Zooey Deschanel Does Not Care For Your Comments, Internet
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Zooey Deschanel Does Not Care For Your Comments, Internet

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | August 6, 2013 | Comments ()

zooey_new girl jess.jpg

A popular maxim among both celebrities and the people who write about celebrities (i.e., us) is “don’t read the comments,” and there is some validity to that. We have one of the best comment communities on the Internet here at Pajiba, and even I feel like not reading comments on some days. You’re humming along, having a perfectly fine day, and then some sh*thead calls you lame for some trivial bullsh*t (like starring out the “I” in sh*t), and you’re like “F*ck, there goes the fine day I was having.” It gets under your skin. It weighs on you. It brings out all your insecurities and makes you overthink everything and, at times, completely lose your ability to write something without worrying that someone is going to murder you below the line, yell at you for a typo, bitch because you left something out, or call your mom a whore. I’ll leave a post somedays, come back 20 minutes later and see that there are 30 comments on it already, and I’m already thinking, “Oh, what the f*ck did I do wrong this time?” Or you wake up at 3 a.m. after four hours of sleep because you feel some weird obligation to get your To Do List review up as soon as humanly possible, and then someone yells at you because of a typo in a review for a movie that 47 people saw and you’re like, “Why didn’t I just continue sleeping?”

If you try to raise the issue, commenters can get even more vitriolic and call you a thin-skinned douchebag who shouldn’t be writing for the Internet, because if you can’t write 1,000 words and edit it twice without missing a misspelling, then you’re a goddamn yokel who doesn’t deserve to have his words on the Internet. Stop whining, you goddamn baby, and PLEASE GET A F*CKING EDITOR.

To those people I say, go fuck yourselves. (Oops. Did I forget to star that out?) You don’t want people writing for the Internet who are completely immune to criticism because 1) they’d be incapable of accepting some of the necessary feedback, and 2) they’d be psychopaths, which might be fun for a while, but after eight seasons of “Dexter,” even charming, charismatic psychopaths can get stale. It’s why I like Will McAvoy’s mission to civilize on “The Newsroom,” but to admit that is to show sympathy for Aaron Sorkin’s point of view, which will get you called a smug douchebag, and then you’re like, “Fuck, there goes my decent mood again.”

Alas, it’s the Internet. We’re all unfeeling assholes who make a living criticizing other things so we ought to be treated as such, right? You take the good with the bad, and you try to wait until the end of the day to read the comments so you don’t end up spending all day feeling miserable about yourself because some anonymous dickhead told you that you’re the worst thing on the Internet because you left some “Lost” character out of a television list. WHY ARE YOU EVEN WRITING A LIST? WHAT IS THIS, BUZZFEED?

So it goes.

You know who else has a problem with Internet commenters? Zooey Deschanel, as she told Marie Clarie:

It’s just attacking who I am. A lot of times it doesn’t have to do with what I get paid to do. It has to do with, ‘Oh, you stupid person.’ Even I get slammed and overwhelmed by how negative the Internet can get, and I’m an adult. They say, ‘You don’t belong, you don’t deserve this because here’s why, and let me find an intellectual argument for why you wearing pink or cuff sleeves or a bow makes you not worthy of your accomplishments. Everything you’ve done doesn’t matter because you wore the wrong thing or you speak in a way that’s feminine or you identify yourself as feminine.

And I just think that’s bullshit. And smart people are doing it, and that’s surprising to me. I’ll give them being smart, but they’re being very shortsighted. I don’t pay any mind to it, but it’s pretty shocking how when you give people anonymity - it’s like the worst of human nature.”

Sing it, sister.

It only hurts because we love you and seek your constant approval.


Mythologies by Roland Barthes | Which of 9 These Posters Makes You Want To Brave A Movie Theater?

Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Penny
  • stryker1121

    How does she know the people leaving those comments are smart? Quite the opposite, I imagine.

  • "You take the good with the bad, and you try to wait until the end of the day to read the comments..." [Insert patronizingly drawn-out Internet 'actually' here] if you take the good and you take the bad, what you end up with are the Facts of Life.

