Welcome to
« More reworking, more insomnia | Main | Creative frustration »

Wednesday January 14, 2004

Some badness, some goodness

I received an e-mail in my inbox today (big news, right?)... Actually, I received a lot of e-mails, but one in particular made me stop and think for a few minutes. Yes, a few minutes (I'm trying to do more of that nowadays --thinking). The e-mailer was a fan of Jonathan Brandis' much like myself, and was very upset about a magazine column that said in no uncertain terms that Jon's death was a good thing; that it carried with it a certain entertainment value.

The e-mailer was right to be upset. Imagine getting a phone call and finding out that your only son had hung himself... that your child, the one you gave birth to, raised, and loved, decided that life was no longer worth the trouble. Imagine burying your own flesh and blood. The Brandises don't have to imagine that, they've done it already, and they don't deserve to have someone further twist the knife in their hearts for the sheer entertainment value.

As I read the article forwarded to me in the e-mail, it occured to me that the columnist, whoever he is, wrote his article with the goal of achieving a kind of notoriety. Think insensitive, sensational shock jock at a computer keyboard. This is a man who lives in a world in which poking fun at another's suicide is a way of upping your own cool. I wonder how he would react to someone else poking fun at the death of his loved one... a brother, wife, or best friend. Would he appreciate the careless vicousness that rips into his own grief? I don't know this man, but I doubt it.

I was encouraged by a few people to try and get the article removed from the internet. This, I think, is perhaps missing the point. This man's writing isn't mine to erase, and I've never been one to support that kind of censorship, no matter how distasteful the material. But I do agree with one thing --something needs to be done. And what I believe to be the solution to this problem requires no force, no laws, and no power struggle.

We are dealing with a man whose life is lived for the chase of attention at the expense of innocent mourners. He has a talent for written word, but not a heart to use his gift for doing good to others. It's a waste of a life. And no censorship, hate mail, or wishes of misfortune are going to change that. The only way to right this wrong is to pray that this man would recognize both the pain he has inflicted and his potential to be a courageous healer of hurting souls. It is only with love that anyone could ever find the one thing in life with any value at all. Love.

I have no doubt that a lot of people have already expressed their outrage for both the written piece and the man. Outrage is not only understandable, but expected. There is no other logical way to react to such a travesty. But doing the expected brings with it a problem --receiving the expected. And that means that nothing will change. But if we're to be a force for good in the world, aren't we supposed to bring change? It's with this thought that I propose the illogical four-letter solution divinely designed to elicit illogical change: Love. It is only love that will bring change to this man's life. Believe it.

Stranger things have happened, like me not flaming this guy. Three years ago I would have. But since that time, an illogical four-letter solution divinely changed my life. What other choice do I have but to pass it on?



Drina, you are definitely showing the love of Christ. I agree with you. Someone who would write an article like that most likely has alot of problems and needs LOVE. Wouldn't it be a great tribute to Jon's memory to show love? Instead of spreading more hurt and pain?

Love is the only solution.

Brooke on January 15, 2004 01:44 PM

Drina, I stumbled upon your site through I am 39 years old and feel like an "oldie"..but I've always loved Jonathan Brandis. I always thought he was such a talented young actor. His death through suicide is so painful to bear. I lost my father that way, too..and what pains me is that I understand the despair that would cause someone to do such a thing, but I digress..

What you wrote about love being the answer regarding this author's insensitive article is correct, yet..I can't help but wonder if that approach is too "submissive" where this person is concerned. Someone like that does not operate out of a place of love, afterall. Trying to rationalize his behavior by saying he is in need of love makes it all sound too easy. I guess I am not as willing to forgive someone's crass and obnoxious statements to further their own cause as you are. I mean no disrespect, however. It is *very* commendable that you can forgive and see love as the answer in all (or most) things. But I am angry..angry that a person like this is allowed to cause further suffering to others by his very comments. He should be put in his place. He shouldn't be allowed to inflict pain on Jonathan's family, friends and fans or on others through any other articles he may publish. I'm not suggesting censorship, obviously. But I just don't think it's right. Love may be the answer, but it doesn't condone this type of behavior.

Thank you for the opportunity to express myself. :)

Jo on January 17, 2004 06:52 PM

Drina, that was beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Your words never cease to be an encouragement to me.

You have the right answer to this situation - love. Let us pray that others will follow in your footsteps. :)

Courtney on January 17, 2004 09:55 PM

Jo, I wasn't trying to rationalize his behavior, only trying to change it. Love will do that.

Drina on January 18, 2004 03:50 PM

If someone wanted to email the guy and NOT blast him, but correct him WITH LOVE not anger, that would be ok. Just explain to the guy how he has hurt many people with that article, and that it was insensitive to Jon's parents, more than anyone, to publish it. He needs to be corrected, but, in the right way. Writing ugly, angry emails is not the right way and will do no good.

Just some friendly suggestions ;)

Brooke on January 19, 2004 10:26 AM

You know, Drina, I think the attitude you've taken here is very admirable--and very rare. It may seem "submissive" or like sitting back and doing nothing to some, but NEVER underestimate the power of prayer, love and forgiveness. Maybe it sounds a bit cheesy or a bit soft, but cheese is a necessary part of life at times.

God can change even the hardest of hearts--it may not seem logical to us, but we're not here to make sense of everything in this life. If we were, there wouldn't be so much we just don't get!

You write so eloquently, Drina; it's so nice to read something coherent and well-written on the web these days...

Keep it up!

Beth-Annie on January 23, 2004 05:58 PM