WarGames

Well, it’s been a Chinese curse of an interesting week, hasn’t it? We debated writing a blog post but we couldn’t think how to approach it or even what we hoped to achieve by it, so in the end we decided that staying out of it was the best plan.

#thingseightiesmoviestaughtme

#thingseightiesmoviestaughtme

However.

This morning I saw that overnight, this had happened:

wargames2

It needs to be said here that the person who wrote the tweet in the twitpic has now apologised for her words (both in this tweet and the one directed to the anti-Michelle account). Respect to her for that. It’s easy to push things that little bit too far, but it’s never easy to look at your behaviour in an unbiased way and admit to yourself that you were wrong. We’ve all been there: the dismissal of others’ criticism, the stubborn refusal to believe that we could have been mistaken, the attempt to justify what we’ve said and, eventually, the realisation that that odd squirmy feeling is guilt and the acceptance that it won’t go away until we do something to make amends. This is where we stop defending and start apologising.

For others to defend bad behaviour, particularly when they are in a position of influence, is where it starts to get tricky. Peter Lenkov currently has 8,365 followers. He has effectively told 8,365 people that it’s OK to tell someone else to commit suicide so long as you pretend you’re, you know, being sarcastic. Actually, there was no sarcasm in the tweet at all. Sarcasm is the use of irony to convey an opposite meaning to the one stated, in order to criticise with humour or to cause pain. I’m not even sure how you would tell someone to kill themselves sarcastically. I do know that ‘being sarcastic’ and ‘saying something nasty but not really meaning it’ are not the same thing.

So the tweet was not meant in a sarcastic way, nor was it meant as a serious suggestion – but because inflection and intent are impossible to gauge in a faceless communication between two people who have never spoken to each other before in the space of 140 characters, tops, the recipient has no way of knowing whether it is meant in a ‘go boil your head’ kind of way (which is something that no-one does, ever) or in a ‘no, I actually think you are a waste of oxygen and should save the rest of us from having to share a planet with you’ kind of way (something that people do do, every day). The reaction of the tweeter suggests that s/he did not take it lightly at all. Regardless of what you think about the account – and for the record, we don’t support hate accounts, nor do we see the point of them – this is what matters. Perhaps s/he is only pretending to have taken it that way in order to use it as a criticism of Michelle and her fans; but since we have no way of knowing that for sure, we should err on the side of caution and assume that s/he is genuinely upset (and let’s not try to take the moral high ground here by saying that haters don’t deserve to be treated with respect because hardly anyone has come out of the last few days with much dignity). Perhaps Peter Lenkov thought he was helping by suggesting an alternative interpretation. What he’s actually done is made it appear that if you’re a fan of one of his actors, or of him, or of the show, then you can tell those who disagree with you to commit suicide without censure – because he will find a way to make it not your fault by blaming the victim for being overly sensitive and taking it the wrong way. Because obviously, whoever you’re talking to should be psychic (this is sarcasm).

I don’t know what the right response would have been in this instance – which is why I’m not a PR guru to the stars instead of someone who can’t even sell the idea of eating broccoli to her own children – but this wasn’t it. Dignified silence? Probably. At the very least he should have taken it seriously instead of saying ‘God, she was only joking, don’t be such a baby‘ like we used to do, in the playground, when we were ten.

I hesitate to include this link to an article on the power that both celebrities and followers can wield on Twitter because it’s not directly comparable to the current situation, but there are some uncomfortable parallels. Be warned, it’s very long and it gets upsetting towards the end.

So here ends our first serious blog post, which will probably be the first of many because as our motto says ‘it’s not all rainbows and unicorns’ and because we’ve remembered that the point of a blog is to share what you think and not what you think other people want to hear. This is what we think. You might not agree, but that’s all right.

Let’s end with this cuter-than-a-button pic of Cath that was supposed to form part of yesterday’s Caption Crossover post but didn’t because in the time it would have taken me to do it… look, when a girl’s gotta spend the afternoon looking for WarGames clips on YouTube, a girl’s gotta spend the afternoon looking for WarGames clips on YouTube, OK?

Now. How about a nice game of chess?

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20 comments

  1. What I also dislike is, that girl posted her “I’m pissed” tweet in a private (!) conversation. She had a “private” account! The “hater” with the anonymous account she hastily put up, took that rant out of context and uses it to bully and point at everyone, even remotely involved. Amongst them some great people I hate seeing get hurt! And, yes I know what cyber mobbing and bullying can do to kids. As A firefighter I was twice called to teenage suicides to recover the kids bodies. Not even the medexam. could take it. And all over a Facebook post and unrequited love.

    But the “whistleblower” is on a personal vendetta against Michelle Borth and her admirers now and discredits her wherever she can. And that is cyber mobbing. Fact is, it was NOT Borth who ever told anyone to go kill herself. But it was Borth who, the same day it started, had asked a fan to close her fan account on Twitter and Facebook. Was it the same, now extremely angry ex fan?

    Exposing bullies is one thing! But going to war with them, as rude and vulgar and unthoughtful they might have been, by becoming the windmill you went out to destroy is not the way to do it, Don Quixote.

