Feb 242003

Got my first piece today, from one mswinky@hotmail.com, who eagerly awaits offers to increase his penis size and lower his mortgage rate. Senor Swinky writes:

and what the fuck are you doing about the war or anything for that matter?
caught up in dirty identity politics and spending too much time on a 2000 dollar powerbook your parents paid for despite he fact that you’ve completed 4 years of study at a fine liberal arts college.
make furniture not fun you fool.

Six factual assertions in a single sentence, and every one wrong. Identity politics of what? Neurotic middle-aged white male Manhattan programmers? Oh yeah, we’re taking it to the street, baby! Since I make my living at the computer it’s hard for me to spend too much time there. (Waste too much time, sure: replying to this for instance.) About the only popular OS that I don’t run is Mac, and it’s been a couple of decades since I gouged my parents for anything beyond a free meal. I did not “complete” four years of study, and the liberal arts college was not fine, it was adequate.

Look boys, from now on I’m going to need some hard evidence that you actually read the site, or it’s no spam for you. I have to admit I like the furniture thing though. If I had qualified by completing four years of study at a fine liberal arts college, I might even have tried it.

  6 Responses to “Hate Mail”

  1. I dunno, Aaron. Every reason that I thought I liked you just shot to hell. Oh, but wait: you’re neurotic. That’ll work. I still like you! Whew.

    P.S. So how’s about a breathtakingly incisive foreign policy post, hmm?

  2. Um…was this letter actually pertinent to anything you’ve posted? It’s hard to believe that trashing Hegel and the non-editor of Emily Dickinson’s poetry would bring forth such a response.

  3. I confess I wonder myself. But I have to take my hate mail where I find it.

  4. I find that all hate mail is like that – it is so barely related to anything you’ve written that you’re not sure they are replying to you.

    Actually, it would interesting to break hate mail up into categories and examine the different types.

    I’ll give you a different type – the people who write to you and tell you that the colors of your website suck. Nevermind that there is no way to standardize colors across computers and Macs will always look much brighter than PCs because they have a different gamma point, a fact that is built in. I do small scale websites for non-profits and small businesses and I’ve gotten used to the fact that, on a reliable basis, the first post/comment/email we get will be one that criticizes the colors, often in terms that are irrationally harsh, as if we’ve killed someone.

    The other funny thing I’ve noticed is how much hatemailers prefer to write anonymously. Either on a comment board or taking advantage of a built-in email page, they don’t want you to respond. I’m always left wondering, do they think I’m going to take them seriously if I can’t write back to them?

    With a lot of people who carry a high level of anger you run into their pre-conceived ideas of what you are. They have triggers that set them off, rather like alcoholics, and the response you get is, for the most part, aimed at the parent/uncle/sybling they lost a fight with 20 years before, not you.

  5. OK, I confess, it was from me. (I’m still a little sore about the whole Hegel business.)

  6. Your joke at the beginning of this post reminded me of the best cartoon the New Yorker has yet run about the Internet: a guy sitting at his PC, typing away: "Dear Sirs. I appreciate the concern you expressed in your recent email. However, I am at this time completely satisfied with the size of my penis."

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