The one thing anyone should know about Kevin Smith is that he’s the kind of guy that will critique his own work and at times wonder what in the hell he was thinking. That makes it all the more special since he’s able to step out of his own way occasionally and realize that there are some things that he might need to improve upon or can possibly tweak to make them just a bit better. This is why after reading an article by Kevin Burwick on MovieWeb detailing how hurt Smith was by Fisher joking around about the movie Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back it was a bit confusing to learn that his feelings were a bit hurt. It could be that she realized she’d been caught as Smith initially thought, but more than likely it’s the fact that Fisher had been around for quite some time before working with Kevin and therefore knew how to deal with the slings and arrows that the director should have already known about when it comes to the internet. Carrie was quite right in stating that people can say anything they want, but that doesn’t mean that the person they’re talking about has to listen. Everyone has the ability to become a critic online, it’s not a hard proposition and it’s not something a person needs a degree for. All a person needs is an opinion and the belief that their words can matter if they get enough people to listen.
Carrie was around long before the internet became such a massive part of our lives, but she had if figured out pretty quickly as she’d been in show business much longer than Smith and had come to realize that when some people talk the words they speak aren’t worth the air that was required to form the sounds that pass their lips. Speaking simply, some folks’ opinions really don’t matter that much when all they seek to do is tear people down. Unfortunately Smith fell for the idea that because Fisher had said something in jest about the Jay and Silent Bob movie that they were no longer on good terms, that she’d betrayed him somehow, which was a serious gaffe on his part for falling into the trap that public opinion lays so readily. It’s fairly obvious that Fisher had a seriously caustic sense of humor at times, which would almost match Smith’s now and again it would appear since he’s been able to hang with the most sarcastic of people in Hollywood now and again. Steve Pond of The Wrap has more on Carrie Fisher. But back in the day it does sound as though his feelings were pricked and he allowed himself to take whatever she said personally without first speaking to her about it. Fisher’s advice to ‘spin that microscope around’ is invaluable since the issue that was brought to light really wasn’t worth the energy that Smith was putting into it at that time. In other words, he was making a mountain out of a mole hill based on the outrage that someone wanted him to feel at Carrie’s words concerning his movie.
The internet is a marvel of modern invention to be certain, but it’s also an uncertain twisting place where opinions can be sharpened to a razor’s edge and used as tripwires or weapons of war that spark words and outbursts that are felt in the heat of the moment and only realized for the absurdities they are later, when it’s too late to take them back. The words we use are often loaded and ready to inflict the kind of praise or damage as they’re intended to do with hardly any thought or effort behind them, and when there is obvious intent it become even more possible to damage a person’s reputation or lift them up in a way that will attract the notice of others. Danny Iny of Inc. has more to say on this topic. Fisher knew this very well as she’d been working to keep her reputation as a serious actress for years, and had for the most part succeeded since each and every time she was seen on screen people perked up immediately. She knew the value of catering to the crowd, and of telling them what they wanted to hear, but she also knew the value of turning their voices off when she needed to. Smith had to learn that lesson just like anyone and in doing so finally came to realize that what Fisher was telling him was the absolute truth when it comes to show business, and the internet. One can’t take everything so personally or they’ll end up having a stroke at a very young age, as everyone from critics to internet trolls to those that simply have to say something are bound to be cruel at one moment and congratulatory at the next depending on their mood. The trick is to know when to listen and when to tune them out, a lesson that Smith has taken to heart ever since.