Today is Election Day!
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I’ve thought about writing this post since the first #MeToo allegations started coming out but didn’t say anything out of fear. See, I’m a chick, and the internet HATES IT when a chick says, “but what if she’s lying?” If you deign to suggest the proposed victim might be full of shit, suddenly you’re accused of “victim blaming” whether you pointed a finger of fault or not.
This morning, I woke up to the news that Chloe Dykstra had passively made accusations of emotional and sexual abuse via an unlisted post on Medium. In the post, she doesn’t actually come right out and say his name, but she really didn’t need to. To any longtime Chris Hardwick fan or Nerdist podcast listener, it was obvious simply due to the timeline details she included.
The accusations include all the classic signs of someone who is emotionally abusive—isolation from friends and family, controlling behavior and rules, hardcore possessiveness—and goes as far as to say that she let him sexually assault her regularly because she was expected to be ready to go the minute he got home.
As soon as I saw the headline, I ran out to read her post. Now to be clear, I’m not saying she’s full of shit. At all. She may be speaking 100% truth in every word. I wasn’t there. You weren’t there. But that’s exactly my point. Regardless of the fact that neither of us were there, the court of public opinion is in full swing and they’ve already reached a verdict. We’ve seen it happen many times over already and I think it’s safe to say that Hardwick’s career is over. Legendary Entertainment scrubbed him from the Nerdist website already, immediately issuing a statement putting a chasm of space between him and the empire he built “pending further investigation”:
“Chris Hardwick had no operational involvement with Nerdist for the two years preceding the expiration of his contract in December 2017,” the Nerdist statement read. “He no longer has any affiliation with Legendary Digital Networks. The company has removed all reference to Mr. Hardwick even as the original Founder of Nerdist pending further investigation.” Legendary Entertainment
Well, that’s great and all but there wont be any “further investigation”, will there? Dykstra didn’t go to the authorities. She went to the internet, the court of public opinion, even though she claims to have audio and video evidence supporting her case. So that’s it. His career is over, guilty or not. There is no coming back from social media deciding you’re a monster. It’s done. Fin. They’re already moving on to the next case.
This weekend was a little bananas. Between the plagiarism debacle and the shit that happened on The Walking Dead, my head is still spinning. To those who have NOT watched last night’s episode of TWD, no worries, I put in a huge banner to let you know in advance before we start spewing spoilers, so you can read this post without anything being spoiled for you. Don’t you worry! I’ve got your back! *winky face*
As for the other thing, the dirty P word, that’s right ladies and gents, we have a proven thief among us. I hate even typing those words. Ugh…………. But it is what it is. Now it’s up to US to choose how we react and handle the situation.
Dear Mr. LaBeouf,
Shia? Do you mind if I call you Shia? My name is Jena and I’m writing this open letter with a heavy heart. I want to start this off by saying this is not to bash you, shame you, go all preachy on you, tell you what you’re doing is wrong, or any other such nonsense that is, quite frankly, none of my fucking business.
I just saw you in the news, and, once again, not in a good light. I’m not writing to you today to tell you how to live your life or to tell you what choices to make. I’m writing to you today to let you know that you still have fans out here. We are little but faceless nothings to you, I’m sure, but in this very weird way, thanks in part to the monster that is social media, there are complete strangers in the world who actually care what happens to you. Saying as we’ve never met, never talked, and likely never will, I really do get how utterly strange that sentiment may be, but you really do have people who care about you and look up to you.
I’m not going to sit here and rehash what you already know. I will just tell you this: As an author myself, when the plagiarism accusations came out, I was disappointed, but I also understand that everyone makes mistakes. Everyone. The downside to being good at your particular profession is your life ends up being under a microscope, so your mistakes aren’t so easily silenced.
I watched as you explained how it came about (and frankly, I don’t understand why you got the shit end of the stick in that situation, but everyone still worships Taylor Swift when she ripped off another artist’s lyrics word-for-word but whatever….) and you made you apologies. That shit storm seemed to have passed, quickly replaced in the media by the by the curiosity over #IAMSORRY. When I heard about #IAMSORRY, I wished, so hard, that I lived on the other coast so I could have attended. I would have loved to come to the gallery and sit with you, but I can honestly say I don’t know what I would have said. Or if I would have said anything at all. Maybe I would have handed this letter to you, hand-written on tattered pages, instead of posting it on the internet where you may or may not see it. As cool as moment would have been for a fangirl like me, it never happened, so we’ll never know.
