I figure we’ve eaten up a lot of bytes over the story of how Chick-Fil-A has become a symbol of all that is evil in America, how every last franchise should be burned to the ground, how its employees should be harassed as they go about their duties, and how the poisonous hate-chicken should be driven from our shores (preferably by some sort of mob acting in righteous anger and wearing the clean brown shirts of tolerance). What’s the point of tossing a few more ones and zeroes into the Intertubes? After all, what Chick-Fil-A’s CEO Dan Cathy really said and what his company really does isn’t nearly important as what is well-known to all who in the cause of tolerance and peace have sought the company’s destruction: Dan Cathy’s mills convert hundreds of thousands of gay people a year into a delicious slurry that is then combined with the tears of orphans into the secret and highly-addictive ingredient added to his company’s peach milkshakes.
Chick-Fil-Hate, amirite? Case closed. Let’s rake those ashes until they’re cool then move on to the next gang of haters who needs a little old-fashioned re-education.
However, there is one shining exemplar of tolerance and love, one man whose devotion to Ghandi-esque peaceful engagement deserves a special mention. His name is Wheaton and this is what he wrote today on Twitter.
I can’t stop laughing at the bigots who celebrated their solidarity with each other by gorging themselves on shitty fast food. Bravo, jerks.
— Wil Wheaton (@wilw) August 2, 2012
For the record, I like what Wil Wheaton has done with his career over the past few years. It’s not his fault he spent years portraying Ensign Wesley Crusher, a character so whiny and arrogant he made Bill Paxton’s Private Hicks appear stoic by comparison. Young actors don’t necessarily get to change the characters they play and plenty of young actors got locked into bad careers because they played bad roles. Wheaton could have fallen into the same typecasting trap that befell many of his Star Trek: The Next Generation cast-mates, but he didn’t. He spent many years learning how to laugh at himself, how to embrace his geek audience, and how to use his own interests to rebuild a career that moved away from Star Trek and into other new areas. He is the creator and host of a very good webcast called Tabletop, part of an excellent creative team at Geek and Sundry, and has an acting career of which he can be proud. Wheaton has become an Alpha Geek, someone whose work ethic, adaptability, and lack of ego a kid could emulate.
That is why I’m puzzled that he would risk all he’s built with such a repugnant and extremist Tweet. His bizarre opinion, given proud voice, puts him at odds not only with most of his audience and most of the nation but also runs afoul of his own advice for the rest of us. I had thought him smarter and a tad more humble than that but obviously he’s not.