Splitter of Chocolate Syrupy Waffles just released a scathing open letter to Anime News Network addressing the company’s leak of episode two of Oreimo one day before it even aired in Japan. The comments following the letter have been equally vicious. The letter made some very strong points.
Now, I didn’t pay for ANN’s streaming service. I’m not familiar with the criticisms levied at ANN. And I have no history with the higher ups at the organization. To sum it up, I’m ignorant and thus a very non-expert – an outsider who learned much from Splitter’s letter.
However, I am an expert in grace. After all, I’m among the worst people I know, and I’m still loved.
Anime News Network made a massive mistake. The company is damaged and who knows, at this point, if all their efforts at breaking into streaming video and simulcasts have been ruined. And even though I read ANN religiously (Bamboo Dong, Erin Finnegan, and especially Theron Martin are favorites), I don’t feel sorry for the company. It’s a company – it has no soul.
But perhaps it does have a soul. Any organization’s character is found in its greatest asset – its people. And boy, people must be suffering now. For instance, Justin Sevakis, from who I’ve learned much over the years through columns and articles, seems to be having a horrid time, judging by his recent tweets.
But in the end…I don’t know these people. Or do I? Are they…me?
I’ve been in a similar pinch before, and maybe because of that, I can empathize. Many bloggers are there are working, but some are not. And those who aren’t (and even many who are) don’t understand what it feels like to be a good worker, but to make a major error. I do.
Several months ago, I made a major slip-up at work. I forgot to edit a work we did and sent a previous rendition to be cast. Those who received it were shocked to see that their changes were not made. Not only were they angry, but the new casting was going to cost my workplace about $1,500.
And yet…my managers approached me in a most peculiar way: with grace. My program manager mentioned that I should be more careful, but joked about it afterward and otherwise never mentioned the mistake again. He showed me grace – a love that is undeserved.
Christian followers understand that the one major theme of the Bible is grace. We are covered by it, as one Individual was the scapegoat, taking the punishment in our place.
In the end, I understand one particular type of person who is raging at ANN – the person who paid for services that they are or may not be receiving. ANN should have addressed them earlier, in some way; since they haven’t, they must do so soon. But until the story if fully unfolded and until we find out ANN’s actions, I hope that this doesn’t become an opportunity to shoot armor-piercing bullets at ANN, letting out frustration, anger and vengeance, even, that may have built up over the years. I hope that we offer a bit of lenience, waiting to see what the company will say.
ANN is made up of people, and people need grace – even when they don’t deserve it.
“There is nothing we can do to make God love us more. There is nothing we can do to make God love us less.”
“We speak of grace often, do we truly believe in it … and do our lives proclaim it as powerfully as our words?”
“Grace, like water, flows to the lowest part.”
– Philip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace