Ok, let’s do this. I’m always telling myself that I should write more (blog and screenplays) but so far I only succeeded on the screenplay front. Don’t get me wrong I’m really exited that I finally have a story that is good enough to get me through third act but I also wanted to reinvigorate my blog. So far I failed miserably at the blog but I don’t give up yet and strangely the more screenplay pages I write, the more I feel the urge to write a blog post. But until now, the urge wasn’t big enough and I was missing the right topic.
Enter John August. If you don’t know his blog, check it out. He and Ken Levine are probably the best (Screenwriter) Bloggers around. In addition to his blog Joh also has a great Podcast with Craig Mazin called Scriptnotes. But, I’m not here to advertise other peoples blogs or podcasts, even if the are great.
Today I want to talk about something really *insert mean and/or derogatory word of your choice* John August did. What he did you ask? Well, he had the audacity to write a blog post on HIS blog in which he gave us HIS opinion about why he thinks children should learn the guitar or the piano before moving on to another instrument.
Man, did he hit a nerve. On the shit-storm was out of proportion. Unfortunately he turned of the comment section so you can’t read it now but trust me when I say some people went overboard and let me tell you why.
Do I think Mr. August has a pont? Yes. Was the argument well laid out? Yes. Do I agree? No. Do I hate him now? No, why should I?
I get his point. I play the Saxophone myself, Tenor to be precise, and I love it. Looking back at my own biography and other circumstances (music education works different here in Liechtenstein) I don’t think that I would still play an Instrument if I had chosen a different path. I always liked playing in a group and speaking as the president of the local music society I hope that mister August’s plan doesn’t get implemented because we need clarinets, trombones, …. I play the saxophone quite well and contrary to Mr. August I think that it’s equally as useful as playing the piano … and don’t get me started on those camp fire guitarists. Sure there are days when I would love to know how to play piano but last year our orchestra performed Bolero and Rhapsody in Blue and I wouldn’t miss that for the world.
But why don’t I get offended then you might ask. Well I might disagree with him, but he never wrote that I’m stupid if I don’t agree with him. So why should I call him names. It’s an argument and it is a complicated subject matter so nobody is really right or wrong here. It’s a discussion. It’s boring if we all agree and just because I don’t agree with something you say doesn’t mean I don’t respect you or what you do.
People get easily offended. I think some people even search the internet to find things to be offended about and by good there’s a lot out there to be offended about. But a well written argument you might disagree with is not one of them. If you’re offended you get defensive which is really stupid because nobody attacked you. You don’t have to defend yourself. Just make your point, preferably politely and follow the discussion. You might learn something new or even change your mind. Imagine you change your mind, really embarrassing of you trashed the author at first.
To be honest, I’m not really talking about John August’s post. Sure, in a way I am, it’s the reason I wrote this but the issue is an old one and you can see it everywhere, especially in politics. Barack “Muslim-fashist-socialistic-christmas-killing-devil-worshiping-tree-hugger-who-is-to-chicken-to-really-do-anything-substantial-about-global-warming” Obama comes to mind but let’s not go there. I think I made my point.
Don’t be a dick and don’t get offended.
P.S.: Thanks John for the comment holiday, it made me write this post. 🙂