Over at Poetic Discourse, Poetic Stanziel's first post after joining a ClusterFuck Coalition (CFC) alliance (Gentlemen's Agreement) was telling.
It was the sort of post one often sees from bloggers when they go on a new adventure. It was primarily a set of honest first impressions of the various admin and logistic hoops one invariably jumps through when joining a nullsec entity. He talked about how the experience met and varied from his expectations, all in a good humored way that often carried an undercurrent of excitement. You could tell Stanz was looking forward to trying nullsec on for size. Upon a time this would have been responded to with a chorus of welcomes and a bit of good-natured ribbing.
Instead, Stanz got beaten about the head and shoulders by Goonswarm's Thought Police.
It seems a certain extreme orthodoxy has entered Goonswarm's zeitgeist, causing its sense of humor to atrophy. I can't say I'm too surprised. Such an end is inevitable when a fun, irreverent bunch of souls like lez Goons are gagged, shackled and put under the yoke of a cult of personality. Likely they never saw it coming.
It began, I suspect, as such things often do.
Someone at the top suggested that outsiders offering insults to Goonswarm needed to be punished. And out of an esprit de corps, and because it seemed a fun idea at the time, everybody was jiggy with it. Soon enough someone at the top suggested it was necessary to control the Goonswarm narrative. After all, Goons don't want a bunch of pubbie bloggers telling their story, right? So Goons all need to be on the same page, sending out the same message. And out of an esprit de corps, and because it seemed a fun idea at the time, everybody was jiggy with it. And then someone at the top suggested that even Goons offering insults to Goonswarm needed to be put in their place or shown the door with extreme prejudice.
And somewhere along the line, it stopped mattering if anybody was jiggy with it anymore.
Departure from orthodoxy became tantamount to treason, and suddenly there were a lot of self-important little grey men running around the swarm reporting insults to Goonswarm and un-Goon-like activities, and beating down any Goony nails with the temerity to stick up. Somewhere along the line, obedience became the measure of the bee.
It seems the bar for insults to Goonswarm has dropped so low that failing
to effuse over Goonswarm administrative interfaces or processes qualifies as a breach of orthodoxy. Stanz writes a post that seeks to offend no-one, and is in almost every wise inoffensive. Yet the orthodoxy of little grey men with little grey minds is offended and Stanz must suffer their corrections. Going forward, Stanz must weigh every word he writes, lest the little grey men take umbrage.
Now, Stanz will not take kindly to being told what he can and can't write. I'm pretty confident that if it were only Stanz on the line, he'd tell those little grey men where to put their little grey heads. However, Stanz is not a solo act. He is a member of a corporation that has hitched its wagon to the CFC and they will suffer if Stanz does not 'modulate' his blog to avoid offending the sensibilities of the Goon orthodox. This is how little grey men get control over their betters.
I've seen it before. Good and thoughtful word-smiths have time and again bent their knee to avoid the tang of dissent and, eventually, even difference of opinion. Within Goonswarm's ranks orthodoxy has replaced hijinks and the watchword has become that if you can't say something nice about Goonswarm, you're best saying nothing at all.