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You haters need to get off the back of the VicAd it was the READERS that voted Pepper into the number 1 spot not hte VicAd. Some bloggers on here are may not be worthy to have a blog that is not for me to judge, but the VicAd does not deny you your blog they may edit comments or delete you but they will give 2nd, 3rd, 4th and even 5th chances when you ask to come back. Who among us here is so perfect that they can sit in moral judgement of another humanbeings worthiness to simply have a story written about them? I for one am not.
Would Pepper have so many problems if it was not for the brain injury? The book Change Your Brain, Change Your life by Daniel G. Amen discusses the various parts of the brain and what can happen if damaged --the anger, the paranoia, lying, and possible actions that cause criminal acts.
None of the text justifies anyone's actions. But you learn at lot about why someone may be behaving the way they are. From there, just maybe for some...through work with professionals and corrective action or medication --a person can change. There are other books that discuss this same topic--just go to Amazon.
Damage to the temporal lobe that can cause the anger, paranoia, acting out, etc --many receive clonazepam (Klonopin). A simple little pill that can turn their night mare life into being able to live with society.
I am not justifying any of Pepper's criminal or behavioral acts. But from personal experience with persons that have brain damage --if it is every properly diagnosed and treated --you have a new person who abides by the law and such. So it is with regret we know that Pepper is damaged and driven by inner demons we may have never seen or experienced.
As for highlighting other criminals --hmmm what an idea. How about the pedophiles and other types of sex offenders? The perpetual domestic abusers or DUIs? Drug Users? Pushers? Is it legal? Would shining a light on them and raising attention above the subhuman live they live now cause changes for good or bad? It would be great to highlight sex offenders on the state list --but the sometimes the pictures are not updated nor is their employment or current address. So again I ask is it legal to do so? Are we invading their privacy? An interesting conundrum Receey puts forth.
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April did a wonderful expose on Pepper. Not every person that appears in the paper has to be a socialite of great standing with lots of money or a politician that needs exposure. So I commend her and the paper for supporting her and giving her the time to write the wonderful article. Thank you.
I don't think worthy is a word that should be applied to judge the person or the article. The question is does that person have a life history that is interesting and captivating for the readership? And I say yes. No we will not find him sitting in the front pew of a church next week. So what. He lives his life as he can. If he has a brain injury --much of his personality issues, anger and life can be readily explained if they hit the temporal lobe area. Diseases can hit the same areas and turn a person topsy turvy. So bless him for struggling and trying to live his way and not give up. Even though it may not be the road that so many think they would never walk no matter what.
As others I wish some of the more serious topics around our city could be ellucidated and addressed as well instead of not being addressed at all or as over the top as the Fatal Funnel or our uranium risks or some of the governmental changes that impacting us all and we don't even know it. Too bad you can start a column or blog on the daily changes through the gov departments and such that they are doing and that are not even going through congress --like the carbon monoxide changes--what does this really mean to the man on the street, the farmer, a rancher? What is really going to happen to us? I don't know right now.
As for all the hits on facebook....I think this is a serious problem in our society --if we feel we have to have so many ties --you know you really do not have that many "friends". As noted, in life you are lucky to have up to five true friends in life. So 3,000 friends is not really true ---how sad---it is almost like Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)where you need grandiose and constant admiration and recognition from others. However, I realize this does not apply to Pepper. I am sure computers are far from his daily regime.
Great work April!!!
Cleric and KCI,Not sure what the two topics have to do with each other, but we also had many readers tell us they appreciated our series exploring the complicated issues surrounding illegal immigration. That, of course, was harder-edged news focused on an important issue of the day.
Our most-fascinating series, on the other hand was lighter fare. From the outset, we asked readers to nominate people to be profiled and then asked them to vote on their top 10. We generally don't approach a news story that way.
Maybe the fact that he got so many votes is jsut another ridicule aimed at making fun of hte whole thing. Only in Victoria can stories like Pepper and the fatal funnel get so much press of course not to mention that during the almighty football season the paper deadline is later to make sure and get those scores in it - but let a major wreck or other newsworthy item happen after 9pm and it is too late to be in the paper.
KCi - "Must be a case of selective hearing. Many people also told you they were sick and tired of the Fatal Funnel series...but that didn't stop the Advocate from running that story into the ground."
QFT! (which stands for Quoted for Truth on teh interwebs) I've said that before too. It has similarities I think what with the thole illegal, sad, human, etc. sides of the two stories.
Chris Cobler--"Many readers told us they wanted to know more about Pepper, and we listened."
Must be a case of selective hearing. Many people also told you they were sick and tired of the Fatal Funnel series...but that didn't stop the Advocate from running that story into the ground.
"Worthy", that is not my problem with Pepper being the most fascinating. This man fits the definition of fascinating simply by being interesting. However, sometime, someone, has to bring common sense into the issue. A violent criminal as Victoria's choice says a lot. Ask the VCSO jailors if he is the most fascinating. I would bet the jailors he attacked would say "NO".
Yes, Pepper may have 3000+ on his page, but whomever is maintaining that site seems to use that page to demean and ridicule Pepper and it is filled with racial slurs and insulting ebonic language.
KCI,To answer your question, our readers ranked the list through their votes. Pepper received, by far, the most votes. I can ask Gabe to chime in with the total number of votes cast, but it was a lot. We published the ballot repeatedly before we launched the series. Thanks for all of the comments.
"...our monthly Advocate of the Month series." Is that from the Department of Redundancy Department? ;-)
Anyhow, good question but again one that will not be answered the same or liked by everyone. Asking if someone is worthy is akin to asking if someone is attractive IMO as each person has their own opinion of the situation.
As Nelson said, who is to decide who is "worthy"? One person? A panel of people?
I think Aprill did a great job with it. If there is a cookie in the office, please give it to her.
That is interesting I never knew this list existed and I am just guessing, but maybe not many others that blogged. This changes alot of perspectives on how he was nominated as he was among several people up for the spot. Thank you for that link, I just wished the Advocate had offered this in in the beginning as it would have shed more light on this whole subject!
I wish the Advocate would be this diligent in researching the seedy underbelly of local goon-vernment. Now that would be fascinating!
Is Pepper the most fascinating person in the crossroads? Sure he is. Out of all the people picked he was/is by far the most talked about. The whole town is talking about him. Are we talking about the others more then a day after the story printed? Not!To be fascinating you don't have to be liked. Many have studied the likes of Hitler and Stalin because they found them to be fascinating even though despised.
kci...you are confused. Pepper was on the list all along:
The Advocate waited until the end to put Pepper on the list. In doing so, Pepper was #1. Is he really the #1 most interesting? You can claim all you want that it was not your intention to "rank" the most interesting...but you knew what you were doing. You knew that putting him last (with the Number 1 by his name) people would equate that with most interesting.
In doing so, you made a sham of the whole series.
As for me I never personally knew Pepper, but I have known about him. This article did give me a little more insight about him, but I would not call him fascinating. I would be more inclined to call him simply an interesting story. I have nothing against Pepper and or his lifestyle that he lives and I applaud him for having the strength to live this way and work for the monies that he receives.
Aprill obviously did extensive research before writing her article. Truth is stranger than urban legend. I was corrected in many of my beliefs about Pepper. The status that Aprills article has lauded upon this unique individual is in my opinion well deserved and without a doubt, earned.
I stand by the Victoria Advocate for publishing something they probably knew would be a bit controversial to some. It is the truth and those who beg to differ and attempt to disuade should do their own research before passing judgments.
To clarify, I'm not passing judgment on whether he's worthy or not. We write plenty of stories about people who may or may not be worthy. We leave that for others to judge in their own way.
I raise the issue here because others did. I'll try to ask the question another way: Should subjects of news stories pass some sort of worthiness test before they are featured? If so, who would administer this test and what standards would be applied?
Victoria citizen and Icantcook. Do you mean to tell us that you people can't be happy for a person who pulls himself up by his own boot straps and survives? At least he's trying to work to meet his needs and wasn't lying around blubberin' "poor me" and expecting the government to take care of him. Maybe you're the kind of person getting ready to throw rocks at that gal who was "caught in the very act of adultery". The truth be known, one or more of those self righteous creeps had been in bed with the woman before they drug her to Jesus. To me it seems that was a set up deal to trap Jesus and get the unfortunate gal killed in the process. WE need to remember to let God be the judge of people and their situations. Who was it who said, "There but for the grace of God go I?" I was proud of the way Aprilll(sic) presented the facts in her article. She gave us enough information that we can make up our own minds about whether or not, or how much, we want to associate with Pepper. "Let he who is without sin throw the first stone."
There you all go again just because a person is not perfect does not keep him or her from being worthy. I like to take a poll on how many people here in this fair city can walk on water. From what I have been reading there seems to be a few that fill that role or think they can.
VBB, I totally agree with what you say, victoria citizen, you must have an issue with those who dont have a perfect life.
If the Victoria Advocate would take the time to research Peppers criminal history and print the truth about it, you would find that it is all related to his state of mind. there are many gulf bend patients with similar historys and non one makes a BIG DEAL.
I believe the Victoria Advocate needs to retract this story and next time maybe think ahead before they write another story that is this appalling
It pains me to hear people say he in not "worthy". Worthy or not of what? He is living the life that was forced on him, if Aprills column was correct. If he had not suffered major head trauma he could/would be a medication free, normal functioning person. Unfortunately, if the story is correct, that opprotunity was taken FROM him, not BY him. He is actually a testament to human survival, he was able to adapt to his lot in life & has done a good job of keeping out of long term prison & kept himself alive, which is no small feat seeing how he lives. I am sure his critics probably couldn't have adapted as well as he has & could not live on the streets as he does most of the time. He has my respect as there are perfectly healthy, normal people living rent free, recieving free food, getting free healthcare & all the other luxuries that he does not get & they do nothing at all. He is at least living life on his own terms...a lot of people could be jealous of that as well, as that is a luxury most of us do not have.
How do decide if someone is worthy?A month ago, I would have said that Tiger Woods was a good role model.