Saturday, January 31, 2015

Living Tombstone and ShadyVox dishonor their and my charity commitment

--- Main part ---
--- Skype chat logs for Galacon charity song collab project ---
--- UPDATE 2015-02-02 ---
--- UPDATE re 2015-02-04 ---
--- UPDATE 2015-02-05 ---

--- UPDATE 2015-02-20 ---  
--- UPDATE 2015-03-31 ---
--- UPDATE 2015-11-06 ---

--- Main part ---

On Sunday, August 3rd 2014, Galacon had a charity auction, and one thing that was auctioned was a song collab with The Living Tombstone and ShadyVox.

You can watch the auction, listen to each word that was being said here:
GalaCon 2014 - Charity Auction and Closing Ceremony

To sum up, they offered that they would personally work with the winner closely, to make sure the song is exactly the way they want, and that it could be about anything they wanted. Examples were named, including personal events like weddings and such. They further raised its appeal by claiming that this was a unique opportunity, something they would not do again, or at least not in the forseeable future.

So I won with a bid of 670 EUR and words of appreciation and respect were spoken, and of course this also benefitted the image of Tomb and Shady. Hell, I myself bid in part because I found the idea awesome.
Later I would be reminded again that talk is cheap and that actions speak louder than words.

So then I fulfilled the main part of my side of the commitment by donating the promised 670 EUR to charity right there during the charity event.
We got in touch on Skype, I mentioned that I'd like it to be ballad-ish about parts of my life experience and that it could be quite a bit of text, and they said I should just write it all down and send it to them.
Now, since it involved painful episodes of my life, it wasn't very easily, and I was glad when I had managed to finish writing it down, only days later.
I also provided information on the type of song, average length, sound style, structure, progression, intention behind it etc. I even provided ideas for a possible animated cover picture in case, as Shady considered, JanAnimations might be willing to do it.
There was little additional information regarding the song that I had to add later, not only because it was not requested, but because it was such a good package that Tomb exclaimed it would cover the major part of pre-production. I DID provide some song examples for sound and style later, on my own impulse.

When they got the text, which is something a slow and thorough reader can read in less than 30 minutes, they asked whether I can make it shorter. I properly explained how that would be difficult, not only because of the effort I already put into writing it, but also because I didn't want to take anything out that might be useful for making the lyrics. After all, you need to be familiar with a topic in order to properly make meaningful (i.e. non-generic) lyrics about it. And since Shady had made a very meaningful, emotional song about his past experiences with bullying in school, I didn't see why this should be anything unreasonable.
So I didn't hear any objections after that. The whole theme of the communication that followed was pretty much zero energy coming from them, tumbleweed. Always me quasi-reviving the dialogue with encouragement, inquiries, ideas, support, optimism, enthusiasm. This extreme disparity of commitment built up over time. Yet, since the success of the project was very important to me, I didn't want to rush/push an artistic process. I allowed them the personal responsibility to allocate the time for working on the project. In retrospect, just another leniency from me that wasn't appreciated at all. The whole thing reeks of utter disregard for me, my contribution and the project. Apparently my kindness was mistaken for an invitation to exploit it for their own convenience.
Just how much disrespect and total lack of any empathy or caring for others there is is shown by the fact that virtually the very first paragraph of my text for the lyrics included mention that I myself had been bullied in school. This is either borderline sociopathic or they didn't even bother reading the first paragraph. Or maybe they did read it and the text made them gain an uncomfortable level of self-awareness. Whatever it is, it's fucked up.

Talking about milestone events in project communication, if you can even call them that:
Three months after the start of the project I asked Tomb about the progress and he just promised me it would be done and that he just needs a bit more time. So... again no objections to any details of the project so far. And since I believed just that, I was, again, lenient. I assumed it was not finished, not that it wouldn't even have been started.
Then, two additional months later, recently, I was beginning to recognize this as something I have encountered before. Something that is either amazing tragic irony or something that is a factor in all this, in case they actually did read the text and are pretending to not have. Because parts of the experiences I describe in that text are pretty much the same crap that they are now doing. Refusing to take personal responsibility for their freely made commitments, and - more generally - themes of immaturity.

You might also know that on Saturday 23rd of August 2014, at BUCK in Manchester, Tombstone offered yet another song collab (with Glaze/Wooden Toaster) at the charity auction there. The auction event went much more speedy in general, so they also kept their offer very simple (basically: You can name the topic of the next song we're making), thus it didn't yield as much donation either AFAIR. That would maybe have been a little more ambiguous compared to what they offered at Galacon.
The official video footage for that charity event doesn't seem to be out yet. But apparently that collab song isn't out yet either.
But this is one more contributing factor that shows how they have no problem to outright lie/bullshit, to not consider their word to be of any binding relevance. When I witnessed them doing that, it of course made my brows furl quite a bit, but being a good sport (or maybe just too forgiving as the facts of the situation now show), because I still considered it a great idea, I let that slip and didn't even poke their nose onto it, because I wanted to keep the good spirit up.
Another thing that adds to the list of clues is that I met Tombstone at BUCK, one month after the charity collab. I bumped a balloon on his head, smiled and said Hi. He punched my ballon away, a face like stone, didn't say a word and left for the restrooms. Minutes later he came out and on him passing me swiftly I had to approach him again to ask whether he had even recognized me. He claimed yes and told me I shouldn't worry, they'd be doing the collab song. And that was our communication at BUCK. Treated like a faceless customer or even a nuisance, absolutely zero emotion.
Also, some time later, in one of Shady's livestreams, where I was in the chat as me, Dowlphin, when he was answering questions, I playfully asked whether he's currently working on any song collab project with someone. And he simply said "No" and that was it, without any indication of knowing what I mean or even knowing me. Like he had totally forgotten there even was such a thing as the charity collab.

For more details, especially towards what I consider the death blow of the project, and so that there is no doubt about the details of it for those who are still in a state of disbelief but want to know the truth, I will show you, with occasional commenting by me, the Skype logs about the project, mostly from the main Skype group we used once the project was 'going'. There's more incredible stuff in there than what I have mentioned so far, and it will give you a very good idea of how exactly the project went, because the Skype chat is all the communication that happened in it.

Communicating what has happened here is the only way I can still make some sense of it. As you can learn from the logs (and you should really take the time to read them, especially towards the end, if you want to have an educated opinion on this), I was driven to this course of action because all my hope for this project to finish in a decent manner were destroyed. You cannot make a sincere and meaningful collab project with people who are so full of shit. I wouldn't even allow them to continue working on it, because it would be a huge disgrace, especially considering how I entrusted them with telling a personal story about my life, and considering that all this is supposed to be in the context of charity for a humanistic cause.

It's not like you can just deny what has happend and mend this. Like "Oh sorry, we accidentally didn't give a shit. Now if you could just finally accept our bullshit so that we can continue the same way as we have."

I had to make a choice between several ugly alternatives, and I decided to choose the one where I didn't have to sacrifice my self-esteem in order to pamper some jerks' arrogant egotism.
And I hate it that my sense of generosity and trust took a massive hit by association with this very painful experience.

--- Skype chat logs for Galacon charity song collab project ---

Some project-irrelevant parts (mostly giving general music feedback or other inspirational thought) omitted for your reading convenience.
Some parts ((REMOVED)) in order to protect ideas or unrelated people.
Personal and group chat merged in chronological order, with a (Y) indicating personal chat with Tombstone and (B) with Shady.
Comments are marked with (!)(!).

