Thursday, 27 December 2007


Here we are, after two days of loss, after what is usually billed as the best two days of the year, but can equally turn out to be the worst two days of the year.

We lost Kim and Lahoma to illness, not unexpected, but certainly a blow. Many were genuinely upset and in tears last night and the evening before. I think nearly 150 comments have been left on Kim's blog, since it was announced that she had died. Why?

I mean, only a handful of us will actually have met Kim. But through her writings, we have come to empathise with her condition, with her situation, with her suffering. We came to admire her spirit. But still, just by words on a screen, in the cold light of day, J-land came to show its best.

Conversely, by words on a screen, J-land can come out at its worst too. The troll phenomenon is only too well known, yet I'd like to know why somebody decides to act like a troll. Just on account of what someone writes on an Internet blog? Someone you're not likely to meet, ever. Still, what is it that makes us form an opinion of someone, that gives us license to praise or to abuse? To cry with, or to jeer to? I read a story of people that went to meet up, who had been the best of buddies on-line - yet fell out big time.

I do not have an explanation. I only observe.

I'll focus on the positive, and beautiful aspects of internet friendship, and dedicate today's entries to those that went ahead this year. Once the immediate sorrow, hurt and loss has worn away, let's remember their faces, for as much as I could find portraits.




  1. Awww- tis true words can melt your heart or cut like a sword.
    If we didn't empathize with those who are stricken ill then we would be heartless.....
    all we can do is show we care-that someone is out here to give a shoulder to lean on-be it a stranger or neighbor--God wants us to show -we-try-and hope it helps--some.......

  2. I prefer to focus on the positive side of the internet.  Even if I had a troll, I wouldn't feed the fire.  Anyway, Guido, Jland really suffered thee huge losses this year.  May they RIP and their families find peace.  Chris

  3. This was good, Guido!!  I don't understand heartless people, especially at times like this.... I could NOT imagine losing someone like a MOTHER on Christmas day, as Cameron lost Lahoma.  And Kim, how could ANYONE NOT love her... her great attitude was such a lesson for ALL of us.  Yes, I felt close to these people, if only online, and I grieve for them because they impacted my life, if only online.


  4. You have made such great points in this entry Guido.  It is beyond anything I can comprehend why a person would be a troll....they must be awfully unhappy with themselves.  If you would have told me a year ago I would get to know people through the internet, care for them and shed tears for them ~ I would have told you there was no way.  Starting my journal and getting to know so many good & genuine people has been a great experience for me.  I am very sad we lost these great people but I am also honored to have gotten the chance to know them.  Without coming to J-Land I would have never known them or their heroic story.

  5. I think it's just like any other place, you are always going to have mean spirited people, who will go out off their way to make life miserable for others. I've seen it in the work place, in public places such as stores and markets and parking lots.  I've even seen it in the church...sadly.  Hopefully, these people will one day realize that they are mean and evil and take steps necesssary, to change their outlook on life. Linda

  6. I think we do form genuine friendships through journals because we are kindred spirits in many ways.  I know I am still upset over what has happened.  I will never understand the mentality of people who become trolls and get great glee out of hurting or annoying others.  However, they will also experience a time when they will need friends, many of them will have regrets one day.

  7. I have never understood why people leave mean comments on journals.  If they don't like what people write, why do they carry on reading???  I am new to J-Land, and I just don't understand trolls at all.  It dosn't cost much to show sympathy to some one who's mother has just died on Christmas day, or for anyone who is going through hard times.  You have to have a pretty cold and stoney heart not to feel something.
    A very thought provoking entry Guido.
    Have a good weekend.

  8. I just read today of their passing...and wish I had known both of these lovely ladies...I didn't know Penny either...I missed out on some great friendships and loving people for sure.  How sad it is that trolls still roam among us...and make their visits. Prayers going out to all the families...and to the friends of these fine young women....take care.

  9. What makes people nasty online? The same things that make them nasty offline. A little bit inherited, a little environment & a lot reactiveness.~Mary

  10. We are still dealing with real people here. And in real life, most people are just not very nice. Luckily, I have found the nice ones here....but there are those others.

  11. You gotta pray for those with no soul.


  12. This was a great entry.  Maybe it's a good thing we don't understand the trolls because what would that say about us?  You can't understand crazy.

    On the positive side - the best of J-land comes out at times like this.  I really liked your tributes and putting faces to the names of those who left us this year.


  13. Guido,
    I am also in shock of the loss of Kim. I am also very sorry about Lahoma, but I did not know her. Being a hospice volunteer I look at all this a little differently, but that for their families it's much more "real" for them. When I lost my Mother it was pianfully REAL and very sad, still is and I think it always wil be.
    For me personally volunteering with the dying, their families and friends has made a little difference--------even if I had a good efffect on just one family  or life.

    Thank you Guido.