Monday, October 26, 2009

Midwesterners are nicer than New Yorkers.

Where did that come from?

Well - very sadly, DaveO, of The Lake is the Boss, and Silbs, of Silbs Says have both been posting about a local paddler - an actual paddling companion of Silbs', and a paddler who knew what he was doing - who disappeared one night last week on Lake Superior. His car was left in the parking lot where he launched & his kayak & lifejacket washed ashore.

I'm not going to go on much about this because what can you say about something like that. Always gives me the chills a bit to read about any boating accident, especially a kayaking accident - it's true that there's nothing like messing about in boats, but boy, there's always some risk there & something like this just drives that home, doesn't it? My heart goes out to all his friends & family & I hesitate to say more for fear of saying something dumb.

But it really hit me, as I was looking at some of the comments attached to articles -

Maybe Midwesterners really are a little more decent that New York people in some ways.

Seems like any time you see an article about a boating tragedy in the Daily News or Post here (not so much the Times), you end up seeing some just shockingly mean comments. Schoolyard bully namecalling. "Idiot", "moron", and worse. Words that just shouldn't be left there on a public forum, where maybe people who cared about whoever's been lost can stumble over them & hurt themselves even worse. But there they are, and there the editors let them stay.

The commenters in Minnesota? Well, I think it was DaveO who once used the term "Minnesota nice". Or maybe Silbs.

Yes, there were comments questioning the safety of solo kayaking, etc., etc. But I didn't see ONE SINGLE COMMENT in which the sort of derogatory language that you see so much of in the online comments of the NYC tabloids was used.

I don't know if it's the posters, or if it's that midwestern newspaper editors pay closer attention to who's saying what in the comments - either way, it's just nice to see a little old-fashioned decency when it's really, really needed.


Terribly sad story going on up there. I hope...well, of course it would be wonderful to read that he made it to shore & was waiting for a rescue all along. Don't we all always wish for that ending when we hear of something like this?

But if it doesn't end up with that happiest ending, I do hope that at least enough can be found out to answer the questions that the people who cared for him are left with.

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