I Received a Death Threat

In the words of Nelly McClung circa 1915:

Never retract, never explain, never apologize – get the thing done and let them howl.

I don’t want to call this a reaction but it’s a tangent inspired an email I received that had the phrase “I will f-ing kill you” in it.

I’m no stranger to hate mail and have received a dozen or so angry messages in the past. My favorite was when I was interviewed in the Globe and Mail about my Teen Angst Poetry website when I was 23 and a guy wrote to say, “you may be hot but if you’re not in Hollywood by now you’ll never make it.” Of course this guy totally had me pegged. I had aspirations of getting a boob job, bleaching my hair and casting couching my way to the top of Maxiums Hot List, but he was right, 23 was already over the hill.

Obviously something I did struck a deep, dark and depressed cord with someone out there in the comfortable world of cyber space. That’s cool. Reactions are better than apathy.

I am reminded of a powerful scene in “A Piece of Work” a recently released documentary about Joan Rivers. While in small town USA she makes a joke about deaf children and a heckler shouts out, “That’s not funny when you have a deaf son.” Joan jumps back, “Oh yes it is! Humor is how we deal with things. You stupid man.” Either you get this or you don’t.

What I do in my work is feel and share. Sure, it’s narcissistic but the hope is that if I’ve felt this way someone else has too. The slant I want to have on it is that we should never take ourselves too seriously, because given the choice between anger and joy, I’m going to choose joy… and dance to early-90s techno.

In looking for advice on the internet on how to deal with haters I came across this: Beyonce’s advice on dealing with haters when she was 16.

Ok for serious, this is the best way to deal with haters: http://mashable.com/2010/04/29/deal-with-haters-tim-ferriss/

So haters keep it coming. You’re only making me, and everyone else who gets your angry incomprehensible rants, stronger. Plus I have posting authority over comments on my site.

3 Replies to “I Received a Death Threat”

  1. pam says:

    LOVE this, Sara. And the mashable article is a really good reminder.

  2. Sometimes I wonder about people, but then I am reminded that there are those who know how to do life (like you) and am glad.

    Super awesome that you’ve taken this horrible experience in such a positive way. Not always easy, but definitely better for the sanity.

  3. Dave Gagnier says:

    But does Joan Rivers really lack the understanding of how someone could be too close to the subject matter to find something funny?

    One of the most effective jokes I’ve ever heard told was about a still-born baby, but would I be correct to demean a mother who had gone through such an experience and didn’t find the joke funny? “You stupid woman!” Tell me how such a response is appropriate.

    In some way, I can understand admiring someone for arguing for free speech and using humour to deflate situations, but to be so guarded as to shoot-back at a wounded parent – beyond an explanation and into the realm of insult – just shows lack of human decency and respect.

    Perhaps not the wisest thing to “heckle” at a comedy show, but it’s tough to respect the comedian who, when faced with something very human, does something very inhuman in return. There are funny people, then there’s Andrew Dice Clay. Count me among the ones who “don’t get it.”

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