statement

anonymous asked:

It kinda breaks my heart to see you’re a th*rki shipper cos I love your fics and your blog in general but then the th*rki love is just so off putting, like I find it hard to believe anyone shipping them. I’m guessing you’re an only child?

Thanks for the politeness of your message, anon. I do understand where you’re coming from, because the ship is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s totally fine. I also know that there are ships out there that, due to their general nature, can be off-putting as well.

That said, I don’t particularly feel as if I need to defend why I ship Thor and Loki. If I were to defend it, I could say, well, they aren’t blood-related, but that undermines the validity of adoption and, besides, I’d still ship it even if they were. I could say, well, consider the mythological aspect of these characters and that incest is fairly common in mythology (if you’ve read my fics, you might remember Osiris and Isis from Sanctuary, and consider that they are brother and sister as well as husband and wife, just to give an example from both Marvel comics and Egyptian mythology). There’s also Freyja and Freyr, who are married siblings and the rulers of Vanaheim. But that is neither here nor there, really, because again, I’d still ship Thor and Loki even if this wasn’t common in mythology. The MCU versions that I ship are pretty far removed from their mythological counterparts, anyway.

I ship Thor and Loki because they have an incredibly complex bond. They know each other better than anyone else in the universe. They love each other more deeply than anyone else in the universe. Their dynamic can be read as strictly platonic, and that’s fine. Their dynamic can also be read as romantic, and I think that’s fine, too. Ultimately, how each person chooses to interpret their relationship is up to them, but it doesn’t mean that these are relationship dynamics we wish to replicate in our own lives. 

Put it another way: one of the most popular tropes in fiction – TV especially – is the “will they, won’t they” dynamic of two characters who continuously go back and forth between whether or not they’ll finally take the romantic plunge – which, usually, they do, but not without a lot of buildup, angst, miscommunications, and drawn out tension. Castle and Beckett, Ross and Rachel, Luke and Lorelai, Barney and Robin, etc etc etc – these are all couples that people get ridiculously invested in for the sake of the push-and-pull drama. We eat it up. We can’t get enough. But in real life? Nobody actually wants that. It would drive us crazy. It would be a headache on top of our already stressful lives. Shit or get off the pot because nobody has time for that nonsense in real life. You get where I’m going with this, right?

David Foster Wallace said, “Fiction is one of the few experiences where loneliness can be both confronted and relieved. Drugs, movies …. Loud parties, all these chase away loneliness by making me forget my name’s Dave.” In other words, fiction (and this includes fanfiction, shipping dynamics, headcanons, meta, everything that transfixes us so completely as fans) is escapism at its finest. It fills a void, in that it allows us to step outside of ourselves and look at the world through different perspectives.

Fiction explores what it means to be human, but that doesn’t mean that it inherently defines our morality, values, or circumstances. We can feel drawn to exploring, through Thor and Loki’s relationship, for example, the complexities and highs and lows of love, the frustration of feeling inferior, the pressures of being in a position of responsibility, the sorrow of loss, and the angst of fighting, without literally wanting to experience those things in our own relationships (or, for that matter, without literally wanting to experience them with our siblings). That’s the beauty of it - that fiction gives us the outlet to explore those things while forgetting that our name’s Dave. It gives us a safe space where we can forget who we are for awhile and lose ourselves in someone else’s drama. 

In response to your assumption, I’m not an only child. I have several brothers. I have not ever, in any way, shape, or form, wanted to engage with them sexually or romantically. The very idea is revolting. I’d rather shit in my hands and clap twice. My personal life circumstances and relationships have absolutely no bearing, whatsoever, on what media I choose to consume or what fictional tropes I invest myself in or what ships I’m interested in. I’m also mostly asexual, but I still enjoy reading sex scenes between two characters I’ve become invested in over the course of a story. I’m truly sorry to hear that it breaks your heart to know this about me, anon, but I’m not sorry for shipping Thor and Loki. You are more than welcome to continue to follow me for my blog content and read my fics, but if you choose not to anymore, that’s totally fine, too. If you’re someone who regularly engages with me, then I’ll be sorry to see you go, but you’ve gotta do you. I have no problem with that. 

I realize that you didn’t ask for this long, rambly response and that I probably ended up defending my shipping choice when I said I wasn’t going to, but I’ll consider this a general explanation and message to any of my other followers who may feel the same way. This is where I stand, I don’t feel that there’s anything wrong with it, and at the end of the day, I’m here to participate in fandom I enjoy in the most pleasant and non-dramatic way as possible. So if you’re uncomfortable with the fact that I ship Thorki, please just unfollow me and move along. I will not be offended and wish you all the best in your fandom endeavors. :) 

My Statement About the UCA Situation (Midnight Marinara)

Now that David has released his statement on his own channel, I feel it’s alright to go ahead with mine. This whole incident has caused a lot more pain and damage to Allen and David than to me, and as such, I let them hold the reigns on this situation. I would speak when they were set and both of them were in a good place mentally after all of this.

Here’s the first thing I’m going to say regarding Dead Palette’s comment on the Undercooked Analysis I was featured in with Allen: his attacks are based on some truth and some facts I will not deny, and I’ll explore those with you all in a moment. 

Where he’s gone wrong is his complete omission of all the rest of the facts and his intentional distortion of the facts presented to give you a very negative impression of me: his own, which has been negative for what I suspect is far longer than the inciting incident.

You’re going to see exactly why he chose this moment to drop a seemingly random hit piece on Allen’s UCA upload when he wasn’t involved in the video in the slightest. And for the people that it hurt (Allen and David), I’m pretty angry. 

You can take as many shots and throw as many bricks as you want at me, Brandon. But you burned innocent people, my friends, our friends, purely over your grudge against me. You committed the crime this time and made innocent, good people suffer for your own venomous needs.

—————–

So–what even happened and how did we get to this point? Let’s walk it back a moment to mid-2016:

With Night Mind, I had initially resolved to do one thing: provide channels that had made really awesome things that hadn’t been explored to their full artistic depth the chance for everyone to see and appreciate them. I started with the Slenderverse, went through Alantutorial, covered the Adult Swim stuff around that time, and then opened 2016 with an even bigger vision: take my approach to as many of the new and developing creators as possible. 

Everyone I had just covered and explored, they already made it, they experienced the bit of mountain climbing to be recognized and their journeys were well underway. I wanted other people in the field who were just starting to get that to be seen in the same way, and I’ve been working towards that goal ever since. 

As much success, recognition, and opportunities for the independent creators looking to make livelihoods out of their art—that’s what this has always been about. Seedlings to oak trees, however I could help make it happen.

Around the same time, I got involved with Midnight Marinara, a channel that specialized in doing much of the same thing for Creepypasta, which could be considered a text form sibling to the horror webseries field. David, Dead Palette, Slimebeast—they had all been welcoming, they were fun guys, and they were smart guys. I liked them and enjoyed what they were doing and I had a lot of personal chats with David about how to grow the field, help new writers, and see Creepypasta be more legitimized. The mainstream world knew two aspects of Creepypasta: Slenderman and Jeff the Killer, and the field was wat better than just that. Suddenly, I had two fields I wanted to watch and work on raising up. 

New webseries could use all the attention and support they could get and new writers could use all the attention and support they could get. It was, however, going to be one hell of a climb for anyone, no matter what channels like mine and Midnight Marinara did. The best way forward was just to keep moving forward. 

Now, enter the figure, Max Landis. 

Being a new channel or creator of anything new, you’re endlessly surprised by people who end up watching you or liking your stuff. I was still very new and only just making strides, being genuinely humbled by messages I got and, sometimes, the people who gave them. 

Consider this moment: you’re a new YouTuber specializing in extremely niche, under-celebrated media most people don’t care for and wouldn’t touch, and suddenly, a Hollywood writer and director reaches out sharing appreciation for your work and the stuff you specialize in. This is someone whose every day life is more busy and impactful to the entire world of media and creativity than your whole week, and they took the time to say hello to you and say they cared about what you were doing.

