• Member Since 12th Nov, 2011
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Dusty the Royal Janitor

Who needs sleep when you've been dead inside for years? :)

More Blog Posts279

  • 3 weeks

    4 comments · 44 views
  • 13 weeks
    I Wrote a Buttload of Side Stories...

    ...For Applejack: Marvelous.

    "What If?"

    But I have a problem. One of the sidestories contains SERIOUS lore spoilers for the rest of AJ:M. I'm honestly not sure if I should post it.

    What do you guys think?

    14 comments · 284 views
  • 20 weeks
    So... how about them leaks? [FINALE SPOILERS!! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!]

    Like... wow. Holy motherfucking shit.

    I mean, I haven't actually been invested in the show proper since the end of Season 3, and have only caught a smattering of episodes and the movie since then, but the characters and world are still pretty close to my heart. It's really saddening to see that this is where the show ends up. This is B.A.D.

    Read More

    27 comments · 466 views
  • 38 weeks

    I actually got really emotional. The past 10 years of my life have been kinda defined to a degree by these movies.

    Actual potential spoilers below for both Endgame and Applejack: Marvelous. I mean it. Continue at your own risk.

    Read More

    11 comments · 363 views

The State of Things: What's happened, and where I'm going moving forward · 12:23am Mar 2nd, 2019

(So, I'm going to talk about Article 13 and shit again. If you want to skip all the political talk and the jargon about what A13 threatens to do and how it might affect us - even outside the EU - hit Ctrl-F and search for "***" without quotations)

So, a couple of weeks ago now, I was informed that Article 13 of the EU Copyright Directive had come back, and it had come back with a vengeance. This was after I had been informed - and so gleefully announced for all the world to hear - that it was on the ropes and very likely wouldn't end up going through.

Apparently, some fucks from France and Germany were blocking the directive at first... not because it was a bad idea for everybody involved and went too far and was far too overreaching... but apparently because the eurocrats in France and Germany thought that it didn't go FAR ENOUGH.

It astounds me that anyone could believe that, but that's the state of things. Apparently President Emmanuel Macron and Chencellor Angela Merkel themselves were involved somehow, as if there wasn't enough proof that they're both absolute scumsucking bottomfeeders of human beings, given how hard they've bent their respective countries over a barrel and fucked them until they can't walk anymore.

Anyway, apparently they formed some kind of "Franco-German deal" or something. At this point I forget what it was called. Whatever it was, though, it pushed the members of the EU to rewrite the language of Article 13 so that it was even worse than it already was (which was pretty damn bad to begin with), and then pushed it through the trilogue process before anybody could even realize what was happening, finalizing the worst version of the directive we've yet seen.

It's this kind of hasty, under the table, deceptive political bullshit that people are really getting sick of. People wonder why "alternative" parties are on the rise? It's not because everybody in the world is suddenly a white supremacist, it's because the current mainstream political system is always constantly fucking people over so hard that people are starting to NOT CARE that the "alternative" political parties tend to flirt with dangerous ideologies.

...Not that there should be any hope that these "alternative parties" will end up treating their citizens any better, of course. But this is all a topic for never. I really don't want my comments section to become a mess of political arguments, so I'll just move along so I can get to the point

There will be a final vote that will push Article 13 into effect. This is the last place that the directive can be stopped - and it still CAN be stopped, but it's not looking very good. The utterly noxious German MEP Axel Voss and his cronies are trying their absolute damnedest to try and diminish the reality of opposition to the directive, and are out in full force creating propaganda that tries to make the new laws seem less heinous than they really are and convince people that they're actually a good thing.

Opposition is still on the rise, but nobody knows if it's enough. It could be too little too late. The vote is happening sometime between March 23rd and April 28th, I believe. To my knowledge, a final date has not yet been set.

And, of course, it's still unknown just what the scope of the directive will be. As stated in the past, this set of laws is only meant to affect the EU, but history has proven, such as what happened with the GDPR back last year, that companies tend to just target the strictest set of rules and comply with those rules by applying them to everyone. After all, it's far easier to just make a single set of rules and program a website to follow them, than it is to try and make multiple sets of rules and manage those rules differently depending on location. Despite living in America or Australia or Canada or Russia or wherever else you may live, you may still end up forced to live by these rules.

