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December 11, 2008

John Mayer's Advice to Bloggers

John Mayer has some advice for bloggers, and I have to admit, he really struck a chord with me. John Mayer points to Don Rickles, who has a way with words and manages to offend and appease all at the same time, and says that we all need to be more like him.

I do kind of feel for John Mayer simply because, well, before he began dating Jennifer Aniston, he was pretty irrelevant, besides the "We Hate John Mayer" fan club started by Maxim magazine.

Now, his every move is being watched and he gets blasted by the media every time he breathes and that must definitely be a tough pill to swallow.

I know, I know, you don't feel bad for him because he's rich, famous and goes to bed with Jennifer Aniston on a nightly basis. Nevertheless, I don't think anyone is ever prepared for the backlash that comes with fame. After all, we do build them up just to knock them down. And now, John Mayer knows that first hand.

Here's what he had to say:

There’s no doubt that at their most irreverent (and yes, mean), gossip blogs can be truly funny. After all, as Rickles has shown the world for years, there’s infinitely more material to be mined in the delicious details of the detested than there are in the lauded. Five words for good, five thousand for bad.

But there’s one element that has always gone missing in the new era of dissery, and perhaps it’s the most important part of the game. It’s what’s given Rickles the room to move with almost diplomatic immunity through cultural stereotypes and sensitivities: that effusive smile, the “not really”, and most importantly, the implicit “me too.” It’s what has given Rickles both his edge and his charm for over five decades, and its absence in today’s gossip media is what will soon lead to a population tired of it.

At Rickles’ recent performance at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut, he made Perez Hilton look like a sycophant. Nobody — and I mean nobody — has what it takes to point out a morbidly obese man in the front row and call him out on it in song. (The man laughed hysterically.) After ribbing two men on stage, making fun of both them and their wives, he had handlers walk bottles of champagne to their seats, thanking them for playing along and suggesting they enjoy the bottles in their hotel rooms while making love. It doesn’t make the bite any less sharp, but it invites people to return to the lion’s cage.

If, in the blogosphere, there is any semblance to Rickles’ style of dressing the very wound he’s inflicted, it seems only to come posthumously; if you’re a celebrity and you want to sniff out who actually wishes you’d get killed by a grizzly bear flying a helicopter and who was only joking about it and had no idea it would actually happen, swear to God, you have to die to find that out. I appreciate kind thoughts in the wake of my passing, but they’d go to better use while I can still hear them. Or is that too much kindness for one person to be allowed?

Wouldn’t it be nice, every once in a while, to read some sort of evidence of heart? An occasional ‘We kid, the guy’s okay??’ Unless you really don’t, in which case you won’t be sorry when that bear shoots me with a rocket launcher. Mark my words: the gossip-monger whose style closest resembles that of Don Rickles’ mastery of tension and release will stay successful the longest. Because the salient rules of entertainment will always apply. And Don Rickles should know, because he helped write them.

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