Monday, June 8, 2009

If you want to produce content on the Internet learn to play with big boy rules . . .

Wow . . . I must have really hit a nerve with cranky-pants Stafford at the Chosun Bimbo with his rather self-illuminating rant about my post on Seoul Podcast #57: Under Quarantine . . . Stafford didn't just write a blog about it, he re-posted it to facebook AND twitter, lol. WHOOO!

Here's the thing boys and girl--because that's what you're acting like--if you want to increase your audience for the Seoul Podcast then grow up and learn to expect that bloggers and Net surfers are going to make positive and negative comments and criticisms about your podcasts.

Before putting up my post about "#57: Under Quarantine" I sent out emails to Brian Dear, Joe at Seoul Podcast, and Rob at Roboseyo. Rob is the only one who bothered to reply (thank you!). I won't say what he wrote because it's not my place to do that. If he chooses to weigh in on this that is his choice.

I tried to challenge my impressions and opinion of the pod cast. I tried to get more information. I tried to directly contact Joe and got no reply. I tried to contact Brian Dear and got no reply. I tried to find information that would challenge the content of my post about the pod cast--and after trying to do this I decided that I felt in my gut that I wanted to put my opinion out there, and I did so.

The really fantastic thing about how the people at Seoul Podcast have been responding to my post about their show is how they're doing such a bang up job of painting themselves as . . . well, you decide.

From a comment on Stafford's rant about my post,

"You don't really pull any punches, do you? I still think one of you two slept with his girl and that's why he clearly hates us, and yet seems to listen to every episode, taking notes. 'Fess up!"
Good Jen the Delicious

Now there's a classy thing to say . . .

Oh, and just to clarify: I don't listen to your show regularly. I've only listened to four pod casts, and for that small number I could only handle listening to ONE in its entirety.

Why I don't listen to your show,

1. I don't share the sense of humor of the hosts.
2. I don't find the questions asked interesting or intelligent (albeit I've only listened to 4 pod casts--Stephanie White's pod cast is exempt from this observation, that show was excellent).
3. It's long and boring.
4. Listening to people in a c***le-jerk is about as much fun as listening to Stafford's m** . . . fill in the rest.

Stafford apparently feels a wee bit of insecurity in his post because at the start he tries to establish the credibility and authority as bloggers and podcast personalities for the hosts of the show,

"Collectively we have over 20 years of experience living and teaching in The Republic of Korea. We are all teachers of English as a Second language and the three of us either have or are actively pursuing postgraduate qualifications in the field. (Some of us for a second time)."

He then goes on to try to establish even more credentials . . .

"In addition Joe has a number of years experience in Radio (Not to mention TV) in terms of production and research, Jennifer is a veteran of more than one Korea related podcast and I myself am no stranger to "The Studio" having done voice-over work over a number of years as well as doing some production work for a radio talk back station back in New Zealand."

It strikes me as a little odd that somebody who is arguing that the Seoul Podcast's style and production mode is not about being professional . . . goes out of his way to illuminate professional credentials . . .

Even Brian jumps back into the c***-jerk-let's-point-out-how-smart-and-professional-we-are-to-everybody . . .

"If anyone has problems with the lack of "professionalism," then they are invited to make their own show and let the marketplace of ideas be the judge. The show isn't unlike a fun morning drive show, but luckily with an exponentially higher IQ."

Wow . . . using this "higher IQ" 'logic' (cough, hack!) this means that any time a person criticizes a performance of any kind they should shut up or do something better? This is grad school PhD-syndrome at its worst: 'If you don't have a PhD you can't have an intelligent thought or express an opinion of any value.'

Stafford goes on to say, "So in terms of our little hobby, "The SeoulPodcast" you might say we're doing pretty well and we know what we're doing."

No, Stafford, YOU might say that--other people can come up with their own opinions thank you very much. This is not your classroom, and you are not our teacher. In the big boy world people choose what they listen to, how they respond, and then form their own opinions and voice them according to how they see fit.

