Saturday, December 15, 2007

Meaningless, Yet Far-Reaching

I haven't posted much lately. I've been spending all of my time...

Blogging. Yes, blogging. The editor of the soccer site I write for left, so they hired a few people as part-timers to replace him. I'm one of them. So I'm spending a fair amount of time each day blogging about soccer -- either writing, or looking for stuff to write about. We can write about anything at all on the site, as long as it relates to soccer and we make it interesting.

It's an odd life. I described it in a recent e-mail (to the former editor, actually) as "meaningless, but incredibly far-reaching." That covers it pretty well. Between all of my blogs, I have a few thousand people each day reading my stuff. Or at least stopping by and reading the headlines and looking at the pictures. And the oddest thing is, the site I write for is big, so it gets read a lot by other people looking for stuff for their blogs.

Last weekend I was randomly searching though YouTube videos with the words "soccer hair." Soccer stars can go for some bizarre styles, which can be interesting.

Instead, I stumbled on a news story of a kid from Indiana who'd been kicked off the soccer team for having a mohawk. And not even a real mohawk, either. More "faux" than "mo." Somebody (friend? relative? the kid himself?) had taped it with a video camera held in front of a TV and posted it on YouTube.

I did a little google digging and discovered that there was no written policy in his district about hairstyles, and that the school had forced the team to retake the team yearbook photo without him, and that he wasn't recognized on senior night. The mom in me was appalled.

So I wrote a kind of humorous post, showing the video clip and adding photos of players who really DID have bizarre hairstyles. (Like Abel Xavier of the L@ G@l@xy, in the picture.) And in my heart of hearts, I wanted it to go viral to get this kid some justice.

I got my wish. Kind of. The post went viral. I know of at least six large blogs that linked to me, and several others wrote about it without linking, and others linked to them... When I googled this kid's name last week, before my post, I got the video and the school board minutes. When I google it now, I get links as far away as Poland. Yes, Poland.

Thing is, though? Not all of the comments in these posts have been nice. Most have agreed with me, but some have mentioned his looks, and/or his mannerisms. The word "emo" has been used. And now I'm thinking: Great. Wonderful. What if I've made life a living hell for some poor, different kid in rural Indiana?

Of course, I have to think that if he's going for a mohawk in rural Indiana, he probably likes the attention that comes from being different and won't be bothered by a little bit of negativity. He's gotten that already, without my help. That's what I tell myself.

With power comes responsibility, etc. etc. Nothing's ever simple, is it?