« [weds] Will Write Drivel For Deleter Pads | Main | Acknowledgement of error, because that's what we do. »

Eric: You know, if one of them had been cutting off the other's head with an axe? That'd have been fine.

EDIT: the following post proceeds from certain errors which have been called to our attention. By stated policy, we don't take down posts we screwed up on, but please see this post for additional information. We apologize for the error.

So, somehow I missed the drama of the week, and that has me sad. I do love the drama of the week. In my defense, I wasn't feeling that well, but still. It's the drama of the week.

If like me, you missed it, have a look at Gav Bleuel's clarification on Keenspot's newsbox policy published earlier today. This clarification came after the weekend, when a Keenspot newsbox advertising Friendly Hostility depicted two men kissing. Apparently, Keenspot failed to send the requisite "promo" newsbox out to the Keenspotters and give them their chance to object and get an appropriate substitution out, so at least one Keenspotter took the newsbox off his front page.

Please note, the newsbox did not depict overt sexuality, or the two men in stereotypical gay bondage outfits or anything. They were just two men kissing. Part of how I know this, by the way, is the fact that I don't remember this newsbox at all. I tend to remember salacious or outrageous newsboxes for quite a while. So, clearly this one just kind of passed through my head. From all descriptions, though, it was just a moment of tenderness between two people. So, the Keenspotter in question objected because it was Gay Positive.

Let me repeat that, with a little extra emphasis.

The Keenspotter in question objected because it was Gay Positive.

This was a situation where someone refused to run an ad for a strip because they felt, in effect, that any positive depiction of homosexuals or homosexuality was objectionable. Any. Which means they might next object, say, to a depiction of Felicity Flint in a newsbox, because she's an open homosexual. Or Girly's next newsbox, because Josh Lesnick has depicted gay positive relationships before. You think that's not likely? I think once someone starts down this path, every successive step becomes easier.

The homosexual relationships in Friendly Hostility are core to the strip. It is disingenuous to expect a lack of gay positive imagery in its advertising. And when you sign on with Keenspot, part of the deal is you're going to advertise the other strips in the lineup. You don't get to decide "this strip sucks, and I hate it, so I'm going to drop the newsbox when it comes up in rotation." You advertise the strip. If there had been violence, or overt sexuality (and a kiss is not overt sexuality by any stretch of the imagination), that would be grounds to object. But to object to it because it is gay positive when the strip is itself gay positive is akin to objecting to a Clan of the Cats newsbox that features Chelsea with fangs because it's about the Occult and you don't agree with Occult depictions in the media. That's not how it works -- if you don't want to support a collective, don't join it. If you do, accept that you're not going to like all the strips advertising on your front page.

I've heard a couple of theories as to which Keenspotter rejected the strip. They've generally theorized it's one of the more right wing or conservative 'Spotters. I actually doubt that's the case -- at least, I doubt either of the two people I've heard mentioned would object in this way. But you know what might be significantly worse than a homophobe dropping the newsbox because "boys kissing == teh icky?" The idea that someone who thinks they aren't biased at all objected because "gosh, we don't want no trouble around here, skeeter. Just move along."

I hate that attitude. I despise that attitude. With a homophobe, you know right up front what you're dealing with. You don't like what they represent, they don't like what you represent. Everyones' cards are on the table. But this chickenshit attitude that you just don't want "the controversy" on your page just earns my disdain. Especially when you can be certain that expressions of violence or a largely naked girl or any given girl and guy kissing would have passed inspection. And the fact that we don't know, officially, who the Keenspotter is means that right wing or conservative Keenspotters who didn't object to the newsbox, even if they didn't agree with it, are getting the weather eye from the public. And that just sucks.

Bleuel's statement didn't thrill me, either. If they were getting a high volume of complaints, I can understand making a statement. I can understand it saying "we felt, based on the terms of service outlined in the contract we have with our artists, that we had to allow the removal to stand, without either condoning or condemning that action. Our artists have the freedom to express their views." But the statement didn't say that. It said, in effect, that they had to abide by the decision, but gosh they didn't agree with it and they think it sucks too, and homophobia is wrong, m'kay?

You don't get to have that opinion when you're a publisher. You don't get to put your support implicitly behind one of your artists and leave the other one out in the cold. You don't get to keep your Liberal cred in an official press release. You either need to explain why you did what you did while explicitly expressing no opinion, pro or anti... or you shouldn't put out the release in the first place. (And to be honest, without that release, this wouldn't be a story in the first place. Almost no one I knew had even heard of it before Bleuel posted and Comixpedia picked up on it.)

And that brings me to the other aspect of the press release/post I didn't like. We know this was about Friendly Hostility, but they elected to protect the name of the person who objected. I think that's unfair to Friendly Hostility, because it puts them out on a limb... and I think that's unfair to us. I deserve to know who it was who pulled that newsbox. If publicity surrounding the "controversial" Gay Positive newsbox can accrue to Fuhr, then equal publicity surrounding the (legitimately) controversial decision to pull the newsbox rather than let it run should accrue to that Keenspotter. It's not fair that it cling to the obvious targets instead, and it's not fair that Fuhr has to bear any negative brunt on her own.

And besides. I want to know who did it, because you know... I'm a Liberal too. I'm Gay-friendly in general. And I raise Gay-positive topics and might snark Gay Positive strips sometime over here on Websnark. And I want to be sensitive to this Keenspotter's desire to not be associated with such things.

You know, by not mentioning that strip on Websnark.

Ever.

Just call me Mister Sensitive.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at March 11, 2005 3:38 AM

Comments

Comment from: miyaa posted at March 11, 2005 3:48 AM

So...does this mean Keenspot won't produce a similar ad when Wapsi Square character's Shelly Wahnee and Heather Mills starts having a Positive Lesbian Relationship?

Comment from: Forsaken_One posted at March 11, 2005 4:14 AM

Hey, I just had to register to comment on this. That and because I was bored. :)

What gets me about that press release wasn't the whole "I'm liberal too guys" comments that seemed superfluous, it was his comment about respecting the "...First Amendment rights of Keenspotters to have control over the content that appears on their pages..."

This has nothing to do with the First Amendment! Keenspot is not the government of the United States of America. It has every right to drop or otherwise penalize this user if it feels the contract was breeched when they removed the newsbox.

Now if they want to say they made a mistake and that makes the website in question's actions okay within the contract, well, that's fine. But for God's sake stop mentioning the Fist Amendment like it was some overarching law that lets anyone say and do what they want without reprisal. Maybe even read the bloody constitution.

Comment from: Harle posted at March 11, 2005 5:33 AM

I remember seeing that newsbox. Mainly because I could identify the kissing pair as a couple of the characters who had been incidental in Boy Meets Boy (at least when I last read the strip which was, admittedly, a long time ago).



And if I hadn't been reading over my sister's shoulder at the time, I'd have clicked it, 'cause cute guys kissing will always get me to take a second look. ;)



As a side note, I dislike the phrase "Gay Positive." Perhaps it's just me, but I can totally hear some extreme right-winger using "Gay Positive" to refer to homosexuality as a disease. You know, like "HIV positive?" Not what is meant here though, I know. :)



(Gotta love language - everything sounds wrong to /someone/.)

Comment from: Rand posted at March 11, 2005 6:19 AM

Personally, I can't really fault Keenspot for their message. After all, they HAD an agreement with their comics. 1: People get to see the newsbox thingies in advance 2: There'd be alternatives if someone objected.

Keenspot didn't provide these. So yes, in my oppinion the person in question HAD the right to take down the newsbox. Nothing to do with First Amendement, everything to do with the agreements keenspot made with the comics that they'd never force them to show an ad they didn't want. It'd have been fun to see Keenspot making a stand perhaps, but they'd be breaking their word.

I don't really mind that they add their own oppinion to it. Especially since some people will mmediately assume Keenspot is anti-gay if they allow the newsbox-removal without explicitely SAYING they're not anti-gay.

Of course, just because he HAS the RIGHT doesn't mean we have to LIKE what he does. Or indeed, read /snark his or her comic.

Comment from: Wednesday posted at March 11, 2005 6:30 AM

Half-dyke occasional guest snarker with keys? So totally falling into line with the sensitivity call. So. Totally.

So that we're clear.

Not that anyone cares, but, see.

Comment from: arscott posted at March 11, 2005 9:08 AM

The objector was Tiffany Ross:

http://216.239.57.104/search?q=cache:6OOMT-irEpUJ:www.aliendice.com/+friendly+hostility+newsbox&hl=en

which is ironic given that she primarily does Prettyboy and Furry comics.

Comment from: Brendan posted at March 11, 2005 9:09 AM

I've never actually seen violence in these newsboxes, but hey...

This clause has been used before. I remember seeing an old Striptease add with a series of six kisses ("fall in love all over again") when it ran on most sites. However, when it ran on some of the more family friendly strips (GPF is the only one that comes to mind immediately, but there were others), a new version was run with three of the kisses removed: two between Rachel and Alli and one especially passionate kiss between Max and Rachel. Also, a "You Damn Kid" ad ran with the words "boobs" and "wangs" blacked out.

Come to think of it, there was an old "It's Walky" newsbox with Daisy (and several men) lusting after Billie, but I think that got a full pass...

Comment from: The Borghal Rantipole posted at March 11, 2005 9:19 AM

From Alien Dice:

The comic's quite funny. I've read it a few times and it's not explicit, so I have no problem with it, but it does contain gay content.

I'm really not sure what to make of this.

Comment from: Freak posted at March 11, 2005 9:43 AM

I took that comment to mean that:

1) She didn't mind linking to FH. (She said she'd put up a link to FH under the newsbox for a week because she'd pulled that newsbox; it's still there.)

2) She did mind having that particular image on her website.

Comment from: Robin Z posted at March 11, 2005 9:57 AM

Have you ever read A Gentlemen's Agreement? Or watched the movie?

That sort of attitude (the "don't cause a fuss" one) has been around for a long time. It still stinks.

Comment from: hess42 posted at March 11, 2005 10:39 AM

And I want to be sensitive to this Keenspotter's desire to not be associated with such things.

You know, by not mentioning that strip on Websnark.

Ever.

