Daria Fandom:

A Question of Gratitude

Thanksgiving Weekend is usually a time when we count our blessings. In my own household, it is also a time to remember the Native Americans whose corpses and broken spirits our blessings are largely built on. But this Thanksgiving weeekend was one where we lost the last of the three original Daria megasites. And that's a shame.

First, Sick Sad World ceased updates. As far as I know, the site still remains up as a "ghost site"...it is up and running but no longer updated. Then came the shutdown of Alt.Lawndale.Com...Katherine no longer had the time to keep it going since she is now a full-time college student. Now, on Thanksgiving Weekend 1998, Planet Daria, a site that won the honor of being one of E! Online's Top Ten Animation Sites, has shut its doors.

An unspoken reason why these sites have died is very disturbing, and something I wish to address here in this editorial.

It seems like every time someone has become a de-facto leader of the Daria community, they wind up with a big old "kick me" sign on their backs. Katherine Goodman, Wraith and Rowena Stubbs have all had that sign on their backs at one time or another, and I have had to tear it off my back a few times recently myself.

The majority of Daria fandom is good, nice, and of above average intelligence. In the few months I have become active in fandom I have gained a nice new circle of great netfriends. But I have also seen the ugly side of the fandom and it pisses me off big time. Nobody deserves to be cyberstalked. Nobody deserves people talking trash about them behind their back or in public view on Usenet. Nobody deserves their content being stolen and claimed as the thief's own work. And when someone builds a good website, makes something available that isn't available anywhere or whatever, they at least deserve gratitude.

Rowena's official reason for bailing on PD is finances...it was a financial strain. I can relate. I pay for the space on 2 Cow Herd I am hosting LC on, and recently bought more space on Simplenet for spillover. And building websites like this and like Animation Nerd's Paradise takes time, and unless you are independently wealthy and totally at leisure time is money. And I certainly am neither independently wealthy or totally at leisure.

What am I trying to say here? Just realize that the people who are involved with building Daria websites, programming CGI for Daria websites, capturing full episodes of Daria in RealVideo and so on are doing it as a service to Daria fandom. Meaning, they are doing it for you. Cut 'em some slack. Show some gratitude. Say thank you rather than fuck you. That's all. Perhaps if people were more appreciative you wouldn't see sites like these biting the dust. I'm in it for the long haul. But I can't speak for the others out there.

Updated December 18th, 1998