Thursday, November 12, 2009

A terribly upsetting response...

There have been several posts I've done this year that have been what I call heavy hitters...posts that get a lot of traffic. One such post was my Op-Ed: 210.03. This particular post has had A LOT of traffic.

There are a lot of comments about this post where I try to understand, and invite my readers to help me understand, Kim Yu-Na's score from Trophy Eric Bompard. Today I received an anonymous comment on this post that upset me deeply...

Anonymous said...
The "WOW" is precisely why the ISU 6.0 judging system was revised. Because people injected their own "WOW" biases into unfair results for decades which resulted in rankings and medals that the judges themselves couldn't validate or even necessarily logically express after the fact. The current system objectively quantifies required elements. People who criticize the scores do so almost universally from the POV of what they WANT to see in the program, not actually what was in the program. All that stuff is subjective and as a figure skating fan that kind of junk has been going on since the Witt and Ito, it has nothing to do with skating it's all noise and sour grapes.

As for your traffic from Korea and Japan, obviously that speaks that you need to do a better job with your English language links. If more people are linking from across the world in other languages for your posts than from your own continent in your own language then you obviously aren't getting many hits on google in English nor are other blogs bothering to link to you.

Finally I cant believe your nasty bit of racist insinuation that because traffic surges from Japan and Korea those people will automatically "bias" your poll unlike Caucasians or North Americans who I guess are automatically more subjective and fairminded (perhaps less ignorant or more informed on the technical aspects of skating? not sure exactly what your point was). Not only is it incredibly bigoted but it seems ungrateful, most of the responses here from across the pond have been civil and polite. Instead of being grateful that people across the world think enough of you and your blog that they log on to view your thoughts on skating you automatically pull a passive aggressive thing where you automatically dismiss them as "biased" and snark about them jamming into your site as if they're some yellow wave that's going to pollute the integrity of your site. Maybe your should put up a "no asians" banner on your site when you do polls so they know better than to pollute your polls and comments with their obvious bias.

It's the second and third paragraph's that really upset me. Having been to Japan and desperately wanting to plan a trip to China and Korea, I can tell you from the bottom of my heart nothing could be further from the truth. If anyone visiting my blog has ever felt I have dismissed their comments or opinions as bias and nothing more; please let me know so I can apologize personally, but I truly believe I've never done that.

Also, I've never complained about the traffic this blog has, no matter where in the world it comes from. I go out of my way to speak to figure skating on a global level and I LOVE that people from everywhere in the world visits this blog, Asia included!

I'm sorry Anonymous saw my mention of increased traffic from Japan and Korea during a poll about Kim Yu-Na as me complaining about Asians 'jamming' my site...nothing could be further from the truth. When you take any poll you have to note variances. If I take a democrat or republican poll in downtown San Francisco, my results will be skewed...that doesn't mean they're just have a heavy skew. Same with a poll on a skater; if traffic begins pouring in from their home country at a larger than normal rate (traffic that is welcome!) you have to report that when discussing poll results.

In the end, I'm so sorry if I've offended anyone else...and I'm sorry I've offended this anonymous poster. I love all of you and there will never, NEVER, EVER, be the crude and ugly banners on this blog this poster suggests I put up. That's just not who I am.

Please, PLEASE, feel free to comment.


Katrina said...

Frankly, I think that person has the issues. Not you. I never thought your posts were biased or racist. Nothing could be further from the truth. Now granted we all have biases but you blog so evenly they don't show! If all bloggers could be like you! Seriously I wouldn't worry about, ignore it and blog what you feel. That's why its your blog! If people don't like it, they don't have to read it.

*hugs* I love your blog and your insight!

HazelQ said...

I agree with Katrina, I've been reading your blog for quite some time now and I love reading it. I'm not sure where this poster felt that you were being racist because I haven't seen any racist comment on your blog. So don't feel bad, maybe this person misunderstood or misread something, I think your blog is cool!

kevin said...

I LOVE YOUR BLOG and like katrina said, i have never read anything remotely racist in your entries.
I think this person has completely misunderstood your op ed entry and i'm sorry you had to waste your time to address it.

jumping clapping man said...

Being a long-time fan and reader of your blog (well, at least for a year), I can only speak from my experience...and, I haven't read all that transpired to get to this point.

You are a very conscientious and thoughtful writer and fan. Putting yourself in such a prominent forum invariably invites all sorts of responses. However, in reading your comments and posts I give you the benefit of the doubt, because of what I know about you and your character, and your love of this sport. The incredible attention to detail on your site alone speaks to this.

