Monday, January 8, 2018

Towing the Line

For the past several years, I've made a name for myself not from my chasing, but from my attitude and opinions about chasing. That's unfortunate. I used to regularly engage in very public arguments and flame wars online, started a web show dedicated solely to fanning the flames of the chase community's issues and most recently, did a vlog that was nothing but me staring at the camera and commenting on any and everything chase-related.....most of it negative. I did it all to entertain, to get a laugh. But eventually it became clear to me that it wasn't my purpose to entertain. Even more obvious, people were no longer laughing with me, they were laughing at me. And why shouldn't they have? I was nothing more than a circus monkey performing for a banana.

I used to take sides on the battlefields of both the live streaming and media broker wars. What started out in both instances as nothing more than me supporting friends - people I knew and trusted - morphed into me having multiple online arguments and tension with individuals I didn't even know, only because they wore a different hat than I did. I started judging people by association /rumor rather than getting to know the person for myself. Oh there were several times when the rumor mill was accurate, but many other times when it wasn't, and I didn't care. It was easier to just go with the flow.

But I'm not a "go with the flow" kinda person when it comes to something I'm interested in. I do what I do because it makes me happy, not because it's trendy or elite. So I started thinking recently, "why do you even care anymore?" The chaser drama, the gimmicks, the controversies.....why do I care about any of that anymore? The answer is I don't. I stopped doing DCS because it felt forced after the first two years of success. It felt fake, and I don't do fake. And when I was on the fence about whether or not to quit, I decided to just stop and let the audience be the true judge. Not one person asked about DCS when I ended it suddenly, without announcement. The people had spoken: quitting was the right decision.

Perhaps the most targeted entity of my negativity regarding the chasing world was the StormTrack forum. My online sanctuary for years. I resisted the changing times and how it began to affect ST, and wasn't shy about voicing my displeasure. Looking back, no good came from any of it. While my intentions were good, well, you know what they say about that. I further damaged a forum that was already being damaged (in my opinion), which when you think about it, makes me an idiot.

But it's still there. It's still fresh. It has ownership and a staff that are as attentive and enthusiastic as any that came before them. The only thing holding StormTrack back is the community itself. The resources are there, the platform is there, and the members are there. ST can be as awesome as we the members allow it to be. ST will never be what it was in 2005, or even 2010. That's not to say it can't be just as good, but rather, simply different. It won't be what it was because it's 2018. It will be what it is. And I am excited to be doing my part.