Debbilmice

From Fanlore
Jump to: navigation, search
Newsgroup
Name: Debbilmice
Date(s): very late 1998
Moderator: Sheare Bliss
Type: a newsgroup
Fandom: X-Files
URL: debbilmice, now offline
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Debbilmice (or DebbilMice) was a short-lived X-Files irreverent mailing list with a focus on gossipy, personal posts regarding fans, essays, MSTs, Monday smutcakes, recipes and "zaniness."

Some fans found it hilarious, others found it divisive and cruel. There was wank involving socks, outing, and other things.

One famous essay posted at the site was Bitter Old Fic Queens and Why They Need to Get Over It, something that coined the term Bitter Old Fanfic Queen.

A similar site was The Wicked X Witches of Badfic Punishment.

The original mailing list had been disbanded in 1999[1] but ATXC user Pyrephox18 created a new group after that:

Hi, I don't remember if you were previously a member of the Debbilmice (I have a lousy memory), but I just started a new list for those who still want to get together after the old list's dissolution...

If you're interested, it's:

Debbilsretu...@egroups.com

If you're not, then terribly sorry to bother you. :>

Pyrephox- have a nice night. -- Just Duh... announcement on alt.tv.x-files.creative on 1/21/99

Some Comments Regarding Debbilmice

1998

At first, I blew off this page as a rather acidic prank played by a couple of feuding individuals, but I have to say that I'm becoming more and more impressed with this evolving and malevolent band of miscreants who have even LESS reverence than I do for all that's "holy" in fanfic. A series of unflattering "reviews" of "fanfic classics" is followed by the "Tipsy Pitchfork" awards, (two of them already won by yours truly,) and surrounded by a truckload of, God help me, funny-as-hell MST's of fanfics that had me chuckling while I winced. (I'm due for a MSTing of "After The Louvre", and to be honest, I'm sort of looking forward to it.) If you go here with an open mind and a can of beer, you might enjoy this page after the initial outrage has passed. Yes, these folks *are* bad, rotten and evil, but according to their "Empress," they wouldn't have it any other way. [2]

