Saturday, August 27, 2016

How To Create a Dictatorship in One Easy Step

This blog post is a 102 blog post.

The requirement for reading this blog post is to read 101 - entitled An Open Letter to Art Guilds, here.


Okay, here we go. I have a simple recipe for creating a dictator in one easy step.

That one step is simply to create a Facebook Group.

This recipe comes with a bonus recipe, or the "frosting" for your dictator - and that recipe is for accelerated Lord of the Flies style anarchy, detailed below.

Now don't get me wrong - I love Facebook Groups. I really enjoy many of the ones I'm in. The platform is very good, offers lots of tools for moderators (not nearly as good as forum tools, but decent) and it's free.

However, it's a breeding ground for dictators.

What happens is, someone sets up a group that is publicly joinable and discoverable (essential for hatching your dictator - it's like plant food.) Let's say the purpose of this group is to share a love for Beanie Babies. Everyone loves Beanie Babies. How could anything but love and harmony result from a gathering of like minded BeanieBabyHeads?

Well, along comes an up-until-this-moment-innocent person who makes a terrible, terrible error in judgement, by deciding to post a cute picture of an adorable Beanie Baby next to a cup of coffee. For some reason, this enrages the group's creator, and a document is started in the files section of the group, entitled RULES - YOU MUST COMMENT WITH "AGREE" TO BE A PART OF THIS HAPPY-GO-LUCKY-BEANIE-BABY-GROUP-WHICH-IS-JUST-FOR-FUN-AND-SHARING-A-LOVE-OF-BEANIE-BABIES.

The document rapidly grows to 48 pages long, detailing every conceivable transgression a Beanie Baby-loving human could ever commit inside the group, and this is followed by the equally long list of consequences that will ensue should said behavior occur.

People who join the group are bewildered when that their first Beanie Baby posts are deleted, possibly because the group has decided that yellow Beanie Babies are no longer allowed, because of "some incidents" that happened with yellow Beanie Babies in the past.

Now it's time for the bonus recipe. The anarchy. The person who posts the picture of the yellow Beanie Baby gets 200 comments on their very first post. The first ten are helpful comments suggesting that the person remove their post before the poor poster is droned at their desk by the admins of the group. The poster asks, innocently, why they would be droned for posting a picture of a Beanie Baby in a Beanie Baby group, which activates what I call the Omega sequence.

The next ten comments are darker, wherein people dredge up the original "incident" and begin fighting with each other, beating their plowshares back into swords. Then there will be the obligatory Michael Jackson eating popcorn meme photos. Then come the conspiracy theory comments, wherein members speculate that the admins don't support the military. There's name-calling, and cursing, and accusations of hate crimes. Then, the one person in the group who had been waiting to post a picture of himself nekkid comes out of the woodwork with style, panache, verve.

With the increase in anarchy, there is a correlating increase in the length of the rules document, and also in the number of admins that are required to run the group (dictator seedlings) because of the specificity of the rules. Entire boards are formed, which then require meetings, minutes, and a separate rules document governing the meetings and the minutes, the end result of which is usually an all-out boycott of Beanie Babies.

To some extent, I get it. I run an online community, and you do have to have rules in places where, for example, financial transactions are taking place, or people are paying for advertising.

And unfortunately, these days, for some reason, it is necessary to tell grown, adult human beings to be nice. I'm not sure why that is, but it's a fact. And they often don't listen.

But most of the art or cooking or interest groups I'm in on Facebook have some dictator-y rule-y overkill, and I see people arguing about INSANE things daily. And I'm truly amazed that groups that start with such a fun common LOVE of something turn into the Lord of the Flies so quickly. Yesterday, fights over truly insignificant things broke out in both an art and a cooking group I'm in and I just had to write the topic down for a post.

Human behavior is rarely improved with a deluge of rules.

In my opinion, there's really only one rule every group should have.

Be nice.

Anyone who isn't nice should be droned.

Most behaviors fall under this rule and do not need to be detailed. Say, for example, you were in the Beanie Baby group and you posted that you were selling "Greenie Babies" which were your own homemade Beanie Babies made out of gluten-free soy coconut rice aminos but they were better for the environment than Beanie Babies. Well that falls under the heading of "not nice" because you're trying to sell something in someone else's group, and you're dissing the common interest.

