It is a time to rejoice and a time to bemoan. Brian returns to school; Christmas vacation ends. December was a nice month and 2006 disappeared swiftly in quiet contemplation.
We are over our Christmas colds as the weather in northern California experiences a “spring” hiccup. We see days with temperatures near 70. But the nights are still as cold as an angry ex wife. It is the beginning of a new year.
The first Redwood Writers club meeting of the New Year convened Sunday evening. The guest speaker was Joan Price, a local advocate for sexuality for seniors. She has written several books, maintains a blog and teaches line dancing. She is an inspiration to be sure.
Joan talked candidly of her life what has brought her to where she is as a writer. I am impressed with her knowledge of blogging, as media would have the public believe only pubescent teenagers with friends to text have blogs. During her conversation about blogging she shares an example of a phenomenon I have seen too much of on the Internet.
The story is about a group of people from a shock jock radio program that took it upon themselves to blast her blog with negative postings, making fun of people over 60 having sex. Their comments borderline evil and remind me of mob mentality. We are forever talking about eliminating bullies from the schoolyard, only to see them reappear on he Internet. Joan made the mistake of not having her moderator turned on so she can filter out the postings. By the time she realizes what has transpired on her blog, the postings have sat, creating an alternate image of what she stands for.
It was during this time that a local newspaper reporter is reviewing her blog for the first time. I am at a loss to understand why people waist any precious day (in our short lives) berating a stranger. It was lost on me growing up and is lost on me now. It would be more understandable if provoked, but aren’t we supposed to be more evolved?
I see the same thing happening on a blog where a young man talks about foreclosure on several houses he bought at the end of the real estate bubble. The mortgage payments are crushing him and he is fighting the thought of financial ruin. He writes with innocent honesty. In response, some strangers will write the cruelest tirades. Again, I am lost as to why. It isn’t like his financial ruin affects anyone posting at the site. He is trying to tell his story, and probably sell it in the hopes the money will prevent him from facing a bankruptcy court.
Is this the American way?
At the club meeting I watch the faces of the other writers as Joan shared this negative experience with her blog. Their eyes swell with the air of reluctance. Fear is a powerful perfume. I think it is a shame if the world is denied the next Hemingway, because he or she is afraid to tell their story. These negative web experiences are why everyone should do a blog and post their thoughts and stories. We cannot let the bullies of the world spread their message of hate and ridicule unabated. We cannot let them silence our courage. I have been lucky enough that all my emails from readers are funny, and many read this site without posting, but I can moderate out content too. But negative reactions won’t stop me from blogging.
I am all for people having sex until they are well over a 100 years of age. I am behind the boomers blazing this trail for me! Why shouldn’t we be passionate about life until the day we die? You can’t tell me there is one person out there, who given the choice between dying of a heart attack at age 96 after having great sex or dying in a hospital bed hooked up to tubes and monitors with a bedpan under their ass would chose the latter.
Until next time-
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