Johnny’s World: Gossip Folks

May 16, 2013 8:48 AM8 comments

jworld

“Hi! It is so great to meet you!”

It’s good to meet you too.

“Can you sign this for me?”

Absolutely.

“Can you make it out to Cassandra? Its spelled K.A.H.S.Z.A.N.D.R.U.H.”

Seriously? What was your mom smoking?

“Great. Now can I have a picture?”

Certainly.

“Ohmigod, you are so nice. Everyone says you’re so mean, but you are so nice in real life.”

Who’s everyone?

“Ok, theenks, bye!”

You don’t know me.

In just a few seconds this past weekend, I was sideswiped in this manner by a teenage girl whose name may or may not be Kahszandruh. I’ve been on the active and receiving ends of meeting people who make you nervous and say stupid things just because they can’t believe their luck to be actually meeting someone they look up to. Things like, “I’ll teach your baby to skate” or “I loved ‘Gigli’” come flying out of your mouth without a moment’s notice. Having said this, sometimes, like drunken honesty, nervous honesty comes into play.

How did Kahszandruh know me well enough to think she could depict me as a mean person and, more importantly, what other recent middle school graduate told her I was mean to begin with? The fact of the matter is that she didn’t, doesn’t, and won’t know me, yet because I am on television and people are welcomed into my home on television, they can lay out a character analysis of me faster than attacking another can of cheese doodles. If you have never heard of me or seen my show, gossip is a more lethal and quick tactic for transferring information from one to another.

Gossip and whispering are what bind this world together. There is a reason Justin Bieber creates international front pages for misspelling Chanel, taking a topless photo of himself and posting it to Instagram, or wearing a gas mask in some European city: He’s famous. What happens after the initial infraction on Justin Bieber’s part is just plain gossip. Either he’s going off the deep end, addicted to drugs, or crying out for attention from a mother who can’t love him as much as his fans do. In reality I’d assume his iPhone misspelled Chanel as Channel, he is proud of his abs (as he should be) and showed them off like any other teenage boy, and wore a gas mask as a costume or joke or just because he hadn’t had hair and makeup done. At the bottom of all gossip is a truthful explanation of why things happen.

The same way Justin Bieber is talked about internationally, local kids who paint a penis on the wall of their school or the mom who’s cheating on her husband with the milkman’s wife are hot topics at the dinner table. Whether you know the truth or not, it’s fun to gossip, dramatize, and elaborate on facts.

Perception is key. If you dress like a prostitute, there will probably be gossip about you being a prostitute. If you look like me, then there is probably gossip about sexual reassignment surgery. If you smell like onions when you walk into a classroom, there will be gossip about how you have some weird dietary system that only allows you to eat onions. However ridiculous the gossip gets, wait 10 minutes and it will be mind-blowingly more far fetched.

We gossip because we can. We gossip to make ourselves feel better about our own lives. I gossip positively about my husband at times because I’m proud of him, while I will gossip negatively about my friend because she upset me one afternoon over text message. Everyone is guilty, and it’s hard to take a stand because that stand will later become elaborated and gossiped to death.

While I respect the theatrical quality of our beloved habit, I wish more people would actually try to learn a little truth before they ran their mouths. I wish we could all respect our fellow man and his life enough to take some interest in his truth before creating our own miniseries. I believe that gossip can change the world and create a spark that sets the world on fire with knowledge and renaissance, but I hope it’s to better our race, not destroy it.

I wish Kahszandruh knew that I am a nice person.

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  • Lady Lisa

    It’s true, it doesn’t take much courage or character to gossip and “throw somebody under the bus” – without even knowing them.
    But it takes skill and patience to actually give someone a chance, and get to know them. It’s so much easier to take the ‘quick route’ and gossip and grandstand, but where is it a route to?
    Remember Johnny, she’s just a kid, with so much yet to learn. I’m sure she’ll look back at this regretfully, but hopefully having learned something.

