Monday, February 15, 2010

Muzzling John...

Playboy is not a magazine I subscribe to or read, but when I heard about singer John Mayer’s recent interview with the publication, I couldn’t help but go online and check out what he said. [ ]. While I actually like some of Mayer’s music, the more I read the Playboy interview the more I thought this guy has a serious case of diarrhea-of-the-mouth and could really use a muzzle. In the article he disrespects former girlfriend Jessica Simpson, calling her sexual napalm; he snubs black women; talks about his undying love of pornography; and he uses the N-word. Reading the interview, I don’t necessarily think Mayer is a racist, just an imbecile. In a recent Rolling Stones article the singer said “he’s masturbated himself out of life’s problems, and that if the phone doesn’t pick up it’s because he’s masturbating.” So I guess the lesson here might be: don’t sleep with John Mayer and don’t ask to borrow his phone. 

With instant information like Twitter and Facebook, what you say sticks and there’s no going back. Mayer apologized on Twitter for his remarks in Playboy. Later, he nearly cried on stage during a performance saying he’s done with the media game. Whether he’s sincere or not is beyond me. I don’t know the guy.  

To me, the bigger issue is about accountability; knowing when to own up and knowing when to shut up. Maybe that’s why I find Mayer so intriguing.  

I’ve met lots of people in my life who have no filter or don’t know when to turn it off. And I’ve had my own share of moments where I’ve said things without thinking, ultimately causing pain to those I care about. But the older I get the more I try to think before I say, do, or write. And in the age of social media, viral video, and soundbites that reverberate from blogs to networks and back again, the repercussions can be particularly damaging and far-reaching. 

As I hiked up the mammoth Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge this week, John Mayer’s PR debacle circled my brain. Albert Einstein once wrote: “look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Perhaps this philosophy could benefit Mayer. Time spent in the woods can bring clarity during moments of chaos, confusion, and regret. I took to the woods years ago during a bad breakup where words were exchanged and deceit was revealed. It was in nature that I realized how important it was to end that relationship immediately and for my own well being. Maybe if the singer lost himself deep in the woods for a while he might come out of it wiser, more centered, and happier with himself. At the very least his filter would likely get a good readjustment.

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