In which I realize I need to say Thank You…

On Sunday, I was personally offended that Chris Brown performed at the Grammys. Violence against anyone is never okay, but the quiet acceptance of violence against women we see all over the world is especially reprehensible to me. Allowing someone who beat his girlfriend so severely she was hospitalized to perform on a national stage — and then framing it as some sort of comeback — didn't sit well with me. Celebrities — especially pop music celebrities — are role models, even when it's inconvenient for them, and what they do and how they treat people matters. So I posted a link on Twitter to the police report, just to remind people who they were celebrating.

I'd say about 98% of the repsponses I got were from people who thanked me for speaking up, but the remaining 2% were pretty awful: vulgar, barely-literate, blaming the victim, blinded by celebrity, convinced that it's something I should just get over and forget about, and — incomprehensibly — self-identified as devout Christians.

While I didn't take their anger and heartfelt wishes that someone "beat my ass" personally (it genuinely made me sad for them and their families), it has brought into sharp focus something I didn't even realize I've been taking for granted: I'm really lucky that the overwhelming majority of people I interact with — many of whom I will never meet in person — are kind and awesome to me.

So I wanted to take a moment and say thank you to you, person-on-the-other-end-of-the-Internet, for reading my various Internetty things, and for not only supporting my work, but for being kind to me. I sincerely hope that your kindness, your enthusiasm for making cool things, and your general awesomeness doesn't just exist online when you comment on something I did; I really hope that it extends into your daily life. I hope you're out there, every day, making the world a more awesome place.

The world needs more awesome people, and one of my dreams is to build and maintain Crazy Awesome Army… I didn't really focus on it until this week, but we're off to a pretty good start.

110 thoughts on “In which I realize I need to say Thank You…”

  1. And I want to thank you for all your awesomeness. And I want to apologize for that 2%. It saddens me when people claim to be Christians and then not ACTUALLY show Christ’s love.

  2. Chris Browns appearance started quite a discussion in our household that went something like this:
    First my defense of Chris Brown. He is a young man who got caught at a young age doing something horrible and stupid. He paid his penance that the courts told him to and he has moved on. If we don’t like the light slap on the wrist he got we need to be angry with the justice system not Chris Brown. I’m hoping he was caught at a young enough age that he has learned and will continue to learn and won’t continue this cycle of abuse. At least people are watching him now. The guy is a singer and performer. What did we want or expect him to do? Go work at McDonalds for the rest of his life? He went back to work.
    The music business is full of misogyny. Anyone read The Dirt by Motley Crue? What a bunch of fine, upstanding gentlemen they are. They are considered rock gods. WTF? What about Hollywood? Roman Polanski is a rapist yet stars continue to work for him and his movies are released and he gets Oscar nominations. Huh?
    Good for you Wil for taking a stand but you’re not the right person to be doing so. Where do Chris Browns peers stand in all this? Where is Jay-Z, Kanye West etc.? What do they have to say? What about Rihanna herself? She’s a huge star! But she says nothing? If she had stood up and said I won’t appear at the Grammys if He appears I would be Chris Brown wouldn’t have been there. She didn’t do this.
    I can understand if she doesn’t want to be to poster girl for domestic abuse but unfortunately it was a position she was forced into and it would be nice if she would use her star power to take a stand. If her record company or her ‘people’ are telling her to stay quiet then shame on them.
    I think the worst part out of the whole ‘Chris Brown at the Grammys’ thing it was the tweets that came out after his performance from stupid, stupid women saying things like Chris Brown can beat me anytime. WTF?! That is so wrong I can’t even put into words how it really makes me feel. If Rihanna and the hip hop/R&B community started talking maybe these kinds of tweets wouldn’t happen, people would stop joking and domestic violence would be taken more seriously.
    Anyhow Wil, keep up the good work.