The thing about being a celebrity is, as muddy as the waters may get when you’re in the public eye, there are fans out there who still admire you. There are fans who appreciate you as an artist. I may not understand all of your art projects (The whole Just Do It thing baffles me, dude), but I certainly understand that you’re an artist. I’ve yet to see all of your movies, but I will say you crushed it in Eagle Eye (one of my favorite movies to this day), and I hated that you were replaced in the Transformers franchise (Do you hear me, Michael Bay???).
I’m writing today because I want you to know that there are those of us out here with our crossables crossed in hopes that your career will survive whatever this is that you’re doing. Whether you’ve turned your life into one big art project, or you just plain and simply need to lay off the hooch for a while, we’re really hoping to see you come out on the other side with your career and life intact. We haven’t forgotten about you, so don’t forget about us. Not everyone is as unforgiving as the media in this country. Not everyone gives in to the outrage culture that the internet age (and blatant ignorance) breeds. The movie nerd in me so badly wants to be able to look at your Wikipedia page when I’m old and wrinkly and think “GAWD DAYUM, he had a great fucking career!”
Playing the devil’s advocate without all the facts, maybe the media is misunderstanding the point. Maybe we just don’t get it (explaining it to us would go a long way to remedy that shit, just sayin’). If your end game is to escape the limelight, then by all means, sir, you’re doing a stellar job. You certainly wouldn’t be the first who wanted to get out, but it would be nice to see you make it out without the aid of a body bag, and that’s what you have your fans fearing at the moment.
If it’s an alcohol and/or a drug thing, rein that shit in, friend. That road leads to nothing but bad juju and it will end your career, if not your life. If it’s an art thing, INVOLVE YOUR AUDIENCE. Rather than just letting us all think you’ve gone bat shit crazy, how much more fun would it be to have your audience in on your secret? Give us a mission statement. Tell us what you’re trying to say. We, your fans, don’t want to think you’ve gone off the rails. We want to think you’re this brilliant artist with a master plan, but forcing your audience to wait for “the big reveal” will cause the majority of them to walk away. They wont believe you, or believe in you, anymore. They’ll view you as just another Hollywood shit head who lost his way. We don’t want to think that of you. And we are an A.D.D. generation. We look for the instant gratification of having the answers right at our fingertips. I’m not saying you have to spoon feed your audience the answers, but you’re not dangling the answers just out of reach. You have the answers locked in a vault and you fed the key to an active volcano. This is not a society where you can be coy with your art forever. Leave people in the dark long enough and you will alienate your audience. You’ll start to make them feel stupid, and there is no quicker way to lose an audience.
Rather than boggle the minds of the masses, eventually driving them away, wouldn’t you rather be open, and, in turn, inspire people with your art????
Then again, I could be completely wrong about you. I hope not, but the chance is there. You just may plain and simply not give a shit and the whole art thing is just the line you’re running to stop people from thinking you’re nothing more than a train wreck.
<– To be clear, this is 100% true. Especially today because I’m sick, and yours truly is the WORST patient in existence when ill.
Good afternoon! This post was supposed to go live about a week ago, but my life got crazy, and then I contracted what can only be described as the plague. Today, however, is a new day, and I’m sitting here making friends with my coffee.
Today we’re talking about Jim Norton. Can I just tell you how much I ADORE this man?!?! I somehow just found out about him. How the hell is that possible?!?!?! I only ask because by the time I found him, everyone was all ‘Um, yeah, where the ‘EFF have you been?!?!?!” Anyway….
Authors and convention directors alike seem to have a love/hate relationship with conventions and book signings. Convention directors are killing themselves to fill the seats while authors are spending a lot more time complaining about disappointing turn outs. Well, I know some secrets, peeps. I’ve seen some stuff, I’ve heard some stuff. Most importantly, I’ve LEARNED some stuff, and today I’m going to share that stuff with you.
Good afternoon, you sexy bibliophiles!
What a frikkin week, right?!?!?! It felt like Monday lasted for about thirty years, and today is not too far off. This morning, I realized this week isn’t going to get any easier, so, I scheduled myself a writing day on Friday! I’m super-excited about it. I have one quick errand to run in the morning, and then the rest of the day is all for me and my characters! Approximately sixteen work hours and counting!!!
Today we are going to talk about the GoFundMe Scandal and outrage culture. Are you sick of hearing me use those words???? Me too….
