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ASK GREG angst

I just posted the following on the Station 8 Comment Room Page, and thought I should post it here too:

Just to be clear, there's NO point in being angry with the ASK GREG moderators. They are simply doing what I asked them to do. So be mad at me, not them. And, frankly, please don't be mad at me either. Try to remember that I'm doing the best I can dealing with an increasingly difficult situation.

And by the way, I have said MULTIPLE TIMES, including RIGHT BEFORE we reopened the queue to new questions, that I didn't want more than five questions per post. There's simply no way anyone could have posted any questions in the current queue before I stated this guideline. I'll admit that this is not listed on the rules on the front page - and we should probably update that when Gorebash has the time - but it has been stated by me over and over again. And I have asked people to check the archives before posting, so it seems to me, that this guideline was available. So maybe I should feel more sympathy, but I just don't.

I'll admit one reason I'm getting harsher on this - and feel less sympathetic towards even folks who are attempting (but failing) to obey the rules and guidelines - is as an alternative to something worse. Yes, all this is due to the abuse of the system by some people, and, yes, there's no doubt that all are suffering for the abuse of some. But there are worse alternatives, I would think. As I find myself getting more and more frustrated and more inclined to shut ASK GREG down entirely, I feel like being a bit more draconian about the rules and guidelines is the lesser of two evils.

And I have NOT outlawed the age questions. But I don't want lists of them. It's EXTREMELY time consuming, because I have to look it up, since I don't keep that information in my head. I can't just answer off the cuff in my free time. I get the value of the question, and I've tried to answer them. But someone posting a list of TWENTY characters and asking for ALL their ages is abusing the system, in my opinion. And ultimately, on ASK GREG, everyone needs to get used to the idea that my opinion matters. I don't have to do this. I used to enjoy doing it, and at times I still do. But the whole thing feels like it's gotten out of control, and I begrudge it more and more these days. So unless the goal is to TRY to push me over the edge, i.e. to try to exercise the power of the internet to force me to SHUT the site down, then everyone needs to live with the ups and downs of the thing, even as I am struggling to do the same.

To be clear, I AM not looking for feedback on this post - even positive feedback. Churlish as it may sound, I'm not looking for a bunch of cheerleaders to say "YOU TELL 'EM, GREG!" Because I'm not taking any pleasure in taking this site into an area of more and more rules. I LIKED that we used to have a few simple guidelines, and that otherwise the thing was more free form. It kills me EVERY TIME I have to add to the restrictions. That's not what I ever wanted Ask Greg to be. But I suppose times have changed, and the site has to change with them.

Finaly, I have NO interest in having a "PREVIOUSLY DELETED QUESTIONS" page. Feels like a legal problem just waiting to happen.

But back to the start, please do not take out your ire on the moderators. They're simply doing what I've asked.


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Alexia writes...

I have questions about Atlanteans.

1) Do Atlanteans eat their seafood raw? I don't see fires being lit underwater unless they have a special way of cooking food underwater.

2) Do all Atlanteans have a set of gills and a pair of lungs to breathe underwater and above the surface?

3) How was Kaldur's first experience breathing surface air? Did he choke/gasp or did he transition smoothly?

Greg responds...

1. I would think for the most part, raw. But they have means of cooking should they want to. (Hot spring type things.)

2. Most do.

3. I'm sure it was a shock to the system, at least a little.

Now, see, this post was great. THREE questions, all on a similar topic. None previously asked or answered. And no request for a spoiler. Perfect.

Response recorded on April 16, 2012

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Nony writes...

1. How old is Wotan?
2. How old is General Eiling?
3. How old is Professor Ojo?
4. How old is Uncle Dudley?
5. How old is Hawkman?
6. How old is Icon?
7. How old is John Stewart?
8. How old is Whisper A'Daire?
9. How old is Lois Lane?
10. How old is Abra Kadabra?
11. How old is Black Adam?
12. How old is Waller?
13. How old is Lucius Fox?
14. How old is Madame Xanadu?
15. How old is Devastation?
16. How old is Ivo?
17. How old is Psimon?
18. How old is Hugo Strange?
19. How old is Sensei?
20. How old is Black Manta?

