I noticed the signs a while ago. I tried to deny it. I told myself, "It was just a phase, some growing pains. This is just a transitional period. Things will get better." Then the unthinkable happened. The line was crossed, and I lost all respect... because I had to admit, thatguywiththeglasses.com was a mere shell of what it had been in days past. It proved that by firing Spoony.
You know, I began getting a bit nervous when I saw their shiny, brand-new ads: chrstianmingle.com, "Jesus Loves You," and the like all over the site. I thought, "Well, now we know why The Amazing Atheist got fired!" But I took that in stride; even in the youtube atheist community, TJ is a controversial figure. (Honestly, I never know what to make of the guy.) Honestly, Spoony getting fired is a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. And before you say anything, Spoony isn't the problem.
First of all, I want to say this: During the past year, Spoony is the only TGWTG contributor who managed to make me laugh out loud, both in the few and far-between times he made an official episode, AND in his vlog reviews. Not to mention that I thought his tweets were hilarious. Honestly, if TGWTG were The Beatles, Spoony would be John Lennon. He's that good.
What really pisses me off is the alleged reason he got fired. Before you say anything, no, it's not because Obscurus Lupa can't tell the difference between rape and domination. (Of course, this sad fact opens up a whole new set of questions about hers and Phelous' sex life which I'm not even qualified to answer, other than to say that it must be sadly vanilla.) No, he got fired because TGWTG did what every candy-ass Hollywood insider has done since the beginning of time: played it safe and kowtowed to the fans.
One thing you need to know about Spoony: he's a troll and an evil clown. His review of Final Fantasy 8? A masterpiece of flamebait. Even Encyclopedia Dramatica paid him respect, once upon a time. Can you picture a guy like that kissing fanboy ass?
Yeah, neither could I. So it's no surprise to me that the guy, every so often, busts his fans and his haters' collective chops. Hell, he's was doing it LONG before the giant breakup with Scarlett, and he'll be doing it when he gets a new girlfriend. So these past few days, he's been busting everyone's balls, just like he always does. Spoony hasn't changed. The only people who HAVE changed are the folks running TGWTG. And, of course, the other jerks who interact with him and claim to be his fans. The guy went through a life-change, shit hit the fan, and a bunch of COMPLETE STRANGERS tried to offer him pity. Now, I don't know about Spoony, but if some random assholes tried to offer me pity and sanctimonious platitudes, my reaction would be, "FUCK PITY!" And I'd go off on them, like he did.
Of course, nobody likes it when you refuse their pity, since it makes them think that you probably don't need them to straighten yourself out, even assuming you needed it to begin with. So the fanboys went sniveling to TGWTG because Spoony... did what he always does. The only difference is that TGWTG actually LISTENED to them! And so he was suspended, and eventually fired.
IOW, instead of standing by their best reviewer, TGWTG bowed to HATEMAIL! (Oh, and don't even think for a second that the Jesus-freaks who sponsor the site weren't involved. Spoony calls out D&D hate and misconception all the time. Chances are, Counter-Monkey has as much to do with Spoony getting fired as the twitter drama does.)
And this is a recurring trait! Check out the commentary on A Simple Wish. As Channel Awesome's Holly Christine said, the Mara Wilson cameo came because she bawwed about The Nostalgia Critic's reviews of her work. And instead of, you know, IGNORING the has-been child actress or firing back, they "reached out" to her. (BTW, for those of you who don't know to "reach out" is simply a corporate buzzword for "contact." Yeah, the use of corporate buzzwords on a CA commentary track speak volumes in and of itself.) In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Wilson exaggerated her distress because TGWTG has an established fanbase and she realized that she could use her cameo and subsequent association to cross-promote her shitty writing!
You know, I'd like to think that TGWTG wasn't always like this. I'd like to think that they originally had the same general idea as Spoony. "Bad movies and games deserve to be hurt back!" But either way, the TGWTG of 2012 is lame, tame, and pussified. They're pushing out all of the real talent to make way for idiots like Blockbuster Buster. Him? Seriously? His being on the site is proof that old TGWTG would kill new TGWTG.
So am I boycotting TGWTG over Spoony's firing? Yes and no. I'll watch the Nostalgia Critic, Todd in the Shadows, and Angry Joe, BUT...
I had turned my adblocker software off so that I could support the site. I am now enabling it for thatguywiththeglasses.com and blisteredthumbs.net, just like every other site on the web, except spoonyexperiement.com. I will not buy thatguywiththeglasses DVDs. Instead, I will download the episodes I want to watch on my TV and burn them to a DVD-ROM. I will not buy any thatguywiththeglasses.com swag, because let's face it, I'm not so pathetic as to wear a website on my T-shirt. If I see any of them at a con, I'm walking in the other direction. And for the record:
I'm not boycotting Obscurus Lupa because I think she somehow got Spoony fired. I'm boycotting her because her character is the most annoying retard this side of Abby on NCIS. She stole Spoony's act of reviewing obscure films, which makes her misconstruing Spoony's remarks on JO as a "rape joke" (it wasn't) and getting the fanboys on board with that that much more sinister. Either she's extremely malicious or extremely stupid (and see the crack about her sex life above), and I don't reward either with viewership.
I'm not boycotting Phelous because I think he somehow got Spoony fired. I'm boycotting him because, let's face it, I don't watch his videos anyway. But even if I did, his girlfriend is in pretty much all of his videos (or so I've heard) and that's incentive enough to watch them. Not to mention that he seems enthusiastic about dragging Spoony's name through the mud on said girlfriend's behalf and propagating the "rape joke" misconception simply because Obscurus Lupa says so.
And I'm certainly not boycotting JesuOtaku because she was the victim of a tasteless remark. I'm boycotting her because, in her Month of Miyazaki Nausicaa review, she cut a portion of a line in the movie to make the pro-environmental/anti-human stand Miyazaki took in the movie to be more hard-line than it actually was. If you're reading this, JO: Madam, I question your honesty and integrity as a reviewer, and I am NOT joking. I don't watch dishonest reviews.
And Spoony, if you're reading this, I like your work. I'm a huge fan. But I'm not your friend. I don't know you; you don't know me. So understand that, if you do have something wrong with you, I hope it doesn't get cured. I hope you tap into that anger to produce the funniest videos on the web, just like you have been doing all these years.