Monday, June 01, 2009

A child dies, and a voice cries out on the Web

Good citizen journalism, via blogs and otherwise, can amplify stories and give them greater depth, especially if the journalism comes from a thoughtful observer and talented writer like our friend Randy Speck of Albany, Ky., whose Web handle is The Notorious Meddler. That title has a hint of apology in it, perhaps because citizen journalism in rural areas can get more personal than some of the subjects would like. But when a chronic problem is displayed in freshly horrific fashion, it calls for citizen commentary like Randy just published about the death of a toddler in the next county who drank a chemical used to make methamphetamine.

"She had a baby when she was barely 13. He would have been 2 in July," he writes. "She is 14 now, and charged with murder, same as the 19-year-old father. Why hasn't this been fixed? It's my fault. I haven't demanded it be fixed. Have you? Tonight, we will sleep safe and snug in our bed while this drug problem rages on, and it is because I haven't screamed STOP! loud enough and neither have you. Today, my heart is heavy. I hope yours is, too. Maybe the two of us will start to yell loud now. When the children cry let them know we tried 'cause when the children sing then the new world begins. What have we become ... just look what we have done. God PLEASE help us."

That's the whole post, but it takes up much more space on Randy's blog because each sentence or phrase gets its own line, widely separated by white space. The spaces make you think, and make the prose seem like poetry, which, of course, it also is. For a news report on the tragedy, from WKYM of Monticello, Ky., click here. There's nothing on The Wayne County Outlook's site as of this posting, but the weekly's lead story last week was about the busting of six meth labs. UPDATE, June 2: Bill Estep of the Lexington Herald-Leader has an excellent story with plenty of details.


Unknown said...

Randy heard about this at work this morning. It brought me to tears..............but..............I have a whole different out look on the subject now. Thanks
Great writer that you are.

The Notorious Meddler said...

Thanks Jennifer. I was barely able to read the story on my local news at noon today.

Lynn said...

This is so sad!! i have seven children ranging from 19 months (close to the age of this toddler that died) to 24 yrs.. i cannot imagine losing one of mine to something this horrific! thats the bad thing about drugs. these ppl on drugs need to WAKE UP!!unfortunately for this family it's too late. Don't let it be too late for anyone else that may read this. these children are a gift from GOD!! not a burden! this really breaks my heart for this angel that was taken!