Why Houston Artist Jeremy Choate Really Died (Wear Helmets, For Crissake!)

Categories: Whatever

jeremy choate.jpg
Jeremy Choate was the father of two young girls
This article has generated important discussion -- and criticism -- which is worth reading and pondering below.

Last Sunday, after the din of sirens had quieted, and after one of Houston's most recognized artists, Jeremy Choate, had died following a horrific traffic accident along Studemont, the public conversation turned to the woman who had apparently caused the accident. Where had she fled to? Had she been drunk? Why did she run?

But none of that changes what seems to be the real reason Choate died -- he hadn't been wearing a helmet. These are not easy things to say, especially when there's such an obvious scapegoat involved.

Police say Shannon Michelle Garcia, of Gainesville, had run away on foot after she rear-ended Choate's motorcycle with her Ford Fusion SUV -- all but condemning herself in public discourse -- and, what's more, there were accusations that she'd been drinking. The guy she'd been dating, Robert Maddux, told police they'd been downing margaritas at a nearby bar and she was not safe to drive.

So it's been easy to blame Garcia, who was arrested Monday afternoon, police told Hair Balls, at a Gainesville hotel. Those who commit crimes always run, public reasoning goes. If she hadn't done anything wrong, why had she fled on foot (while her boyfriend stayed behind) all the way north, past Dallas, to some hotel?

But blame in this tragedy isn't zero sum. And though the inherent nature of counter-factuals precludes definite conclusions, there's a real chance Choate would still be alive right now if he'd been wearing a helmet. He died of blunt impact trauma, skull fractures and a hematoma inside his brain.

"There's no way to tell if his injuries would have been lessened," if Choate had been wearing a helmet, said Tricia Bentley, spokesperson for the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences. "But I do think you make a good point about the importance of wearing a helmet. It's always a good idea."

It's more than a good idea. Every year, 4,500 people die in motorcycle accidents, according to studies by the Governors Highway Safety Association. The number of motorcyclist fatalities has doubled since the mid-1990s, but helmets have shaved those numbers by thousands. In 2006, more than 4,800 people died in motorcycle accidents, but protective headgear saved nearly 1,700 riders, reports the Network of Employees for Traffic Safety.

This Saturday, friends of the lighting artist will gather to remember Choate, friend Kevin Holden said. His death has devastated Houston's artist community, and as anger threatens to supersede sadness, the simplest target will be Garcia, who's still awaiting extradition back to Houston.

This is warranted, especially if it's determined she'd been drinking and had disappeared to avoid punishment. Especially if her boyfriend's stories are true. But, in perhaps the saddest twist, some anger must be reserved for Choate himself. Maybe if he'd worn a helmet, he'd still be dead. But then again, maybe he wouldn't, and his children would still have a father.

Our apology for this item, which certainly could have been handled better.

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56 comments
jwaa
jwaa

Terrence McCoy picked such an inadequate time to try to fill Howard Stern's shoes!!! Funny how Margaret Downing got UPSET about the comments picking apart the sincere apology and Terrence McCoy's lack of one.  Isn't it apparent that it isnt right to abuse freedom of speech? The article made me feel like the driver that hit Jeremy or the driver's family paid the Houston Press to write this article to take up for her before her trial. Now after seeing Mr. McCoy's comments I see he's even more heartless than I thought he was.

TOTHELACKOFBALLS
TOTHELACKOFBALLS

INCREDIBLE! Still no facts at all, only speculation and a fake apology. Sad that is all that was asked for and this is all that was come up with! "Oh, the inhumanity", and oh, the insensitivity, and oh, the lack of balls!!!!! Still think a law-suit should be in order!!!!!

cepage
cepage

Margaret Downing just posted the following: "I apologize and agree we could have done better, as do the writer of the piece and his immediate editor."

 

Terence did not issue a statement, but writes in this comment section: "I'M NOT APOLOGIZING."

 

Richard Connelly took one of the reader notes about how Jeremy Choate is just like a drunk driver, and awarded it his COMMENT OF THE DAY.

 

I was angry at the Press before about this, but now I just find it to be a sad clusterfuck.