Greg responds...

Yeah, I'm just going to disallow ALL of this. I've warned before about asking too many questions on one post, with five being the max. In theory, I could answer the first five, but I feel like that would be rewarding you for breaking the rules.

Response recorded on April 16, 2012

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B writes...

In your opinion, will people stop asking you for spoilers and trying to sneak it past you by disingenuously framing it as "in your opinion, will this happen on the show", as if it could be a matter of opinion and not certain knowledge when you are the showrunner?

Greg responds...

What exactly are you asking here? Whether or not I'm going to give a free pass to people who phrase the request sneakily? Or whether folks will stop asking when I make it clear that it's not going to work?

As to the former, I'm not that dense. As to the latter, I wish. But I doubt it. I don't know how I could have made this point any clearer:

I WILL NOT BE SPOILING!!!

And yet...

Response recorded on April 11, 2012

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SPOILER NASTINESS

Hello,

I've given the ASK GREG moderators permission to DELETE any question that refers to or spoils episodes of Young Justice that have NOT YET AIRED in the United States.

Personally, I think it's bad enough folks are spoiling things FOR THEMSELVES, when they will soon be able to see the episodes in English and at a decent quality within a matter of a few short weeks. (And the blame-Cartoon-Network excuse holds ZERO water for me, as these people are still CHOOSING to view episodes ahead of schedule. No one is holding a gun to their heads.) But the fact that they are spoiling things for folks who are trying NOT to get spoiled is just outrageously obnoxious.

I'd like the ASK GREG queue to be a safe place. I NEED people to be able to read the queue to see if someone ahead of them has already asked the question they're intending to ask. In fact, I've pretty much DEMANDED that people check the queue before asking a question, so forcing them to check something that will spoil their enjoyment of the series is flat out unfair.

Thus the deletions.

And this is all beside the fact that asking a question HERE at ASK GREG to get an explanation of something in an episode that wasn't understood because it was not in English is, well, IDIOTIC. At the length of the current queue, it'll be months before I get to these questions, and the episodes will air here in the U.S. in a matter of weeks. So by the time I get to these questions, the answers will no longer be required - so all that is really being accomplished is that folks have found yet another way to bog down the queue. In fact, this practice is SO idiotic, I'm having trouble believing the questions are being asked with any sincerity. It seems more like a demonstration of power. Trolling, pure and simple.

Either way - whether this is due to naivete or trolling - please just STOP. Please.


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Kevin writes...

I just checked the unanswered questions and I want to apologize for asking a question that was already asked. When Ask Greg reopened I thought I would be one of the first ones to post and it was only after I posted did I realize someone else had already asked the question about the Blockbuster formula. So again I am sorry and I hope that this doesn't ruin the experience of Ask Greg.

Greg responds...

It doesn't. But thanks for the apology.

Response recorded on March 05, 2012

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Anonymous writes...

When you answer "SPOILER REQUEST. NO COMMENT." it means that the answer WILL come up later in the show/comics or it MAY.

An Ask Greg Helper responds...

Greg Weisman says:

"Questions that ask me to SPOIL my own show are exasperating. As I've said over and over, I'm just NOT going to do that. Why would I? Even obvious stuff can't be addressed, because if I acknowledge anything, the stuff I don't comment on is spoiled by default. So please, please, please refrain. Any question that falls into this category will simply be answered: SPOILER REQUEST. NO COMMENT."

[Response recorded on March 29, 2011.]

Response recorded on March 03, 2012

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ASK GREG is back, MARCH 3, 2012.

So I've finally gotten through the queue. I could definitely feel myself getting cranky again by the end here, so I'm going to take a short break.

Young Justice resumes airing on Saturday, March 3, 2012, and we'll reopen ASK GREG's question/posting function on the same day.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE follow these simple guidelines BEFORE posting.

