Why Do We Hate Everything?

So, Bill Murray grabbed the mic during Game 3 of the World Series and sang “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” as Daffy Duck. And the haters arose.

Reading the message board comments below the post of this story in Deadspin.com shines a light on a very ugly aspect of our culture – the necessity to criticize everything.

Deadspin is a great website, because it presents sports topics with an entertaining and irreverent slant. But very often the posts and comments dwell in the gutter; Apparently we like it when we have company down there.

It reminds me of a former relative who was miserable on the golf course. And if you were having a good game, instead of allowing you to enjoy it, he went out of his way to make you miserable too.

Maybe dragging Murray and other stars down makes us feel better about ourselves. And celebrities make great targets. You know, because they’re wealthy and entitled, and thus…despicable.

So, the critics on Deadspin chastised the comedian for his performance, assailed his character, and attacked his career.

Okay, I’ve never been the biggest fan of Murray’s shtick. But I guess the idea here was to be distinctive. Do something that hundreds (thousands?) of others have done. Sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” the iconic part of the party in the middle of every Cubs game at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, but make your version stand out.

It’s sort of the challenge we morning radio hosts face every day in our jobs. Take the same stories and audio clips every host at every station across the country has at his or her disposal…and inject your own style and personality to make it unique. Be distinctive.

Some of that uniqueness flows from your natural and inimitable personality, and some of it requires a conscientious application or strategy. This singularity is an admirable trait to pursue in life.

If I were hiring for a radio job or any position for that matter, I might make the assignment the same for all applicants. Then, see who distinguishes themselves from the pack.

Imagine your assignment is to sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” at Wrigley. If you had a shot, what would you do to make it different? Could you come up with a unique take? Or would you end up just blending in with all the others who’ve ever sung it? Either way, you’d probably be criticized.

Dave Coombs hosts mornings on 100.7 FM WUTQ in Utica, New York.

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