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

When someone makes a bad decision affecting their own life, the proper emotion is sympathy, not anger. What's the use in getting angry at a dead man whose decision (maybe) cost him his own life? Is scolding him going to bring him back? Is getting angry at him going to make us more vigilant about wearing helmets? Furthermore, why would you try to coach someone on their own emotions? We feel what we feel, even if it isn't rational.

 

Anger is totally unproductive. Encourage people to wear helmets, sure, but don't prop up a guy who isn't even cold in the grave yet to make your point.

 

kevin
kevin

Wow. This is the most uninformed, pointless, tasteless and just plain unnecessary piece of "journalism" I have ever read. Even after your professional source, Tricia Bentley,  states that there is no way to know if a helmet would have saved Jeremy's life you still go out of your way to blame the victim and call him an unfit father. Houston Pres has always been little more than fish wrapper, but this little pontificating punk,Terrence McCoy, has set a new low.

 

kevin bakos

 

ushouldbeashamed
ushouldbeashamed

TERRENCE MCCOY: WISH YOUR MAMMA HAD BEEN WEARING A CONDOM AT THE TIME OF THAT ACCIDENT!!!!!!!!

ursuchaprick
ursuchaprick

Think that each and every family member that packed the halls of the Houston Hobby Center memorial should file a law suit against this reporter of the Houston Press for the mental anguish caused by this and not sticking to facts this column and for the opinions on a man's parenting skills. Since Jeremy is not here to defend these statements, let the donations go to his children.

ursuchaprick
ursuchaprick

Maybe if he'd worn a helmet, he'd still be dead.

P.S.: THIS IS A COPY AND PASTE OF YOUR TYPO!!!! LEARN HOW TO WRITE DUMBASS!!!!!

 

ursuchaprick
ursuchaprick

Don't subscribe to the Houston Press, and for certain will not. I am a family member of Jeremy's and it is sad to see this article even posted on the internet. I question what kind of parent you are or will be to post such trash on the day of family's memorial. Would you enjoy reading such rubbish on the day you lost your loved one. Who payed you to write this, the girl that hit him or her family? That's why we have a justice system!!!!! Leave the investigations to the qualified, that's what they're there for. Think you should be demoted a job that mexican's wouldn't do!!!!!

jrjohnston
jrjohnston

I'm not even certain where to begin eviscerating this tasteless, scummy, hack job of a blog post...having been in attendance at Jeremy's memorial service this morning...I am fairly emotionally drained. Suffice it to say, that I am horrified that The Houston Press would allow this to be posted. Yes, we all wish Jeremy had worn a helmet. And yes, it MIGHT have saved his life. But do you know what DEFINITELY would have saved his life? If his (likely drunk) killer had not struck him with her vehicle. The blame does not lie with the victim, and to imply otherwise is vicious, ignorant, and flat out wrong.

 

If a formal apology is not forthcoming from The Houston Press, you may rest assured that I will begin a petition demanding one. I am disgusted that a typically artist-supportive publication would allow this trash to be published.

nicksmom
nicksmom

Mr. McCoy,

Your article reminded me of why I line my birdcage with the Press. Jeremy died because a stupid drunk girl broke the law and hit him. My son died of blunt force trauma- wearing a helmet- I doubt it would have saved his life- his injuries with a helmet may have left him mentally compromised- Go take a walk through Ben Taub Neuro- ICU. I'll bet you can find a few victims on respirators who had worn helmets. Get your focus where it oughta be- Don't drink and drive. I hope they put the criminal driver in jail.

jnodler1
jnodler1

p.s. To The Houston Press, with regard to its recent characterization of responses to the article, it has not engendered "important discussion"; it has provoked roundly harsh criticism.  A couple of people commented to say people should wear helmets.  Duh.  Every other commenter is appalled and their (our) posts come from a place of anger, hurt, shock, disappointment and a sense of betrayal from a newspaper that has traditionally been very supportive of Houston artists.  Whatever your intentions, you fucked up.  You should admit it and apologize.  There are plenty of ways to advocate for helmet laws and motorcycle and bike safety without blaming a man that committed no crime--the exact same thing would have happened if he'd simply been crossing the street when the drunk driver plowed through--for orphaning his children, and on the eve of his memorial.

