Sunday, April 03, 2005

Larry's open letter to Geov Parrish

Larry: As someone who's enjoyed your writing for years and trusted your voice, I'll be taking a break from you. Your column about the protests was one I disagreed with. No problem, there, we can disagree.

But then you structure a column around your letters and come off rude and dismissive of those wanting to end the war in something other than your own personal idea of how a protest ought to be run. You're 'bravery' in taking a stand for the easily accepted takes me by surprise.
The Nation had
already addressed the conflict you seem to think you've discovered. (Part of the curse of being a pundit appears to be the desire to play "me first!" One of the best things about your writing has been the refusal to play that game.)

I disagreed with your take. I read it. I thought, "He's getting it off his chest." Fine.
But to have the same hatred spewed in the latest column?

It's not fine with this reader.

Your rudeness isn't amusing nor acceptable. It's not just that I strongly disagree with your tactics. It's that you've lost my ear because you're disrespectful to people you disagree with while claiming some let's-all-pull-together nonsense which strikes me as far from honest.

I'm not sure what you majored in (I hold degrees in poli sci) but you've gone from sharp edged "conventional wisdom" to muddled political thought. I honestly don't think you're currently up to the mental stretch you seem to be attempting.

You're entitled to your opinion and when you expressed it once, I was fine with disagreeing.
When you attempted to follow it up with more snide remarks, that's not okay with me.
And for the record, I'm not a 60s relic. (Sorry, I wasn't born then.)

Nor am I some fire breathing anti-war radical.

Your opinion I can disagree with, even when you returned to expressing it yet again.

What I can not go along with is the rudeness and your targeting of peace activists while you appear to shore up your "cred" by latching on to the military.

You're entitled to hate whomever you wish. But I never understood you to be a voice that tore apart the masses, as opposed to standing up strongly to deserved targets of criticism.

The inductive generalizations strike me as beneath you.

Possibly you're going through a bad period (in your personal life, I don't mean you're writing). If so, I wish all the best. (Always. I still like you as a writer.)

But I won't be reading because you're using snide remarks to reduce complex realities into simplistic stereotypes that seem hurtful and demeaning to me. Intentional or not, that's how it reads to this longterm reader.