- They use terms like lemons, smut, or UST to talk about the genre of their fic.
- They have squicks.
- They want you to have squicks. Which isn’t to say that they want to squick you, just that it’s a useful term.
- They leave long comments on everything the read. Possibly not in the tags. They might do something super bizarre like send a message or put their thoughts on the end of your post.
- They write disclaimers on everything. Or on literally anything, since nobody does that anymore.
- They write about orbs, and those orbs are cerulean.
- Or literally anything else is cerulean. Cerulean is an outdated term. I’m calling it.
- The tongues of their characters are still battling for dominance, even though it’s 2017, and really a winner should have been declared by now.
- They have a fear of Mary Sue.
- Characters in their modern AU are chatting on AIM instant messenger, and calling each other on landlines. There are references to Ceiling Cat, because the characters are hip to meme culture. This AU is ~modern~ after all.
- Their fic is interlaced with slightly relevant song lyrics (disclaimer, they didn’t write the song.)
- They don’t do any of above, because they are New Fandom Savy, but they write or reblog nostalgic posts about these things.
- They had a livejournal.
- They still have a livejournal.
- They ended up on tumblr only after getting into a new fandom, searching livejournal for content and fellow fans, and suddenly coming to the startling realization that livejournal has become a barren wasteland of tumbleweeds and chirping crickets.
- They miss their geocities site.
- They wrote fic for the X-Files while the original nine seasons were still airing.
- Bonus, they wrote fic for the original Star Trek and published it in a zine, before the Internet was a thing. That’s like super mega fandom old.
- They might be less inclined to call themselves “trash”, but they are totally out there, reading all the things.
So apparently round umpty-zillion of “people are killing fandom by not commenting” is going around, and I’ve seen a few posts trashing people for lurking/viewing/reading instead of actively participating.
My journal and my fic has always been a lurker-friendly zone. I think lurkers are great and people can fight me on this. Here’s why:
We all started out as lurkers. Or at least most of us did. Come on. I’m sure some people out there must’ve jumped into fandom with both feet and started writing and commenting right away, and good for you if you did! But I sure didn’t. I lurked for YEARS. And even now, though I’ve been in fandom since before Y2K, whenever I get into a new fandom or a new social media platform, I still lurk. I hang out around the fringes for awhile to get a feeling for the place before starting to participate. Back in the mailing list/bulletin board days, it was usually recommended that people do that on purpose, watch and listen and learn the local lingo and social rules before diving in. So you know what? You are not doing anything wrong and you are not doing anything that most of the people you see out there commenting and creating and reccing things haven’t done themselves.
We all have lurker days, weeks, months …. Nobody is 100% “on” all the time. Participating in fandom (commenting, reccing, creating content, and so forth) is WORK. It may be fun work, but it still takes effort! Even if you’re sometimes very active in fandom, then you’ll have life fall on your head or the brain weasels flare up, and you won’t have the time and energy to give. Don’t feel guilty about not being able to give fandom your extra spoons. No one in fandom has a right to demand a single spoon from you that you don’t want to give.
Some of today’s lurkers may be your friends tomorrow. How do I know this? Because I’ve made friends with some of them myself! I’ve had people delurk in my comments to say hi after YEARS of reading my fanfic without saying a word. Which I am totally okay with, by the way. And some of these people are good friends today.
So, in conclusion:
It is okay to feel too shy to come out of lurkerhood in fandom until you feel more comfortable there. It is fine, in fact, if you never do.
It is okay to be too busy and have too few spoons to comment or create stuff. You still have a perfect right to be in fandom and read and reblog whatever you want.
It is okay if you meant to comment on that fic or go back and press the kudos button but never got around to it.
It is okay if you have too many accounts already and don’t want to create a new one just to comment/participate on a social media platform.
It is okay if your personal situation (a stalker ex, controlling parents) makes it unsafe for you to create an account or comment on things.
