Friday, March 15, 2013

Dwimmermount Debacle

I know what it's like to suffer loss. My grandmother had Alzheimer's during the last years of her life. I sat with my grandfather and held his hand as he died and whispered "I love you" after his final stuttering breath.
I know what it's like to be depressed. To wake up every day and see no solutions to my problems, to have no energy, to waste time in front of the TV only to realize the last 12 hours were spent doing nothing.
I don't believe in a god that takes an active role in our lives, and have never bought in to the idea that suffering is a blessing from god, or a trial of faith, so I never had a spiritual outlet that I felt comfortable turning to for support. Prayer can only take you so far until you realize it's just a mantra for meditation. Churches can do nothing for me, and the writings of Thomas Payne and Benjamin Franklin stir more evocative spiritual feelings in me than anything I've ever read in the bible.
I don't have a family either, at least not a supportive one. It sucks growing up as an outsider in school but I was always an outsider in my own home as well. I've never felt like I could trust anybody in my family, not with secrets and not with emotional support, not even my brothers or my parents.

Why do you need to know all of this? Because this is my frame of reference.

Here are the facts as we know them:
  • James Maliszewski hasn't responded to emails from Autarch in three months.
  • James Maliszewski hasn't paid artists for their work on the Dwimmermount project.
  • James Maliszewski wrote a post six weeks ago asking for prayers and compassion.
  • The kickstarter for Dwimmermount raised over $48,000 with over 1,000 backers (www.kickstarter.com/projects/autarch/dwimmermount)
  • Tavis Allison, from Autarch, plans on going to James'es house to meet with him face to face

    Some people think James'es behavior shows that he has taken the money and run.* Maybe not run off, but that he's not going to deliver on his responsibilities. Some people think he's just incapable of dealing with his father's death and has cut off communication unwillingly.

    I don't think James is a thief, but I suspect that there's more to his silence than just grieving. Perhaps he's embarrassed or ashamed of being silent for so long. Perhaps he just doesn't want to touch his computer and has no idea of what is being said about him. Perhaps he's planning on finishing up what he needs to do to complete the Dwimmermount, but he's just putting it off because he knows he's not in the right frame of mind. Who the hell knows? And that's what is so maddeningly frustrating about this situation. Nobody knows what's going on. It's certainly easier to look at it from the outside and think James is keeping the money and never going to finish the project because he has divorced himself from all conversation, he hasn't interacted or spoken up. The only presence he's made known is to tell people how much shock he's been in, and that was six weeks ago.

    The delays have been going on for longer than three weeks, or even three months. The first delay happened last summer. I've been there, I know what that's like when emotions get in the way of work. For myself, as somebody who has lived through stress and depression and tragedy, the hard truth is that somebody has to kick him in the ass and tell him that over a thousand people gave him money to see his vision become a reality, and that should mean something to him. He's had enough time to grieve. Three months without contact? He has time to write a multi-paragraph post about the shock he has been in for months but he doesn't have time to write a three sentence email to Autarch? He doesn't have 5 minutes to send the money he owes to his artists? He can't spare 5 minutes every other week to perhaps write one sentence, 144 characters or less, about what kind of progress he's making on his emotions?

    My sympathy and patience are exhausted upon hearing this news. It sounds like the visit from Tavis might be exactly what James needs to pull himself out of his doldrums. Until Tavis reports back on his visit, I'm of the opinion that the only thing James can do to redeem his behavior (or lack thereof) would be to own up to it and either hand the project off to somebody else or promise to get back to work. Even if work on Dwimmermount wasn't finished for another year, the silence is the part that makes all of the rest of this situation totally unacceptable.





    * Re: Your Dungeon is Suck. I think the criticism written by it's anonymous author is valid more often than not, it's unfortunate they feel they need to hide behind the safety of anonymity to dish out their critique or resort to puerile jokes in order to be heard, but then again, they have more readers than me so what the fuck do I know?