Thursday, February 24, 2022

Era of Contempt VII

    Though I had not set foot inside in four months, I hoped to avoid the office when I went downtown Tuesday. There would be no one there, and nothing but a bit of mail, and who writes letters to newspapers nowadays? Cranks and haters, and the ceaseless accumulation of Poetry Magazine, which is almost frightening, considering what somehow gets through what one assumes has to be a vigorous vetting process. Given what they print, what must they receive? The heart breaks for the editors. I suppose the bright spin is that though these verses do not speak to me, generally, they must speak to someone.
     One hopes.
     Though there in the pile was a reward, a new missive from Alan P. Leonard, who six times has graced this blog with his sadly not-at-all unique worldview.
en last we heard from him, in 2019, Mr. Leonard had entered what struck me as a mature phase, and I'm happy to report that he continues to progress. Gone, or at least submerged, is the self-abased sprawl before the former Liar in Chief, as well as the nauseating, unashamed racism at the heart of Trumpism. In its place, Mr. Leonard expresses something that I believe is both entirely true and perhaps even important to understand.   When that happy day comes when the Trump enormity is finally exiled safely to the past, we will have to deal with the reality of the large fraction of the America public, from a third to 49 percent, who embraced his blathering self-regard, his addiction to lies, his cruelty and strutting xenophobia and cowardly racism, and of course his war against democracy, its values and norms.
     How shall these people be viewed? How can America take pride in herself knowing how many readily abandoned her bedrock practices, and all to glorify a clown? Our best path toward  understanding and forgiveness is here expressed by Mr. Leonard, albeit inadvertently: that part of America collected together in a tribal knot, like
 a band of homo habilis sleeping in a pile for warmth 100,000 years ago. Yes, unlike our ancestors, they are responsible for blocking the outside world, and rejecting all thought they did not already believe. But that was the way of their brethren, their environment. You can't haul a translucent blind fish up from the depths of the ocean and fault it for not being an owl. They developed and grew adjusted to the world around them. Alas.
     Yet growth and change is available to all, even the most debased among us. Even Mr. Leonard is maturing, both in tone and stationery, abandoning the odd time warp letterheads of the past for something more simple, nearly adult. The orange is almost pleasing.
     Anyway, enough prelude. I give you Mr. Leonard and his inarguable truth:


  1. Classic case of a person living in an echo chamber. I will give him credit for reading your columns. Few of this ilk venture beyond Fox.
    He would have been more accurate had he said how many are poorly informed, not uninformed.
    If we look closely, we can see that this 33-49% has always been there. It was King Orange who let this horse out of the barn.

  2. The last sentence of Mr. Leonard's letter is quite instructive IMO:

    "The only way we can rationalize the election results and not lost faith is to believe there were voting irregularities."

    It would be harder to find a more succinct summary of why it is a complete waste of time to try to persuade people like him with facts.

  3. "I haven't met one person who cares about the so-called insurrection"
    Exactly where is the bubble this sad man lives in, so I can avoid it?

  4. a lot of weird snakes slithering around in this one's brain.

  5. Certainly, Mr. Leonard spoke the truth, but I don't think he meant what he said.


    1. [Resubmitted due to a copy-and-paste duplication error; sorry]

      I agree with Bitter Scribe and with tate: I've been staring at Mr. Leonard's last line ("The only way we can rationalize the election results and not lose faith is to believe there were voting irregularities.") off and on for the better part of a day now, and I have to say that in the only way I can interpret it, he is entirely correct, even if perhaps he didn't mean to be.

      It's almost as if he's been trolling all along, but his mask slipped while hurrying to finish up the last line before he ran out of orange paper.

  6. Why it's almost as if Mr. Leonard's screeds give echo chambers a bad name.

    "The only way ... is to believe there were voting irregularities." If only there were ways to objectively test this fanciful delusion. Say, dozens of lawsuits (dismissed for lack of evidence), recounts in assorted Republican-led states (some showing that Trump got more votes than he deserved, none showing a "stolen election") etc., etc., etc.

    While your willingness to consider the environment that spawned the "reasoning" of folks like this is generous, NS, I'll just note that carnival barkers like the Biggest Loser, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and many others spreading misinformation to the likes of your correspondent received fine educations. Laura Ingraham has a law degree. They aren't "translucent blind fish"; they know what they're doing.

    Which brings me to the zinger currently leading Eric Zorn's "Tweet of the Week" poll: "What haunts me is that I am just not smart enough for so many people to be this much stupider than I am."

  7. Looks like his wife must have used up all her flowery stationery.

    And now he's scribbling his diatribes on my favorite
    Same as the orange Kool-Aid that his orange god continues to serve up.

    How appropriate.


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