So, yeah. I cleaned up my LJ a bit, then took a giant broom to my friendslist and kicked a lot of folks off that have either been inactive for years or I can't remember what we used to talk about (or both). Apologies if anyone feels offended by this. Feel free to refresh my memory of why I liked you.
That said - I'm not sure I'll actually start posting here again. We'll see. I think the more challenging task would be to find active groups and people here to interact with...
Hi. I'm Sammy. Some (few) of you may know me from back in the day when I dabbled in male/male fandoms and I was kinda hopelessly crushing on the Sentinel boys and Benton Fraser and RayK. It was a fun time... mostly. Because the male/male fandom is a wonderful and creative and supportive place, and they get a lot of shit done, as a fandom collective, for other fans, creatively. (Just look at the AO3, if you're shaking your head now and wonder what I'm talking about.)
Aside from that, though, it can be a brutal place as well... as soon as any character or actor is involved who doesn't have a dick. The major part of male/male fandom sports an astonishing tendency towards misogyny in its purest, spiteful, vindictive form. Female characters, often enough, are ignored in stories at best, at worst they're bashed, killed or written as traitorous backstabbers and jealous, aggressive bitches.
I saw a lot of that during my slash years in the respective fandoms. Back then I had a few discussions about it, but large chunks of it I ignored - partly because I, too, bought into the idiot statement you hear from a lot of slashers: "There just aren't any strong female characters around!"
And then my world flipped around on its axis, when I happened to fall for a certain Israeli badass and found in her what I apparently had been looking for a long long time. And while my love for Ziva David blossomed into the best thing that ever happened to me... I found that accidentally I had stumbled into one of those fandoms where the slash side and the het side clash brutally (even though the het side is mostly unaware of the whys they get attacked by random people for loving a girl character and shipping her with the guy the slash side wants to hog jealously for their male ship).
Here I was, head over heels in love with one of the strongest and most realistically flawed and broken characters I have ever met... and the same names I remembered from my old fandom days as good and supportive and creative people, I suddenly saw tossing pitchforks and yelling, "That bitch needs to be put down!"
And you know what, I'm royally tired of this shit. I don't buy into this idiot excuse myth anymore, the one that says "there are no strong female characters around to identify with, so I identify more with the guys". Because that disregards every single one of the incredible women out there. It disregards Aeryn Sun, Buffy Summers, Lisa Plenske, Ziva David, Ellen Ripley, Susan Ivanova, Hermione Granger, Olivia Benson, Cara Mason, Deanna Troi, Dana Scully, Jennifer Hart... and a gazillion others. And while some of them may be argued about and some may feel interesting to some and not to others, saying “not strong enough” about all of them is appalling.
It's a bullshit excuse. The only reason you don't see "any strong female characters"? Is because you refuse to look.
Strong doesn't mean she's able to shoot two weapons while somersaulting over the bad guy's goons. Strong doesn't mean bench-pressing cars. Strong doesn't mean dominant. Strong doesn't mean flawless. Strong doesn't mean hair so perfect it never gets rustled. Strong doesn't mean perfect looks.
None of these things make a character strong (and that goes for both male and female characters, coincidentally!) What does make them strong is flaws, and lacking, and not being perfect... but still striving to keep going. It's not the uncrackable shell that makes you strong. It's the cracks.
And so, to my great surprise, I found last night that while for some time I, too, had bought into the great fandom myth that there just aren't any good female characters around... there are. And they’re actually what I love to write. It wasn’t just Ziva David.
While I sat there and plotted my brains out and pummeled the outline of an epic fantasy trilogy into shape, I suddenly noticed that I actually have a hard time fitting any male characters into the plot. Out of the ten characters with the most "screen time" so far, three are male - and out of these, only one is the good guy. They're... just not that interesting.
