Friday, April 21, 2017

Responding to Accidental Bear: I Did It Better

Dear Accidental Bear: Here's at least one better picture of Steve Grand you could have and should have used for your article on him.

[Screen grab I took from his BTS vlog for his collaboration with Eli Lieb, "Look Away".]

Yesterday, I happened upon an article that singer/songwriter Steve Grand had retweeted from Accidental Bear. The article in question was intending to draw attention to Grand's music and call out how shallow outlets and most people on Twitter/social media were.

Intending is the operative word here because apparently, Accidental Bear forgot to adhere to an adage that should not have been ignored; "A picture is worth 1,000 words". Using a picture of Grand in his Speedo while saying "You bitches are so fucking thirsty" is the definition of trying to have it both ways in the bad way.
One way of reading this is as follows: Hey Accidental Bear, I did this "appreciate Steve Grand for his music" post way better than you 2. years. ago. []

Perception vs. reality is something Grand has struggled with against the shallow outlets like Queerty, Towleroad, Instinct, Out, Advocate, NewNowNext (even in both its slightly better but not by much AfterElton and The Backlot iterations) [] and BuzzFeed who is still the worst about this. []

Using the Speedo picture to draw people in is a misguided attempt at playing the shallow outlets at their own games. Here's an ugly truth about that in the age of the internet; reverse psychology does not work. Context is lost and in turn whatever sardonic tone you were intending and trying to relay to readers who had more than likely given Grand the cold shoulder, musically.

However, the caveat to using image against them plays into what you failed to understand. It's not about using the image they use against them. The shallow outlets already know which dated Speedo pictures to use [a dated Speedo picture being one of the reasons "Speedogate" happened with Grand anyway.] The way to counter these shallow images is to use a completely unrelated to the illusion of sex. Maybe one of him behind the scenes of a music video he vlogs about, or maybe one of his covers...let me save you the trouble yet again Accidental Bear.

Maybe this screen grab I took from his cameo in a Max Emerson vlog where he has to explain yet again that he isn't a country artist.

Maybe this still from a high note in his "PillowTalk" cover

Maybe this one from his special rendition of "Soakin' Wet"

Maybe this one from his cover of "Sorry"

If you were to focus on him doing his best to reach out and be "warm"/appreciative of his fans, maybe this moment from after his viral "All I Want For Christmas Is You" cover

If you wanted to show how much he really is trying his best to maintain a work ethic, maybe this still from his vlog about how the piano is recorded for his music

Before you counter with anything, I'm fully aware that you don't have these print screens and went with a completely ill-advised brief of "use their own image against them." If all the effort you went into curating the image was "visit his Instagram", my response is as follows:

If on a desktop/laptop, personal or work
- At least be willing to scroll down...and down...and down until there's a still from a vlog, music video, cover video that has nothing to do with Speedos until you find one you deem fit to upload.

- Then, you hit the print screen button on the actual post and not just the window with the "X" in previews. The actual post with say "7w ago" in it.

- Once you hit print screen, open up PowerPoint, go to a blank template, create a new slide after the title slide. Paste the print screen and save as...let's say "Grand-4-20-17" because that's your subject and it has the date in which you would need to click publish/write your story.

- Once the image is saved and PowerPoint is closed [no need to worry about saving the presentation], open up a photo editor and depending on the brand of computer you have, click edit; then click crop and rotate; clicking the aspect ratio option, click custom to ensure the photo turns out as you want.
Once finished and you're satisfied with the changes, click save and the photo can then be used in your article as you see fit.

If on a mobile device, make a mental note to go home and follow the above instructions.

Let this be the first and last time I have to respond like this. It's one thing for me to criticize an outlet because they don't even bother to give Steve Grand credit for his music and/or activism. It's another to present such a case but completely defeat the point you make by acting like the shallow outlets can be fooled by a pretty picture with a poignant message underneath it.

I emplore you to remember this adage the next time you want to give Steve Grand credit for his music and/or activism without using a Speedo picture: "Sex does not sell, it makes people forget what you're trying to sell."

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