Friday, January 31, 2014

Anonymous Comment Policy

I've mentioned it in passing, but thought it might be a good idea to officially announce my policy on Anonymous blog comments. It's this: I allow Anonymous comments, but almost never respond to them. Anyone who comments can choose the "Name/URL" option, and leave their name and an optional URL (blog, facebook profile, whatever) without being signed into Blogger or Google. I leave this option open because I want people to feel free to join in the discussion without being registered to websites, and I am forced to leave the Anonymous comments option open, because that is how Blogger is set up, otherwise I would get rid of it.

My personal opinion of Anonymous opinions and discussions is that it's the equivalent of yelling something at me from a car window while driving past me. Anybody who reads my blog or follows me online has the luxury of that much information about me - but I have none about you. It's a very uneven distribution of accountability.  I'm a visible person online - my full name is attached to everything I write, on every social media account I have. I want to have discussions - but I don't want to have them with someone who won't introduce themselves to me. If you're not willing to share your name with me, that tells me you're interested in having your words read, but not interested in developing any meaningful discussion with me. And a one-sided discussion is not a discussion.

So if you post Anonymously, say your words, drop your mic, and that's fine - but until I see that I'm talking to someone willing to be held similarly accountable for their words, I won't be writing back.


  1. your name is here because it's your blog and you want to promote your work. if there's any freedom of speech in this country, there's also a freedom of choice. people who follow you may or may not put their name on their comments. that's totally their choice. if you don't like it, then just remove the anonymous comments, remove the anonymous options from your blog..
    people vote anonymously, does that mean that their vote doesn't count? think about it.
    you say it's a matter of equality that everyone has to put a name so you know who you're talking to. i say it's not equality but it just gives you a chance to go through their pages either is facebook, blog or whatever. and even though your name is here, you're just words on a computer screen. i don't know you personally, have no idea of your character, likes, dislikes, level of craziness, religious opinions, dreams, hopes. you get my point, i hope. you're just a name behind the words you post. of course you'll say that you also have fotos of yourself so people can relate an image to your name. but really, that's not the reason you post them. it's to promote your work with a bunch of "artistic", hipster-like, goth-friendly fotos of you. and people like that. don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to judge you, even though it's not something that i would do. but again, freedom of speech.
    your work is not that original. you're not the first person who started making dolls with big eyes and crooked teeth. are you familiar to henson? your business name is stolen from the movie "my neighbor totoro", if you type dust bunnies in any big online store (ebay, amazon, etsy, etc) all you get is items from the movies. dust bunnies are also characters in that movie. so spare me the "after going through many names, i ended up with dust bunnies". no creativity here.
    you complain about how people recreate your ideas, well they're not your ideas after all. you took totoro, gave him bigger eyes and ears and you call it original?! how is that any different from what other people do?
    are you making good money, have fans who buy your stuff? great! be glad! but don't claim that everything you make comes from your brain cause that's just sad and people are not that stupid. once again, perhaps totoro is not widely known in the u.s. but in europe and asia his image is recognizable. anyway, my point is just be thankful for what you have in your life, be glad that you can create something that people are willing to buy but also be sincere and humble when it comes to where you get your ideas from.
    I'm sorry that i don't have a facebook account or a blog, i hope this time my name is enough for you.

  2. Hi Jim,

    I want to thank you for leaving your name, that means a lot. I appreciate it.

    I don't like anonymous critique because I feel it is cowardly to criticize someone who has to keep themselves accountable, when you are cozy and safe behind your secrecy. It's like wearing armor and throwing rocks at a dog tied to a tree. If you have something to say, say it, and say it proudly, and don't hide. People can think whatever they think, I don't care, but if you're going to commit those thoughts to words on someone else's private internet real estate, you should own them.

    Here's the problem with the internet - no matter how much you try to present yourself as you really are, you're never truly able to do it. I think my blog and online presence is a pretty honest representation of me, but it's only a piece of me. It's not who I am. There's a huge chunk of my life, my feelings, my emotions, and a whole lot of my artistic thought process that I don't put up for general consumption. I am very sincere, and I am very humble - to the point of it being a detriment to me. I'm sensitive and get my feelings hurt very easily, I'm a perfectionist and defensive about my work because it's my entire life. This isn't just a hobby for me, it's my soul and my livelihood.

    I do complain that people recreate my works and sell them. If you look at many of the examples I posted, you'll see they're not just "that's kind of close", but many are actual recreations of SPECIFIC pieces I've done. I don't think that's right. There is an entire social network group devoted to figuring out how to reverse-engineer my work so people can make them, possibly to sell. It's a little unnerving at times, yes.

    You obviously think that I'm not an original artist, and that's fine, I'm fairly sure you're not the only one who thinks that way. Yeah, my guys have big eyes, and they have teeth, and ears. You think they look like Totoro, well, I don't. There are similarities, but I think they're pretty different. And I'm sure other people will both agree and disagree. In terms of the name of my company, yeah, it DID take me a long time to come up with it. I had to look up "dust bunnies" as it relates to Totoro this morning - here in the US they are called "Soot Sprites", I did not know they were called Dust Bunnies in other parts of the world. When I was a kid, "dust bunnies" were what my mom and grandma called the gross wads of lint and dust that gathered underneath the sofa and in corners, that you used the vacuum on. That's where the name comes from.

