Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Am A Delicate Flower

In all honesty I do not mind when people say I suck. If I'm in a good mood, I laugh. If I'm in a bad mood, I cry quietly to myself in the privacy of my own home. But I don't, as it were, "object" to their opinion, or cry "How DARE you?" Because of course it's just a matter of taste, isn't it? It would be wonderful if everyone loved me, but I know that's not going to happen, and if someone thinks I'm painfully unfunny or woefully untalented, that's their opinion and there's no point getting indignant about it. It's entirely subjective, and one must accept that when someone says, "You suck" it's as true for them as "You're hilarious" is for someone who...thinks you're hilarious.

So that's all fine. I'm not saying I enjoy being insulted, and to be honest if you think I suck I'd rather you kept it to yourself rather than tell me personally, but you have every right to say it if you think it.

However, being actually misunderstood is a different thing. Being accused of doing or saying things that I haven't done or said is a different thing. Being characterised as something I'm not is a different thing. And that, I confess, pisses me off a tad.

In the distant and not-too-distant past, I've been accused of being a misogynist, a racist, a rape apologist and prejudiced against or uncaring about people with disabilities, among other things. I know I'll probably continue being accused of these things, because I'm not going to change the way I write or the way I joke for the sake of those who accuse me of them. But, as much as I'd love to say that stuff bounces off me as ineffectually as "You're not funny", it doesn't. It angries up my blood.

Because those things are not a matter of opinion. They are simply not true. Not at all. Not just untrue, they're abhorrent, opposed to all I stand for, and to a great extent they're attitudes of which I've personally and professionally always tried my utmost to represent the antithesis.

All of which is to explain why, if I get accused of these things, I will be angry. I will be furious. And I will not necessarily respond with a sweet and friendly demeanour. Not that you don't have the RIGHT to go throwing about ignorant accusations - it's just that I also have the right to give you the bollocking you deserve for it.

So yes, I am a delicate flower. I have many faults I will readily admit to - please do not think that if you try to lumber me with ones I don't have, I'm going to smile and nod.

After the break: Stupid Pet Tricks


cakey35 said...

Why not take it a step further and not give a fuck if they do think you are a rape apologist? Because you are funny! I hate Masterchef! Working in the industry I (it seems to be a consensus) find it ridiculously contrived. It is just one suspense filled trick played over ad nausem....But your article in the SMH was so wonderfully whimsical i almost forgot my hatred for just a second. That is a profound achievement, dear boy! And why does one have to be talented? What about just happy and not evil or negative? But you need not worry about such matters because you are talented and funny. Thanks Cakey

Anonymous said...

There's a lot of satirically challenged people out there and there's not much to say besides 'you just don't get it do you?'. Add in the chronically offended trawling the internetz looking to get an outrage boner and there you have it.

Personally, I'd create a feedback form that they have to spend an hour filling out only to discover that they have to print it out and post it. But then I am evil.

Anonymous said...

F**k you;, Ben, if you want to support the gay nazi whales then that's your bag but why bring it to my door? Alls I'm trying to do is pay tax! You might be left but I'm right so f**k you.

paul.robert.mcelwee said...

Onya for objecting to being misunderstood by knobs who just get it sooo wrong but I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it; one can't write to overcome stupidity. As Anon1 rightly points out, they're totally satirically challenged.

And "please" don't change the way you write, you're sharp, intelligent and throught-provoking and, above all, funny as all get out.

For what it's worth, I always find absolutely hilarious the totally confused comments to your pieces (especially in NM) of the format "How dare you write that! You're not funny and is not a subject to laugh about. You're obviously a ".

Don't sweat it - you do good work.

Betty said...

Oh Ben, it all sounds like a "Why doesn't he (they) like meeeee?" moment you're going through.
There, there....now get over it and keep writing for my entertainment pleasure. Thanks!

Caro said...

Don't loose sleep over it Ben. The world is full of nut bags looking for an outlet for their outrage and poor speling. 'Twas eva thus. By the way, what was with the anti-whale comment in the horoscope? If I knew you were a whale hater bent on inciting whale associated fear and resultant mob violence I never would have forwarded your post to so many of my friends.
Thin ice son.Very thin ice.

The musing mel said...

errr...have you been reading the *i thought, well hidden, pages of my diary?
Or even scarier, how did you get in my mind. JUST what i've been musing on today!