Hello. My name is Glenn Taylor. If you recognize my name, you probably hate me. You may not recognize my name, but, as evidenced by the “virality” of my story, still probably hate me! And if you don’t hate me now, you’ll surely hate me when I disclose my crime(s) in this, my apology letter. I’m going to be exceedingly, brutally honest with you. I’m an idiot. A fool. The “Paul Blart” of Boy Scout leaders. I am worthy of your scorn..your mockery…your contempt — BUT, I’m also worthy of your forgiveness. I hope that my honest, earnest apology will help you put my transgressions into context, and, most importantly, help you to forgive me…like you’ve recently and continually forgiven other Americans.
I’m the “jackass” who toppled a 200 million year old rock formation in Utah’s Goblin Valley State Park. The “fat” “slob” who, along with my “scumbag” “redneck” buddies, proudly videotaped a pointless, moronic act of vandalism, and posted it to YouTube for the world to see. The guy who jokingly claimed that my vandalism was warranted to ensure the protection of children, and (embarrassingly..shamelessly) clung to my blatantly sarcastic tale when confronted by law enforcement officials. Want another admission? I’m a total fraud. Prior to this rock tumbling incident, I actually filed a lawsuit claiming “great pain and suffering, disability, impairment and loss of joys of life” as a result of a back injury incurred in a 2009 auto accident. Can’t you just see the judge now? Holding my “disability” claim while watching me “joyously” strong-man a stationary boulder with my fully-functioning back muscles. Want more?
I’m just like you.
Before this week, I too was enthralled with whoever the national media told me was the “villain of the day.” I’ve hurled insults at Paula Deen — gossiped about Miley Cyrus — dutifully tweeted about Kayne, Kim K and Beyonce. I, like you, bought into the concept. That is, until I found I had become the “outrage distraction of the week.” I finally understand the saying, “what goes around comes around.” Toppling that dirt mound-balanced boulder is the WORST thing I’ve ever done. Well, not literally…but because of the consequences! I mean, if I’m honest — if we’re honest — the act was pretty insignificant. I moved a rock. It was a old rock (just like all rocks)…that happened to be sitting on some dirt (like most rocks). I’m not excusing my actions. It’s now painfully obvious that many (MOST) people found a kind of sacred beauty in the chance formation that was a rock perched on a mound of taxpayer-maintained Utah mud. All I’m saying is — most of us have done worse! I did a stupid thing, and I’m paying for it — dearly. I’ve lost my leadership position and membership with the Boy Scouts of America, exposed myself as a fraud with my unnecessary disability claim, and, depending on the valuation of the rock formation, face from a class B misdemeanor to a second-degree felony. Now, I fully realize there are consequences to my actions. and will gladly accept them. What I have trouble accepting is how my actions warrant death threats and possible confinement, while similiar actions, with DEVASTATING, LIFE and DEATH consequences, go unnoticed, or worse — are REWARDED — by those who seek to persecute/prosecute me!
If I hadn’t tumbled an ancient boulder in Utah, you’d never know my name. You wouldn’t think that I’m a stupid, fat waste of space, and I wouldn’t feel compelled to write to you to prove otherwise. But, I must ask:
Are ALL people who forcefully and pointlessly displace ancient rock formations/outcroppings worthy of mockery? Derision? Media-spurred viral harassment?
What about the people who, for TWO DECADES, voted to authorize leaders to aerially bomb the “ancient” “cradle of civilization” (Iraq)…?? I assure you that many ancient rocks were forcefully, pointlessly displaced by those sanctioned, lauded acts of vandalism. Unlike my universally-condemned act in Utah, many hundreds of thousands of INNOCENT lives were lost or permanently affected by those perplexingly permissible acts of alteration. Whereas I face a felony and unrelenting scorn, these violent rock-movers receive presidential libraries, and peace prizes!
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not very political. The last time I voted was for Reuben Studdard on American Idol in 2003! But, my new-found life as a pariah has forced me to take a step back, and analyze my actions from a different perspective. We are ignoring, tolerating and/or endorsing horrendous acts of violence, and allowing our gaze to be directed to and focused on trivialities of questionable significance.. over..and over..and over again.
For my actions at Goblin Valley State Park in Utah, I’m sincerely and eternally sorry. I’ve shown myself to be a poor role model to those I led while affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America. I’ve disappointed my friends and family. I’ve learned, dishearteningly, that one simple, mindless act is all it takes to decimate one’s reputation. To change my name from “Glenn, the friendly Boy Scout leader” to “Glenn, the fat idiot who pushed over that rock.” If it’s my burden to bear.. so it is.. BUT I must once again state that there are far worthier causes and actions deserving of perhaps even a fraction of the contempt my act has awakened.
I’ve never drone bombed an innocent child in Pakistan…or an innocent American teenager in Yemen. Or a wedding, or funeral, or civilian first responder. I’ve never armed murderous drug-lords in Mexico. I’ve never armed heart-eating al qaeda fighters in Syria…
I toppled a rock.
Let he who has not voted for a toppler of rocks cast the first stone.