I recently received a comment on my blog, A True Masterchef, regarding Ben Starr who was a season two contestant on Masterchef. The comment is:
Ben Starr is an opinionated and infantile nuisance! He has had his fifteen minutes and now that he is on the outs he has done nothing but ‘screw’ the integrity of the contract that he signed with masterchef. He thinks that he has the right to ‘correct’ everybody who thinks contrary to his thoughts about masterchef and about reality TV and if you disagree with him, he will do everything he can to defile your position: only Ben Starr can be right! Ben Starr is a very dangerous person. He dresses his persona up in this very passive….’gooey…ga..ga..type’ but when you challenge him on his ideologies that he espouses on his blogs, he goes absolutely nuts and he edits your responses and then threatens you!
Ben Starr is no sweetheart.
People need to read and I mean really read everything this guy writes about. He is extremely shallow…a fine example of a person that given a little bit of knowledge….can be extremely dangerous!
You can read Ben Starr’s so-called dangerous thoughts on his blog by clicking here. When he’s not writing about Masterchef, he writes about his travels, the animals he loves and raises for food, instructions on how to properly cook certain things, and other wonderful food-related topics. He also addresses more serious issues such as the recent passing of season three Masterchef contestant Josh Marks, the struggles our homosexual community faces, and the dangers of reality television in general for the participants. He has not only been a help to me directly via Twitter and his blog, but he has helped many people and continues to educate those who wish to listen. A fame whore he is not.
This is not about Ben though. This is about my commenter. This is a person who chose to read a blog of mine that was about Christine Ha that only briefly mentioned Ben. This person chose to ignore the real topic and instead attack a person who quite honestly has been nothing but genuine and straightforward. Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course, but I cannot understand why it was necessary to call him dangerous and accuse him of editing responses. I cannot understand why certain people only make the effort to comment on something when they have something negative to say.
It is not necessary to insult someone in this way, especially on a posting that has very little to do with that person. If someone is truly evil or dangerous, why not address that person directly on their own site, via email, or in another fashion? What good is being done by telling me that someone I enjoy will threaten me if I ever disagree with him? It’s petty and silly and wholly unnecessary. If the goal is to educate me or assist me, provide me with facts and/or proof of your claims. There are a few people who visit here on a regular basis who do exactly this; they give me links that educate, information that is backed up by concrete evidence, and opinions that are based on fact. Those comments are meaningful and those comments matter. The drivel above does nothing but irritate my eyes.
The ability to comment anonymously can be great for those who are normally afraid to open up, but it also makes it easier for cowards to come out of the woodwork and spout off with nonsense with the peace of mind that no one can really confront them or out them. It makes it easy for people to be intolerant, abusive, or obnoxious. Someone afraid to say F*ck Obama to their peers can do so without fear in the comments section of a news site, shielded by a fake email address or a guest posting. The freedom to be whoever you want to be online has made people in general act hostile, cruel, and too often like children.
Surely we can find a way to express our opinions without littering them in places that aren’t appropriate, attacking people who don’t deserve it, or speaking as if we’ve never taking an English class in our lives. I don’t care that my commenter doesn’t like Ben. I care that they chose to post unsubstantiated claims on my posting about a totally different person and did so in a matter that makes them sound like a child. That isn’t why I started this blog. I welcome discussions; key word being discussion. If someone wants to go off on a rant, do it, but do some thinking while your fingers fly across the keyboard. Without effort, your words are meaningless.
The above comment did not change my opinion, did not educate me, did not humor me, and did not accomplish anything the poster likely set out to do. Other than give me something to talk about while I try to wake up on this fine Thursday morning, it was for nothing. Wasted effort on their part and probably too much wasted time on mine. The internet is such a fantastic tool, yet we use it for the dumbest possible things. All it takes is a few more minutes to come up with something that can either make someone laugh or make someone think. If you’re going to take the time to say something, say something that matters.
