Colleen Doran had recently wrote a blog entry in reference to my post, Comic Books Will Destroy You, that questions if the following quote --
“I don’t hate the man. But he was an alcoholic and bi-polar and he made the lives of everyone around him miserable. And yeah, I guess I hated him.”
-- isn't unfair to the "wrong people" who might be hurt by it.
I have to wonder if the "wrong person" who has also developed a reputation for making the lives of others miserable (and hence is mistaken for the quoted party) is somebody that I need to lose sleep about.
I've never heard about someone in the comic book industry being fired or demoted for a reputation of consistently treating people like crap. I seen these people yell at others until they made them cry in front of them, systematically pick on people until they had to go on blood pressure medication, attempt to ruin their careers by setting up intentional blacklists, have sudden "bipolar" mood swings and take it out on those around them, suddenly end a person's tenure on a book without warning or justifiable reason or proper notice, and a whole host of other stuff that would be redundant to repeat on this blog.
The real culprits, I find, are not the individuals themselves but those around them who tolerate the behavior or refuse to discuss it because it's uncomfortable or a conflict of interest to do so. Such a mindset not only hurts the people who find themselves victims of such an unstable person's rage but hurts the perpetrator himself or herself. It's a message that "it's okay to act like this."
And, truthfully, I've been put in the situation numerous times of talking to someone who is working for X or Y and not telling them about X or Y's shitty behavior because I didn't want to put that person in a conflict of interest. I've held my tongue PLENTY. I've held my tongue so often I'm wondering if I'm doing it truly for unselfish reasons or am I just masochistic and self-effacing.
But, as I said before, I've never heard of such an individual get truly sanctioned, much less fired, for that uncivil behavior. And so these little "blind" reminiscences are an outlet, a release-valve -- not just for me, but for others. It's the stuff we're not allowed to talk about because "nice" people don't do things like that. But are we even really being allowed to talk about it? Not really, because we can't name names. But it's nice to pretend. It's nice to pretend we have some crumb of power.
If there is anything I DO feel bad about, is that the individual described in that quote -- assuming the speaker of the quote was accurate in his assessment, which might be, since I knew of who he spoke -- might never get the help he needs. Because it's impolite to to even bring up he has a problem. That's the only thing I feel bad or sad about regarding this.
And, just to clarify, I have indeed heard every quote I listed on that list, and listed on this blog. Yes, everything.
And I've pulled an entire book of memoirs from publication because the only way to do it justice would have been to print it with names intact. I tried rewriting it as a roman a clef, I tried putting in fake names and I tried the "blind item" approach. And the only way that it would have really been good was to go the "real name" route. And, assuming I was able to deal with it legally, it still would have been "impolite" to be so bold.
So this blog is my little crumb of power, my outlet. And I'm glad I wrote that post.