Colette's Diary

Follow Up to Yesterday’s Post

June 10th 2012 10:54 am
[ Leave A Comment | 18 people already have ]

We’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this since Friday. (Oh, oh!) The more we think about this the more it keeps opening new cans of worms.

Yes, there is such a thing as ‘freedom of speech’ in the U.S. It’s one of the central tenets of our Bill of Rights, Milo ‘n Furrmily. But as I’ve said before, (I think it was last August), that doesn’t mean that you can say anything you want irrespective of whether or not it hurts somebody. The Bill of Rights doesn’t give you the right to yell ‘Fire!’ in a crowded movie theater when there is no fire. You could cause a stampede needlessly and someone could get hurt.

Mom’s voice coach likes to tell her (as she’s working on what she will say between the songs she performs—that’s called ‘patter‘ in performing parlance) that you can say anything you want, it all depends on how it’s delivered. (He makes the leap of faith that one isn’t going to say something that’s just plain inappropriate or said in order to hurt someone.)

So how does all this apply? This story. We all would still have found this piece of ‘news’ extremely distasteful –it would have made us uncomfortable, upset us, turned our stomachs, gotten our hackles up and claws out equally. We still would have been hissing and spitting. But… if Catster had said something to the effect of ‘OMC, please join us in our efforts to get some kind of legislation passed to ensure that this kind of horrible practice is banned’, or perhaps taking a less active stance, ‘have your pawrents contact their legislators so they might get the Dutch government to do something about this atrocity’, or less active yet, ‘OMC, we don’t believe this! How awful!’ our anger would not have been turned against Catster. One photo would have still done the job; we didn’t need to be put through the hell of the entire video clip. (Purrsonally, we couldn’t even get more than 15 seconds into it before we couldn’t watch anymore.)

What Catster did was they came right out and told us they LOVED it! And, therein, m’furriends, lies the difference between sensationalism and responsible reportage.

Another thought: Catster, would your editors have dared to wear fur coats to a PETA meeting? We think not.

Phew! Okay, now that’s out of the way.

Here’s our next mind-bender….

We were mulling the question around in our heads of why Catster couldn’t ‘see’ how upset this would get us. Sadly, the only answer we could come up with is that it’s a reflection of society as a whole, and, perhaps, even how our pawrents have been conditioned by society since they were little.

The whole article almost resonates as something from a ‘Far Side’ comic strip. The strip is supposedly funny because it remains within the ‘safe’ realm of fantasy. It uses fictional animals that pose as you and me. What happens once you release these fantasies from the ‘confines’ of the comic strip?

Okay, the Far Side didn’t exist when a lot of our pawrents were children, but what about:

Road-Runner being beaten to a pulp by a falling anvil (which was dropped on purpose by Wile E. Coyote)

or

Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny bopping each other over the head with baseball bats…

In the real world those actions would be prosecuted as manslaughter, or, at best, assault and battery. (We were thinking about that yesterday when we asked about grandma being sent to the Bridge as a helicopter.)

About two years ago we met a guy who’s training to be a professional stand-up comedian. He had to explain to us that what makes stand-up comedy so funny is exactly the dark edge it has to it. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) we’re belong to the type of kitties who look at the ‘Far Side’ comic strip and go ‘OMC, how sad!’

Purrs,

Colette & Furrmily

 
 

Leave A Comment | 18 people already have

Purred by: Lucy Nooner (Catster Member)

June 10th 2012 at 11:34 am

We've thought a lot about that article, too. We will never delete our pages, Catster holds a very special place for me and my family. But it seems clear to me that Catster is seeking a different demographic, one that we don't fit into (and never did, the cat helicopter thing just isn't cool. The cat pizza thing is stupid). These posts don't seem to have anything to do with the Catster Community or why we love Catster. And then to find out they are doing a "WTF of the Day" on the home page? Definitely seeking out a new audience (although I'm not sure who they are going for? Certainly not cat lovers).

P.S. If you read the bio of the person who wrote that article, you will see that she doesn't have any cats, makes no mention of EVER having a cat, yet she is Catster's "Daily Cuteness Correspondent"? That's my WT... of the day.
Purred by: WeBeesSiameezers (Catster Member)

June 10th 2012 at 11:35 am

We agree with you,Colette, with all of our purry furriness.

There is humor and then there is humor...there are lines and walls and boundasries, and somehow someone stepped a bit too far with that stuff we are all in a tizzy and floofed up about...

We just hope that soon we can al play and have real fun again, the way Catster is supposed to be, or at least the way we thought it was supposed to be.

And we are not having plans to leave, that would just make more of our furends sad.

And since Da Tabbies have left?? Now there is a pair of robins...burds...making a nest by our window in a tree no burd has evfur used fur that befur! Go figure...no Tabbies = Burds! MOL!
Purred by: WeBeesSiameezers (Catster Member)

June 10th 2012 at 11:37 am

Oh, Lucy, we posted about the same time! That new junk is just hissable!
Now we know why meowmy goes to the homepage...about nevfur:(
Purred by: Colette Sidonie-Samantha (Catster Member)

June 10th 2012 at 11:57 am

Let's see, the WTF page looks like it just, just, might be targeted to the 20-something furrs? Hmmmm...

Catster, a human furriend just pointed out that while 20-somethings love their kitties, they aren't as inclined to think of them as fur children. Better start advertising lots of prroducts that they want.
Purred by: Timmy Tomcat DB #122a (Catster Member)

June 10th 2012 at 12:22 pm

Well we have to admit that our Pops has what may be considered a bit of darker humor. We have overheard him and his sisfur discussing hooman things and laugh but honestly we have no idea what it was about. We also hear them talk about many things we also see on the internets. They are purrplexed. They say these things are not funny, or, even worthy of note. They feel alone in a strange land.
So yes it is not just we cats who feel like we are being overlooked. Many feel the same. Your comments on this reflecting society is well put. Frightening too.
This is not freedom of speech but just some poor choice of staffing if I am correct in reading your description of the editor of that part of the community.

As an aside. I went on the Answers section. There were no answers to questions. When we first signed up you there were many who helped out new cat owners. Is this also being lost?

20 somethings do not dump the cash on pets as those with families grown. Wait till they figure that out.

One last thing. This may be due to the new company taking over. Sold sold sold again. Maybe we should get together and start a new catster.. Hmmm...
Tim T
Purred by: Gentleman Jack (Catster Member)

June 10th 2012 at 3:49 pm

Just a thought....I remember when we first discovered Catster in 2007 reading one of the guidelines on what to post, it said "don't post anything that would not be appropriate for a 7 year old child to read"
My Catster how you have changed.
GJ
Purred by: River (Catster Member)

June 10th 2012 at 5:11 pm

My mommy is a twenty something with a dark sense of humor, but there is a time and a place. She came to Catster for the community. The cat copter mortified her (Belives me, I gots the huggies after it and she seriously squeezed me and messed up my fuzzies promising me she loves me too much to do that to me!) most of the other stuff she can overlook anywhere else, but it doesn't belong here. She comes here for the kitties, the pictures, the purrrsonalities, the family environment. She likes helping out other families in need, she likes marketing my toys to the kitties on here because we know you all like them, she likes sending little presents to kitties who are down, she likes the advice and support she gets for us, she likes a place to vent her crazy cat loving creativity free of all that other junk. If she wanted cat pizzas and skulls, there are lots of places to find that stuff, Catster was for the cats (and the toe floof!) She might be a 20 something, but she doesn't want this stuff here. She can find that everywhere else online, don't make catster a carbon copy of every other site out there, it will lose everything special about it if you do, originality with a more limited appeal will have a much longer life than just another spinoff with mass appeal at this moment in time.
Purred by: Tiny Mighty MoeMoe~Dreamette # (Catster Member)

June 10th 2012 at 6:34 pm

Get together and start a new catster!!! now that is a bright ideal we had it ourselves, we would rather see a change for the better here but it not maybe it is time to start a new catster.
We are not leaving we love our friends and would miss all of you furry much.
Purred by: Samoa - Diva Angel (Catster Member)

June 10th 2012 at 8:00 pm

Well, it's obvious that once Catster delegated the Community to the back burner, they really don't care what we think (or care that much about us even though WE are what made Catster Catster!). And then when Catster was bought by Say Media, it further sent the message to the Community - you are on "page 2", so keep your paws to yourself!

