Wondering About Ellison

There’s been some interesting speculation on what the resolution to the Ellison/Fantagraphics lawsuit means.

Don MacPherson (whose day job is as a Canadian crime/courts reporter, which I didn’t know) points out the essential paradox it includes:

As a defence, Fantagraphics was asserting its First Amendment rights. Ellison has long been hailed (and hails himself) as a defender of the First Amendment. That’s a boxload of boosters for free speech, so it’s odd and rather unfortunate that some of the most important elements of the settlement focus on restricting people from speaking their minds.

I agree with Don that at first glance it looks like Fantagraphics gave in in order to protect their company, but he points out another important factor:

On the surface, it’s Ellison who comes out on top with this settlement. He gets what he wants, blocking publication of the material he perceived as offending his sensibilities. But Ellison may have neglected to consider another potential harm, one he might have done to himself. … At 73, it’s possible that this may be Ellison’s last instance of publicity, or at least it may be this hullabaloo for which many in the comics and publishing industries will remember him.

Such speculation raised the ire of Ellison himself (who for someone who supposedly hated the internet seems to be quite comfortable flitting around it these days), who responded by ignoring the point and tossing an insult.

That’s the same thing that happened to the writer of the blog at kobek.com, in response to his original speculation that the settlement, and Ellison’s reactions, demonstrates more of a print mindset than an understanding of the internet.

doesn’t this reinforce the perception of being unable to brook criticism? After all, Ellison put this lawsuit in the public sphere. Did he not expect people to comment and have differing opinions on it? Did he not prepare himself that some of these opinions might be unfavorable and not to his liking? Does he feel like his status as defender of free speech is enhanced by referring, in an obscene manner, to an innocuous piece of commentary by a self-professed gnat?

The settlement said that Gary Groth (or someone representing him) will get to post an essay on Ellison’s message board within five business days of the agreement. So does anyone have a link? Google didn’t turn one up. I can’t imagine that no one would be talking about it if it was posted… so does that mean one of the provisions of the settlement wasn’t met?


3 Responses to “Wondering About Ellison”

  1. ADD Says:

    I love that Ellison disparages “bluhbluhbluh blogging” while acting essentially as a troll, a good many circles of hell further down than “blogger” in the grand scheme of things.

  2. Don MacPherson Says:

    Alan wrote:
    I love that Ellison disparages “bluhbluhbluh blogging” while acting essentially as a troll, a good many circles of hell further down than “blogger” in the grand scheme of things.

    I understand what Ellison was getting at with that comment, though I don’t agree. I have a problem with the label of “blogger,” especially when it’s likened to the role of a journalist.

    The fact is that blogging is the act of using a kind of software designed for easy website creation. It can be used for journalistic purposes, yes, but it can also be used to chronicle a pregnancy or to share favorite recipes with friends. I’ve always felt the term “blogger” is meaningless. It’s what one does with the software that defines one’s role.

  3. Ellison Violates Lawsuit Settlement » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] I asked The settlement said that Gary Groth (or someone representing him) will get to post an essay on Ellison’s message board within five business days of the agreement. So does anyone have a link? Google didn’t turn one up. I can’t imagine that no one would be talking about it if it was posted… so does that mean one of the provisions of the settlement wasn’t met? [...]




Categories:

Pages:



Meta:

Most Recent Posts: