In the interests of accuracy, let's set a few things straight here, shall we?
Fueled by a handful of hysterics whose own oxes were being gored, the
statements that I made in the Newsarama interview have been reinterpreted and
paraphrased to sound as if I was casting aspersions on people who didn't think
Magneto or Doom should be there. Or that I was confusing the Marvel universe
with the real universe.
Let's look at what I *actually* said, shall we? Not that the facts ever seem
to make a difference, and surely won't in this case to those who wish to screed
on, but just for the sake of argument...as they say in court, let's look at the
This is the verbatim quote of what I said in the Newsarama interview:
" JMS: A number of the comments I saw were along the lines of, "Well, Doom and
Magneto and the Sentinels and Galactus and others have done a lot more damage
to New York City than was done on September 11th, so I don't buy that they'd
make a big fuss."To which I say: move out of your mom's basement. One's a
fictional situation; the other is a real one. If you cannot perceive the
distinction, stop reading. And for god's sake stop breeding.
"To the specifics of Doom and Magneto being there and being upset..."
Note that there are two different paragraphs there. Note that there are two
WHOLLY DIFFERENT SUBJECTS being addressed. Subject 2 is the issue of Doom and
Magneto being there.
Subject 1 refers to the posters who said that "the Sentinels and Galactus and
others have done a lot more damage to New York City than was done on September
11th, so I don't buy that they'd make a big fuss." (They in this case
referring to Marvel and characters in the Marvel universe.)
There were any number of such comments, some of which were forwarded to me from
the comicboards.com system. We're talking here people who, having seen NYC
devastated in A FICTIONAL COMIC BOOK UNIVERSE couldn't understand why we, or
the characters, or Marvel, should make a big fuss about 3,000 REAL LIFE PEOPLE
BEING KILLED in NYC.
Ponder for a moment the dunderheadedness of that comment. The coldness of it,
the insularity and single-mindedness of it.
I repeated that comment, sometimes read verbatim, to reporters who interviewed
me from the NY Times, the Washington Post, NPR and others. To a person they
were dismayed and appalled that a small portion of fans could even think that
way, to dismiss or minimize something as massive as 9/11 because it had been
done worse before by Galactus in a comic.
It was that particular mindset, the kinds of people who would say and think
that, to whom my comments were specifically intended. The issue of
Doom/Magneto being there was a whole separate thread.
Do you agree with the sentiment expressed by these individuals, as described
above, as specifically noted in the article? That a fuss shouldn't be made
over 9/11 because worse has happened before in the fictional NY? If not, then
it wasn't addressed to you. It has nothing to DO with you or the majority of
fandom. We're talking about the ten percentile who are socially dysfunctional
and can't themselves distinguish between the priorities of the real world and
comics...the sort who give all of fandom (in which ranks I include myself) a
I invested two lines out of a multi-page interivew on these individuals. Which
those same few whackos have termed defensiveness. On the same board, they have
spent pages and pages of the most defensive invective now that THEY are the
ones under discussion. If we measure defensiveness by the linguistic pound, we
have two sentences on one side, and pages and pages on the other. You do the
See, that's the one thing I've learned about the nets, and especially some
groups of online fans (the same 10% or so). It's absolutely okay for any of
them to say anything they want about you or anybody else. That's fine by their
lights. And I've seen some of the most vicious, mean-spirited, hateful
messages on record addressed to or about comics pros on some of these systems.
But the moment you so much as utter one word in response...they go totally
bugfuck. "How dare he! He's attacking fandom! He's being defensive! Look at
his inappropriate behavior!" I note by handles that quite a few of those
who've been the most strenuous in this behavior are exactly the ones who made
the original comment I was addressing in the first place. They like to go
after somebody else, but when its their oxen being gored...well, by god, that's
They want to be able to say anything they want, but if you reply, if you
counter their bile with anything as inconvenient as, oh, say the facts, or even
an admittedly easy shot...that's wrong somehow. They don't want a level
playing field. They want to step into the metaphorical ring with you only on
the condition that your hands are tied behind your back. They can hit you, but
you can't hit them back. Wrong, and wrong.
If you dare to respond, they wrap themselves in the cloak of fandom the way
some peopel wrap themselves in the flag, as if by attacking one you are
attacking the other. Which is utter nonsense designed to try and get other
people riled up about something that had nothing to do with them.
I stand by what I said about those individuals who posted the kind of remark my
observation was discussing. Which relates only to those people. Again, it has
NOTHING to do with the latter point, which was simply and plainly dealt with.
People can agree or disagree with that to their heart's content, I'm fine with
that. But don't confuse the two issues.
(And on a different thread...when I said show me one human who could support
the random killing of thousands of buffalo, or thousands of humans, just out of
hatred, I was referring to rational human beings. Obviously people like Bin
Laden or Hitler are separate issues. They've left the title of humanity behind
by their actions. I could've said "show me one sane, rational human being" but
I'd assumed anyone reading this would consider that implicit.)
Anyway, point being, I don't mind being gigged for something I've said, but I
do take it personally when I'm being gigged for something I *didn't* say by
those who got caught out in their own outrageousness and have tried to broaden
out what I said to people who have nothing to do with what I was saying, to
misinterpret and paraphrase what I said to better serve their interests.
Just in the interests of accuracy.
(all message content (c) 2001 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)