I love all of my girls already, even though I'm still plotting and haven't actually written a single scene yet. Because they're all realistic female characters (and I do believe that's the word that should actually be used when people talk about "strong" characters) and they're all fascinating in their own way. I even love the assholes, like the one who purposely bred to ensure her daughter is gifted with the strongest possible line of magic needed - and then birthed a daughter who is completely deaf to it. I have the daughter who sets out to find her own tune at all cost and then ends up taking on the burden of outcast because that is what her world really needs. I have the bi girl who asks her lover's brother to father a child for them because he's as close to her sister's blood as possible, and then, while she's pregnant, her lover dies and never gets to see their child. I have the fat teenage goat herdess who got told her whole life that she's useless - except she isn't. And there's the little orphan girl that somehow manages the brightest, happiest laugh of them all, even though she cries for her mother's embrace every single night.
No strong female characters? Bullshit. One more time, please, just for emphasis: BULL.SHIT.
To every female who keeps repeating that bullshit mantra: you're spreading the lie to every fellow female out there that they won't find anything, so they shouldn't even bother looking. You are discounting every single character someone might see as "strong" or "inspirational". And you are telling girls that they should better look at the guys right away and write about them, because with them you can at least identify. They're “more believable”, and hey, by the way, het is just for teenagers anyway.
It's bullshit. YOU are actively spreading misogynist bullshit. And you are telling your own daughters to stop looking for strong girls to look up to, better be like the guys.
And now please excuse me while I indulge in some background reading and dig into this awesome book I had in the mail today. There's strength to be written.
summary: In which Sammy takes the hot mess that was "Past, Present, Future" and "Family First" and gives you the missing scenes so it all makes sense again. Because clearly, you weren't shown the whole story.
notes & warnings: Many thanks to my tearful beta fairy Sev, for her invaluable help with all things baby- and pregnancy-related, and for letting me bounce plot elements at her until I found the sense in them. And to Mumsy, for her thoughts about Disney movies and for lending me a story that hit me right where it hurts. You were right. It *is* a very Ziva thing to do.
Also, tissues. You need them.
word count: 8,700
comments & feedback: Very much appreciated.
notes: It's been a while. I know. I'm still around, though, and these two are still in my head. I suspect they will never leave.
This very vivid image of what I want Tony's last scene on NCIS to be couldn't be brushed away, so it had to get out. No, I still haven't watched any episodes since the end of season ten, and I never will. (Personally, I suspect over the years I will dismiss everything that happened after "Good Cop Bad Cop" as non-canon, too.) The snippet still works, and it wanted to be told. Blame Tony.
word count: 1,800
comments & feedback: Very much appreciated.
- I feel: content
T.S. Eliot wrote those lines, which are probably the most-quoted lines of any 20th-century poet writing in English, 90 years ago. Especially today - exactly two years after Cote de Pablo's exit from NCIS was officially announced - many of you might feel a very similar kind of bleak outlook. It has gotten so quiet on the Bring Back Cote front, after all, and all the outraged activism of the early days seems to have trickled out of people.
Yes, we confess - it's hard for us to keep going, too. It takes a lot of stamina, manpower, and willpower, and sometimes it also takes money we can't bring up on our own. So yes, we have gotten quiet. And, much like all of you, we have run out of ideas a little, on what to do and whom to target. We yelled at CBS and the executives. We yelled at Gary Glasberg. We yelled even louder at Mark Harmon. We yelled and screamed until we were hoarse, but did they hear us?
You're right when you replied no: it didn't seem like they listened to anything we said. Instead, every official post sounded (and continues to sound) like it was tailored specifically to make Cote's fans feel bad and insignificant and like ungrateful children who don't value the great thing they've been given "instead". And yes, we understand your frustration. We share it. We feel the same. Much like you guys out there, we found it harder and harder to keep fighting while everyone pretends we don't exist, and so we gradually turned to mostly loving and supporting Cote instead. That part, at least, always came naturally.
But you know what? That's exactly what the ones responsible for the situation want: they have been holding on and sitting tight in the hopes that we, the nuisance, would eventually lose hope and just go away and shut up and leave them alone to do what they want.
Let's not. Let's go out with a bang instead.
And here's the one last message we need to drive home: Cote WANTS to come back.
People still involved with producing the show like to repeat over and over how she "walked away", "left", "walked out on them", "dropped everything" and whatever phrasing fits their claim that our girl is done with the show. Cote, on the other hand, has by now stated several times that "under the right circumstances", a return of Ziva David could definitely be explored. Twice she even went as far as saying, "the ball's in their [CBS's] court". Which translates directly to, "make me an offer!" Add to that the latest rumors that CBS is getting frustrated with Mark Harmon's way of handling the show and the loss in ratings... we'd say this is the right time to roar at the mighty empire once more.
So what do we want you to do?
It's easy. We want you to run away with Cote's own words... and since "the ball is in their court"... let's actually put it there: send them balls, with your messages written on them. Ping pong balls. Tennis balls. Golf balls. Heck, send them old basketballs you no longer need, we don't care. Just do anything you can think of to get the point across that we and the show still need Cote to come back - and that she's willing to do just that.
Now, the balls are just an easy idea for you. You can write lengthy letters to get the point across, too. Or, if you don't feel eloquent, put a brief note on a postcard. (We'll try to supply some ball-themed ones over the next few days for you to print out, but of course you can also look at your local stores for cards that fit the theme in the meantime!) Just do something. Get off your butts one more time. Roar at them.
For this round, we feel that our best chance lies with making Nina Tassler aware of what's going on, for two reasons: not only is she very aware of how passionate and involved the NCIS fan base is with the show (which she clearly stated during the 200th episode party), she is also actively working on making the world of television a little less male-dominated:
So point out to Ms. Tassler that the fan base no longer considers NCIS a "beloved show". Tell her that Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and the comments section of literally every online article published about the show over the past year consist mostly of complaints about the show's quality and the overwhelming demand to have Ziva back. Explain how much Ziva means to you as a role model and how dearly you need her back. Make it clear that you feel like the die-hard course to ignore everything Cote and Ziva ever did for the show is destroying their franchise. Mention the dropping ratings and the demo, if you want.
But whatever you do - please join us in this fight, one more time. We need your voices, and we need them to be heard. We need you to roar and not whimper.
This is the address you will need:
Ms. Nina Tassler
President, CBS Entertainment
7800 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036-2112
Above all, though, please think carefully about your words. Don't insult and don't use harsh language, please. We want them to listen, after all.
Most of all, though, I’m tired for being blamed and shamed universally for “the state of the fandom”. Ever since I set foot into this farce of a “happy fandom family” five years ago, the Tiva/Ziva fans were the ones who got blamed for everything. We got told to shut up, to not “shove our crazy addiction in the faces of the normal fans”, we got told that we are crazy, that our morals are skewed, that we posted our perverted opinions where they clearly weren’t wanted. When we stuck to “the places where we were welcome”, we were followed and stalked and then later on ridiculed in the same public places we weren’t allowed to post on.
Looking back, the only thing that changed since then is the direction of the bullying. We still aren’t allowed to love Ziva or Tiva or Cote openly - when we say as much, we get told to “keep it out of the tags” or “stop ruining it for everyone else”. (Funny side note: in all these years, no one ever gave the slightest fuck if they ruined it for us.) Wherever you go„ whatever blog or article you look at, “oh god, it’s them again!” is still the first thing you read. Just the source of the attacks against us has changed and broadened.
By now, it has become “politically incorrect” to love the one character that brought the show its highest ratings in ten fucking years. It’s “wrong” to feel offended when her former co-workers firmly put all blame in Cote’s corner, when they bitch about her and tell us to shut up about her. It’s “childish” to be offended when Perrette openly calls her a rich princess who hates her fans. It’s “idiotic” to feel hurt when you hear Mark Harmon talk about her character as something “it’s useless being stuck on”, as if she was the one thing that kept them tied to the ground and kept them from flying.
