better it is than mine, then that would at least bypass the issue of not wanting people to request reviews for someone else. As you may have noticed, I have a forum that contains directions on how to get me to look at a story. I assume you don’t want to read and review a story of mine, but if you give a baker’s dozen reviews to other people, I’ll look at what you want. If you give it to people posting new stories right now, I’ll even waive the usual thing about how this’ll have to wait until the end of the month and look at it as soon as you’re done.
You’re referring to the review exchange forum?
To the system I posted six years ago on my forum and have been using this entire time for all requests, yes. While it normally doesn’t come up, I’d add that if you want me to stare at any other stuff of your choosing, each baker’s dozen of reviews will again obligate me to do so.
Which is why the saga doesn’t continue on their tumblr – we have to keep pretending it’s this incredible mystery how to get a review from me, so it cuts off right here.
Please review a story?
Hi Farla! I love your work! Will you please review I am Lu’s ‘The Ash Connection’? I know its long, but seeing as its Pokémon month for you, I wanted to see what you thought about it.
Jan 14Hey there totally coincidental person! I’m gonna have to reiterate what I already said and add that if the author wants a review they really need to just ask directly. It’s not like it’s hard to figure out how this works.See, as has just been repeatedly illustrated, people regularly approach me in bad faith.
You probably think it’s harmless because it hasn’t occurred to you that people will do this because they’re mad at an author and they’re just as willing to lie about that to me or otherwise try to manipulate me into doing what they want. Like, well, all of this, I’ve established the policy for a reason. It has nothing to do with how you word it. If someone leaves reviews as I ask on my forum and then tells me to review a story of theirs, I will be obligated to do so regardless of how rudely they choose to do so. If you leave the reviews as I ask on my forum and then have the author contact me to confirm they’re okay with those being payment for a review on their story, I’d be obligated to do so. That obligation would take place after this month is over, just like it always does. In this case, it would also take place after I review the two other people I’ve promised reviews.
Since this is even clearer, it also doesn’t appear on Tumblr.
This is why, sadly, I have to go with “deliberately lying” over “can’t understand written directions”. I don’t know how much is lying, but the fact the actual directions aren’t getting posted while the other stuff is means people are able to identify when that’s happening and avoid it.
And here we see how it does matter what’s true and false.
If this is just them, then pretending they want one when they’re not sure they do vs actually being unable to figure out how to get one or understand anything else about how I do things is just a matter of curiosity.
But if they do know, then they knew they could’ve told this person that you can just block me but decided it was better for the attention they got to keep pretending ignorance about that, while pretending to really care about how sad it was they wouldn’t be posting this month and how horrible it is I’m doing this.
And this takes place on the sixteenth. Two days have gone by since I told either two separate people or one person who loves telling them about PMing me that there’s rules for getting reviews, and I then reiterate that yes, the review forum on this very day – the review forum our I DON’T KNOW HOW TO GET A REVIEW FROM FARLA SUCH A MYSTERY author here referenced in one of their very first posts summing me up and indicating they’d read. Four days have gone by since the original reblog saying people should just block me. Either they missed all of this, or they decided to lie.
They will continue to do there “STILL NO REVIEW FROM FARLA” thing after this.
Which brings us to our next bit:
Previously it was that I was saying it to people who were doing it right, but now, perhaps because they’ve actually taken the time to read the paragraph or because they were just building up their confidence, they’re saying that no, I’m actually wrong about what I’m saying.
Because they were already writing their dialogue like this. If my way is right, they’d have to admit they were doing something wrong.
So obviously, there’s no rule about not grimacing out your dialogue and it’s just my style!!!!!!!
If you’re wondering how this goes with them being an English teacher, English education focuses on interpreting set canons and writing essays, and much of the fictional canon is ancient and uses archaic grammar rules. There is, sadly, absolutely nothing surprising that someone with an English background wouldn’t have ever learned dialogue rules. It certainly wasn’t covered in any of the classes I took, even the college Creative Writing course. I suspect you have to get somewhat deep into the CW major before the teacher bothers telling you how dialogue is written. Or maybe they’ve given up entirely and that’s been offloaded to editors only – Act, any thoughts?
(I don’t know how they missed that there’s rules for numbers, though – I guess they weren’t writing any essays that included those.)
Talking to someone else, I said:
Yes, writers will use incorrect grammar sometimes to portray something unusual, where their break from established grammar serves a purpose. As you say, a tense situation and incomplete thoughts can be expressed by sentence fragments. Capitalizing words that shouldn’t otherwise be capitalized expresses…?
Over in Homestuck, we’d capitalize game items as games do when talking, because the Queen’s Ring shouldn’t be confused with a ring a queen wears when one is a planet-destroying weapon. There’s a good case to be made about capitalizing attack names, so that glaring and Glaring are distinct. Stories have been written without punctuation or with misspellings to convey a better sense of a young or uneducated narrator. A style must serve a purpose – it can’t both not matter how it’s done and be a stylistic choice.
And I think a very good measurement of “is this a style?” is if the person is defending it by saying what they’re accomplishing by doing it this way or if they’re saying in the same breath that omg it doesn’t even matter ok let me do what i want. Here we see clear explanations for the stuff they’re not doing in the fic, followed by a handwave about the actual point in contention.
Here they have finally figured it out – when it unclear, though it’s quite possible it was January 14th or even from the very start, with the month just being a long it of psyching themself up for it.
