Naked Doubles

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Fanwork
Title: Naked Doubles
Creator:
Date(s): 1984
Medium: flyer
Fandom:
External Links:
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Naked Doubles was a controversial parody of a zine flyer. Its target was BNF zine editors and fans who bought zines. The flyer was distributed anonymously at Shore Leave #6 in 1984.

Its creator took on the issues of lazy editing, accepting material only from friends, inflated cost of zines, ignorance regarding quality, poor treatment of contributors, arrogance and cronyism, dodgy publishing dates, and greed.

Most fans considered the flyer to be an attack and found it quite offensive. Other fans may have found some truths, however poorly worded, in it.

The flyer listed thirteen well-known zine editors using a thinly-veiled parody of their name.

Excerpts

We've made a Daring Attempt [1] to do the impossible: print a halfway decent zine when none of us know anything at all about it, and really couldn't care less about the techniques and ethics of zine publishing. In fact, we're looking forward to screwing everyone, reader and contributor, every chance we get — that's how we get our cheap thrills. So, send us your stories, poems, and art. (We know you're not good enough, but send them anyway.) Just don't expect ever to hear from us again. But do send lots of postage stamps for return of your manuscripts; we need stamps for our personal mail. If you ever do hear from us, expect an unecessarily rude and nasty reply, guaranteed to cure you of the desire to contribute to a zine ever again....

We need your stories! Our staff and friends don't have any original ideas for stories and can't write anyway. So send us your stories. We'll change every other word without your permission, and "tighten them up" by cutting out most of what you really wanted to say, until you won't recognize that you wrote them; they'll sound just like our stories. (Actually, we're only accepting stories from our dear friends, and we never edit them; we wouldn't know how even if they let us. But we enjoy making ourselves look good by rejecting other fans' stories, especially better writers. So do send them.)...

SEND IN YOUR $10.00 TO RESERVE YOUR COPY! We need the money for "preproduction costs". Just don't expect us to return
it when we cancel the zine. Our publication date is firm: definitely next Spring. Or maybe Fall/Winter. Well, we won't be more than two or three years late. Or or maybe four. The final cost of the zine is expected to be $15.00. The printer gave us an estimate of $3.00 a copy, and we figure that $12.00 might be enough to cover envelopes, tape, and next year's vacation in the Bahamas. No reprints of this groundbreaking zine are planned. We're holding back ten copies of the press run to be sold later in a zine auction anonymously, at extremely inflated orlces and reprints would really cut into our profits.

Reprinted in "Not Tonight, Spock!"

The editors of Not Tonight Spock! reluctantly printed the flyer and allowed fan's letters in response because they had no previously announced policy on such an issue and wanted to give the respondents a forum.

NOTE FROM THE EDITORS: Both of us, while attending Shore Leave Con in early July, became aware of a flyer called NAKED DOUBLES. While we understand & sympathize with the concern of a number of individuals that talked to us about the flyer's content, we never considered helping the perpetrator to do his/her job of creating a stir within fandom as a whole by publishing anything concerning this flyer. It was our belief that to expand this flyer's availability was not only a disservice to fandom but, in essence, to "give aid to the enemy"... someone who has nothing better to do than create distress anonymously! And thus, in turn, we only hurt ourselves by focusing on this person's vindictive opinions. We are, also, giving this person just what he/she wants most OUR ATTENTION & a sense of importance that what was written in the flyer was worth all the conjecture, gossip, & sheer nastiness it engendered. We felt this flyer & person were best forgotten. Those people mentioned on the flyer & those that read it KNOW the truth, why give this flyer any thought at all? We are only printing both flyer & letters because until this time we have never made our editorial policy clear on this kind of material (a situation we never imagined when we started NTS), & we are attempting to be fair to those seeking a forum to respond to the flyer. The flyer is necessary for those of you who were not at Shore Leave so that you may understand the accompanying letters & form your own opinion. We want to state very clearly that this is the only time we will print anything concerning this issue - either pro or con. No letters on the subject will be accepted for future issues. Personally, we regret the flyer's inclusion in this edition, & would like to state as a matter for future zine policy that we will NOT give valuable zine space to flyers and/or letters of this nature that offer unsubstantiated facts & conjecture. NTS is for the enjoyment of K/S, & it is our intention to keep it that way. [2]
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Reactions and Reviews

