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State of The Trout: Blog changes, policy changes

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Hey there, all you lovely citizens of Trout Nation! I hope your December is going as smoothly as possible. But who are we kidding, at least a quarter of you are running around with scotch tape in your hair, screaming about the irregular strip of wrapping paper you can’t find a use for.

Recent events have sparked a new commenting policy change here in Trout Nation. I’m not naming names at this time, but I discovered a commenter leaving perfectly reasonable, inoffensive comments under one name, then logging into a sock puppet account to make homophobic remarks and, finally, to suggest all fat people should die so they wouldn’t have to look at them. Unfortunately, this person wasn’t better at covering their tracks. They know who they are, and I’m pretty sure I made it clear that they’re not welcome here anymore. But from now on, if I catch people trolling my blog with sock puppet accounts, all your future comments will be deleted, and if the behavior persists, I’ll hand out your real identity like that old hippie handed out communist pamphlets in my high school’s parking lot. If this gets really out of hand, we’ll go to full moderation, and I really don’t want to have to do that, as sometimes comments slip through the cracks that way.

Furthermore, the person I caught doing this is an erotic romance author. I advise you to cover your ass better if you’re going to act foolish on the internet; you wrote for a publisher that publishes LGB stories and routinely shows up at GayRomLit. If someone in the erotic romance publishing industry finds you running all over hell and high water saying straight women shouldn’t get turned on by LGBT stories, good luck.

In other news, sock puppet banning isn’t the only thing that’s going to change around here! In the beginning of the new year, my website, JennyTrout.com, is going to get an overhaul to remove flash and become more browser friendly. The blog will also be integrated into the site, and the name will change from Sweaters for Days to the name you guys so lovingly bestowed upon it: Trout Nation. If you’ve been googling “Sweaters for Days” to check the blog, this is your warning to bookmark the site. More updates on this as they become available.

Thank you everyone for being so patient while waiting for the next 50 Shades recap. December is a crazy time for most people, but I’ve had all sorts of deadlines on top of that, as well as some personal stuff going on, but there will be another 50 recap in 2013, this I vow! I was hoping I’d be done with the whole damn thing before 2014, but it looks like not.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who has downloaded The Hook-Up. If you didn’t get it from Smashwords, it’s also available from Barnes & Noble now. I don’t know if it will become available at other retailers through Smashwords, but I know it IS at B&N. And to thank you for your support by doing the laziest thing possible, here is a link to an EXTREMELY white list of hot men over 50. Sorry, but I refuse to believe there aren’t any hot celebs of color over 50. No Denzel? No Trejo? Ken Watanabe and Benjamin Bratt have NO photos on the internet? Pfff, I say. PFFFF. However, this list is good ammunition for Neil fans to combat,”He’s too OLD to be the hero!” responses.

Everybody have an awesome holiday, even if you don’t celebrate it. Just have a really good day. And if your family sucks, please know that I, and your Trout Nation friends, care about you. Even if we’ve never spoken. Because that’s just how it works around here.

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84 Comments

  1. Promise
    Promise

    Jenny, you rock! Have a happy Yule and a fabulous New Year’s Eve celebration. See you in 2014!

    December 19, 2013
    |Reply
  2. I.D. Blind
    I.D. Blind

    Lenny is on the list … at least.

    December 19, 2013
    |Reply
    • And he’s only 48, LOL! If they’re cool with putting Lenny on there at 48, then Don Cheadle can be on there at 49. No love for Giancarlo Esposito, either.

      December 19, 2013
      |Reply
  3. George Takei would beg to differ*. 😉 Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to find that push-up video for, uh, research. Yes.

    *Not disagreeing. Obviously two POCs do not diversity make. It’s a travesty they left out both Denzel and Ken. (Have you SEEN Inception? Unf)

    December 19, 2013
    |Reply
    • Yeah, I read that and I was like, “I bet you a hundred dollars they couldn’t think of a single Asian actor over the age of fifty.” PS. Kôji Yakusho is still looking fiiiiine, too.

