I have a bridge

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Here’s the End of the story.

Here’s links from:

Neville Hobson
Kottke (quick link may scroll off page)
Media Culpa
CBS Market Watch
Committee to Protect Blogging
Blog Herald Entry

In fact, here’s the Technorati Cosmos for the story.

And, just for grins and giggles, this.

Now check out Joi Ito’s post and the comments. Especially the comments.

I have to go fix a bug I introduced into Wordform (yes, I can create bugs with the best of them), go on a nice walk, and then work on a long story about the environment that involves, ANWR, baby seals, and manatees, and features artwork by an up and coming young artist.

First though, some photos of Chain of Rocks Bridge (click on the first two for a larger version). Pretty, isn’t it? A bit rusty here and there, but still sound. Want to learn more about it?

Inquire within.


Here’s my final take on this issue, which I pulled from a response to Jeremy that I made in a comment in Joi’s weblog post (some editing, links added):

Here’s a scenario:

You showed up at the airport to fly to the job but you didn’t have the proper paperwork according to NAFTA professional regulations. You didn’t have the formal signed offer from the company, guaranteeing the job, and when you were asked for information about the company for verification, you didn’t have that either. I also imagine that when you were asked, you were probably ‘astonished’ that the guards would even think that you were offered a consulting job in the states without once talking to someone on the phone.

When you were asked which NAFTA professional classification you would be working on, you probably proudly proclaimed “Weblogging!” This isn’t on the list. I couldn’t go up to Canada to work as a ‘blogger’, either. But writing was on the list, as is IT and development.

Then they asked you for the verification information about your residency and the position — again, as per clearly visible, easily accessible NAFTA requirements.

All the while, what were you doing, and how were you acting? Were you challenging, nervous, uptight you didn’t have any of the stuff you needed, maybe even angry? Were you still suffering the effects of your move, and confused and agitated?

So rather than a person challenged ‘just because they’re a blogger’, is there a possibility you were challenged because you didn’t have the paperwork you needed, were worried about getting the job, frustrated and pissed at the ‘paperwork’ and ‘regulations’, and reacted accordingly?

But what the world is seeing is that you were abused at the border, seemingly without cause, and primarily because you said you were a weblogger.

So what’s the harm in all of this? FUD.

One place people shouldn’t be nervous at is crossing the border into another country. Now, there’s a whole lot of Canadians reading this, who are going to be a lot more nervous.

I read in comments in one of the weblogs linking to you a person who said that they had crossed the border many times on business the last few years, and not only had no problems, were actually welcomed:

It’s the luck of the draw, always has been. I lived 5 years in the US, traveled often and never had problems coming back: in fact, was always made to feel welcome. But one always reads about these things and I’m always nervous.

But one always reads about these things… People are discounting their own experiences, because of what you, and others, write.

That’s the harm. This blind belief that what a weblogger writes is the absolute truth. Never taking into account our own personal biases. Never challenging the events as they’re told, because they only reflect one person’s viewpoint. Never even attempting to see if there’s more to the story.

No, just link and tell everyone, well, we webloggers, we’re persecuted all over the world. (That’s the new weblogger thing now: the persecuted citizen media.) Now a Canadian weblogger can’t even enter the US without being hassled! Why? Because it’s _such_ a great story. Not to mention that we just love to demonize the DHS and border guards.

If I’m ‘mad’, since you want to reduce this to an emotional reaction, it’s at the webloggers who linked to you and who didn’t once look beneath the surface of the story; not at you.

I’ll take this at face value: I am sorry you lost the gig, and that you were hassled, and that you were turned away from the border. I know what it’s like to be worried about money, and I don’t have a family like you do.

But I don’t think Canadian webloggers have to run from the borders, screaming in terror. Nor should they expect to be hassled when coming down to this country to work, if they’re prepared according to NAFTA regulations.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email