It seems like Stafford is having a bad case of cognitive dissonance: he wants people to listen and comment, but he doesn't want people to listen and comment if it's critical--but he wants people to listen . . .

Woe betide the Seoul Podcast listener who posts a comment that blasphemes Stafford's Ten Commandments with the blasphemers being subject to 'punishment by rant.'

Behold, I give to you . . .

Stafford's 10 Commandments

I am the Lord your Pod.
You shall have no other pods before me.
You shall not make for yourself an opinion (especially a critical/negative one).
You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your Pod.
Remember the Stafford and keep it podly.
Honor your Jen and Joe.
You shall not criticize.
You shall not commit anti-SeoulPodcast-ultery.
You shall not have an opinion of your own.
You shall not speak against your K-neighbor.
You shall not covet Stafford's toys.
You shall not want anything that belongs to Stafford's playground.

The paradoxical truth here is that Stafford and Co. probably would vociferously state that they are not trying to censor opinions about their show--sorry mates, results speak for themselves.

Consider the following,

Bill Maher & Dennis Miller - Free Speech vs Political Correctness (2002)


Dennis: Is that just censorship or is it disapproval? And do you not censor their right to disapprove--
Bill: --your right to disapprove, but if you're saying, you know what, my opinion is so important, my my my -- I have such a high opinion of my own opinion . . . that that, if you disagree with me you can't be heard . . yes, then it rises to the level of censorship . . ."

Stafford . . . why do you have a problem with people voicing their opinions about the Seoul Podcast?

If there was no merit to my comments, questions, and criticisms you'd think that there'd be nothing to react to. Your reaction is so disproportionate to the situation itself that it begs the following question: what is your real problem here?

"There has been some consternation, nay ructions, from some quarters as to the professionalism of what went on during the recording of number 57."

I never once mentioned the word "professionalism" . . . so if you choose to run and follow Professor Blabbered off on his rant and take things out of context from my original post be my guest . . .

And, "Anyway, it was mooted that some of the other recent quarantine graduates should be called to seek their reaction."

I find it interesting Stafford doesn't really take into consideration that not all the people participating in the recording agree with his take on things . . . in fact, they might say (though far be it for me to speak for them) something like this,
Foreigner Joy said...

I can see how you didn't jive with that part of the show. I felt kind of sorry for the guy. To me it sounded like the experience of the quarantine left him paranoid. While I was on I didn't really know what was going on...but I think they were just trying to get a sample of people experienced with the whole thing.

Stafford goes on to say, "The "Rationale" of cold calling people for comment, live on air is a standard practice for radio and TV (and I guess Podcasting) and has been since time immemorial."
Uhm, Stafford . . . maybe you should rein in the hyperbole a bit, eh? "time immemorial"? LOL!

Finally, considering the lack of general language ability in Korea for hogwan directors and supervisors to understand linguistic subtleties like ONLY using the foreign teacher's first name and not his whole name the following point is rather specious,

"The Hosts of The SeoulPodcast are equally cognisant of people's right to privacy and the implications of appearing on the show in relation to work and backlash from employers. Indeed, later in Number 57 Joe audibly stops himself from mentioning a school and the rest of he panel agrees that it's sensible in this case not to mention the school."

If this does somehow get back to the teacher's workplace do you really think they'll care about splitting hairs if it bothers them?

Finally, I'll finish with . . .

"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

Come on Seoul Podcast--being talked about is good whether or not you agree with what is being said, and whether or not it feeds your vanity.

"Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing."
Oscar Wilde

Don't we all have better things to do than blog-rant about this? I know I do.

"I am not in this world to live up to other people's expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine."
Fritz Perls

You do your thing, I'll do mine. Just remember to wear a raincoat when I'm doing my thing cause you're gonna get some on you . . . lol.

“You can think I'm wrong, but that's no reason to quit thinking.”
Dr. Gregory House

Think about it . . .



Baltimoron said...

