Gizmodo Follow-up

So it seems I hit a nerve or two with my last article. I received my first actual bona fide hate mail, as well as having a number of people comment negatively on both the content and quality of my last article. It is now time to address those comments, and ease the minds of those who took issue with what I said or how I said it.

First of all, as I said, I received an actual hate mail over this article. Here it is:

I'd just like to point out something regarding your "article" on the CES thing. You (repeatedly?) called the people over at Gizmodo immature (which I take no opinion on), yet you attempted to insult them by calling them homosexuals. Being homophobic is very close to the top of my "things that make you immature" list. Calling someone gay as an insult stopped being funny (or even civil) after middle school.

Have a nice day.

Okay, so it's not quite "hate" mail, but it's as close as I've come so far. Now here's the email I sent in reply:

Remind me to introduce you to my friend sarcasm one of these days. I think you two would make smashing good friends.

Besides, at what point did I say in my article that being homosexual was bad or something to be feared? I did a text search just now, and nowhere in the article do the words fag, gay or queer occur. Homosexual was used as an adjective, not a noun. Besides, considering how many sentences in a row I talk about sticking things in asses, I'd think the assumption would be that I AM gay rather than that I fear them.

I stand by that reply, too. It's not like I said Everyone at Gizmodo is a flaming queermosexual or something. Being gay wasn't the insult: rectal penetration was. And as I said in my email reply, considering just how many times in a row I talked about it, and considering the only reason I gave for not wanting a blowjob from Brian Lam was a made-up-for-humour-value fear of contracting an STD, I'd say homosexuality is clearly not one of my touchy points.

That brings me to the second complaint with my article, which goes something like this:

I agree that this kind of prank might have been funny when you were 12. I also think that using the language you use in your article might have been cool when you were 12.

Or:

The article is indeed a good read, but the last paragraph could have been written by a 12 year old dude knowing too much bad language.

Once again, here is my written response:

They acted like 12 year olds, so I talked to them like a 12 year old. The terms of admittence for CES says you will not cause a disturbance, and that is the complaint I brought against them to CES (notice the title of the email I sent them). If the disturbance had been something like a loud verbal protest against the advancement of technology on the grounds that it leads to intellectual decay, and I chose to write about it, the tone of the article would have been entirely different. I wrote to their perceived level, because that's what I do on that website.

I stand by that reply as well. If there's one thing I hope regular readers of this site realize about my writing, it's that I always write to the level of the topic I'm covering. Don't believe me? Go read my article about Hollywood unoriginality, or my selfishness article. Basically, I write response articles as if the people I'm responding to are my audience, and so I write the article to their perceived level of intelligence. Gizmodo acted like preteens, so I wrote the article for preteen enjoyment. If they had been thrown out for a mature prank, the article would have been written entirely differently.

Now, a very observant reply to my position goes basically like this: Dropping to their level, or fighting fire with fire, or any other similar phrase is almost always a bad thing. This is also a correct statement, but in this case it is out of context, because I'm not fighting or arguing with them; I'm writing an independent article meant solely for the purpose of entertainment. I didn't egg their house for lighting poo on fire on my doorstep (an apt metaphor considering on the maturity of their prank), I took what I deemed to be appropriate action (sending the emails) and wrote about it on here when I was done and the results were established. Basically I held up their poo and called them idiots for doing such a dumb prank. Which leads me to the third main complaint about my article:

So, the people actually hurt by this took it in stride, while idiots like Chris who weren't even there take it upon themselves to take the "moral high ground" and get people banned while screaming for the attention Gizmodo got in the first place. Hah.

First of all, you don't have to be somewhere or be directly affected by it to think it's morally wrong. I challenge anybody reading this article to find someone who thinks it's a good idea to let starving children die from lack of aid when it's available, or that everyone who doesn't have blond hair and blue eyes should be executed. Similarly, I find breaking the terms of attendance and making other people lose face and respect all for your own cheap laughs to be selfish, childish, immature, and wrong. Basically, I'm holding up the poo I found on someone else's doorstep instead of my own, but the point is still the same:

Just because I wasn't there doesn't mean I'm not allowed to have an opinion, and it doesn't mean I'm not also allowed to act upon that opinion. Someone has to take the moral high ground when things happen that deserve it; why not me? Claiming that my view doesn't matter just because I wasn't there is both ignorant and insulting.

And that brings me to the fourth recurring complaint:

I'm sure there were others who complained, too.

This may surprise people but... so am I! At no point did I ever say I was the only person who sent emails to CES, in fact I'm sure I wasn't. There must have been at least a couple other people who decided to contact them, and for that I salute those people and thank them. I never said I was the only person who took action, I just never said that other people did it too. I showed the email I sent, gave the result, and said "that was my personal doing." It was also the personal doing of everyone else who sent CES an email complaining about Gizmodo's actions, but it doesn't make for as good or as fluid a read if I include that. Besides, hyperbole is fun!

Now, I may very well have been the only person who went digging through Gizmodo's "we did this" video and sent emails to all the companies therein, but the truth is there's no way to actually know, in either case. I may not be the only person who sent an email to Sony and Panasonic and Motorola, just as I may actually be the only person to send email to CES; until I see proof either way, all I have to go on is my assuredness that I can't possibly be the only person who was upset enough by their flaming poo to raise a stink over it. The only way to know for sure how many emails CES received on the matter would be to phone them and ask, and I never have the time, what with spending half of every day at work or in transit.

Was my article written childishly? Yes, on purpose. Did I exaggerate my role in the event? Probably. Was the article entertaining to read? I hope so. In the end, it's really up to you, the reader, to determine what you think of that or any article on this site, or on any other website. Read it, share it, and draw your own conclusions. Just be sure to always leave any preconceptions at the door, because if you don't then you're only cheating yourself.

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