What follows is a whole lotta explaining, but I don’t want anyone saying I didn’t tell you what bleachness is and what to expect here.
Most Live Journal communities have a set of rules or guidelines. This one didn’t have much along those lines on its user page for three years because bleachness was started as my own writing and squeeing journal, not as a community catering to a general fan population. (I’ve told the story before but basically what happened is that I didn’t want to keep bothering people on my personal LJ with my fandom spiels, and I started bleachness as a community for me and my friends under the advice from a fellow fic writer who said it was better to make your fic journal a comm so you wouldn’t have to sign out and sign in under a new name to access it … then the journal kept getting bigger and bigger and friendlier and louder … kind of like one of those afternoon pizza parties with your buds that turns into a four a.m. kegger with everyone in the neighborhood?)
Thebleachness name has been making into the periphery of hate memes for some time now, and we’ve even been spotted on Encyclopedia Dramatica and fandom_wank but that’s not why I need to make some rules for community behavior. By and large, no one’s called the police on this place because it self-polices pretty well. I want it in black and white why this place is the way it is and to let members, new and old, and my trusty mods, know what I expect in regards to social decorum and discourse.
I and my co-maintainers moderate this community. We are free to delete posts at will with the objective of maintaining the community peace or saving ourselves personal headaches, whichever takes precedence at the moment. Because this community was founded by moi, a hippy granola girl versed in the “let it be” philosophies of social tolerance and John Holt’s homeschooling approach of “let them learn it themselves,” there’s really not much that I put my foot down on. My co-maintainers act on their own discretion with respect for the freedom of open discourse.
People are expected to practice common courtesy. There’s no way I can clarify for you what’s common courtesy. Rudeness, after all, is a group-specific value that varies from situation to situation. One wouldn’t say the same stuff to a stranger on a gaming forum that one would to a person you’ve just met in church but ….
There's no exuse for being an asshole. Anyone, not only moderators/maintainers, but any member of the community
is free to call out anyone you believe is being unnecessarily coarse, disrespectful, or insensitive. Any given comment you consider disrespectful may not be against any specific rule, but it helps a a community reach a level of mutually agreed upon behavior when you speak up about what bothers you.
If you’re a lurker and not a participant in this community, you can’t affect how it evolves. If you don’t like something, try to work it out with the other member or please contact a mod. My personal philosophy is that people are ultimately responsible for their own feelings, and that if a deliberate joke about your taste in anime filler, your judgment about power levels, or a general characterization about your devotion to your OTP insults you, you need not go to the community mods for help with the self-esteem that was denied you by your parents and familial upbringing. A mod can’t stop the whole world from making snark; a mod can only warn a specific member from engaging you personally in debate.
A community that prohibits comments that risk insulting people quickly becomes stale, flat, and humorless. All comments that risk humor and judgment stand or fall on their own merit (i.e.,, how they execute their points and entertain or enlighten their general audience) and not on whether they succeed in making some special snowflake out there melt into tears.
All that said, I’m from the Southern USA and as much as I can’t stand fake politeness, I believe in the power of kindness. Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unto You is one guideline that never goes out of style.
As with all decent public forums, insults against peoples’ religions, ethnicities, physical appearances or disabilities, sexual orientations, etc. will not be tolerated. This sort of thing will be zapped by mods. You shouldn’t see it on this community or if you do, you shouldn’t see it for any longer than it can be reported and deleted.
Insults against choices or tastes are discouraged--as in “Hitsugaya fans are all a bunch of ….” This type of rudeness should be jumped upon by not only mods but community members. Bias against a group of people isn’t cool. Let me make it clear, however, that bleachness distinguishes between character-bashing and people-bashing. The former is okay because fictional people have no feelings, but the not bashing actual humans is just common sense. The guys in the bar can talk all they want about how their favorite sport teams are going to beat the crap out of one another but as soon as one big talker takes an actual punch against another actual guy in a bar, the fun’s all over. In other words, if you want to go on about how faggoty Byakuya’s ban kai may be compared to Barragan’s stupendous stink breath of death, be my guest. Just avoid calling a Byakuya fan a faggot.