Yes, I was absolutely awestruck and humbled. 

Max didn’t have to do this, not at all, and yet, he made himself known. I could’ve just been something he watched to keep a pulse on weird media, but he showed me the biggest rush of kindness and support from a place I didn’t even dream of being able to approach when I was still what YouTube at large considers a small channel. And then I learned he was making a tv show based on adapting creepypasta. 

Oh my God, prayers answered.

Creepypasta as a field had finally grown big enough to be recognized by the absolute top of the ladder for major production! The art form would be legitimized, new creators would be seen as possibilities going forward by major publications and producers! The idea that someone typing up spooky short stories online would only ever be able to entertain internet strangers and stay stuck in a dead-end job wishing they could do more was over!

Had anyone at all done this, I would’ve been right there as a supporter with a smile on my face. But it wasn’t just a random studio or random executive producer:

It was someone who had been unnecessarily and extraordinarily supportive and kind to me. A person who was Someone told me, Nobody, that they enjoyed what I was doing and what I stood for.

That is exactly how it felt back then, and I had a chance to repay that kindness with the little passionate following I had. Max had been friendly to me and done a lot by saying just a little, probably having no idea what it meant to me; I wanted to repay that as much as I could.

… And then, when it came to the Midnight Marinara discussion of this upcoming First Big Break in Creepypasta, I found I was the only optimistic person in the room.

And then the teaser trailer and the synopsis came out, and the feelings got worse.

What do you do when a group of friends disparages the upcoming work of another friend that you were excited for, especially when that work seems like a gift for everyone?

I felt trapped between two sides with no clear way forward. I could:

A) Support this endeavor that would break down a wall for indie horror and dark storytelling creators, while also paying Max back for his support 

B) Leave Channel Zero alone, don’t give it any lift with this group of supporters I’d pulled together, ignore Max, and keep the peace with the friends who I’d made before him that had also been kind to me

Things came to a real point of anxiety for me when Dead Palette and Slimebeast went out of their way to directly throw shade at Max publicly on Twitter:

Kris Straub is the writer for Candle Cove, the story that was first adapted for Channel Zero. In that thread, he ends up giving the adaptation his seal of approval when it comes to the writing. That tweet is in a mix of back-and-forth between Max and Slimebeast.

Fun fact: you can find the public evidence on Max’s Twitter of him actually approaching Slimebeast to talk about adapting his big Creepypasta hit, “Abandoned by Disney.” Talks between Slimebeast and Max ended up not working out and broke down, so Slimebeast didn’t get taken up as a writer for the show or having his work adapted. My guess is that Max probably took the idea to the legal department and, in the wake of Escape From Tomorrow, Disney was ready to go to war over any depictions of anything related to them they didn’t fully approve.

(Gee, I wonder if Slimebeast happened to have a chip on his shoulder already when it came to Max…)

But that’s just an aside to the story.

This Twitter exchange was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. I was pissed off at DP and Slimebeast, especially because they were figures for the Creepypasta community. How could they look at this one big break the field they loved was getting and spit in its eye? They were writers, too, for the love of God–why would they throw rocks at the one guy who was looking to adapt their kind of work for major production?

Why were you making an enemy of someone looking to do major things for your entire art field when you live to support that art field?!

I felt like I was going crazy and my time was running out to make a stand. I asked David of Midnight Marinara what to do, and he did say to discuss it privately with both of them if I really wanted to go through with this and felt concerned about the possibility of them contradicting me up and down in the comments section for any potential video.

That, ultimately, is what it was about: I didn’t want to make this video, be supportive of this endeavor and a friend, and have two other friends everyone knew I was on good terms with come into the comments section and cause this big, public brawl between all of us and not only destroy my efforts, but ruin our relationship in a very open and obvious way.