Just a short note this ish to comment on one event at Shore Leave this year. I speak, of course, about the vicious flyer NAKED DOUBLES (never thought I'd use that word in association with Star Trek). When non-fan friends ask "What's the attraction of these cons, and why do you spend all your time wrapped up in Star Trek?", I usually cite the wonderful people I've met & the feelings of friendship & warmth I've experienced in fandom. I'd have a hard time explaining this one. Such tactics as this attack on some of the most creative & hardworking people in Trek fandom cannot be allowed to damage what so many have built over the years. Its author has no place in Trek or any other fandom.[3]
Once again, I am compelled to write (how about a group telephone call to replace the next issue instead!!). This time about an incident that occurred at Shore Leave. An "anonymous" [4] flyer was distributed at Shore Leave, which tried to pair legitimate complaints of editors who absconded with fans money with personal vendettas against some editors & artists. There are two schools of thought on how to deal with this flyer - one is to ignore it & the second is to hit it head on & not sweep it under the proverbial rug. I am of the second opinion, as the flyer was publicly distributed. Many of us are familiar with certain problems in fandom, such as sending money for a zine & not getting it, & the recent abomination of "pre-production costs" & no refunds. Although these comments do ring true they should not be confused with the rest of the flyer which is composed of vicious lies spurred by jealous frustration. While criticism or comments of other artists, writers, & editors are a natural & healthy course in any group of people, anonymous digs with the objective to try to cause hurt or pain is despicable; it is unacceptable behavior!!! This anonymous flyer circulated at Shore Leave caused mirth & wonder at how someone could be so stupid to assume that her identity would go undiscovered. Who else could say "trust us to have absolutely no taste?" How much taste does the writer of the flyer have, in light of her tasteless endeavors that she tries to pass off as art. The anonymous author appears to take exception to editors not accepting her stories due to "only accepting stories from our dear friends..." Dear writer of the flyer, are you jealous of other people having friends? After picking myself up from the floor from laughter (I fell off the toilet--where else to read crap), the next paragraph sent me into hysterics. ...bad feelings and distrust in zine fandom, & we figure that this is the best, fastest way to do it " Well, "anonymous writer", you did not meet your objective, as no bad feelings & distrust were generated among those in the flyer & their friends. Instead, it created a feeling like pity one has for a mad dog, & a resolve not to let unacceptable behavior be ignored. [5]
I'd like to address the flyer which was circulated at the last Shore Leave convention. The flyer was titled NAKED DOUBLES & was by a prefers-to-remain-anonymous-but- we-all-know-who-she-is-anyway author. It is unfortunate that said author could think of no more mature way to vent her angers & anxieties. While segments of this flyer were admittedly humorous, & in some cases quite true, the rest of it was execrable. The vicious attack on [P T] in her grief is quite inexcusable. [P] has taken no money for either of the novels mentioned, & even if she had, that would still be no reason for the author to stoop to such depths. The linking of such reliable, prompt, courteous editors as [V C] & [B S] with other less reliable (not to mention incommunicado) editors is laughable. The same applies to most of the other people mentioned in this flyer. As for the comment on the Southern Cross, the jealousy & petty spite that motivated it should be embarrassingly obvious even to the author. As anyone who has seen any of the Southern Cross' art knows, fandom is graced by her awesome talent. The entire tone of the flyer is vindictive, immature & stupid. The only saving grace is that the above qualities are so evident upon even a casual perusal that I can't see anyone taking it seriously. The author has overstepped the bounds of civilized behavior this time. I care deeply for most of the people mentioned, & am outraged on their behalf. [6]
I am spurred to write this letter by an incident which happened at Shore Leave this year. Let me preface it with a statement of my personal feelings about fandom. I have found a lot of new & wonderful friends since I've been in fandom. The whole bunch, from the WHIPS here in Houston, to others all across the country, are like a network of "extended" family that I have come to rely on. I know that most of you out there feel the same way. Well, family, we've got a cancer in our midst. There was a vicious "flyer" circulated at Shore Leave entitled NAKED DOUBLES which attacked our family as a whole, & some individuals very much in particular. I'm sure everyone is aware of the tragic losses that [P T] has suffered this year. She has borne them with dignity & courage that we all admire. This flyer was a direct attack on Pam. It was a veritable slap in the face of a person who deserves a pat on the back. The rest of us who were attacked have far lesser problems to contend with at the moment, & so are not so vulnerable. We can take it. We've been taking it for several years now; this "flyer" is only the last in a long series of incidents. So I have these few things to say: To every one attacked in that piece of garbage: Considering that I'm new and have only been in fandom for a couple of years, the fact that I was included on the list is the greatest compliment I've ever received... [she thanks and compliments several fans]... And last, but certainly not least, to the author of NAKED DOUBLES. Your attempt at anonymity was a joke. We all know who you are. I think you will find that all the editors who have been putting up with your shit for the past several years have finally had enough. And believe me, you won't be missed. [7]
