Meta: Tuckerizations and Character Names

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at
Mon Oct 30 22:35:45 PST 2006

Tom Russell wrote:
> Ah.  You're both likely to use dubious arguments to protest your
> innocence, and you're both likely to represent yourself as the offended
> party-- even when you're the one who's done the offending (such as the
> whole Omega Flame Wars thing, Martin-- and ninety-percent of all flame
> wars you participate in, Jesse).

The whole Omega / Flame Wars thing ended peacefully and happily.  In
that particular case I was opting AGAINST Tuckerization or parodying
and decided to go for homage instead but the Omega people were happier
with parody.  I liked it better the way I did it originally but I'm
happy that they were happy with teh way it turned out.  99% of the time
I am willing to compromise.

> And, let's be honest, Martin-- while it's true that Willey is a family
> name, you _knew_ it was Jesse's family name.  It goes beyond
> coincidence.  Maybe you really are that absent-minded that it never
> occured to you that there's a Willey on RACC during the time you were
> writing that story-- but I'd like to think you're smarter than that
> gives you credit for.

I'm not being dishonest.  I did not have Jesse in mind when I wrote
about Jack Willey.  Period.  The only involvement Jesse had was that
knowing that somebody actually had that name meant it was a real name.
Was it a mistake?  Apparently.  Did I do anything wrong?  No.  I mean,
look, in a recent issue of Adventures Beyond Comprehension that Jesse
sent me to beta test, a character was talking about how evil
"Weinstein" was and I told Jesse he should tone it down because there
are real people out there with the name Weinstein and they could be
offended and it could even come across as anti-semetic.  Jesse didn't
understand my objection.  Really.  It really shouldn't matter if we
actually know anybody with that name.  By extention, we wouldn't be
able to give names to any of our villains because SOMEBODY could be
offended.  In this instance because the villains first name was Jack
and not Jessica I thought it was clear that I was just using Jesse's
last name and I would have thought that this was no different than
somebody using my first name as you, Tom, have done for a couple of
characters.  People might be offended, yes, but they keep their mouths
shut if they know that no offense was intended.  Jesse apparently lacks
the logic centre in his brain that lets him know when to keep his mouth

This is actually part of a bigger issue: a lot of people think it makes
them a big man to hide behind an e-mail address and/or a nick name and
make fun of actors, directors, models, Paris Hilton, even people on
other newsgroups and revel in the fact that nobody is getting hurt and
that they are just blowing off steam.  A lot of people make fun of
Liefeld or Bendis in LNH stories and I don't think mean spirited
parodies are funny.  Either it is wrong or it isn't: it doesn't matter
if the person who is being insulted reads it or not; it just isn't
funny.  So when Jesse accuses me of making fun of him this way, I am
offended, yes, especially when I told him already through e-mail that
no offense was intended.  Should I have also apologized to him through
e-mail?  Absolutely not, although perhaps if he had broached the matter
in a polite manner perhaps I would have anyway.  Believe me, he didn't.
 I'm not saying I've never made fun of anybody in a parody, but I do
avoid anything meanspirited because that is just plain wrong in my
opinion.  And it's something I wouldn't ever do.


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