So two things I need to stop doing:
1) Write in the comment’s section of anything on the internet; and
2) Vanity googling
I knew doing the first was a mistake the moment I did it. See, a friend of mine wrote an article for a newly launched paper. He is, in my opinion, one of the funniest people I know so I was thrilled to see his first attempt at being a columnist. Now, having written a few columns myself in the past, I know what an article looks like when it’s been poorly edited. This piece suffered from that. It had very little of his original style in it and suffered for that, but still was quite funny. Apparently, some people didn’t agree.
Now in real life, if you don’t like something, you usually just walk away from it. But on the internet, where anonymity is available, people adopt a radically different attitude. The internet affords you the opportunity to be anything you want. Turns out, what people most want to be, are assholes. The comments under his article were crass, spiteful and rude. Like all internet comments tend to be (trust me, I’ve been called a “faggot” on youtube enough times). They attacked him on a personal level. For me it was a little difficult to see a friend getting such an unnecessary brutalizing and I stupidly jumped to his defense. Stupid, because on the internet, the best defense really is no defense. Ofcourse, I should have written an articulate and reasoned critique of the critics, or maybe just tried to be the voice of calm by pointing out it was poorly edited and there was no need to get personal in the attacks. Instead, I responded in exactly the way the original commenter’s had been behaving. Wrote something stupid and crass and aggressive.
I instantly regretted writing it once it was too late to take it back.
Which brings us to the second thing I will never do, googling myself. I do it after a stand-up show to see if anyone has posted any reviews. This time, the first thing I came across was a series of blog and twitter discussions between a group of people who loathe me. Which is fine, I understand that not everyone finds me funny. Some people do and some people don’t. Hell, I don’t think some popular comedians are funny either, different strokes and all that. I am grateful for all the people who DO find me funny. It’s a small group but I appreciate their attendance at my shows and for every time they laugh at one of my bits. But I can read a 100 people saying “good show” and I will still obsess over the 1 guy who says “you suck.” It’s ridiculous. I focus in on that one criticism and obsess over it. For. Fucking. Ever.
I know, I have issues.
The recent google search revealed a group of people who seemed to go out of their way to voice their hatred of me. First for defending my friend in an aggressive manner (completely disregarding how rudely they were attacking him in the first place) and then just using that as a launching pad for vocalizing how much they dislike everything I have ever done. And for a while I couldn’t figure out why they were going on about it, going out of their way to just bash me and everything I’ve done. Until one of them posted something revelatory. They wished I could read their comments.
They wanted me to know how much they hated me.
They wanted me to react.
I almost did too. Almost wrote to the the person to ask them why they hated me so. Then I realized that was me doing exactly what they wanted.
Did what they say hurt? Yes. Did it anger/upset/frustrate me? Yes.
Will I respond?
Although, in a way, this blog post is probably going to thrill them. So fine, just this one time:
If you like my comedy or even dislike it but are decent enough to understand that I put a lot of work into it and so probably have some emotional attachment to it (and am also a fucking human being), thank you.
If you find it fun to attack because it gives you a vicarious thrill, fuck you.