Seriously, shame on you.

qwertyasher
qwertyasher

Hahahahahahahahaha.

 

OK.

 

First off, as a motorcyclist/bicyclist, allow me to thank you for the paternalistic concern troll drivel.  Really, we super appreciate it, because I never realized that riding down houston streets in a cageless vehicle with a bunch of assholes yapping on cell phones while piloting three-ton sixty mile an hour aluminum and steel sleds could be dangerous.  Just didn't occour to me, thanks for pointing that out for us.  Super big help.

 

Second, there's a pretty easy way to determine whose fault it is in a situation like this.  If Jeremy had been wearing a Helmet, would he have survived this accident?  Who knows, maybe.  If Shannon had not rear ended him, would jeremy have survived this accident? There simply wouldn't have been an accident.  Pretty straightforward there.  Not a lot of confusion.

 

Third, if you want to evangelize about helmets, cool, more power to you, it basically means fuck-nothing coming from someone who doesn't ride, or our mothers, or our significant others.  If you feel the irresistible urge to piss into the wind, though, I'd recommend you don't do it by dragging a recently passed beloved community member out and putting him up on marionette strings. And, for the love of FUCK, don't deputize his children to make a point and call him a shitty father.  I realize you're after pageviews and everything, but this bullshit ranks somewhere between NY Post and Daily Mail on the meter.

 

Eat a bag of fucks,

Asher

jnodler1
jnodler1

Mr. McCoy,

If you don't like the helmet laws, work to change them.  Don't crusade for your pet causes on the back of a victim in a time of great mourning.

The killer is a scapegoat and the victim is responsible?  What's next?  Beating up on rape victims for wearing short skirts?

I say this in the sincerest possible way:

Go to hell.

This article was in unimaginably poor taste; the writing of it and the fact that it was allowed by The Press to reach a public audience.

You deserve to be fired--you deserve to be punched in the nose and run out of town--and The Houston Press owes an apology to Jeremy's friends and family and to the entire community he touched for this unconscionable behavior.

 

Jason Nodler

Artistic Director

The Catastrophic Theatre

agg_novaartsproject
agg_novaartsproject

A couple of things: this isn't an "article." There's no real journalism here. This is an opinion piece. In real journalism, you don't call the person who hit-and-run a "scapegoat." You also get more than one source directly connected to the story, not just a person in an office somewhat related to your topic. And you don't make passive-aggressive commentary about children being without their father. That's just mean-spirited and in poor taste.

 

As others have stated, but let me restate for emphasis, no one has an issue with "wear helmets." Everyone has issue with the "blame the victim" stated implicitly throughout the article. For that alone, you should apologize. Not as a journalist, but as a person.

mildredsumbrella
mildredsumbrella

Since when is a drunk driver a 'Scapegoat'? I cant get past that statement to the rest of this tasteless and badly timed rant.

RobertThoth
RobertThoth

McCoy- You're wrong on this and you know it. By blogging the most obvious point in the most dickish and hamfisted way; you've hurt and enraged and insulted people who knew and loved Jeremy. You did so without tact, grace, or good reason.  Be a decent person and apologize. 

Or, perhaps, *you* should wear a helmet when you're out and about. Personally, I can't wait for the hairballs post, 'Why Houston Blogger Terrence McCoy Really Got Knocked The Fuck Out'.

 

MG_22
MG_22

Stupidity will never cease. You must protect yourself against it in others. That is why in the medical community we call people who do not wear a helmet and ride a motorcycle an organ donor.

The_Dude
The_Dude

You're not wrong, HPress, you're just an asshole.

v.divecha
v.divecha

The real reason he died was because someone plowed into him, breaking the red light. He broke no law. Texas law does not require him to be wearing a helmet and he was at the stop light. Why would he have to make sure he's conducting himself properly when he's already following the law? You're a selfish sad little person for stating the real reason he died was because he wasn't wearing a helmet. What if one of your friends,  brothers or fathers got run over by a drunk loon while they are stopped a stop sign and some journalist that has no real empathy, common sense and decency write that they died because they weren't wearing a helmet.

blairault
blairault

I find it weird that we are comparing discussing gun control after the aurora tragedy to discussing motorcycle safety after Jeremy's death. One is a controversial practice that deals with fuzzy lines in our bill of rights that can affect the public at large, the other is a personal choice that can sometimes bring personal tragedy. This is not the same thing. The person you are trying to say "I told you so" to is dead and only his family and friends are left to hear your comments. This is not helping *anyone* and does indeed read through its tone and over-the-top phrasing "his children would still have a father" that you are trying to levy all of the blame upon him and leaving none for the other culprit in this series of mistakes and sorrow.

 

I expect more from the writers on the Houston Press staff. The fact is that you have offended people who knew him, whether you meant to or not, and for what benefit? Maybe someone will wear their helmet next time? The pain caused for the value of your message is not justified.

Stanley Smith
Stanley Smith

Helmets and seat belts save lives, a simple matter of fact. If you choose not to wear a helmet, the choice is yours. Take it from somebody who has fractured his skull and broken his neck, you don't want to go there. I won't sit in a car without putting on a seat belt.

slumpville
slumpville

Jeremy was stopped at a red light. He could have been crossing that intersection. And he wouldn't have been wearing a helmet. This reminds me of when people blame rape victims. Well, she shouldn't have been walking alone, late at night, in such a bad neighborhood. Well, maybe that's true. But that doesn't make it the victim's fault.

slumpville
slumpville

Blame the victim. Nice. And right before his memorial tomorrow. You should be ashamed of yourself.

amaraltx
amaraltx

Wow... good thing we have geniuses like you to get to the bottom of things... where would we be without you fighting the good fight? Do you really believe that a single person out of his family and friends doesn't wish he was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident? Are you that naive? The reason people are upset at this article is far from the point you make about helmets... it's the utter lack of taste and empathy displayed by you in choosing the title and shifting blame to the victim of the accident. As Bonnie already pointed out... we are advocates of wearing helmets...  we just have a little more common sense than you and keep the obvious to ourselves in a time of such pain and tragedy.I assure you that any of us who knew him would give an arm and a leg to go back to that night and give him a helmet, but "it's been easy to blame Garcia..." , "the simplest target will be Garcia", .... "anger reserved to Choate"...  ???  are you kidding me? Do you have no common sense?You waste the perfectly great point of why wearing helmets is important with your utter lack of empathy, bad taste and tone in this article...   good job pointing out the obvious and shifting blame from a woman who had 5 margaritas and ran a red light to the victim who never saw her coming as was unfortunately not wearing a helmet. Trust me, we all agree with that and surely will make a point to advocate helmet use to everyone in our lives... as a matter of fact... let's make it a law then.If you find so irresponsible and destructive to not wear a helmet... please advocate that it be made into a law that every biker should wear a helmet rather than blaming the victim for not wearing one and bringing his daughters into this subject...  as a matter of fact, how about you talk a little bit about the dangers of drinking and driving?I don't know what is worse, that you are truly so out of touch to publish something so distasteful and use such provocative tones and actually think it wouldn't or shouldn't offend people that knew him... or that you actually have some notion of it and will undoubtedly get some hits from the controversy...    either way, it's pretty sad....

MicheleBrangwen
MicheleBrangwen

Dear Mr McCoy: Your examples are not the same thing by any stretch of the imagination. And now you are adding insult to injury. We know guns killed people in Colorado.

 

You behaved irresponsibly and you are trying to defend yourself by siting examples that have nothing to do with the situation. You wanted to write an article about safety but you went way too far. Giving your opinion on blame, and mentioning children.

 

You seem confused with what journalism is...its not about your opinion...its about facts. And you have a responsibility with regard to what you write. You don't even have the facts of the accident correct.

 

You need to apologize for going too far. And you are out of your mind for bringing up these other things. Seriously, you are making this worse.  I am so insulted by your response....its disgusting....you want to equate my objections with these other things that have no relation to this subject.

 

You made a bad, tasteless and wrong headed call and you need to apologize, not respond with ridiculous justification. Are there no editors on this site??? 

