Thursday, October 23, 2008

One Or Two Things I've Learned...

I don't condone the behavior of the DC Comics Insider -- the blogger who posted controversial allegations -- for a number of legal and ethical reasons that can hurt both the accused and the accuser. This person has crossed a line, and gotten way over his or her head in a way that I think he or she is not fully aware of. I think somebody on the Bendis Board (or maybe the Millar Boards?) said it was something like "it's just sick sad depressing fucked up shit." That is probably the biggest reason not to indulge in it all, because contact with it lessens you as a person and places a stain on your spirit.

But things need to change. Need. To. Change. My biggest fear is that because of this incident, people will shy away from public dialog regarding topics like sexual harassment in the comic book industry. That dialog still needs to continue when and where it is relevant and appropriate. The way The DC Comics Insider handled things was extremely poor, and dangerous to both him or her and the people mentioned in the blog.

The proper ways to deal with injustice, whether it be sexual harassment, racism, homophobia, or anything else are:
1. Find out what legal resources are available to you to address the issue and pursue them.
2. Get counseling.
3. Try to channel some of your hurt and frustration into something productive and expressive. This can be by joining or starting a support group, writing a book, painting a picture, anything.

To immediately go and "out" people in the fashion of The DC Comics Insider will hurt you as much as it will hurt them. It can even give those people you have a beef with sympathy; they become the victim. They get seen as the victim, you get victimized twice. Not a smart solution, is it? A better one is to find out legally what you can do. Or leave the situation; turn your back on it, and shake the dust off your feet.

But by no means do I subscribe to the "silence is golden" rule regarding injustice. I don't think it is distasteful for a member of a family to talk about some abuse that happened within it, for example. But you know -- there are people who do feel that way. They honestly feel that "what happens in the family, should stay in the family." I believe it is a primal response, some inherited predisposition from the apes, or maybe even the lizards.

That said, there are proper legal channels to go through. And they are there to protect you, as well as "them."

And if you are very concerned about the morality of a place you work at, leave it. Discuss it online, but don't put yourself at risk by using immoral tactics to do so. You then risk becoming the very thing you profess to hate.

The golden rule for all the frustrated, the unappreciated, the victims, the damaged, those with grudges...become a successful person. That'll show 'em.

And you know what they hate even more than you not giving in to your bitterness and destroying yourself? When you help other people. Been sexually harassed? Spend some time counseling a person that is going through the same thing you went through. Help give them the courage to get out of the bad situation. I've done that. It was awesome. They hate when you do that, you know. They hate it when you help empower people. So go help people. Stop giving these people sympathy by attacking them, and go out and help people.


  1. Maybe I'm out of the loop, but I think I need some context. What did DC Comics Insider do?

  2. So apparently my Google Fu is at apprentice level. What is this DC Comics Insider blog?

  3. I confess to the same level of confusion.

  4. It has been disappeared. I caught it right before it got axed. And I'll say one thing: there has been an extreme over-reaction. The commentary I read made it sound like someone died, got raped, got molested, or was in the ICU.

  5. Yeah, it seems that everyone who received this news is commenting on it, but without letting the rest of us in on what's even being talked about. Kinda in the dark here.

  6. I am clueless about what is happening other then some comments were deleted earlier this week and it upset the blogger now DC seems involved.

    It sounds serious and I enjoy this blog a great deal. Best wishes, whatever the problem is.

  7. Yeah, I was wondering also what this is about. I'm guessing it involves sexual harassment and "outing" someone because those are two things you mentioned.

  8. I feel your pain, all --

    but if I post a link then I become, as they say, "part of the problem."

    The first rule of the DC Insider Blog is that there is no DC Insider Blog.

    I just had to say my peace on the matter because some people wondered what I thought of the whole mess.

  9. It seems to me that by commenting on it at all in public and not ignoring it entirely (or barring that emailing a response to those who contact you asking your opinion) you're already part of the problem. This is certainly fanning the flames of interest of what the accusations/rumors/whatever were.

  10. Very fight club of you Val! :)

    Look guys, someone posted up something that was so over the line and if indeed true, should not even have been mentioned online, only between the parties involved.

    Whomever this person is, is trying to entangle not just themselves in this controversy but others as well. Unprofessional? Yes. Uncalled for? Even more so.

    Like Val mentioned in her post, there are many adult and more educated methods of dealing with problems. Posting crap on a blog, regardless of if it is true or not is childish and cowardice at best.

    Trust me guys, you didn't miss out on anything. Not at all.

  11. Val, you are making this worse by posting your thoughts and drawing attention to it. please please please rethink this---is your personal expression really worth it in this case?

    please delete this post. please.

  12. (Please feel free to withhold this comment from publication if you worry it will stir more negative reactions than helpful ones. No hard feelings on my part.)

    if I post a link then I become, as they say, "part of the problem."

