Hi, friends.

I wish I was in a happier mood, and I wish I had more to say, but at the moment all I can think about is how difficult it is to be an American. Our country is broken. We’re broken and battered and weary and hanging onto the world we once knew by a mere thread. The disease, the death, the sorrow and the hate is overwhelming. Sometimes it feels like too much for one country to bear.

Happy July

Hope this finds you all well-ish. The U.S. is fucked, just in case there was any doubt.

On a brighter note, the blanket for rainsincookie has been shipped. Thanks again to all of you who left such beautiful messages. It was too big to spread out for a full shot, but here’s a small section of the blanket.

One more thing.

If you don’t already, please wear a mask. A reluctant apology to Caitriona Balfe for ragging on her as an early adopter. I say that only because we were all originally told not to wear them because of the inevitable N95 shortage. Because we’re the U.S., and because we can’t get out of our own way, suggesting alternative masks to the N95 was apparently out of the question when the pandemic first struck. Anyway, I’m a cheerleader for masks. The WHO (who we of course told to fuck off) says that wearing a mask can reduce transmission spread by up to 85%.

Please continue to social distance, be respectful, wear a mask and stay well, my friends. xoxo

Just popping in to share the raisincookie blanket update. I finally sent it off to the manufacturer to be made last week. Here is a thumbnail-style screenshot of a small portion of the blanket.

There were 75 comments, all of which were placed on a Queen-size blanket. The background is her family tartan. I’ve never had a blanket produced on-demand before, let alone something this big, so fingers crossed. I’ll take a photo before I ship it off to raisincookie.

Thanks to everyone who participated. It was a joy to read through your heartfelt comments and see names of friends who have long since stopped commenting. I’d forgotten how many of you there were. Seventy-five.

xoxoxoxoxo

I have something I want to say, and I want to say it in the best possible way, but at the moment, I’m too disgusted to filter my words.

I was shown a screencap from a Tumblr blogger this morning who outed the group that I referenced with Sam’s business. I have only one question. Why?

Why did you find the need to know?

Why did you find the need to disrespect my desire for their privacy?

Why is your need greater than mine?

Why is your need greater than the need of that group?

Why do you feel that anything you care to share is free for the taking?

Why can’t you respect your fellow bloggers?

Why did you think there was any value in knowing what you knew and sharing what you did?

Why do we now have yet another inter-fandom war?

Why do I know I’m going to get shaded, yet again, for calling bullshit on shitty behavior?

Why was it not enough to say that I thought it wasn’t fair to the group to find out who they are?

You read my blog. You all read my blog and you use it for private discussions and content for your own boredom. You blog shit you shouldn’t blog because you want attention. Good god, what the hell is the matter with you?

Friends, this is why we can’t have nice things. Why we’ve never had nice things. There are no boundaries. Whether it’s knowing Sam crawled through a window and was in his neighbor’s yard for a photo, or blithely blogging the name of a group I asked not to be named, this fandom is wholly without principle and respect.

Sam and Cait — you’ve handled this about as poorly as anyone ever could. For that, I give you both a grade of D-. For not wanting your private lives to be fodder for this fandom? I give you an A++++. This is a shameful day.

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I want to add something.

Sam and Cait — I’m sorry. I really am sorry. Until this moment, I had no idea what it must feel like to be either of you. Sam, I wish I could take back what I shared out of anger and frustration. I can’t. I can only say I’m really sorry and as I said above, you’ve handled this abysmally and you only have yourselves to blame in the end, but lies beget lies beget lies. What must have started out innocently has spiraled out of control to the point where people like me, people who respect privacy and respect integrity, start to share things that they shouldn’t or normally wouldn’t. What a horrible, vicious cycle you created. What a horrible place this fandom has become. I’ll say it again. I’m sorry.

Good Monday.

I don’t know how many of you folks need a space for this subject — Black Lives Matter — but I do, and I’m grateful to have this platform.

We’re at a crucial moment in history, here in the U.S. We’re playing for all the marbles this time. We are on the precipice of losing our country, and it is the responsibility of every single citizen to be stewards of this democracy and vote this fall. I can’t say this enough. We will not survive 4 more years of Donald Trump. I fear for the futures of my children. I fear for the futures of my children’s children, and their children, and so on. I fear for the world if the United States can’t right itself this November.