It is okay if you can’t or don’t want to comment or do any of the other things that constitute non-lurkerhood, and you don’t owe anyone an explanation for why.
So I’m watching the very first ep again and realize that when Shiro crash-lands and gets taken in by the hazmat crew he’s wearing what we learn later is his gladiator/prisoner getup:
but immediately following the rescue and subsequent getaway (during which he is out cold and still obviously in the same clothes) we see him the next morning,
clearly wearing his own clothes.
But where did they come from??
The other three paladins-to-be left the garrison with just the clothes on their backs (and lbr Shiro’s height and shoulder-to-waist ratio means he’s not going to fit into anything of theirs anyway), and there’s absolutely no way he’d fit into anything of Keith’s either for the same reasons.
That outfit is also not generic officers’ or instructors clothing from the garrison either, because I’m like 95% sure we see examples of both earlier in the ep:
So earlier today I got rather pissed off when some rude anon who has probably never made a GIF in their lives decided to attack my friend (and one of the best GIFmakers I know) for no reason telling them not to talk about GIFmaking like it’s a big deal since it’s just taking clips from existing video. I was hoping to forget about this, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how many non-GIFmakers really do think that’s all GIFmaking is (including myself
before I started making GIFs
to some extent). Luckily, most people aren’t that rude about it and know not to insult content creators over a topic they actually don’t know much about…but I still feel the need to discuss some of the often lengthy effort that goes into making medium to high quality GIFs.
As a disclaimer, I’m NOT trying to be elitist and I
don’t consider myself one of the top tier GIFmakers. I also don’t think that GIFmakers HAVE to put in a lot of effort to alter GIFs from the original video frames if they don’t want to. It’s just a hobby where we try to capture/highlight cool moments using a severely limited and dying file format lol…so it’s really up to the individual how much they wanna put into it. However, the truth of the matter is that many GIF and graphics makers that contribute greatly to numerous fandoms DO put in a significant amount of effort to make their GIFs look different from and better than the original video.
EXAMPLES OF MY GIFS BEFORE / AFTER FILTERS & COLORING
i HAD NO IDEA GORILLAZ HAD PHASES AND STORYLINES could you try and explain them quickly for us new bbies getting into this fandom??
so the WHOLE ENTIRE STORY of gorillaz is actually extremely ridiculously long and very very complicated and confusing so i am going to try my very hardest to sum everything up as best as i possibly can without missing too much
(also the “phases” don’t really mean much besides marking the different album releases, which is why you may have noticed the band members look different every few years)
phase 1 (celebrity takedown) started around 1999. before phase 1, there was only this guy:
murdoc niccals. on august 15th, 1997 (d-day), he wanted to steal music equipment so he crashed a car into a music store where this guy:
stuart tusspot (then in his young twenties) was working, and he hit stuart in the eye and sent him into a coma. murdoc was arrested, but rather than serving time he had to do a lot of community service and also take care of stuart while he was in his coma. murdoc being murdoc, he crashed his car a second time and sent stuart flying from the backseat, through the windshield and he hit his good eye on the concrete, which woke him from his vegetative state, thus “creating” the stuart you know today:
he was nicknamed 2D because he now has two “dents” in his head (which are actually 8-ball fractures if you wanted to know how this look could be possible). murdoc saw that 2D was really attractive and he could sing, so he made 2D the singer of his band
now, this is russel hobbs:
he was involved in a drive-by shooting when his best friend Del (Deltron 3030 irl):
was shot and killed. del possessed russel, thus turning his eyes completely white and haunting him from time to time when he plays the drums. he also raps in some of the gorillaz songs.
murdoc and 2D needed a drummer so they kidnapped russel and russel for some reason forgave them and agreed to be their drummer.
