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Vancouver Island BC., Canada
Welcome to the place where I exercise my right to be commentator, advocate, or as some might see it, babbler. What ever your take is, this is where I can take what I have seen and try to make sense by writing it out. Take the ride or don't but I hope something here will resonate with someone out there. My take on humanity right now? We aren't getting it right, but I like to think that given a second chance, we could all get it right. If you do venture into my ramblings I hope you can stay a minute and read two of my posts. They are "Innocence Lost, A Challenge Gained" and "The Hollywood Glandslide" I am a journalism student but please don't read these with a critical eye. I have not stopped to punctuate correctly, nor have I "essayified" them. These are written when the thoughts strike me, and therefore I do not want to "pretty them up." I wanted to catch my thoughts as they came and then later on go back and read them to see if my ideas change over time. Please feel free to comment, this may have a bearing on whether or not my ideas do change. And change... if for the better, is always a step in the right direction.

Monday, December 03, 2007


Prosecutor won't bring charges in MySpace suicide - CNN.com

My posting today is in response to the article posted above. My comments are only reflective of my own personal feelings, and not to be taken as anything else. I hope I do not offend. I am only trying to understand this big old world of ours, and how we all fit into it. Thank you for taking the time to read. I have also included the term Internet Assault, I do not know if it has been used by anyone else as of yet but I feel it is a good way to describe the growing trend of Internet users using anonymous postings to vent at, or hurt their target. I also feel it is a growing concern and one that is cowardly, and helping to erode our society and our ability to deal with adverse reactions in a responsible manner. Please feel free to comment.- C. H.

It is a dark day when an any adult can go online- create a persona- and use it to crush a child so completely as to bring about her suicide and not be charged with any offence.
What does this say about our society?
It is saying that once again the "right to free speech" is hailed over the protection of our children and ourselves.
I do not believe that when our forefathers introduced such legislation they ever intended it to be used in such an inane way as it has today or in the past.
I cannot fathom how it could be right in the mind of the mother and family, that allegedly created a profile, to do what they did- even if it was in the interest of protecting their own child from perceived Internet or verbal assault by the child they allegedly targeted. I would expect that a responsible adult, would instead, go to the parent of the child they suspected of verbal or Internet assault of their own daughter, and confront the issue that way.
It seems instead, that if what the parents did was indeed true, they were acting out of anger and were in some way receiving satisfaction out of playing with another child's mind. Is this the behaviour to teach their own child. Absolutely not!
Whether or not the child that committed suicide had 'bad-mouthed' the child of these parents is not the issue. Yes, it is wrong, if it happened, but what is even more disturbing is the action taken that led to the suicide.
When adults resort to this kind of behaviour it reinforces the kinds of attitudes that are eroding our society today in terms of apathy, violence, anger, and an inability to act in a respectful and caring manner. The parents should have recognized that this child was a child, and therefore was to be treated as such. It should have been resolved between those responsible for those children.
Unfortunately in a society that is increasingly acting out within the parameters of secrecy on the Internet we are seeing more and more of this kind of behaviour.
I am saddened by how we act as ' higher functioning' mammals.
It almost make me feel like jumping in the ocean and socialize instead with our more empathetic cousins, the dolphins.
If I sound somewhat negative, well ...I am. I am saddened and angry by the way we seem to feel that it is our right to hurt others because we can be anonymous.
This only shows- One, we are insensitive and care only about ourselves. In psychiatry a person acting in this manner would be called a psychopath or sociopath if I recall correctly.
Two, it shows an increasing trend towards a type of cowardice, that we only lash out when it is possible to remain anonymous.
And Three... it shows we have lost the ability to act and resolve issues in a adult, responsible, and caring manner.
How do we solve this issue?
By understanding that, by our actions, we are creating a world where it is acceptable to treat people as less than human and by doing so- we not only hurt those we set out to, but we ultimately hurt ourselves by creating such a world. We also have to understand that- we are what we do.
Because we do something anonymous does not mean that we can get up from our computer, go to church, volunteer, or help someone tomorrow, and our anonymous assault we wrote on the computer an hour before is erased. It doesn't work that way. There is this idea pervading through society now that venting is a good thing- and we think- "wow I just vented ... I feel better". Sure venting is great but not at the expense of another fellow human being. We seem to ignore or even take pleasure sometimes that on the other end of our vent is a devastated, emotionally wrecked person that WE are accountable for and WE SHOULD be held accountable for whatever our actions cause that person to do.
In a court of law, if you punch someone and they die as a result of the injury, you can be charged with manslaughter or murder. So if you say something that causes a person to commit suicide, should it be different? Yes- of course there is a difference but how much? Why should one person who announces their actions and claims responsibility be held accountable and one person who does the same action in anonymity be let off the hook?
I am sure that many who read this will evidently want to argue many points with legal jargon and others will argue in defence of free speech and I am sure both arguments contain validity. But is freedom of speech protected when we don't claim authorship? Or should the question be- should we be protected just because it was- one, on the Internet, and two, because it was anonymous? Obviously there have been charges laid in cases where death threats have been lodged anonymously when the author was found and proven to have written them. But should the same types of charges or even harsher be in effect if an anonymous or a claimed negative posting leads to psychological damage resulting in the death of the person who receives it?
And to those who have arguments, please understand I am not a lawyer, or a politician. I am only human being, who happens to be a mother, and who is frightened by what our "humane society" is capable of.
So next time someone makes you angry or hurt.... Please, think about how your response would affect you or your loved ones if it was reversed. Instead of resorting to "Internet Assault" or verbal assault anonymously or otherwise, could we not instead act like the "higher intelligence" mammals we are?
We all try to work towards saving endangered species, how about working towards saving the endangered central aspect of humanity, EMPATHY. Without it we are only psychopaths serving our own goals.- C. H.

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