I used to follow this woman on Twitter, Carolyn Emerick. I originally followed her because I was working on a project that drew heavily on western folklore, and she was listed as a folklorist. Well, she didn’t say much about folklore and I disagreed with plenty of what she said, but it was interesting enough, so I didn’t unfollow her.
Then one day a couple weeks ago she made a statement that sounded to me like she thought women should be the head of the household. That is a recipe for disaster, so I asked for clarification. She attacked, and as soon as I replied that it was the first time I’d ever said anything to her so she could hardly claim I deserved to be attacked for some pattern of behavior, I was blocked.
Huh. That was the first time I’d ever spoken to her, and she immediately blocked me at a sign of dissent. And this was a woman who spent a lot of time talking about how men and women on the right need to get along and stop fighting.
…Whatever. Someone like that is too fragile for me to care about. She was hardly the first person to block me—I’ve been blocked for Wrong Following by most of the professionals in comics—though she was the first to block me over such a trivial slight.
Today, I woke up and was browsing my Twitter feed, when I saw a tweet by Razorfist that made me roll my eyes. “Punisher is a lame Death Wish ripoff,” he said. Plenty of people dissented, me included, with good reason. The Crusading Widower is a trope so simple, and so ancient, that it’s absurd to claim any story that follows that trope rips off another. This is what I meant when I discussed originality in an earlier post. You can’t look at very high level human concepts—fundamental motives—and pretend any story that uses them rips off earlier stories that also used them. That’s retarded. If that’s the case, I can point to a number of stories Death Wish ripped off in turn.
And again, I was blocked. First time I ever said anything to the guy. I didn’t attack him, I just expressed dissent in a fairly polite way. I’m sick of claims that everything is a ripoff by people who should know better, and I’m going to call it out when I see it if the claim is wrong. Plagiarism does exist, but it rarely applies to the claims I hear being made.
As an aside, it’s funny this should happen now. Two days ago I started a project assessing the claim that Geralt of Rivia is an outright ripoff of Elric of Melniboné, a claim popularized by Razorfist himself. So far, from what I’ve read in the books, the claim is bullshit. The characters have almost nothing in common where it actually matters, which is their character and actions. But I’ll be fair and do a thorough assessment.
I don’t mind being blocked people like the examples above, because if you can’t handle even simple, polite dissent without throwing a blocking tantrum—not even just muting the conversation!—you’re not worth my attention. But damn, if this hasn’t become a nation of complete pussies.