the guitarist for a short while was 2D’s girlfriend, Paula:
and together the four of them formed the band “GORILLA”:
and the only song they recorded together was “ghost train”. paula was kicked out of the band because russel caught her having sex with murdoc in the bathroom. they needed a new guitarist, so they sent out an ad in the paper. not too long later, this little angel arrived at their front door:
she saw the ad and fed-exed herself from osaka to kong studios:
in essex, england. she was only ten and she only knew one word: noodle. therefore, they named her noodle and they made her the guitarist because she was really really good.
thus, gorillaz was born:
then they made the first album around 2000, titled “gorillaz”. they released a bunch of music, music videos, interviews, merch, a completely interactive website where you could walk around their house, and they even released little shorts that were shown on MTV for a while. you can watch all of their videos and interviews on youtube. they won some awards too, and even performed live using holagrams.
around 2002, they got a little tired of one another. lots of different personalities living under one roof. they faught a lot, especially murdoc and 2D (2D is not “all there” and he takes a lot of medication, murdoc is an asshole and abuses 2D CONSTANTLY). so they all left kong studios for a while, but not before releasing some b-sides (g-sides).
at the end of two years, murdoc ended up in a mexican prison, russel excorcised del’s soul from his body (but kept the white eyes), which sent him into a horrible depression, 2D got a job at his father’s amusement park, and noodle went back to osaka, japan to discover more about her past.
while in japan, noodle found out from some old dude that she was actually a part of some kind of organization that turns young children into war-machines (yeah, i know, fucking crazy, right?????). her memory had been erased by the old dude so that she could live a normal life, and when her memory was restored, she remembered everything, including how to speak fluent english. having found herself, she was the first one to go back to kong studios. she wrote most of the second album by herself before the others came back to kong and helped her out.
(btw, that is noodle’s pet monkey, mike. murdoc had a pet crow named cortez, and 2D had a pet dog named Prince, but no one knows what happened to them. keep reading)
this was around 2004 and would start phase 2 (slowboat to hades):
note the drastic style change. this phase was famous for its darker look, and the music became a lot darker in their second album, “demon days”.
they released some more teasers (which were “filmed” during their two-year break), more music, more music vidoes, more live performances, and more merch. even some gorillaz games. very cute, very fun (especially if you have a dark sense of humor? there is one game in particular that has the murdoc/2D fans feeling some type of way lol). if you watch the videos and interviews, you can really tell how their personalities shift from phase to phase. also, this is the phase where the windmill island makes its first appearence:
and this is where things get very weird and very very complicated (especially for a cartoon band). in the feel good inc. music video (watch it), noodle is on this island and she is being chased by helicopters from afar.
in the el manana video (watch it now or you might be confused), however, noodle was supposed to get “shot” by the same helicopters before parachuting safely off of the island where she would then flee to the maldive islands to get away for a while (she just wanted a vacation but i guess she didn’t want people to find her). however, in the gorillaz autobiography, murdoc says that something completely different happened.
murdoc was trying to get some guy killed (i forget his name) because murdoc is a horrible guy who holds a lot of grudges. murdoc tricked this guy into hiding inside the windmill to wait for noodle to “die” so he could take her place. noodle did not know about ANY of this. she wasn’t going to get hurt either way because she was given a parachute. so when DIFFERENT helicopters (DIFFERENT PEOPLE THAT WERE NOT HIRED BY MURDOC OR GORILLAZ!) started shooting at her, TRYING to kill her, she freaked out and the windmill ended up crashing into a canal. there is a picture in the autobiography of her parachuting off the island, but no one knows where she went after she hit the ground. everyone searched for her, but no one could find her. at this point, murdoc was confused as well, but everyone assumed she still went to the maldives to mellow out—or that she DIED.
this left 2D, murdoc and russel in deep depression. russel left kong studios first, as it was falling apart due to it being built atop a landfill and infested with zombies. 2D left afterwards to live in beirut, and only murdoc was left in the rubble that was kong.
after this, murdoc got word that the organization who tried to murder noodle (the black clouds) were now after him. he had no choice but to leave kong studios forever. so he set kong on fire and left. then the autobiography was released (it is implied they started writing the book well before even the middle of phase 2).
and then gorillaz were on hiatus for about four years. not a single word. if you went on the website, nothing changed. shit was cryptic. but the fandom was loyal and WAITING.
THEN. OUT OF FUCKING NOWHERE, sometime in 2009, murdoc showed up in an interview talking about new gorillaz music. and very slowly, more information was released on the “unofficial gorillaz website”. the fandom was BATSHIT. half of us were butthurt about how ugly murdoc looked, and the other half was excited about NEW GORILLAZ MUSIC, and more importantly, THIS PICTURE:
people were mostly concerned with noodle and the fact that her eye was all fucked up, presumably from either the fall from the island OR from when she was “in hell”. also, peope assumed the whole band was together again, but this was FAR FAR FAR from the case.
murdoc wanted to make new gorillaz music that would “top” their second album (which could never happen, but a pickle can dream). murdoc couldn’t get a hold of russel, and noodle was presumably MIA, so murdoc kidnapped 2D in beirut and shipped the poor guy to plastic beach:
plastic beach is essentially murdoc’s hiding place where he is “safe” from the black clouds, and it is literally an island made out of garbage and spray painted pink. 2D did not want to be there, but murdoc held him captive:
in a bedroom at the southernmost tip of the island, underwater, guarded by a whale (2D has a crippling fear of whales, murdoc is a GIANT ASSHOLE). he made 2D sing, and 2D agreed because he has been agreeing to murdoc for a long time and he knew better than to disobey him.
since gorillaz was lacking a drummer and a guitarist, murdoc had to improvise. to replace russel, murdoc used a drum machine to mimic the way russel plays the drums. to replace noodle, murdoc gathered some of noodle’s DNA from the el manana crash site and built CYBORG NOODLE:
she was just as good on guitar as noodle was and she was also the “war machine” that noodle was “supposed” to be, i.e., murdoc stuffed her with weapons. she even had a gun that fired from her mouth.
thus, this was the “phase three: plastic beach” crew:
they recorded the new album, titled PLASTIC BEACH, and murdoc “kidnapped” all of the artists that gorillaz collaborated with and they just had a grand ol’ time. the album was released in early 2010, followed by a revamped website featuring a full tour of plastic beach, more merch, and LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of interviews. some of them are probably no longer findable, but it doesn’t matter because pretty much every single interview was just murdoc hooting and hollering and drinking because IT WAS ESTABLISHED THAT AT THIS POINT HE HAS LITERALLY GONE INSANE.
the music video for stylo was released and did not contribute much to the “main plot”, which disappointed some people because we all wanted to know where noodle and russel were. after a long time, murdoc made a twitter to communicate with the fans who were more interested in the now extremely involved plot line of gorillaz as well as the music.
sometime in 2010, new “idents” were released. 2D’s showed him getting kidnapped and shipped to PB, murdoc’s showed him getting SHOT AT on a boat, probably on his way to plastic beach. then RUSSEL’S ident was released, and it showed him jumping off of a dock into the ocean in an EXTREMELY ANGRY MANNER. lots of people speculated he was mad because he found out what murdoc was doing or he was going to confront murdoc about noodle’s whereabouts or both. cyborg noodle’s ident was released after that, it was nothing special, it was just really creepy (btw you can watch all the idents on youtube!
