The Texas Bohemian

Word artist. Jack of all Trades.

Why do I do it?

The third letter in a month appeared in the Lufkin Daily News this week calling me names and blabbering all kinds of stupid-think in place of real discussion.  This last and worst letter is purportedly written by a 14 year old girl.

A child of fourteen who writes such horrid remarks must live in a household led by extremely radical parents.  This young girl’s rhetoric is indicative of brainwashing.  I can’t imagine the hateful attitudes and cruel intent that must permeate a house where a child of fourteen would be driven to write such a mean-spirited letter.

What kind of world do we live in when children cannot be children and adults are so hateful of those they disagree with that they force their hate upon their children?

I encourage my children to be politically aware, a mostly futile effort.  I encourage my children to think for themselves, to ask questions, to never take anyone’s word for truth, including mine.  I also teach my children to respect all people no matter who they are.  I’m adamant that they respect adults.  My wife and I are “old fashioned.”  We insist our kids use “sir” and “ma’am” and make no disrespectful comments to adults.  This child who wrote about me is not only disrespectful but contemptuous and hateful.

She said I “show my ignorance” and I could “stand in front of” our soldiers if I won’t stand behind them.  The implication that I should be shot is clear.  How bad is that?

There’s more about this letter and the conversation I had with the Lufkin Daily News regarding it and letters in general in the page at right Update 062609.

Previous updates describe other letters, like the one written a couple weeks ago that called me a hypocrite.  Before that I was called a liar in so many words.  In the past months and years as I’ve written against right wing hatefulness, rediculous religious practices and especially the horrible tragedy of war and I’ve been called many names because of it.  No doubt I’m the scourge of a community I used to be an active participant in.

Ms. Ebard, the child who wrote the letter mentioned above, said I had “mechanical lapdogs.”  I sure wish I had a few of those!  Someone who would simply say, “Hey, Ted, you go dude!” would be nice.  But there are no voices who support the words I write.  There are no “lapdogs” or any other kinds of supporters.  I am alone.

So why do I do it?  Why do I throw myself into this maelstrom of unkind invective and bring rocks upon my head?  Do I think it will change the world?  Am I crazy?  Am I masochistic?  What is WRONG with me?  I get no money for it and, in fact, am paying for websites and extras on this blog.

No, I don’t expect my words will have much of an effect on the world.  They might change a person or two, that would be nice, but not much more will come of them.  Whether or not I’m crazy depends upon whom you ask.  Masochistic?  No, I don’t like pain.  But nothing is “wrong” with me.  Something is RIGHT with me.  I care.  It’s my curse.

There’s another reason too: my kids.  To be perfectly honest if I had any way of raising the money to do it I would pack my family up, move to a island in the South Pacific, and never look back.  I’d use my computer to play Spider Solitaire or write fiction novels–something I’ve always wanted to do.  I’m not a bad fiction writer, either.  But I have no money to move.  We’re all stuck in this horrid world where everybody  hates everybody.  Since I can’t remove them from it the only thing I can do is try my best to change it for them.

So I write letters and get insulted.  And I blog.  And I build websites.  And in between I clean house, cook, and do all the chores many men would never consider doing.  From soliciting insults for being a peacenick to cooking and ironing everything I do I do for my family, first, and for other people second.

I really hurt in my heart for that young girl, Ms. Ebard, whose childhood has been wrecked by self-righteousness and hate.  She should be worrying about boys or proms or her hair, not what an old man writes in a newspaper.  It’s so very sad.  Childhood should be a time of learning, of fun, of joy, of playing and not worrying about the world too much.  I feel sorry for her parents, too, that they are so hate filled that they drill their children in the politics of right wing religious extremism instead of teaching them to seek truth, righteousness, justice and most important, love, respect and forgiveness.

I do what I do for Ms. Ebard, too.  She does not deserve to live in a hate-filled world any more than my kids do.  She and her generation will reap the horrible plagues my generation is sewing on this earth.  Wars and destruction,  climate change,  economic turmoil, a nation ripped of its freedoms by an out of control Homeland Security.   She does not deserve to have to face those problems any more than she deserves to have hate speech drilled into her head.

So I’ll keep on writing and blogging between piles of dishes and loads of clothes because I really do care.

If that makes me crazy then I am crazy.

June 26, 2009 - Posted by | Blather | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Hey Ted, YOU GO DUDE!!

    I’m a fellow concerned Deep East Texan who tries to be more and more politically aware every day. I’ve been keeping track and following alot of your letters in the LDN, which lead me to your blog comments, LDB, etc. and here.. I agree and am interested in alot of the things you have to say about American history, politics, and subsequently religion…
    I read the horrible response letters you got in the paper & felt the same about it as well as most of your opinions about our country’s current predicament. But it doesn’t really matter whether or not I agree with you, I know your not neccessarily lookin for some kinda comfort, I just wanted to let you know that you don’t need someone as a “mechanical lapdog” to know that you have people in your corner!! God bless you sir. I look forward to diving into more of your dialogue in the future.. It’s quite refreshing for where we live…

    Comment by JaCorey J. | July 8, 2009

  2. Hi. Thanks a lot for your comment. I appreciate it. It is nice to know I’m not alone. I know I’m not but there are so few who are willing to speak up or say so. Once in a while when I get a note such as yours I am a bit more encouraged to keep going.

    The difficulty we who are not on the right wing love list (which is a lot of people!) hardly get a word in edgewise these days. They go from saying we’re just attacking them for their religion and beliefs to doing the same things against us. I was thinking today while working on the latest article on LDB that they are very good at one-word attacks: socialist, communist, liberal (spoken with disgust) and lately they’ve thrown in “pagan.” Their writing is hateful and combative. It’s very difficult to counter their meanness with kind words or moderate responses. They are always shouting!

    I am just one guy in the backwoods caring for my kids and worried about their future. I’m not hateful or mean spirited. I follow a simple form of Buddhism that encourages selflessness and kindness. Shouting back is not an option for me. Even so, I bang away at the keyboard, hoping someone or a few someones somewhere will be able to see the truth in what I write.

    I am very disappointed in the Lufkin Daily News and the new ownership. Even though I always got the short end of the stick at least the subjects were presented and debated in the Letters column if nowhere else. It seems clear that the new owners want to stifle debate entirely. I suspect they’re right wingers themselves. I was really surprised they ran my last response. I had a personal exchange of emails with Adams who implied it would run almost two weeks before it did. There has been no further letters from anybody that is in the least controversial. Thus I started up the Lufkin Daily Blues. I didn’t really have the time to work on it but hope springs eternal that a few more folks will come along to help. Anybody who wants to write about Lufkin’s Unknown News I’ll sure give’m a chance!

    Since starting LDB I’ve expanded my view and I’ll be darn if a whole lot more trouble didn’t find me. Like the piece I just finished about Cynthia Dunbar. Arg. So much to write, so little time.

    It’s good to know someone is listening out there JaCorey. Come back a lot and tell everybody! ha.


    Comment by texasbohemian | July 8, 2009

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