fifteeen

“Please don’t ever tell the Aphrodite kids I said this, but I’ve been alive for a very long time, and there’s one thing I can tell you for sure: Love isn’t about fate, or magic, or destiny. It’s about finding someone you can stand to be around for ten minutes at a time.”

-Juniper, helping a fifteeen year old Annabeth work out her feelings for Percy

Affirmation: Olicity or “How I Refused To Be Brainwashed by Anti Bullshit:101″

Warning: I’m a wee blunt in this.  Uncharacteristically so, I think, but in times like these, being nice and polite and “The Diplomat” doesn’t always get the job done.  Hopefully you’ll read it through. I know it’s on the long side, but every point is important. You might want to get some coffee or something before you start. ;)


It’s been a wild and crazy few weeks, hasn’t it, Oliciters?  When things like this happen (and I think we’ve all been through stuff like this in one fandom or another so a part of us can sympathize, of course), it can be hard to resist getting dragged into the fray, especially when you and what you love becomes a target.

The Olicity fandom has always done a pretty good job of staying out of the mess, but as things have heated up and attacks are lobbed, new agendas erupt, and tempers flare, it’s important to remember a few important things and hold strong to a few simple truths (or “affirmations,” if you will). 

It’s also critically important for Olicity fans to remember this very important concept in this mess:

Do not become brainwashed by anti/hater rhetoric so that you inadvertently become an echo chamber of their anger or agendas.

Yeah, I know, you’re looking at that line thinking, “WTH?  I would never…!” 

Originally posted by just-a-crazy-nerd

Sounds weird, right?  But it happens.  I’ve seen it happen in other fandoms.  Hell, I’m seeing glimmers of it happening here, peeking through in odd spots, and it’s something every viewer of any show really needs to be consciously aware of as it’s happening.

Examples I’ve seen lately….

Previously: I love Felicity in the field, on missions, and doing stunts with Oliver!  I want more of that!  When’s the next Olicity stunt/mission/field work?

Counter Claim: Felicity Smoak isn’t part of Team Arrow! She doesn’t belong in the field and on missions!  She’s “just” a hacker who never needs to get out from behind her keyboard!  This is an action show and the only people who should be doing these are the suited heroes!  Besides, she’s never been in any of that before!

Echo Effect: Well… Felicity Smoak doesn’t need to be on missions or in the field or doing stunts.  She’s a hacker and awesome all on her own.  It’s okay if she doesn’t ever get to do those things again even though she did all of it and more in Seasons 1 and 2. (since bloody when?!)

Previously: I love the blend of action and romance on Arrow that Olicity brings. I want more of that for them!

Counter Claim: Arrow isn’t a soap opera!  It’s an action show!  No romance!  No Olicity!  KILL IT!  KIIIIIILLLLL IT WITH FIRE!!!!!!!!  (…until you put Oliver with who I want him to be with, then romance is okay because it’s not really “romance” it’s “canon.”  This is Oliver’s story [but that can’t exist without my fav being on the show & in all the stories])!

Echo Effect: Well… Arrow shouldn’t be about romance.  It is an action show.  Maybe Oliver and Felicity (and really, that just means Felicity) shouldn’t be on as much or included in missions or stunts or action (even though they just argued it’s an action show and it’s the action/missions that are important) because Felicity’s such a hero that she doesn’t need to be included in any of the action elements that…  um…. other people claim the show should focus on.  I guess it’s okay to remove Felicity from everything “action” oriented while everybody else gets to do it ‘cause… canon… and other stuff?

Originally posted by crimsonlippedbeast

Previously: I love Felicity Smoak!  I can’t wait to learn more about her, origins, see her interact more with Thea, Diggle, Quentin, and {{{insert your fav here}}}.  Gimme more!!!!

Counter Claim: This is Oliver’s story and journey.  Felicity shouldn’t have family on the show.  She shouldn’t have a story about herself.  She shouldn’t get “growth.”  Put her back to what she was in Season 1 (aka irrelevant, a recurring cast member, not leading lady category airtime, not Oliver’s love interest, and only on for about a minute or two an ep).  The focus should be on MY favorite (and their family, their growth, their evolution and journey) because comic canon!  And all these people should have scenes with MY favorite.  Never Felicity.  That’s not organic!

Echo Effect: Well… It is Oliver’s journey.  The stories should be all about him.  I guess Felicity doesn’t need that stuff ‘cause she’s awesome.  So….


