As I Was Saying…

Chatter, memories and rants. Please, don't stop me if you've heard this one before.





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Confessions from the new New Frontier

Here’s why English teachers are actually judging you

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - 5:50 pm - It’s holiday party time, which means teachers are thrust into social situations with non-teachers and are reminded of how much the public at large misunderstands what we do and why we do it. Actually, teaching high school English is neither adorable nor terrifying. And you really don’t have to worry that I’m evaluating your grammar [...]

Artemis: a few years (not quite millenia) late

Sunday, July 21, 2013 - 4:38 am - I found this poem tucked in the diary I kept during my sophomore and junior year of college. I’m not sure when exactly I wrote it; in fact, I have no clear memory of writing, only of having written it. But it is definitely from sometime during those years. It owes a lot to Billy [...]

Seeing Red

Monday, July 8, 2013 - 8:42 pm - At the end of every school year, I spend a week or two at my parents’ in Portland as a reboot, and to that end, my mother and I got our nails done yesterday. It’s not the kind of thing I do often, since I never like to give the impression that I fuss over [...]

Accidents Will Happen

Monday, June 24, 2013 - 3:18 am - From: gregory hunter <hunterg166@xxxxx.com> To: Elizabeth Sampson <ebef12@yahoo.com> Sent: Friday, February 2, 2007 1:31 AM Subject: Re: God Only Knows sorry for the jaunty note. i (for some reason) figured the note would be returned to me. you were gone, i surmised, off writing some arresting novel elsewhere. teaching, studying… away. a different address. i [...]

A Few Thoughts for an Anonymous Progressive

January 28, 2010

I’d be happier if this could be an actual conversation, my anonymous progressive friend, but my experience has been that you do not listen. Even when you are willing to give your name, you only show up to talk–specifically to bestow upon those of us whom you see as sitting in darkness the superior wisdom of your orthodoxies. You are insufferable when you do this, but you don’t seem to know that. Perhaps you would if you were better at listening.

For most of my adult life I’ve done my best to maintain my equanimity in the face of patronizing insults, but now you seem to have crossed a line. Today, the day after President Obama’s first State of the Union Address, you left this anonymous comment on the Who is IOZ? blog: “I didn’t watch the Address. What did el presidente say? Wait. Nevermind (sic). It doesn’t matter what he said. At all.”

Really, Mr/Ms Anonymous? The remarks of the single most powerful and influential person on earth don’t matter? At all? Not to anybody, do you think, or just not to you?

But have I missed something crucial here? Perhaps you are the most powerful and influential person on the planet so what Obama said really doesn’t matter if you say it doesn’t.

If that’s the case, I wish you had taken the time to call him and let him know he didn’t need to go to all the trouble of writing and delivering that speech. Noblesse oblige and all. It would have been a nice gesture on your part. I mean, if it didn’t matter what he said, Obama could have stayed home last night with Michelle and the kids–maybe played fetch with Bo or something.

The truth, of course, is that you missed the speech last night because you and your ilk have written off Obama. You gave him about 90 days to remake the world in your image, and when that didn’t happen (how could it possibly have happened?) you wrote him off. That’s your prerogative under the Constitution you rely upon Obama to defend, but there are a few things you and those like you should consider:

  • When you write off the President unless he agrees with you 100%, you are doing your very best to hand the keys back to the GOP. If you are so amnesiac or willfully blind that you can’t tell the difference between Obama and Dubya, then you deserve Dubya and are helping to bring him or someone like him back to the White House.
  • When you only listen to people you already agree with, you get so you don’t even notice when you say things that are really, really stupid. The Who is IOZ? comment is just one tiny example of this.
  • When you indulge in supercilious brat attacks, you become profoundly unattractive. Perhaps you don’t care, but I would suggest that if you don’t admire Rush Limbaugh you should stop acting like him.

4 Responses to “A Few Thoughts for an Anonymous Progressive”

  1. Darlene Says:

    Good for you putting anonymous in his/her place. Anyone who is afraid to sign their name is not worth reading.

    I am so sick of the idiots who parrot the sound bites of Beck, Limbaugh, O’Reilley, etc. without even knowing what they mean. I just tune them out.

    A good debate is like the one the President just had when he bearded the lion in his den. I loved the way he showed up those Republicans on their own turf. But did it register? Heck no; they don’t know what they are saying either because they never let a few facts get in the way of their ideology.

  2. barry knister Says:

    I used to write letters to the editor of the Naples (Florida)Daily News, doing what you’re doing–flogging right-wing nutters with reason. Until my arm got tired, and I realized they would not/could not “get it.” It’s hard to not answer such people, but I’ve come to think that, aside from their own “kind,” everyone else is probably shaking his/her head. Which is just fine.

  3. Pete Says:

    Thanks for your thoughts, Barry. I find that right-wing nutters and left-wing nutters are increasingly indistinguishable, mostly because of their shared unwillingness to listen.

    I think the target of my ire here is a “leftie,” but I could be wrong.

  4. Anne Gibert Says:

    We got dubya because of the people who voted for Ralph Nader. They just never learn that there is actually a big difference between Democrats and Republicans.

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