Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Leaving Out Important Details in an Opinion Piece

The NYTimes Motherlode has an column here celebrating allowing your children to take some risks while growing up.  The writer opens the column by describing an auto accident she was in while she was in high school. She gave the keys to a friend of hers, and he crashed the car.  She was not badly hurt, and draws the moral that it was a risk to give up her car keys but she survived okay.  She never tells what happened to the driver, a boy named Pierce Bunting.

What happened to Pearce Bunting?  The author does mention that giving him the keys was a mistake . . . but what happened to him?

This seems to me to be one of those essays that so relentlessly drives the point home (risk is good!) that nuance and complexity--and compassion--are lost.  If he died, then surely the value of risk in this example is outweighed by the tragedy of a young person dying.

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