Let’s all listen to Orlando Jones

Mr. Jones, a fine actor on the first-season-was-awesome-and-then-oh-GOD-but-I’m-not-giving-up-yet television program Sleepy Hollow, is known for his skilled use of social media. He has, however, not always knocked his social-media apologies out of the park, as we have discussed on this very site.

But he may have learned! Here is a SorryWatch-relevant snippet from his wise post-Sally-Hemings-twitter-screwup series How To Not Be A Dick On The Internet. 



I would like to contextualize this statement. Mostly I agree. If the screwup admits his or her wrongness and apologizes and makes clear he or she has been educated about his or her wrongness, we should indeed move on! BUT: the screwup does not have the right to tell others to move on. The moving-on is decided upon by those who are being asked forgiveness, not by the person asking. The asker has no right to demand or even encourage movement from the ask-ee. Part of the art of apology is understanding that you do not get to noodge people into forgiveness.

The apologizer’s job is to be humble, to listen and learn, to accept that people may still be angry or upset. Do not rush, apologizer. Your job is to weather the storm following your apology-worthy utterance and yes, even the storm following your apology. Suck it up. Apologize well, then shut up. You have to earn the onward movement.

And for those on the receiving end of the apology: do listen to Orlando, and be open to the notion of moving on. Do not let the outrage machine go into overdrive for a minor offense. Save the not-moving-on for the big despicable vile offenses, lest we all experience outrage burnout. We need our outrage.

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Sorry hecklers

Photo: Alan Light. https://www.flickr.com/photos/42274165@N00/2077798931/ Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Incipient heckling. (Photo by Alan Light.)

Carol Leifer‘s book How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying: Lessons from a Life in Comedy has useful tips for handling hecklers. One came from early in her standup career, when she often had problems with male groups heckling her. She asked another comic—male, and specializing in material about How Guys Are—to observe a set. He did, and told her, “They’re guys out on a Saturday night, and there are no women with them—that’s their Achilles heel. They don’t want to be reminded of that… in front of the crowd. So that’s your assault weapon right there.”


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“kanye west” apologizes

Sad baby.

Sad baby.

We have a real (crap) Kanye apology and a fake Kanye apology song!

Kanye apologized for dissing Beck (and also Bruno Mars) in a manner as minimalist as a $120 plain white t-shirt. At the Grammys last month, it seemed for a moment we’d get a replay of the “Imma let you finish” incident of a few years ago, but with Beck playing the blond Kanye-Seal-of-Disapproval-for-not-being-Beyonce-award-winner role made famous by Taylor Swift. Continue reading

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My Special Forces unit parachuted in and fixed the VA

Photo: United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Public Domain.

The least little misslip of the tongue and they’re all over you.

He was chatting with a homeless veteran one night in January. He asked what branch of the Armed Services the man had been in. “Special Forces.” He leaned in with interest. “Special Forces! What years? I was in Special Forces.”

Unfortunately for him, U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald, he was being filmed (as he knew) by CBS Evening News. Unfortunately, he had not been in the Special Forces. Unfortunately, this wasn’t his first recent conspicuous inaccuracy.

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I’ve said much worse things than that

Rebecca Mock is an illustrator. You can see her work on her website. I love “A Year in Trees”, an animation she did for the NY Times Sunday Review. I bet they paid her. The “Aftershocks” is cool, and a little alarming. She did that for Medium.com. I bet they paid her. I like her “Transportation in NYC” cover. I’m sure Capital NY magazine paid her for that commission.

Photo: Sakena. https://www.flickr.com/photos/sakena/4821450279/ Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Please tell me you gave him a hint.

A lot of her work is in .gif form. Someone put “Aftershocks” on the site WiffleGif. It’s tagged #earthquake, #medium, #illustration, and #rebecca mock. If you click on it, you’ll see it comes from Mock’s Tumblr. (I love the second of the silver box .gifs she did for Nordstrom. Which you know they paid for.)

