Spoiler alert: the internet wins.
Okay so if you don’t know what I’m talking about already let me fill you in, feel free to skim down if you’re already acquainted with Ocean and its recent PR disaster.
Ocean marketing is an internet marketing company (duh) which was in charge of the marketing and customer relations for a product called the Avenger, which is a controller extension for the PS3. The product itself is not important however, what is important is the trip one brave, brave customer called Dave took into the darkest corner of customer service hell.
In short, Dave preordered this controller extender for Christmas and a legitimate complaint about shipping dates spiraled into a massive internet shitstorm that started when Mike(Gabe) from Penny Arcade posted Dave’s email chain Here.
…yeah, this is real, Paul actually said those things. Paul who is not just some rep, but in fact the PRESIDENT OF OCEAN MARKETING. It is worth noting that the actual makers of the Avenger controller extension are not directly responsible for this, and they have dropped Ocean like a rock.
So now, as one can expect, the entire internet hates both Ocean and Paul, and the consequences of this have been severe. The loss of business for Ocean (an internet company may I remind you) is obvious, but Paul as an individual has had things quite badly too, eventually leading to A Followup To The Original Penny Arcade Post.
This has already spread all over the internet to several blogs, Twitter, and even Memebase in the span of about a day, now going full circle to having a Comic About It back on the originator site Penny Arcade. Even more crap is slowly surfacing about Paul, such as A History of Domestic Violence.
Anyway, now that we’re all up to date with the latest internet drama bomb, why is it important? To me it’s important for more than just the shock value or the resulting smearing of Paul, it’s important because this is a situation every one of us can relate to. Paul is a bully, a bully of the worst sort, and all of us have been bullied at some point in our lives. People often talk about issues like bullying in schools, but few people talk about how this means of treating others, often associated with elementary school, is a very present issue for many people in the adult world. It’s individuals like Paul who provide the best example of an adult world bully, an individual who likely strong-armed his way into his position, has a history of violence, and has now used his position of power to do exactly what it is that bullies do in schoolyards.
The only difference this time is that Paul’s recent victim shared his story with the internet, and in doing so enticed Paul into picking on someone far too big to handle. Now Paul resorts to hiding behind his wife and children as a means of protecting himself from the unrelenting stream of hate that is coming this way. This is why I think the internet is so ravenously attacking Paul, because he is someone we can all remember from our childhood, and perhaps some of us can see in people we know today.
It’s up to mature adult individuals (who, unlike our younger counterparts, have both the intelligence and often the power to effectively deal with bullies) to show people like Paul that shit like this will not stand. Nobody, adult or child, deserves to be treated this way, in any context. It is the duty of mature adult individuals to stop people like Paul, and perhaps all that’s needed is for these sorts of stories to reach the public. Eventually this will die down and Paul can work his way back from the ashes(and I wish him luck in doing so, the internet can be overwhelmingly cruel), but here’s hoping that this is a humbling experience for him. If his daily behavior even begins to resemble how he has behaved online he needs to take a long hard look at how he acts to others, because nobody should have to tolerate a bully, schoolyard or not.