Monday, June 17, 2013

That Jerk On Facebook Who Ruined Your Day

It's a random Tuesday morning. You've got your cup of coffee, feeling pretty good about the world. Maybe check a few emails and then start painting. You respond to a couple of people, go to FB, hit the "like" button on a few things just to let some friends know you saw it, and have a look to see if the painting you posted the night before has any comments on it. Wow! It has 24 comments!! "Great Work, "love it, nice job, how much for this one", etc and then all of a sudden you see "I don't know what all the people above me are raving about, I think this painting sucks" - and WHAM, there goes the whole day.

I made this story up, but how many times have you seen this happen: someone posts something, and someone else makes a comment that is clearly innocent or meant to be funny, and then a third party jumps down their throat over it. Or worse, you post a great Macaroni and Cheese recipe and someone posts:

 "Obama is the reason I can't eat it anymore! Damn Liberals ruined Mac and Cheese!"
 ...and your thinking, ok, thank you mister nut-job.

 Go to any news website and just read the comments below a story. It is really unbelievable.

If your anything like me, this will make you want to stay off of Facebook completely, and I did recently for about two weeks. And then I remembered something from years ago...

My fathers best friend, who I call "Uncle" to this day, owns  a bar I started working in when I was thirteen or fourteen years old. Over the next fifteen years I worked in all sorts of bars and restaurants. I bartended, cooked, waited tables, worked the door, parked cars once or twice, and was a bouncer for a summer. I think I have done every job in a restaurant you can do. Bartending was my favorite and I stuck with that until after I graduated from art school. I have bartended in at least five places in three different states.

When you work in bars and restaurants you meet ALL types of people. If you stay in the job long enough, you are going to get into a fight. I have seen and been in, quite a few fights. I never started any of them, it's just part of the job. Most of the time we were just trying to get people outside the place for insurance reasons, but you can still get hit trying. While working at these places have met a lot of tough guys. Really tough guys.Most of the toughest, you would never guess it by looking at them. Some were professional, polite, good tippers, others - not so much, it varies. But they all had one thing in common. Tough guys are not big on talk. I have never met a tough guy who opened a fight with "I'm gonna kick your @&$!" In fact, the big mouth in a bar, is almost never a tough guy, usually the opposite. I'm sure there is an exception, but I've never seen it.

I would bet alot of money, that no real tough guy, has ever insulted anyone on Facebook. it's not a tough guy thing to do. Could you see Sinatra telling someone off on FB?...actually, could you see Sinatra posting on FB at all? How about a mobster. Do you know what you would call if it they posted "your dead" on someone's FB page and then killed them? That would be called "evidence".
Most smart "tough guys" try to avoid leaving evidence.  Because I like old movies, I use Jimmy Stewart as an example of strong, but honest and fair at the same time. Stewart wasn't just an actor, he was also a Brigadier General, many people don't know that. Very often when faced with a situation that requires "delicate handling", I think to myself "What would Jimmy Stewart do?"
Mostly it comes down to a few things that are supposed to be learned in Kindergarten. Don't raise your voice, respect your elders, and treat people the way you would like to be treated yourself. So to anyone who has ever been, slighted, attacked, or insulted online - just smile and know that in real life, the person attacking you is most likely a door-mat for pretty much everyone they know, and taking it out on you...

Happy Posting!


  1. Wow! Clinton, I really liked this blogpost and I agree with your thinking. I will not be able to get the "What would Jimmy Stewart do?" out of my head, but I liked the comment! You are as wonderful a writer as you are an artist. This was done so well! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much!!
      I really enjoy writing. I think partly because I am not a writer. I don't have the pressure of having to be good at it. If my writing stinks I can just say, well, I'm a painter, not a writer. I like that kind of freedom...but it is nice to hear that I don't stink at it!
      Thanks again,

  2. LOL - I can top this one. A long time ago, at an art show a newspaper reporter came to my booth and asked me some questions and proceeded to take photos. As soon as the reporter left, this heavy set woman walks over and starts to look at my work. Then she plants herself right next to my work and starts telling me that she used to be an art critique who wrote for papers and proceeded to find fault in just about everything in my booth. Somewhere she also mentioned she always wanted to be an artist.

    I could have slapped this woman out of my booth, but my mom had raised me properly so I endured the torture and with a grin on my face just told her people's tastes are as varied as personalities are. There is no way that one can please all and that it was ok for her to dislike my work. Still smiling, I also told her that I need to attend to the people who have entered the booth and told she should go after her dream and pick up painting. I said: " I am sure you will surpass us all!" turned my back and greeted the new comers.

    I have to admit though throughout the day and several days later I was still venting. I just could not believe how in-considered this individual was. In the end I started to feel sorry for her. Someone must have done a real number on her to leave her so bitter.

    1. Hi Enzie,
      Wow, what a story.
      I have noticed similar things in people, and this one has happened to me too at different times.
      Critics are always in the audience. By that I mean, that they are never on stage themselves. Without something to review, hey have no job. The critic goes to the restaurant and the movies, but most of the time, the critic doesn't cook, or make films. A critic who wanted to do what they are writing about and didn't succeed can often be bitter. A failed critic, even more so. A fat, failed, critic, maybe the most bitter person on the planet!

      A critic that has done the subject on which they are writing, Roger Ebert for example, can greatly benefit the field. I always looked forward to reading his reviews. Personally, I have never had a bad write-up so as of right now I don't hate critics, I'm sure I will at some point.

      Years ago, before I got into Jimmy Stewart films, I would have told that woman I didn't need her opinion, and please go away. I would have hurt her because she was trying to hurt me.
      Now, with a little age, and a tiny bit more wisdom. I change the subject quickly. I say, "I'm really tired of talking about my work, what kind of movies do you like?"
      99% of the time this takes them off of the subject of your work and moves it into something light and fun. I think that most people aren't looking to insult you, they are just looking for someone to talk to.

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