Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dumb Letters: An Introduction

I read the news. A lot. I scour the internet for news and opinion (both are important, I think) from many sources. Although some would say I only get them from "liberal" sources. Anyway, there are four newspapers that I read online every day, including the Op-Ed sections and their associated letters. These papers are The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe. I also read various other publications, online and in print, like Salon, Slate, The New Yorker, Newsweek and The Nation.

And by the way, anyone who says I only read liberal publications should check out some of the above papers for flaming lefties like George Will, Bob Novak, Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, Jeff Jacoby, Max Boot and Jonah Goldberg. And they even let Karl Rove write in Newsweek now, for Pete's sake. Karl Rove!

So I enjoy reading the op-ed pieces and agreeing or disagreeing with the writers and occasionally thinking about something in a new way. But the real fun is reading the Letters sections of the major newspapers. Now the Letters section of your average smalltown paper is always full of, shall we say, folksy charm. But I always love when the big ones print letters from complete wackadoos. And I don't just mean conservative. Being conservative is not a crime. Being an idiot is. I know many conservatives with whom I disagree but who are also intelligent, coherent and occasionally even cogent.

The real fun is when I see a letter from somebody that just hasn't thought things through. I know that papers take certain things into consideration when they publish a letter, such as a representative sample of the opinions in their mailbag. But sometimes I stop and think, "They just published this because it's so ridiculous. They must have had some letter writer who was somewhat articulate make a similar point. They just want everyone to know that Arlo Finklestein of Woonsocket is a complete idiot." I am convinced of this.

So I thought I'd make it a regular feature to highlight some of these dumb letters and grouse about them. Okay by you? Cool.

So this one is from today's LA Times. Not howlingly stupid but a bit silly nevertheless. The writer is responding to a story about Barack Obama's European Vacation.

Considering Obama's enthusiastic greeting and speech in Berlin, has anyone reminded him that he has not yet been elected or inaugurated president?

For a reality check, he should visit the Thomas E. Dewey and Michael S. Dukakis presidential libraries on his return trip to the U.S.

Peter M. Small
Lake Forest

So, the point is that Obama will somehow think that he's already the president because some people in Germany like him? Is that all it takes? Somebody please get on the horn with BO toot sweet. I hear he's been signing executive orders and giving State of the Union speeches. He's even started ordering secret wiretaps and torture. (Well, the secret wiretaps, anyway.) All he did was give a freaking speech in Germany. Did that speech include the words "I am President of the United States of America"?

Hey, I just played a show to 100 people who all applauded. Guess what? I'm now asking for royalties on Coldplay's newest album and playing the Garden this week with REM opening for me. Somebody give me a reality check! No, wait. I'd prefer the royalty check.

1 comment:

Dianthe said...

You write very well.