Monday, December 08, 2008

Something That Bugs Me

I'm a big fan of prayer. I do it all the time. I like to pray. Prayers are beautiful.

I am not a big fan of email chain prayers that have flashing pictures of angels and end with "Now make a wish, spin around 3 times and email this to 412 people and your prayer will come true".

I'm not a theologian, but I can tell you right now, that ain't how it works.

I admit that sometimes the prayers I'm sent are very lovely. If they are so lovely that I feel compelled to share them I copy and paste the prayer, just the prayer, into a new email and send it to those I think might appreciate it. But I'm here to tell you that I do not and will not, pass on a stupid, superstitious, pagan "don't break the chain" prayer email and I don't care who sends it to me.

And while I'm ranting, here's another thing. I have some friends who are not of my political persuasion. That's a good thing, for everyone. But with most of those friends we follow a policy of "agree to disagree". I don't send my W jokes to them, they don't send their "Bill Clinton is the anti-christ" crap to me. It works very nicely.

But I have this friend who has been sending me stuff lately. Not just me, other folks, too. A few weeks ago she sent me something negative about Barack and I responded with, "You do know I voted for him, right?" Her response? "Yes, and I love you anyway".

Well, thanks a crap ton for that, sweetie, but it did make me wonder if I was being too subtle. What would make a person think, Obama supporter that I am, that I would enjoy negative emails about the man's character? I'm not talking about a well-reasoned op-ed piece by a conservative journalist who has questions and concerns about the direction an Obama administration might take. Bring it on. No, I'm talking about half-baked dribble drabble that regurgitates Swift Boaty lies and distortions. And I hate that crap.

Right, so the other day she sends me something else, purporting to be from Newsweek magazine, showing all the demographics of the election: how the Republicans won more states, more land area, more counties nationwide were red than that.

And all I could think was, "What is your frakking point?" Are you suggesting that Barack Obama isn't really the president-elect? That the election was somehow stolen? Or is it just that after 8 years you can't handle the fact that for once the election went the other way? Because the bad news is, the other demographics suggest that all that "land mass" that went Republican is inhabited by 13 red necks who graduated 8th grade and haven't had an original thought since puberty. (Am I stereotyping? Why, yes, I believe I am). I for one am relieved that this time around we as a nation weren't subjected to the tyranny of the undereducated & hyper religious.

Anyrant, I was so mystified by this email that I didn't even know how to respond. So I didn't. Because the one think I refuse to do is mix it up with someone who I otherwise care about but who is clearly so partisan that she can't even give the guy time to be inagurated and mess up before she starts lambasting him. (Oooh, that's a good one...I shoulda told her that). But turns out, I don't have to. At least not this time. Someone else on the email thread did it for me.

Her response was calm and well-reasoned. It included the Snopes link that demonstrated that the "article" in question was a rehash that's been going around for years and then she summed up with "So what? The election is over. Move on".

I liked it so much I wrote to her to thank her and she wrote me back to thank me for thanking her and it was a nice little bit of closure.

And that reminds me of something heartbreakingly amusing. Martha was telling me a story the other night about Mr. Stewart. They'd adjusted his pain meds but it gave the poor guy hallucinations. Mostly it was members of the family kept coming to visit him (which is sweet if you think about it) but sometimes the hallucinations took another tack. Once he told Martha urgently that they had to go vote.

"No, honey, we've already done that. The election is over".

"But I have to go, I have to win the race".

"Honey, the only race you're in is the race for heaven".

He looked at her perplexed and asked, "I'm not Obama?"

Takes some serious meds to make my dear Republican BIL think he's Barack Obama. But it handed me quite a laugh, for which I'm grateful. And yeah, they've since readjusted his meds.

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Blogger Buck opined...

We may encounter this type of nonsense for five minutes during our day - - but these people who send this stuff have to live in their own heads 24/7. Imagine what that must be like.

December 08, 2008 7:46 AM  
Blogger Doralong opined...

I try to ignore such people as much as humanly possible. I figure at some point it's too late for a discussion- and as you rightly point out I don't foist my political agenda or lack of religion on them, so why on earth must they be so crass as to attempt a conversion of me in my advanced years??

