Did I piss you off? Excellent!
Some people see me as a rabble-rouser. Some people see me as someone who does not care about what other people think about me.
Well, folks, it appears I have arrived. Some lovely individual found an old column of mine (White women and Stockholm Syndrome — how white women chose whiteness over gender) and left me this delightful comment:
“You’re right about white women having Stockholm syndrome, but it ain’t because of Trump! Half of you are traitorous leftist whores who turned your backs on America! It’s nothing but a popularity contest to your filthy kind!”
I will not dignify this by giving the author’s name — which is likely false as these types tend to be too cowardly to identify themselves truthfully — but I will say that even if the email given is also false, the IP address of the sender is not. Yes, we can find you if you get nasty enough. But I have to say I am delighted to have annoyed a MAGAt enough to move them to reply. And it’s generally grammatically correct — I’m very nearly impressed, despite its over-reliance on ridiculous patriarchal tropes about uppity women not behaving as the property of men they’re supposed to be — hence the term “whores.”
It’s the job of a good columnist to move people — to inspire or educate or even to infuriate them. It seems I’ve done mine well enough to get a response. Fine by me. I’m supposed to be a gadfly. My job is to change the world for the better, even if it’s in tiny increments. And especially if it flushes miscreants out from under their rotting logs.
Once upon a time, back in 2008, when people now middle-aged were still young and I had far fewer silver hairs, I wrote a column for my local paper that pissed off Bill O’Reilly. Yes. That Bill O’Reilly. It seems the local atheists felt it was their right to post a sign about atheism right next to the nativity scene set up for that year’s holidays (that’s right — holidays. Christmas is not the only one, despite what the evangelicals would assert). (Seattle PI — The atheist sign vs the nativity scene article).
And oh, the kerfuffle. The brouhaha. The wailing and g-nashing of teeth, particularly with the now-disgraced Fox “News” commentator, Bill O’Reilly (KIMATV — about Bill O’Reilly and the atheist sign). It wasn’t just a one-off thing, either. The man was incensed and, to use one of his favorite words, he could not stop bloviating about it.
What was a columnist to do? I wish I could find that column — my local paper kept an archived copy for years but I can’t find it now, dangit — but the gist of it was that, if we believe differently from one another, secretly and quietly, we think what the other believes is so much hooey. And secretly and quietly, they feel just the same way about what we believe. That we must be at least tolerant of these differences is crucial to the survival of a civil society since, without tolerance, we get horrors like the Holocaust and Kosovo and any other human tragedy that involves nothing more than differing beliefs (as stupid a reason to hate someone as I’ve ever found). Oh — and I opined that Bill O’Reilly seemed to need a rabies shot as he was foaming at the mouth.
It seems that Mr. Bill had producers who searched the Internet for any mention of his sacred name, because shortly thereafter, I got a call inviting me to discuss this with Mr. O’Reilly at a Fox “News” satellite and that a limo would come down to pick me up and take me there.
Of course, I said yes.
My friends were aghast. They warned me that he was a bully, that he loved to tear into people, to verbally dominate them, to shut them UP and shut them DOWN. I just smiled and explained that Bill O’Reilly was little more than an over-sized, over-aged toddler and as a mother of many years standing, I knew precisely what to do, which was lean back, smile indulgently and not say a word until he wound down, and then ask if he was ready to discuss things like a big person. Big kid or little kid — that one works flawlessly and without fail makes them look like the fool, not me.
Plus there was the whole limo ride and national exposure thing. I was quite looking forward to it all.
A day or so after accepting the invitation, my now-ex had the TV on hold while he answered the phone. Once done, he clicked back into motion, only to see my face, bigger than life, on the Bill O’Reilly show. HOT damn — my fifteen minutes had arrived!
He read an excerpt from my column — with all due contempt — which delighted me even further. If there was anyone by whom I wanted to be held in contempt, it was Bill O’Reilly — sexual harasser, bully, bigot, and all-around asshat. He announced that I had accepted his invitation to discuss the issue, then flashed my picture again as he leaned forward and assured me: “And, Ms. North, I promise to get my rabies shot before the interview.”
I was verklempt. I had annoyed a man who made me so angry that I couldn’t watch him spew without clenching my fists and wanting to punch someone. It wasn’t he who made me that angry but the fact that he was allowed to influence the weak-minded and promulgate the hate, bigotry, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia and other such abysmal human sentiments we are seeing come to such heinous fruition with the orange pustule and his rotting zombie minions.
As it turns out, the interview never happened. They found that poor, murdered baby, Caylee Anthony, and then there was Rod Blagojevich — all of which was more important than an atheist sign and one local columnist. Meh. That was fine. I had succeeded in goading Mr. Bill into a nationally televised response. Who won that one, dude? Hah!
So, yes, readers — please. Comment. If they’re nasty enough, well, we’re a private enterprise and we aren’t going to give you a platform — complete with your name — for your vitriol. A rational, civil discourse where people differ entirely is one thing, but if you’re going to do the whole knuckle dragger schtick, we have better things to do — like piss off people with enough power to harm the world — until that power is entirely eradicated.