No. It’s none of these things. We have every right to love Cote. We have every right to love Ziva. We have every right to miss Ziva on the show and to want her back, and we have every right to tell everyone involved in the show that it no longer holds the same quality it used to have. IT IS OUR RIGHT AS CONSUMERS, to like and dislike as we please.
And speaking of which, it is also our right to believe that Cote was wronged in this whole process. Because guess what, the way the remaining crew hacks away at her (with the one noticeable exception of Michael Weatherly) is NOT professional. You wanna believe Harmon is the perfect daddy figure who always takes care of his “family”? Hey, that’s fine, I’m not gonna take that away from you. But in the same instant, it is completely OUR right to believe he isn’t. And it doesn’t matter which view of events is actually true - fact is, the remaining cast and crew are NOT acting like professionals.
I don’t care how butthurt they were after Cote decided not to sign the contract offered. I don’t give a fuck about how annoyed they are with the neverending questions about her and if Ziva returns. I couldn’t give a lesser fuck about the poor, poor writers who had to rewrite everything last-minute (because Glasberg didn’t have a contingency plan). What they are doing (and have been doing for a full year now) Is. Not. Professional. They shame a good woman they worked with for eight years, simply for saying “no, I don’t want to renew under these conditions” - something that is a completely normal occurrence in the modern world of employment. (Because guess what, IT’S YOUR RIGHT TO REFUSE A CONTRACT OFFERED.) They shame and blame someone they claimed to love for eight years while she, on the other hand, remains the true professional and never said a single bad word about any of them. They, on the other hand, completely negate everything she did for the show and contributed to it. They rewrite their own characters and their own history and make everything the show ever gave us in terms of “family values” and “looking out for your own” a farce that leaves a nasty taste in our mouths whenever we look at old episodes. They wanna be professional? Then they should have shut the fuck up, swallowed the butthurt, and treated the storyline in a professional and truly “organic” manner right from the start.
Stop pointing the finger of blame on Cote and her fans. We are not the reason for this. We didn’t put the show to shambles. We just want our girl, and we want to love her, and we want her back on the show, even if it’s just so Ziva can get an actual proper closure to her storyline. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s our right to love her. It’s our right to openly talk about her and to tag it with “NCIS” because GUESS WHAT, that’s the show this is about. It’s also our right to support her and to ask that she is treated fairly - and I don’t care how many of you minions out there want to spin it otherwise, a whole group of people publicly ganging up on her and dropping at every opportunity that “they’re done with her” while she chooses specifically not to address any of this in public… that is NOT fair. It’s not professional. It’s childish and demeaning and it’s reaching the point of slapping the whole audience in the face.
And you know what, if you want to give me a rant now about how evil I am and Cote, too, and how she singlehandedly ruined a good show - don’t even fucking bother. I’ll just block the fuck out of you, and then I’ll continue to love my girl and support the fuck out of her. Because she deserves the support, and she deserves the love, and no, I don’t give a flying fuck about your enjoyment of the show because YOU out there - yes, you, the one who’s about to type up a nice little harassment speech right now - because you clearly don’t waste a single thought on my enjoyment of the show.
Up yours, I say. You want to be the better person? Then be a good example and stop bullying the Ziva fans. If we annoy you so much, just do what we do with the hate bots most of the time: ignore us. Block the people who annoy you. Blacklist the relevant tags. Or better yet, stay out of them altogether. (That’s helpful advice that was thrown into my face dozens of times, so I feel justified to throw it right back atcha now.) Because we ain’t shutting up. We love Ziva. We love Cote. We’ll still love them in one, five, or ten years from now. And that is perfectly fine and politically correct and if you disagree, that’s also perfectly fine, but keep it THE FUCK out of my face and stop harassing us.
(originally posted on Tumblr... which I probably won't visit for a while now...)
