May 19, 2023
Karma's a relaxing thought 😇
SUCCESS CAN BE FRIEND *AND* FOE
This is normally the part of the email where I dazzle you with a new product release or tell you it's National Endangered Species Day and offer up some clever quips about tigers. I was gonna do all that but this week has me pretty mentally tapped out, so instead I'll just share a little of why.
One of our videos went viral again. I am super grateful and so proud of our team. I can't begin to explain how hard we work behind the scenes to create entertaining clever content to amuse existing fans and hopefully be discovered by new ones. That success comes with some hard things though:
1. The pressure to do it again. Even the best baseball players don't bat .1000 but I sure expect that of myself.
2. A raging case of imposter syndrome when people compliment our work. My inner critic will always chalk wins up to flukes, even if my rational self knows such "flukes" aren't all that rare and are actually the product of extremely hard work and persistence.
3. So many haters!
Every viral video brings a deluge of comments, and it's a lot to hear a zillion opinions of our work flying at us as fast as we can read. There are two kinds of haters we see a lot when this happens.
The first group of haters are the misogynists who are furious that we made a satirical statement about gender. While I can generally just laugh at them, there is a twinge of paranoia about them harassing our customer service team (who has nothing to do with writing or producing Boredwalk's content and doesn't deserve that) or worse, attacking our headquarters. While the latter isn't probable, I'm the queen of anxiety and right-wing terrorism unfortunately isn't as rare as I wish it were.
he other group of haters are other "creative" people. 9.9 times out of 10 if someone is leaving a mean comment and they aren't some Andrew Tate fanboy, they've got a descriptor in their bio such as artist/writer/musician/etc.
They will tell us our work is stupid (whatever). They will accuse us of copying something we've either never heard of or most definitely did not copy. They'll try to shame us for engaging in "capitalism," which is unavoidable unless we wanna live on a commune (we don't).
Until the grocery store starts accepting vibes as a form of payment, we're going to have to make art people want to buy and sell it for money. "Artists shouldn't be compensated for their work" isn't a particularly progressive take, but I don't think that's what they are really mad about.
What they are actually mad about is that they perceive Boredwalk as "successful" and they are angry they aren't seeing that kind of success with their own creative ambitions. They want to try to take us down a peg because if we are succeeding we must not deserve it. They also usually think we are a much bigger and richer organization than we are. Views and follows and likes are not dollars, but they wouldn't know; they aren't getting either.
I want to verbally smack them back, and sometimes I do, but really what I want is for them to have the day they deserve, and then I try to remind myself that that's already happening. Not a single successful artist I know spends their time tearing down other creators online. They're too busy working on their own thing, whether that is the creative act itself or the less fun (for me, anyway) process of marketing the fruits of that process.
These sourpuss comment trolls are already reaping the exact misery they're trying to shove at Boredwalk, and any jab back is nothing compared to what they're already doing to themselves by wasting their time bothering us instead of working on their craft and/or learning how to run ads on Instagram or TikTok or email marketing. I want to be more zen about it all, but zen isn't really my wheelhouse. Maybe someday...
A warning to our hecklers
GIF via ABC
Want some amusement while you wait for your new 90s activity book to arrive? Check out the newest episode of the Boredwalk podcast! This week Boredwalk co-founder Matt and Tess from the content team talk about graduating from pet Tamagotchis to pet hamsters and which reality TV shows they would never want to be on.
They also react to some comments left by trolls on our Instagram ads (we can't escape them!) and ask each other questions from our conversation cards, the Delve Deck! Learn what they are most proud of, what views they share with the opposite side of the political spectrum, and which fictional places from literature & film they would love to visit. Listen on your favorite podcasting platform or, even better, watch them on YouTube!
OK, let's kick off the weekend with a bunch of May 19th birthdays and historical facts to impress your friends (or randos at the supermarket checkout) with:
• Happy birthday to Parks Canada, the world's first national park service, which was established this day in 1911. Thanks for being such a trendsetter, Canada!
• Also have some cake in honor of the following human celebrants: activist Malcolm X (1925), director/screenwriter/producer Nora Ephron (1941), actor Peter "Chewbacca" Mayhew (1944), rock legend and Who guitarist/songwriter Pete Townshend (1945), wrestler/actor André the Giant (1946), disco & new wave icon Grace Jones (1948), punk rock god Joey Ramone (1951), singer/songwriter Shooter Jennings (1979), comedian & SNL cast member/writer Michael Che (1983), and singer/songwriter Sam Smith (1992)
• Pour one out for Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII of England, who was beheaded this day in 1536 on trumped up charged of adultery, treason, and incest. Also have a tipple in honor of former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who peaced out this day in 1994.
OK, that's it for this week! We'll be back here in your inbox on Monday with another email and (hopefully) a fresh customer Q&A! If you'd like to be featured in an upcoming email reply to this and let us know!
Peace, love, and nostalgia,