The Msscribe Story, Chapter Ten
I should update you on some new developments. heidi8 has announced publicly that she has confirmed that Msscribe was Sporkify, and that Msscribe lied to her about that. Also, ari_o has emailed angua9 and given her a link to a website showing the name and phone number of the police officer that she says Msscribe told her was the person who investigated her case with "Fermatojam." angua9 says she has already called that number and left a message, but it was after hours and she got no information. She plans to call the Records Department tomorrow morning to ask if the case exists, and immediately post the results on her LJ. And yes, I do realize that this sounds like it could be a setup for the Big Reveal that Msscribe is innocent after all, but I assure you I do not expect that to be the case!
I thought very seriously about delaying the release of Chapter Ten until that phone call has been made, but I decided not to. The events of Chapter Ten occurred, no matter what the outcome of that phone call. And NM deserves to have her story told, after waiting patiently for two months.
for sapphireisle, who bravely contributed some information that must be very hurtful for her...
An Unauthorized Fandom Biography
November 2005 - Msscribe and the Civil War Icons
The sixth book of the Harry Potter series was released on July 16, 2005, creating some changes in the Harry Potter fandom. For most people, the seemingly endless Harry/Hermione versus Ron/Hermione shipping wars -- the wars that had disrupted the peace of the "Harry Potter for Grownups" list way back in 2000-2001, greatly influenced the founding of the Sugar Quill and FictionAlley websites, and served as background tension in many episodes of the Msscribe story -- were over at last. However, the remnants of that ship war remained, as the larger fandom became familiar with a small subset of Harry/Hermione shippers who had strongly believed that their pairing would and should happen (some of whom soon convinced themselves that it still could), and began to make fun of them. The split between people who liked the new book and people who found it deeply disappointing -- a split that had first become noticeable after the fifth book -- widened and became more acrimonious. Many fandom skirmishes took place.
From what I can see (and remember), Msscribe -- H/Hr shipper or no -- placed herself in the camp of those who still loved the Harry Potter series and she remonstrated with her fellow H/Hr shippers, asking them to moderate their disappointment. It seems from what I can piece together from her public actions that the release of book six renewed her interest in the Harry Potter fandom a bit. She posted the new Harry/Hermione fic in September. And on November 17 she made the following post (now locked, but here is a downloaded copy from when it was public):
So I lied. This is apparently 'Fandom Day' on my LJ.Here are the icons in question:
icons by Ahiru, gacked from Narcissam and Ahiru
These icons had been made in response to this classic wank from Aug. 4, 2005, where someone named Panther had posted at Portkey comparing Emerson's treatment of H/Hr shippers to the enslavement of blacks in the US before the Civil War.
Three months later, Msscribe expressed herself as offended by the use of the great heroine Harriet Tubman in such a disrespectful context. The first few commenters to her post did not respond to the racial aspect, but instead concentrated on criticizing Fandom_Wank and narcissam -- the person who had posted the wank report Msscribe linked to -- for their treatment of the "Harmonians" (enthusiastic H/Hr shippers) who reacted badly to the release of Book 6 and the Mugglenet/TLC interview with J.K. Rowling:
Not surprisingly, this post was reported on Fandom_Wank. Also not surprisingly, most of the commenters there expressed more positive opinions about the icons, discussing issues of context, satirical intent, the positive uses of "offensive" humor, and the burning question of whether or not Fandom_Wank regulars knew who Harriet Tubman was.
However, a disturbing thing soon happened. An anonymous poster identifying himself as "danitoba47" made a comment that struck other commenters as offensively racist:
Err, not sure but I think the point they\'re making is that the icon was pretty fucking tasteless as well. I\'m not sure where I stand on this yet, but I think that the way you\'re sort of joking about her argument is kind of shitty. If I were black I\'d probably think you were a closeted racist cunt, but I\'m not black and this is Fandom Wank, so fuck it! Let\'s mock! Blacks tend to be really sensitive about this shit. I dated one once and I couldn\'t even talk about howkinky her hair was without her crying racism every five seconds.
Here is another thread, started by what appears from the abuse of the backslash key to be the same person, voicing offensive sentiments:
I\'m so sick of having to be so fucking politically correct everytime a black screams about racism! Sometimes its just a joke! I like black people as much as anyone else but they aren\'t beyond fucking with. Good for you for not giving into to her oppression bullshit. Slavery was a long fucking time ago and frankly I\'m sick of hearing about it.and
Seriously because just because Narcissam is white does that mean she has to go and kiss some black girls ass because she got offended? Shes better than I am because I would posted on her journal telling her to kiss my lily white offensive ass. lololol. I swear to God I would have. No one is above mocking. Harriet Tubman is definitely mockable in my book. Shes a hero and all but she looks like a dried turd. You can respect someone and make fun of them at the same time.Naturally, Fandom_Wank members mocked this commenter. From what the original poster, NarcissaM, says here, she also deleted a racist icon posted by the same person:
I just deleted one of his comments, which had an icon that he'd trolled Light Music's LJ with. No more than that.and
No. It was an icon of a black woman labelled "Sensitive Negro" which he left on her LJ.Danitoba47 or someone else also posted this joke...
U cant blameJKRR!! Im offendid!!o1nee1!with the answer...
No. Because no one wanted to be IDaHo.
NarcissaM, creeped out by her unpleasant champion, made this Wankitywank post:
My New AdmirerIn the comments of this post, NM mentioned the troll's IP: 188.8.131.52.
Even though she was criticizing Fandom_Wank, Msscribe came off fairly well in the Fandom_Wank discussion -- though her role in Charitywank was mentioned a few times. The consensus seemed to be that she had a right to express her opinion about the icons and that the real wank was in the comments to the post. However, it seems that "danitoba47" also went to Msscribe's LJ and made offensive posts there, including posting the icon with "Sensitive Negro" mentioned by NarcissaM. NarcissaM also posted in Msscribe's LJ, defending herself, and defending herself against her anonymous "defender" who had referred to her on Fandom_Wank as "a closeted racist cunt" (but in a good way!). Unfortunately, I do not have downloads or screencaps of any of these comments, but NM quoted one of them here in the Fandom_Wank comments:
Anonymous on light_music's lj: Even if you disagree with her, Narcissa has a right to use whatever icons she wants. When I first saw it I thought she had some racism issues going on but even if she's a racist so what? Enjoy fandom or move on. The play ground is big enough for all of us.
Msscribe took her dissatisfaction about the icons a step further. On November 20, she made this post (now locked but here is a partial capture from LJSeek) on the blackfolk community:
First post, and asking stuff already. :PThe post contained pictures of the two icons above and asked these questions:
Would you question your involvement with a group of people who used these userpics?Again, I haven't read the post, and I don't know how the comments ran, but from what I understand the first few commenters were outraged by this apparent racism until several members of blackfolk who were also members of Fandom_Wank insisted on explaining the context and purpose of the icon, after which things calmed down considerably. Msscribe's poll was seen by many at Fandom_Wank as an attempt to stir up trouble and make Fandom_Wank look bad, especially her insistence that the icons be considered without their context. The sequence of events reminds me of the time Msscribe appeared on tartanboxers LJ to protest her poll about whether or not people liked characters to say the words "fuck me" in sex scenes -- only that time it was Msscribe who accused Tartanboxers of trying to stir up trouble.
Apparently somewhere in the comments, Msscribe went further in portraying Fandom_Wank as a racist group, citing "danitoba47" and his comments and icon. According to this thread at Clairvoyantwank, Msscribe said:
I don't give a shit if they banned him or not they can do what they want. And if you'll look, not everyone disagreed with him and most barely challenged him. It's not a huge deal, I'm not saying it is, but it still makes me think and I'm not going to shut up and play nicely just because it hurts their image of themselves to hear that anything they've done could possibly be construed as negative or God forbid, racist.Fandom_Wank members responded with indignation at the description "not everyone disagreed with him and most barely challenged him" and Msscribe's friend Ebony (angiej), very upset, responded with outrage to the racism she perceived in the fandom.
I will quote the second Fandom_Wank report, by Ignatius, because it is fairly comprehensive:
Fandom_Wank: Racist Motherfuckers.The only relevant link I know of that Ignatius missed is this angry post that angiej had made back on August 7 when she first heard about Panther's comparison of shipping H/Hr to slavery.
Obviously narcissam and Fandom_Wank denizens in general weren't pleased with being called racists. Some pointed out that Msscribe had a grudge against Fandom_Wank because of the community's arguments with her during Laptopgate and its harsh criticism of her during Charitywank. Others pointed out that both Ebony and Msscribe were longtime H/Hr shippers, and their dislike of the icons might be partly motivated by loyalty to their much-mocked fellow shippers rather than purely ethnic or racial pride. At any rate, the unpleasant affair ended and people went on to other things. And nothing happened for months -- until April of 2006, when I had a conversation with narcissam.
I had already begun my research for this account, and I shared part of one of my first drafts with NM. Specifically, I showed her the history of Fermatojam and Killiganhashope, which she had not followed at the time it happened. NM responded as follows:
I suspect that MsScribe was popular because she confirmed people's prejudices and/or beliefs. She appealed to noble sentiments like freedom of speech, tolerance, ending abuse of women, on one hand, and on the other to prejudices about Gryffindor Tower, nutjob Christians etc.As the original poster of the wank report where "danitoba47" had posted, NarcissaM could see the IP for all his comments. She went to take a look, and reported back:
So we had a troll using an anonymizing device, much like Pottersginny. A racist troll, much like Pottersginny. A troll who posted on Msscribe's live journal and nobody else's. A troll who used Msscribe's favorite insult "cunt." A troll who made Msscribe's "enemies" -- Fandom_Wank and NarcissaM -- look bad, and Msscribe look good. A racist troll who had never been heard from on Fandom_Wank before Msscribe's complaint about the icons, and who faded away after the incident and was never heard from again.
So was Msscribe "danitoba47"? She had motive. She had means -- her extensive experience with sockpuppet trolls. And she had opportunity.
