Sunday I got too comfortable recording and shot my mouth off during a YouTube exclusive segment. Sadly, I opined on a subject that Garin was passionate about. The resulting negativity was about 4 minutes of strong opinions and unnecessary vulgarity. I won't lie. I chuckled about it during the editing process. I could lie and say that I considered removing that bit. I didn't. I thought people would laugh. I thought people would roll their eyes at my cheeky belligerence.
No one laughed. Two people commented very passionately about how much we had offended them. Some part of their offense was that they incorrectly assumed that we owned a comic book shop and were complaining about missing out on making maximum money (I complained about people buying comics just to flip them on the internet.) I can actually understand their offense. It is the second time in the history of recording our show that I have immediately felt bad about showing out badly on the internet. We call the other ,"The Tom King incident." I really don't like talking about it at all, but I have a feeling eventually I will pay for that rant.
When the first comment hit YouTube I was shocked. I never considered defending my position. I knew I was wrong. I apologized. I wish I had been forward thinking enough to just take the post down and edit it at that point. I wasn't. I felt this unfamiliar anxiety. My guts were squirming with guilt ferrets. It wasn't as if I have never said something wrong or untoward on the internet. Read this blog long enough and I will say some fool thing that will offend you in the moment.
Let me take this moment to be clear about that. I have NEVER written a post to intentionally hurt someone's feelings. I have NEVER set out to attack anyone (that I recall). My purpose with the blog, more so when it is controversial, is to provoke thought and conversation. Sometimes I get the notes of the song wrong and screw that up. For every post I actually publish there are 2 drafts abandoned. I mostly do think these things through even though they are not proofread for spelling, grammar, or continuity issues. This is a therapeutic tool for me. I feel mostly safe showing vulnerability. I feel like I can be honest... because what is the point if I cannot? I hate that I don't have the strength to be unabashedly honest with all aspects of my life. Maybe it is my insecurity showing that I don't feel like the majority of the world would like an unedited version of me.
To be clear, acting a fool and running my mouth on YouTube was not about showing my truth. No I went negative and attacked a type of comic book customer. It didn't advance any conversation. It really didn't need to be said. It wasn't the act of a brave person standing up to right a wrong. It was the behavior of a loud mouthed blow hard popping off at the mouth about something meaningless. That is probably why I dealt with guilt ferrets the size of chunky trash pandas doing a polka through my intestines and testicles. They always go for the giblets. Bastards.
So why is it a lesson I still need learning? Well, I knew better. The aforementioned "Tom King incident," kicks me in the booty. (Ok, so I went totally off the rails about Tom King as a writer after reading the first issue of his Batman run.Cursing. Ranting. Showing my ass. Later, I really liked what he did with the character. The experience made me vow to never bash a writer or artist on the podcast. I have stuck pretty close to that one. Hopefully, Tom King will never hear me acting a fool. No one has ever called me out on it but still.) As for the YouTube thing I apologized in the comments a couple of times. We cleared things up. I eventually decided to edit the episode and upload it again. (it bothers me that reupload isn't a word recognized by spellcheck) I deleted the old one. I hope we didn't lose subscribers or listeners, but I don't have a choice except to live with it if we did.
I am kicking my own ass hard because I know better. I have made the negative mistake a few times in the last week or so. In examining my behavior I have to admit that I may be acting out a bit to deal with things that are stressing me out. I damn sure know better than to do that.
I have all these rules that I work at living by. Sure, it is an imperfect process, but I don't think that I had one to cover this situation. I could argue that Don't get caught applies here. Pick your battles certainly is relevant. Don't pick a fight you have no way of winning? Maybe.
Don't deal in the trivial. Wow. I need that one tattooed somewhere I can see it. I totally botched that one. A big part of not dealing in the trivial is about having some class. I missed that boat entirely on the show and with my last blog post. Ugh. Fail.
Do not take the actions of others personally since they are not about you. Forgot that one in my reactions. Shit. I know I just talked about having some class, but I am betting even the Queen of England drops the S word on occasion at a personal bugle. I can imagine if she lopped off an ear while knighting someone that," Well, Shit," would be an entirely acceptable response.
The good news is that it is good to fail. You have an opportunity to really learn something by your failure. Let me try that again. I can take this opportunity to learn from my failures. What did I learn? Do I need to develop a new rule? Well, let's review.
I got upset at work Thursday of last week and got beside myself for nothing. I "got my way," in the end of that situation. Even if I hadn't it wouldn't have been a big deal. I felt bad about getting in my feelings and handling it poorly. I recovered the situation and got control of myself. I did probably beat myself up about it after the fact. Shaming myself is an ineffective strategy. I did recover from that...mostly... eventually. I still feel a little silly and ashamed.
