I have never claimed in my time as a blogger to be a good person. I’m quite the opposite, actually. I try my best to better myself because like everyone in this godforsaken world, I have issues. I am not perfect, though, and I have never claimed to be.
I am a work in progress as I’m sure most of you are. In my 26 years on this planet I’ve apologized for a lot of things that I felt I shouldn’t have to apologize for.
I’ve made amends with people who deep down in my soul I’ve hated with the fire of a thousand suns just because I needed to appease someone.
Not everyone has thick skin though and I sometimes forget about that when I’m spewing bullshit at a house party, at my place of work, or in a column. People get offended easily. This is 2017 after all, and in this day and age, it’s very easy to trigger someone that feels they’ve been slighted. I mention all of this because last night I caught the wrath of an offended millennial (who also happens to be a close friend) and boy oh boy did things go off the rails quickly.
One thing I have never done in my time as a writer is retract something that I have said in a blog. If I wrote it, I’m not going to take it down and take back what I said just because someone told me they didn’t like it.
If it gets published then that is that. I’ll stand by it.
I think most people can see that sometimes I’m not being totally serious. I’ve written a lot of silly things in my time as a writer (see “The Trouble With Condoms” and “An Investigation Into Why The Couple From ‘Closer’ Had To Steal A Mattress”) however, I realize that the internet is an insane place and anything I write can be taken out of context by someone, somewhere in the world.
I’ve had a lot of hot takes in my day and some of them I’ve been dead serious about and some of them were purely written to piss off the masses. I’m not going to tell you which are which because that wouldn’t be any fun, but by now you all know that I enjoy being controversial. It’s much more fun for me this way, and I think it’s more fun for the reader as well.
I’m writing this long winded blog about apologies and millennials because I almost caved and broke the one rule I have last night. I nearly took a piece down that I wrote recently because someone was very upset with the subject matter. Here’s what happened:
I sat in my living room enjoying an acclaimed horror movie called Raw when I was interrupted by the obnoxious buzz of my cell phone. It was a friend who had texted to tell me that one of my blogs had really rubbed them the wrong way.
I’m not going to mention any specifics about the blog (except to tell you that it wasn’t regarding The Chase) out of respect to the offended, but here is a tweet which I think can give you a little bit of context.
Sidenote: I know many of you would love to see me retire from blogging, but that’s just not going to happen. I love it too much.
Long story short, though, a friend of mine got a little offended and was basically (in the most indirect way possible) asking me to apologize and perhaps retract what I had said in the aforementioned piece.
I got on the phone with the hysterical party and explained where I was coming from when I wrote the piece. The person on the other end couldn’t really see my line of thinking because they were too riled up and we ended things on a bit of sour note.
I’d tell you what column it was that got this person so angry, but I promised to never write about them ever again so I need to keep specifics out of this. This whole thing got started because he/she was mentioned (not by name) in a column, they recognized that it was about them, and here we are.
Nothing got resolved other than me telling the person I was on the phone with that I was sorry they felt the way they did. So here is my message to that person (because I know they are reading this) and anyone else who has an issue with my writing: If you don’t like it, don’t read it. Nobody has a gun to your head.
Could I have let this whole thing slide off of my back and not write a scathing 1,000 word response today? Sure. But what fun would that be? Being petty is more fun than not being petty.
This is the internet and God knows there a million other people with blogs that are just begging to be read. I won’t bow down to someone and take something back that I’ve said in a blog just because a person’s feelings got hurt. I was actually offended that they were offended. It takes a lot of gall to text someone and tell them their blog needs to be taken down.
I hate the situation I was put in last night and venting about it here is what needed to be done for me to feel better. TFM’s Dan Regester once told me something that has stuck with me to this very day and I’ll tell it to you now – “Own Your Takes.”
I’m not a journalist for The New York Times. I write about my trials and tribulations with women. I wax poetic about Birkenstocks and summertime cocktails. I ask hard hitting questions that other writers wouldn’t dare go near like how much food is too much food on a first date before sex is out of the question?
I won’t apologize for anything I’ve written, and I’m certainly not going to retract a statement I made in a blog just because I got a few bitter text messages from an aggravated friend. Going forward I think we all need to have thicker skin. If you’ve got a problem with something I said in a blog, by all means, let me know about it. But don’t ask me for an apology and don’t ask me to take something down because of your delicate sensibilities.
The internet is the wild west and I’m about as tame as they come when you compare me to some of the psychos out there who write to much larger audiences than I do.
Have a great fucking weekend, everyone. I’ll be sipping Michelob Ultras in an undisclosed location without a care in the world. .
Image via Unsplash