(B)[2014-08-07 15:09:34] Dowlphin: Hi Blake, I'd like to add you as a contact.
(B)[2014-08-07 19:10:44] Blake: Yoooo.
(B)[2014-08-07 19:11:09] Dowlphin: Hay! ... I again made the mistake and trust that software works. ^^
(Y)[2014-08-07 15:16:21] Dowlphin: Hi Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone), I'd like to add you as a contact.
(Y)[2014-08-07 19:21:32] *** Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone) has shared contact details with Dowlphin. ***

(B)[2014-08-08 12:02:12] *** Dowlphin created a group conversation with Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone).
Show group conversation ***
[2014-08-08 12:02:12] *** Dowlphin added Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone), Blake ***
[2014-08-08 12:02:52] Dowlphin: I surprised myself again. ...
I'm gonna attend BUCK. :D
[2014-08-08 12:04:39] Dowlphin: Was lying in bed, thinking, and realized it. Couldn't sleep due to my coughing and that might have helped getting one of the few remaining quick flights.
I guess you are intending the deadline for the song being "before BUCK"? :)
[2014-08-08 12:08:40] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): no no, lol, no need to rush the song
[2014-08-08 12:13:16] Dowlphin: Would be cool though. ^^ In any case, I'll try to get my story completed today.
[2014-08-08 13:39:18] Dowlphin: ~75% done
[2014-08-08 13:41:07] Dowlphin: You will know me so well after you've read that. ^^ But I don't feel like holding anything back. Especially not among awesome bronies. Sharing our stories can help others.
[2014-08-08 17:21:55] Dowlphin: 100% completed - PHEW! ... I will not go over it and check whether I can improve things, haha, I already started doing that and I gotta stop. I can always answer questions later, but this is definitely plenty of material. I'm sending the mail now. :)
[2014-08-08 19:08:51] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): that's a HUGE paragraph dude!
[2014-08-08 19:08:58] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): will take time to digest through it lol
[2014-08-08 19:11:04] Dowlphin: Yeah, just let it sink in gradually. Np.
[2014-08-08 19:12:06] Dowlphin: I'd assume that's definitely the greatest challenge. To make lyrics out of that that sound good and at the same time aren't too abstract to become generic.

[2014-08-09 17:27:22 | Edited 17:28:35] Dowlphin: I was nuts when I even imagined the possibility of the song being finished in two weeks. It's supposed to be a fun collab with a special outcome after all. I momentarily forgot that I'm at least as excited about the process as about the result. ^^
BUT these things still have their purpose. It helped me make the decision to attend BUCK. Fooling myself sometimes is the only means I have for making a good decision, haha.

[2014-08-10 13:09:28] Dowlphin: Blake?
The written stuff so far might provide not as much for the later phases of the song as for the first one, but it's easier for me to add that to an existing rough lyrics construct, or by answering questions if you need more or other material at some points. That's when I'm at my best.
[2014-08-10 23:31:21] Dowlphin: Maybe I can contribute certain own vocal snippets to the project later. Right now I'm still battling with the remains of a cold, so I'm a little horse. ... Hah! :D

(Y)[2014-08-11 20:07:57] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): in regards to the collab between you and Shady, is it possible that you can give a much more summerized version of your post? that way Shady can write lyrics more easily
(Y)[2014-08-11 20:08:15] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): and post it in either the skype chat or email us
(Y)[2014-08-11 20:20:25] Dowlphin: Phew. Since I don't usually write lyrics from scratch, it's difficult for me to know which elements are useful and which are not. (The essence, the story milestones)
I guess it was more meant as a kind of inspiration-giver, not necessarily like a pure analytical process. It might make more sense if Blake just did a kind of brainstorming based on it, or maybe write his own view. Should it be very abstract, that might not generally be bad, because it can become poetic. If I have something to work with, I can easily direct things in this-or-that direction and come up with more ideas to enrich it. The more drafts and random ideas and snippets and all that stuff you give me, the better. Same for the musical part. Feel free to send me various stuff and I tell you what I think.Without knowing a thing about what you have come up with so far, I cannot sync up to it.
Not sure how much that deviates from your usual workflow, but as a kind of right-brain-hemi artistic process it can be like a lump of clay that is then shaped continuously. More like discovering how it flows instead of trying to force it into a rigid mold.
Is that helpful? :-/
(Y)[2014-08-11 20:24:47] Dowlphin: In case you're still figuring out the musical style or such, I plan to go through all the videos on your channel, so I could write down notes about them and maybe help you with the direction I have in mind. ( Not that I have a concrete idea at this point, but when I hear it, I will know it. ;) )
(Y)[2014-08-11 20:29:05] Dowlphin: You've heard of how the more neurons in the brain are connected to each other and the more they exchange information, the bigger the tasks the brain can accomplish? ... It works on a bigger scale, too. :)
[2014-08-11 20:31:05] Dowlphin: Blake?
[2014-08-11 20:32:21] Dowlphin: Imagine you've read a book and made lyrics about that book's story. It works, right? Despite that book being a HUGE story.
[2014-08-11 20:34:34] Dowlphin: (Did Tomb forward you the Skype convo?)
[2014-08-11 20:50:29] Dowlphin: And of course you can always ask me questions if you're unsure about something. When I'm online, I'm available most of the time.
(Y)[2014-08-11 20:51:38] Dowlphin: (Wondering whether Blake receives the messages from the group chat. Considering Skype made trouble with the add requests, I better ask to make sure.)

(Y)[2014-08-12 14:39:49 | Edited 14:51:50] Dowlphin: Funny timing. Glaze's Energy Sway contains various style elements that I imagined for the charity collab song. The beat is great and fun, the tune has a good amount of flow, tempo is nice etc.
(Y)[2014-08-12 15:11:11] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): I might just take elements, but I find the song very lacking though
(Y)[2014-08-12 15:14:27] Dowlphin: High standards. I like it. :)  Personally, it gave me ideas for slight melody improvements at one point.
[2014-08-12 15:38:20] Dowlphin: Tomd, did you ever experiment with chiptunes? ... I had this idea that, if it fits in, there could be subtle chiptuney sounds somewhere in the segment where it reflects my gaming passion.
(Might be easier to figure that out at a later point. Just wanted to throw the idea into the bowl.)

[2014-08-13 21:07:06] Dowlphin: This collab's been very quiet lately. I'd like to contribute more, but I hardly know what's happening. Risking to appear pushy, I better keep asking, because this might be something I've seen before, and if so, it needs an organisational and communications expert. Which I kinda am. ... I didn't tell you everything, you know. ;-D
[2014-08-13 21:07:59 | Edited 21:10:02] Dowlphin: Blake, bloke, gimme a beep. I'll crack a joke and it'll be deep.

[2014-08-14 11:02:19] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): okay, I'll soon start working on the instrumental for the song
[2014-08-14 11:02:29] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): I'll base it on what you Dowlphin gave me as a reference point
[2014-08-14 14:54:58] Dowlphin: What musical styles do you plan to use? Lots of synth I hope. :)
[2014-08-14 16:26:21] Dowlphin: I finished my basic concept for a cover picture and wrote down some notes about it. (This idea, too, might evolve along the development of the song. Feel free to tell me your ideas and other input about it.) I'll mail it to you.
[2014-08-14 16:26:36] Dowlphin: PSD format alright?
[2014-08-14 16:42:22] Dowlphin: (sent)
(Y)[2014-08-14 23:00:30] Dowlphin: I've watched a couple of your older vlog-like videos now. You mentioned several times how all kinds of input from people gives you the motivation to make more stuff. ... So you know the feeling I have pretty much all the time.

[2014-08-15 00:43:28] Dowlphin: I got so many brief ideas for the lyrics. I guess once I see a first draft, I will know how well I can fit them into it. I think the lyrics will really benefit greatly from some creative ping-pong.
[2014-08-15 14:16:53 | Edited 14:18:07] Dowlphin: Two more thoughts I had regarding the lyrics.
1) Blake, maybe this helps with the creative process: If you had made experiences in your life like I wrote of, how would you sing about it? How would you feel?
2) I am thinking a lot about whether 1st person or 3rd person would sound better, and had the idea that maybe it could alternate, following changes in the music. Like: First experience in 3rd person, then reaction in 1st person, repeating several times, culminating in a kind of progression.

[2014-08-16 11:58:00] Dowlphin: Got a quiet house for a few hours. Wanted to record some special voice samples. ... Darn, my voice worked so much better during Galacon.
[2014-08-16 11:59:40] Dowlphin: Got something that might sound alright when embedded in music though, but will have to see at a later point whether it fits somewhere.
[2014-08-16 12:04:08] Dowlphin: I guess we COULD use pony samples for this song, but once you start, it's difficult to stop, haha. .. Hm, maybe that's not really a problem. ^^ Some ((RREMOVED)) at the 2nd and 3rd segment might fit quite well. I'll experiment with that when the time comes.
[2014-08-16 13:49:47 | Edited 13:49:55] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): lol, don't get overworked, I need to make the instrumental first, so wait on that
[2014-08-16 13:49:51] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): I gotta finish some stuff first
[2014-08-16 13:54:02] Dowlphin: Np, I'm just bubbling with ideas and enthusiasm. No risk of overworking when this stuff fills me with life.
[2014-08-16 22:39:19] Dowlphin: May I call you Yay and Silent Bloke? :D

(B)[2014-08-18 19:49:30] Dowlphin: Blake, could you please tell me whether you are so silent collab-wise because you're just very busy or whether something is bothering you? As you might have realized from my life story, it kinda makes me feel uneasy when people don't communicate, and then I have sleepless nights wondering what's up. So instead of acting based on any assumptions, all I really can do is ask directly.
(B)[2014-08-18 19:51:19] Blake: Hey dude. Yeah, I'm pretty quiet when it comes to workload. I've read everything you've written though, don't worry.
(B)[2014-08-18 19:53:07] Dowlphin: Thank you. :) Looking forward to building those lyrics bit by bit until they're fun and awesome. :)

[2014-08-26 16:56:17] Dowlphin: Would you guys be so kind and help me spread the message?

