Steve Hutchison (foomf) wrote,
Steve Hutchison

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About the abuse of the prhase 'passive aggressive'

Crucible City Mux has one unforgiveable sin.

Being 'passive-aggressive'.

Yes, you can be banned from the place outright for being 'passive-aggressive'.

I've seen it used repeatedly to tar people, especially by one of the staffers in a non-staff alt. I'm fed up with it. This person uses the word to describe any behavior that they don't like, and for the shock factor.

Quoting the Wikipedia article on Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder:
Sometimes a method of dealing with stress or frustration, it results in the person attacking other people in subtle, indirect, and seemingly passive ways. It can manifest itself as resentment, stubbornness, procrastination, sullenness, or intentional failure at doing requested tasks. For example, someone who is passive-aggressive might take so long to get ready for a party they don't wish to attend that the party is nearly over by the time they arrive.

Someone who is passive-aggressive will typically not confront others directly about problems, but instead will attempt to undermine their confidence or their success through comments and actions which, if challenged, can be explained away innocently so as not to place blame on the passive-aggressive person.

Now... Here's an interesting observation.
Staffers are immune to censure for this sin of sins.
As the sole judges, they are uniquely empowered to use the techniques themselves with impunity.

And they use them frequently when they're dealing with people that aren't in their clique. Further, I suspect there may even be a blacklist, informal of course, excluding some players.

An example: one of the staffers, who as part of their position frequently runs plot scenes, will announce that there is room for some number of characters of certain levels. Initially, I would respond to these, along with several other people.

After the fourth time in a row when I wasn't chosen, and when other people who weren't in the clique also weren't chosen, and somehow the people who got accepted were inducted soon after into... the clique. So, I tried with other staffers. And ... didn't get in. Even to scenes which were relevant to my character, which had to do with things I had +requested information on, and so forth.

I tried three more times after this. Never got in. Gave up. I do not play in any plot run by any staffer there, because it is a waste of my time to try to get into it. I've been 'shunned out'. Unprovable, of course, which makes it classic passive aggression.

By random events of inheritance, I ended up running a team. Global or community events would happen - certain villains, or even specific villains that were enemies of some of my teammates would do nefarious things. Members of my team would ask for resolution from staffers, would propose searches or investigations that were well within reason, given the resources they were drawing on. Yet, they were consistently turned down.
Every time. To the point that, without fail, I could predict that the resolution of the storyline would go to a member of the Clique.
Once again... passive aggression. When I asked why, I was given the classic explanation of innocence.
I even told my teammates not to bother because frankly, they wouldn't be given an answer. That earned a wounded rejoinder.

The trap there being that, of course, it could simply be coincidence, there could be no prejudice at all. And if a character had no particular special skill or trait to permit them to do what they wanted, no amount of contact and preparation and hard work could do it.
Or so we were told, and we have to believe it, or we're being passive-aggressive. What a lovely double-bind.

I also took note of the several times I've tried to do something with a character's stats and powers, been refused, and then, later, found the very thing I wanted on another character.

The scariest thing about the place? It's the silence. People disappear. Their characters vanish, their accounts deleted, their IP address banned, and there is never an explanation of what happened. It's like living in a dictatorship.

So. If I vanish from Crucible, you now know why. (And it will probably have to do with my making this public comment.)
If I don't, well, I may choose to leave anyway. Because I am fucking tired of being hit with the two-faced accusation of passive aggressive.

Honey, if I want to be aggressive, there won't be anything passive about it. I'm not passive, I'm pissed off.

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