I take this blog very seriously. I write using my full name and have my picture posted in the “About” section, not out of narcissism, but because I feel that it is important to stand fully behind my own words and never hide behind the a curtain of anonymity. Please keep that in mind as you read this post.
Based on the traffic to Sunday morning’s post B.B. King, Buddy Guy & 9 Year-Old Quinn Sullivan Blow My Mind, I am assuming that most of you have read it.
If you haven’t read it, allow me to fill you in on what happened.
I saw an amazing concert and wanted to share the experience with anyone who would listen. Probably the most memorable parts of the show involved an extraordinary young guitarist named Quinn Sullivan. At age nine, I can safely say that he is a far more accomplished guitarist than I will ever be… than most guitarists will ever be. Watching this child play with Buddy and B.B. was a profound experience for me.
When I got home I couldn’t sleep, so I wrote a post praising all three. I also included a little background about Quinn and included a number of YouTube videos of him over the last few years.
I’m no stranger to controversy and frequently invite it, but I want to be clear that that was never my intention with that particular post. I merely wanted to showcase the talent that I bore witness to, both young and old.
What ensued were a series of comments by some generally angry and misguided individuals who had a problem with young Quinn’s presence among the elder blues legends.
Now, I have a firm opposition to censorship. I believe that the only way that this site can be truly honest is if it is open to opposing viewpoints. To that end, I do not censor and I do not deny comment. I will however engage in discussion on the comment boards, especially if I disagree (it is after all social media).
When I received these angry comments I was faced with the decision to delete, censor, or allow. I followed my beliefs and allowed them, choosing instead to advocate in opposition of these individuals.
In short, I was faced with an ethical decision and I went with my gut in a situation where in my opinion, both options were miserable.
Fortunately, the argument came to a screeching halt when Quinn’s mother found my blog and left a rather respectful yet stern post calling out the individual who lobbed the harshest criticism at her son.
I felt bad about what I had allowed to happen on this blog a day before Quinn’s mother posted, but I felt even worse after.
My intention was never to allow this site to become a lightning-rod for verbal abuse of a nine year-old boy, but that was what happened.
I will continue to invite honest, open, and uncensored dialog now and in the future, however, I will never permit another comment that in anyway degrades a child.
As you post on this blog and on others in the future, ask yourself if you will be comfortable with your words in six months before you submit it. These comments do not go away, and even if you post them anonymously, they still belong to you.
I want nothing more than to see this site turn into a vibrant community of open dialogue, but never at the expense of a child.
To the Quinn, Carol, and any of Quinn’s family and friends – From the bottom of my heart, I am sorry if this has caused you any grief. I will do better in the future.
To all of my readers – Thank you for taking the time to read this and any other post that you choose to read. I am honored by your time and readership.
David “The Geek Whisperer” Spira