[2014-08-27 19:31:33] Dowlphin: If you have hesitations regarding a retweet or such, please tell me. It is so very important to me, and I can't explain it in a few words.
[2014-08-27 19:33:37] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): I'll retweet, sorry, it's just that I am very busy and I am also working to get this collab down
[2014-08-27 19:35:15] Dowlphin: Yay! :) I understand. Don't pressure yourself too much. There's no deadline for this project.
But a click a day on that vote button would mean a lot. I already exhausted all my means and sources, and seeing as currently there is only one person who is voting for my art is kinda hard to bear. :-/

[2014-09-10 11:21:48] Dowlphin: Tomb, remember when I linked you that ((REMOVED)) as inspiration for the mood of the later parts of the collab song?
I'll simply link this and let you absorb it. That tune totally makes me come alive. ^^
[2014-09-10 11:22:45] Dowlphin: Dunno, maybe there's something in it that vibes with you, that you'd like to integrate or build on.
[2014-09-10 11:24:27 | Edited 11:24:56] Dowlphin: I guess mood-wise that would be my idea for the third segment, ((REMOVED))

(B)[2014-10-04 01:59:27 | Edited 02:12:32] Dowlphin: LOL, man, you gave me another fun idea for the collab song. We need to incorporate ((REMOVED))

[2014-10-09 02:55:28] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): bbbbbump
[2014-10-09 02:55:36] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): will start producing the instrumental soon
[2014-10-09 03:45:52] Dowlphin: Grrrrrreat!

[2014-11-07 02:11:49] Dowlphin: How's the collab song coming along? Do you feel like any input/inspiration would help? Or would you like to share some thoughts about it? Tomb, would you prefer more pressure? ^^
[2014-11-07 02:26:59] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): it'll happennnnn
[2014-11-07 02:27:18] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): just give me a bit more time
[2014-11-07 02:27:32] Dowlphin: You know you have it. :)
[2014-11-07 02:30:13] Dowlphin: Send me some snippets for listening when it's coherent. Maybe I can give more input/inspiration/critique.
Not sure how your brain works, but for me, it's always more motivating when there are other people caring and sending energy into a project.
[2014-11-07 02:30:46] Dowlphin: Feels more alive, you know.
[2014-11-07 02:35:43] Dowlphin: Gonna need some flammable lyrics to ignite the spark for the phase 3 part. ^^ Kind of in a 'Nightmare Mood' lately.
[2014-11-07 02:38:33] Dowlphin: BTW it's totally obvious that you're a Rarity, haha.
(Y)[2014-11-07 03:11:11] Dowlphin: I read your tweets. ... When you say pushing yourself, do you just mean against the inner slacker? I'm hesistant to put you under any pressure, because I guess I'm judging from myself (which is probably a mistake) - when I push myself hard, I lose the passion, the magic that makes things awesome. But you are not a Pinkie Pie, you are a Rarity. I guess it works differently for you.

(B)[2014-12-12 22:24:40] Dowlphin: Happy Birthday, Blake!
Are you gonna do a celebratory livestream then? :)
(B)[2014-12-12 22:27:47] Blake: I'm streaming in 2 and a half hours!
(B)[2014-12-12 22:29:27] Dowlphin: I saw. Highlight of my day. (So much stuff to deal with lately.) Will be there.

(Y)[2015-01-20 16:25:41] Dowlphin: Status of the collab song?
(Y)[2015-01-20 16:26:48] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): really slow, we should bump the group chat

[2015-01-20 16:27:00] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): bump
(Y)[2015-01-20 16:27:18] Dowlphin: Is the pro crastinating? ^^
[2015-01-20 16:28:19] Dowlphin: You know, if you need some 'energy input', I'm your man. When there's something to listen to, I might have ideas.
[2015-01-20 16:30:02] Dowlphin: Blake could even give me a piece of crap of a lyrics draft and I can do much more with that than with nothing. Building lyrics from scratch about a theme that caused me pain is not something I can do. So we'll have to build them from sratch 21. ^^

(!)(!) So amazingly lenient to the point of exaggerating for the sake of the project have I been that I said stuff like that. In reality, after so much time passed I'd have expected better than a piece of crap lyrics.

[2015-01-20 16:31:12] Dowlphin: Hey, wouldn't that be a good song title for you, Blake? "Building from Scratch 21".
[2015-01-20 16:35:59] Dowlphin: Yoav, you still have the songs I mentioned in mind? If you're out of ideas, just take ((REMOVED), kinda throw their style together and add your own. Experiment. You're good with remixing, so if you start with a mix of those three components and then just evolve from there, it might help. (The result would probably be most like the third phase of the song, ((REMOVED)), but it should be possible to morph it backwards ((REMOVED))
[2015-01-20 16:37:51] Dowlphin: Building the core spirit first, so to speak. I remember, at BUCK 2013 you gave me the advice to decide what's at the core, the most important thing, and then build the rest around it.
(Y)[2015-01-20 16:43:24] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): just really busy

(!)(!) And here it comes...

[2015-01-20 17:03:45] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): Alright, how about we'll simplify things
[2015-01-20 17:04:05 | Edited 17:04:12] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): give me, in a short summery, what you want the song to be about, and how you want it to sound
[2015-01-20 17:04:30] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): be specific
[2015-01-20 17:04:38] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): otherwise this project won't go anywhere
[2015-01-20 17:06:15 | Edited 17:06:27] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): both me and Shady won't have time to make your song if you can't specify what you want

(!)(!) Like I didn't specify the hell out of it. Did he wipe his ass with the project notes?

[2015-01-20 17:07:17] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): so from now on, if you talk to any of us, even on twitter, then it has to be on the song

(!)(!) Suddenly this blame tone, like I'm being unreasonable.

[2015-01-20 17:08:01] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): otherwise, even thanks to your generous donation, we'll have to shut the project down, you understand?
[2015-01-20 17:08:28] Dowlphin: Uh, I did specify quite a lot of things. What's missing? What's not the way you need it?
[2015-01-20 17:09:01] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): You sent an entire email describing your life time of experiences, we need a short summary, it's not that hard

(!)(!) Yeah, because a "short summary" (that's totally ridiculous for the source material) enables them to continue not caring and just making some generic lyrics to their lazy liking.

[2015-01-20 17:09:40] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): Sorry that I am like this now, I am getting increasingly busy over time, even more than after Galaacon
[2015-01-20 17:09:46] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): every second counts here

(!)(!) Did he just say that?!

[2015-01-20 17:12:32] Dowlphin: Yeah, but do you acknowledge that that's not my fault? Things take time, and commitments need to be fulfilled. I accepted that you have stuff to do, that's why I didn't push and allowed you to find the time that suits you personally. But a lot of time has passed now. You have to honor my side of the commitment. That's only fair.
[2015-01-20 17:13:21] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): okay fine, but let's start over, give me a short summary
[2015-01-20 17:13:36] Dowlphin: As for the lyrics, that's mostly Blake's part, and since he did write lyrics about his own painful life experiences, it should be possible to extract the core for the lyrics. His story is complex, too, yet the song conveys an essence.
[2015-01-20 17:13:54] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): No no no, give me a short summary
[2015-01-20 17:15:00] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): It's true that Blake writes the lyrics, but even I read the email and I had a hard time to follow what was written

(!)(!) Yeah, because you couldn't be arsed to care enough to make an effort. In the following I was again doing my best to try and ignore the arrogant tone and be constructive.

