December 13, 2006

Dear John

Rarely do I get hate mail or evil comments. But I did yesterday. I give you the comment along with my reply.


I disagree. In general your posts seem boring and banal - well written, but nonetheless boring and banal. Yes you have a beautiful child, but your world seems extremely closed. Why are you not trying to expand your mind? Conversations with those in the outside world (even dinner with fellow workers outside of the work environment) afford you knowledge, compassion, connection and yes (probably a scary word to you) challenge. Other than listening to music, reading books and taking some interesting photos, your world seems extremely limited. It is funny to me that those people that call themselves "uber liberals" seem in general to be the least traveled, least educated about the outside world and completely lacking in interest beyond their mere arm length existence. And unfortunately, more likely than not the banal existence will be passed on to the next generation.

John...poor small-minded John. I realize posting your comment with a response is precisely what'll get your pea-sized rocks off but I get so little hate mail that I'd hate to let slip the surly bonds of opportunity.

When I was a kid, I traveled a great deal. I was lucky enough to have parents who realized the value of seeing the world, understanding that the boundaries of said world weren't defined by the four walls of my childhood home, the cross streets of my neighborhood or the limits of the city in which I grew up. I was born in another country, hopped my first plane at six months of age and, by 12, I'd visited most of this country's fifty states, headed south of the border to Mexico (several times) and driven through the majority of Western Europe. Adulthood is more confining, restricting. You find yourself bound by jobs and children. But we've still managed to travel. We've traveled out West, hopped trains to New York City and spent a couple weeks driving through France.

To say I don't see beyond the life I have with my family is just incorrect. Worse is the implication that things such as books and music do not contribute to one's overall awareness of the world around them. I average 5-7 books a month. Each day I gather news from dozens of sources in order to form a more accurate picture of the events transpiring around the world and how I fit into them. I maintain a website that's visited - literally - by tens of thousands of people each month (for instance, in November 26,000 different people dropped by to say hello accounting for nearly half a million hits). I converse and, most importantly, learn from the people who take the time to write, comment and exchange ideas. I spend my holiday celebrations with immigrants to the United States, those seeking political asylum. Any of these facts are freely available on a regular basis to anyone who, even casually, drops by my site. Only a truly ignorant individual makes blanket statements such as yours without first attempting to see if that statement is marginally correct.

I am an uber-liberal and I'm proud of it. In fact, I consider myself an uber-liberal in part because I object to the existing and long-held conservative policies which seek to dominate the world without first understanding it. But I'm more proud of the fact that I'm well-educated (a history degree earned by writing my thesis on the impact and legacy of Mao's reign in China which, it seems to me, is not a topic typically chosen by someone who keeps the world at arm's length), well-read, and successful at the vast majority of things I take on in life. I am a leader in my chosen profession, I have been recognized for the efforts I've made on behalf of my community, and, most importantly, I'm a good husband and father.

Salaries, jobs, current events, books, music and degrees are all meaningless in the face of one single thing - my daughter. I'm a dad. When Mia emerged from her mother and took her place in the world, that became my primary responsibility. It's my job to help my daughter grow and understand the world in which we live. It's incumbent upon me and my wife to ensure we instill in her senses of right and wrong and curiosity, to inspire wonder in the world, to stock her up with the basic knowledge and skills she'll need to march out into the world (as scary a prospect as that is for me right now) and share her ideas with others. If I am successful in that, I'll be able to consider my life a success. That may sound banal, but I don't need your approval. Nor do I need your condescending lecture about passing along my supposed banality and close-mindedness to my child.

If all of these things come together to form, as you suggest, an inherent ignorance of the world around me, I'm guilty. I firmly believe I've written over three years of evidence proving you wrong, but that's just me. Not everything here is exciting because life isn't always exciting. It's filled with insignificant moments. But at least I made something of them.

Posted by Chris at December 13, 2006 07:35 AM | TrackBack
Comments

the thing i always wonder about negative comments is if the person would have the balls to say something like that in real life. the internets while providing endless good times via porn, also seem to encourage rudeness. i do not *heart* rudeness. unless it's funny. and he was in no way funny. that's the real crime here really.