This push is an insidious brainwashing that slowly seeps in over time, sort of like water droplets steadily dripping on a rock.  Before you know it, you’re starting to *believe* the propaganda designed to do one thing: Edge out all the things YOU love and replace them with things you don’t like, don’t want to see, and thus winds up decreasing your interest in the show.  From there it’s a short step to getting bored and changing the channel.  And you helped do it to yourself.

This is when tightening your fandom/ship bubble becomes vital to surviving being an online fandom as people try to kick you around, shut you down, make you shut up, and step off so they can move in and do their damnedest to erase every single thing you like from the show to replace it with their thing.


So what’s going on these last few days?  Intense criticism.  Diversion.  Finger-pointing.  Blame-games.  “You did this!” “It’s your fault!”  “You’re the reason why!”  “It if wasn’t for you….!”

Stop.

Back away slowly (and mute and block these people while you’re at it) because… and there’s no nice way to say it:

1. Arrow is - as Stephen Amell himself said years ago - a Meritocracy.   What works stays.  What doesn’t work goes.

At the time, when talking about meritocracy in the interview, Stephen said, “I mean, you don’t want to stomp all over the canons and sort of the expectations of people that have read the comics all their lives, but at the same time you gotta make a good show and you don’t wanna bite that hand that feeds you, so to speak.  … If someone comes out and equits themselves on the show, then great, but if someone comes in that doesn’t work then the opposite happens.”

More recently, the Arrow show-runners have stressed that none of their choices have anything to do with Felicity or Olicity or their fans.  The CW/Arrow’s business and story-telling decisions are just that: business and story-telling decisions that have nothing to do with Oliver, Felicity, Olicity, or Oliciters.

If people – be it other fans, people writing blogs or articles – can’t read, don’t understand, don’t want to understand, or don’t want to believe the execs, that is 100% not our problem or fight, Oliciters.  So wipe that crap off your shoes on some grass and keep on walking.


2. Arrow wants to be a show people want to watch.

That’s its job.  To make you want to tune in.  Now, will people agree what that means?  Of course not.  But disagreeing about what appeals or draws doesn’t mean it’s universally true for everyone.  Someone ranting (or twelve someone’s ranting) about disliking something doesn’t mean the entire Arrow viewership feels the same way.  So if the show lets something go?  They’re basing that an informed decision and removing it.  See Meritocracy in #1.  Reread til it’s etched on your brain.


3. Arrow Does NOT Follow Comic Canon.  The choices Arrow execs/writers make are NOT mandated by the comics.

OMG can we tattoo this somewhere on a body part or something because, dude, how many times do the executives of Arrow have to reiterate this point? Four years later and we’re still arguing about this.

Arrow carves its own path.  It does what it feels is right for the story and for the show.

As soon as someone starts with “But in the comics….” just walk away.  Walk away!  Arrow is not the comicsThe comics are not Arrow.  Bleach this from your brain and let it go.  The Arrow execs and writers clearly have.  It’s time for viewers to do the same.

Let me just break in some reality here.

Green Arrow comics, at their height (and I’m going back FIFTEEEN YEARS for this number, btw) sold approx. 92,000 in one month back in 2001 (North American sales).  I’m going by a database of comic book sales here, so if anybody wants to argue that number with anybody, argue it with the database people, not me.  Also, keep in mind that not everybody reading the comic is watching the show.  Got it?  Good.

Arrow currently has (the last Live+7 Day adjustment I saw) a total viewing audience of  3,848,000 viewers.

Originally posted by learnthehelloutathis

Let’s do the math, shall we?

That means that (going by that height of 2001 North American readership), those comic book readers represent about 2.4% of Arrow’s total viewership.

If you go by current sales (North America, February 2016) of 22,096, that potential total comic book reader viewership percent drops to 0.57%  I’ll be generous and round up to 1% here.

According to estimates, online viewers represent only 5% of a TV shows total viewership.  So all of us online here?  We’re about 192,400.  That’s it.

The rest of Arrow’s viewership?  That other 95% of offline viewers?  Those other 98%-ish that have never cracked a Green Arrow comic and totally don’t give a fart in a fog-storm about comic canon anything?  They make up around 3,771,040 viewers.

Does anybody honestly think that the network or Arrow or its writing room is controlled by 192,000 of us online while ignoring any input or ratings date from the other 3.7 million viewers they have?  At some point common sense and logic have to kick in here.  Or maybe not.  This is the internet.  But still.

Originally posted by allreactions

Maybe, just maybe, what gets on the screen, what stays on the screen, what the Arrow execs and writers pursue, are pursued and developed because the majority of their research and data confirms to them that these things *sell* and are popular.  It confirms the majority of viewers *likes* these things and enjoys tuning in for them and THAT is why they continue to be on our TV screens every week.

Meritocracy.  That’s how it works.


4. Oliver Queen, Felicity Smoak, and Olicity are things people like to watch. 

How do you know that?  Because all three elements are still on the show.  Because the network chooses to give each of those airtime.  Airtime the Network clearly feels (most likely based on research, ratings, surveys, etc) have earned that right to get.  That means those elements & characters get to stay.  They get to be on the screen.  They get to get focus.  See Meritocracy in #1.  Reread til it’s etched in your brain.  If Oliver, Felicity and Olicity get screentime it’s because, like them or not, they’ve apparently earned that right through good reception/feedback from the total viewership.


5. The Success of and/or Inclusion of Oliver, Felicity, or Olicity does not impede the success or failure or any other element of Arrow.

Now I know that Oliver, Felicity and Olicity are all magical beings capable of all sorts of miracles and glittery sorcery, but you know what they’re not capable of doing?   Making another part of Arrow fail.  I mean, if the flashbacks bore people, can you stand on a chair, jump up and down, screaming, “That’s Olicity’s fault!  Olicity made those flashbacks boring!  Evil Olicity!  EEEEEEVIIIIIIILLLLL!”

Originally posted by sodamn-pop

Exactly.  You know why?  Because it’s not Oliver/Felicity/Olicity’s job to hold up, support, pimp, prop, or propel anything.  Their job is to sell *themselves.*  If something – be it a story element, a story, a character, etc – flops?  The responsibility for that falls on *that* thing and that thing period (be it acting, writing, interest, whatever).

Sometimes a show tries something and it just doesn’t work (Example: Guggenheim’s recent comments on courtroom scenes falling ‘flat,’ not being the ‘strongest element’ of Arrow, and how the show isn’t built for them).  Removing elements from a show that the network feels no longer work is part of the evolution of a show. It’s how a show stays on the air longer.  It happens.  A look at Arrow’s first season alone should show you how hyper aware the network is about tweaking the show as it goes along.

If something (a story, a character, a couple, whatever) cannot survive on its own merit… if it can’t garner enough viewer interest or support on its own… if the show can’t produce further story it feels is compelling enough, interesting enough, or appealing enough, the sad truth is… it deserves to be eliminated. 

Olicity is not responsible for anything failing.  They’re not responsible for gum disease, global warming, or the limp fries you got at the drive-thru either.

Say it with me, Oliciters: Meritocracy.  The characters and things on Arrow have to earn their place or expect to be shuffled out the door. 


6.  Oliver, Felicity, and Olicity have ALL earned the right to development, screen-time, focus, evolution, and story.

You cannot turn around without seeing praise for Oliver/Stephen, Felicity/Emily, or Olicity by mainstream media.  You attend a con and their names are on almost everybody’s lips.  Felicity merchandise continually sells out.  Olicity is used as click-bait in almost every article about Arrow.  Even if an article has nothing to do with Olicity, the media finds a way to work it in there.  Why?  Because people care about them.  Because people react to them.  People care (love it/hate it) about it.  It’s proven to be an attention getter.

That’s meritocracy, folks.  Olicity has – over the course of four years – earned their right to every single second of story, screentime, and focus.  Period.

If something else gets better reaction or interest, you can bet your Aunt Harriet’s prized Pomeranian that the execs of Arrow will make room for it.

But to blame a failure or remove of anything from the show “on” Olicity?

Originally posted by sagedandconfused


7. BEWARE! Oliver/Felicity/Olicity’s popularity means others will want to latch on to it; manipulate it, silence it, or use it for their own agenda. 

I’ve talked about “Playing Smart” before and I’m going to stress it here, again.  Play Smart, Olicity fans.  You, your voice, your tweets, your blogs, your strength in social media savviness, are powerful tools for the show and those things you love.  You know how to use it.  You know its value.  Other people will ride you harder now – guilt you, manipulate, etc., – to use that voice for their stuff, and trust me, that stuff?  Will never be in your favor, nor in the favor of the things/people/couples you like.

If it’s one thing that should be crystal clear after the last few weeks, it’s that a lot of the same people screaming, “Support all women!” and “Support female friendships on the show!” or “Hey, we should all just get along!” or “X and Y are friends on the show, you have to support them / trend for them / campaign for them BOTH now!” are many of the same exact people out there right now tweeting, boycotting, signing petitions, trashing, slandering, emailing, campaigning, and more to destroy all the things you love, including Felicity, Emily, and Olicity, and even trying to get people fired all to save their stuff.