 

 

badbonniec
badbonniec

I am shocked by the timing and tone of the article Why Houston Artist Jeremy Choate Really Died.  I myself am an advocate for wearing helmets and I am also an advocate for free will within the boundaries of the law.  To imply that an innocent motorcycle driver who chose not to wear a helmet, which is not against the law, is in someway to blame when a drunk driver rams into him at a stop light, is distasteful to say the least.  It really saddens me to see this type of article.  Advocating for wearing a helmet is one thing but blaming an innocent victim and mentioning his children.....wow, that is pretty low.  I wish the writer would use this time trying to get legislation passed to make helmet wearing law like seatbelt wearing is, rather than turning the knife in the sides of the friends and family of a victim.  Sincerely,

badbonniec
badbonniec

I am shocked by the timing and tone of the article Why Houston Artist Jeremy Choate Really Died.  I myself am an advocate for wearing helmets and I am also an advocate for free will within the boundaries of the law.  To imply that an innocent motorcycle driver who chose not to wear a helmet, which is not against the law, is in someway to blame when a drunk driver rams into him at a stop light, is distasteful to say the least.  It really saddens me to see this type of article.  Advocating for wearing a helmet is one thing but blaming an innocent victim and mentioning his children.....wow, that is pretty low.  I wish the writer would use this time trying to get legislation passed to make helmet wearing law like seat belt wearing is, rather than turning the knife in the sides of the friends and family of a victim. 

MicheleBrangwen
MicheleBrangwen

This is not the time for this discussion or this article. No one can say for certain what would have happened but one can say for certain that our lives will never be the same now that our dear friend has been killed. HE was not breaking the law. To get behind the wheel of a car and drive fast down a city street is part of a dangerous culture we are fostering. How many people do we all know who do this when they shouldn't. A car is a powerful thing. There are cyclists and pedestrians also on the roads, and people in less safe cars. The responsibility is not that of the person who is waiting at the light to not get hit. And regardless of what you think: NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO DISCUSS IT!  If you want to write an article about motorcycle safety that's different. You can make an argument using whatever means you want....but this tragedy is just that...and implying those girls should think its his fault he's not with them, its just demented journalism.

fultond
fultond

 @jwaa "...isn't right to abuse the freedom of speech"  --Jesse Helms

gentian
gentian

 @TOTHELACKOFBALLS Facts? What are you missing as far as facts? Why do you label it a 'fake apology'? I don't get it. The editor already apologized for insensitivity as to tone and timing. Am I missing something? Firing squad, maybe? A writer or two laying prostrate in wait of caning for poor taste and not recanting?

jnodler1
jnodler1

 @cepage I was also disappointed by the non-apology apology from the Editor, the refusal to admit any wrong-doing by McCoy, and the way Rich just seems to think it's funny to rub everyone's noses in it.  By the way, Rich didn't just award it the comment of the day; he invented a comment of the day section for the express purpose of awarding it to the one and only person that wasn't livid about the article.

 

This is more Fred Phelps than Fox News.

amaraltx
amaraltx

 @sharpieteapot ... You couldn't have said it better: "The pain caused for the value of your message is not justified"....   He really believes he's being courageous by tackling the subject, and fails to see the reason for avoiding it altogether...  a ridiculously short-sighted and gratuitously inflammatory piece...

slumpville
slumpville

This line of reasoning saying that she is the scapegoat in this is completely outrageous. But I can only imagine that your only intent here is to shock. Never mind the hurt you are causing his friends and family.

mccoy.terrence
mccoy.terrence

 @MicheleBrangwen Michele,

 

These are important things to think about. I'm not apologizing, and I'm not confused on what journalism is. Here's a fact: Tragically, people die every year in motorcycle accidents because they don't wear helmets. That's a fact. It's also a fact that not wearing a helmet, when everyone knows the danger involved, is, quite frankly, irresponsible.   

mccoy.terrence
mccoy.terrence

 @MicheleBrangwen Michele, 

 

Thanks for writing. We appreciate your comments, and criticism. But, unfortunately, I don't subscribe to the logic you've employed. Jeremy Choate's death was terribly tragic, and, in a sense, the only reason we wrote about this incident rather than countless other motorcycle deaths was because this entire situation is so sad. Choate was a quasi-celebrity in Houston and missing a chance to talk about the importance of wearing a helmet seemed too big to pass up.

 

When you write this isn't time to discuss it, that's not something I agree with. In the days following the Aurora shooting in Colorado, gun advocates ran a very similar narrative to that. They said, Not now. This is a time for mourning. We can't talk about these issues when circumstances are so raw. In my belief, it would have been "demented" not to. Because here's the fact: No one talks about important issues unless something triggers the discussion. That's how change occurs. Would it have been improper to talk about race after Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi? Would it have been wrong to discuss greater legislation involving the financial industry following the 2008 credit crisis? 

 

Problems -- tragedies, really -- define and dictate public discourse, and that's what this article was intended to do. We wanted to get people talking, thinking. We weren't not trying to be insensitive to Choate or his loved ones, but everyone needs to know the ramifications of not wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle. Granted, it's inconclusive whether a helmet would have changed anything -- but even if there was a slight chance it would have, wouldn't it have been worth it to wear a helmet? 

 

Nonetheless, thanks for your measured and thoughtful comment.

 

Terrence McCoy

jnodler1
jnodler1

 @gentian  @TOTHELACKOFBALLS For the apology to be sincere they, all three of them, ought to recant the falsehoods in the article, because they are falsehoods and because they are heinous falsehoods.  Instead, as you said, they apologized for timing and tone.  Bullshit.

Kagan34
Kagan34

 @jnodler1 FWIW, The Comment of the Day section has been around quite a while. Connelly didn't suddenly weave it from thin air to antagonize anyone during this instance, as you seem to imply. The Editor apologized on behalf of herself and the staff responsible for the piece, saying it was a lacking in a number of ways. Do you ask each actor in a play that has really bombed and offended many people to issue an individual apology in addition to the one you issue on their behalf? 

amaraltx
amaraltx

 @jnodler1 ... as if the article itself wasn't bad enough, they double down with the comment of the day and then release an apology showing that they still don't fully understand what's wrong about what they published. Stupidity knows no bounds...

amaraltx
amaraltx

 @jnodler1 One jackass writes a complete shit job of an article... saying "the opportunity to talk about helmet safety was to big to pass", and at the same time letting it pass by shitting all over it with tasteless provocation, and the other jackass comes afterwards to jiggle his balls with a comment of the day section.... what a happy family of fucktards...

MarkinTex
MarkinTex

I personally think that anyone who gets on a motorcycle is making a foolish choice. They are simply dangerous. Even though most people drive cars, I've known way more people who've lost loved ones on motorcycles than in car accidents. However, I wouldn't think of writing an article about Choate being responsible for his death for getting on a motorcycle, not right now. It's called being a real human being. That you continue to defend your inexcusable behavior is proof you haven't a shred of decency. Not only are you devoid of common decency, you are a terrible journalist as well. You quote Trisha Bently as mildly agreeing with some diatribe you obviously made about helmets. Way to lead the interviewee by the hand to the quote you want her to give you. What a hack.

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

 @mccoy.terrence Terrence, why'd you stop at helmets? Riding a motorcycle is more dangerous than driving a car. Maybe you should say he shares blame merely for being a motorcyclist.

jnodler1
jnodler1

 @mccoy.terrence Your analogies are ridiculous and the high horse on which you sit is vomit-making.  The victims in Aurora were not blamed for their deaths and injuries.  Emmett Till was not blamed for getting murdered while black.  And nor the murderer in Aurora nor the killer of Emmett Till was called a scapegoat.  There are so many dickish things about this article and you'll acknowledge none of them; instead you continue your wrong-headed moralizing.

Of course we should wear helmets when riding bikes of any sort.  We should also stop smoking.  And drinking.  And wearing tight-fitting clothes.  Because each of these things could lead to death, rape or murder followed by a sermon by you, endorsed (tacitly at least) by your paper.

You didn't just make an incredibly distasteful decision in writing this article; you exposed yourself.