AND THEN. AND. THEN. noodle’s ident was released and IT WAS THE GREATEST DAY. AFTER FOUR YEARS we finally got to see what happened to noodle, dear, dear noodle:
her ident showed her on a boat (she is around 18-19 at this time), being asked to evacuate because the boat was being attacked by pirates (presumably the black clouds, coming after noodle). being the supreme badass she is, she grabbed a gun and stormed out of the room, and that was all we got. the fandom was in uproar. why the cat mask? was it to cover her eye? why was she on a boat?
shortly before the “on melancholy hill video”, murdoc stated he could see a brown rock moving towards plastic beach (official art told the fans it was russel’s head, as russel had eaten toxic waste and had grown into a giant):
and it was implied from this that russel was going to meet up with noodle sometime in the near future.
hope you’re still following me. im trying my best lol
in the “on melacholy hill” video, murdoc was now aware that noodle was very much alive and also in some kind of trouble, so he and all of the album’s collaborators went on a giant search for noodle, but never found her. they ended up finding some manatee on top of a rock (random af), while noodle defended her boat from the black clouds, and ended up escaping on a life raft with her guitar. and then this happened:
in both the stylo and OMH videos, a mysterious figure called THE BOOGIEMAN appeared:
he is implied by murdoc to be a symbol of death, as he “murders” both a police officer and the manatee on the rock. not much more is known about him.
after this, not much more happened. there was more official art, more games on the gorillaz website, more merch, a gorillaz live band tour (not featuring the actual memebers of gorillaz, much to murdoc’s frustration), one new single called doncamatic, and a music video released during the tour featuring russel and noodle:
about a year later without any more activity, gorillaz released a fourth album titled “the fall”, composed entirely on an ipad by 2D (note how “gorillaz” = russel, “demon days” = noodle, “plastic beach” = murdoc and “the fall” = 2D). it was not entirely popular, but there were some really good tracks.
the gorillaz hype slowed to an almost-halt as far as plot was concerned. noodle and russel never made it to plastic beach, murdoc was still on the island with 2D, 2D was still a wreck, etc etc etc. the fandom was content, but the plotline was pretty stagnant for another year or so. there were a lot lot LOT of unanswered questions, but the fandom was used to it, as gorillaz was never really “designed” to have such a convoluted plotline to begin with, as you can probably imagine. who would have thought “gorillaz” would evolve into such a CRAZY, INVOLVED STORY?? we were at least content knowing noodle was safe with russel, and they were both happy (russel loves noodle like a daughter btw its adorable af). as far as 2D and murdoc went, a lot of people kind of knew that their relationship, as dysfunctional as it was, was still salvagable as 2D is pretty much infatuated with murdoc, as fucked up as that seems.
in 2011, rhinestone eyes was supposed to get a music video. alas, this never happened because the music video was no longer being funded for (it costs a looooot of money to make gorillaz music videos, and gorillaz lost a good deal of popularity after phase 2, mostly because of the plotline. no one besides the die hard fans knew what the fuck was going on in the music videos).
now, even though the music video was never made, it is implied that everything that happened in the storyboard happened irl. but we still had so many questions left unanswered regardless.
in 2012, gorillaz released a music video to go along with their new single DOYATHING feat. ANDRE 3000. the hype for this video was as real as it could get, and the gorillaz fandom was practically pissing their pants after they saw the storyboard.
and, according to murdoc a short while after the release of the video (or before, i cannot recall), after russel and noodle arrived on the island, the cyborg attempted to kill murdoc (which was a surprise to no one….). noodle and the cyborg duked it out and the real noodle ended up coming out on top. and they all left plastic beach after the black clouds fled the scene, probably because it was shot to bits.
and that’s it as of right now. that is the gorillaz story, in summary. there are still a plethora of unanswered questions, however, as we have yet to hear ANYTHING from russel and noodle. we still do not know what exactly happened to noodle after el manana. we do not know why russel jumped into the ocean, we don’t know how russel and noodle found the beach, we don’t know what happened to noodle’s eye. we don’t know a lot of things. hopefully some of our questions will be answered in PHASE FOUR! which has officially started as of yesterday.
i hope i have given you a sufficient insight on the wild, wild world of GORILLAZ. they are more than just a band, they are characters with complex backstories and their adventures are pretty fucking crazy if you have the patience to keep up with them