So.  How’d all that "let’s stand together” “all women must support each other” “we should be an Arrow family” “you have to support the whole show” agenda manipulation work out for you and your favs now?


8. Agenda Support Will Always Bite You In The Ass.  Always.  Do Not Do It.  Say NO!

Maybe you think it sounds good.  Maybe you think it’ll quiet haters or stem their vitriol.  Maybe you think if you support X, it will result in Y.  Whatever it is?  Stop.  Step back.  Really look at what you’re doing and ask yourself one simple question: If this thing you are lending agenda support to succeeds… is it really something you want to see airtime devoted to? Do you really want it?  Do you really, truly like it?  Is it something that will negatively impact the characters, couples, stories, you really do watch Arrow for?  What do you think this will “get you”?  Because the answer will always be: No, it won’t.  No, it doesn’t.  And any possible way it can shaft you in your darkest, most paranoid nightmares… it will.

Do. Not. Agenda. Support. Anything.  It will backlash.  It will bite you in the ass.  It will make you sorry you ever thought of lending your support to it.  It will be a blackhole of despair for you, your favs, and anything else you can imagine. 

Agenda Support is the equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle.  By the time you figure out what you’ve flown into?  It’s already too late.  You’re dead in the water.

Originally posted by itsgeekylife

If something cannot succeed on its own, with its own fans, without bargaining, bribing, guilting, or blackmailing faux support from you?  It doesn’t deserve to be on the screen.  See Meritocracy in #1.  Reread it til your brain bleeds.


9. Our Support of Oliver/Felicity/Olicity Does *Not* Deny Anyone Else Their Voice.

“If Olicity fans would just shut up, I could be heard.”

Originally posted by selcandy

Every viewer of Arrow has the opportunity to be heard.  They have the same access to social media that we *all* do.  We all can be heard and make our opinions known.  Period. 

Olicity fans do not “silence” anyone.  Olicity fans social media presence does not mystically erase other voices. 

We are not responsible for how, if, or when other people do or do not show up to support their favorite things. 

We do not control anyone.  We speak for no one.  Each of us speaks only for ourselves.

If Arrow happens to develop things on the show that Olicity fans like, suggest, request, or support, doesn’t mean Olicity fans “made it happen.”  It means the network felt there was enough interest behind those ideas as a whole from the TOTAL VIEWERSHIP data to “go there.”

Contrary to popular belief, Olicity fans aren’t all powerful.  We aren’t the Oz behind the curtain.  What we are are people who love the show, get excited about the things we like, are vocal about that excitement, and make sure that we vocalize support for the things that increase our enjoyment of each and every episode.  We are not shy about sharing these thoughts, ideas, etc., with the show runners. 

Originally posted by bettermarketingideas

Just because we often happen to be in tune with the writers room/execs doesn’t mean the show does them *because* we suggested them. I hate to say it, Olicity fans, but it is wholly possible that we just have awesome fucking good taste.  Oh the heavy burden we carry in being visionaries for things that actually could make Arrow even more fun to tune in to each week.  (Ahem.  Donna Smoak.  SmoaknLance.)

If other people choose not to speak up, that’s their problem, not ours.  If they happen to like something the show decides to abandon or not do, that’s not our fault.

Meritocracy, remember?  Meritocracy.

Originally posted by undercoverstiles

Oh, and that “real fan” bullshit?  Has anybody realized the anti is always the one who gets to define what a “real fan” is and that it never, ever will include you or what you like?  I hope you have.  It’s bullshit of the highest, deepest, most odoriferous, steaming pile, and it is meant to do one thing: Invalidate you and silence you.

Originally posted by nerdreamer

Don’t fall for it.

You don’t have to have watched Arrow from the pilot to be a “real fan.”   You don’t have to have ever read a comic to be a “real fan.”  You don’t have to pass some secret society handshake in order to be recognized as a “real fan.”  You don’t have to have (or not have) a blog, Tumblr, Facebook, or be a member of this board or that forum to be a “real fan.”  You don’t have to have a zillion followers to be a “real fan.”  You don’t have to “be a name” in the fandom (whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean) to be important to the show or the show runners. 

Do you watch Arrow? Guess what?  Congratulations!  You’re a “real fan,” and hearty *&^% You to anybody who tells you different.


