The last year of the first decade of the 21st century since some long-dead white dude decided to start counting has come and gone for us here in Washington County, Maryland just as it has for the rest of the non-Muslim/non-Jewish/non-miscellaneous world. But 2009 being over and done and gone forever doesn’t mean we can’t still bitch about it! And it doesn’t mean I can’t turn around and bitch about the people bitching at it, either. So let’s get on with it, eh? Bring on the snark!
The following items are taken from Mail Calls printed in the December 28, 29, 30, and 31 editions of The Herald-Mail.
“My dog sleeps about 16 hours a day. She has her food prepared for her. She can eat whenever she wants, 24/7/365. Her meals are provided at no cost to her. She visits the doctor once a year for her check-up and again during the year if any medical needs arise. For this she pays nothing, and nothing is required of her. She lives in a nice neighborhood, in a house much larger than she needs, but she is not required to do any upkeep. If she makes a mess, someone else cleans it up. She has her choice of luxurious places to sleep. She is living like a queen and has absolutely no expenses whatsoever. All of her costs are picked up by others who go out and earn a living every day. I was thinking about all this, and suddenly it hit me like a brick in the head: My dog is a Democrat.” —Hagerstown
A Democrat is someone who lives in nice a neighborhood in a big house that someone else keeps up for him, who has his messes cleaned up by others, and who lives like royalty on hard work of others. So George W. Bush is a Democrat?
Come on, I couldn’t help it. Us libs, right? Can’t ever let it lie . . . This caller inspired quite a few responses in the days that followed, none more lucid and well-reasoned that the following:
“This is to the caller from Hagerstown, said about his dog is a Democrat, and he said he, like a brick hit his head, but I think he slipped and bumped his head, because the Republicans are for the rich person, the Democrats for the working man. Always was, always will be.” —Williamsport area
And with a voice as eloquent as yours speaking out for them, sir, the Democrats can hardly lose. Would it have killed someone to rewrite this one into something more coherent? It’s anonymous, for fuck’s sake, it’s not like the guy could take you to court for misquoting him or something. Is it a matter of journalistic integrity? At a paper where the winner of the annual local woolly bear contest is front page news?
“I for one am sick of all these award shows on TV. Each year they become more ridiculous, for best this or best that. Two of the worst for 2009 were Slumdog Millionaire winning the Oscar for Best Picture, and Barack [Obama] for winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Need I go any further?” —Smithsburg
I know, I totally thought Rachel Getting Married should have won the Nobel Peace Prize. Since when do the Nobel Prizes have an awards show? Does it air on CMT or something? Why haven’t I seen it? Also, I love how the intern who typed this one up felt the need to add “Obama” in brackets, as though there’s another Nobel Peace Prize winner named Barack the caller could have been talking about.
“Hey, with all these talk show hosts, Republicans, all complaining about Obama’s health care plan taking away from the Medicare plan, from the seniors, that’s all falsehood. All they’re saying is . . . they just want to do away with duplications of MRIs and different things. If you go to one doctor, and next week you go to another doctor, that he can’t give you the same thing. In other words, get away from the duplication, which is waste, that they can funnel out just from one doctor to another what happened on the MRI. So it’s just duplication.” —Hagerstown
Man, I am with you 100% on the duplication thing. As far as the matter of duplication goes, the key to healthcare reform lies not in multiplying the duplications but in, as you put it so eloquently when addressing duplications in your above-quoted call, doing away with duplications. It’s the duplicative nature of such duplications that has strangled our healthcare system and left it in the state in which we find it presently, chocked full to the bursting point with duplications. To briefly sum up my feelings on the subject of duplications: eliminate them (duplications) from the system. Thank you, I think I’ve made my point (re: duplications).
“I have called in every day for the past week or more, and nobody wants to put my — what I say in there. I’m saying that we got a Constitution of the U.S. If we aren’t going to use it, why don’t we loan it to another country? And another thing, I appreciate all the servicemen that are serving overseas or wherever they’re at, and they deserve whatever pay raise.” —Hagerstown
Man, the lengths some people will go to just to see their inane pandering anonymously printed in a local newspaper. This (going out on a limb here) guy pulls out all the stops, not only whining about how nobody ever prints his call in the paper, but then stretching that weak single into a defensive indifference-double by courageously expressing his appreciation for the troops. We need more men with your balls, Hagerstown Caller! It’s about time someone took up for the Constitution, too!
I called this in last week, and would appreciate it if you’d print it. I read with interest how some first-graders in Chambersburg collected DVD and VHS tapes for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. They were collected for the AMVETS task force DVD drive. My question is, is anyone in Washington County collecting tapes for our soldiers? I have some in very good condition.” —Hagerstown
Unless there’s a way to melt it down and make it into a Kevlar vest or an armor plate for a humvee, why do you imagine the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan would be better off if they had your collection of Hallmark Hall of Fame movies, home-recorded on VHS and only watched a few times each?
