This isn’t going to be eloquent, or pretty. It’s just a jumble of thoughts that kept me up the last few nights of my vacation because a lot has been going on. I’m gonna wall-of-text, I’m gonna accidentally a word or two, I’m gonna change subject w/o warning& I may say a few things along the way that will upset people. So be it.
A lot has been going on in the world and on twitter. The state of things is getting worse in both. I don’t have the words to talk about the world& the U.S. so I’ll stick to what’s been going on with twitter. But first, I’m gonna be a little self-centered &rewind just a bit. (ok, maybe a lot self-centered, but fuck it, its my post& my story so I’ll tell it how I want to, and yes, I did say ‘fuck’ because Steve’s not here to scold me about language -though I’m sure he’ll laugh when he reads that.)
January is a shit month. It’s the Monday of the year &there’s never enough coffee or booze to get through it. Like many, I’m prone to seasonal depression.(ok, not just seasonal, but January is the worst) Usually not ‘bad’ -by bad I mean ‘quick, somebody call 911 for a wellness check on her’. What I’d call a low-grade funk(others might call it worse than that, but I’m used to it, so it doesn’t ‘feel’ that bad, maybe I’ve just become so used to it that it ‘feels’ normal). A don’t eat, don’t sleep, don’t write, why am I bothering with anything, nothing matters, sleepwalk through the workday& try to put on a good mask so no one sees& worries, just keep moving because it’s gotta get better eventually type funk. Angie would say I was ‘too consumed with ennui’ to function, but that would be a bit overly dramatic, don’t you think? A funk like that is manageable in the short term. But this was the better part of A WHOLE FREAKING MONTH.
Now I have two very dear friends -one offline& one on(both read this site& both will be cross with me), who are empaths. (scoff if you like, it doesn’t change the fact that they are) They can read me. They can sense when I’m off-kilter. Occasionally, I can vaguely read them as well. I knew they were going through things on their own& didn’t need the cloud of my dark energy draining them. So I cut myself off from that part of my support network, to protect them. Actually I hid it best I could from ALL of my network, succumbing to that old mental health stigma that we beat ourselves over the head with- ‘oh, it’s not that bad, I shouldn’t bother reaching out, I’ll just bring them down’.
As the month wound down, I started to get better, slowly. Things would crop up at home o work or twitter or in news that would knock me back a peg or two trying to climb out of the pit, but I kept going. There were things to look forward to& things that needed to be done. Paperwork for a kiddo preparing for college, appointments, my yearly trip to a gaming convention, a mini vacation for writing, upcoming primaries& special elections.
Then the Tuesday morning after the Iowa caucus I was at work. I was in a bright mood, knowing I only had three shifts left til vacation& convention. I’m not supposed to be on my phone at work, but I’m a bad kid& peek when I can. So I saw Tony’s tweet. ‘Well, I don’t have time to reply right now, but I’ll at least RT it& come back to it on break.’ My notifications blew up, but it’s common, so I ignored until I was on lunch. Opened my phone to twitter. DM from T-Bird sharing a tweet stating that Tony must be shadow banned again because he couldn’t be found. A tweet mention from Glenn saying that Tony’s tweets weren’t loading. A horde of trollbot replies to Tony’s tweet. But NO Tony. I went to DM Steve and ask him what happened. Gone.
I DMd who I could, and we started piecing together what happened. It took us a while to get a proper headcount on who was missing. (despite being as close knit an online family as we are, we weren’t as organized as we make it seem) One of us had a phone# for Tony& we reconnected with him& through him, some of the others. We found out that they were mass suspended, permanently, all for bogus reasons.
Last spring when Tony was shadow-banned, we started looking into other options, other platforms where we could continue to share important information, speak truth& resist as a team. We decided to test out Mastodon. It wasn’t exactly like twitter, but it was a good site. Navigation was a little tricky(still is) and the lack of actual DM rooms was a drawback. At the time we we looking for an all-in-one replacement for twitter, but that wasn’t going to happen. After a week, Tony’s shadowban was lifted& Mast was all but forgotten. But those who had tested it out, still had accounts. So when the Snap(yes, I’m still using MCU terms& analogizes- it’s what I do& part of my charm or part of my Asperger’s, take your pick) when the Snap happened, the dust settled& we had accounted for those we could, we assembled on Mast.
Those of us still allowed on Twitter started a #BringBackHeroes campaign calling twitter out &trying to get the rest of the team back. Oddly(or not so oddly considering Twitter is suppressing Resistance voices) we’ve gotten a lot of amplification/replies/RTs/likes in support, yet the story hasn’t trended. Hasn’t been picked up by news. Hasn’t been seen by verified accounts that could put pressure on Twitter to do the right thing. Posts tagging Twitter Support or using the tags seem to get low analytics. More censorship& suppression from Twitter. They’ve refused to respond to the suspension appeals filed by the people affected. It’s now been ten days as I write this, and although I’ll keep calling them out, I fear that lack of word from Twitter IS their final word.
