Love (of ‘no pressure’) is forever having to say you’re sorry

As I had noted yesterday, the folks at the heretofore obscure group 10:10 responded to what might have been some ‘unanticipated consequences’ with a rather pathetic excuse for an apology. To keep things straight, I’m calling this their First Sorry:

[UPDATE: 10/7/2010 11:50 PM PDT I didn’t quote the text of their First Sorry; but interestingly enough on checking the link (just to make sure they had not removed the evidence of their poor excuse for an apology!) I see that they’ve added an update (no date or timestamp) which includes the word “mistake” – a word that was conspicuously absent from the original First Sorry I had captured at 7:35 p.m. on Oct. 4. I shall compare all texts of my captures with their current versions, and report if there are any further discrepancies.]

Andrew Revkin at the NYT called it “an unbelievably flimsy apology”. It’s worth noting that First Sorry was, evidently, a 10:10 team effort – at least according to the signature, which reads:

“Franny, Lizzie, Eugenie and the whole 10:10 team”

I decided to take a look at the reactions on some of the alarmist blogs. After reading First Sorry, it did not surprise me to find in one of the comments on Joe Romm’s blog an Oct. 1 E-mail from Franny (Armstrong) sent to all 10:10-ers which included the following:

It’s a fairly simple and to-the-point premise, I’m sure you’ll agree: we celebrate everybody who is actively tackling climate change… by blowing up those who aren’t.” [emphasis added -hro]

It certainly shocked me, but it didn’t surprise me. You might recall that in my post yesterday, I had speculated:

Or did they know there was a damn good chance that it wasn’t going to fly, but that the end (lots of PR for an otherwise relatively obscure endeavour … and, of course, bad PR is just as good as good PR) justified the means?

In light of this, I found another non-surprising shocker in Franny’s E-mail. Her first paragraph was an over-the-top gloat that the mini-movie could be found on the Guardian website’s “front-page”; but she concluded this paragraph by saying:

“(If it’s off the Guardian by the time you get this message, you can watch at: …)”

In a paragraph that she began with “I am blown away, pun intended”, Franny wrote:

“Please, please, please, please forward … to as many friends and pretend facebook friends … as that’s by far our best chance of going viral…”

Hmmmm …. “If it’s off the Guardian”? “pretend” facebook friends? … “best chance of going viral”? Ends and means, anyone?!

Notwithstanding the claims of the mini-movie’s defenders and apologists – and the content of First Sorry – rather conspicuous by its absence in Franny’s E-mail, is any mention of “humour” or “satire”.

In a subsequent post today, Revkin notes that “Climate Group Regrets Shock Film Tactic (So Does Sony)”. Sony’s message indicates that:

“we have taken the decision to disassociate ourselves from 10:10 at this time.”

On the 10:10 side, we have Second Sorry – Take 1 which begins:

(undated -hro)

Last week, 10:10 made available a short film. Following the initial reaction to the film we removed it from our website and issued an apology on Friday 2 October (sic).

Subsequently there has been negative comment about the film, particularly on blogs, and concern from others working hard to build support for action on climate change. We are very sorry if this has distracted from their efforts.

We are also sorry to our corporate sponsors, delivery partners and board members, who have been implicated in this situation despite having no involvement in the film’s production or release.
We will learn from this mistake.[...]

YMMV, but Second Sorry – Take 1 seems like a rather haughty and hasty paste to me. But sometime between Revkin’s post and my visit to the 10:10 site (about 3 hours ago) Harvey evidently decided to create Second Sorry – Take 2, which begins as follows:

As you may have heard, last week, 10:10 made a mistake by releasing a short film about cutting carbon which was supposed to be humourous but in the event upset a lot of people. We quickly realised that we had made a serious mistake and took it down from our website within hours.

We also issued a statement apologising but there has subsequently been quite a lot of negative comment, particularly on blogs, and understandable concern from others working hard to build support for action on climate change. [emphasis added -hro]

Oh, look, ma! No sign of “No Pressure”.

I’m not sure if the medium can keep up with their ever-changing message. A little more humility in Sorry Two – Take 2, don’t you think? Considering that it’s taken them from Oct. 1 to Oct. 4 to “realize [they] had made a serious mistake” I’m not sure that “quickly” is the adverb I would have chosen to modify “realize”. But perhaps from their perspective, the downfall was happening much faster than they thought.

Who knows, perhaps they were under too much pressure from the “unanticipated consequences that stem from the fact that there are conditions in our society and culture that [they] just didn’t take into consideration in [their] planning”.

One thought on “Love (of ‘no pressure’) is forever having to say you’re sorry

  1. Wow. I hadn’t realized there’ve been that many versions already. I archived a couple via WebCitation.org, but didn’t catch them all.

    A searing review of Franny Armstrong’s “The Age of Stupid Film” can be read here. In my humble opinion, it offers some helpful hints if one is attempting to understand the headspace that allowed this debacle to take place.

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