agentanachronism: (Pull the Other)
Nella ([personal profile] agentanachronism) wrote2010-07-15 02:49 pm

Big Old PSA: My Internet Life as a BFF


Dear Internet;

I'm the internet sidekick of my real life BF. Huzzah! It's probably way more fun than it should be. My parents certainly can't understand why I'm so keen about it, but to paraphrase the immortal words of Will Smith—have parents EVER understood their offspring?

However—there's one aspect people are still having a little problem with. I've been ignoring it up til now because, eh, haters gonna hate, but a recent comment proved to be the straw that broke the camel's back.

...except it was more of a beleaguered 'Oh, fuck me, this shit still? That is IT" sort of breaking, but you get the drift.

I've already left a version of this response in the BFF video comment section, but decided to post a slighter longer and open declaration here for anyone else this may apply too, using the original comment not as a "HRUH HRUH COMMENT" (which is not my intention), but as a bullet list for organizing my thoughts in this matter. And while I should just ignore it (because, you know, haters gonna hate and all; and as fandomwank has proven no good will probably come of responding) I can't. I can ignore a plethora of barbs and shots taken at myself, but when someone starts talking shit about my friends because of something I'VE done, I get twitchy. If a joke sucks balls, I can remember that for the next time. If my acting is shit—well, I'm trying, damnit, but I'm an anthropologist, NOT an actress! But if people go around calling my friend a bitch because of shit I've written in the name of satire—then w'oh. W'oh. Sit around the campfire my pretties cause we're going to hash this out.

So I'm going to lay it out here and now in the hopes ya'll will either understand the workings of the Lindsay/Nella hive mind, or you'll cut ties with the both of us—a regrettable action, but the best course if we are indeed so distasteful.

The sketches in question are the Make-Over Fairy subplot of the Grease review, and the Thanks for the Feedback which addressing concerns about my emotional wellbeing as BFF Nella I am particularly Butt-Monkey-esque in these two.

...Wow, your venomous sarcasm about being bitchy does absolutely nothing to dispel
the bitch impression you've been giving lately. Yes, other people and I found
your treatment of nella unfunny and at the same time a little damaging her
psyche - and we expressed it. If she insists she was fine with it, so be it, but
even if she wrote and directed the entire thing and forced everyone else to say
those things about her it was still agonizing to watch. To her I say don't make
the audience feel sorry for you because that's simply poor stage presence, and
to you Lindsay, please just once try to handle your viewers' concern without
making such an asinine response. If you're going to get this worked up and spew
ironic contempt in response criticism, [color=red][b]particularly when you
represent yourself as a critic[/b][/color], maybe you should just disable
ratings and comments on your videos.

It's like if I walked up to George W. Bush and said "Hey you're not very
smart" and he turned red in the face, bellowed an obviously forced laughter,
DERP DERP YOU KNOW ME" while hitting his own head with a frying pan. Yes, we
would all know he was being sarcasti, but it wouldn't change anything or make my
comment incorrect.

Simply responding with sarcasm instead of seriously addressing the concern
doesn't make it go away. Honestly Lindsay, I loved your early work but your
screen personality has just taken so many turns for the worse. I don't know if
it's L.A. culture, the University of Spoiled Children you attend, or issued in
your personal life (none of our business I know), but whatever has happened to
you is not a pleasant change to observe....

I'm not going to take this monster of a comment full-on because 1) I'm writing this at work on my lunch break *peers over shoulder nervously regardless* 2) I'm not even ANGRY, I'm just….sigh. and 3) I never wrote a thesis in college and I have no intention of writing one now.

SO! The fast and dirty response:

1) "…other people and I found your treatment of Nella unfunny"

Ok, unfortunately, can't help you there. What we find HIGH-LARIOUS obviously is not for all. As I wrote both the Make Over Fairy and BFF sketches in question, mea culpa.

2) "…and at the same time a little damaging her psyche…"

Here, however, I've going to have to take SOME offense at this. I've survived early puberty, a plethora of inane crushes, my first boyfriend, college, the real world AFTER college, AND the trials and tribulations of the internet (and since the tender age of 14!)—my psyche is a little worn from ill-use, mayhaps, but is QUITE fine.

Though I thank you for your concern, kindly do not assume you know what is damaging to me. I know that far too well, and satirizing how society tends to treat and view people like me is NOT it.

3) "If she insists she was fine with it, so be it, but even if she wrote and directed the entire thing and forced everyone else to say those things about her it was still agonizing to watch."