Apparently, DJ/producer/songwriter Diplo came across “Aftershocks” on Wifflegif, and he liked it too. He used it to make a teaser trailer for a remix of Take Ü There (by Jack Ü, a duo of Diplo and Skrillex) for Missy Elliott. He released it on Instagram.

He did not pay Mock. He did not credit Mock.

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We do not apologize for using lynching imagery to sell photo-editing software

Warning: Racism and lynching imagery ahead. Thanks to reader Kali for pointing this out.  Continue reading

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That’s not us

Photo: National Baseball Hall of Fame. Public domain.

Fleet Walker, the first African-American player in the Major Leagues (as catcher with the Toledo Blue Stockings in 1883), played varsity baseball for UM, and hence was a Wolverine, though not, apparently, a fraternity member.

This January six “Greek” organizations at the University of Michigan planned a lovely winter weekend holiday. Sigma Alpha Mu, and Sigma Delta Tau booked 40 rooms at the Treetops resort in Gaylord, Michigan, to shelter upwards of 200 members. Pi Kappa Alpha, Chi Psi, Delta Gamma and Alpha Phi booked 12 condo units at the Boyne Highlands skit resort in Harbor Springs, Michigan, for perhaps 100-120 more.

On Saturday there were complaints about noise and profanity from other guests. Management spoke to fraternity and sorority members, who said they’d rein it in.

But then there was rampaging.

Apparently under the impression they were 1970s rock stars, invading Visigoths, exuberant toddlers with My First Battle-Axe – or wait, actual wolverines? – they trashed the premises. They broke windows (terrible idea in Michigan in January). They broke furniture, kicked doors off hinges, ripped down ceilings, punctured walls, broke fixtures, smashed EXIT signs, and got carpets very very dirty. Yeah, [there was peeing] where no peeing should be. Maybe they were in the grip of divine madness.

They did $100,000 damage at Treetops, $25,000 at Boyne Highlands. They were just getting started, but the buzzkill state police escorted them from the premises before they could hit their stride.

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Making fun of those accents is how I stay sane

Photo: Photo: Presidencia de la Nación Argentina. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

With sword, in her capacity as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. Life really is absurd, isn’t it? Maybe Falklanders see less humor here.

Argentinean President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (CFK) went to a trade event in China during a state visit. Not her first visit there. Noting the large attendance, she tweeted, “Más de 1.000 asistentes al evento… ¿Serán todos de “La Cámpola” y vinieron sólo por el aloz y el petlóleo?…”

Let the BBC translate: “More than 1,000 attendees at the event… Are they all from the “Cámpola” and only here for the lice and petloleum?”

If your response is “What?” the answer is that she’s mocking Chinese accents in pronouncing Cámpora (the youth wing of her party) as Cámpola, rice (arroz) as aloz, and oil (petróleo) as petlóleo.

Tacky thing for a head of state to do. Unwise, when you want your hosts to make investments. She quickly apologized.

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Checking back with the execrable Facebook Year in Review

Here’s an old apology story with an update.

Remember when Facebook threw that “Hey, [your name], here’s what your year looked like!” party that showed up in your timeline shortly before New Year’s Eve? Most had the caption: “It’s been a great year! Thanks for being a part of it.” There was a picture from your feed, with happy celebrating dance-y people and firework thingies all around it. A web developer named Eric Meyer got one, featuring the beautiful face of his 6-year-old daughter, who’d died of brain cancer during the year. On her birthday.


Celebrate good times, come on!

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I remember it like it was yesterday. Or even tomorrow

Photo: screen grab.

I remember the smells.

In 2003, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams was reporting on-scene from Iraq. He was in a convoy of Chinook helicopters on a supply run over desert west of Baghdad when one of them was struck by rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) and small-arms fire. Well, no, actually, Embedded Man was in a helicopter about an hour behind the group of three in which one was hit.

The three choppers from the 159th Aviation Regiment descended safely, and were joined by the one Williams and camera crew were in. The whirlybirds were grounded for a few days, surrounded and protected by an Army unit with tanks.


Like a young fruit tree, that story got even better with time.

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