I usually reply to any reader who makes a halfway cogent statement. It takes time, but I find myself focusing my thoughts and using phrases that later prove valuable in columns.
Last Friday, however, under the strain of readers replying to my column on a dozen things to do before killing oneself in despair over Trump's election, I would silently block people. Their anger was too high, their points too wild.
To be honest, I felt relieved. No more contention. No more pointless bickering. No more getting in trouble when their ire infected me and I strayed over the line, then they complained to my bosses of being ill-used by having their vileness echoed back. Just block the stuff and be done with it.
Reading the email below, however, the old habit of replying stirred. Such a slow pitch right down the pipe. How could I not swing? He was merely aping Trump's I'm-rubber-you're-glue reply to valid criticisms, with a spice of anti-media disdain. Words began forming in my head.
But I didn't write that. Well, here, first read it.
I noticed you used the Southern Poverty Law Center as a resource. Considering it has little credibility (it's a partisan liberal hate group which is being paid---via donations from ignorant liberal bigots---to smear decent moral people), you damage what little credibility you currently have. You have to know that the public criticism of the media by influential people is going to get worse and worse, until the media get "fixed." Right now the credibility of the media, according to various polls, is at an all-time low. It's going to get even worse unless you people start playing fair and stop using ignorant liberal bigots as if they had any credibility. You really should be condemning the SPLC for its ignorant bigotry, instead of using it as a resource.
I replied simply "Wow. Thanks for writing." Which was an honest summation of my feelings and drew no reply. Success! We've sailed into a realm beyond argument, where Right Wing hatred and fear are so extreme words are useless against them, mere noise, rain on a tin roof.
Walking the dog a few minutes later, I heard, in my mind, some crashing chords from a Pink Floyd song, and its stark opening lines.
"What shall we use... to fill ... the empty....spaces...where...we used... to talk?"