For whatever reason, they’re also still not acknowledging the review option, which I think gives weight to my hypothesis that they’re putting this off. It may also be that they’re just self-aware enough to view the first chapter of something they’ve been working on for a while at risk of me tearing into it, but honestly do think whatever new thing they’re working on will wow me. It may also be that they really weren’t told that by anyone and really did miss it while doing just enough investigation to work out that I only review new stories.
They eventually manage to get it out on the 30th. As luck would have it, that’s when I’m running behind. See, despite all this drama, I really don’t pay attention to names unless I absolutely have to, so despite being told their penname in the earlier PMs, I wouldn’t have noticed.
Luckily the descent into madness is coming, which will tangentially involve being PMed yet again.
Of course, later they’ll insist that a copypaste review was completely what they wanted, so I guess this was mutual sarcasm? And also their obvious anxiety while waiting for the review was sarcasm too.
I’m not sure why anyone would think that a fic about a bunch of canon characters but “Slight AU that omits N arc” would really show me, although they really do seem to not get that people could be into Pokemon because of the pokemon and not to care about which girl Ash kisses.
In a way that doesn’t involve actually putting anything on their fic, naturally.
You can see why I really have to go with the idea they’re not the most truthful person, and also perhaps aren’t quite sure how much they want this review.
This is still the 30th – they could’ve (and, perhaps, did and just pretended otherwise) looked at the category to see how far back I was.
Anyway, by amazing coincidence, right after a person suggests my mean review will turn all of fandom against me, and presumably totally aware that sadly that wouldn’t happen just because I tell them their story sucks, they post this:
Yes, they definitely care about trans people and the timing was such a coincidence. They will go on to definitely care about them more in a later post complete with an ass-covering tag about how they’re cis sorry in advance for fucking anything up here, right after they freak out and attempt to start predicting what I say, because obviously if you say it first that makes it not true, right?
Again I’m left confused as to if the answer if lying, stupidity, or assuming I’m lying.
A Review You Didn’t Write
Jan 31Hello there. I have a friend who wrote a Pokemon story and published it yesterday, January 30th, yet it did not receive a review from you. I’m just wondering why you skipped that story. She worked very hard to write it because she’s better than you and wanted to show you what she could do. You review so many Pokemon stories yet have never reviewed hers, and this time she even published one in January, and you still ignored it. Is it because you think she’s so out of your league? Or did you simply pass over it?The story is titled “The Middleground” by I Am Lu, for your information.
Jan 31She didn’t want to send a message yet, but I did, because her writing is something you’d marvel at. Something that I think you should try to pick at and critique. Something that’s actually a decent story that was written in January just so that you’d possibly see it. Her writing is unbelievably amazing, and you have either been avoiding it, or haven’t had the luck to see it in all these years.Her fanfiction is always well-written, and I think it’s something you should definitely review and critique, because I want you to actually read something good. Something I bet there’s no way you can possibly find anything wrong with, it’s that amazing.
Jan 31Oh man, thanks for telling me/thanks for not noticing that the stories above and below that one don’t have reviews either yet. I don’t really pay attention to pennames so I wouldn’t have it noticed it was that author people were bugging me to read to see some better writing.[Something that’s actually a decent story that was written in January just so that you’d possibly see it. ]
There have been actually decent stories written this January already (some for the same reason even), though! My C2 lists the decent and up and my favorites list the good and up. Really recommend checking them out.
Anyway, they respond to this with delight because they wanted this, right?
Haha, assuming I’m going to read closely. Let this be a lesson to everyone: write cookiecutter OT fic if you want me to actually engage with your story, not something about a canon character talking to another canon character labeled romance.
We’re then blessed with a bit more of their thoughts on prescriptivism.
And I think it fits well with the idea everyone involved keeps assuming I say things I don’t mean, doesn’t it? “Prescriptivists” are saying stuff is wrong just because it’s in some book somewhere, even though it totally works better this way! They can’t possibly mean that it bothered them when reading it and that it’d work better the other way, even if they say exactly that, because everyone is a liar so hey, why shouldn’t you do the same, right?
They then make another attempt to get that transphobic dogpile going:
Yes let’s all avoid transphobia by insisting sexless creatures have genderless pronouns, because there is nothing more trans-friendly than the absolute fact that pronouns must match genitalia.
Also you can see more of the fact it’s just considered normal to pretend to care about things you actually don’t give a shit about and this is just speculation about which fake excuse and where.
This one fizzles and may mark the end of their sincere and not at all self-interested concern for warning everyone that I’m terrible – at least, they appear to drop the subject after this, coincidentally right as they finally get that review and get to work insisting they won and this is exactly what they wanted and let’s drop it now okay, but their tumblr’s mostly just pictures of pokemon characters so I’m not interested enough to search through to confirm.
As we’ve seen, definitely just wanted a regular review! And here we are over a month later finally getting to that full story.
Conversely, of course, telling them to go review others was definitely a special hurdle I thought up based on how very, very popular they are.
And by over, we mean continuing to post about it for a bit.
This very rude claim of a mutual kismesissitude is Feb 5th and sixty pages back for anyone interested. There’s likely at least one or two nuggets further up but I doubt there’s anything that’ll beat this as a perfect capstone, so we’re done! Maybe we’ll see them again in another six years or so. Hopefully by then they’ll manage respect that I’m quite fulfilled with my current black quadrant situation, stop ignoring nontraditional relationships you bigot!!1!
Next up: those reviews I actually owe I’m so sorry Negrek.