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Hi hater.

October 14th, 2008 by | Tags: , ,

Let me tell you a story about words and accountability.

Once upon a time, there was a guy named Yung Berg. He got a little bit of status, and you know what that means. Suddenly, people are paying attention to his words! Things he says matter.

So, Yung Berg gets to talking. He talks a lot. He says a lot of different things. At one point, he talks a bunch of trash about Detroit’s rap scene and one rapper in particular. He mentions how he doesn’t like “dark butts.” He says a lot of things.

And then, one day, he visits Detroit for a show. The rapper he dissed has a posse, and this posse stomps out Yung Berg, takes his Decepticon chain, and sends him packing before he can even perform.

A couple weeks ago, something similar happened. Yung Berg was talking, and said the wrong thing to the wrong man again. This time it was Maino, and Maino left a hi hater handprint across Yung Berg’s face for his trouble.

One thing rap has excelled at is accountability. If you talk out the side of your face, you are going to either get called on it or catch five across the eyes. No one gets to talk reckless and get away with it.

Is it wrong of me to wish that comics blogging was the same? Could you even imagine how incredible that would be? It’d force bloggers to up their game. You wouldn’t be able to get away with making outlandish accusations about people’s personal lives because that person, or someone else, would call you on it.

All of the tasteless jokes and insinuations and knee-jerk reactions and hysterical shouting and death threats and all of the other terrible garbage that low class bloggers get up to would end. You’d have to be grown up and responsible and actually intelligent. It would be like an entry fee, only it comes after you’ve already entered the blogging arena. That makes it into a tax.

I’m 100% for this, if only because everyone who has ever suggested that a comics creator or company should die horribly because they dared to make something that someone else didn’t like would end up laid flat, and hopefully in public. Own your words like an adult.

If you’re wishing death on somebody because of a book, you’re a clown. End of story.

Comics blogging should be more like rap. It would be a better world by far.

Hola, bonjour… hi, hater.

Y’all got to do better.

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34 comments to “Hi hater.”

  1. it’s important to note that Yung is probably going nowhere.


  2. It would make for an interesting king of the hill, as receiving a digital ass beating lets someone take over your blog.


  3. Um..you want blogging to determine who can say what by who is physically toughest? Or who can get a group of friends together to beat or intimidate someone? I have no idea who this Yung guy is or what he said. But (and I could be reading this wrong) it seems like you’re saying he talked shit about some people so they beat him up. And that proves you shouldn’t talk shit? I mean shouldn’t the “winner” be determined by best rap? Or biggest audience? Or something? Unless thats what you mean happened? That this Yung guy talked big but the people he bad-mouthed out-rapped him? And so blogging should be like that?

    I’m pretty tired so maybe I’m not understanding…


  4. Lurker: think of it like an extention of the “own up to what you write” principle behind everyone’s using their name on this site. If you’re going to put something out there, stand behind it or keep quiet if you can’t deal with the fallout. Talking trash about the local boys and then showing up to try and play a show where they work? If you tried that crap with a union (hint: in recent strikes, some idiots HAVE, so maybe you have this example fresh in your mind too), they’d probably be doing much the same to you, and they’d be doing it because they have so much invested in their profession.

    I think my metaphor fell apart.


  5. Hmm… I would watch public feuds between comics blog people if they could drop insult posts on the level of Nas’ Ether. That was the part of the rap feuds thing that I liked.

    So, Davey B, Call some people out.


  6. I like the idea, but how exactly would people be held accountable?

    I’m not sure that gathering together to curbstomp someone would be economically or legally feasible, and some don’t seem to have the sense to realize when they’ve been verbally/textually smacked down.


  7. @Dustin from FTLOC: The greater point isn’t that bloggers should be beaten up– it’s that oftentimes people need incentive to be or do better. Living under the constant threat of catching a punch would do a pretty good job of forcing people to do more than just blindly and violently freaking out over the latest issue of a bad comic. It holds a more effective threat than “Someone might come here and call me an idiot online.”

    I’m not actually going to swing on somebody over something they said online. Probably.

    @Joseph from FBB: I could drop an Ether, but I’m having trouble finding somebody who’s worth more than half a bar.

    @LurkerWithout: You aren’t understanding, you’re right. There is a difference between rap and real life, just as there is a difference between blogging and real life. If someone steps outside of those bounds, I don’t have much pity if they have to deal with the repercussions.

    @Syrg: Dead on.


  8. You know you’ve been reading too many comics when you think punching someone is the solution for every complex issue.


  9. @Aaron Poehler: Yes, because that is exactly what I advocate for every single complex issue ever


  10. I kind of like the thrust here but – maybe I don’t read enough comics blogs (I think I read more’n enough) – I haven’t seen many calls for, you know, beheadings of creators. I thought that was more a no accountability messageboard thing? Or comments threads? Which – absolutely, fuck these people.