Yes. I did force them. At gun point, in fact. I then laughed manically about it as I stroked my fat orange tabby cat, Piper

…wait, seriously?

Ok, ok, I do apologize for this. I understand a lot of the jokes we make about me (and about anyone in our merry little troupe of NChick personalities) would be seen as crushing for a lot of people, man or woman regardless.

I'm sorry if what I wrote caused anyone distress. I'm sorry if watching me be the butt of a joke (whether it was a good or bad joke I leave to personal interpretation) was agonizing for some. I'm serious about this. We all carry baggage that the world and our fellow humans laden us with. This is my way of gleefully dumping my load. I'm not going to stop poking fun at old wounds any time soon—but if it did cause you pain, I am sorry. Consider this an open and sincere warning—it's only going to continue, probably for as long as I live, and for as long as people are asshats towards other people. Consider me your mirror, folks—and I'm NOT the breaking kind.

I mean…do you really think I would jump in head first into Lindsay's reviews/sketches if I didn't back them 100%? Now THAT'S a depressing and rather insulting thought; that you, gentle commenter, would have such a low opinion about ME. That you think I would, in real life, be such a sheep to the whims and wiles of my long-time real life friend.

4) "To [Nella] I say don't make the audience feel sorry for you because that's simply poor stage presence, and to you Lindsay, please just once try to handle your viewers' concern without making such an asinine response."

I abhor pity. I adore laughter. Everything I do is for a laugh. Ask my 5th grade classmates about "Man Walking An Invisible Hyperactive Monster Dog", if you must. You could even ask my 5th grade teacher about that one, as she DID walk in JUST as I was being "pulled" by the dog's leash.

If you think I'm fishing for pity, then I'm doing it wrong. I need to go back to the Mad Sidekick Laboratory and fiddle with things. Maybe a sight less Abbott and Costello, a pinch more…er…eh, I'll think of something.

5) "Simply responding with sarcasm instead of seriously addressing the concern
doesn't make it go away."

No, it doesn't, but it DOES lay out the fact that, dude, it was NEVER a serious concern to begin with. Not for us, at least.

Besides, we had been looking for an opportunity to use the ”BFF, Inc" footage since last summer—the time was NIGH.

6) " It's like if I walked up to George W. Bush and said "Hey you're not very
smart" and he turned red in the face, bellowed an obviously forced laughter,
DERP DERP YOU KNOW ME" while hitting his own head with a frying pan. Yes, we
would all know he was being sarcasti, but it wouldn't change anything or make my
comment incorrect."

I was going to make a comment about how self-revelation is a wonderful thing and a necessary step in the Buddhist tradition, but *DODGES TOMATOES AND OTHER ASSORTED ROTTEN FRUIT AND VEGGIES*



And that's about all I can answer for myself, as I try not to be in the habit of answering for other people. The bottom line is if any one has a problem with the Make-Over Fairy or the TFTF: BFF sketches, then the blame is on me just as much as it would be on Lindsay. I wrote most of the damn things. I insisted on 'BFF' standing for "Big Fat Friend" over the traditional "Best Friend Forever" because my favorite gag is when something is topsy turvy of what the audience wanted/expected.

Also, I'm really fond of Steven Lynch songs, and I thought it would be fun to turn the 'Big Fat Friend' song on its head.

Ah well. Them's my two cents. Take them, and know me better, man.

This is BFF Nella, Out.

(Now, excuse me, I need to go back to work.)

(Anonymous) 2010-07-15 07:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Just to say: I'm a huge fan of the work you and Lindsay do. Seriously, I love your stuff.

I'm sorry some people don't get it but I truly don't believe that's your failing.

Keep it up.

neveth: (Default)

I watch videos, you are hilarious!

[personal profile] neveth 2010-07-15 07:35 pm (UTC)(link)
I just. I'm just flabbergasted that people thought that those videos were in any way anything other than a satire of modern cultural tropes. I mean. DELICIOUS SATIRE. Happy times! I thought they were hilarious, and that you are not only willing but happy to play along and write them makes you that much more awesome. I mean. I thought the whole Big Fat Friend thing was so funny I nearly fell out of my chair.

(Anonymous) 2010-07-15 08:06 pm (UTC)(link)
Ok, I don't have a dreamwidth account (obviously :P i use LJ). I came over off twitter and I just wanted to say that, I personally admire you guys, especially you. I LIKE that you're comfortable with yourself to be able to pull things like that off. I laughed my ass off at it. And that's BECAUSE I knew it was a big joke and such. And I can SEE that you and Lindsy are close friends and respect each other. You guys actually remind me of the dynamic between me and my best friend. It's one of the reasons I admire you guys so much.

