The Dinglehopper

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Paradise Lost: ‘Firefly’ Fandom Sullied

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My first innocence lost regarding a beloved artist who turned out to be a terrible person was Van Morrison. I had one of those (probably common) discoveries of the album Moondance during my freshman year in college, fell in love to it, and then learned that Morrison beat his children. Now “Into the Mystic” can never be enjoyed free of that baggage.

I’m no imbecile. Any fool could tell you that artists aren’t saints (well, excepting maybe Sinead O’Connor). They all have their vices and flaws. But there are some that cross a line in your heart, bleeding their darkness into the art itself and blackening the pure enjoyment.

Here I sit again with the terrible knowledge of unforgivable immorality by an actor I once adored.

I should have seen it coming really. The two roles I’ve followed him in foretold his actions. Jayne was, of course, repeatedly the one willing to turn over River for a handsome payoff on Firefly. His character on Chuck was a Ronald Reagan devotee and a gun nut. Actually, both characters were gun nuts.

And yet, even though this kind of thing is pretty much in character, and even though I accepted long ago that Adam Baldwin was politically conservative, somehow I never imagined he was a bad person. But he is – he crossed that line, proving himself not merely a douchebag, but a full on bad guy. (Not in the cute, ironic Whedonesque way either.)

 

In the midst of some internet brouhaha where a bunch of adolescent males got their scrotums in a twist over the fact that women are becoming an actual presence in Gamerville and have started to speak up about the misogynistic portrayal of women in video games and, like, started to design their own, Baldwin tweeted out a link to a video that included personal photos and address of one of these women, Zoe Quinn, a woman who had been receiving threats of sexual assault and violence against her person. He tweeted this doxing to his 186,000 followers, in my mind becoming an accessory to any violence done against her at her home. Or the fact that she CANNOT GO HOME.

Check out this article from The Mary Sue for the full story.

Now, because Baldwin has enabled this violence, I cannot think of him without sick boiling in my stomach. Where once there was affection unbridled for Firefly, I now wonder if I’ll be able to watch it again without accompanying nausea.

But that’s small potatoes compared to the harassment Quinn may receive due to Baldwin’s action. May he rot in the special hell for child molesters and people who talk at the theater.

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Author: Erin Perry

I'm a high school English teacher specializing in AP Literature and Film Analysis. I'm interested in most things geeky, including superheroes, vampires, zombies, teen culture, postmodern philosophy, pop culture analysis, and combinations of the aforementioned. Follow me on Twitter @eriuperry.

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