Wed, Jul. 11th, 2012, 03:33 pm
Fan At SDCC Killed While Crossing Street; In Other News, Humanity Still Sucks
Sadness, and anger and disgust.
To quote this article
A woman collided with a car as she tried to cross a street outside San Diego Comic-Con today in a bizarre accident that took the Twilight fan's life.
Apparently she ran out into the street, saw oncoming traffic, tried to stop and tripped, fell or stumbled into the passenger side of a car.
The woman, Gisela Gagliardi (TwiFanG), suffered severe head trauma and died at the hospital.
My god, what a horrific tragedy. Condolences, hugs, gentle songs to Ms. Gagliardi's family and friends (and that includes all the other people at SDCC who saw the accident which killed her). The movies' producers have released a statement, and they will remember her this weekend.
I wish to FSM I could just leave it there.
Every single news item on this has in the headline that she was a Twilight fan. As if that makes a difference.
Except, to a fair number of people, apparently it does. Specifically, the commenters online. The ones who are saying things like
- There is a thing called self preservation and she failed to have it. Zero sympathy from me.
- Bit of a reach to try to apportion some of the blame to securiy officials. I'm guessing these Twilight fans are, by definition, a bit kooky and short on common sense.
- It's a twilight fan she deserved to die. Don't need those idiots and freaks polluting the world.
And that's just from the story I linked to at the top.
I've known for a very long time now that comments on Teh Intertubes tend to be... what's the word? Foul. As in vile. Also as in chicken, as in cowardly. Commenters hide behind their veneer of anonymity, and pontificate on things as if they had The Last Word... and that last word tends to be at best appalling, and at worst actionable, with a heavy trend towards reprehensible.
And I realize I'm preaching to the choir here. But... jayzus
, Humanity, could you please not be hideously offensive and stupid just once in a while?
A human being died today, and you're making good-riddance jokes because of the books/movies she liked.
Rest in peace, Gisela, TwiFanG.This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1540301.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.
Wed, Jul. 11th, 2012 08:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you for standing up to smug self-absorbed psychotic idiots. Now, if we could just get them to quit running for president...
Wed, Jul. 11th, 2012 08:33 pm (UTC)
I only wish I could say I'm standing up to 'em. I'm doing so only in the sense that I'm not
posting my opinion anonymously. But I'm in a venue they'll likely never see, and if they did they'd simply lump me in among those to be mocked.
But... calling attention to them, saying aloud that I think they're awful people for making such sentiments known in the public square, eases my
soul, however slightly. Maybe it's foolish, but it's the kind of thing I can't shut up about.
Wed, Jul. 11th, 2012 11:40 pm (UTC)
Well, Tom, fandom is small enough that there are probably people who know both you and the perps, so there is at least a small chance they may read what you said. You are absolutely correct that they lack the maturity to see their psychosis objectively. And your caring, your intolerance of injustice, is one of the things that makes me, and I'm sure many others, admire and respect you. Not just as a talented songwriter, but as a human being as well. Thank you.
Wed, Jul. 11th, 2012 08:35 pm (UTC)
And I have been seeing that lurking behind all the things that have been said about Twilight and its fans, all the cute little Facebook jokes, just hiding there waiting to come out. We make these groups the butt of our humour--Trekkies, gamers, Potter fans, Twihards--and it all seems so harmless, just having a laugh, and maybe for most of us it is...but behind the clown mask is always, always, the skull.
There are issues about the Twilight books that should be addressed. There were much worse issues about the books I read when I was a kid, and I got over it, mostly.
Maybe we could all be just a little kinder.
Wed, Jul. 11th, 2012 09:09 pm (UTC)
I've given up hope. Considering that people were also defending Daniel Tosh's 'joke' yesterday -- not that he had a right to say it, I agree that he had a right to say it, no matter how tasteless it may be, but that it was funny, somehow. I just don't get it.
, people. Not a violent criminal. Not a terrorist. Someone with a family. She may have liked something that you don't like, but that's not a reason to wish her dead. Ugh.
Wed, Jul. 11th, 2012 09:34 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that trolls aren't human. Imagine that poor woman's family reading those comments. That just makes me nauseated.
