Sometimes writing this column is a huge blast, and sometimes it’s drudgery. Sometimes the back-and-forth gets really funny or passionate and sometimes angry, but it’s always an adventure. I always try to cut the fat out and get down to the nub of things as a rule. I can be mouthy and egoistic at times, but you know what I never do, ever? I never go after another columnist or critic or reporter and say, “God, that person is a waste of skin” or “Jesus, what a slimy disreputable jerkwad” or words to that effect.
Unless they go after me first, of course. Then all bets are off. But I never take the first shot because I don’t believe in hating on fellow journos unless, you know, they’re lying or being slanderous or are dealing heroin or molesting minors.
But I get hated on all the time. Every day of the week and twice on Sundays. Haters on comment threads are part of the rough and tumble — you have to roll with that — but what kind of a journalist/columnist/critic likes to shove a sword between the ribs of somebody who works on the same side of the fence? Life is hard enough, guys. I mean, seriously…how do you grow your uglies into a permanent tumor? I read one of their comments and I ask myself, “Oh, so I’m really bad, huh? Okay. So am I supposed to…what, stick my head in an oven? Throw myself on the steps of the nearest church and beg for forgiveness?” And then you have to stifle an urge to write them back and say something even snarlier.
Yesterday I posted a little note called “Little Marty Nudge” in which I asked the great and powerful Martin Scorsese to try and give a little thought to the Shane aspect-ratio scandal, which I wrote him about a week ago. It was just a thought so I posted it…big deal. And in response Newark Star Ledger critic Stephen Whitty tweeted the following: “Is there anything more sadly self-aggrandizing than ‘An Open Letter To’ someone who’d never take your call?”
The fuck? I’ve never been dumb enough to call Scorsese for that reason, but after I’ve received no response to a note I wrote a week earlier I don’t see what harm a little nudge-note amounts to. The shape of a Bluray-ed Shane is an important issue that I’m sure Scorsese has a strong conviction about so what’s the problem? Is Scorsese too important to be addressed in this manner? Does he poop Tiffany cufflinks? Is he given to secrecy and subterfuge and would therefore be grossly offended by an open letter?
I can tell you that if Whitty ever writes something that I don’t agree with, I will never tweet that he has disgusted or appalled me. Not my style.
An hour or two earlier JHoffman6 tweeted that “I can’t deny that I’m a little impressed Woody Allen weighed in on wellshwood’s windmill tilting.” In response to which Kris Tapley tweeted, “Yeah, but if he knew what we know…” What kind of a shitheel do you have to be to throw little dingleberries like that? “Yeah, we know better about what a problematic ayehole wellshwood is,” blah blah. Allow me to respond by saying that Tapley is a cranky, judgmental sourpuss who’s always looking to piss on something I’ve written or throw some kind of “nyah-nyah” or whatever. That is the kind of sour and diseased attitude I never fire at other journalists…unless provoked.
All I know is that there are some journalists who seem to live in order to condemn others in their field. It gets them off on some level. These are people who have Alien acid blood running in their veins. And I really get sick of this from time to time.