Monday, February 15, 2010

On apologies


JAN: I guess I've never really understood apologies before. I was under the misguided notion that when you wanted an apology from someone, you wanted it to be sincere. From the heart. As if the person felt that he or she did you wrong and was truly sorry about it.

I never got the whole "apology" as marketing thing. But now I see the apology is an incredibly useful tool. For example, if your name is fading from the headlines, say like Jaimee Grubbs, one of Tiger Wood's mistresses, all you do is demand an apology. Not a real one that he may mean. But one he might be forced to make for public relations reasons.

Jaimee wants Tiger Woods to apologize to her because he made her feel like she was "the only girl." We won't go into Jaimee's cognitive skills, we'll stick to her marketing skills. Bravo, Jaimee!

You can also use the apology to keep you in the papers by doing really stupid things and apologizing for them John Mayer may or may not have done this deliberately when he dissed his old girlfriends, Jessica SImpson and Jennifer Aniston, in Playboy Magazine.

But you must ask: did he think the Playboy reporter wasn't taking notes when he was talking?? After all this time in the celebrity limelight, did he not notice that reporters glom onto the first hint of controversy??

We all make mistakes. It's just that we all don't get huge amounts of press for them. So I've been putting on my thinking cap, trying to come up with an idea: I could either confess to having an affair with someone famous and then apologize afterward (sorry, I was delusional) Or better yet, maybe I could plagiarize a Pulitizer-prize winning author, and apologize afterward. (sorry, I just didn't notice i was copying word for word.)

Okay, so what are YOUR thoughts on apologies. And do you have any inventive ideas on how
to get press for them??

HANK: I think it's the "Just spell my name right" syndrome. If they're using your name, that's good, no matter what. And there's nothing like demanding something to get a story about how you're demanding it. I'm still shaking my head over the Rielle Hunter sex tape.

Okay, so first you get a camera and tape yourself having sex with your illicit adulterer politico lover. Right there, no way. Then someone else somehow has the tape? Are you kidding me? Let me ju
st say this--*I'm* demanding an apology from everyone involv
ed in that debacle. I used up valuable brain room on it, and someone ought to pay.

JAN: Yes, that one has had me amazed, too. Let's see, you're a politician running for NATIONAL office, and all your enemies are looking for ways to bring you down -- so you video tape your adulterous affair. Then you lose track of it? And with that stellar sense of judgment, you want to make policy for the rest of us?

HALLIE: Apologies are oh so useful... especially when someone is screaming at you. I once apologized to a guy who rear-ended me in traffic. Shut him right up.

Did you know that you have a better chance of getting your message across if you speak in someone's RIGHT ear. That's according to a study in the UK reported in The Telegraph. But those folks drive on the wrong side or the road so maybe American left ears are more receptive? We could duplicate their experiment. We'd need to work 30 young men up into a fury. I'll drive.

RHYS: What sickens me is that the apology seems to be enough. Some sleazy public figure stands tearfully at the mike and sobs "I have sinned" and then everything is supposed to be all right again.

It seems that so many people relish fame and the spotlight so much that they'd rather be pitied or despised than back out of the public eye. On the other hand the sincere apology is one of the hardest things to do, and one of the most healing.

RO: Ditto, ditto and ditto. The guy who spends a lifetime saying that gays are going to hell, and shouldn't be teachers and shouldn't be in the military..then deals with the inevitable sex tape of him with his massage therapist, by saying "Ooops. I'm sorry. I have sinned"? That makes me want to scream. The guys who are unfaithful? I don't care, that's between them and their wives. I fail to see why anyone cares. Maybe if it were Russell Crowe and Michelle Obama I'd be mildly interested, otherwise - so what?

Saying you're sorry is a great way to get the other person to shut up. Unless you're my husband, in which case it will only unleash another stream of "I don't want you to be sorry, I want you to know why -fill in the blank - bothers me."
I think we should take out an ad in an upcoming show program announcing that the writers of Jungle Red are profoundly sorry for their actions and words appearing on www.jungleredwriters.com. We understand that a number of people were shocked, appalled, and horrified while bemused, engaged and entertained by our words and although we understand and are deeply concerned we believe it is our dut
y, nay, our sacred trust with the blogosphere to continue to write as we have for the past four years without regard to ratings, hits, tweets or the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune because we are six brave women who will stand together to fight this thing and emerge victorious in the name of women everywhere.

