Columbine Backlash

(A year after Columbine I wrote this as my reaction to being improperly associated with the gunmen. You have to keep in mind I was suffering deeply from depression at the time. I now realize that the problems I went through at the time were mostly my fault.)

I thought I’d open my first rant with a personal story about what happened to me after Columbine. But first click here to read the Washington Post article where my site was mentioned.

Are you back? Ok. Good. After that article was printed I e-mailed the reporter letting him know that I didn’t appreciate being connected to such a senseless and tragic event. Also, I didn’t appreciate one of my works being taken out of context. As an aside, “Death Of A Jester” was written about me becoming more serious in my professional life instead of trying to be funny all the time. Instead of receiving an apology I received this:

“Thanks very much for your note. I’d be most appreciative if you could call me at 202 XXX XXXX to discuss your site and the meaning of the Trenchcoat.”

My reply was to him a polite thanks but you’ve ruined my life enough. Suffice to say I never called. An apology was never given, a retraction never printed.

I’ve been told that other media outlets also mentioned my site. Such as CNN, ABC, the BBC, etc. But the reason I always single out The Post is that it’s the only one I have concrete proof of my writing being used without my permission.

Now, The Post was the newspaper that broke the Watergate scandal back in the 70’s and caused the downfall of a president. Fast forward 25 years and their investigative skills consist of paraphrasing an internet “poet” to make good copy. If Woodward and Bernstein were dead they’d be rolling in their graves. Also, notice he didn’t quote any of my writings about love or dreams. That wouldn’t have been a “story”.

After receiving the death threats and having my friends threatened, I kind of had other things on my mind. It affected me at my job. I ended up screwing up a major account for the company I worked for. My blunder cost the company thousands. Needless to say, I was no longer employed after that. Then I couldn’t find a job. Then my car was repossessed. Then I was evicted. I was about to go live on the streets but luckily my family was willing to take me in, but they lived 642 miles away. Which meant leaving my girlfriend behind. That was 8 months ago. Strangely enough, we’re still together.

Anyway, Mr. Reporter, you want to know the meaning of TheTrenchcoat, well here it is. As I’ve mentioned several times, growing up all my heroes wore trenchcoats. When I finally got one of my own at 17 it felt great. To me, it was like wearing a cape, like I was Batman. It gave me confidence, women started noticing me more, and it looks damn cool. That’s it. That’s the big answer you were looking for. Thanks again for ruining my life.

The point? There is none. This is just something I had to get off my chest. If there is any point it’s probably don’t believe everything you read…especially in The Post.

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