Since this whole Game of Thrones thing really pushed Questionable Internet Behavior into the limelight, there have been a rash of petitions, admonishments, snarky commentary from media outlets, and the shaming of the shamers who have shamed the anti-shamers by shaming the shamed, who frankly, should be ashamed. It's been a tire fire, combined with a train wreck, and it is now hopping to each next new thing, in order to be replayed from the top, a playlist full of regretful choices.
Can we blame the media for picking up on it, really? The last time we saw a bootlegger reverse this spectacular was in Smokey and the Bandit: one minute, everyone is bursting with joy at the start of the final season, and then just as quickly, there was blood in the water and sharks all around.
Nevertheless, I've been wrestling with my part in this, small as it is, and how I tend to spend a lot of my digital time discussing what I liked and didn't like about stuff. It's been an up and down enterprise, especially since I'm not known for my brevity. I would rather err on the side of writing too much than not saying enough and having myself misconstrued.
Right now, the online push is coming from the group that wants people to be left alone to enjoy things uncritically. Fans. Any commentary is being pounced upon and worried to an uncomfortable silence. Usually it's because someone started an online petition or an online boycott campaign. There's been a lot of that going around, too, but that's another topic for another time.
I thought that for some of you who don't know me personally, and don't hear my voice when you read my posts, it would be a great opportunity to revisit and update my terms of service agreement for you, the consumer of said posts. These changes go into effect immediately. You pushing these words into your eye holes constitutes tacit acceptance, so neener neener.
TERMS OF SERVICE for Mark Finn's Internet Presence (known as "Finn's Wake" or "Mark the Aging Hipster")
1. You are under no obligation to agree with my opinions.
2. I will welcome any expression of that disagreement provided it is done without rancor or acrimony.
3. I will, in turn, disagree with your opinions from time to time, and do so in a way that is not inflammatory.
4. Exceptions to the above will occur whenever your opinion differs from widely held beliefs and mutual experiences. In such an occurrence, my disagreement may take the form of "teasing" or "sarcasm" but will be expressed without any real or genuine emotion.
5. Such tactics will be the exception rather than the norm, and are not meant to damage or negate your self-esteem in any way, shape, or form.
6. Your right to disagree with me ends when one of us becomes genuinely angry. When that happens, the process has broken down completely and will need to be rebooted.
7. If your initial interaction with me is hostile, I will likely respond in kind, insofar that nothing being discussed really matters in the grand scheme of things, and will use the interaction as an excuse to vent about what's really bothering me.
8. I frequently use sarcasm, irony, and hyperbole in my correspondence and in my essays. This is intentional. I also try very hard to be funny, with decidedly mixed results. None of this should pose any problems for the discerning reader.
9. If after reading something I have written you feel angry or denigrated, you have two options: 1.) contact me privately for clarification. This has worked really well over the years. If you are uncomfortable reaching out to a stranger, you can always 2.) read other things I've written along the same lines for additional context. If you are still uncertain, see number 1.
10. If after reading all of this you remain unsatisfied, upset, or feel attacked in any way, you will be offered a full, unconditional refund. If after receiving your refund (actual cash value: $0.00) you are still offended, you have the same pants to get happy in.
These terms of service updated and witnessed 6/7/19 by the management, MarktheAgingHipster.fu