push.the.button

hi, i'm patrick klepek.
i used to be a reporter for 1up, mtv news, g4. i did work at EGM. we don't talk about that. i was (am?) obsessed with LOST. now, i report on video games for giant bomb.

Honesty

“klepek, you are the biggest hipster i know. That why you are upset? glad someone close to you died, GB improved.”

I’m used to courting abuse on the Internet. It’s part of the job, though one that takes getting used to.

This guy (or girl, I suppose, but let’s be realistic) has every right to convey the underlying sentiment behind that comment. Since the passing of my father, I’ve been in Chicago, and haven’t been part of Giant Bomb’s regular video and audio features. Maybe he just wasn’t a fan of my opinions, voice, or mannerisms.

That’s okay.

As a personality on the Internet, that’s a criticism I have to be prepared for. Some people are just not going to like me or how I act, and that’s 100% alright. You, as a reader, do not have to like or enjoy me, but as someone who trades on their personality, at some level, I have to respect your opinion on the matter. It’s my job to filter the useless criticisms.

I’ve adjusted my mannerisms in some small but important ways over some legitimate complaints (like, say, pronouncing ostensibly correctly, or interrupting people out of excitement), but there are limits, and being someone who is a reporter, a commentator, a critic, and often a mixture of all three means people are going to have an opinion about you, too. That opinion will not always be a good one, and more often than not, the people who want to share their opinions are the ones with unflattering ones. I’m also of the mindset that if nobody dislike you, you aren’t doing your job right.

Again, that’s okay. It has to be okay. You only get better with criticism, and even someone who is blasting you with hateful nonsense is, I suspect, doing so from a place of heartfelt critique, even if their way of expressing it ends up muddying their point, and prompts a reaction that dilutes it.

One of the first things I tell young writers is to read everything people write about them. Don’t ignore it—bathe in it. The good, the bad, the downright awful. It’s the only way to get stronger, and you’ll come out of the experience better for it, tougher for it. Plus, you eventually realize people aren’t that creative with their lines of attack, and you’ll soon recognize when strings of useful words are written down. I’m only 27-years-old, but I’ve been doing this long enough to jokingly be a “veteran,” and still read all I can.

If that sounds a bit like the job of a game designer shifting through player feedback, you’re right. It’s roughly the same, it just means you’re trying to parse useful thoughts from someone saying you suck. This process doesn’t work for everyone, and I’ve long considered that maybe the entire approach is one that’s deeply flawed, in which you internalize a set of thoughts and beliefs that ends up deceptively muffling you.

I’m a work-in-progress, though, and so is my work.

Does this mean we shouldn’t shame those who act so crass and inappropriate? Of course not. That’s part of the beauty and danger of the Internet age, and these kinds of posts have a useful function for society. That said, please don’t Internet Detective this guy. I only mentioned his comment to make a larger point.

Nothing about the above comment gets under my skin. I decided to share it on Twitter not to disgrace the person behind it, but to call attention to its patent absurdity. I mean, who the hell says that? People have said some shitty things about me on the Internet, but that one takes the crap cake. They’d have to do something a whole hell of a lot worse to get a real reaction out of me.

Please don’t try, though.

(Update: The person in question has since apologized.)

  1. steepinkline reblogged this from pushthebutton and added:
    to… And this, Patrick Klepek,
  2. celticcraze reblogged this from pushthebutton
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  4. adambozarth reblogged this from patbaer and added:
    be… This seems like an awful strategy. If...say they are glad
  5. patbaer reblogged this from pushthebutton and added:
    Worth a read.
  6. devilrei reblogged this from pushthebutton
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