Just call me Mister Sensitive.

I'm not sure what to think of this last bit. On the one hand, my first reaction was "Hell yeah, Eric, you show 'em!" Then I started thinking about it and I wonder if someone's views on sexuality, or politics, or religion, or, well, anything else ought necessarily to be the deciding factor on whether something gets a mention here.

Let me be crystal clear on two points. First, I am in complete agreement with your feelings on the "Just don't make waves" attitude. It pisses me off as well. And second, man, this is absolutely 100% your call, because it's your site. You do the work, you pick the content. That's sort of the point, right? I just wonder if the reaction would have been the same if it had, at the time the post went up, been clear who the objector was and it turned out to be a comic that you liked and had been singing the praises of for some time. I know that I would find it a tough decision in that case, and not at all a tough decision in the event that I wasn't familiar with the strip or the artist already.

Yeah, I really have no idea. I'm not expressing my reservations too clearly - something which I'll write off to having 4 wisdom teeth pulled yesterday and still languishing in the daze of Percocet.

Comment from: PatMan posted at March 11, 2005 11:59 AM

Wow. I remember that ad. I said, "nice kiss, guys. Next time try making contact." It's nice to know that no matter how much progress we make, freaks will still try give us their "gays are icky" bullshit. I like how the keenspotter pulled the ad simply because it starred gay characters. Oh sweet fuck no! Next thing you know we're gonna be marrying! God, I wanna hurt someone now.

And thank you, Keenspot. I was almost considering starting my comic on your service, but now I'll just wait for Joey to start his. Don't want to offend anybody by giving them my queer money, Kna'mean? But I might start a furry porn comic for you. Because, you know, that's acceptable.

Comment from: PatMan posted at March 11, 2005 12:00 PM

Wow. I remember that ad. I said, "nice kiss, guys. Next time try making contact." It's nice to know that no matter how much progress we make, freaks will still try give us their "gays are icky" bullshit. I like how the keenspotter pulled the ad simply because it starred gay characters. Oh sweet fuck no! Next thing you know we're gonna be marrying! God, I wanna hurt someone now.

And thank you, Keenspot. I was almost considering starting my comic on your service, but now I'll just wait for Joey to start his. Don't want to offend anybody by giving them my queer money, Kna'mean? But I might start a furry porn comic for you. Because, you know, that's acceptable.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at March 11, 2005 12:00 PM

I'm not sure what to think of this last bit. On the one hand, my first reaction was "Hell yeah, Eric, you show 'em!" Then I started thinking about it and I wonder if someone's views on sexuality, or politics, or religion, or, well, anything else ought necessarily to be the deciding factor on whether something gets a mention here.

That's actually not the point.

There are several strips I like where I don't necessarily agree with the political or philosophical stance of the writer. That's life in a non-totalitarianism.

To pull what is clearly an innocuous newsbox for "content" issues, on the other hand, when such a pull becomes an implicit statement about the basis for one of the other strips in a collective, is the beginnings of isolation-by-philosophy-for-philosophy. Its next stage is for someone to suggest "tiers" or "alliances" or checkboxes they can click for which ads they want to take.

I have no problem with someone refusing to run a newsbox with swear words or without a bikini model or without an axe protruding from a woman's head. When the "objectionable content" in a newsbox is because an idea is objectionable and must be screened off? You lose me. You lose me hard.

So, if someone espouses this kind of isolationism because they can't abide the core idea of a strip, I'm more than happy to oblige them by not mentioning them. I won't say bad things about their strip. I just won't say anything about their strip.

On the plus side for them, they very likely won't care.

Comment from: PatMan posted at March 11, 2005 12:01 PM

Dang internet connection made me double post! I knew that would happen!

Comment from: Mystic Blue posted at March 11, 2005 12:07 PM

I regularly read the Alien Dice strip, so I saw when the newsbox was first taken down.

The comment that I remember (and I'll admit, I'm paraphrasing because it's been changed since I first saw it) at the top of the page indicated the artist didn't want to appeal to "that kind of crowd" on her Web page. She also said that if people couldn't understand why she didn't want to have it on her page, that was awfully intolerant of them.

Is that intolerance about her intolerance? Lovely conundrum...

Comment from: DanShive posted at March 11, 2005 12:10 PM

Is it possible to sue a website for libel? Because the claim that it was removed for being "gay positive" is unfair and unsubstantiated, and it was presented as a definitive statement of truth in this article (note the italics!).

Homosexuality is controversial; I should know, I'm someone who's accepting about it and have homosexual characters in my comic and had a very conservative friend in college. The goal of not having homosexuality depicted on a form of media is more likely to do with attempting to avoid controversy than the author having actual prejudice. You'll note there aren't many kid shows with gay couples; that doesn't mean the creators are bigots.

I grant that if someone was hoping to AVOID controversy, this was definitely the wrong approach. However, while I may not agree with the censorship or removal of the newsbox, keeping something off of a website to avoid controversy is a webmaster's right. Telling someone they HAVE to put something on their website that could potentially result in turmoil from radical hatemongers isn't exactly fair. Forcing someone to stand up for something they don't want to stand up for only harbors further resentment.

All that hoo-for-rah aside, the main point I wanted to make was that the statment "The Keenspotter in question objected because it was Gay Positive" is unfair. It can suggest that the spotter wouldn't object to an anti-gay propoganda newsbox, and that the spotter is a bigot. Whether or not one agrees that the spotter was simply hoping to avoid controversy (and failing miserably at this point), that statement without further information wasn't fair, and is structured to cause further controversy and anger.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at March 11, 2005 12:19 PM

I just wonder if the reaction would have been the same if it had, at the time the post went up, been clear who the objector was and it turned out to be a comic that you liked and had been singing the praises of for some time.

One of the theories I'd had suggested to me multiple times was for a strip I've snarked before and quite clearly like a lot. When I wrote the above, I had to think "well, am I willing to do that with this strip I love?"

I found it was easy to say yes, because it'd be hard to love a strip that would put a fellow Keenspotter into Coventry quite the same way.

(I also had a hard time believing it was this person, but I digress.)

Comment from: PatMan posted at March 11, 2005 12:31 PM

DanShive, you fail to notice that the artist signed a contract with the company that does just what you said is wrong. Yes, it would be wrong for Keenspot to force an ad on someone if it wasn't part of the terms of use. Also, avoiding controversy is bigotory. Saying "I don't want to support you because it might mean I'll have to put up with the same crap you put up with every day of your life" is a stupid and selfish position. And thousands of dead gay children will agree with me.

Comment from: hess42 posted at March 11, 2005 12:31 PM

When I wrote the above, I had to think "well, am I willing to do that with this strip I love?"

I found it was easy to say yes, because it'd be hard to love a strip that would put a fellow Keenspotter into Coventry quite the same way.

Eric, in that case your point is well-taken. Asking that question before making your post is something that a lot of people wouldn't have done. The fact that you did suggests that you're taking a consistent position here. I'll step off my devil's advocate quasi-soapbox now. ;)

Comment from: Freak posted at March 11, 2005 12:44 PM

PatMan, you fail to notice that the artist signed a contract which said she would receive 2 days notice on any newsbox; Keenspot broke the contract first.

And I think Eric put quite a few words in Syke's mouth. (For one, she was part of the EGS guest week, and drew one of the non-hetero characters.)

(And largely OT, but Girly left Keenspot some time ago.)

Comment from: FlyingFish posted at March 11, 2005 12:56 PM

I have no problem with someone refusing to run a newsbox with swear words or without a bikini model or without an axe protruding from a woman's head. When the "objectionable content" in a newsbox is because an IDEA is objectionable and must be screened off? You lose me. You lose me HARD.

Why would you refuse to run a newsbox with swearing? Because of the IDEA that certain words are wrong and should not be shown. Why would you refuse to run a newsbox with a bikini model? Because of the IDEA that near-nudity/sexual content is wrong and should not be shown.

Or, at least, controversial enough that some people will raise a stink. Especially those in that comic's particular audience, and the audience is ultimately all that's important for a comic artist. Either way, these are ideas that not everyone holds, but which Keenspot has chosen to respect if one of their comic artists do. What makes this any different?

Comment from: Scott Kurtz posted at March 11, 2005 1:04 PM

I think this is really unfair to the keenspotter who objected to the newsbox for a couple of reasons.

1)Nobody would have known about this unless Sarah, Tiffany or Gav mentioned it publically.

2)Gav's clarification of keenspot's policies was very unprofessional and unfair. It basically championed Sarah and threw Tiff under the bus. And that's bullshit. We're talking about a newsbox.

3)The Newsbox is not a new source of controversy and it's been improperly used in the past. Crosby used it once to push his anti-bush political stance. That newsbox is an imperfect tool of promotion and doesn't take into consideration the demographics of the strip it's being advertised on.

Comment from: Tangent posted at March 11, 2005 1:15 PM

Um... PatMan? Dan Shive *is* a Keenspotter. His comic, El Goonish Shive, was accepted a couple months or so ago (after several of us Boardies started pestering Gav to accept EGS *grin*). As such, he *would know* about the contractual details of running a Newsbox.

That said, I have a solution to this "problem" listed here: http://forums.keenspot.com/viewtopic.php?p=1700862#1700862

Well, two solutions. First being a three-tiered rating system... and the second being a bitchslap to this whole "I won't run this because it might be objectionable"... if you don't like the content of other Keenspot comics and thus do not want to run the newsbox of said comics... then maybe you shouldn't be part of Keenspot.

Oh, and Scott? It's *not* unfair to the objecter of the newsbox. If that person had just quietly removed the Newsbox and posted, oh, a white lie claiming that the newsbox code had accidently been deleted from the HTML coding... while privately e-mail Gav and complain about not having seen the Newsbox pic in advance... then none of this would have arisen. This person has made their bed. They can lie in it.

