Ranting and raving

Ah, the inbox. The sweet, sweet inbox.

Your editor’s columns are incredibly boring. The columns aren’t interesting, contain no penetrating insights, and lack a sense of humour (which is fatal in a college town publication).

Basically he has no skill as a columnist. But because he’s running the show, the paper is stuck with these how-I-spent-my-weeks columns. A terrible waste of space.

If Tuchinsky was a good editor, he’d go out and find a really good columnist and give him/her the space. Thanks.

Well, at least I was good enough to edit out five typos. (I left “humour” because it’s quaint.) I would have put this in the Letters section, attributed to the author, but my e-mail to that effect drew this reply:

I don’t want my letter run. I’m not a publicity hound like you Tuchinsky. Thanks.

Sure thing, Mr. John… Wouldn’t want to make you mad. (Wait, you’re not reading this anyway!)

When it comes to the CN&R, I strive to keep discourse civil—focused on issues rather than insults. That might not be as exciting as hate mail; but then Mr. J didn’t rip the Letters section …

Vitriol floats all around us. I’m not talking about righteous indignation—I’m talking out-and-out hostility, prejudice and fear-mongering. It’s flying through the air on AM radio waves. It’s beaming down from satellites carrying Fox News. It’s loading the Internet via cell phones, PDAs and WiFi.

Just take a look at Craigslist. On the Chico home page, beneath “casual encounters” and “missed connections” in the “Personals” section, is a link to “rants and raves”; there, masked by anonymity, posters disseminate unadulterated anger and hatred. Language is coarse, profane, violent even. It’s ironic that my browser displays a peace sign next to the site address.

Here’s a typical thread, which began with a question the poster received by e-mail—When did the environmentalists ever sue to stop a refinery?—and the genial answer All the fucking time, dickhead. It goes on with: I’ll ask a much more pertinent question, Stupid: When have the environmentalists ever NOT sued big oil over the last 40 years??

His coda (I’m pretty sure it’s a he; you’ll see why later on): You’re detroying [sic] the Earth with your bullshit “causes”, you … idiots. (I left out the redundant F-bomb; you get the point).

The reply is actually conciliatory by CL standards:

Hmm, seems that you’re suffering from another one of your fits of lying, Cheekoville. The fact that you can’t name a specific instance of a refinery being halted due to litigation just proves that you’re either a) uninformed, or b) full of shit. More than likely it’s both.

Of course, it goes on, to this ending: Seriously, you need a major beat down …

That got posted at 1:23 p.m. The response at 2:16:

Seriously, dude, at 6 foot three and 220 pounds, and being a former marine with hand-to-hand combat skills, I don’t think I’ll be the one getting a “beat down”, you limp-wristed little …

Whoa, whoa, whoa there!

Makes Chad Wozniak look downright tame. (Unless Chad is Cheekoville, in which case: Thanks for tonin’ it down for Letters!)

This week, Chad compares a handful of things to the Holocaust. I think he’s off-base, but that’s not cause for a put down or “beat down.”

I don’t expect instant kumbaya. I do believe in karma—that we get what we give. Exude animosity, and people will hate you. Exude rationality, and people will take you seriously.

I’d rather be serious than “Stupid.”