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What It Would Be Like If YOUR Job Was In The Spotlight

phil

So, uh, some bearded swamp dweller doesn’t think being gay is right because buttholes = gross? And people are upset, and more importantly, shocked, by this feral human’s comments?

Put aside the fact that Robertson is completely entitled to his opinion, and that said opinion is pretty benevolent compared to a lot of other people like him. He basically just shrugged and said, “Yeah I don’t like it.” If only he had continued by asking, “How is this question relevant to Duck Dynasty again?”

It’s hard for me to understand why Phil Robertson’s opinion on things not related to beards, camouflage, or duck hunting is important to people, or why it’s worth getting upset over. Oh, right, he’s on TV. That’s why. Highly watched show + highly controversial topic + highly controversial opinion about highly controversial topic = people will pay attention to you if you talk about it. I wonder if anyone other than Robertson even really believes what they’re saying, at least as much as their fervor suggests they do.

Aw but ain’t that America?

Phil Robertson doesn’t exactly influence the nation’s opinions on homosexuality and gay rights, and if he did then America would have way worse things to worry about, specifically Robertson himself, likely because for him to have that sort of influence Robertson would have to had become a fearsome Swamp Lord who ruled over vast swathes of bayou no longer loyal to the United States while commanding an army of Mongol like Cajuns, a conquering horde mounted on airboats instead of horses. This is what the apocalypse will look like all across the Gulf Coast.

I feel for Robertson. The guy was just giving his opinion — his understandable in context and absolutely ridiculous in delivery opinion. HOW CAN YOU TAKE SERIOUSLY THE BELIEFS OF A MAN WHO USES THE GROSSNESS OF BUTTHOLES TO JUSTIFY THOSE BELIEFS!?!?!

Alas, that’s what happens when you’re on TV. That’s what happens when your job puts you in the spotlight. You can’t do anything right. And if you do, congratu-fucking-lations on doing something right. You want a cookie, dick? Now do it right again a thousand times or FUCK YOU. If Robertson had said something pro-gay, he might not have been suspended from his TV show, but his sizable, southern evangelical fan base sure would’ve been pissed. There still would have been a shit storm.

I can in no way fathom what it’s like to have Robertson’s professional level of visibility, or fame, or whatever you would like to call it. I do, however, know what it’s like to work in a spotlight, albeit one stocked with the dimmest of low wattage bulbs. I know what it’s like to have complete strangers, relatively en masse, tear down my opinions and deride, often without warrant or logic, my life and work. For example, I’m not so sure that just because one of my jokes wasn’t funny I should swallow a knife because said un-funniness means I’m the biggest waste of jizz in human history, much more so than any errant load blown into a sock because that sock only cost $3 but raising me cost $200k. I’M JUST TRYING TO MAKE YOU LAUGH YOU BASTARDS! IS THAT SO WRONG!?!?!

*runs to the bathroom crying*

The audience I write for isn’t the most forgiving, believe it or not, but that happens anywhere.

Hearing that kind of stuff sucks at first, in fact it’s a really huge mind fuck at first, but you get used to it. The people who comment and tweet really don’t have any appreciation for the fact that they’re speaking to, and about, another human being. I know I didn’t used consider that. I used to be as ignorant about it as Kim Kardashian’s dense, talentless, fat, fame-whoring ass is about her own useless, pathetic crawl through life.

Criticism is both welcome and necessary, and the audience’s “opinions” are their right. Furthermore, when you put yourself out there, into a spotlight, as a TV star, writer, placekicker, musician, or whatever, you agree to a sort of unwritten (and very loose) social contract which guarantees that along with whatever benefit you may have from being in that spotlight, there will be backlash and consequences. As the size, and irrationality, of the spotlight and benefits increase, so too do the backlash and consequences that come with them.

This isn’t to say that jobs at which this occurs are more difficult. They’re not. Usually they’re laughably easily, actually, even with all that crap considered. That’s another reason it’s more acceptable to unsympathetically and viciously skewer the people who work them. Even if their job requires talent, and couldn’t be done by 99.9% of the population skewering them, it isn’t exactly hard work. There’s a reason it’s socially acceptable to say, “Everyone involved with that movie deserves to have everything they love taken from them and killed, in front of their eyes, because that’s what watching this was like.” Meanwhile, if a firefighter has a bad day, nobody’s all like, “It’s okay, if that child you couldn’t rescue hadn’t died in the fire she would have killed herself after she saw how terrible you are at your job, not wanting to exist on the same planet with someone as incompetent as you.”

Still, I wish everyone could experience that type of scrutiny, even on a base level. Imagine if your job, and subsequently your life to some extent, was nitpicked and critiqued, without regard for consequence or even the need to make sense, by total strangers. Imagine you’re a salesman who couldn’t close on a potential client. It’s one thing to possibly receive a reprimand from your boss, and you’re probably already feeling pretty shitty about failing, but normally you would suck it up and brush it off, unless you were old and upset about the fact that no one in your family had amounted to anything, then you might commit vehicular suicide. Assuming, however, that you aren’t a tragic Arthur Miller-esque character (though you’re well on your way), your feelings of mediocrity after a failed sale are now being compounded by the peanut gallery, which is reminding you that you failed, and probably in the dumbest ways possible.

“Is that how you try to close on women too? Nothing of value will ever touch your dick or your wallet.”

“To avoid that happening next time just do exactly what you did this time, but remove all the suck from the equation, or, in other words, remove yourself. You suck.”

“ur gay”

Going full Willy Loman at 80mph into a brick wall doesn’t seem so bad now.

Perhaps you made the mistake of thinking you did a good job. Say you’re a nurse who helped a doctor during a code, though your role wasn’t huge, per se. You walk away satisfied, thinking you’ve done well. WRONG ASSHOLE YOU DON’T GET TO HAVE NICE FEELINGS.

“Congrats on handing stuff to the actually talented people in the room. Go back to what you’re good at, which is nothing. But hey, somebody’s gotta wipe messy, incontinent assholes and change pee bags. Congrats on your life.”

“That person was actually trying to die because they knew you were their nurse.”

“u r gay”

Now multiply the amount of those reactions by at least ten, and remember that they’re happening every day. Also keep in mind that all of your opinions, should you have the NERVE to voice them, will be considered invalid, offensive, and idiotic (and, of course, gay) by at least half the people following you. HOW DARE YOU SPEAK! PERSON WHO I CONSTANTLY FOLLOW TO SEE WHAT THEY SAY AND DO! Eventually it’s going to wear on you, and at first it can seem relentless.

I could go on and on, but you get the point, which is that when you’re put in a spotlight like Phil Robertson, by virtue of not living up to every single person’s expectations, u r gay, and Phil Robertson thinks that’s wrong, but it’s wrong to be angry about what he thinks is wrong, because he’s entitled to his opinion, but because he’s famous it’s okay to make fun of that opinion, but only because he’s famous, not because you shouldn’t have actual respect for that opinion. Wait, what? Fuck I’m confused. Can we just not give a crap about any of this?

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Rob Fox

Rob Fox is a Senior Writer for Total Frat Move (as Bacon), Rowdy Gentleman, and Post Grad Problems. He is a graduate, without honors, from the University of Missouri. From St. Louis originally, he currently lives in Austin, Texas, and still has not admitted to his family what he does for a living. He is also prone to having wet nightmares ever since losing his virginity in a haunted house. Email: rob@grandex.co

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