Friends, Romans, Countrymen: lend me your eyes; I come to bury Robin, not to praise her!
Welcome to Friday Feedback, our weekly scraping of the callouses from the feet of this blog with a literary cheese grater.
OK, you think that sucked? You try coming up with a weekly bodily reference to illustrate what Friday Feedback means. Jeez, you people…
This week someone took me to task not for being a lousy writer or for giving bad advice, but rather for his perception that I may be slacking off. In response to Monday’s blog concerning “that” time of the month, I received this comment from “Dan.”
“Oh, Robin…I said, shaking my head sadly.
“You’re better than this. Recycling previous posts from scantly six months ago? Repeated absences and excuses to cut other entries short? These are not the professional and consistent front that will make you a star.
“You’ve the humor, intelligence, and snark to make it really big. It’s not going to happen, though, without better consistency in your presence, and I’m sure you know these repostings aren’t going to do you any favors.”
Dan is enough of a fan to recognize that I recycled an old blog for golocalpdx. That’s what you get for being environmentally conscious these days. Dan also noticed that my word count has gone down a bit lately.
What Dan doesn’t know is how much time I am spending on a couple other projects right now, and I confess to being a bit peeved at him.
However, upon reflection (I do that every now and again) and a discussion with Mr. Patience and Understanding and Mr. Patience and Understanding, Jr., I realized that Dan was prodding me to be better. He’s a real fan: the kind that will praise you when you deserve it and call you on your bullshit when you deserve that too. That’s a also a characteristic of a great friend.
Dan, all content from here on out will be fresh and lively. If I cannot post on a given day (like yesterday) I’ll just post something especially wonderful on the following day. While I do have many very serious and demanding projects in front of me, I will give each of them my very best effort, rather than giving short shrift to some.
Thank you for giving me a kick in the ass. Now go do some amateur electrical work near a leaky pipe while wearing your metal golf spikes, you little turd.
I received a wonderful message this week from “Reese,” who wrote to me for advice about winning back an old friend she had dumped in a huff. You can read it here: My Friend Won’t Forgive Me.
“Robin, I actually sent the letter you suggested. I was worried I wouldn’t hear anything from her but I did. She called me and we went to lunch last week and reconnected in a much deeper way than my previous efforts. We are definitely back on track.
“I don’t know how to thank you except I know you like wine so please give me your address and I’ll send you something. Merry Christmas and thank you so much!”
Well, Reese, thank you for making my morning. I’m glad you were able to work things out and salvage the relationship.
Sometimes friends just take a break from each other, but that doesn’t mean it has to be forever. Then again, sometimes it does. The key is knowing the difference and acting accordingly.
As for sending me wine, thank you but payment is not necessary. Have you forgotten that I give free advice that’s worth every penny?
Last but most certainly not least, I wrote an opinion piece about the Heisman Tropy Awards Ceremony for golocalpdx this week that went viral. You can read it here: A Sour Ending to the Heisman Trophy Award Ceremony.
The overwhelming response from those people who have average-to-above-average reading comprehension ability was positive. Those people understood that I was advocating announcing the vote count after the ceremony and/or in any other different way than at the event while the cameras were on the other two finalists.
Those people who struggle with words and their meaning attacked me because they thought I was arguing the vote count shouldn’t be made public at all. Reading is HARD, yo!
Here’s the thing: I LOVE it when people disagree with me and comment on my work. What I don’t love is when they do it in a hateful and purposefully ignorant way, twisting the real meaning of the words I write and accusing me of putting forth a position I never did.
Many folks believe the vote count should remain a part of the ceremony while all the finalists are still on camera because it’s an exciting part of the show and flattering to all the players (although this year, given the discrepancy in the votes, I would argue otherwise). Here’s a perfect example of a thoughtful comment:
“Great column but don’t agree that it was humiliating for the ‘losers.’ It’s very common for the actual percentages of the voting to be known both in the heisman and many, many other individual awards: NBA MVP, defensive player of the year, rookie of the year, etc etc. in fact I think that’s the case in the majority of awards given.
“It’s just something people are interested in. I doubt either ‘loser’ cared one whit about the margin of the vote. They were undoubtedly happy to be included in such an illustrious group.”
To people like Mr. Walker I say: I respect your opinion and appreciate your alternative perspective. The fact is, none of us are making those decisions so this is just an exercise in debate. Thank you for weighing in with your thoughts on the subject!