If you’re anything like me, you’re overwhelmed with emotions. Tears are an everyday occurrence, which is why I’m taking this moment to suggest we not make the perfect the enemy of the good. It’s too easy to drag folks who attended a BLM protest for not speaking out soon enough, or not doing enough for the cause, or not bringing along their colleagues, or their mask wasn’t pretty. Mitt Romney is not someone with whom I will ever politically agree, but his house is in order and he has compassion and patriotism, and for that he has my respect.

The photo below was dragged on Twitter by an African American (of all people) screenwriter with a blue check mark with this tweet — “What if they, like, just passed some laws instead of dressing up like a Wakandan chess set?”

It’s called a Kente cloth, they wore it out of respect, and they’re doing the best they can, legislatively speaking. Anyone with even a modicum of understanding how legislation is enacted would understand it takes two branches of government to make laws. We’re culturally “Karening” ourselves to death. For what? Twitter ‘likes’?

Back in 2018, one of my blog readers complained that because Colin Kaepernick was an imperfect messenger, he should not have been singled out and awarded his Nike contract. My response then was the same as it is today with the photo below. It’s a first step.

In 1955 Emmett Till was lynched in Mississippi. His name has become synonymous with the civil rights movement. I learned about him in history class. Over the years, when the subject of lynching came up on the news, I’d think about it. Briefly, but I’d think about it. I’d think about how barbaric it was. I remember I used to feel grateful that we lived in a world where lynching is no longer acceptable.

How naive, and privileged of me.

I can’t breathe.” Eight minutes and 46 seconds. George Floyd was lynched in Minnesota in 2020. His name has become synonymous with the civil rights movement.

It’s 2020, and the world can’t look away, nor does it want to. We owe it to ourselves, and our children and their children, and so on to take the first step to end this madness. Vote that mother fucker out of the people’s house on November 3, 2020, and whatever you do — don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. We have so much more to learn.

Image

Just a little bit of here and there to start the day. I’m all over the map with this one.

First, about what is happening the the US. This is hard. It is really hard. It’s harder than anything I could have imagined. I knew Trump would get worse, I just didn’t know how much worse. I fear we are seeing a preview of Election Day — outside agitators sent from Russia to foment unrest and invalidate our election results. I just don’t know where we go from here. Early on, when his administration began to unravel I thought “The Republican Party will never let him get away with this. He will sink the party. They’ll stop him.” I was wrong. Then I thought, “The law will be on our side. He will be stopped in his tracks.” Then Bill Barr arrived and the courts that Trump had packed proved me wrong. Then I thought the police will protect us, until I saw an officer casually murder an innocent black man while the world looked on. Then I thought “The military must loathe him. They won’t follow allow their institution to be corrupted.” Then I saw military police tear gas peaceful protestors.

Like so many of you, I am heartbroken, I am fearful, and I am frustrated.

Switching subjects like whiplash on a roller coaster, I want to address the post I made the other day about Sam and a group of his fans. I understand that to many, what I wrote seemed like a tease. It wasn’t intended to be. What I wrote was in reaction to an anon who shared her observations about Sam and Cait, mostly Sam. Her musings are of the 2016 variety, and her attitude towards those of us who express our anger and frustration felt dismissive and judgmental. In short, she triggered a reaction in me that made me want to share a story to which I previously alluded, but was uncertain about telling.

Being a part of this story wasn’t something I went looking for. It came knocking on my door. But, as with all things in this fandom, there is never a straight line. Yesterday I saw my post being discussed on Tumblr. I saw anons asking questions of bloggers — did they know more? Did they know the group? I saw a blogger say she doesn’t trust much of what I say. Fair enough. All good questions and a reasonably understandable response.

Here’s more. It has nothing to do with MPC. It has only been since my post that I even found out that there were MPC “scandals” involving fans. MPC is one of those areas of the fandom in which I never participated, not even in the earliest of days when I was a big Sam fan. Because of that, and because it’s of no interest to me, all I know about MPC is what my friends tell me. So no, the story at hand is not MPC-related.

The guessing game about the fan group isn’t fair and doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. Just as following Sam’s adjacents never offers insight, the identity of these fans and why they are still fanning, etc. has nothing to do with the story at hand. The important point about the story is how Sam treated loyal fans. The important part was that Sam is nothing without his fans, and it appears he takes them for granted.

No one but a handful of people know the fan story about which I spoke. That is a fact. If I cared about proving myself, I’d have posted the legal documents. That’s not who I am. I’d rather live with people questioning me.

My story triggered a reaction in many of you. It was intended to. As we wind down our time together, it’s important that we know we’ll never have closure, but that any small bit of understanding will help us more peacefully leave this experience in our rear view mirror.

Here is a response I had to the apologist anon who took umbrage with one of our readers for saying that Sam does not offer mutual respect to his fans. The essence of what the anon said was that Sam didn’t owe his fans mutual respect, and to expect such would be naive. She went on to explain we are a thorn in his side, a bunch of needy nobodies. His job is to offer a good performance. Nothing more, nothing less.

There is a difference between turning on your tv, watching the nightly news, and thinking the news anchor owes you loyalty, or anything else besides the news, versus becoming a part of a fandom. There is a distinction. A big one. Not at all insignificant is the commerce aspect of a fandom — cons, merchandise and private endeavors.

We’re not talking about just any fandom, either. We’re talking about one in which the actors themselves are participants. This is where your argument becomes one-dimensional. 

He does have a relationship with fans. He wants that relationship with the fans. He has cultivated that relationship with fans. I’m not talking about him giving a shit that I’m having a bad day. That’s absurd. I’m talking about him fucking with our heads. I’m talking about him gaslighting fans. I’m talking about a form of mental abuse that under any definition is disrespectful, manipulative, one-sided, cruel, and altogether inexcusable. He wants love, caring and loyalty, but won’t offer even the most baseline of respect in return. Instead, he makes a spectacle of himself by whining about the discomfort of being a privileged celebrity on vacation in a waterfront property in Hawaii that he found himself in after defying quarantine orders in a foreign country. He’s the arsonist who starts the fire and complains when he gets burned. 

Please explain to me and everyone else why what happened with William Shatner was not stopped dead in its tracks the minute he started trashing Sam’s fans? Is that part of the package deal we have with celebrities? They get to do whatever they want to fans, and we should expect nothing in return? Why would any actor allow their fans to be abused, humiliated, doxxed, mocked and held up for public ridicule and not lift a finger to stop it? How would you feel if you innocently posted a photo of your pet only to have the light sockets in the background of your private residence enlarged and analyzed as a way to find out if you’re really who you say you are? And by the way, let me remind you that this fan wasn’t someone pretending to have sources to confirm every fake girlfriend Sam has ever tried to sell. There was no reason to wonder or care if she was really a 20-something blogger from Ireland versus a middle-aged Canadian woman. She shouldn’t have had to prove anything to anyone. She shouldn’t have been abused. 

I don’t believe he is, but Camuso claims he’s Sam’s friend. How do you feel about an actor allowing his friends to actively destroy his fans? Please, for the love of everything sacred, do not try to tell me Sam didn’t know. That is empirically impossible. He knew. He was tagged in the early stages. He knew everything. No one cares more about what’s being discussed on tumblr than Sam Heughan. No one likes reading about himself more than Sam Heughan. He knew what was happening. He knew it all and he washed his hands of it. I guess we weren’t important enough to defend. Quid pro quo? I’d be happy just to not be stalked. It was inexcusable on every level what was allowed to happen in Sam’s name, and exactly what these women here are referencing when they say the respect is not mutual. He has a responsibility to be a decent human being and respect the fans who pay his bills. It shouldn’t be too much to ask not to be trolled, stalked, ridiculed and hung out to dry when you become a part of a fandom. It shouldn’t be the norm for women like me to have to put triple protections on their social media and electronic devices in order to protect their privacy because a “friend” of the actor has a hair up his ass. 

How about when his drivers started insulting his fans? How about when his driver’s girlfriend, someone Sam had contact with and knew, told one fan she was pregnant with a snake or that shippers should die. Sam knew. Sam knew it all and did nothing. You think it’s ok for his beards to troll his fans? Think that’s normal and not anything he should worry his pretty little head over? Or Cait cancelling a Con in lieu of a Mexican vacation with her friends? Think she owes us nothing? 

Fandoms are relationship-based communities. As a lurker you obviously don’t get that. Try putting yourself out there and see how it feels. How about un-anoning yourself, giving us your first name and offering the same opinion. Or, maybe start a blog. I wonder then how quick you’d be to defend him if your opinion was mocked and ridiculed while Sam stood by and did nothing. How about getting yourself stalked by his good friend, Paul Camuso, the guy who scored a personal invite to the S5 premiere from Sam? How about getting doxxed by him, or have false diatribes written about you only to have him say his good friend Sam knows what he’s doing and approves? Give it a shot and see how much you still think Sam doesn’t owe you respect. Sam brought Shatner and Camuso into this community.

Without social media, Sam and Cait are nothing. Who do you think is responsible for that? Fans. The nameless, faceless people you think should be grateful for a good acting performance and leave it at that. If you can’t understand the distinction between a passive relationship and a fandom, you’ll never understand why the emotions here run high. You will always be that apologist whose opinion will never be legitimized.

No fandom should make people hide who they are for fear their jobs will be in jeopardy, or shut down their blog and consider suicide. Where have you been for the last 4 years? None of this is normal, and it’s not normal because fish rots from the head down. Yet still people like you find ways to explain away that which should never be excused. Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe are 6 years into their celebrity. If they can’t figure out yet that not biting the hand that feeds them is baseline, their fame will be fleeting. I suspect that die is already cast. 

Lastly, I want to share with you something that is all too common around here. A casual disregard for privacy. The other day I received this comment from my post about the trellis.

The intimate description of Sam’s private residence is what took my breath away. Not because the trellis photo might have been analyzed incorrectly. My gut reaction was to be horrified at the casualness with which this anon had not only invaded Sam’s privacy, but knew the particulars of his neighborhood.

What is it about this community that makes people feel so comfortable discussing their stalking? What is it about a community where people defend their stalking?

Don’t act like I don’t know where they live? As if it’s the most natural thing in the world to know their address and what his front steps look like. Since when do people say the quiet parts out loud without shame?

I’m just going to copy and paste my response. It’s the easiest way to explain how I feel.

I don’t even know where to begin with you except to say your sense of entitlement in knowing where they live is unnerving, and hell yeah creepy. You want someone knowing what your front steps and your backyard looks like? I sure as hell don’t, and if I hadn’t naively posted a picture of my dog in my pool last year I’d sure sleep better at night. No wonder Sam and Cait have aged in dog years. They have creeps like you identifying their backyards like it’s the most natural thing in the world. And, look alive. I didn’t analyze those photos. Someone else did. I made that clear, Karen.

No, hon, I have no idea where they live. If I did, and as you said it was obvious where each photo was taken, don’t you think with my “detective skills” I would have known exactly what you’re telling me? Don’t you think if I knew what their front and back yards looked like, and it was as obvious they were separate locations as you said, I too could have figured that out? Think about how useless your accusation is.

It’s obviously impossible for people like you to believe it would make someone like me uncomfortable knowing where they live. First of all, in order to know where they live, I’d have to be curious. In order to be curious, I’d have to find them interesting. Where have you been for the last year?

Also, I have boundaries. I’m all for exposing liars, I am not all for robbing someone of their privacy. The fact that you can’t bring yourself to believe that there is a difference is pathetic. You are literally the embodiment of why this fandom is garbage. Where they live should be private. Period. They’re assholes for making themselves vulnerable. I’m not the asshole for taking their bait.

Since when is someone’s private space fair game? Don’t get me wrong — I’ve seen realtor photos, but it’s easily been 5 years since I have, and even then I felt as if I had broken into their homes and was sneaking around. I don’t totally blame the fans. Sam and Cait are the ones who started this. No one would know where they lived if they hadn’t so sloppily and intentionally left clues. They live in the middle of a major city and people know exactly where they live, thanks to them. (Notice how no one seems to know where their second residences are? Funny how some things can be kept quiet and others not.) Not only do fans know where they live, they tell everyone they’ve seen their homes, as if they’re a stop on the Hollywood house tour.

We have one blogger insisting that she stalked them, got called out by Sam, it went viral, and yet she continues to blog as if everyone else are the kooks. LOLing through her blog at the “outrageous” accusations that Sam was referencing her. Guess she learned her gaslighting skills from the pros.

I don’t have a lot of time this morning. Let me just end it by saying if ever there was a time to get some perspective of who we are, where are values lie, and how we need to respect and treat each other, it’s now.

Stay well, friends.