Monday, March 8, 2010

A Response to Oscars, and to Criticism

Well, I'm surprised, but not entirely unhappy.

As I said, i did not care for 'The Hurt Locker'. I think that it's a very well-made movie, it just is not a good movie.  Although I'm very disappointed Quentin was denied yet again, I don't think that Kathryn Bigelow didn't deserve to win, and I'm happy that a woman has taken home a Best Director. I was actually totally unaware that a woman had not won the illustrious prize. I've already said it, I don't think "The Hurt Locker" was a good movie. Do I need to give it a second look? Maybe, but I was paying attention the first time. I think that it is a well written, well acted, well directed, and all around well-made just wasn't that great. Does that make sense?

Regardless, what really matters is that "Avatar" did not win, and I can go back to my original feelings of the movie: that it was an entertaining movie. A film? I don't think so.  I can only hope people will stop pretending that it is a gift from God.

But what's more important to me than "Avatar" not winning, is that James Cameron not only didn't win, but was given some knocks that he deserves. I'm sorry, but when you use an acceptance speech to basically say: "Well, DUH. Why wouldn't I win?" I have to get a chuckle out of almost everyone on stage taking a jab at you.

I'm very pleased that Bridges won, and at the tributes that were given. I think that Alec and Steve did a wonderful job co-hosting, and that Neil Patrick Harris gave them one hell of an introduction.

I intended to talk more about The Oscars...but I have been stopped in my tracks by something that does not usually bother me: a comment made about a blog. And now, something that shouldn't bother me, has made me consider whether or not it is time to say goodbye to 'That's What Shea Said' for good.

I've never taken Blogs all that seriously. I never really thought I'd be a blogger.  But I found that I enjoyed writing columns, and since I tossed that option away in December, that this was the next best thing.

A lot of my friends have referred to me as a writer, or even a good writer. I'm not saying this to brag...because I don't think it's true. I write stories. I've written a play, a screenplay, and in middle school I wrote three books, all three are terrible and have some of the worst grammar I have ever seen. I abuse commas, I use too many...ellipses. I don't always proofread my blogs.  Why?  Because they are blogs, The word itself isn't very serious. (Not too mention that I rarely update this thing.)

I've never written news stories, I've never pretended to be a 'journalist'. I don't like writing that way, I can't write that way. What I can do is write about what I know: my opinions, and I place those opinions where they belong: on things that I have knowledge about: Movies, TV shows, books, video games...that sort of thing. Occasionally when a news story really sparks and emotional reaction from me, I write a little rant about it. If I don't know what I'm talking about, I try not to let myself talk about it. Every now and then, I fail and stick my foot in my mouth, but I usually apologize. For example: last year I wrote a column for The Towerlight in which I referred to Brian Regan as a singing-comedian. He is not! I was thinking about someone else and I didn't check my facts and I made a mistake. I made a comment on my own article stating that I would do my best to not let this happen again.

I'm saying all of this because of an issue that I thought I had dropped for good. Turns out, i've been forced to respond.

I'm an asshole. I know that! Of course I know that!  All the best entertainment critics are assholes! My first journalism teacher, really my only journalism teacher, taught me that good columnists know how to piss 3/4 of their audience off. This, obviously, was not always my goal. I just wrote what i felt...and I tried to put some passion behind it. Why? To make it entertaining, or at least interesting to read. To make you want to fight for the movie you loved and I hated, or whatever the situation might have been.

I've almost never responded to a comment I've received on my commentary. But now...I'm making an exception. Two posts ago, i wrote a short review of Stephen King's 'Under the Dome'. I love Stephen King, as I said. Some of his books suck...that one did not. I was actually, quite tame, i think. I also did another fun activity: making a dream cast for a book. I didn't think I'd written anything offensive at all!  I did receive a comment on the post, from an anonymous source that said: "If you want to be taken seriously as a writer, don't make errors such as the one in this phrase: "...a thrill ride from it's start."

Well, when you're right you're right. one stupid fucking phrase. And I said it. And guess what, if I really wanted to be taken seriously as a writer...I wouldn't use words like 'fucking', despite how much fun it is. I also said "it's". Once again, big deal...IT'S a blog. What's next, attacking the grammar of a facebook post!

Also in that article, I used 'two' instead of 'too'. I got a chuckle out of that.  Could I have a edited these things out?  Of course!  But I already published it, and I should have proofread. So these mistakes remain, and I understand why someone made that comment.  What I don't understand, is why I almost received this comment:

"If you want to be taken seriously as a person, you should contemplate exhibiting some human characteristics, such as tact, respect, or offering the world something other than your utterly useless criticisms.

Don't bother checking the comments, it isn't there. Not because I deleted it, but because they did...probably because they thought: 'Maybe that's a bit much', at least, i hope so.  But I am not making this up. I promise.  Here, i'll prove it:

There. Proven.

Now, here I am. In a pretty decent mood, and I decide to check my blog's find this. Someone calling me, well, basically inhuman, because of a review all honesty, barely reviewed the book, let alone say anything offensive!  Do you just hate Stephen King?  or do you just hate me, Nicholas?

