Thursday, August 12, 2010

Celebrity, Media, and The Truth

Celebrity is a curious thing. You work hard at what you do, people fall in love with you, your product, and the image you created, and you're on top of the world. Next, those same people that helped you make it big, with the help of the "media", start the process of tearing you down. Piece by piece they work their own craft, finding and distorting the small flaws in you that are (or should be) inherent in all of us, until they're satisfied that you can be judged by the public on the basis of rumour, innuendo, and lies, and not by hard work you put into your craft, the changes you effect in the world around you, or the impact you make on those less fortunate than yourself. Such is the case of John Mayer, and it's a shame that the media refuse to promote him for the kind-hearted soul that he is.

I logged online this morning and caught an article by Craig Outhier in the Phoenix New Times that calls Mayer the "douchiest douche of all time", "dismissible", and "uncharitable". Furthermore, Outhier goes on to suggest that the now infamous playboy interview that John did in February was simply a way for Mayer to further his career and spark interest in himself and pad the number of followers he has on his twitter page - a naive and foolhardy suggestion at best, and an outright lie, mischaracterization, and devious attempt to attract his own attention at worst. Regardless, Outhier's "article" in today's Times seems to accurately reflect the mission of most "media" outlets in today's age - build up, pile on, take down, and move on.

Outhier, and the other "journalists" that troll through celebrities lives and fixate themselves on the flaws of people like Mayer, force themselves to look past the good they do with their time and the impact they have on others, in order to sell print and make money. It's cowardly journalism at it's finest, and I'd like to believe that writers like Outhier didn't begin their career believing they would be doing their profession proud by publishing such biased and embellished trash and calling it news.

John Mayer is a favourite for news-outlet fodder, a favourite for biased bloggers to target and tear-down. Conveniently, however, these outlets leave out honest deeds that Mayer does whenever they write their tripe, and the decision makers that OK the publication of such drivel should be shamed because good writers don't overlook the truth before them, and good writers present the whole story.

For me, the whole story on John Mayer, his life, and his career should include the past 10 years he's spent honing his craft in the music business, crossing genre's and creating a unique style of sound that will last for generations. For me, the whole story on Mayer should include the countless children (like my son) that he has spared time for in order to make their world a better place, if even just for a moment. It should include the high-fives, the hugs, the smiles, and the words of encouragement he's given to those in need of the simple things in life. It should include all that he does for others, even if he doesn't go out of his way to broadcast it himself.

The John Mayer I know isn't a "douche". He's kind and caring, and sincere. The John Mayer I know was mortified and hurt at the interview that was published in February and would NEVER seek to further himself through other people's hurt. The John Mayer I know takes pride in helping others, and goes out of his way to make my son smile. As I type this entry, I'm listening to Isaac ask his mom why he has to have MPS VI, and it's breaking my heart. Of late, he's been struggling to understand why he drew this difficult lot in life, and I sometimes don't know what to tell him. But in the same breath, he's been able to find some small comfort in his unfair disease because of the love and care he's found in people like John Mayer. John's not "dismissible" or "uncharitable" by any standards, and the proof is in my son's smile.

If there's hope for the profession and for journalistic integrity, I challenge Outhier and those like him to put aside their bias and write a real, balanced story on Mayer. Salvage your integrity and do what you trained to do, which is write the truth, because to me, knowing what I know of John Mayer, you've done everything but.

P.S. I snapped the photo to the left this morning while Isaac was at the hospital. Instead of dragging his IV pole into the playroom, he chose to lay in his chair and listen to his hero on the iPad, a lasting glow from his time at the show last night.

P.S.S There's also a photo of John signing a guitar for our charity to auction off at our upcoming Gala, co-signed by Isaac himself.

Take Care and, as always, Thanks for your support.


Kevin said...

Great post...while John may have had a few slip-ups in interviews, or statements that don't translate as well on paper, you're totally right that he's a great guy at heart.

I've only had the pleasure of meeting him for all of 30 seconds before a show, but one can just sense that he loves meeting new people, helping people and just trying to make the most of his life (which I'd say he's done a fine job of thus far).

I'm sick of seeing "douche" stories about JM too, but there will always be haters. I wish those "authors" could meet him, go to one of his shows, listen to the from-the-heart banter, etc. I guess what's truly important is that you all and I, and many million more, know he's a pretty damn good guy.

Alyssa said...

Thank you for defending John. He's not perfect, no one is, but the way he's being unfairly treated by the media is just horrible. I think they're more interested in stirring the pot than actually giving him a fair chance to own up to whatever mistakes he's made and move on. Thank you for putting your voice out there and reminding people of John's compassion and good heart.

danielle said...

