Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Hate Mail.

Chanced upon this site that had these flash cartoons that poked fun at Dubya in a malicious, yet fun way. He had a hate mail section of all the (surprise surprise) hate mail that he received for the cartoons. I always figured that America was a land of people that had enough humour to poke fun at their leaders and, more importantly, self-awareness to see their leaders as what they really were and to chastise them if they stepped out of line. Seeing some of the hate mail that the artist of the comics was getting, that belief began to waver. There are some really crazy people out there.

(I understand that the few do not represent the whole and that there are Americans who are level headed and not at all psychotic so please don't flame me for that...)

The hate mail really got me thinking about the blog trolls that we've been receiving and I found some interesting similarities in the rhetoric.

They always make it personal. If a person places an opinion out there, haters automatically make it personal and attack with whole load of crotch bitin', shin kickin', eye gougin' dirty fightin'.
They always assume that their views deserve to be addressed but someone else's really doesn't matter as much.
They always think that their wit and intellect surpasses all others and that anything contrary to that cannot possibly be an opinion worth listening to.
You can almost feel the aneurysm that they're having as they type.
There's always a veiled threat.
When their arguments break down, as they inevitably do because they're not actually written in a fit of rationality, they tend to fall back on playground banter. "You're stupid!"

Funny really. Referring back to the comic site, I really have to laugh at people who write stuff in the spirit of one of my favourite posts in the bunch:
"You sir are from europe might I STRONGLY suggest that you return to europe as after this war there will be an accounting of the behavior of the european union and I would hazard a guess that it will be VERY unpopular to be a european at that time. In short; get the f*ck out of my country, leave, leave now before we start holding europe responsible for thier own stupidity."

My country. Now that's a bold claim. I dunno...patriotism, especially blind patriotism really scares the crap out of me. I mean it seems like patriotism puts blinders on normal everyday people and lowers them to the level of bigotry and hatred. I understand what it's like to love an ideal so much that you would defend it, but to turn a defense of that ideal into an attack on EVERYONE who doesn't agree with you sounds very much like warmongering
...uhm...Oh...yur...Dubya. That was self-explanatory.

I saw a saying a lot in Australia. It simply said that when a government was wrong, it was the duty of a country to rebel. I'm pretty sure that it was a call for militant activists that acted as an excuse for pseudo violence (Aussies are quite opposed to the real thing) but I think that there was a point there. Having a leader doesn't excuse a nation from having to take an interest in politics. I felt that a lot rather explicitly in Melly, where lecturers would cancel classes to protest against something or another, and I think I've come away as a better (albeit less "learned") person for it. We are educated to think for ourselves and we have to see the things around us for what they are, not what someone else tells us they are. And we eventually learn to call it as it is. Our writings, our musings and heck, even our comics are supposed to be arenas of where we make those calls. People write them and place them up and within these arenas, we should have the decency to allow their truths to be heard sans hatred. If we agree with them, all well and good, but you don't slander someone for trying to speak their minds. Sometimes these statements may cut deep but I suspect that the reason they do is because these are statements that really reveal something true.

I think that this quote from Pratchett really sums it up for me. "The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret."


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