December 08, 2008 8:53 AM  
Blogger Sling opined...

Classic Rainey Rant!..I LOVE it!

'Because the bad news is, the other demographics suggest that all that "land mass" that went Republican is inhabited by 13 red necks who graduated 8th grade and haven't had an original thought since puberty'...

I think what these people find most frustrating,is that Obama can string coherent sentences together in a manner that leads to an intelligent conclusion.
..really hard for 'em to keep up.

I'll be stealing that line by the way.

December 08, 2008 8:57 AM  
Blogger Leah opined...

I get *those* emails too. I usually just reply with something totally non-related and out of left field . It's passive agressive-but I have to do it. :)

December 08, 2008 9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

It is good that your friends response to the offending e-mail was calm and well reasoned. That is certainly more respect than you have given anyone who might be reading your blog that does not agree with your politics. Actually it really is more than that. I agree entirely that we should be tolerant of differences in politics etc. if the we are to progress in this country. I think you are completely entitled to say whatever you want in your space here. I do however, think you should accord people with different opinions a bit more respect than your comment about the 13 rednecks remark engendered.

I must say I am going to miss this blog. You and I share many similar interests and tastes. I have become attached to your cast of characters. I find you witty and thoughtful on many levels. I have however, been insulted about my political preference and the part of the country I live in for the last time. It makes no sense to continue to subject myself to insults and yes, stereotypes that are careless and clearly intended to imply that only stupid uninformed people live between the two coasts of this country. I certainly agree that many uninformed, stupid people are conservative and live in "flyover country" but they are by no means the majority. Nor is there a complete dearth of them on the more liberal east and west coasts.

I wish you and your family well and hope that Mr. Stewart's remaining days are as pain free as possible and that Martha and family will travel the coming road with as much faith and strength as they can.

December 08, 2008 10:52 AM  
Blogger Willym opined...

Those prayer things get to me too - its a bit too much like the "pray to God and he'll send you that new bike" logic that is used on kids.

As to the politicos - I'm never too sure how to handle them - and yes we get them in Canada. I am basically social democrat and many of my friends are right-wing. We try not to talk politics and like you I don't send them stuff and if they send me stuff I simply ignore it. Not sure if there is any other way.

December 08, 2008 11:52 AM  
Blogger Mom opined...

Amen to your thoughts on all those forwarded emails. They all die a quiet death in my inbox.

December 08, 2008 12:08 PM  
Blogger sageweb opined...

My Mommy sends me Anti-Obama stuff all the time...I delete it. I dont even bother with all the garbage people think up.

As far as the chain letters..I don't get many prayer ones, but I do delete 99 % of the chain letters.. But it reminded me of my Mom's prayer chain, she had a list of ladies on the fridge she would call and they would pass on to each other what to pray for..I called it her gossip chain. I always thought it was cute to make gossip sound so darn cute when you just tell people after you gossip about other peoples problems to say, "we should pray for them"

December 08, 2008 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

At risk of offending everyone, particularly the easily offended, voting for McCain would have been even stupider than thinking that God gives a damn how many times I forward emails.

When someone attacks your beliefs, whether via humor or otherwise, you have every right to defend them, and if "redneck" is the meanest thing you can come up with then you've certainly taken the high road.

And I live in a red state.

December 08, 2008 12:59 PM  
Blogger rosemary opined...

I get that crap...blessing stuff and the political crap. Annoys me to no end. A neighbor stopped by last night and we had to endure in our own home some pretty awful jokes and that "facts prove Obama has ties to Binwhatshisname." I need to get some cajones because what I should have done was show him the door. But, in Idaho that might mean a well placed bullet thru my window. I guess i have ignored enough prayer chains to be in hell by now.

December 08, 2008 2:53 PM  
Blogger Iwanski opined...

So, I heard this joke. Barack and Michelle Obama were on their way home from killing and feasting on Christian babies when their old friend Satan stopped them and said....

December 08, 2008 2:59 PM  
Blogger Iwanski opined...

Your rant, by the way, kicks all kinda ass. Everyone should read it.

December 08, 2008 3:00 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Buck, there is that.

