Generally I get fairly good reviews of my articles, but every once in a while something I’ve written just really lights someone’s fire. As a result, I get a range of Aristotle-inspired emails describing my ignorance and inhumanity. The most interesting thing about these random outbursts of violent counter-opinion is that they are so often in response to very trivial subjects. I rarely respond to the aforementioned messages, mostly because I don’t have the time or patience to defend such inconsequential matters.
However, I’ve realized that I have failed to do these voices justice. They, just like any opinion, deserve to be heard and considered. So this article is going to be like that flashback episode of your favorite sitcom, airing in the middle of the season when the writers are running out of ideas. That, of course, is not my motivation at all. (Have an idea for a Crimson article? Email me at email@example.com.)
Let’s start with one of my all-time favorites, “Let’s Get Frisky.” This article was an exploration of the consequences of mistaking the word “Frisbee” for “frisky.” Now, I really thought I had made it quite clear through descriptive illustrations that what I kept referring to as a “frisky” was in fact a small, plastic throwing disc. However, one reader wrote, “I don’t quite follow. What did they throw at you?” This person may or may not have been responding in like humor to the article. For the sake of my opinion of mankind, I certainly hope he was.
Next on the list is “Roll Top Eagle Toddy,” an article ridiculing the prominent SEC football teams and their ludicrous fans. However, one LSU fan was highly offended that I neglected to mention her favorite team, which she informed me was ranked No. 2 in the nation. To you, dear reader, I apologize immensely. Although I don’t have the word count to really do the Tigers justice, I hope this suffices: LSU sucks. Roll Tide.
Possibly my favorite response from a reader was derived from “I did not even edit this article because I am so over it.” Apparently my attempted definition of hipstericism really crumbled this guy’s cookies. He began, “Wow, thanks for sharing your ignorance with everyone.” He wrapped up his four-paragraph personal attack with this flooring intellectual observation: “You know what’s ironic? How you didn’t even edit this article, and talk of hipsters as those who don’t put enough effort into their work. Welcome to the club, you are part hipster.” To you, oh enraged one, I say this: welcome to the point.
If Kley Sippel can find humor in “An Open Letter to Kley Sippel,” anyone should be able to do the same, right? Not so, apparently. This reader presented a very logical and well-thought out article based upon his perception that my words were motivated by personal disgruntlement with Kley. I was very appreciative of his concern and suggestion that I discuss this with Kley in private, rather than a public forum. However, the gently corrective tone of his email changed drastically when he hinted at his ability to publicly humiliate me should I mention his response in one of my articles. Oops.
It comes to this: I write articles to encourage people to laugh at themselves. My sole desire is for individuals to notice the absurd and pointless things we do as part of our daily lives and to embrace those things with humor. Accept yourself for all the strange things that make you you. Then extend that grace to others. That’s all I ask.
Samantha Smith is a junior English major from Paducah, Ky. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.