This is about Vic Mignogna’s ANNCast interview. Probably not the kind of material you’re expecting on this blog huh?
I think the key takeaway on the interview are two things. For people who are unaware of the Christian culture and the garden variety of non-denominational beliefs on the ground in the US, Vic’s spiel is actually a very professional and clean takeaway. In my own experience exploring where nerd and faith intersect, few has done it so cleanly while taking on any kind of mantle.
For people who are aware of all that basic stuff, Vic’s interview is more indicative of something you can read between the lines. I think this is just a fault of the world’s imperfections, but I believe in the freedom of not to like somebody. Someone’s summed it up better than I can in the ANNCast forum thread:
There are plenty of Christians in the English VA world (not surprising, since the industry is based around Texas), and most of them have a lot of fans and no haters. Many of them are completely open about it, and live their faith even at the conventions by helping with charity events and the like.
It’s almost like there were some other reason people didn’t like him. I wonder what that could be?
I personally have no opinion on Vic. He’s a fine guy and invariably I support his cause, implicitly or not. I don’t think any of this is really special either–perhaps in that given the size of anime/manga stuff in the US, something like this is bound to happen and it’s almost a little surprising that Vic is the only shining beacon of this sort of effort. There ought/should/could be more of it. I certainly prefer this over the street corner preachers at Anime Expo and SDCC. It’s never the message that’s problematic. It’s when the message hits the human. Both ways.
The tragic problem with Vic’s polarizing attitude/attribute is that there are not only a lot of negative rumors surrounding him, probably because there are a good number of people who genuinely don’t like him or otherwise think negatively of him, but also the whole religious angle makes it easy to attack him through his message. People will use his faith as a weakness, as when one wears one’s ideology on his or her sleeves, that is also subject to attack. The issue is compounded because it’s actually quite difficult to get to the bottom of it, as the issue is kind of tangential to his voice acting career and if Vic is doing a good job as someone who uses his soapbox to do what he does (which for the most part is the case), it’s just something that will get no press, because nobody is interested in how Vic lives, his good and bad sides, as it’s probably kind of boring and that runs the danger of giving Vic another soapbox.
In the end, people only care about sensational things, stuff like Sankaku Complex microcontent or when Vic is caught red-handed at doing something obviously non-Christian or whatever. It’s with that perspective that I find this ANNCast is actually really neat. Props to ANN for doing something outside the comfort zone for once (although you can tell they were somewhat unprepared). The snark, though, is questionable at best. I think that is just another kind of “insular barrier” that socializing on the internet invariably create–you only follow and are followed by like-minded people. Vic and the ANNCast guys are clearly not like-minded, despite being in a working relationship. So reporting on Vic’s faith is the sort of journalism that will bring good and bridge different circles of dialogues.