Jita Monument: The Sacrificial Vagabond is obliterated by its disgusted Stabber cousins.
On Sunday 15 July 2012, the "Thukk You, Frill Me!" fleet formed in Jita to protest, celebrate and remember. The reasons for the event were manifold, but primarily it was to have fun. The event ran surprisingly smoothly, with the successful destruction of a sacrificial Vagabond over the Jita monument, the gates to Jita refusing pilot entry at a cap of 2,200 and a period of TiDi being inflicted upon those in system. It was like the god-hamsters themselves were watching over us.
Off to Thukk someone up.
The RvB-led fleet was entertainingly chaotic, with the slightest distraction causing an almost instant breakdown in fleet discipline. As soon as a "flashy red" outlaw target was seen undocking from Jita 4-4 nearby, half the protest fleet shot off in pursuit like dogs spotting a rabbit. Fleet comms was just as hilariously unruly, sounding like a Lock Stock/Monty Python mash-up. By the time we mobilised, the fleet of nearly 200 ships comprised 10 vagabonds, 25 Fleet Issue Stabbers, well over 100 standard Stabbers and a smattering of other ships.
Further details of the event have been covered superbly elsewhere and links can be found at the end of this blogpost (edit: alternatively, try the Too Long: Want Pictures version). However, I intend to use this article to make a brief point and to thank folk at length.
The Fine Art of Humour
The fantastic promotional video created for the Alliance Tournament feed by Rixx Javix and scored by Roc Wieler was rejected by CCP on the grounds that it would be inappropriate so support an event which criticises their own art department. This was a shame and whilst I understand, I feel that CCP missed the humour and an opportunity.
If this had been a serious protest, it would have been about something far more negative (and there are no lack of choices). However, EVE is universally considered to be visually stunning and the cosmetic appearance of specific ship models is entirely a matter of taste. CCP's art department has, time and again, proven themselves to be effortlessly world class and the fact that people can be motivated by something as trivial as the removal of a few textured polygons is testament to that. If anything, this event was a salute to the skill and craft of the art team and their ability to evoke opinion based purely on appearance. We were not criticising the art department, rather we were supporting it.
I was personally disappointed at this particular sense of humour failure from CCP, but I accept it's their ball and they can take it home whenever they please. However people might start to think they're frightened of their own player-base.
Roll of Honour in the Hall the Frillers
Spot the Vagabonds, I bet you can't.
Everyone involved in the event participated in high spirits and with good humour. This was as much a celebration of community as anything else. As well as a strong RvB contingent, we had representatives from low and null-sec too. During the course of the event, there were a few stand-out individuals who deserve a shout-out. In order to distribute recognition and thanks I'm going to fall back on the comically meaningless method of imaginary awards.
Monument Caretaker Award I arrived in Jita hours before the event, in preparation for an afternoon of early-doors monument shootage. On heading over to the monument I found a single Stabber already orbiting and firing. I salute Nagapito for his dedication to the art of monument shooting. Although we should consider, it's always possible that he is EVE's first protest bot and he's been there since last year. In any case, the TYFM Monument Caretaker Award goes to Nagapito.
Martyr Primus Award Recognition for grace under fire goes to Sindel Pellion, who died on arrival in Jita before the event had properly started. Being a member of TEST alliance meant that their plentiful enemies were quick to take advantage of her war target status and deprived her of her pod as soon as she arrived. Nonetheless, she reshipped and soldiered on. Lesser pilots would have stayed away. Technically, Sindel was the first to die for the cause and therefore is the recipient of the TYFM Martyr Primus Award.
Piñata of Fearless Integrity Award
The protest march itself was kicked off with the symbolic destruction of a Vagabond over the Jita Monument. The imagery of over a hundred Stabber hulls turning on one of their own was as disturbing as watching a mother hamster eat her own babies. Maybe. This took a brave and - let's face it, trustworthy - individual. Combat Mink was the man for the job. Entrusted with a 160million ISK heavy assault ship hull, many pilots would have been on their merry way, chuckling to themselves. But instead, Combat Mink stood firm and was blasted to pieces for his troubles. the TYFM Piñata of Fearless Integrity Award could not go to a more deserving pilot.