[2015-01-20 17:15:10] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): we're making a song here, not a novel
[2015-01-20 17:41:26 | Edited 17:46:35] Dowlphin: You can write a song about a novel. (Not implying that my notes are. They are more like essay-length.) You don't have to remember every word for that. You want to write lyrics about a poem?
I mean, I could write it shorter, but then there'd probably be much more adjustment needed, about the core of it, since you'd actually have to add stuff instead of just discarding the irrelevant. (?)
Maybe I'm looking at this way more like an artist than a craftsman.
Fact is that it took you a long time to actually talk about the real issues, that I was inquiring about all the time. You didn't want to open up. I get that a lot. And that could also be why it's so difficult for you in its current form. Please do some reflecting about your inner resistance out of frustration over being busy and such. Also about what busies you and how much work you put in your songs, the whole process from idea to finish. And share if possible. Those things are the root cause for so much friction. I've got lots of expertise in that area, so please just trust me when I say: Investing some more time at the start saves lots of time later. I do notice what's going on and keep making efforts for others.
So, about my side: In theory I could try to rewrite the stuff I wrote down, which would be double effort AND with lots of time of not much happening in-between, and could try if it's unavoidable, but I myself have stuff requiring that energy, too. Lately I'm working on making things (including this) easier, visiting doctors, therapists and all, changing my approach (again), so that's where my focus is and that's why I even had the energy to revive the dialogue here. I've put tons of effort into things others wanted easy, so that's why I am struggling.
Please speak from your heart. We can do this.
And while I realize this is not a regular commission, but an agreement of several parties to make a charity contribution of some kind... again ... please honor the commitment I have made.
It is quite alright that this is, as you said, unique, special, something you won't be doing again, (probbably because you had an idea of what it entails) but that should make it easier to accomplish, not harder. Personal responsibility is the theme.
I'm always doing what I can, and try to become able to do more.
Tell me your thoughts after this and maybe then we can all go the extra mile.
[2015-01-20 17:53:42] Dowlphin: "every second counts" is actually the problem here, and I can even help people solve such problems, but the dilemma is that that takes quite a lot of seconds.
[2015-01-20 18:00:50 | Edited 18:01:26] Dowlphin: BTW I don't want to badmouth anyone, just mentioning this here (never before) because it might help put things into perspective: ((REMOVED)) So please don't think you got some hardship that you don't deserve. It's all relative. But the art is to grow with the challenge.
Or maybe you would have preferred that I had ((REMOVED))?
[2015-01-20 18:09:09] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): Dude, just write, simply, what do you want the song to be about, no need to write a lot
[2015-01-20 18:46:52] Dowlphin: But that's generic. Not like '...Your wedding... etc.'. I just go by what was said at the auction. Did you ever review the video of it just to make sure you know how you presented your contribution?
Your collab offer at BUCK 2014 with Glaze was different, I noticed that, and thus, it also didn't go as high in bids. Equivalency.
Maybe you got carried away without noticing it? But that's how it went.
Even if I hadn't bid at Galacon, I wouldn't have bid for the Glaze collab. Because it was significantly different. That's probably how you want it to be done, but when you realize the two are not the same type of offer, you might understand my position.
Take this analogy: You made the FNAF title song. Did you actually play the game? Of course, right? How much time did you dedicate to that in order to be able to write a song worthy of it? You need to have an understanding of what it is you're working with, right?
I'm getting so much a TL;DR vibe here. Like "Meh, this isn't what I like to do. This should just be a random project on the side, this is not about me." Where is the heart? The empathy? Where is the meaning in all this?
This is probably one of the things that pains me so. I keep facing hardships because it's the right thing to do, bettering myself, and seeing all around me people just 'doing their thing'.

I'm gonna need some time to see what I can do with the text basis, but what you could do on your side is check my writings again, with a different mindset than "I have no time for this". Things can look very different then.
Because what I also encounter a lot is that people say they have no time, but not realizing how much of that is their own choice. It's like when in an MMO someone goes: "You got so much gold, you should share some of it with me, because I got none.", but what they don't say is that they got none because they keep buying fancy stuff for themselves, not considering the austerity the other person has practiced.

I'm gradually trying to change that approach, and the 670 € are part of that move away from austerity. In my youth I was scolded for being an egoist. Then I became the opposite and it only hurt me. ... Fun fact: This is probably all conveyed in the stuff I wrote. It provides context, and my hope is that finally someone else might actually care as much as about their own hardships. Because otherwise I have to stop caring for others, too, and that hurts everybody.
It's rarely me who gives up.

(!)(!) I took half a day to process everything that had happened lately and finally realized what had been going on, with tons of puzzle pieces falling into place. I realized that being nice is not working.

[2015-01-21 10:13:27] Dowlphin: I am not the impulsive type, I tend to think things through thoroughly, and I really see a need to recap the situation in clarity here, and especially you, Yoav, I want to remind that you mentioned on a panel that you at some point realized you had become arrogant due to your success and had to catch yourself. Beware of relapse.

Here is the impertinence you have shown:
I did my part of the commitment, the considerable donation, right there, and provided all the information you could need for lyrics-building within days, in a text that can be read in its full in less than 30 minutes if you're reading it slowly and thoroughly (that's way less than a TV show episode), and after more than five months(!) you don't even have a rough musical part to show? (I didn't push you, Blake, because I know your EP kept you relatively busy in the last months and respected that.) Still, then you say you don't really have the time (for what? making a lyrics outline from that text and some music) and that you will call it off if I don't chew your food for you. You say I should not talk to you, even on Twitter, if it's not project-related (like it's an insult to even pay attention to you, like you now decide how to spend MY time), while I gave you the attention and caring like so many others you claim you are grateful to; I even was there during live streams because you are not irrelevant to me, because I am interested in learning about your hardships and life in general. Something that doesn't seem to be worth anything when coming from someone you still have an open commitment to that you try to find ridiculous excuses for and shoved completely to the side, not worth more than a "it'll happen, just give me a bit more time" two months ago, so that I, again, was the one who had to bring it up, since there's nothing coming from you.
Do you WANT to ruin the good spirit of the project? I'm sure it would seem really convenient to you if you didn't have to deal with it at all. But don't be a fool. That's your subconscious weaker self taking over there. Pretty much the whole time you made me feel as if I was the one ASKING for charity here, not the one you promised to 'personally work with closely, in order to make sure they get exactly the song they want.'
If I gave you a much shortened version of the notes, as I see it, you might be tempted to not honor that either and just approach it like: 'We got lyrics, take them or leave them, we don't have time for more.'
The second-class style in which you've treated this project and the statements you made as clear pointers for the real problem here made me lose all confidence in seeing anything else as end product.
I was being generous for a good cause, and your side of the contribution doesn't seem very dedicated to honor that in the same way. If you haven't realized it yourself yet, but your words "every second counts here" is definitely not a sign of a healthy situation. Do you even listen to yourself when you say stuff like that?

So let me direct your words back at you: Only talk to me again when you have done some introspection about your behavior and see how improper and unfair your treatment of this project was and is. And don't call yourself a professional again unless you can act like one instead of finding excuses and confusing your priorities.
By the way, offering another "unique" collab for charity at BUCK 2014 despite what you said at Galacon (which I accepted because of the good idea and because I am not petty) doesn't help your reasoning of being oh-so busy either. Don't commit to stuff if you're not willing to commit.

I could have had a leadership position in the industry by now if I hadn't continuously made an effort in the interest of others and in turn being let down by them. So let me tell you: Being busy and making an effort can be two very different things. It is always relatively easy to do what you love to do. But the real test of character comes when you are supposed to do what is right; what needs to be done. Then your priorities are put to the test.
This will either make a sharp upturn when you start to take it seriously and as an opportunity to mature-up character-wise, or it will stick with you for a long time. Do you want to keep making an effort or do you want to join the many other musicians who had more success than what is healthy for them?
[15:48:19] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): [10:13] Dowlphin:

<<< Yoav, I want to remind that you mentioned on a panel that you at some point realized you had become arrogant due to your success and had to catch yourself. Beware of relapse....

(!)(!) Why I wonder, of all I wrote, did he quote specifically this piece. Well, maybe as intro to another sample of his arrogance in the form of an idiotic rhetorical question:

[15:48:41] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): Do you want a song to be done, or not?
[15:48:50] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): just a yes or no question
[15:51:29] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): and consider here that Blake is no more busy than I am, and yet I myself am finding the time to read all you write and respond

(!)(!) Wow, how generous of His Lordship. ... Here's a radical idea: How about spending all that time on the project instead? Then you wouldn't have to read all this in the first place!

