I'm sure many of you are familiar with the term "suspension of disbelief." In a nutshell, it refers to the willingness on the part of a reader of a book or viewer of a movie (two examples) to enter fully into the experience of the story and essentially ignore reality. Thus, they can fully appreciate the story. For a more detailed explanation/understanding, visit here... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suspensi…
My recent "suspension of disbelief" is of a different variety. A few weeks ago as many of you know I was suspended for two weeks from . This was particularly distressing to me as it had never happened before. While I fully admit to pushing the envelope a bit with some of my photos I have ALWAYS posted work that was not only within the limits of the dreaded Terms of Service (TOS) but wasn't any different (or as explicit) as dozens of other images I have seen here on the website.
The suspension came after an incident where I posted an image that was deemed too explicit and was removed by the nameless, hidden powers-that-be here on dA. Point taken, I dipped back into my archive and found a similarly framed image (I often shoot multiples of the same pose) that was within the guidelines and did not violate anything they claimed the previous image did. I posted the new image with an explanation. Within a few hours the second image was deleted and my account suspended for violating the policy of re-posting an image that had previously been deleted (not the case, even remotely). To say the least, I was furious.
All entreaties to get an explanation, re-evaluation or exoneration were ignored. In fact, after my initial inquiries someone went into my suspended account and deleted more images as policy violations. Seriously? So the policy is "If you call us out we'll just punish you further"? And this is my BIGGEST problem with dA - there is no process, no actual recourse for addressing issues like this. You are at the extremely subjective mercy of those nameless, hidden admins who clearly enjoy their little power trips. So I waited out my wrist slapping "go stand in the corner" punishment. This was indeed my suspension of disbelief.
During that time I made some decisions. And I realize this will sound like so much sour grapes. But this was sort of the final nail in the coffin in terms of things I've been considering for a few years. Those decisions include:
1. I will no longer have a "premium" account on dA. I'm not making money from them - why should my wonderful, supportive friend waste hers with her always appreciated gift of membership?
2. I'm leaving most of the groups I have been a part of. The notable exceptions are and (of which I am an admin - yes, one of those, although I always directly respond to anyone I refuse a work from).
3. I will be clearing my gallery. Not of EVERYTHING, but a lot. I will leave things that have been popular and will create some new folders of "Fan Favorites," "Personal Faves," etc.
4. I will be posting much less
I am looking to do more somewhere else - perhaps tumblr (where there are less restrictions and where I already have a somewhat dormant account) or elsewhere. But rest assured things will keep happening, photos will continue to be taken, and I will continue to explore ideas of beauty and art that go against cultural norms.