Allowing character bashing may be an unpopular practice among fan groups but one I believe necessary to keep the lines between the real world and fantasy unblurred in this ever misty and mistier realm of fans, their fan-objects, fan role-playing and projections. A lot of good-humored expressions of “I can’t stand Tousen and I think he’s a dick” are okay, but a comment like “Tousen fans just defend him because they want a black guy to be cool” is a provoking statement that as a mod and a community member I’d have to question. Likewise with generalizations about shippers—those who make them should be asked to give themselves a prejudice check before commenting further.
If you want to defend your favorite character’s integrity or fighting ability, by all means do so. To discuss a character’s faults isn’t bashing a character in my opinion, and although saying that you wish any given character would DIE in the manga is definitely a character-bashing sort of statement, it’s not against the rules of this community to say “I think Bleach needs more Shinigami character deaths” or “I wish Tatsuki would put Ichigo’s head through a glass window again.”
It should go without saying that any physical threats of violence to community members will get you banned. Now, there is such a thing as goofing around but don't take your chances telling someone you don't know that you'd like Orihime to reject his or her existence from Reality.
This community is about discourse; don’t challenge your opponent’s body or physical space, only his or her mind and logical arguments.
No advertising, and this includes the selling of Bleach merchandise. There are other LJ communities who do that.
It’s not against any rules persay here to use R-rated language but depending on the context, such language can be viewed as abuse ( “That was a fucking awesome clip” versus “Fuck off, Shitsugaya fangirl”). Use discretion when cussing and don’t insult people.
This site has a general atmosphere that is adult-oriented but I expect all material to carry appropriate warnings and to be put under Live Journal cuts ( How To Make An LJ Cut). Warnings, any and all, general and specific, are appreciated for fanworks or general posts. (Examples: The following contains hentai/yaoi/rape/wangs/shota/seme!Ishida/N
In keeping with what's evolved here on this community, any member may post an entry on any topic whatsoever as long as that topic has to do with Bleach, but please consider whether or not your post is more suitable for another community (such as one that hosts only fanwork, answers simple Bleach questions or caters to a specific character or pairing fanbase). Cross-posting to this community and others is fine, but not all posts belong in every Bleach community on LJ.
Note the biggest tags for this place and you’ll see what’s popular here. This journal used to only host my own fanwork so please identify your own fanwork posted or linked here as your own and if you are recommending an art, fic, or essay, please identify the artist or writer.
Don’t spam the community. Limit yourself to no more than one post a day or if you simply feel you must provide the fandom with gobs of bleachy information, wait until you can load all your info into one big post. I myself try to follow this guideline but as founder and primary maintainer, I hereby declare that I alone have the divine right to spam my own community. If I go over two posts a day, though, feel free to bitch.
I’m a great believer in a community policing itself. It’s like with my kids—I allow them to argue and settle their own disputes and only step in if in fact a heavy object has been lifted and is being aimed. Examples of heavy objects in fandom would include “your post has all the earmarks of the standard badly written five paragraph high school term paper” or “how can you claim to be a feminist and still love Orihime?” Wield phrases like this and don’t cry foul or proclaim your innocent intentions in the event of a moderator grabbing your arm. If you can intelligently argue your points without remarks like these, do so. If you can intelligently argue, period, it’s safe to say that you can probably get away with dropping one or two remarks like these, but don’t chance it.
Other examples of heavy objects in fandom would include such now familiar troll topics as “Help me please—Crazies Are Attacking My Ship—HOW DO I ARGUE WITH THEM?” or “Is Kubo Tite a Sexist?” If a moderator has reason to suspect that you’re posting an entry for the sole purpose of stirring up wank, you may find your post deleted. More than likely, though, you will find your post responded to with varying degrees of condescending humor or over-earnest helpfulness. Our members are notorious troll feeders; I can’t ask them not to feed the trolls but I can jump in and freeze a thread if the joke gets tiresome.