After a blogging hiatus, my husband made his triumphant return with a review of the film The Good Doctor. This was a movie that neither of us enjoyed with an ending that was so jarring and abrupt, we went back twice to make sure our disc wasn’t skipping past the actual end of the film. We both went in excited, especially since JK Simmons (Oz) and Wade Williams (Prison Break) were both part of the cast, but the pair barely received any screen time, plus the time they we given seemed very awkward. My husband’s review goes into great detail and I invite you to read it here: http://theearthtourist.com/2013/03/05/the-miles-away-from-being-good-doctor/
A few hours after the posting, he received a (yet to be approved at the time of this posting) comment from a female who did not take a liking to what he had to say. Unfortunately, her counter argument left me feeling as empty and confused as the movie itself. I love a good debate and I enjoy the back and forth that can come about when you have the chance to talk to someone who have a different view than your own. I learn things on a regular basis from people who disagree with me when they provide information that I was either not aware of or was not well-informed on. Differing opinions keep things quite interesting.
I wish that the commenter on my husband’s blog had presented something we had missed that would have made the film make a bit more sense. Instead, she discussed Bloom’s sexy body and eyes after saying that the lack of clarity in the film was intentional. She criticized my husband by assuming he rented this film thinking it was an action film filled with explosions and fighting. She ignored the fact that the film’s ending was terrible and felt as if the last few pages of the script were lost and none of the crew noticed. It was painfully obvious that she is a die-hard Bloom fan and was none too happy about someone being critical of his work. Everyone is entitled to share their opinion and she chose to share hers, but I can’t help but wonder why she even bothered.
It is incredibly easy to get someone to throw aggressive and silly negative remarks on a blog or news article, but can be somewhat of a challenge to get someone to either post something positive or to disagree intelligently. We get caught up in the fight to be right and resort to playground argument techniques rather than try to have an adult conversation with another adult. And while it sometimes is appropriate to throw out empty negative remarks at certain types of people, it’s not always worth the effort. For me personally to weigh in on a random article or blog, I have to be very passionate about the subject matter and have something truly worthwhile to say. If I disagree but cannot come up with the right words to do so, I move on with my day.
Movies discussions are one of those where it’s incredibly hard to be wrong because so much can be left up to interpretation and personal taste. I enjoy horror and action over romance, so naturally I will generally have a higher opinion of a movie that strives to make my skin crawl than one that tries to make me cry. I prefer certain actors over others (go to hell, Mark Walhberg) so certain films that feature my favorites will definitely rank higher than those who cast people I’m not too crazy about. With films that are similar in style to The Good Doctor, there is no doubt that quite a bit of room is left open to allow the audience to speculate and decide character motives and certain elements of the back story. I don’t see any worth in this film though, and the commenter ended up doing more harm than good as far as influencing my opinion.
If you’re going to take time out of your day to stop your flow of activity and put your thoughts on the internet for all to see, be in anonymously or not, what’s the problem with putting a tiny bit of effort and thought into it? If the only thing you have to add to the discussion is “you’re wrong, you suck” or something equally as useless, you’re better off simply making an internal critique and moving forward with your day. If you’re going to provide a reason why the presented information is wrong, take some time to present a half decent argument. I don’t even care at this point if someone is completely wrong and ill-informed as long as they put forth the effort and forgo the easy route.
We are all capable of leaving a comment that can inspire confusion, hate, or outrage. It’s insanely simple to do and requires no more knowledge than knowing what pisses people off in general or can piss off the audience you suspect are going to read the article and see your remarks. I’m 100% in support of equality when it comes to marriage and there are no shortage of news articles and blogs covering all sides of the argument. If you’re against same-sex marriage, that’s fine, but have enough self-respect to express that intelligently rather than saying “homos are sinning and will burn forever!!!” Both the intelligent comment and the thoughtless one can cause the same amount of rage and uproar, but at least one of them will do so for the right reason.
