I got a fresh piece of hate mail yesterday, something I haven’t received in quite a while. When you write for the web as much as I do, it’s like yelling in a vaccuum. It’s hard to gauge if your words have any impact at all. So it’s nice to know that someone read your work and was touched by it, even if the work touched them in such a way that they want you dead.
The hate mail had nothing to do with Scratchbomb, but a piece I wrote at the now sadly defunct Freezerbox.com, a site I contributed to for several years. The emailer didn’t specify the source of his/her ire, but they were very clear about what they wanted me to do myself, or have done to me.
I’m not going to reproduce the hate mail here–not because it’s filthy, but because I’d rather not give the writer’s words any more fame than they deserve. The gist of the message was:
1) I am on drugs because I disagree with this person politically, and also because, unlike them, I peppered my work with proper spelling and fancy punctuation.
2) They hope America gets taken over by Muslim terorrists so I’ll get what I deserve. It’s funny–I never hear liberal commie types like myself wish that the US would succumb to foreign aggressors, but AMERICA: FUCK YEAH! types say this all the time. That would totally be worth it–the beacon of Western democracy should fall to teach me a valuable lesson.
3) I should go back where I came from. I don’t know where they thought I came from; Jihadist Russian Homo-ville, I guess.
I was mildly upset at first. I thought, Wait, I’m such a wonderful person! Who could possibly hate me? But hey, I’m not exactly innocent when it comes to writing really angry stuff online. Plus, in thinking these things, I’ve put more thought into the hate mail than the sender had.
In the old days, if you decided you hated someone, you’d have to type or write a letter, go down the post office, and spend money on a stamp before you could possibly express that hatred to them. Most people didn’t bother, because they knew some secretary would read this letter and throw it out. And because taking all this time out of their busy day interfered with their elaborate masturbation rituals.
So in volume, I’m sure there was far, far less hate mail in those days than there are angry emails/comments today. But the instataneous nature of the Intertubes is a good thing on this front. Because if someone reads a post that pisses them off, they can fire off a snotty email or comment, and that’s pretty much the end of it.
Read the comment sections of any site–political or not–and you will see some of the angriest, hate filled language ever written this side of the Aryan Nation. And yet, as far as I know, no blogger has ever been murdered a la Eric Bogosian in Talk Radio.
Way back when, people were less inclined to publicly declare their hatred. But then all that animus built up over time until they started picking off people from clock towers. So I like to think of the Internet as a safety valve for the Crazy Steam that builds up in some people’s brains. They let it off, and then they’re close to normal for another few days.
Hey, I’ve been there. I know that if I don’t post here often enough, I start getting pains in my head! But then I vent my frustrations and the neighbor’s dog stops talking to me for a while!