To those who fear for my utter devastation as a result of the infamous Naked Doubles Flyer distributed at Shore Leave... not to worry! Not only have I taken it in stride (I've been slimed by far bigger fish and survived to tell the tale), but am actually quite flattered to be included among many I consider to be the creme de la creme of hard-working zine editors and artists. If one must suffer slander, it's nice to be in such good company. Besides, several of us slimees have already wreaked vengeance at WorldCon in LA... It was completely unconscionable, but oh! What fun. Our thanks to the author for providing us with the motive for such childish behavior. [8]
Anyone who was at Shore Leave VI & saw the flyer titled NAKED DOUBLES has witnessed truly the most appalling display of vindictive, unscrupulous, infantile behavior ever seen in fandom. So far it seems there is is a state of apathy when dealing with the "author" & her craving for attention (most of which is negative-it takes a really sick person to enjoy causing negative feelings). This has given her carte blanche to promote feelings of ill will by slandering anyone she chooses, making false accusations regarding work for various zines & who it was assigned to; her alleged mistreatment represents a total misconception of reality. There are only two issues of any validity mentioned in this travesty. Most of us are familiar with these; "pre-production costs" and no refunds. Those who read this trash should not confuse these true issues with the fabric of malignant lies that composes the rest of it. I am usually indifferent when I'm the target of the demented ravings of a lunatic. Derogatory & inflammatory rhetoric such as hers deserves to be ignored. Frankly, I'm flattered to be included among such distinctive names as "Icky" & "Snotty" of "None", as well as my good friends “Scats,” “Slopiton,” “Barbed Lewis” of “Paddles & Bondage.” However, to permit this non-person to go unchallenged when she has the audacity to denigrate someone unable to defend themselves would compromise my personal ethics. Her insensitive allegations that others have acted dishonorably are not only erroneous but hypocritical. She expects (demands!!!) sympathy from others when she is faced with a crisis yet she can't conceive, let alone tolerate, the misfortune of others. No human being can predict the sudden occurance of calamity. Neither should they have to contend with petty and malicious mudslinging. Her immature response to the situation regarding [P T] and the two novels Command Decision and Mutual Benefit is an unjustified attack on her credibility. The non-person's remarks about Pam's integrity are completely unsubstantiated since she has had no monetary transactions for either novel. I am certain this non-person would have expected better treatment if she had suffered a similar crisis. I suspect this individual's actions & words are motivated by her inability to confront her own incompetence & vehement reluctance to accept criticism. She would better serve fandom & herself if she would devote time & energy to improving her attitude & relations with those she has to deal with rather than wasting it making libelous & slanderous accusations in the attempt to benefit herself... Courage is certainly something the author of this flyer knows nothing about. [9]
[Referring to the letters that were printed in Interstat and Not Tonight, Spock! describing the flyer]: [Laura L] & [Jennifer W] (are you the same person?): Your letter disturbed me. Not because it was so bitter and vindictive that it virtually dripped poison, but because you rant and rave about generalities without mentioning specifics. I assume you wrote the letter as a warning to fandom, but how can we derive any benefit from it when we don't even know what you are talking about? Most of INTETSTAT's readers were not at Shore Leave and have not seen the flyer in question, and it is not clear from your letter precisely what the author of the flyer has done that was so terrible. Since no one else has commented on the incident, I take it that you were the only one adversely affected by this flyer. If so, the whole affair falls under the realm of "personal attacks," and you should vent your anger in private correspondence with Ms. Anonymous. [10]
For those INTERSTAT readers who did not receive a copy, it can be summarized as a supposed satire on the state of zine publishing in fandom. The author took broad swipes at the intelligence, talent, education and skills of zine writers, artists, editors, publishers. Also, tho anthor thinly disguised the names of certain fans connected with zine publishing and took cheap shots at their work, personalities, preferences and reputations, mocking them directly. What I would like to point out is that malice masquerading as satire is still malice. Cowardice by anonymity is a hundred times worse than a simple lack of spine. Such "get even" tactics are usually the ploy of pre-pubescent children or adults who (by the unsupported nature of complaints) cannot rationally discover other solutions Now, though I can't credit the author of the flyer with good judgment, sound reasoning, courage or the maturity to know when his/her behavior is totally unacceptable, I can credit the author of this flyer with having spread enough slander to go around random twice. Most fans know that there have boon incidents where someone connected with a zine has taken the money and run. But the author makes it appear as though almost everyone connected with zines is greedy, snotty, uneducated, irresponsible and incompetent. That