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ThomasMariani

Future of the Show?

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This is rough. It's devastating because I know how important the show is to me, and I know how important Devin's perspective has been in shaping the perspective of a young person who wants to understand film. If what happened is true to the degree that Devin is unable to continue, I'll still listen to the show, assuming Amy and another continue. Would it be the same? No. And the circumstances under which personnel was changed would loom over the show forever. So, I don't know. It's really difficult to consider.

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This is rough. It's devastating because I know how important the show is to me, and I know how important Devin's perspective has been in shaping the perspective of a young person who wants to understand film. If what happened is true to the degree that Devin is unable to continue, I'll still listen to the show, assuming Amy and another continue. Would it be the same? No. And the circumstances under which personnel was changed would loom over the show forever. So, I don't know. It's really difficult to consider.

 

That's not even taking into consideration the careers of anyone who's worked on Birth.Movies.Death, or Devin's own career. Even if he's innocent, the accusation has already had a tangible effect; leaving a solid taint on his reputation. By proxy, the whole site will suffer for it.

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I'm quite angry at the response this has gotten. I do realize this is the internet and everything, but so many people believe this tweet without any sort of evidence towards it being the truth.

 

THIS. Probably the best book that I read this year was "So You've Been Publicly Shamed" by Jon Ronson. The author dives deep into online shaming and outrage. It is amazing how a simple joke or sarcastic remark or unwarranted speculation would ruin a person's life because "the internet" jumped to assumptions and conclusions. I don't want to shut out the voice if someone was violated, but considering what an incredibly outspoken person Devin has been for women's rights, including getting caught in the wrath of the gamer gaters, as someone above said, let's give him the benefit of the doubt, yeah?

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Well, sarcasm would be a pretty bad reaction to an accusation like that. I read Devin's response as sincere.

 

When people say they've been assaulted, that always has to be taken seriously. Most people would not make such an accusation falsely because 1. it can easily feel very personal, revealing, even embarrassing, and 2. you're likely to get negative attention from it. As a culture we've got to handle accusations of sexual assault carefully, and not shame people who speak up. It's not only about the alleged incident, but about other people who have received abuse feeling that it's safe for them to speak up if they want to.

 

All that said, we shouldn't 100% jump to conclusions. And we haven't heard anything from Devin other than his tweet. That's why, per P. Cheesesteak's question above, I feel it's premature and disrespectful to Devin to start tossing around names of prospective replacements.

 

I want to add that The Canon is my favorite podcast of the past year, I enjoy it a lot and I wish the best for the people who make it.

 

Yeah, this is the trouble with this kind of accusation. You have to respect the fact that the victim (or alleged victim) is willing to come forward and start from the perspective of believing her.

 

But at the same time, the Twitter pile-on that happens at the slightest shred of evidence also inevitably becomes very unseemly (and this is not necessarily absolving Devin, who has been known to participate in such pile-ons). You start seeing comments like "I always knew he was a terrible person" and "Anyone who supported him is also guilty" -- which, come on. There are a lot of people who probably wouldn't have known anything about it. The other impulse is to throw out anything that person has been involved with, and I think I'd like to still acknowledge the value The Canon and Birth.Movies.Death have brought even if it does turn out that Devin is a bad person. The reality is probably more nuanced than that anyway (Devin is a person who has done good things and bad things in his life).

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I feel like all we can do is wait and see what happens, how Devin/BMD responds officially (if at all), but unless the woman comes out and says she was lying* his entire public persona is stained pretty irrevocably at the very least, in terms of consequences, and the show certainly couldn't go on as is without, like, a Very Special Episode or something, considering how much Devin and Amy are specifically, personally wrapped up in its appeal. I can't imagine the silence continues, being that Devin is what I guess you'd call a big figure in the film journalism world.

 

*And I'm certainly not saying she's lying, just that that'd be about the only salve for this situation, though I guess YMMV depending on whatever he ends up saying and the extent of forgiveness and personal growth and all that.

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I feel like the entire US and online world has been on full alert mode since Friday. I nearly had a panic attack watching last night's debate. Every Internet forum is crazy right now. In this atmosphere of heightened tension, I feel as though what's best at this moment is for onlookers to reserve their opinions and judgments, however well-intentioned. I think that approach supports both parties.

 

*I'm voting for Amy, though.

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I was a longtime follower of Devin while he was a contributor and forum tyrant of CHUD.com before his move to BadassDigest/BMD.com This current revelation comes as no surprise: He was always a douche.

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What is absolutely amazing is listening to the latest episode of the Canon, which was recorded right before these tweets.

 

And they were reviewing "A Face In the Crowd" - and Faraci talks about how nowadays, one could get off a plane to discover that he/she has been publicly shamed and that their life is over.

 

I think his public apology is about as good as one can do with a mere tweet, although I don't think just tweeting about it is enough.

 

Maybe I'm a Faraci apologist - I don't follow him on Twitter - but I've seen real growth in civility from him on the Canon podcast over the past year. And I have recognized that some of the traits of his that I find ugly, I also have been guilty of doing.