    And as far as me doing hipster photos, well...I'm pushing 34. I might have been a hipster 15 years ago, but for now, I'm just making photos that look like the photos I enjoy looking at, and that I feel represent me and my interests as honestly as possible.

    Again, I do appreciate you owning your comments, Jim.

  3. if my comment made you feel uncomfortable or hurt your feelings, i apologize. it wasn't my intention.
    even though your bunnies remind me of totoro, i still think they're absolutely cute and amazing.
    isn't it funny.. you think that they don't look like totoro. maybe those people who make dolls similar to yours, think that there's some similarities but it's a totally different piece.
    and who really cares? we're humans, we do what gives us pleasure and joy, your fans love you and that's all that matters. there will always be someone who'll try to imitate your dolls, but truthfully the imitation will suck.
    I'm sorry again if i sounded mean on my previous comments. i was trying to look on both sides of the coin.

  4. Hi Jim,

    You know, it's ok. I've been on the internet long enough to have grown a fairly thick skin, ha ha.

    I think you're right - we're all human. We're all different. And I often try give the benefit of the doubt, because really, unless someone is directly hurting me, if there's nothing I can do to stop something that bothers me, I don't really lose sleep over it.

    I think if we all just know ourselves and are 100% honest with ourselves as to our motivations, it will all be sorted out. The world is a big place, with lots of different people, and sometimes there is friction, but sometimes it's good to be challenged, and to ask yourself if you know where you stand.

    Have a great day,

  5. After reading this exchange I am compelled to comment. I don't know either one of you, and I have drawn a few conclusions based on my observations. Jim, I am perplexed as to what compelled you to challenge Amanda on her policy against anonymity within her own space. She appears to be encouraging polite discourse and at no point said that contrary opinions will be censored. In actuality, she has done the opposite in responding to you directly. Like-minded discussions are comfortable and it's only by interacting with those with different opinions and ideas that perspectives can be challenged and broadened. Conversely, personal attacks thinly veiled under the guise of constructive criticism and civil discourse are shameful.

    Jim, why you sought Amanda out to school her is beyond comprehension. You wave a banner of freedom of speech, opinion and expression for yourself all the while totally trampling all over hers. You present yourself as an articulate person, pointing out her failings for your own gratification it would seem. Both of you would appear to embrace freedom of expression but your commentary is aggressive which puts Amanda on the defensive. To Amanda's credit, she has responded to your not particularly constructive nor kind critiques point-by-point rather than deleting them. In my estimation, Amanda would seem to embody exactly what you are accusing her of lacking.

    "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach". Jim, in your attempt to school her on her lack of creativity, your initial point has lost credibility. You take great pains to point out specific characteristics of her work, eyes and teeth specifically which, I hate to break this to you, all bunnies have. Artists are influenced both deliberately and subconsciously as they observe and ingest the world around them. They seek the visual as well as the emotional and intellectual in an attempt to extract from them and to develop their own means of expression. I am guessing that you may not have looked through the multitude of photos representing the progression of Amanda's work. I have done so and can see and appreciate the maturation of both her process and her style. It is only through time and careful consideration that an artist decides what is best to include and what to leave out, what to attempt and what to abandon in order to craft a fully-formed and evolved product.

    As someone with a degree in art, professional experience as a graphic artist, artisan and appreciator of art in its many forms, I can not but help getting the impression that you don't get it. To criticize an artist for taking artistic pictures is ridiculous. If one is truly an artist they bring artistic sensibilities to all aspects of their lives - their personal spaces, the items they collect, the food they eat as well as the art they make. Why should picture taking be any different than any other aspect of a life lived with artistry? Artists are often solitary creatures in their craft, but gain momentum by feedback. Putting these well-crafted commentaries and photos out there to her followers enhances their experience. Fellow artists appreciate the process as well as the product, non-artists like the personal connection and glimpse into a life they may not have the opportunity to experience themselves. It's not, "hey, look at me and stroke my ego", it's what followers want to see. People who "follow" tend to like what they see so one can assume feedback will be positive - what's wrong with that?

    Amanda, you most assuredly do not need defending. Jim, when you have a product that you have the courage to put out there for public critique then you have earned the right to do so.

    Respectfully Submitted,
    Joyce Scheetz

  6. Lol
    I think that people should at least leave a way for others to see what else they have to say.
    If there is no way to see what your ideas are online and you are criticizing, it makes people think you're a troll. You don't have to share your real name but at least some sort of link where people can see where you're coming from, so to speak- what your context is.

  7. I had very felt the interest for your blog.nature

  8. You don't have to share your real name but at least some sort of link where people can see where you're coming from


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