Greetings, humans!!! Happy Monday!!! <– Oxymoron, right?!?!
It’s been more than a month in the making, and over 10,000 words, but it’s finally done.
Every year, People does their famous 50 Most Beautiful issue in which they name the Sexiest Man Alive. I always feel like way too many boys get left out of this list for whatever reason (I also highly disagree with most of their ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ choices…). I know working it down to 50 faces is hard, so I decided to write my own list. Today I will do men (*gigglesnort*), and someday soon I will do women (*gigglesnort*).
These are in no particular order and I have specific reasons for all of them. Some of the men on this list are men I deeply admire in some way, all of which I will explain. To anyone who has appeared on this list and read it (yeah, right), please note that if you’re on this list for your looks, it’s not because I think you don’t have a brain, and vice versa. lol I find all of these people beautiful for particular reasons and that’s the point behind the post.
I can almost guarantee that all of my friends are going to think this will just end up being a long list of rock gods and bumpy-bellied dudes coated in baby oil, but it’s not. This list was very well thought out. There are definitely some of those in there, but they’re actually the minority.
Alright people! Let’s go!
(*This is going to be so much fun!!!*)
Well, the writer’s block part of that headline isn’t entirely true. I dont have a full-on case. It’s more like I want to write everything EXCEPT any of my current works in progress. For instance, the Jena’s Top 50 Most Beautiful Men post that I’ve been working on for over a month??? Yeah, that bad mammajamma is now over 9,000 words long…..and still not done (I’m working on the 50th boy now)……
Additionally, I’ve been busting my hind parts working on my clients’ needs over on Pure Textuality PR. We consolidated a few different websites we had all down to the one site for ease of use, and it was a metric shit ton of work to get it to a point where it was fully functional (I also do all of the website management). It’s meant a lot of nights where I am up working until 2am or 3am, and then still drag myself out of bed every day at 6am….
I still work a full time day job, too. I would love to have writing as my primary source of income, but that’s just not the case yet. In the meantime, I’m trying to make Pure Textuality PR my full time profession with writing as a secondary job. In addition to this, I have a son who just started kindergarten and a daughter who just started high school. So, for those keeping track, I’m a mom, work full-time for a large financial corporation, I’m running a full-service PR company, work as a personal assistant, organizing a conference, writing four books simultaneously, and somewhere in there, I am supposed to find time to be Jena. I hit a point where I ran out of steam.
I’m not saying I would quit any of it. I really do love everything I do, including my day job. Even if my writing was reduced down to something I only did as a hobby because no one was reading it but me, I’d still love it. lol I never get sick of any it. The industry is constantly changing, and for an ADD case like me, that’s a perfect cocktail.
I never get sick of it, but I do get worn out. And I’m not the only one. I’m watching a lot of my author friends who are in the same boat as me (family and full time job on top of writing). I’m watching a lot of them come to the same conclusion as me, too. You have to force yourself to take a moment to breathe or you will burn out.
To top it all off, a big part of the PR and writing career require that I be on social media. A lot. Specifically Facebook. Normally, this is absolutely fine. For the past few months, it has been EXHAUSTING. For those of you outside of the U.S., we are all currently drowning in political HELL. I am sooooooooooooo sick of it already and we still have over a year of this bullshit to endure. I was raised in a very open-minded house which was not at all religious. My father is an atheist and my mom is agnostic, so they had one strict rule: a person’s spirituality is a very personal thing and you should never force your own beliefs on others. They allowed me to find my own path and believe what I believe, not force me to believe what they believed. They also approached politics the same way. You educate yourself, stay informed, and vote for the man (or woman) you feel will do the best job.
I was also taught that regardless of your political views, the President of the United States of America is due a certain level of respect. He is the PoTUS. So, seeing people I care about and respect flat out calling the President a terrorist blows my mind. I’m watching my entire generation turn into a bunch of pricks who openly accuse our President of being lumped in with the same people who brought down the World Trade Center and are currently using mustard on the innocent people of Syria. That is not right. I dont know if it is me or those around me who have changed, but I just think it’s wrong. He’s still the President and he’s due a certain amount of a respect as a result. The man was elected to office, so the majority of the country put him there. If you dont like the job he’s doing, you should have gotten off your couch to vote for someone else. If you did, your guy lost. Accept it and move on. I hated Goerge W. Bush. The man has the collective brain power of a kitchen sponge and now that he is no longer president, I have no problem saying so, but while he was in office, he was the PoTUS and I regarded him as such.
