One of the hazards of watching mainstream media, however that is defined today, is to take it for granted that they are feeding us information or content in an altruistic way. In other words, they aren’t lying to us. I see the People magazines of the world next to the daily rag blustering about the latest Hollywood scandal and honestly I cannot tell the difference between the two. So it seems to me that herein lies an opportunity for justice.
Have be you ever considered writing a letter to the editor? I mean REALLY write a letter to the editor?
Case and point:
I recently was shown an article about a local Boyscout troop. This is a troop that has been active in the community for a century…. Literally a century. They are no secret to the locals and have been in at least 99 July fourth parades, participated in at least 99 summer camp experiences and shown nature conserving techniques to countless numbers of boys for a full century. They sell popcorn and raise flags, execute community service all the time and learn the Outdoor Code. In short, they are harmless and have never refused any child who shows a fervent desire to be a young man one day.
So imagine my surprise when I read the local papers editorial section and it has published a nimrods mutterings about how the local organization is not to be supported because the national homo-sexual issue. He reasoned that this is reason enough to abandon donating bottles and cans to the troops half century or longer standing bottle reclamation booth. This booth is the only means the troop supports itself now. This booth is there to avoid selling stale popcorn or tired calendars in an effort to curry pity purchases. But this troop is in a town which is in a state that has long ago legalized same sex marriage, provided equal rights for same sex couples and has never enforced or publicly supported the divisive position. Neither have I.
I felt that justice had to be done. I felt that there had to be a rebuttal to the hatred that was erroneously posted in the local paper alongside The Daily Muckraker and the People magazine. It had seemed that the local sentiments had been infested with the national malaise and disconnect with reality. But what to do? Ah, the letter to the editor. So I set to work crafting clever passages. Well considered refutations. Pithy statements that would trounce all foolishness heretofore scratched into pressed and dead trees, so carelessly flung on doorsteps. I even met the current leaders of the troop and pled my case. “JUSTICE,” I cried. “Justice must be served. We cannot let this stand!”
Then something remarkable happened. They said no. Let it stand. There will be someone in the community who will stand up for us. We’ve done no wrong and someone who knows our character will be our white knight. Rest your ire and calm your winds of war. Justice will prevail.
I, of course, disagreed. People are jaded and do not care about the truth. They only want mud flung. Just look at the press pool at the White House.
But just one week later as I glared at the paper certain I would be angry all over again I beheld a well written and clever letter to the editor that said all I knew had to be said. All that was true. All that would silence the fools. Myself included.
Was justice served? I think it was. Both with my righteous indignation and by the silent majority who was suddenly given voice by a small still voice somewhere in the wilderness. I was humbled. And for once I was glad for it.