It’s frustrating. It’s taking time away from our Resistance. From calling out corruption, from alerting people to registration deadline& election dates, boosting candidates to help us flip the Senate& hold the House. But it one more fight that need to be fought, because if the can silence my friends, who will be next?
It’s all kind of a blur how the #MastMigration exploded. People were talking in #BringBackHeroes threads about how we all needed a new platform& backup accounts. in retrospect, some will say that the idea of the migration should have been kept quiet, spread via DM& networked that way. Others (ok yes, me& I’m only half sorry) jumped on the idea& started a new(and loud) campaign to draw more people away from #ToxicTwitter
The past few days have been chaos. There are some attempts to organize best we can, but even with JR trying to keep a welcome list of new accounts, timelines are a mess as we learn& reconnect. I’m sure eventually that will smooth out, but it’s going to take time.
HOWEVER, with all that being said, I see things already. Flashbacks to the early days. Some don’t remember the SVRAV days, some do. One of the first #Resistance communities, but it grew too big to manage. Management styles, Resistance methods, Personality conflicts -all came into play. I don’t know all the details that lead to the fracture. (and no, I don’t want anyone DM whispering to me about how this one did this or that one did that, it’s been almost three years since SVRAV, get the bloody goddamned FUCK over it) I was kept insulated from a lot of the backlash -both before& after the fracturing of SVRAV. To be honest, looking back, I think that it needed to happen. People settled into smaller, close-knit groups. We scattered to the four winds of Twitter, but still managed to stay connected -like a family that’s spread out across the country.
I’d like to think we’ll settle into something similar on Mastodon. This is a new home, a new start. We’re all on a learning curve here. We’re all trying to sort out how to work things, how to declutter our timelines, figuring out who’s who(some accounts changed handles when transferring, a few have put their old Twit handles in their bios, but not all) NOT EVERYONE will follow EVERYONE. It’s not a bad thing to be cautious in follows, it never was. Remember how our follows were flooded in the very early days? The actual Resistance themed intro parties?(not those crappy here’s a list of ppl that may or may not be vetted, FBRs) Even trying to vet back then, we still had some with malicious intent creep in. So if someone doesn’t follow, PLEASE! Don’t get your panties in a bunch. Maybe they don’t recognize you, or maybe they do& remember that your styles of Resisting don’t quite mesh.(Not a bad thing, we all Resist in our own ways. What works for one may not work for another, RESPECT it &let it be.) Just move on. Keep doing what we’re all trying to do. Fight to restore our Democracy. Get people registered& to the polls. Call MoC’s. Raise awareness of injustice. Call out the hypocrisy of the administration. #Resist
So now I sit here, a week of vacation gone. Prob 90% of the things I had planned to do fallen to the wayside. The return to the undercover grind looming with the next sunrise, (ok, I’ll be up long before sunrise, but it sounded poetic& pretty) wondering what the future of the Resistance holds. Will we learn from our past mistakes& RISE to the challenge? I have faith, but that won’t be enough to get us through. It’s going to take work. Building up a new platform& community while also fighting the administration& working towards our #BlueWave2020 is going to take all of us. (yes, I know I just said we have to work together, after calling for smaller networked groups. It’s possible to do both, we did it on Twitter, don’t @ me)
Why did I write all this? Especially the whole intro part about my mental health? I don’t know, it’s all stuff I just have to get out of my head& a tweet or toot thread wasn’t going to do it.(In my best 11 voice ‘Maybe I’m a sharer, I share things now.’ Yes, I know that’s not an actual 11 quote, but you’re reading it in his voice now, aren’t you? Better yet a paraphrase of 13 ‘I’ve got a million thoughts and ideas and plans in my head, Identifying the ones that are going to work, that’s tricky bit.’) If I pissed some people off, oh fucking well. I only pretend to be eloquent& polite as Peg. This is the real Mags(NO, still not my real name, Peggy& Maggie are both nicknames for Margaret) behind the keyboard& sometimes I’m impulsive& just mentally vomit shit on the screen. There’s more I could say, like how even if twitter restores everyone’s accounts, I don’t want to stay, even though I’ll miss the writing community there. Or how I’ll follow Tony& my team to the end of the line because no one can fill those shiny red metal boots like him. Or how I’m not a leader, I can just fake it well enough when needed until the real leaders rise up (once again, don’t @ me, it’s not a self slam, it acknowledging the fact that I work best as support staff- just ask anyone I’ve ever gamed with. There’s a reason you never see a Frost Mage or a Resto Shaman tanking a boss. I know my value to the team and anyone else’s opinion doesn’t matter) But I will end with a Peg quote that feels like it should fit the whole Mast migration thing.
“The world has changed, and none of us can go back. All we can do is our best. Sometimes the best we can do, is to start over.”