    The only places I’ve seen this kind outrage in blogs is, actually, as a buttress, an accompaniment, on some of the more militant I guess feminist blogs. And, while I think these reactions are basically ridiculous (I say this as someone who will never have to swallow whole the visceral unfairness of… DC’s gender-politics,) I can’t really advocate punching kali92101 or whoever it is this week on livejournal; I can’t really advocate reading livejournal either, ever, that said.


  11. I am 100% in favor of people being forced to own up for all their shit


  12. I understand what you are saying about accountability and only saying things that you firmly believe in after putting critical thought into.
    But the analogy to the rap world and the violence within is a bit weak.
    In rap confrontation and drama is pretty much the game, most people entering that field understand that the drama and competition is a part of the industry.
    Most comic creators don’t get into the field expecting to get hated on or have to battle other creators. Most respectable bloggers don’t espouse hyperbole randomly.
    Where hating is component of the rap world it’s only a fringe element of comic fandom.
    I guess comparing the comeuppance of that world to comics is about as useful as comparing it to real life and saying, “There are douchebags in real life, I hope those douchebags get beat down.”


  13. “Where hating is component of the rap world it’s only a fringe element of comic fandom.”

    With the caveats expressed above, nonetheless: ahahahaha. Do you really think so? Because Fanboy Rampage existed almost purely to document entitlement-rage (‘what about the fanssssss, Joe?’ is keynote) and did not want for material daily.


  14. I’d much prefer to read about, or watch youtube videos of, actual fisticuffs as opposed to reading blogfights. So yeah, I’m all for this.


  15. what.

    Are you saying bloggers should behave like thugs?


  16. @gobbo: Damnit man, I write up a whole paragraph about this and you get it in one line.


  17. Rap = Accountability?

    I know the standards for accountability are currently very low, but that’s just ridiculous. Especially using physical violence against someone as an example of accountability for pissing someone off.

    Is this about how I said that the current crop of the Dirty South movement is to blame for the quality of hip hop deteriorating? ;)

    But even taking that as a good idea of accountability, it won’t work. There don’t seem to be a large number of people who would actually back up their threats of physical violence. I know that no one made good on their threats aimed at me prior to my attendance of NYCC.

    Maybe it is because we know that, unless you’re a prize fighter or an MMA fighter, you don’t really prove that you’re better than the offending party by slapping or punching them. Silencing someone’s voice, regardless of the merit of their statements? Possibly. Cathartic? Sure. Constructive or productive? Hell no.


  18. @Kevin Huxford: Lets put it this way- Would you call your boss a slur to their face? No, of course not, you’d get yourself fired. Would you go up to someone who’s just chilling in a bar and call them a bitch? Not unless you’re looking for a fight.

    I think what David is really getting at is that if it’s not something you’d say to a persons face with a crowd present, then maybe you shouldn’t be saying it. There’s a difference between, “I won’t be buying this comic because I don’t like the writer ever since issue x of comic y” and “This writer fucking blows, I hope he gets AIDS, dies, at his burial has people talking about the great things he did for the gay pride movement, then has his grave violated and his hands cut off, then gets resurrected by the crow to take revenge, and has to go through life as a gay handless zombie.”

    Tact: it’s pretty cool and more people need to have it.


  19. Hey, DB, just name names. Call them out.


  20. Come on people, the rap comment wasn’t meant to be construed as “I wish blogging comics shared the exact same penalties as the rap game.”

    It’s about accountability. Like wanting bloggers to be accountable, in some way, for what they say. Like how rappers are accountable in their own way, or possibly a guy at his job talking about his boss and getting caught is accountable in some way.

    It’s not about what people should or shouldn’t say, and I can’t say this enough, it’s holding folks accountable for what they say. That’s the message here, there’s nothing remotely saying “there should be violence” so much as there should be something to stare a person in the face when they say something. Something to pay up to.

    It’s already been said in these comments and in this very blog post itself in more ways than one. You can say whatever you want, but the thing is that “real conversation” involves real people confronting you on the things you say. So if you say that someone is a bitch in a bar, whether or not you get your ass kicked depends on who you are as a person and whether or not you can cash the check you just wrote for yourself. It doesn’t mean you can’t call someone a bitch at a bar, but I guarantee you that most folks wouldn’t. Just like most folks wouldn’t say they’d kill someone for making a comic they didn’t like out in public. You know why? Because that’s insane, and most folks know what comes from saying things like that to anyone other than their friends who let them get away with that nonsense.

    You can say whatever you want, accountability is ensures that you have to live up and face the consequences, to your benefit or misfortune, of the things you say and do. This is not about violence or making comics into the “rap game” boogie man.