[15:51:53] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): what you write isn't a waste of time to us, but it is a waste of time for the collab song to be done

(!)(!) That doesn't even make sense ... unless you consider that they had totally made up their mind about the time requirement for the project (spoiler: minimum), because then they'd be like: "This is all coming off of your time", like a frickin school teacher.

(!)(!) And here comes some of his personal phantasy world bullshit. As long as he tells himself this crap, he can refuse to care about the facts.

[15:52:25] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): which is why I am trying to help, since this COULD be an amazing collab song between all 3 of us

[15:52:52] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): So please, one last time, write, a short summary of what you want the song to be about and how it'll sound,  EVEN if you wrote it before

(!)(!) How it sounds?! ... I'm pretty convinced now that he DID wipe his ass with the project notes. ... No wait, that would imply that he gave a shit. ... OK, so he just didn't bother to keep them, because whatever, he got important stuff to do.

[15:54:16] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): If you one more time rant about other things other than the collab song here, I'm sorry but I'll quit the collab

(!)(!) What an asshole.


After Horse News published an article about the issue
Totally insane man who paid over $750 for charity song, expects it to be finished in 5 months )
it went further downhill. Tombstone tweeted:

"@HorseNewsMLP I have so much respect to @Dowlphin to donate to charity and feel bad that we still haven't fully started, hope it'll happen"

So much respect. So much. How much exactly? Apparently zero, judging by his actions and not his words, which are as hollow as the facade of friendliness of a Japanese girl in the service industry. He feels bad. Well, that's a nice corporate bullshit style way to wiggle out of actually admitting any guilt. And then he hopes it'll happen. Like it's totally out of his hands, passive-agressively blaming me for not putting up with their crap anymore.

After that tweet and me blocking them on Skype because I can't stand this borderline-creepy display of falseness anymore, guess what heartfelt and conciliatory thing appeared on the project group chat:

Yoav 2015-01-29 "So, any news about that?"
Yoav 2015-01-31 "Hello?"

It doesn't take a sensitive person to realize that something is stone cold and hopeless here.

--- UPDATE 2015-02-02 ---

After I publicized this detailed account, I got yet another levelup of insulting bullshit, showing the true hopelessness of trying to work with them:

"@Dowlphin @ShadyVox Dude? What the hell man? I'm sorry if I seemed like a bad person, but why didn't you tell me that on Skype? Why here?"

(!)(!)Like I didn't frickin try exactly that to the point of despair! Total reality denial, and insulting as hell. ... The guy isn't even living on this planet anymore.
And he says he's sorry IF he SEEMED LIKE a bad person. That's indicative of his continued limitless egocentricity.
You read between the lines and things become even more apparent.

"@Dowlphin @ShadyVox The reason I acted this way is because the collab was in a complete halt, I was trying to push it forward in a cruel way"

"@Dowlphin @ShadyVox I didn't realize that, I was pissed that you donated so much money and that nothing about the collab was truly happening"

(!)(!)Yeah, and whose fault is that? Naturally not theirs, right? The impudence is mindboggling!

 --- UPDATE re 2015-02-04 ---

Tweets from TLT, in the usual arrogance, imply that the decision isn't really mine anymore, plus another added blame onto me as the problem. Nice.

@CrisisSound The one with @WoodenToaster abd Evine from BUCK? that's happening, the one with @ShadyVox and @Dowlphin is happening too

@CrisisSound The GalaCon collab is happening but having issues recently because of @Dowlphin not responding at all on my recent msgs

At pretty much the same time he had tweeted alternatives that were very much not 'happeney'.
There's really zero credibility to anything he says. It can change within moments. Compulsive liar much?
This also sheds some more light on his "it'll happennnnn" to me two months ago. He seems to believe that wishful thinking replaces effort.

 --- UPDATE 2015-02-05 ---

 I will post an update here because I am not talking directly to people who dis me consistently. Utter disrespect cannot expect to get respect in return.

From both Tomb and Shady it is, as I mentioned before, absurd to scold me for not having discussed this privately via Skype (Shady having said barely anything in the project), since I have tried just that. Damn, why do I have to repeat myself? (Because I'm dealing with fucked up people who are stuck in an egoistical mindset.) Calling ME selfish/childish then is just more of the same arrogance I've received the whole time.
Shady's explanation of acoustics first, vocals then is the only bit of somewhat reasonable information, but there's still that arrogant standpoint of ignoring that this could have been communicated within the project, among so many other things. Since Shady was so silent the whole time, I assumed he'd assigned TLT as speaker for him and communicated with him directly ... which would kinda be 'behind my back', hah, to use the same shitty reasoning that they use when blaming me for making it public and refusing to put up with their bullshit.
I, as my article shows, was also never told anything about this or about Shady's attitude towards the lyrics. It's not like I didn't do my best to communicate from my side and try to figure out what's going on.
So now that (at least based on Shady's claims) the lyrics base text isn't the problem (although there are conflicting messages), it would indeed be TLT's attitude, but Shady decides to side with that (and quiety always has), so I cannot exclude him from this critique.

Now let's get to TLT. Almost everything new he says is yet another insult, not just to me, and his lack of sincere caring continues. He cares so little that he doesn't even bother to get the donated sum right that he allegedly respects so much. In Twitter the 670 EUR suddenly are 750 GBP and then later it's 750 EUR. He can't even be arsed to take one look in order to get facts right and does it wrong twice. This is just one of a whole hailstorm of messages between the lines and signs that underline the problem here that I have been pointing at, and why I don't feel compelled to re-establish a direct dialogue. They inflicted a wound and then they've continuously been pouring salt into it.
Hell, this is beginning to look like sociopathy. Total inability to empathize, to consider own fault, thus absurdities like blaming me for their own faults as if they're talking to a mirror.

Now to the three offered non-options:

1. Offering to give it another try, with the same shitty attitude and reality-denial continuing (bullshit claims like lack of providing information about the song, even against TLT's OWN STATEMENTS of having been provided with everything) is insulting. It is yet another clear sign that nothing has changed and TLT is absolutely determined to continue the same damn arrogance that has led to this point. Add to this the fact that a while before, TLT had tweeted about how, since he calls himself a musician, he should actually be making music and has to push himself to not be lazy.
So he knows very well who is at fault in all this, but refuses to take responsibility and change.

2. TLT apparently is doing well financially if he can offer to compensate the (as mentioned before, wrong) donated amount. He can often fly to the USA to conventions from his own pocket. (You see why he is so 'busy'?) Since it has to be assumed that it was his pathological egotism that helped him to be where he is now (while wearing a mask that has totally come off now that he has been tested, so to speak), this would be an offer to buy himself out so that he can continue his rotten attitude without having to change at all, while I still have to shouler all the pain of what they did.
It would make my stomach turn to accept such an offer. I would betray the very reason why I didn't allow them to walk over me and thus lose self-respect. It would mean they get everything they want while I am left with nothing but ruins and pain, and the message to others that this kind of behavior leads to success; just keep the bullshit up.

Let me mention here that I am mostly living off of savings. Let me mention here that in the past I have dealt with a crook who refused to honor his part of a deal, me ending up having a 5-digit sum stolen from me by that crook with the assistance of two corrupt judges. Just one of the many examples of how it's nigh-impossible to get anything done properly if you rely on certain people. And during the song 'collab', I still had a very high tolerance for this kind of behavior, but since TLT finally drove me over the threshold and revealed what had led to the problem, I can no longer tolerate any of this. Enough is enough!

And I am telling you, I will not accept that kind of money! Not in this spirit (or lack thereof.) It is wrong.

3. The final new peak of arrogance, insult, ugly character and borderline blackmail (I was tempted to say bullying, but that takes two parties, and I will not be bullied), turning the knife in the wound: I already said that I will not allow them to continue this against my will. The very fact that they would even consider, after all this, (not to mention the absurdity of implying that suddenly they can do with all this bad blood what they weren't able to do when things were easier) to continue on their own on a song about my life story, that ironically in the lyrics source text involves experiences with people with the same shitty attitude that they have, and 'continue' after it is clearly their fault for not having worked on it in the first place and not having communicated, that is a degree of emotional cruelty that you can only find in sociopaths, and what was once only a vague suspicion, I am now unable to reject any longer.

A sociopath is someone who is unable/unwilling to care for other people, unable to recognize own fault, only does things that directly or indirectly serve their own self-centered goals, and, in a society where people like to wear masks and pretend, often has learned to more or less find words and gestures to delude those who prefer pleasant lies over unpleasant truth. But eventually, when challenged, their actions will betray their words.