  • foolsage

    There is a place we all can go
    To snark about the stuff we know

    When other places grind your gears
    Come over here, share laughs and tears

    When you just need to vent
    Or you have a view to present
    It's time to come and celebrate
    The reasons we stay up so late

    When the show you used to love you hate
    Come tell us why, participate

  • Good work, this deserves an EE nomination. Although it also raises the question--Does this mean Dustin is Mrs. Garrett?

  • foolsage

    My theory is that Dustin is Mr. Drummond.

  • Would that make TK Willis? Or Arnold?

  • MelBivDevoe

    Here, here. Or is it hear, hear? Fuck. Now I'll be up all night, fretting about how much everyone's mocking my terrible grammar.

  • foolsage

    "Hear, hear" is correct. It's derived from "hear him, hear him", which is a polite parliamentary way of saying, "Fuck yeah! Listen up, bitches!"

    I wasn't correcting anyone! You asked. Sigh. OK, back to my box.

  • TheAggroCraig

    Not starring out that "u" has offended my delicate sensibilities.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I gotta admit those asterisks in curse words bug me. It seems so coy and precious. Either use the naughty word or don't, you fucking shithead.

  • Bert_McGurt

    I've discovered that Disqus, for some reason, refuses to accept my posts if I fully spell out curse words.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    What the fuck, those sonsa bitches!

  • Sara_Tonin00

    For me - I would care less about swearing in page titles than I do about the header pics and extremely sexy page titles that make me worry about reading them at the office. Because I'm pretty sure "anal" or "pussy" raises just as many flags/eyebrows as as "fuck" - if not more.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    My workplace blocked Pajiba quite a while ago, so you definitely have a point about the sexy titles.

  • Uriah_Creep

    Dustin has explained in the past that they self-censor their posts because of Pajiba's ad network. What gets to me is the inconsistency in the use of the asterisks. On the one hand, he usually won't even write "shit"; but then he delivers the glorious 2 Guns review, which is completely uncensored (and glorious). If the ad agency doesn't like swearing in the stories tell them to fuck off that's fine. I just wish the writers would be consistent.

  • pajiba

    Well, it's like this: The ad networks scan the pages for profanities, and if they see them, many ad networks will deliver non-paying ads. With this post, and with the 2 Guns post, I just felt like, fuck it. If I don't earn anything from this review, I'm OK with it.

  • Uriah_Creep

    I've been known to give you a hard time about the profanity thing and the inconsistency, but it's not like I want to see you give up any of the money you deserve. Thanks for explaining what you were thinking.

  • foolsage

    That only applies to the articles, and not to the comments, right?

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I fucking hope so.

  • Definitely delete those comments. A good community usually depends on some rules being consistently enforced.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Yes, but life is finite.

  • I believe she also goes on to say, "I want to wear a fucking Peter Pan collar and be a fucking feminist."

    Love her and I don't care who knows it.

  • Fish

    Thank you for all that you do. And entertaining me every day.

  • foolsage

    So say we all.

  • The problems with using this ZooeyD example are 1-that she alludes that the criticisms about her pink fluffy personality aren't just coming from asshole i-net commenters but wider media community (incl 'smart ppl'); and 2-if you read the interview in full, about half of it is about her adorkability persecution - how just bc she likes pink and kittens doesnt mean she isnt interesting or intelligent. And she has been talking about this in virtually every print interview for the last 2 years! Here's a thought: talk about something else, something intelligent and interesting! If you dont like the narrative - change it. T-Swifty gets very similar press treatment and yet in her Rolling Stone interview (out now) she talks about her song-writing experience, concert experience, Independence Day vaca etc etc. It's not particularly brilliant, but at least she's not still dwelling on 'Tina Fey made of my dating life' - at least not in any excerpts I read.

