to those behind the “one day blog silence” idea,

while i find the events at VT terribly sad, and your intent to respect, reflect on, and empathize with “victims of our world” a noble one, your unilateral declaration of a random “one day blog silence” is really pretty shocking.

before making grand, sweeping declarations of silence in the blogosphere in future, you may wish to step back from your good intentions for a moment and consider that a) attempting to silence others or incite self-silencing by mass declaration rather than invitation is pompous at best, and b) that whatever date you choose for this silence is bound to have deep personal significance for someone, unrelated to the cause (again, however good) you are trying to promote and thus unsubsumable under your particular banner of silence.

in other words, who the fuck do you think you are telling us that “the Blogosphere (which, last i looked, was not a monolithic entity to be directed at your whim) will hold a One Day Blog Silence “?  and that it will be on April 30th?   because you said so?

do you understand the implications of that kind of dictate?

my firstborn, as it happens, died on April 30th, 2005.  i still grieve him.  my blog is the one place where i’m free to express that ongoing grief without feeling that i burden others too much with my sadness.  it is also the one place where i get to share his short life, and the joy he brought his father and i…where i am able, in a small way, to have him live on.  when you lose a child, there is too much silence.  silence is the problem.  my heart breaks for those families who’ve lost children and loved ones at VT…and for the silences ahead of them.  but the world knows of their children…they will not be forgotten, they will be eulogized and memorialized and written of and have their stories heard.  and cold comfort though that may be, it’s something.  memory is a lot, when there is nothing else left.  as a parent, and a blogger, my responsibility to my lost child is to mark his having been here too, to memorialize him as best i can.  on the anniversary of his death on April 30th, i can only do that with words, not with silence.  not with the blanket of silence you’re trying to lay sanctimoniously over the blogosphere.

i have no problem with you choosing to be silent on April 30th to honour the VT dead.  i know your intentions are good.  but to try to co-opt the blogosphere en masse to accord with your intent by making a declaration of silence, you leave some of us in the terrible position of appearing to disrespect the deaths at VT by honouring our own dead with words.  words are all i have to give my son.  and that date – or any other – is not yours, nor mine, to own.  invite people to join in your campaign, sure.  but do not dictate others’ speech or silence at will.

Bonnie the Very Angry