Daniel (Danny) Lance Wright, Author

Monday, November 7, 2011

The "But" Of Criticism

The “But” Of Criticism

Have you noticed that when someone is about to relate a misdeed, bad situation, or sometimes outright tragic occurrence, they’ll often preface it by saying, “It’s funny, but . . . “.

I heard it twice yesterday and there was absolutely nothing funny about either account; one dealt with friends drifting apart to never reconnect and the other was someone dying before realizing a lifelong dream. Is this simply a way of softening a distasteful topic, yet compelled to speak of it anyhow?

I found myself thinking about this for a time, but as is usually the case, my thoughts on the subject rabbit-trailed. It reminded me of a long held belief developed a couple of decades ago.

I spent about ten years as a junior account executive in small market television. From the get-go a pattern developed during regular sales meetings that, at first, were quite demoralizing. The manager would stand at the end of a long conference table, put on a serious face and begin by saying something like, “You guys have been doing a really good job, but . . . “. The rest of that sentence was of course the truth, according to management. After a time, it became less unsettling and more amusing because I began noticing how often it is used in conversations of all types by all people. At some point along the way, it became downright hilarious and I developed a standard comeback whenever I hear versions of the comment: “It’s all bullshit until you get past the ‘but’.”

The balance of my television advertising career was as a manager. On many occasions, salespeople likely thought I had taken a side trip to catatonia listening to their sad stories of life, jealousies, lost loves and poor sales. I’d stare at them expressionless when a sentence began with, “I’m working hard and doing the best I can, but . . . “ or “She’s really a lovely girl, but . . . “ or “He’s a super nice man, but . . . “ Actually, they simply were not aware of how hard I was working at not laughing at their seriousness; you know, the “bullshit” factor.

So, I just want each and every one of you to know that, from the bottom of my heart, I love you all deeply and dearly, but . . . “

Author of
"Six Years' Worth"/Father's Press/mainstream/print & ebook
"Paradise Flawed"/Dream Books LLC/action-adventure/print & ebook
"Where Are You, Anne Bonny?"/Rogue Phoenix Press/ historical drama/ ebook only
“Trouble”, short story/CrossTIME Science Fiction Anthology, Vol. IX/print only
“Dancing Away”/ short story/romance/Untreed Reads/ebook only

“Phobia”/Booktrope/2011/suspense-thriller/print & ebook
“Helping Hand For Ethan/Rogue Phoenix Press/2011/young adult/ebook only
“Defining Family”/Whiskey Creek Press/2012/young adult/print & ebook
“Annie’s World: Jake’s Legacy”/ATTM Press/2012/soft science fiction/print & ebook

“The Last Radiant Heart” (re-release)
“Hackberry Corners, Texas 1934”
“Life, Love, and Lubbock”

Search Daniel Lance Wright on

No comments:

Post a Comment