Monday, July 10, 2006

Gotthammer's Apologetic: Introduction

This post and the ones to follow were all originally published here at the blog earlier this year, but were completely obliterated when I accidentally deleted the entire site. I'll do my best to do a 'remix' of these articles by inserting some more content...but my sincere hope is that those of you who commented will take the time to do it yet again.
Last year when I was getting published in Youthworker Journal on a regular basis, Will Penner, the then-editor for Youthworkerinformed me that I’d had more feature articles published in a twelve month period than he can recall coming from one author in the history of the magazine. I was delighted to hear this of course, but it also meant that the profile of was raised.
With a high profile comes scrutiny. With Gotthammer, scrutiny brings criticism and questions. As each article was released, I would receive a number of emails that broke down to the following statement; “I really enjoyed your article so I decided to go to your website, and while I really really liked your article, I’m disturbed/concerned/confused about the content of your site because you swear/drink/smoke/draw pictures that are offensive.”
I considered censoring the site. I really did. A year or so ago someone commented that I drew an inordinately large number of pictures of scantily clad women. I had a couple of complaints, so I removed the ones I deemed most questionable. It wasn’t a big deal to me to change that particular part of Gotthammer. To remove a handful of pictures wasn’t such a big deal, but to take all my artwork off would not be an accurate reflection of me. Besides, by that time the site had become far more about my writing than my artwork anyhow.
The concerns that are coming now are of a moral nature. They want to know how I defend the questionable language in my articles, or the fact that I smoke and drink. I’ve looked the site over, and decided that rather than censor, I would instead attempt an apologetic (as opposed to an apology-an apologetic is more of a formal defense as oppposed to simply making excuses for my behavior), a means for newcomers to Gotthammer to come to an understanding of me and the context in which I live, work and play.

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