I never thought to moderate comments, because I was at first always so excited when someone would leave me a comment. Wow! Attention!
Never mind that I think there’s something inherently, and socially, wrong about looking for attention on your computer. I’m trying to get better, which is why I do walk to Starbucks sometimes, and then go on long bike rides and wave to as many people as I can.
But I got the comment of all comments the other day, from a woman named “Meredith.” If you want to read it, it’s the third comment down here. It’s about my race report where I talk about what a brilliant blocker I am.
I’m going to leave it there, because I’m learning a big lesson from this. And that is, the risk in trying to poke fun at yourself in any public setting is that people might actually think you’re being serious, that you really do pride yourself as being the greatest blocker who walked the face of this planet. As if that is something to really feel proud about. I mean, read Meredith’s post. She goes on and on about her disbelief that I could really say such a thing.
Now I want to talk about our basic right of free speech in this country and how I am no longer allowing it on my blog, unless you are demonstrating to me that you are on my side. Otherwise, if it’s a criticism, you need to do the following, which Meredith did not do:
- Back up your accusations with hard facts. Meredith did not do this.
- Use your full name. Meredith did not do this. Note that in special cases, when you say something funny that demonstrates we’re on the same humor page, you can use any name you want. Those are my rules.
- Use your real e-mail address. I have strong reasons to believe that Meredith used a fake e-mail address, not thinking that I’d actually respond to it, and that the e-mail address, according to Google, belongs to a Meredith in Georgia, who is, no doubt, wondering why she got an e-mail from some strange woman about some bike race in California. Boy do I hope I’m wrong on this one.
So we have no idea who Meredith is. And what really saddens me most of all is the one scathing e-mail from a friend of mine, accusing me of causing that crash, and even quotes “Meredith” to prove it.
Well, that’s just unfair. It’s untrue and unfair. I don’t need to say anything more than that.
It’s just unfortunate. The crash, the hurt feelings, everything. And I am not too proud to apologize. I am sorry, because I believe that my blog, while funny to a lot of people, rubbed those directly and indirectly involved in that crash the wrong way. There is nothing funny about crashing at all.
And so, I’m sorry. I just am. About everything.
But what’s most unfortunate is that this Meredith, whoever she is, defiled my little blog to get on her self-righteous soap box.
Free speech means your right to state your opinions. But if you’re going to state these things, you need to include your real name and e-mail address in the required fields, so we can have a legitimate debate. Allow me the opportunity to challenge your claims. Let us all know who you really are, so we understand where you’re coming from.
Otherwise, that’s not free speech. That’s just chicken shit.