TrekCore and Republcian Trek?
Sometimes in the best interest of everyone - including yourself - the best answer to give is "no." That's the hardest thing to say and knowing when to say it is the hardest lesson to learn.
Almost 2007? Where Did The Time Go, Anyway?
Currently I'm hammering a way at something new on The Main Page of The Fedora Chronicles. Well - I was hammering away at ONE thing - but it's evolved into two separate things. Yes - they are somehow related (as everything on The FC should be...) and this is becoming more complex then I had originally thought. I'm running out of time to get these things done, but I've learned a pretty valuable lesson and made some great friends in the past 365 days. I've been working on these projects for some time now, but I've put the thought in my head that this HAS to get done by January 1st, 2007 or else. Self mandated deadline since I've been pulled out of "work mode" for too long by other people in an effort to get me to help them on sites that have nothing to do with The FC. At least you're getting a rant out of this...
This rant isn't for the faint of heart. It's not pretty, it's messy and complicated. If I sound bitter through all of this, not to worry. I'll spoil the end to ease your minds - I still have nine days to get everything done with a new, rededicated spirit. A few months back I was asked to help a friend I met (Commodore MAC - who still posts on The FC forum) on another forum. He sent me a PM asking if I would help him bring balance to yet another forum where he was a moderator - "Trek Core," a forum dedicated to Space Exploration and Astronomy with a slight Star Trek bent.
I agreed to an extent, I regret doing so now. On this other forum, there resides some of the most ridiculous, narrow minded, insecure and bigoted people I've ever known on line. What Commodore Mac told me an unkind lie - this wasn't a forum dedicated to Space Exploration and Astronomy with a slight Star Trek bent - this site was for sycophantic Trekkies who have passionate views on politics while they have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. He didn't know it was a lie - I think he was just misinformed or the web master of "Trek Bore" ... I was asked to post there by one of the mod's because this forum had swung too far to the left while taking away from it's original goal.
If you have to ask me to post on your forum to help bring it into balance - you're in a lot of trouble. I'm not your guy. Asking me to bring balance to your forum is like asking a cardiologist to fix your plumbing and sewer pump. Or it's like asking a fine craftsman to do finish work on a cabinet with only a sledge hammer.
During my first night of posting on "Trek Bore" - I received several different warnings from other moderators for the same offenses. What were my offenses? By pointing out to some 15 year old little snot that he's posting misquotes and outright lies about EVERYONE who belongs to a political party being "pure evil."
Ok - I was INVITED by a mod to post an opposing view on this other forum, "Trek Snore?" And my first night I'm getting "warnings" by different moderators? A member of this same group also said that he wished I would suffer and die a painful death from a pulmonary embolism. Why? Because in response to a thread about what the government should do - I said that people should NEVER rely on the government for all of your basic needs. Don't rely or count on the Government to take care of you, period. Find ways of being self sufficient and take care of your self. Relying on the Government too much is asking for Big Brother to take over all other aspects of your life. For that - I earn a death wish?
I also got some nasty messages from other members of "Trek Bore" because I said that it was a shame that real space explorers and astronauts get ignored and have no fan base - while actors who play Space Explorers wearing Spandex Pajamas do. But... lets be honest - what ever criticism I got I was asking for on THAT front. (I'm not trashing the cast and crew of "Star Trek" and the shows that followed - I'm criticizing what the fans have turned these shows into and choose to ignore the real heroes and their achievements.)
Keep in mind that NONE of this has anything to do with The Fedora Chronicles or getting the work done I wanted to do. This has NOTHING to do with helping out the FC... besides a banner or two in my signature. Other then that, I'm wasting my time. All the work I was putting into THAT site was taking away from OUR site. And to be blunt - I felt lied to and cheated. Not by Mac, but by the situation. I didn't get anything out of the work I put into that site while trying to give it "balance." But there was help or hope on the way! There was a chance to turn this around and make something new, a fresh start in a better direction.
Some of the new friends I met on Trek Bore liked my approach to Science Fiction and Space Exploration. They appreciated what I said about how Science Fiction was actually BETTER before it was taken over by a handful of franchises. They liked the work I did on The FC. Granted - I've gotten a lot better with making HTML pages and graphic art (reclaiming my name of "Render King") since then... but they liked what I was doing and wanted to use my help with doing something new.