      December 19, 2013
      |Reply
  4. I mean this in an entirely non-creepy way – you are totally my imaginary internet best friend.

    December 19, 2013
    |Reply
  5. I apparently missed some drama.

    *goes and reads the relevant thread* Oh hey there it is. Wow.

    Anyway. Jenny, you are teh awesome, and I hope you have a lovely holiday/solstice/Christmas thing. <3

    December 19, 2013
    |Reply
    • Right? I read that like, “Whaaaaaaaat is even going on here.”

      December 19, 2013
      |Reply
  6. I can’t even… WHAT?! That was a sock puppet?!

    December 19, 2013
    |Reply
    • That was some MySpace drama there or something.

      December 19, 2013
      |Reply
      • It’s such a throw back I feel like I need to watch out for people trying to sell me ripped, bleached jeans.

        December 20, 2013
        |Reply
  7. The-Great-Dragon
    The-Great-Dragon

    I’m so sorry all of this went down Jenny. I’m still devastated about the unpleasantness (and I know I had my hand in it too) and the fact that it was a sock puppet seems even worse. Like seriously, if you’re going to be a shit, at least own it.

    Hopefully this is all the start of something more positive and good riddance to the sock puppet.

    I’m excited to see what changes you have in store for the blog, and I’m totally looking into The Hook Up. (as well as catching up on The Boss because I fell a bit behind on that – it’s been a hectic year.)

    December 19, 2013
    |Reply
    • The sock puppet thing is… I don’t even know. What possesses someone to leave a reasonable comment, then come back and leave a shitty one, and to do this over and over again? It’s so bizarre.

      December 19, 2013
      |Reply
      • The-Great-Dragon
        The-Great-Dragon

        I can’t even wrap my head around it tbh. Like, I guess it’s the manipulation and drama, but it just seems like a waste of time and energy. Plus it’s just downright weird. Like, Soap Opera villain levels of weirdness.

        December 19, 2013
        |Reply
      • Have you ever read the MsScribe story? Not only is it incredibly entertaining, but it shows how one woman allegedly created sockpuppet trolls who flamed her and her friends, I suppose for the purpose of generating sympathy or making them look better in conflicts. Or maybe some people just like to stir shit online without any real consequences for it.

        December 20, 2013
        |Reply
      • The-Great-Dragon
        The-Great-Dragon

        @sunstreakedblonde I checked out the MsScribe story (I’m on Chapter 4 right now and seriously, how long is this thing?) and wow. This is really, really interesting.

        P.S. *whispers* of course it would be in the HP fandom

        December 20, 2013
        |Reply
      • The-Great-Dragon, it is epic. I think it had like 10 chapters? But yeah, it spans over years in the fandom. I wasted hours reading it, lol.

        December 21, 2013
        |Reply
      • The-Great-Dragon
        The-Great-Dragon

        @sunstreakedblonde, So I actually spent the whole day reading it (I’d like to say I was productive and accomplished things, but nope) and it was fantastic. Words kind of stopped making sense for a while (that thing is so long) but it was totally worth it. What a phenomenal, interesting, and bizarre read.

        December 21, 2013
        |Reply
  8. Red
    Red

    So coming in late to the game, can I ask what does “Sweaters for Days” mean? (I’ve always wondered)

    December 19, 2013
    |Reply
    • One day, I was talking to someone on Twitter about winter clothing, and I said, “I have sweaters for days and moves like Jagger,” and I couldn’t get past that “sweaters for days” part. It seemed like such a weird thing to boast about.

      December 19, 2013
      |Reply
      • The-Great-Dragon
        The-Great-Dragon

        I always liked “Sweaters for days.” It felt oddly comforting. Because, like, sweaters, man.

        December 19, 2013
        |Reply
      • Red
        Red

        That’s great! Thanks.

