Friday, January 15, 2021

Thank you for your expression of contempt

The Casualty, by Josiah Eidmann (Northbrook Public Library)

     Happy about Donald Trump being impeached a second time?
     Me neither.
     Don’t get me wrong. It was richly earned and necessary. But it also had an almost obligatory quality. The way a news report about a drunk driver plowing into a group of schoolchildren might end by saying the suspect is charged with six counts of vehicular homicide, plus driving while intoxicated on a suspended license and failure to yield to pedestrians.
     You almost smile, ruefully, at that last bit and think, “Yeah, that ‘failure to yield’ rap is really going to haunt him.”
     People were going on about the historic second impeachment. Oh boy, Trump sure is marinating in shame now! Two impeachments.
     The first one barely registered; hard to see what doubling will do.
     The problem is, once you start ignoring reality, the scope of the specific reality being ignored hardly matters. If you’re encased in your own willful darkness and can’t see an acoustical tile ceiling, you also won’t see the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
     That’s why I try to never argue with readers. First, for that very reason: they’re readers, and I truly appreciate their being here, reading, despite occasional geysers of toxicity. It isn’t that I coddle them, per se. But if they write in saying they subscribe and the moon is made of blue cheese, I might respond by observing that I like blue cheese on a steak salad.

To continue reading, click here


  1. I can't help but wonder how Neil's correspondent who objected so strongly to "woke" Democrats would define "woke." No doubt there's something racial there, but even old Richard J. Daley made noises that he intended to come across as evidencing concern over Black issues. Maybe he's noticed, as I have, the proliferation on TV these days of mixed race commercials of all things! But what that has to do with Democrats, I don't know. Obviously, these days there are more Black people close to the levers of power, as contrasted with Richard I's much less prestigious rewards for party fidelity. It's a puzzle, but I'm grateful that Neil persisted to the point that the correspondent let down his wrathful guard and spoke more or less civilly and rationally about his distaste of the supposed tendency of the Democratic Party towards being "woke."


    1. As a polyglot tongue with at least two words for every meaning and no means of inhibiting new coinages English glories in a huge vocabulary. Usually an advantage to communication but not always. In my opinion, "woke" is a relatively new word we can well do without.


    2. You're onto something Tom. "Woke" has already sailed past its shelf-life, according to the socially conscious.

    3. To me, "woke" is like "politically correct." It's a term conservatives use to sneer at what the rest of us call common decency.

  2. Great column as always. When the opportunity presents itself, taking the High Road is seldom regrettable.

  3. What refreshing responses! The tone you took with your correspondents really woke me up.

    Sorry, I'll just sit over here now...

  4. "How would you reply?"

    There are 2 specific years mentioned referring to Biden in the first example. In 1977 Notre Dame won the National Championship in college football. In 1988, they won again. They haven't won since. Were those victories at all applicable to this year's "season" or the last 3 decades, for that matter? Donald Trump told insurrectionists intent on trashing the Constitution in his behalf that he "loved" them LAST WEDNESDAY. See the difference?

    Gotta say, NS, you get one reply from a guy who calls you a good sport and think it points the way forward to dealing with delusional Trump supporters? I'm surprised. That guy specifically noted that he was a Democrat and didn't vote for Trump. How to deal with Democrats who think that treating people equitably in this society is "too woke" is a separate matter.

    1. That doesn't mean anything. Often Trump supporters ARE Democrats, or claim not to be Trump supporters because they think it sharpens the sting somehow. Remember, Trump isn't the only one lying, to himself and everyone else. I'm standing by the proposition that their loathsomeness is not a gilded certificate of permission to be loathsome.

    2. I try not to be loathsome to anybody, and have tried reasonableness and friendliness with Trump supporters on a number of occasions. It's accomplished nothing but creating frustration for me and "shoot the messenger" dismissal from them.

      I don't disagree with your proposition, as stated in your reply to me. I also have not dealt with nearly the number of opinionated folks, of a variety of persuasions, that you have. Today's column offers one guy you blocked and one (who is far from a typical Trump voter, given what he told you) whose response you were encouraged by. I would imagine that among the 40 - 45% of voters who have thought Trump was doing a good job all along, there are many more like the first guy than the second.


Comments are vetted and posted at the discretion of the proprietor.