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I like his response. I'd like to see him grow; even with the liberal views he had, he still came off as misogynist here and there on twitter and on the show, and I think this is the correct course of action. If he actually takes a leave of absence from the internet and seems to have come back as a changed person, I'd love to listen to him on the Canon and go back to reading his reviews.

 

Until then, I'm sure Amy could carry the show with guest hosts; past guest Eva Anderson isn't necessarily a film critic or anything, but is great on podcasts and I'd be more than happy to have Amy bounce ideas off of her in the mean time. I hope the show continues, I love the format and Amy is one of my favorite critics.

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It's a punishingly sad time all around. To me The Canon was always about grappling with movies in a multi-level, sophisticated way. It was about finding wisdom through a series of smart judgement calls about temporary value vs lasting value. I guess we're about to find out if that only works when facing a screen or if it can also apply to a community in the gap between when credits roll.

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Given his personality, I suspect there won't be a lot of sympathy for Devin in some quarters. I imagine quite a few people will indulge in schadenfreude. I won't be one of them.

 

I just want to say, "Say it ain't so, Joe. Say it ain't so."

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A lot of the "bad stories" about Devin seem to be from his days in New York and/or at CHUD, whereas his current friendlier circle seems to be L.A. and/or BMD-based. Right now I'm thinking this might be a story about a guy who tried to do better after moving to a new city but couldn't outrun his past.

We'll see. There could be more stories about to emerge.

(This isn't to say we should feel sorrier for Devin than for the victim here. Of course not. But if the above is true, then Devin's story is a bit more interesting/nuanced than him just being a monster and a hypocrite. And the fact that his last Canon podcast might be A Face in the Crowd is . . . incredibly ironic.)

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A lot of the "bad stories" about Devin seem to be from his days in New York and/or at CHUD, whereas his current friendlier circle seems to be L.A. and/or BMD-based. Right now I'm thinking this might be a story about a guy who tried to do better after moving to a new city but couldn't outrun his past.

 

We'll see. There could be more stories about to emerge.

 

(This isn't to say we should feel sorrier for Devin than for the victim here. Of course not. But if the above is true, then Devin's story is a bit more interesting/nuanced than him just being a monster and a hypocrite. And the fact that his last Canon podcast might be A Face in the Crowd is . . . incredibly ironic.)

 

Having followed him for quite some time, I get the sense that he's made a conscious effort to change parts of himself that he recognized as problematic in the past. I think that takes a ton of humility and must have been incredibly difficult.

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We're going to go ahead and assume for the sake of the victim that all of this was true.

 

Now that we got that out of the way...

 

Was this an "accident?" Was it a "misunderstanding?"

Was he drunk? Was he on drugs? Was it a dare? Was it "just a goof?"

Was he in a "dark place"? Was he just "trying to be bold?"

Did he have prior sexual history with the victim?

Was Devin sexually abused as a child?

 

Was this a misread invitation? Was this revenge?

Was she leading him on? Was she "asking for it?"

 

These are the type of horrific questions that men (usually) ask victims when reserving judgement of the accused but the

fact is that none of those answers would excuse sexual fucking assault. Don't get me wrong, part of me is curious about the WHY of it all but don't mistake that for WHAT this was.

 

I'm sure he really doesn't remember being an entitled abusive prick but at least he is owning up to the fact that

a.) he probably did it because b.) he admits he was (is?) the type of person capable of that kind of behavior.

 

Part of me is interested in Amy's reaction/follow up on the topic because there is so much to learn being a vouyer to

these types of of discussions about rape culture, etc but at the same time I feel like participating in "popcorn gif" culture undermines the victim on some level.

 

I also think that trial by twitter and online dog piling can be pretty disgusting in itself but then again, a justifyably outraged pop culture critic community is offering support and encouragement to all that feel uncomfortable coming forward when they have been the victim of vile acts of abuse or bullying and that's an incredible achievement.

 

So what does all of that mean for the Canon podcast?

Really?

THAT'S what we all came here to ask?

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So what does all of that mean for the Canon podcast?

Really?

THAT'S what we all came here to ask?

 

This is the podcast forum.

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So what does all of that mean for the Canon podcast?

Really?

THAT'S what we all came here to ask?

 

Well, yeah. I for one don't think this is the best place to ask all those other questions - questions which are undoubtedly more important. The court of public opinion is notoriously flawed, and this is a forum about the podcast, not a jury room.

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(This isn't to say we should feel sorrier for Devin than for the victim here. Of course not. But if the above is true, then Devin's story is a bit more interesting/nuanced than him just being a monster and a hypocrite. And the fact that his last Canon podcast might be A Face in the Crowd is . . . incredibly ironic.)

 

It REALLY is. I didn't have a chance to listen to this weeks episode until after hearing about what happened, and there are several moments that really stand out in this context. I almost feel like the show has to continue because this being the last episode is going to taint the tone of the whole series (more so than an obviously necessary recontextualization of Devin's behavior should), like a inkwell giving out at the end of a sentence and creating a massive, wet and splotchy period.

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Well, this of course sucks for many reasons. I hope the woman is able to get some amount of closure and move forward. As for the show, I hope it does continue. I have no idea who a replacement host should be but I hope there is one. Perhaps the idea of guest hosts as trials for awhile is a good one.

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