Robert A. Howard, tangenting across the Internet

Comment from: Phalanx posted at March 11, 2005 1:28 PM

You know, just because I'm anal about this:

PatMan:"And thank you, Keenspot. I was almost considering starting my comic on your service, but now I'll just wait for Joey to start his. Don't want to offend anybody by giving them my queer money, Kna'mean? But I might start a furry porn comic for you. Because, you know, that's acceptable."

a) KeenSPACE is NOT KeenSPOT. The constant confusion of the two really annoys me, I wish they would hurry up and do a rename already.

b) Keenspace is free, I'm afraid.

c) However, because Joey is my boss, Muahaha! Yes! Come to WCN! ;)

Comment from: DanShive posted at March 11, 2005 1:34 PM

[i]Um... PatMan? Dan Shive *is* a Keenspotter. His comic, El Goonish Shive, was accepted a couple months or so ago (after several of us Boardies started pestering Gav to accept EGS *grin*). As such, he *would know* about the contractual details of running a Newsbox.[/i]

This is mostly true, though I've been with them for over a year now (was accepted August of 2003 and was all set up and on Keenspot in September of 2003).

Sandra failed to post the newsbox two days in advance, Keenspot ran it, objection was called afterward. Keenspot broke contract by running a potentially controversial newsbox without giving people a chance to request (and set up) a G newsbox. The spotter who removed the box did not break contrac, regardless of any ill-feelings brought on by removing the newsbox and posting about it.

I don't agree with what the spotter did, but I agree with their right to do it. Freedom goes both ways, even if one way annoys the heck out of us. As far as arguing the point is concerned and why it's good to be tolerant to a reasonable degree is actually illustrated well by a comic from Ozy and Millie: http://www.ozyandmillie.net/2003/om20031029.html

Comment from: RKMilholland posted at March 11, 2005 1:40 PM

... can't we all just eat pie?

Comment from: Mitch Clem posted at March 11, 2005 1:45 PM

This empathy for bigotry is disturbing. Some of you are rationalizing protecting a bigot. What if she had refused to put up the newsbox because it had black people in it? You guys are sick.

Comment from: DanShive posted at March 11, 2005 1:46 PM

Sorry for to potentially double-post, but I have to say, PatMan, you're being a bigot about Keenspot :P

Keenspot hosted Boy Meets Boy, is hosting Friendly Hostility, hosts MY comic with 2 main characters who are gay, 1 whose bisexual and another who seems like she could go in any direction.

Keenspot did not consider the newsbox to not be G rated. One author did, and that caused controversy that was compounded by a contract clause that DOESN'T specify homosexuality but DOES state that artists have to be given an opportunity to review newsboxes. There aren't guidelines for the G-rated newsbox beyond "if an author requests one be provided, it will be provided". Again, there are NO specifics against homosexuality or anything else.

A single artist complained, this is the result. Don't take it out on the whole of Keenspot, and ESPECIALLY don't imply it's run by homophobes. The owners and most if not all of the authors are NOT homophobes and I take offense to the forming of a prejudice against all of Keenspot based on the actions of one author and the contractual obligation of Keenspot to comply.

Comment from: Phil! posted at March 11, 2005 1:52 PM

I say people need to stop with the Bigot Witch hunt here. The drama is only increasing with finger-pointing.

And I second Randy's Motion of pie-eating. We should all just eat pie.

Comment from: Kris@WLP posted at March 11, 2005 1:53 PM

Wow, it's probably a good thing none of WLP's web comics are on Keenspot. Imagine THAT newsbox hoo-ha. }:-{D

Seriously, though, I'm not a regular reader of Alien Dice, but I want to defend the creator here.

One of WLP's print comics, _Nipple Magician_, is by a Japanese artist who also draws stories featuring, among other things, Lolicon (*really* underage sex), amputations, and other less savory kinks. I've made it clear to him that those particular stories are -not- getting printed by WLP, ever, because they don't fit in with my personal vision of WLP's adult comics- namely, fun, mutually enjoyable, no-pain sexuality.

WLP doesn't print strong BDSM stuff, and we'd never print pedo, amputee, etc. stuff, and to be brutally honest I don't -want- aficionados of that stuff coming to WLP's productions. I don't want WLP's comics associated with that stuff, at least no more so as all adult comics are lumped together. If a WLP artist tried to slip some of that stuff by me, I'd return to sender, ASAP.

How does this relate to Alien Dice? Well, I don't know what Tiffany's goals or visions are. However, I do know that in our current society it's impossible to even mention homosexuality without bringing in a distinct sexual tone to the conversation. I wish people didn't care about it so much, but they do- and for every kill-the-fags loonie on one side, there's a bi-desperate on the other side who reads any mention of homosexuality as a come-on on the other side.

If Tiffany's trying to avoid association with sexually explicit comics (like most of WLP's material, for example) or even sexually implicit stuff (like Sore Thumbs, Girly or Wapsi Square), then in my opinion she did the right thing in dumping that newsbox... and Gav & Co. really dropped the ball in not giving her an option on this particular occasion. Two days is nowhere near enough lead-time for ads to be reacted to.

And even if Alien Dice does have sexual themes in it... well, it's her comic. Maybe she's uncomfortable with homosexuality. You can call her intolerant and bigoted for that, but it's no more proper for us to force homosexuality upon her than it would be for her to block homosexuality on a website hosted by Keenspot.

In conclusion, I think all parties in this affair acted unprofessionally. Friendly Hostility's ad should have been kept to the non-G ad list; Gav should have all Keen sites -default- to the G list, and should have a longer lead time for objections; and Tiffany should have either disabled the newsbox in silence or held over a prior newsbox ad rather than call public attention to her dislike of the content.

Instead, all parties have aired dirty laundry in public, to the general detriment of all concerned.

Comment from: DanShive posted at March 11, 2005 1:59 PM

Sorry to potentially double-post AGAIN (if there's an "Edit" option, I'd love to know how to use it), but if the basis WAS there being someone of a particular race, it wouldn't be treated as the same thing. At the very least, I would treat it differently.

Heck, if the political atmosphere in the US was different, I'd be treating this differently. The point is that it's controversial, and that's a reason to avoid including it. As I've said before, do gay couples show up in kids shows? No. Does that mean the creators are anti-gay? Perhaps, but it could also be that they don't want thousands of angry parents down their throats and sponsors threatening to pull their ads. People can make a huge deal out of it and get nasty.

Do I agree with the removal of the box? No. Do I agree that it's not g-rated? No. Is it my place to tell someone what they have to have on their site? No. Is Keenspot contractually obligated to give everyone the chance to request an alternative newsbox? Yes. Is there a possiblity that it could financially hurt Keenspot to ignore that obligation? Yes.

This whole matter was handled poorly by the Keenspot author, and the heads of Keenspot did what they were contractually obligated to.

Comment from: Mitch Clem posted at March 11, 2005 1:59 PM

If Tiffany's trying to avoid association with sexually explicit comics (like most of WLP's material, for example) or even sexually implicit stuff

Whenever I see my parents kiss, I think about them engaging in sexual intercourse. Such is the way with kissing. When I go into my girlfriend's work, I'm not allowed to as much as kiss her on the cheek in front of her coworkers because of the pornographic nature of kissing. God, kissing is just so... DIRTY!

Comment from: Freak posted at March 11, 2005 2:00 PM

From what I understand, Syke initially disabled the newsbox silently. When people started contacting her and/or Keenspot about it, she then stated she had deliberately removed it.

Also, from what I understand, she removed it because she objected to the content of the image itself, not because of the content of the webcomic linked to.

Comment from: Phil! posted at March 11, 2005 2:01 PM

Mitch Clem:

I don't condone racial or sexual bigotry. I think it's wrong. I don't respect it.

But I respect the right to be a bigot.

Even if they are asshats, it's their god-given right to be ignorant if they chose to. We can try to convince them otherwise, and maybe even succeed. But it's wrong to force our agenda on theirs, just as it's wrong for them to force their agenda on us.

Comment from: Kris@WLP posted at March 11, 2005 2:08 PM

"... can't we all just eat pie?"

http://www.wlpcomics.com/images/pierat.jpg

A sketch for a possible Bootleg cover emailed me the other day by DarkZel; figure it fits the moment.

Comment from: DanShive posted at March 11, 2005 2:19 PM

mmm... pie... but I demand a g-rated pie-link. That one shows a BIT too much cleavage.

*is savagely beaten by thousands of trained angry badgers*

Comment from: Kris@WLP posted at March 11, 2005 2:28 PM

"As I've said before, do gay couples show up in kids shows?"

Well, they yanked that episode of _Postcards from Buster_, didn't they?

"I found it was easy to say yes, because it'd be hard to love a strip that would put a fellow Keenspotter into Coventry quite the same way."

Put into Coventry? That's a phrase not in common use down here...

"When the "objectionable content" in a newsbox is because an idea is objectionable and must be screened off? You lose me. You lose me hard."

Speaking as someone who routinely writes, publishes, and web-hosts objectionable material... there are a lot of ideas I personally find objectionable and which I'd screen out. Homosexuality, obviously, isn't one of 'em. Abusive relationships -are-, which is why I am mildly disturbed by BDSM and outright hostile to things like pedo, slavery, rape, etc. and why I don't publish or promote such things.

(And it explains why I like Something Positive, I suppose; I like the idea of the abused fighting back, according to their ability, against the abuse.)

Likewise, there are a lot of people who find the ideas WLP promotes objectionable. Does that make them anti-porn bigots? No- it simply means they don't like porn. If Randy refused to accept a paid WLP ad (ha! wish I had the cash) for content, should you stop snarking S*P? Hardly. (No, Randy, I don't know that you find WLP's content objectionable, I'm just using you as an example.)

The problem with your stance is that, by saying you don't like comics whose creators object to certain ideas, you're saying that creators must not object to -any- ideas if you're to consider snarking them. There are some ideas that need to be screened (and I admit much of what WLP publishes falls square into that category). It is the right of both creators and readers to avoid content they don't like, which doesn't fit with their creative preferences.

I think you're setting too broad a rule here; perhaps you should refine it a bit?

Comment from: Amadan posted at March 11, 2005 2:32 PM

Eric, I have to disagree with you.

First of all, you keep referring to the newsbox being "pulled." It wasn't pulled; as I understand it, it's still there and viewable on other sites.

Second, it's wrong to demand that anyone who complains to management with a complaint you disapprove of be "outed" so that you (and hundreds of other angry fans) can express your displeasure with him or her by name. Come on.

Finally, while I agree that it's silly to be offended or upset or whatever by a picture of two guys kissing, it seems from reading Keenspot's explanation of their policy that they are being pretty consistent. Anyone who finds an image offensively non-G-rated is entitled to request an alternate image. So if someone [i]did[/i] object to pictures of decapitation, or heterosexual kissing, or girls in bikinis, or mentions of occultism and witchcraft, they'd be entitled to run a different image. The fact that generally no one objects to any of those things while someone did object to a gay kiss... well, that's unfortunate, but Keenspot isn't supporting bigotry by responding when someone does object to particular content.

Comment from: EsotericWombat posted at March 11, 2005 2:33 PM

Eric- There's just one thing about your assesment of the situation that I don't understand. What is wrong with saying in the press release that homophobia is wrong? Would it be "liberal cred" to say the same thing about racism?

I mean sure, in general our society has up to this point either been homophobic or has recognized homophobia as being legitemate, but the fact of the matter is, it is no more legit than rascism

Sorry if this sounds bitchy, its not my intent. I just don't see how speaking against bigotry is "liberal cred"

Comment from: RKMilholland posted at March 11, 2005 2:33 PM

... what's WLP?

Comment from: Greg Dean posted at March 11, 2005 2:38 PM

Sorry, as much as I don't like seeing anti-homosexual sentiments, I have the say the fault for this one is firmly in KeenSpot's hands. The newsbox SHOULD have been shown beforehand, like it was stated, so objections could have been made. Often, it would just have meant a toned-down version of the newsbox image would be created, and all would be well with the world. Not displaying a newsbox is wrong, but they are supposed to be given right of refusal. I probably would have been pissed off, too - not because of the gay content, but I didn't like ANY of the sexual content on my page. I used to get pissed off whenever I saw one of the racy HETEROsexual ads. I'm more lenient with that kind of stuff now, but still. First offense : KeenSpot.

Comment from: Kris@WLP posted at March 11, 2005 2:46 PM

"... what's WLP?"

... well, that answers that unasked question. }:-{D

Randy, White Lightning Productions, www.wlpcomics.com is... how shall I say it? A tiny pathetic publishing company known for producing second-rate overpriced print porn comics and second-rate porn web comics obviously done by fanboys, for fanboys, with all the huge-breasted wasp-waisted distorted fantasy girls anyone could ever ask of the genre. }:-{D

(I'm allowed to say this, being the pathetic fanboy no-talent hack-in-chief. }:-{D )

If you're in dire need of ranting material on the nature of Internet porn, I'll be in the Komik Market at A-Kon, and you're invited to our Friday night room party.

Comment from: Brendan posted at March 11, 2005 2:48 PM

One fairly common theme here is that Ms. Ross is a bigot. (Although I have seen her make jokes at the expense of a Jamaican stereotype.) I have seen no evidence that she is. However, what cannot be debated is that what she did was for the benefit of any bigoted fans she might have. I will be the first to say that I hate bigotry and what it causes. However, I cannot bring myself to hate bigots, although for the sake of myself and others in my circle of friends, I would never associate with one without good reason. The condemnation of bigots is understandable at face value; however, I find I cannot share it. Because, while to me it seems illogical, I am surrounded every day by those who find some of my beliefs every bit as distasteful and bigoted as I find object racism, homophobia, or religious hatred. Indeed, for my position on certain forms of affirmative action, some consider me to be a genuine racist, as worthy of censure as a Klansman. For this reason, I cannot bring myself to comndemn those with beliefs that would categorically condemn some of my closest friends or even myself; similarly, I find I cannot condemn Ms. Ross' actions, nor would I be likely to duplicate them. (Although she should have realized that she would lose more liberal fans this way than bigoted fans for the newsbox.)

Keenspot is not run by homophobes. Almost every comic has had a gay or bisexual character in at least one storyline. This includes Alice, in which a gay man introduced the main character's father to his fiancee. Usually, these characters are not portrayed in a stereotypical light, either. COTC, Felicity, and (of course) Friendly Hostility have gay or bisexual central characters, and they were all accepted. Just because one artist is trying to pander just a tiny bit to a few homophobic fans most certainly doesn't make it a homophobic organization.

Comment from: Shadowbourne posted at March 11, 2005 2:49 PM

In my opinion, not only should it have been a picture of a man and woman kissing, there should also have been a series of pictures of animals, male and female, kissing.

Yes, this is a Noah's snark.

Comment from: Sam Logan posted at March 11, 2005 3:01 PM

I would like to live in a place where there was nothing controversial about a drawing of two dudes kissing; where homosexual relationships were not only accepted but mundane, every day. But I don't, and this Keenspoter probably doesn't either.

As sad and ridiculous as it is in this day and age, publishing something as innocent as that image is an act of advocacy; one that can result in a lot of hate mail and even physical threats. Trust me, I've learned this from personal experience. That innocent image is, sadly, overtly political. Just because you and I think it shouldn't be that way doesn't mean it isn't.

Given what I've seen of the artist's work, I sincerely doubt she pulled the ad because she's a bigot. But considering the political climate, is it so understandable that one person might be too scared to run that ad? She could easily have imagined a reaction as public and as vicious as the one she's getting now for NOT running it. No one walks into that lightly.

I would just have thought that, considering how many other pro-gay-rights advocates are posting here, you guys would be all-too-familiar with how vicious the opposition can be. Not everyone is going to be brave or passionate enough to express a public stance on their websites, especially when it is being done incidentally through someone else's ad banner instead of through their own work and on their own terms.

Comment from: Shadowydreamer posted at March 11, 2005 3:19 PM

Yes. Sesame Street.

I think some people have to remember not all of the world has the issues with gays that America does. (and before you slam me, I say America, not Americans. I speak of the country and it's laws, not necessarily its citizens)

Did she pull the GPF ad of Ki and Nick kissing? (GPF) If not, then she can get stuffed in my books. Two males or females kissing is no more or less G rated in the eyes of the world than a male and female.

Did she protest the Star Trek episode were two women kissed? What about the Roseanne? Does she protest the many MASH episodes where Hawkeye kisses Frank Burns? (To torture the homophobic Burns) Did she protest Kids in the Hall in general?

Or does she only protest the concept of homosexuality when its on her doorstep?

Y'know, just the questions that run through MY mind.

Comment from: Shadowydreamer posted at March 11, 2005 3:20 PM

(Blah - it DOES need an edit button) The "Yes. Sesame Street" is in reply to "As I've said before, do gay couples show up in kids shows?" .. For some reason it was cut from my rant.

Comment from: Scott Kurtz posted at March 11, 2005 3:23 PM

Let me put it another way.

I have no problem with nudity in anime. In fact, when I watch anime, I kinda enjoy seeing a tit now and again.

That being said, I won't advertise adult anime on my site. Because I don't feel that my demographic would appreciate it and I don't want that ad on my site.

So maybe, Tiffany didn't want to advertise a strip that's whole message is "OOh...look at us. We're gay."

Maybe she didn't to advertise that.

Comment from: DanShive posted at March 11, 2005 3:33 PM

I don't watch Sesame Street, but if they really do have homosexual characters and that wasn't a vague joke about Bert and Ernie that's been done before, then that's awesome.

Society makes it so two same-sex characters kissing isn't the same thing as two opposite-sex characters kissing. It's sad but true in my opinion. However, just as I can't condemn the author for not wanting to "take a stand" in favor of homosexuality, I can't condemn anyone here for taking offense. I will, however, try to spread tolerance and understanding as best I can, which may seem ironic, but it appears there are at least some people here who would understand what I mean by that.

Comment from: kirabug posted at March 11, 2005 3:40 PM

The biggest point of disappointment to me - and I don't often disagree with Eric on things - is that I can't see how an author's politics figure into his or her content, unless the author specifically puts his or her politics into the content.

I'm a capitalist (which should be the same as Republican but often isn't), and I'm not anti-Bush. (I'm not necessarily for all his policies either.) A lot of the comments of some of the more liberal comic authors, entertainers, singers, etc. really tick me off. It doesn't stop me from viewing their content -- if I went by politics alone, I'd have to throw Sheryl Crowe, Dixie Chicks, aboult half the Beatles music, and numerous others out of my collection. But just because I don't agree with their politics doesn't mean they can't sing.

So if in my blog I voice an opinion about a political situation (it's rare, but it happens occasionally) and you disagree, Eric, and you find my opinion about that situation and that subject offensive, will you stop reading my comic even if it, in and of itself, never offends?

People have great mental editing powers. I can read half of wilwheatondotnet and enjoy it, and ignore the other half. I can listen to Sheryl Crow without thinking of her politics. I can read Sore Thumbs for what it is, even though I rarely agree with it.

If you throw out all of a person's contributions based on one opinion voiced in one situation, aren't you reducing that person to one single idea? Isn't that stereotyping in its own way? And more importantly, for entertainment, aren't you throwing out the baby with the bathwater?

Comment from: Sam Logan posted at March 11, 2005 3:42 PM

Did she pull the GPF ad of Ki and Nick kissing? (GPF) If not, then she can get stuffed in my books. Two males or females kissing is no more or less G rated in the eyes of the world than a male and female.

I don't know about you guys, but well over eighty percent of my readership is American, and I'm under the impression that most other english-language webcomics are in the same boat. Again, I don't think the issue is how the author reacted to the ad, but how she suspected her readership would have reacted. How "the world" would have reacted is not really the issue.

Considering how overtly liberal I consider the opinions I express in my comic to be, I'm always surprised by how many really conservative readers I have. There's certainly enough of them to get sufficiently riled up whenever I go on about my obscene radical pinko leftist social views.

Comment from: Freak posted at March 11, 2005 3:47 PM

Does anybody else think that Eric showed a lack of integrity in this article?

Everything from the mention that a newsbox was taken down to the description of the contents is fine.

Then there is the unstated "Since there's nothing I thought offensive in the newsbox, there's nothing anybody could find offensive."

Then he makes up a reason "So, the Keenspotter in question objected because it was Gay Positive.", putting words in the unknown Spotter's mouth.

He goes on to run down a slippery slope (it must have been pulled because of the content of the strip, not the newsbox itself), attributing future behaviors to the unknown person.