Let’s disagree and let’s argue. Let’s call people out when they’re wrong without fear or reservation. Let’s add to existing articles and stories by injecting a piece of ourselves into them with our own stories and opinions. Let’s speak up and speak out. But while we’re doing so, can we also make good use of everyone’s time and use our big kid vocabulary and reasoning skills? Even if you just want to get a laugh and leave a dirty comedic comment, put some thought into it and get creative rather than simply recycle jokes or use foul language for shock value. Figure out what your goal is when leaving a comment (and yes, you need a goal) and aim for it. If your sole reason for commenting is to blather on unintelligibly or cuss outlandishly so people cuss you back, please shut down your computer and go play outside. Leave the internet for the grown ups.
For the first time since becoming a part of the working force, I don’t have piles of work to be done at my job. I have very few responsibilities and what I do have can easily be done in a short amount of time. It’s nice, but boring at the same time. Since I tend to go a bit crazy if I don’t have a lot to do, I look elsewhere for side projects to add to my to-do list at the office. One of the soldiers, who is no longer in our office and who I assisted with a project a few months back, allowed me to begin scheduling video conferences for distance training. It’s incredibly easy; I have to fill out two forms and email them over to the help desk who sets up the conference. After it’s set, I forward the dial-up information to all the participants. I’ve done this for teleconferences for months, so I was already familiar with the process.
I was setting up video conferences for about two months when we ran into an issue. A major in my office set up her own video training classes during a week that we had other video classes already scheduled in our classroom. She didn’t check with anyone first, nor did she inform anyone. Since her class included people who traveled in from out of state, the classes I set up had to be moved. On Tuesday of this week, a member of the accounting team realized she sent a video conference request to the wrong person, thinking it was me. She called me when she discovered her error and I set up the conference. It was pretty frustrating though to see these mistakes being made, but I was glad that I wasn’t the one making them.
Yesterday, all of the people who teach the video training classes met in the conference room by my desk. They were discussing those two errors and trying to find out what had gone wrong. One soldier kept insisting that all errors were because of me. I had to be making a mistake somewhere. Here’s my thing: this soldier managed the calendar which lists all classes in our classroom, so he would be the one that would know of any scheduling conflicts. I asked multiple people for viewing permissions for this calendar on multiple occasions and he never granted them, so sadly I was never able to see what classes were scheduled when except for the ones I personally set up. Since he never allowed me to view it, and since the other soldier who double booked the room never told a soul what she was doing, I fail to see how it was my fault that she took the room when we had other things scheduled in it. Second, the accounting team failed to inform me that they had an upcoming class and sent the original request to the wrong person (but they did CC the soldier who is blaming me, so who dropped the ball here?) Since she didn’t tell me anything until Tuesday, I also fail to see how it is my fault that she submitted something to me late which resulted in the request also being sent late. Plus, in the end it wasn’t a problem because I got the Thursday video conference set up by Tuesday afternoon, plenty of time to inform the states who would be involved.
If I screw up, I’ll take full responsibility and get it fixed. But I didn’t screw up here! This morning, one of the girls who does video training told me that I will no longer be setting up the classes and asks me if anyone told me that. No, no one told me a damn thing! What I don’t get here is why I get this responsibility taken away from me like I did something wrong. I did nothing wrong here. The simple solution to me would be to have me get viewing permissions to the calendar so nothing gets overbooked, get a listing of upcoming classes from everyone so I know what is upcoming and can ensure submissions get to me on time, and for the person who double booked the room (and everyone else) to understand that she can’t do that; she needs to check with the calendar manager prior to scheduling anything to ensure the room is open. But no, their solution was to take me out of the equation as if I was the one who did something wrong. This bothers me not because I’ll miss the work, but because it makes me look like a fuck-up. And I didn’t fuck up.
What irks me further is that I was told in an offhand way that I would no longer be doing it. They had decided this yesterday during their meeting, yet none of them thought to mention it to me, even though they all had to walk by my desk as they exited the conference room. None of them asked for my input, none of them gave me the courtesy of an explanation, I basically got shit on for doing exactly what I should have been doing. I got penalized for the mistakes of other people. Someone had to be blamed and I feel like I was the easiest person to blame. Well, I don’t see how anything that happened is my doing and I’m not about to sit here and let people look at me as the one who caused all these issues to happen.
