Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Offensive

"Also, back to the Ferrari for a minute, there was that brief controversy about people who I thought were friends getting offended when they felt the wife and I were either bragging or ungrateful for the success we've had in life. That bothered me a lot more than it should. I had these brief fantasies about totally shutting down, but I like too many of you to let a few naysayers get to me. I once heard that successful people could only have successful friends because everyone else just ends up being a drag (actually, it was that rich people could only have rich friends, but if I imply we're rich I'll get more detractors and the wife will scream, "No we're not!")." - Dr Chako

I'm guilty. I'm one of the people who said mean things about Dr. Chako. I throw myself on the mercy of the court.

I'm not one of Dr Chako's friends, however. I'm definitely not one of the people "he thought were friends" whatever that means. I don't know him. People I do know say he's a wonderful person, and I have no reason to doubt that. If they say he's good people, that's good enough for me.

But let's face it. Some of the things he has posted are a tiny bit offensive. Not huge sins. Absolutely not "HOLY SHIT WHAT AN ASSHOLE" offensive. Just a tiny bit of "that's just not quite right" offensive.

Examples? Hmm. Posts about his "Ferrari fetish." Saying things like "The least expensive house on my block is worth $1.5 Million." The drama about his wife's job.  Trouble with the live-in servants. His job search and his lengthy commute. Everybody's life has shit, but for some reason a lot of his seems very shallow to me.

Nobody thinks he's "bragging" or "ungrateful." Nobody wishes any ill for him or his family. Nobody resents him for what he has. The bad news is that he is rich, no matter what his Vice President at HP wife says. (HP is a completely evil corporation btw, but that's beside the point. Maybe she's trying to remove the evil from the inside. I don't know.)

But why can't people who find things he says occasionally offensive be his friends? Why should he care if anyone's offended by how he talks about his life? His life is what it is. His troubles are absolutely as important to him as yours are to you and mine are to me. I write offensive things all the time. Everybody doesn't like me, and I can live with that. If I have ever written anything that's offensive to you, rest assured you are still allowed to be my friend, if you want. (I've no idea why you would, but that's your prerogative.)

Look, people are struggling out there. A person I know has been unemployed for two years with no unemployment benefits because he was a contract employee. He's 60 years old and all alone. He's losing his house and trying to sell his vehicle to pay for food. Trouble with the Au Pair just doesn't seem like a crisis to me by comparison. And I know, if you have an Au Pair and there's trouble, it probably sucks. But maybe you should keep some of those troubles to yourself?

I understand it's an online journal and you write about what's happening to you. But there's a fine line between talking about your life and whining about trivial things. Of course he's free to write about whatever he wants and if anyone doesn't like it they don't have to read it. Part of that freedom means others are equally free to criticize him. You take the bad with the good.

I'm sorry if I'm "a drag" because I'm not rich. I actually think I'm a moderately successful person. It was touch-and-go for me for a while, but I got lucky and caught a break. I had a very close look at a future that wasn't very bright, and I sympathize with the people who are facing that themselves. I don't resent anything Doc has. I'm not jealous of his life at all. I wouldn't trade places with him for a second. I have friends that are far more successful than me. I also have friends that are not. I don't think all rich people can only hang out with other rich people. But certain ones probably should.

I'm sure if I actually met the Doc I would like him. I'm almost positive he doesn't come across in his blog like he is in real life, at least not all the time. I'm sure that after what I've written he wouldn't like me. I'm sure he'll be offended by this. I'm offensive. It's what I do.

All I'm asking is, try to think about the people out there who are struggling and aren't sure where they're going to live next month before talking about how unhappy you are that your Ferrari is in the shop again. Is that too much to ask?

Everybody loves a Ferrari. Show off your Ferrari. Don't talk about Ferrari problems. Your Ferrari is in the shop? I know almost nothing about them but I thought that's what they did.

I have a ton of trivial problems in my life. Little shit that someone who is really struggling would find shallow and offensive. But I don't blog about them.

That's what twitter is for.

P.S. I know I'm an asshole for saying these things, but it's really what I think. Everybody out there that loves Doc and hates me, you're absolutely right, he's a better person than me. You don't have to tell me in comments, I already know.

5 comments:

HighOnPoker said...

Well, since you know, then I guess I don't have to say it.

Its starting to feel like 2008 all of a sudden. BLOGGER FLAME WAR!!!

SirFWALGMan said...

I still love you.

DrChako said...

To borrow a phrase from Harvey Penick, "If you play poker and blog, you're my friend."

Kudos to you for articulating what others may have been thinking. Of all the different opinions I've read, I actually think yours is the most fair. Like you, I have thrown myself onto the mercy of the blogosphere courts. My wife and I grew up dirt poor (her far more than me - she's a Wisconsin farm girl) and we've done rather well. That said (and I don't expect you or anyone else to believe this), it never occurred to me that anyone might be offended by my comments. That seems silly and naive now, but it's the absolute truth.

I have no intention of changing who I am or what I blog about, but I will try to be more sensitive.

If you're coming to WPBT, come up and introduce youself. I'll even buy the first round.

-DrC

The Wife said...

I would like to point out that "the least expensive house on our block is $1.5 million" is not a boast, but a statement about the ridiculousness of the California real estate market. That house is a 1,200 square foot remnant from the 1960's painted purple that hasn't been updated since it was built - not the mansion you might expect with a price tag like that. Which is why we are renters.

You are entitled to your opinion. However, we'd rather be judged by our actions than our blogs, and hopefully our friends do just that. Be happy to show you some old fashioned midwestern hospitality if we're ever face to face.

lightning36 said...

Waffles loves you so I do not know what to say.

Glad to see there is still a pulse in the blogger world.