Wednesday, September 29, 2004

We Get Lots and Lots and Lots and Lots of Letter!

(Letterman Viewer Letters Theme)

... Ok, we get a FEW letters. Two or Three. If you don't count the ones that say "STOP WRITING ME!"

But yesterday was a milestone. I got my first... (drumroll please)... HATE MAIL! Woo Hoo! I've arrived! I just thought I's share. I have to admit a mixture of annoyance and amusement when I read it.

Now to be fair, I did provoke it to an extent. The letter was written in response to my comments to reader Venom in the comments to another post, regarding the theft of my bumper sticker. You might want to read the comments before reading the letter. Got that taken care of? Good. Then without further ado, the letter (I'll respond afterward):

From: "Venom Is Watching"
venomhatesyou[at]hotmail[dot]com
To: greywanderer987[at]yahoo[dot]com
Subject: Continued from the blog...
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 13:23:24 -0400

Your blog doesn't support 1000+ character comments. Fair enough and a good
policy. I'll answer your comments this way. This was taken from the posting about the bumper sticker. Reply or ignore, I don't care.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Actually, you're being pretty presumptuous saying that people who steal bumper stickers are my "allies" when you don't know a thing about me. Do you normally generalize about things, or just when it suits you? I thought this kind of thinking was only suited to Al-Jazeera, but maybe I'm wrong (see, I'm admitting I can be wrong - now you try).

Of course I think theft is wrong. It was wrong when the Republicans orchestrated the Watergate burglary, it was wrong when Democratic congressman Larry Smith was convicted of tax evasion. I not once ever said that theft was right; YOU made that assumption.

You lost a bumper sticker. Life sucks, but it goes on. But your "article" wasn't really about your bumper sticker, was it? And it certainly wasn't about theft, though you're trying to paint me into some kind of theft-loving corner, again, to suit your own "arguments." It must be nice to change the goalposts on a whim.

Rather, it was more about how its theft was against your unassailable right to free speech. This First Amendment, which you claim in your article was defiled against you, yet you complain about the free speech of "leftists" and the media that supports them. I sincerely doubt that if it was a "Vote for Kerry" bumper sticker that you would have minded as much, or ranted about how this was against a Democrat's right to free speech. And no, I'm not generalizing here - your vitriol is so anti-anything-that-smells-Democrat that its obvious within a few lines of reading that you share no sympathy for anyone left-of-Reagan. And no, I'm not a Democrat (or a "leftist," even by your narrow standards), though it would be pretty convenient for you to pigeonhole me like that. Do you label anyone who disagrees with you a Democrat? Or, better yet, a leftist?

Anyways, its apparent that you can't take teasing very well. I teased you because I thought you were overreacting. I mean, was an essay that necessary on you losing your bumper sticker? Seriously, its a bumper sticker. Stealing is wrong and through your blog you're right to free speech is apparently still intact. But are you that deprived of attention that you feel the need to post every mundane thought you have and attach some kind of political blithering to it? Well, maybe you are, in which case I've helped out and thrown you a bone. Don't like it? Cry me a river. You put your little diary online, so deal with people's reactions.


OK, I'll take a shot at this:

Haloscan thinks the character limit is a good policy too, that's why they implemented it -- not me.

Fair enough, it was a bit presumtuous assuming you were an "ally" of the idiots in question. However, given the tone you took, and the similarity it bore to other posts by other trolls, in that post and others, it was not that big a leap to assume that you made the comment because you disagreed with my politics. For that error I do apologize.

I not once ever said that theft was right; YOU made that assumption.

No, you didn't. You did, however, blow it off as nothing because it was just a bumper sticker. Which again, misses the point.

But your "article" wasn't really about your bumper sticker, was it?

Very good. You're catching on.

And it certainly wasn't about theft, though you're trying to paint me into some kind of theft-loving corner,

A bit paranoid, aren't we? Yes, the comment "So are you saying that petty theft is ok?" was over the top. But the rest of my comment, and the entire gist of it, was that I disagree with your assertion that the insignificance of the item mitigates my annoyance. Which again, misses my point.

Rather, it was more about how its theft was against your unassailable right to free speech.

Yup, bingo! Or to be more specific, it was about how this theft was specifically motivated by the political views of the thief.

yet you complain about the free speech of "leftists" and the media that supports them.

Exactly where do I complain about anyone exercising their free speech? Show me. Put up or shut up, Tinkerbell.

I sincerely doubt that if it was a "Vote for Kerry" bumper sticker that you would have minded as much, or ranted about how this was against a Democrat's right to free speech.

First of all, if it had been a "Kerry" bumper sticker, in this town it would most likely not have been touched. That's the kind of town I live in -- one where stickers that show Lee Harvey Oswald's picture with the caption "Back by Popular Demand" are profuse, along with too many anti-bush (not pro-democrat, but "Bush is evil Hitler bad man icky defeat him if it means electing Carrot Top") stickers, where my pregnant wife hear "F&*$ Bush!" three times in as many minutes while parking her car downtown, where another car calls me a "F%&*ing Republican Commie" for my sticker, a place that makes Berkeley seem conservative. That's why I was so annoyed, this was the final freaking straw in a series of annoyances generated by living in a town where Ted Kennedy is considered a right wing fascist.

Having said that, if it was a Kerry sticker stolen, it would be just as wrong, and the owner of the bumper sticker would be just as justified in his/her annoyance as I in mine. That's the reason for the outrage -- the personal nature of having something happen to you. Try it sometime -- you'll be amazed at how much it magnifies ANY affront.

And no, I'm not a Democrat (or a "leftist," even by your narrow standards), though it would be pretty convenient for you to pigeonhole me like that.

This from someone who just a sentence before said:

And no, I'm not generalizing here (Yes, you are.) - your vitriol is so anti-anything-that-smells-Democrat that its obvious within a few lines of reading that you share no sympathy for anyone left-of-Reagan.

Pot and Kettle much there? Hypocrite.

Do you label anyone who disagrees with you a Democrat?

As a matter of fact, no. But I do disagree with most Democrats.

Or, better yet, a leftist?

You mean worse yet. And again, no. When you live in Eugene, you know the difference between a true leftist and someone who happens to be slightly to the left of you in their views. We have plenty of both here. It's the former I take the greatest issue with.

Anyways, its apparent that you can't take teasing very well.

I don't buy the "I was just teasing" line, especially when you list your home page as "gfy.com" You were being a troll and you know it. Congratulations, you succeeded.

I teased you because I thought you were overreacting. I mean, was an essay that necessary on you losing your bumper sticker? Seriously, its a bumper sticker.

It's called venting. Sure, it was overreacting a bit. But it was cathartic, and I felt much better,thanks.

But are you that deprived of attention that you feel the need to post every mundane thought you have and attach some kind of political blithering to it?

Nope. That's why I post on things like coffee, and football, and my wife's pregnancy, and volcanoes, and my love for my home state, and beer, and cooking, and QVC, and Bike Locks, all without bringing politics into it. But again, questioning my need for attention after feeling the need to troll yourself seems a bit... self-ironic.

You put your little diary online, so deal with people's reactions.

Yes, good point. The distaff of this, is, of course: If you don't like what I have to write, DON'T READ IT!

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