Then there is the joke of a circus that is our current candidates’ campaigns. I never thought I would see the day that Donald Trump not only running for President, but actually having a shot at it. smh…
To top everything off, we are living in the height of outrage culture. People become offended and infuriated when something happens. It lasts fifteen minutes until the next outrageous thing happens, and then they no longer even remember the things they were outraged by once it’s a week old! It’s reached a point of ridiculousness I cant even take any more.
And the worst of my disgust with social media came when the anniversary of 9/11 happened on Friday. I watch friend after friend on Facebook, the same friends who get all butt-hurt and outraged when someone does something that they find offensive, post pictures of the events of 9/11. I’m talking frame-by-frame screen shots of the 2nd tower being hit and each tower falling, and it made me sick. It was downright tasteless! No matter your views, I think everyone can agree that those pictures are essentially pictures of thousands of people dying. People who were someone’s loved ones. Do you really think those people want to keep seeing those images fourteen years later? Just stop for a minute and put yourself in their shoes. You would never go to the mother of a man who was shot dead and send her pictures of the crime scene and murder weapon on the anniversary of his death every year. Why the fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck would you keep posting those pictures like that? It’s just cruel. That’s not a slam to the memorial posts. Those are beautiful and those embody #neverforget. I ended up posting that I was shutting down Facebook for the day, why, and I just immersed myself in Dance With the Devil.
Something in me has changed recently, I think. Something that makes me more aware of certain things. The whole situation with the Syrian refugees has given me some serious clarity. While we’re all bitching about petty things, these people are fleeing their homes and everything they know just for the chance of being safe, and a lot of them are dying for it. I dont know why that particular situation has hit me the way it has, it’s certainly not the only awful thing happening around the globe, but it struck a nerve. I dont know how people can think it’s okay to cause a national media event of refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples when there are much more important things going on in the world than keeping two people who love each other from getting married. It’s asinine. It’s exhausting to watch. *shrug* Very exhausting and highly disappointing.
So, with all of that being said, I am stepping back from Facebook a bit. I’m not closing down my profile or anything, but for the majority of my online time, I’m going to stick to my favorite haunts – Twitter, Instagram, my Facebook fanpages, and this blog. I’m also making a promise before all of you today that I am no longer reposting or sharing anything that contributes to the outrage culture problem online. It may just be me, but I’m one less person adding to it, and I can sleep better at night knowing I’m not part of the problem.
As for my writing, with all of these things combined, exhaustion being the biggest piece of the equation, writing has been difficult. I’ve been totally unfocused, but I’m finally getting back into the swing of things. I got a lot done on Dance With the Devil on 9/11, and it was more than I’ve written in about five weeks. It felt really good to just shut the world out and dive back into it. It gave me a renewed ambition, I guess. I’m still having some focus problems, but it’s definitely getting better.
I’ve also fallen back in love with the blogging world. I have a packed full calendar on Pure Textuality and we are relaunching Smutty Little Sister tomorrow. I’m excited and really looking forward to throwing myself back into that as well.
So, I’m signing off for the day. I’m actually about to curl up with my Galaxy Note to work on Dance With the Devil some more in the comfort of my bed. I dont feel well at all today and that’s one of the perks of having that phone. *wink wink*
Sometimes I sit and think about where I was five years ago and I am thrown by how much my life has changed in the last few years. Aside from the fixed points (mom, dad, and kids), my entire life has shifted dramatically. My list of future plans went from one item (“I just need to get through today…”) to a veritable grocery list of things I want to do, places I want to go, and people I want to meet, the biggest change being that I now know I can actually make all those things happen. Two books completely altered my path, one of mine and one of someone else’s. I spent months feeling like I lost a limb only to come out on the other side realizing the limb was dead anyway and I am much better off……
Good morning, party people! I am just going to stop in super-fast this morning. I plan on spending my day working on either Dance With the Devil or the untitled Nick/Lexi project. Not sure which yet, but the plan is to write something today. In my defense, yesterday’s blog post was over 2,000 words. I am counting that in the writing win column, but it didn’t get either of my works in progress any closer to being done. That sound you hear is me cracking the whip at myself…
Anyway, there are two reasons I am popping in today: Brad Meltzer and the Batfleck suit…