Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Communication Breakdown

As you probably heard, Mike Bacsik from The Ticket (Dallas sports radio station) was fired for putting things on Twitter that involved the phrase “dirty Mexicans” and “Stern’s cornhole” (the latter being an excellent name for a booth on the food pavilion at the State Fair this year). I don’t know Mike Bacsik and don’t think I’ve ever met the dude before. But I feel really, really bad for him. I’m not particularly interested in discussing the political correctness or incorrectness of what he put on Twitter. I watched this Great Twitter Mistake unfold before my eyes and I never thought for a second that it would lead to this.

Let me explain: I get a head’s up that Bacsik is drinking and Tweeting (horrible idea but we all have horrible ideas we indulge from time to time) and that he is very upset about the game and the way it’s being called. By the time I find his Twitter, he’s speculating about David Stern’s no-no areas. There’s some exchanges between some friends and I about how amusing/possibly not a good idea this all is. I said the words, “It’s funny to watch but someone NEEDS to take his phone away from him, hide it, pretend it’s missing and then return it to him when he is in a better state.” Then I saw the second to final Tweet about “dirty Mexicans in San Antonio.” And I knew it was a joke. Albeit, one in pretty poor form considering he is a public figure. But it was a joke.

I get why he had to be fired, though I may not agree. I find it reaching that every article I read about it mentions that he was the pitcher who gave up “the” homerun to Barry Bonds. It makes me wonder what, should I ever become semi-famous, will be my etched in history moment? I’m hoping it is that time that my friend Chrissy and I managed to pilfer an entire pizza off a man sobbing late at night in a NYC subway station or maybe the fact that I’m the only known person to have injured herself in a backyard (next to a keg) doing a Leon Lett impression. But Bacsik got to play professional sports so that means that we can all remind him of his failures in that sport when anything happens to him from now on. Serves him right for playing baseball!

But all this is very beside the point. My bigger issue is how hot exactly I think the fire Twitter dies in should burn. Hot enough to melt titanium is my current answer. I’ve written about it countless times and there’s no reason to beat you over the head with it again. I’ve tried Twitter as many times as Oprah has tried to lose weight and keep it off. There is no appeal. I don’t get how it works and I don’t get anything positive from it. In the past 72 hours, Twitter has allowed the following thoughts to go from air bubbles in cerebral blood flow to something that is permanently available for public viewing:

Michael Lohan, father of Lindsay, decided to give people a head’s up that his daughter is “living with HIV” and that she “had an affair with Tommy Mottola when she was 17.”

Jenna Jameson decided to try to work out her recent brush with abuse at the hands of her boyfriend by using Twitter to counter some of his claims and throw some slings and arrows his way. He, naturally, rebutted by accusing her publicly of being hooked on Hillbilly Heroin. As you do to the mother of your kids, you know.

I’m not saying that Twitter begat lousy humans but giving morally sorry people or drunk people or people who need instant feedback a forum wherein any old bullshit that can be abbreviated into 140 characters is permanently etched into the interwebs is a really horrible idea. Sure, that leaves Facebook statuses or drunk dialing/texting/emailing as an alternate route to ruining your career, talking shit about people or starting fights. But Twitter seems the most immediate and hardest to live down. I miss the old days when you had to pick up a phone and call someone in the heat of the moment to tell them that they are a polesmoker. And how contained that outburst could be in the privacy of a two-way call.

Unless Bacsik’s Twitter was hacked, he can’t blame the messages or the fallout on anyone but himself. But there’s the rub. I don’t think he is. The guy’s said sorry a lot. But apparently everyone who is out to crucify him has never cracked an offensive joke or sent a message that they wished they could get back within a few seconds or minutes of hitting that sexy “send” button. We all live in glass internet houses (like the movie BioDome, kind of) and I’ll be the first to stand up and say that reading back through old posts on this blog make me cringe sometimes. You’re a lucky motherfucker if everything you’ve ever written/posted/texted/emailed/said is something you stand by 100 percent. If so, I would like to meet you so I can call you names and Tweet about you. Until then, lay the fuck off this guy. He had what seems to me to be a pretty badass job and it’s gone now. That stings real bad. If for nothing other than your own karma, don’t jump on the pile. Unless you’re sure that you will never say or write anything that you might regret or about which you could have a change of heart. Ok, deal?


A Filthy German

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

But I Like Deadspin But I Think They’re Wrong But I Like Blogs and Dale Hansen Seems So Pompous So I Can’t Agree With Him and Why Does Jerry Jones Look Like the Biggest Badass in the Bunch. (Subtitled: WTF?)

I’m so confused that I need to grab onto something stationary to keep the room from spinning. Yesterday, as you may know, Slurgate hit the interwebs via Deadspin. In case you’re too lazy to click and watch, someone approached Jerry Jones in a bar. Jerry Jones was drinking. In a bar. The person introduced themselves as a Cowboys fan. They ingested drinks with Jerry Jones. In a bar. They brought up the Cowboys (and Tim Tebow, which must be the biggest wet blanket conversation topic you can bring up in a bar but whatevs) and Jerry talked about the Cowboys. In a bar. Someone pulled out their phone and recorded video of the conversation. At no point in time did we learn that Jerry has a dislike of certain minority groups. Jerry didn’t grab himself a handful of sweet sweater meat. Jerry didn’t start to cry when “I Hope You Dance” came on. Jerry talked about the Cowboys and said that a) he couldn’t get Tim Tebow on the field should he draft him b) he’s “gotta have a yes man” c) he brought Parcells in to get the new stadium and, just as we all suspected, d) "Sell mammoth fuckin' rake.”

