My father recieved a phone call from one of my ex-girlfriends today. It seems that the one girl who I dated and eventually did not become at least cordial with is upset that I’m still hosting pictures of her. For better or for worse, I was forced to explain to my father why it is I’m hosting slightly pornographic pictures on my website. It’s a timely issue for me and several friends I know, so I figured that instead of writing her and futilely urging her to stop contacting my friends and relations to avoid a restraining order, I’d post about it. Clearly she reads the blog still, anyways, so it’ll amount to nearly the same thing.
Incidentally, I wonder if there’s something in the water or the air of South Florida right now that is causing everyone who has ever crossed paths with me to cross swords with me right now. First Jason Friedman writing me a message defending his theft of monies from AACS, and now harassing phone calls from sore ex-girlfriends. One wonders. I mean, I truly haven’t thought of these people since I had contact with them, save for the occasional amusing anecdote about them in social situations.
The reason I keep all those pictures of her in there still is that they are a record of my life, in a way. They are pictures that were given to me freely, or that I took myself in some cases, and they represent different eras in my past. I keep them there for the same reason I keep a lot of my old diary posts in the archives. Certainly if I were to run for political office, they would become an issue, but I like to think that I’m the sum total of my experience, amongst other things. Experience shapes who we are and the decisions we make, as long as we acknowlege it and understand the lessons of the repercussions of our actions.
Take for instance the example of King Solomon, from the Bible. When he was a youngster, we’re told that God asked him what it was he wanted most in the world, and all he had to do was name it, and it would be granted to him. Of course, we know he chose wisdom. God was pleased with this, and told him that because he chose wisdom over riches, love of women or power that not only would he be granted wisdom, but all of these things.
Throughout the Proverbs, and the Songs of Solomon we get a first person perspective from the remainder of his life. He was given every opportunity to debauch, debase, and otherwise wallow in the pleasures of the world and learn what rewards it held when experienced to the extreme. He concluded, towards his twilight, that “There is nothing new under the sun,” and that obedience to God and following his will for life was the most rewarding course of action – and that was the crux of the wisdom he was granted.
My point is his wisdom was hard earned. I remember being told when I was youngster myself that I was wise beyond my years. I don’t know how much of that is true, or if it was even in the same context as the type of wisdom Solomon earned, but I know at this point in my life that what little wisdom I do have has been truely hard-earned wisdom! I have been blessed with a life of opportunity and variety, and I have done things that I at this point am not particularly proud of, but I leave them up here, too. How hypocritical would it be of me to edit out the parts of my life I’m not proud of while I criticise the shady parts of peoples lives both in the public sector or the private sector?
When you get down to it, that’s what I do on a number of levels – I’m a journalist at heart, and a lot of what I do is expose the not-so-niceness of public figures as well as the not-so-public figures who have crossed paths with me in the past. Between that, technical information articles which I find interesting, and entries of my own personal experience, that pretty much makes up the entirety of this blog since inception.
I leave these records of my experiences up for my own edification purposes, true, but when I’m asked about my experiences and if I wish I had done things differently, I tell people no I don’t. Each experience in this crazy and adventurous life I’ve led has shown me different ways that I can go down ultimately unrewarding pathways, and as a result I’ve done my best to avoid these pursuits as best as I can. Sure, I have scars from some of these experiences, and occasionally these old wounds act up now and then, but they serve as reminders of what not to do, and what I should be doing.
I don’t begrudge my ex-girlfriend for being upset that I keep the pictures up (although, I do wonder why she persists in making an ordeal of it, since many of them are found on her own MySpace page). I don’t begrudge her that because I know she has a great many issues of her own to work through, and apparently she hasn’t come to terms with the issues she was dealing with when we were together.
While it’s not really on the same topic, nor do I see what I have posted as being particularly damaging to her reputation, my mind drew a parallel from blogging to an old NRA slogan. The saying goes something like, “an armed society is a polite society.” The logic being that in a situation where everyone in a society or nation can be or is likely to be carrying a weapon, people tend to be a lot more polite to one another. In this day and age, the pen is way mightier than any sword or gun – my posts about a great number of people are usually the first thing to pop up in Google when you look up their names.
It logically follows from examples like this that maybe its a better idea for individuals within our society to be nicer to one another and not pull jerk moves on one another because while our legal system and such may not be set up for punishing the wicked anymore, the word of mouth and free flow of information certainly allows for the damaging of people’s reputations a whole lot easier. Of course, the most common recourse of people who have been damaged in this way is to sue the offending blogger/internet poster for libel and slander – I’ve been threatened with it many a time. My first response (other than to correct them on the proper usages of the words libel and slander) is that it isn’t libel or slander when the statements are true. When you actually did the things that are being talked about (or consented to the pictures being taken and freely given to people who aren’t you), you cannot restrict other people’s free speech by civil suit or otherwise (at least not in this country, at least not yet).
At any rate, that’s my two cents on the topic. Laura, if you’re reading this, I hope you feel satisfied that I spent the time to think this through (although please don’t misunderstand this as an indication I want to start dialoguing with you). Dad, when you read this I know you’ll probably not agree with all my takes and conclusions on everything, but it’s truely how I feel at the moment. Everyone else – I hope I haven’t completely bored you to death with this ego-stroking tripe I call a blog entry.