These three characters: Commodore Mac, "Will Riker" and MSJ asked me if I wanted to help them make a pure SF site - not a site dedicated to one franchise. I said I would make this site as a part of The Fedora Chronicles, since it already has a built in audience. I told them what MY plans were for such a site. And these three guys really liked what I had in mind - we were all on the same page and we were going to go ahead with this plan. Let me tell you - This was REALLY a very exciting idea - this was actually BETTER then anything else out on the internet. Why? Because so far there isn't ANYTHING else like it! I'm not kidding - it was THAT good and you might actually see it come to life one day. The ideas that Commodore Mac, "Will Riker" MSJ and I had for this new site was really out of this world. Not because of what I brought to the table - but because of what THEY wanted to do. These guys had great energy and ideas that this could have been one of the best SF sites ever put on the Internet. Maybe in 2007 you'll see it come to life. Maybe...
Why? Because shortly after we agreed what this new site was going to look like, what it was going to be about and where it was going to be hosted (I was going to pay for everything with money I was earning from making websites for other customers, out of my own profits) everything came apart soon after. The four of us were at the beginning stages of this new project and making real progress when two of the other guys and I were blind-sided during a Instant Message conference. MSJ announced they (Commodore Mac, himself and "Will Riker" who wasn't saying much in this conference but earlier had awesome ideas) that they had this "proposal: They wanted me to help them build a new Star Trek website with them - one that would counter the garbage that occurred on the site where the four of us met, Trek Bore! (The idea of having a new website just to counter everything that's going on another website is stupid and childish idea. Period.)
This was pretty awkward - because I made it perfectly clear earlier that I wanted NOTHING to do with any new Star Trek fan sites for pretty obvious reasons. Anyone who's read my rants knows why. Anyone who's read my posts on Trek Bore knows why. Also, I have this thing against making new fan sites period... for a reason I already stated in this rant: it was a shame that real space explorers and astronauts get ignored and have no fan base - while actors who play Space Explorers wearing Spandex Pajamas get all the attention...
There's also this thing about being a home owner, having property that a studio with a team of lawyers can swoop in and take what you have if they even suspect your making a dime off their property. Think I'm kidding? LucasFilm sued and won a suit against someone who was selling "Light Sabers" on the internet. Paramount has also gone after one ridiculous site that tried to bring "Enterprise" back on the air because that site used some of their logos - (There weyre doing this around the same time people living on the shores of The Indian Ocean were wiped out after a tsunami... something I said was in bad taste back then.)
Fan sites are also pretty stupid: you're dedicating a part of your life to celebrate something creative that someone ELSE is doing? Sorry. Count me out... I digress.
This character, MSJ said to me: "You help us out with our Republican/Conservative Star Trek Website, and then we'll help you with your site." Honestly - this was crap. I knew then and there that once I helped these guys with this new Trekkie website for GOP-Trekaholics, they would be too busy to work on the GOP-Trek site and not have enough time to work on what we had earlier agreed on. Essentially - our brief "Fellowship Of The SF Ring" was over before the journey had begun.
I'm not saying that Commodore Mac and "Will Riker" were lying to me. I'm sure they had good intentions. This other guy - the one who had it in his head that there MUST be a GOP-Trek site and I MUST help them make it - was pretty much out to con me. Maybe con is too strong. But it's the best I can think of. His tone was pretty condescending. He didn't ASK if I would help them, it was a statement of fact: "You're going to help us with our Trek site, and then we'll help you with the project we agreed upon."
I told these three guys - Commodore Mac, "Will Riker" and MSJ that I'm out. I want nothing to do with building a new Star Trek website. That's it... its over. Don't ask again. I'm only interested in the original project we had agreed upon - the broader SF page with reader and staff contributions such as short fiction and art. Any thing to do with Star Trek and I'm not interested. I even explained why over the phone to Mac and MSJ privately.
"But you have my word that when we've set up the GOP-Trek site, we'll work on yours." He retorted. Well - how good is his word now since he already broke it once before? And how little respect must you have for me if after I told you guys earlier that I have no desire to work on a Trek site, explained why and you're still trying to con me into making one for you? That's it - I'm done. Don't ask me again.
I still have the ground work that I started still hidden away somewhere on The Fedora Chronicles server. But the weeks I took to get that work done - the work I did that took time away from everything else I had to do on The Fedora Chronicles has been - so far - for nothing. So far it's been another waste of time.
This is where the story takes two different courses. Commodore Mac kept his end of the bargain of sorts - he posts new news stories on The Fedora Chronicles Forum in The Worlds Of Science Fiction table. He also took the ideas that he brought to the now defunct SF Project we originally agreed to and started his own website. He, his wife Pegasus Girl and another fine fellow "Electricbolt." have this new site... It's a great site, but I still wish that we all could have gone ahead with the original project that we started to work on. "Will Riker" and I still IM each other and he posts once in a while on The FC.