1999

I subscribed to the debbilmouse list a few days ago to read the archives, which I found to be full of gleeful hate and petty sniping, as I expected. Friends of mine were, and still are, trashed by juvenile accusations like "she was nasty/horrid to me when I wrote her; you should see the post." And then, of course, the posts are never produced. They can't be because they only exist in that person's mind. I know, because I *have* seen the posts. I joined their public list to monitor a known "hate group." I noticed today that I had been barred from their archives. <g><snort> I'll be surprised if I'm not completed uns*bbed from the group because of this post. [3]
I joined too and now the list has disappeared. There was one mention of moving, but no instructions. So is it a private list now, or maybe some errors occurred? [4]
Anyway, I know, I know... you ladies who lunch are wondering where the public outrage is in regards to an off-ng mailing list and are most confused why it's not manifesting itself into a mob scene that runs all and any DM's off of the newsgroup and out of the fandom and into the flaming pits of shunned hell. Unfortunately for you, there are two very good reasons for this... One is that the people of atxc are much smarter than you give them credit for. Few folks here are going to make any decisions or form knee-jerk negative opinions about _anything_ without carefully examining both sides of the question and making their own decisions. Thus, people who've cared enough to join and examine the list, and have slogged their way through 12 Tom Leher song lyrics and 25 recipes for lemon pound cake baked on spreader bars are either unimpressed, relieved or vaguely disappointed that they -haven't- found the home of the 12 Elders of Fanfic Zion and many, if not all, are wondering exactly what the heck you are talking about. Two... many of the folks who have examined the list, find it to be the most honest fun they've had in their time in the fandom and have decided to stay on (Seems like membership has been doubling with every negative post. Figure that one out.) See, there they are free to vent frustrations without getting beaten with the TOS/ISP sticks of atxc's self-proclaimed "police force," are given a kindly ear, and receive a nice basket of smutcakes every Monday morning from some talented authors, all of whom post under their *real* names. In fact, the only "anonymous folks" on the list are the "hate monitors" and snitching lurkers who just can't stand the fact that something exists that is beyond their sphere of influence. So, all I can say is, enough. It's obvious to me at least, that the denizens of atxc are smart enough to either ignore the list or join it, and wanting a group of intelligent folks to hate something because you do, is just never going to happen. So, please. Let's take this topic off of the newsgroup forever. It doesn't belong here, and the good folks of atxc are not only getting bored with all this silly talk about stuff that holds no interest for them... they are getting annoyed. The list is open for membership and anyone who wants to can come and see for themselves what evil does, or does not, lie in the heart of a DebbilMouse. [5]
I know some people who belong to the DebbilMice and are wonderful. I also know some people who belong to the DebbilMice and are not wonderful. I know some people who don't belong to the DebbilMice and are wonderful. I also know some people who don't belong to the DebbilMice and aren't wonderful. The key is, they are all people. Each is an individual person. What is the point of saying that the DM are bad or evil? ... Some DM may be annoying, some may be rude. Some may even be downright nasty. But I can find people on the NG who are annoying, rude, and nasty, and they aren't DM. I can also find people who are kind, generous, and helpful, and they are DM. Please, just let it go. This continual arguing is to the disadvantage of both sides. [6]
Preserving an atmosphere where the writers could work is also the reason I felt the DebbilMice had a right to exist. It was a place where a relatively small group of friends could chat about events on ATXFC without imposing on the citizens of ATXFC. I apologize profusely for imposing now, but I feel I must speak my mind this last time whether or not anyone is still listening. I am going to pour my heart out to the people of ATXFC even though I know most of you don't know me and don't care. ... A couple of weeks ago there was condemnation of CiCi for posting Newbies of Note for the Spooky awards because the newbies happened to be DebbilMice. Wondering what all the fuss was about and preferring to judge for myself the heinous deeds of said mice, I joined the DebbilMice out of curiosity. I joined expecting nothing, but gained laughter and the chance to meet many very good people. They are people I respected and admired as writers on ATXFC, and they are people I now respect and admire as friends. And I still fail to see what they did to deserve this. [7]
The control message that created atxcm had a reply field of Wick...@aol.com, but was actually posted from sblisspc.wichita.brite.com. (AOL does not allow header editing.) That would be the same Sheare Bliss/KassandraXF who recently disbanded the private Debbilmice mailing list and hastily deleted its archive amid illogical screams of censorship and widespread disinterest on atxc. The same Sheare Bliss/Kassandra who has posted most of the messages so far to atxcm from sblisspc.wichita.brite.com as Kas...@aol.com, and who posted every message from Isabel Wonders and debbi...@my-dejanews.com from wichita.brite.com, who registered the domain debbilmice.com and who noisily accused anyone who dared to suggest she was a Debbilmouse of unfounded "gossip." And of course the DM, beloved for their innocent recipe-swapping mailing list, have deleted the most vicious features from their website and all of the archives from the mailing list, and dared anyone to prove that they discussed anything but recipes.... Do I give a rat's ass whether Bliss is a Debbilmouse or not? Of course not. I do think it's relevant that the atxcm stunt was only the latest in a long history of them. Bliss was bad news long before the DM existed. The fact that she has a few weak-minded followers doesn't make her any less pathetic. [8]
And that's precisely the problem with the witches and the debbilmice and all the little people who take fake names when they feel like being pissy: it gets everyone all paranoid and skittish and it causes hard feelings where hard feelings don't need to exist. The danger lies in giving the little people this power over us. We can't control what they do, but we can control our reaction to them, and *not* reacting to them sucks the life right out of them.

2000

If someone's got something to say to me, then she can say it to me under her own screen name, right here, in the open. Or heck, she can e-mail me personally and we can actually have a <gasp!> two-sided conversation. Otherwise, this nonsense is just a waste of my time and a source of hard feelings for the newsgroup. That's why I advocate ignoring. It's the strongest medicine. [9]

As for my opinion on the Witches, AGAIN, I support their right to do whatever the hell they want, just like I support your right to rail against them till the end of time. The Witches and the anti-Witches seem a good match for one another, and as long as you're all having fun shoutin' and screamin', god forbid I should interfere.

With the power to NOT click the link, NOT visit the site, NOT read anything I don't want to read, I have no ground to stand on to tell anyone what they can or can't do. And I wouldn't want to.

Not because of the First Amendment or because of some strange moral high ground, but because, IMHO, the Witches have ABOUT as much right to put up their site as we have to take the X-Files and write fanfic about it. I mean, ask yourself -- who is REALLY getting hurt? No one's getting physically injured. No one, as far as I can tell, has actually lost readership, friends, or support because his or her fic was Witch-ed. Yes, I think they're mean. Yes, I hate it when people make fun of ME. But the best it can be considered is an EMBARASSMENT. And it's even more embarassing how heated up everyone's gotten about it.

Have I laughed at stuff I've read on the Witches site? Yes, on occasion. I'm not going to lie about that.

Do I think the Witches are nice, good people? No way in hell. I think they're catty, and cowardly for taking potshots at the weak. [10]

A Discussion About: "Yes Virginia" -- "Debbilmice" -- The Wicked X Witches of Badfic Punishment

In September 2000, an emotional discussion occurred that included: fans confusing several X-Files fan groups, statements that not publically standing up against one list was approval of another, privacy and security, witch hunts and whisper campaigns, censorship, and more.