--- UPDATE 2015-02-20 ---

Now I know extremely clearly where Galacon stands. After they had been informed about the matter and didn't even consider an official statement appropriate, so that I instead unofficially, on the sides, learned that their stance is basically 'That's too bad.', now there was a double middle finger in the form of a series of tweets, beginning with

Follower Fridays may be "sooo 2013" But still, here are our lovely guest and friends from the past years... 
@AnneliHeed @JuliaMeynen

...and ending with...

also forgot @jaybproductions and @LivingTombstone Wow, how embarrasing! ^^;

Yeah, what an affront it would have been to silently exclude that certain "lovely guest" from this shower of worship and approval. It's not like there might be some reason to be at least a little bit tactful or something. No, that would only be relevant if they weren't clearly decided on their pragmatic allegiance.
It is so easy to pretend you love everybody if you don't have to act on it. This is pure business politics. Their own interests come first, no matter what.
Seems they do not understand that trying to remain impartial in the face of such events makes partial nonetheless. Not even after I conveyed just that to them.

--- UPDATE 2015-03-31 ---

This is not an open wound for me anymore. (Going into details would be difficult/pointless though. Maybe I will explain some day, but not now.)

--- UPDATE 2015-11-06 --- 
According to statements made at BronyDays 2015, the second collab offered at BUCK 2014 by TLT and Wooden Toaster failed, too. WT did his part, but TLT was just way too busy bathing in fame. (Personal note: thanks to the collective denial and lack of courage of the fandom making this still possible.) Seems WT intends to finish that project on his own now. Something that wouldn't have been an option for the first project since ShadyVox has been a significant contributor to the failure, too. After all, he is the one who was supposed to write the lyrics (and made the bullshit claim that he'd have loved to do so).

Also, what I was referring to in my last update was that at some point I consulted ayahuasca to gain new insights and find healing, and that made me realize that I had been neglecting my own interests in this matter and sending way too much energy towards incorrigible jerks, so I accepted TLT's (arrogant) offer of paying me the donated sum (easy money for him) and then we never talk again. I did that to take some of the soulcrushing pain off of me, because the memory of the whole event is harmful enough to my hopes for the future; I don't also need to shoulder a significant material burden, especially in light of the little support I received in the whole affair, with things just continuing as if nothing had happened.
I wish the fandom was more eager to practice the high values taught by MLP. I had the best time of my life while I was optimistically ignorant, but I couldn't really enjoy a brony convention anymore as things currently are (unless there's very practical incentive), with so much willful ignorance from bliss junkies.
I judge people very individually now. The MLP fandom as a whole is like any other fandom. Some saints, some devils and everything in-between.


  1. First of all, I'm very sorry you spent all that money just to not receive your end of the bargain. That's a huge slap in the face, and $750 is pretty much my rent for the month. :P

    Second, and this is about all I have to say in their defense, I'd like to point out that this song they should be putting together is a service they're providing-and honestly, they don't need your entire life story. Harshly put, they don't care. Sitting and reading 30 minutes' worth of notes is more than a bit drawn out, and a very short summary of what the song should be about would have sufficed-short as in, a maybe a couple of sentences regarding the deepest, darkest feelings, or what you wanted most in this song.

    This Living Tombstone guy should be ashamed of himself. Yes, he was the one responding to you, but damn...could he have been any ruder or more arrogant? "So from now on, if you talk to any of us, even on twitter, then it has to be on the song." Are you fucking kidding me? Sounds like you've been TRYING to talk to them about the song. I understand not wanting to make idle internet chitchat with a stranger-but if you're not going to be receptive to fans, then why the should anyone even pay attention to you? Also, threatening to abandon the project was an asinine move. You can't just ditch a project you've committed to because someone wants to know where the hell it is-on Shady's website, he lists the average turnaround time as being about five days. Let's be generous and make it ten, or fifteen because he's collaborating with someone else. Fifteen days equals about half of a month, not the five or so whole months we're looking at right about now. Also, in regards to this tweet: "@HorseNewsMLP I have so much respect to @Dowlphin to donate to charity and feel bad that we still haven't fully started, hope it'll happen." As you already pointed out, there has been no respect shown to you, particularly after you stood your ground later on. And "hope it'll happen?" Um, it SHOULD happen, there should be no HOPE. A commitment was made, and a commitment should be honored.

    I've only been a fan of Shady for about a year and a half. Funny guy. When I first started checking out his Livestreams and other work, I was amazed at how sweet and personable he was. Now, I never actually saw GX Abridged, so I can't comment much on that. I found him through LK's BBT Abridged movie. What bothers me most is how he talks about GX Abridged though-I understand that he was never a YGO fan. That's fine; actors and actresses work on shows and movies all the time that they're not even fans of, haha-look at Rose McGowan in Charmed, for example. She was a main character on that show for five years, and never actually watched an episode. She still hasn't. But Shady makes it sound like it's an embarrassing part of his past when it's still apparently quite popular-and I am willing to bet that the overwhelming majority of the fans of his music are GX Abridged fans. Without that (and to some degree, Little Kuriboh) he would not have sold as many EPs as he did, if any. But now, he seems to have developed quite the ego. He BARELY responded to you at all in these messages, despite the fact that he is 50% of the committing artists here. Plus, I'd like to point out that the thing about the EPs being sold all in one day was a lie. I followed him on Twitter and it took quite a bit more than that. I know this because I waited several days before I got around to purchasing one of my own.

    Overall, this is a bunch of bullshit, and if you're going to commit to something, follow through with it, for God's sake. Shady's EP is done and out there, I don't even know what the hell this other guy is doing, so they have time. Get on it and honor your damn end of the deal.

  2. I don't think this has a satisfactory conclusion for you, but I hope all involved learn from this experience. All I can say is at least this was a charitable donation, so good came of it thanks to you. Best of luck.

    1. Feel like I need to add some actual things to this.... It seems to me that there is some blame all around here. From your story the blame seems very much on Tombstone and Shady, but that seems to omit things from the Skype call. It does seem like you were trying to be a bit TOO friendly, as if your donation was actually kind of a donation to be friends with them, which it obviously isn't, and I'm sure you know that. The really particularly weird part is when you asked Tombstone to retweet something you did. That's just....not a thing you do. Hell, I wouldn't ask any of my actual friends to do something like that up front, and he definitely did it out of kindness that wasn't actually justified rather than obligation. You are clearly a very talkative person, and some of the things you say are difficult to reply to. I'd have a hard time replying to some of the things you said even if you were my friend. I also think that perhaps your ideas weren't entirely suited to these guys. Tombstone tends to do bouncy songs (as you said) and in my limited knowledge of Shady he doesn't really seem to do serious stuff (though you did mention he did a song about his life). Still, I feel like maybe a ballad about your life is perhaps misplaced for this combination. Anyway, that's where I feel the blame lies on your part.

      On Tombstone's part, if that is indeed an issue, he should have said something about it rather than letting it stew for months. Obviously the idea at the auction (on their part) was a purely impulse based decision and I personally rolled my eyes a bit during that auction because I already foresaw it ending badly. They did not parametrise their donation incentive, which is basically what led to this whole situation in the first place. I also think basically tell you to shut up about anything other than the project and threatening to call it off if you didn't pretty out of line, but at least on that front he was being forward.

      On Shady's side, I'm seeing a basic lack of any communication from him at all here, unless there's a lot of logs you didn't post. Considering he is the one you probably need the most input from, as he's doing the lyrics (which seem to be the sticking point), it seems incredibly unacceptable that he hasn't made any attempt to discuss things with you. Why is it Tombstone talking to you about lyrics? If he has issues with the story you wrote up, I don't see why that'd be difficult for him to bring up. Surely as a lyric writer he should be able to take a back story and figure out the key parts for a song. Since you haven't posted it, I can only theorise, but based on your writing here I can believe it probably might be a difficult read. Still, the lack of communication here is appalling.

      It is very obvious based on what was said by the two of them at the auction that they were expecting the winner to just say "Button's Mom" or something, and that was the end of that. Then they'd basically be doing a collab that THEY wanted to do. Instead, they basically have a more difficult job-like commission that neither of them expect, and that's entirely their fault for not parametrising the original proposal, something I guess Tombstone learnt about for BUCK (though apparently didn't learn enough to just not do the thing at all...).