Wed, Jul. 11th, 2012 10:49 pm (UTC)
No, I reject the notion that trolling is done by inhuman monsters; it erases the ease and banality of the harm we can do. A person is behind each and every one of these horrible comments, possibly someone whose comment I saw and liked on a funny post the other day. A person trivialized the death of another person because of their choice of reading/viewing material.
(If we make it so that only evil monstrous horrible people do [bad thing], it's too easy to say "I'm not an evil monstrous horrible person, so I can't do [bad thing]". Or worse, "I know [person], and ze's not an evil monstrous horrible person, so ze couldn't have done [bad thing you say ze did]".)
Wed, Jul. 11th, 2012 11:36 pm (UTC)
Which is why the tag is "human monsters". They're all too human. They're part of the same tribe as us, and the same tribe as TwiFanG, and they don't even know it.
Wed, Jul. 11th, 2012 09:48 pm (UTC)
Pathetic excuses for human beings. Have I made my share of Twilight jokes? Of course I have and I'll make more, but this is just vile.
Wed, Jul. 11th, 2012 10:00 pm (UTC)
This is nothing new, nor is it surprising. If she hadn't been a Twilight fan, they would have focused on whatever else she was a fan of. Comics, anybody? Star Trek? Furries? "Hey, Martha, lookit the freaks!" is what sells eyeballs to advertisers, and that's all that matters.
As for the trolls, they thrive in environments that can't or (more likely) won't hire some people to moderate comments. If every MSM outlet just had a few employees whose job it was to eliminate victim-bashing, name-calling, and hate-speech posts, it would make a tremendous difference. But they don't give a shit; that stuff brings in eyeballs too.
Wed, Jul. 11th, 2012 11:42 pm (UTC)
The most effective moderation systems I've seen are the ones where each person who logs in to comment can either up or down vote eacn individual post once. Enough down votes and the comment disappears but can be accessed if you actually care enough to drill down. It's not perfect, I've seen unpopular but perfectly reasonable comments modded down and utter garbage modded up, but it's not the norm.
Wed, Jul. 11th, 2012 10:36 pm (UTC)
As an English teacher, I think the Twilight books are a bit silly, but really, they're well-done for what they are. The movies are sillier. Yet, the books weren't written to be Literature; they were meant to be a teen romantic read, and they have better plotlines than most of the teen romance drivel out there. Meyer captures a teen girl voice perfectly, and that voice spoke to millions of teen girls out there, because it felt genuine to them, in ways that Harry Potter, for all his fun, never did.
Twilight fans are a mainstream step into MY fandom, where there are Urban Legends intersecting our world. They give mundanes a peek into what I love and enjoy. It brought Gisela into the SD Comic Con, a source of a great deal of fun and geekery. She was one of us.
Thank you for speaking out for her. It is fairly likely the trolls won't read you, nor "get" it, but we who read you do. And by raising your voice for decency, you help maintain our own community standards and expectations that we all will treat one another with kindness, and empathy. Keeping silent when we are troubled only gives them more power. Hugs.
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2012 12:04 am (UTC)
As an English major, I reject the notion that there is such a thing as a genre in which the Twilight books are "well-done," aside from "on a stick, over a campfire." And I say this as a fan of Louise Rennison's Georgia Nicolson books. If argumentum ad populum
makes books good now, I'm looking to see a lot of changes in the canon over the coming years.
And while I do wish Twilight and its problematic pederastic subtext would leave, I don't think anybody deserves to die in a freak accident, least of all because they're a fan of a bunch of silly books.
Wed, Jul. 11th, 2012 10:47 pm (UTC)
lizziecrowe: Twilight has no business being the focus here.
My heart and condolences to her family and friends. And safe journey to all of the other con goers at SDCC this and every year. May this incident not be repeated. EVER.
Wed, Jul. 11th, 2012 11:36 pm (UTC)
So she's a fan of a crappy book. If everybody who liked rubbish things deserved to be hit by a car, we'd run out of people to drive the cars long before we ran out of people for them to hit. :p (Or that might not have been what happened, from the article; maybe it's that she fell, whatever.)