Maybe people will wonder what the $%*& we're apologizing for.

HANK: Oh, definitely! All kinds of new people would come read our blog to see what they missed! Uh, once, maybe.

ROBERTA: Ro, you have the same evil mind that I do. let's apologize! Maybe we should start saying s
ome things that are worth apologizing for! What perplexes me more than the fake apologies are the folks who DON'T apologize, when "I'm sorry" might make a huge difference in the outcome of their mess. But I think part of it has to do with Rhys's point, an apology is not easy, especially done with humbl
eness and sincerity.

JAN: Ro, I think that's a brilliant idea!! And next, we can all apologize for sleeping with Tiger Woods!

Come back tomorrow, when I reveal why not doing something you want to do is oddly appealing.

10 comments:

Jeff Cohen said...

Hey, Jungle Red-ers: I nominated you for Lesa Holstine's Bold Faced Liar ... er no, "Creative Writer" Award. Check out the Dead Guy blog http://heydeadguy.typepad.com/heydeadguy/ for details on how to participate and see our lie and truths.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

OH, Jeff, you rock! Thank you!


(And we are so so sorry for Lesa Holstine's loss--her dear husband died and we are sending her all our love.)

Gene said...

I'm wondering how Tiger could sleep with Jamie Grubb and not notice what huge balls she has.
Remember (try "Frost/Nixon" if you weren't around) how important it seemed for Richard Nixon to say "I'm sorry" and how he wouldn't say it? A lot of the way modern news media have gone about presenting news comes from that era. It started in Vietnam and traveled through the '68 Democratic convention, "60 Minutes," and especially Watergate. Television became technically able to visually give the lie to a person's words. Watergate, which started out in print, concluded with Nixon's constantly televised lack of repentance.
And that gave rise to the should he or shouldn't he (or she) apologize culture, which is all we have left involving the principals after a news event. It's good work for lawyers, public relations cos. and television news. That's a lot of upside to the apology game. For news consumers, it's sneaking candy. Like crowding into the priest's booth with millions of people you don't know and hearing confession. Mmmm.
One more thing on Jamie Grubb. Maybe she was or even is in love with Tiger. That would be a noble explanation for her demand for an apology which would melt our cold hearts. But pictures, probably not even words, can never tell us that truth.

Jungle Red Writers said...

Hey Gene,
That puts it all in historical perspective and makes a lot of sense. It's just that the celebrity culture ran away with the whole apology thing. And I guess that's what's annoying, we don't really CARE about their apologies to each other.

Well, I guess that's probably wrong. There wouldn't be a whole industry revolved around reporting on celebrities if that were true. But at least I DON'T Care.

Thanks for the nomination Jeff!!

Rhys Bowen said...

It's hard for me to imagine what enormous egos these people have. If I'd been caught out doing something awful, I wouldn't be able to show my face in public again.
But all of us sleeping with Tiger Woods--at the same time?? Hmmmm
We could all apologize for plagerizing each other's books. I'm sorry, I stole large passages from Air Time and transported them to Buckingham Palace!

Marilyn Brant said...

LOL!! Thanks for this great post, ladies. You made me laugh, and I refuse to accept any apologies for that ;).

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Hank, HUGE congrats on Drive Time's release! Looking forward to your visit!!

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Rhys, I would be DELIGHTED if AIR TIME got into your books. What fun for Charlie! xox
And Marilyn, thanks! Me, too..xoox

Jungle Red Writers said...

Hi Marilyn,

Glad you enjoyed it!! I won't say we're sorry!

And Rhys, please, please, please plagiarize me....

and we don't have to all sleep with Tiger Woods, we just have to ALL apologize for sleeping with Tiger Woods.

~JAN

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