I wanted to keep peace. I wanted to keep friends. I wanted to support something I thought would be incredible and repay a kindness. I wanted to bake the cake, have it on the table, and eat it, too.

My solution to this whole situation was absolutely how David put it: idiotic. I was an awkward, confused idiot.

I ended up going into our Skype group and explaining I had a video I wanted to make about Channel Zero, and that even though I knew they didn’t like it, I just wanted things in the comments to remain neutral and be only what the viewers put. I asked them not to comment.

Bad, BAD, STUPID, BAD, and RUDE. 

Slimebeast shrugged it off–he didn’t care.

Dead Palette took offense. Lots of offense. About right to the point where you should be offended by someone being as stupid and insensitive as I was, and then…

Well, then we talked privately, where he took it the level you reserve for someone who calls you a racial slur or kicks your dog right in front of you.

I wish I had the screenshots for this conversation–I checked my history, but the Skype database ends two days after, which is unfortunate, because if there’s anything I’ve learned by now, it’s that I should expect Dead Palette to attack me by painting things in a half-light, so don’t be surprised if he takes very cropped and specific screenshots to give you an impression that works in his favor.

This was either on or right around 9/12/16, and in talking about why I didn’t want him and Slimebeast bringing the Channel Zero beatdown into my comments section for a potential video, I did talk about my reasons why. I also mentioned that even with the stuff we’d seen as promotion for it already, this show wasn’t out yet, we hadn’t actually seen the product.

I think I agreed that from a standpoint of looking like a genuine adaptation of Candle Cove up to that point, it was a miserable failure, or something to that degree. But that’s besides the point; things gets weird adaptations sometimes that somehow end up better than the source material, and still, we hadn’t seen the show.

Maybe Channel Zero was going to be a big bag of utter shit. But until we saw that, until we knew that, we had to give it a chance and be supportive of literally the only major thing to happen to the field of Creepypasta as a good thing. The Slenderman stabbings sure didn’t help us, so it was a miracle that we got this alone. And damn it, yes, I was going to support Max. Because even if something a friend is making looks like it’s going to suck, you be there to support them, especially when they’ve been generously kind to you.

I also remember I said some pretty weak things about being a journalist as well as a reviewer, which is the extra branch I wanted to add to Night Mind videos by covering horror community news. But Dead Palette was right in skewering me on that one–a journalist just says what’s happening to let people know it’s happening, not because they want to support a friend or something that will help a cause they stand for. 

In talking to Dead Palette, I began to recognize just how wrong I was to ask him what I had. Truth is, I did do something stupid, and inconsiderate, and just wrong. Even if I wanted things to go cleanly for the comments section, I didn’t get to ask a friend to not speak their mind. 

I don’t remember precisely what happened for the end of talking with Dead Palette, but I remember the hours spent after that. I wasn’t in a good place; didn’t feel good, knew I hadn’t done good, and I’d made things worse. I began to think about things more and really analyze the situation from all sides.

Yeah, I fucked up. Even if I was foolish enough to think my tactic was minimizing the effect of “choosing sides,” I still ended up choosing a side. And in trying to prevent a bad situation, I caved into anxiety and fear and created the situation I didn’t want.

I went to David to talk about things:

Here’s a full version of the apology I left for Dead Palette:

That last part is where Dead Palette’s claim that I tried to apologize by soliciting “free work” from him comes from, by the way. I didn’t want free work, I wanted to do anything at all that felt like a peace offering or olive branch. Dead Palette was primarily a writer–if I could feature something he had made on my channel, that felt like a shaking of hands. I didn’t want him to just drop whatever he was doing and write something for me, I just wanted to work with him and bury the hatchet; if he had something he had written by October he was proud of, I wanted to shake hands by featuring it. Our argument was in private, not in public, but I still wanted to do something in a public nature to apologize.

