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The Hammering Heart

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May 2012

The Fine Art of Accepting Criticism, OR “No, YOU’RE a butt-butt!”


In 2007, not particularly funny nor likable comedian Jamie Kennedy created a documentary called “Heckler,” which examined our increasingly critically-minded modern world and provided a forum for Kennedy to respond to valid (albeit harsh) criticism of his work with sophomoric taunting.

The clip starting around 0:20 pretty well exemplifies Kennedy’s persistent failure to make an intelligent case against overly hostile or personal criticism. And it’s a shame, because there’s an intelligent case to be made.

Kennedy also appears unable to differentiate between professional literary criticism and the drunken hooting of actual hecklers, and this decidedly doesn’t help his case very much. Responding to a scathing review of his film with “Jesus why do you hate me?” just makes him look like an amateur who can’t take criticism. I, for one, felt inclined to side with the critic after viewing this clip.

Continue reading “The Fine Art of Accepting Criticism, OR “No, YOU’RE a butt-butt!””

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Atomic Girl – A Full Explanation (Epilogue: Too-Ra-Loo-Ra Loo-ra Loo-ra)

It was with utmost sarcasm that I wrote “Atomic Girl,” but underneath its layer of drunken belligerence beat a genuine heart. The song is at once a scathing indictment of the manipulative, self-destructive S and an admission of my own part in creating the terrible situation from which I’d been forced to escape. It’s a step-by-step dissection of a habit I’d developed in my life of being enticed by half-heartedly suicidal girls, allowing them to pull me into their terrible worlds instead of pulling them out. I was protesting the atomic bomb with my finger on the button, and it took a situation as exaggerated as this one to finally allow me to see the caricature I’d become.

Continue reading “Atomic Girl – A Full Explanation (Epilogue: Too-Ra-Loo-Ra Loo-ra Loo-ra)”

Atomic Girl – A Full Explanation (Part 7: I Swear This is Almost Over)

I refrained from replying to S’s inexplicably light-hearted text message. But the next day, I received a follow-up message: “You’re not mad, by any chance, are you?”

I decided I should refrain from speaking to her ever again, reasoning that her safety was at stake but actually more concerned for my own. As evening fell, I received a direct call to my cellular. I glanced reluctantly at the screen. It displayed a giant Japanese equivalent of an S, the rest of her name following like the proverbial stalker following the proverbial me.

“Uggh,” I shuddered, hurling the phone into the garbage bin. I stared at the bin until the ringing stopped.

I immediately second-guessed my rash action on account of the phone not being burnable waste. You have to understand that the town of Tajimi, Japan had very stringent waste disposal regulations, as dictated by the iron-fisted town mascot, the Unagappain a massive, forty-four-page PDF document.

Continue reading “Atomic Girl – A Full Explanation (Part 7: I Swear This is Almost Over)”

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