1. DO NOT REQUEST SPOILERS!! All requests for spoilers will be met with "SPOILER REQUEST. NO COMMENT." Prefacing your spoiler request question by saying, "I hope this doesn't trigger a spoiler alert" or the like doesn't help. THINK BEFORE YOU POST. If you're asking me for information about what is TO COME on a show, it's a SPOILER. And I flat out will not answer. So all you're doing is clogging the queue.

2. CHECK THE ARCHIVES to make sure your question hasn't already been answered. Any question already answered will receive an "ASKED AND ANSWERED" response. Again, this only serves to clog the queue.

3. CHECK the UNANSWERED QUESTION queue before posting your question. I may not have answered it yet, but if you can see that someone's already asked the question, then there's no point in asking it again. All you'll receive is another "ASKED AND ANSWERED" response. Really, the amount of times I was asked Zatanna's age was just preposterous. If I'm taking the time to answer your questions, the least you can do is LOOK to see if your question was already asked before posting and clogging the queue.

4. CONSIDER asking your question from knowledgeable fans BEFORE posting it. For example, the folks at http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/comment/ are very familiar with my work and can usually answer stuff much faster than I can.

5. If you are asking multiple questions in one post, please NUMBER your questions. And if you're asking more than, say... ten... then create a separate post.

6. But please, do NOT flood the queue. Show restraint.

7. Please do not submit any original ideas, notions, concepts, or drawings of original characters. No stories, no fanfic, no teleplays, nothing.

8. No original ideas masquerading as questions. Asking me what Demona did during World War II is fine. Asking me if Demona tried to assassinate Hitler during World War II is an idea masquerading as a question and is not all right. I'm sure you can all see the distinction.

9. No requests for employment. If you want to ask generally about how one might break into the business, I'll try to give my perspective, but this is not an appropriate forum for personal pleas for work.

If these guidelines are followed the results benefit us all:

a. The queue doesn't bog down. I'll get to questions faster.

b. I'll be happier, which means I'm more likely to expand on the questions I can answer, instead of being so fed up that I speed through those too, just to bring down the size of the queue.

I know I must sound like a curmudgeon here. AND THAT'S ONLY BECAUSE THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT I AM! (ASK ANYONE!) But you can help reduce my curmudgeonliness by following these guidelines.

Thank you

See you in a week(ish).


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Anonymous writes...

Some of these questions, I just look at and think "there's a NO COMMENT...there's another...and more...haven't they clued in by now?!?!?! (no answer necessary for that one) On behalf of the people who actually try to keep from triggering those, I apologize.

Greg responds...

Thanks. But at this point, I've gotten a LOT of these sympathy posts too. And so now they are ALSO cluttering up the queue. I don't want to seem churlish, since you're trying to be nice. But it would just be better if we ALL stuck to business, so to speak, in order to keep ASK GREG manageable.

Response recorded on February 23, 2012

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Anonymous writes...

Hey Greg,

I need to ask you some things in regards to the answering of questions by you about Young Justice.

What topics do you usually allow to be answered in regards to when we ask questions about...
a. what we already know about the show thus far?
b. what we don't know about the show thus far (which doesn't risk exposing any spoilers)?
c. topics that require your opinions/educated guesses (again, which doesn't risk exposing any spoilers)?

On a side note, my other question is in regard to the first rule of your guidelines which you stated in your introduction page. Does the rule imply you reject the notion of "giving the fans of the show what they want"? Is it because ideas for the show stated by fans usually conflicts with the ideas for the show that you (and your team) work with and have already planned?

Thanks for taking the time to read these important question that I have for you.

Greg responds...

a, b and c are all fine assuming, as you noted, spoilers are TRULY not involved.

But the best way to figure out what I will and won't answer is to read through the kind of questions I already HAVE answered.

As to your side note, you're completely missing the point.

I won't look at original ideas because they could get me in trouble LEGALLY. It has NOTHING AT ALL to do with giving or not giving fans "what they [think they] want".

BUT... even if this weren't a legal issue, fans need to keep in mind is that by the time they see enough to comment and make suggestions, we've already locked our stories down, and I couldn't alter course to give fans what they want. This would be true whether or not I agreed that any given fan had a great idea. It's just too late.

Response recorded on February 15, 2012


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