August 9th, 2013

Idol B

Green Room - Week 11 - Day 8

A couple of weeks ago, there was a report that George Zimmerman helped some people who were in a car accident. Stop rolling your eyes, and bear with me, as usual, I’m going somewhere with this.

The internet almost instantly divided itself between “OMG, WHAT A HERO!” and “HE KILLED TRAYVON! HE IS A MONSTER AND THIS IS SOME SORT OF PR STUNT!”. It came down pretty much along political lines.

Now, the truth of the matter is something still very much in dispute in some circles, and we may never really know what he did, or why he did it.

But maybe that’s not the point. The facts don’t really matter a lot when you break it down to the gist of “People make some really bad decisions, and sometimes those same ones can make very good ones” – that no one is completely one way or the other – and that maybe caricatures are just that, exaggerated viewpoints that have little to do with the actual person.

These are things that you can talk about. But you put the “Zimmerman” name in there, and the whole conversation shifts into something else entirely.

Which is why I didn’t mention the specifics in my post yesterday. Because chances are, you’ve heard of the story I was talking about. You have an opinion. You didn’t know she was a former Idol contestant. But you either know about her post that went viral – or you’ve seen the stuff that came out after, with her and her life being picked apart on Reddit and dozens of other social media sites.

Some people seemed to miss the bigger point of making that post – that the details *didn’t matter*. I excluded them because there doesn’t need to be another post about the subject. I’ve seen more than enough.

But what I *don’t* see is the idea that a “history of mental illness” DOES NOT EQUAL lying. Heck, from what I’ve seen and/or heard, there are people who scanned what I said and came away thinking that I said just the opposite!
So, I’ll repeat it: Does NOT equal.

Dealing with depression is bad enough without people dragging it all over the internet because you chose to talk about something important to you.

Talking about THAT doesn’t require the details. But considering that I had emails asking me if I *was* going to say something about the subject, I figured that I should at least tell you where my head was at, and why I was suddenly bringing up the subject.

I’m quite sure everyone reading this knows someone who has a “dramatic” life. Things are always happening to them, and at some point you wonder “Why are all of these really bad things happening to them????”

There is usually someone who steps up and “calls BS” on it – saying that they are just making up stuff to get sympathy.

You know what? Sometimes they are. I’ve certainly seen a few of them.

Sometimes they aren’t though. I’d wager the vast majority of times people *aren’t* just “making things up”! Bad stuff can, and does, happen to people. Jumping to the conclusion that someone is lying about an event they are reporting because they have a history of mental illness is akin to saying that someone wasn’t “actually raped” because they have had sex before. The logic just doesn’t hold.

More importantly – it doesn’t matter what the “facts” are. Which is the real story. It’s the only real detail that you (or anyone else) need to have – that people are complex, and regardless of what you *think* you know, if someone is reaching out for support, they probably need it.

It’s NOT “drama” to talk about these things, or to allude to a “developing situation”. It’s nothing that is currently happening in Idol. But rather something that is happening *to* someone who once participated, and as such, is part of our extended family. Which is why it “matters”, and why I need to address it.

I’m not interested in the breaking down of if you believe her or not. In fact, I’d rather avoid that, because it’s taking quite a bit out of me to NOT waltz into some of these sites and start breaking heads. If someone were to decide that they had a negative opinion around *here*, yeah, I’m not sure that I could contain that impulse. Which I don’t want… because those people folks talk about the internet, they are more than just a couple 0s and 1s. There are actual people on the other ends of those interconnected tubes.

Just remember that, and act accordingly.

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There is a poll that is happening – so act accordingly on that as well: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/682110.html

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I now return you to your regularly scheduled posting pictures of your cats, already in progress...