letters from lorthayn blog

new entry.


ive been kicked off Planet IF, i guess. so i guess i wanted to tell ppl of the new entry.

no reply to my email about what i did wrong so i can remedy it.

Weird? Let us know what’s happening.

i finally got a reply to my email inquiring why i was kicked off Plant IF without a single warning:

Hi ez.

It was a combination of the repeated profanity with the lack of valuable contribution.

I’ve usually got no problem with mildly offensive language, but it has to be in the context of a well-written post with good style that’s either amusing or otherwise contributes something useful to the community. And I hate to say it, but your poor grammar doesn’t help. It seems a lot of your posts are just kind of “chatty” and would be better off in the forums.

no signature. no warning. lack of valuable contribution? does this chris armstrong make that decision on his own?

sorry my blog wasnt boring enough for him. i guess in every internet community, one has to conform to someone’s arbitrary standards.

in the end, because of christopher armstrong’s lack of a good reason why he removed me, without warning, i have to assume he is homophobic and my post made him uncomfortable.


Wow, thats a bit much. I can understand why you’re none to pleased. The lack of any warning is just plain rude in itself.

thanks. heres my reply to his email.

"yeah i didnt know there were rules i had to follow to conform to whatever standards youve made up.

people commented on my contributions and it got discussions going regarding IF.

but anyway, thanks for taking away something i was excited about. im used to it.

sorry my blog wasnt boring enough for whatever standards you invented and failed to inform me about."

Oh, a veritable abuse of power. Who is he to choose what gets written in the blogs he links to in his page and his collection? After all, “Planet IF” is a community effort, with a panel of people to decide these very issues. How dare he. Your reply is spot on the money, addresses all the real issues at play here, but I don’t think it’s enough. You should sue.

Or at least grow up some.

BTW, I do happen to agree than a warning or an e-mail saying you’d been taken off would have been the appropriate thing to do.

Oh, and just for future reference, insulting people willy-nilly (and with such terms as “homophobic”, no less, in a topic entirely unrelated to homosexuality) does nothing to help people take you seriously.

Finally, let me echo a sentiment of his which you appear to have skimmed over but, if you would take to heart, would do us all a world of good:

And I hate to say it, but your poor grammar doesn’t help.

Caps and apostrophes would help, y’know.

First: responding in a petulant way, as if this decision was made with the sole intention of hurting your feelings, does not help your case. Nor does shifting the subject from the reasons why you were removed to the way that it was handled. Chris Armstrong didn’t sign on to be a community moderator; he maintains a blog aggregation page. Making sure your feelings aren’t hurt is not his job.

Secondly, even though Planet-IF doesn’t have an explicit set of standards, from reading it it should be fairly easy to understand the kind of content that it’s meant to collect. If you don’t want to provide that kind of content, fine: there are other places on the web to talk about IF. If being on Planet-IF is really important to you, then you need to consider the style and content of what you’re posting. For what it’s worth, it does seem as if you have some substantive posts and ideas for more, but the chattery, low-content stuff drowns it out, and that has clearly been annoying a lot of people. Those people have reasons. It’s probably a good idea to think about what those reasons are.

You might want to tag your blog posts with a special tag if they’re to be picked up by Planet IF. I think that’s possible. Propagating everything you post is just spam, especially your one-liners. If people wanted to read all this, they would have subscribed directly to your blog.

So you might want to ask Christopher about the possibility of only propagating specially tagged posts.

And please, pay some attention to English grammar :stuck_out_tongue:

Still, it would be nice if there had been some warning before simply cutting him off like that. I understand the view that planet-if is his baby and he can do as he thinks best regarding his own site, but the fact remains that an email costs nothing and would probably have gone a long way to staunching any potential adverse reaction, such as we’re seeing here.

i purposefully dont use caps or apostrophes. its not cuz im an idiot.

if i was “clearly annoying” ppl or whatever was said, it would be nice if ppl started up a dialog with me about it.

in the end, ive stopped caring, it just proves to me that conformity is what ppl want in their little online communities.

all i was told was that planet IF was for blogs about IF. thats what my blog was about. sorry if it wasnt “the same” as everyone elses.

excuse me for being different.

and im done, fuck you all. post what u want, im no longer interested in any of this shit.

You can’t blame Cory for thinking the maneuver was homophobic since, hmmm, isn’t it a coincidence that he was censored and removed immediately after a post in which he mentions his sexuality? With no warnings whatsoever that people were hating on his posts?

