Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hate Mail?

I received my first piece of...hate mail? I'm not sure how to interpret it. Maybe not hate for me...certainly hate for Ayn Rand...but by association, me too? I'm just not sure.

I had read an anti-Rand article in the Post Dispatch in which the writer mistated Rand's philosophy. I subsequently sent a Letter to the Editor to clarify the 'selfish' versus 'unselfish' issue, noting that Rand's philosophy did not prohibit donating to causes and helping people who you felt you wanted to help.

The response in the on-line discussion was swift and brutal from one particular detractor. I learned I was trying to keep the poor man down and enrich the rich. I wrote a couple of follow-up notes to my critic (I kept it clean, no name calling, no insinuation that his dog had more brains), and left it at that.

A couple of days later I received, in the mail, an small envelope with my name and address hand-scrawled in messy block letters on an angle across the front. No return address. When I opened it, I found a single sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 paper, folded mutiple times to fit the small envelope, with the following message written in the same hastily drawn block letters:


That was all. No name. No 'Sincerely.' I'm not sure why the writer took the time and effort, and the 44 cent stamp, to express that particular message. Not exactly an argument. Hell, I don't know what to make of it, other than that it was supposed to make me think otherwise about Rand.

Maybe I would have, if the writer could have told me why Rand is a 'phony and a fraud.' I'm open to new evidence. But none was offered, so I am left to wonder what information the writer had that I do not.

Rand, and anyone who speaks well of her, elicits these kinds of responses. To some extent, Rand deserved it, as I noted in an earlier post. She was abrasive and she enjoyed labeling people in uncomplimentary ways. So she got back what she gave. Still, the over-the-top emotionalism of her detractors is puzzling.

Oh well, this letter goes into my 'keepers' as a kind of trophy. The menacing quality of it is discard.

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