And this is where those of you who have had the fortune of not talking to Dead Palette will learn something those of us who have bad run-ins with him realize after the fact: he’s the kind of person who will take something you say and then twist it to use against you for the most horrible, negative connotation. Context will be ignored and he’ll even try to make it null and void so he can use your own words as a weapon to hurt you. Even if what you say is soft, he’ll somehow make it hard and say, “You tried to hit me.”

So, time went by, with no replies from Dead Palette. I know I was looking for them–I wanted to fix this, to make it better, to end it. I had fucked up and been selfish, stupid, and insensitive, and I despised what I had done to the group. David was affected, Allen was affected, and the aura of “something wrong” remained.

Well, things didn’t happen. I asked David in the interim if Dead Palette had said anything, and he reported that he hadn’t when I first asked. At the end of the month, he did have this to say:

Things didn’t pick up from there. On October 18th, the premiere date of Channel Zero: Candle Cove had already passed. I watched it, the whole affair of the past month still in mind, and came to a conclusion:

No, this wasn’t really great–not when it comes to being anywhere near an adaptation of Creepypasta, anyway. 

It was time to man up and eat crow. I headed into the Skype Group for Midnight Marinara to admit I backed what looked like a losing horse and repent. My Skype setup has two issues with providing evidence for you guys right now: I’m pretty sure I’ve been blocked by Dead Palette, and I left that old chat group, so getting the full chats in the program’s front face isn’t possible. What I did manage to get are the old chat logs, which caught this moment. The presentation shows it off kind of strange, and you need to imagine an apostrophe (’) every time it says “'” but this is the text for how conversation went. 

I’m Nick Nocturne in here, Slimebeast is Semistable Lemontart, and Brandon is Dead Palette:

I was short-tempered in this and I know it, but this was what could’ve been considered the third or fourth apology attempt I was delivering and I was having a door thrown in my face while admitting even further how wrong I was. I came to eat crow, shake hands, and make peace, not be told I’m a problem when I had already admitted twice that I was a problem and had done wrong.

I also did have a call to make that was incoming with my YouTube partner manager at the time, Melissa. That’s a fun fact for you guys: YouTube has actually set up a group to be assistants on their side of things for channels who get emails sent offering the connection. I didn’t really have time to jump in a call with DP, but I did it anyway.

I really, really wish I had recorded that call, now. This is how it opened:

“YES, YOU were WRONG, NICK! EVERYTHING about what you said and did was WRONG! And you KNOW IT!”

I was so stunned by being directly yelled at as an opening line for a cold conversation that I didn’t say anything for a minute. I haven’t been spoken to like that since I was a child.

The rest of the phone call was just… hell. Me apologizing, me admitting I was wrong, that I was sorry, that I wanted to make amends. And Dead Palette? His side was this:

- Wanting to hear me openly say and actively repeat, “I’m not a journalist”

- Telling me that I was a piece of shit for trying to get “free work” out of him

- That I still didn’t know what I did wrong and I hadn’t apologized for it

- I was a dirty, filthy, scummy YouTuber

- He didn’t care to know me or work with me at all

- He didn’t care to talk to me or make peace with me 

- And again, “I’m not a journalist” and that I don’t understand how deeply or incredibly I was wrong

When I tell you that I begged for forgiveness, I mean I pretty much begged for it. I didn’t know what else to do, what else to say, what else to apologize for. I came through to clear things, he opened the phone line to assault me over the microphone.

I had to take some time to myself, however brief, before I could have my first conversation with this YouTube partner manager.

And from there… well, I got one more notification from the Skype Group:

I left the group, I’m pretty sure, and then just said goodbye to Skype in general for awhile. Tried to pull it together offscene and continue with my October work. 

And everything went completely silent from there. David knew what happened and he was sorry, couldn’t understand how Brandon could be this way, but I told him to not let things change between him and DP over me. Dead Palette had been his friend first, and our argument wasn’t involving David. If DP wanted nothing to do with me, fine–but David wasn’t about to pay that price.

Peace (if you could call it that) was kept since then. Until, of course, we have what brought everything crashing down this past week.