includes the readers of zines because they insist on buying them. I, for one, refuse to tolerate that slander. I know some of those targeted by the author, I've contributed to some of the zines and I also publish a zine. Zine publishing has always been a matter of amateur not professional work. Who on God's Green said otherwise? Some zines succeed more at certain aspects, others less. But if by malice the author intends to raise all zines to his/her subjective standards, he/she is working under some fairly odd rules. To the author of the flyer: Do you dare suggest that since zines do not meet your lofty standards you have the right to target slander under the guise of satire or even legitimate complaint? Yes, there arc people you have complaint with, who may have taken you (but not necessarily anyone else) for a ride, shunned you, rejected you or your work, or treated you unfairly. Why not take the complaint to them individually and rationally? Drop the anonymity bit, state your name and complaint, and familiarize yourself with fact, first, before trying to get even with anyone. [11]
With regards to the Shore Leave flyer 'Naked Doubles' - what did it achieve? I think it is right to complain about being short changed but NEVER should complaints be made anonymously and in such a nasty manner. If you have a complaint you are entitled to make it known to the people involved and perhaps also to l/z's as a warning to other fans. To resort to this type of publication is childish and the sign of a warped mind. It achieves nothing but further turmoil in fandom and we already have enough to contend with. Fandom is already becoming paranoid (and sometimes apathetic because the same issues raise their head time and time again). Do we really want to go to the bad old days when the only way to get "/" zines was by personally knowing the writer or editor? [12]
Another thing which I find disheartening is the amount of personal bickering which has been going on for years. Recently, it seems to be a battle which started shortly before Shore Leave Con, and apparently nothing more than one fan with "hurt feelings" based on a series of "rules of fandom etiquette" no seems to be able to find in print. I recently saw a flyer entitled Naked Doubles which made me want to laugh and cry at the same time. I wanted to laugh because of the unprofessional approach this fan took by lashing out at so many people who have never gone out of their way to deliberately hurt her as she's going out of her way to hurt them. In short, in my opinion, she views circumstances as personal attacks, and a lot of innocent fans have been hurt by her actions. The person who printed an distributed these flyers claims to be a professional writer and artist -- yet I would defy her to try that kind of childish stunt within professional circles. Not only would she be laughed out of the business, but she'd also have more lawsuits that she know what to do with. I found the flyer sad also -- because it demonstrated the bitterness that seems so prevalent in some small circles of fandom these days.... An extension of that attitude has also been prevalent in letter zines recently. If two people have personal problems between themselves, shouldn't those problems remain between them alone? Can people be so petty that the egoboost from seeing one's name in print outweighs the hurt feelings and damage done to someone else? For the record, I'm not referring to letters which are complaints about zines being late, etc. (such as my own, as we all know). What I'm referring to are letters which are personal attacks against other fans for personal reasons... This kind of thing doesn't belong in fandom -- and it certainly doesn't belong in print. Some fans apparently tell themselves that they can "get away with it" because it's on a small-scale "amateur" basis. And with that kind of attitude, those fans will remain forever "amateur." -- not just in their writing, but in their mentality as well. The Naked Doubles flyer is just one example of how the "amateur" rationalization seems to be running rampant. And if we can reconize this type of petty manipulation, we can certainly stop it. [13]
During June I had been reading the first few issues of NOT TONIGHT SPOCK. Issue #5 was right after 1984 Shore Leave, There had been a really nasty flyer that went around at SL, denigrating many K/S zine editors, and so this was discussed in #5. Distressing, that crap like that went on. Also I noticed that quite often the tone of the LOC's and other writings in NTS was so blatantly negative. There seemed to be people who felt they and only they had the patent on what K/S should be and were intolerant of other ways. It's interesting to look back to K/S ten years ago, from our perspective now. I know I am a "new" K/S'er and I don't know the whole story of what was going on, but I like to think we've broadened, gotten more inclusive, perhaps simply more tactful if nothing else. Or more easy with ourselves and with life so that there is no reason to even bother with being bothered by someone else's ego trips. K/S is strictly for pleasure, as far as I'm concerned; serious ego-conflicts taint the beauty of it. [14]

References

  1. a poke at Daring Attempt
  2. from Not Tonight, Spock! #5
  3. from Not Tonight, Spock! #5
  4. The flyer's creator is/was an open secret in fandom.
  5. from Not Tonight, Spock! #5, also printed in Interstat #84
  6. from A 1984 Interview with Cynthia Drake
  7. from Not Tonight, Spock! #5
  8. from Vel Jaeger's letter in Universal Translator #25, Datazine #33, and Interstat #86
  9. from Not Tonight, Spock! #5, as well as Interstat #84
  10. from Interstat #85
  11. from Interstat #85
  12. from Not Tonight Spock! #6
  13. from the editorial of K/S Collected
  14. a fan, ten years later, looks back in Come Together #8