I mean... it's just talking isn't it? ... and mine's a Guinness.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Stop! Thief!

OK, here’s an admission, a little insight into my world. I occasionally do Facebook. It’s OK, I’ve got it under control and I’m not there that often, in fact I took a couple of months off because my newsfeed was flooded with all the political crap (seriously, do you think any of that stuff changes anyone’s mind?). I was settling in for a quiet drink at home on Sunday, and thought, “What the hell… I’ll log-on to Facebook”. Hours later, I was still in the recliner, iPad in one hand, drink in the other… jaw hanging loosely in disbelief!

Disbelief Cat In The Process of Disbelieving
It seems that the on-line voiceover community is thrashing around desperately trying to solve the issue of a rogue elephant rampaging through its usually quite civilized goings-on. I’ve seen panties bunched on a few occasions recently… more often than not, it’s in response to either a money-grubbing corporate entity that’s screwing everyone (Yay, Voices!) or a group of "talents" who have no idea how the business works (Yay, Fiverr!). Tub-thumping about these transgressors (and sure, I’ve done my bit as well) is, for the most part, impersonal and deals with a concept or a corporation. All pretty anonymous. This time it’s different. This time it’s personal.

It seems we have a sociopath in our midst. I was trying to think of a better word, but it really does seem to be the most fitting. OK, I shall prove to you all that I have no formal psychological training (OK, apart from that massive elearning piece I did about five years ago) and say that he’s a narcissistic sociopath. Well, slap my ass and call me Susan… Google is your friend… and I shall now freely quote from Wisegeek.

Even Charlie Can't Believe It!
Profile of a Narcissistic Sociopath – Charming, Manipulative, Grandiose, Lying, Authoritarian, Secretive, Divisive…

What is a narcissistic sociopath?
  1. A narcissistic sociopath is someone with a combination of narcissistic personality disorder and definitive behavioral signs of sociopathy.
  2. People with narcissism are characterized by their excessive and persistent need for others’ admiration and positive reinforcement. They generally have grandiose opinions of themselves and believe they are superior to other people. Narcissists are also frequently convinced that they are above the normal responsibilities and obligations of everyday life, so they usually have significant difficulties maintaining employment or relationships as a result.
  3. The narcissistic sociopath has this type of personality along with a noticeable lack of regard for the rights of others and a tendency to regularly violate those rights.
  4. One noted difference between a narcissistic sociopath and people with narcissism alone is that the narcissist with the sociopathy reacts strongly and sometimes even violently to negative feedback.

See what I did there? I quoted my source and gave full attribution. This is the very heart of the matter. Our VO rogue elephant has repeatedly stolen content from other VOs and passed it off as his own. If I’m reading the Facebook threads correctly, this has happened at least four times with blog content, a couple of times with logos and artwork, once with a cartoon strip, and on top of that, he has claimed (at least a couple of times) to work with notable producers who deny that he has ever done so.

His MO seems to be to post the purloined content claiming authorship (and in the case of the recent logo theft, a quick minute with photoshop to change the embedded owner's name to his own), and wait to be challenged. When the challenge comes, the offending content is removed and he merrily selects his next “contributor”. We’re running into double-digits here… these are no small, “Oops! Mea Culpa” incidents, he is a serial offender with scant regard for the property of others. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), the latest incident, one of artwork/logo theft, was perpetrated against someone who wasn’t going to let it go of the incident easily. He was well aware of this guy’s track record and decided to push-back, to make it public. The community is outraged. More incidents are reported. Our rogue elephant decides to… wail, and cry, “Poor me!” and act like a persecuted victim. W.T. actual F! 

Internet Memes - Always So Poignant!
Oh. Hang on. See bullet point four above... it all becomes clear, eh?

So? What to do? There has been talk of legal action, but that’s a long furrow to plow with no guaranteed results (except legal fees). There's been talk of pitchforks and torches… nah, I don’t advise that, law enforcement takes a dim view of vigilantism (even if you’re a Marvel Superhero). There's been talk of calling him out to his agents where an aggrieved VO shares a roster (the line being that this guy is so blatantly dishonest, can you actually trust him to represent your agency... will he be a liability?). I'm happy to say that I share no agents with him.

Now, I know there are a bunch of Kumbaya types out there that will tell us all that this guy doesn’t need chastising or calling-out… that what he really needs is help. That’s as maybe, but he needs to be called-out to start the process. If there's no down-side to his actions, then there's no problem... and he’ll just carry on leaving a trail of victims in his path because I seriously doubt he thinks he's doing anything wrong!

By the way, I certainly acknowledge that while I'm all for "naming and shaming" as part of the community's retaliation against this ass, I do not do so myself here. I'm afraid that actually naming him while still maintaining my own cloak of anonymity will put me into a near fatal irony overload. Don't worry, a quick double Jack'n'Coke set me on the road to recovery... it was a close call though! (if you don't already know who it is, it will only require minimal research by yourself, dear reader, to reveal his identity)

Oh well, sorry there haven’t been too many laughs in this one… even Shit-For-Brains didn’t get a mention. I’ll try and put that right next time… because he’s been up to some weird shit recently!

Unamused Cat is Unamused
So, until then my little bar-flies, keep well!

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