:D anyway, bonjour! happy wednesday! open up the windows and clear away the bad vibes. life is too short to spend on mean people.

Posted by: pea at December 13, 2006 07:55 AM

First, great post. Well written, well thought out and clearly stated.

However...

You missed an opportunity to quote Lennon (not Lenin, but still a foreigner) by saying "Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans" in your last paragraph. Hell, you could have paraphrased it to be "Life is what happens while you're busy making judgemental condescending comments on other people's blogs".

And more seriously, (and not trying to be an ass or anything), I felt you lost your focus when you started pulling out your unique visitor and hit counts: that just makes your message well traveled; it doesn't make you well traveled. (Again, to be clear, I am not trying to be critical or anything; just offering my two cents about the post. If I offended, please accept my apologies.)

Posted by: Jeff at December 13, 2006 07:57 AM

Excellent response, Chris. Well spoken and intelligent. Not at all what he was (apparently) expecting from someone so boring and small-minded :-)


Posted by: Alissa at December 13, 2006 07:59 AM

Wow- that guy seems to have some sort of uber-stick up his "world traveled" ass...
I don't even understand, if he's so bored by your blog... why bother to read it...
People are indeed strange-

Posted by: Stephanie at December 13, 2006 08:08 AM

I feel almost insignificant as I read John's idea of what makes for great writing. Perhaps he can link us to his blog so that we may see what great postings are truly like.

Keep up the banality. That's why we're here.

Posted by: Hygiene Dad at December 13, 2006 08:15 AM

Great post! And if I were younger and we both weren't married to really wonderful people, I'd ask you to marry me!

Posted by: Maribeth at December 13, 2006 08:16 AM

Damn, if I knew hate mail would get that kind of response...wait a minute. Respond to this...


You Suck.

I will wait your response.

Posted by: William at December 13, 2006 08:28 AM

Oh...and uh..have a good day.

Posted by: William at December 13, 2006 08:28 AM

Standing O to you my friend.

Bravo!

Posted by: Wicked H at December 13, 2006 08:46 AM

Chris - a well thought out, eloquent response as usual. I would have responded this way:

"You don't have kids, do you?"

Posted by: Phil at December 13, 2006 08:50 AM

If we all stopped to realize that what is an insignificant moment to us could be truly significant to someone else we'd be a lot better off. I bet Mia will agree when she is all grown up that what most would say were insignificant meant a great deal to her.

Posted by: daisy at December 13, 2006 08:51 AM

Well damn.

I must say, I'm a little shocked. I know that every popular website must get some hate mail, but even your caliber of hate mail is pretty high, just like the caliber of your site :) There weren't any !!!! or mispelled words, or weird capitalization?! Not even 1 "You sUck!" just some, "banal and boring." Talk about boring.

I was all disappointed to read it. Geez, Chris, can't you even attract sucky hate mail? ;) Everything is high class here, all the way, even the trolls!

The idea that reading keeps your world closed off is just so laughable. Good lord.

Posted by: raine at December 13, 2006 08:51 AM

beautiful.

Posted by: s@bd at December 13, 2006 08:52 AM

I don't get why people leave lame comments instead of just, um, NOT READING. No one is forcing anyone to read these things. I just don't understand.

Posted by: Leah at December 13, 2006 08:52 AM

While a well-thought-out intelligent response might seem appropriate here (yours certainly was!!!) it would not accurately convey the depth of my feeling at reading John's off-the-cuff bit of "wisdom" or my delight in reading your outstanding response so I'm choosing to say:

You ROCK, Chris!!!

In your FACE, JOHN! Do a little research next time, Genius!

*sigh* I feel better now.

Posted by: Cassia Zoe at December 13, 2006 08:53 AM

Whoa! Amazing in all respects - getting hate mail and such a well-written response. I can only echo what other people have already written, even the "will you marry me?" post. Damn, you're taken with a great wife and lucky daughter. Oh well, I'll keep looking.

Posted by: Heather at December 13, 2006 08:55 AM

Yeah, yeah.....you probably left that snotty comment yourself just so you'd have something to write about today.