And who cares about the capitals and apostrophes? You can’t read his content through his style of writing? He specifically wrote like that to stand out in the blog feed.

His was a fun blog, and this community has proved to be nothing different than the elitist losers on World of Warcraft.

Use whatever you want as an excuse, it looks like homophobic censorship by uncomfortable people to me.

I’m out of this shit-hole of a community as well.

Oh, so it’s either because you want your text to be hard to read or you’re trying to stand out in some strange way. Either way, you should understand that it never endeared you to anyone. If you write illiterately, people will assume you’re illiterate.

Well, apparently someone did. And you overreacted so much that my impulse was to reply with full-force sarcasm. It wasn’t very nice of me, and I apologise for doing it that way. So we both overracted.

I do believe you’re a rebel without a cause.

This is exactly the kind of thing I mean about overreacting. I’m just a regular user, and I don’t come to this forum to watch posts about “wtf is up with the dance at bing crosby”, but I can deal with that. But overreacting so much to criticism, and to start insulting left and right, and throwing a tantrum?

I’ll be the first to welcome you with open arms when you change your attitude, and until then I’ll be glad to hold the door open for you to leave.

I stopped reading Letters From Lorthayn after a couple of posts, since the style was just too tiring for me. I know I’m not the best person to talk about English literary style, since I’m not a native speaker – yet I’m quite sure I wasn’t the only one who felt this way.

The thing is, though, that I assumed that ezfreemann was a new not just to IF-blogging but to the IF-community in general, and so he would, after spending some more time surrounded by this discourse, modify his style to better suite the community. I never assumed the man was somehow less intelligent, I just thought he wasn’t familiar with the fairly strict norms that differ from those of “ordinary” discussion in the web. That’s why I was being patient about these hard-to-read posts cluttering the Planet-IF feed.

The question here is, of course, whether the norms are too strict. I personally don’t think they are. Interactive fiction is characteristically a very literary pass-time, so I think people do want to keep the community that way, too. A subject that divides opinions, I’m sure.

I’ve got to say, I’m troubled that a blog was removed without checking in with the author, and with reference to guidelines that don’t appear to be linked from the page, or mentioned. That seems like heavier modding than I expected from the aggregate feed.

Whether or not individuals find ez’s lack of capitalization and nontraditional grammar pleasing, or even readable, doesn’t seem to be the real point. I didn’t realize that there was a “chattiness” quotient, and I’m gobsmacked to learn that profanity is a monitored thing.

I don’t think all of these are inappropriate guidelines, but they’re somewhat arbitrary, and removal without prior notification or notice upon removal seems extremely harsh for rules that writers don’t know about.

That said, ez:

I cannot imagine why people might feel a little hesitant about doing that, given what’s currently on your blog.

Death threats: seriously not cool.

I have no problem with the Letters from Lorthayn blog, and I enjoyed this topic which had the right title certainly. The affected text-speak annoys me but I can deal. (However, as some folks pointed out to someone else I think, there are non-native speakers reading this forum and text-speak makes it harder for them. I can read some French but I can’t read this.)

…I had more here, but gravel said it better than I before I posted, so I’ll just +1 to that. And add – when you posted your “Goodbye Cruel World” post about how the IF community is conformist etc. etc., you’d had a conflict on this issue with four people (two of whom had only offered constructive criticism or complained about your grammar). Why generalize about the whole community from that?

I’ll just say that I didn’t appreciate when the one time I tried to comment on the blog, my comment was never approved.

Quite an ironic spin on this whole thing, that.

It’s true for me, and I’m a native speaker! (Er, English native speaker, not French.) I assume people who deliberately use text speak have weighed the pros and cons of this, although they may not realize how much extra effort I need to devote to decoding text that isn’t punctuated, capitalized, or formatted in ways that I expect. But that’s true for some of the more technical and/or academic posts as well, and nontraditional formatting isn’t entirely foreign to the literary world.

(But I should probably add flashcards on “text speak” for the foreign language I’m studying to the pile. Fantastic. More stuff to learn.)

Didn’t seem to have been a problem the first couple of times (he mentioned his fiancé at least as far back as June), so, yes, yes it is a coincidence.

I got the impression he did receive some correspondence about the rape comic he posted, at least.

Oh, I sort of assumed those were euphemisms for “extremely off-topic.” This is the sort of thing that might honestly be resolved by only scraping a certain tag of EZ’s livejournal for the feed.

Very true, and they are also not terribly conducive to starting a dialogue.

Curiously, the rape comic didn’t bother me all that much. I mean, it was Stiffy Makane…