In fact, I get angrier each day. Which is mostly based on how the people responsible for making NCIS and promoting it choose to deal with the loss of Ziva and Cote, how they try and eradicate both Ziva and Cote from the show's history, how they choose to deal with the fans who still mourn her loss, and oh, by the way, I am extremely pissed off at all the people who tell us it's not legit to still mourn, because GUESS WHAT: it's completely okay. You lose something (or someone) valuable, and it affects you. The more you love, the harder it affects you. And I think it says a lot about how much the folks out there (still) love Ziva and Cote that, yes, we pulled themselves together because "it's just a TV show", but we are still not over losing her. Some of us never will be.
And that's the thing that makes me so incredibly angry: for ten years, the team behind NCIS was all happy-happy joy-joy when it came to how passionate the fans were about their show. They were intrigued and excited about how many emotions we pour into this show and get out of it in return. They loved that we were emotionally involved. They WANTED that. They talked about it in interviews with awe. Now? Now we're suddenly a pesky nuisance. Now our emotions are suddenly bothering them and they want us to turn them off and just go back to mindless consumerism and shut up, thankyouverymuchbye.
You don't believe me? Hey, that's fine. But I've seen too much spite aimed our way by actors, writers, spokespersons, and directors by now, and as a direct result I simply cannot believe they want our honest opinion, they just want our eyeballs stupidly stuck to a TV set each Tuesday night. More often than not their huffy answer to criticism was, "well, we still love you, and we're still doing a good job!" Strangely enough, those words were often followed by mass-blocks of everyone who just dared to have Cote as a user icon. Yeah, sorry, but I don't really feel the love there.
I even get it, you know. It probably sucks hard after ten years of being praised to the high heavens that everywhere you go these days there's criticism raining down on you. I get it. It confuses you and it pisses you off. But here's what makes you a true professional and not just someone who does the job they're paid for: you listen to criticism, even if you later discard some of it. You listen to customer complaints. And you try to figure out what went wrong if you are suddenly drowned in complaints you never used to get before, and then you address the topic in a way that makes it easier for the customers to deal with the situation... or, better yet, you fix the problem.
There are other things that just don't work for me. The cast and crew (with the refreshing and very noticeable exception of Michael Weatherly) solidly point the finger of blame at Cote (and then blame her aversion to social media on the fact that they "just have to shun her name so sorry"... which, of course, only counts as long as they can't pimp their dying show with a mention...) The characters themselves are mostly out of character these days, especially when it comes to the topic of Ziva, and that's another thing that irks me and why for me the show that I loved ended with season ten: it screws every single value and every bit of character development we've had over the years in the rear. Think about how these characters used to react when one of their own was down or in trouble or missing or "universally absent". Think about the whole glory of the Aliyah arc, culminating in ToC. And then look at how they are basically treating the very same situation now and tell me the current handling of the loss of Ziva is "in character". Yeah, sorry, but the whole "family" vibe is completely lost on me now.
"Okay," I hear you say, "get to the point already."
My point is this: they are currently trying to use our emotions again. In case you haven't seen it, here's a quick rundown of the (to me) deeply offensive part of the promo for next week's episode:
voiceover: "It's Halloween and nothing's scarier than letting go..."
Abby: "I loved Ziva, but she left us!"
Tony: "I miss my friend."
voiceover: "... starting over..."
scene where Ziva-clone tackles Tony, then cut to him fondling her dog tags
Tony: "Excessive force always was your style."
Ziva-clone: "You never seemed to mind."
And yes, as a direct result of it, I have seen many of you hoper sheep out there say "oh god, now I have to watch it, they're gonna mention Ziva finally!" Wrong. They won't - at least I firmly believe we won't see any more than the two lines we get to see in this promo. Remember when I predicted what a piss-poor and unsatisfying job PPF would make of her exit? Remember when everyone said, no, that can't be, we were promised it would be all good? Remember how those same people watched the episode and then said, well, fuck? Yeah. It's gonna be just like that all over again - and worse.
