I Wanna Be Free

Here’s David Brothers writing about the Internet’s perception of him as “a negative guy”:

I went all in with comics journo and I realized a while back that that was a mistake. I got into news, covering conventions, interviews, and all this other smokescreen stuff when all I really wanted to do is have a place to talk about these stupid, amazing comics. I’m trying to correct my course now, I’ve been trying to correct my course, because I realize that doing all of that brought me dangerously close to burning out, and then I burned out anyway.

I understand why people like to see hit pieces over gushing. There’s a thrill in seeing something get taken apart, and it turns out that the same mind that makes me good at gushing also makes me pretty good at hit pieces. But I hate the fact that this short attention span-having internet looks at me like I’m that dude when I’ve worked so hard to not be seen as that guy. I hate that guy. But it is what it is, and here we are.

I have a personal troll over at Newsarama. Seriously; someone created a comment account called “The Anti-Graemator” (or something really similar; I can’t be bothered to check, but I’m pretty sure that’s right) that exists purely to comment after articles about how I suck. It was a weird discovery, that one, and even now I can’t quite believe someone was that upset/bored/a combination of the two to actually do it, but it’s also good in a way because it’s a reminder that there will always, always be people on the Internet who don’t care what you write because they know what they think of you and that’s the narrative they keep in their heads. Content is less important than perception, for a lot of people, even people who should know better. I don’t know if it’s really the “short attention span-having Internet,” or whether it’s the selfishness and self-centeredness of the audience as a whole these days, but still. It’s amusing, depressing and exhausting, all at once. I’m not sure how to react to it, sometimes, and so I find myself ignoring it and keeping on keeping on. One day, I think, maybe they’ll see something that so obviously contradicts their construction of “who I am” that they’ll start to look past the prejudice.

Ah, misplaced optimism. What would I do without you?

(David is, it’s worth pointing out, not a “negative guy” at all; another short-sightedness of the mass audience is to confuse “This is bad, I have problems with it and here’s why” with “I hate that thing you like, I hate everything.” But you knew that already, right?)