It's not really a 'bizarre' accident, either. Twilight, ComiCon, those aren't the important parts. It's so easy to forget how fragile life is, and how a single moment of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or looking away at just the wrong moment, or losing your balance in a split second--how those things can change life, or even end it. How terrifying for her, how sad for her family and friends.
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2012 12:29 am (UTC)
Wed, Jul. 11th, 2012 11:57 pm (UTC)
I may not care for her particular fandom personally, but if it made her happy, who am I to judge? My sympathies to her family and friends, and I also feel bad for the lady driving the car. (Who acted responsibly and didn't leave the scene)
I'll add that I think it's a nice gesture on the part of the movie's producers to do a memorial for her. Not all places would do that for just one fan.
I'm going to ignore the trolls. Because that's the only way I can deal with it.
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2012 12:26 am (UTC)
Suppose she was a member of Westboro Baptist?
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2012 12:56 am (UTC)
Then she'd be a human being who was killed tragically, who was a member of Westboro Baptist. Don't even
play that game with me, Lump. I've already stated I'd give goddamn Dick Cheney mouth-to-mouth if it was necessary.
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2012 12:49 am (UTC)
It doesn't surprise to me to learn the trolls were going after the victim for being a Twilight fan. I see the same thing on the websites for all the major media outlets, I have to remind myself never read the website comments on newspaper articles. I agree with comments here that that it doesn't matter what fandom she was in, it's a tragedy that she got hit, and worse that anybody would make light of the loss. I also second the motion to pull back a bit on harshing the squee for other folks.
As some of the elder fen would put it, "Your fandom is okay, my fandom is okay, let's geek out on any shared bits we happen to discover."
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2012 12:58 am (UTC)
Exactly this. Best immediate example: I am not a fan of the Twilight books or movies, and so pretty much tend to ignore them whenever possible. But Anne & I saw Snow White and the Huntsman
, and I was delighted to learn that Kristen Stewart was a pretty decent actress. (And I even got a good cross-genre joke out of it. Near the end of the flick, she's dressed in armor that reminded us of Joan of Arc, and I leaned over to Anne and whispered, "And if it was Tony Stark in that armor, he'd be Joan of Arc Reactor." We giggled.)
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2012 02:59 am (UTC)
Oh man, that's definitely material for an entire *series* of convention Master of Ceremonies jokes!Edited at 2012-07-12 02:59 am (UTC)
Fri, Jul. 13th, 2012 01:04 am (UTC)
... "Joan of Arc Reactor" made my day, Tom. <3
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2012 12:57 am (UTC)
They mentioned her being a twilight fan "as if it made a difference", according to you. How about "as if they were trying to make her a person, not just an anonymous statistic"? Trying to tell us a little bit about her life, who she was, what she liked. They apparently didn't have anything to go by except what she was in line for and the comments of people who had met her in that line. And most likely, all that was talked about in that line (for a Twilight event) was Twilight-related. Family, jobs and so on COULD have been mentioned - but most likely wasn't (with strangers).
And of course there is nothing particular in the behavior of the commentators that is exlusive to fandom in general or Twilight fans in particular. Suppose, instead, that she had gone to the Baseball All-Star game and the accident had happened outside the stadium there. The stories might have mentioned that she was a "Red Sox Fan" or a "Yankee Fan" instead of a "Twilight Fan". That might be all anybody could dig up on her at the beginning, gotten from someone she had been chatting with before she headed into the street. And should it have been reported that way, there would be commentators that would have made those same sorts of comments about her deserving to die (if their favorite team was a different one than the one reported). As a concrete example, at the beginning of the season a San Francisco Giants fan who attended the season opener in Los Angeles was brutally assaulted simply for being a Giants fan.
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2012 01:29 am (UTC)
alverant: Re: TwiFanG
Thing is being a sci-fi/fantasy fan isn't as socially acceptable as being a"Red Sox Fan" or a "Yankee Fan". If a Dolphins fan got killed running across the street at the stadium there wouldn't have been as much human sewage making jokes. Sure there would be a few (probably from whoever is fans of the other team) but being a sports fan is considered more normal.
I think they could have phrased it better so it wouldn't provide troll bait. They could say she was a "voracious reader" or "loved popular literature" just as easily but they didn't.
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2012 02:42 am (UTC)
I'm no Twilight
fan, but a lot of the stuff you quoted...that's somewhere 'way beyond low. This is one of the times I wish I believed in karma, or FSM, or anybody at all that would see that payback was on the way.
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2012 06:41 am (UTC)
Karma happens. It may not *always* be where we can see it, but I've seen it enough times, both good and bad, to know it works. Believe me or not... but you won't find a peg on my weird-shit-o-metre, it broke many years ago.
Fri, Jul. 20th, 2012 03:05 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm a big believer in Agatha Christie's bus--the one that somehow always ran over perpetrators who had seemingly gotten away with murder.
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2012 06:30 am (UTC)
That's the thing. The people who make those kinds of comments ARE cowards. They wouldn't dare say the things they do to someone's face because it would likely result in them getting their ass kicked.
I've heard it called the Internet Douchebag Theory. Normal person + Audience + Anonymity = Douchebag.
As much as I've made fun of Twilight I would never knowingly wish harm on another person. I've been picked on enough times in my life to know what it feels like to be put down for being different. Maybe I shouldn't joke about it, but I've never meant to be malicious.
I remember checking Townhall around the time Ted Kennedy died and what I saw there made me sad. Someone died and all the people there could think to say was some of the most vile and despicable comments I've ever seen. It is why I don't go there anymore. I've seen anonymous commentators say similar things about conservatives who have died and I don't go to those sites anymore either.
I don't understand humanity. Of all the people in the world you'd think the outcasts, no matter their beliefs or chosen fandoms, would be kind to one another. After all we've seen how people treated us for being different.
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2012 09:49 am (UTC)
This is very sad, on so many levels.
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2012 01:01 pm (UTC)
Reading the three comments you posted made me want to urt someone. People really aren't very . . . nice some times. What kind of sick, twisted, evil, douch bags think that way?
I really don't want to know.
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2012 01:38 pm (UTC)
I saw the news article, and I'm glad I didn't read the comments. People can be so horrible.
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2012 05:33 pm (UTC)
I also feel sorry for the driver of the car involved - it's not pleasant being involved in an accident - especially involving a pedestrian - even more so when there's a fatal result.
Never read the books, never watched the movies.
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah, and the thing is she ran into the street and into the car. She made a choice. I don't care what she liked or didn't like, the responsibility lies with her (and the security guards who made all the last minute changes that created the situation where she felt she needed to run into the street in the first place).
Thu, Jul. 12th, 2012 09:56 pm (UTC)
You see the same thing everywhere - comment sections online bring out animals. Read comments on any story where a bicyclist is killed; you will see the journalist mentioning whether they were wearing a helmet even in cases where that couldn't possibly have mattered, and you would be lucky to ONLY see people saying cyclists deserve to die. Most of the time you will find at least some people actually advocating intentionally running them down.
There are a lot of sick f**ls out there, the internet just lets them speak their sick little minds.
Sat, Jul. 14th, 2012 05:39 pm (UTC)
This is so upsetting because I've heard so many similar stories. I am so sorry for the family.
Some people just don't think before they speak or post their thoughts. All of our thoughts do not need to be said or spoken.
I had a similar situation happen when my sister died unexpectedly several years ago. I returned to work two days after the funeral and was told that "If you really loved your sister, she would still be alive." Another person gave a story about how my sister was really murdered and placed in the trunk of a car. The driver was stopped for DUI, the police officer saw her body in the trunk of the car and let the driver go on his merry way.
Both were completely thrown for a loop when I told them I was furious and wanted them to leave me alone. They thought I was being rude because they were "only telling the truth". I told them forcefully that I was going to call our supervisor and hope that he got to them before I did. They were still clueless and could not understand why I was offended; but they did have the sense to get out of my face.
Sat, Jul. 14th, 2012 07:13 pm (UTC)
Penny Arcade's "Greater Internet F**kwad Theory" is proven right once more.
For those who don't know the Theory.