I don’t know why at my age things surprise me, but I guess it’s a good sign that they do.
Despite the fact it feels like I spend three quarters of my life in cyberville I don’t engage in the read and bash phenomenon that might just make up as much a part of time spent online time as porn. I do follow blogs and I comment, but I have never feel the urge to trash someone especially an out and out character assault.
Even in my own blog the only people I ever attack are my own parents who deserve more than I even dish out.
I once made the fatal error of saying something mean about someone I didn’t even know. I retracted it the next day and still feel badly.
But there is a whole sub-culture who clearly suffer from Page Rage. The need to go online and attack not positions or disagree with opinions, but basically take a hatchet to people they don’t know, about topics about which they have no information and their comments and commentary appear clearly based on their own projections coming from what could only be a very fractured self.
The first time I encountered it was over Lucky Ducks. I was exposed to nasty little site called Urban Baby, that I have not been on in a year. But the three days I watched it seemed to a narrow minded group of unhappy moms, who not only needed to get laid but get out of the house and see what life is beyond school drop and yoga. My favorite thing I remember was they gave a woman I know Debbie Bancroft and I worst moms of the year awards. And then they argued about who was worse. None of them knowing either one of us; Debbie was attacked for a birthday party she gave her daughter and I was attacked for making Lucky Ducks.
Though with Lucky Ducks, we took many hits. I made it knowing we would; you can’t put yourself out there and not expect a few jabs.
But today I must say I was taken aback when I was sitting here doing an interview for WOWOWOW, a site that does not seem to have nasty followers from what I can tell and I got an email from someone I had never heard of. He said “Just read your piece in Salon, don’t pay attention to all the mean comments they are just jealous and nasty.” Then he proceeded to ask if he could meet my agent. I don’t mind that, if you don’t ask the answer will always be no and I admire people who walk out on the ledge and I was happy to be informed of the firestorm.
I knew Salon was running an excerpt from the book; in fact I had to clear it.
They took an 8000 word chapter down to 1600 words, not an easy task, trust me, and they did a good job. I never thought it would be much of anything. In fact the stuff I do on Huffpo is far more controversial.
It went up today and apparently within minutes was the top hit on the site. So much for Google Alerts – every time Tracy Morgan does anything I get an alert, fifty people were bashing me at once and no one bothered to let me know – except the guy who wanted to meet Eric Garfinkle.
So I went in to see what all the commotion was about.
Talk about Page Rage, pow,pow,pow, pow.
Most of the attacks were directed at my screenwriting career, twenty people called me a hack. And one said if I had written Chinatown I would still be writing films. I don’t think Robert Towne is even writing films. The readers missed the meaning of the piece, but that is never really the point. Page Rage is really about getting your 15 seconds of opinion out in the public eye, even if the eye is just a bunch of other ragers like yourself. They must get enormous pleasure out of it, as curiosity got the best of me and I went on to read many of their comments on other articles and there was never a good word to be found. They also seem to love arguing with each other. I find it a very odd way to pass the time.
But clearly it’s very popular and one of the big components of the engine that motors the net.
And the thing they clearly don’t get while they are bashing the various aspects of my life and twenty year career in film, and getting all sorts of the details wrong; one person referred to Glenn as a banker. They are all attacking me for writing the Mike Meyer’s film The Love Guru when I wrote an entirely different film called The Guru. When they aren’t making stuff up they just log onto other inaccurate sites to get their info. In many comments my entire existence was redacted to my IMDB profile. But the point is, if their goal is to take me down, well, good luck, only a killer disease is going to do that and we all know how many doctors I have minding the gate. But what they really do is just get me retweeted and send my name and book around the web and give me masses of free press.
The point of this is the lemonade out of lemons theory; it doesn’t hurt my feelings, I think of it as free press. While they are busy raging, more copies of my book sell on Amazon. So please Rage on.