I got a message another day from a brother on this topic, and this is not meant to admonish him but to present a general overall philosophy on life.
One might say this is often the reason I get burned, but it is a principle I like to adhere to because I try to demonstrate the virtue of charity and looking for the best in people – in the overall hopes that it might bring more into the glory of God’s kingdom.
As much as I use poignant rhetoric in memes or other media in order to get points across, I rarely if ever go and personally attack someone who’s not gunning for me.
Given the fights folk see that people pick with me, I as a consequence get a lot of PMs or DMs with “did you see what this person said?” or “you know this guy is a real snake he is just using the community” or things like that.
I mentioned receiving such a missive at the top of the post, and my immediate response, without thinking was as the title suggests: “Eh, I like him. I am not looking for people to go hate.”
That’s what separates me from a lot of people online. People get in their groups and cliques, and immediately seek out the “other” that doesn’t think like them, does something a little differently than them, and tries to look for reasons to ostracize the person, hate the person, condemn the person. It’s a tribal instinct and one that I see a lot—and it only gets worse when there’s careers and money involved like there are in the comics and the literary community.
The instinctive reaction comes from a fear that there’s a finite piece of the pie, and that these folk somehow have to protect that pie from the invader who will take some from them.
My focus has always been on growing the pie, bringing together a hodgepodge of different groups to be able to push things to the next level, where the groups might not even be normally aligned (it’s why you see me having so many fans who are in different camps – political, Christian, sci-fi readers, comic readers). It’s dangerous to someone in a more traditional route who’s only pursuing that finite pie out there because it draws attention away from the insular group, and so often establishment figures in said places lash out against me because they are afraid of the change I’m bringing about.
And that’s okay. I’m used to it at this point and it doesn’t faze me, but by the same token, I don’t want to use my position of vague authority in culture now to try to knock down others who are trying to get their leg up in a way that differs than mine. There’s plenty of baking materials out there to make new pies, and if I’ve learned anything during my time in these industries so far—there’s no one right way to do things. So unlike the authors and artists who went before me, who are stuck in their establishment cliques just like the ones they feigned fighting to only really be striving to get back with the old guard’s graces, I’m working on building something new and I firmly believe that the rising tide lifts all boats.
The bottom line is – don’t send me messages saying “did you see what this person said?” in order to try to drum up outrage with me. I don’t have time and I’m not interested. It’s gossip, and it’s really lame. To paraphrase the great philosopher, Snoop Dog, “I don’t give a fuck about word on the street. Study your own, dawg, know what I’m sayin’? Be independent.”
That’s the way forward toward a better culture and a better internet as a whole.
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