Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mea Culpa

The kids and I have been talking a lot lately about choosing words. Okay, I’ve been doing the talking; they’ve been doing the listening (and a little eye rolling). Choosing words carefully is important to me and I hope I’m making the case that it should be important to them, too. I want the words that come out of our mouths to be true, encouraging and loving because 1) it’s the right thing to do and 2) you never know who’s listening.

Seems I need to heed my own advice…

Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer himself, read my post yesterday and left a comment. Seems he has a Google alert that lets him know when anyone anywhere on the web writes anything about him or his Bad Astronomy website/movie. If you’ll recall, on Sunday I mentioned I was not thrilled with his movie.

When I saw Mr. Plait’s name on the comment my heart sank. Had I been unkind? Were my words untrue? And if they were true, had I spoken the truth in love?

I re-read my post. I had Sean re-read it. And while we both agreed that I wasn’t unkind directly, my comment about the film could have been more, well, constructive. So in an attempt to be fair to the film and Mr. Plait, here’s my, hopefully, constructive criticism:

On the whole, the show contained great information. The delivery was just inadequate. The film did drag in-between segments because the graphics used to introduce each segment stayed up to darn long. And the lady doing the narrating sounded like she was trying out for an announcer job at NPR (sorry in advance to the announcer lady). When Mr. Plait was on-screen you could feel how excited he was for the subject matter. Had he been narrating the whole she-bang I think the energy level would have gone up exponentially. How’s that math terminology for you?!

And the math really was my biggest issue with the project. Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows I hate math. Truly, that was the crux of my dislike of the film but only because we saw the film on a date; math should never, NEVER be included on date night.

I appreciate the gracious demeanor Mr. Plait has shown both in his comment and the emails we’ve exchanged since.

Obviously I’ll use this example next time the kids and I have a pow wow about the words we use. And you can bet I’ll be more cautious in choosing the words I include on this here blog. Because it's the right thing to do. And you never know who's got a Google account.