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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Pretty awful

I am so, so sorry. Please forgive me. I don't know how I went so terribly wrong. In the middle of an otherwise lucid and insightful post on government and parenting yesterday, I let the urge to take a cheap shot get the better of me. "Look at the photo of the legislator in question, by the way," I wrote. "My first impression is that she would never have to spank a child. Just looking at her would make most 3-year-olds, not to mention many adults, run screaming in terror."

What was I thinking of? A couple of readers -- and there were probably many more who felt the same way -- took me to task. "If you want to criticize how someone looks, you lessen your argument," one wrote. "It is just a form of name calling- you are better, and smarter, than that." Another wisely pointed out that "to determine the validity of the the proposal based on the 'looks' of the proposer is not only lame; but, is just plain wrong."

Well, of course it is. The funny thing is, that's not me. I don't know where that remark came from. As someone who has been blessed -- or cursed, depending on how you look at it -- with good looks, I have always been aware of the burdens such superficial judgments place on people and how it rips at the very fabric of a decent society. I have always tried to be sensitive to the feelings of those who look different from me -- the ugly, the plain, the scary, the goofy. They can't help how they look, and it would not be fair to say that they are responsible for war and inflation and bad hamburgers and all the other evils in the world.

I am tempted to blame it one the wine. After not being able to get to sleep two nights in a row, I decided to have a glass of wine to help soothe my nerves, then did the blogging post right afterward. But many will say, "in vino veritas." Alcohol doesn't change who you are; it just gets rid of inhibitions so the real you can come out. I must acknowledge that, somewhere deep inside me, there is a demon that wants to judge other people by the way they appear. I don't think I am a lookist, but perhaps all of us have that tendency.

Many of you are probably bitterly disappointed in me, having come to expect nothing but cool logic, brilliant analysis and keen insights at this blog. I can only guess at the shock you felt to have enountered such a brutal personal attack of the most callous nature. I can only hope that you have faith in me and stick with me while I work through this awful crisis.


Larry Morris
Wed, 01/24/2007 - 6:36am

Personally, I think rehab is the only answer now - recognizing your problem is only the first step, ... as the good brother that I am, I will stand by you in this hour of darkness.

Kevin Knuth
Wed, 01/24/2007 - 6:38am


Sure I was disappointed- but I forgive you!


Wed, 01/24/2007 - 6:56am

Well, the first step is admitting you have a problem...

tim zank
Wed, 01/24/2007 - 7:15am

I, for one am still reeling.

Wed, 01/24/2007 - 11:10am

Well, considering the patent absurdity of the proposed legislation at issue, I don't think Leo's cheap shot undermined his argument in the least. This is one instance where a brief moment of comic relief was welcome after yet another sobering report on the death of common sense.

Mike Boley
Wed, 01/24/2007 - 3:08pm

The criticisms given to your original comment were meant in a constructive manner. Your response to them is also very constructive. So I think the crisis is already averted. I would suggest you skip the rehab; but, use the wine more liberally. It will be cheaper and probably just as effective a way to exorcise those remaining demons.

Thu, 01/25/2007 - 4:40am

Wine is a mocker and beer is a brawler. Prov 20:1

Thu, 01/25/2007 - 4:43am

"Give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish." Prov 31:6

Given that the above anguish appears to be tongue in cheek, I cannot recommend another round on the grapes.