How about we collect movies to watch at the big party we throw for them after we bring them all the fuck home?
Failing that, can we at least all chip in and buy the troops a Blu-Ray player?
“In reference to the Greencastle, Pa. caller, concerning the nonbelievers removing the words ‘In God We Trust’ off of money: How ludicrous. This country was built for people who were fleeing persecution for their beliefs in Christianity, and the first time that people get in trouble, . . . what do they want to do? They want to pray . . . the good thing about this country is you can pray and have the belief system that you want to believe in. And that’s what’s great about this country. So, no, we’re not gonna remove anything from our money. If you don’t like it, then move to [another] country.” —Hagerstown
To reiterate: The great thing about America is that we are all free to believe what we choose, and if you atheists don’t like it you can get the fuck out.
I wonder what the caller actually said where the intern has inserted “another” in the brackets . . .
“Once again, a terrorist was allowed inside the United States of America on Christmas Day. When is this gonna stop? Let’s not focus on health care. Let’s focus on keeping this country safe. President Obama needs to come out of Hawaii, come back to Washington, D.C., off of his vacation, and realize that we are in trouble. I’m sorry for all the young men who have to go over there again and serve, because we’re getting nowhere on this war on terror. This is probably the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard of: He burned himself, we sent him to a burn unit for skin grafts. Come on, we have American soldiers that haven’t had that opportunity.” —Hagerstown
Let me just make sure I follow you: America will return to greatness by forgetting about healthcare reform, which would actually benefit millions of our citizens, and willfully mistreating terrorists we have arrested. Treating neither ourselves nor our enemies humanely — that’s the road back to the top for the U.S.A.
I’ve got another idea regarding this latest attempted attack, and the War on Terror[TM] in general: Let’s all chill the fuck out. Far be it for me to indulge in Pre-9/11 Thinking[TM], but one guy tried (and failed) to blow up one plane. No army invaded us, no gaping hole in our national security was revealed — a religious nutjob snuck onto a plane with explosives in his underwear. Do we really want to revise our security priorities — again — and make commercial air travel even more unbearable just to protect us against pious lunatics like this moron? Unless we opt for the police-state route, we will never be able to stop every single asshole who wants to blow himself up in a crowded area from doing just that and taking innocent people with him. It doesn’t matter how paranoid we are, it doesn’t matter how many soldiers we send to die meaningless deaths in the asshole of the world — we’ll never have total security. Any one of us could walk into a mall or a hospital or a grocery store with a loaded gun tomorrow and kill twenty people. Do we want a society set up to prevent such a thing from ever happening, or do we want a free society?
If sneaking onto a plane wearing explosive underwear is the best they’ve got, guess what? We win.
“Maybe some haven’t heard about one world currency. It is coming, in one world bank. Do you think China is going to keep ‘In God We Trust’ on money? Unbelievers, you may think it’s your idea, but sorry, the government’s way ahead of you. But they will let you all take the blame for it.” —Warfordsburg, Pa.
Who wants to blame anyone for taking an overtly religious statement off our currency? I’d sing that person’s praises to the high heavens if someone would finally just fucking do it. Speaking of taking “In God We Trust” off the money, it seems to be another popular topic with the Mail Callers:
“To the Greencastle caller: Concerning ‘In God We Trust,’ well, that just shows us where you’re at. No wonder you’re so negative in your life. You don’t have God in it to trust, so why don’t you hook up with the Chambersburg atheists? They probably have a place for you.” —Greencastle, Pa.
Word. I wish I was a Believer, so I could be positive like the other Believers who call in and misrepresent the positions and political goals of non-believers before threatening them with a just reward in the never-ending fires of Hell, like this good-hearted soul:
“I just picked up this morning’s paper. The headline says ‘Atheists claim borough has caused bias.’ Without even going any further on that, all I can say is, this nonbelievers group, I sure don’t think I want to be in their shoes on judgment day.” —Hagerstown
Or this precious Believer from Hancock:
“Using the American soldiers is a cheap and disgraceful way for atheist groups to do what their real motive is. They really want money, and to be noticed. Then they use these tactics to remove anything involved with Jesus. If atheist groups are so afraid of Christ now, think how scared they will be when they have to face Him when their life comes to an end.” —Hancock
Does it make sense to any of you to threaten someone with the wrath of a God they don’t even believe in? ‘Cause I sure don’t get it. It’s like trying to get a bratty Jewish kid to behave by telling him Santa isn’t going to bring him any presents.
And isn’t it interesting that so many Christians are speciously accusing atheist organizations of wanting to erase religion from the public sphere, when religious groups have spent centuries trying to do that very thing to atheism and humanism and secular philosophy in general? Ah, that Christian spirit of charity.