Do I get my own thread now too?
[snort]

Posted by: fauve at December 13, 2006 08:56 AM

Pfft - are trolls really worth the time?
But the "uber-stick up his "world traveled" ass..." comment - oh did that have me ROLLING! Too perfect!!
Hillary says hi. ;)

Posted by: Traci at December 13, 2006 09:05 AM

Comments like that are bewildering to me. Don't like a blog? Don't read it.

What's hard about that?

Posted by: Liz at December 13, 2006 09:05 AM

I once again bow to your greatness. =) AND? I raise DD large cream w/extra sugar to you. Now THAT is high praise indeed! HA!

Seriously? Since where have there been guidelines about what you NEED to write about. A blog is a form of self expression and a place to write about your life. It is only normal that Beth and Mia would come up rather frequently. Plus? If you only posted pictures of yourself with like a box on your head...oh wait you did that one. Well, nevermind. Just keep doing what you are doing. Seems to me John never took the time to actually read your blog, sucks to be him.

Rude Cactus, solving the world's confusion one prick at a time. =)

Posted by: Lauren at December 13, 2006 09:16 AM

Zero tolerance for asshats!

Posted by: Kate the Shrew at December 13, 2006 09:25 AM

If he thinks you're banal and boring, he'd just love me. I must break at least 6 of the 10 rules of blogging every day.

He did one good thing though. Thanks to him, I now know a little more about you.

For that reason only, I'm glad you responded to him. Otherwise I'd say don't feed the beast.

Keep on writing your boring, banal posts. I'll keep on making them my first read of the morning.

Posted by: ann adams at December 13, 2006 09:32 AM

Great post. My belief is that John's attack was more because your liberal than the rest of his commentary.

There is too much commentary and hatred towards liberals in our country. They like to peg us all in one massive heap and it's not possible.

Like every other group in the country, our views vary and we're not the green eyed monster out to rule the world.

Posted by: Diane at December 13, 2006 09:41 AM

I love you posts. What you also didnt mention is that the first years of childhood are inner-learning years to prepare for outer-learning and often keep the whole family inside. But 1 or 2 years does not a life make.
We were in the islands once when herds (?) of turtles came swimming - we were in their path on their trek to spawn. My son was facinated so the next year we went to Costa Rica in the jungle at night to watch the eggs of those future giants hatch. This is something we closed-off uber-librals like to do.
Now I had another kid and dont expect to see daylight for a while. Reading my posts for the last 2 years might make it seems like I never go anywhere either.
Anyone who wants to judge a whole life from one post or one year is clearly an idiot. Or a judgemental ass.
You were a lot nicer than I would've been, natch.

-Your fellow banal blogger

Posted by: That Girl at December 13, 2006 09:55 AM

This is why I read your blog, Chris, and why I continue to do so. You are exactly what you have said in this post and I, personally, enjoy your perspective, your writing, your family and yourself. The last two paragraphs of this post are bang-on; you're right. You're making something of them.

I don't get what's with all the hate lately. It seems like everywhere I've clicked over the last few days, there's been hate. All you need is love, people. 'Kay?

Posted by: mamatulip at December 13, 2006 10:09 AM

Don't think that this gets you a pass on today's post.

Posted by: Adam at December 13, 2006 10:09 AM

It's hard for the close-minded to understand that blogs are not the full representation of a person. At a glance they appear to be, but those who truly understand the medium know better.

Also? Some people just suck donkey nuts.

As an aside, I'm a huge fan of travel and have done quite a bit myself. I'm sure you've got snippits from those travels that would be very blogworthy. If you find time, I'd love to hear some.

Posted by: Brad at December 13, 2006 10:10 AM

In the immortal words of Dan Akroyd:

"John--er--Jane...you ignorant slut!"

That is all.

Posted by: wordgirl at December 13, 2006 10:16 AM

Beautiful post, but ofcourse most of it you've already shared with us. I've never understood hatemail. I never got hatemail, but I just don't understand people spend time writing things like that. I think it's jealousy. Anyways, they'd be more happy it they spend that time reading a book, listening to a cd or cuddling a cutie pie like Mia :)

Posted by: Nadine at December 13, 2006 10:22 AM

You can't spell 'banal' without 'anal'!

