Fan Mail From Some Flounder

In my book, there are a few things you don’t discuss, and by you I mean me. These are the usual suspects, politics and religion. Yes, I have my opinions and beliefs. They are mine. If you ask, I will likely tell you them, but they’re not open to discussion. If I’m interested, I’ll ask yours. But frankly, I’m usually not interested.

Nothing comes of these discussions. Well, if there was an actual discussion, it might; but generally, on these subjects, it just becomes an acrimonious debate, each side attempting to score points and drown out the other. I don’t have time or the patience for it. My blood pressure is finally stabilized, and I intend to keep it that way.

Yes, future archeologists, I am writing this in an Election Season. How very astute of you.

I voted on the very first day of Early Voting, another reason why political discussion is a waste of time with me. It’s done, I’ve moved on. In the car, if I don’t need a traffic report, I use an MP3 player instead of the radio (Houston radio is mostly garbage, anyway). I don’t watch much TV in the first place; Netflix and DVDs are my entertainment source.  There is no other media solution for the Already Voted, no surcease from political advertising, and if there were, it would probably be infested with those waiting until Election Day or not voting at all… everybody’s sick of it.

It could be worse. I could live in one of those “battlefield states”. Texas is as red as undercooked steak, something my nose gets rubbed in repeatedly. It is a place where you can wear a T-shirt that says “Fuck Obama” to a family restaurant with apparent impunity.

But there I go, getting political. It’s infectious, in the worst way. It surrounds you, engulfs you like an amoeba. I check Facebook only sparingly; I’m not inclined to shun any friends because they hold a differing opinion from mine, unless it’s on some subject like whether we should eat arsenic or not. But it can be distressing in a very real sense. As I say, these things have a tendency to get ugly very quickly.

Our neighbor across the street has had a sign reading “Vote Republican – We’ve Can’t Afford Any More Change” in his yard. I find it intriguing it is not specifically a Romney endorsement, but I shrug and move on. His yard, his opinion. That is what makes America cool.

My wife is an ardent Obama supporter, however, and that sign rankled. So much she obtained a larger Obama sign and placed it in our front yard. And got Obama magnets to put on our cars. All very well and good. They’re the only political signs on our little cul-de-sac, so we’re nice and balanced.

Then I found a little leaflet in our mailbox, shoved far back, farther back than the mailman ever does – with studied efficiency  he places the mail near the front, slaps the box shut, and moves on. It was a small, trifold religious pamphlet with the words “DEATH — ARE YOU PREPARED?” on the front, the screed in the middle, and a form for more information on the back. That’s what caught my attention:

Yeah, I got smart and blotted out actionable stuff. But, let me attempt to translate:

obama voter are taker

wake up and smell the roses

“obama” is the baby killer party

Gay marriage (although that might be “Guy marriage”, which is to them, I am sure, the same thing)

you can’t be a Christian and vote for a baby killer

The party who kicked “God” out

This is my first actual, physical piece of hate mail. Oh, I’ve gotten hateful e-mail before, mainly from fanboys who were butthurt that I did not regard KISS Meets The Phantom of the Park with proper reverence, or  that I might have hurt the BeeGee’s feelings when I trashed the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band movie. I am quite, quite serious about this. Those e-mails had the same general tenor.

Of all that, I find myself most drawn to the quotation marks around “God”. I mean, was it not actually God who was kicked out, but an air-quotes “God”? Some sort of simulation? Was the writer not even certain? It’s like the quote marks around “obama” that turns “obama” into the name of the party, if not the party itself. This is the sort of thing that makes the copy editor in me nuts. Sorry, the “copy editor”.

Besides the number of Christians that have voted for baby killers in the past and will continue to (sorry, you start slinging around a broad epithet like “baby killer” I’m going to have to point out it doesn’t just refer to abortion, but every child that’s been killed in a war, that dies of malnutrition, that dies from lack of proper medical care), there is also the lovely cliché, “wake up and smell the roses”. implying I am asleep and cannot smell, which, coming from someone who intended to tell me about why their particular interpretation of a Sky Wizard should affect my life, (at least until they saw the baby eater sign in the front yard) is risible to me at the very least.

There was a cold moment of “You fucking coward, you couldn’t even say this to my face, could you?” And then, I laughed.  All their saying this to my face would have gotten them was my door slammed in their face, if I had even opened it in the first place. (Last time I checked, there was no law that stated I have to open my door just because you knock on it). No, this time they had not even approached my door, perhaps afraid the evil Obama sigil would reach out and grab them like a lamprey, sucking out all their sweet moral fiber.

So that one sign had done what no amount of not answering the door or Sorry, not interested or Could you come back later? I’m sacrificing a black goat in the back yard right now could accomplish: it deflected the missionaries, it left me in peace. I wonder if I should leave it out there after the election.

There, that’s that. I found it interesting, that this person was so discomfited by a sign that he or she not only ignored their supposed calling but felt it necessary to put pen to paper to tell me how horrid and rotten I am. It has been that sort of election. Each side is filled with demons, and they just look like our friends used to look, they can’t be our friends anymore, they believe in the wrong things. There are times I really wish the panic merchants were right and the world would end in December. It would almost come as a relief. Things really cannot continue like this without something breaking.

In the meantime though, I’m going back to writing things not for myself and then maybe write about something safe like the movies I’ve watched (well, safe as long as I don’t diss any rock stars) and then work my three jobs in an attempt to pay this month’s bills. Cuz, you know, I’m such a taker.


  1. Fan Mail From Some Flounder Yes, I Know is a remarkable share. Thank you for this article.

  2. Indeed drfreex… thank you… I once (back in the mid 70’s) sent some young 7th dayers scrambling, tripping over each other ,back down me Mum’s drive by just sayin ..” well , i guess you could call me a pagan…”

  3. Actually, he/she wrote “bady killer”. Huh. I thought all good people were bady killers.

    Seriously, what this election exposed more than anything is how intolerant people have become of beliefs and stances opposite of their own. I had a few friends on Facebook (actual friends, not the status symbol kind) defriend each other simply because somebody posted a political view that surprised somebody because they “had no idea” they believed that.

    Hey, welcome to reality. I simply marveled at which of my friends turned out to be liberals or conservatives, not to mention at how such diverse people managed to become good friends. That is, until they pulled out the soapboxes.

    Don’t mind me. Just venting after catching up with your venting. Down with Badys! Bring on the Goodies!

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