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Monday, February 24, 2014

I'm Not Minion Material

Sometimes I see people call their followers/fans: minions, tribe, or street teams. Tribe or street team isn't too bad, but minion annoys me. The one I hate the most is when they call their followers 'bitches'.

In what world is that okay? Where I come from we treat the people who love our work or follow us loyally like friends--treasures. They should be esteemed, not relegated to grunts who rise up at the call of their master.

I realize some people use this ploy to be funny but it's always had the opposite effect on me.

Maybe I'm too old. Maybe I lack a funny bone. Well...too old anyway.

 
Attribution to Gentle Giant

It's all perception, I suppose. If I follow an author, blogger, or artist, it's because I'm an aficionado of their work. Don't treat me like a flying monkey. 

Remember, flying monkeys can poop on your head.

Has a label ever bugged you--even if it was meant in jest?

44 comments:

B.E. Sanderson said...

I had to check my blog to make sure I didn't have 'followers' listed as 'minions'. Nope, they're Spectators. Personally, I'm less than happy with the term 'follower' - sounds too cult-ish. But I live with it because that's the way the blogosphere works. I definitely agree with you on the whole 'it's socially acceptable to call your friends and acquaintances 'bitches'' thing. Not in my world, it isn't. I unfollowed a page on FB because they insisted on referring to their fans as 'f*ckers'. I wouldn't let someone refer to me that way in real life, I sure don't want them to in cyberspace. Sorry, I'm not that hip and I don't want to be.

Cate Masters said...

Hardly accurate to call most followers when the majority are likely colleagues (guess that's too formal though!), or equals - I use "Peeps" and "Friends" though I object to most any label, lol

Maria Zannini said...

BE: If that's hip, they can keep it.

I've unfollowed a couple of blogs and Twitter accounts for calling their followers unsavory names.

I wish people would grow out of that high school mentality. I'm surprised it's lasted as long as it has.

Maria Zannini said...

Cate: I'm with you. I don't like being labeled or marginalized by these cyber toe tags.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Even the word "fan" comes from the word "fanatic," right? But that's what I am to my favorite authors/actors and I don't have any problem with being called that.

I think it's the members of street teams that are called "minions" or whatever, so I'll just stay clear of those. Not like I have time to be on anyone's street team anyway!

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: I don't have a problem with street teams per se, though I'm not sure they work as well as people want to believe.

A fan or following has to develop organically. You can help it, but you can't inflate it artificially--not for the long term.

Sarah Ahiers said...

i don't call my followers bitches because i don't really know them, you know? I don't really call them anything. Online acquaintances i guess?

I do call my friends bitches, but it's meant out of humor and love. And my dogs of course, because two of them are bitches, and i love them to death

Maria Zannini said...

Sarah: You said something I meant to add in the original post.

I've called hubby a few names I can't repeat in public. But it's all said with love. LOL! No, really.

The same with my closest friends. I can say things to them I would never say in a public forum. And I get away with it because I know where all the bodies are buried. ;-)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I'm signed up to be a 'minion' for Alex Cavanaugh for the A to Z challenge but I don't mind the title because I will be helping him.
But I get your general objection. Bitches is always offensive.

Angela Brown said...

This is probably a matter of perspective. I see minions less as flying monkeys and more like the funny, humorous, dancing minions from that Steve Carroll movie. What is is called? See, I remember the cute, yellow minions but not the movie title. Then again, that could just be my terrible memory lol!!

Now the bitches one? I honestly didn't know anyone was doing that one -_-

Diane Carlisle said...

I think it's a bit egotistical to refer to followers as anything other than "connected viewers". I follow blogs so that the author posts show up in my reader. I never even think of myself as being in a group, whether called "minions" or "bitches".

That definitely would make me remove myself from that particular blog. It's rude and derogatory. I think you might be right, it may be a younger generation thing.

Maria Zannini said...

Susan: Definitely, subjective. Minion just doesn't sound nice to my ear.

And I think it's something people need to consider when they start these things.

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: Are minions those one eyed yellow things? LOL.

But that proves my point about whether something is amusing. Minions are inoffensive in cartoons but not necessarily in real life.

Maria Zannini said...

Diane: I think it's kind of a 'club' thing. Having an appellation makes you part of the gang. It just doesn't work on me.

I'd rather see my readers as people with fascinating back stories. The 'funny' stuff I save for intimate friends--as some of them well know. :)

R. Mac Wheeler said...

Anyone out there who doesn't appreciate the readers who follow them, I would be happy to steal them away.

I need more readers.

:O)

Labels have their place, while they may create a generalization. But who had time for specificity?


I should be writing.

marlenedotterer said...

Oh my gosh, I would never. Maybe it's because I'm old, but what's wrong with treating people with dignity? And Maria, if it IS because we're "old," pity the world.

Maria Zannini said...

Mac: I wouldn't mind if someone labeled me filthy rich and gorgeous. I could get behind that one. :D

Maria Zannini said...

Marlene: I knew the day would come when I would no longer 'fit' with the status quo.

But life is like a pendulum. What seems cool and edgy in one decade comes off looking foolish and faddish in the next.

Darke Conteur said...

So I can't refer to you as one of my 'ho's in da hood'? :P

I have always disliked labels in all aspects of my life. I don't mind 'peeps' or what not, but anything derogatory and I'm outta here.

Maria Zannini said...

Darke: ROTFL! You'll have to buy me dinner first.

Jenny Schwartz said...

It's weird the words that really annoy us. I've actually used "minion" to describe myself when working on a group project. It was my way of underlining that I'd do as I was told, but had no responsibilities and no desire to claim a decision-making role. Minion for me is "tell me what to do and I'll do it". Although with that definition -- yeah, no one had better label me a minion without my say so!

Maria Zannini said...

Jenny: Hence the intimacy requirement. I'll call myself or Greg: minion, slave, drudge, or shop-monkey, but we'd never say that to other people.






Darke Conteur said...

Maria, it's a deal. When you and Greg come to Canada, I'll take you out to Swiss Chalet for chicken and ribs. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Darke: Did I never tell you the story on why we can't go back to Canada? We were stopped for BANK ROBBERY. On our HONEYMOON! LOL.

It's a good thing we were young and unflappable back then. If it happened today I'd probably be a nervous wreck.

It all ended well though. They caught the real bank robbers and they let us go to tell this story.

We will definitely have to go back to Canada someday. If only for another wild story.

Shelley Munro said...

I don't know why but minions make me think of blue or yellow cartoon characters. Bitches - I hate that term used in that manner.

Maria Zannini said...

Shelley: I see a minion as someone who is dull and witless, easily led by others.

I've never seen this movie with the yellow cartoon characters. Maybe my perception would change if I had.

Anne Gallagher said...

I've never called anyone who follows my blog anything other than "friends" because I hate the word follower. Makes me sound like I'm in a cult.

But I do know a few bloggers who refer to their followers as nasty-names-inserted-her. I've unfollowed them because I'm too old to be treated with anything less than common courtesy.

Maria Zannini said...

Anne: I've never been too fond of the word, follower either.

I'm not here to lead, only to share and relate.

Darke Conteur said...

Hehe...well let me know ahead of time and we'll sneak you across the border. :P

Maria Zannini said...

Darke: Knowing you, you'll probably be the reason I land in jail. LOL!

But I'm game. Canada is on my bucket list--when it warm up again.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I have the word bitches. Absolutely loathe it. Same for the the c-word, which I can't even bring myself to type on your classy blog.

I call my followers awesome, and I'm attempting to make them some swag whenever we meet in person.

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: My blog is classy? Aw, shucks.

And you're right. Followers are awesome. They could go anywhere, but they chose to visit you. That makes them aces in my book.

Darke Conteur said...

Maybe so, but you know if we do get arrested. it'll be because we had a DAMN GOOD TIME! :p

Maria Zannini said...

Darke: True! It would be epic!

Mike Keyton said...

I have the answer: myrmidons! More macho than minions :)

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: Troublemaker. ;-)

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Hi Maria

I usually call them friends. As for bitches or minions
I've never used the terms. Sounds distasteful.

Marian Perera said...

I... really didn't know people called their followers bitches, and unless I was on Smart Bitches I wouldn't like that. Maybe even there.

Maria Zannini said...

Suzanne: It's distasteful to my ear too. Humor can miss its mark especially on the internet.

Maria Zannini said...

Marian: You know for a long time I didn't follow that blog because of that. I still think it sounds juvenile, but if they want to call themselves that, that's up to them.

raelynbarclay said...

Minion doesn't bother me as much as it used to because all I see are the adorable minions from Despicable Me :)

I dislike the b word. In fact I stopped following a couple people because of it. I don't know anyone in real life who refers to their friends that way so I'm not sure why it's okay online.

Maria Zannini said...

Raelyn: I guess you have to have school-aged kids to get that reference. LOL. I'm out of that loop.

I come from the old school.

Re: b word
It must be a younger generation thing. Not cool, despite what they think.

LD Masterson said...

At one time I was the head of a department that was downsized to me and one staff member. She dubbed herself my minion. So I dubbed myself the Grand Poobah. It worked for us.

A bitch is a female dog. Period.

Now,to me the word minion conjures up those little yellow guys from the Despicable Me movies and they crack me up, so when I hear the word I'm likely to start giggling.

Maria Zannini said...

Linda: We try to avoid situations where mass quantities of kids congregate so I've never seen that movie.

Minions will always be the evil flying monkeys to me.