On James Gunn…

For anyone who is not familiar with who James Gunn is, he is an admittedly talented director responsible most recently for the very popular “Guardians of the Galaxy” series.  Recently, he was fired from that job after a handful of alt-right pundits with an axe to grind dug up decades old comments and tweets that were obviously terrible jokes and made such a huge fuss about them that Marvel’s parent company Disney couldn’t ignore them.

Recently, an on-line petition has arisen asking Disney to rehire him (which I’ll signal boost here).

But I personally will not sign it.

Why?  Because this is my personal protest against the Court of Public Opinion.

When we decided as a society that it was okay to dig up thoughts and expressions from decades past and that they were fair grounds for public shaming and job terminations, we should have considered the consequences of that.  We should have known that it was going to come back around and bite us in the ass.  We should have anticipated that it wasn’t just going to be “the enemy” that had skeletons in their closet, and had done or said some shitty, awful things in their past.

Hell, twenty-five years ago, I was a white teenage boy in the rural Midwest.  We now call that “Trump Country.”  I distinctly remember laughing at someone making a Nazi salute in a high school cafeteria.  I threw around “boy” and “son” towards the few minority people in the school like I was giving out Pez pieces.  And while I can’t remember a specific instance, I am 100% certain I dropped the n-word.  There’s simply no way in hell I didn’t.

And I have absolutely no doubt that if I ever get any sort of significant acclaim that it’ll all be thrown back in my face.  I’ve accepted that in advance.

When we went after Milo Yiannopoulos for comments about pedophilia being not all that bad some odd fifteen years back, when we tried to drag Trump about the Access Hollywood tape from even further back as if it was in any way relevant to the here and now… we opened the door for ourselves to be attacked in the exact same way.

That we apparently didn’t see it coming is the hilarious part.  And even more hilarious is that we didn’t even need to load that weapon and fire it.  Why the hell should we feel compelled to drag people for what they said fifteen years ago, when we can be dragging them for what they said fifteen minutes ago?

Sorry, Mr. Gunn, but you’re collateral damage in our society’s rush to outrage, and the bloodthirsty desire of the Court of Public Opinion to convict for any reason without any statute of limitations.

Maybe we’ll be smarter about this in the future, but I sincerely doubt it.

 

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2 Responses to “On James Gunn…”

  1. Joseph Frederick Says:

    Not sure about you Thomas, but *I* knew the left had gone too far when Robert Bork was up for the Supreme Court nomination.

    He rented a few naughty videos and the store was paid to release his rental list.

    This probably (weasel word, I should say “almost certainly”) led to his nomination failure.

    The left has crowed about this for decades. “Bork Him!” has been the cry of the left ever since.

    Aside: Wasn’t it interesting how quickly congress passed the Video Privacy Protection Act, on a voice vote, after that? Incidentally, that bill was sponsored by Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont). Gosh. You’d think the Democrats had something to hide.

    It got so bad that a presidential nominee was criticized for something his *father* did (and incidentally, what a lot of people did) when said nominee was ten years old.

    After being stung repeatedly over the years, is it any surprise the right has decided to use the same tactic?

    Your grandfather had a phrase:
    “No sense, no feelings.”

    Kinda my attitude right now.

  2. I’ll be honest, I’m not the slightest bit interested in “who started it.” I’m also not terribly concerned with “when it started.” If I cared about pointing fingers. And let’s not pretend in the slightest that “the right” hasn’t been just as eager to dig into past behavior to push for outrage and firings.

    I dunno if that’s so much a political thing as much as its a human thing. I just know it really needs to stop.

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