Unsolicited Criticism

UNSOLICITED CRITICISM What you need to know to survive it Unsolicited Criticism is, more often than not, a put-down, a pistol drawn from the holster of jealousy, of envy, perhaps even of sanctimony. “Your jump shot sucks.” “Your poetry leaves a lot to be desired.” “Isn’t all this painting, what you call ‘art,’ a lot of work for nothing?” “Hey, thank you so much. Why, I didn’t realize… I’ll work on it.” Of course you didn’t realize. It doesn’t suck. It doesn’t leave a lot to be desired. It isn’t all for nothing. If he does happen to be right, it’s coincidental. Motivation is everything: He wants it to suck, probably because his does. Once you do realize, you ask him why he would say such a thing. “Hey, just trying to be helpful, Man.” “Constructive criticism.” Or my favorite: “Sue me for caring.” Do it, Man. Just once. Please, somebody out there do it. I’m begging you. SUE THE SON OF A BITCH FOR...

Political Correctness on ESPN

ESPN Sports Nation’s Michelle Beadle, generally adorable, has unintentionally shown herself to be a hypocrite. Nothing new there as far as an illustration of the human condition, but most of us do try to be aware of it enough to at least keep it in the closet instead of throwing it out there for the multitudes on Twitter. ESPN’s First Take Stephen A. Smith, generally boorish and full of hot air, nevertheless sensitive, fair and honest, was talking about NFL player Ray Rice hitting his wife. On CNN, as you’ve probably seen, it looks like he’s dragging her out of an elevator and she’s out cold. Stephen A., speaking about the incident on First Take, clearly disturbed and disgusted by domestic violence in general—he has four sisters he loves, he’s seen it –did warn women to be sensitive to whatever might be provoking these guys. Are they pushing buttons they might not be aware of? In other words, are they being passive-aggressive? And why not? They’re angry. Look what they’ve had to put up with. How else can they fight back, except through a guerrilla-type psychological warfare? These guys are bigger than they are. Stephen A’s point is that that can be playing dangerously with fire. It frightens him, not for the men, but for the women. These men can be dangerous. He knows. We all do. I would add to his point: If you’re pushing these buttons, and in denial about it, or somehow not aware of it, you’re in even greater danger. If you’re standing up for yourself your way, the only way you can preserve your...