It is with great sadness that I must report a tragedy in the sail blogging community.
Word spread over the weekend, like an oil spill in a pristine wetlands, that Joe Rouse has been cruelly dropped from Tillerman's list of favorite blogs.
The news was released quietly, after the close of trading Friday, so as not to create panic and hysteria in world financial circles, but negative repercussions are still expected on Wall Street this week.
The mood was somber amongst bloggers, and, initially, few were willing to comment.
In San Francisco, Joe was taking the news hard. He blamed himself in several self-deprecating blog posts, notably one in which he depicted himself as a lost donkey - purposeless, forlorn, and adrift at sea.
In dark symbolism, his craft was without paddles or sail. Its sole means of propulsion was an outboard motor.
In sailing circles, it is well understood that the ultimate sign of failure and ineptitude is to abandon sailing and to take to a powerboat.
Joe is not giving up without a fight, though. In anticipation of long months of legal battles ahead, his supporters have announced the creation of the Joe Rouse Legal Defense Fund. Contributors are encouraged to send whatever aid they can for Joe's support.
As bloggers, we can stand up to such heinous acts of fascist oppression by publicly condemning them and by not allowing them to go unchallenged. If the last century taught us anything it is that fascism's strongest allies are silence and complicity.
The blogging community should speak up loudly against this grave injustice. Don't be bullied. Tell Tillerman how you feel about Joe. Leave a comment here, on Tillerman's blog, or, better yet, write something on your own blog.
Joe has given tirelessly of himself to the sailing blogosphere. Because of him, fish swim freely in the oceans of the world. He has, almost single-handedly, made the bikini bathing suit known to the English-speaking world. He is a great humanitarian. He deserves better than this.
In addition to commenting or writing a blog post, you can send a message directly to Tillerman. Vote in the poll at the top of the right-hand column of this blog. In the interest of fairness, vote as many times as you can.