—————————

Allen invited me to be on his arc of a fun variety choice event the Midnight Marinara/Undercooked Analysis guys were calling the “Spaifu War,” where David, Allen, and DP went their separate ways to make their own UCA shows after disagreeing who the best waifu was from “Totally Spies.”

I thought that was hilarious and Allen is my friend, he’s been my friend since before he got involved with Midnight Marinara. I missed doing anything with Allen, so I jumped on the opportunity to have some fun, help him with his arc, and just enjoy catching up.

Allen, despite what Dead Palette or Slimebeast may tell you, did not know the depth of the hate Dead Palette has for me. He knew there was bad blood, but not to the extent that he would do what came next.

The episode went up on… Monday night? Tuesday morning? That odd mixture of the two times that to me constitute one full day. Tuesday morning, I’m heading to bed, look at my phone, and see I have a Twitter DM… from Dead Palette.

It’s been about 18 months since the whole affair over Channel Zero and my idiocy. A year and a half. I’m in a good, thoughtful mood, been working on a new video, I’m about to go to bed, and I get this random message:

From here, I’m going to give you all the full, unedited thread. THIS is what led to Dead Palette’s callout/resignation comment on the UCA video I was on with Allen, the one in which he wasn’t even mentioned, featured, or even remotely thought of:

I immediately shared screenshots with Allen and David because I knew if DP was mean-spirited and begrudging enough to do this a full year and a half later acting this way, he was about to do some more horrible things, too.

And then he did precisely that. He went into the comments section of the UCA video I made with Allen, wrote up his hit piece, and then burned two innocent mutual friends because he just fucking hates me.

And I’ve had to sit by and watch as people DP sold a lie to in a random callout post have flung arrows at me here through anonymous asks and on Twitter. But I told David straight-up: he and Allen were the ones truly hurt by this. They can lead the charge.

And, you know, I seriously didn’t expect Dead Palette to leave The Witching Hour on top of Undercooked Analysis. I didn’t even expect him to leave UCA.

No matter how horrible the whole thing with DP was, I never begrudged David over it, or Allen. I wasn’t going to burn mutual friends for something that was my own deal.

But most of all… I didn’t expect a grown man to hold a grudge like this for a year and a half and then attack me out of the blue.

After what must’ve been about five apologies.

I fully own up to everything stupid and awful I did that created the Channel Zero situation. I do own it: I asked Slimebeast and Dead Palette to not disparage the show in the comments section if I made a video, because I didn’t want public fighting, I wanted to support the show for what it could do for Creepypasta, and I wanted to support Max, who had been majorly kind to me. I was also getting a lot of questions from viewers asking if I’d cover it–it was, after all, indie online horror that was now taking major media form.

I felt pressed to cover and support Channel Zero in a bunch of ways. I felt trapped by my need to light a torch for it and my desire to stay friends with the group who first befriended me on YouTube. I chose one of the dumbest, most selfish routes possible to go about it and chose to ask friends to be silent about their opinions for my sake.

I was wrong, Dead Palette. You’re right about that.

But no matter how much I said it, and no matter how much I owned it, no matter how much I wanted to fix things and make it right and be better than what you saw me as, you just kept spitting in my face and screaming me down.

But now you hurt innocent people. And what’s more, you hurt my friends.

Mix yourself a drink for that, DP, and call it The Bitter Grudge.

—————————

I hate internet drama. I hate having to engage in it, I hate having to hear about it, I hate having to see it. But this is one monster that involved me and I had to say my piece.

Let’s go ahead and put this thing to bed, now, and move on with good things and good people.

And finally…

Long live Undercooked Analysis and Midnight Marinara! 

—————–
Edit: Please, please, please do not attack Dead Palette! This case is closed, here. Leave the guy alone. Don’t message him, don’t tweet at him, don’t comment on his videos about this, don’t attack him. Leave him be.
We’ve all had enough hate and grudges and mudslinging. Enough of the blame, enough of the hate. It’s spring. Let’s go forward in peace.