This does not need to be explained in a 48 page document. I cannot help it if your momma didn't teach you this. It also does not need to be explained or justified to the other members of the group. You will be droned, no explanation necessary, and the rest of the group can continue to live in harmony.

Humans are so interesting. Almost as interesting as cats. But not quite. And you notice I am NOT saying that cats do not become dictators, because they do. But that's for another post.

Have you set your countdown timers? Because the holiday mini catalog is live in 4 days! I have zero patience for that though so I'm stamping with all of it.

This week, I decided to combine the TIPPY TOP AWESOMEST set - Ghoulish Grunge, with Cookie Cutter Christmas because I thought the brick wall worked perfectly as an igloo!

Seriously  - how cute is that? It's an 8 minute card, and I love it. Wait until you see how many things the matching punch does. Here's a quick video of this card, along with my dental floss tip. If you saw one of our recent Crafty Chats, I talked about this tip and Jennifer asked me to video it, so her wish has been granted! I'm always surprised when people haven't used this trick before - it's a real life saver! As a person who makes a lot of gluing mistakes, I can testify to its usefulness.

Peace, love and beanie babies.


  1. Heh heh hehhhh! Dictator seedlings! We've had them in every school and workplace. There is never a shortage of them. Thank you for the brilliant tip on dental floss. I'll be sure mine is clean first. Thank you for the sweet lil Eskimo card!!! Juggles 🔚

  2. O.M.G! I need to go invest in a case of dental floss. Genius tip!! And adorable card! 😍

  3. Dictator-y rule-y overkill, indeed. Great post and I love your card! :)

  4. How adorable!! And I'm on Team Moose. Note that I'm saying that without any judgment for those who may be on Team Reindeer. Because I don't want the comment section here to deteriorate as you so eloquently explained in your post.

  5. Adorable card, and the dental floss tip, you're a genius! I enjoyed the commentary on FB groups, so true!

  6. Be nice or be droned, my new mantra. Another great floss trick in my craft Love your Eskimo card and the Igloo from Ghoulish Grunge, a now must have. I do have two questions about India ink, does it stain the Photopolymer and what do you use to clean the stamp?

  7. Once again, your writing is spot on. I agree - all we need is "be nice"! They are the people I want in my life!

  8. Love your posts! And really look forward to them. They are a joy to read and have me nodding my head on more than one occasion. Thank you for sharing your creativity and wise words with all of us :-)

  9. This post cracks me up. I belong to numerous groups that have pages and pages of rules and every time someone posts a yellow Beanie Baby, the list of rules gets longer!

  10. Dear me...sweetest inuit I've ever seen. Charming card with the ice in the background, it's adorabel. Can't believe I never knew about the Glide floss trick...apparently, been living under a rock.

  11. Lydia, your post gives me yet another good reason that I'm not on Facebook! I know I'm in the minority, and there are a TON of awesome FB groups that I've heard of. But I am holding out and your wonderful SCS Community is *my* social media! :-) Love your card, btw, and now I MUST have that Ghoulish Grunge stamp set!

    Susan, aka Soozie4Him on SCS
    moot96 AT aol DOT com (yeah, I'm a rebel - I don't use that gmail email addy either!)

  12. I love this card! The bricks are the perfect igloo and I never would have thought of that combination in a million years, so I'm glad you did! I also am having a hard time waiting for the new catalog. Is it September yet?!

    I'm sorry to hear about your facebook group meltdowns. I have definitely seen that happen before in other groups, too. Bleck.

  13. Such a sweet card! Love it! And thanks for the dental floss tip. I have some of that icky 'ribbon type' floss I don't like that I can use for this!
    Thanks for your post. As I like to say, "Can't we just all get along?"

  14. Love the card, LOVE your discussion on dictators. So true. Thank you for being you!

  15. You are hilarious!! 😂 But sadly correct regarding people's behavior. Love your card and the dental floss tip!! Long live Beanie Babies!

  16. I love your card - the igloo is brilliant! And I love your post! So funny, and so true. (I'm looking forward to your post about cat dictatorships.) ;-)


Every time you leave a comment, a new LOLcat is born. ALSO - don't panic if you don't see your comment right away - I moderate my comments to keep those spammers out, so your comment will show up in short order. Unless you're linking me to Russian brides or Nigerian princes.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...