Rabbi Rabbs posts on FB: As those of you that I tagged are probably already aware, and many others of you reading this might also know, Heshy Fried a.ka. Frum Satire, posted in his blog today about how I deleted him from my friend list on Facebook. Here is what he wrote:
I see that he along with some of you have already speculated as to why I deleted him, so I will now respond to his article and clarify as to why I did it. I would prefer contacting him directly to discuss the issue with him in private, but it seems he ignores my efforts to contact him, and that is why I deleted him in the first place. So, instead, I will reply to him publicly here on Facebook, and those of you who are friends with Heshy are welcome to forward this note to his attention, although I would not be surprised if he never sees it.
I also want to point out that it is Heshy and not me that made this a public spectacle, because he could have written to me privately or called me to discuss the issue, but instead, he chose to post a blog to air out our dirty laundry. In his blog post, he wrote that he wanted to send to me a message last week. Well, that is news to me, because I never received anything from him, and unlike Heshy, I stay on top of who is contacting me, and read all of my emails and messages in a timely fashion.
So, it appears he chose not to contact me even though he could have messaged me on Facebook to ask me what happened. It is not as if I had blocked him. Or, he could have written to my email, or even phoned me. But, instead, he chose to go public.
The last time I saw Heshy, I walked him to his car down the street from me, and the last words we shared were about his stand-up comedy career. We agreed that he needed a strong MC/host to warm up his audiences for him, a service that normally costs substantial money, and as a friend, someone who cared about his career, I volunteered to do that for him for free. He seemed very positive about the prospect of sharing the stage with me at an upcoming show.
That was in February. Fast forward to the summer, when someone here in Los Angeles that books events for a local Jewish organization approached me because they wanted to have me perform a show for that organization during one of the nights of Sukkos. I do not like performing for Jewish audiences, and normally, I would turn the invitation down. However, I saw their offer as an opportunity for Heshy and I to work together. So, I agreed to perform there but only if I could share the stage with Heshy, with me being the MC hosting the event, performing a little time on stage, and then introducing him. The booker agreed in principle.
On Aug. 19, I called Heshy to invite him to do the show with me, but I went into voice mail, and I left a voice message asking him to call me back. I then followed that up the same day by sending to him an email to his email address telling him about the show and asking him to contact me so that we could discuss it.
My feeling at the time was that if he didn’t receive the voice mail, he surely received the email. And, if he didn’t see the email, he surely heard the voice mail. I didn’t bother writing to him on Facebook, because he told me on the phone one night that I should always write to his email account instead.
Whatever. It is now more than two months later, and he still has not contacted me. Sukkos came and went already, and our show would have been held during the last week of September. Had he contacted me in a timely fashion, we could have accepted the offer, worked out the contracts, and prepared our show. But, instead, he left me holding the bag, forced to turn down the entire gig, making me look like an absolute fool.
It is unprofessional for a comedian to not return emails and calls for a potential gig. If Heshy is too swamped by emails and calls from his friends and fans, then he needs to create a way for people in the entertainment industry who want to book him for shows to contact him. Otherwise, he has no one but himself to blame when he doesn’t get booked and has no money. I had a gig that would’ve put money in his pocket, and when he posted on his Facebook that he was starting a fundraiser for himself, and that people should contribute money to him to help him buy a car, I immediately responded to his Facebook status with a comment saying that if he would just call me back, I had a way for him to make money. But, he ignored that as well.
So, he lost.
Rabbs doesn’t tolerate being ignored. I can withstand a lot of criticism, but one thing I can’t put up with is when people don’t respond to me. That applies to everyone, not just Heshy. There are a few individuals that likewise ignored my emails, messages, or calls, and I gave them all until Yom Kippur to contact me. On the day after Yom Kippur, Sept. 19, I deleted from my Facebook friend list those that had still not contacted me, Heshy included.
If you know someone that used to be on my friend list, and suddenly they were deleted, chances are they were part of the group that got axed during the Sept. 19 massacre.
Heshy wrote that “de-friending one of your facebook friends is seen as a real back stabbing thing to some people”. I strongly disagree with those people, and I would counter by saying that to me, the real back stabbing thing to do is to ignore someone.