lieu commun

“Dans l'épreuve quotidienne qui est la nôtre, la révolte joue le même rôle que le ​"​cogito” dans l'ordre de la pensée : elle est la première évidence. Mais cette évidence tire l'individu de sa solitude. Elle est un lieu commun qui fonde sur tous les hommes la première valeur. Je me révolte, donc nous sommes.“

Albert Camus
"L'Homme Révolté” (1951)

Lessons I’ve learned from being too scared to RP (and sometimes doing it anyway) ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

So I have pretty severe social anxiety, which usually translates to my brain convincing me I’m a bother to everyone, meaning I usually don’t post or talk unless I feel like I have something meaningful to contribute. Unless I know someone well already the concept of just recklessly initiating conversations is alien to me and I end up being like, “So how about those bluejays…!” and then finding an excuse to bow out with questionable grace within minutes. I know this is true of a lot of RPers as well, and I’ve seen some posts recently in several fandoms about snooty RP cliques ect., and because this caused huge misunderstandings in WoW that I wish could have been avoided, some frembly remongers ༼ᕤຈل͜ຈ༽ᕤ :

  • There’s a good chance the people you want to RP with are just as scared of you, either because they also have social anxiety, or because they’ve had bad experiences with dangerous/toxic people and are being cautious.
  • People in established RP groups have the health of the group to worry about, and may want to get to know you better before welcoming you in.
  • See first point.
  • Posting about how mean people are because they don’t want to RP with you and how you can’t find anybody to RP with because everybody is in a snooty clique is not likely to get you more RP, because you’ve just cast yourself as someone who assigns malicious motives. If you openly assign malicious motives to people you don’t know in lieu of communicating to get more information (I know some brains do the assigning automatically and that’s not your fault), other people–who are already possibly afraid to reach out–will be confused and hurt by the jump to conclusions.
  • In most communities there is no welcoming committee, no care package you’re missing, if nobody reaches out to you. Almost everybody has to go through the same process of getting to know people, making friends, putting out stuff about their characters, and learning about existing characters and storylines. Some people have a much easier time of this than others because they’re naturally gregarious, or have a neat skill, or have hit on a really cool concept. That’s not your fault. It’s not theirs, either.
  • The surface-level communications you see people having on social media and forums where they’re joking and commenting at each other do not necessarily indicate a deep friendship. What you see may be the extent of their interaction, and it doesn’t mean everyone in the community is an impenetrable group of BFFs.
  • It really does help to have a character concept that plays well with other people. Other folks have said this better, but if your character’s major traits are any permutation of, “doesn’t want to talk,” “hates people,” or “cannot hold a civil conversation or listen to others,” it requires 100% more work for someone who may already be nervous to engage with you/them. It’s tempting to create a character like this so you won’t have to immediately jump into RP, but an outgoing character who isn’t prickly can actually be much easier to play.
  • Some people are just at their most comfortable in a small group of friends that they know well, and not being able to break in is not a reflection on you.
  • If your community really is full of snooty RP cliques, you’ve dodged a bullet.

Getting your feet wet is scary. I usually spend six months to a year in any given MMO before I even attempt to get involved in RP; that’s how long it takes me to feel out the lore, the community, and my character. Even then, I usually stay on the outskirts–at one point in WoW I was running one of the “core” Horde RP guilds on my server with 50+ members and I was still scared to RP, so scared that I barely did it unless my character was performing a necessary IC leadership role. And yet I frequently found posts from upset kids I’d never heard of talking about how exclusionary my guild was and how I clearly thought I was too good to RP with newbies. Could I have done better in overcoming my own fears? Hell yeah I could have, but by the time those new RPers brought themselves to my attention they had already written me off along with the community in general. Try giving folks the benefit of the doubt, because they can’t divine your mental state. It may take a while. Don’t give up.

It can be a terrifying thing, and it’s easy to feel like everyone else has it frustratingly together. But that terror is also pretty common, and you may find that if you’re able to reach out with that in mind, you’ll find people who understand.

Fellow White People:

We cannot be silent. We cannot sit on the fence. We cannot stand idly by. We cannot hem and haw about waiting for all the facts to come out. We have to take action. We have to say something. We have to pick a side. We have to advocate. We have to take the spaces, places, and positions we are in and leverage them to make change. Black lives matter. BLACK LIVES MATTER.

But until we believe people of color when they tell us that they have good reason to mistrust police;

Until we speak up to say that it is not acceptable to extrajudiciously kill Black and Brown people;

Until we insist that police who engage in brutality be held accountable;

Until we push for systemic reforms to policing and incarceration;

Until we refuse to allow “protect and serve” to be a euphemism for “protect White people from people of color;”

Until we join with and support the brave activists who have been screaming for hundreds of years that the humanity of Black and Brown bodies is considered lesser–is considered expendable–in the eyes of our society, our law enforcement agencies, our prisons, our jails, our politics, our public policies, our discourse, our very minds…

Until then: people will continue to suffer needlessly, people will continue to be killed needlessly, families will continue to mourn needlessly, communities will continue to be traumatized (and continually re-traumatized) needlessly, injustice will continue to reign as the norm needlessly.

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Let us help bend the arc. Let us help shorten its length. Let us work diligently with–not for, not on behalf of, not in lieu of–communities of color to create a more just society. A society in which Black lives truly DO matter, in word and in actual lived reality. A society in which the state does not–indeed, cannot–destroy lives, families, and communities without expecting outrage and a dogged insistence upon transparency and accountability from those who historically and currently benefit most from the status quo.

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” In fact, you ARE the oppressor. Do not be neutral. Do not be silent. Do not let business continue as normal. Make noise. Make change. Make a difference. Make a future. Because so many no longer have a future due to silence, complicity, excuses, and inaction.

vimeo

LIEU COMMUN / TOULOUSE / PRINTEMPS DE SEPTEMBRE 2012 

Performance in Situ de L'ATLAS