This isn’t a GBCW essay. Rather it’s an “uh, can’t-we-be-a-little-less-orange-like?” essay. Actually, not even an essay. Just a thought or two, then I’ll see you later. There are ways to get in touch with me directly, which a few of you know, and the rest can figure out, if you want to. Just in case you want to correspond directly.
Anyway, here’s the thing: when someone works up an essay about, say, the wonders, culture and cuisine of Mexico City, it’s — in my book, by definition — Trollish to use that essay as a vehicle to rail against (the deservedly rail-againstable) corrupt government in one of Mexico’s outlying states.
When, hypothetically speaking, someone works up an essay about the culture and history of the Sea Islands, it’s — in my book, and by definition — Trollish to use that essay as a vehicle to rail against the (deservedly rail-againstable) horrors of Jim Crow, hypocrisy of South Carolina’s Mark Sanford, or rather presumptuousness of North Carolina Vichy Dem Heath Shuler (who now wants to be minority leader).
When, hypothetically speaking), someone works up an essay about the natural beauty of the islands off southern Thailand, or the ways in which they themselves are working to restore their battered tourist industry in the wake of the tragedy of the December 26, 2004, it’s — in my book, and by definition — Trollish to use that essay as a vehicle to rail against (the deservedly rail-againstable) loathsome crimes of child prostitution in Bangkok.
While I’m repelled by those posses over at orange that jump all over any diary that, to them, smacks of anything less than laudatory of The One, I’m likewise disappointed when a diary about something worth celebrating in a state, a region, a country, is peppered with off-topic remarks about this or that awful aspect of the country that are actually tangential to the topic at hand.
If among a group of friends I were to say, “By the way, Stan, I heard you just got a promotion. Good for you.” I dare say that some (hopefully majority) part of that convivial group would be taken aback and be rather aghast if someone “from left field” said, “Yeh, Stan, I heard you had a drinking problem, too. You pretty much suck, don’t you?” I mean, while it may be true that Stan has a drinking problem, and it may be true that that sucks, and even causes heartache in the lives of his family, it’s not exactly the kind of thing you want to bring up in that otherwise congratulatory context. I mean, not unless you’re an asshole.
Well, please consider that when, as you’re reading the Comment Thread to current or future essay and you see such things. Rate as you see fit. I hope, though, that “Ponies” would not be in the offing. And let us emphasize that if, indeed, the tangential, tertiary-at-best comment does describe a real horror, then I’m not making light of the horror, I’m only saying the commentor should up and Write Their Own Goddam Diary and not try and highjack someone else’s.
Good luck. Godspeed. Courage.