Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dear Lana.

Okay, let's deconstruct this chain of events. You made a simple comment about something I said that was inaccurate (?), and I replied with a simple correction. That, according to your assumption of argumentative simplicity, (e.g. "All, (sic) I asked is for you not to put false information" and "All I did was posted a comment for a (sic) false information.") should have ended things. However, you used the whole thing as a handy opportunity to launch your little dinghy with a laundry list litany of American flaws. You keep coming back to the "irrelevance" of my points, but I'll tell you something: when you open the "grotesque generalizations about nationality" can of worms, everything becomes fair game, especially when there are serious logical holes in your polemic. If it really just was about the misinformation, this would have stopped a while ago. You, however, chose to bring the prevalence and causes of anti-Americanism to the forefront and paint my entire nationality with the same brush as you cited people like me and my father as anti-Americanism's cause. As such, I find it very hard to believe that insults are furthest from your aims. "Cowboy" is inflammatory, as are several other things you've might recall likening my father to an schoolboy. I also like being called ignorant. That's always fun. The correction was made, and I was pleased to move on. Then things got ugly, but to be frank, you instigated it with a few simple words.

"This just show how over-all Americans lack general information about world outside of border of US of A, and if they didn't your son would have researched in advance that there is no direct train link between Sofia and Budapest. You can't just show up to some country (sic), i.e. Sofia, and say "here, I have arrived, I am an American" and have them just for you (sic) build a rail link to another city. Do you (sic) research."

1) Where did I say I thought there would be a direct train connection between Sofia and Budapest? I mentioned that there wasn't one, but that was a simple acknowledgment of fact, nothing else. I did my research, thanks.

2) At what point did I express an opinion that would lead you to think that I'm of the mindset "here, I have arrived, I am an American."?

3) Whence did you infer that I expected everything (ANYTHING, for that matter) to be easy, or that I expected ANYONE to make concessions for me?

In the process of trying to read between the lines, you're hallucinating. You're seeing things that simply aren't there, and that's where the problem lies.

So now that we have a general idea of how this situation arose, let's discuss my nationality, since you have such nuanced ideas about the American national character.

Yes, Americans are not passive people. This is not a bad thing. If it is indeed a national trait, I personally believe it's an admirable one. Just because we don't react quietly or passively when we've been dealt an insult of some kind doesn't make me wrong or you right; at day's end it means that when you step on me or those close to me, I'm going to lash out. I'm not going to do it in a way that's irrational or stupid, but it's not going to be restrained, either. I am open to criticism. Things approaching abuse, however, are other matters. I will happily pick you apart if you've wronged me or those close to me. This is a simple matter of fact. American non-passivity doesn't make me and mine "cowboys," or any less civilized than you are, which, if I were to read between the lines of your comments, I'd say you are MORE than implying that you're more civilized than Americans. This presupposition is arrogant and frankly infuriating. It would be lovely to talk to you with something other than hostility so you could work on an assumption other than the fundamental ignorance of my people, but since you've borne me and mine nothing BUT hostility, I find it very difficult not to respond in kind.

Do be in touch.


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