They can't change one thing, and that is the friendships we've made, so let's remember that!
Purred by: Zachery Tristan (Catster Member)

June 10th 2012 at 8:24 pm

I wonder...how many of the original HQ even still has a say in the website anymore? Are they still there...have they been replaced by Say people? Why do they think this is funny. I mentioned in another diary that most of us can't even sit through a Humane Society commercial none the less enjoy a mutilated kitty. Obviously, the people running the show now are not huge animal lovers, they are stupid shock jockeys.
Purred by: Orange Ruffy (Catster Member)

June 10th 2012 at 9:50 pm

I'm tired tonight-had to go to the vet this week about my eye again and am taking medication, but will make this brief....

1) I don't think that those folks who work in Catster's office are being idiots deliberately. I don't think they realize how deep this pain goes.
2) When I did my story, the nice lady who contacted mom worked freelance as an editor there. She knew dogs, and editing. She didn't really know cats, but wasn't unkind at all.
3) There is a disconnect between HQ with this, and letters to HQ are highly suggested about it.
4) Starting another site? Been done and it was awful. Turned cliquish and uncomfortable.
5) We seldom read the magazine...and thats why. We have tried to answer some questions, and to do Catster justice, they have asked for articles, answers to questions (even giving zealies for the best ones) and they haven't ever been mean to us when we asked a question.
6) We hope no one leaves. We hope the Tabbies come back. We truly feel abandoned by them....do you just walk away from your friends and leave them high and dry?

We want the Tabbies back, and miss them. We are hurt by it because while this was truly a rotten week for media here, not all that ws on the magazine was awful. They published stuff about me, about adopting cats. That is hardly saying that they don't care, right?

breathe deeply guys...take a deep breath, write letters, but don't walk away from those who need you.
Purred by: Orange Ruffy (Catster Member)

June 10th 2012 at 9:52 pm

I'm tired tonight-had to go to the vet this week about my eye again and am taking medication, but will make this brief....

1) I don't think that those folks who work in Catster's office are being idiots deliberately. I don't think they realize how deep this pain goes.
2) When I did my story, the nice lady who contacted mom worked freelance as an editor there. She knew dogs, and editing. She didn't really know cats, but wasn't unkind at all.
3) There is a disconnect between HQ with this, and letters to HQ are highly suggested about it.
4) Starting another site? Been done and it was awful. Turned cliquish and uncomfortable.
5) We seldom read the magazine...and thats why. We have tried to answer some questions, and to do Catster justice, they have asked for articles, answers to questions (even giving zealies for the best ones) and they haven't ever been mean to us when we asked a question.
6) We hope no one leaves. We hope the Tabbies come back. We truly feel abandoned by them....do you just walk away from your friends and leave them high and dry?

We want the Tabbies back, and miss them. We are hurt by it because while this was truly a rotten week for media here, not all that ws on the magazine was awful. They published stuff about me, about adopting cats. That is hardly saying that they don't care, right?

breathe deeply guys...take a deep breath, write letters, but don't walk away from those who need you.
Purred by: ZOEY (Catster Member)

June 10th 2012 at 9:53 pm

We agree with Samoa...

"They can't change one thing, and that is the friendships we've made, so let's remember that!"

Whatever happened to the Cathugger.com site that some left catster for at one time when they didn't like the changes here?

One thing is whenever something like this happens, a lot of inactive or busy catsters pop back on the site so it is good to see those cats again.

We will always remain catsters because of our friends.

Luv
Zoey
Purred by: ishtar *proud wobnapt* (Catster Member)

June 10th 2012 at 11:07 pm

first of all: i haven't seen the reason for all this for already the title sounds disgusting to me. i only heard the comments of friends being upset and already that made me sad.

but what a shame when some people's (likely) sick humor rules others' lives to a degree that they leave places the surely loved before (sadly waving to da tabbies!)... actually that is part of the definition of "terror" (here: terror of bad taste).

i am clueless how to deal with the fact that humans (aka "crown of creation"!) and their businesses obviously aren't capable of being respectful towards l-i-f-e...

i am just sad.
Purred by: Colette Sidonie-Samantha (Catster Member)

June 10th 2012 at 11:33 pm

We couldn't agree more with Ruffy. Don't walk away guys. There is probably just a really big disconnect going on. In all our family's contacts with HQ we've come away with a positive feeling. Remember when we had the spammer around the beginning of the year. That spammer hit Keshy's page big time and HQ did their best to work with us to get the spammer and to remove the offensive comments from the pages. They were just as upset about it as we were.

Ruffy, we can assure you that Da Tabbies truly did not want to, had not even thought about, abandoning any fur. Their Mom is just seriously upset. She sent e-mails out to those of us she is close to. We got one. She told us she was posting that last diary entry because she didn't want any fur's gotcha day or birthday or anything to pass and for them to think she had forgotten them. I wish I could say that this will blow over and Da Tabbies will be back. I don't think so. In that respect, she is stubborn.

There's been a lot of talk over FB about kitties getting booted. Again, we've never found that to be true. It's a question of looking at both points of view. Even during the HL vs. Nutro wars, we felt free to speak our minds. And we still feel free to speak our minds, but only so long as we do so objectively and spell things out clearly.

It is true that there is a serious disconnect going on between this community and whateffur is going on on the homepage. I would like to think that it is due to the inexperience of the furs who have the responsibility for it. It's quite clear to us that these are not the same furs that were there even a year ago.

Yes, the homepage has a newer, edgier, hipper, and, sigh, darker, feel to it. The truth of the matter is that it just doesn't match the demographics of the Catster community as a whole. It is most probably also way out of line with the demographic market of every last one of the advertisers on this web site.

I don't think HQ effur had the intention of relegating us to page 2 when the community page was set up as a separate entity. Our gut feeling is that it just happened that way. Funny how, though, the set-up, depending on how you entered the site, made some of us painfully aware of what was happening on the homepage, and others blissfully unaware that there was even an issue (like our furrmily) until every furr started getting really upset.

Keep expressing your displeasure with what is going on--HQ has to listen. If they don't or won't listen to us, they will begin to see the mass exodus of all their major advertisers.

Mom didn't only help me post my last two diary entries, she also sent copies to Watch Cat to make sure they know exactly how we feel and why we feel that way.
Purred by: ♥ Jezebel RIP ♥ (Catster Member)

June 11th 2012 at 12:47 am

My typist can have a dark sense of humor and laugh at some things others might find offensive, but in her opinion, Catster just isn't the place for this kinda stuff. And that cat-copter thing was just really upsetting, she doesn't think that's really appropriate anywhere, especially not on a site for cat lovers.
Purred by: Meep (Catster Member)

June 11th 2012 at 10:39 am

We found your diary entry through a link from Nuk Anuk and really think you are onto something in your comment about 20 somethings. Of course not all young uns are dopey and insensitive, most are just a bit more self centered and that changes with age. Unfurtunately, there are some peeps that don't out grow that stage and wind up as major jerks permanently disconnected from their own feelings and lack all respect for others.

What has gotten to us in this copter incident is that Catster is violating its own rules! Like guys why do you even have the rules?

Also we feel a bit used. We joined the site because it is a wonderful playground -- safe, warm, full of good info. And then since the plus members became such a large group it became profitable (necessary?) to sell. When then happened there was Mr. Ted who told us all that things really wouldn't change. It rubs my fur the wrong way when the change is to allow pictures and articles that violate the whole reason we are here.

We have clicked on the community home page a dozen times to make it our "home page" but somehow the fleas keep directing us back to the main public magazine page. We're cats and curious and can't help looking. We feel like our noses got smacked by bees when we read that disgusting copter story. And we miss the Tabbies too!

We really do not want to go but are waiting to see what HQ/Say Media writes back to the paw-mails we sent and we will let you all know the response.
Purred by: Callie (Catster Member)

June 11th 2012 at 11:38 am

We agree. We have written a letter to HQ and are hoping they change their ways.


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Colette Sidonie-Samantha


 

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