Stewart, I need to ask you the favor of listening to me blather on for a moment or twelve. I know you won't respond; I know you can't respond. Truth be told, this is probably a blessing for me. I just ask that you lend me an ear. And forgive that this message won’t be quite as witty, well-crafted, or well-edited as is usual – but even though it is really late here, I need to do this now.
I promise not to invoke Norma Rae.
[Caveat lector: Still not speaking for Giovanni, Eugenio, Stewart, SC.net, you, your mother, your dog, or anyone else that isn't me right at this moment. My spew is my own.]
Stewart, you and I (understandably) don't know each other very well. The most I can guess that you know about me is that I have a facility for logistics, expletives, and St. Crispin's Day-type speechifying. (And that I may or may not be Dive. Or Meg.) You and I, we have a pretty bizarre little symbiotic unrelationship going here: I get to yell flag insanities and tell you what to do, and 9 times out of 10, you do it. Which is, admittedly, kinda cool.
But as a result I also get to worry more and over-think more and over-analyze more -- and yeah, okay, over-talk more -- on certain topics than the average nutter. Which is why my big yap is flapping right now long after the relevant conversation of the crew has ceased. Because there's a dropped thread here that's bugging me, and I feel I would be remiss to allow it to be overlooked:
Throughout 11 pages of our previous conversation, many folks have reiterated the hope that, even though the kibosh has been put on the TP.com flag-specific photo request dealio, that the attendant flag interview/flag footage/flag-related whatever -- i.e., the flag -- not be excised completely from the official Police DVD (whether it be the official official or the fan club official -- whatever is relevant).
But if the one situation affects the other and your stated nukability applies not merely to the photo request but to *all* flag references, as some have interpreted, then I'm out here asking you (and/or whomever is appropriate) to please reconsider.
We come to this table from very different directions: you actually know what the hell is going on from inside the TP machine; all most of us know is what is presented to us via TP.com (with occasional dribs and drabs that leak out from behind the curtain). And to many of us on the outside -- as has been voiced -- this TP.com flag photo request smelled kinda crap. None of us knew who was making the requests; none of us knew what the actual purpose or motivations might be; none of us knew who was or wasn’t privy to or responsible for what. We don't even know if the flag photo request was or wasn't related (or even synonymous with) Jordan's documentary work. All we got was the (nameless, faceless) TP.com/UltraStar entity posting a request with tossed-off language that suggested the flag's inclusion/association as a fait accompli.
So I hope that you can understand why -- whether justified or not -- many folks felt their territorial/loyalty feathers get ruffled. To many – myself included -- it looked an awful lot like TP.com trying to steal SC.net's thunder and profit off something that is supposed to be (at least before controversy/ies struck) pure. As I said in the big thread, "Apologies to any drummers or drummers' progeny or long-time fans working for Management that may have been involved, but imho -- whether intended or not -- the presentation [of the flag photo request] came off as appropriation and commodification." Many probably still feel this way. I admit that part of me still does.
But if this received or assumed image is incorrect, then our reactions have been incorrect. While admittedly I won't be rushing to let TP.com off the hook for the way the info was rolled out, I will indeed put some of us on the hook as well if our visceral reactions resulted in a misreading of the situation.
As I said in that other thread, you're not exactly one to appease us haphazardly. We wank at length on a variety of topics that you don’t touch; so I feel at least somewhat confident that if you felt it appropriate to intervene in this matter, you had your reasons.
But I also don't want to find out too late that the hammer has unnecessarily fallen – or unnecessarily fallen too wide -- on something potentially cool. I don’t want our over-the-top, bugfuck flag love and staunch allegiance to inadvertently generate flag casualties. Road to hell/good intentions/etc.
So I'm out here flapping my gums at you, Stewart, in the hope that, if the conclusions reached by the in-the-dark team were just way the fuck off the mark, someone on the fully-informed team will set things right.
TP.com’s photo request in general (flag or otherwise) -- the profits issue, the intellectual property issue/absence of a limited terms agreement (the absence of which affects people's ability to submit photos to both TP.com's DVD and SC.net's book) -- is still, to me personally, problematic; on those points, my previous bite-me position still stands. (Sorry, Stewart -- that one's not gift-related. On that one, I cannot defer.)
But that is not to say that I (and others) think that all images or discussion of the flag should be stricken from the official record. And hell, nothing is stopping anyone who wants to from submitting flag-related photos. That is their right and their business, and I don't have to agree; that decision is theirs.
This flag thing has become strangely important to a lot of people around the world. It's important to your fans. It's important to Team Italia. It's important to me. And I feel pretty confident in deducing that it's important to you as well. I meant it when I described this whole flag thing as a gift from you to us as well as from us to you. (Despite my knack for imperiousness, I really am quite sincere.)
And after all that you’ve done this past year, you're the one who should be the DVD star. Plus, you deserve to have proper visual aids when you bore your grandkids with stories of krypton glory days gone by. You deserve to be able to point to a DVD or a pdf tour book (don't get me started) and (with a smile on your lips and a twinkle in your eye) flip through the pages pointing and yelling "mine, mine, all mine." You deserve to have something official documenting how you and that grody green thing wrote a truly unique story and kinda affected the course of Police and fan history.
So if there's something here that needs to be fixed or something here that can be fixed, I have no power to fix it. All I've got is a megaphone called the internet, the infinite ability to talk, and the willingness to embarrass myself for a good cause. Smite me, scold me, tie me to the whipping post, do what you need to do; but don’t let your flag go undocumented by The Police. Whether through photos or interviews or pencil sketches or interpretive dance, the world deserves to know just how truly unusual, incredible, and touched in the head you are for having initiated this little flag game.
I know that I could be saying all this for naught; it's possible that all non-flag-photo-submission plans are preceding at pace. I don't know. What I do know is that I would rather issue a potentially unmotivated mea culpa *just in case* than spend the rest of the tour what-if'ing. I would much rather eat crow than know that this situation went down wrong.
(I know it's not as sexy as righteous indignation, but it does make sleeping easier.)
Thank you, Copelandia.
Thank you, Stewart.
I promise to stop talking now.
Your humbly verbose and/or verbosely humble flagmistress,
DM / Kellie
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now abed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
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