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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:24 pm
  

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Yeah, The Publisher Guy

Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2004 5:18 pm
Posts: 1118
I posted a similar commentary in All Things Palladium, but I thought it was worth repeating here.

The skull and crossbones New York shirt is not meant to malign the city or people of New York -- nor to belittle or make fun of the 9/11 tragedy.

It does not mean "I destroyed NY" or that NY should be destroyed, nor is it anykind of politcal statement.

I was taken aback by a couple of hostile reactions to the shirt and I apologize if the product has offened anybody, especially the people of New York.

The T-Shirt is meant to reflect the fictional world of Rifts Earth where New York, as well as my hometown of Detroit (and Windsor), are destroyed and haunted ruins.

The T-shirt is a promotion for Rifts Madhaven -- a sourcebook about the dangerous ruins of Manhattan. A place filled with ghosts, mutants and monsters, and visited by adventurers, scavengers, pirates and Necromancers. To me the skull and crossbones represented a "warning" like on the side of a bottle of poison (after all, Madhaven also drives visitors insane) and that the ruins are a dangerous and scary place to visit.

For the record . . .

Manhattan/the Big Apple/New York City is my favorite city on Earth!

I fell in love with New York in 1976 and I have been going back as often as I can ever since. It is a great city. A fun city. I have many friends in the city and I'm proud of the fact that NYPD and city residents regularly mistake me for a "local." I wasn't afraid of the city before it got a face lift and tourist friendly, and I'm always happy to return.

I introduced NYC to my then wife, Maryann (who didn't think she'd lke the place) and she fell in love with it too. When 9/11 happened, Maryann and I were stunned and we cried. It was like our own home had been violated and attacked. We feared for people we knew, and felt a great loss that lingers to this day. Everytime I see the twin towers in an old movie or TV show, I feel sadness and loss.

Two and a half months after the 9/11 tragedy, when everyone in the country was afraid of more terrorist attacks and especially of visiting Manhattan, Maryann and I were there. We had made arrangements to be in New York for a week months earlier to do a book signing and day long chat at the Complete Strategist.

People urged us not go. There might be more attacks, anthrax, blah, blah, blah.

But we weren't going to let terrorist cretins chase us away from our beloved New York City. We weren't going to disappoint the fans who were counting on us. We weren't going to give up on New York or its people.

The city was a ghost town compared to many previous Christmas time visits, and we were disgusted by the tourists who whispered excitedly about seeing Ground Zero like it was a new tourist attraction.

I know all about 9/11 and ground zero, and the courage of the people of New York in a tragedy I hope none of us every have to face.

I will wait and see if the T-shirt offends a lot of other people. It may have been a mistake. The wounds of 9/11 and all that it represents may be too fresh. I don't want to hurt or offend people I care about, in a city I adore. If there is an outcry from others, especially New Yorkers, I will pull the T-shirt from sale.

But don't anyone think for a minute that I don't care about New York City, the people who died on 9/11, or the people of NYC. I understand loss and hard times. All of us at Palladium care about our fans and always try to do the right thing. You can count on that.

Sincerely,
Kevin Siembieda
Publisher, President, Champion of Freedom, and friend of New York City


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