Tuesday, October 5, 2010

NgeeKhiong is finished and it's probably for the best...

He's just too sensitive and too kind a person to deal with the craziness and just plain madness that happens on the net sometimes.

If you don't know what I'm talking about check his final blog post here

While his main information blog is closing, I am happy to say that his Gunpla work blog NgeeKhiong EX is still active and I'm glad for that.  His WIP's are amazing.  The guy pays such attention to mecha detail, rarely doing mods, but leaving no detail untouched.  I love his style.  He's very organized.  He doesn't do re-colours but instead goes for box art accuracy going so far as to paint internal details of the frame and under armour parts.  Very impressive stuff.  Great place for beginners to start.  Do check it out.

Back to this topic, I decided to actually read everything that he wrote in his final post.  I printed it out.  14200 words.  25, A4 pages with extended margins at 11p font.  I managed to compress it to 6 double sided pages at 8p font.  Long.  And kind of repetitive.

He gives ample reasons for wanting to discontinue his blog.  Most of them I personally chalk up to not having a thick enough skin.  That said I don't get 50000 views a day and hate mail.  He's seen some terrible things (I'm sensitive to people destroying Gunpla too) but I have to say if it were me I would have ignored most of it.  It's the internet.  There is a lot of crazy/stupid **** out there.  You can't let it get under your skin.  Even if some of it is directed at you, who cares?  Some person with no face and no name on the other side of the planet said something negative about you?  Anyone can say whatever they want out here and not have to worry about it coming back to them.  Usually.

I think the young man (I'm pretty sure I'm older than him) is just being too idealistic.  When I saw his prelude post, I thought, "That doesn't sound right." and now that I've read his final thoughts I realize that; "It really isn't right.". At least to me.  That's my opinion about it.  It's his blog and he can do whatever he wants with it but I can't say that I support his reasons.

He's essentially doing it because a bunch of bozos out there can't stop arguing about who's better; Amuro or Kira?  Is that reason enough to close your blog?!  I'm simplifying what he said (you kind of have to when you're talking about a 14000 word diatribe/lambasting)

This is my response to what he wrote.  It will be long too.

First, let me say that from the tone of his writing I believe that he is a generally and genuinely humble guy with a martry complex.  Similar to what ASM posted in his comments section on Z's blog.  Ngeekhiong wants everyone to just talk nice and be friends.  It's a dream. We can't all be completely impartial, neutral and stow our opinions away, compartmentalize them and have civil conversations.  I mean, I can.  But there are a lot of people who can't.  You know, some of us are just NOT built that way and we get excited about stuff and angry and then when it's done it's done and we turn it off and go back to our real offline lives.

And even IF we could all do that what kind of Gunpla community would we have then?  A lot of the things he said I felt had real world implications and I personally would LOVE to see more of the type of thinking he represents and advocates in his final post, in real life international situations.  But that is NOT the way this world works.  There are all manners of people from all types of backgrounds with all types of experiences and view points and we see a lot them, if not all of them, writ large on the net because it's FREE.  And that's what makes this place beautiful.  It's not something to run away from imo (which is what I think he's doing).  It's something to be embraced because it's a mircocosm of humanity.  Like it or not, this is just what we do!

He doesn't want to be a part of it and I can respect that.  I've felt like turning my back on humanity numerous times.  He's just talking about the Gunpla community.  I was ready to write off the whole human race.  Actually I'm still not far from that.  What we're doing to this planet makes me sick but this isn't the time or place to talk about that.

I thought that his restaurant analogy was accurate and appropriate.  If you don't like it than just leave.  No one is forcing you to stay.

Most of the things he mentioned are basically about people being overly enthusiastic about the things they love and thus arguing with each other over it.  How is it any different than politics? Or religion? Or sports? Or ANY type of heated disagreement?  We all can't be moderate!  But most of us are actually and the extremes that we see in any case from hardcore UC/Destiny fanboys to Muslim fundamentalists to Rightwing Christian bookburners are on the edges.  Those people don't represent the rest of us.

They exist and they have a right to their beliefs.  As long as it doesn't harm anyone else physically or impede upon others ways of life, just let them be.  We are stronger because of your differences but united by our similarities.  This goes for all things.

I suppose I'm somewhat lucky at my blog because my readership isn't that high, I don't have to deal with too many crazies. I have though. Trust me. But they are NOTHING in comparison to the great, positive and constructive feedback/information I've gotten from just about EVERYONE else.

NgeeKhiong is preaching moderation which I believe is something we ALL need to see more of in this world... but to blame yourself because you supplied facts and thus sparked a debate or argument is misguided.  Self centered almost verging on conceit.  That's why I think he's both humble and arrogant at the same time.  He talks about how insignificant he is but at the same time says that he's the cause of all the problems and that's why he's stopping his blog.  Well which one is it?!