Also, what does the nature of FH itself matter? Butch's being a serial killer is central to Chopping Block, but a picture of Butch ripping out a heart might be out of line for some sites; while the occult is central to COTC, the newsbox with a Chelsea being crucified might be objectionable. (Though I think that was a Melpomene newsbox.)

Comment from: Jamie posted at March 11, 2005 4:17 PM

I had Chelsea and her lesbian vampire lover in the newsbox and no one complained a bit. Of course the sex was more implied than shown, but it was clear. That was a couple of years ago. Ive been w/ Keenspot since the beginning and you have to preview the newsbox to other Keenspotters at least a day in advance. Unfortunately that rule is sometimes overlooked. This was one of those times.

As far as the gay issue goes I don't care either way. The Bible also says you're not supposed to charge interest on money loaned. If I was a born-again Christian Id be protesting down at the bank. Go figure on what people get fixated on, but they do have the right to be fixated on it. ;)

Comment from: quiller posted at March 11, 2005 4:26 PM

I really think Eric is missing the boat here.

As a contractual matter, it is pretty much a non-issue. As a rules matter, Tiffany seems to have been completely within her rights within her contract to do what she did. Keenspot accepts responsibility for what happened in not making people clear of what the rules are. Gav posts in the forum to clarify what the rules are for people. Keenspot shows that its policy is to care more about the creator's rights to their own pages content than in making sure Keenspot content is on the page.

If this was a press release, I could see the point about Gav giving his own opinion on the content being unfair to one member over another. But I think he has the right to say his own opinions in a forum post if he feels the need. He isn't censuring anybody, just stating personal views.

People have the right to have viewpoints on things. Suppose GPF had decided to advertise their last storyline with a banner that had a picture of the holy bible and the caption "Read Your Bible". I'd certainly defend people's rights to not show that banner, and I think Friendly Hostility's banner is along the same lines. "I may not agree with your opinion, but I'll defend to the death your right to have it." Is that how the quote goes?

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at March 11, 2005 4:56 PM

I can't help but be disappointed by everyone in this situation.

I'm disappointed in the creator of Friendly Hostility, because they should have seen this coming and had an appropriate backup. I'm disappointed in Keenspot because they violated the terms of the contract first. I'm disappointed in Tiffany Ross for reacting the way she did. And I'm disappointed in Eric for revving up the bus after Keenspot threw Tiffany under it.

There are no angels in this situation. I personally think that Tiffany is fine, more or less, by the idea of homosexuality (Alien Dice, her primary comic, has hinted of non-standard pairings before and I also remember the guest comic for El Goonish Shive). However, she didn't want to take a stand or discuss the issue in fear of upsetting some of her readership. So she would have preferred to opt for a different ad (which, given that she ran a button ad for FH during its newsbox time, seems to be the case).

Is she cowardly for this? Yes, but I don't fault her for it. There seems to be this belief by quite a few people that if you believe something, you have to stand up and be willing to fight for that at every opportunity. I, personally, can handle that. I constantly write editorial content myself and will gladly stick my views up for all to see. But some people don't want to do that, and they just want to keep going in their own way. Tiffany, it seems to me, is like that.

In the end, I pity everyone involved. I feel bad for FH's creator (the name of the comic involved is hilariously ironic right now) because it wasn't fair to be named by Keenspot. I feel bad for Keenspot because they got maneuvered, not totally by their own fault, into a bad situation where nobody could win. I feel bad for Tiffany because she's being asked to be something she's not.

But most of all, I feel extreme pity for you, Eric, because you seem to think that a moment of weakness is worse than a moment of hate. I really think, now above all other times, that your priorities are severely displaced.

Comment from: Freak posted at March 11, 2005 5:03 PM

I think the quote is "your right to say it.", and it was attributed to Voltaire.

Question to Eric: Suppose that the preview process had run as it was supposed to: Sandra submitted the image on time; Syke objects; Sandra prepares an image with, say, the same two characters facing the camera, or perhaps just the FH logo; Syke runs just that image; afterwards, somebody mentioned that the g-rated newsbox was produced at Syke's request. Would you still have posted an appropriate article?

So far as I can see, you've attacked Syke because she didn't like that image. The fact that it was removed after being shown seems peripheral to your point; not wanting a particular image on her website is just as objectionable of behavior no matter when she does it.

Comment from: Freak posted at March 11, 2005 5:06 PM

Also, has Sandra made ANY comments on the situation?

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at March 11, 2005 5:13 PM

I'll do a couple of responses -- I've been away from computers (in time for some well thought out responses and discussions, and very little personal sniping at each other. Honestly -- this has been a good examination of the issues, of Keenspot's reaction and release, of Ross's actions, and for that matter of mine, with little to no flames, and I'm impressed by all of it.)

First off, for Kira:

The biggest point of disappointment to me - and I don't often disagree with Eric on things - is that I can't see how an author's politics figure into his or her content, unless the author specifically puts his or her politics into the content.

When Gav posts a release clarifying Keenspot's decisions and the reason Keenspot elected to make those decisions, he is speaking for Keenspot, not Gav Bleuel. I wouldn't have a problem with Gav saying in a separate post, "for my two cents, I feel..." However, by conflating his personal opinion (and distancing himself from something he clearly felt was wrong) in the official post, he sets Ross up as the bad guy. That is unfair to Ross. When you make a public statement on behalf of the company, you should make it as dispassionate as possible.

From 32_footsteps (hey, long time no see!):

The biggest point of disappointment to me - and I don't often disagree with Eric on things - is that I can't see how an author's politics figure into his or her content, unless the author specifically puts his or her politics into the content.

I think that someone who perpetuates hate while professing personal tolerance is worse than someone who professes hate. Someone up there said something about integrity -- that's the key here. A bigot is a terrible thing. But someone who shoos the subject of hate away because they don't want the bigots to focus on them -- while insisting they don't have a problem -- bothers me more.

I think that's a healthy priority, really. But we're free to disagree on that.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at March 11, 2005 5:28 PM

Oh, and Kira:

So if in my blog I voice an opinion about a political situation (it's rare, but it happens occasionally) and you disagree, Eric, and you find my opinion about that situation and that subject offensive, will you stop reading my comic even if it, in and of itself, never offends?

No, I won't.

I'm disconnecting from Ross's work because she gave a fellow Keenspotter the shaft. She literally removed their advertisement when it was their turn to be advertised, because she found it offensive. She has the right to her opinion, and Keenspot affirmed her right to her actions, but beyond my opinion of her opinion, I think that's a crass way to operate. And that's reason enough to punch out, for my lights.

In addition to that and tangently to it, I have a serious problem with finding the very concept of two gay men kissing innately offensive. If she had ranted about that on her site, I might well have been offended by it. Would I have kept reading her work in that situation? I don't know. Would I have snarked about it? Probably not.

The reason for the snark was threefold: I found the reasons for rejecting that newsbox spurious (and I realize that's just an opinion I have), I found the way Keenspot chose to advertise their reasons for proceeding as they did flawed, and I found the act of pulling the ad from Ross's pages crass and unfair. The last is the reason I'm simply not going to bring her work up here again -- I always reserve the right to simply not read someone's work. Hand in hand with that is a responsibility to also not trash said work. Even in these comments I'm not discussing the pros or cons of Alien Dice or Ross's other comic strips.

Ross likely won't care in the least that I'm not snarking Alien Dice. (For one thing, I've never snarked it before.) And when I typed those words, I didn't know whose strip it was I was talking about. But I don't think that kind of act is what one does in a collective, and I don't choose to reinforce such behavior by acknowledging the folks who do it.

Comment from: eviljim posted at March 11, 2005 5:36 PM

There is a big difference between not wanting to promote something and hating it.

Having and advertisment for something on your page is condoning it in a way (or at least will be seen as such by some visitors).

This user did not want to condone what the ad portrayed, so he/she/it removed the ad.

Simple.

This has nothing to do with hate or censorship (preventing someone from 'speaking' on your own pages is not censorship).

Fundamentally there is no difference between what you find acceptable reasons for not posting a box ("I have no problem with someone refusing to run a newsbox with swear words or without a bikini model or without an axe protruding from a woman's head") and what you think is unreasonable (something that people like you think is "wrong" to dislike or feel uncomfortable about).

It says nothing about what the author finds acceptable or unacceptable -- he is just making a call on what he feels is right for his site.

A good example for this is I run a site. I don't run gambling ads because I don't feel they portray a good message. I, however, am always up for a trip to Vegas or a game of cards with friends. I have no problem with gambling, but I don't want those ads on my page. I want to only have business friendly ads -- gambling does not fit in there.

This is no different.

Comment from: Freak posted at March 11, 2005 5:38 PM

Her pulling of the ad was just as "unfair" as Keenspot's and Fuhr's (unwitting) failure to give her advance notice of the content. By doing so, they took away the usual alternative (ask for an alternative newsbox in advance) away from her.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at March 11, 2005 5:40 PM

From Freak:

Then he makes up a reason "So, the Keenspotter in question objected because it was Gay Positive.", putting words in the unknown Spotter's mouth.

Actually, that seemed fairly self-evident to me. The newsbox was of two men kissing, fairly innocuously. The only objection possible was that it presented a positive portrayal of homosexuality. Absent any lurid content, violent content, or obscene content, the only thing left is two men kissing.

He goes on to run down a slippery slope (it must have been pulled because of the content of the strip, not the newsbox itself), attributing future behaviors to the unknown person.

Actually, no. I think the newsbox was pulled because of the content of the newsbox, not the strip. I then outlined potential further steps that a precedent like that can lead to -- one day, it's the appearance of homosexuality (without a sexual element) in the newsbox, the next it's the positive portrayal of a homosexual in any way.

I can see what you're saying, mind, and I accept you feeling I'm going off the rails here, but I wanted to clarify that I don't think there's any possible reason the box was pulled other than it portrayed homosexuality as acceptable (I don't think, in other words, that it's putting words into the artist's mouth to say that), and I do think it was the newsbox's content that caused it to be pulled.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at March 11, 2005 5:47 PM

Question to Eric: Suppose that the preview process had run as it was supposed to: Sandra submitted the image on time; Syke objects; Sandra prepares an image with, say, the same two characters facing the camera, or perhaps just the FH logo; Syke runs just that image; afterwards, somebody mentioned that the g-rated newsbox was produced at Syke's request. Would you still have posted an appropriate article?

