Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Objecting in Advance

One of the prerogatives of age and such is that as you experience more, you get a better sense of the things that work for you - be they dates, jobs, roommates, books, or movies. Of course, the flip side of this, is that sometimes things you were sure you had pegged, turn out differently than you expected.
For example, I don't really like beans. I love chili, but make it myself bean-less. When eating it elsewhere, I tend to pick around the beans. I don't think they taste good, and they are weird and squishy. So, I had not tried hummus, because it is a bean dip. But I was at a cocktail party, and we were in the early phase where there were just a few of us and someone had brought a hummus that they made themselves, so I felt pressured to try it. I dipped just the smallest point of pita into the hummus and ate it. It was delicious. Now of course, hummus eaters know that hummus is really more about garlic and other yummy things, the beans are just creating - along with the tahini - the canvas, if you will. So, now I love hummus.
But, as I discussed previously we have a book reviewer reviewing a book that hasn't been written yet. (And when confronted he still maintained that he was certain his review will be correct.) We have a video game associated with a popular yet controversial series of books that apparently does very few of the things it was condemned for. And now we have a recapper being charged with bias before he completes his recap.
Now, as I mentioned in the comment I left, I don't watch "The Apprentice" so I am in no position to comment on what did or did not happen on the show or to compare what was shown with what Jacob said in his recaplet*. Television Without Pity's reviews are not straight recounts, they are analyses, and sometimes editorials. They are targeted towards a viewer who has already seen the show. (Which is not to say that I haven't used them to catch up when I missed one, because I have.)
Certainly this person is allowed to disagree with the recapper's take on what happened. However, it seems really premature to essentially ping someone's boss and say I can already tell this person is going to suck at this, so I think you should consider replacing this person.
Apparently this person watched the episode and did not see any homophobia in anyone's actions. So, I can see how it might be surprising to go to the recaplet and read that the recapper saw something you didn't. And I can see how it seems like logic to assume that because you know that the recapper is gay, then the recapper must have watched the episode through gay-colored glasses. But in fact, that is bias also. Because if the recaplet had stated that they spoke French and you were sure it was German, you would not assume a French-bias or a German-Bias. And yes, the speaking of French or German is an imperfect example because it is concrete and a lot of discrimination is more subtle.
Now I'm not trying to say that this person is mean or horrible or even homophobic for saying this. It seems like homosexuality is a hot button issue for this person. And certainly there have been incidents in the media where folks have cried, "Homophobia!" a little too quickly. But instead of assuming that people's errors (if they are errors) come from their differences, why not assume it is a disagreement. And why not wait for the full recap to see if maybe, you see what you didn't before? Even if you don't - at least you will know what you are complaining about.

*On Television Without Pity the recaplet is the short, one page version of what happened that goes up the day after the episode. The full recap takes a few more days.