I recently started following the actor, Wil Wheaton, on Facebook. I only know him from his role in the 1986 film, Stand By Me, as well as his activism for mental healthcare. I have never seen him on Star Trek. I have also noticed that he’s a dog lover, so that automatically gives him extra points as far as I’m concerned.
A couple of days ago, Wil shared this #tbt photo from 2016.
Most commenters were nice. One person came along and wrote this:
I’ve noticed that people are even quicker to judge and jump to conclusions now than they’ve ever been. Maybe it’s because we’re all stuck at home, staring at our computer screens. I’ve also noticed that people are getting meaner. One lady named Barbara called Wil Wheaton “stupid” for not wearing a mask in 2016. She got quite a ration of shit from others.
Reading some of the “mask police” comments from people reminds me of the horror stories I’ve read about people who have had CPS called on them by some random stranger who doesn’t like the way they’re parenting. Many times, it’s just the work of a busybody who wants to feel “heroic”. Regardless, it’s not productive to call most people “stupid”, especially when it’s clear you didn’t read carefully before you leapt into action.
I actually missed this whole episode when it was occurring. But I did notice Wil’s blistering follow up post. Here it is.
I do hope that someday, this mask nonsense will be over. People are becoming ever more uncivilized toward each other. It’s gotten to the point at which we’re all responding to each other with annoyance or even outright anger. Hyper-reactive people see old pictures of someone without a mask, freak out, and pounce! It would be so much better if more people stopped for a second, double checked what they were responding to, and saved the spite for items that truly deserve snark and bile. This is a cute picture of Wil and his wife. They look happy and healthy. A year ago, it would not have invited any criticism. This year, people just want to shit all over it because they look like they’re breaking the rules.
I’m sure that besides people worrying about COVID-19, a lot of this shit is being driven by outright anger. It’s the same kind of judgmental anger lobbed at anyone who appears to be trying to “get over” in some way. Like, for instance, when someone decides to use a SNAP card to buy Little Debbie cakes or steak instead of fresh vegetables and rice. I get that people are pissed. This year has been very difficult on many levels. And people who feel forced to wear a mask want to act like cops toward those who appear to be breaking the rules. But that’s not a very productive attitude. We’re all in this together, right?
Anyway… I have not seen this movie, nor do I even know that much about Wil Wheaton. I like what he has to say about mental health and dogs. I get why he got irritated by the people who didn’t read before they typed. As someone who has been very outspoken about suffering from depression, it surprises me that he would be so insulting… but as someone who has battled depression myself, I also know that it’s a condition that causes people to be grumpy, temperamental, and short of patience. This pandemic is taking a toll on all of us. I really hope that the danger passes sooner, rather than later.
And I hope people will take a minute and stop trying to act like cops. At best, that’s a very annoying and mostly unnecessary habit. At worst, it could get you publicly humiliated… or even killed, especially if you confront the wrong person in the wrong country.
Meanwhile, Germany is about to go into stricter lockdown. SIGH!
4 thoughts on “Wil Wheaton gets shamed over maskless visage. Internet goes berserk.”
I think part of Wil’s reaction here might also be due to his progress in taking charge of the way he allows people to treat him. Marrying Anne and getting help for his drinking and depression also enabled the start of his personal recovery from the verbal abuses of his parents, from the ridiculous expectations and machinations of the Hollywood industry and from the cloying neediness of overly familiar fans. Calling people stupid for being, well, stupid, might have been rude, but I don’t know if old Wil would have been capable of standing up for himself at all.
I wasn’t criticizing Wil, per se. I can definitely understand why he went off the way he did. I just think people, as a rule, are being meaner and acting more like overly aggressive cops these days. I was trying to comment more on that phenomenon when I realized how reading Wil’s comment made me feel.
And trust me. I totally get learning to be more assertive. Bill and I have both had to learn that lesson.
No worries – I didn’t hear your comment as a criticism, more of an observation. And I agree with you that a lot of people are definitely being more aggressive and mean these days.
And I will lay a lot of the blame for that on social media’s tendency to make an individual feel overly entitled
And Trump gets the rest of the blame, because fuck that guy…
Oops. I was mean LOL
As far as I’m concerned, you can be as mean as you want to Trump. He deserves it.
I think people are just starved for fun and joy. I feel lucky because I don’t really mind being at home. I do miss going out and traveling, though.
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