Cutting Through The Crap

Thursday, April 29, 2010

For Donna


I know a very nice woman named Donna. Yesterday, when it was revealed that she reads this blog, it sort of freaked me out. I mean, I don't mind offending people in the abstract; but she's an actual person. As I thought about it, I concluded we'd never really talked politics or religion, and I don't know where she stands on this stuff. I do know, however, that she's very bright person, has an extremely successful professional life, that she and her husband are very generous souls, and that they both have a sense of humor. So it should be okay, right? No offense, right?

Very much to the right of me (and to the South) lives a good friend. We talk about everything, and often. Sometimes I think of him when I'm writing -- particularly on religion -- and I try to include a phrase to indicate that I tar not every Christian with my doubter's brush: just the holier-than-thou, believe-my-way-or-get-out-of-my-country types. He tolerates me. God knows many readers have taken offense at what I write; in fact, lately they seem mostly to have packed up and gone, presumably to where they won't be challenged: the contemporary hallmark of the ossified and teabagged. (More on that to come, shortly.)

We had dinner the other day, Donna et maritus, me et uxor. Sheepishly, I tried to make sure she understood that my ranting is overthetopper than am I in real life. I'm pretty sure she knew it already.

Anyhow, the relationship and my reaction sheds some light on this whole blogging heat-extremism-hate thing; not that it's original or less than obvious. It's easy to sit here in my mother's basement, in my underwear, shunning the light, drinking Koolaid and regurgitating all that hippie liberal stuff I learned at that hippie liberal college I attended. (What?!?! When did it slip to #2??). Thoughts, uncensored by the barest of civilities, flow like pus (something about which I know a thing or two.) Were I to discuss the same topics face to face -- at least with people I know to be civil and thoughtful, a description that seems to fit not many errant commenters in these parts -- the choice of words would most certainly be different. So would the flow (bidirectional) and quality (one would hope) of the conversation.

Which, of course, is not to say that much will change around here.

But you never know.

And, as I told Donna at dinner, going here might help to reconstitute my credibility. Could work for anyone, really.


6 comments:

Frank Drackman said...

Great Post Sid, maybe that aricept is workin after all...
reminds me of first year med school, I'd have the Iranian guy across the hall, the Iraqi guy down the hall, the Black Muslim from further down the hall, all over at my room at 5pm to watch "StarTrek", cause I was the only one who had a TV...
This was when the Iran/Iraq War was hot & heavy, so sometimes that Sunni/Shia thing would get a little uncomfortable...
Do you really casually toss out those latin phrases in real life??? Thanks for makin me exercise my google finger...

Frank "c-c-c-c ant we all j-j-j-j-ust get along?" Drackman

SeaSpray said...

I wish you would go there MORE Dr S ..instead of here.

The blogger over there is kind and doesn't tear people down. And he is fair and respectful.

And I have never been sarcastic with anyone on line as I just was with you in the previous post. I am sorry ..but sometimes .. ..because like you ..in real life ..I would n-e-v-e-r show sarcasm like that to anyone ..regardless of what I thought.

So ..if I don't like being talked down to ..misrepresented ..then why continue reading ..even tho I did pull back on comments?

I don't know.

I just feel frustrated when I leave. I know a different truth then what is wrongfully perpetuated in the media and this blog.

And I would think that anyone with eyes would be able to look at the tea party crowds and see that most of them are average every day people that could easily be neighbors, patients, employees/employers, friends, etc.

They look like respectful ...American people.

And if they shout ..they ARE upset. But they have not kicked and beaten people up, thrown eggs or even one of them arrested.

And regarding Christianity ..your anger comes through loud and clear. part of me wants to come in and explain what I feel you don't understand ..but my best advice is to pick up the works of C.S. Lewis because he was an atheist ..Oxford professor and I think he would much more eloquently present the facts and speak to you on your level... if you have ears open enough to hear and allow for digestion of the theological arguments he presents.

Again ..my apologies for my sarcasm earlier. I was feeling it and I stand by my opinions ..but I don't need to lash out to prove it.

I don't want to be that person.

And ..I admit ..it may have been a little of the kick the dog syndrome because I have been concerned for a friend and the waiting at this point ..is crazy making.

Sid Schwab said...

Seaspray: it should be obvious that my "anger" is not about Christianity, but about the type of Christians who want to insert their religion in our schools and in our government. Like Sarah Palin. And about the hypocrites in Congress, like Ensign, Vitter, etc. The problem is -- as is the case with my political opinions, too -- that you are so defensive you simply can't see what it is I'm trying to say.

Likewise, you practically never address the "truth" of what I say, whether it is the falsehoods of Fox "news," of the RWS™, or the extent to which teabaggers are both hateful and woefully misinformed. "The media," which you continue to believe are some sort of left wing conspiracy -- like Sarah Palin -- are neither liberal nor, any more, very useful. They have abdicated to the sort of vitriol and distortions that come from Fox, and allow to stand the gross misrepresentations that pass for news.

It's hard to be respectful of that, and of the people who refuse to look past it. I have criticized much about President Obama, and congressional Democrats. The difference is, when I do, it's for actual stuff, not deliberate misrepresentations.

Margaret WV said...

Ha! Just this afternoon, during a political discussion, I was telling my 13 year-old that I almost always agree with the opinions on this blog. I like what you say *and* the way you say it. Maybe it's because I also attended a hippie liberal college (#1!).

Margaret Polaneczky, MD (aka TBTAM) said...

I love you just the way you are.

Ellen Kimball said...

My first cousin, a NJ resident in her 70s, has two children. I didn't know either of them very well, but found her son, now in his 50s, on Facebook. I started to communicate with him via messages because he's an interesting guy and he does wonderful photography from his airplane.

Soon I deduced that this man was an intractable Republican from the comments he was making to other friends. I stayed out of the fray on purpose, but did get labeled a "Democrat with Communist leanings" in one brief private message.

Yesterday, I chatted by telephone with my cousin's husband, a former USAF and commercial pilot, now retired in his 80s. I have always assumed both cousin and husband were liberals but I could not recall ever discussing it over the years at family gatherings during 1962-69. Pretty big political years, you might say.

So I chose my words carefully. "Steve, do you know that your son George is a political conservative in a BIG WAY?"

"My son? Yes, we know. He's even to the right of Rush Limbaugh!" Steve chortled.

I couldn't stop laughing... both cousin and husband are liberals and have been all this time. They just ignore their son's political rants because he isn't going to change. Great answer.