Now, shipping and sexism and lots of controversial subjects are topical Bleach and fair game in this community. Don’t hesitate to voice an opinion but expect to encounter disagreements. Please remember that “I disagree with you” does not mean “You fail, you need to die, you must hang your head in shame and leave the community” or even “I don’t like you.” Plenty of friends here disagree and like one another fine. Plenty of friends also get into arguments that require third party intervention. If you believe you need help in settling a dispute or that a community member has gotten out of control and is throwing virtual ashtrays, please PM me or a mod ( How to Use Private Message on LJ)
When giving your blood pressure a work out over the joys of fandom discourse, it helps to remember this little truism: Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinions but not to his or her own facts.
Is it rude for a native of India who is more than a little tired of people constantly misspelling Gandhi as Ghandi to point the error out?
What about if someone corrects a widely spread rumor in fandom (such as “Kubo is writing a mini-arc about the Espada”) or notes a popularly quoted mistranslation (such as Matsumoto’s line to Orihime in chapter 199 that refers to “a bond” between Orihime and Ichigo)? Interviews are easy to locate and so are raw manuscripts of chapters and accurate translations. At the popular manga site OneManga, a Bleach page by respected scanlators Ju-Ni refers to Ichigo’s bond with Orihime, yet the original kanji do not mention a bond at all; they and other English translations show Matsumoto congratulating Orihime for facing up to her own jealousy. Will it cause a shipping ruckus to argue these facts? Maybe. One stands the chance of having one’s bias exposed or having one’s personal agendas called into question (“You’re nothing but an Espada fanboi!” or “Because Orihime is jealous doesn’t mean something is going on between Ichigo and Rukia!”) but in the end, a fact is a fact. Kubo never said anything in interview about an Espada mini-arc, and he never gave Matsumoto a single line about an Ichigo and Orihime bond.
Now, what about a fact that is open to debate? My stance is debate it. For example, if someone sports a forum signature that reads “I support the IchiRuki Friendship” and includes in that signature the verified quote from Kubo that reads “It is not friendship but it’s not an amorous feeling either,” would it be rude of me to point out the obvious contradiction and say how can you support a friendship when the Kubo quote right there says “IT’S NOT A FRIENDSHIP?”
It’s a matter of societal perspective as to whether or not I’m being rude; some of us were reared not to point out the stupidity of others in public; some of us can’t resist an easy mark, and I would argue that pointing out the “not a friendship” contradiction creates an opening for discussion about the more subtle points of what constitutes a friendship relationship in Japanese culture. Or the discourse could turn into a series of comments about how fans interpret Word of God interviews.
Or a miserable personal internet vendetta could be born.
See what I just did? I lifted something heavy and inserted it into a post but I made my aim (opening discussion about Kubo’s interview) clear. The cyber ashtray took only a peripheral attack against the forum signature (i.e., it is stupid) but I made it clear that I wanted further discussion on more relevant issues and not a series of nyah nyah. To extend my metaphor, let’s say my cyber ashtray is made of lead crystal, and if we hold it up to the light, there is illumination and rainbows!
Okay, well maybe that was going too far, but my point is that one can never tell where a discussion that includes controversial material, snark, and heavens forbid OPPOSING VIEWPOINTS will lead. Sometimes the outcome isn’t bad feelings and bannings but the increase of mutual knowledge if not actual mutual information on the part of disagreeing parties.
bleachness doesn’t cater to the needs of any and all Bleach fans or to any common denominator of Bleach fan. It is characterized by its biases and preferences just as a political blog or journal can be, and it’s not just a newsfeed of information about movies, Kubo interviews, and the like.
bleachness may not be for everyone but all Bleach fans are welcome. Someone once told me that I should make it clear in the user info that this community was not friendly to IchiOri shippers. The remark was intended to be helpful, not hostile. I didn’t respond but obviously I wouldn’t deny anyone membership here because of his or her Bleach tastes or preferences. A pro IchiOri shipper essay has been posted here, and I more than welcome opinions contrary to the those of the larger membership.
That’s it. Don’t worry about English not being your first language, try to have fun, remember that real people matter more than fictional people, and think before you type.
I welcome comments to this manifesto here before I link it to the user page. I could change some things depending on what sort of feedback I get.
Please note the update post to the community rules here. Fanworks by community members may now only be posted in a Weekend Fanworks Post.