Friday, August 25, 2006

Call the War Department - Another Battle's On!

Ok, so I'm a person who is not offended easily, but there is one insult that always gets under my skin - it's when someone who can't or refuses to understand another's opposing viewpoint calls that person stupid, or at least implies it. That is exactly what Bill "Who?" Peterson wrote in Cincinnati CityBeat. Thanks to JD who pointed the Reds blogosphere to this article, or maybe no thanks since it incited rage within me ;), I sent a little message to this Peterson character telling him what I thought about what he wrote, promising him to post it here as well, so here it is. Oh, and I also declared war on him, because I'm "juvenile."

The gist:
Many fans, it seems, can't tell Narron is doing a good job when he obviously is. Then again, a recent Harris poll showed that half of Americans still think Iraq held weapons of mass destruction in 2003, so we probably shouldn't be too surprised by what we hear in the street.

Dear Bill,

Wow. Really, wow. You manage to insult a large chunk of the diehard Reds fan base and tell everyone their opinions don't count in one article, in one sentence, really.
In the limited tongue of angry fans and juvenile bloggers, Narron is a "moron," Griffey is a has-been who should be dropped in the order and Adam Dunn, who never begs out of the lineup, plays 160 games and hits 40 homers every year, is "Donkey Man."
You've resorted to namecalling because you don't agree with opinions? Playing with the linguistic similarities between "Narron" and "Moron," while it may seem juvenile, is nowhere near a "limited tongue." It used to be that playing with language was what they called "intelligent," and I, for one, am insulted by your insinuation that bloggers are stupid. Yeah, I'm the one who coined the phrase, "Jerry Moron is a narron." I am a linguist by profession, and I could write you under the table. Limited tongue? You've just started a war, boy.

It's ridiculous to call someone stupid (or imply it) just because you don't agree with his/her opinion. So what if we're blowing off steam? Seems you can't keep your political animosity out of a sport that a lot of us use as a diversion, a way to get our minds off of the realities of what's going on around us, around the country, around the globe for three hours a day. And if you actually spoke with one of us "juvenile bloggers," you'd find that we are all well-versed in politics, in international affairs, in philosophy and literature and history and yes, war. We are all entitled to those three hours or so a day to cheer and hope and dream and to get some relief from the real world for a spell. And if it's frustrating, well, we aren't getting our escape, now, are we? So we twist words and names and concepts to take out our frustrations.

About the nicknames - most of the Reds have them. As far as your "donkey man" goes, you've shown your own "limited tongue." First of all, it's not "Donkey Man," it's "Donkey" or "Dunkey." Since donkeys are considered "work horses" for their strength and durability, we are playing on his name and his strength. Limited tongue? Sorry, that's creativity, and it's a compliment. I'm not sure how you could see it otherwise.

No one says Griffey is a has-been, though you can't have a .250 hitter (being generous) in the third spot of the order. He's killing us there. He should be dropped to fifth or sixth. No one blames that on Narron - it is Griffey refusing to acknowledge he is aging and can't do what he used to, and to be fair, I don't blame Griffey. It's human nature - time is a man's true enemy, and there is not one of us, rich or poor, athlete or clutz, prosecutor or defender, who doesn't suffer from this unwinable battle. And you know what? This battle with time, well, it's a reflection of why we love baseball, why Ruth and Matthewson and Williams and Cobb are immortalized, the reason why we hoard statistics in our brains, because they are measurements of something they did on Earth, why they still live in our hearts. (and I should have added, "an escape from the finality of death.)

Did you know that John Milton is often quoted when Eric Milton pitches on these blogs with "limited tongues?" Did you know that Sinclair Lewis, Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Walt Whitman, and Dante have been invoked on these "juvenile blogs?" Is this typical summer reading for those with "limited tongues?"

Right now, I have the Nats-Braves game on the television, the Cubs-Cards game on the computer screen, and the Phillies-Mets game on the radio (because the Reds game has not started.) Does this sound like the behavior of someone who doesn't know what she is talking about? I'm 29 in a major international city, and I've stayed home this Friday night so I could watch my Reds play baseball and hopefully take over first place. All of us "juvenile bloggers" love our Reds and know our baseball, so if we want to criticize a guy who controls our hopes and dreams, then we will. Baseball is a glorious game, a sensual game, full of sharp colors and smells and emotions like nostalgia for the innocence of childhood, full of visions of baseballs sailing into the night, the contrast of the little white ball against the vast black sky symbolic of human existence, of life, of everything good in the world, those brief moments when we can forget about the atrocities of humanity like WMDs. It's moments like these that keep us sane. If a bad decision, or many bad decisions, warps these sentiments, these escapes, then we are going to and have the right to react, even if it means manipulating someone's name to express our feelings.

You also say this:
But these decisions that seem so obvious to observers are less obvious to a manager who factors in volumes of information of which only he is aware.
Clue: you aren't aware of them, either, but you come across as if you are all knowing. Your opinion is just that - opinion. The fact that you've brought hostility into your column will bring hostility from others.

I've never heard of you, or at the very least, nothing has stood out about your columns that make you memorable, so I don't know how widely read your column is. I'm a huge Reds fan and read as much as I can about my team every day, so maybe that speaks to your readership. Do you think just because you get paid to write about sports that you are better than us "juvenile bloggers?" Newsflash: a lot of us are professional writers, or at the very least, writing is a heavy part of our professional capacity - we are just writing about more important things, like politics, economics, and war. Personally, I spend my days writing about economic institutional development in the Middle East North Africa region as a means towards democratic development and global stability. Did you know that strengthening the advocacy capacities of business associations in Iraq to give them a voice in economic policymaking could actually help prevent further conflict, because, you know, public participation in policymaking is a fundamental tenet of democracy (just like freedom of speech,) and when people aren't marginalized, they don't fight? You get paid to write about sports, quite trivial, and you criticize people for being clueless and imply bloggers can't point to Iraq on a map? Good writers do their research before making such blantantly ignorant statements. Don't be a narron.

Oh, and yes, this letter is going on the "juvenile blog" for all to see, and everywhere else I can put it, too.

"Sister Daedalus"

No comments: