F*ck the Cheap Seats
“If you don’t vote, you can’t complain about politics.”
Keith hates it when I say this because he so desperately DOES want to complain, but he also understands the great hypocrisy of complaining about a system in which he doesn’t even participate.
I’ve stopped engaging him when he does rant about politics - not because I disagree but because I fundamentally believe in our responsibility to participate in the systems of democracy. We have this supposed free and equalizing system of representation that works a million times better the more that people participate (and when you have some form of Proportional Representation as opposed to antiquated First-Past-the-Post or the Electoral College).
I feel the same way about YouTube comments and I’ve started to respond in exactly the same way and not everyone is liking it.
I have two YouTube Channels
An Art demo one and the one connected to this website.
I do this because I enjoy making videos and sharing what I know. I’m an art supply expert and most people are grateful that I can provide some help, for free. I do get a couple checks from Google Ad Sense every year - approximately $100 randomly every 6 or 8 months. It’s a nice surprise when the deposit appears but it doesn’t even cover my internet costs, let alone my supplies, time, a/v equipment and software… etc. etc. For all intents and purposes, I post videos for free, but there’s always someone there to take a shit on it.
Guaranteed, the crappiest, most insulting or critical comments I get are from people who have never created a video themselves.
Fellow creators know what’s involved in making videos PERIOD, let alone making them helpful, entertaining and enjoyable to watch. Another creator is rarely going to leave a crappy comment because they’re in the work with you - they’re respecting the effort even if they’re not thrilled about the results. Guaranteed, someone who’s never created and published their own video feels the need to be critical or insult my video, my process, my audio, the content, something that I’ve done, said or even how I’ve breathed.
I’m not kidding, someone complained about how I breathed like a fat person and was probably going to die before middle aged.
Haha bitch! I’m middle aged and still alive. Fuck you.
I’m done being polite or respectful about this kind of petty narcissism. For some reason I thought these people had a right to post on my wall with anything they wanted. Learning to respect my own boundaries has redefined what is an acceptable way to communicate with me.
Insulting? Rude? Deleted… unless I have a sick burn that makes me laugh, then I’ll leave the shitty comment just for the lols. If not, BLOCKED. DELETED.
If someone has a skill or technical issue with what I’ve produced, I’m willing to discuss if a) the tone is respectful and open to dialogue and b) the author has created and published ANY VIDEOS of their own. Guess how many times that’s happened? NONE. None times.
I know it’s bad grammar, but I like it.
‘That has happened EXACTLY NONE TIMES.’
Now my go to is, “Link your own video so people can see how’s it’s ‘supposed’ to be done.” or “I look forward to when you publish your own videos and contribute to the community.” It’s a little passive aggressive but I like to believe people can feel the fullness of my sarcasm.
Most people shut the fuck up at that point because I think somewhere they know that they’re not “well actually” commenting because they care about the topic or care about what people are learning. They point out flaws or things they don’t like because they’re sad cowards who are too afraid of criticism and rejection to create anything of their own.
It’s scary to put yourself out there and be seen and be heard.
Fucking right it is.
How much of an entitled asshole do you have to be to sit in the cheap seats and criticize anything anyone else has created?
Brené Brown coined the term cheap seats - referring to those that don’t do, but feel they can sit safely on the sidelines and criticize those that do. These people are NOT equal participants - criticizing and creating are not the same. I get a great deal of pleasure from replying to their criticisms with comments about their lack of creative contribution.
If you are only criticizing, you are NOT adding to the conversation, you are not creating. You are just being a coward and an asshole.
I’ve been raised with the idea of free speech being a universal truth. It is, but I don’t think we always get the nuances of communication and boundaries that are inherent within the belief of free speech.
1. You have the right to say whatever you want.
You don’t get the right to say it where ever you want and no one is required to listen to you. My wall/channel/social media, my rules.
If you want to have a platform - create your own fucking content and deal with all the consequences that come along with putting your stuff online for the public.
2. You have the right to say whatever you want, but you’re not free from the consequences of your free speech.
You can say whatever you want about me or what I publish, but I get to delete, block, report or respond back if I want. Free speech doesn’t mean anyone has to be “the bigger person” or turn the other cheek or accept anything carte blanche. There can be retaliation and consequences for your free speech.
I’ve wasted a lot of my life trying to be nice… or rather acting in a way that makes me seem like I’m nice. I don’t know now why nice was so desirable, except that maybe nice meant you weren’t targeted as much by the mean people, but that didn’t work out.
There are a lot of shitty people in the world.
Don’t let the shitty ones scare you away from putting your work into the world.
Be seen. Be heard.
They WILL criticize and talk shit and try and tear you down. Don’t listen to them. They’re sad, impotent cowards. Don’t let the sad cowards stop you.