The Firing of Chuck Wendig

Chuck Wendig, an exceptionally talented and witty writer, has written some great Star Wars books.  Just last week, Disney-LucasFilm released an announcement that Chuck would be writing more Star Wars books.  Today, Marvel Comics fired him for being vulgar on social media and inviting hostility.

For the full details, read this post.

I have some complicated thoughts on this turn of events.  Spoiler alert… some of them aren’t going to endear me to Chuck or some of my friends.  But I want to get them off my chest and speak to some of the larger issues surrounding the firing of Chuck’s firing.

[pauses to take a couple of shots of tequila]

I’d really rather be writing something funny like my post on time zones, but the reality we currently live in involves children being taken from their parents at the border and put into concentration camps.  That’s an actual thing that’s happening right now, and Stephen Miller wants to keep doing it.

We have a credibly accused sex offender in the White House and on the Supreme Court.  We have a gubernatorial candidate in PA threatening to stomp on someone’s face with golf cleats.  We’ve got Kanye West rolling in to the White House and spouting gibberish.

These are interesting times we’re living in.  So when Chuck Wendig said we shouldn’t be civil, I understood where he was coming from.  As I said before, I disagree with him on some particulars.  But I understand.

[takes another shot of tequila]

I’ll just come right out and say it.  I also understand why he was fired.  I can see the logic there.

Let me say up front, I didn’t want Chuck fired!  I don’t like that it happened!  But I think I understand it.  Let me explain.

We should know by now that the vocal parts of the media and the internet are not exactly representative of the population at large.  The most outspoken people on social media are the ones paying attention to what’s going on and making their opinions known.  I don’t believe they are representative of the majority, though.  I think the majority are just keeping their heads down, focusing on making sure they have a job and food on the table tomorrow.

What I’m saying is the ability to stay informed about the evil machinations of this administration is a luxury a lot of Americans aren’t putting their resources towards.  These are hard times!  The news is nightmarish, and garish, and most people are not making that much money.  They’re trying to get buy.  I don’t blame them for avoiding the bad news.

But even those living paycheck to paycheck are going to look for some escapism.  When they do, they’re going to turn to what’s cheap and reliable.  Comic books, novels, and movies once the shows go into the cheap theaters or video.

Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying.  I’m not saying that the majority approve of Trump or Bannon or Stephen Miller.  I’m not saying that the majority are in disagreement with any stance that Chuck takes on politics.  What I’m saying is that the majority are law abiding citizens that have neither the stomach nor the patience to look at the details of Trump’s administration.  They also aren’t going to be impressed by Chuck Wendig’s calls for uncivil language.

I disagreed before with the call to be uncivil, and I still disagree with it.  I think that if we’re going to win over the hearts and minds of those that aren’t paying attention, we have to do it with words and a tone that won’t make them write us off as unhinged or unsavory.  That doesn’t mean that we have to agree with Trump or his goons.  For the love of all that is good in this nation, we can’t let them continue to get away with this shit!  But at the same time, we must be aware of the larger audience and where they are coming from.

Also, we have to have some plan for an end game.  If both the left and the right continue raising the level of vitriol, in the end, that’s all we’ll have.  That will be the new normal.  Is that the world we want?

We need to be better.  We need to be more intelligent.  Wittier.  Sexier.

I love Chuck Wendig.  I got him a drink in New York City, and I wish I could have hung out with him more.  I’ve read Damn Fine Story twice.  He had some great things to say in that book.  I follow Chuck on Twitter and I admire his amazing wit.

I don’t think Chuck should have been fired, but I understand why it happened.  It sucks.

As for the rest of us… those that are trying to find representation and sell our first book?  Where does this turn of events leave us?  What message should we take away from this?

The message is that the big fish are watching and judging what we say on social media.  Another part of the message is that the outcries of us that believe in Chuck Wendig and James Gunn aren’t having a noticeable impact.  It’s not a welcome message, and what we do with it is up to us.  Some people are going to double down.  Some people are going to take a more cowardly way out.

Myself, I’m going to continue to express my opinions just as I always have.  I’m going to continue to try and appeal to others while keeping an open mind.  I’m going to listen twice as much as I speak, and when I speak, I’m going to do so as truthfully as I can.  I may use some course language from time to time.  I really don’t think the issue is swear words.  People that blush at an F-bomb are probably not people I need speak to, anyway.

I encourage everyone reading this to find books by Chuck Wendig.  Buy them, read them, enjoy them.  He’s a great writer and a good man.  The bad guys won this battle, but we can still win the war.  We just have to be smarter and persist.