Monday, August 17, 2009

That Thing I Quit

I used to, as of a couple minutes ago, go to the Opinions section of the local newspaper and write comments defending reason and compassion. I quit. It's a waste of fucking time.

A great many of the people who write letters-to-the-editor and comments thereon are a bunch of fucking assholes who don't give a flying fuck about anyone, not even themselves. They may be uneducated on the topic of choice, yet they remain staunchly convinced somehow that they know much more than they make evident. And they are never so right as when they are completely and utterly wrong.

They are mean-spirited; more then that, they are in love with mean-spiritedness. It moves them to states of excitement.

And I am fucking sick of them.

They are Blake's pebbles. Let them have the world, their world, and let them ruin it for all of us. In that they will have their hell but call it heaven.


Becca said...

After moving to Denver, I spent way too much time fighting the good fight at the Rocky Mountain News. Same results as you.

When the paper went belly-up earlier this year, I took a break. I tried, once or twice to pick up the commenting over at the Denver Post, but just couldn't do it.

It hurts to watch these people on the news riling up the hate machine at the town halls and getting their righteous anger up on the editorial pages. I can't handle the stupid and the ignorance. It kills me inside a little each time I have to deal with it.

So, I guess I'm saying ... I understand, and agree completely. These people who are never so right as when they are completely wrong are best relegated to the fringes of society--no longer considered a worthwhile participant in the careful and considered discussions that are necessary these days.

Eli Blake said...

I hope you continue to send letters to the editor. Not only because what you write makes sense, but let's be honest-- if people like you and I quit writing in then the pebbles win!

Some years ago there was a story out about how promoting voter apathy and disgust with the system was actually a strategy by the right wing in some cases. Guess what, it still is, and in any aspect of public life. If they make you quit, then they've beaten you, and they will gloat about it.

Maybe you figure the editors get sick of seeing your name, just as they get sick of seeing mine. And yes, I could probably create a wall calendar which every day featred a letter to the editor I've written over the past few years which has not been published. A significant number have been re-engineered and ended up as blog posts. However, over that same past few hears I've had about thirty letters published in the Arizona Republic and about half a dozen in the USA Today-- the key is never to give up and keep on writing in.)

So, I hope you will consider re-acquiring the habit.

Ruth said...

Agree with Eli, but take a break until something really makes you feel like writing again. The media are caught up in this reality-tv, Jerry Springer mode, but the public is sick of it. Expressing thought instead of drowning it out will win; see Barney Frank's town brawl. Reason never sounds so good as when you have the spectacle of what sort hates that reason.

Ruth said...
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wunelle said...

I stopped reading editorial content years ago, unless it comes from a source that interests me (say, Paul Krugman's columns in the NYT).

I realize I will miss some keen insight and valuable folk wisdom this way; but I've come to believe this is more than fair payment for not having to wade through the raw sewage of public opinion. Judging from newspaper and magazine letters, Americans are stupefying idiots. (Idiots with VOTES, alas.)

The unfiltered internet is even worse.

Anonymous said...

I know how you feel - I've seen some of the incredibly hateful, racist and violent comments by the compASSionate conservatives on the Repulsive's web site. However I keep on posting and writing LTTE's - I even got one printed last week, about the Republican party being morally bankrupt. You can imagine how that drove the lunatic right commenters berserk. I limit the time I spend posting, but I don't want to completely give up the forum to the neanderthals - there has to be at least one sane person there. Though I can well understand any decent person being sickened by the constant deluge of hatred, stupidity and insanity, and giving up in disgust. Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment. - Hugh

Anonymous said...

Did you ever consider that the constitution of America NEVER allows for the sort of "healthcare reform" that you are proposing?
Did you ever consider that the United States of America was to be an "arena" in which INDIVIDUALS could make their lives as they saw fit?
Did you ever consider that means that we/I don't want the government to care for me from cradle to grave?
Did you ever consider that maybe I would like to forge my own path through this life and not have the government telling me what to do?
Did you ever consider the constitution to be set in stone and not a "living, breathing document"?