Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Reader criticism

Last Thursday, I posted on a horrific crash that killed a West Linn man named Kevin Gilbertson, leaving behind a wife and four children. Over the weekend, I received six comments taking me to task for that post. Those "people" said I was being un-Christian, judgmental and just plain mean.

I'll admit, part of me wanted to ignore that criticism, because according to my site meter, all six posts were from one person. He or she posted anonymously each time, trying to deceptively create the appearance of a criticism groundswell.

But after thinking about it and talking with Mrs. ULC (who knows I'm sometimes a bit meat-headed), I have taken the post down and replaced it with this post. I take seriously the accusations that I'm being judgmental or less than charitable. And the bottom line is that if there's even a hint that I'm exacerbating someone's grief, I need to back off. If I knew that my words, no matter their intent, had caused additional grief, there would be no end to my own despair. If that happened, I offer my deep apologies.

My reasoning for the initial post was twofold: 1) I was angry that those kids don't have a dad because of something that seemed easily preventable; and 2) I wanted others who drive like that to see what can happen. If the picture of what's left of the car caused someone to slow down the next time he was behind the wheel, I thought maybe something good could come from Mr. Gilbertson's death.

So, if you drive like that, don't be a meathead. And say a prayer for the Gilbertson family.



  • At 10/15/2007 9:56 AM, Anonymous Mick said…

    Much more sensibly put.

  • At 10/15/2007 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Screw the critics. Go with your first instinct. We can all learn a lesson from death.

    If we are afraid to post something because we might upset someone's sensibilities, then we really aren't free.

  • At 10/15/2007 7:24 PM, Blogger Ken said…

    We can all learn a lesson from death, and we can also learn a lesson from those in mourning. When you choose to post something you know is offensive, simply because you can, that's not "freedom." That's arrogance.

  • At 10/15/2007 7:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If I asked you to come up with 15 different scenarios that would explain the high speed, could you do it? I'm not sure what your original post was, but if it was anything like the other ignoramuses out there, who blurt out the first and only thing in their heads about high speed, drugs and alcohol, then you were indeed careless with your high-speed post.

    Tracy Adams

  • At 10/15/2007 7:52 PM, Blogger Ken said…

    Tracy, I'm not saying I'm innocent of ignorance in this case. But if you admit you don't know what my original post was about, isn't it just as careless to level that accusation at me?

  • At 10/15/2007 8:10 PM, Anonymous Tracy Adams said…

    I think your rewrite almost explains everything one needs to know, which is that you spoke without really thinking about the power of your words and whether you had all the facts. Part of what I wrote isn't just for your benefit, it is for all the others who have spouted off without all the facts. And, yes, it was an accusation resting on the word "If." A short summary of what you found to be troubling in your original post would give this post more context.

    Nevertheless it is good to see you confront the issue and own up to what you feel are your mistakes.


  • At 10/16/2007 9:01 PM, Blogger OregonGuy said…

    It's a blog. It's your blog. There are few things you are the master of.

    This is one of them.

    If you didn't want feedback, you would turn feedback off. Just because you got/get negative feedback--from your viewpoint--doesn't mean that you don't want feedback.

    I ran one blog item earlier this year and got harshed. I took a look at the offending sentence and realized that I had typed slower than I had thought. My words didn't represent my feelings. Okay. Chagrine is a word because somebody was.

    This is a diary of your thoughts. If you were a Lefty you could rant without consequence, since nobody cares about truth on the Left.

    Buck up. Make mistakes. Learn. And be patient with others, as you are patient with yourself.


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