  3. I am doing this anonymously to help protect my identity. I am friend with many big musicians, one of my closer friends being a musician in the community. If you feel that he is taking too long to make the song, then i feel bad for sense of quality. I can definitely say that 5 months is quite some time, but it takes a LOT of effort for a single commissioned song. You have to remember something, Every song an artist makes, comes from his mind, body, and heart. When someone throws a picture of their mind body and heart at them and says "make something" it makes them sick to their stomach. "how should i start this? do they like long intros, very quick and loud transitions, what is their taste in music and niche?" 5 months is not enough time to deduct a personality. In fact, you should have stayed in contact with him and forced yourself into some of his personal life so he can better understand you. I want you to notice something. If you force and artist to make something, but with your style, this happens ( However, if you give the artist free reign over the art, you can end up with this ( While TLTS should have done something during those five months, even just start a meta file, you created the issue.

    TL;DR Art is a body, not a talent. You cannot just tell someone "do it.", you have to tell them, "Have fun."

    1. You are confusing things here. Some of the points you make I am very well aware of and that's exactly why I acted the way I did, and then you say I didn't do it or that I shouldn't, so it seems a bit contradictory. Since I (and Horse News) already wrote about all the things you mentioned exactly so that people wouldn't still wonder about them, all I can do is suggest you read it another time and look for those parts. There's no issue brought up by you that I didn't already cover.
      The only case where my article is useless is when people are in denial. And I have little tolerance for that, especially lately, since TLT is evidently in massive denial.

  4. STRAIGHT UP I want to say that I'm not intending to put any words in anyone's mouth. This is my thoughts based on what I've read here, and trying to put some perspective on the situation by *guessing* what's going on at the other end.

    I obviously don't know the full story, but there are some things I wanted to comment on -
    • If the song's set to be a ballad, then there's only so much Yoav can do until the lyrics are all but set in stone from Blake. Especially with the "phases" that you're saying you'd want, it's a more complex task to make a *non-generic* instrumental without knowing the pacing that it's going to have.
    • It's not fair to say that since Blake's written about his story (very obviously from his heart I might add), he should therefore be able to write about other's experiences. No matter how similar they might be.
    • I don't think you had any right to ask them to retweet about your art. I don't think you had any right to see a *24-hour* period without a message and say the "collab's been very quiet". These artists are people, and even though you said you didn't want to be pushy, it was pushy and I know I would definitely find it harder to work with someone who was like that right off the bat - it's not a conscious decision, it's just how people work.
    • You can't expect that turning up for livestreams would earn any extra favour. So do dozens of others; hundreds bought Blake's EP; hundreds of thousands are subscribed between the two of their YouTube channels - unfortunately you can't buy their investment in your story; I wish it was different, it's not.

    Yes, I can definitely see that there could've been more communication from them. But to be absolutely 100% honest? I think they were hoping to have a bit of fun with the song. Yes, taking their words at face value, they said it could be about whatever you wanted - but Blake is standing there saying that he could sing it in Button's voice, or make it about Button's mum, *anything*. If I had to pick one single word to describe Yoav's work it's "bouncy". They're fun artists. I feel that "about anything" was supposed to imply "it will be a great song from two extremely talented people that the brony community agrees are awesome and it'll be brilliant and YOU will pick the theme!". Not a commission - because they didn't say it was a commission, they said that they were collaborating. I don't want to discredit your story, but I think the problem stems from them not wanting to do so either - you obviously have something you feel very, very strongly about and there's no way to let someone down easy from that.

    Again, this is *as far as I can see*, but I think the problem isn't that they dishonoured the agreement, but that the agreement was misunderstood by one or more of the three of you. It's possible that Blake and Yoav just decided on the day to auction this off without even talking properly to *each other* about what it would involve.
    A lot of this is just me theorising, but if it's what happened? By the letter, it's on them. By the spirit of what I guess they wanted, it's not their fault that they couldn't do what you were after.


    I'm writing all this after seeing Yoav's most recent Twitter posts. It really sounds settled, especially if you're unwilling to "try again" on the collab (which to me doesn't make sense unless you change what you ask for? Just my thought though). It would really be a shame, because a song from The Living Tombstone and ShadyVox couldn't not be amazing. It just has to be made first.

  5. As an artist that has done art for charity art streams, I can understand their plight in completing the request, but if you agree to do something, you need to do it. That doesn't mean put all personal projects on hold, but it does mean completing it in a reasonable amount of time. For someone of their experience, it shouldn't take over half a year to complete a project.

    I remember a commission I got during a charity stream about a year ago. Everyone else was getting $60-100 for charity with simple drawings. I put up a commission for a 3D animation of their choice, and I received a paltry $5 (for charity). Of course, I had to accept their request despite the low amount for my own honor's sake. And animate I did. 4 hours on stream, and another 8 hours off stream. In total I worked 12 hours on the project, and I did it with a smile.

    Even though that translated to $0.41 per work hour, I am happy that I was able to satisfy the commissioner's request. It was nothing I was personally interested in, and it was a bit more than I could chew, but in the end it was worth it.

    Sorry to hear you had trouble in the fulfillment of your request, but thank you for donating a large sum of money to charity.

    1. I salute your mature, professional and honorable approach. This is exactly how it's done. Sadly, this seems to become rarer. At first I naively got excited by the fandom, believing that if people celebrate their love of such an unusual and remarkable show as MLP, its virtues and values MUST be a basic common ground, but then I made various painful experiences. This is why the show itself will always be dearest in my heart. It is like some rare, familiar company, something I was missing nearly all of my life.
      A bit bothersome is that when my emotional attachment to the song project was killed, it also pretty much killed my emotional capacity in general. And I don't even know whether it's a problem or a blessing, but it's worrying nevertheless, because it feels like I got infected by some of the stuff TLT seems to have. Just one more thing adding to my burden.
      I'd prefer to not interact with such people at all, but since wearing a mask is so damn fashionable and people are shockingly afraid of just being open and sincere, it can take a while to see through it. And once you do, you have to choose whether to maintain the clear vision or to relapse into falling for bullshit.

      I'm tired of being afraid and tired of dealing with people who choose to be afraid.

  6. The Living Tombstone04 February, 2015 22:14


    I'm tired of chasing after you after you decided that you no longer want to talk, I understand that you're mad at me, but instead, you're updating your blog with my responses and talking about me behind my back instead of talking straight to me on Skype, Twitter, Email and even here.

    You can call me mean, arrogant, pompous, disgraceful or any of the stuff you said behind my back. but what you yourself are doing is downright selfish and childish.

    So I'm giving you 2 options, and a 3rd one if you keep on ignoring us.

    1. You get back on the collab and help us by directing us by what you want it to be about, I even got Glaze (WoodenToaster) onboard, so he'll help co-produce and make it sound like the song he made "Building Worlds" that you suggested, I'll compose, co-produce aswell as mix and master the whole thing, Shady is going to provide lyrics and vocals.

    2. You cancel and decline and the collab, and I myself will send you 750 euros for the donation that you did for the charity auction, that way you don't have to talk to us ever again, and you won't be cheated for the fact that the collab isn't done after all.

    3. if you keep ignoring us, the collab will happen without you, and we'll use whatever you sent us as guideline to making the song.

    Your move.

    1. I agree that this post is incredibly childish, but he's got a point. Why didn't this happen like it was agreed upon? That's the main issue here. If this had been five days after the fact, I would agree that this would be selfish, but at this point, it's really not. Why even do the charity thing if you knew you didn't have the time? Was it an impromptu auction thing or agreed upon beforehand? I don't mean any disrespect to you or the other guy; I'm just a firm believer that if you commit to something, you need to follow through with it. Especially with something like this.

    2. The Living Tombstone05 February, 2015 08:16

      "Why didn't this happen like it was agreed upon?"

      Because no one thought that time would be the issue,

      Dowlphin gave us everything he wanted via email, he was really set with his big life story and idea that we couldn't keep up with it.