        December 19, 2013
        |Reply
      • Sophie
        Sophie

        Is it a song? or is that just the moves like Jagger part? It is nagging me now,

        December 21, 2013
        |Reply
  9. Shall I mutter obscenities at the erotic author who is secretly a homophobe, or should said obscenities?

    I know some people who comment know each other, and one of my friends commented on your blog from my place. Just make sure you aren’t banning people who occasionally share an internet connection or who are even roommates. Blatant homophobia? Yeah, that crud can be kicked out of here.

    Pierce Brosnan. Oh god yes. I had no idea some of those men were anywhere near 50 or over. Also Patrick Stewart isn’t on that list. Morris Chestnut is close enough to 50, and OMG his eyes are GORGEOUS.

    December 19, 2013
    |Reply
    • Jemmy
      Jemmy

      Just Patrick Stewart’s voice needs to be on that list imo.

      December 19, 2013
      |Reply
      • Flo
        Flo

        Totally agreed, Patrick Stewart could read the obituaries page out loud and it would be sexy as hell.

        December 21, 2013
        |Reply
    • There were suspicions further than shared IPs, so don’t worry. I don’t usually even check those, it just happened that they were both on the same page.

      December 20, 2013
      |Reply
  10. Amber
    Amber

    My December sucks hardcore. As a brief example of why, I point at the funeral I will attend tomorrow as the result of a fiery plane crash, which is honestly pretty much in the top five worst ways to lose someone.

    That said, this blog is one of those places that I can go to and feel better. Thank you for that. I mean, I like your reviews and books and stuff, but something about everything you write just gives me the warm fuzzies (except for homophobic racist sock puppets. Zero warm fuzzies about that).

    I guess because when you say stuff like how you care about strangers, I actually believe you, it doesn’t just come across as cheap words. So have a lovely Christmas, and I will try to enjoy mine as well, and may your New Years be full of fizzy champagne and ridiculous hats.

    December 19, 2013
    |Reply
    • Stella
      Stella

      Amber, as a total internet stranger, I’m sorry for your loss.

      December 20, 2013
      |Reply
    • Holy shit, that is a sucky December. Maybe take January off. 🙁 I’m sorry for your loss, but especially sorry that it comes at a time when everyone is expecting holiday cheer and wonder from everyone. Be kind to yourself.

      December 20, 2013
      |Reply
    • Serenity
      Serenity

      I feel your December funeral pain. However, the funeral I attended was necessitated by the opposite of fiery (hint: if you run a nursing home for dementia patients, don’t let them wander outside at night in below-freezing weather).
      I hope the rest of this month is kinder for you!

      December 27, 2013
      |Reply
  11. Jemmy
    Jemmy

    Have a wonderful holiday everyone 🙂

    December 19, 2013
    |Reply
  12. Bethany
    Bethany

    How is it determined if an account is a sock puppet account? I’ve commented on your blogs like twice and don’t use wordpress, but hey I like the commenting option :p

    December 19, 2013
    |Reply
    • I determined that this was a sock puppet when I found two matching IPs and investigated both commenters. One had an internet life that looked like a real person’s, the other had a few barely filled-out profiles on a couple scattered sites, including one where they boasted that their secret identity gave them more freedom of expression. They also made reference that they wrote books under another pseudonym, and in this case the matching IP belonged to an author. It just seemed too coincidental.

      December 20, 2013
      |Reply
  13. Well, I guess we know what MsScribe’s been up to! (Sorry, couldn’t resist)

    December 20, 2013
    |Reply
    • I’m going to have to look up this internet drama…

      December 20, 2013
      |Reply
    • Jessica
      Jessica

      Never mind I think I found it 🙂

      December 22, 2013
      |Reply
      • Jessica
        Jessica

        @sunstreakedblonde

        So wow, I just spent most of my day reading that story. It was like reading Gossip Girl on paper (er, tablet) only it actually happened. What a beautiful story. I still cannot wrap my mind that it all started over ‘shipping wars’ and secret ‘inner circles’, like seriously, what is life? What compels a person to not have the ability to separate their actual priorities in life and not see that a blog/forum/site/etc. is just only that? I get that its all about being in the community but to go all ott about it……