Next week, when everyone who was in the meeting is back from leave, I believe I am going to have to say something. I’m not happy with the way this played out and I don’t think I should have to let it slide as if it was nothing. I’d feel differently if I had been able to speak in their meeting and I’d feel differently if I was properly approached or even questioned about what happened. None of that happened and it’s just not right. I don’t give a damn if I’m important in the eyes of my coworkers or not, the bottom line is I am not a doormat and I’m not going to allow them to treat me like one.
Today has officially gone to shit. It started out poorly due to waking up before my alarm went off after a night of terrible sleep, then road construction making me late for work, combined with the soreness from our weekend in Chicago making me totally unmotivated. That being said, I made an effort to focus on today being Tuesday and not Monday and only having 2 more work days until the weekend. Yay for positive thinking?
I KNOW people out there have actual problems that make my whining look even sillier than it truly is. This really isn’t the worst day I’ve ever had and isn’t the worst day I’ll have this year. I just feel like complete and total crap. I need to be home right now, away from people. I miss my husband. I miss the pup. Hell, I miss the boy.
The thing that is making my day difficult really has little to do with the problems I had this morning. I’m simply tired and I have no desire to waste what little energy I have on being nice to people who don’t deserve it. Sadly, my desk is right at the front door and I have no choice but to smile and greet every joker who enters. On top of all those people, I have one coworker who, while seeing I am busy, insists on standing 2 centimeters from me and asking me stupid questions. Another coworker keeps calling me on issues that have NOTHING to do with me. I may punch someone soon.
My hands are covered in purple ink and I’m not quite sure how that happened. A website I need is currently giving me shit; it keeps asking me to reset my password and once it is reset, tells me it’s wrong and requests I reset it again. I would love to call the 800 number to get it fixed, but sadly I am trying to call Comcast during my free moments to get my service turned off before they charge me again. Comcast seems to be unable to assist me; they either put me on hold forever or tell me their system is down and to call back tomorrow.
This fat stinky old lady is standing up at my desk even though I told her twice to please have a seat and she will be called back when the doctor is ready for her. How hard is it to understand? Sit your ass down; standing up at my desk does not make anything go faster and only annoys me and blocks other patients from checking in or out. Before her, I had this guy that was leaning so far over my desk, I was afraid he would fall on my keyboard. Maybe he thought I was hard of hearing and I needed him to be 3 inches from my ear so I could hear him, I’m not sure.
Nearly every job I’ve held has required me to have a sunny and bright personality and to be happy as can be regardless of the situation. From working a cash register to waiting tables to supervising in retail to now managing a medical front office, my fake smile is what has to carry me through the day. I laugh at jokes that aren’t funny, I engage people in conversations when I don’t feel like talking, I listen to people discuss problems I don’t care about. I am the fakest person in the world.
Anyone that has had to put on a happy face in order to perform their job duties knows how tiring it can get. There are some days I begin to run out of niceness and I get the urge to start snapping at people. I suppose this is the main reason I come home cranky most days; I use up all my good attutide trying to get through an 11 hour day of being nice to people who don’t deserve it.
At times, I dislike the part of myself that allows me to act so fake and friendly at my place of employment. I feel like a phony at times. I know I shouldn’t, especially since the reason I was hired for my current job is due to the fact that I am good at acting like I care and I always smile. Regardless, I do wish that part of me didn’t exist because it makes me a liar of sorts.
Most days, I wish for a job where I don’t have to put on an act. A job where I don’t have to pretend to like anyone I don’t actually enjoy being around. A job where I’m allowed to cuss and throw things. A job where I can refuse service to anyone I choose not to deal with for whatever reason, big or small, I happen to have. If anyone knows where I can obtain such a job, please contact me immediately.