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    Tuesday, April 24, 2007

    Tuesday Talkback, I Guess

    I looked at yesterday's collection of Monday Moaning, and I don't find it inspiring. Part of the reason I write Tuesday Talkback is to make fun of these people. They phone in their petty grievances and I make fun of them for their futile whining. Often times my response is to ridicule them for complaining instead of actually doing something about their complaints. Then we have this moaner:

    "With the large volume of moans that you receive each week, why don't you start a 'Whining Wednesday' column? I know that a lot of people comment on the negativity of Monday Moaning, but I always feel better when one of my calls gets published - it helps to get things off of my chest!" - No city

    Is that all Monday Moaning is? A vehicle to help people get things of their chests? And to what end, to what benefit? So you can feel better even though you have actually accomplished nothing? That is not a good thing.

    Once upon a time, I believed in the power of a well written letter to the editor. I've written a couple in my day. But since then, I look at most letters to the editor with the same sort of disdain that I tend to look at Monday Moaning. Usually they are so much tired braying, no new arguments advanced, little logic or flawed logic, emotionally infantile, or mildly sociopathic. Once in awhile, someone might write something refreshing or insightful, but you have to sift through a lot of sludge to find these little nuggets. And in campaign season, I generally assume letters to the editor regarding issues and candidates are plants, because campaigns do plant letters.

    Monday Moaning shares the worst attributes of the letters to the editor page with none of the virtues. I've been ripping on these moaners for about a year and a half now, and sitting here this morning, I can't think of anything insightful and refreshing any of these idiots have had to say. Maybe once a week I agree with one of them, but that is hardly the same as that moaner having phoned something in that ever changed my thinking or feelings on a subject. Take this moaner:

    "The real culprit in the Virginia Tech massacre is the persons who equate the 'arms' in the Second Amendment with guns. According to my dictionary 'arms' are weapons of offense and defense (of the country). In the 18th century the high-tech weapons of the day were muskets and cannons. A couple of centuries earlier they were longbows and lances (Agincourt and all that). Today the high-tech weapons are cruise missiles and atomic bombs. The Virginia Tech shooter should never have been able to buy the weapons he had." - Lorain

    I can hardly think of anything more dreary than to respond to this. And anyone who wants drivel like this published really should be made to put their name next to it, like a letter to the editor, so when we see this fool at the grocery store, we can quietly speak about him as he sifts through the produce bin, and hold our children closer to us, lest they osmotically grow stupid by standing too close to him in the checkout line. There are real scholarly articles about the history of the Second Amendment and the framers intent, articles that reach both similar and opposite conclusions to what can only be generously called a conclusion above. But instead, any meaningful discussion on the topic is reduced to this little bit of nonsense.

    One of the worst feelings one can have is powerlessness. To be at the mercy of something you do not control, or cannot even have an effect on. Becoming empowered, causing improvements and changes in ones life and in the world around you, these are great feelings. Sometimes I complain about it along the way, but actually being able to make a difference is so meaningful. This is what is wrong about Monday Moaning. It isn't about making a difference. It is about being powerless, complaining in a meaningless way, and then nothing changing. How many of these moaners would be better served if, instead of phoning in, they went to a city council meeting and addressed their elected officials in open forum? But do they do that? There is no evidence of that here. Instead, we have these moans this week:

    "As a Cuyahoga Heights resident, I am tired of getting mean and nasty mail from our council person(s) about the town's mayor. This individual should show some class, dignity and morals and find something positive to say, not demeaning. Isn't there enough going on in the world that we don't need more hate?" - Cuyahoga Heights

    For the cash-strapped city to solely pay $78,000 for another police levy vote (the last three failed) on May 8 versus getting a free ride in November is typical of this failed administration. Another example of this group trying to spend Parma monies like a drunk sailor and then crying when they lose again." - Parma

    Assuming these moans aren't merely plants from a more organized campaign, the Cuyahoga Heights moaner ought to be at the next city council meeting confronting the councilperson at issue. Likewise for the Parma moaner. If you really believe in this, stand up for it. And make a difference. Phoning it in and then going about your day is not going to change things.

    As for the future of Tuesday Talkback, that is undetermined. I sometimes enjoy making fun of these people, but maybe the gag has gotten old. Instead of mocking them, perhaps they should be pitied. It is far better form to make fun of the powerful instead of the powerless. And the people who phone into Monday Moaning seem to be generally powerless. Maybe I will just leave them alone to wallow in their futility.

    Osmotically is not in the spellchecker? But it is in MY dictionary!


    Comments on "Tuesday Talkback, I Guess"


    Blogger Kristen said ... (9:09 AM, April 24, 2007) : 

    Maybe you should send in this post as a Monday Moan.


    Blogger Gina Ventre said ... (12:37 PM, April 24, 2007) : 

    I like how the Cuyahoga Hts person thinks that having morals means finding something positive to say about someone.


    Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:47 PM, April 24, 2007) : 

    I understand Hitler loved his dog.


    Blogger Kate Anne said ... (7:24 AM, April 26, 2007) : 

    Kristen has a point -- but I was thinking some variation of this post has the makings of a letter to the editor. Some people need direction. That said, some published moans may actually BEGIN to cause change.


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