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.
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