I've also seen some people say, "oh, but that's just the promo, you know how they are, it's gonna play out totally different in the episode." Which is true. And that's exactly why I'm even more offended by the way they chose to cut this particular promo, because the message it spells out is clear and deliberate: GET THE FUCK OVER IT ALREADY. Because the people who just hear him say, "I miss my friend", they deliberately ignore the second half of the promo: "starting over", followed by the Ziva-clone tackle. And yes, I'm fully aware the character has a name, thanks. I still choose to call her Ziva-clone because that is the part they have clearly chosen to focus on in the promo. Because apparently witty, dark-haired girls who manhandle Tony are interchangeable and the next one on the menu (according to the promo) is enough to make him move on from the last. Who needs actual love anyway.
Five bucks on this: the scene between Tony and Abby in the lab will be cut the other way around. He'll tell her he misses his friend, then she lectures him on how she loved (notice the past tense) Ziva but she left them, hugs him, then probably shoos him out of the lab. That whole Abby line is yet another level of travesty, btw, because that's not Abby talking, that's Pauley Perette talking, whose bitterness and open backstabbing have left many of Cote's fans with a nasty taste in their mouths. Don't believe me? Then you probably missed the part where she flipped her shit on Twitter and used almost those exact same words to talk about Cote to a young fan.
And yes, I feel deeply offended that it took them more than a year to sneak in a scene that attempts to address the issue... but only in the same breath as "moving on", "starting over", "hump the next sassy girl that comes along". If you honestly think anything in this episode will be about honoring Ziva? Boy, you will come out of it feeling even worse than after PPF.
I will forever be angry about how they choose to treat Ziva's and Cote's names, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. I still believe that both character and actress deserve much better than what they received. And I repeat - I firmly believe you will be in for a big surprise if you think the next episode will actually honor her name and contribution to this show... or if you believe the "so much history" episode that was just teased by Perette will actually include Ziva. Five bucks on this: if Perette is excited about it? It's probably gonna be all about Kate.
They're throwing scraps at you, to get you to tune in and then hopefully shut up because hey, you heard her name, so we're totes not forgetting about her, alright?
Nope. Not alright. It's an insult, it's a thinly veiled, "now get off our backs already, ffs!", and it's a disgusting attempt to draw in some viewers for an episode they have nothing else going for.
So, what do we do now? Personally, I do the same thing I did a year ago - I tell them this is not okay. The ones responsible for shunning our girl's name are (and to me that's glaringly obvious by now) both Mark Harmon and his smiling puppet Gary Glasberg. (And I swear to god, if you start arguing with me now about how Harmon is just one of the actors, I will probably yell at you to get out of my face. And then I'll tell you to go and read the latest TV Guide interview, because that one makes it abundantly clear nothing on this show happens without Harmon's approval or incentive.)
tl;dr - go write Harmon, Glasberg, and Moonves and tell them to either bring back Cote or at least treat her memory with true respect. Tell them if you're unhappy with the direction of the show and why. Be polite, but firm. And keep up the feedback, because otherwise they will think they have won and we're happy with a one-line mention and that'll be enough for us to forget all about our girl and move on to the next cool chick, just as easily as Tony will on the show soon enough.
Where to write to:
Mark Harmon or Gary Glasberg
26030 Avenue Hall
Valencia, CA 91355
Mr. Leslie Moonves
President and CEO
4024 Radford Ave.
Studio City, CA 91604
(There are more addresses and people to target over here on the BringBackCote site, so if you feel hyper-motivated, go check it out.)
And to those thinking I'm just losing my shit for no reason and surely they'll get everything they ever hoped for in that ep - yeah, see you next Tuesday, when you come back to look for these addresses. Hope your feedback will be extra-scathing!
- I feel: annoyed
Origami challenged? Short of postage? No need to fret – join Operation BBC for a very special Fishback Frenzy as we fill CBS’ twitter-quarium with electronic fish during a free, online-only event to remind CBS just how important Ziva and Cote (still!) are to us!
This Valentine's Day, let's shower CBS with love for our ninja by sending f
wishes all day long. You can participate no matter where in the world you are – so once YOUR clock hits 12:01 am, it’s about time to start spreading the love for Ziva and Cote!