However, many other readers were downright nasty. Here are just a few examples (all sic, by the way):
“You don’t know a damn thing about it or sports in general. Your talkin on a world you have nothin to with. It’s obvious, I’m sure you meant well but you talk like a mom that was told second hand from another mom over coffee or some ish. Learn what your talkin about before you make yourself look stupid. That goes for anyone your not any different or gonna get special treatment because your a woman.”
John Gdog Gertson:
“Stupid article. The trophies for participating and orange slices ends in elementary school. They show the vote count every single year and I’m sure he could give a rip what you think of his socks anyway!”
“Way to pull yourself into his limelight. It’s his day. So don’t show the runner up stats, just because they didn’t win? Just give everyone that tryed a gold star. And the fans pick the uniforms…”
“Take a break! I hope he never calls you. Making it seem like he needs to weigh-in….. Class like that has no comment. Call the trust not him. Ask him to rip the system? Way to try to pull him down!!!! He’s not stupid enough to get wrapped up in your simple minded, loosely formed thoughts.”
“You’re a bitch, shut up.”
“What a stupid article. The vote count is always put in the show no matter if its 1 vote or 100 for the difference. Don’t comment on things you know nothiing about. She is an idiot.”
I could go on, but I won’t.
There were many positive comments as well. If you would like to comment or just read them all you can visit the golocalpdx Facebook page here and scroll until you find the article: GoLocalPdx Facebook page.
Because I have not yet learned the number one lesson of writing on the internet (DON’T FEED THE TROLLS!) I responded to these morons:
“The amount of anger being vomited in the comments here is puzzling and disturbing. This was a simple opinion piece concerning a ceremony, not football as a sport. The Ugly Duckling fans that other teams are always complaining about? Well now I have truly met them and they are many of you.
What in the hell has you so incredibly fired up? I understand and respect and admire folks who disagree – that’s what this is all about! But why so flipping vitriolic? How can a message about kindness make you so viciously negative? I mean, it’s just weird. Then again, it underscores the entire point of where we are as a society, so I’ll thank you for that.
Also puzzling are the people who seem not to understand I had no issue with the figures being released AT ALL but it felt weird and tacky to broadcast them live right at that moment while the other two finalists were on camera.
Clay Tyler: “She’s an idiot.” Let me guess – you neither attended nor graduated from U of O or any other college or university. Let’s not start labeling me as unintelligent if you couldn’t even progress past your GED.
The same goes for Chris Gilbertson, who apparently thinks I am some sort of bored housewife who discusses college football over coffee with women. LOL – that was a good one. Chris is also is the arbiter of who is and is not a true sports fan, so please be sure to contact him to receive your bona fide Chris Gilbertson Sports Fan Card (I think there will be a test so you may want to bone up on some rules and statistics.)
Finally Chris, seriously: learn the difference between “your” and “you’re.” Also, “talking” has a “g” at the end, although I am writing so that could be a better descriptor.
David Goertzen (he commented that only men should be allowed to write about football): You sound like a raging yet simplistic man from another era, an era during which you big boys got to tell us little girls what to do. It must make you sad that you have to share the world with women now.
Mike Perryman: please look up the term “humor” and consult with a grade school teacher to explain it to you. That goes for anyone else who thinks I had a conversation with Mariota about his socks.
Casey Campbell: I write about many things that upset me and quite a few things that don’t. You should try it some time.
Mike Perryman: You think I wrote this to pull myself into his limelight? I had ZERO idea this story would take off as it did. I wrote it because the event both moved and disappointed me.
Shannon Thorson: step away from the keyboard and drink a glass of water.
Todd Helton: The meaning was twofold: one, to express pride in and awe of Mr. Mariota. The second was to comment upon the timing and tone of the stat broadcast. I hope this helps with your head scratching!
Michael Mager: I think you meant to say “must have” been desperate, not “must of.” You’ll have to take that one up with golocalpdx.com.
That is the last time I will respond to any comment based not upon logic and reason but rather simpleminded ad hominem attacks. I’ve learned my lesson.
Well this post is FAR too long, but I hope Dan will take it as an olive branch after my absence yesterday. As of today, my story about the Heisman ceremony was the second-most read for the past 30 days, so I’ll take that as a sign that I’m on the right track.
Happy Friday and have a great weekend!