Having recently discovered this blog's nemesis, I occasionally wander over to have a look. Ha ha, no I don't. But it came up on my Google news feed so I decided to make another visit.
The Star Wars Prequel Appreciation Society blog was already a little funny, with its elaborate limitation of liability and uninfectious enthusiasm ("If you can’t imagine Star Wars without Padmé and her handmaidens, Coruscant, padawans, clonetroopers, butt-kicking Yoda, Darth Maul, the Jedi Council, podraces, Qui-Gon Jinn, Count Dooku, Watto, Naboo, General Grievous, Ahsoka Tano, or even good ol’ Jar Jar, then this site is your Club Med. Celebrate all that rocks about Episodes I-III and The Clone Wars!!").
The SWPAS has just got a bit stranger with the addition of "RULES OF THE HOUSE". It appears that the Society's webmaster is cracking down on dissenting opinions about the merits of The Phantom Menace and whatever the other two are called. From the Rules:
This site is about one thing and it’s about celebrating the Star Wars prequels and the saga as a whole. In order to accomplish this goal, please keep these rules–created by endless Senate committees–in mind:
1. No bashing or excessive criticism of the films.
This includes but is not limited to the quality of performances, writing, direction, story, etc.. If you don’t like the movies or want to use this as a soapbox for your gripes, this site is NOT for you. Gripe away on your own site or where they allow it; don’t do it here. No insults directed at the cast either.
2. No bashing or excessive criticism of George Lucas and his family.
This includes but is not limited to referring to him as “greedy,” “a hack,” “a lousy director,” etc. or cutting comments on his appearance, his family, or anything personal.
3. Commenters must be polite and civil.
There is to be no flaming, trolling, baiting, insults, excessive nitpicking, contrarianism, and all-around smarta–ery directed at other commenters or the webmiss. Save it for Sheldon and the Comic Book Guy.
The origin of these new rules is explained in a post by the moderator from late February:
I started SWPAS because I wanted to help the Star Wars prequels. I wanted to do that because I’ve always been about helping the saga overall. I wanted a place for likeminded people to gather and have it be something different from the cauldron of ugly I’ve found just about everywhere Star Wars is discussed. There’s a reason why I no longer associate with fan groups in real life; I’m sick of being on the defensive even among other “fans.” Especially among other fans.
So please understand I don’t want to be on the defensive about the prequels, the people associated with them, or Star Wars itself here.
Things got a little heated in an exchange with a commenter last night and let me just say, I did not mean to hurt anyone’s feelings and I apologize if I did. Sometimes, after a long stressful day I don’t handle things the best way.
That said, I think that in order to keep things low maintenance, I’m going to have to draw up some explicit rules for posting here, posting on the Facebook page, and for submissions so that we’re all on the same page and everyone understands what the expectations are for this site. I’ll let you know when they’re done.
My first reaction on reading all this was to laugh. A lot. My second reaction was about the same. The third time round, however, I started feeling a little sorry for the poor blogger whose Society is under siege by trolls--right-thinking trolls but trolls all the same.
I then found myself warming up to the unnamed SWPAS blogger even more upon reading his (her?) post about Simon Pegg taking a role on the Clone Wars cartoon. The post, dramatically entitled Betrayal, is actually not far from my own reaction on learning that Mr. Pegg, the noted prequel-hater, had signed on to voice Dengar on the cartoon. I wouldn't go so far as to say, as the blogger does, "It’s obvious Pegg himself has no integrity", but it is a bit incongruous to say the least. And I couldn't help but laugh in agreement when I read, "What’s next, Clone Wars crew? Bringing in fellow prequel hater Patton Oswalt for another episode? How about inviting the Red Letter Media guy to guest direct?"
Ah, the Star Wars Prequel Appreciation Society. It's good to have a nemesis.