10. Be an Advocate for the things you like

You can’t go to a convention, follow a show person on social media, read an article, or watch an interview without hearing an actor or exec/writer thank their fans for supporting what they love, being there to campaign for them, showing the love for their character/story/couple because – in this age of social media and the 4th wall being torn down between viewer and show and competition from 900 channels + streaming devices like Netflix – being a positive, supporting fan can make the difference between your favorite show staying on the air, your favorite character/actor keeping their job, getting good story and (if the show has to make hard decisions) being the one shown the door.

So be excited.  Be passionate.  Be an outspoken fan.  Give yourself permission to like what you like. Somebody has a problem with that?  Too bad.  Forget them and move on. 

Be the fan YOU wish other people would be, Oliciters.  That means:

  • Remember that Oliver, Felicity and Olicity are part of Arrow.  Supporting it IS supporting the show.  There’s a reason the Olicity hashtag was mentioned in AdWeek in an article about 10 Tips To Creating the Perfect TV Show Hashtag.  Use it without shame and use it proudly.
  • Shipping sells.  Shipping is big business.  There isn’t a show out there that doesn’t embrace its shippers or understand the profit involved in finding a ship that works.  In fact, I’ve noticed an increase in various shows’ social media accounts using their ship tags much more frequently.  Gee. I wonder why.

Originally posted by samisoffthewall

  • There’s nothing wrong with romance.  There’s no shame in liking it.  It is not “less valuable” than any other storytelling element or part of Arrow (not masks, not action, not stunts, not drama).  There’s a reason romance stories are included in almost every show, movie, book, etc.  It. Sells.  Oh, and don’t buy that it’s only a ‘girl thing.’  Plenty of men like romance too.
  • Be an advocate for everything you love.
  • Be vocal!  Be loud and proud in that support.
  • Never, ever apologize for being that vocal fan or for engaging positively with the show/writers/execs/actors to show that support.
  • Never feel “bad” or “guilty” for showing positive support for what you love, for the show, or being an engaged fan.  Show no remorse for being an awesome fan.  Other shows would kill for this kind of engaged fandom.  Understand your worth to them and don’t let anyone tell you different.
  • SHOW UP!  Be there when there’s an opportunity to show your support for those things (polls, challenges, trends, contests, post responses, media taking viewer questions for spoiler columns).  See opportunity everywhere to show your passion & support.
  • Do not rely on other people to be that voice for you.  Don’t assume “someone else” will do it in your place.  Do not become complacent. Do not assume.  Never be silent. 
  • Do not absorb the anti/hater voice and accidentally brainwash yourselves into believing their junk.
  • Remember that every social media platform & everything you talk about is monitored, recorded, and reported.   Play Smart.
  • Create buzz only for the things you like & support.  Ignore stuff you don’t.  Silence is apathy.  Apathy is the only thing that networks see as “bad” feedback.  Love it or hate it, if you’re talking about it?  It’s all seen as good. 
  • Ignore haters.  Ignore antis.  Ignore trolls.  Block.  Mute.  Forget about them.  Most importantly?  Do NOT absorb their brainwashing rhetoric
  • Above all else, have fun.  Please.  Lock  yourself in your bubble if you have to.  Just find a way to recenter yourself on your own enjoyment, your own peace, your own sense of fun, and stay there.  Unfollow places/people/things that are negatively impacting you.  Be vigilante of your online experience and make it work for you.  Refuse to be a hostage to those who want to make your online time unpleasant or make you as unhappy as they are.  Do YOU, Oliciters, and let the rest of these people fight among themselves in a vacuum not worthy of your attention, energy, or focus (or added buzz).  They want attention?  Make them earn it themselves.

So go, Olicity fans.  Enjoy the rest of the season and the next.  Enjoy all the things about Arrow you love and do it with passion and fun and enjoyment.  Have fun out there!

My professor once told me that the problem with being in love is that you do not know when to stop.

You used to be that normal boy in school who isn’t famous like the jocks. You used to be a stranger, someone I just bump into along the corridors; until one morning when I woke up, everything has changed.

You are now the person I look forward to seeing everyday; the person whom I’d choose over sleep on any day; the person who could make my day just by hearing his voice; the person who is the centre of my world.

Somewhere along the way, you became the person I saw myself with, fifteen years from now— enjoying our exquisite life together despite our colossal differences and barricades that came along our way.

As I looked into your eyes, I thought to myself: seeing my future with you fifteeen, thirty-five years from now— along with the little versions of us running around— is enough to apprehend that you are the one I want to spend the rest of my life with; you are THE ONE for me.


I hope you feel the same way about me; I hope you see us together the same.

—  I do not know when to stop even if you leave me