The second path this story took: MSJ later got in contact with me and said he had this great idea for a website. But I had to swear I wouldn't tell Commodore Mac or "Will Riker". Or anyone else. Ever. I had to swear. Top Secret or I'm on Double Secret Probation. This was a BUSINESS proposition. Ok... I'll bite. (I'm violating this oath of secrecy for one reason: My time was stolen from me, I need a subject for a rant... so here we are.)
MSJ asked what are my rates in running websites. I told him. Then he told me what his plan was - MSJ wanted to have a site where he could sell the models he made and incorporate the GOP-Trek site that he had in mind earlier into this venture. I AGAIN explained why I'm not interested in working on a Trek site. And to get PAID to run one? How about I just turn over the deed to my house to Paramount Pictures NOW and my family and I can live in a card board box in his back yard?
I was also short with him in my refusal because I'm still sore at the lost time I put into the site we all agreed on making. I was also mystified as to why he didn't want me to tell the other two guys to know what he was up to. Seriously - what's up with all the secrecy?
Again - more time wasted while projects that were intended to enhance The Fedora Chronicles and would justify the sites existence. Seriously.
So, why am I telling all you this? If I put in all this time into helping other folks out and got nothing out of it for The Fedora Chronicles and the other sites we support - then by all means I'm using it as part of a rant. Yes - even if that means all the ugly stuff. That also means telling you readers the stuff I said I would never mention to anyone else. Because these situations didn't just steal from my time, it also stole from you.
... As an aside, for some reason I'm itching to have a pizza back in my old history class room. Seriously. I have no idea why.
Mr. Hand: Am I hallucinating here? Just what in the hell do you think you're doing?
Jeff Spicoli: Learning about Cuba, and having some food.
This gets back to my earlier point: I've been working on this new project for The Fedora Chronicles for some time now, but I've put the thought in my head that this HAS to get done by January 1st, 2007 or else. I've been pulled out of "work mode" for too long by other people in an effort to get me to help them on sites that have nothing to do with The FC. Right now, I won't even get into some other issue and conflicts that started on another website or two that have spilled over on to The Fedora Chronicles forum. If you're already a member - then you know what I'm talking about.
What's the solution, what's the fix? For a start I've essentially quit most of the forums I belonged to that have nothing to do with the mission, goal and focus of bringing back elements of The Golden Era.
Second, I'm even dropping out of my own forum for the next few days while I try to cram 12 months of work into 9 days. Nine Days before 2006 is over. And let's face it - December 24th and December 25 are pretty much a wash an December 31st doesn't look good either.
Third - and this is the bright side - we have three new writers working on this project with me. They've already donated a lot of material to get this project off the ground. I also have some work done by our existing writers... so with in the next nine days I have to try to bring the pieces together and get this action done.
What's the moral of the story?
What's the lesson to be learned? Sometimes the answer you have to give is "No." The answer has to be "I can't" some times. At some point you (meaning me, really) have to learn when NOT to be a people pleaser and cave in, give up your plans to accomplish something to help someone when it's clear in advance that you won't get help in return or it's actually detracting or destroying what YOU have to accomplish.
Am I telling some of you people to be a little more selfish, just days before Christmas? Well - in a way I am. If you find someone who's in desperate need and requires assistance - absolutely give them all that you can.
If you come across people in your journey who are going in the same direction and you can help each other out - then by all means team up and give each other a hand! Anyone who's trying to bring back the style and substance of a by-gone era will get my full support. Everyone who is trying to tell the stories of those who fought, served and may have even died during World War II is free to use what ever space they need on The Fedora Chronicles Server.
But give up on your own hopes, dreams and plans - your life's work just to get along and go along? The answer is NO!
The hardest lesson I learned in 2006 is when to be generous, and when to keep my own schedules and goals in site and be more selfish with my time. The world doesn't need another Fan-Boy pages when the real heroes are being forgotten. The world doesn't need more idle talk about entertainment when there are real issues and real work to be done.
With that said, have a Merry Christmas... and you'll hear again from me soon.
Some of the names of people and places have been changed to cover my back and to be sure not to give extra traffic to those annoying sites that I've written about here. None of the quotes are the actual words spoken by these people, but are the general essence of what I wrote or said based to the best of my knowledge and memory...
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