Friday new drama went off at home. While I understand some of the source of the upset, I really don't understand how it got so out of hand. I was angry. Then I did a very healthy thing and processed my real feelings. I owned the fact I was disappointed and hurt.
Then I screwed up. Again. I went negative in a blog post. I also went petty and spiteful. Sure, the tone of what I was saying was taking the most positive position possible I chose to leave in a bunch of angry thoughts and gave them the strike-through font modification. Was I choosing to pick a fight and hurt feelings on the internet because the drama that came at me was about things I posted on the internet? Guilty as charged. Is there any way to "win" that fight? Nope. It is already lost. I could have kept my mouth shut (fingers off the keys maybe) and been righteous in my behavior. I didn't. I took passive aggressive revenge stupidly.
The funny part is, I didn't feel any better for any of it. I hesitated to post anything. It would have served a therapeutic purpose to have written it and left it unpublished. Instead, it took a fairly good observation about a happy guy who has a tough job and tainted the whole thing. That was stupid of me. I have kicked myself around about it emotionally since the post went up. I lost my chance to stay out of a metaphorical fight by taking a swing of my own. Didn't help me. I don't have the moral high ground. I am just as wrong, and probably the bigger asshole because while lashing out I was talking about having my feelings hurt. That is a hypocritical move which is never a good look on anyone. Double shit.
Wonder if I talked trash on my (vlog?) podcast because of my negative mental state? I admit that I probably lashed out where I thought it was safe. That is what the world needs; publicly announced negative sentiment inspired by personal hurt and insecurity. Not my finest moment. Not a demonstration of my ideals. Piss poor behavior. Yep. Shit.
Now you might be reading this and think I am beating myself up. I am not. This isn't a shaming session. I am trying to take an honest and objective look at my thoughts, feelings, motivations, and behaviors in order to learn something. Editing out the segment is not the same thing as undoing my behavior. I could delete the blog post. I cannot take back the words. If they were read or not I thought them and expressed them. While I am not a fan of being on my high horse it is nice when I can honestly say that I behaved in a reasonable manner. I didn't. Shit and Double Shit.
Yeah. Apologies are going to be necessary. I am not even excited to talk about the whole situation, and to do the right thing I am going to have to admit that my reaction to it was not right. Damn. Apologies are not my best thing. I don't even feel comfortable being apologized to. I normally go out of my way to not do something that I have to apologize for in the first place. I certainly shit the bed on that one. Damn it.
Ok, so. On the Rules Front I need to add;
Reflect. Do not React.
I feel like I have written several posts about the damage I have done reacting. There is a quote something along the lines of,"If you are patient in one moment of anger you will save yourself one hundred days of sorrow." I am fairly certain that is a Chinese proverb. I know it well enough to be able to at least paraphrase it, but I don't apply it worth a damn. I need to work on that.
It was healthy to express my real emotions. I could have left off the angry nonsense. I also might should consider the benefits of posting something publicly. I will defend that one a bit. I understand that things I post for the public to read are subject to all kinds of judgement and criticism.
I am generally not overly sensitive when someone makes fun of this. I was literally bullied at work in the most weak and passive aggressive way possible, but I don't particularly respect the bullies so it failed on every front except that I noticed it. I also write things without explaining what has inspired them which leaves things open to translations, interpretation, and most people cannot help but feel I am talking about them or someone they know. I COULD be more specific, but by speaking in vague and general terms I can share my thoughts and feelings in hopes of inspiring thought and maybe positive change without putting anyone on blast.
I enjoy blogging and don't plan to give it up even when it does blow up in my face like this. I am not always going to write about shiny happy things (or shiny happy people singing happy songs). Life isn't all one thing or the other. I want to write a rule about not going negative in public, but I don't know that it is realistic. Perhaps the moral of the story lies in not venting negative emotions publicly?
There is quite a difference in writing about some negative experience and how I felt about it rather than blasting out negative feelings that I haven't really processed. That is pretty well covered in Reflect. Don't React. I would say I could go with something about not being an asshole in public. The major problem there is that I am just an asshole in general.
God help me. Is it time to think about outgrowing that? I will have to reflect on that one a while. I certainly don't want to react too quickly and do something foolish.
All this has worn me out. It is funny how little emotional drama it takes to exhaust me. Quick. Someone tell a fart joke. Throw a pie. Smash my toenails with a hammer. Ugh. I just want to get away from all this emotional stuff. I am going to eat something bad for me and watch more of The Umbrella Academy on Netflix.