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. I’d never heard of this man until you spoke up and I was as appalled as you were. I don’t understand how society can reward criminal behavior and I’m glad you pointed out this terrible example of celebrity induced “amnesia” among the media and hardcore fans.
    If I didn’t tweet my support at the time, it was due to shock. Please know you had it then and now. Thanks for being a stand up guy, Wil.

  2. And Thank YOU Wil, for writing that tweet in the first place. It makes me sad that so many people (you’re right that 2% of the internet is a lot!) wrote such awful things to you.
    DON’T BE A DICK! <– Best. Rule. EVAR!

  3. Wil,
    It is rare to see any person live and speak honestly, especially in public. From women like me who have been abused by their partners and watching everyone forgive them time, after time…
    Thank You.

  4. Okay, i’m so glad I joined w/ FB to say something. Now, I will say that I AM terrible with typos ( & general GRAMMAR), and will probably sound retarded, but I AGREE 1000.99%. My family and I were watching the Grammys; every time he was mentioned and performed ( if once wasn’t enough, he performed TWICE), I just *ugh*,shuddered, and was mentally revolted. I have arguments with my OWN mother, whom(or who, said i was bad) also is a christian. I was raised Christian, yet disagree with my mother all the time about some thoughts on the subject. It makes me made when people automatically shove the issue to the side;nonetheless,elderly people who say, “Well, she isn’t innocent because look at how shes dresses. She’s so Vulgar”. This is about the time I see red, and I yell, “That is NO different then saying someone “asked to be raped” COME ON!! WHAT THA *bleepety*!<–( I think that part; whereas, I might be angry, I don’t disrespect elderly people) What are you SAYING? LISTEN TO YOURSELVES!!!” And then I have to stop speaking because I feel like I am just going to explode. My mom says, “It takes two to tango”, but people still pick sides, and usually it IS “the woman’s fault”, and I just GO OFF!…. srry I ranted. X/ Also, I counter-argued with ” Oh! She’s Vulgar?! HE SHOWED HIS JUNK on the INTERNET… WILLING! Boasting about it!” ARGH!!!! That might not have been part of your argument, but I just wanted to say THANK YOU! Thank you for those considerate words of wisdom, or at least what I think of as wisdom. I support it, fully! I’m right here with you wil!

  5. p.s. I want to shake your hand and thank you in person on JCCC2, but I was also in Seattle a few years back for Pax Pox (swine flu). So I will virtually shake your hand here at your blog. :)

  6. But isn’t that always the case? The 2% need more attention and thus the 98% who are backing you often go unnoticed.

    Thanks for noticing us 98%. I’ll be happy to continue standing here, being polite.

    On a side note, thank YOU for using your “sway” for sending good things out to the universe. Thank you for setting an example worthy of the respect you have from so many out there.

  7. Just HAD to delurk for once and thank YOU for being the kind, honest non-dicky person you are. You constantly brighten my day and I really appreciate what you do!

  8. Wil: I tweeted this at you at almost the exact time that you posted this blog entry (or, at almost the exact time that you linked it on Twitter, since Twitter hadn’t updated before I sent it), but I’ll put it here too: Andy Levy had a pretty good back and forth with Chris Brown and his followers, and this is his “apology” to them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOjUKwoHUyw

  9. Thank you Wil for being a celebrity with sense, not only of yourself but of what you represent. As you said, celebrities are role models and acting as Brown did should have earned him a lifelong boycott from the Grammys. I’ve never commented before, but I’ve lurked for a while now and I must say, yours is the only celebrity anything I follow because of how real and down to earth you sound.

  10. I am not much of a commenter, but I just had to come from out of the dark corner and let you know that I appreciate you. If more people where like you, and took a stand on what is good, this world might be a tad bit better of a place. Also, I would like to volunteer for the Crazy Awesome Army. The motto. “Don’t be a Dick!”

  11. I love you so hard that this post made me cry.
    THIS sort of thing is the reason I have been a fan / supporter / imaginary friend of yours since I was 13. Which is a long time ago, since when I was 13, you were 14. . . :)
    Thanks for being Wil Wheaton.

