Sigh. Almost daily some celebrity tweets something reprehensible and the media jumps on it like Mr. Hippo on a mudpie.
Typically, the celeb botches the mandatory faux apology, tarnishing the silver tea service of his reputation and punching up a full frontal lobotomy to his storybook self-image as a beloved, impishly ticking time bomb of racial, ethnic and LGBTI tolerance.
We’ve read the reports of a certain self-aggrandizing, oaf-bigot viciously condemning the LGBTI community right in their community center. Afterwards, instead of consulting a professional media manipulator or a priest, he phoned Mel Gibson. He then said:
“Oops, my bad. I thought LGBTI stood for ‘Let’s get barbacoa tacos, immediately,’ and it made me mad, as everyone knows I hate tacos because they are communists and unnatural and in the Scriptures, when The Carpenter saw there were only five loaves, two fishes and six tacos to feed the crowd, he said ‘Those things will just crumble in your hands after one bite,’ and when his disciple, Johnny, said ‘But these are soft shell tacos,’ The Carpenter said ‘Are you a Mexican?’”
Such offensive screeds have curdled the 2 per-cent milk of human kindness. Meanwhile, public relations types have jumped on them like Mr. Hippo pouncing on his muddy Missus Hippy. Having failed to convince us there isn’t that much sawdust or parmesan cheese in shake-on parmesan flavored sawdust, the PR peeps have discovered the lucrative business of screed repair.
For megabucks, they coach despicable tweet-holes on things like when to shutup (now and forever) and how to deliver an apology as if you mean it. (Delivered with a straight face? Add 20 per cent.)
Here are their Ten Principles of Apologizing to Save Your Ass.
1. Evaluate whether you really need to apologize, i.e., did anyone see or hear you? Is there YouTube evidence? An arrest report? A tweet trail?
2. Will an amount of money make this go away? Do you have an amount of money? (If not, go away.)
3. Always consider sincerity — tinged with just a pinch of humility. Always reject sincerity and humility. And if you pinch my tinge again, I’m calling the cops.
4. Dishonesty is the best policy. When George Washington chopped down the cherry tree, he offered his father a sincere apology. In return, his father offered him a sincere knuckle sandwich, after which George was fitted with wooden teeth—carved from the branches of a certain late cherry tree.
5. Never miss a chance to shift the blame, no matter how farfetched. “Father I am heartsick that your cherry tree was chopped down with my axe. While it was in my hands. While I was swinging it at the tree. Yelling Tim-BERRRRRRRRRINO. But an escaped bluegrass musician held a banjo to my ear and threatened to play Peach Pickin’ Time in Georgia, if I didn’t chop chop.”
6. You can never go wrong by saying “The person who said that is the me who lives in an alternate universe.” Wait one beat and then add “Really.”
7. If cornered, use the apology hedge “In case I offended anyone.” This implies that only a wuss would be “offended” by what you said. A real man would have blown your head off.
8. Take a page from the script of our friend the hippopotamus: “It’s only mud, dude.” (Although you might want to pre-treat with triple-acting gork remover.)
9. Deny your despicableosity with a simple “Nunt unh.”
10. Try not to invoke the name of The Carpenter. After the Holy Poohbahs behind the Pearly Gates saw the way he drove the money changers out of the temple, giving Him the lightning smite concession was a no-brainer.
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2016, all rights reserved.