Just like some politicians (with often terrible consequence), actors, and in general, people we consider heroes, authors are put right up there on a skyscraper-sized pedestal.
And so, oh boy, if they fall, they're going to fall really hard. Your favourite President or Prime Minister? Yeah, he's raised a nation out of one crisis or another, built up the economy, but if you look hard enough, they're squirrelling money out of the treasury or having wanton affairs. That actor you loved in the latest Sci-Fi blockbuster? Busted for drugs, violence, wife-beating, etc.
And now we've come to authors. Stephen King was a drug addict.
Sorry Stephen, gotta say it man, gotta say it. Still love you!
Some modernist writers, including Gertrude Stein, people who'd contributed greatly to the international literary tradition, are elitist and supporters of authoritarian or fascist regimes. Then there's the more common disillusionment of famous authors, which happens when you get his autograph and you get brushed aside before you could open your mouth.
It all comes down to this: Authors, or writers, are regular ol' people. The sooner people realise this the better. I realised this with Stephen King in my earliest adult years, I believe. I was shocked to learn about this, but I understood then that in the end, we're all human beings, flesh and blood with a finite mind. I came to terms with it rather quickly, and I found that for all his drug addiction, he's far, far better off than other celebrities and the crazy stunts they're pulling. He kicked the habit, and as far as I know, he has no other problems (at least until the day someone discovers a secret basement full of skeletons, malformed animals and a portal to hyperspace-hell).
Now, with all that being said...
So I got banned from a forum full of writers, full-fledged authors and artists, at least for a week.
Let's look at the crime, shall we?
Let's see, I was happily getting feedback for my poorly-done book cover when this happened:
Wha- But, but, but!
One of the commenting authors, a published giant with 10 years of experience in the AW forum and numerous books under her belt, decided to take things personally, when all I was doing was to try to form a connection with her, you know, empathise with you, like what normal human beings are supposed to do:
I said I wanted to be like you!
And so everything went down the shithole when I'm... Let's just say, a little displeased with what she's giving me. So I called her out on it, saying that she was being over-sensitive, and that she's probably having a bad day and needs to sleep it off.
What the fuck?
And of course, the admin decided to go down on me with the ban hammer and crushed my knees with it, instead of, you know, arbitrating the shit out of this, trying to keep the peace, collect both sides of the story, etc, like any good purveyor of justice would do:
Apparently, the rest of the thread with me accepting critiques with gratitude flew right over his head and the planet of Mars.
Maybe they think I'm double-speaking and is actually beating everyone up?
Note that I was completely fine with what said Over-Sensitive Author is saying. It's the fellow who popped up 3 times, so I waved at her 3 times.
And... The words that started it all.
And so the rest is history, I got banned for a week, but that's not all, folks! The admin deleted my last post, which is fishy to say the least. Maybe to hide evidence of my more reasonable side? My last post was more than those two paragraphs. If I remember correctly, here's the reconstruction of the first half of my post:
"I think you're being over-sensitive.
I misunderstood you, you cleared things up. It's supposed to end there.
I was just trying to straighten things out.
Why are you seeing ill-intention even where there is none?"
Not quite accurate as I remember it to be a bit more eloquent.
So, my takeaway from this is this: The author is accomplished, a veteran member of the board, popular and respected. Only problem is, she's a tad sensitive. Despite her flaw, she's going to get her way, because hey: Well-Published Author VS Unknown Guy. Fight!
And I promptly got my ass handed to me.
I knew right from the beginning that I'd get my ass handed to me. I'm just that kind of guy who can't stand any form of injustice, in this case, a misunderstanding of what I'm doing and the subsequent consequences.
And of course, the authority's in favour of the powerful. How can I not see that? It's the same everywhere, and it's even worse on the internet. I've encountered it on other forums. Two guys disagreeing on something. On average, the guy with more post and credit gets saved and the other gets the ban hammer. I guess the internet grants absolute power and control, and as the saying goes, 'absolute power corrupts absolutely'.
I just woke up the next morning and found that I got banned. No messages, no demand for explanation, no anything.
Well, maybe this could be a good thing. I can now focus on myself and function autonomously to get my novel out, yay!
PS: I just realised that I might be staring at a Dystopian society in the Absolute Write Water Cooler forum. I came in thinking it's a perfect Utopia, only for shit like this to happen. And of course, like how any good Dystopia functions, throw in the elitist authority (Admin & Insta-Ban-Hammer), the censorship and fact manipulation (My post getting deleted and any post can be edited)... I have half a mind right now to migrate.