It's almost silly.  He provides news about plastic models and toys.  Information.  Other people take it and whine and argue and complain and whatever.  So what?!  That's life!  That happens with all facts.  We care about things and sometimes we have negative reactions, sometimes positive ones and no two people are going to react exactly the same to ANY fact, at all, ever.  So many things play a role in our reactions and for something like this... toys basically... you just need to let that **** go man.  Seriously.  There are bigger things in the world to worry about.

His call though.  His blog.  Like I said before, he can do whatever he wants.  The part that saddens me is that I feel that he is a genuinely decent/kind person.  He had a lot of readership, which could translate into a lot of influence.  If he felt so strongly about it he could have used that to make a difference but instead he walked.  And that's not really something I can abide by.

If there's a problem, fix it.  Especially if you can, if you have the power to and you're in a position to. That's just me.  How are things going to improve if people just walk when it gets tough?  I'm speaking in general.  ESPECIALLY decent folk, whose hearts are in the right place WITH influence.  It's a rare combination.  Not something to be squandered.

Does he really think the arguments are going to stop just because he's not blogging anymore? Because people are not getting their next flame war topic "directly" from him?  No. He just doesn't want to play a role in it anymore and on that part alone can I agree with what he's doing.

This is a hobby.  We are all here because we love this stuff for whatever reason.  If it's not fun anymore than take a step back.  If you don't miss it than that's your sign.  This is supposed to be fun.  Let's not make this into something that it isn't.

Near the end he says;

There's no need to argue or be too vocal about a certain news, it's just a news, of something we like or dislike. Moderation is needed, because loud argument can put people off, and good discussion get drowned inside the bickering. Then the value of the news is lost. When people are no longer discussing the news, but their emotion about thew news, there's nothing left to appreciate.

And I couldn't disagree more.  This is the news junkie part of me talking.  The value of the news lies in the facts and if the infomation is true or not.  What happens after is out of our hands.  People will go and do whatever they want with the information.  People will be affected differently by it and react differently.  This is what humans do. Some people will bicker and some people will discuss it like mature adults.  Neither can be done if we don't have the facts to begin with.  The value of the news is never lost.  The value of the news is in it's truth.  Where ever that truth takes is not for anyone of us to say.  Hopefully it will help us make more informed and educated decisions.  Hopefully.

He continues;

None of the negative outcome was my intention, but I should have thought of the possible consequences of the news. The decision to publish them was mine, so I'll take responsibility for them, by prohibiting myself from releasing any of such information over the Internet anymore.

This type of thinking kind of makes me angry.  Who are you to take the blame and responsibility for the actions of some morons?  It's almost Christ-like or something.  Closing the blog down because of all of our sins.  What about the rest of us "normal" people?! *sigh*  This isn't a burden he should be shouldering.  Ever heard of don't shoot the messenger?!  It is what it is.

Here's my final point about all of this.

NgeeKhiong sees a large divide in the community.  A passionate, vehement one that isn't likely to go anywhere.  And hasn't really actually.  He doesn't want to be a part of it anymore.  Fair enough.  What he's not looking at is the bigger picture.  That ALL of us here, involved in this hobby are united.  We are all mecha fans for one reason or another.  You're hardcore into Zoids and think Gundam sucks?  Awesome.  You still like mecha.  Kira is major hax but Camille is the best pilot ever?  Awesome.  You still like Gundam.

Whatever it is that unites us is way stronger than what divides us.  Compare mecha fans to dolfie fans.  Now that's something different.  But we're still into Japanese anime based fictional characters!  And that alone combines us and unites us in this world were there are so many things to like and to have interests in.  We are a subculture of a subculture.  And there are even more divisions the deeper you go but that's what makes this community so rich.  I never really like Palace Athene much but so many people talk about it like it's the best thing since sliced bread.  It's all good.  We are all still together in our small pocket of humanity.

How hard is it to find another "normal" person who has ever even HEARD of Gundam never mind knowing what one is, never mind knowing the different series AND characters that are involved.  It's NOT something to be sad or angry about!  That is a great thing when we can share our likes and interests with others no matter if think that Gerbera Tetra sucks because of the booster placement or if they love for EXACTLY that reason.  I realized this first hand when I saw the 1/1 Gundam with 4 Bloggers of the Apocalypse (Gaigun sorry I had to steal that! haha :).  It was great to share that experience with like minded people.  Our small subculture of a larger subculture.

We're still fans.  We're still members of the Gunpla family and in that sense we're all brothers.

So as one brother speaking to another let me say this; NgeeKhiong we will miss you very much and thank you for all your years of service.  Best of luck.