    It's hard to say this without pointing a finger at Occasional Superheroine (and that's certainly not the intent here), but I worry that ship has already sailed. The Comics Blogosphere™ is abuzz without vague non-details about this strange non-incident, and the timing (or placement of it among other posts) could easily lead to speculation. Maybe I'm overreacting, but there's some ridiculous speculation in my own head that I'd just as soon be shy of lest I encourage even worse rubbernecking than my own.

    Maybe the best course is to jettison all references to it, now that it's hit "Nothing to See Here, Move Along" status?

  13. I now know what it was about, and to be honest I'm shocked, and while it isn't the earth shattering thing I thought it was, I can definitely see why it was pulled and why it can't be mentioned again.

    I uh, mean....what? Nothing to see here.

  14. I finally read the blog in question and the multiple allegations about multiple people that are made. Based on Val's response, I'd have to think there's at least some truth to them.

    I think if I had my druthers, I'd let these allegations see the light of day, and let the parties address them directly if they so choose. I understand people's concerns about lives being damaged by false allegations, and I also understand the argument that these matters are strictly between the parties and are not the public's business. But I think, paradoxically, when you have serious allegations like these, that has to be decided by the public itself. We can't have an insular community where a select few decide what everyone else should and shouldn't see. That's what we get when people aren't allowed to post links and the blogs themselves get deleted. Ultimately, if the allegations are simply the unsupported rantings of a lone crank, that will come out.

  15. wek, I've been mentioned in that blog too and I have every right to respond. And considering the other ways I could have responded to this whole issue, I'm being more than fair. The issues brought up by this blog are purely private? Um, not completely. There are business issues here. There are retailer issues here, at least as it pertains to Final Crisis and how it was sold to the public and to the retailers. I shan't elaborate.

    As for other issues raised, as I said before I'm being extremely generous. I've been thinking a lot over the last three days, about a lot of things. I'm the wrong person to give the "let's all be quiet about it and bury it" speech to, because I've been fucked over by that mentality several times over, I've been on the receiving end of that mentality, I've walked into traps because of that mentality.

    I've performed my "burying" duties, I turned down a tell-all book even though it was the easiest way to get published, I've lied to other people to protect people who don't deserve it, I've declined to discuss controversial things when asked to do so by the media. I've had plenty of opportunity, I've done my job, I've "ignored it for the sake of decorum and civility." I've done this so much that I don't even know if I'm part of the problem or the solution anymore.

  16. Comics is a weird bizness.

    We are constantly amazed when the people running comic companies reveal themselves to be no better or moral than executives at any other company. Even though they are stewards of "truth, justice and the American Way", they often do not practice such concepts themselves.

    I don't know what's been going on @ DC and, unless it's something criminal, then there's no real NEED for me to know. But if all the rumors are true involving sexual harassment and immoral practices are true, then they should be exposed and dealt with. If for no other reason than to prevent it from happening again. The victimized parties need to get help and speak out if they wish to but not from a sense of fear or 'damage control'. Help for all parties needs to be given. But, again, barring any criminal activity, it doesn't need to be splashed over the comics blogs. In such a case, the parties involved should be the ones to decide how much of their private lives and pain to reveal.

  17. What I heard at age eight:
    "Nobody needs to know what happened in this house."

    What I heard at age sixteen:
    "Let's just keep this between you and me, ok? Here's a free button. It lights up."

    What I heard at age twenty:
    "It's just that the college has invested so much in him now, and I think something coming out now would really hurt it. And he's really done so much good for so many people, I think it outweighs it."

    What I heard at age thirty:
    "You ok? Let's just keep this between us."

    What I heard at age thirty-four:
    "To even mention it is a bad thing. Just delete all references to it, we're all going to do it, and then it will be like it never happened."

    You're right -- let's keep the chain going. Comments closed.

  18. Hi, I just wanted to write that my last comment was not referring to Lord Shazam's comment. I thought his comment was balanced.

    Rather, I'm referring to a system of thought that virtually institutionalizes sexual harassment and corruption of all stripes, by shutting down dialog, censoring news, and using societal pressure and threats of blacklisting or offers of reward to do so.

    The subject matter of those posts were ugly, sad, pathetic, and hurtful. Unfortunately, some of it *was* relevant. I can choose not to reprint what this person wrote, I can choose not to go point-by-point on it. But I'm not going to just go "pffff, this stuff is not relevant anyway." It's relevant if for no other reason than when I'm asked by a young woman if I would recommend that they work as an assistant/intern at DC Comics. What the FUCK am I supposed to tell her?! I'm asked that question ALL THE TIME. What the hell am I supposed to say? Seriously! Or when somebody from the media asks me if I think DC provided a fair playing field for women. WHAT THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO SAY?! Tell me. Tell me what I should say. Tell me this isn't relevant. Tell me everything is untrue. I want to believe its untrue. Seriously. So if I ignore it, forget I ever read it, it will disappear. Correct?