- They have a lot of free time on their hands.
- They seem incapable of discussing anything outside their narrow world view.
- They don't read and respond as much as they simply spew.
- They're rather angry and rude.
You're probably one of those bleeding hearts which would like to take fighting out of hockey?I'll ignore the sophisticated use of grammar for now. I'll also ignore the fact that the note was sent from a work account during business hours.
But nothing topped this next one for sheer entertainment value. I've posted it in its unadorned entirety. Sure, the guy's insulting me in a sad and juvenile way. But the structure of the note is illuminating, and illustrates the kind of thing a columnist deals with when some folks decide to engage not in spirited debate, but personal name-calling. Here's the note:
London Free Press contributor Carmi Levy arrogantly admonishes us toYour turn: Do I continue to publish what I think or should I cow to the narrow-focus responses of extremist and rude readers with an obvious agenda? Additionally, should I invite this individual over for tea the next time he's in town?
"ditch the gun and go grocery shopping."
Nice of him to tell us what's best for us.
He voices this concern because "it's infinitely safer."
First of all, "infinitely safer" is a mathematical impossibility here.
Getting into vehicles results in 80 times more deaths (1999) than gun
accidents (not all of which are from hunting).
Of course, taking a vehicle to go hunting increases your chances of
getting killed but I'm fairly sure that the odds aren't infinite and
could be calculated by someone with a better grasp of mathematics than
either myself or (more certainly) Mr. Levy.
As if hyperbole weren't enough, Levy makes a shocking assertion that
"one death is too many, especially since it's been generations since
we've needed to shoot wild animals for food."
Well, we don't need to go rock-climbing or sky-diving or any number of
activities that Levy may deem too risky or politically incorrect but
the obvious fact that seems lost on him is that the odds that any
activity will result in death more directly relates to the manner in
which that activity is conducted than any imaginary risks he dreams up.
That's why I haven't been hurt in over 35 years of hunting and that's
why the statistics don't back him up.
It's simply a matter of personal prejudice.
More to the point, the beauty of our human soul is that we are free to
choose any legal activity that gives it pleasure.
I personally don't see that it's necessary to ride a bicycle to work
with cars whizzing by, mere inches away, when there's perfectly good
public transportation with far better odds of keeping me from being a
I've had the hell scared out of me several times on one short stretch
of road by cyclists weaving over the shoulder line in front of me,
forcing me into a game of chicken with oncoming traffic.
There are crosses with flowers marking the spots where some of these
heroes got nailed playing this game a little too often.
But far be it from me to dictate personal choices.
I'm sure that "Urban Commando Cyclist" Levy's cycling friends would no
more enjoy being told to hang up their wheels than I do having him tell
me to give up a sport that puts me in such intimate contact with a
primitive, natural world - and the occasional, non-industrialized meal.
-----------------the following is not for publication-------
PS: I saw Levy's Blog - he flatters himself if he thinks he was ever on
anyone's Christmas card list.
PPS: I also note from Blog entries about such things as having waffles
for breakfast that Levy is more than a little self-absorbed - some
might say a pretentious so-and-so.
Final thought #1: I always thought "intimate contact with a primitive, natural world" was a little more acceptable when I attempted it with a lens and not a gun, but maybe that's just me.
Final thought #2: Readers with a little more decorum have had letters to the editor published in the paper this week. I'd be happy to share those if you're interested.