Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Bad Look

I've been told that, by republishing the blogs earlier today, I'm going to come out looking pretty shitty.

Well...when I wrote those blogs, I was being pretty shitty. And petty. Definitely petty.

Back then, I RSVP'd to every argument I was invited to. And I mean EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. I had friends that would reach out to me to make sure I received the invite that was waiting out on the internet for me.

One of the most frequent "calls" I got was to see the latest example of Valerie trashing me or Newsarama. Because they knew I'd want to read it and I'd feel like I had to respond. I'm not blaming them, because I wanted to be told. At the time, I gave nothing but positive reinforcement to someone who brought stuff like that to my attention. And I think I often felt even more inclined to join the argument when she was slighting someone I respected.

I've been a big fan of and over the years, due to their approaches to discussing comics. While so many of the more cerebral presences on the comics 'net eschew four color spandex stories, those folks consistently and proudly discussed the genre without checking their intellects at the door.

So, when I saw her slamming Pedro (of FBB) for not letting her pin her clear mistake in a review on anyone but herself, it bugged me. And then I paid attention (far too much attention) and noticed how often that happened. And I wasn't the only one.

A good, 100% mentally healthy person offers a comment about the problem, sees there is not to be any productive result and stops wasting everyone's time. But I've never been 100% mentally healthy in dealing with disagreements. Even now, I try to decline invitations to many arguments offered to me, but, when I do attend, I still stick around long after the rest of the folks want me to move my car so they can get out of the driveway and go home.

(Sidenote: of course, the irony is that FBB & 4L pretty much brushed it all off their shoulders and went back to doing their thing...with the only time they'd engage the subject was generally to encourage myself and others to do the same.)

So, when I stupidly brought up Devin Grayson's relationship with Mark Waid as a counter to Valerie's contentions that Grayson got a raw deal with her most recent (at the time) DC work coming to a close and had Valerie take it (understandably) in the worst possible direction, while deleting all attempts to clarify, I locked myself into making sure that everyone knew just how hypocritical, disingenuous and manipulative Valerie tended to be at that time.

I can't remember how much time passed between that period and my deciding to just stop. I know I dropped it around the time of someone live-tweeting the Eisners, but I can't swear if that was 2008 (which would seem a much shorter period of obsessing over her mistakes and the way she trashed me) or 2009 (which seems a bit too long, but could fit my grudge lying mostly dormant for a time). But I decided to admire how she and David Gallaher were pursuing their dreams together (which was surely one dream realized), recognize the glass house I lived in needed repair and just move on.

But my problems with Valerie had nothing to do with anatomy and everything to do with personality. And that was the case with a good many folks. It wasn't just Chris Sims and the suggested sycophants that had problems with Valerie during that period of time and the presence of a Y chromosome in her genetic code wouldn't have changed anything for many of them.

No doubt, much of the behavior that rubbed folks the wrong way could very well have been a byproduct of the harassment she was receiving from other sources. To flip a saying, when you're being treated like a nail, you'd have to be afraid that everyone might be a hammer.

So, if the treatment she was getting from others led her to be combative and caustic with folks she was afraid were just more of the same, it doesn't make them evil for fighting fire with fire. Just makes them Valerie.

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