Honestly? Probably not.

Is that fair to Ross? Again, probably not.

What's the difference?

The difference is, this was FH's weekend to be advertised. The system failed Ross. Ross did not seek redress, but instead removed the ad -- in effect, breaking the compact she has with the other Keenspotters.

If it comes out that she contacted Keenspot's administration first -- which according to Bleuel's timeline didn't happen -- I will swallow my pride and acknowledge I made a mistake. If instead she simply yanked the newsbox, then responded to Keenspot's administration when others noticed it had been pulled, then I stand by my thesis.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at March 11, 2005 5:52 PM

Would you still have posted an appropriate article?

On my last post, I actually saw that as "would you have posted a similar article." I can't speak to whether I'd post an appropriate one or not. So when I said "probably not," afterward, I was answering a slightly different question. In rereading, I realized that.

I wouldn't have responded the same way to learning Ross had gone through the process. I might have had an opinion form about Ross, but I likely wouldn't have posted about it.

I suppose dramatic action produces dramatic results.

Comment from: Hankblog posted at March 11, 2005 5:56 PM

Eric, as usual, you express an idea far more completely and eloquently than I ever could. I agree with your stance on the issue 100%. Though one of your commenters is right in that if Keenspace is supposed to give each person the "right of refusal" if you will by previewing the ad prior to use, I agree with your basic argument that just pulling it is bad form. And I can't say I can agree with Ross saying that she has no objection with the content of the comic in question, but does have issue the image itself. Isn't the power of the image what is so compelling about good comics and aren't those images by extension an expression of the ideals that the artist and author are trying to convey within their work? To me Ross' explanation sounds like a poor end around, much akin to someone who may hold some racist stance on an issue and then say "I'm not racist, I have plenty of (black/hispanic/whatever ethnicity) friends." I may be fumbling the analogy here a bit, but I think I've got my point out there.

Comment from: Sam Logan posted at March 11, 2005 5:59 PM

Eric, maybe this is just hard for you to understand given the personal editorial nature of your own website, but not everyone wants to use their own as a soapbox for their personal opinions. Not everyone is that fearless. Besides, it just isn't the focus of a lot of cartoonist's sites. I don't know how Jim Davis feels about gay people, but I bet I won't find out by going to the Garfield website.

Posting an image of two gay fellows kissing on your website is making a political statement. I personally think that's really sad -- I would like to think that an image like that was not even remotely controversial -- but that doesn't make it any less true. And not everyone is going to be willing to do that, willing to embrace the backlash and controversy, when it has nothing to do with what their website is about.

There is an important place for social advocacy, but I don't expect to see it everywhere. You'll never see an ad featuring two men kissing during Desperate Housewives, but I don't assume that is because the people who run the network are all huge bigots. Unless your comic has a large blog component, like PA, the author's message is primarily the comic itself, and their other personal opinions take a back seat.

If my website is going to express any kind of message about homosexuality or any other "hot button" issue, it will be in my comic itself. I can see why someone would be reluctant to open that can of worms for the sake of someone else's ad banner.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at March 11, 2005 6:06 PM

Sam:

You're completely right.

Honestly. You're completely right.

But pulling the newsbox down -- particularly without going to Keenspot and working through them -- is itself making a statement, and moves beyond not wanting to advocate. It becomes advocacy against.

In my opinion, anyhow.

Comment from: Grumblin posted at March 11, 2005 6:13 PM

Eviljim:

"Having and advertisment for something on your page is condoning it in a way (or at least will be seen as such by some visitors).

This user did not want to condone what the ad portrayed, so he/she/it removed the ad.

Simple."

The Ad box as run by Keenspot is a rotating advertisement for the mutual efforts of the *collective*.

If this particular comic artist does not condone/approve/wants to be associated with that particular advertisement, she also implicitly does the same for the content of the whole comic.

Which is interesting, since that comic and what it contains is also part of that collective. If an author does not want to be associated with a particular kind of art, or subject in art, he/she should take care not to use a publisher that publishes that kind of art.

Contractual issues aside, as an author that is part of a collective, you implicitly support what that collective does. If someone does something you personally object against, but whose actions are carried by the majority, yuo either put up, or shut up.

You do *not*, ever, pull out on one of the members by cutting his fair share of exposure, which cutting an ad is.

"Share, and share alike" is the ideological basis, the ground rule of a collective. By pulling the ad, the author broke rule #1. Period.

And that really is as simple as you can get.

just my 2 eurocents.

Comment from: Tangent posted at March 11, 2005 6:16 PM

The scary thing is... this topic has drawn up over (by the time people read this in all likelihood) 70 responses, from over 20 different people (and even a pun or two, shame on you Shadowbourne! *grin*). Over something as innocuous as pulling an ad that the person found potentially offensive to her readers or herself.

Here's a question for you, Eric: Would you back down on your stance if she were to do a public (ie, on the Keenforums) apology or even explanation as to what happened? Or is this a new category: You Never Had Me and You've Lost Me? ;)

Wow... 70+ replies... scary...

Robert A. Howard, who'd love to Snark about LucasArts rushing KotOR2 into production before fixing bugs or finishing the content...

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at March 11, 2005 6:20 PM

From Mr. Howard:

Here's a question for you, Eric: Would you back down on your stance if she were to do a public (ie, on the Keenforums) apology or even explanation as to what happened? Or is this a new category: You Never Had Me and You've Lost Me? ;)

Yeah, I think I'd back down. There's no need to be dogmatic for the sake of being dogmatic.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at March 11, 2005 6:21 PM

(Though note I'm sure there's a good number of people who think she doesn't have any need to apologize for anything.)

Comment from: Mitch Clem posted at March 11, 2005 6:33 PM

But pulling the newsbox down -- particularly without going to Keenspot and working through them -- is itself making a statement, and moves beyond not wanting to advocate. It becomes advocacy against.

Damn right. Furthermore, while it may take some guts to express unpopular political idealism in your comic (I should know, I get about 200 hate mails every time I say SUVs and McDonalds are stupid). However, while there may be a level of bravery involved in feeling comfortable making a statement, and I can respect not having that, the decision to remove something controversial EVEN IF YOU DON'T AGREE WITH IT'S BEING CONTROVERSIAL IN THE FIRST PLACE, is an act of cowardace, plain and simple, and that I cannot get behind.

Comment from: Shadowydreamer posted at March 11, 2005 6:35 PM

I'm Canadian. That's an English speaking country, it's not far from America. (To be a bit sarcastic)

Gay marriage is legal here. Gay divorce too, for that matter. Poe is on Keenspot and posts all sorts of gay elf pictures, no one seems to complain about him.

If my readers are offended by homosexuality (I have a gay bear and a few sexually ambiguous sheep) then they can go find another comic to read.

But really - I don't see the newsboxes reflecting on the comic's page I happen to see them on, they're showing the content of ANOTHER comic. And if a keenspotter has problems with their neighbours, then perhaps they should move.

Comment from: quiller posted at March 11, 2005 6:37 PM

Umm, I quote this from Gav's statement.

When the concerned Keenspotter removed the newsbox from their webpage, it was after an objection and after which no alternative newsbox had been provided.

It looks like Tiffany did request an alternative newsbox from Keenspot, but none had been prepared (due to the timing issue) so she took it down.

Comment from: Sam Logan posted at March 11, 2005 6:47 PM

I'm a Canadian, too! (And hopefully gay marriage is going to STAY legal up here. I'm nervous.)

I guess I've just draw enough fire over the last couple of years to know how tempting it can be to back away from controversy, even if you personally feel that the "controversy" is stupid and unfounded. I never tossed in my two cents about the US election because at that time I just wasn't prepared to properly deal with the inevitable backlash. It is done out of fear. But the fear is at least understandable. I don't think there was anything malicious going on here.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at March 11, 2005 6:52 PM

Umm, I quote this from Gav's statement.

When the concerned Keenspotter removed the newsbox from their webpage, it was after an objection and after which no alternative newsbox had been provided.

It looks like Tiffany did request an alternative newsbox from Keenspot, but none had been prepared (due to the timing issue) so she took it down.

I thought, quite seriously, that it had been confirmed that the newsbox went down first.

If I'm wrong about that? Then I'm full of shit.

It's really that simple.

Comment from: DanShive posted at March 11, 2005 6:52 PM

It looks like Tiffany did request an alternative newsbox from Keenspot, but none had been prepared (due to the timing issue) so she took it down.



This is accurate. No alternative was provided even well after the issue was addressed. I think taking down the newsbox and commenting on it was going too far, but she was within her rights to do it.



Eric, I doubt you've read all these posts, and I'm betting you didn't see my first one. I'm reposting a portion of it here:



All that hoo-for-rah aside, the main point I wanted to make was that the statment "The Keenspotter in question objected because it was Gay Positive" is unfair. It can suggest that the spotter wouldn't object to an anti-gay propoganda newsbox, and that the spotter is a bigot. Whether or not one agrees that the spotter was simply hoping to avoid controversy (and failing miserably at this point), that statement without further information wasn't fair, and is structured to cause further controversy and anger.

Comment from: DanShive posted at March 11, 2005 6:54 PM

Gah--sorry about my previous post and all the spaces. The "preview" screen made me think I needed to add "br" statements to keep it from being all one paragraph, which I thought was due to me adding italics via html. My bad ^^;

Comment from: Wednesday posted at March 11, 2005 6:56 PM

It is done out of fear. But the fear is at least understandable. I don't think there was anything malicious going on here.

I don't care if it wasn't malicious. I don't care if it was done out of fear.

For me -- I want this absolutely clear; I'm arguing as me, not as "'snark contributor" at the moment -- the problem is that the underlying assumption is flawed. I can be as understanding as I like. And I'm trying. I really am. I can almost sort of grasp it.

I just can't accept it.

