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    From: (jms at b5)
 Subject: Re: Message to JMS about ASM #511
      To: rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe  
    Date: 8/28/2004 9:40:00 AM  

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(11 messages)

I accidentally hit send before I meant to...continuing on....

>Which is nothing compared to last year when that kid - literally kid-
>said his comics were boring (not even to him, or in a thread involving
>him!) and Joe (a grown man and a professional!) took time to look up
>the kids fanfic, and give him a public thrashing about how bad *his*
>writing was. (Do a search in this group for "boring pretentious and
>qualified" to read the whole appalling thread there.) I wonder if he
>punches 5 year olds who tell him they don't like his tie, too.

Once again, you misrepresent. To your assertion that this is a "kid," if you
go to his website you will find that he has been out in the working world since
1999, whch means he is at least in his mid- to late-20s, and where I come from,
you're not a kid past 16 or so.

You say to check out what was said, and I quote from his message, that "JMS I
find boring and pretentious," which was a shot at me since I was the one named.
Then when someone suggested he be gentler, he said "I don't care what he
thinks of my opinions."

There is a certain arrogance behind those words, and again where I come from,
it's not just pros who should be held accountable for their words. You seem to
think that everyone else -- yourself included -- should be free to say anything
they want, no matter how mean spirited or incorrect, but that the playing field
is not level...that I should be held accountable, but nobody else.

So having been tagged in this way, I thought, well, okay, let's see what he's
written that can qualify him for that opinion. If, say, Stephen King reads my
stuff and has a negative opinion, you can bet your ass I'm going to pay
attention because it's from a peer. Which doesn't mean that you have to be a
peer to have an opinion, that's just dumb...but the more a person can back up
their opinion, the more weight it carries.

If you're going to call something boring and pretentious, it's best that your
own work not fall prey to the same problems. Which, in my opinion, it
did...and I said so.

So why was it okay in your book for him to say something, but *not* okay in
your book for me to say the same thing in response?

Or is there one set of rules for me, and another set for everybody else?

See, that's what I'm trying to the basic unfairness inherent in
the sentiment that everybody BUT the person under discussion -- and it's not
just me, but all pros -- gets an opinion about their comments and their work.
God forbid it should ever go the other way, that posters should be held
accountable for their posts just as writers are held accountable for their

> What I'm not sure he
>doesn't get is how many of us who *did* like what he's done he
>alienates with this bullying prima donna behavior.

Sorry, if someone can't defend their stance, if someone is going to make
baseless allegations, if there's going to be one rule for one person and
another rule for someone else, I'm going to point out the contradictions. If
you call stating the facts bullying, then again the term has no meaning.

>If you're gonna constantly claim to
>be the bigger man, BE the bigger man and don't act like a spoiled 4
>year old on the playground who thinks beating up the kids who disagree
>with him makes him right. Especially when most of the other kids
>*weren't* picking on you, just talking about comic books.

Except that all too often the comments ARE phrased as personal attacks, often
in some of the most venal, mean ways imaginable. And there's being the bigger
man, and there's letting people attack you without grounds, falsely, and
unfairly. Sorry, but I don't tie my hands behind my back for anybody. If that
to you is how a fair conversation is constructed...that you get to kick
somebody to your heart's content but he can't move away or say anything or
fight back because that's somehow not appropriate...then you're not looking to
have a conversation, you're just out to spout and be the bully...because the
first thing a bully tries to do is to get your hands behind your back so he can
beat the hell out of you.

>We can still
>do that here, right? Or only about comics other than yours, written by
>creators old enough to tolerate dissenting opinions without having to
>call somebody a name about it?

Sorry, this is the oldest canard in the net. I've been on since 1984, pal, and
I've logged tens of thousands of messages about my work, good, bad and
indifferent, since then. I've faced more criticism of my work -- most of it
justified, a small percentage of it not -- than you will ever face in your
life. And I never, ever disagree with someone about their opinion, because you
can't, it's just a mug's game. But I do have a problem with unfairness, with
intellecutal dishonesty, and with people who think they can say anything they
want and that they should not be held accountable for it. And yeah, you can
say anything you want here or anywhere else about my work or anybody else's,
positive or negative, I've never said otherwise...but if you're wrong about
specific facts, or if you're being dishonest or accusative, then I have the
right to speak up. I can still do that here, right? Or is this forum only for
attacking, not actually *discussing*?

>Amazes me that the gifted mind that came up with Babylon 5 is capable
>of this kind of petty, childish, and ugly behavior

Pot, kettle. Kettle, pot.

>And even if he is,
>that he hasn't got the business sense to keep it to himself.

I don't apply business sense to the truth. The truth is the truth, period, and
if somebody finds it offensive that I would do so and stops buying my books,
I've got no problem with that, because I'm the one who has to look myself in
the mirror every day.


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