Careful the Things You Say

Attack the Block

Last year I sent a fan letter (well, email actually) to a podcaster, but I didn’t word it as carefully as I might have, and I think it was misinterpreted. At least I think that’s what happened.

Jason Snell is a blogger/podcaster, mainly on tech issues, but he also covers some entertainment areas, such as movies. In particular, he, along with several others, did an episode on the movie Attack the Block. From the opening few minutes of that episode I gleaned that the movie was a comedy, and since I don’t like spoilers, I stopped listening to the podcast when they began to get into the details of the plot, and I ordered a copy of the movie. 

Anyway, I think the rest of the exchange is self-explanatory. Here is the message that I sent to him:

So I listened to just the first couple minutes of your podcast on Attack the Block, and what I heard was “It’s just like Shaun of the Dead.” Being a fan of that comedy, and not wanting to hear any possible spoilers, I turned off the podcast and ordered the Blu-ray of the movie.

Then I had a very stressful day yesterday, and decided I needed a good comedy to put me in a better mood.

And I kept asking myself “Where are the laughs? Where are the comedy bits?”

Basically I hated it and turned it off after maybe 50 minutes.

Then I listened to some more of your podcast this morning to try to figure out what it was you liked about it, and I finally realized “Oh, it’s a horror flick with social commentary and if you can get into the spirit of the film there are some good laughs.”

So I watched the rest of it just now. And I think I enjoyed it.

Just a suggestion: don’t give anyone the impression that it’s just like Shaun of the Dead.

To which he replied:

Never said “just like.” I do think it’s close in tone. We talk about it in the podcast. Just a suggestion: listen better.

And then I replied:

That’s a bit harsh.

It’s true you didn’t use the words “just like” but you did use the word “comedy” as the first word to describe it. Followed by something like (paraphrasing here) “closest in tone to Shaun of the Dead.” As I said, that was all I listened to initially because I didn’t want to hear any spoilers. So forgive me for mentally translating that (a few weeks afterward) into “just like”.

Also, as I said, I did listen to the rest of the podcast after starting to watch the movie, and there were comments from the others to the effect that comedy might not be the first word to describe it (paraphrasing again). And after listening to the rest of the podcast, which contained a lot of spoilers, I finished the movie.

Anyway, although I forgot to use the words, I intended that message to be a thank you for bringing the movie to my attention.

And his reply was:

If you mean how I echoed your very words back at you–yes, that was the point. To let you see how rude that comment was.

Glad you liked the movie.



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