Reading Between the Lines

by Christopher Macdonald,
In the most recent installment of Answerman, Zac Bertschy outlines his opinion about a particular demographic among those that download fansubs. He states that there is a new breed of fan who believe that anime companies are evil and that anime should be free. Then he goes on to make a few statements about these people and explain, in no uncertain terms, why he doesn't like them.

Unfortunately many people read this and completely missed one very simple fact. He never said anything about all people who download fansubs, nor did he say anything about all people who make, promote and distribute fansubs.

Honestly, if you think Zac said that every person who downloads fansubs hates anime companies, and has a pseudo-communist belief that all anime should be free, you need to go back and re-read the article and find the spot where you went wrong.

Sure, Zac could have gone out of his way to state something along the lines of "While some people who download fansubs are losers, there's lots of great people out there that also downloads fansubs." But he didn't, and while he could have done it, he shouldn't have needed to do it.

When a sports columnist mentions that there are many professional athletes who are using steroids, and that these people are cheaters, he doesn't need to tell you that there are many honest athletes out there. Does he?

So get it through your head, if you download fansubs and also support the industry with purchases, Zac wasn't calling you "despicable and hypocritical." Hell, he wasn't even calling you despicable and hypocritical if you download fansubs and don't buy anything. The only people he was calling despicable and hypocritical are those that create a bunch of lies and false beliefs in order to give themselves an excuse for not paying for anime. If you aren't one of those people, Zac didn't call you anything. He didn't say you were a bad person, and he didn't say you were a good person, he said absolutely nothing at all about you.

Get it?

Oh, and for the record, I haven't said anything about you either.

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