So Alertnerd is doing an internet meme of sorts involving folks naming their “Scott and Jean,” or namely, something comic-related that is a “sacred cow” to them the way that some folks treat Scott Summers and Jean Grey being together.
I’ve been thinking about the idea since I was e-mailed about it a little while ago, but I had a hard time coming up with a good example of what my “Scott and Jean” would be. I just tend not to care too much about stuff besides whether comics are good or bad (and even then, it’s simply a “This was bad, this was good” then I move on).
To wit, I thought that Peter Parker and Mary Jane being married was fine and I also thought that One More Day was a terrible storyline. But I don’t really care that Peter and MJ are now single.
Giffen and DeMatteis’ Justice League was one of my favorite comic books, but I don’t really care that so many of the characters involved are dead. I don’t LIKE that they’re dead, and I’d prefer they NOT be, but it doesn’t really rile me up.
It took awhile, but finally, I thought of a comic-related issue that does get me hot and bothered, and it’s one I’ve spoken about a lot here in the past (which makes sense, since the idea is that it is something that is a “sacred cow”) – and that is “I really hate when people ascribe motivations to my (or anyone else’s, really) comic book commentary”
I actually thought about it – why this particular issue irks me so much, and I think I have a reason. When Joe, Alex and I started this site back in 2004, there were a few issues that I was hoping this site would specifically avoid. We have avoided almost all of them (some of the other issues included “Not recommending anything that we don’t think is good” and “Not have commenters saying stuff like ‘It’s just dumb fun! It wasn’t MEANT to be good, so you can’t rip if for that'”). These, and other issues, were so beautifully avoided at this blog that honestly, as I sit here trying to think back, I can barely recall them, let alone remember how important they seemed to me at the time (I particularly can’t believe that “Don’t recommend something that you don’t think is good” was such a major issue to me, to the point where it’s the one “rule” I made any new contributor to the blog agree to – now, it’s so ingrained in the site that I don’t feel like I need to actually tell new people about it).
While the blog has met my expectations on all the other points that I remember, the one issue that I had at the time that still rears its ugly head is the whole “ascribing motivation” deal.
You know, stuff like “You’re just saying that because ____ (fill in the reason).” “You are only saying that because it is Writer X writing it.” Rinse and repeat.
If I think someone is wrong about a comic, I’ll say they’re wrong. If they say I’M wrong about a comic, I’ll explain why I think I’m right.
What I won’t do is say “you’re just saying that because ____.”
I’m not going to infer what motivates people’s opinions regarding comics.
And I would appreciate the same courtesy from our readers.
Just explain why you think someone is wrong to like/dislike the comic in question. Ascribing motivations is one of the laziest and flimsiest arguments out there, and it is specifically ANTI-discussion, as what is the point of discussing something if you’re asserting that the other party is lying about their opinions?
Argue the point as delivered, or don’t bother arguing the point at all.
I make a point of being very respectful of the opinions of our posters, so when I get this motivation ascribing BS in return, it irks me a lot. So much so that I guess it would count as my “Scott and Jean.”
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