{Feature} Hatchet Burying: The Geek-Men are here to help the community keep the horror on the page.

HATCHET BURYING

Hi. We’re Dustin Schyler Yoak and Bo Chappell, known collectively as the Geek-Men from our podcast, Geek-Men and the Masters of the ThunderNerds.

Or Dadbodded Lion-O and He-Man if that helps.

We’ve been around several years now, had many an up and down experience, but overall, it’s been magical. Never in our wildest dreams did we foresee the overwhelming love and support that we came to experience, and the friendships we’ve made along the way have been priceless. This community is a magical kingdom, and we try not to question how we made it here. We just show our gratitude by reciprocating the love and support back that we’ve received without question.

See, our podcast is about sharing all the things you love without all the hate.

That and beards.

So when we see people trying to dictate and ruin the evening, we get upset. When we see nasty words exchanged, we get upset.

When we see bullying going about due to jealousy, misunderstandings, and difference of opinions, we get REALLY upset.

Like “someone might have to call our parents to come pick us up” upset.

“Someone get the Vice Principal.”

We all share this community. This endless ocean is meant for all of us, and there’s always room. No matter how many ships there are out there, we each can have a harbor. And here above anywhere, “a rising tide raises all our boats.”

And a tsunami of crowdsourced hate reaches all shores.

We’re here to say each of us here has a map to this place. We can help others chart it (which we’re hoping is the case here), but it’s one we ultimately decide how to sail for ourselves.

But that hasn’t been the case lately, and that’s why we’re here. That and the enormous payment we’re getting for writing another article.

What’s that?

Hmm.

Well, that saves us a thousand words.

Remember the “golden rule” our parents and teachers used to repeat over and over?

“Do unto others as you would do unto yourself.”

Each day we interact with people we don’t know in person, but they’re still people. Do we really do unto them the same as ourselves? Heck, even the same as strangers face to face?

Do we even know what that means anymore?

We’ve all been upset to the point we’ve said, done, or thought things we would never, EVER want to receive in return. Things we wish we could take back.

But on an almost daily occurrence, we’ve witnessed people nonchalantly say and do the most horrible things to each other, and leave the exchange for all to see like an epitaph, and for what? Because they don’t really care for Stephen King’s latest nov–

This is what we’re talking about.

Some authors and reviewers think there is this secret, Freemason level set of unspoken rules to this place.

“If this is your first night of Book Club, you HAVE to say which King work is your favorite.”

But the only secret is there isn’t one.

Yep. The only real rule is the one we already talked about. Just like in the normal world, be a decent human being. Why? Because you’re still in the real world…OR ARE YOU?

You are.

That’s it. That’s the real secret to making it here. Just be civil. Have copious amounts of respect, empathy, and love for what we all do. Actually, do what we were taught.

We know, right?

This should all be common sense but somewhere along the way something happened. Either sense became less common, the social disconnect numbed us, and/or in the effort to avoid becoming like our parents, we fled from everything resembling them, including the values we were taught.

Ridiculous?

Perhaps.

We have been given a digital megaphone and soapbox, and we use it too often to blindly tell everyone how to be more like each other. How to do it their way. The “correct way.”

We have decided to be in each other’s lives, and more specifically, come together for the love of storytelling.

No matter what role we play, we’re here to tell stories, spread the word of the ones that speak to us, and help the ones that fall short reach higher. And more importantly, we should be here to better one another’s lives.

We’re not here to tell people what their personal opinions should be or how their ways of accomplishing progress are wrong. We’re not here to bring down those that have more success or takedown anyone because we feel it’s undeserved. We’re certainly not here to kill the spirit of storytelling, which we sincerely feel is what’s happening.

We’re serious here.

We‘ve chosen to talk more than listen, and the stories are being lost in the white noise of it all.

For authors, we owe it to each other to encourage one another, inspire one another, be happy for other’s successes, and to honor a respectful opinion of your work, even if you disagree. To see only competition and opposition speaks more words than any novel you’ll ever write.

For reviewers, you owe it to readers to be honest and sincere, offer constructive criticism, and let your love or dislike for a story be heard but not enforced. To see personal opinions as something that needs correction only informs everyone about the reviewer and not the review.

And for those that do it all. The readers who take the time to write a review, the authors who review in their spare time, and the reviewers who put pen to paper with a story of their own, you owe it to everyone to stay respectful, professional, but never stop being yourself or being afraid to give your opinion. Just do it with respect.

If we want the mudslinging and the negativity to stop, we can’t expect the common-sense rules to apply. We can’t expect the “golden rule” treatment. At least not immediately.

So how can we make it stop? We can’t “make” anyone do anything they don’t want to do, nor should we want that. As the saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”

But you can still lead, right?

To create a positive change, a departure from all the negativity we’ve seen in the community, the only way to do that is to lead by example.

The great Mr. Rogers once told us all that our thoughts and feelings are our own. It’s what we do with those things that matter.

Batman would later master this, alongside Jeet Kune Do and lockpicking.

Don’t believe us? First off, wh…why? Second, here’s this trip through the old neighborhood.

Admit it. You’re super introspective right now.

There’s a clear place to start, and it’s inside you.

So together, let’s create a positive change in the community. Feed into the positivity! The negative posts and the negative people will lose their steam and will naturally fall away. We’ve seen it happen.

There are so many wonderful things about this community, the acceptance, helpfulness, kindness, compassion, talent, and more. Let’s celebrate horrifically wonderful people that share our love of strange and sinister, or ThunderNerdy things.

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done, we all grin in the end.

Find us at: https://mastersofthethundernerds.podbean.com

Or search your favorite media platform such as Spotify, iTunes, and more.

Follow on TWITTER: @ThunderNerdsPod

BO CHAPPELL

Bo Chappell is a writer and artist from South Carolina. When he’s not backflipping across the clouds of his daydreams, Bo (also known as infrafan) is chasing the ideas relentlessly running around his overactive imagination raised on comics, video games, action figures, cartoons, and VHS.

Eventually, his brain came up with the craziest idea to tell its own stories to anyone who wanted to hear them. He has written the survival horror western YEAR 47, his children’s book ONCE YOU GET TO KNOW ME, and is soon to release BY YEAR’S END, an anthology set in the world of YEAR 47. His other works have been seen in The Doctor and I, Dreams of Desolation, Aphotic Realm, and The Grey Rooms Podcast.

You can find Bo on Twitter @infrafan or follow his work on bochappell.wordpress.com or www.yearxlvii.com

DUSTIN SCHYLER YOAK

While travelling across the cosmos, Dustin Schyler Yoak, a writer, editor, and podcaster of little renown among the outlying planets of our solar system, crash-landed in a small suburb of Ohio. Seeing the value of a quaint and quiet lifestyle, he put down roots. In 2017, he graduated with a BFA in Creative Writing receiving high marks from his peers and professors all around. Having successfully infiltrated our culture, he co-founded Aphotic Realm Magazine in 2017 and the podcast, Geek-Men and the Masters of the ThunderNerds the following year in 2018. His latest work, Dead Falls, can be found in the forthcoming, By Years End: a Year 47 Anthology, November 2018.

To this day, Dustin resides at his home in Ohio, hidden among us with his wife and two female offspring, whom he spends his free time mediating arguments and maintaining galactic peace.

To keep up with the latest from Dustin, visit his website, www.dustinschyleryoak.com and follow him on Twitter @DustinSchyler.

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