  • foolsage

    Fair enough. I have a superhuman editor-sense (much like a spider-sense only considerably more annoying), which calls out typos and grammatical/punctuation mistakes and forces me to LOOK AT THAT, LOOK AGAIN, SEE THE ERROR. I'll try to avoid posting corrections. I didn't intend to make you feel uncomfortable about writing; I was sincerely just trying to help. I don't assume this was directed at me but I certainly contributed to the problem. Sorry. :)

    Lists on the other hand… eh, I'm not sure what to say about those. People will always argue about what should have been included and what should have been excluded. That's a lot of the point of lists, to me anyhow: it's about the discussion. I don't think there's anything insulting or demeaning about having people argue about your lists. Rather, as long as people care enough to hold strong opinions, that seems like a good thing to me, and a sign that the list was well-received. It'd be a problem if you were to post a list and everyone just shrugged and ignored it, having nothing to add.

  • chanohack

    My superhuman editor sense often makes me shout "'WHOM!'" seemingly out of nowhere. Boyfriend has gotten used to this.

    But to comment on such things seems akin to commenting on a Zooey's outfit instead of her work or what she is saying-- it misses the point and is somewhat superficial. That said, proofreading and clothes are important. Dress for the job you want, amirite?

  • e jerry powell

    With all due respect to everyone including Dustin, here's the thing:

    When you put Editor-in-Chief behind your name, it elevates the level of expectation, does it not? It's kind of like getting the office with the big, freestanding desk, walls that go all the way to the ceiling and doors that lock. And even credentialed journalists that aren't titled editors still have some kind of professional-caliber standards they're expected to meet in order to keep their jobs. (Jayson Blair -- an extreme example, to be sure -- may not have misspelled anything in his articles, but still, as a journalist, he certainly wasn't meeting expectations.)

    Anna Wintour may not personally proofread every article that comes across her desk at Vogue, but I'll bet she damn sure has someone on the payroll -- answering directly to her -- who does. Each month's issue has her name at the top of the masthead; I don't get the impression that she takes it lightly. In fact, it's likely a point of pride...

  • foolsage

    It is superficial, agreed. I'll fight off my strong urges to point out errors for that reason, and because Dustin has expressed a preference. At the end of the day, I don't want to do anything to make running this site less fun for him. I sincerely enjoy this site, and (don't tell him this because he'll either get a swelled head or set out to eliminate the competition) he's my second-favorite writer here, and that's actually high praise.

    However, I feel a need to quibble. I know! It's completely out of character for me. Nevertheless… Dustin's a writer, which is a type of artist. His art is his writing (and also his production and administration of the site, but that's another topic). Criticizing his writing for being on occasion (trivially) error-prone is indeed superficial, but it's at least topical; it directly relates to his art. The outfit Zooey wears during an interview about a movie doesn't directly relate in any sense to the performance she gave in that movie.

    Anyhow, not all criticism is constructive. I only want to be constructive here. That leaves me free to remain destructive everywhere else. :D

    To your other point, I can only nod sadly in commiseration. I'd like to believe that anyone capable of speaking English with relative fluency is also capable of understanding the difference between the subject of a sentence and the object of a sentence. "Who" and "whom" are not difficult to learn, but then neither are the irrealis moods (conditional, subjunctive, etc.). Sigh.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I wrote a Comment Diversion about our Accuracy Police tendencies to give everyone a chance to vent. I intentionally included 4 errors (and unintentionally included one more) and NO ONE caught all four intentional mistakes. I am still gleeful about that.

  • pajiba

    Foolsage! I REALLY don't mind being corrected. I'd just prefer if I was being corrected in a nicer manner than "You need a fucking editor, or at least a proofreader" (this is the Internet. Money does not exist for such things). I also totally appreciate it when people just send me emails to point out typos rather than what often feels like trying to embarrass me for the sake of embarrassing me.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I agree with you, especially on this comment about the differences.

    I normally notice errors anyway, but since I've been doing a ton of copyediting work over the past 2 months, and yes, they just jump out waving red flags at me, and yes, it detracts from the flow of reading.

    Think of this way: if you are watching a movie, and the boom drops into view, do you think: well, they are trying to put out a really good movie on deadline and the poor dears made a mistake, or do you wince, think, 'damn these filmmakers are careless,' and briefly forget about the story?

