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(Coffee) Shop Talk

Welcome to the shop where I talk about things that go well with coffee, which is almost everything.

    Yesterday I got my very first hate mail! I got one piece of fan mail last year, but I've never gotten hate mail before. It was in response to an article I wrote for the Bison several weeks ago, which the sender had apparently just read. In the article I said that it disturbed me to hear people laugh and joke about Saddam Husein's impending hanging, and that I felt like the penalty itself was 1) counterproductive and 2) unprogressive. Counterproductive because it's so much easier to make a martyr out of a dead person than a live one, and unprogressive because I don't think the death penalty in general is very progressive. I also described Husein in passing as charismatic, which Brett tells me that he actually isn't particularly, just really forceful, but whatever. Here's the response I got:

I just read your thoughts about the death penalty given to Sadam Hussein. I found your article extremely disturbing, especially when you called the former dictator a 'charismatic world leader.' I don't know if you know the definition of the word charismatic, but it means full of warmth, capable of endearment. Sadam did not posses any of these traits, and the death penalty is too good for this person. He oppressed, tortured, and murdered his people, and deserves to die. He is about as charismatic as Adolf Hitler, whom I suppose you would have been 'shocked' and 'horrified' if you were alive when he blew his brains out whenever Germany was defeated. Your attitude about this matter is very uneducated. His death is going to be very purposeful and will show the people of Iraq, who convicted him with this sentence (NOT THE US), that justice is real and is for them, even though they were denied it by Sadam for decades. Hope your opinion on this matter changes soon, your article made me sick to my stomach.

    The best part is that it's not even some pansy “while I see your point here, I respectfully disagree with you on this point” thing. That would just be mail, not real hate mail. But this…angry, slightly off in a few factual areas (such as the definition of charismatic), and slightly missing the point of what I wrote; perfectly legitimate hate-mail. My life is now more complete, and I feel warm and fuzzy inside knowing that I wrote something that affected someone to the point of inspiring him to write to me in a disgruntled manner.

    It's also nice to know that this person is someone who is so concerned about justice and the people of Iraq that he gets riled when he thinks that someone wants to water down their justice or take it away from them. As someone who is also concerned about justice and the people of Iraq, I appreciate that.

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