Not entirely sure what that means, but I was mad that there were 29 comments and your post and no one made an anal joke.

Posted by: andy at December 13, 2006 10:57 AM

ass. hole.

Posted by: ali at December 13, 2006 11:00 AM

I always wonder when I'm going to get my first evil commenter. Maybe John was just learning a new vocab word...banal...and wanted to try and use it in a sentence?

Posted by: Librarian Girl at December 13, 2006 11:02 AM

I have a favorite word for people like him:

Fuckstick

Nice thrust and parry.

Posted by: Pammer at December 13, 2006 11:12 AM

I heart you.

Posted by: Betty at December 13, 2006 11:19 AM

Amen! And yes, you may have written over three years worth of commentary on this site, but newer visitors may not have known everything that you just summed up in this post. Nice job. :)

Posted by: Zandria at December 13, 2006 11:29 AM

And you're, um, hot and stuff. Not as hot as your wife, but still. You forgot to count that one.

Posted by: mr lady at December 13, 2006 11:31 AM

I can only dream of one day getting hate mail like that.

Posted by: old man neill at December 13, 2006 11:34 AM

That was a very good post, Mr. Chris. You want that I should beat up this John guy? Cuz I'm totally up for that ;-)
Here's the thing: We disagree on a lot of issues. While I'm mostly politically liberal, I'm morally very conservative. You know this - and yet we still maintain a bloggy sort of friendship. That is, frankly, impossible for someone with a completely insulated world view.
You're a good man, Charlie Brown. Uh...Chris Cactus, rather.
Also, the last little bit of your post reminded me of this song...country (sorry heh)...called "Little Moments." Worth a look, IMHO...http://artists.letssingit.com/brad-paisley-lyrics-little-moments-m72x2fq.
"Yeah, I live for little moments like that."

Posted by: Heather at December 13, 2006 11:41 AM

Amen brother!

Posted by: Jenn at December 13, 2006 11:42 AM

#1: Notice that out of all these replies, I still haven't seen one from John. I'm glad that you so elegantly put him in his place. (Plus we got your back Chris!)
#2: On a personal note, I want to add that what you might post one day as a "boring blog" (somewhat like yesterday), these blogs are not boring! At least not to me! I enjoy my morning dose of Rude Cactus, even if you're not having the greatest of mornings. It's nice to relate to someone who has a crappy day just like the rest of us. Keep up the good work Chris!! :)

Rude Cactus: Showing rude bloggers where to stick it since 2003!

Posted by: Michelle at December 13, 2006 11:43 AM

Clearly John doesn't have children. And if he does... well, he's missing the true poetry of parenting if that's truly what he believes.

Personally, I have the utmost respect for you and Beth and the work of parenting you are sharing with Mia. You're one of my first clicks when I look at bloglines. I look forward to reading you every single day because, well... you open up my world and make it just a little bigger. You and your family are the kind of people I'd like to know personally and I feel fortunate that I get to know you a little bit by your blogs.

Keep on keeping on, my friend. Those of us who hang with the Cactus-Fish consider you friends.

Geeze, I sound like a freaking stalker. Sigh.

Posted by: Elaine at December 13, 2006 12:08 PM

I love your response. And I have only one thing to say: I was liberal before I lived and traveled in Europe. I came back uber-liberal. So there.

Posted by: candace at December 13, 2006 12:17 PM

I'm jealous of the caliber of your trolls--all I get is the occasional, "You're weird." Which, honestly, is possibly true and also possibly not an insult. I'd love just one "banal and boring."

Posted by: samantha at December 13, 2006 12:32 PM

What's with the haters these days, man? LOVE your response. I would've said fuck you, get off my blog. Heheh.

Posted by: Oakley at December 13, 2006 12:37 PM

Chris, you may have noticed that I recently received a comment of hate on our common site (Dad Centric for those of you playing at home). My fan went right for the crotch and compared my wife to a blow up doll. I wish.

Finally the guy started using multi-syllable words and decided that it was really my writing that sucked. He took a little less than 3 years of Creative Writing courses you know! He was a boaster.

