Thursday, October 26, 2006

get out and vote!

election time is coming soon and only one thing is certain, i intend to vote NO on i-91 (more on that later). otherwise, i'm characteristically indecisive. i watched a podcast of the cantwell-mcgavick debate and learned a few things: cantwell is a brownnoser, mcgavick wants to build a wall between mexico and california, and there is no clear choice for senate this year. it's too bad mike the mover didn't win the democratic primary.

i assume that i'm not the only undecided voter out there--what if you fence-walkers could get a little voting practice before the election? (that'd be great, you say.) well, here's your chance. i'll play secretary of state sam reed, you don your voter's gown (i couldn't think of anything that's particularly related to voting, but i'm sure that if you are at all patriotic, you must have a voting gown), and we'll get ready to shape some 17 point scale policy.

you've probably noticed that i don't shy away from writing about my friends and acquaintances. i don't gossip (do i?), but i occasionally say some strange things. moreover, i tend to use full names. after chatting with some of my readers, i'm starting to get the impression that not everyone is as gung-ho about last names as i am. for instance, my roommate asked that i not include his full name on the blog. mark explained that he would really prefer to have no information in the public sphere, especially in a permanent, easily-navigable space like the internet. my compromise at the time was "mark t-mandl" (see the well-placed hyphen). perhaps there are other marks out there.

here's my defense for continuing the current policy (or lack thereof):

1. it's my blog, i should feel free to do whatever i want (yikes!).
2. i'm not sure that the 17 point scale fits into any particular genre, but if it were caged into one category, it might be the memoir, close cousin to the autobiography, and therefore, in a rather loose sense, this is journalism; it is a swirling matter of facts, names, and dates that somehow form a broad narrative of, to nearly quote my officemate james o'connell, "the entity that we call" andrew david, and to strip me of my friends is somehow dishonest as a writer and a person (okay, i got a little carried away with that sentence, sorry).
3. although i may share odd things about my friends, i don't write negatively about them.
4. to this end i occasionally consult beth or other friends on posts where the personal content might be in anyway objectionable
5. my audience is primarily composed of people that know me and therefore tend to know one another; thus, the posts are more meaningful to my readers if they can say "boris! i remember boris, he was that chunky fellow who hung out with andrew at the taco time...."
6. likewise, even if readers are unfamiliar with my circle of friends, if they are 17 point scale fanatics, they could begin to get a sense of the frequent 17 point scale guests, and thereby have a more nuanced connection with the blog.
7. what's the use of having labels for every entry if you can't put people's names there?
8. and, most selfishly, i LOVE that if you happen to google kris purganan, MY blog is the first hit. I can't really explain how cool this is to me. it just sucks that "andrew david" still doesn't return a hit in the first 500 entries.

so what do you think? you can vote with a show of hands, but it'd probably be easiest if you leave me a comment. should i maintain my current protocol and do nothing? should i use first names only? should i use no names at all? should i ask people before using their full/partial name in my blog? should i email everyone who has previously appeared in the 17 point scale and ask them if they want their name removed? also, if you would like to email me privately about the modification of your name, feel free to do so...

andrew david. "an odd method of voting" mt pilchuck, wa.
381 to go.


The T-man said...

Your first point is only relevant to your own information about yourself. Freedom of speech does not extend to slander or endangering someone else. The danger of the internet is that it is not context-sensitive, anyone can find anything with Google. That means that you, as a poster of information, don't know what might be slanderous or what could be harmful to someone in the future. I'm not paranoid, it's just that once something is posted anywhere on the web, even if you edit that post or remove it there are services that save old versions of sites. People are already being fired and not hired because of MySpace posts and blogs. I'm probably more sensitive about this than most, but there you are.

andrew said...


you're right about the limits of free speech. but i'm not worried about slander or libel. i've taken a journalism course and read the AP stylebook and briefing on media law; (i believe that) the blog is well within my rights of free speech.

but it's not a question of what's legal, it's a question of what's courteous. how do i walk the line between my 8 points and your concern about future employers? or do i just ignore the line?

The Salmon Princess said...

Yeah, I think I was tired when I posted that... I didn't mean that you want to be illegal or mean, but once something is out there it's always out there (especially with a google-sponsored blog). I would say that posting a person's first name is totally cool. Anything else is up to you, unless someone requests something else (like me... t-mandl indeed!)

My word this time is vhboy

Anonymous said...

In memoirs, publishing companies make authors change names (as long as the people are still living and not immediate family members) to avoid law suits. And it's scary how much more easily navigable than books the internet is.

andrew said...

anony mouse,

alright. assuming you really know as much as you say about memoirs, you've debunked my journalism/memoir argument. my coworkers were apathetic about my use of last names and it seems that my official 17 point scale commenters are for the removal of last names. soooooooo...perhaps i'll do it on a case by case basis and delete last names that i'm unsure about....