I have no real evidence that "danitoba47" was her. But I think it was.
June 2006 -- Msscribe and Delawarean
What is Msscribe up to today?
Since November of 2005, Msscribe has not made any fandom news that I know of.
However, quite recently, on June 1, 2006, Msscribe made another significant change to her online life. She changed her LJ name from light_music to delawarean, and redesigned her LJ to a sleek new black-background, low-graphics appearance:
Memoirs of a Gangsta', captured June 8, 2006
She also re-opened many of her old favorite posts -- the Baby Dyke story, "Dancing on the Fault Line," etc. -- to the public. Perhaps she has noticed, as I did, that her friends-of list has been getting smaller, and wishes to attract new friends.
charlottelennox, Explain Yourself
I'd like to tell you that it was the shock of finding out that Msscribe might have been up to her old tricks, attacking herself with racist sockpuppets to make herself look good and others look bad, that brought me to the decision to write this story up formally and make it public. And I'm sure that was part of it. But that's not the whole truth. I'll try to explain as best I can how I came to write this story and make it public.
First of all, I have long been in a group of friends who generally believed in Msscribe's guilt and sometimes entertained ourselves by reporting to each other her latest doings. I decided to write up "The Msscribe Story" not intending to make it public, but intending only to share it with friends who already believed the GT version of the story, but didn't know all the details. This was in April of 2006.
I suppose you could say the tale grew in the telling. The first draft was a mere narrative, much shorter than this, without links, quotes, or screencaps. When I showed it to people, the response was flattering, and many urged me to make it public. The more people I showed it to, the more information I got in return (just as has happened on the Bad_Penny community), and I ended up with a much fuller and more complete account than I had any idea of when I started. The more I saw people eagerly offering me information, the better I understood how badly they wanted their story to be told. And when I showed a very early partial version to narcissam and became convinced that Msscribe had very likely pulled the old "racist troll" trick again, I had even more of a reason to make it public. There is no way to convincingly argue that Msscribe probably was "Danitoba47" except to document her whole history of sockpuppetry and self-attack.
But let me at least be honest with myself. I'm very happy if my account has done some good (and sorry about where it has done harm), but the writer's deepest motivation for publishing is to be read. The more I wrote, the more I saw this as something that people would want to read, and I wanted to publish it. I did believe that people deserve to know the truth, all the people who were Msscribe's victims, her "friends" as well as her "enemies." I did feel that I had a responsibility to all the people who so generously shared their stories and their carefully-kept evidence. But I can't deny that I had a strong desire to publish what I had written and see if it would find an audience. I'm very gratified that it has, though I must also admit to myself that most of its fascination is due to Msscribe's inventiveness, and not mine. I thank all of you for your patience.
It seems that apologies are the hot new fandom trend, and I honor everyone who has done it. I have some apologies to make too. I apologize for all the inaccuracies this account contained, and still contains -- most of which I could have prevented with further research. I apologize to all the people for whom this account has brought up unpleasant memories -- the former GTers, and Sapphireisle and Sapphsmum, especially. I apologize to all the people who have been forced to learn unpleasant truths about a beloved friend in an abrupt, public way. I know that must be very painful, and it's not something you can be expected to accept immediately. I apologize for concealing my identity when making such serious charges -- and, yes, I do realize how ironic my using a sockpuppet is. I especially apologize to anyone who has been mischaracterized or hurt because my description of them or their actions was careless, inaccurate, or colored by my prejudices.
Unless I turn out to be wrong -- something which would surprise me very much, but it still could happen -- I don't apologize to Msscribe.
charlottelennox, Explain Msscribe
I can't, of course, and I won't pretend to psychoanalyze a person that I have never even talked to. But I have a few thoughts. In this thread of the comments to Chapter Three on Bad_Penny community, flyingphoenix said this about Msscribe, which I found very insightful:
She loves to fight. From what I know she just loves it to stirr things up...Yes, of course Msscribe wanted attention and admiration for herself and her fics -- the creation of the fangirl sockpuppets shows that. Yes, we can absolutely conclude that she read about the so-called "Inner Circle" at FictionAlley and decided that she was going to be in it. But I think the real driver for her was her love for verbal combat, her zest for blood in the online water.
We all know that there are many "trolls" online -- people who get pleasure from going into enemy territory, being as obnoxious as possible, and then taking on all comers with all the aggressiveness and rudeness they can command. I believe that Msscribe had this same drive -- but she didn't want to suffer the consequences of that kind of behavior. Nobody likes trolls, and they generally lose, too. But Msscribe found a way to release her aggression on both sides simultaneously, while always making sure her preferred side got the last word, and simultaneously furthering her other goals as well.
And I don't think she ever really understood that most other people, including many of her closest friends, don't share that drive. Most people don't like to be in the middle of a roaring flame war, and they're not thrilled to have some idiot censorship fanatic blackmailing them so they can have the pleasure of flattening his ridiculous arguments or some disgusting racist insulting them so they can have the pleasure of telling him off. I don't think she fully realized just how badly she was treating her friends, or even her enemies. Isn't it all just a game of "Snaps"?
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