  12. My thoughts about Chris Brown are mostly unrepeatable. I have been that girl before… I wish more people spoke up about the fact that the music industry is celebrating a man who has never apologised or even acknowledged that he did wrong other than in a court mandated manner.
    Eminem wrote and performed ‘Love the Way you Lie’ because he realised that he had been wrong in the past. I read an interview where he spoke, movingly, on how becoming the father of a little girl changed him – he never wanted her to see him violent or end up in a relationship with a man like he had been… this is a man who has changed, apologised and moved on – emotionally and physically from the violence, Chris Brown has not.
    I also want to say this… I am a committed Christian, my faith sustains me… and I cannot help my shudder when people who have not read and/or understood the basic maxim of Christ claim him… Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and with all your strength the second is love your neighbour as yourself – there is nothing greater than these… not exactly consistent with the idiots who post c**p… who show hate and not love.. who let prejudice stop them from seeing what is right
    I’ll get off my soapbox now and just say thank you.
    K

  13. Keep up the good work Wil. It takes people standing up and saying something when the world gets this completely FUBAR. With one comment on Twitter you reached a lot of people and brought awareness to the situation. Not too shabby. There is no way out unless we choose to stand up for what is right. The internet gives us a voice… so let’s use it. Wil, good on you and everyone else that wants the abuse to stop. This kind of stupidity shouldn’t be celebrated or supported and at the very least it shouldn’t go ignored. That CB is a celebrity just means that he has a platform to promote his product and be heard by millions of people. He isn’t untouchable.

  14. Sorry they make me stabby and not sad, but I have nearly a dozen family members who were/are beaten by their spouses or parent. Too close to home.

  15. Reasonable and friendly internet communities are not to be taken for granted! Neither are entertainingly geeky blogs. Thank you for pointing out that there really are a lot of cool people among the internet masses!
    (As a devout Christian, I feel obligated to say that I agree with you wholeheartedly that abuse is never justified. It makes me ill to think that so many people ignore the abuse that goes on in the world. We need to stop making excuses.)

  16. Seriously, it sucks every time my Awesome-People-Surround-Me Bubble bursts. Every single time it does though, I vow to make it bigger and maybe one day there will not be anymore Dicks.

  17. I wanted to chime in and say thank you for your thank you. While I am sympathetic to the idea of people asking for forgiveness and redeeming themselves, there seems to be a soulless push by companies to get their moneymaking stars back in the green. Even when said celebs don’t seem to show any real remorse. It’s great you called them on it.

  18. What’s great is that IRL you can cut the nasties out of your life (done so quite a few times), and on-line you just block them.
    Bad thing is 2% of people is still a lot of people doing a lot of damage in the world. They don’t openly live out their nastiness, but polute the world with their existance.

  19. Could not agree more! I feel the same way whenever I see Michael Vick still playing football. Makes me sick that celebrities can get away with such revolting actions and the public still treats them like they can do no wrong.

  20. You’ll never meet us all in person? :sniff: But, I just brewed this awesome Scottish Ale that I wanted to share! ;)
    Seriously, though, sign me up for the Crazy Awesome Army!!!

  21. Delurking actually means a lot to me. I can't speak for all bloggers, but the only way we know that anyone is reading us is when you delurk and let us know. So thank you :)

  22. “Warriors of Awesome” – love it, sign me up! I always feel like there’s a lot of shit in my life that I can’t control but being kind is something that I can and will take charge of. If at the end of my life I can at least say that I did my best to make my tiny corner of the world a little bit happier, I’ll die happy. Ok not happy cause I know I’m going to be kicking and screaming but yeah…gratitude and empathy FTW! Remember that everyone is doing the best they can and act accordingly. I hate haters but I always feel better about myself (and the world) when I rise above it. Thank you for the thanks and for so many times, saying what needs to be said.

  23. I refused to watch the Grammys because of the glorification of thugs like him. You are correct. There are a lot of people out there who are blinded by celebrity. I am glad you spoke up. You were the only one that did. I have never met you, but through the years of following your bloggy-thing and twitter, you seem like a very genuine, down-to-earth, geeky-cool guy who loves to entertain and make cool things. It makes me sad to know there are those who would go out of their way to be rude to you. You make me smile and laugh every day and I thank YOU for that. Your appreciation goes a long way. Keep up the Awesomeness! Crazy Awesome Army FTW!

  24. As long as celebrities like you continue to exist as a counterpoint to violent useless celebrity knucklebags like Chris Brown, people will have a chance to distinguish the difference between having character and being a character.

  25. Damn u, y cant you see that youv always been awesome. Othr ppl got over it a long time ago so Y cant U!?
    It is my sincere hope that by learning their strange and alien dialect, a dialog can be opened with these mysterious members of the “Moron” tribe. Perhaps, one day, a peace can be brokered.

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