Dear Tell All: I'm a liberal person living in a liberal west-side neighborhood. Paradise, right?
Well, not exactly.
The neighbors all seem perfectly nice, but a neighborhood listserv has shown a more distasteful side. The listserv is usually reserved for homely messages - babysitter needed, dog run away - but it takes only the slightest nudge to set off a painfully embarrassing conversation.
The latest nudge was an intellectually bankrupt attack on the five-second military flyover at a Badger football game. The writer threw a stink bomb onto the listserv, sputtering about the invasiveness as her family "sat quietly eating our dinner" and the immorality of "using our neighborhood space to recruit more soldiers into the military." The neighbors took the bait and duly upped the ante. They railed against the U.S. Army from the safety of their affluent homes - homes that are, of course, protected by the U.S. Army.
Nope, not even the anniversary of 9/11 made any of them consider that their security might be compromised if no more soldiers were "recruited" into our volunteer military, which takes direction from our democratically elected leaders.
With everyone feeling emboldened by the smug unanimity ("for shame!" proclaimed one moral exemplar), the stupidity really started flowing. One guy even proposed boycotting Badger games and reporting the flyover to the Madison police. Oh yes, we'd left reality far behind in the interest of solving a nonexistent problem.
Then a neighbor chimed in who actually knew what he was talking about: a pilot in the Army reserve who is away from his family on active duty. He eloquently explained the value of a flyover and humbly requested "a bit of tolerance rather than indignation for those who serve, mostly silently, so that we as a nation can enjoy a summer's evening."
Clearly this called for a respectful response, but the know-it-alls jumped right back in to attack our neighborhood soldier's post with empty buzzwords. The discussion finally devolved into a juvenile squabble among the politically correct - a classic ending for one of these things. As we liberals bicker over nonsense, the Republicans merrily rush in to control all branches of state government.
Tell All, I'm ready to move out of this liberal neighborhood in search of reality.
Dear Fed Up: I suppose you could move into a neighborhood with a more conservative-oriented listserv, but something tells me you wouldn't find much "reality" there, either. Any advice for Fed Up, readers?