Something was recently brought to my attention that I really thought should be shared with my readers/lovers/fellow bloggers. Something that I found to be quite disturbing. No, it has nothing to do with blog contest nominations, or killer whales THAT KILL, or even the "I am a motherfucker!" bus brawl. Nope, it has to do with a certain criticism that has resulted in quite the internet mess for a certain blogger.
This all started back in the middle of January when Dangerous Jamie posted a critical piece on a UK Horror magazine over at his blog, Let’s Get Dangerous. The post was titled An Open Letter to Gorezone Magazine and was just that, an open letter to the editors of the Gorezone, stating what issues he took with the magazine in question.
This open letter has spawned something of an internet frenzy for Jamie and his blog, mainly because he and his blog have been attacked for his critical comments. There are 176 (and counting…) comments on the post in question, many of which are filled with hateful remarks towards Jamie, his blog and his defenders. Remarks that are filled with violent threats, insults about weight and appearance, homophobia and ill wishes for Jamie’s physical wellbeing. You know, nice things.
Now, I have read the piece and being that I read many reviews and criticism of books, movies, etc…as well as write critical reviews of movies myself, his open letter was anything but a viscous attack on the magazine. He pointed out that there were a lot of grammatical errors to be found in each issue, and he questioned the magazine’s content choices as well as it’s depiction of women. In my very reasonable opinion, he did this in a completely respectable fashion, pointing out some positive aspects of the mag as well.
I have read the magazine in the past, but only a few times, so to be fair, I cannot say whether or not Jamie’s criticisms are true. But what is true, is it’s Jamie’s criticism, his opinion, and he is completely allowed to have an opinion as do you and I. That is where things get a lot sketchier and quite shocking.
Unless Jamie takes down the post, Gorezone has threatened legal action, claiming that his constructive criticism was slanderous and a defamation of character. They are also threatening copy right infringement for his use of a photo that he had in the post, a photo that he found on Google (but has since removed) and is legal to use in the context of a review. Now, this is UK law, so it’s obviously not the same as America, but considering that Gorezone is a horror movie magazine that partakes in critical reviews and are going after someone over a negative review, is a little disheartening.
This is where my big issue comes from. First of all, the thought that someone is being attacked for having an opinion is unacceptable, especially when that opinion is a fair one and not given in a hateful tone. Second, someone be bullied for their opinion is incredibly cowardly and if Shock Till You Drop did the same thing as Let’s Get Dangerous, would this be happening? Hell. No. Gorezone is using threats to force someone to remove their fair opinion, threats that have absolutely no ground. They cannot sue him. If they did, they sure as hell wouldn’t win.
They don’t want to go to court. That's why they’re threatening him, they want to scare him into removing the post. As a blogger, the thought that anyone would try and censor me, is a thought that shouldn’t be. And heaven forbid anyone ever try to. Using clout and false power to push around the little guy is flat out unfathomable as well as a form of bullying. This would be like the filmmakers behind Automation Transfusion threatening me because I trashed their movie, and that thought is sickening.
Besides the legal threats, Jamie claims that 15 of the commenters that left the crude and hate filled remarks on his post are from the same IP address. An address that links back to Gorezone. It’s very easy to track back IP addresses, I have yours right now, so this is something that could very well be true. Still, this is Jamie’s claim, not fact, but it is something that could easily be proven if need be.
What is fact, though, is that one of the administrators at GZ’s forums has not one, but two sticky posts that pertain to this particular subject matter. These posts are very misleading and state that the “blogger” attacked Gorezone, it’s staff and it’s readers. Something that would only be intended to rile up GZ fans indirectly, by playing the victim role. There is even someone that has gone on the GZ forums claiming to be Jamie and has made negative remarks, thus stirring the pot even more.
Why is Gorezone so offended by one blogger’s thoughts? I have no clue, but what they are doing is wrong in so many ways and they are doing nothing but hurting their reputation by treating a horror fan and a budding critic the way they are. I have no ill will or any issue with Gorezone the magazine, or anyone involved, but I do take issue with how they are handling such a situation. From an outsider's perspective, they are clearly in the wrong.
I know this post is a bit long, but I think this is something that's important to everyone of us for a variety of reasons, thus my reason for sharing. I encourage you to read the post, some of the comments, and the GZ forum posts. I have shared my opinion, and now I ask you: Is Jamie’s post deserving of threatened legal action?