I was frustrated. I have an actual degree in Creative Writing (minor in history!), numerous pieces published, and a nomination for the prestiges Pushcart Prize. I've had a student at Rutgers use one of my stories for their thesis. There is a school in Arizona that uses one of my poems every year on their AP English final. All of that makes me think that perhaps the hater was in the minority.

I spent a very long time creating a civil reply but decided to go with the "fuck 'em if they can't take a joke" route (the post in question was intended as satire).

That said, three pages later, I feel your pain. Who the hell are these guys to judge someone based on whatever they manage to read on their coffee break?

I hate haters.

Thanks for the therapy.

Posted by: whit at December 13, 2006 12:41 PM

Im sorry you got hate mail. :( I LOVE your response. Id love to say something witty right here, but I dont have it in me. So I'll just say that I love hearing about your "boring" life. Keep doing what you're doing!

Posted by: alfredsmom at December 13, 2006 12:46 PM

DAAAAMN, what a close-minded fuck-tard.

HIM, not you, that is...

Posted by: Matt at December 13, 2006 01:01 PM

Your real Chris and thats why so many people enjoy reading your blog, we can relate to your sleepless nights and teething and walking in the park and experiencing the many "firsts" of our children.

Stay real.

Posted by: Lisa at December 13, 2006 01:02 PM

Two words come to mind that sum up both the response and ensuing comments: predictable and unchallenging. I still feel that the basic premise of my argument stands. Traveling to Europe (and probably the countries that most resemble the U.S.) as a kid and a week trip to the French countryside do not by any means make an “uber liberal” parent. But that aside, my main argument was this: your world seems to me to be limited to an arms length existence. I am not talking about education (by the way I have a masters from Georgetown University) or about office assignments or even traveling per se (we happen to be Americans living in South America). And yes books and music and keeping abreast of current events somewhat broaden your horizon, but nothing replaces ACTUALLY TAKING YOURSELF OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. That is what an “uber liberal” does. They allow themselves to escape from the bonds of traditional thinking and allow outside influences, experiences, triumphs and failings to redefine or change their opinions. For example, rather than writing about rolling around on the floor of your kitchen with your child, what about this: My wife and I are learning Spanish (or Chinese or Vietnamese or whatever language you feel fits most appropriately) so that we can speak the language to our child from the beginning. Isn’t that what a blog in some respect is supposed to do? Take you out of your comfort zone and open your ideas, emotions and feelings to criticism. Maybe I am wrong. But then again it is hard to compete against asshat, donkey nuts, uber stick up my world traveled ass, fuck tard,or the best: it must be an attack against liberals. I also hope my comment was a little bit more informed than comparing your wife to a blow up doll.

Posted by: John at December 13, 2006 01:05 PM

Well written hatemail. Even better composed response.

I don't write about anything important; I don't get much hatemail. Try being that insignificant!!

Posted by: chantel at December 13, 2006 01:27 PM

I had to look up what banal meant. The definition is more confusing than the word.

Do you think this guy works with you? Kind of sounds like.

You are a wordy mofo. Fuck, I'm going back to your wife's blog, she posts more pictures which are easier to understand. :)

Posted by: Eric at December 13, 2006 01:29 PM

Rock On Brother! People Just Suck Sometimes! And Im Willing To Bet That If You Two Ended Up In A Ring Together, There Would Be More Blogmates Out There In Your Cheering Section Than His! Im Just Saying Is All! Keep On Doing What You Do! =0)

Posted by: Dawn at December 13, 2006 01:39 PM

John sounds a bit self-righteous. I think despite your daily blogging, I still think there's a lot that John doesn't, nor will he ever, know about you. I think it's totally inappropriate the way he is assuming that he knows you enough to make such judgement calls about you. It makes me sad.

Posted by: Sijbrich at December 13, 2006 01:39 PM

John,

You have your opinion about Chris's blog. Everyone who read your comments had their own thoughts about why you said what you said including me.

Blogging is whatever the blogger chooses it to be. There are all kinds of blogs out there and blogs that interest many and not so many. Every blogger decides what to write about and people follow our blogs or they don't.

