Friday, April 5, 2019
Era of Contempt IV
Why didn't I sweep Alan Leonard's letter into the garbage, where it belongs? A kind of amazement, I suppose, a residual non-belief, despite years of evidence to the contrary, that such people really exist.
A hope that does not die, if you want to get all flowery about it.
I wasn't running to post it either. But I went on vacation, and it was sitting there, and I figured, share it. Why not? We've grown sadly familiar with his oeuvre. There is, I suppose, an entertainment value, the way gross horror movies entertain.
Though not much. When I read Michelle Obama's "Becoming," I sincerely thought, "This is the sort of book that should be required reading." Because it might create empathy where none exists, in the Alan Leonards of the world. I wrote a column ballyhooing the book, not that Obama's memoir needed it—it's the best-selling memoir of all time. Maybe there are some people who will encounter it and have their perceptions expanded. This letter is a reminder how naive that hope was.
I'd like to suggest that Mr. Leonard is an exception. I don't know. Maybe he's the rule. That seems something worth discussing.
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I recently had an exhausting discussion with an old acquaintance who I hadn't realized was a blind and rabid, "behind him 100%", Trump supporter. This person had all the Fox News talking points packed in so tightly, there was no room left for the common sense reasoning I tried to inject. I eventually stated "I'm starting to feel sorry for you" and then, later "You're on your own. I can't help you". Even these mild but unquestionably personal attacks went unheard.ReplyDelete
So, no, Mr. Leonard is not the exception.
Welcome back, Neil. Alan - not so much, but reading him gives a unique insight into that other world that needs reckoning with, so thank you for that. I'll need to read more from him before concluding if he's the exception or the rule. So I look forward to Era of Contempt V, more than I did Rocky V or Halloween V (but not as much as Treehouse of Horror V).ReplyDelete
Hope you let us know if he responds.ReplyDelete
His printing is pretty good.ReplyDelete
No it's not! I took two years of drafting & his lettering sucks!Delete
There's of course nothing remarkable about these sentiments (the "proud of my country" thing gets dragged out of the musty box of old resentments one more time), but there is something touching, to me anyway, about this guy taking the time to write out this bilge -- on lavender-toned, flowery stationery with a butterfly, no less! -- instead of just pounding his keyboard like 99% of us cranks do. Presumably he then had to affix a stamp and hunt up a mailbox. Give him this -- he puts effort into being a fool.ReplyDelete
I'm wildly amused by his use of this stationery. I would expect this crap to be written in crayon on a brown paper bag (line courtesy of Bob Newhart).Delete
Love the butterflyReplyDelete
Why do I expect our new mayor to be welcomed by Mr. Leonard as a target of his peculiar rhetorical style? She can be triply damned in his view: by race, by party and by sexual preference.ReplyDelete
Abut Mrs. Obama, he should perhaps be reminded that she was so admired by the present First Lady, who is acceptably white although an immigrant, that her words were plagiarized for a convention speech.
At least it was short, to his point, legible and spell checked?ReplyDelete
Which makes it that much uglier.
The "rule" among millions. Sadly. Sigh.ReplyDelete
Of course this asshat thinks Michelle Obama is ugly...because she's black. Did I also hear this guy is pushing eighty? If that's correct, I'm not surprised he managed to spell both "Eleanor" and "Roosevelt" correctly. He probably remembers her from the newsreels, in between the Bugs Bunny and the Mickey Mouse cartoons.ReplyDelete
I find solace that his name anagrams to "darn alone pal"ReplyDelete
It was so disgusting that I couldn't finish reading it. Michelle Obama makes me proud to be an American first, and a south Side Chicagoan second. "Becoming" is a great read, or better yet, a great listen.ReplyDelete