So...I'm a professor. I was interviewed by the local news about a story related to my area of expertise as the "local expert." They also wrote up a news article quoting me extensively. This is something that happens fairly frequently when you're a professor at the largest university in a not-very-large metro area.
But it was my first time being on tv, so I was pretty excited about it (who wouldn't be? I'm the freaking local expert on tv! Woo!). So I sent out the video to some friends and family members. Including my dad, who I have not talked to since he sent an email about his getting a sefer torah a few months ago. At which point I thought of several snarky things to say, but just never wrote back to him.
SO this was his response:
Hi Abandoning Eden,
Wow! I'm impressed. You got your 15 seconds worth of fame. Andy Warhole used to say we get 15 minutes but now everything is reduced to a soundbite it seems.
I'll pass your clip along to the family. Incidentally, I will be sending you the DVD movie of the Sefer Torah dedication party we had in our house last December. I just finished it yesterady. You will see many familiar faces and I added a very cool musical sound track.
Spelling of 'Warhol' aside, this irritates me on SO many levels. First of all, when he's like "you got your 15 minutes of fame!" it seems SO dismissive to me. This is not my 15 minutes of fame. This is part of my job. I hope one day I get my 15 minutes of fame, and I hope it's not from some local evening news piece that interviewed me cause I teach a class related to a specific topic, I hope it's when some of my research gets national attention. And you know what, i do important research, and I bet some of it will eventually get media attention. But to my dad this interview in my first year as an assistant professor is as big as I'm ever going to get?
And second, AGAIN with the sefer torah religion thing. Like I get that this is a big deal to my dad, but can he just for ONCE send me a message that does not have religious content involved?
So last time I just ignored his email and never wrote back to him. B thinks this is the wrong strategy, he thinks I should be honest about how much it irritates me to get these types of emails, because if I don't they will keep sending them. B thinks my dad is trying to wear me down by constantly sending me religious comments.
So I drafted an email back, but I would love for the internet to weigh in...should I just not respond, my regular strategy? Or should I make an attempt at actually trying to communicate that his religious emails irritate the crap out of me. Also the dismissive thing.
I doubt this is my 15 minutes of fame..I would hope at least some of my research gets some media attention at some point. :) This is just par for the course when you're a professor at the biggest university in a metro area, and I'm betting this won't be the last time I'm interviewed as a local expert on something. :)
I know you're excited about your new sefer torah, but I don't want to see a video of how you spent the money that would have gone towards my wedding if I had married a Jew on a "family heirloom" that we all know is going to E. I think it would be better for both of us if you didn't mention religious things when you email me. You know I'm not religious. I don't want to talk about religion or your religious ceremonies with you. I don't want you to send me videos of your religious ceremonies, anymore than you wanted to see the video of my wedding, or pictures of my christmas tree. Let's just keep religion out of things entirely, because it just brings up hurt feelings. I'm not sure if you DO want to have a relationship with me, but relationships are usually built on commonalities, and sending me emails with religious content is not the way to go, since that is not something we have in common. Why don't you tell me about something else going on in your life?
What do you think? I feel like I'm kinda overreacting, but I also feel like I'm tired of my dad giving backhanded compliments like "this is your 15 minutes of fame" and I'm SUPER tired about getting emails about religious things.