Wednesday, March 26, 2014
The one word to watch out for
But what the new technology still can’t do is provide feedback.
You still have to show it to your friends and get their reactions. But rarely, if ever, are you going to get an honest appraisal. They’re not going to insult you. They’re going to be very diplomatic. You have to learn to read between the lines.
Here’s what people say when they really hate something.
“That was really fun.”
If you hear “fun” you’re doomed.
It used to be “Well, you did it!” or “How did you do it?” or “That was something else!” but those are so old school. “That was really fun” is both a veiled compliment and right up to date.
My favorite left-handed compliment came the night of the big industry screening for VOLUNTEERS, the Tom Hanks/John Candy movie that David Isaacs and I wrote. We’re standing in the lobby receiving guests. It’s me, David, and to my right – Walter Parkes, one of the producers.
People are coming up congratulating us until one woman took our Walter's hands in hers, looked him straight into the eye with a pained expression, and said, “Oh Walter, we love you anyway.”
I laughed so hard I almost fell over.
We live in a time of superlatives. Awesome now means okay, perfect means acceptable, and epic means it will be remembered for four hours. So "fun" has been elevated to where it now means sucks.
Oh, for those days when people were honest and told you “I never knew you had it in ya.” So beware of false flattery.
I know what you're thinking. You want to go to the comments section and respond to this post by saying "that was fun." I'm ahead of you. You'll have to be more creative.
Note: For those new to the blog -- whenever I can't find an appropriate photo to go along with the subject matter I post a picture of Natalie Wood.