Readers not shy about talking back

By Ned Cantwell: State columnist

One of the perks of writing a state column is so many readers are most generous with their advice. It is only minimally disconcerting that oft times such advice has to do with anatomical direction, pinpointing that area where I might “stick it.”

Some of the advice, though, is so good and so clever that one cannot in good conscience ignore it. A recent treatise here on the widening division of wealth in our country prompted an acknowledgment of the problem from Gregory Jones. Gregory, however, pointed out my column offered no solution and he indicated, furthermore, I was in over my head.

“I would say stick to your usual, nearly incoherent babble,” Mr. Jones advised.
That is offensive and I will not let it go unchallenged. Gregory, I submit to you that often times my babble is marginally coherent.

The column on the rich get richer promoted KokHeong McNaughton to write the Los Alamos Monitor, agreeing the poor are ignored but taking issue with my statement that ours is the land of opportunity for all who educate themselves and work hard.
KokHeong counters, “The American Dream that EVERYONE can make it is a myth…” Color matters, she stresses.

Louis Padilla of Capitan said amen to the column, pointing out parents in that rural community have to spend $6 a day for gasoline to work for $6 an hour.

Sometimes readers e-mail thoughts that leave me puzzled. Such is the case with Glenn Brunson who writes, “I judge by your recent scholarly diatribe on ID’ing voters that you are in a rather advanced stage of curmudgeonhood. I can tell; I got there first. I think you should consider the following question for your readers: Is stupidity contagious or is it an occupational malady like, say, asbestosis?”

Once again I am left gasping with indignation. One man’s diatribe is another man’s brilliant prose. Furthermore, Glenn, where do you get off suggesting either this column or its readers are experts on stupidity? Duh!

Another column blasting the state for spending nearly a half-million bucks on a planned world peace conference in Santa Fe drew this response from Barry Digman (not Dingman): “DING DING DING,” Barry wrote, “No more calls please. We have a winner. You are correct in revealing that the Guv and legislature have hijacked the peace conference in order to promote personal agendas.”

And “george” asks a question without a question mark: “It doesn’t bother you when the government meaning your government is spending $3,000,000,000 (THREE BILLION DOLLARS) a week on the IRAQ WAR.” Well, yes, it does. Three billion here, three billion there. It starts to add up.

The peace conference was canceled for this year just days after my column came out. I take full credit, of course. I also take full credit for the soaring popularity of the Dixie Chicks even though I apparently misquoted lyrics when lamenting they were no Peter, Paul and Mary.

The correction comes from “Brandon Rivard” who recites the accurate lyrics to “Not Ready to Make Nice:”

“Make my bed and I sleep like a baby with no regrets and I don’t mind saying it’s a sad, sad story when a mother will teach her daughter that she oughta hate a perfect stranger, and how in the world can the words that I said send somebody so over the edge that they’d write me a letter saying that I better shut up and sing or my life will be over!!”

Talk about your garden variety babble.

Ned Cantwell welcomes response — please be gentle — at:
ncantwell@charter.net