    1. That must have been awful. I have so much respect for those of you who do that job.

      I genuinely don’t think it’s the same person. I know her and she’s not – well, spiteful like that. But regardless, this really isn’t about who was right or wrong, it’s more about the way Peter Lenkov responded to the tweet. Not everyone who follows him will be a H50 fan, so quite a few people will have seen this with no context at all, just that someone told someone else to commit suicide and he tried to excuse it. I think that’s irresponsible.

      Thank you for commenting and reblogging! 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on Random Thoughts und kommentierte:
    Make up Your own mind guys…

  3. vanduyn · · Reply

    I haven’t read every single thing having to do with this but I think what people are really missing is this is a TV show!! WTH? People need to get a grip. If this is what occupies your life you need to get one!!

    1. Well, quite. 🙂

      1. Ryanne · · Reply

        This coming from woman who spends hours seeking and answering tweets that are not directed to you to shush those who tweet what you don’t agree with? Rich! What is that saying? Pot meet kettle?

        1. Play nice, please :-). All opinions are welcome here but attacks on each other are not. Thank you.

  4. Thank you for your thoughtful post about this situation. I did witness these exchanges this past week, although I did not engage in any way. The suggestion to “go kill yourself” was not made from a private acct. I know this because I was able to see it and I do not follow the person who wrote it, and there were several tweets after it by the same person joking and bragging about what they had done. Perhaps the act was made private following this but it was quite public at the time. Certainly the veil of supposed anonymity available on Twitter and other social media sites gives certain people a means for displaying the worst parts of themselves. The anonymous acct was/is very wrong, but encouraging suicide is so very far over the line of human decency that it is almost unthinkable. And, I agree, there was absolutely no sarcasm intended here. In fact, the explanation of sarcasm did not even enter until Lenkov suggested it as a ready excuse. This person did apologize publicly and that I do appreciate. One can only hope that they will learn to temper their outrage for more important issues and to never suggest suicide as a viable option regardless of how much you dislike another.

    What is truly the most disturbing about this entire event is that people including Lenkov have become (and apparently continue to be) apologists for such cruel and distasteful behavior. It wasn’t funny. It wasn’t made in jest. It did not in any way help their cause or support Michelle Borth. In fact, it probably hurt, as now many seem to be unable to distinguish Borth’s actions from the action of her fans and others.

    Yes, this is just a TV show, I totally agree. There are NO winners in an online battle over fictional characters (although there are plenty of losers). It is ridiculous and childish behavior on all sides and it was a pretty gross display of human interaction, quite frankly. All Lenkov did was throw gas on an already volatile situation and display (to me) that he has little to no compassion for others or any understanding of the power he wields in his current position. The whole thing was shameful. Hopefully, the worst is now over.

    I do appreciate your post. Thank you.

    1. ” suggestion to “go kill yourself” was not made from a private acct. I know this because I was able to see it and I do not follow the person ”
      You are right, I just checked. I had blocked her previously, thanks for pointing that out! Had forgotten.

    2. Thank you for your comment Ruby, this is the point we were hoping to make – that it’s not acceptable for these comments to be made nor for anyone to be an apologist for them.

  5. Becky · · Reply

    The person who made those vile comments should be ashamed. There is no way this was said in a comedic or “sarcastic” manner. I agree with Ruby that they only used the word sarcastic in their apology which was posted after Peter Lenkov made his tweet.

    Reading trhough this person’s timeline both during the flare up and after I saw not only bragging about her behavior and words but mean spirited and frankly childish and rude things said about a few others on Twitter who, as far as I could tell, had said and done nothing to her. I’m not shocked to find that most of those tweets have been deleted since the public outing of her hatred.

    I do not believe she is sorry. No one who behaves in the manner she did for as long as she did while taking such obvious glee from what they were doing could be.

    Peter and Michelle can’t control what people say to each other on social media but they could make attempts to put out the flames instead of throwing more gas on them. Without singling any one out Michelle could make a tweet about respect, and dignity. Peter could have ignored the hate account completely. The fact that Michelle continues to be silent while her fans continue to verbally harass and attack anyone who speaks against her has changed my views on her as a person. She does not have my respect any longer and neither does Peter.

    1. Well, as I said further up the page, this isn’t about the rights and wrongs of the whole debate, it’s just about this one tweet. I get where you’re coming from, though. It does seem as if this has dragged on for longer than it needed to.

      I do believe that the person who made the comments is genuinely sorry. It’s only been a few days (although heaven knows it feels like longer) and it’s easy to get caught up in something like this. There but for the grace of God, and all that.

      Thank you for stopping by 🙂

  6. You know, I have no idea what started this off but as a fan of Michelle, I’m sad all I seem to be seeing is hateful posts about the her. People seem to forget when Scott Caan had his problems Michelle was the only person to stand up for him and now it’s like she’s the worst person in the world.

    Have we thought maybe she’s been told not to make any more comments on it and that’s the reason Michelle hasn’t? As for Peter’s tweet, again I haven’t seen that one so don’t know what he said. I’m just wishing all the fans could get along and remember to start living aloha.

    1. Hi Gem, thanks for your comment. PLenkov’s tweet is in the post, if you’d still like to read it.

  7. Has this “Hater” actually met Michelle?? I have and she is warm and welcoming to her fans. as nice as she is beautiful. This mess is just too sick and sorry for words.

    1. Looks like it’s all blown over now, thank goodness.

      1. AMEN to that Sistah!!

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