Monday, December 8, 2008

Kindergarten Thinking

Remember the kid who showed up for school every day ready for a fight? He/she targeted certain kids...the ones who were usually the easiest shots. They were often the biggest or the smallest or the oldest or the youngest or the richest or the poorest. In our kindergarten minds, this kid was cunning and popular and powerful. In our adult minds, we know this child was probably sad and insecure and, mostly likely, treated very badly at home. I believe we've discovered Austin's schoolyard bully (or bullies). He picks on open-minded people (aka "libbos"). Email is his playground. The Letters to the Editor page in our daily newspaper, his classroom. If you read Papa de la Paz' guest entry over the weekend, you know he got some nasty responses to a letter that was published in the paper Saturday. I mean, before he even knew the letter was on the editorial page, he had responses. As in, before 7 AM Saturday morning. And...ooooo...they were ugly. Interestingly, they had a familiar tone. Where had we heard that "don't bother writing me back, I've read enough drivel today"...? Oh yeah...it was September 21. The day I had a letter published in the Statesman. Three emailers... jim_karp@fastmail.fm rongoodwine@gmail.com jjandbevo@yahoo.com ...apparently make it part of their daily routine to send hate-email to people they don't agree with who have been allowed brief platform space in the newspaper. Another friend, who has letters published regularly (usually on the subjects of disease and poverty in developing nations), says he receives the same love notes from the same sources. Don't spend too much time pondering the emotional baggage people like this might be lugging around. It's unsettling. It's probably enough to realize these are not happy campers. They wake up mad. They go looking for a fight. They swing at the kids who have been taught to NOT hit people. They walk away snickering "ha ha" like Nelson Muntz from The Simpsons. Maybe emailing newspaper letter writers is the latest anger management therapy...get it all out on strangers before you have to deal with people you know. Maybe it's activity driven by the loneliness of a homebound person with a debilitating illness. Or, maybe it's someone's paid job to try to keep us "libbos" from actually feeling sane. Does Rush Limbaugh subscribe to the Austin American-Statesman? Enough said. I've reached a new (low) level of thinking when I include Rush Limbaugh's name in a blog entry. Let's live with our lessons from kindergarten today, shall we? Peace.

1 comment:

gay said...

Kindergarden thinking - how perfect. The "gentlemen" reponded without giving thought, context or reason in their responses to "Papa". It reminded me of the child that says, "I'm taking my toy and going home if you don't do it my way."

I can't help but think these are the type of people who miss so much in life. The opportunity to learn new things, honor others beliefs (even if you don't agree)and become better human beings by doing so - their loss.