      I tried to ask Dowlphin to trim it, and help simplify it, but he didn't want to,

      Quoted from this blog post, this was a few days after GalaCon 2014 ended:

      "(Y)[2014-08-11 20:07:57] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): in regards to the collab between you and Shady, is it possible that you can give a much more summerized version of your post? that way Shady can write lyrics more easily
      (Y)[2014-08-11 20:08:15] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): and post it in either the skype chat or email us"
      (Y)[2014-08-11 20:20:25] Dowlphin: Phew. Since I don't usually write lyrics from scratch, it's difficult for me to know which elements are useful and which are not..." (Search for the rest on the blog post)

      He didn't understand that we needed to see a simpler version of his story because when you work on a song, you just need a simple story and a theme, you don't need a huge plot that tells a huge tale of a person's life, or atleast not in one song.

      I was afraid to ask him to change or simplify at this point since I knew that he really cared for what he wrote, so for the past 5 months, while I was working on other songs, I tried multiple times to work on the instrumental, and nothing worked for me because I didn't understand what he wanted from the story he sent,

      That's why I tried 5 months later and many attempts too, I knew that I had to ask the same question, and be more direct about it, since I saw that without it, the collab isn't happening.

      Again, quoted from the post:

      [2015-01-20 17:03:45] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): Alright, how about we'll simplify things
      [2015-01-20 17:04:05 | Edited 17:04:12] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): give me, in a short summery, what you want the song to be about, and how you want it to sound
      [2015-01-20 17:04:30] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): be specific
      [2015-01-20 17:04:38] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): otherwise this project won't go anywhere
      [2015-01-20 17:06:15 | Edited 17:06:27] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): both me and Shady won't have time to make your song if you can't specify what you want
      [2015-01-20 17:07:17] Yoav Landau (The Living Tombstone): so from now on, if you talk to any of us, even on twitter, then it has to be on the song"

      I wanted the song to happen, and I was mad that he didn't want to be clear about it since almost day 1, this could have all been fixed if there was more communication from his end aswell.

    3. All right, thank you. Five months is a long time, but I guess when you're not getting what you need, then it's difficult to take off.

      And Dowlphin: you had me in your corner (more or less) until you started accusing these two of sociopathy. What, are you 12? That's borderline slander-you can't just go around accusing people of having mental disorders if they're not living up to your expectations. I understand you're frustrated by this whole thing, but this is just absurd. With accusations like that, I'd be impressed if they still wanted to move ahead with the project at all.

  7. This is a situation that could have been dealt with in private rather than publicizing everything on the internet, but it's here now so let's deal with it.

    I'll summarize, something quickly - my role in this is lyrics and vocals. That's my part. Once I get the music, I write lyrics against the music and sing it. I get the backing first and then I do the lyrics, then I perform vocals. That's my process. I've said this multiple times in streams, which you have been a guest of many times as you've noted in your previous answer. I do music first, vocals last. That's how I operate for everything, commission, Scratch21, whatever.

    And you know I've been bouncing around other projects while I've been working on the Scratch EP for the past year. MineCraft music commissions, TOME sound effects design, voice over. So it's not like I've been postponing working on the damn thing. I've just been waiting on my instrumental so I can get started.

    I read the whole post and what's been missed out is CONTEXT for the most part. e.g. the part about me responding "No" on stream to a question in regards to working on any collab project. It was followed by (to paraphase) myself explaining that I'm not actively working on a collaboration project right now. Which is true, I had no material given to me to write vocals against for the project. I was still waiting on my workload to be given to me. I read the pages of messages you wanted the lyrics to reflect, that didn't go amiss - and I'm certainly not apathetic about the situation you wrote about considering I dedicated a song to my own personal hell.

    However, I still don't have an instrumental, so I CANNOT start my role yet, unfortunately - a shame because I've been looking forward to writing and performing on someone else's story and experiences and bringing it to life with audio. And to work with TombStone who is an absolute fucking champ, are you kidding - fuck yeah, gimme that shit I am totally ALL OVER THAT.

    Now I completely get that €750/$850 is a sizeable amount of cash and having had nothing happen in that, it's sucky. Both Tomb and I are sorry that it's the case but we're not bailing on you with it. The charity has taken your cash and ran for the hills. We're TRYING to contact you to talk but you're being completely dismissive. And you're giving /US/ shit for not being communicative? You know what would have helped? Not posting all this shit here. Seriously, what good did you think this was going to do other than elicit a response from me and Tomb to go "Um, dude - what the fuck?". Like are we back in fucking middle school here?

    Tomb has given you three options to chose for here for the project which I stand by; we're still prepared to work and talk with you despite this shitfest of a post and callout to us. You have both of our Skypes and e-mails, - my advise would be;

    1. Either unblock us at the soonest opportunity so we can resolve this crap together, in private - like adults.

    2.Tell us you want out. In which case we'll forward the full amount to your PayPal and we'll never talk again.
    I'm sincerely hoping the former.

  8. Wow, what an update.

    They messed up. You messed up. They seem to have realised their mistakes, and want to make up for it. You... You don't. They've (actually really generously) given you two simple options, and a third fallback alternative. You don't get to just throw that back at them - and especially not in the way you have. You have to choose something; that's just the way it is. But trying to label these two as sociopaths is profoundly immature and doesn't achieve ANYTHING.

    Here's my verdict.
    Work out what you really stand to gain from what you're doing. If you really want the moral high ground of not working with them and not accepting their money, then GET IN CONTACT WITH THEM AND TELL THEM SO. And if you want, tell them that you don't want them using your story. I don't care what you choose to say, just do it directly. I'm almost 100% sure they'll do whatever you decide, and they will CERTAINLY appreciate the **direct, mature and honest** response. You don't have the moral high ground right now, but a quick "Thanks for the offers, but I don't want anything else from you" Skype message gets you closer to it.

    But if all you want is to complain, and blame and shame these guys, then that's fine too. Do whatever you want; it's your blog. But that's not a solution, it leaves everyone involved feeling terrible about the ordeal, and it makes you the insensitive asshole.

    Yep, this is screwed up. That's not your fault, but I can tell you that you're definitely not making it any better.

  9. Alright, you had your fifteen minutes of fame, go get your song now. Seriously, it´s about the charity, so ALL of you should stop looking for someone to blame since you ALL look like (please excuse me) idiots throwing the ball at each other, you´re making it look even worse. It´s about the charity people, come on.

    1. You're just one more unempathic asshole. The charity has got their donation, the good deed has been done on my side. If people still can't see how it's being shat on from another side after everything has been laid open, then I don't care about them as they don't care about me. My generosity is reserved for people who don't spit on me for it. Anything else would just slowly kill me. Even suggesting it was negative fame I was after or that the song could just happen after all this makes you the same kind of arrogant prick that started the whole issue. It's an immature mindset I used to believe is reserved for brony-haters and such, until I learned differently. Apparently MLP doesn't teach some people anything. Fandom's full of damn Gildas.

    2. I´m not sure if you got it right, so I´m saying it with other words. Stop blaming each other, your generosity is really appreciated, but this issue should have been dealt in private, not posted online. Yes, you are right to be mad as your comission wasn´t honored at all, but you can still get it and be done with this drama, which I insist could have been avoided.

  10. At this point, it's not about the charity, but respect to one another.

    Making it public was probably the only thing left to do. There is only so much crap you can take in a private chat. Of course its inconvinient its public - I mean, these people are painted as assholes! No one wants negative publicity, especially when your money is dependant on the opinion and following of the masses!

    Well, you know, advice for the future? Don't be an asshole then. Learn to vocalize your concerns. This all could have been avoided with TLT specifying why he COULDN'T use the material he got. He was asked multiple times about why it wasn't okay. Just because it was long isn't an excuse. He didn't even indicate he gave it more than a cursory glimpse. He didn't ask about parts of it, or what he understood and what he didn't. Nothing, null, just "give me a shorter version". A person displays his soul to you and you want him to make it simpler because he can't be bothered?

    1. /)
      Means a lot to see there are more people who know what's decent and are not afraid to voice it. Because there are so many who don't, and they allow things like this to happen... again.
      Personally, over the years, I have gotten used to bearing so much shit without losing my cheerfulness, but this changed me on a deep level. Imagine what it could have done to a less resilient person.
      I mean, people openly oppose things like when a kid is getting bullied in school because they're a brony, but then keep silent about emotional cruelty in their own midst. If MLP actually taught them anything, they'd know that real friendship doesn't mean covering up someone's rotten behavior.
      More people need to make an effort to overcome their fears or the world's suffering will grow further. ... Equestria will not be built through convenience.

      Thus my message to the community as a whole:
      Seeing injustice and trying to remain impartial makes partial.

  11. So.. Anything new? I am just curious...

    1. Updated. Spread the info if you care about it.