We as a species have become so connected to our celebrities that we are unable to dodge the rampant narcissistic nonsense they spew from their very tall horses. For some reason, certain people believe that this ‘nonsense’ devalues the art and cultural merit of said celebrities. Spoiler: It doesn’t.
Politics greatly comes into play when individuals decide to ‘drop a celeb’. Celebrities are brands and you can see this same thing reflected in businesses with political leanings. Dropped like they are indeed hot. But unlike a most businesses (corporate giants excluded), celebrities do have a certain amount cultural significance and shape modern society.
Who is Morrissey?
If you don’t know who Morrissey is, you’re probably 12 or worked / slept through the 80’s. Morrissey is one of the greatest singer / song writers of all time. He was the front man in one of the greatest bands of all time, The Smiths, which had one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Johnny Marr. Morrissey’s voice drips perfect melancholy and in the “age of Millennials” who are incapable of feeling joy, his vocals reflect the certain sadness that resides within us all. The musical stylings of The Smiths may be even more relevant today than it was in the 80’s. Morrissey’s legacy doesn’t end with The Smiths as he is a powerful solo artist in his own right.
He’s a treasure, really.
But Morrissey is also a fucking asshole. Just a real piece of work. Power to him for speaking his mind — the man doesn’t give a shit about you or anyone else and he’s not afraid to let it be known. He is right and will always be right. He’s fucking MOZ.
Here’s 5 things that Morrissey has been right about:
Who is Wil Wheaton
Wil Wheaton is this dude that was on TV and in some movies. That’s not really important though. Wil’s TV career may have afforded him some future opportunities, but it does not define who he is and what he has built.
Wil Wheaton has a beard sometimes and sometimes Wil Wheaton doesn’t. Wil Wheaton is also a voice actor. I’m really honestly not certain what Wil did between 1999–2006, but it was probably helpful for wherever he would end up in the future.
I think Wil is a self-made man. There’s a lot of celebrities out there who kind of have it handed to them, but Wil’s busted his ass building his brand over the past decade+.
Somewhere around 2005, Wil became household name again in the niche geek circles. His blog had some really insightful content and his tenacity for wordiness produced many great reads. He’s one heck of a writer. He also had an Onion AV Club column which was great. Wil began moving towards the web series side of things and started working with Felicia Day. His role in the Guild cemented him as a star (at least in the circles I ran with back then).
After The Guild, a piece of Wil Wheaton content became worth a lot.
Wil became a spokesperson of sorts for the ‘nerd and geek culture’ that had protected my fragile psyche growing up. As Wil grew, the niche culture grew. He was charismatic to ‘normies’ and by the time 2012 rolled around, being a ‘nerd’ had gone from being an insult, to being mainstream.
Wil’s greatest contribution to the ‘culture’ (in my opinion) has to be Tabletop. The availability of board games and tabletop gaming has grown exponentially since Wil made it cool to play DnD and other massive tabletop games.
I specifically remember when my local geek gaming store boosted its stock and put “AS SEEN ON TABLETOP” on the shelves. Now, CATAN is sold in Target and everyone I know has played a real tabletop game – not just Monopoly.
Wil is also an advocate for creator’s rights. While every artist has said it, it’s important when content creators and producers say shit like this:
Writers and bloggers: if you write something that an editor thinks is worth being published, you are worth being paid for it. Period.
I could complain about how popularity dilutes a ‘fandom’. I can’t complain, however, about the mass availability of products and content that now exists for my hobbies. ‘Geek culture’ becoming mainstream has made it possible for many talented individuals to have a shot at success and given back the allure of imagination to the masses. No one has to be afraid of being a nerd nowadays. In fact, it’s probably worse to be a jock. I’m not going to dive into the negative effects of living in fantasy and obsessing over fandoms today — but the overall positive effect of the culture growing can be seen all around.
Wil Wheaton has had a tremendous impact on this shift of cultural thought and he did it by the sweat of his brow. And He worked for it.
But Wil Wheaton can be a real asshole.
Politics come into play too often these days and celebrities think it’s important for them to forcibly educate everyone as to why they should think exactly like them. Wil’s blog has turned into a politically charged mess. There’s still some gems every once in a while, but the message is diluted with his political babysitting.
I look around that. I know there’s a reason he feels the way he does. Besides, he’s been somewhat vocal about his political leanings since at least 2005.
I attribute Wil’s rage to pressure. Being a self-made man is difficult, despite popular belief. Working from the bottom, it’s hard to tell when you may fall back down. I tend to think being too politically open can cause this spiral downwards again — but those that truly believe in their politics tend liken political debates to Star Wars, A literal fight of Good VS Evil. If only I could be so impassioned. On a personal level, this fight can be draining though. People begin to believe that any conflict of opinions is a personal slight and an attack on their character and moral fabric. It becomes impossible to have a conversation as the mania grows and grows.
His crowd of peers are very loud, which may seem like they are the majority opinion. Lots have been said about bubbles, and there’s no real indication that they AREN’T the majority. But we can’t have a conversation if we’re yelling at each other all of the time. Wil’s political blogs lack Wil’s voice. They use Buzzfeed styled hyperbole in the headlines “X does Y and that’s ADJECTIVE”. It’s played out and not why I fell in love with the bearded bastard to begin with.
Back during the whole “GamerGate” thing, Wil started being really mean to people online. That’s understandable. That was a mess. People were really mean all around then and a lot of people got screwed. I can’t imagine how annoying it must be to be shouted at every day. That whole thing kind of turned into the 2016 election thing, didn’t it.
Here’s a list of 5 things Wil Wheaton is right about:
To be fair,
I’m an asshole too. All I can do is write shitty thought pieces from the “center” as a nobody. I’m as terrible as they come.
Wil should write what he wants. But that also applies to everyone else. What an individual contributes to society has no bearing on their personal views and vice versa.
I will always remember Wil as the funny, humble dude that helped make my childhood hobbies mainstream as an adult. Wil’s being a megaphone for trending political forces may eventually end. I don’t doubt that he will remain true to his personal convictions and I commend him on voicing his opinions to the world. I may disagree with how he sets fire to randoms on the internet, but it doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate his contributions to the Human Race.
For now — Geek Culture is dead, but long live Geek Culture. If we can get out of this nasty environment, maybe we’ll reunite under the banner of board games and space fantasy. Maybe Wil’ll be the one to unite us.
Trying to bring this back home
It’s okay to be critical of published pieces, but shame on anyone for telling others that they can’t publish their passions. This includes me. I constantly add my two cents on things that I have no real insight into. The only thing I’ve learned over the past few years is to listen to what other people say — seriously, and seriously consider them. It’s easy to be dismissive. I went from being a horrible and annoying political nuisance to friends and family, to the “riding this middle ground ‘high horse’” jerk that I am now.
This doesn’t excuse my presumptuous attitude and though it may not seem evident in what we publish on robek.world, I honestly do enjoy discussion and different perspectives. Our publication staff is incredibly diverse, politically and identity-wise. I’d never tell them they can’t say what they want, so it’s not fair for me to do so to you. I’m mostly ribbing on the farcical nature of a fight between two dudes that probably would get along great save for the disassociating nature of internet.
So, I propose you guys fly to Austin, Texas. Robek World’ll front your boarding. I know a nice cozy place called Emerald Tavern where we can enjoy mead and play whatever the fuck this penguin game is.
Nothing solves internet drama like large glasses of mead.
robek.world is part of the problem
there’s no point to this post.
Also published on Medium.