This just in: A private apology to Clerith fans (in public)

Almost three months ago, on Halloween night, I posted what I said would be my final article on the Love Triangle Debate of FFVII. That is still the case. This article is not about the LTD. It’s about people. Myself and people who I offended just over four years ago.

In an article entitled “This just in: The Love Triangle Debate- over,” TLS staff member Ryushikaze posted some Ultimania translations by me, along with some analysis of their significance for the LTD. He also posted a comment I made with regard to these translations:

“All that’s left to say is: Abandon ‘ship!”

I have recently come to understand that the past hostilities and accusations from certain parties toward myself and TLS in general (referred to in my post from Halloween) have been fueled at least in part by grievance with this article and this comment in particular.

After finally understanding this and accepting my role in it all, I initially thought to ask Ryu to add a note to his posting expressing that my opinions about this material shifted in line with the fact that since the LTD is about who Cloud loves and not merely who he has expressed love for, this material does not discount the legitimacy of the CloudxAerith (Clerith) pairing. As those who have read my latest LTD article, “Dilly Dally, Shilly Shally” will be aware, the canon material makes it more than clear that Cloud’s affections lie with both women, regardless of certain unfortunate circumstances that meant he could only express his feelings to and be with one of them.

In other words, if the question at the heart of the LTD wasn’t “Who did Cloud express love to?” then these translations did not, in fact, entail an end to it. The question, of course, is actually “Who did Cloud love?”

While my other postings on the matter have clearly answered that question, it is understandable that confusion — resentment even — prevails among those who feel this bygone comment should be redressed.

In that spirit, I was also going to ask Ryu to remove the “Abandon ‘ship!” comment. Then I changed my mind. My loathing for anything even remotely resembling revisionist history told me no.

That loathing told me that the comment needs to remain because it was made to begin with and because it’s important mistakes are remembered. A publishing made in error should be addressed, but not erased.

It also occurred to me that it’s not Ryu’s place to take account of my mistake. That was his article, and the conclusions drawn therein are his to hold. Perhaps his opinion and understanding of the material has also changed. Perhaps not. Either way, it’s up to him to edit or not edit things there, and it’s up to me to address or not address my own behavior here.

Sure, he could add a note clarifying my position and remove the offending words. He could even add an apology on my behalf.

However, it would all be in an article buried in our archives that no one is ever going to look at again except for the people whose sensibilities and feelings were already trespassed. I went to school for journalism and that background informed me that only one course of action would suffice: A retraction and apology that are as visible as the original comment. Thus, this front page posting.

While perhaps a witty play on words (it was, wasn’t it?), “Abandon ‘ship!” was also a smug, snide, somewhat immature and simply unpleasant remark. Today, I am apologizing for it. I’m sorry.