  3. Wil, just wanted to let you know that, thanks to you, I just read that same police report on Tumblr! Quite unconnected to you (I think?) but still – thank you!! It’s creating quite the stir, as it should!
    Blessings,
    a looooong-time fan,
    ~Miranda

  4. Applauding you, because abusive relationships are impossible to get out of if you don’t have inherent inner strength. It’s embarrassing to think you’re ‘that girl’ and that you might have done something to set him off, that it’s somehow your fault…
    SO, yeah. Kudos to you for not being that girl anymore.

  5. 98% support? It’s a pretty good start, I guess…
    Hey, there is a lot of karma to make for. You spent YEARS being tortured for the words written by someone else that you had to say, actions and postures directed by someone else that you tried valiantly to make relevant, and miles upon miles of quality work snipped out and left on the editing floor. But did we scream at the writers? I do not recall a trend of yelling, “Shut up, Writers!!”
    So, if we support you, it is not only because we agree with you (which we do – duh, one would think this is a no-brainer, but the US in the 21st century HAS no such thing as a no-brainer), but because we have finally caught up to the times, and we realize that the actor is not the character. We KNOW you now (or at least your Internet Persona), and we wouldn’t knee jerk quite like we did the first time around.
    Of course, a very large part of that “knowing you” is the copious amounts of sharing you have done here on your site. It makes it easier to drop the rage if the guy you were supposedly raging at loves comics, and brews his own beer, and geeks out at meeting sci-fi and acting legends, and generally does all the things we would do if we were in his shoes.
    Well, you do everything I personally would do with the exception that I would have told the entire internet to go right straight to hell with the whole SHUT UP meme. You didn’t; that means you are a better person than I am. But then, everyone already knew that – after all, you never yelled SHUT UP at me.
    So yeah, we support you. And those that don’t, well…I am sure that “beat your ass” might be considered the 21st century alternative to “Shut up, Wesley”. Maybe you can interpret it as being in the same vein, and it won’t be quite so terrifying for your health and the health of your family.
    Wow, this is a long comment. I guess the tl:dr is this:
    “Of course we support you – you were the one who showed us how to not be a dick.”
    Thanks for everything, Wil. You make a difference in our lives, and you always have.

  6. To be quite honest, I never really understand the fuss about Chris Brown. Yes, what he did was very, very wrong. But he has been punished by a court. From what I understand Rihanna has forgiven him and he hasn’t hurt anyone else since.
    Everyone makes mistakes, some worse than others. But everyone deserves at least a second chance, in my opinion.

  7. Thanks so much for being awesome as always,Wil and taking a stand against domestic violence.There’s nothing like the internet to make you realise society in general still has a loooong way to go when dealing with topics like these.
    There’s still this idea that an act of violence is a minor abherration that a ‘good guy’ can have and that,’she must have provoked it’.(I always think of Patrick Stewart,in those awesome PSAs he did for Amnesty International, describing the sickening use of that phrase by the police when his mother called them after being beaten by his father.)If you think the pass given to Chris Brown is depressing,then I advise against reading the Youtube comments re the phone recording of Mel Gibson allegedly admitting to hitting his ex-girlfriend,while she held their baby in her arms.It will really make you check the calendar to see if we haven’t gotten stuck in 1955.Mel not only(allegedly-sigh) admits it,but screams that she deserved it and that he’s going to put her ‘in an effen rose garden’-basically a threat of lethal violence.
    Anybody can lose their temper & say stuff they immediately regret,but this is a whole other league.’Type A personality’ doesn’t begin to describe the disproportionate,cardiac-inducing rage and screaming on that recording,which,separated from the physical assault,easily counts as verbal abuse.Worse still,the amount of comments calling his ex ‘a liar and a golddigger’ who ‘had it coming’ is flabbergasting.As a Generation Xer(born in ’67)it makes me wonder why our feminist mothers & grandmothers fought so courageously against these type of injustices between the genders.When so many people under 40 still believe there are ANY circumstances that mitigate such rage and hate directed toward another human being,well,as the t-shirt says,’I don’t want to live on this planet any more.’Double sigh.Thanks for being one of the good ‘uns.Anne is VERY lucky!

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