I recently sent out to a medium sized list the link to KatrinaLostAndFound.org, and among that list was my father, who, it would appear, forwarded it on to some people from his church. He recieved an email back which reminded me of one of the reasons I enjoy living in metropolitain areas, as opposed to Bible belt districts. As I’ve told many of you, in the real world, I’m considered a pretty right-wing guy, but in my hometown, I’m a pinko-commie-liberal.
I’ll quote some of the email I got back this evening from my father (the part quoted is my father’s friend’s words, not my father’s):
Thanks for the link.
I have to say that I am reluctant to link to this site (rizzn.com) because of its content (images and text) or any site in connection with this site. Take for example, this page — http://www.rizzn.com/2000_02_01_archive.asp
And then he quotes from that page of my archive an account I gave of my frustration of bailing out a roommate at the time, who then welched on paying me back, followed by an account of a series of events that occurred back when I was 18 or 19, including some that involved some people from the church my father still attends. I won’t quote myself here, you can click on the above link if you want to read the mildly entertaining story in my colorful language of five years ago. My point in bringing all this up is that I understand that people in this world have different sensibilities than I do, but it is upsetting that people will seek out the language I used five years ago, and ignore the intent and message of my words today.
The beauty of the internet is that it’s different from television – if you don’t like what’s there, you don’t look at it, as opposed to the television, where you are forced to watch everything that comes across a channel. The information my father’s friend pulled up on my site is literally about five clicks in, and five years old. One would have to search hard on my site to find objectionable content, and if someone decides not to surf my site because of something I said four or five years ago, than so be it – I have no intentions of censoring myself, as it is a journal of my experiences, not someone else’s.
That is not to say I’m the same person I was, but it is to say I do not want to elimate my memory of my experiences simply because of the way I wrote them.
Furthermore, the most recent commentary on my site is decrying the politicisation of this natural disaster by groups like Planned Parenthood, who a couple days ago announced that they’d be distributing for free their “Day After” pill in an effort to let those affected by the disaster have free abortions due to what they called “increased demand.” That said, I’m not a preacher, and I’m not a church leader — I’m a normal everyday American citizen, and sometimes I use foul language, just as almost everyone else in this world does, and anyone honest with themselves will admit that. When I was younger, I used it more often than I do now, as my father’s friend found out (if he actually read any of my recent work).
Most importantly, however, the site I was referring out was not rizzn.com, but katrinalostandfound.org – an innocuous page that people can use to determine where lost loved ones are. It contains no foul language, and a positive message as well as a valuable resource.
It is interesting to note (and I have been noting a number of interesting things with regards to Katrina) that this disaster is bringing out the absolute worst in people from all around the country. Pop icons are going on national television, and accusing our political leaders of racism. Infotainment shows have been routinely accusing the federal government and the president of murdering the refugees of New Orleans. Political groups have been using this disaster as a platform to push their agenda. This is the worst natural disaster in American history – we don’t need to be finding differences but reasons to come together. This site I created was not about pushing my own agenda or exposing people to cusswords, but to actually help. I will be a little dissappointed to see people not participate in helping people find lost loved ones because of some words I said five years ago.