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Steve Likes to Curse
Writing, comics and random thoughts from really a rather vulgar man
Riffing on Mail Call 
Sunday, July 16th, 2006 | 12:05 pm [commentary, hagerstown, mail call]

Almost every day, my local newspaper, the venerable Herald-Mail, devotes a significant portion of section A to a feature called Mail Call, or sometimes You Said It.  Any local nut-job can call a toll-free number and get whatever fanatical, fevered digressions that are on his mind printed in the front segment of the paper for all to see.  I used to think it was a waste of space, but now that I’m looking for things to write about daily, it’s kind of fun.  Let’s see what the dear citizens of the four-state area had to say in yesterday's edition:

"My husband and I were in a restaurant today. There were two young women and a man at a table with a small boy with no shirt on. The two girls were speaking loudly and nastily to the child, threatening to take him outside, counting to three and numerous other threats. To the two girls: His behavior wasn't bad, but yours was. Perhaps you need parenting classes. You were both rude, loud and obnoxious. You looked ridiculous and I feel sorry for the child. If I knew who you were, I'd send Social Services to investigate."

-          Hagerstown

This is a great example of what I hate about Mail Call in general – this woman addresses herself to a specific audience, but in reality she’s just holding court to let us all know how much better she is than the girls she is supposedly talking to.  I doubt they read the paper.  If you just want to show off and see your words in print so you can point them out to others and say “Oh, look how smart I am,” then get a blog.  I agree with you, though, that rude, loud, obnoxious people aren't nearly hard enough to find.  And what’s with the kid not having a shirt on?  These people can afford to go out to eat, but these past few years they just haven’t found time to finish the baby shopping?  I remember a controversy a few years ago when, in the interest of fairness, a few towns declared it legal for a woman to walk around topless in public, since men had been able to parade around shirtless since as far back as anyone could remember.  To me, it makes more sense to go the other way, and eliminate the double-standard by making it illegal for men to walk around shirtless, too.  There are two reasons for a man to go out in public without a shirt on: one, he's too lazy to get dressed; and two, he's showing off.  Neither is a good reason.  In his own house, my father walks around in nothing but his underwear half the day when he doesn’t have to go to work.  When he goes outside, he puts a fucking shirt on.  It takes two seconds.

"P.T. Barnum must have had Republicans in mind when he stated his famous statement."

-          Hagerstown

He was talking about Republicans when he said, “A fool and his money are soon parted?”  That’s kind of a stretch; last I checked, Ted Stevens was doing pretty good.

"We desperately need year-round schools. Parents can't afford the care for their kids during the summer. I see the kids running all over. They have nothing to do. Only kids with money have something to do, maybe go to the mall. This is a problem that is America's secret shame. We have money for everything else - to send a man to the moon, but we can't take care of the children. This needs to stop."

-          Hagerstown

Is sending a man to the moon still monopolizing that much of the budget?  People always bitch about that when things don’t go their way – “They can put a man on the moon, but I can’t get a decent goddamn cup of coffee.”  But men haven’t walked on the moon in 34 years, so isn’t it about time we cited something more up to date?  I’m partial to, “We can spend billions on an arbitrary foreign war, but we can’t get the President a decent haircut?”  As for having money for “everything else,” I wouldn’t mention that to the folks downtown who run the homeless shelter and can only afford to keep it open half a day, a few months a year.

"I just want to give you an example of (how) liberals (think). Right now they have a death row inmate on hold because they don't know if injecting him with a lethal injection is a humane way of killing him. So they're putting him on hold for murder because they want to see if this is a humane way of killing him. Now these are the same people who think it is all right to run a scissors in a baby's head in a partial birth abortion and using abortion as a form of birth control. These (individuals) are wondering if it's humane to kill a murderer with a lethal injection but they don't even think about that baby. Now are you going to tell me that you want these kind of people running our country? I don't think so."

-          Boonsboro

Seems like an easy choice, until you remember that the people who are currently running the country are responsible for the deaths of over 2,700 soldiers and over 40,000 civilians in the last three years.  I detest the invective usage of “liberal” and “conservative,” particularly since neither group has even a slight moral advantage on the other.  There are endless numbers of people who identify themselves as liberal or conservative who are exactly like this guy, who would rather point out what a bunch of assholes the other guys are than talk about how to fix anything.  So there are liberals who try to justify late-term abortions.  And there are conservatives who are only too willing to turn somersaults to rationalize a futile and immoral war.  This is why I don’t vote.

"I can't believe that the Republicans voted down the minimum wage law. It looks like to me that they're not for the working class."

-          Hagerstown

No shit.  Thank God the working class has the Democrats on its side, though, huh?  We’ll have this poverty thing under control in no time.

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006 | 01:35 pm (UTC)
The paper publishes Mail Call to say things they want to say, but cannot say because it would be inappropriate. I'm sure that most of the entries are from people working at the paper. I actually moved to Hagerstown before the Internet became common. I probably wouldn't have moved here if I was faced with the same decision today. Not that it's a bad place to live. It's no worse then most places. It's just that if I were to judge the area by what the Herald-Mail puts in it's paper and on the web, I would think this was a town of nut jobs.
Thursday, August 3rd, 2006 | 04:55 pm (UTC)
You know, that's something I never even considered, that the Mail Call entries might come from people who work for the paper. I wouldn't be surprised. I think the Hagerstown area is a pretty nice place to live, but the Herald Mail does the community no favors by publishing Mail Call and giving a public voice to any lunatic loudmouth with a phone or internet access.
Monday, November 13th, 2006 | 02:07 pm (UTC) - mail call
Thank god hagerstown has someone of your superior wit and intelligence that can point out all of its flaws and make fun of the ordinary citizens who lack your superior intellect.
But one question for you. Why are you still there? I know living rent free in your parents basement is a really cool perk but I am assuming you must be a scientist, doctor, or lawyer right? Or do you work at the Orange Julius?
Hey I've got an Idea. Since you are all-knowing why not run for office? I'm sure you could show all the local rednecks how to do it. Or better yet the H/M could always use a spell checker. Maybe you could even take Rowlands place and write your own op-ed pieces.
If everyone in Hagerstown was as backward or stupid as you imply we really would be in dire straits. Fortunately for us just like Rowland you are a hack with a great sense of self importance. Get over yourself!
Monday, November 13th, 2006 | 04:07 pm (UTC) - Re: mail call
I'm not making fun of the ordinary citizens, I'm making fun of the idiots lacking even my very average intelligence who feel the need to call the Herald Mail and publicly bitch about kids from out of town coming to trick or treat night. People like you, I'm assuming, judging from your exemplary spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.

I was born in Hagerstown, grew up in Clear Spring, been a Washington County boy all my life. Despite the fact that the area has a few too many touchy fucks like you, I never want to live anywhere else. If you want to get pissed at someone, make it our representatives in our local, state and federal governments; most of them are way more interested in fucking ordinary citizens, and they have the power to do it. Post badly written comments on their blogs. Or better yet, go fuck yourself.

With love and squalor,
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