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Community, not commodity.

Things that make me cranky, part ARGH of a long list:

Say there's something that you're heavily emotionally invested in. Say it's a community, and the people in that community care about each other very much. In their spare time, they do fun things together. Sometimes the fun things are creative, and/or interesting to others outside the community. But the community is what's put first; the projects the community gets up to are great, but not the actual primary goal of anyone involved.

Now say that perhaps there is a fan of some of the creative products of the community. Now, keep in mind, the relationship of the fan to the community is strictly a fan relationship: there is no patronage, no sponsorship of location/beverages/t-shirts, no need for an audience for the community to justify its existence. Maybe the community acknowledges the fan(s), maybe even makes some adjustments to accommodate outsiders, like unlocking comments to non-members, or holding drama society in the public park instead of at the private home of a member.

And perhaps the community has some changes. Maybe almost everybody got suddenly busy, and there were no projects finished/started/whatever for a while. Maybe the community up and moved to another venue. Maybe -- the point is, stuff affecting the community happened, and there was a bobble of some kind in the publicly viewable output of the community from the fan's perspective.

And the fan complains to members of the community that it's not fair, they were expecting the entertainment that the community is known for producing, and as a fan, they're upset to not get that. Maybe another fan has expressed that hey, they had been enjoying what was there, thanked the community for doing what they'd been doing, and would appreciate being able to see more if/when there was any -- that fan is doing it right. This fan, the one who is being demanding and acting entitled to entertainment, and taking it as a personal hurt when it's not happening, is doing it wrong.

You know what? Go whine somewhere else. It's not about the fan, in this case. It's about the way the community works and its well-being. Yeah, it sucks to be a fan and have your entertainment not behave the way you expected it to. This thing is not here for your entertainment. It's here for us, and it's incidentally public because none of the reasons for making it private overruled the effort it would take to make it that way. Outsiders acting entitled is actually a great reason to consider taking it private. Thanks for suggesting that.


(I believe that this is a common enough scenario that it doesn't just apply to that thing I saw a while ago, although it most assuredly was inspired by that thing, and then the other one.)

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Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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