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. Thank YOU for being so awesome and helping to raise awareness about the rank misogyny that seems to permeate the internet. I’m also heartened by the fact that the vast number of your fans didn’t seem to buy into the usual misogynist bullshit. :)

  2. I hope you blocked those 2 percent. No need to invite people who can’t behave to your party. If they don’t believe you have the right to free speech, you are under no obligation to let them have it when it’s aimed at you.

  3. You’re welcome. And thank you for actually being a role model. An intelligent, well-spoken, hard-working individual who loves his family and his pets and shares his world with us.

  4. I appreciated your tweets for the way they showed a compassionate focus on the more important issues, and the reactions of those who blindly supported Chris Brown were disturbing. That said, I did think that some of your comments did come across as sounding as though you were of the view that someone guilty of domestic violence could never change. It’s a heinous crime, and one that should cause revulsion, but I stopped following your Twitter conversations on the subject when it started to sound like you thought it was an incurable condition. It’s quite possible that I misread your posts, and that the constraints of Twitter facilitated my misapprehension of your intent, and if that’s the case, I apologise.

  5. You were one of the few to speak out against this, and I’m happy to be in such good company. I don’t follow that area of pop culture that much, and I must admit I didn’t even watch the Grammy’s or even know what happened with Chris Brown. Thanks to your speaking out, and went back and did my homework, and I’m just as disgusted as you are that people can so easily forget something so heinous. Forgive and forget, right? No thanks. Thanks for keeping the internet awesome, Wil.

  6. Awesome post, dude! Thanks you for taking the time to write it. It’s such a shame that it’s the nasty, dreadful people who often stand out from the crowd so much. That being said, the fact that there is a crowd to stand our FROM, illustrates what you just said. Most people are decent.

  7. Geez, Wil – I don’t think any of us have felt that you are not appreciative of your many followers and friends. It may be difficult to express that on an individual basis, but we get it.
    You continue to use your interweb powers in a very positive way, and that is why many of us follow you. Your heart is in the right place, and we love you for it.
    Carry on, soldier.

  8. Can’t say it much better than any of the other comments so far… We’re here because we like you and your work. Your kindness shows through in your writing. Thank you for taking a stand against abuse! If the opportunity ever arose, I’d take a punch for you from one of the other 2%. ;-)

  9. I don’t know what makes me more sad-the fact that people, even one person, would want to see this guy perform ever again(regardless of any real or imagined rehabilitation), or that people, even one person, would attack you for reminding them why they shouldn’t.

  10. Wil,
    I will gladly be an NPC in you Crazy Awesome Army. Peel potatoes, clean latrines, even shave Jamie Farr’s nose hair. It is both a pleasure and privilege to share the interwebs with you and hear your thoughts and stories. if you ever bring wootstock to NYC, it’ll be my honor to hoist a beer with you, sir.
    Thank you.
    Gary

  11. Thank you! It’s absolutely refreshing that there are those who spoke out in disgust about Chris Brown and I thought yours was best done.
    I think Chris Brown’s lack of humility is what really grates on people. And to those who think he’s been somehow redeemed by a Grammy award, why not go and read that police report, eh?
    So thank you and I’m glad I’m part of that 98%. ;)

  12. It takes a special kind of awesome to stand up and say what’s true, especially when so many others seem unwilling to do so. Thank you for continuing to show the rest of us exactly how awesome is done.

  13. For the record, I’d consider myself a devout Christian, and I was thrilled with what you posted. God might call use to forgive, but that is not a reprieve from paying the price for your actions. It sickens me to see Brown getting praise and glory.
    Thank you for standing against violence against women!

  14. Thank YOU, sir, for thanking us.
    As a husband to a Presbyterian minister, and a christian, it hurts my heart when so-called Christians act like major douche-canoes. But you, however, are a saint! Saint Wil of the Internets! HUZZAH!

  15. Great thoughts, Wil. Thanks for sharing everything that you share. I gotta say, you’re a pretty big inspiration for exactly what you’re describing. You live it out in your writing and your attitude as much as any person could hope to. It’s more than just being the grand poobah of “Don’t be a Dick” — it’s about being honest and authentic in the things you share with us online and in your writing. I listened to Just a Geek a few months back, and what struck me more than anything was just how honest you were, and how vulnerable. So much of the book was you going back and correcting your own blog — that is, saying how you were really feeling at that time. That’s pretty inspiring. It’s affected the way I write on my own blog. What’s the point if it’s not personal, you know? If you’re not being vulnerable, and honest (and yes, kind), then what is the point?
    But more than that, I think you’re on to something. If we can be kind to each other, that makes being vulnerable that much more worth it. We can build an intimate community that’s actually millions of people. It makes me think of Craig Furgeson’s description of Doctor Who: “The triumph of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism.” This generation of nerds can really live that out, I think. There will always be some trolling asshole out there, but you’re absolutely right. All their vitriol and venom isn’t about me or you, it’s about them. Something is poisoning them from the inside and the rest of us out here getting excited and making things just end up in the path of their tornado. But I’m really glad to hear that those folks are in the minority for you. The rest of us really appreciate you, or at least I do.
    You’re a good man, Wheaton. Keep your stick on the ice.

  16. It sucks when people who have “self-identified as devout Christians” act in ways that are clearly not Christian. Glad they’re a small minority of the whole that do self-identify as Christian.

  17. As a devout atheist, I can still differentiate between right and wrong. I don’t need religion to help me in the department. What Chris Brown did is reprehensible…simple fact. The type of lemmings that stand behind him are a portion of the reason this country is circling the drain.
    Makes me shake my head in disgust…

  18. I always thought it would be cool to share the same name as a celebrity, I was very wrong. I should change my name to Michael Bolton, or maybe Wil Wheaton ;)

  19. Let me be the next person to declare I want a Crazy Awesome Army tshirt too. But seriously, those 2% make me stabby. Why do they even follow you? I stand with pretty much everyone else, we like you and your work, what you stand for and try to maintain awesomeness.

  20. The Buzzfeed responses from people posting things like, “I wish Chris Brown would punch me in the face” were almost more sickening. http://bit.ly/z9YX0N
    My first response was, ‘Each of these people DOES need punched in the face. Repeatedly.’ Then I thought about it; actually, each of these people needs to volunteer at least eight hours in a battered women’s shelter.

  21. Wil, once again you prove that your fans faith in you is well and truly placed. I for one would be proud to count myself a soldier in WWACAA.
    On a related note, I’m giggling like a schoolgirl at the idea of a t-shirt emblazoned with WWACAA and an Iron Guard with Fozzy’s head. (Kudos to Leigh Moncher above for planting that seed.)

  22. Like attracts like; when you look out across the Internet and see a sea of crazy awesome people smiling back at you, that is in large part because you, yourself, are crazy awesome.
    You rock, Wil! Thank you for being awesome.

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