Tuesday, January 11, 2005

It's baaaack!

As you will see below, yesterday's hyper-controversial post has been restored. For you regulars who missed it, I posted the first of an upcoming series of business articles covering industries that are thriving under the economic policies of the Bush administration. The hook is that (as if I have to tell anyone) they are satirical pieces conceived and written entirely by myself.

Inspired by a certain bumper sticker on the "Tainted Threads" post, I decided to make the first business piece about abortion clinics. With this article, I hoped to point out several ironies and misconceptions surrounding the issue of abortion, including (but not limited to) pro-life activists, the effects of Bush administration policies, abortion surgeons and their patients.

Just in case you're wondering how well it went over, the first nine comments say it all. Combined with some personal stress ongoing at the moment, it was just too much for me to take. I deleted the article about 12 hours later and replaced it with an angry note. And some even angrier comments. Most of the time I can and do accept criticism; when I set up this blog, I had no intentions whatsoever of limiting my audience to the choir. What really frustrated me, however, was something too frightening for comfort. I found that the critics' points actually made some sense, particularly with Nick's comment. Yikes!

After brooding for a while (and ingesting a considerable quantity of fresh air), I decided that I would continue with the series, and possibly even retool the infamous abortion article. But a couple of comments, both on and off site, have reminded me what controversial political discourse is all about. Because let's face it: who in their right mind should have to hide from something they've written? If it's bad, it's bad. If it's tasteless, it's tasteless. If it's offensive, then it's offensive. But what's even more tasteless and offensive is when a writer lets someone else dictate for them what they should write and think. I fall into that trap sometimes, as I'm sure everyone does from time to time. I have never removed completed content from this site for any reason, and I don't plan to start now. I write; therefore I accept the responsibility. Kudos to all of you who have the courage to do so in a public forum on a daily basis.

Before you proceed, here are some things you should know:

1) I manipulated the photos. The bottom two were innocent snapshots taken at a Christmas party in 2002, with elements (gore) added to suit the story. The Crossfire picture comes from the 2003 auto spread of a back issue of Maxim Magazine, with my picture inset and a couple of other modifications. The people in the pictures (aside from myself) are in no way attached to this project and would probably really hate seeing themselves in this context. But their poses were so perfect! And perhaps it would be smart to note that the "aborted" baby is actually my sister sitting at a table. She's a teenager now, and thus was not aborted.

2) Names and institutions are entirely fictitious. The WCA jacket, however, comes from Westminster Christian Academy, an ironic reference caught by everybody from the area.

3) I do not drive a Chrysler Crossfire; I do, however, read Maxim articles on them.

Sometimes we need reminders on the good and the bad inherent in free speech. To those who encouraged me (and you know who you are), thank you. And keep being brutally honest.

3 comments:

oyster said...

I'm glad to see you put the post back up. And keep doing what you do!

Evil Sandmich said...

I put my rantings up on the Internet so that I can rant however I please. If you can't be an ass, what's the point?

Ragin Cajun said...

I read all the comments and subsequent posts relating to your abortion story and I thought I should probably post something myself.

First of all, you mentioned some “personal stress ongoing at the moment” in your follow up post. I honestly hope whatever you’re going through gets better and I certainly didn’t mean to pile-on with my comments. We may be on different sides of most issues but I’d hate to kick someone while they’re down.

I also don’t “enjoy tearing [you] down.” I simply believe that one point driven home is better than three left on base. If I had posted a short note that simply said, “I don’t think this is funny,” It would not have adequately conveyed my feelings about the story. In hindsight, maybe I could have left out a couple of choice words (garbage and classless come to mind) but my comments weren’t made simply to beat you over the head. I wanted you to know how I (and most pro-life people) view abortion. To us, it is nothing short of mass murder. Hopefully I’ll have time to put something on my own blog this weekend that will better explain my own position on abortion.

If you wrote the abortion piece simply to mock and incense the pro life crowd (I don’t think that was your goal), you did a good job. Just don’t be shocked when you get body slammed off the top rope in the comments to your blog.

If you wrote it to get pro-life people like me to examine the logic behind our beliefs, I think you misjudged your audience and came on too strong. I thought my comments were equally as strong. Nick’s comments may have been more constructive, but mine gave you a clear picture of how something like this is perceived by the pro-life crowd. My comments may have been unpleasant, but at least you know exactly where I stand, and knowing your philosophical opponent is valuable information if nothing else.

I enjoy most satire, even when it’s aimed at me. I’m glad to see you’ve overcome your temporary lapse in confidence and you’re back at it. I took a look at the blog you “liberated” from Carl P. That stuff is funny.

Well I’ve got to get over to the hardware store. I seem to have broken all of my washboards. Have a good weekend.