Or... you may not. It remains to be seen. The fact is that the amount of damage that this new directive threatens to do is UNPRECEDENTED. It could be that this will do enough damage to the internet that companies like Google, Youtube, Facebook, etc will decide to cater to their users outside the EU and implement multiple rules.

I don't think that'll happen though. The fact is that the big tech companies in Silicon Valley already basically have a monopoly over us. We normal plebians are pretty much forced to use Google/Facebook/Twitter/Youtube/Patreon, and we have very little in the way of alternatives. And when alternatives like Gab or SubscribeStar come about, the big tech companies try and crush them. Usually on the basis that they're somehow "racist" or something, even if it's completely untrue. Because nobody likes to defend a "racist."

If the big tech companies feel assured of the state of their monopoly, and that even with the internet cut into pieces that people won't have anywhere else to go and will still opt to return to the familiarity of the already-established big-tech companies... then they probably won't put any measures in place to defend us.

So what does this mean for smaller sites like FiMFiction? Well... unfortunately nothing good. Because while big tech companies probably could AFFORD to make multiple sets of rules and enforce them all separately (even though I'm not convinced they actually will), smaller sites probably won't have the ability to make multiple sets of rules.

At best, smaller sites will simply block access to their sites in the EU (which they might not be able to afford to do because of the sheer amount of lost revenue). At worst, they'll be forced to comply with the new regulations and won't be able to apply separate rules based on user geography.

Overall, the absolute best case scenario - assuming that big sites decide to cater to their users and small sites block EU access... is that the EU basically becomes cut off from the rest of the world. It basically gets its own separate, incredibly limited internet, similar to what North Korea and China have.

Worst case scenario, the internet as a whole gets completely fucking decimated. And we're not just talking about memes or fanfiction or fanart or youtube review videos or whatever. We're talking pretty much ALL user-created content. Because the way Article 13 is currently designed, the upload filters that will be put in place will be designed to "play it safe" and flag and delete anything that COULD violate copyright. This means that if you write a fantasy story, you'll probably get flagged because your work COULD violate Lord of the Rings' copyright. You write a sci-fi story you'll get flagged because it COULD violate Star Wars or Star Trek or something. You write a superhero story and you'll get flagged because it COULD violate DC or Marvel.

And there will be no appeals process because the upload filters aren't taking things DOWN off the internet, they're keeping them from ever REACHING the internet in the first place. Pretty much the only thing left on the internet will be from the pre-approved "official" media companies. This is the push to turn the internet into Cable TV 2.0.


So now onto the part that actually matters: What does this mean for me?

Well, the fact is I'm a writer. I like writing. I like writing fiction, and I like writing fanfiction. I don't know if I could ever truly stop.

...But I have trouble writing things if I don't think anybody is ever going to see them. Friends have told me I should just "write for myself," but I don't like doing that. It's a sort of "If a tree falls in the forest" situation.

If an author writes a story, but there's nobody around to read it, did anything get written at all?

To those who tilt their head at the question, let me ask the same question in a different way: Does a story that is written but never read have any worth?

Stories are meant to be shared. That is their purpose. Therefore, a story that is written but never shared is not fulfilling its purpose. Therefore, a story that is written but never shared is purposeless and without worth.

Given how long it takes me to write something, I refuse for the things I write to be worthless. I will not put that sheer amount of time and effort into something worthless.

Even if I only ever have a bare few people to share my stories with, they must be shared. Because they can mean something to those bare few people, and find meaning, purpose, and worth.

So it's high time I stopped moping and started asking myself "what can I DO to mitigate the damage of this situation?"

Obviously I can't STOP it from happening, but I can mitigate the damage for myself. And I can recommend to everybody else how they might take steps to mitigate the damage for themselves as well.

So what this means is that I'm going to start looking into diversifying my writing presence online. I'm going to try and make a presence on other writing websites. We'll see if that helps to avert future catastrophe. I'm going to look for websites based in the US, as well as websites that aren't necessarily "traditional" writing websites. The more sites I diversify myself onto, the more likely that one of them will have a chance at surviving the upcoming "purges."

