Thursday, January 24, 2013

Letter from a Coward

I used to get a lot of hate mail. Hundreds. These days they are very rare since I don't write for any big sites anymore.

I have found that all hate mailers are cowards, and cannot stand to be exposed. For a year or so I had a hate mail page, where I posted their names, letters and email addresses. Sometimes I found their pictures.

One guy looked just like a sex pervert - a child molester, actually. (Later I got an email from some guy who said the sleaze in question "liked young boys.")

Some went hysterical, since being cowards they could dish it out but not take it. They tried to get their letters and pictures removed. It never worked.

I've also found they were never right. I've been called a liberal, an ultraconservative, a fascist, a fundamentalist Christian...every name in the book. And every time, they were wrong.

Every time, they didn't understand the article.

So here's one I got recently, apparently from an anti-gun dork.

It was from:

Robert Fanning

"Dear Phat Head,

"I am completely mystified how a man (or even human being) could be so daft and warped on his perspective of life...I almost feel sorry for you.

"Didn’t your mother ever teach you...if you don’t have something nice to say...? You must have a lot of pent up anger inside you and probably a danger to yourself and are sparkling example of why they should require psychological screening before purchasing firearms.

"I truly hope you get some help.

"Big sigh..."

As you can see, the guy can't spell. "Soceity," for example.

Notice he didn't say which article he was referring to. They never did. They always assumed I knew exactly to which article they were referring.

I know the type. I've dealt with dozens of them. Liberal, ruled by his feelings, possibly homosexual, some kind of pagan...the exact opposite of a man.

This post is going to bother him a lot.

By the way, I dug up an article I wrote years ago about hate-mailers.


When I was a little kid I was half-fascinated, half-repulsed by the Fantastic Four character Johnny Storm, aka "the Human Torch." When he said "flame on!" he would light up like a six-foot-tall match. For years whenever I encountered the word "flame" I would think of the Human Torch.

These days, unfortunately, the word "flame" now brings to mind "flamer," as in "hate mail," as in "Human Gorks" ("geek" + "dork").

I've lost track of how many emails I've received. I know it's many thousands. I estimate about one percent are hate mail, which puts the amount into the hundreds.

Hate mail is always the same. For one thing, the writers almost never tell me to which article they are referring. Do they think I can read the fog that passes for their minds?

The second characteristic is that they never understand the article. At first I thought I wasn't being clear in what I wrote, but decided that wasn't the case. Ninety-nine percent of the people who write me understand what I write, even if they don't agree.

One percent – the hate emailers – not only don't understand the article, the conclusion they come to is the exact opposite of what I wrote.

I once wrote an anti-drug-use article, and one fellow wrote me saying there were 14 references in the article supporting drug use. Such a writer merely isn't ignorant; he's a perfect example of the old saying, "Stupid can't be fixed."

I've decided hate emailers suffer from Flamer Personality Disorder. Since I wondered if anyone else had used the term, I typed it into Google, and sure enough, it's a common term for those who write hate mail.

Here are some more characteristics of those who write hate mail, as identified by W. Beaty.

1) Name-callers.

This is true. Nearly everyone who has written me hate mail has called me names. I remember one guy who called me a "gutless wonder" because I wasn't in the military and opposed the war in Iraq.

It never occurred to him he wasn't in the military and in Iraq, either. I guess the reason he wasn't a gutless wonder is because he supported the long as someone else was fighting it.

2) Competitive/argumentative.

Yep. When people write me hate mail, if I respond I tell them not to bother writing back, because I will delete their email unread. Which I do. But nearly all the time they still write. And I always delete their emails without reading them. Sometimes they even put something into the subject line, to make sure I read it.

3) Amoral.

This also is true. They seem to think they are fully justified in viciously attacking people who write articles they don't even understand. Yet if anyone attacks them, they are shocked.

4) Vengeful.

While in their minds it is perfectly acceptable for them to insult people, if it's returned they will continually write emails to avenge the insult. This is why even though I tell them I delete their emails unread, they continue to write.

5) Self-blind.

They don't have a clue anything is wrong with them. In their minds, I'm sure they think those they flame are the ones with the problems.

6) Egocentric.

Oh, yes. They have a very high opinion of themselves (even though they have no basis for that opinion, not when they can't even understand an article) and a low opinion of those they flame (even though the flamee is much smarter and more knowledgeable than the flamer).

Here is a hate mail I received recently, which illustrates all the characteristics Beaty described.

The subject of the hate mail contained one word: "arrogance."

Here is the body of the hate mail:

"Do you stand for anything? You have taken pot shots at everybody on both sides of the political aisle. Your writing is narcissistic ramblings. Do you imagine it to be humorous? Insightful? Weird. I know you imagine yourself to be an intellectual. Does your stuff sell? Are you published?"

Typically, he did not tell me the article to which he was referring. I still don't have a clue.

After reading the email, I realized he was calling me arrogant. Yet I'm positive it never occurred to him, not even once, that he is the one who is arrogant.

"Do you stand for anything?" Oh, good Lord, just how dumb is this guy?

Yeah, I stand for something. I stand for liberty against democracy and equality. I stand for the free market against the State. I stand for the Economic Means against the Political Means, even though I'm positive my emailer has never heard of either term and wouldn't understand them no matter how many times they were explained.

Apparently he thinks if someone calls himself a conservative, then he is a conservative. If I call myself rich and handsome, that doesn't make me Sean Connery, does it?

"Your writing is narcissistic ramblings."

However, this emailer doesn't have the slightest idea of what narcissism is. I will give him a small hint: look in the mirror.

"Do you imagine it to be humorous?" Actually, I don't know. I don't think I'm that funny. People who write me do, and so do my friends. So I guess I'll listen to the opinions of those whom I respect as opposed to those I don't.

"Insightful?" Again, I will reply on the opinions of my friends and 99% of those who write me, as opposed to the one percent who don't understand the articles.


What's weird? I'm weird? I know that. My writing? I know that, too.

"I know you imagine yourself to be an intellectual."

Yeah, sort of. Not a whole lot, though. I'm smarter than people who write hate mail. Always will be, too.

Probably the funniest thing about hate-mailers is that all of them think they are unique individuals, while in fact they are all the same. It's as if all of them are stamped from the same "I'm Stupid-and-Ignorant" cookie-cutter.

Ah, well. Flame on, Gorks. I find you amusing.

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