Avi discovers that a "progressive" comics writer whom I actually admire felt the need to back up a colleague, despite said colleague being hypocritical ... and childish. Yep, Kurt Busiek tweeted, in apparent response to the conversation between Ron Marz, myself and Doug Ernst,
Our lesson for today seems to be that expressing conservative opinions is free speech but expressing liberal opinions is bad.
To say this is a ridiculous response does a disservice to the term "ridiculous." Not to mention, it's not even logical -- "free speech" and "bad" have nothing to do with one another. And, it's hypocritical in that it's been Orson Scott Card's speech that has been deemed "bad" among the liberal comics guys, enough to want him dismissed from writing for DC.
Look, I am, and always will be, a big fan of Busiek's comics work. Although a "progressive," he rarely, if ever, pushes an agenda in his stories. And when he is political, he's pretty fair about seeing both sides. (Consider his volume 3 Avengers work beginning in the late 1990s and the controversy surrounding the addition of Triathlon to Earth's Mightiest, as an example.) But in social media, like here, he can be just plain silly. Why is it OK for Marz to scream "STFU" on Twitter about gun rights, but not OK for me to tongue-in-cheekly write "Shut up and write" in a blog post comment? Not to mention, as we've pointed out here many times, when a conservative theme may be utilized in a comics story, it's "controversial."
So ... Kurt -- it seems that lesson is "that expressing conservative opinions is bad but expressing liberal opinions is perfectly A-OK."
As creator Mark Waid was fond of saying recently (regarding the Orson Scott Card matter), free speech doesn't come without consequences. Indeed it does not. Which is a point I relayed to Busiek a long time ago in an e-mail conversation. Kurt's response was that he didn't like so-called "economic boycotts;" he preferred to battle words with words -- for example, precisely what I, Avi Green, Doug Ernst, Carl and others have been doing. Of course, when Kurt and I had that past convo, social media was virtually non-existent, and blogs were in their infancy. But now that regular joes like me have [a lot more of a] voice, he doesn't like it much, it seems.
Nevertheless, let's get back to focusing on the actual matter at hand: Again, Waid's point about free speech and consequences is 100% correct. Waid (and many others) exercised these "consequences" with Card because of his [controversial] views on homosexuals and gay marriage. The hypocrisy part comes in in that why, if Card can be shoved aside for his views, cannot Waid, Marz, Busiek, or whoever else be ostracized for theirs? Many people demanded Card be axed by DC for his views. (Waid says it's about Card's actions because he sits on the board of the National Organization for Marriage; I already argued that there is little substantive difference between this "action" and someone in a lofty position like Waid using social media or whatever to espouse his opinions.) I, and every other person I know on the other side of the aisle, would never demand a liberal creator be fired for his opinions (or "actions" like Card's ... unless it was criminal, of course). We'd merely not support such a creator with our wallets.
Which, again, is the point I made to Busiek that long time ago ... and most recently to Marz. If you want to spout off on personal political views on social media, then don't be surprised if you piss a lot of people off. And Kurt's desire for "battling words with words" apparently was either phony or short-lived, for he blocked me on Twitter for reasons I presume have something to do with opining about his personal politics in the past, as have Waid and conspiratorial nut-case Erik Larsen.
Some "battle," eh? At least Marz has kept an open Twitter feed, and others like Dan Slott are at least very honest about why they'll share political opinions regardless of any economic consequences. Even ultra-liberal Mark Millar said Card shouldn't be dismissed because, basically, who says Busiek, Waid or whoever won't be next for their opinions?Posted by Hube at March 13, 2013 01:15 PM | TrackBack