  • Francesca

    Do you write here for free? Because you are passionate about movies and TV and music and pop culture? If it is so, chapeau.

    Do you (partially) earn your living by writing here because of the ads on the site? Well, then you can probably proof-read what you write a couple of times more, if people pointing out your mistakes annoys you so much.
    By the way, journalists have always had to write quickly, even 100 yrs ago. The difference is that the internet seems to put into people's head that not being superficial is an option.

    Of course I profoundly despise the gratuitously aggressive commentators, and in other sites than Pajiba I skip the comments section altogether.

    Francesca, Berlin

  • ,

    Is it attacking Zooey to point out that Emily is the hot Deschanel?

    Ah, well, I'll never meet any of them (or you either, most likely), so: Emily is the hot Deschanel.

    As for this:

    (like starring out the “I” in sh*t)

    I just want to know why it's always the vowel that gets the * treatment. Why can't it be s*it or fu*k?

    Given my handle, I'm very sensitive to how letters, asterisks and punctuation marks are treated, and I won't let you bully me into feeling bad about it.

    So there. Nyah.

  • You are correct, Emily is the hotter sister.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I blame Hebrew tradition for where we put our symbols when swearing.

  • foolsage

    That's a very interesting theory. Honestly, it might have some validity, though there are other languages with similar practices relating to vowels besides Hebrew (e.g. some note the vowels separately as in Arabic; and some simply do not write most vowels at all as in Egyptian hieroglyphs). Those are all from the same family though, of course.

    Or perhaps it's derived from the telegraph, which introduced proto-texting habits (i.e. stay brief; omit unncsry bits).

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Well, to be fair, you should lose sleep over typos. Have some pride, man.


  • foolsage

    Winky face sought; winky face supplied!


  • I think it's because we have THE GREATEST AND BEST COMMENTERS IN THE WORLD (this is where you applaud) it makes it all the more of a shock to the system when we get bad or shitty comments. It's very "whhaaaaa? THIS IS A SAFE SPACE!"

  • Tinkerville

    Sometimes when I'm feeling masochistic I'll venture into the comments sections of other sites. Then I come back to Pajiba, shell shocked and traumatized, like a rain-soaked dog pawing at the door.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Io9 has a lovely group of commenters and they don't have a downvote option.

  • Jim

    Very much agree - one of my other personalities has been there for years and they are quite fun. But one has to step carefully on some of the sister sites: write "I just ADORE my {X} phone/tablet" on Giz and DUCK!

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Jezebel is a horror show. I've never seen such prickly commenters, EVERYTHING offends them.

  • foolsage

    Things get bad-crazy out there. Be safe.

  • ,

    Not for celebs.

    Which is as it should be, even if they're Just Like US!

  • Ian Fay

    Is it raining?


  • **I AM** NotTheOne

    Rest assured that when I see a typo I keep my comments to myself. I am more concerned about the content of the article than the grammar.

    Unless its salon.com because fuck them.

  • foolsage

    * twitches * I see what you did there.

  • Hey Dustin,

    Comments/emails I get that are really positive=99.5%
    Amount of time I spent obsessing about the negative ones=99.5%

    It sucks. Am totally right there with you. *Fist of Internet Solidarity*

  • Yeah, well, I don't care for Zooey Deschanel. TAKE THAT!

    I agree that celebrities do sign up for a lot more criticism by virtue of what they choose to do for a living, but she has a point. There has been a lot of talk lately about how people choose to comment, both negatively and positively, on a woman's appearance, while ignoring the issue(s) at hand. Hillary Clinton's possible facelift during those hearings comes to mind.

    I can understand where Zooey is coming from, you want to be evaluated on your work and not on the outfit you wore that evening.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Get some sleep, dude. Also...

  • emmalita

    The almost 7 yr old saw this and hugged my laptop. Consider yourself hugged.

  • Mrs. Julien

    That made my day, thank you!

  • Wigamer

    I thought we had a pretty nice little community of commenters here. Granted, reading the comments on other sites can make you fear for the future of mankind.

  • Mrs. Julien

    We do, but things can gang oft agley very quickly and descend into:
    People thinking they can pull rank about how long they've been here (although that has decreased over time), or the irked referring to the commentariat as a homogenous mass which leads to comments about so-called "group think" and then a pile on (these are admittedly, extremely unpleasant to watch), so it's no wonder people express reluctance to delurk - which is horse puckey since they often mention grammar and spelling qualms as an issue because even if they won't delurk they are still Nature's Pajiban's, so accuracy is everything, but they forget that poor grammar is usually only censured in the aforementioned nastiness of pile ons.

  • Tinkerville

    It took me about five years to delurk. It wasn't because the commenters were mean or anything, but for a while I felt like I couldn't possibly be witty enough or "fit in" to the community dynamic here (I feel like I should be admitting this on a therapist's couch). When finally I first tried commenting under a different name, rank was pulled and I got one of the condescending "you newbie" responses.

    Of course now I know I was being silly for even caring, but Pajiba can indeed be a tight knit community, which makes it a little intimidating for some people to enter into the fray.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Lack of wit has never stopped me from posting ANYWHERE.

  • foolsage

    "Of all the money that e'er I had
    I spent it in good company
    And all the harm I've ever done
    Alas 'twas to none but me
    And all I've done for want of wit
    To mem'ry now I can't recall
    So fill to me the parting glass
    Good night and joy be to you all"

  • F'mal DeHyde


  • Mrs. Julien

    The " stifle it newbie" responses are just ridiculous to me. They make one sound 13 years old.

    Clever enough? Pfft. Man, we all just like to hear ourselves talk. It's not just me, right? I mean, it is me, but it isn't JUST me, right?

  • Hell, no. Nobody loves the sound of my voice like I love the sound of my voice.

  • foolsage

    I'm pretty sure it's just you. Obviously, nobody else here writes random posts while at work, seeking to amuse themselves and pass time. Nnnnnope.

  • foolsage

    I felt similarly at first. This is a community of snarky, clever people, who tend to have a fair amount of inside jokes and shared references. That's a good thing, but it can also lead to feelings of exclusion among newcomers.

    Generally, the water's fine, and people ought to just jump in. Or so I see it.

  • ,

    Nature's Pajiban's what?

    (I kid because I love ya, Mrs. J!).

  • Mrs. Julien

    It means you, ,.

  • ,


  • L.O.V.E.

    Well, it IS all your fault. Right everybody!

    I mean, "gang awry"? Can you at least have the decency to get a comment editor?

  • foolsage

    Yeah, well… there were plans at one point to have a comment editor, but those kinds of plans gang aft agley. ;)

  • Mrs. Julien

    I like to think I'm quoting Robbie Burns. I might not be, but I like to think that. Also, I like to pretend there's nobody here but us chickens, nobody here but us, and comment like there are only as many readers as there are commenters on any given thread.

    Was that relevant? Probably not, but who cares, there are only 12 people skimming this.

  • Of course, to be fair Burns was a bit drunk when he wrote that...and it's in Scots. That may be redundant.

  • foolsage

    "Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
    O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
    Thou need na start awa sae hasty
    Wi' bickering brattle!
    I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
    Wi' murdering pattle."

    I don't see the problem. That's perfectly comprehensible authentic frontier gibberish.


  • And let us not forget:

    When chapmen billies leave the street,
    And drouthy neibors neibors meet,
    As market days are wearing late,
    An' folk began to tak the gate;
    While we sit bousing at the nappy,
    Getting full and unco happy,
    We think na on the lang Scots miles,
    The mosses, waters, slaps, and styles,
    That lie between us and our hame...

    You folks can have your modern-day celebrity spirit animals. Burns is mine. And he's full glorious.

  • foolsage

    "Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
    Great chieftain o the puddin'-race!
    Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
    Painch, tripe, or thairm:
    Weel are ye worthy o' a grace
    As lang's my arm." - Address to a Haggis, Bobbie Burns

    I attended a ceilidh in Glasgow years ago, where they did the full presentation of the haggis, accompanied by someone grandly pronouncing the words to the poem. It was glorious.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Twas grillig and the slieby tobe
    did gyre and gimble in the wabe...

    I sang Ae Fond Kiss at an Edinburgh storytelling session. My thought was "I'll share something that fits with the place!" My second thought was "d'oh, this is bringing coals to Newcastle..." (next time they're getting showtunes)

  • foolsage

    I rather like the original pre-Alice version.

    "Twas bryllyg, and ye slythy toves
    Did gyre and gymble in ye wabe:
    All mimsy were ye borogoves;
    And ye mome raths outgrabe."

    And yes, coal to Newcastle, exactly. Funny. :)

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I just couldn't remember all the correct spellings, and opted not to research it.

    My dad tells of a homework assignment he had in 6th or 7th grade, when they were told to take The Jabberwock and define the words. A very bright kid, he ended up graduating at 16...he came to school the next day and had filled in his assignment "none of these words were in the dictionary." (he got an F that day)

  • foolsage

    Many of the words in "Jabberwocky" are defined within the pages of "Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There", although one should not necessarily trust Humpty Dumpty's word on anything.

  • And just like that, I need a Macallan

  • foolsage

    Dance like nobody's watching. Comment like nobody's reading.

    No, wait, that doesn't work. If nobody were reading, there wouldn't be discussions.

  • firedmyass

    And f*ck like you don't need the money.

  • Mrs. Julien

    You have to write like your parents are dead.

  • So write like Bruce Wayne? In that case, wouldn't a secretary do it?

  • chanohack

    And also both of your sweet little Grandmas. :(

  • Mrs. Julien

    Time and Disease took care of that part for me.

  • L.O.V.E.

    And instantly become a suspect in their disappearance? no way, not falling for that one, copper. As i previously explained at the station, they are on a spiritual mission to Grimzinistan, where they have no access to email or skype. They said they would be back in 8 to 35 years. in the meantime, they asked me to run their urinal sanitary puck empire and live in their Seattle penthouse.

  • Semilitterate

    It's Berzerkistan (ht: Gary Trudeau) and we wouldn't want to pick on so recent an orphan, would we

  • L.O.V.E.

    Actually, it was neither. Huzah!

    They are in Grenyornya. Much more exclusive then Svenborgia. Only Jerry Seinfeld and a select few Sheiks know its true location.


  • Jim

    Are you sure it's not Kreplachia? I have it on the highest authority it's a small fishing nation wedged between Estonia and Latvia.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Man, the next edition of this book has so much catching up to do...


  • foolsage

    Eh, they just need to get the latest copy of the Imaginarium Geographica.

  • foolsage

    I thought it was Ubekibekibekibekistanstan. You know; it's just north of Lower Slobbovia and just east of Elbonia.

  • foolsage

    I am vengeance! I am the night! I am Batman!

  • PaddyDog

    The one that really annoys me is the Vendetta Commenter. He/she gets into a scrap with another commenter in a single thread but will not let it go and relentlessly dogs the other commenter for months through multiple threads constantly down-voting and posting negative replies. Those are the people who scare me. I monitored it last year after it happened to me and saw it happen to about two (maybe three: I'm not sure the third was always the same person) other regular commenters.

  • foolsage

    Heh, I know what you mean. I must have annoyed someone a few months ago because I was followed and down voted for a bit, including on some posts that really shouldn't have offended or troubled anyone.

  • PaddyDog

    Seriously! It's a thing. There have been times when I have wanted to call the person out on it, but then you stop and think "this individual feels the need to carry out a verbal vendetta with a stranger, do I really want to engage him/her further?" So I end up treating the person like the bitter aunt who won't let go of an old family grievance who you just avoid at get-togethers.

  • foolsage

    Yeah. The kind of person who thinks stalking and downvoting strangers is sensible behavior is not the kind of person I really want to spend much time or energy on.

  • Wigamer

    Totally agree--the pedantry gets under my skin sometimes, which is why it took me 3 years to comment!

  • Deschanel isn't exactly *wrong* about Internet comments. But she's also prohibiting people from taking pictures during She & Him concerts. So I think her sense of what the performer/audience dynamic should be is kind of off base to begin with.

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