The past few months of my life have been chaotic, crazy, jumbled, and everything else you might think of to call it. Job hunting during the holidays sucks. Stress gets to you. I could babble endlessly about this – but that’s not the point. Right in the middle of my two months of unemployment, right before the new year began, I wrote this post about the “Inner Circle Syndrome” and watched an interesting ripple form from it. The post actually stemmed from an offline conversation with Jennifer, as we talked about how we saw people attacking others in the blogiverse. It’s not a nice thing to see.

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I talked to Jennifer on the phone the following week and brought up something I find very intriguing though. As much as people don’t like being attacked, I can’t help but wonder why they attack Wil Wheaton so maliciously. I’ve seen the “Wil Haters” buttons, seen the blog trolls on his site, and I just don’t get it. People complain when they are attacked, but hello? Don’t you think Wil hurts just like the rest of us when he’s attacked? Why do people act like he’s some super human with thick skin that shouldn’t be hurt when people say & do such mean things? Would you form a “I hate Big Pink Cookie” webring? I certainly hope not. (Although Mike created a lovely Calvin peeing on the pink cookies just for my Nascar post, and it cracks me up every time I look at it!) So why is it ok to attack Wil?

Don’t get me wrong here – I thought it sucked when he won all the 2002 Bloggies. And when he made the post about how people should donate money to him so he could do something nice for his wife for Valentine’s Day last year, and all these kids were commenting about having no money at all, but they were donating $5 – $10 to him, I thought it was a bit much. But he’s not a bad writer, he doesn’t run around blogland attacking other people, and generally he seems like he’s probably a pretty cool guy. So what is it about him that makes people think it’s ok to be so cruel to him?

Sometimes I really just don’t understand people.

It’s interesting to see how much life has changed in a matter of a few months. I have a new job that I absolutely love. I’m so happy to be back in the legal field, and even at the most chaotic of moments I don’t have a single complaint.

On the other hand, I spoke to Ed K. on Monday and found out that he’s having major heart surgery later this month – fighting insurance companies along with dealing with all of the fears that come with something that has such high risks and survival rate issues. Then Thursday night I discovered all that Robyn & Todd are going through right now, and my heart just broke. They have constantly been in my thoughts and prayers – it’s so sad to know they are going through such pain.

I guess the point is – the Internet can be faceless, and it can seem to be ok to attack someone because you may never meet them in person. But that’s not the case. Whether it’s Wil Wheaton, Ed K., or Robyn – all people that I’ve seen attacked in the past several months for various reasons (right or wrong, doesn’t matter) – they are people. Be kind. They hurt just the same as you or me.

Try to spread some peace and kindness as you travel through life. We could all use some these days.

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

18 replies on “Thoughts…”

That’s a product of his fame, Paul. I’ve seen lots of blogs that get 50+ comments on posts that make me scratch my head and wonder. But even if he got 4,000 comments a day does that mean that he deserves a ton of people attacking him? It’s not like he asks for 400 comments a day – people just leave them.

I know in one of the posts I made during that time, I attacked Wil, and then took it down because I realized that it was just because he’s an “easy target.” I was (unintentionally) demonstrating the very thing that I hate about the internet and blogs.

I think people use the phrase “It’s my blog – I can say whatever the hell I want!” as a license to act more cruel then they would in “real life”. People would NEVER say and do half the things they do on blogs that they would if they were “really” sitting in your living room (or their living room). It’s easy to forget that you (and everyone else online) is human. When you finally breakdown – when you finally expose yourself online – say how much you hurt – then it becomes clear. It’s kind of sad that it needs to come to that before people see you as human.

The Anti-Wil webring that you’re referring to was started NOT to attack Wil, but as a joke to express the amazement of why Wil’s blog is so popular when it really contains nothing of interest. He is only popular because he is an actor. What started as a joke grew because it seemed there were a lot of people out there who could not get over the popularity of Wil’s blog. People always get upset when they put their thoughts out there and then someone disagrees with them, and they start wondering why everyone can’t just be nice? That’s the price of free speech and part of what happens when you publish your personal thoughts online. Not everyone will like you and not everyone will agree with you, and sometimes, people will even attack you. We’ve all had comment trolls on our blogs, it’s just a part of being online. I would have no problem telling Wil Wheaton to his face that I think his blog lacks interesting content and he’s only popular because of his fan following. If he can’t take those kind of comments, then he made a good decision to stop blogging. I say good riddance.

Actually I stil have a problem with Wil’s blog – but it’s less about his “popularity” as it is about the fact that blogging (in my mind) is a community. When he started a blog, I thought that was really cool – a celebrity who was perhaps interested in being a part of the “real people” community – but that wasn’t the case. His blog is just a venue for his fans to see him (and maybe drum up more fans) (since the media doesn’t pay much attention to him). To my knowledge he takes no active part in the “blogging community” – I’ve never seen him comment or visit other people’s blogs, or leave comments etc. In my view – it’s sort of like he attended a local interest group meeting – asking if anyone would like his autograph. He’s not really interested in being part of the “community” and I think being part of the bloggies, and pretending to be a “real blog” is kind of insult to the people who ARE a part of this community. (And while I don’t think that gives people the right to go on his site and rip him apart – I still personally don’t care for him or read his blog.)