Anytime someone posts anonymously (on your blog, mine or elsewhere), their word needs to be taken for a grain of salt, as there is no real person standing by their views.

Living in SF, I am surrounded by over-political-correctness...and, although I respect and defend minorities and diversity (I myself am gay), I am exhausted by the inability to either laugh at, or give the benefit of doubt to others when referring to anything in this realm. OR, to engage in a reasonable, open discussion (or e-scussion) about it without throwing barbs.

Just the fact that you called out this comment alone shows us you are hardly guilty, and have a real willingness to hear others' points of view.

Elizabeth said...

I love your blog and I think the international traffic you get speaks volumes to your talent as a blogger as well as the popularity of the sport and where skating's biggest fans are these days.

Skating seemed to be it's own little "Cold War" for several decades with most of the action between North American and European skaters. It so exciting that now some of the best skaters are from Japan and Korea. I love that Tugba Karadimir skates for Turkey! There's a Junior Grand Prix in South Africa. How cool is that? It's impressive that your blog can reach skating fans in all corners.

I think this poster misunderstood your op-ed. The person must be a regular visitor to your blog, because anyone who follows your posts knows you're all about being positive and supporting those hard working skaters.

Matt said...

Ironically, Anonymous uses some pretty poor grammar in their own post while criticizing yours! Don't take it personally, the internet + anonymity often has a grotesque effect on people.

lachiah said...

So sorry you received such a comment. Like others have said, maybe the person misinterpreted what you meant when you made that observation. I didn't see anything racist about it.

Your blog is always a great read! *hugs*

applesauce said...

Anyone who does not have the integrity to identify themselves does not deserve to have their comments considered. I too am sorry you spent so much effort in responding. Keep up the great work. You are my primary source of all things skating!!

Ice Charades said...

I agree with all the comments. I too have read your blog for a year and a half and I've never seen a hint of bias ... only detailed, nuanced analogy of skaters from any nation.

Furthermore, when you mention a spike in traffic from Asia, that's a FACT, not an opinion.

I lived in Japan over an eight-year time span, and I saw plenty of examples of Japan/Korea competition-mutual hatred-bad history and relations. It's there, Anon, and it goes back a long way and if he/she wants dissertations about that animosity, it's out there.

What I took from your comment about the poll was nationalistic pride for Kim by Koreans, and the Japanese competitors by Japanese. I see nothing wrong with that. Those anwering your polls aren't claiming to be neutral as critics might be. They have their favorites. I felt you were just pointing out for those of us in the Western Hemisphere that Asia is reading and responding to your blog too! (I am so impressed by that, BTW.)

I love your blog, so keep up the great work!

YinaLee said...

I love your blog! Still remember the first time that I found out your blog and said 'wow'. I know how prudent your posts and I can feel your love on this sport from your writing. And that makes me happy. You deserve to be proud of what you do!

Feel so sorry that you had such a response. But please don't mind. I'm a korean and I'm sure this is all about the misunderstanding between korea and japan, which makes me sad and tired... So please forget this comment.

Your ALL writings are valuable just as this sport is. I'll always be happy to read your posts. *hug*

sofie said...

I would just like to tell you how much I value your blog. I'm from Sweden where figure skating doesn't get much attention, reading your blog is my way to keep myself updated about what is happening in the world of figure skating.

I must say also that from my point of view figure skating is the least racist sport of all because of the fact that most fans appreciate individual qualities more than their nationality..

keep up the good work!

Skate Fan in Chicago said...

I am really surprised by that post. I've enjoyed reading your blog and I have never read anything that would be considered anywhere near racist. Keep expressing your great opinions. That's why I read your blog.

Laura said...

I am not even going to acknowledge the racism insinuation because you and this blog are obviously nothing of the kind.

I applaud the fact that you're brave enough to spotlight this comment and address the issues raised; it just further proves how important your readers are to you.

Great job, as always. LOVE THIS BLOG!

camelspin said...

Poor Aaron, I can't see why you should deserve such a comment! I'm from Germany, and I love reading your blog! Like Sofie said, in Germany figure skating does not get much attention, too, and your blog is a great source for information. Thank you for that!

Ice Mom said...

*Hug* Aaron, you do good work and attract a wide audience. You're even handed and fair.

Some people are just mean, Aaron, and live to tear down beautiful things.

Keep up the good work, Aaron, and keep me informed of haute figure skating. You perform a valuable service and your many fans adore you.

Ignore all anonymous trolls.


Ice Mom

(Yes. I get the irony - I blog under a pseudonym. :))