I recall an ill-fated Journal entry almost exactly two years ago in which I recounted being solicited by automated call to search my surroundings for a college student who had gone missing and may be wandering around town. The upshot of my piece was that I checked my outbuildings (barns, garages, doghouse, sheep pen) and even the empty farmhouse in the neighboring lot that my neighbor had moved and subsequently abandoned. With no specific details supplied to me -- like the fact that the missing lad was bipolar and had stopped taking his medicine -- I had originally speculated to myself that he had run off with a new love or for a weekend at the tables at Foxwoods.
Oh: I did mention that I also thought it passing strange that he had legally changed his name to a agglomeration of recent adventure movie heroes. PLEASE: Do not diminish a young man's tale by obsessing over picayunities, for I am acutely aware of my insensitivity in the hasty piece and the fact that the student has never been found.
Within hours of my posting that entry, some gamer message board had invited members to visit and assault my site. All told: 258 comments, many of them posted multiple times, many enumerating my "utterly reprehensible," and "thoughtless" remarks, advising me to "take a pill" and "lay off" the "good/smart/sweet kid." Some of these comments were even posted using my own imprint at the time, Thirdmate.
Yeah. They made their point and to this day I still remember it. I deleted that post and didn't log on for a week while I instituted a new set of protections and passwords.
I am wary of repeating a thoughtlessness, and I am particularly weary of abusive and exceptive online behavior.
So I was filled with trepidation when I noticed that this site was flooded with 98 visits from http://community.idealistshaven.com/forums/, which appears to be an X-Files fansite where I am not a member, so I have no idea what led you all to swamp my SiteMeter.
I got one comment from one of you, and I answered it here. I'm disappointed that only three of you bothered to visit more than one page and only one of you thought to engage me, albeit with a series of sassy affronts. I would have thought that someone might have mentioned Agent Dana Scully's dog, Queequeg.
I thought that I was only going to get flack for the girlie pictures.
(This presentation features photographs of Gillian Anderson)