You might be immediately saying, "If you shouldn't make Tweets about them, then maybe you shouldn't blog about them either!" But I know full well that whatever I post on Twitter is far more likely to be read than whatever I post here, and I also know full well that impulsively getting into arguments with people on Twitter is not a great way to spend a night, and it's also a very good way to eat up too much of my therapy time, and I need what little I have. So here we are in an unlisted, unposted blog post.
I dislike saying "here we go again" because it sounds like I'm making fun or being sarcastic or not taking things seriously. But honestly, having social media in 2017 is a constant countdown to the next horrible thing that someone did that you can't do anything about. So, here we go again.
So if you haven't heard, Anthony Rapp has come out saying that Kevin Spacey made a sexual advance on him when he was fourteen. Kevin Spacey has responded with a statement that basically boils down to: If he did do it he doesn't remember but that would be a pretty horrible thing to do, and also I'm gay. I'm not going to link to the full statement here, mostly because I don't want to read it again myself. If you're that interested in finding it, I'm sure it won't be that hard. I mean, it'll probably be deleted from Twitter once his publicists realize what a terrible idea it was, but surely at least a thousand people have backed it up by now. So no linking. But let's analyze a bit.
To be honest, I have not really followed Kevin Spacey at all, and I know almost nothing about him or the movies he's been in. So the first time I read the statement, I did not realize that Kevin Spacey wasn't already out; I thought he was mentioning it in the statement as an afterthought. Then I started reading some other Tweets about it, and people kept mentioning what a horrible time it was to come out, and then I realized that he really did just come out while attempting to defend an allegation of sexual assault, and I'm starting to think that whoever he has for PR or marketing or whatever might be asleep right now, or were asleep when he posted that. Because yeah, that was almost impressive in how bad of an idea it was, which is quite an accomplishment in a world where Donald Trump has access to Twitter.
But setting aside that monumentally awful decision for now, let's examine the first part of the statement itself. It is the only part I will be posting here, because I need it to illustrate my point. It goes like this:
"I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago. But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years."
The thing that immediately jumped out at me reading that is that he doesn't actually admit that he did it. He uses that same sort of apology wordplay that insincere people use when they're trying to make you feel bad about being upset. You know, the whole "I'm sorry you feel that way" thing? Yeah, that's what he's doing here. Maybe he did consult someone in PR or marketing or whatever after all. It's a shame that none of those brilliant people told him that apology wordplay is not actually an apology; it's shifting blame to the person you wronged.
I also find it a bit weird that he says he doesn't remember the encounter, but then immediately refers to it as "deeply inappropriate drunken behavior" specifically. Again, though, I know nothing about the man. Perhaps he was drunk a lot thirty years ago and is connecting the dots and/or making assumptions about himself or the situations he was in. I don't know. Just seemed off to me.
Mostly, though, I just feel sad. How horrible, to finally feel the strength to come out about something that traumatized you, only for that person not to remember it. Maybe to them, it was just another day. Maybe to them, they don't even know if it happened. But hey, at least they're sorry you feel that way.
I admit that I saw this news item right as I was about to go to bed, and it made me sad, and my first impulse was to go fight people on Twitter, but then I decided to do the right thing and vent my feelings into a blog post instead. And here I am, 800 or so words later, and I don't even feel any better. I feel sad and slightly more tired.
You know, people say to just take a break from social media if it's bugging you, and I have been trying to remember to take breaks from reading it when I need to. But we're also told not to be willfully blind, not to ignore what's happening around us. It seems like the foundations of society are starting to crumble, revealing the gaping hole that was always underneath, and we're supposed to walk along the edges while ignoring the fact that it's a gaping hole and there are spikes and probably lava at the bottom. I feel like the world burning down around us is still literally and figuratively happening, and the inevitable conclusion is that eventually no one will be able to ignore it anymore, because it will have burned down while we were ignoring it.
I also feel like there's a reason people give me funny looks when I'm in a rare optimistic mood. It just doesn't fit very well on me.
At this point, I would like to abruptly conclude the post and go to sleep, because I have to wake up in the morning and conclusions have never been my strong suit.