Comment from: jjacques posted at March 11, 2005 7:14 PM

This is lame. It's lame that the webcomic in question felt compelled to pull the newsbox regardless of their motivation for doing so. It's lame that Keenspot fucked up somewhere in the process. As reprehensible as I feel homophobia to be, as far as I can tell the fault here lies with Keenspot for creating this conflict in the first place.

This whole fiasco is a perfect example of why relinquishing editorial control of any aspect of your own website is an awful idea (forums being one exception to this rule).

Comment from: Tangent posted at March 11, 2005 7:17 PM

oO

Once upon a time, I was scared of homosexuals. I did not want homosexuality to be mentioned in schools, I heard "rumors" of daycare workers giving boys dolls to play with and girls the tonka trucks to "help them understand" gay issues, and other garbage like that.

Thanks to a gay friend on the internet and a female friend who wanted to RP a gay male D&D character (I was GMing)... I came to terms with my (almost literal) homophobia. I didn't hate them. I was scared of them and their way of life.

Thus I can understand why people would want to avoid the topic entirely. I can see why this ad could be pulled, even if the person in question doesn't mind Homosexuals but wanted to avoid "controversy" with the Newsbox. I can even forgive such a thing... because once upon a time, I walked the path of near-bigotry (from fear can come hate).

The thing is... by lashing out at such a person... you risk sending them (and others who sympathize) into a tailspin of anger and backlash. Now, I don't see Eric's Snark as being out of place. With what he knew at the time... he had legitimate cause to comment on this. And we still do not know all the specifics on the sequence of events that led to FH's newsbox being removed from AD's site.

This is the ironic thing about prejudice... if you allow yourself to be prejudiced against those who are prejudiced... in the end, are you any better than they? (Well, perhaps... if you complain about prejudice but do not try to restrict someone's right to *be* prejudiced... but it's still a slippery slope.)

Anyway, Eric, tangenting aside (hey, I'm good at it! *grin*), you're *not* full of shit. You saw something that concerned you and you commented. And considering we're going over 80 replies on this topic... it's one that concerns quite a few people.

Robert A. Howard

Comment from: Freak posted at March 11, 2005 7:18 PM

I spoke with Syke:

- She posted her objection; when there had been no replacement after 24 hours, she took down the newsbox and replaced it with a link to FH.

- Sandra did not object; she was fine with it and let Syke know the correct place to link

- This was between Syke, Sandra, and Keenspot, and it has been resolved to their satisfaction

- Policy on the Keenspot G Newsbox has been clarified so this won't happen again

- That the link is still on her site, and will remain until Monday

Comment from: kirabug posted at March 11, 2005 7:32 PM

Hi Eric,

You wrote,

I'm disconnecting from Ross's work because she gave a fellow Keenspotter the shaft. She literally removed their advertisement when it was their turn to be advertised, because she found it offensive.

Ah. Since you raised your threat to disconnect after saying, "And besides. I want to know who did it, because [snip] I want to be sensitive to this Keenspotter's desire to not be associated with such things. You know, by not mentioning that strip on Websnark." it really did sound like you were cutting off this comic based on her political position on gay rights to pull the ad, and it had nothing to do with her decision as a member of the collective to pull the ad that supports other members of the collective.

So along those lines, I apologize for my misundertanding your intent. Not sure I agree, but sorry I missed the point the first time.

On a slightly different note, you also wrote:

If it comes out that she contacted Keenspot's administration first -- which according to Bleuel's timeline didn't happen -- I will swallow my pride and acknowledge I made a mistake. If instead she simply yanked the newsbox, then responded to Keenspot's administration when others noticed it had been pulled, then I stand by my thesis.

and

I thought, quite seriously, that it had been confirmed that the newsbox went down first. If I'm wrong about that? Then I'm full of shit. It's really that simple.

Now excuse me if this sounds like someone bopping a puppy on the nose with a newspaper for peeing on the rug, (or don't excuse me, your choice) but why are we all even having this conversation if we honestly don't know what happened?

Yes, this is a blog, and yes, everyone has the right to post whatever they want on their personal website. But it's dangerously close to libel to paint a picture of someone who pulled a "gay-positive" ad within a collective without first giving The System a chance to work, (given the charged nature of such comments in the current socio-political climate), when in fact the person did work within the system, and The System acknowledged that fact, and agreed with the removal of the ad.

There are folks here ready to tar and feather her, all because you didn't have your facts straight.

(And YES, it concerns me that anyone would pull the ad - it concerns me that anyone would object to the ad - that's NOT THE POINT. The point is, if we don't have our facts straight before posting to our blogs, we can quite literally cause another person quite a bit of harm, especially if their identity is no secret.)

Bad snark! No cookie.

Comment from: Tangent posted at March 11, 2005 7:38 PM

And the point of this is... we are, all of us (except me, but hey, I'm a mathematical concept ya know!) human. As such.. we can make mistakes.

Of course, to err is human, to forgive, divine. And as Eric himself stated that if an explanation was given or an apology on the Keenforums, that he'd rethink his position... likewise, Eric seems very much the type of person who *would* write a retraction should it be proven by the Keenspot Officials that the series of events shows that, in fact, Syke had registered a complaint initially and then pulled the Keenspot Newsbox ad only after exhausting those possibilities.

So think of it as a learning experience. And hey, if Syke is on the up and up... think of this as a lot of publicity for her that she'd otherwise not have gotten... *wink*

Robert A. Howard, tangenting across the internet

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at March 11, 2005 7:43 PM

Now excuse me if this sounds like someone bopping a puppy on the nose with a newspaper for peeing on the rug, (or don't excuse me, your choice) but why are we all even having this conversation if we honestly don't know what happened?

That's not quite accurate. There's a difference between proceeding without knowledge and proceeding with incorrect knowledge. I got it wrong, but I was certain. And now I'm acknowledging where I got it wrong.

Does that make up for it? No. But I do what I can.

Comment from: DanShive posted at March 11, 2005 7:45 PM

If it comes out that she contacted Keenspot's administration first -- which according to Bleuel's timeline didn't happen -- I will swallow my pride and acknowledge I made a mistake. If instead she simply yanked the newsbox, then responded to Keenspot's administration when others noticed it had been pulled, then I stand by my thesis.

Swallow your pride, because I saw it all behind the scenes, and I know the order. She did contact Spot will before yanking the ad, so SWALLOW! SWALLOW I SAY!

*erhem* Sorry, sometimes I feel the need to speak in that manner. I blame the Simpsons.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at March 11, 2005 7:52 PM

Swallow your pride, because I saw it all behind the scenes, and I know the order.

Done and done, Dan. Check the next post on the main page.

Comment from: Jamie posted at March 11, 2005 8:22 PM

Well, at least COTC got mentioned here ... and probably for the last time. ;)

Comment from: Wednesday posted at March 11, 2005 8:43 PM

Jamie? Chickens. Hatching. OK?

Eric's daily trawl? Not the gamut.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at March 11, 2005 9:30 PM

"From 32_footsteps (hey, long time no see!):"

Um... I just commented, over in your latest PvP snark. I've been around, if somewhat quiet.

Anyhow, as has been pointed out, it's not like Tiffany didn't link at all to FH. Just not with the original ad box. In some ways, she actually promoted it better - usually, the ad box is at the bottom of AD's main page (about four Page Down taps, more if she's especially wordy that day), but the new ad was near the top.

But to the main point...

I think that it's a bit harsh to come down that hard on those who shy from confrontation. I know, it's partly from their silence that problems continue. But not everyone is strong enough to take a stand at all times. I feel sorry for them, but they're not the real problem. Putting their feet to the fire is just ignoring the root of the problem.

Shake your head in embarassment at Ms. Ross, but don't make her into a villain.

Comment from: Jamie posted at March 11, 2005 9:52 PM

Jamie? Chickens. Hatching. OK? Eric's daily trawl? Not the gamut.

Eric mentioned that he didn't read COTC which is fine. I was just kidding about it. Hence the ;)

Comment from: Vorn posted at March 12, 2005 6:45 PM

...and all this time I thought it was a girl and a guy.

Huh.

Vorn

Comment from: Xeres posted at March 12, 2005 6:46 PM

It's discussions like this that make me kick myself for lurking and never participating. Especially in a discussion which has been kept relatively peaceful... Usually, arguments including homosexuality don't remain civil. I'm hoping I didn't miss the bus on this issue (not the same metaphorical bus people imply Ross was being thrown under...)

I believe in stating any bias. I'm quite aware that I have one on the issue, being 17 and bisexual (also Canadian, woo), I'm mildly surprised at my own ability to refrain from 'OMGz y r u so meeeen?'. Being bisexual, I am much more likely to take offense from the entire issue. Which would be silly, and really just a case of being intolerant of those who simply don't agree. It's something that bothers me, as I'd very much like to be accepted by the world, and not have any sort of social stigma placed upon me.

I have never read Alien Dice, and I probably never will, but not because of this fiasco. I understand that she has a right to object to something of a questionable nature, and I fully understand that as much as I wish it wasn't true, homosexuality is still not widely accepted. Stepping back from the entire 'Keenspot screwed up/Policy states/1st Amendment/Different image' argument, which I probably don't even need to comment on at this point, the main issue is that she objected to the image of two men kissing. This is the issue that seems to draw the most hate. People assume she is anti-homosexual, comments on biggotry are made, and intolerance is witnessed all-around. I found Websnark through PvP, and I've enjoyed Eric's writing ever since. On this issue, even after determining what mistakes were made in the fact-finding process, I still respect Eric's opinion. I can't be entirely sure as to WHY Ross was against the FH image. Regardless of what is said on the issue, Ross' true ideals and reasoning may never even see the light of day. For all we know, she could be a member of the Westboro Baptist Church and think that the world is being drowned in sodomite semen. While I think it's safe to say that's not the case, the point still stands.

I'm not entirely sure what Ross has said on the issue, as I've been told that her original comments were edited. I don't honestly believe, nor do I want to believe, that she is some kind of homosexual biggot. As much as it pains me to see that homosexuality still remains such an issue... I believe it's better that people argue about it than not recognize it at all. It took quite some time for even inter-racial relationships to be accepted on a general level, and we have to understand that homosexuality faces the same public scrutiny.

