An important message from Leoshi and Megafan11...

Hey, community. We’re kinda embarrassed to come to you like this, since we’re most prominent in our podcasting. But there have been quite a few issues coming up over our recent PoM-Speaks episode, and it’s only fair that we address them. Doing so in a text format adds more solidity to our words.

As you’re all aware by now, our last Speaks topic was about “The Treatment of Transgenders and Transexuals in Modern Society,” which itself is a fragile topic to tackle. I had a feeling that we’d be messing with something akin to a bomb when we selected the topic. However, since nobody spoke out against doing it, we carried on.

Well, we made a few mistakes. And the short story is that we ended up pissing a few people off, to the point that one of our long-time members has left the site. The main mistake that we ended up making was a lack of research. We didn’t look into the topic, we made wild assumptions based on what we thought we knew, and it led to...well, this.

To that end, we are sorry. Presumptions are nasty little things, and we - myself personally - should have known better. This is one tough lesson to learn.

The following goes into a bit more detail, so read on if you’d like to see the decisions we’ve come to regarding this and future episodes. All of this will also be broken down at the end.

To start, the episode itself. Some people have questioned the validity of the topic, and whether or not we should allow the episode to stay up. Well, Megafan and I are united in our decision that PoM-Speaks 4 will stay up and serve as a defining example of how not to do it. No matter how poorly the subject matter was handled, we devoted a lot of time into its discussion, the recording, and the production of the episode. Deleting the episode would tell everyone, us included, that the lesson learned means nothing. And that - sweeping this problem under the rug - is despicable. The episode will stay uploaded, and we’ll just have to live with the scar it’s given us.

There has also been a lot of backlash when it comes to the subject itself. Many people have expressed their shaken confidence in Mega and myself through their comments and replies. Such things as:

“You still let PoM-Speaks 4 become a thing.”


“Who the hell thought this was a good idea?”

Those comments are very shocking and, frankly, hurtful. Now, I don’t intend to hold this against any one person, but it is a problem that I personally see. If there truly was a problem with the topic, then someone should have raised that problem and made it known. However, nobody objected to the topic in any form, so we had no reason whatsoever to not do it. Yet despite that, the decision to choose the topic is held up as a weapon against the project, making it sound like Mega and I purposefully ignored any reasons given to not hold the discussion. That simply isn’t true. To that end, guys, if you’re going to question our competence and ask why we did this, please bear in mind that nobody said we shouldn’t do this. Besides, everyone in the call knew that the topic was a fragile one, so nobody was surprised when we began.

Now then. As people are already aware, PoM-Speaks is, first and foremost, a discussion series. That’s how it was back in it’s heyday, and that’s how it remains now. So it’s important to remember that the opinions of the person speaking at any given moment do not always reflect the opinions of everyone else. While the host of any discussion forum holds more responsibility than others, the fact remains that a person is responsible for his or her own words, and not those of any other person. I certainly wouldn’t want to be told I was a racist bigot because I happened to be next to one. That same concept applies here. One participant shouldn’t be assumed as speaking for another. That, people, is just plain stupidity.

On a much sadder note, it’s no secret that a long-time member of the site chose to leave following this episode’s release. Whether or not the episode itself is to blame, we feel responsible in part for the decision. Some people have said how the discussion was the tipping point for this member. And, to a certain degree, that’s true. It’s always sad when a member chooses to leave, and the episode does have some blame for this one. We were not prepared, we spoke without being educated on the topic, and we made this person feel genuinely uncomfortable. For that, Mega and I apologize profusely. We never meant to drive anyone away, even in part.

However, following up on that, it’s come to my attention that some members in the community were making this member - the one who chose to leave - feel ostracized by asking uneasy questions. Whether intentional or not, this person felt uncomfortable here, and that makes me feel like a failure. Not only was it happening, but it was happening without me being aware of it. Everyone, please remember that we as a community must be mindful of others and do our part to include them. Had I known such things were taking place, I would have stepped in. But that doesn’t excuse the people who asked those unwanted questions. You make your own choices, and I will not defend you if you’re making someone else uncomfortable.

To that end (and note that this is something that I have not proven), there’s a small rumor floating around that some members used this episode as, for lack of a better term, a weapon to attack other members. Let me reiterate the rule that bullying others is not tolerated, on this site or elsewhere. It’s just a despicable thing. I can’t name anyone, as this is just a rumor, but if this is proven then I will personally oversee that consequences are handed out. Regardless, this rule is worth mentioning. Also, although I’m disturbed by the idea that someone is using the episode itself as a method to bully someone else, I’m far more concerned with the fire than the fuel. The episode is not faultless, but it certainly is not meant to harass anyone.

Next, following up on this subject. I personally am relishing the thought of doing a “part two” of this discussion, both as a way to clear the air from this episode and to genuinely discuss the topic further. In addition, one member I hold in high regard (and someone much more well-versed on this subject than I) has agreed to convene later on, along with other willing members, and have a second part to this topic as a separate Cast. Yes, there will be a part two of this subject down the road. It’s my hope that it will be soon, within the next week or so, but this will be handled in the same manner as any typical episode.

Finally, there have been a couple changes regarding the future of the series. Mega and I have discussed this at length, and we’ve decided that I will be taking creative control of PoM-Speaks for the foreseeable future. What this means is that I will be hosting the calls and organizing the discussions, just as I have helped to do thus far. Megafan, however, is stepping away from this project in order to focus on other, bigger things, such as the PoM Encyclopedia Project, and other big things occurring in his life away from Punk-o-Matic. However, Megafan11 will still be handling the production of each episode, from arranging the audio and video tracks to the uploading of the episode. It’s important to note that he suggested both of these changes, which I then agreed to. It’s not a question of him being pressured into these changes, but ones he’s felt were necessary in order to revive the positive intent that the show is meant to bring.

So to break down the main points here:

•Our fault is our lack of research for the topic

•The episode for PoM-Speaks 4 will stay up and remain available for anyone to view

•Please remember that there was no objection to the topic and so there was no reason to avoid it

•In any discussion, a person is responsible for the words of his voice and not those of anyone else

•In light of a certain member leaving, I do admit that the episode is partly to blame for making this person feel uncomfortable, and we sincerely apologize for that

•Also in light of that, we should all do a better job of being mindful of others and their choices, regardless of what they may be

•To that end, bullying, flaming, and harassing is a despicable thing to do and will not be tolerated, here or elsewhere

•After talking with more well-informed people on the subject, there will be a part two of this episode at a later date

•The series will have a small change - Leoshi will handle creative control from now on, and all major decisions will be his

•In addition, Megafan11 will still handle episode production, making sure it gets uploaded

Cool? Cool.

So, guys, I hope this has assuaged your fears about what will happen, and also dispelled some rumors about what we meant. We never meant offense, and that will continue to be the core rule of PoM-Speaks (Coke vs. Pepsi notwithstanding). I, personally, will do a better job of researching topics before we discuss them, and will also change how I approach each episode to make them more than just a bunch of people firing stories back and forth. What happened as a result of this episode is bad - no two ways around that. And despite the fallout, I maintain that seeking out the actual problem, instead of the consequences of the problem, is more important. Not doing our homework is that problem, and boy did we fail.

Regardless of what you think of me now, I hope you’ll stick around for more discussions on future episodes. I am far from done talking about what matters, and I’m sure none of you are either. I know this series can achieve good things, and all it needs is good direction and good care. With time, we will see those good things achieved.

See you guys there.

~Leoshi and Megafan11

*We wish to thank the people who took the time to message us with their feedback. Your thoughts helped us hone in on what actually mattered. You know who you are ;)

Last Updated (Tuesday, 04 November 2014 02:37)


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