Grow up.

amaraltx
amaraltx

 @mccoy.terrence  @MicheleBrangwen "We were not trying to be insensitive??"  That's pretty much ALL you did in the whole article... from the provocative title to the jab at his daughters at the end... downplaying the driver's blame and the drunk driving and bringing blame to the victim who did not even see it coming... you totally miss the point of our criticism...  no one disagrees with your argument for helmet safety, just with the RELENTLESS lack of taste, tact and empathy...   truly pathetic...

gentian
gentian

 @jnodler1 I'm sick of talking about this too. I would just say these are journalistic lapses of judgement: maybe the writer was overly eager to deliver a lesson from this senseless death, and to teach in the only way he has power. That is journalistic immaturity and idealism. Insensitivity, yes, damned red-hot young cluelessness, yes. But it's tempered by youth and inexperience, not maliciousness. His boss recognizes this and it's why she's putting up down thumbs. That's all I'm saying. 

jnodler1
jnodler1

 @gentian I said I was done discussing this and I really am.  It makes me feel awful.  You can start with these three quotes from the article but I am finished:

 

"Why Houston Artist Jeremy Choate Really Died (Wear Helmets, For Crissake!)"

 

"none of that changes what seems to be the real reason Choate died -- he hadn't been wearing a helmet."

 

""There's no way to tell if his injuries would have been lessened," if Choate had been wearing a helmet, said Tricia Bentley, spokesperson for the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences."

 

"some anger must be reserved for Choate himself"

 

I mean seriously, fuck that guy.  Done now for real.

jnodler1
jnodler1

 @Kagan34 In the very post where the 'comment of the day' was posted it was introduced as a new thing, inspired by what a great controversy had broken out over this article.

 

Your question confuses me.  I've never apologized for my work as an artist.  But then I don't recall kicking anyone's corpse in the making of a play either.  I don't recall announcing to however many readers that that guy that just got killed by a drunk, hit-and-run driver deserved it.  I kind of make it a policy not to be callous toward the recently dead nor toward their families or friends, like ever.  

 

So I really don't know what you're talking about.  Offending someone with a play?  And apologizing for it?  What?  (Don't answer; I don't care.)

 

When I'm sorry about having behaved badly (and I often am) I apologize myself and I appreciate the opportunity to do so personally.  I don't apologize for the behavior of others and I wouldn't allow them to apologize for mine.  If I'm sorry, I did something wrong, and I say so.  I expect the same is true of McCoy and Connelly.  I expect that the only reason they haven't apologized is because they're not sorry.

 

Why are the people that write opinion pieces for a living so sensitive, by the way, when someone has an opinion back at them?

 

The apology ought to have been, at its core: "We fucked up, we're sorry."  Instead the message was: "We *didn't* fuck up, we wrote the right thing at the wrong time is all, and we're sorry if we offended you in superficial ways (a misplaced tone perhaps) but we were still essentially right.  We just said the right thing the wrong way."  And then, when challenged, "I said I was sorry, what do you want from me!"

 

I love the Houston Press.  I respect the Houston Press.  I appreciate The Houston Press.  I rely upon it in order that my organization might survive and not only that; I honor it for its long history of hard-hitting investigative journalism, its typically great arts writers, and what is normally a fairly strong system of ethics.  That is why this completely unnecessary, horribly insensitive situation stings so badly.

 

This whole thing is just ugly as hell.  I'm hoping this will be my last post on the matter.

jnodler1
jnodler1

 @mccoy.terrence By the way, could you or the editor that allowed this article to run provide a link to the article in which you blamed and attacked Houston Press music editor Chris Gray for causing his own heart attack by smoking and drinking?  I must have missed that one.  Either that or, knowing him and worrying for him, perhaps people at the Press recognized what a tasteless and awful thing it would be to blame the victim and how defending such behavior as a good deed as it pertains to public health would be a doubling-down on this shitty behavior.

I am not close with Chris and I wasn't close with Jeremy (my great loss), but I call each of them friend.  Chris survived and recovered; that is great.  Jeremy died.  And you still haven't stopped kicking his corpse.

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