Copy and paste some of the fish featured below, or come up with your own. There’s no f
wishing limit, so send as many as you want along with your wishes for Ziva to return, either through the CBS feedback form or tweet @NCIS_CBS. Also be sure to include #Count2aMillion in your tweet, so we can count those wishes! And don't forget to tell us - either @OpBBC_Official on Twitter or via email to OperationBringBackCote@gmail.com - how many fishes you sent via the feedback form, so we can include those in our tally as well!
Remember - ALWAYS be respectful. *Tweets deemed disrespectful or bashing current cast members will not be counted.
So, this Valentine's Day - spread the love and let CBS know that we want the real Ziva...not a fish!
Some fish examples for easy copy-pasting:
Curious minds want to know: NCIS' Tony recently mentioned having to care for a second goldfish. We know what he named his original fish. Are we safe to assume what he named his new one? –Cheryl
You would be safe, indeed! "If you’ve got Kate on one side of the bowl, it’s only logical who’s on the other side…," show boss Gary Glasberg teases. "You can guess what the other goldfish’s name is." Rhymes with… Viva?
Within minutes, Twitter exploded with outraged comments, and sarcastic tweets mocked his statement in hilarious and insanely creative ways. Many, many users roared up and said, "A fish? That's not the Ziva we want!" But the funny thing about this situation? Gary's interview ended up giving us the last missing ingredient we needed.
Welcome to Project #Count2aMillion.
(as usual, click for a much bigger version)
Here's how you can help: shower CBS in fish of any kind, as a symbol of our protest. (Well, okay -- maybe not actual fish. That would go a bit too far. ;) ) Building on the Japanese legend, origami fish, for instance, would be the coolest thing ever! It's not that hard, and they don't have to be perfect by a long shot. They just have to show your dedication and commitment. (For a start, you can find some pretty easy Youtube instructions here, here, here and here.) Include your wish or your reason why Ziva needs to come back to the show when you send the fish. Write them on the paper before you fold it. Or write them on the folded fish. And if you simply couldn't fold if your life depended on it -- write your wishes on whatever you have lying around. Pages out of phone books or newspaper clippings or, heck, write them on these silly color samples the hipster girls write their soulful messages on!
Now, if you're totally non-crafty or simply don't have the time to sit down to fold and cut and glue, don't despair! You know the Goldfish crackers? Yes! They're not just cute and yummy, they're also perfect to send a statement and bolster up our f
Do you know any kids, maybe? Your own, nieces, nephews, or your neighbor's kids? Why not have them draw some fishies for you that you can send to CBS? Paint fishes. Cut fishes out of cardboard. Quill fishes or quilt fishes or crochet fishes. Get these shaped hole punchers and send CBS fish confetti! But above all, have fun with this. Because that's what this whole thing should be about: the joy that Ziva brought to us while she was still on the show, and the joy we will feel once we get her back. And while there's still a lot of hard, patient work ahead of us, it doesn't mean we can't have a little fun on the way, right? ;)
Our goal: one million fishes sent to CBS. For that we need you to tell us how many fishes you've sent, of course, so we can update the progress tracker we'll soon put on the website. For the Goldfish, look on the box or package for the amount of servings (to make it a little more fair towards the crafty folks) and for everything else, keep an exact count. Then either email us at OperationBringBackCote@gmail.com or tweet your tally to us @OpBBC_Official, using the hashtag #Count2aMillion. Every fish (and every wish) counts towards the total!
Please check back regularly on our website or subscribe there to our mailing list for updates. There'll be more ideas for participation coming soon, and we'll keep you updated with lots of goodies over the next few weeks! And don't forget -- send us pictures if you get creative, so we can share them with all of you! It's double fun to spread the joy, yes?
( relevant addresses behind the cutCollapse )
summary: How it should have been.
word count: 27,000 in total, 6,250 for this chapter
notes & warnings: AU, obviously. Meet Sammy's new reality, in which the show ends with the last episode of season ten and this is where they'll go from there. Funny enough, this one started out as a flippant remark and then turned into something I wasn't quite prepared for: the base for a whole universe I will happily play in from now on -- a universe in which Ziva doesn't run away and they figure out their shit and how things work. (Yes, there are already at least three other stories planned in it.)
Nothing explicit happens in this story... or rather, it happens, but it isn't explicitly written about. Oh, wait -- two bad words towards the end, but those are courtesy of a movie quote. ;)
Massive thanks to Maya, my hyper-active muse and willing test subject. I'm two weeks late, but consider this a happy birthday gift, my dear. The rest of you -- consider it an early Christmas gift? ;)
comments & feedback: Very much appreciated.
on to chapter two
So, for those of you wondering - we're far from finished. Yep, we have more ideas coming up. And right now, we're going to ring in the holiday season with a nifty little mail special to refresh CBS's memory on how we feel about an NCIS-less Ziva.
We're starting this out with greeting cards for Thanksgiving and Hanukkah (which, coincidentally, fall on the same day this year). So you can either just buy a card, make one yourself... or print out some of the premade ones we cooked up for you, already stamped with special greetings to CBS!
Whatever you prefer - shower them in mail this week, guys. 'tis the season. ;)
(click for bigger/printable versions - Christmas/New Year's cards for your "Dear Santa" letters coming soon!)
( Here are all the relevant CBS mail addresses you"ll need for this!Collapse )
Please keep all comments and letters respectful. Let them know how much we want her back!
A few days ago, we contacted Cote's publicist and told them about the ad, to make sure they're aware of it and okay with it. We sent along a copy of the artwork, and apparently... they forwarded that to Cote. And last night, we got a reply. From our girl herself. (click for bigger version)
We did it, folks. We accomplished our goal for this ad: we put a smile on a gorgeous woman's face. We made her happy. And she thanks all of you - the guys who helped to make this happen. The guys who have her six.
Yeah, please excuse me while I go bawling my eyes out yet again...
(Yes, this is legit, 100%. No, we don't have Cote's personal email address now. No, we won't give out her publicist's email either, so please don't ask us to.)
Yes, you read that right, btw - a second time. We already trended it earlier:
For today, we even took down our usual #BringBackCote Twitter stream on the website and replaced it with a link to all tweets tagged with #HappyBirthdayCote, and you really should hop over and browse these, because seriously, all of these love declarations just make me... happy. Many pictures of people holding signs, lots of very personal messages, and I get really emotional looking at all of these! So much love for our girl! ♥
Okay, long story short - this is finally the part where I yell "Ta-daaah!" and pull away the curtain that shrouded our project from spiteful eyes so far. This? Is the message you helped fund. The message you helped create. The message you will see in tomorrow's L.A. Times.
(Click for a huge version - not the full print resolution after all because that ended up being 12 MB and you don't need it that big. Seriously. This is about half the size and still a good resolution so you can read it all.)
I hope you'll like it as much as we ended up loving it. It was a project that gave me a lot more gray hairs than I already have, and you don't want to know how much time went into creating this... or into cursing Photoshop for crashing on me like a dead donkey...
Now, for mere amusement I decided to not make this just about Cote, but give you a tangible little gift in return, to thank you all for your support, your donations, your messages. So I made this into something you can actually use - a wallpaper. Two versions, one with the greetings to Cote, one blank, and you can decide which one you like better.
(Again, click for a much bigger version of the images.)
I have a nagging feeling in the back of my head that I wanted to say more about this, but right now the thought seems to have fled and my mind is a sleep-deprived mush. I'll be back tomorrow. Until then - I love you. And thank you, again, for making this possible. ♥
Please do NOT, in any form, share these images on Tumblr. Linking to this post is fine, but I don't want to see the pictures themselves over there, since this community has been so hateful towards our efforts. Also, these are NOT base images for edits. Go make your own, don't claim or use these.