Now...I know one or two Nicholas-es (and I don't even care how to make that grammatically correct). Most of them...I have no problem with. If this comment came from the one I'm fearing IT'S from, i'm very confused.  I never had a problem with you. I still don't! I've even done what you asked of me when you sent me a group Facebook request!! You were always my favorite of the people I knew from that certain organization.

Now...if this is not you, than we still should have no problem...because I have no problem with you whatsoever. I like you, i think you're a good guy, and for what it's worth, a far better writer than myself.

But I can't fathom what other Nick would write this about me. I only know one person who actually goes by Nicholas, and he likes me just fine... I think. I'm really hoping it is someone that I have never met.  Because... at the very least...someone is reading my blog, which is quite surprising indeed.

I'm just confused as to why? I mean, can someone can tell me what, in that post, is so horribly offensive, that I deserve to be called inhuman, tactless, and disrespectful. I won't be mad, i really just want to know.

Opinionated is a word I've never liked, because I think it applies to everyone who has conscious thought. But, as far as the popular usage of the word goes...I certainly am opinionated. i've been called it many times. it used to offend me. No more!  I accept it. i am opinionated.

Now then, had this been a comment to one of the many times I have said that i hate my own generation, with modern day music being a large factor, then I could understand some harsh criticism.

Me writing my opinions down on the web for no real reason?  Well, yeah...I guess that is pretty useless. i guess you've got me there.But I do it because I enjoy it...or at least I used to. But this comment has left me with one thought, that honestly cannot be expressed in better words: "What the fuck?"

So I've written this...obscenely long post...well, i guess I don't really know why I wrote it. Because I'm confused.  Perhaps to state that this may be my last one.  i mean...I don't need to be called inhuman because I like to review movies, and i like to put some passion behind my opinions. I don't need to be called tactless because I know how to structure a sentence in a way that will piss off who i want it to piss off. I have a enough stress in my life, i don't need to go making more.

So...although it's a long shot, Nicholas...whoever you are, I ask you to identify yourself. Preferably in person. If we have never met...i'd like to know what i said or did that pissed you off so royally, that you needed to take it out on a...pretty innocent post. The article on Leno...yeah, I was pretty harsh on him. And I still will be, but I have re-read the King Post three times and I'm still dumbfounded.

I know nobody gives a shit what Shea Said.  it's a funny title, that's all that is supposed to imply. It's a joke. (See That's What She Said)  And guess what, i didn't even come up with it...Nathan Biemiller did, he's happy to remind me regularly. I just like to write. And I like movies. Thought this whole...blogging thing would be a good idea. Guess I was wrong.

Thank you, Nicholas, for making me feel...wonderful. Perhaps I had it coming. I know I wont be a professional columnist...that would be why i write a blog, you idiot. There.  You want to call me tactless. You got it. But please...say it to my face. Prove how tactful you are.

And in the words of Forrest Gump: "That's all i have to say about that." That should make you happy...Nicholas.


  1. Dear world,
    I am writing to say that I, indeed, am the infamous "Nicholas."
    Yes, I know- hold off angry mob, hold off.
    I read Matthew's glorious review of Under The Dome and was truly enthralled, tickled, and all around satiated. Until. Some bottom-feeder of the blogosphere (to use the parlance of our times) thought it was the perfect time to post a comment such as "If you want to be taken seriously as a writer..."
    I, Nicholas, in all of my festered sarcasm would take no part in such shenanigans.
    I thought to myself many things.
    1.) "Welll, thank you Poet-Lauret, Pulitzer Prize Winning, Important Human- named "anonymous," I can see that your burgeoning literary career is going so well that you are trolling around blogs to pick (senselessly) on their humble writers. All the while you were able to maintain the professionalism and prestige that your title would imply: "anonymous." And no, Anonymous, not like Ben Franklin or a proxy-Emily Dickinson anonymous. Only the anonymous Anonymous.
    2.) I hate you.
    Now. I have spent a good portion of all our time insulting my predecessor on the comment section, and have not spent enough time complimenting the wonderful human being, that we all do take seriously, that is Matt Shea.
    So. Allow me to begin.

    Dearest Matt,
    I will be brief (finally) in fear of cheapening an honest sentiment. You are a wonderful person. Keep writing. We are all better for it.

    The World and Nicholas.

  2. Matt,

    You're so much better than whatever anyone has to say in the world o' blogging. Don't let someone stop you. I know you enjoy it, it's a way to get your opinion out. I read your blogs regularly (though I'm sure you're surprised I do) and enjoy them throughly. Please keep blogging. It brings a little happiness, optimism, tact, and wit to a day that is otherwise dreary.

    Your favorite ray of sunshine :)

  3. Matt you are the best dount listin to all this fiddle faddle you are man of 'uncommon valor' rusian sailers dance

  4. Matt,

    Since this misunderstanding has been resolved (and I know the story because I was there when you told it) I would like to make the suggestion, out of curiosity, that perhaps you could post a little short story for us to read. You don't have to if you don't want to, but I think it'd be an interesting venture. Either way, I do hope you continue entertaining with your thoughts on...well...entertainment.

  5. When people say that someone is "opinionated" it's usually implied that they're very open (sometimes argumentative), and unflinching about it.

    Prove them right. Keep on sticking up for what you think is right. The world would be a better place if everyone did that. In the way that you do, at least, where no one gets hurt or insists that everyone has to think the same way.