Bill Corbett

Corbett's tumbly-thing

Repeat offender: ME

On two separate occasions this week I managed to offend some people strongly on Twitter.  In the first case, it was mostly one guy.  In the other, quite a few people were upset.  …And I mean, right out of the gate, screaming FUCK YOU ASSHOLE -level upset.

Sometime in the near future I hope to have time to parse through the specifics of this, and let my pedantry flag fly.  But I’m too busy with work and family right now, and it’s theoretically a holiday, so that has to wait to be done with the care it deserves.

For now, I’ll say:  I don’t think even my biggest un-fan would say that my humor, writing, etc. relies mostly on being mean, offensive, and (sorry, this word was tired even 15 years ago) “edgy.”   The short version is: it’s never my goal to get attention mostly by being an unrepentant dick, and I don’t think any fair person could say that’s what I do — in any aspect of my career, including my years of MST3K / RiffTrax.

But when you’re in the humor and art biz, it is INEVITABLE that you will offend people, maybe many people, over time.  And sometimes they have a good case for suggesting that you’re an unrepentant dick, and other times they don’t.  A lot of stuff falls in the middle on that unrepentant-dickery continuum, too.

Humor is VERY subjective, and can become very personal.  My goal in life is not to make people feel shitty about themselves and the world, unless — perhaps — it’s a person who is making the world a significantly shittier place.  Even that type of humor can go sour quickly, in my opinion.

All this is to say:  I’m not trying to hurt people.  But nobody in comedy can take care of everyone’s feelings, all the time, and function for long.  IM - POSSIBLE.  And sometimes if a person says: “You hurt me and people like me with that remark,” I think twice, and feel bad about it, and apologize, and resolve to do better in the future.  

And sometimes I consider it and think “Sorry, I don’t feel so bad about that. Can’t help you with those feelings.”  This is especially true when I think the person has fundamentally misinterpreted the intention or meaning of the joke, Twitter crack, rant on the city bus, etc.  I happen to think this was true of BOTH my recent Twitter tussles, but sometimes it also does come down to: “I see this subject differently than you do.”  …at which point, there’s nowhere to go but hopefully you can end it civilly.  (And while I love Twitter for many things, it’s a terrible place to debate heated issues.)

However!  If instead of saying a version of “You hurt me etc. and here’s why etc.”, you come at me guns-a-blazin’ and poo-a-flingin’, and expect me to feel guilty about your feelings..? And be [*shudder*] “educated?”  …Well, then we will get nowhere fast.  You might feel Internet-powerful for a second (it fades SO fast, kids), but you won’t get much empathy from me.  You probably won’t even get my attention for more than a second, because it’ll be easy for me to say: “Unreasonable, poo-flinging jagoff. Blocked.”

Holy crap, this was the SHORT version.  

Truthfully, I may or may not have time to post a more substantive piece on this anytime soon. (By substantive, I mean analyzing these two particular experiences this week in their specificity.  I am a goddamned pedant, I am not kidding.)

But in the meantime, in the interest of keeping the peace and offending nobody: cute bunny 4 u.  (as seen above!)

Happy Independence Day.  May you be free of non-cute bunnies, and tyranny!

Bill

************

[UPDATE: one of the first bits of Twitter feedback I got, like a minute after posting this  —

you still don’t get it, and your non-apology doesn’t help.”

Oh, I think I do get it.   

So, being clearer:  I am not apologizing above. 

As for “doesn’t help?”  Doesn’t help what, exactly? 

Maybe it doesn’t help your feelings of rage and aversion and I HATE YOU ASSHOLE or whatever.  But as I tried to say as civilly as possible above, there may be nothing I can do about that.  And if you come at me like a jerky, condescending undergrad, I actually don’t want to do anything about it.  Sorry, I’m an artsy-fartsy comedy-type, not Gandhi.  (Even he would have lost patience with Twitter trolls.)

I may try to parse through the specific Twitter mess in the future if there’s time, because I think it DOES merit more care than Twitter poo-flinging allows, or than I have time for now.  If that doesn’t satisfy some Twitter debate-masters, and you unfollow / boycott / etc., knock yourselves out.  Announce it to the world, and savor your victory. I accept that so hard it’s not even funny.  

But for now, this will have to do.  And I reserve the right to wake up tomorrow and say “Eh, it’s not worth it.”]


  1. withthingsunreal reblogged this from mistahgrundy
  2. idreamofpunk reblogged this from billcorbett and added:
    Simply put, that’s what happens when you simply berate or brow-beat people with whatever cause you may have. You come...
  3. diaryofacomicbookgoddess reblogged this from billcorbett
  4. kotbegemot reblogged this from billcorbett and added:
    Oh, please. Don’t pull...tone argument bullshit. When you call someone
  5. somelikeitlukewarm reblogged this from billcorbett and added:
    didn’t read all...but “tranny”...really offensive slur,
  6. ludovicah reblogged this from billcorbett and added:
    Bill, I know you to be a lovely guy, and I watched that whole thing in absolute horror. It’s all about knocking down the...
  7. rwmead reblogged this from billcorbett and added:
    This piece is interesting for a number of reasons....situation that caused
  8. trilies reblogged this from lobst
  9. pilotfiveold reblogged this from bruceykinns
  10. shadoestar reblogged this from billcorbett and added:
    five year old kid shortening...learn something new every day.
  11. popelizbet reblogged this from theangryblack
  12. theangryblack reblogged this from ktempest and added:
    Love how “It’s Comedy" is always the excuse…
  13. ktempest reblogged this from billcorbett and added:
    I think Bill needs to Google “The Tone Argument” to understand why all of this is highly inadequate. But he won’t...
  14. lobst reblogged this from bigpoppaplumps and added:
    First I find out Mike Nelson is a paranoid Christian conservative, and now this. Fantastic; another of the comedy icons...
  15. nots-funratu reblogged this from bigpoppaplumps and added:
    yeah i did not see that part and that part is not cool. at all. i trust he won’t make such jokes in the future. but i...
  16. wallflowerdalek reblogged this from billcorbett and added:
    when you’re using words...PEOPLE SCREAM AT US AS THEY KILL US
  17. thefightingnerd reblogged this from billcorbett
  18. hexm reblogged this from dickclops
  19. officer1bdi reblogged this from owljolson and added:
    I had to go to Corbett’s Twitter page to see what this was all about. I now regret giving him the page hit. :|
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