I hope you had a great Christmas

This year has been one of great highs and lows. Some years everything seems to happen at once.

Christmas was something special – absolutely the greatest of my life.

Emma’s only 22 months. Not old enough to be encumbered by the complexes about Christmas we surely will lay on her head in coming years, and just old enough to recognize wonder and the specialness of the day.

It was terrific.

I hope you had a merry one and may God bless you all.

It stinks going to CrunchNotes lately

I’m one of those guys who really appreciates folks who shoot from the hip and share what they feel, especially in the face of lots of heat. That’s one of the reasons why I follow many of the writers I do on the Web, including Michael Arrington and his blog CrunchNotes.

But his latest post just won’t go away. It’s been sitting as his latest now for over a week and the longer it sits there, without correction, the further it spreads mis-information.

What is that mis-information? Well it’s one thing to dislike Shelley Powers and to back it up with facts, and even feelings.

It’s another thing to spread a falsehood, which is what the post in question does. Shelley Powers, unequivocally, will criticize anyone, regardless of sex or station. She really puts her self on the line by speaking truth to power day in and day out.

Questioning dogma is a lonely place to be sometimes.

How this happened is a mystery really.

There was an argument that erupted over the use of an image in an online video, produced by a band.

You can read about the controversy at Wired.

There was some interesting discussion about copyright, much that resembling that which followed other similar controversies in the past.

Conversation that is again springing up about Fox helping itself to someone’s Flickr pictures.

I simply feel that without a lawsuit, contrary to the opinions of folks I respect – because of lack of clarity – no one knows who was in the right and who was in the wrong.

During arguments like this, where facts are few and opinions are many, where clarity is hard to find, I tend to absorb all view points, to weigh my own opinion. This was a great opportunity for that.

That is, until it ran off the rails at at Mathew Ingrams’s blog. Normally a place, like Shelley’s, for some of the best discussion about social media and the Web.

Rogers Cadenhead said that Shelley is due an apology – I agree.

Jeneane Sessum looked at this as a bigger, cultural issue with the blogosphere:

…the larger LARGER problem for the blogosphere and twitterspehere is that a culture is developing — thanks in part to time-saving, fragment-tossing platforms like twitter, that by design silence dissenting voices — we have all become easy targets for extinction, the casualties of casual dismissal.

THAT’s what bothered me about this situation, about what Mike said to Shelley, about what Mike and others said about Lane without asking Lane anything, and STILL DOES bother me.

The “you’re just” mantra is getting way out of hand.

It is cultish and thought canceling.

The irony is that my attraction to ‘shoot from the hip’ opinions is part of the problem.

When I look around me, it seems more and more that context or historical background doesn’t matter – all that matters is the headline, the blurb, and the attention driving influence of the one sharing it.

Increasingly it seems our culture encourages ‘winning it all costs’ behavior – no matter the right and wrong.

And I guess, at Christmas time especially, these things make me sad.

Looking forward to Christmas

It’s hard to write about looking forward to something like Christmas with joy when you know fellow friends and travelers are dealing with sorrow.

Shelley Powers last week summarized some of the tragedies that took place in the online community recently. Of particular note to me was the passing of Anita Rowland, who had been fighting cancer since 2003. Her husband put up a memorial post on his blog.

Jeneane Sessum: For Anita

GarretVreeland One of our own, Anita Rowland, has passed away

Bill Humphries: Anita Rowland

Frank Paynter: Last Dance: Anita Rowland, Rest in Peace

Frank Paynter’s interview with Anita Rowland in 2002: Settled in Seattle… the Anita Rowland Interview

Anita’s family is in my thoughts and prayers.

This will be a Christmas that will best be described as bittersweet for me. Such tremendous ups and downs.

With so much churn in my life, I know I am blessed to look at Emma and be filled with hope.

She is a true blue toddler now. She can communicate very clear what she wants, what she loves, and what she doesn’t care for all that much. That means that Christmas day will be something to behold.

Her Momom will be with her. Laughing, joking, and singing all the way.

As Anita will be with her loved ones.