Friday, May 7, 2010

Forward this if you love America - Delete it if you don't...

Just for fun, this is the latest "Gourmet Initiative" at Maul Hall! Now, back to today's post:

Today I have to say a big shout out "THANKS!!" to people who send me emails - yet are unwilling to engage in conversation. Because of you, my dear "walk in lock-step or you're not really an American" friends, I have a great subject for my post today.

Here's the exact quote, taken from the opening paragraphs of an email. It's priceless! "This is not sent for discussion. If you agree, forward it. If you don't, delete it. I don't want to know one way or the other. By me forwarding it, you know how I feel."

It's the email equivalent of ringing a doorbell and then running away because you don't want to get caught. This is America, good grief. If we're unwilling to have the conversation then what in the world are we doing with loud opinions?

But it's also a commentary, I believe, on the fact that too many of us fail to come by our position honestly. What happens, instead, is the ad-nauseum repetition of stylized ideas and prejudicial commentary that pairs certain ideologies with concepts such as "Patriot", "Christian", and "American." Many people become afraid to own opinions at variance with what they're hearing - because they have been told that such thinking makes them "un-American" or "marxist", or "pro-atheist" or "against freedom."

Consequently, "Forward this if you love America" becomes coercive - a kind of bullying. People become afraid to work out their own position on ideas and end up walking in lock-step because - they believe - at least this means they're on the right side.

All I can say is "hogwash" and "hooey".

To be pro-America is to be in favor of intelligent conversation. I don't mind of you disagree with me passionately - just don't preempt dialog. When you do, it's hard to take anything you say seriously.

Fact is, I didn't even read the email that started out "This is not sent for discussion..." But I did hit "reply all" and submitted the following:

Dear everyone on this "thread"...
This is funny! I haven't even read the article and I have a response already... Sending something with "This is not sent for discussion.... I don't want to know one way or the other." simply will not work.

It's like ringing someone's doorbell and then running away!

Here's the idea, and let's all respond this way when something like this (whatever it is) comes around.... Ready?

"Don't send an email to my in-box if you don't want to talk about it! This is America, good grief. One of the biggest problems with today's political climate is the unwillingness of people to engage in intelligent conversation."

So - "forward this if you agree". But don't tell me you're not interested in a conversation!

Respectfully - DEREK MAUL

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