Edge of the West
BEVERLY HILLS—I noticed a sign the other day that touted a local real estate agent from Coldwell Banker. It said, "F. Ron Smith." I know the feeling. So this week, I'd like to respond to a few formidable critics of this column who I've received through electronic mail.
To the guy named Rutgers:
You're good, man, very good. You wrote, "I just read your latest anti-war article and I've got to say, I have never seen more bluster in one piece of s**t column. You probably cheer when troops die in Iraq. What does your high school 'give peace a chance' bulls**t have to do with anything?" Mr. Rutgers spoke of a "fight to the death" with me, providing an excellent starting point. Peace out.
To the guy named Cooper:
Mr. Cooper supports our troops with passion enough to write a letter that implored me to- "respect their viewpoint and properly present the cause in which these people heroically, courageously and willingly gave their lives." The way I properly present the cause, Mr. Cooper, is to present it as a total, unmitigated disaster not of their making, and honestly, the best way I know how to support them is to suggest that somebody in charge better get them home real soon, and not in a box. If yours is the truer support, explain that to me.
To a guy named Huemor:
You sent a letter implying that your Edge of the West author muses in a moronic state: "I think only a moron would fail to realize that Palestinian militants are savage killers," is what you said when I characterized suicide bombings as desperate statements made by desperate people. That's the thanks I get? Then you asked the big question that stops anti-war types in their tracks. You know, the one you always ask just to get the argument ended: "Would you rather Saddam still be in power?" Rather than what we've ended up with- tens of thousands dead, hundreds of billions spent? The answer is yes- an unequivocal yes. He was fully contained, growing old. Let Iraqis deal with Iraq as they will, as they must, because we don't have half a clue on a whole day what they're about.
To a guy named Lewis:
Mr. Lewis used his attendance at an anti-war rally before the invasion of Iraq as a premise to question my column on the new "great silent majority", those of us who helped shut down a similarly shameful war in the 60's, but who have apparently run out of gas and zipped it lately.
He lashed out: "I saw people, some of Smith's apparent vintage, in effect rallying support for the maintenance of a murderous fascist dictator." There it is again- the "murderous fascist dictator" thing, the disposal of which is always worth a few thousand lives of the younger and the poorer. By Lewis, by God, by Bush, he had to go. Now what? Seems nobody thought of that.
To a guy named Niemerow.
"You seem to be really pissed off at the world," you wrote, then God bless you, tried to ease my pain, "I don't think it's really as bad as you try to make it. I think rooting out evil is the American way so lighten up." I appreciate the free psychotherapy from any readers. Keep the cards, letters and lithium coming. Then he challenged me, "Why don't you write an article that has some positive solution?" Look above, Mr. Niemerow. In one of those paragraphs you'll find a positive solution to the Iraq War. If you have a better one, what is it?
To a guy named Yukon Dave:
Yukon Dave wrote to me in response to my Ten Commandments piece that advocated leaving the granite carving in front of the Texas courthouse, so Bush, DeLay and the rest of them will continue to take a good long look at words like, "Thou shalt not kill" until they finally sink in.
Dave, like many readers, tried to make me feel good by reminding me, "This country was founded by a bunch of God-fearing, gun-toting, religious rebels." But you know what? That didn't really elevate my mood much.
Then there was a guy named Woody- no, I'm serious- who wrote in response to my recent high tech, pilot light, madhouse piece, "Finally Ron Scott Smith wrote something he knows about, little blinky lights around his house. I was pleasantly surprised when he didn't mention the (Bush) administration once." But Mr. Woody should have known better, because when he got to the last paragraph, alas- "There it is, he mentioned Bushamerica. At least he is consistent in his blind hatred of this man and the people around him." Well, Mr. Woody, like your buddy Mr. Cooper once said to me about the President, "Love him or hate him, at least you know where he stands on issues." You like me- you really like me.
Which brings us to a guy named Shilling.
You started off great, Mr Shilling- "When I read Ron Scott Smith's column my initial reaction was, what a jerk." But by the end of your dispatch, you went all warm and fuzzy on me, saying, "So I don't agree with Ron Scott Smith. So what? At least he tells it like it is, and for that alone I'll buy him a beer. Ron, name the place and time."
Hit me with your best shot, haters. I like the Padrone.
Ron Scott Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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