<trying to keep a lid on my anger>

I am a Virginian, for anyone who doesn't know that already. I am damn proud of that fact. Let me make a couple of things clear for everybody:

1) YV is a small, private, beta/conversation list. We are basically a group of friends who hang out, converse, rec stories to each other, beta for each other and so forth. I have never experienced a nicer forum in this fandom.

2) If any of the other Virginians are part of the Witches group, I can say in all honesty that they have never said as much to the other YVers. Unless any of them ever do, I shall continue to regard YV as a witch-free zone. Even if any of the Virginians were witches, that would really have sod-all to do with YV and the purposes of that list as laid out above.

I'm becoming increasingly disillusioned with the atmosphere in this newsgroup. I have been a member of this fandom for nigh-on two years, and have enjoyed almost every minute of it. Now I wake up one morning, drop into the newsgroup and find a rather unpleasant blanket accusation being leveled at myself and my friends. Paige, if that was intended as a veiled accusation against Yes Virginia, why bother veiling it? If you have something you'd like to say, say it. At least perhaps that way there's a chance of a level-headed, honest discussion rather than engendering a great deal of bad blood. Ashley: it *figures*, does it? Would you mind explaining to myself and the other Virginians exactly *why* that is?

Oh, and FWIW, I agree with Kipler. Giving so much attention to something hardly seems like the best way to discourage it.

May I suggest that if anyone else wishes to make accusations of this nature, they at least offer some basis for them? I don't know who the Witches are and frankly I don't care. All that can be accomplished by spreading whispers and rumours about who they are is a poisoning of the atmosphere in this fandom, and I think that that would be an incredibly sad thing. [11]
I'm on YV too. Anyone who knows me would laugh at the thought that I'm a Witch. Why? I'm just too damn lazy to be bothered. Yeah, they're mean, they're stupid, they're annoying. I want to write fic. I don't bother beating up other people's fic, since that would be... a monumental waste of time.

Plus, my grasp of English grammar sucks big donkey dick. I don't think I should be commenting on anyone else's.

As far as I know, none of the YVers are Witches. At least, none of them logged on and said: "Hi, thanks for inviting me to be on this list. By the way, have I mentioned I'm a Witch? Now, who needs a beta? I'm very clever."

We'd probably have kicked the crap out of them for that, anyway. I don't think any of us like the Witches anymore than anyone else. Ah, that's the problem with being a nasty, vindictive person... you can't tell your friends!

Anyway, let's leave off with the speculation as to who they are. I just don't give a flying rat's ass. They aren't nice, they design bad web pages, and they take up waaaaaaaay too much space on this NG. I'm with Kipler. Ignoring them is the only way to make them go away. [12]
What's this, Ambress? You hang out with that evil list, where they're all evil and everything they do is evil and pro-WXW? Why, shame on you for liking people despite the fact that someone's insinuated that someone else maybe might be could be tactless, insensitive, un-funny and carrying around an inflated opinion of herself!

Oh, wait. Applying my incredible talent for logic, I suddenly saw problems with my above statement.

1) there are *all* kinds of tasteless, tactless, insensitive, humorless, egotistical people *around here*, not just on lists. And there's proof in their many nonsensical posts! Who knows who could be a witch, who is a troll, who is a sockpuppet and who is just dumb??

2) I'm blaming you for something I do myself! I completely forgot that all those lovely, talented folks I chat with are wicked, damnit. I also completely forgot that I've mocked stories too--albeit in private, and with more humor and less personal attacks than the witches use. Does this mean that I'll be kicked off lists and considered some kind of evil conspirator?

3) Making generalizations about a group of 30+ people is silly. D'oh! Especially based upon the fact that one person, who appears to have a grudge, claims to have proof against *one other person*. One. Uno. Out of *thirty*. All you folks who are thinking anti-YV thoughts, do you even know who the YV are? Have you realized that many of the YV are incredibly talented, popular, and respected authors? Have you even *thought* about what this 'witch hunt' is all about, and who is being dragged through the mud because of it?

Well, gee. Looking at just those three little things makes me feel dumb. Some might argue that I am--especially those who dislike sweet MSR and think all who write it are only writing for the feedback (just to drag another personal grudge into this already nutty thread).

But seriously, and as someone who chats with YV folks, I wish people could take just a little time to think this through *logically*.

Now, I'm going to go off and make me some cookies, read a little fic, and remind myself that it's all just online silliness and chocolate solves everything.