I'm not surprised Lumsden has reacted this way. I AM disappointed. But, after years of dealing with personalities in the K-Sphere, I know egotism leads and community standards drop out. Bloggers lump together in cliques and respect for chest-thumping is the surest way to gain a following. There's a reason why the K-Sphere is especially male-dominated. I fear your only next step is to go for the jugular and just burn the bridges.

Brian said...

For what it's worth I like Stafford on the podcast. I don't want to get too into my own opinions of the podcast as a whole, but I will say I thought the cold call was a bad idea.

I do like Stafford on the podcast and, with no offense intended to Joe and Jen, I think he's the best panelist there. I like his work on Hub of Sparkle, too. But his response to your post was out of line. If you're going to be a public figure---as much as we bloggers are public figures---than you have to accept criticism. How you react to this criticism says a lot about you, and while there's definitely a time and place to rip into critics, it's not like your objections were groundless or too far out there.

Jason said...

Hi Baltimoron,

I LIKE Stafford's panache and intense personality . . .

I've been told if he and I sat down for a few drinks we might even get along . . . lol.

I don't think I need to 'go for the jugular' or 'burn bridges' . . .

I think once things calm down they'll sort themselves out.

Thanks for the comments though.

Jason said...

Hi Brian,

I agree--of the three Stafford has the most interesting and funny things to say.

I've only listened to 4 podcasts so it shocks me that my opinion carries so much weight with Stafford . . . not sure why, or what provoked the disproportionate rant (at least it's disproportionate in my mind anyway) . . .

Anyways . . . time to go play some more Mafia Wars . . .

Cheers--oh, and nice posting lately by the way.


Brian said...

Nice posting? About what? I've been kind of lazy lately, and am accumulating a huge stack of posts I've been meaning to write. I feel lazy when I just post links. I'm going to have to get through them soon so I can post-date them when I'm out of the country. I've been mulling over your post about when the coteacher doesn't show up, and about coteaching in general. I do like your advice about having a back-up plan, but on the other hand I don't want to be a little you-know-what and be like "Oh, I can't teach by myself." I'm not sure how well that'd play in the teachers' office, but then again nothing I ever do seems to play well in the teachers' office. Anyway, I'll save it for later, when I have more than half-formed thoughts.

I also don't know why you struck such a nerve. They mentioned you on my last podcast, and said they wanted to get you on, based on your posts with advice for new teachers. I guess your list of questions rubbed them the wrong way, but to be fair that whole podcast rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.

Anyway, I wouldn't get too caught up in an online feud. You'll end up alienating readers if you just bicker back and forth. I like what you've had to say so far, but don't get too obsessed with it.

Roboseyo said...

I want to invite you all over to my house, cook spaghetti for you, and drown all reservations in glennfiddich, bacardi, and andong soju.


Brian, you can come, too.

Jason said...

Hi Brian,

I wasn't planning on getting into a series of posts bickering about this. As far as I'm concerned I've said everything I need to--if this gets taken even farther I'll look at what's written and then decide if there's anything worth responding too . ..

As for the whole no-show co-teacher thing: I'm done teaching everything July 3rd, and then have about 4 days worth of paper work and admin stuff, and then I'll be 'free' to do what I want to till the end of August.

If I find the motivation I'll elaborate on my views about what to do when your co-teacher is a no show . . .

As for my comment about 'nice posting' lately . . . I mean it. Interesting content, and the time and energy it takes to put up stuff that is worth taking the time to read--well, it should be acknowledged. There seems to be a bit of a lull in the K-blogosphere right now and your posting is filling some of that vacuum . . .


Jason said...

Hi Rob,

You're on. I'll even bring a bottle of something really really nice to give to Stafford as a peace offering.

Tomorrow is a new day.


Baltimoron said...

I have no doubt in public bloggers would be more civil. That's not the point! As I told Jennifer Young, I think the problem is, that criticisms about the program continue to accrue without apparent response. "In the Bag" might be a response, and it's pithiness is notable. I find Lumsden rhetorically compelling, but not substantively. He also seems to possess the skills to make ITB even more remarkable, but whether it's a better source of good opinion is the question.