I read Wil’s blog because he’s a good writer. Period. He makes me laugh. Not all blogs can be about blogs, or the “the community.” Further, which community do you refer to? He’s actively involved in GeoCaching and has stuff about the Fark site on a regular basis and a number of things that he’s into. It’s his blog. He doesn’t have to link to “Best Known Blogs” or the “Friday Five” to be part of the “community.”
He’s got good content. Christine has good content. ScriptyGoddess has good content. That’s what drives the traffic. Certainly a better known name helps, Adam Curry is a pseudo-celebrity who gets decent traffic and no one bashes him. I haven’t heard much around the blog-o-sphere about Dave Barry’s Blog, but I bet his traffic is disproportionate. The deal is, the internet can be very democratic. Even if you are a celebrity, if you have a site, and the content sucks, you have no audience. Wil can write. Period.

sorry, but i don’t like wil’s blog either. i totally agree with trish on this one. i mean, come on, the guy’s coming out with a book… ya’d think he’d be able to take a little criticism. ya’d think he’d be able to differentiate between trolls and actual criticism. yanno, he should have a thicker skin than the rest of us. sorry, but it comes with the territory (of being famous, or even semi-famous).

now, i don’t think we were really “attacking” him. sure, we all joined an anti-wil ring. but do we go leave disparaging comments on his blog? i don’t know about the rest, but *I* don’t. just like people make rings for things they like, we’re in a ring for something we don’t like. would you defend, say, P. Diddy if we started an anti-P. Diddy ring?

personally, i find nothing cruel about the anti wil ring. he is a celebrity, it comes with the territory. their are anti brittney, j-lo, pdiddy, etc… websites out there, it’s part of being a celebrity. i do not see it as an “attack” it’s an opinion, they think wils blog sucks and they found a humorous way to express it, there was nothing mean or malicious about it. but that’s just my opinion.

Just wanted to say thank you for this. I’m certainly not the same person today that I was two weeks ago, and my blog and attitude in it will always reflect that. And I’m not so sure the life lessons I’ve been forced to learn will be seen as a “bad” thing by most… It was just a very steep price to pay, IMHO. I’d much prefer the multiple choice version to the essay exam I got.

I have to agree with Trish and Mikey on this one. I’ve never once commented on his site or sent him some brazen email. I never slammed the guy publicly. I don’t have to like him. It’s my opinion. While I don’t think it’s right that people slam others publicly. I don’t think we all need to hold hands and sing kum ba ya either. It’ll never happen anyway.

Like Jen said, he doesn’t take an active part in the blogging community, and yeah, maybe he has feelings, but to me he’s just fishing for publicity. If he thinks he’s above us because he was some star, I want no part of that. Anyone who thinks they’re better than everyone else isn’t going to be liked in my book.

Yeah, but I’ve never seen him say or do anything that gives me the impression that he thinks he’s above everyone else. And while he may not be super active in the blog community – he does participate in group blogs and he has also worked on a fundraiser for EFF. Other bloggers met him at that, said he was really nice & very down to earth.

Regardless, my point wasn’t “Wil Wheaton rocks and everyone should like him” because in reality no one is liked by everybody. My point was that he’s human … we are all human … and maybe something is “just a joke” but it’s still a joke at someone else’s expense. Just because he’s been in movies & on TV he still has feelings and seems to live a relatively “normal” life these days. No other celebrity blogger is bashed – Al Roker, Adam Curry, Ru Paul, Dave Berry … just Wil Wheaton. I personally feel sorry for the guy. Doesn’t matter if anyone else does … I do.

I should add in – I didn’t mean to come across as attacking anyone for setting up the webring – I didn’t know who set it up and had just spotted it on sites but never followed any of the links to see where it started, etc. I just thought “damn, I would be hurt if I saw a webring devoted to hating me.” (Although a “Big Pink Cookie Bites” would be a cute title…)

I agree Christine. I don’t think he is a bad guy either. I don’t read his blog for the very reason of his asking for hand outs quite frankly. When I saw that, I was just enraged because I am sure he has MORE than enough money to take his wife out to dinner. *sigh* I guess if people are willing to send a wealthy guy their life savings then that is their problem huh? LOL But that is in the past and not worth dwelling on.

I agree that no matter what people think of the blog, it doesn’t give them the right to attack him. He is doing what he is doing just like the rest of us. No one likes to be hated. Even celebrities have feelings. :o)

How many fates turn around in the overtime
There’s a line in a song by Hüsker Dü that goes: Now I’m hardly getting over it Hardly getting used to getting by That’s kind of how I feel today. Like I’m not ready to blog again, but it’s such a part of my daily routine that I don’t know wh…

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