  • Lady Lisa

    It’s true, it doesn’t take much courage or character to gossip and “throw somebody under the bus” – without even knowing them.
    But it takes skill and patience to actually give someone a chance and get to know them. It’s so much easier to take the ‘quick route’ and gossip and grandstand, but where is it a route to?
    Remember Johnny, she’s just a kid, with so much yet to learn. I’m sure she’ll look back at this regretfully, but hopefully having learned something.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dana.haroldelliott Dana Harold

    As someone who has met you a couple of times now, I can confirm your niceness. And honestly, this is the first I’ve ever heard of you having a reputation of being mean? I only hear people talk about how nice you are to fans and people who approach you out in public!

  • http://www.facebook.com/schismatic.beam Schismatic Beam

    Kahszandrah does not live up to her own name because she is not very prescient. For example, she falls for stereotypes. With regard to Kahszandrah, Johnny was up against is a gay stereotype of being a grouchy bitch. Johnny is generally very nice because he acts on principle, is very disciplined, is very empathetic, knows what it takes to be successful, historically has been helpfully buoyed by fan popularity, and rejects being pidgeon-holed by gay stereotypes. Plus, Patti and John raised him to have good manners. And, he likes to create memorable moments.

    I will never forget how wonderfully and sensitively Johnny greeted a little girl with cancer who had wanted to meet Johnny as one of her wishes. I will never forget the awesome press conference Johnny gave in Vancouver during the Olympics in response to insults by two Montreal broadcasters.

    I’m blissfully ignorant regarding star personalities because I don’t normally read tabloids or Internet gossip pages, excepting Johnny’s. My devotion is to politics, causality, and science. However, I might analyze handwriting, if curiosity and an autograph sample present themselves. Johnny might bend over backwards to be polite and feel a bit compromised at times, but his handwriting is very frank and straightforward (not duplicitous).

  • http://twitter.com/ac_bitter AB

    As a previous comment said, remember that this girl is young. If an adult had said this, I would have been more appalled at the lack of tact.
    Some people have negative opinions about Johnny’s personality, and why? Maybe because of how he was portrayed in NBC “fluff” pieces during the 2006 Olympics? While his opponents were shown working hard at the rink, he was shown shopping and reclining on a divan saying he that if people didn’t like him, that was their problem. Many viewers took (and held onto) the opinion that Johnny was arrogant, a poor sport, and perhaps lazy. They then looked at everything he did and said through this lens. And this is probably how gossip spread, like the ridiculous story that he insisted on having his own bus during a skating tour. The truth is, as he wrote in his book, he only insisted on having (and paying for) his own room during skating competitions so he could focus on the task at hand. But people believe what they want. Viewers who took the time to learn more about him realized he was being portrayed a certain way for entertainment, and that this “attitude” he had was only his fierce independence and confidence in himself being misrepresented as arrogance.
    I think we’ve seen enough examples of Johnny’s behavior to draw the conclusion that he’s a nice person, at least some of the time. Kind of like most of us.

  • http://twitter.com/nancyknisley Nancy Knisley

    I had to smile when I read “I’ve been on the active and receiving ends of meeting people who make
    you nervous and say stupid things just because they can’t believe their
    luck to be actually meeting someone they look up to.”

    Because it seems that just about every fan who has met Johnny says they were so awed, so nervously excited to meet him for the first time, that they inevitably babbled something stupid–if they could say anything at all.

    I know I had some brilliant, heartfelt but witty comment that I’d planned to say to Johnny when I first met him at a meet-and-greet in Lake Placid, but I was so dazed at finally meeting him that my mind went completely blank, and all I manged to blurt out was, “Oh, you’re hugging me.”

    Not exactly one of my more brilliant or witty moments.

  • http://www.facebook.com/barbara.breuer Barbara Erickson Breuer

    Very true. I find people make judgement calls on me too. By the way, the first time I met you, I stood there with my mouth hanging open and you looked at me like I had six heads. After a few moments of trying to speak, I finally was able to come out with a greeting…not one of my most fluid moments!

  • MeredithMinerReese

    Well, I can say for sure that you were the nicest, sweetest most adorable person I’ve come across, next to your husband of course. :) I didn’t expect you to be anything less. I KNOW for a fact though that I said or DID something incredibly stupid… one thing pops to mind which I will not share here. :/ Love you

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