I watched the video. And then I went ahead and kept living my life, slightly disappointed. I wondered if other, non-Dallas dwelling Deadspin readers would find something shocking in this video that I somehow had missed. Maybe they had assumed that Jerry was a teetotaler. Maybe they had never heard a man from Arkansas say the no-no words. There wasn’t anything on that tape that we all didn’t know already. Other than the fact that he loves Bill Parcells (he said it!). And for the record, a Cowboys fan secretly taping Jerry in a moment of what he assumed was a trusted private inebriated rake talk is a tad sketch. But you might want to show it to your boys at work. Understandable. Just don’t, say, upload it to your Facebook page or forward it to anyone. That would be tacky. It goes without saying that, no matter WHAT you think of Jerry as a team owner, it’s a shitty human thing to do to send it in to Deadspin in some attempt to either humiliate your team or the owner or buy yourself a chintzy, gold spray painted 15 minutes of internet fame trophy. Can’t you just lip-synch to Justin Beiber in a shark tank on YouTube or something instead? We’re the Dallas Cowboys. We get enough shit as it is without you turning a chance encounter into a Japanese subway Upskirt/Downblouse PR nightmare?

But then Dale Hansen has to chime in. Because getting angry about things is to Dale Hansen what photosynthesis is to plants. The problem for me is that I’m torn. I like his message (I think) but the delivery is like watching an OB/GYN try to bring a breached baby into the world using a Sawzall and a ball peen hammer. Again, all of this slight agreeing that I’m doing with Dale Hansen should be balanced out with the disclaimer that I *THINK* this is what Dale is trying to say. What Deadspin posted was not news. It was gossip. Now, Deadspin has never claimed that it was exclusively a news site. But the idea that the story was posted under the guise of being news (“Jerry hired Parcells to get his stadium” or “Jerry sells mammoth fuckin’ rake”) purely to be able to post embarrassing video of a drunk owner being, well, a drunk owner seems slightly deceptive. The actual headline reads: “Slurring Jerry Jones Bad-Mouths Bill Parcells, Tim Tebow.” Come on. Kitten, put those claws away. I’ve heard my grandmother whisper more offensive remarks during communion. Then again, my grandmother loves to sell rake too. Deadspin has been a legit news source that broke, amongst others, the Josh Hamilton Cool Whip story. And I know this all comes off as sounding like I love playing in the sandbox until someone flings sand in my direction then I cry and go tell. Maybe it is. Maybe I don’t like it when people do the equivalent of selling Jerry’s sexy picture texts to a sleazy magazine just to get themselves a tiny little brush with fame.

However, I don’t think Dale Hansen was the guy to take on this story. As I said, the message was lost in the delivery. Because no matter what Dale says, it’s overshadowed by the fact that YOU MUST KNOW THAT HE HAS AN OPINION WHICH IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACT!!!!!!!!! I appreciate his passion but threatening near-suicide like some character from a Poppy Z. Brite novel does not make me want to be on your side on this ethical Tug of War. Also, here’s a way to automatically lose any argument when it comes to anything to do with new media: refer to whomever is controlling, writing or editing the web-based media as "A fat kid in a t-shirt in his mother's basement eating Cheetos and writing his blogs.” You might also want to similarly refer to Bill Gates as, “that fucking four-eyed dweeb with asthma who doesn’t play sports and stays inside all summer looking at that stupid electronic math box.”

Listen Dale, and I feel like I can call you that because I wrote you a letter when I was in 6th grade because you were coming to speak at my school and I told you about how you were my hero and I wanted to be the first female sportscaster in Dallas and I couldn’t wait for you to come visit my school. You responded in dry erase marker on the back of the letter I sent which was something at least. I am pretty lazy and usually don’t even respond to emails I get through this blog. Anyways. Dale, I think we might be on the same team here and I get it that you feel like your profession that you have worked at your whole life has been threatened by these punk ass kids. And you think the shit they do is easy. Maybe it is. But you don’t do your argument any favors by painting an entire medium and their readers with a very wide and unflattering brush.

The moral of this entire story is a simple one. One that brings together all generations. It doesn't matter if you're a newspaper reader, a television news watcher, a Deadspin commenter or a Ted Kaczynski starter kit. There is only one Supreme Truth. Jerry Jones is a badass. I would give any worldly possessions I currently own or will ever own or could ever fathom owning in an alternate reality for the opportunity to go bar-hopping with Jerry Jones for one night. No cell phones, no cameras, no pens, no paper. Discretion is not only advised, it is guaranteed. Please, Jerry, call me. Together, there will be no more mammoth rake ever sold before and none more mammoth sold ever again.