Truth has always been good to me. Even when truth was harsh, I knew it was for my own good. When truth was buried, I’d dig it out. When truth was hiding, I’d seek it out. But then truth met the internet and everything went to shit.
On Monday I answered some questions from a Resident Evil website (Hell Descent – nice folks) about a character I have voiced for the video game franchise. I was honest and flip, as is my nature. But one sentence in the interview took on a life of it’s own:
Hell yeah! I know RE6 is in the works, so hopefully I’ll get a chance to audition for it… Or you guys could bug Capcom into casting me in it! I’m workin’ it, baby!
Seems innocent enough. But in the video game world, companies are as secretive about future games as Ronald Reagan was about the Iran-Contra affair. And fans have a voracious appetite for any news at all. That’s when my Google Alerts started harassing my email box: ”D.C. Douglas Confirms Resident Evil 6 Is In Production” and “Wesker Voice Actor Lets Slip RE6 Is In The Works!”
I was just referring to what I had read on the internet! I posted a clarification on my FaceBook page and asked Hell Descent to add a disclaimer update. But it was too late. The cyber rumor mill was lost in an orgiastic spasm of speculation dressed up as fact.
This, of course, has to go through an evolution, similar to a person with borderline personality disorder. The news, once joyous (and erroneous) turns snarky (and erroneous). CVG posts “Voice Actor Wants Resident Evil 6 Work!”
Douglas said rumblings on the internet have spurred him into asking Capcom to let him reprise his role as Albert Wesker.
Fanboys who disliked the character Wesker and/or my voice chimed in with derision, “Dude is desperate for work!” and “Probably thinks he IS Wesker!” (I feel ya, Milla.) The permutation continued into this gem: “Douglas wants Albert Wesker role in Resident Evil 6.”
Um, not quite. Oh, Internets, why hast thou forsaken context? The question I was answering was Have you or would you like to pursue any other roles in the Resident Evil universe, considering the “demise” of your character?
The funniest one was from EuroGamer:
D.C. Douglas, the voice actor behind Resident Evil 5 ruffian Wesker, has called on Capcom to cast him in Resident Evil 6.
Wow. I sound so haughty! Again, had they stayed true to context, they would see I was responding to someone else who wondered if I would want to be in RE6. Let’s see, I’m an actor. Actors are always looking for work. Would I want more work? Sure. Have I called upon Capcom to cast me because I’m such an arrogant turd? Not so much. It’s like if someone said “Zack and Cody are going to college, wanna reprise your role as the imaginary Dean?” As long as it pays, I’m game!
It is truly all a massive game of Telephone.
For instance, two blog posts ago I wrote a quickie about how I hoped people in Ohio would hire Ted Williams, the homeless guy with the golden voice. I wrote it because, but for a few forks in the road, I could have easily ended up there. But when I released that post into cyberspace, it mutated into this headline from Maggie’s Notebook:
D.C. Douglas (Lance Baxter) Interviews Homeless Man with Great Voice.
Wha, uh, huh? I did?
It gets even sillier when it’s pure opinion. The conservative college kiddies over at IOTW (I Own The World) latched onto a reply I made to a comment on that post! Here’s where the Telephone game gets insidious. The comment thread went like this:
Tammy: Why don’t YOU help the guy? You’re rich, a professional voice over talent, and someone who could get the guy an agent. Fly to Ohio, bring him back to LA, and show everyone how generous you truly are.
Me: I’m rich?! I can’t even get my friends an agent most the time. Also, I don’t think it would be advisable to take him out of his home city.
The self-styled satirists at IOTW (sadly, they seem more interested in obnoxious slandering than intelligent humor) took that comment and flung this cyber poop onto the net:
D.C. Douglas, the “DADT” voice-over fool, has found Ted Williams, the homeless voice-over talent that we profiled earlier. D.C. says that someone should hire the guy. But that’s as far as D.C. will go when someone asks him in the comments if he would bring Ted to L.A. D.C. says that “it wouldn’t be advisable to take him out of his home city.” That’s a weird comment that sounds a little racist, no?
So now I’m a racist homosexual? Silly, but who knows where and how that’s going to travel in cyberspace!
Of course, the only reason Maggie and the IOTW children wrote about it was because of my initial burp of political indigestion back in April 2010. In that one, almost all the facts were distorted and repeated ad naseum! Even by Maggie and the boys (good band name, btw).
In fact, Fox and Enemies repeated that my name was Lance Baxter so many times that my Wikipedia page was repeatedly changed to that! I tried to keep that one in check, but had many arguments with the various editors (many turned out to be angry poli-sci kids from the University of Arizona). I kept pointing to the stage show as that character and a film where I played that character.
Turns out, according to Wikipedia, truth is irrelevant to their content. What makes a fact or statement fit for inclusion is verifiability — that it appeared in some other publication… And that publication can be on the internet!!!
So, in this new frontier, dropping the brown acid is no longer required to become Lance Baxter: a racist, homosexual who demands Capcom hire me! (I.e. watch how the Google spiders grab that one sentence and pop it up in search results for “Capcom!”)
The upside of this bizarro world of factual deformity is that I can get blessed for things I never did! Maggie said:
What a great story, with Douglas lending a helping hand. I hope Mr. Williams will soon have a job, and God bless both of them.
The downside is that truth gets lost in a cyber upchuck.
… That’s when our avatars are left to their own devices. With Net Neutrality being neutered, the internet is headed for major gastric problems. Snopes help us all!
And a companion video for that post could be this: