I have recently taken a lot of heat for a post that I wrote about a 99% protestor. A good portion of that heat came from the person pictured in this post and the friends that he brought over from his blog and his own facebook page.
Under normal circumstances I would have had no problem dealing with each argument and commenter individually, however I woke up to nearly 20 comments the morning after he posted the link to my blog and as I read through them I came across one that shook me.
I’ve been insulted and made fun of because of my beliefs, both in comments and emails related to this blog, and occasionally in real life as well. I have never before received a death threat from a commenter though and that, even though the threat was mostly implied, made me take a step back and assess how I was going to deal with the situation. I contacted my friends, spoke to them, some of whom have experienced death threats and threats of physical violence before as well because of their political ideals. I left my own place of residence and went to stay with my parents, because the idea of being in a house with people who both have loaded guns and know how to use them, was much more appealing than being by myself at the time.
The threat itself, is visible on the comments of the original blog. The IP address it was sent from was 126.96.36.199 and it was sent to the blog after the blogger in question posted links to my article (and my photo) on his blog and facebook.
Granted we can’t be held responsible for the actions of all of our followers, I do not know all of my followers and readers personally, but I promise you if any one of my readers ever threatened the life of someone I was in an argument with, and I was made aware of it, I would condemn then in harshest possible terms and do whatever I could to see them prosecuted for making such threat. What the 99% blogger in question will do is up to them…but if you choose silence please refrain from ever taking the moral high ground.
I spent several days assessing my situation and going over both the original blog entry and the comments that I received. My conclusion was this, I stand by the contents of my article.
Though perhaps calling him a liar was too far, but from the facts given he did seem to be lying based on reality. Perhaps I will change my comment to “he is clearly a very poor communicator”. Either that, or he intentionally used half-truths and cherry picked his facts to change what the situation sounds like…which, according to my family’s house rules, is lying.
The commenters on that post are right, I do not know the life story of the man in question. I do not know him, I do not know where he lives, what he currently does for a living, nor do I honestly care. The content of what he wrote was what I was analyzing and he did not give all the facts, in fact he worded (intentionally or unintentionally) his words in a way that did not give all facts about his situation. And then he criticizes me for not including certain facts in my analyses, when those facts themselves were not included in the information he gave.
That is not my fault.
My analyses, based on the information given, was perfectly sound. Even the incomparable Sherlock Holmes could not deduce something correctly without all the information. “Data, data, data, I cannot make bricks without clay.”
Some of the commenters complained that I glossed over the facts of my own neurological condition, some saying that my glossing over the details meant that I had been cured and knew nothing of living with long term health concerns. I would first like to point out that I have, on several occasions, spoken about my health concerns on this blog and that there was no need to go over them again as MY health issues were not what the blog was about.
I will say here that I have not been cured. There is, in fact, no known cause or cure for my disorder. I suffer from Pseudo-tumor Cerebri, which basically means that (unless it stops on its own) I will be one at least two medications, every day, for the rest of my life. The increased intracranial pressure could have damaged my eyesight permanently or damaged my brain, if it had not been discoverd. If I do not take the medication I suffer from debilitating migraines, which before I was diagnosed, kept me from working more and more as the situation grew worse. The pain was so bad that I was forced to lay in the dark, with no noise, no interaction, for hours at a time. I would go to work and leave halfway through the day after throwing up multiple times because the pain was so intense.
I am not telling you this to gain your sympathy, merely to answer your questions, I don’t want your sympathy, nor do I need it. I have friends who care about me and they are my friends because they are people of character. As to the defenders of the 99%, please don’t feel sorry for me or my medical condition.
Others questioned if my neurological disorder had damaged my brain, affecting my ability to think and hurt my intelligence. I assure you that my friends, family, neurologist, and MRIs can tell you that this is not the case. That is the only response you will get to that accusation.
Other commenters addressed my compassion, or lack thereof. Compassion has nothing to do with facts, compassion does not alter facts. Compassion is not an advantage in analyzing the facts.
Others commented on my grammar and spelling. Yes, I will admit that I do not always edit my posts as well as I should. I also do not always have my posts proofread before posting them. My brain, unfortunately, usually runs faster than my hands can type and on occasion that means that I will skip words, use homophones, or get letters out of order or missing entirely. It is a flaw that I am continuously trying to break myself of, but it does not always happen. However my spelling and grammar have absolutely no bearing on my actual facts or arguments.
Those of you who know this man personally have every right to defend him on a personal level, but you must understand that he did not give all the facts in the first place and those facts that he did give, did not connect with reality. While my post may have lacked for style and compassion, his lacked facts, who committed the greater offense?
The post has been taken off its private settings and all the comments, even the one that gave me pause about the situation, have been approved. I will not be replying to the comments, as this reply is a blanket one covering the issues that I felt needed to be addressed.
Lastly, I would like to thank my friends and family for both supporting me and going over the situation with me, to analyze the issues. I would also like to thank one of my very best friends for writing a post that addresses some issues of the 99% movement that I have not addressed and far more eloquently than I could.