20080729

Nuts to Nielsen, Jericho and World Peace

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You can't always get what you want
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By coupling a combined effort by international fans to honor General McAuliffe with the controversial NTN movement I believe the stateside leaders of the campaign did the effort a disservice. Participation was tepid at best which is too bad because like a similar situation several months back with the Great Jericho Rewatch this could have been avoided.
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Nuts were integral in saving Jericho so there was no need to accompany this campaign with "Friendly Shelling" by the Nuts to Nielsen Crew. In my opinion it was especially dangerous to do so given NTN's obvious ability to divide the fandom. I say it was obvious because it was. Anyone could see it. A good press release could have accomplished the same goal. This is not a reflection on NTN as an idea. Things have divided the fandom before for various reasons. However, if you are looking to amass support for an initiative isn't it is best to let it stand on its own merits and to keep it far from any controversy?
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I am not an NTN hater. I actually thought the idea was pretty brilliant. It was a perfectly natural leap to start sending nuts to the company who, by virtue of its shortcomings, has helped to cause the cancellations of so many good shows. But where I think NTN went wrong was keeping its efforts so pinpoint focused on Jericho. It's leaders might have done better to widen the spotlight and recruit fans of other cancelled shows to the effort. Yes, it might have meant that the Jericho cause would have suffered a loss of energy devoted to saving the show but in the end it appears to have lost that anyhow and I am not so sure, had a larger NTN movement taken off, anything would have been lost at all.
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NTN could still bring much attention to Jericho as a less Jericho specific movement that continues to pay homage to the show that inspired it. The story after all is legendary and the press will continue to bring up Jericho time and again to explain the significance of nuts.
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It now seems that much of the NTN crowd has left the CBS boards. There were some seriously bad moves made by individuals both within NTN and without that helped to bring this about. There is a lot of blame to go around, but I am really sorry this effort to honor General McAuliffe by the International fans was caught in the crossfire.
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5 comments:

Ichthus said...

Your article could have been titled "Lost Opportunities" for that is what happened. Not only did we miss out on an opportunity to be a catalyst for changing Nielsen but to unite various fandoms into a single cause. We, also, missed an opportunity to begin healing a fractured fandom, to show an united front, to make history again. The Save Jericho Campaign certainly suffered a major setback last week. Hopefully, we have learned a lesson from all this and we can get back on track to achieving all our goals.

Anonymous said...

I think NTN has died of natural causes. The latest "drop" has generated nothing. Perhaps like the failed LA Times drop, they'll end up taking the nuts back. They could be bronzed for posterity.

The wreath for the general was an interesting idea, but the fact that not a single fan could be found anywhere near Bastonge means that the organizer of the "event" is having to beg her florist in Spain to beg the affiliated florist in Belgium to take some pictures. No one will be there, so it could well turn into a nonevent.

I also question whether there is anything fans can do at this point. The decision to bring back the series or to make a movie are both ultimately ones based on money. I don't think the people making the decision care one bit whether the fans are all in one big happy group or in a thousand groups which never communicate. They want to know that there are enough people to make it profitable. At this point, the only way to communicate that is via things like DVD sales and big numbers watching the reruns on places like Universal HD. Pretty much all fans can do now is try to build the fan base, but that's harder and less showy than shoveling nuts all over the map.

terocious said...

@ Ichthus

The fits and starts nature of uniting various fandoms is interesting. Connections have been made several times by various individuals and forums have been created but not a great deal has come out of it that I am aware of. I can imagine and even rationalize a few reasons why this might be happening (or not happening) and they all come back to the extreme demands on the individual fans within fandoms to operate on various levels at once. It is possible that fans might have too much on their plate in their own fandoms to think about taking it further and multiplying their considerations. Or perhaps the right movement to unite them has not come along…

I began writing this post last week in the thick of things and held off posting it. The break allowed me to listen to the calm after the storm and insert some of it into the post. I think in our online world of words the opportunity we lose most often is the opportunity to keep our mouths shut and not respond immediately. Moments do not have to expire and a civil dialogue can carry on, even with breaks, for as long as its participants care to keep returning to it.

@ Anonymous

You make some excellent points. I agree that this incarnation of NTN may have been winding down and thus I return to the position of the post that it might have been more effective if not so closely aligned with Jericho’s future. NTN was born, lived and may have died on the CBS board. Like a parasite trying to change its host from within it relied on what it could incorporate from its surroundings rather than surrounding itself with possibilities. I think a movement like NTN needs autonomy and an unrestricted room for growth to come into full blossom. Ultimately, though the idea was visionary, I feel NTN suffered from a lack of vision.

The original title of this post was “Bad moves by the Jericho Fandom”. There were many of these that contributed to NTN crew’s exodus and very few of them had anything to do with the strength of the original idea. Persistence should accompany, not take the place of, pragmatism and though we may be able to visualize the change we want to see in the world we still must ultimately be held responsible for the steps we take to try and evoke that change. I am not so sure the end always justifies the means but still, where would we be without the try?

Now to the try which really was at the heart of my post; the attempt by international fans to lay a wreath at the bust of General McAuliffe. Your assessment of the realities of the situation is accurate but I am not so sure that a Jericho fan had to be there in person to deliver the wreath. Florist’s do this type of thing all the time. Part of the service they offer is to act as our surrogate and so we may just have gotten a really nice picture to publicize and remember the moment by. But I think all of this is missing the point. If our end game is to grow the fandom, than supporting our international fans in a campaign of their own should be a very high priority. Support begets support and right now Jericho needs all the friends it can get.

Balceroregontr said...

If you really get to the crux of the problems it is that individuals feel they are more important that the group. When they decide to battle it out on CBS they create collateral damage that is killing the fandom. The pattern of atack then apologize and then later repeat the process again and again has destroyed a sense of community on that board. Words written down leave holes in people even after they are taken back and most of the time they are taken back on CBS but spread via the internet in other places. I don't think NTN is a bad idea. I don't think there have been bad ideas that have been followed. Each person should have the freedom and respect to contribute to what they can. I do believe that the divide has hurt all campaigns. We need to respect each other and treat each other the way we would want to be treated. Not posting when angry or hurt is a great idea.
Debby

terocious said...

Rosma,

I would like to personally apologize to you. I never meant for this post or the comments it generated to cast a shadow over you and or any of the international fans hard work.

Respectfully Yours - Barry (terocious)