I'll still be posting to FiMFiction for as long as I reasonably can, but with the vote coming so soon... I don't know how long that will be. To be fair, I've heard that if the directive passes it will have to be negotiated in all the member states first before it goes into effect - a process that might take up to two years - but at this point who knows. Half of the problem is that all the information coming out is fuzzy. It might take up to two years, it might only take a couple weeks. We don't know. By this time in May we could be living in the "New Internet"

For now, though, I'm looking at other, alternative websites to FiMFiction. Comparatively, I don't like most of them. FiMFiction's great strength is its sheer ease of use, and none of these other websites are nearly as user-friendly as FiMFic. Currently, the websites I'm eyeing the closest are Archive of Our Own, Wattpad, and Spacebattles/Sufficient Velocity, along with a host of other websites and options that I'm considering.

I'm a little nervous about SB/SV. They seem to take writing VERY seriously over there, and I'm a little nervous I'll be laughed out on my ass.

Wattpad is a little too filled with twelve-year-olds for my liking, and seems to favor romantic stories over anything else from what I've seen? But it also seems to have a lot of neat looking tools just at a glance and it looks like it has the greatest chance of being user-friendly in a similar way to FiMFiction. I'll need to do a lot more investigating into this one.

AO3 is pretty bare bones from my perusals of the website. Its structure reminds me a little too much of Fanfiction.net for my liking, and I'm not a huge fan of Fanfiction.net. Still, a lot of people seem to really swear by it, so I'll be looking into it.

As for Fanfiction.net itself, I'll probably make a new account there too, just for the hell of it. I can't say I'm thrilled to go crawling back there, though. It's incredibly user-unfriendly. You wanna talk about a time capsule from the 2001 era internet it's hard to find a better example than Fanfiction.net.

Another potential option that i'm wondering about is to see if I can make an Imgur account, of all things work. Obviously I'd have to come up with an image to go with every chapter/story I try and post there, but I might be able to post images and then follow them up with text? I don't know if there's a limit on the amount of text that one can post in an Imgur post, but if there isn't then it might be a viable platform. I seem to recall that they might be unfriendly to MLP fans though, so that might be a problem on its own? We'll see.

Other options I'm thinking about is starting a Wordpress site. I actually think I might already have an old one that I can gut and adapt if it's still up. We'll see if that'll work.

Another place I'd rather not go crawling back to is DeviantArt, but we'll see if that becomes necessary. I do have an old DeviantArt account that I can clean up if that ends up becoming my only option. DeviantArt is kind of the definition of "bad company" though, so I'd like to avoid it if possible. I really don't want my work showing up alongside some 14 year-old's iPhone-photographed colored-pencil drawings of diaper/pregnancy fetish Winnie the Pooh x Simpsons crossover fan-artwork.

( ^ You think I'm exaggerating but I assure you I am not. ^ )

Similar to DeviantArt, another option that I'm forced to consider (though I'm rather less than thrilled that I am forced to consider it) is FurAffinity. I really don't want to have to post my work to a website that is best known for its weird pornography... but let's be real here; It isn't like FiMFiction doesn't have its own share of weird-ass clop, so maybe those of us who live in glass houses shouldn't be throwing stones. Especially when desperate times may call for desperate measures...

Of course, all of this diversifying will be for naught if the worst case scenario happens and pretty much all user generated content ends up scrubbed from the internet. This is why, at some point during the next few weeks, I'm going to try and start looking into options for an email list. I can't know for certain, obviously, but I THINK that email communications should be unaffected by this new directive? At the very least I don't see how they COULD be.

If we have to go back to the early 90's way of living and communicate our stories and fandoms entirely through email listings then goddammit, that's what we'll fucking DO. I've never had to work or communicate in such spheres, but hey, people did it before in the late 80's and early 90's, and people even managed to get pretty significant fan conventions off the ground in those days (take a gander, for example, at how the infamous "furry fandom" actually started. It's an interesting watch, if more than a little cringey at times.)

Be on the lookout for my future announcements. Anytime I make a new presence elsewhere I'll be sure to post it here. Feel free to bookmark it for future posterity, even if you prefer to follow me here for the time being rather than on the alternate platforms. They may come in handy for the future.

