Friday, September 02, 2011

Clearly, Alyssa Bereznak Had Vigilance...

.:... So Jon Finkel Never Tapped Her:.

A couple of days ago, I discovered an article that hit rather close to home, and despite having read the original version where Mr. Finkel was heavily implied but never named, I cringed at the disparaging nature of the article, and how it was clearly written with the intention to get a laugh at the expense of Jon.

See, it isn't really the fact that I play Magic: The Gathering as well that struck a nerve with me while reading this. Neither was it the fact that Jon Finkel was, for all intents and purposes, dumped by a girl for being too much of a dweeb. It was the mean-spirited aftermath of the whole thing that just sent a chill down my spine.

True, Alyssa is a person with issues. Then again, who isn't? While I dislike the misogyny that springs out from people who took Ms. Bereznak to task for what she did to Jon, I'd rather focus on the very predatory things she did to Jon instead and work from there.

While I'm not a world champion like Mr. Finkel, I certainly know how it feels like to have someone try to make a laughing stock out of you just because they can. Whether it be some very unflattering blog post about you that may or may not mention you by name (Obviously, Finkel wasn't lucky enough to get the latter treatment.), wasn't it enough already that you went out, it didn't work out, you take your respective mental notes, and you move on? I'm pretty sure there was no need to embellish the story when the more sensible course of action is to just, well, let sleeping dogs lie.

I've also had the displeasure of having someone supposedly special to me make it very clear that she thought my being a magician was kid's stuff and terribly immature. I especially found this amusing coming from someone who, at the time, didn't even have a job, while I was supporting myself, paying the rent, and putting myself through my Masters with my "kid's stuff." She was embarrassed of me and would avoid introducing me to her friends if she could help it, and yet, again, none of her friends were really making a living at the time. When someone's working and making a very good living entertaining kids, and another someone is still, for all intents and purposes, a dependent, and living off of an allowance, who's really being a kid, again?

And, oh, I still have a couple of shows this weekend, and what I would make in two hours of work, she would make in two months. Not too shabby for some "kid's stuff," huh?

But see, it isn't all about the money. That's nice and all, but it's not like my whole being is defined by the fact that I'm a magician or a mentalist. More importantly, beyond the money, it's about the fact that I enjoy what I do, and I certainly am not hurting anyone while I do it, nor, particularly in this case, did it ever steal away any time from my social life at the time. Considering that most of my shows were for corporate entities rather than children, I don't even see the whole "kid's stuff" part, for that matter.

Yes, I'm being bitter. But I'd like to think I'm making a point here.

Jon Finkel just won $3 million or so dollars from a world tournament for poker a year or so ago. The man is loaded, he is a managing partner in a hedge fund, he looks fit, and given his classy responses online, he's also witty, modest, and kind. Sure, maybe being a "dweeb" as it were can really be a dealbreaker for someone, and hey, it's not like Alyssa was obliged to really hook up with Jon after a couple of dates (Especially not after one that involved watching a play about a serial killer.). It's just that there was no need to be mean-spirited about it after the fact. You went out, it didn't work out, let bygones be bygones, and let sleeping dogs lie.

But noooooo. Some people just really can't do that, so to make themselves feel better, or to maybe just get some more hits on their little blog, they'll take their shots at you. Or make it a point to embarrass you in front of their friends. Or, I dunno, borrow money from you and then whine about someone else who owes them money while they haven't paid you in two years. Y'know, the normal stuff.

I guess I saw a little too much of myself in Jon Finkel's plight, although I wouldn't mind winning $3 million myself. That the feelings of contempt I feel right now are bubbling up like crazy despite my relative anonymity, only tells me about the kind of temperance and perspective Jon has in being able to respond to the outright slander against him in a very dignified and classy manner.

I guess the take-away here is not that Alyssa should totally have gotten with Jon. Clearly, they weren't going to work out, and it was good that they figured it out two dates in. While Alyssa thinks it's human nature to be shallow and judgmental, I think what really sets the decent human beings apart from the douchebags is their ability to express these shallow judgments as a matter of fact rather than as an opportunity to humiliate someone.

It's this kind of honesty not only to others but to one's self as well that is sorely missing in this world today. In all honesty, I've been feeling like crud the past few months, especially in the face of broken promises and blatant lies, but what keeps me going and what keeps me optimistic is the belief that no matter what my shortcomings are, I'm not afraid to own up to them and to make amends for them where fitting.

As I approach my birthday this month, I always end up being pensive, because every single year, all I really want is peace of mind and a chance to bury the hatchet. Every year, I try, and every year, it doesn't happen. If I could have just half the kind of temperance Jon Finkel has demonstrated these past few days, then I'd be pretty sure this would be a far better birthday than the last couple of years has been.

And it's a bit of a tangent, but speaking of being honest to one's self, earlier on Twitter, I made a rather scathing comment when I said: Matt Hardy claims to want to make the world a better place. If he actually killed himself like he threatened to, he would've accomplished that goal.

If you're looking for context, check out this article. Long story short, everyone thought he left a suicide note, people actually called 911, and then it turns out it was just him having a "Genesis" for himself. Never mind what his fans felt: it's all about him and his latest cry for attention.

My uncharacteristic meanness to him aside, I do believe it's time he came to terms with the fact that he needs help. Working people over suicide was not, in any way cool. It wasn't even a case of him contemplating it, and then having cold feet at the last moment: it was just him trying to get a rise from the internet yet again, and while people did fall for it hook, line, and sinker, was it really worth the price?

If he does end up killing himself next time, I honestly wouldn't even bat an eyelash anymore. He has just gotten to that point already with so many of his fans, and the worst part is, he just thinks we hate him or something. We don't. We just wish he'd get his act together before it's too late and we all exchange I told you so's.

The Alyssa's and the Matt's of this world are going to be all around us, preying on us and our general outlook and willingness to assume the best in people. Ultimately, it's also up to us to remind ourselves that these people aren't representative of us, nor should we allow them to be, because people like Alyssa Bereznak and Matt Hardy exist to remind us that we can do better even if on paper, they were given much more than we were. It isn't a case of saying "someone has it worse." It's a case of someone making it worse. For themselves. It's a trait we can identify in them, and if we can identify it in us, then we would be best served to get it out of our system.

Or maybe I'm just being bitter right now. Be that as it may, does it really invalidate my point?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can only agree! You are dead on!
Also wrote an open letter to Bereznak on my blog: