In a recent blog post, Bill Maher crapped on the late Stan Lee — and on fans of Lee’s work. Because of course he did:
— GeekTyrant (@GeekTyrant) November 19, 2018
Via Geek Tyrant:
“The guy who created Spider-Man and the Hulk has died, and America is in mourning. Deep, deep morning for a man who inspired millions to, I don’t know, watch a movie, I guess. Someone on Reddit posted, ‘I’m so incredibly grateful I lived in a world that included Stan Lee.’
“Personally, I’m grateful I lived in a world that included oxygen and trees, but to each his own. Now, I have nothing against comic books – I read them now and then when I was a kid and I was all out of Hardy Boys. But the assumption everyone had back then, both the adults and the kids, was that comics were for kids, and when you grew up you moved on to big-boy books without the pictures.”
Maher took plenty of heat for that, including from celebrated author and geek culture icon Neil Gaiman:
Maher’s just trolling, and lots of people are rising to the troll. (Julie Burchill did it better 30 years ago with her “There aren’t any adult comics because adults don’t read comics” line. ) More people cared about Stan Lee’s death than care about Bill Maher alive. https://t.co/yRzFCYQBzl
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) November 17, 2018
Oh, snap. Well said, don’t you think?
This guy didn’t:
How dare @billmaher use his #1stAmendment right to #FreeSpeech
to write something YOU don't like?!?!
Quickly! Call 451! 🔥🚒
He needs to be shut down and not only by @neilhimself!
All that Free Thinking #BillMaher has learned from books
you never heard of has really gone too far! pic.twitter.com/HrDNRJDPkZ
— Hermann (@Hermann250) November 19, 2018
But Gaiman wasn’t about to be shamed for suggesting that Bill Maher’s free speech rights should be curtailed — because Gaiman wasn’t suggesting that at all. Instead, he offered up this single-tweet refresher course on what free speech actually entails:
Bill Maher has free speech. He used it to say something stupid. The rest of us have free speech. We used it to comment on this. You also have free speech. You used it to show you completely misunderstand how free speech works. It's not that hard. https://t.co/xSGo7m7UbP
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) November 19, 2018
— Spokane Sammi Rose (@SamRoseWatson) November 19, 2018
We couldn’t’ve said it better ourselves.
The specifics of this controversy aside, Gaiman masterfully diagnoses here one of the most annoying fallacies that circulate on this web site. Someone criticizing your speech is not violating your right to free speech. They are exercising theirs. https://t.co/ePVNM3gfRf
— (((Yair Rosenberg))) (@Yair_Rosenberg) November 19, 2018
— Media Tek Rundown (@MediaTekRundown) November 19, 2018
Perfectly phrased. And much politer than I’d have been 😁
— josh butler 🦢🦜🦞🧁🏴☠️🇺🇳🧲🧩🧶 (@joshibee) November 19, 2018
A beautifully put mic drop there Neil pic.twitter.com/Z1MgsEBTos
— Stacey #RehireJamesGunn (@FilmsWithStacey) November 19, 2018
Sometimes the sickest burn is simply stating the plain truth
— Social Justice Suplex Machine (@AlcoholicLuigi) November 19, 2018
I believe he's just been Neil Gaimowned!
— Nick Ardill (@Nick_Ardill) November 19, 2018
We’d say so, yeah!