Posted by Rich/Mohican Press on September 19, 1999 at 10:38:24:
They say that "every cloud has a silver lining." If that's true, then the silver lining from the Great Porno Caper of recent times is this: We broke 1000 visitors every day this week. A first! Goes to show, sex sells!
It really gets me to thinking. Accelerated the process, actually, as I'd been attempting to assess the merits of this Web Site for some time. So, I'm going to think out loud here, for my benefit, as well as yours, and against the advice of some who tell me, "You don't have to tell everyone everything!" I well know that. But, it's just me; the way I do things. For the most part, I'll be generalizing. I hope that no one thinks that there is a hidden message anywhere within directed at one specific person. Here goes ...
May, 1993 ... Shoney's Restaurant in Forest City, NC. I announce to family members my idea to put together a guide book to the locations in "The Last of the Mohicans," thereby putting pressure on myself to actually go forth with the notion that had been brewing in my head since my Easter Sunday trip to Chimney Rock Park ... the first site on my list.
I had no idea, back then, of the Trail that lay ahead in pursuing the elusive location sites, in overcoming obstacle after obstacle, over a period of 4 years, in getting the booklet published, and then, most of all, in building & maintaining this Web Site & attempting to nurture all the relationships it has unexpectedly spawned!
Back then, while putting the book together, I spent some time on AOL in 1994. There my hunches were confirmed. There WAS a great interest in this film and, specifically, WHERE it was filmed. I don't know what happened to all those early Mohicanites that I met on-line ... only Susan Houck & Marie Faure made it through to the days of the Web Site, as far as I am aware ... but I thank them, ALL, for giving me the motivation to keep at it, even when it seemed it would never happen.
Happen it did, thanks mostly to Elaine, and partly to a late night on-line talk with one pre-Mighty Mohican Mama Marcia. The book was printed & a Web Site to promote it was born. In actuality, due to numerous printing snags, the Web Site was up before we actually had the goods in hand ... April 27, 1997.
From there, a process that had moved at a snail's pace for 4 years, accelerated to speeds that were often times difficult to keep up with. People found the site, and soon we were flooded with offers to contribute ... and the site took on a whole new direction. The aim consciously became to make it an all-encompassing site on the subject. To make it so that no one would ever be disappointed in what they found. To make it intelligent & informative, but not to take itself too seriously. To make it, simply, the best. Unexpectedly, a virtual community sprang up. We dubbed it MohicanLand ... and it continues, both the community & the site, to expand to this day.
Thus it has been. If we were to take the site down today, we could be satisfied in the things we have accomplished using the site as the vehicle through which to acheive them:
- We have sold many a book, our original aim, and the response has overwhelmingly been positive.
- We think we have met our second goal of creating, over time, the very best quality web site of its kind. Our e-mail supports this.
- We have had the pleasure of interviewing some of the movie's biggest stars ... we have established good relationships with these folks and they didn't just grant us interviews, they allowed us to discuss things with them at GREAT length ... providing us with the opportunity to churn out in-depth, meaningful talks.
- We significantly helped Eric Schweig to stay in the public eye - in a POSITIVE manner, despite the very best attempts at derailing our efforts - during a time when his career was at a virtual stand-still, providing him with an outlet for his burgeoning carving career.
- Along with many of you, through two Director's Cut Drives, and a relationship with Forward Pass, we have had a major impact in the decision to release, finally, a Director's Cut version of LOTM.
- We have met a whole bunch of great people. Through our bulletin board, an on-line community has been built that has been the envy of many. We are proud of that. That the environment was set to allow this type of thing to be conceived, develop, and remain strong, is something we are very proud of. Its greatest tribute, I believe, has been the Great Mohican Gatherings which were born of its personality. There could be no Great Mohican Gatherings without the Board. The Gatherings are different things to different people, but most all, I am fairly certain, would agree that they will remain as positive, lifelong memories.
- We have had praise heaped upon us, from the likes of On The Trail Magazine, Muzzleloader Magazine, Smoke & Fire, educators, historians, and so many, many more.
So, yeah, in many ways, I feel like we've done what we set out to do. I feel comfortable & content in where we've gone ...
So then, where am I going with this? Unfortunately, it isn't all positive. Let's start with our e-mail. We get a tremendous amount of site-generated e-mail. Most, is extremely positive, from folks we don't know. They find the site, love it, and tell us so. We still get the "I need all the information on the Mohicans, and I need it fast" variety, which we have learned to ignore. Much, though is filled with demands & expectations. We are now EXPECTED to do this or to do that. We have become consolers, peace-makers, soothers, problem solvers, psychologists ... you name it. We are pumped for information, we are asked to deal with mood swings & tantrums. It has become, at times, a burden.
A few weeks ago, I had a post all ready to go, unlike this one, which I am writing right now off the top of my head, in which I explained my feelings on this in some detail. I was considering eliminating the inter-active portions of this Site, which, of course, would have adversely affected The Gathering, among other things. I stayed away from the computer for 2 days to catch my breath. When I came back, the Porno Caper had hit. There was no way I'd leave it in that mess.
Really though, the porno thing is just the very latest in a long list of hits we have taken. Things for which we have had to allot a tremendous amount of our time & energy. Time & energy that could have better been used on our family or the creative part of maintaining the Web Site. To this day, we are likened, in one circle, to animals in a zoo, or dismissed as suffering from the "usual paranoia". We are bad-mouthed constantly by the same people, over & over. THAT is not paranoia. It's always the same crowd, the Eric Schweig FANATICS, not the fans. Anyone who is reasonable, a FAN, has been able to have their differences with us, whatever they might have been, smoothed over. The FANATICS, however, think they OWN Eric Schweig, and view us as a serious threat to such ownership. There IS no reasoning there. THAT is not paranoia.
The fact is, people who don't know us from Adam are constantly fed lines like, recently, "MP is mohican press a site that slandered me some time ago ... I have found there are many disturbed people on the Internet who use e-mails etc to inflate their puny egos. Regrettably innocent people are often caught up in the slime at the bottom of the gene pool." Well put. I wonder if she was looking in the mirror! This is not paranoia, it was said. It is also fact that the person saying this is connected to the Official Eric Schweig Fan Club. Pretty sick when we have done all we could do to help this guy, yet the club, authorized by his agent, has spokespersons who publicly say stuff like that. Makes you wonder if it's all worth it! What's the point?
That's just one aspect. I've been labelled a racist. We've been said to practice censorship. Our site's been hacked ... twice. We've had material stolen. We've been back-stabbed, used, pummeled, libeled ... over & over again. We had to tangle, unnecessarily, with the BIA ... courtesy of some jackass. We've had phoney "statements" issued to try to discredit us & make us look like fools. Prank posts. Phoney e-mails. All a daily part of our lives. This is REAL, not paranoia!
Try walking a mile or two in our shoes!
The question becomes, "Do we want to keep doing it?" Do we need to keep exposing ourselves as targets? Do we need the quarrels & squabbles? The pettiness & bickering? Do we want to keep reading the negative lies, and stories, people make up about us?
Of course, a thinking person can take one look at our site and realize all the negative stuff is BS. Does everyone THINK? Apparently not. It becomes, for us, a constant struggle to ignore that which we know is going on. To rise above it. I, for one, am not always up to the challenge. Sometimes, I just want to get down in the mud and knock someone out.
So much of this stuff goes on in supposedly secret areas and on mailing lists. Have the decency, please, to do it out in the open, where EVERYONE can see your demented ways. We don't have a "secret" board, or "secret" mailing list. We say what it is we want to say publicly right here in the open. We don't know how to fight any other way. That's the difference, I suppose, in the light of the truth & the darkness that accompanies lies.
And so it goes ... now The Great Porno Caper. WHERE will it ever end? Do I want to allow it to continue to happen? For the first time ever, after much reflection over time, I feel the scales have been tipped. For one reason or another, due to one corner or another, the daily negatives are outweighing all the positives. The fun is rapidly oozing away. I'm not sure I want to do this anymore. Sometimes, things just aren't worth fighting over.
Options? We could take down the site in totality. Move on to another endeavor. There are, however, others to consider, not the least of which would be Eric himself. We could just eliminate the interactive parts, thereby closing much of the avenues through which to annoy us. Of course, that's one of the Site's strong points, and would unjustly penalize those who use those areas in good faith. Or, we could suck it up ... again ... and let it stay as it lays.
My feelings change from one moment to the next on this ... I hate to disappoint so many who have come to call this place home, yet I am weary of being villified & attacked with impunity. Add to that, the expectation that I am to lead the way on the Board. I absolutely cannot carry that load. You, the posters, must make that what it is. We have put forth so much information on the Site to draw upon. Use it. We've so often heard, "There's not enough history!", "There's not enough role playing!", "There's not enough talk about the movie!", "There's not enough about Eric!" Then we hear, "There's TOO much history! It's boring!", "I don't know what's going on with all that role-playing!", "Don't you get tired of talking about the movie?", "All they do is talk about Eric, there's nothing there on DDL. They're all Schweiggers!" What can WE do? It's impossible for us to direct it any more than we have done! YOU guys have to do it! It's like a manager in baseball or the head coach in football. All he can do is provide the direction. The PLAYERS have to play the game.
My heart & soul have already gone into the building of this Site. So have Elaine's ... and, I should note, this is me speaking, alone. Elaine would put emphasis in somewhat different areas, I am sure ... It is very tough to have to stoically endure, time & again, relentless attempts to discredit. It is pointless to have to do so.
I don't really think they can succeed, except in very small circles, because our visitation goes well beyond the relative few who visit the Board, and the fewer still who visit their haunts. The proof is that despite their best efforts, visitation rises! Nonetheless, I don't want one person to be out there believing the lies. It hurts. And the hurt is beginning to overide the rewards. Turmoil, confrontation, demands, non-cooperation, unrealistic expectations ... what can I do?
We'll just have to see ... Just wanted everyone to know where I'm at.
Post a Followup