Preface: I want to make this abundantly clear- I, in no way, shape, or form, claim to be the judge on these matters. This is undoubtedly a charged subject, and it deserves to be treated as one. The Deadspin community is one I hold dear, and that in itself is the only reason I feel obliged to write this. All of you are most welcome to discuss in the comments below, though I fear I may not be either available or willing to discuss this evening. Also, do be a peach and keep this here on Sidespin. -GB
Today was full of stories about the NFL and Ray Rice. Sometimes his wife, Janay, was even mentioned by name. Absolutely flabbergasting- but that's a subject for better writers, and hopefully many of them women.
I can give you the spiel about knowing women and children who have suffered at the hands of domestic violence, who have been abused, beaten, wounded, and left with scars no one should bear. That would be a foolish thing to extrapolate forever on, because I can never actually know what depths of pain and despair that encompasses. And frankly, I feel confident assuming most of our little community on Sidespin doesn't have much of a clue either.
So let's talk about us. Deadspin, where we come to (at least) try and be funny. The very nature of what we do here is make jokes, blow off steam, and admittedly, I (chief of hypocrisy), consistently seek applause and attention. Free content and clicks for a company based on people working for stars instead of dollars! Narcissists as the world's online day laborers. The great thing, however, is that it builds a community of people who make each other laugh. The dark side, often, is the result of the same intentions.
This is where I (and others) have found ourselves today. What is this? Or this? What about that? And Christ, the fuck is this? There's so many of them, by us. Why? Is this the example we set for new commenters? Why, in the midst of being abhorred by the horrifically dismissive "punishment" of a fucking abuser do we treat it as dismissive as well? Who in god's sake gave us the pass to treat Janay Rice in the same casual manner as Roger Goodell? Who, damn you? When did being an (often) self-proclaimed anonymous internet comedian, which, essentially, we all try to be, give us the high horse to choose when to condemn one while still emulating their disregard for the same horrific event? Is Janay being beaten unconscious funny to you? Is formulating turns of phrase while thinking about it amusing? Is a handful of non-tangible stars and our inflated egos somehow more valuable? We're the same bunch who came to the defense of one of our own when she posted one of the most gut-wrenching things to ever see the light of day here, and yet we casually cartwheel the other way, desperately, for a few laughs when it's a woman being drug across a fucking hallway that we hardly know.
All I ask, and hear me as someone who respects all of you as a wonderful community, to give this subject some thought before the weekend. We can do better than this.