In the meantime, I'll gladly take any suggestions anyone has for alternative places I can set up shop, or places people want me to avoid. And if anybody knows how I can go about setting up email lists and the like so that I can reach the widest audience possible, feel free to message me about that. This is all pretty new territory for me.

As for right now, it's high time that I started getting back to writing. I meant to have two chapters of Applejack:Marvelous out by this point, and I'm pissed at myself for falling behind. The sheer mental fragility and lack of resilience that tends to come with depression is the worst I fuckin' tell you. All it takes is a minor inconvenience to send me spiraling most days, let alone a monolithic looming disaster like Article 13.

Look for updates in the near future - both on what other websites you might find me on, as well as actual story updates.

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Comments ( 12 )

> Says "I'll just move along so I can get to the point."
> Doesn't get to the point for another 11 paragraphs.
> Delays the point even further for some philosophical navel-gazing.

Yeah, it's a tough situation, hopefully some solution will be found (not that sites based in the States are going to be much safer, what with net neutrality being kicked and beaten within an inch of its life). I've already started downloading all my favorite stories as ebooks. Whatever happens, I hope to still be able to read your works. It's certainly worth any extra hassle.

I doubt people outside of Europe and China will be at all okay with having all their shit suppressed just because of the lunatics in Europe are oppressing their people again. I think the backlash will be severe enough that companies will be forced to adopt a separate ruleset for the EU, just like they do in China. This is what happens when people allow an unelected cabal of know-nothings dictate the use of technology they have no knowledge of, and think Facebook and Twitter are the only websites on the Internet.

There's no reason to give up hope yet, there's still time to stop this, and from what I've been hearing, people are putting up one hell of a fight, and quite a few members of the European parliament have said they'll vote no. It looks bad, yea, but there's still hope.

Don't lose hope man don't lose it, because without it how would have the rebel alliance won against the galactic empire without it, how would the human resistance from Terminator fared without hope. Or even better; how would the british people have fared against the nazis, when they started bombing the fuck out of them during WWII, if they hadn't had hope.
To sum it up in a few words; without hope life is meaningless and not worth living.

If this does go through, the odds that it'll actually spread over to North America are very slim. Backlash is a powerful force, one that brought down Disney era Star Wars due to fan dissatisfaction. No way in hell are the big corporations prepared to face the backlash of everyone on the 'net. They'll have no choice but to provide a separate ruleset if they even want to stay alive. People will revolt otherwise, and I honestly wouldn't be surprised if it came down to literal bloodshed in that case, given how extreme some people can go in expressing themselves.

I'm a little nervous about SB/SV. They seem to take writing VERY seriously over there, and I'm a little nervous I'll be laughed out on my ass.

I'm a regular over on SB/SV, and we would absolutely LOVE to have you. I know for a fact the local brony community absolutely ADORE both Applebloom: Transform and Roll Out as well as Applejack Marevolous. I also know some authors here use SB and SV as either a sounding board for ideas, or for pseudo beta reading.

Will you give link to those new place you will publish here so we can add those place in our favorite?

And I recommend Spacebattles. You are good enough to publish there and the forum format is friendlier FIM and FF to comment and discuss the stories. Don't worry, there are some MLP there too and you could also explains in a post the why you are branching out of FIM. It would make more people aware of what's happening.

I still say you’re making it out to be worse than it is. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all a fan of Article 13, but I strongly doubt that the whole internet will get nuked because of it.

The diversification precautions are hopefully unnecessary but probably still wise. I'll have to bear these in mind myself. Still, here's hoping this isn't as bad as it could be. We'll see what happens.

As far as I am aware, this thing is actually un-enforcable. The kinds of upload filters this thing would need in order to merely function do not exist yet and everyone single website would be required to have them installed, which would just choke the shit out of everything that isn't a multi-billion dollar company simply due to server costs.

That doesn't mean that if it passes we'll be all right. God I'm tired of rich fucks gaming the politics in order to fuck t he whole of humanity over.

Well, they're voting on it tomorrow, all we can do now is wait and desperately hope for the best.

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