        I decided to go further down the rabbit hole because I noticed that a well known and quite famous author was one of the main instigators of it. When I was a teenager I enjoyed reading her books, and I thought she was quite a good writer. I only just recently started re-reading all the books again, and oh my glob! I was so irritated by it all. Her prose is just all over the place, and the incessant repitivness annoyed me to no end. And then I discovered she was well known in the community to plagerize other people’s work in her fanfic’s, and I was like aha! So that’s why….. Now I feel quite conflicted.

        Anyway I’m not sure why I’m writing all this, it really has nothing to do with the original post but I felt like expressing my sentiments and rather deflated mood here and I’m sure someone could sympathise with me.

        December 23, 2013
        |Reply
      • oop sorry, linked you above before I saw this. Yes, it is some crazy shit. I think I know what author you mean (because there was another exposé written on their plagiarized fanfiction) and it’s really awkward trying to explain to people why I dislike them, lol.

        But yes, that story is C R A Z Y yet fascinating. I’ve been participating in online fandom for years, and the wankiest fandoms I’ve seen are by far Twilight and HP. I don’t know what it is about those fandoms, but they bring the drama like no other (at least that I know of)

        December 23, 2013
        |Reply
        • Well, I have no idea who you two are talking about 😛 . Can you fill me in? You can tell me in the style of Hangman, if you want. I kill at Hangman.

          December 23, 2013
          |Reply
      • Jessica
        Jessica

        @errantendeavour well I’m not sure if I should name any names but lets just say this particular author had her series turned into a movie adaptation this year. 😉

        December 23, 2013
        |Reply
        • Thank you, Jessica! Now, you’re going to think me an idiot (and rightly so), but I still have no idea who it is! Hehe. That’s okay, you’ve given me something to go on to figure it out. Thank you again!

          December 24, 2013
          |Reply
  14. Oh!! And BTW– Are you calling Lenny Kravitz white? And Antonio Banderas? Hummm. The more I think about it, you might be right.

    December 20, 2013
    |Reply
    • Anonymous
      Anonymous

      No, I’m saying that one or two men of color does not diversity make. But as far as I’m aware, Antonio Banderas is white. Hence the complaints of whitewashing in Zorro, The 13th Warrior, and Desperado.

      December 20, 2013
      |Reply
      • IS HE?!?! He’s from Spain but…. Hummmm. I don’t know what his heritage is past that…. I DO know that Cathrine Zeta Jones is white, and is almost always cast as Latina, including in Zorro. She’s from Whales.

        December 20, 2013
        |Reply
      • I will say though, it’s not as if there was a shortage of material. I mean, no Denzel? No Don Cheadle? Oh, wait. I just figured out what happened. The person who made this list googled Idris Elba to see how old he was, just like I just did, then got… distracted. Ok, gotta go. ttyl.

        December 20, 2013
        |Reply
      • Irene
        Irene

        Well, of course Antonio Banderas is white. He’s Spanish, which means European. He might play the part of Hispanic (Mexican etc.) characters in movies, but he’s from Spain, not Central/South/Latin America.

        Although I really need to say it: I’m Italian, and I’m utterly weirded out by Americans considering Mexicans etc. to be “not white”. I mean, where does the line draw? Aren’t you all somehow European descents? “Why can’t we all be friends?”. I can understand the difference between “black” and “white”, but “Mexican” or “Hispanic” (or “Asian”) isn’t a color. I don’t know. Am I explaining myself? Because I don’t think I am.

