So I’ve been having an e-mail debate about the subjectivity of ugliness and beauty with the boss (we tend to engage in philosophical arguments via e-mail for fun), so the subject’s been on my mind. Right now we’re having a spirited discussion on whether or not there can truly be such a thing as an objectively ugly thing – I’m holding that yes, in fact, there are certain patterns and colors that can be simply hideous beyond any shadow of opinion, and Jon is maintaining that it is all down to acculturation and taste.
It all started due to a rather unkind comment I’d made about the tie he’d chosen to wear on one of his television appearances, an alarmingly orange thing that he rather likes. But, because of who we are, the conversation has ranged from Edwardian wallpaper patterns and people with plates in their lips, to Napoleon III’s bad taste in art and my seventh grade geometry teacher’s Horrible Tie Collection. In other words, another typical exchange of wits with the Cranberry Quaffing Quixote.
Only in my life does bitching about someone’s sartorial choices lead to a half-week-long exploration into the theories of aesthetics, the philosophy of color, and the evolutionary development of the human features, but I wouldn’t trade it, the job, or the boss for the world.
So the concept of ‘ugly’ was on my mind, and it was rather apropos, then, to come downstairs to the computer this morning, pour myself a cup of coffee, open up my notifications, find a comment for me on one of my YouTube videos, and come face to face with this lovely little missive:
You’re so ugly. My hairy asshole is prettier. Stop spamming on grants page you fucking idiot. Broke loser!
Ah. Well, I should have expected that. I had been a naughty girl last night, and so this was no surprise. To explain: last night, one of the crew on SPs R Us put out a call to re-remind folks that Grant Cardone, a so-called “entrepreneur,” is in fact merely a Scientology shill and that following his advice, if it doesn’t lead you into the hellhole of debt that is a WISE membership, will at least have you funneling hard cash into Tom Cruise’s next birthday fund.
So I went to his YouTube and Facebook pages and threw a few Xenu.net links and other assorted bits of info around, and so of course some of his followers got a bit miffed and reacted predictably. At least my correspondent had used “you’re” instead of “your,” so I decided there was at least half a brain cell functioning there, and tried to engage the person in conversation, perhaps even get him to look at the links and then run away from Cardone and his ilk. As of my typing this, I’ve received another reply:
must be frustrating to be broke eh ? Either you’re broke, lonely and you haven’t had sex in 30 years or you’re seeing your abandoned dreams picked up by winners ;).
Once again, the commenter is trying to rile me, rather than look at the information, so I wrote a polite note back telling him to look at the information or not, and that I’ll engage if he wants to talk, but insults are going to be ignored. It’s funny; after all this time, it doesn’t even get a rise from me, but more a sense of vague disappointment. This guy thinks I’m only doing this because I’m jealous of rich people and the purely financial success of Scientology “whales” like Cardone.
Jealous? of that lifestyle? no, thank you. They might have more cash to flash, but I know that I won’t be pulled in at a moment’s notice to have another fourteen to forty grand a pop bled from those big accounts, just for the privilege of getting grilled for a few hours about why I haven’t spent more money on Scientology. Cardone might look like he’s having fun, but I can guarantee you the party’s getting just a little strained, and I wouldn’t wish the Fleecewinds experience on my worst enemy.
I’ll probably get another answer about how poor and ugly I am, but I know I’m neither, so it doesn’t even raise a flutter. Not only am I making a living, it’s an honest living, doing what I know is good work. Skin = thickened.
But what was I doing, spamming Grant Cardone’s pages in the first place? Why poke the proverbial bear?
First off, I do want to put out one important disclaimer: anything I do against Scientology or its minions is on my own time, and not on the professional clock. I make my living creating an antidote and educating people about the disease of undue influence, not railing against its symptoms. It’s just that I share a hobby with former BBC Panorama reporter John Sweeney: some men play golf, others build model railways, Sweeney and I like to annoy the Church of $camology. Now, Jon (Atack, not Sweeney) has never told me explicitly to lay off – he’s not that kind of boss, and more importantly, not that kind of friend, but I do get the idea that he disapproves of some of my more blatant Co$ critic behavior, and I must admit he’s got a point. For one thing, a lot of it (at least the arguing part of it) is a waste of time. For another thing, unless you keep a respectful keyboard under your fingers, you might as well leave it alone – just because you’re right doesn’t give you license to be rude. I do my best to keep my tone light and friendly when I’m talking directly to people, even when they’re insulting me, because just shouting insults at people never encourages them to look at things from your point of view.
That’s something I wish more of my fellow critics would remember, because that’s one very good reason why Jon and a few of the other “old guard” dislike such tactics – because it’s too easy to be nasty. Indeed, I started off pretty nasty myself, when addressing Cardone’s page in general, and perhaps it would have been better to be friendly right off. As it was, at least one person who’d been looking at his page thanked me for the information, and if I can keep at least one person from falling into the Scientology trap, then I consider last night’s “spamming” mission a success, and not at all a waste of time.
Any case, here’s the youTube vid my correspondent chose to engage me on:
I still think the tie is ugly, though.
Now, back to work!