On the sixteenth anniversary of 9/11 current GI Joe writer Aubrey Sitterson (@aubreysitterson) took to Twitter to offer his own brand of social commentary. The reaction on social media was, as I can only guess, exactly what he intended. He is a “social medial consultant” after all, so it’s hard to imagine that such comments were meant to be innocuous.
The response to Sitterson’s tweet ranged from utter contempt to full support among fans. Some fans felt that Sitterson was not properly representing the GI Joe property with his comments, while others countered that using one’s freedom of speech embodies the ideals of a Real American Hero.
And of course, within a few tweets the name-calling, side taking and what is affectionately known as, nerd rage, ensued. Demands rang out for the publisher of the current GI Joe comic, IDW, to take swift action to remedy this perceived slight, and Sitterson’s supporters fired back. The back and forth, on both sides, has really gotten ugly and personal. Ain’t social media grand?
There is part of me that wants to throw OG13’s hat in the ring, and take a side on this matter. But I am not going to do that. For one, OG13 isn’t mine. It belongs to every one of the members who have posted here, past and present (even the ones we’ve banned. I think there was that one guy once), and I would never presume to speak for all of them. Instead, I would ask that all of the OG13 family make their own informed decision and act accordingly with their own moral compass pointed solidly due north.
If you decide that you want to stop buying IDW titles, or just ones that Sitterson writes, have at it. Money is power, and there is no greater protest than simply not buying what you don’t like.
We’ve had members write letters to IDW stating their opinions and asking for consideration as members of the GI Joe community. I’ve been privy to a few of the letters and e-mails too. Some are pretty powerful…..some are just hateful rants.
Others have taken to social media to loudly proclaim their feelings and thoughts.
Let’s not forgot those lurkers who are sitting back content to keep their thoughts to themselves and watch the rest of us press on (we know you’re there. Hi!).
I do caution our members on acting recklessly, however. A poorly conceived (or maybe just poorly conveyed) message started this whole whirlwind. Be better than that, act with purpose and do not become incensed beyond the capability of rational thought if you don’t get exactly what you demand. Think critically about why you don’t support Sitterson’s comment, or conversely why you may support it, and convey your message with passion and resolve. Far too often we blurt forth our comments from a raw, emotional place without knowing why we feel that way. Convey the why. Why are you pissed off? Explain why! Don’t resort to name-calling and trite labels (right wing, left wing, conservative, liberal…horseshit, half of the people who spew these forth don’t understand the meaning anyway).
Pick a fight because it’s a fight worth picking, not simply because you can.
***the above comment is that of co-founder Flint of OG13 and do not constitute a formal response or position from www.OG13.com ***
But I still have access to the admin page so I get to rant on the front page for a minute I guess.