Friday, November 25, 2011

No Longer Switzerland

This is just messed up.  I can't even fathom what kind of fucked up moral compass would provoke someone to do this, but because I'm a member of the Tarot community, this shit needs to be talked about.  I considered keeping silent because I don't really want to give this person any undue attention (and believe me, attention is not due this person now).  Like any community, the Tarot community has its clashes and conflicts, drama and backstabbing, cliques and alliances.  But, by and large, the people who comprise the Tarot community are very, very nice to one another, almost to a nauseating degree, so it's kind of shocking to hear or read things that are mean-spirited.  I'm not surprised, though, really.  Human beings are what they are and group dynamics are pretty much the same no matter what banner they gather round.  You're bound to have your assholes, abusers, grandiose egos, etc.  But when it comes to these conflicts I am usually Switzerland. I try to stay as neutral as possible because, well, I honestly don't give a shit who said what to whom or who is being an immature jerk.  I do, however, care when someone crosses the line from petty middle-school behavior to abusive, threatening, potentially illegal actions.

Janet Boyer has been a reviewer of tarot products for a long while.  I, personally, don't care about what other people think about decks and books so I rarely read her reviews.  I think whether or not someone likes a product or finds it usable is entirely subjective.  What I find distasteful in a deck another reader loves, so a review is, well, just another opinion.  She has been known to be brutally honest in her appraisals, which is great.  I appreciate that and have even warned those who have solicited me for reviews that I would do likewise.  I have pissed off at least one deck creator for honestly expressing my opinion about her deck on a tarot forum.   However, there is a distinction between being brutally honest and being a shithead and sometimes Janet has been known to cross that line into a biased, personal vendetta.  Again, whatever.  I am Switzerland. 

The other day, Janet crossed another line and I feel angry, disgusted, and no longer able to be Switzerland.  She published a short story on Amazon for Kindle called The Ones I Refused To Leave in which she thinly veils the identities of herself and others that she despises in the Tarot community.  If it were just a scathing screed of petty grievances, I would still be Switzerland.  But the story is about how a tarot reviewer murders a podcast show host, clearly Donnaleigh de la Rose, of Beyond Worlds, simply because the reviewer doesn't like her, and shits on her grave.  The murder takes place at a tarot convention that sure seems to be the Readers Studio.  She also insults other major contributors to the community while she's at it.  As I said, if this were just an expression of petty grudges and backbiting, I'd ignore it.  The story is a piece of shit anyway. Quite suitably, the final scene describes in detail the feces she leaves on the woman's grave.  It's not well-written, it's not compelling from a literary standpoint.  The problem?  It is a thinly disguised threat of lethal violence against another nonfictional, very real person.  There are laws against this.  While Janet may be able to hide behind the "it's fictional" defense, I call bullshit.  I'm calling her out for this harassment of someone who she has every right to dislike but no right to threaten. We're all entitled to our opinions, but when you cross the crazy line to threatening murder, "fictionalized" though it may be, you've gone too far.


UPDATE: It appears the link to Ms. Boyer's short story no longer exists, but she has published this blog entry in reference to the story.
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