I recently took a journalism class where on of the writing exercises went like this:

Think of a public person that you really dislike. Take two minutes to write down all the stuff you don’t like about him or her. Mannerisms, views, values, appearance, whatever it is. Everything. Get it on paper. Got it?

This just in from Reuters! The person you wrote about just died. Now write an obituary. Stay professional. Be a journalist. Keep your personal feelings out of it.

It was a fun exercise.

I think about it today as I scan the papers and everywhere see obituaries of a person, whom I once knew and didn’t like. He was a public figure – always the reporter’s go-to-guy on certain topics so I was used to seeing him in debates, on the news, in articles etc.

I met him when I was a psychology major. He taught a few lessons. He would sit on a desk and with great fanfare pull out a cigarette and smoke it – in class. Waving his hand, pointing with the cigarette. It was the 90′s and hence before smoking was banned everywhere but still I found it to be rather staged. Pretentious as fuck. My friend has a rather peculiar name and when he learned this, he kept going back to it. Would talk about something else, freeze, say her name, shake his head and go -”Really??” I mean, her name isn’t THAT unusual, it’s just rare. Him making such a big deal out of it just struck me as incredibly lame. Like, can we move on now? Maybe he thought it was funny. It was not.

So for the past 12 years, whenever I would come across him in the news, I would think – sometimes even say out loud – “Ugh, I HATE that guy.”

I really didn’t know him. Maybe he was really the loveliest person on earth? Maybe he was really funny, a great chef, a fantastic lover, a wonderful dad, an intelligent being. I dunno. I just took my little impression and ran with it. Had him pegged.

So. It is strange to think of the people, who have only met ME briefly and have gotten a bad impression. I know of several. I’m sure that there are more than I’d care to know. People, walking around in the world, disliking me. Sometimes, something will remind them of me and they’ll go: “Ugh, I hate her”.


What the fuck do they know?

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4 Responses to Rest In Peace, Asshole

  1. This is a great exercise. And I instantly thought of the person I’d write about. It gets tricky, though, when your subject manages to keep his or her personal life completely hidden, so that all you have are the professional accomplishments that are already a subject of boasting. B@$t@rd.

  2. Wabbit says:

    Great thoughts…except where you imagine people could have a negative impression of you. That’s simply not fathomable in my reality. :)

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