SPAI! Operational Insecurity Awards
Throughout the event itself, individuals with far greater ability to multitask than I did great jobs of informing the world of our activities. Lelouch DeGilead (@whistlerbean) somehow managed to participate in the roaming horde whilst simultaneously reporting every move to Twitter and Kuramanga had a twitch.tv live feed showing the whole thing. How we didn't get hot-dropped I have no idea. But their efforts are gratefully recognised with TYFM SPAI! Operational Insecurity awards
Rebel Artist with a Cause Award
It would be remiss if the hard work of individuals who tirelessly promoted the event were not recognised. This can only go to the peerless Rixx Javix, who did... well everything. As if adorning an impressive number of the #tweetfleet with Elizabethan ruffs and producing two fantastic promotional banners (one of which will be appearing in the latest issue of EON magazine) wasn't enough, Rixx has been the one of the most vocal protesters and still found time to produce the aforementioned, tragically underviewed, YouTube video. His contribution was made all the more tragic by his Wedge Antilles-like withdrawal from the march. The TYFM Award for Rebel Artist with a Cause goes to Rixx.
He Shoots, He Scores Award
Another victim of the draconian CCP media decision was Roc Wieler. He was approached fairly late in the organisational process with a view to providing a musical score for Rixx's video. Rather than pillaging his back catalogue, he popped into his orbital studio and rustled up some amazing work that captured the drama and the irreverence perfectly. The TYFM He Shoots, He Scores award (see what I did there - it works on so many levels) can only go to The Colonel. Also, buy his albums, they're great.
Secretly Roleplaying a Competent Fleet Commander Award
Undoubtedly the most pivotal role was that of the man who made it happen. In the early organisation of this event, I breathed a sigh of relief when Mangala Solaris threw his weight and the weight of the RvB Ganked roams behind the cause. The irony is not lost on me that what was - at least partially - a roleplay event was being backed by the organisation least likely to give a flying crap about that kind of thing. It was actually quite amusing to see how Mangala downplayed that part in the RvB rabble-rousing. I wonder how the RvB massive feel now they've all been tricked into roleplaying. ;) A further feather in Mangala's invisible wizard hat must be his uniquely unprofessionally professional FCing style. He made co-ordinating 200 attention-deficient explosion-hungry pilots seem quite effortless. In recognition of his many deeds, the TYFM award for Secretly Roleplaying a Competent Fleet Commander is well deserved.
Creating Thukking Chaos Award
Honourable mentions should also go to Black Arcturus for services to local spam with his creative Thukk You, Frill Me! slogans and to Adhar Khorin for coming up with alternative lyrics to Metallica's Wherever I May Roam. I'll never think of the "Vag" (ahem) in quite the same way again.Orakkus at 2nd Anomaly From the Left did his share of rabble-rousing in the build-up too. Have a TYFM Creating Thukking Chaos award each.
Absent Jedi Award
Notable absences and honorary awards for being there in glowing-blue Jedi-like spirit are deserved by Swearte Widfarend, who started it all with this thread and Khalia Nestune who attempted to organise a supporting event but was cut down by CCP's Black-Ops Ninja Hamster Cyber Squad. Khalia hopes to run the event at a later time assuming the ninja hamsters back off.
I was tempted to browse through all the lossmails to find the most amusingly fit stabber hull for a special award, but I though giving anyone a Shit Stabber Award might be taking things too far.
Purple-Hearted Protester Award
Finally - and most importantly - a big thank you to everyone who took the time to fly alongside us that night and anyone else I may have overlooked. Whether you were there to support the return of the Vagabond's frill, lament the loss of the Vexor's smile (just Connall Tara then?) or the flashy blue light on the Federation Navy Comet, or if you were there just to enjoy the organised lunacy of an RvB Ganked night. You all win an imaginary wizard hat that you can pretend to put on next time you catch yourself accidentally roleplaying.
Alternative coverage and greater detail of the event can be read, seen and heard in a number of places from those who took part. See the links below: