For background and context, please see Anonymous Guest-Blogger or Annoying Troll, Part 1: Who Is ‘Sulla Felix’?
Hello Sulla Felix,
Here I’d like to respond to the strongly worded comments you left on two of my recent posts on this blog:
- No Fence-sitting Allowed, Part 1: A Second Open Letter to the Mysterious Mr. Phicks, and
- No Fence-sitting Allowed, Part 2: A Second Open Letter to the Mysterious Mr. Phicks:
[Note: the comments in question have been cut & pasted together into Part 1 of this post. Also, the following response applies equally to the very first comments you left me and which I have already discussed in parts 1 & 2 of A Me Problem: My First Real Hate Mail.]
First I’d like to thank you for leaving these comments. I think you did a great job articulating what I suspect many of my readers have been thinking, but have chosen to keep to themselves, probably due to shyness. Furthermore, you also nicely challenged me in a way that I know I need to be challenged. As much as things like praise and support are necessary nourishment for the motivation to think and write, when it comes to actually improving these skills, I think there’s really no substitute for the sort of full-on attacks that you’ve been making recently. So, thank you. I invite you to offer more of the same, should you ever feel so inclined.
Regarding the comments themselves, I must tell you that I feel stumped. As I mentioned elsewhere, I will definitely share them with my psychiatrist to see if she can figure out what to make of them, but other than that, I’m really not sure what else might be said. Surely it’s probably futile to try to change your mind. I know from more than 5 decades of trying and failing to persuade others that I suck at persuasion, and in any case the expressed level of confidence you seem to have in your own beliefs seems unshakable. I doubt even a good persuader could change your mind in this case. As far as you are concerned, at least, really the best I might do here is play the “agree to disagree” card.
But that both sounds and feels to me like a cop out, so I will at least make some effort to comment. Maybe my attempt will lead to suggestions from some one or more of my other readers. Here goes:
On the one hand you seem to be saying that disliking a rule is never sufficient justification for breaking it, which can’t be right. Do I even need to explain that? Surely the situation is more complicated. At the very least it must depend on both the rule and how much one dislikes it. In my own case the situation is complicated still by the fact that I absolutely love a good rule, which is a common symptom of autism. I know I get anxious and uncomfortable when rules are broken by anyone, including myself. What’s interesting to me about the law I appeared to break last week and for which I got arrested is that I feel completely at peace about it. I feel absolutely no anxiety, guilt, shame, embarrassment, or discomfort about having walked onto the MetLife campus and strolled quietly and politely around inside the two office buildings there. As a matter of fact, I’m actually proud of myself for having done this. I’m proud of the arrest, and even if I wind up with a criminal record, I’ll be proud of that too. It was really all for the best, I believe. I am wholly confident that what I did was the right thing to do, and that many will learn and benefit from it.
To my view, the confidence you have in the opinions you expressed in your comments is misplaced, perhaps even delusional. You really have no idea what you’re talking about. You haven’t seen but a fraction of the evidence, and I’m quite confident that anybody who does take a good solid look at the evidence will have no choice but to agree that I had excellent reasons to do what I did, and that any decent, reasonable, civic minded person would do the same.
Yep, that’s about the size of it. Hope that’s useful. If not, here’s another nice picture of a stump: