Monday, August 3, 2009

...We Have to Watch What We Say...

First, watch this.

And then the fight started...

Having previously had some interest in working in public relations (I majored in it for two years before changing majors) this made me laugh. I added a comment:

That really was a great answer! He managed to answer the question without really answering the question. But he's so cute I forgive him :)

I mean, really, that is a skill. Especially in showbiz when people hang on your every word and will take any opportunity to find the most obscure sequence of words and use it anyway they wish, good or bad. I honestly thought it was a clever way to respond.

A few more comments follow about Pharrell’s good looks and then this (I altered the names):

[“Hmm”] to all the girls below do yall listen to what people say instead of how they look?

A few more comments later:

[“Way too angry”] you bitch's dont care about lyrics only big dick size you fucking girls are dogs all you need now is a fucking leash and nobody would be able to tell the difference between a whore and a rottweiler

A reply to this comment:

[“Follower”] WOW.... that was a fantastic thing to say. Those groupies don't give a fuck... shows the kinda shallow people we coexist with.
 One of the greatest communication professors I ever had once said, “Words don’t mean, people do,” meaning because we view life through filters made up of our personal experiences, the same expressed words –rather written or spoken- will be interpreted differently by everyone that hears them.

It’s why you can look at someone and say, “I’m so sorry” and they might respond, “Thank you” or they might respond, “What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Depending on how well they know you, and/or past experiences, and/or whatever is going on in their head, you were either being sympathetic or showing consideration or you were being wise-acre and need to mind your own business.

I make one little innocent comment about someone’s wit and looks, and all of a sudden, I’m downgraded to a shallow, mindless, stank whore fat dog.


Of course, I arrived at some conclusions of my own based on their comments as well. For starters, I believe that all three commentators are preoccupied with physical appearance. If something looks nice, and you say it looks nice, it shouldn’t start a riot unless that something is by most standards either illicit (like child porn, or violent imagery) or disgusting (like snot or poop).

I could see no valid reason for the overwhelmingly negative response to all the girls saying they thought Pharrell Williams was attractive. It’s just an opinion. And well he is cute.

Based on “Way too angry’s” comment, I have to say I arrived at the unfortunate conclusion that an overweight, dog-faced, promiscuous woman rejected him for having a small penis. Seriously. Read it again.

you bitch's dont care about lyrics only big dick size you fucking girls are dogs all you need now is a fucking leash and nobody would be able to tell the difference between a whore and a rottweiler

Not one single girl on the page mentioned anything about “dick” so how he jumped to this conclusion is beyond me. This comment says more about his poor choice of women than it does about anything else.

“Follower” surprised me since according to her profile she’s a female. It’s not the first time I witnessed a girl sitting by and watching a guy fundamentally disrespect another woman, but it still surprises me whenever it happens, especially if she basically “co-signs” on it. Less surprising about her comment was (assuming that is her real photo in the profile), her preoccupation with looks was justified.

“Average” looking people do tend to be extra sensitive to the ridiculous amount of glory that’s bestowed upon the “better than average.” Trust me, you do not want to be in my line of sight looking good or being recognized for your good looks if I’m having what I call “an ugly day.”

I’m honest about how I perceive my looks. I am no prize, but I would definitely stand next to “Follower” in a photograph if you know what I mean. She’d have me looking like Shakira by comparison. Not being mean, just expressing my own honest opinion.

"Hmm" is either easily distracted or just probably not the smartest guy we know. He seemed so thrown off by the "cute" comments that he didn't even realize that the question posed to Pharrell had in fact been answered.  So when he asks if we're listening to what was said, the answer is: Yes, we were listening (or at least I was) but were you listening?

So this whole thing has become what some folks like to call, “a teachable moment.” (Man, I love those!) I’ve learned some things and I’ve been reminded of a few other things:

-1- Words can be weapons. I’ve seen some wild “fights” break out on YouTube over something that was next to nothing. Innocent comments can send someone into an emotional spiral. Angry words can be interpreted as insanity.

-2- Writing takes more skill than people realize. People are reading your words but they can’t see your face, hear your voice or recognize your tone and therefore may have to draw from other sources to interpret your words. Depending on the circumstances, it’s important for good writing to be so clear and concise that there is little room for interpretation. The exception would probably be fiction or poetry where part of the fun is debating the meaning.

-3- Think before you speak, or write. It’s just a very good general practice since what we say can and probably will be held against us.

-4- Sense of humor is subjective, sarcasm is difficult to convey in print, judgmental people tend to be stupid, and sometimes irony is just implausible.

-5- Pick your battles. You don’t want to race a Nascar driver, you don’t want to challenge a pro-boxer to a fist fight, and you don’t want to find yourself in a war of words with a satirist. Especially if she blogs.

Song stuck in my head: Cassie featuring Diddy "Must Be Love" (I thought Total had got back together when I first heard this- nice!)

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