I've tried to see the issue from the other side. I'm a Catholic high-school student, my church encourages its members to sign a petition opposing same-sex marriage, I just finished a presentation on morality as a way of knowing regarding homosexuality. And just as I can accept but still fail to understand how others can pass judgement on myself, or have this moral belief or opinion, I have come to the understanding that the opposite is just as true: They probably can't understand my belief/opinion either. Of course this is a 'well, duh' statement, but hey, if all you verbose peoples can take part, so can I.

People learn, people change... Or they don't. Besides, Ross isn't nearly as bad as some of the anti-homosexual sentiments I've recieved. In all, lovely post by Eric, lovely discussion by all. Hopefully, something was learnt in the end.

Comment from: bunnyThor posted at March 14, 2005 3:20 AM

Hey, Eric, you seem like a smart, idealistic young liberal with something to say and the courage to say it. That's all well and good. I hope it continues to work out for you.

But it might occasionally be a healthy practice for you to occaisionally cool down from your righteous zeal and take a look at what you have written from a more rational and less emotional point of view. After all, I'm sure that you would want to believe that what you put your name to will hold up well when considered thoughtfully and logically, yes?

I bring this up because you seem to have ignored *motive* as a mitigating factor in this situation. The courts usually consider this before condemning the accused, so it's possible you may want to as well.

And when you get down to the facts of this situation, as well as we know it, we are not entirely sure of her motivation, which does not seem to be accidental. This suggests that her reasons were personal, and as with many such personal reasons, may be complicated. Maybe she has a relative who reads this strip that she doesn't want to offend. Maybe her boss checks in on her website. Maybe she just doesn't want to start "that discussion" up again with someone she carpools with. Maybe she doesn't have what you and I may think is a "good reason". Did you consider any of this before handing down your liberal fatwa on her?

Her "crime" here if you think about it is very slight. She is not actively campaigning against homosexuality. No, what she stands accused of is failing to post an image on her website that depicts two gay men almost kissing--an image that she was *not* required to post, by the way. If you think abou that, most of us are guilty of the same "crime"--you included. Tell me...how many days have *you* failed to post a non-required image on your website that depicts two gay men almost kissing? Should I not care what your reason is and declare you a bad person for it?

I applaud your desire to stomp out prejudice and bigotry wherever you find it. But you may want to consider whether being a reactionary is any more laudable. Leave the black-and-white thinking to the extremists and come join the rest of in the world of many greys.

Comment from: Prodigal posted at March 14, 2005 1:08 PM

Like the one of the reactionary decision to pull the newsbox?

Comment from: Nat Lanza posted at March 14, 2005 3:57 PM

bunnyThor: You know, you're bound to catch way more flies with honey than you will with condescension.

I know Eric can defend himself should he choose to, but the "you poor benighted kid you" tone of your lengthy comment above really rubbed me the wrong way.

Comment from: bunnyThor posted at March 14, 2005 10:35 PM

Prodigal: Are you saying that two wrongs make a right?

Nat Lanza: He rubbed me the wrong way first. Fortunately I decided to not be reactionary myself, and wrote the empathetically disapproving note above instead of what I felt like writing right out of the gate. If you haven't guessed it by now, it was not supposed to be all warm and huggly. Is Eric the only one here with license to voice his dislike of others' actions here? He made his statement, and my post was part of the feedback. If you didn't like it, I say too bad.

Comment from: Darren Bleuel posted at March 15, 2005 2:30 AM

I hope everyone reads our response to the situation in full. Despite people referencing it, some people are still not quite understanding the situation. Fortunately, it looks like frenzied discussion is reiterating the primary facts. I just wanted to address one issue brought up at the beginning of this:

This has nothing to do with the First Amendment! Keenspot is not the government of the United States of America. It has every right to drop or otherwise penalize this user if it feels the contract was breeched when they removed the newsbox.

This is correct. I shouldn't have referred to it as a "First Amendment" right. I suppose at the time, this seemed a simpler way of stating it, rather than the "artistic freedom that we have previously agreed to grant Keenspotters." In retrospect, I agree this language was incorrect. I do not believe it detracts from the ultimate message, however.

Comment from: Prodigal posted at March 15, 2005 2:41 AM

Prodigal: Are you saying that two wrongs make a right?No, I'm saying that you were dead wrong to label Eric a reactionary - if anybody was being reactionary, it was the artist that pulled the adbox.

Comment from: OneMaliciousG posted at March 15, 2005 4:09 AM

New here, hopped the link on Penny Arcade. Just thought I would throw in my opinion on this staming mound of html, or java, or whatever. I'm no tech-guy.

Someone did something, becuase they had the right to and no ammount of whatever will change the fact that it is done. Now a bunch of people have their panties in a bundle over it and are blowing everything out of proportion.

People are dropping these massive blobs of text and flaming this eric guy and each other, so obviously you all have some issues with this. Fact of the matter: can't change it. If the author who yanked the box has a problem with homos , heteros, badgers, or fruit bats, then the author has a problem with them. I wouldn't know and it isn't/wasn't fair of anyone else to make the assumption that said author did/does have a problem. Last time I checked I wasn't telepathic and all cool like that. Pretty sure none of you are either.

Point: quit with the assumptions and the whining. We live in a time that has not come to fully accept certain ideas/lifestyles. you have a right to speak your piece about it, thank god, but if all you want to do is beat a beehive with a stick then you really don't care so much about what happened as the issue regarding what happened. If there is an issue at all, becuase, once again, I don't know what happened and I'm not telepathic. As soon as I get that mind reading thing down I will happily inform everyone of the goings-on. In the mean time?

Simmer the crap down. No need to get all chaffed becuase someone exercised their contractual rights. That one guy/girl/otherwise had the right idea with the whole pie thing. People are just nit-picking and itching for an excuse to blast other people. Remove the stick from the butt and get back to the logical discussing of a viable topic, not a bunch of poo-poo assumptions and eviscerating words trying to find hidden meanings.

Yes I am passive about this. Yes I really had no good point to make with this post. I just felt this could use a tired, bored guy's perspetive from the outside. Huzzah for rambling and such.

Comment from: aniki21 posted at March 15, 2005 9:23 AM

I think it's pretty ridiculous to suggest that someone who refuses to run an advert featuring homosexuals is automatically a homophobe.

I am not anti-gay. Personally, I couldn't care less if you want to have sex with someone the same gender as yourself. If that makes you happy, go for it.

But that doesn't mean I want to witness you do it.

Hell, I get uncomfortable even when straight couples start getting it on in public places - if you want to be intimate, please God, do it somewhere in private. Seeing two people dry humping in a public park is not fun.

In short, I can understand why someone wouldn't be comfortable running an advertisement that has two men kissing. I don't think that automatically means they go out gay-bashing at the weekends though, and to imply that you know their entire motivation for it, as well as tarring them with the "homophobe" label without really knowing what you're talking about, is just irresponsible in a column that a lot of people read and respect.

Comment from: readsInDC posted at March 15, 2005 10:56 AM

Ok, in general you could label me as a liberal, but I've lived with this whining crap long enough that my comments might seem conservative or some such.

It always amazes me how any liberal is quick to jump to shout against some imagined and unimagined bigotry or such. I've seen people been called out as anti-gay and homophobic, and then drawn and quartered in the forums, merely for stating their opinion.

However, where do you stop? How do you think you will change anyone perception of LGBT movement if all they hear is "YOU'RE A F*****G BIGOT, DIE MOTHERF****R". Can you imagine your math teacher or professor going off on you for doubting some mathematical rule or law? Like you say, "Dude, there is no way that a*b equals the area of a rectangle", and then the teacher (who KNOWS what the truth is) goes and starts screaming "DIE YOU MATH BIGOT, YOU KNOW S**T, YOU'RE INSULTING ME AND WANT ME TO DIE. AAAAAAAARAAARGH!"

Accept it. People don't feel comfortable around same sex relationships. I do, but I am not as comfortable seeing two men kissing, as I am a man and a woman kissing. I am straight and I feel that is probably because I am repressing some homosexual tendencies somewhere deep within my sub-conciousness. And you won't change anyone's mind by going off on a liberal rant about how everyone is f****d up in the head and you're right and they're wrong and somesuch.

Comment from: Xeres posted at March 15, 2005 12:20 PM

Ah, just read the reference made over at Penny Arcade. Actually, I'm surprised I missed it, as I'm into the habit of reading the comic and the news that goes with it. Shame on me.

It seems the same idea is being presented, really. Eric admitted he 'flew off the handle' as it were. I can see where the assumptions came from, I bet I'd probably have made the same ones... Luckily, I'm not in posession of a widely-read blog where my opinion and mistake-of-fact can be openly torn asunder. So yes, it was a mistake to simply assume and start to cry wolf... Rather, to cry 'bigot', as it would seem in this case.

I think readsInDC nailed it (with Math examples, no less!) with his post. People will simply look at this issue now and think 'Damn Liberals taking everything too seriously'. Maybe they're right. I remember once hearing a saying about 'not sinking to their level' or somesuch. By vehemently and perhaps incorrectly putting forth such loud protests, those 'Gay Positive' (ugly term, really.) posters such as myself come across looking no better than people whose vocabulary on the subject ranges no farther than 'DIE FAGS'.

Yes, I still like this post. I like what Eric wrote, and merely think it's a shame that it all faltered upon a mistake of facts. Now, if we REALLY want to have an argument where the bias of a person is known, I'd say Eric should snark the recent S*P comics, dealing with McKanzie. It'd surely be less convoluted than this, considering all of the metaphorical cards would be on the table.

Pah, I think I'll just go with the pie-eating suggestion. I think many wars would be avoided with this philosophy.

Comment from: Nat Lanza posted at March 15, 2005 5:40 PM

Prodigal: Are you saying that two wrongs make a right?

Nat Lanza: He rubbed me the wrong way first.

I do so love the juxtaposition of those two statements.

I'm not saying you don't have license to voice your dislike. I'm just saying you chose a pretty counterproductive way to do it.

If you feel you need to yell at me for saying that, go right ahead.

Anyway, our host has pretty publicly stated that he got the facts wrong, so it's probably long past time to stop taking whacks at this particular dead horse.

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Remember me?