  21. I too believe that might makes right and that smaller and weaker people should not be afforded the same freedoms that bigger and stronger people are. I mean, if I can kick your ass, then you shouldnt be allowed to say anything I dont like. Thats evolution dammit and its the American way!

    No, wait, thats STUPID. Its stupid when it happens in rap, its stupid when it happens in a bar, and its ridiculous when its applied to the internet. If your response to words is physical violence, then I can only assume its because you arent good enough with words to have a response. And even then ignoring them and walking away is still a valid response.

    This whole thing is really nothing more or less than another internet tough guy post. “Yeah, well you wouldnt say that to my face, I’d kick your ass!”. Of course you would. Unless I’m bigger than you, or stronger than you, or have a big group of friends or a weapon. Surely it would be a better idea to try and take the violence OUT of rap music and bars rather than to put it IN to comics?


  22. @Mack: There’s no one to call out, that’s kind of not the point of this. If I wanted to call someone out, I would and I have.

    @Simon K: You’re absolutely right, and I would like to add one more thing– if poor people were so poor, why don’t they just sell their children off to rich people for food?


  23. @Soth: You bring up whether I’d call my boss a slur to his face. Well, no. But if I did, I’d be fired, not slapped. THAT is accountability. You think someone needs to be held accountable for their stupidity in the blogosphere? Call them out on it. Shame them, if you like. But advocating physical violence? That’s right in line with “all of the other terrible garbage”.


  24. Kevin, you and the others basically missed the point. The point of the post is about accountability and owning your words. It is about people being grown up enough to talk like adults instead of children.

    What’s the difference between being fired (which can only happen in a business situation) and being slapped (which should only happen in a non-professional situation)? For the purpose of accountability, nothing. They are both consequences for actions.

    It isn’t about slapping, it’s about being accountable.

    Soth got it right, and you’re hung up on semantics.


  25. “I’m 100% for this, if only because everyone who has ever suggested that a comics creator or company should die horribly because they dared to make something that someone else didn’t like would end up laid flat, and hopefully in public.”

    It is a bit confusing and this bit is probably why but, yeah, I’m down for the verbal slapdown completely. Who wants to be the Sadly, No! of comics blogs, though? I can’t document that shit, I can barely read it.


  26. “Who wants to be the Sadly, No! of comics blogs, though?”

    …I think I know a dude. I’ll see if this can get him to actually update shit again.


  27. I didn’t express myself very well; I’m not trying to criticize at all or really insinuate that bloggers should get beaten up, my question is more what kind of incentive can bloggers be given to own up to their crap? I really like the idea, to the point that I’m trying to think of a way to actually make it happen.


  28. @Dustin from FTLOC: That’s a good question, but I can’t think of a single solitary thing that’d bring it about, barring everyone deciding to be better simultaneously.

    Either that or some kind of site that takes an organized look at comics blogs, with rankings and reviews and like that.


  29. Man, talking about missing the point.

    Anyway, I totally agree with your apparently obscured statement. It’s fine arguing that Jeph Loeb is a shallow and creatively stunted writer better off in television, or musing whether Joe Quesada’s pre-occupation with the amount of mutants and Spider-Man’s marriage has actually hindered the creative direction at Marvel despite the majority of his ideas being spot on, or voicing concerns over the portrayal of women in Frank Miller’s All Star Batman and Robin but saying that you seriously wish cancer upon Loeb and death upon Didio and Quesada is pretty beyond the pale.

    I suppose, recently, you could call that interviewer who asked Paul Cornell if Faiza would blow people up or Hannibal Tatu for writing an awful column every week but does that classify as ‘blogging’ to you?


  30. @david brothers: It’s pretty unfortunate that we’d need to watch the watchmen, but I’ve always felt if somebody is spewing vitriol, and it’s not particularly *good* vitriol, then it’s not worth my time. But apparently I’m unique in that I’ll actually drop a comic or blog based on not liking the author much. If more people were like me, I guess the guy that makes Dominic Deegan would be out of a job.


  31. This was a fantastic post Mr Brothers. It’s a shame so many people didn’t understand it.


  32. [...] hipsterism is alarming because normally, the false of any kind of subculture usually find immediate accountability. Punks kick out the posers. Rappers take down the suckas. I think what’s made everyone so [...]


  33. [...] probably the same day I read ABW’s post, that it got way fewer comments than a recent post wherein I modestly proposed that maybe crappy bloggers should get punched in the face for being bad …. I started ticking things off in my head. “Vixen getting lightened up? Black Goliath getting [...]


  34. I’m all for a comicblogfactcheck.org or something. But I don’t think I’m misunderstanding much of what you’re saying when you continue to endorse violence as the way to enforce accountability. Seriously, modeling a system of accountability based on rap feuds is just wrong.