Dreamshaper, who apologizes to Sab and the rest of the YV for adding to the thread, but just couldn't take it anymore! [13]
For those who don't know, I'm the YV listmom, and I feel oddly compelled to say...I dunno...SOMETHING...here, but I just don't have the foggiest idea where to start. I mean, on the one hand, Paige -- a former YV member, and by last count, a friend -- seems to suggest that the YV group IS the Witches. So, okay, so we KNOW that's not true. Now, learning whether ANY of us is a Witch is a little more (*sigh*) witch-hunting than I'd like to do.

But then there's Laurie saying that that's tantamount to supporting them, also bringing down my poor little list for no reason. I mean, if someone suspected there was a Witch on Scullyfic, would you REALLY nail JILL for it Or any of the other two hundred people (okay, so I am totally pulling that number out of my ass <g>) on the list?

Dude.

We're here because we like to talk fic with our friends. YV is a bunch'a friends who like to talk fic... [snipped] if you don't like the Witches, don't deal with 'em. Ignore them and they'll ignore you. You know, like bees? Or those dogs, with bees in their mouths...<g>

Now I'm just getting batty. Anyway, FWIW, YV is NOT a Witch mailinglist, it's MY mailinglist, one I started simply because I unsubbed from XFC and XAPEN (which is of course Phoenix now) and Scullyfic because I couldn't handle the volume of messages, but still wanted to get recs and correspond with my fic-friends, while not TOTALLY evaporating from RL. <g> You know the feeling. I know you do. . [14]

...what the Witches do on their website is petty, immature and cruel---but it is not Evil The Likes Of Which The World Has Never Seen Before. It's certainly not worth being compared to the Third Reich, regardless of the points being made.

However, hyperbole isn't Evil, either---annoying but not Evil. So Inquisitor's use of hyperbole is hardly worth raking him over the coals. His attitude is snarky, yes. He made a horribly cruel mistake in another thread by not taking the time to get to know people on the newsgroups before he went off half-cocked. He's hardly the model of logical and constructive discourse. But that's the sort of thing that calls for a filter, not for an all day flame war (and dinner on the ground).

As for Yes Virginia--I don't know anything about them. I don't know if any of them are Witches or Goblins or Leprecauns or Libertarians. I have no personal stake in the continuation of the group. And yet, I'll defend to the death their right to discuss whatever they want within the confines of their private list, as long as no laws are broken and no fluffy, furry little animals are hurt in the process.

I'll even go farther---to some extent, the Witches have the right to post on their webpage whatever they like within the law. I don't have to like it, but as a believer in free speech, I won't call for it to be taken down unless it breaks a law. I can, however, encourage people to stop discussing it as if it merits this sort of discourse. It doesn't. The website is not helpful, it's not funny and it's not worth spending this much time and bandwidth on discussing.

As for the witch hunt that seems to be centering on YV---I'm appalled, especially since I've seen none of the accusers of this group present anything like evidence to support the allegations. Have we learned nothing from our history? If you're going to throw around historical allusions, how about the Salem Witchhunts? Are we going to ask that the YV members take the dunk test? [15]

Further Reading

References

  1. ^ End of the Debbilmice by Cincoflex on 1/20/99
  2. ^ from The Acid Desk #6 (October 1998)
  3. ^ -- Marlene Duh... MORE NEWBIES OF NOTE, January 7, 1999
  4. ^ -- comment by Zemerick Vilo Duh... MORE NEWBIES OF NOTE, January 7, 1999
  5. ^ -- comment by CiCi Lean Duh... MORE NEWBIES OF NOTE, January 12, 1999
  6. ^ -- comment by RedThunder Duh... MORE NEWBIES OF NOTE, January 15, 1999
  7. ^ -- comment by Jad3dCat alt.tv.x-files.creative.mature: a brief history, January 20, 1999
  8. ^ -- comment by Joyce Dante alt.tv.x-files.creative.mature: a brief history, January 31, 1999
  9. ^ comment by Kipler at Foiling the Wicked post at alt.tv.x-files.creative, September 5, 2000
  10. ^ comment by Sabine at Behind the scenes.... , post at alt.tv.x-files.creative, September 16, 2000
  11. ^ comment by CazQ at Foiling the Wicked post at alt.tv.x-files.creative, September 5, 2000
  12. ^ comment by Jess at Foiling the Wicked post at alt.tv.x-files.creative, September 5, 2000
  13. ^ I like the company I keep, post at alt.tv.x-files.creative, September 11, 2000
  14. ^ comment by Sabine at Foiling the Wicked post at alt.tv.x-files.creative, September 5, 2000
  15. ^ Personal attacks, debates, etc.. , post by Paula Graves at alt.tv.x-files.creative, September 15, 2000