Abraham Lincoln once said, “You can please some of the people, some of the time and all the people some of the time, but you can’t please all the people all the time.” With these columns I seem to “annoy” some of the people all the time. And it’s generally the same people.
A troll is someone who sows discord on the Internet by posting inflammatory, extra- neous, or off-topic messages. For their own amusement, the intent of a troll is to insult and or provoke.
During the past almost 9 years, I’ve been trolled more than a few times. Fortunately, they can provide a little humor for a column. Like the time, years ago, when I labeled George W. Bush the worst two-term presi- dent in history. (Ironic because W. currently calls his father, Bush 41, the best 1-term president in history.)
The next week someone posted that my columns were only good for use as toilet paper. (Actually, I cleaned up the language.) Rather than respond in kind, I posted that while his “personal hygiene practices” were his business, I questioned if using my columns for such a purpose wasn’t a bit “tough on the tush.” I added, “After all, how expensive is Charmin?”
Then there was the time I noted that J. Edgar Hoover frequently blackmailed homosexuals and yet he frequently wore a pink chiffon dress. For that I received an email from a woman accusing me of being a “closet cross dresser.” I emailed back, given my stocky build, a photo of me in woman’s lingerie could be used as a visual aid in “celibacy classes.”
She posted my “excuse” as “exactly some- thing a cross-dresser would say.” She added that I ought not be ashamed because “cross- dressers are exceptionally high achievers.” (With all his documented criminal behavior how is Hoover still the name of the FBI Building?)
But those trollings pale compared to the one I received just prior to Thanksgiving, an email, unsigned and with no phone number. The screen name was “SantaMonica4HumanRights,” (I’ll shorten to “SM4HR”), “ which I’m afraid gives the pursuit of human rights a bad name.
The e-mail was in response to last week’s column about the “1934 Night” at the Galley Restaurant, which just took place Wednesday. SM4HR claims that invitations to 1934 Night were rigged and suggests my column was “criminal.” (I admit I’ve written some lame columns, but criminal’s going a little far, don’t you think?) He even copied his email to the Santa Monica Police appar- ently to demonstrate how far he’s willing to take this. No offense, but to me it demon- strates how far he’s gone… bonkers, that is.
His email ended, “I will see what future action the Newspaper, The Columnist and the Police take to prevent any crimes from occurring stemming from the printing of this Column. Respectfully, Pro Se.” (Can you say cuckoo?)
As I digress for a moment, comedian Louis C.K. observes that people, when behind the wheel, can say the most vile things. Someone veers into your lane on the freeway and you might yell, “I hope you die, you a**hole!”
The same is true on the Internet. Frequently, when I write a column with strong opinions, I’ll get an email with an epi- thet, i.e. “you ignorant liberal, you.” (And that could be one of the nicer ones.)
I have a reader in Orange County, a life- long Republican, we’ll call Joan. (Not her real name.) She hates Obama and Hillary, calls them corrupt and says I’m crazy. While she might be right about me, facts are stub- born things.
As for corruption, Nixon and Agnew resigned in disgrace. And yet, amazingly, more Republicans went to jail during the Reagan administration what with Iran-Contra. The GOP spent 80,000,000 taxpayer dollars investigating Bill Clinton but all they came up with was Monica’s dress.
Perhaps, not surprisingly, Joan is enamored with Trump. The Donald recently said he saw on television “thousands upon thousands” of Arabs in New Jersey celebrating 9/11 but can’t remember where. And yet he claims he has “the best memory in the world.” Trump wants to build a wall at the border but recent studies show more Mexicans are leaving the U.S. than coming in. (Will the wall be to keep them here?)
Trump also wants a database, registration of Muslims and water boarding. He thinks climate change was a Chinese plot and wants Sarah Palin in his cabinet. Married 3 times, he’s against gays and lesbians getting married. No presidential candidate ever has bragged this much about his personal wealth and yet Trump companies have declared bankruptcy 4 times.
You know who else loves Trump? ISIS! (He’s an ideal recruiting tool.) But that’s another column for another day. That is, assuming SM4HR doesn’t have me arrested first.
When he isn’t too busy dodging trolls, Jack is at facebook.com/jackneworth, twitter.com/jackneworth and email@example.com.