        December 22, 2013
        |Reply
        • What, there are no Spanish people who are black? There certainly are Spanish people of non-white descent, and historically so. I refer to the Moorish invasion(s). Their interbreeding (read: raping) of the indigenous Caucasian population, and their own settlement, left a largely mixed population – to such an extent that the native Spanish had a word fo ‘pure’ Spanish: hidalgo. To be Spanish, or European, does not automatically mean one is white.

          And yes, Asian is a ‘colour’, or more accurately termed race. And no, not all Americans are of European descent. Some are native Inuits, eskimos, or the further south native Americans. Beyond that, there are people of Asian, Philipino or African descent.

          December 22, 2013
          |Reply
      • Neurite
        Neurite

        Alexandra: the best description I ever read regarding Mr. Elba is that Idris Elba looks like good cologne smells.

        December 22, 2013
        |Reply
      • Sophie
        Sophie

        I don’t think ‘Asian’ is a race? It’s quite a broad term, a bit like ‘European’. Asian covers Indian people and Chinese people and lots of other very diverse people.

        I’ve never really understood the ‘white’ thing in many ways. There are people with darker skins than me that consider themselves white and consider me not white, because of what countries our parents came from (we’re all Caucasians). I’m not sure ‘white’ or ‘black’ or indeed ‘of colour’ are useful terms, if describing ethnicity. (I do sometimes say ‘I’m brown’ even though my skin is kinda pale, but usually it’s in a sarky way when being cross about being described by other people).

        basically race is a social construct anyway, right? We need to recognise people are being discriminated against over it, but arguing about what race someone is always makes me feel really icky. In europe and the US, anyway, go back far enough in anyone’s family tree and there are going to be people from different parts of the world in there.

        December 22, 2013
        |Reply
      • The thing that makes Antonio Banderas white is the fact that he’s white. Not the fact that he’s European. But the reason some people don’t like him playing Mexican characters– in his film version of Zorro, he is depicted as having been born in California under Spanish rule– is because he’s not Mestizo, a person who identifies as descending from both indigenous Latin-American and European ancestry. Over the years, this has somehow become synonymous to people in the United States as “Mexican.” Which is obviously a misnomer.

        Because the Spanish used a caste system that gave Mestizos fewer rights than people of “pure” European ancestry, it’s offensive to some to see Antonio Banderas– a Spaniard– playing roles that could be played by a Mestizo actor. There wasn’t an outcry when he played Che Guevara because Che Guevara was a white Argentinian.

        I’m pretty sure that’s all correct, re: Mestizo vs. Mexican. If not, someone follow up. Mexico has historically had a unique approach to race, so it’s entirely possible that I’ve been misinformed.

        December 22, 2013
        |Reply
      • alexandra
        alexandra

        @Jenny, hummmm that’s really interesting! I actually know next to nothing about Mexico and their history with regards to race and the Spanish. I know there was a ton of culture and DNA exchanged during the colonial period, which resulted in the Mestizo distinction, but I never knew there was any sort of bitter feelings over it at this point. For example, I am 85% Italian and about 10% British, but I don’t think anyone would get too upset if I played a British character on TV, even though I don’t identify as British and it’s a marginal part of my DNA makeup. I always assumed it was something like that. But, the wrinkle you added about caste systems makes perfect sense. It’s definitely an interesting thing to think about…. I’m going to have to add it to my long list of to-research-one-day topics.

        December 28, 2013
        |Reply
      • alexandra
        alexandra

        @Neurite, god that is a fantastic description.

        December 28, 2013
        |Reply
  15. Re: policy change. On an old blog of mine, I used to get hundreds of spam comments. After a while, I just gave up and decided to have some fun. I took out the links and put in some blatant sycophantic comments. That might not be the right thing to do with actual people, but I thought I’d share, in case someone gets a good idea for it.

    re: website. I never had a problem with flash on your website, but if other people are, yay for the change!

    Re: Recaps. Fuck 50 Shades. Seriously, fuck it. I know, in the past, that I’ve said I’m okay with other people suffering for my amusement, and I am, but I am concerned with your (and everyone else’s) blood pressure, and drinking related issues. Will be very happy when that sorry business is over. On the plus side, I cannot wait for the new Bossverse instalment!

    And Merry Christmas, everyone!

    December 20, 2013
    |Reply
    • Yeah, 50 Shades has been some kind of experience.

      December 20, 2013
      |Reply
  16. “Sweaters for Days” reminds me of the Ingrid Michaelson song that goes, “If you are chilly, here take my sweater.” Very homey.

    Sock puppets and homophobes suck.

    December 20, 2013
    |Reply
    • I totally misread that as “Very horny.”

      December 20, 2013
      |Reply
  17. Sara
    Sara

    Jenny, you’re awesome and your blog posts make my day. Have a lovely, safe, wonderful holiday with your family! 🙂

    December 20, 2013
    |Reply
  18. I obediently searched “Trout Nation” just now instead of “Sweaters for Days” and Papa Google brought me a site about fishing. In other news I was all set to work in some kind of Richard Brautigan reference but then realized it’s to early for that sort of thing and anyway I have a cold.

    December 20, 2013
    |Reply
  19. I feel bad that the wonderful sock puppet has been denigrated with the misappropriation of his name. But those comments were atrocious, so moderate/ban away!

    December 20, 2013
    |Reply
  20. Jenny, I support whatever changes you have to make because “oh mah glob” what a clusterf**k! As if you didn’t have better things to do than to moderate supposed “adults” as they comment. People can be real jerks.

    Oh well, ’tis the season for sanctioned drinking, right?

    December 21, 2013
    |Reply
  21. Zee
    Zee

    I just read that thread, not all of it, but enough for it to blow up.

    I can’t believe there are people like that out there. I’m sorry you had to read all that, and well done for not naming-and-shaming the author like I would have done.

    I could add my two cents on the whole topic, but I think it’s far more complicated than people give the whole fat vs health issue credit for. Not to disrespect those who have voiced genuine opinions, I mean my opinion is complicated (a lifetime of conflicting messages from my mother, and like a lot of Troutnation, health complications that have affected my weight. Plus the weight of fat vs muscle … there’s a lot of elements to it for me) and explaining it would dig a bigger hole.

    Also, I need to finish the girlfriend! Then I can read the Hook-Up … Kick me up the bum to get on with it?

    December 22, 2013
    |Reply
  22. Not sure what’s happening here, but I’m getting comment notification emails for this post that aren’t showing up on the site. Not really sure what to do *twiddles thumbs* Okay so I’m just going to comment and include the person I’m addressing. If they see it, and know what I’m talking about, all will be right with the world.

    To Jessica, who was wondering how Jenny tracked IPs: Whenever someone comments on a wordpress blog, their IP is recorded 🙂 .

    And to Sophie, who said ‘basically race is a social construct anyway, right?’ I’m not entirely sure I’m reading this correctly, but race is not solely a social construct, but also an anthropological one.

    P.S. I’m You Are What You Dare. For whatever reason, whenever I leave a comment on here from my tablet, it puts me under that name.

    December 23, 2013
    |Reply
      • Jessica
        Jessica

        Well thank you for your reply ErrantEndeavour. I think if I was running a blog or a website I still wouldn’t know where to begin in tracking down phony commentators, it must be a really obvious first step in blogging/running Internet things. 🙂

        December 23, 2013
        |Reply
  23. Lesley L
    Lesley L

    Interesting note, I came looking for your blog via your website, however it doesn’t point me to this page. Just thought you’d like to know

    December 23, 2013
    |Reply
  24. Rhiannon
    Rhiannon

    Happy holidays to you and I really hope 50 Shades hasn’t damaged your health too much! I was telling a friend about your recaps yesterday only to find out he had already read them.

    December 24, 2013
    |Reply
  25. kg
    kg

    Attractive Asian men over 50, Chow Yun Fat anyone? 😉

    December 30, 2013
    |Reply

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