‘Publicity, darling. Just publicity. Any kind is better than none at all.’

By 2:16 PM ,

-Rhonda Farr


"The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about."
-Oscar Wilde

So this post is inspired by an incident that occurred on a shared Facebook picture (a meme). The original photo was shared on January 24th. I shared it on the day after. Several days later, I've come to the realization that many were offended by the post - the original and the shared copies.

So this sent me in a whirlwind of questions... Would I have been offended - had it been me? What would my reaction have been? Was it fair? Is it a just assumption?

From the comments I read on mine, as well as the original, I saw commentary about political references as well as defaming of the brand and undermining local industry.

What was this meme/comic strip about?


In all fairness, after all the unnecessary hype and argument that ensued I was forced to examine this picture on a deeper level than probably required. In fact, in writing this, I feel like one of those people who go to an art gallery, see a black spot on a white canvas titled "black spot on white canvas" and spend an hour trying to get into the depths of the artist's mind when... as an artist myself, sometimes... what we really mean is "black spot on a white canvas" - there isn't necessarily a Shakespearean story following to explain what could be a genuinely simple idea.

So the general gist of offenses gathered was, the picture supports the undermining disparaging of local industry, makes vague irrelevant political references and that the maker was an anonymous cowardly attention seeker. How do I know this? Was it a collection of rumours I heard circulating? Was it someone misrepresenting the brand or the politicians? Was it a few malicious individuals looking to air their voices? No. I'm aware of what was said because the comments were posted directly from individuals - some in well written paragraphs, others in hyped up rants - on the very public domain of Facebook for all to see.

My initial response to the picture? I thought it was funny. A few days prior, a close friend and I had just discussed the mindless following of some trends in Grenada - which is arguably valid for countries other than Grenada, including the US. We were lamenting about how many of these young folk just jump on a bandwagon of perceived coolness and swagger without understanding the origins of the trend or even knowing what the trend means to them personally.

We did reference local brands being launched as well. However, it wasn't in a manner to take away from the brands because --- we admire the work done. I find it impressive to know there are young people (teenagers and young adults) on our tiny island taking initiative to become entrepreneurs and successfully brand themselves into households names. This is the kind of thing you read in Cosmogirl magazine or see on tv. However, we're now doing it with our own people which is pretty awesome. Hell, I want to buy their stuff.

That being said does not mean one cannot be allowed to have an opinion. We did question what exactly were the intentions of some local endeavours - brands, parties, etc. A lot of these endeavours push images with young people throwing up their middle fingers or scantily clothed or just what is often perceived as a negative message to the masses. Which led us to ask, what really is the intention or the message they are trying to get across? What does being 'cool', 'fun', 'rebellious', 'artistic', 'unique' and so forth mean to them and what aspect of the meaning are they hoping to cover... because I swear the upcoming generations in the (arguably as it's what I see on tv) Western Hemisphere need a lot more than Jesus' descent from the Heavens to save them and little incentive to hasten them down the wrong road.

All of this to say what? Getting back to the picture. Reading the artist's comment on the pic itself, I saw the note about "certain local brands" and "politicians" these days. Fair enough reason to get upset I guess. I'm not sure if I would've been upset and/or reacted similarly since I'm more hesitant about commenting on anything on Facebook.

The factual bits about this story?
  • The local brand wasn't directly referenced. 
  • Nor any political party. 
  • People do follow trends without having a purpose.
  • Free tshirts are being given out politcally.

Ultimately, I think you can't avoid negative reactions towards anything you do be it a good or bad endeavour, "haters" if you want to call it as such. It's not what you called but what you react to... and when you react to it, how you handle a situation. For me? I think the more professional way to handle it would've been to simply ask first and foremost as an inboxed message "Can you take down this?" and/or a similar message on the photo itself. If it doesn't work, report it to Facebook or learn to ignore it. In the real world, it's hard to do great things and not gather unwanted heat. If this is the manner chosen to react to every situation on a personal level of attack, how can one make it to Kanye, Jay-Z, Beyonce, P. Diddy level? Where these successful folks, with clothing lines, albums, brands, etc. have to deal with more than just some random person throwing up memes online? One's initial reaction cannot be to throw a tantrum or get caught up in petty back and forth public arguments. If you're a boss, be a boss about yo' biz.

And the "anonymous coward attention seeker" (paraphrased) he does this online comic thing all the time. Some of his stuff is kinda controversial, others are hilarious and then there are a few that make you think. He tries to apply real life situations into his work because like any good artist you could only speak what you know right? People only seem to react to things that strike a nerve directly anyways as this is the first time I've seen all of this hype and he's said "worse."

Now in order to "hate" people must value what you offer right? I felt compelled after to peruse my buddy list and ask them if they saw an issue with the picture (viewed solely without the comments). You know how many of them even knew of the label? How many of them were offended? How many of them understood what the problem was? NONE. In fact, they thought it was hilarious and true to life. One guy said after reading the comments, "maybe the dude was honoured to be mentioned and didn't know how to respond."

 So 10 more people, than those who knew already, now know about this all brand and politics drama because ONE guy decided to allude to a local situation that somehow resonates within their being. They should take him out and buy him a beer.

And for those of who have a problem LOVING your "HATERS" 
---- > Read this "Loving my haters"

The end.

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