Cuz, right? I have friends who think that W is the bee's knees. There's no point in trying to disabuse them...they're entitled. But when it comes to stuff like that, seems to me that you should preach to the choir and leave the rest of us out of it.

Sling, we are certainly unused to hearing coherence from a politician. It still startles me.

Leah, now THERE's an idea.

Anonymous, go in peace. And thanks for the kind wishes for Mr. Stewart and family.

Willym, right? Geez. I'm pretty sure God doesn't play like that.

Mom, chain letters are evil. The fact that they are now easier to send via the Internet doesn't make them less so.

Sage, LOL!

JP, I've been meaning to talk to you about that...

Rosie, the good news is that I'm quite sure your email output has NOTHING to do with getting into heaven.

Iwanski, just blew milk outta my nose...thanks for that.

December 08, 2008 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Syd opined...

I'm with pretty much everyone except the now-departed-for-less-"offensive"-climes Anonymous:

Your rant was the bomb. Diggity. With fins. (To quote something one of my musician friends used to say.) I think it probably behooves us ALL to not assume that our opinions are shared by everyone we know, and to wait to share the funny, etc.--of whatever stripe--until we know for sure.

The only people who ever sent me stuff to which I was inclined to spit tacks (not quite ultra-right-wing, but light years closer to it than I am) stopped doing it after I pointed out, politely, that one of the hateful things they were forwarding (in the aftermath of 9/11) was factually wrong...and since I happened to have the means of proving it, did so. Also politely.

Never got another like it. Yay.

p.s. My best to Mr. Stewart and his family.

December 08, 2008 8:58 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Syd, ain't it interesting? I mean, yeah, I write whatever I want on my blog because it's my real estate. If you like it, read it. If there's stuff you don't like, skip it. If you think it's crap, go somewhere else. It's all very simple. That's the beauty of blogs, as far as I'm concerned. Every once in a while (like, once a year) someone will chime in to tell me they think I'm full of crap and I'm all like, so? I mean, who made you read my blog in the first place? Whatev. Kinda makes you want some pie, doesn't it?

And thanks. Just got an email from Martha that the end is near. Good thoughts are a good thing.

December 08, 2008 9:27 PM  
Blogger Nicole opined...

Rant - right on.

You - ditto.

Blessings and prayers and peace for Mr. and Martha. The most amazing moments they ever experienced in their lives were no doubt with each other and that is a loving truth that does not die and will not fade.

December 08, 2008 11:39 PM  
Anonymous Chip opined...

Well, my "friend" turned me on to this blog a few days ago. So, I'm not going to kiss anyone's arse with my opinion, like so many of those before me. I don't think it matters where you come from, you don't anonymously drag you "friends" through the mud over the internet. You would have shown more guts by just naming her outright as opposed to using her anonymity as your springboard for a hypocritical, self-righteous rant of moronic proportions.

You're "blog" is indeed yours and it appears, according to the statements of your faithful followers, that you have represented yours well with this entry. I personally love how everything a person blogs will forever be recorded and stored for everyone to enjoy for eternity.

December 10, 2008 12:57 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Since you're new to the blog, Chip, allow me explain that the reason I didn't use my friend's name is because I usually don't. If I do, I use nicknames or acronyms...that's how I roll.

I'm not sure that disagreeing with a person constitutes "dragging" them "through the mud on the internet", however. I grant you that I used what happened as a "springboard"...I think you'll find most bloggers use the experiences of their lives for blog fodder. Stuff happens, we think about it, we blog about it. It's how we roll. I'll also grant you the self-righteous and moronic critique but trust,there was nothing hypocritical about my position. I meant what I said.

It would appear from your comments that you won't be joining the cadre here, and that's fine. For what it's worth, you get snaps for using your name. It's way too easy to be mean anonymously; at least you owned your mean. Sucks that it too will be out there, "recorded and stored for all eternity" but that's the internet for you.

December 10, 2008 6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

I hate it when complete strangers try to kiss my arse. I believe Chip has done you a favor. We don't know where his mouth has been.

December 10, 2008 8:14 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Some champangya, JP?

December 10, 2008 8:39 PM  

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