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    Unlike some of my more popular blog friends, I don’t get more mail than I can handle, and the overwhelming majority of messages I get are thoughtful and mannerly, even if their writers disagree with me.

    But then, presumably in an effort to provide a stimulating foil of some kind, there are the hate mailers. Just had my first strafing from one of these characters in a while, and in a few days we have the A-bomb anniversaries, on which I plan to post much the same thing as I always do. Therefore, just so we’re all clear, please bear the following in mind before you hit the contact button there to the left:

    I am unfazed by any and all messages that consist of nothing more than…

    1. “You’re stupid.”

    2. “You’re self-loathing.”
    3. “You’re an asshole.”
    4. “You suck.”
    5. “I bet your mother engages in exceedingly untoward behavior.”

    I’ve euphemized the last two, failed to make any spelling errors, and been sparing with the exclamation points, but I’m assuming you can imagine the real versions.

    Half the time, these people don’t even tell me which post got them worked into a lather. Is it too much to ask that those who think they can wreck my sense of self-worth with a one-line e-mail at least let me know what the problem is? “Self-loathing” generally limits it to something about gay issues; but otherwise, I usually can’t determine whether my correspondent considers me too leftist, too rightist, too pro-Japan, too anti-Japan, too atheist, too soft on religion, too American, or too brunet. I like a rough-and-tumble argument as much as the next guy, but spasmodic little outbursts like these only convince me that the writers are badly in need of a hobby. My faith in the critical thinking skills of the general population is badly eroded as it is. Please don’t make it worse.

    See also posts on this subject by Connie and Rondi. Vitriol-spewers all seem to lean toward the same locutions. (And when, BTW, will people learn that it is no longer either clever or incisive to respond to a straight-talking woman by calling her a bitch?)

    5 Responses to “Billets-doux”

    1. Mark Alger says:

      Or, for that matter, a straight-talking man.

      Er, plain-talking, I mean.


    2. Mark Alger says:

      I swear! I didn’t hit the button twice! Honest!


    3. Connie says:

      You’re stuttering again, Mark.

    4. But “psychotic bitch,” now — the person who calls me that is obviously someone to be taken seriously. Not. (Really, I used to get that all the time — and then I got comment registration and kept “forgetting” to put my email in some obvious place on the blog and suddenly all my little troll friends found better things to do. Of course, I also become boring. That helped a lot.)

    5. Sean Kinsell says:


      “Or, for that matter, a straight-talking man.

      Er, plain-talking, I mean.”

      Nothing wrong with being straight as long as it’s just talk, man. :)

      I’m not sure what causes the repeats, but it happens to me every once in a while, too. Will duly note that you followed normal procedure like a good boy and just leave the comments as they are. Feel free to snark Connie back.


      I don’t think I’ve ever gotten “psychotic.” Now I feel left out.

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