Thursday, October 15, 2015

See, Adam Baldwin, This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

For the past week or so my Internet search bar has sat on the top of my screen looking like this-

Now, at first glance this might seem like sort of an odd question, since it's probably reasonable to assume that either you're already aware of why you don't like Adam Baldwin, or you don't don't like Adam Baldwin and don't particularly care about why others do don't.

To understand how I got to the point where I had to ask the question, it's important to understand a fairly fundamental point-

I tend to be completely oblivious about a lot of things going on in the world that other people seem to care a lot about*

*Seriously... I only just this last week discovered Archer.

So, the first Thing I Wasn't Aware Of-


I expect there are a lot of us out there who were unaware of the existence of MovieBob until fairly recently*

*I also expect that there is a much larger group of people who still are completely unaware of MovieBob's existence for that matter

For those who are still unfamiliar, the short version is - MovieBob is the guy that did that online review of the movie Pixels that everyone was passing around on Facebook a few weeks ago.

The longer version - MovieBob (real name Bob Chipman) is one of the many people making their living these days reviewing movies (and other things) online. Until recently he worked producing fairly amusing video reviews for a specific online 'culture' site which I will not name here.*

*Mostly because I don't yet know how rude I'm going to be about them and don't want to get sued, but also partially because they appear to have treated Bob pretty unfairly.

The review of the movie Pixels (If you haven't listened to it) is a delightful profane rant about the recent Adam Sandler movie that uses a zesty mix of invective and reference to biological fluids in a way that I simply have never heard before. It's well worth seven minutes of your time if you aren't bothered by that sort of thing.

Having listened to this, I started tracking down other of his reviews to listen to, because I liked his style and enjoy listening to that sort of 'cultural critique' thing. In one of his other pieces he made the observation that he felt like Joss Whedon was the right person to direct The Avengers because at the end of the day The Avengers was going to be about the group/found family dynamic and that is clearly the sort of thing that Joss Whedon does Very Very well. The way Bob phrased this was that Joss Whedon was so good at this sort of thing that at one point he had even made 'Sentient piece of Human Garbage Adam Baldwin likeable for like a minute'*

*Not an exact quote, but pretty darn close.

The Second Thing I wasn't aware of-

Apparently We Don't Like Adam Baldwin...?

Prior to hearing this, my knowledge of Adam Baldwin was -

  1. He played Jayne on Firefly, which was awesome
  2. He was some guy on the last season of Angel, which was pretty good but not as good as Gina Torres had been on that show the previous year.
  3. The second act of Full Metal Jacket has always felt a little formless to me (although I think that might be kind of the point).  Oh, and..
  4.  He once lost a fight with a manatee

So hearing him referred to as a sentient piece of human garbage by a man who's opinion I was coming to respect in a, 'Hey, you've said a lot of stuff online that I broadly agree with' kind of way gave me a moment of pause. And so I did what any sensible person would do in the circumstances and googled it.

The Third Thing I wasn't aware of-


To be fair, I was vaguely aware that this was a thing.  My sum total of my knowledge about it was pretty much summed up by, 'A bunch of anonymous guys on the Internet found an excuse to justify* threatening women with violent rape while distributing said women's personal information.' It's all done in the name of 'ethics', apparently.

*Justify to themselves, obviously.

It turns out that any research about why we don't like Adam Baldwin is irrevocably linked with Gamergate, which has unfortunately led me to having to learn more about the whole thing. For example, I eventually googled 'SJW', as I had no idea what it meant and people kept insisting on using it in sentences.  (It turns out it means 'Social Justice Warrior(s)', and appears to be a catchall phrase for 'Shut up, I don't want to think about that.') The reason that the whole thing is so intertwined with Adam Baldwin is...

The Fourth Thing I wasn't aware of - 

Adam Baldwin Coined the Phrase 'Gamergate' (allegedly)

No, I'm not going to put the hashtag on it.  This whole thing is dangerously searchable enough as it is, and while there's very little that Gamergate enthusiasts could do to my credit score that I haven't done myself already there's no reason to push it.

Not only did he (allegedly) coin the term, but he seems to spend a lot of time and effort using it as a hashtag on twitter. Which sort of brings us to -

One Thing that We All Already Knew 
Joss Whedon is a Better Person Than You.

Or me. Or anyone else not named Joss Whedon.*

*There's a case to be made for Jane Espenson...

There's an easily findable interview with Our Joss in which he addresses the Adam Baldwin question. Essentially, the question he was asked was - 'Is working with Adam Baldwin weird since the whole gamergate thing?' to which he said (and I'm paraphrasing here) 'You know, Adam is a hardworking, decent guy that always came to work ready to work hard and do his best. That's the Adam I like to think about, not the Adam who sometimes shouts down me or Felicia Day on Twitter'

That there is pretty much the definition of a classy answer, and it goes some way toward again confirming why Joss is so beloved not just by his fans but also by just about everyone who's ever worked with him.*

*Although am I the only one who gets the feeling that there's some sort of weird vibe between him and Sarah Michelle Gellar?

This, in a big circular way, eventually led me to the answer to the question I was ostensibly researching in the first place.

One Thing We ALL Should Know Instinctively

It Is Not - EVER - OK to Attack Felicia Day

Not even verbally.

Not even on Twitter.

Not cool, Adam Baldwin.

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