Sunday, 1 February 2015
"If anyone can do it..."
I'm feeling a bit under the weather at the moment with a cold, so I'm going to hand over the editorial reigns to everybody's FRIEND, Ross Geller. Over to you, Ross.
Sorry if I sound a little bummed, but I stand (write?) before you today with a cautionary tale.
I think we've all said stuff that we probably wished we hadn't even started with...
So I'm in Central Perk with my friends Joey and Feebs, and we're minding our own business, having some lightweight banter about a new movie "Spudknuckles" that's coming out that has four carrots playing the lead roles. I said I wasn't too sure about it - not that I have a problem with carrots playing lead roles, but over the past few years the film's producers had announced it would have apples playing the leads, then bananas... I'm pretty sure at one point they said four combine harvesters were going to play the lead.
At this point our friend Joey walked in, catching the end of our chat, and says "Hey you guys, have you seen that Spudknuckle Lego set? It's the best!".
So, we're having a few laughs, then in comes Janice. I don't really know her THAT well (other than having a one-night stand with her, back in one the latter seasons of the television series... I forget... uh...), but anyway, unbeknownst to me, Janice had been listening in on our conversation.
For some reason, Janice interrupts, gets snarky with my friends, and then accuses me of being a hypocrite for my lack of excitement over the aforementioned carrots, and that I should know better - after all, I've just written a carrot-led story myself.
At this point, I should say that Janice is a big defender of carrots, which is great. I love carrots too. Janice works tirelessly promoting equality for carrots, and good on her for doing so.
But when somebody calls for more carrot-led stories, then accuses you of only doing so because IT SELLS, it leads me to think:
So to clarify: You want more roles for carrots, yet when someone writes one you accuse them of doing it for the money.
ANYWAY, I replied to her somewhat pokey accusation that I wasn't writing a carrot-led story because it sells, but because that's the story I wanted to write. I wasn't chasing the money. (In fact, my next story is about a potato. True.)
And with that, Janice was gone. So I finished my latte and went for a stroll around the block, when imagine my surprise when I see Janice, and she's all like:
Shouting from the rooftops.It seems that Janice had cherry-picked a couple of sound-bites from my private chat with my friends (as private as being in a coffee house is) - had stuck these sound-bites together in order to start some sort of debate.
Which subsided into:
But the more I thought about it...
Now, I'm pretty academic, but I'm sure that 1+1 does not equal WTF. (I've run this past my friend's quantum physicist wife, and she says in some rare cases this can be true. What do I know?)
SO: A fairly private conversation between friends (men and women), which I believe we are all free to do without outsiders breathing down your neck. I'm pretty sure I didn't sign any disclaimer that anything I say could be taken, misconstrued, whipped up into a frenzy in order to create attention for another person's mission.
Seeing how our conversation in Central Perk was cut short by Janice fleeing out the door, I thought we could continue it, along with her friends at her apartment. The debate went on, and it all got a little -
Somewhat frustratingly, Janice had seemingly little desire to listen (at one point she casually accused me of liking potatoes more than carrots, the implication being I was 'carrot-ist'). Growing increasingly bored, I left - with Janice's words "I'm gonna be blogging about this, f*****" ringing in my ears. Such charm.
How could this have been handled better? If there was any perceived 'beef' between myself and Janice, she could have spoken to me in private about her feelings, rather than the hit 'n run tactics of slighting someone in front of their own friends, then running off to the safety of your own domain before the discussion could really get going.
All this leads me to conclude that Janice cannot be trusted - either as a friend or as a professional.
There was clear lack of common courtesy and professional integrity. I'm all for creativity and dramatisation, but when you see someone create something founded out of context, it's a little disconcerting. How can you be yourself around someone knowing that anything they may take offense at will be extrapolated into an open debate?
Oh, hang on. My friend Chandler wants to say something...
Thanks, Ross. Chin up, buddy.
Wow. So what can we take from Ross's experience with Janice?
We should all know that whatever words you put out in the world are public domain, and that's fine. But that doesn't mean you should expect innocent conversations with friends to be picked apart and repackaged as faux headlines.
So, to conclude - BEWARE! Anything you say may be selectively cut 'n paste and slapped together in order to create click bait!