Hmmm, I think I muddled up what I going to really say, but basically, I never once saw these as seriously putting you down. You guys are having fun and are obviously close. Keep doing the videos.

And c'mon, it's the internet. Even if you aren't the best actor ever, it's not like this is a movie. You have more of an excuse to over act or under act or whatever. Either way, the videos are hilarious and I love them. And I always look forward to the bits that involve you (oh god, that sounded creepy. i'm seriously not. honest D:).

Anywho, I'm going to go back to my corner of the net and continue to keep up with the latest pokémon updates. Can't wait for the next video. :D

otakugal15 on livejournal

These people crack me up

[identity profile] notgary [] 2010-07-16 12:12 am (UTC)(link)
I've just started watching Nostalgia Chick, and I mean that literally. The 'Grease' review was the first episode, and I've been going back through the back issues since. I have to say I'm loving every single one of them.

People who complain about self-deprecation never fail to crack me up. Here you are, completely at ease with your body to the extent that you put it front and centre of a 20 minute joke, and this self righteous monkey comes along and demands that you feel sorry for yourself because you're apparently different from the social norm in a bad way.

(Anonymous) 2010-07-16 01:05 am (UTC)(link)
People just can't understand different styles of humor sometimes; 'tis the way of life. However, it's when some people think their views on life should be followed by EVERYONE that makes me mad (do I even want to list the obvious ones here). I got what you were trying to stay, Nella, and I applaud you for it; this world needs more women like you. And Linds. And your friends (who I should probably follow but currently don't). The end of THE HILLS is just the beginning.

From your Nellachrony, Ethan -

Lindsay's style

(Anonymous) 2010-07-16 07:44 am (UTC)(link)
I love it when, people critisize Lindsay for doin' her own thing instead of mimicing NC like she did earlier.

(Anonymous) 2010-07-16 07:56 am (UTC)(link)
Hi, Nella.
I'm a big fan of Lindsay's work, and I love when you show up in videos. I think you're hilarious and bring a really fun aspect to the show.
The whole backlash against the "BFF" and makeover storylines just reeks to me of people couching their negative criticisms in a "holier than thou" manner; i.e. "It's not just my opinion that your show is bad, it's my concern for poor, poor Nella." Whatever, bitches. As a self-deprecating BFF myself, may I say that people's false pity comes across as particularly condescending? I mean, I think you've more than shown yourself to be a strong, independent person in your appearances on the show, so why would anyone think that they need to stand up for poor, defenseless Nella? It's only an excuse to make their opinions appear to be beyond reproach.
Anyhow, I just want to say that I dig what you do, and I'm glad that you're not letting a few negative people turn you off of burgeoning internet celebritydom. There are always going to be negative, condescending, insert-negative-adjective-here commentators out there-- that's the nature of the internet--but please know that there are a lot more of us out here who love what you and your friends are doing and will continue to do our best to support you in your endeavors.


[identity profile] 2010-07-16 11:15 am (UTC)(link)
People are stupid. Nella, you and Lindsay seem like a pair of pretty down-to-earth girls and I totally get the friend-brain-hive-thing. Sheer awesomeness.

It's good to be able to laugh at yourself, it's just a huge amount of fail when others don't get it too.

I love your work. Don't ever change.


[identity profile] 2010-07-16 08:24 pm (UTC)(link)
What I resent about the complaints is that they deny your agency. Oh, so you're not what our society thinks of as "hot," so you must lack the intelligence to have noticed! And so what Lindsay has been saying in the videos must be news to you! And you must be magically oblivious to the point of the BFF video! Ah, chubby, tomboyish girls, those poor social idiots. They just have no idea what's going on around them!

It's just really insulting to your intelligence and agency. And, I mean, I'm a feminist who is big on body-image and socialization issues, and I think that all of that was a brilliant critique of our society. I spent years as a kid being made over like that, and I adored the posts. Keep that shit coming, because it rocks. Concern-trolling for the mental health of someone who actively decides to participate in a critique is just ridiculous.

[personal profile] wumples 2010-07-16 10:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Good for you for posting this. I love the work you do on Nostalgia Chick (you're my favorite character! :D) and I think you guys are opening humor up in a way that makes it okay to joke about things that people would normally get offended about. Seriously, damaging your psyche?! Come on! Life. Is. Not. Serious. And we shouldn't have to be serious about everything, either.

Keep it up, Nella!

(Anonymous) 2010-07-16 11:38 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't have a DW, so this'll be anonymous.

I was a little put off by the Makeover Fairy part, because the whole time I was thinking "Wtf? Nella is the freaking BOMB. Who wrote this in?". But now, it makes perfect sense that you wrote it. No wank from me. But some love. My best friend and I both think you're more awesome than any other "sidekick" ever. Plus you're pretty epic in your own right. :D

[identity profile] 2010-07-17 09:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh man, I bet you just had no idea how victimized and abused you were until these kind people told you. It's so generous of them to save you like that.

I am not even sure what these people are thinking here other than a severe case of overidentification, but the comments section usually holds some pretty intense crazy.

(Anonymous) 2010-07-17 09:05 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't have a dreamwidth account, thank you for allow anonymous comments.

I just want to say that I did feel a little bad when I watched the Makeup Fairy and BFF sketches, but I know that stems from my own insecurities about my appearance and so I felt bad when I thought they were making fun of you. Knowing now that you're not bothered by any of that stuff, so much that you create and perform such sketches, is awesome. I don't want to sound creepy, but I truly admire you. I hope to one day be comfortable with myself too.

[identity profile] 2010-07-17 09:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Really, I can't believe that people. Everybody projecting their body issues on your attitude, and nobody says anything about the truly atrocious things Lindsay does.

Having a camera installed in your bedroom in your parents' house. That was terrible! Who does she think she is? That's wrong! I you abuse your friend publicly like that you MUST POST the installers contact data!!!

I really cannot believe it.

(Anonymous) 2010-07-17 11:34 pm (UTC)(link)
Nella! I love the skits you and Lindsay put on during her reviews! Keep up the great work and I'm glad you're not taking the intrawebs drama too seriously. Also, fat-bottomed girls make the rockin world go 'round. :D <3

[identity profile] 2010-07-18 12:34 am (UTC)(link)
For me, seeing you say that you had written it and were cool with it was enough, but I too was initially uncomfortable with the makeover fairy sketch, and so I sympathize with the poster's comment about it being "agonizing to watch".

In light of that, I want to express appreciation for the way you responded to that particular point in this post. There are certain creative types I follow whose work I really admire, but who sometimes say or do things that don't come across the way they intended, upsetting their fans. IMO said people often deal with feedback to that effect very badly. But where others have gotten huffy, sarcastic and dismissive with regard to the reception of their work, it was really refreshing to see you actually apologize, not because of the apology per se, but because it showed a willingness to step back, see things from another's perspective, and treat that perspective as valid. Further, you did so without compromising yourself, saying effectively, "Here was my intent. I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing, but I see how this attempt could have come across differently and am sorry about the effect that had".

I guess my point is that I wish I saw that kind of response from more people, but it was nice to see it from someone! :)

[personal profile] londo 2010-07-18 12:51 am (UTC)(link)
Hey Nella,

I've been following the Nostalgia Chick series since last December or so, and you've seriously become a feature to look forward to. You have the rare ability to be legitimately, genuinely funny. You're clearly having a lot of fun with what you do. Those are generally not hallmarks of being treated like crap by your friends.

You're having fun and making funny. Keep it up, will you?


P.S. Who would have thought people are more up in arms about "lol fatty" than spousal beatings?

[identity profile] 2010-07-18 07:26 pm (UTC)(link)
Seriously? After all this time, people still don't get that you're both characters on a web show? Hold on, what am I saying, of course they don't get it! These are probably the same FanDumb who think Doug and James = Critic and Nerd. The fact that Lindsay doesn't actually put video cameras in your room must seem like brain science to them.

(As a bit of shallowness, I think you're a total babe and now I'm going to hide back in my corner.)

(Anonymous) 2010-07-19 02:19 am (UTC)(link)
On an almost completely unrelated note, goddamn you're a hell of a dancer. Most of us "big girls" are a little fail in that deparatment (I sure as shit am), but in Lindsey's pop music video, you were totally tearing that Gaga/Ke$ha up. Rock on. Would love to see you dance more.

(Anonymous) 2010-07-20 09:41 am (UTC)(link)
I lack an account too, but really wanted to comment.

Nella, I love yours and Lindsey's stuff. A particular highlight that springs to mind is the back and forth during the Mulan and Labyrinth reviews. And I was really surprised when I found out people had issues with the Grease video.
Humour and the internet is a weird thing. More than once has my own personal brand of humour been taken the wrong way in forums and blogs. Normally I put it down to being English because we have a very sarcastic and self-depricating sense of humour in general.
But do people really think that either you or the Chick are so vindictive that you'd genuinely cause distress to others (including each other) for the sake of internet videos? Now that is what's really off here.

I'm a BFF (using your definition) myself and once upon a time people treated me badly for simply how I was. However I found the Grease video and the Makeover Fairy to be funny and satirical, showing the absurdity of the makeover sequences in crappy teen films.

Unfortunately we live in a time when so many things are easy to read the wrong way. So I just say keep up the awesome work in the videos and screw the haters because haters are gonna hate.

leupagus: I'm thinking about something dirty! (1776-jefferson's stupid face)

[personal profile] leupagus 2010-07-20 08:50 pm (UTC)(link)
So, I am pig-ignorant of what exactly went on, but I do have to say a) way to respond in a way that makes it clear you don't approve, but doesn't get all wanky, and b) HAHAHAH DUMPING YOUR LOAD.

... ahem. Yes.

(Anonymous) 2010-07-25 10:59 pm (UTC)(link)
Count me among the many fans who always found the self-deprecating interplay between the Nostalgia Chick and her BFF Nella to be hilarious (in fact, my interest in a given Nostalgia Chick video tends to peak whenever Nella's involved, simply /because/ she has such an expert grasp of self-deprecating comedy). I particularly enjoy the running subplot/gag of "...did you put a hidden camera in my room/bathroom/place I would conceivably be?" Keep up the great work, both of you!

(Anonymous) 2010-07-28 04:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Have to admit I did find it a little insulting, even if you didn't. Mostly because I'd ask you out in two seconds flat, and I've been dodging real-life Makeover Fairies since I was three. I think you're the best part of the Nostalgia Chick segments (bring out more ponies!), and I harbor a serious geek-crush on those who study archeology or paleo-anthropology and maintain their sense of humour. (You're probably not bi-curious but eh. A girl can dream. Also anon because of embarassment, lol.)

Sorry for taking it personally, I think it hit a little close to home.
as_you_wish: (Marry It)

[personal profile] as_you_wish 2010-08-09 09:29 pm (UTC)(link)
I must confess the most befuddling part of the videos was the incredible amount of people striving to reassure you that you were attractive and pretty, even when it seemed the bitingly satiric point of the videos was that you were perfectly comfortable in your own skin. And willing to unabashedly make cash off of other people's insecurities over being in their own [albeit fictionally].

Also, I want to see you holding people at fake gunpoint and laughing evilly while you pet your cat now.

(Anonymous) 2010-08-22 09:00 pm (UTC)(link)
I think a large problem with the TGWTG audience is that they like much of the rest of the world have had it forced down their throats that making jokes about women being ugly, or overweight, even if it's about themselves, is virtually a national offense. We are a society that is so backwards that being happy with yourself and still making fun of yourself for the sake of laughter isn't a sign of self-respect, it's a cry for attention and pity.

I watched your video and I immediately understood that you and Lindsay must have a lot of love and respect for one another. I think that anyone that watched any videos where you and Lindsay are in the same room could see that. While I do feel to some extent that the character of Nostalgia Chick is somewhat aloof, much like she has been throughout all her reviews, her intention could only be taken as benevolent by anyone except a fool.

(Anonymous) 2011-01-15 02:02 am (UTC)(link)
this is a bit a late response, but since i just read this 5 min ago, youll have to forgive me :)

just like to say that if your the one who writes jokes like that, you obviously have a good sense of humor and a good sense and belief in who you are. keep up the good work, and ignore the rants of random people on the internet :) (wich means you should also ignore mine, but i dont mind if you made a exeption for just this once :P)

(Anonymous) 2011-01-27 01:03 am (UTC)(link)
I can't get over the fact that people can't see that it's an ACT. You two are clearly really good friends, and if your friends can't get away with a little insulting, who can? I always thought the mark of a deep friendship was how much harmless name-calling and mock insult-wars you could get away with. Anyway, I'm glad you wrote this, and I'm glad you set the record straight.

Also, go Anthropology!

(Anonymous) 2011-08-23 05:05 am (UTC)(link)
Just FYI: I am one of the most maniacally politically correct and annoyingly touchy people I know when it comes to issues of women and body image, and even I got the good-natured joke with your BFF skits. Rock on, Nella!