Thank you for writing this. Maybe this will help more people realize how wrong they really are about this man.

rewwr said...

you said everything people need to know. i knew all that in my heart even i know he has said things people find offensive. he is also one of the most talented musicians of our generation and he has such a good heart and he really cares about the people around him. i wish there were more people like him out there.

Beach Dreamer said...

John is a human being and we humans all make mistakes. To think otherwise is unrealistic. But it's about time people started to realize the good things that John does and has always done! He truly is a good guy with a big heart. Love this post. Thanks for setting the record straight.

Mr. & Mrs. G said...

Bravo on your post Andrew... We know it was heartfelt. But the author of that article robbed you and your family of time you'll never get back, the author wasn't worth it, and he has probably never cared about anything more than how the slant of his giberish fodder can pay his bills.
Continue what good you do Andrew, we have always admired the spirit of your whole family! I have this posted on my wall and want to share it with you and John, its a pleasant reminder that helps me wade through days like this.
Huggs to your family!Mr & Mrs G.

Mother Teresa: "Do It Anyway"

The verses below reportedly were written on the wall of Mother Teresa's home for children in Calcutta, India, and are widely attributed to her.

Some sources say that the words below were written on the wall in Mother Teresa's own room. In any case, their association with Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity has made them popular worldwide, expressing as they do, the spirit in which they lived their lives.

They seem to be based on a composition originally by Kent Keith, but much of the second half has been re-written in a more spiritual way.

1. The version found written on the wall in Mother Teresa's home for children in Calcutta:

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

-this version is credited to Mother Teresa

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy reading your blogs and hearing about Isaac's interactions with John. It's heartwarming.

I've only met John once, and it was brief, but I could tell that he respects his fans and has a good heart.

We all say stupid things. We all make mistakes. Thank goodness we aren't doing it in front of the world to be torn down and ridiculed by the fickle, heartless media.

Thanks for posting. And I'm sending positive vibes Isaac's way.

Devan said...

No need for Outhier to write such an just did :) Wonderfully written blog. Thank you.

And I'm with Kevin...I'm sick of seeing "douche" stories of Mayer as well...I mean c'mon...being a journalist, you'd think that they'd know the definition of words they use...Douche is defined as "a device used to introduce a stream of water into the body for medical or hygienic reasons, or the stream of water itself." Or in french, douche means shower. So either's juvenile and just plain ridiculous.

Thanks again for all your great writings on such a wonderful musician.

joline said...

Thank you for writing this blog. I've briefly met John in two instances and he's always been gracious to his fans and has made time for them. I've always defended him as a musician and as a person when someone I know bashes his person. My respect and admiration for him only increased when I found out his immense involvement in your foundation. Anyone who cares like that is definitely not dismissible and uncharitable as those so-called-journalists say.

joline said...

Kudos on this great blog! I've become aware of the Isaac Foundation through John Mayer's involvement. I've met John briefly in two different occasions and both of which, he was gracious and patient with his fans and even the photographers around him. I've always defended him as a musician and as a person against those who talk like those journalists do. My respect and admiration for Mr Mayer only increased when I found out about his involvement in your foundation. As the other commenters before me mentioned, nobody is ever perfect including Mayer, but one-sided "journalists" like Outhier is way out of line for writing such an uninformed piece.

Bumble said...

I couldn't agree with your sentiment more. The absurd things that people write about John Mayer, as if they actually know him, are out of hand. He seems like a good guy to me, but I don't know him personally. All I know is his music, his blog, and his performances. I base my opinion of John on what I personally know is true. What I know is that when I listen to his music, I feel good. When I've been to his shows, I've had a great time. When I've read his blog, I get a chuckle out of it (usually) or learn a new word (fetid). As a fan, I've never been disappointed. He's selling a good product. He appears to truly appreciate his fans. John is deserving of his many, many fans.

Sue said...

Fantastic post! I'm a new reader via John Mayer and agree with your insights wholeheartedly. Of course, I do not know John personally and have not had the pleasure of even meeting him briefly, but I have experienced his concerts for the first time this year & sincerely felt like I was there to see a friend. He made me feel like I was part of something extraordinary & that he was glad that I was there.

I, too, am tired of the media and how it feeds off of those in the entertainment business. They are relentless and hide behind their "rights". Cowards.

I just hope that JM understands that there are many, many, many of us who don't care about what is written about him & love him for his music and his honesty. But, I'm sure he does.

Thanks again for the positive post about such a fabulous person! You have gained a new reader and supporter.