My two cents is that this blog is damn interesting as it's real. The blog is mostly about his family life, but told in a quirky and funny way.

Posted by: Diane at December 13, 2006 01:42 PM

oh. my. damn.

The tenacity of some people really amazes me.

Chris, you are, as always, a rock star. And I'm glad to see that you know it as well.

Rock on, my friend. Rock on.

Posted by: Mel at December 13, 2006 01:48 PM

Um, WOW! I mean as soon as I heard someone left you an evil comment I was ready to get jiggy wit it (ha) and jumpt to your defense, but hey...you certainly don't need me to do that now do ya? Nope, you did an excellent job of that yourself. Well stated. Beautiful. You are a class act and I really feel privileged to know you, even if only in the world of the 'net. Keep Rockin'!

Posted by: Kate at December 13, 2006 01:58 PM

man, i never get hate comments. i'm sooooper jealous.

remember your ninja skills.

Posted by: jodi at December 13, 2006 02:16 PM

Nicely written. I have never understood why people bother to read, re-visit and comment on blogs they find boring & banal. What's the point?? Shouldn't you be out traveling the world or something?

Posted by: carrster at December 13, 2006 02:20 PM

I'm not sure if someone has mentioned this already or not because I'm too strapped for time to read all the comments, but I take personal offense at what this John character said about your blog because he has implied that the people READING your blog are all those things, too. I would wager that 99% (the remaining 1% made up of people like John, of course) of your readership are none of those things, just like yourself. Also, I don't see any of your readership complaining about stories and pictures of Mia. Because really, if you complain about stories and pictures of Mia, you have no soul and have no business being on the internets to begin with.

Of course, that's just the opinion of a liberal, close-minded, baby-killing, hairy-legged feminist.

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at December 13, 2006 02:23 PM

Also, I'm pretty sure there are plenty of "world travelers" out there who are actually close-minded assholes. I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at December 13, 2006 02:27 PM

It seems theres been a rash of hate-mail round the parent blogs these days. What gives?

John clearly doesn't know what the hell he's talking about.

Posted by: Jonathon at December 13, 2006 02:27 PM

Ah. Now I know what the meaning of "Take a ride. Strap one on" is.

Posted by: bhd at December 13, 2006 02:34 PM

Yes, it's true that everyone is entitled to their opinion, and John's may even have been interesting if not for the smug condescension. To presume to know what your comfort level is (based on a blog posting, no less), to assume that you never reach past it, and to imply that he does a better job of it just leaves the ol' cliche' "opinions are like assholes; everyone's got one" running through my mind. But that's just me and my arm's length view of John....

Posted by: Jaycie at December 13, 2006 02:34 PM

Good for you Chris, for replying to him in a stand up way. For not letting his negativity seep over into your world. However from reading your site for over a year, I would have expected no less from you. I completely agree with you, but we knew that. ;) Most of what you said, I knew, but not the thesis part...neat topic. But you're right, none of it matters in the grand scheme of life. I feel that way about mine too. I've done amazing things and traveled the world and my parents managed to teach me that every living being matters...and in my life if I can manage to raise my girls to be intelligent independent women who care about this world we live in, then I will feel accomplished as a person, no matter how many degrees I have or how many times I get promoted nor how much money I may happen to make.

John,
Dude, please get a life. Coming to someone's site and telling them they're boring is really a pain in the ass for all the rest of us. Maybe you feel better about yourself now, but all you did was show your stupidity to the world. Yay you.

Posted by: Melissa at December 13, 2006 02:41 PM

That is lamest, most mealy-mouthed insult. What a sad sack John is.

Ah well, at least he gave you the fodder you've been seeking for a really excellent post.

Posted by: Vaguely Urban at December 13, 2006 02:45 PM

Oh and Kate had the greatest tagline for you....Zero tolerance for asshats!

Posted by: Melissa at December 13, 2006 02:46 PM

I think he's jealous because he's heard rumors of Beth's smokin' hot ass...not mention you are the father of the world's most beautiful child (take that, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt!) Great response, sometimes the asshats need addressing.

But seriously - if you don't like a blogger, don't read their blog. I practice this myself, and find it works out quite well.

Posted by: Sam at December 13, 2006 03:08 PM

I'm with Sam, above. I also know that once you become a parent, everything is thereafter viewed through that lens. Which, I believe, makes you a better human being. Being a parent expands your being, it doesn't limit it.

Posted by: Queen of Ass at December 13, 2006 03:17 PM

Fantastic response. 'nuf said. :)

Posted by: Debra at December 13, 2006 03:35 PM

You are ANYTHING but boring and banal -- that's what keeps us coming back again and again to read you. Hell, you're more exciting (from a platonic point of view, thankyouverymuch) than I could ever hope to be!

I know you don't need anyone to validate that for you, but I still had to say it. Just so "John" could "hear"...

Posted by: ironic1 at December 13, 2006 04:05 PM

LOL, I love hatemail. It's just so ridiculous that it's funny. I hope that doesn't come across as insensitive...I might not find it as funny if it was directed at me.

Posted by: Amy at December 13, 2006 04:06 PM

I've got a great idea for some future posts. How about us writing you some flames and you can respond on those days you just don't have anything to blog about?

I'll start, you are a such a tool! Take that uber liberal!

Of course I'm kidding. You aren't a tool, you are the toolbox. Hi-O!

Have a good one.

Posted by: Eric at December 13, 2006 04:08 PM

*Blows noise-maker* Congrats on your first hate mail! I gushed to Hoop the night I got mine. He kept staring at me oddly until finally asking, "And that's a GOOD thing?"

Posted by: Tink at December 13, 2006 04:22 PM

What a sad, sad man. He moved halfway around the world, presumably far away from his so-called 'comfort zone', and yet he still feels the need to follow and write negative things about your life on your blog and comment page.

Posted by: ewe_are_here at December 13, 2006 04:31 PM

Hey Chris, you are a big poophead.

Wow, hate mail IS fun. I feel better already.

Posted by: angela at December 13, 2006 04:53 PM

lol great post - almost makes one think of insulting you for fun!!! You do good comeback.

Posted by: jeanie at December 13, 2006 05:18 PM

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt...doesn't he get that one??

Either way, you have your priorities straight and that is all that matters!

Posted by: Steff at December 13, 2006 05:18 PM

W. T. F. I wish I had that kind of time on my hands, as John does.

Rock on, Chris! You're the best!

Posted by: kristen at December 13, 2006 06:01 PM

This John has been leaving trashy comments on several DC based blogs. Or at least, there was a "John" who left a similar nasty comment on Jamy from Grateful Dating's blog too. Some people like making other people feel bad...

Posted by: E :) at December 13, 2006 06:11 PM

Clearly, John has a small penis.

Posted by: Sphincter at December 13, 2006 06:34 PM

Gosh! How did we all make it this far in life without John telling us how to live? Wow!

I wouldn't worry too much about this, Chris. Usually the faults people find in others are the things that they don't like about themselves. Might want to look in the mirror there John!
Methinks thou doth protest too much!

Rude Cactus - I'll show you a prickly pair!

Posted by: Jules at December 13, 2006 06:40 PM

Wow. Beautifully written, clear, consise, very un-banal way to say, "Fuck you, John."

Cheers!

Posted by: Cartwheels At Midnight at December 13, 2006 09:23 PM

Wow, I guess I need to take the time to read all of the comments before posting my own next time - I missed out on all of the fun! Well done with the response but personally I probably would have just deleted his comment and moved on.

When did the conservatives take ownership of "family values?" I consider myself to have fantastic morals and strong family values, but I also believe in a woman's right to choose and in gay marriage. And who says that an uber-liberal can't take the time to enjoy the simple things in life or raising a family? I admire you and Beth for enjoying your life raising your child instead of dropping Mia off at the sitter or leaving her with a nanny so you two can do a bit of hopping around the world. It seems to me that John has a close-minded view of what a liberal is. That's the beauty of being a liberal - we can be whomever we want and it's okay!

Posted by: Beth in StL at December 13, 2006 10:01 PM

People just don't get the whole "agree to disagree" thing. I've learned that first hand waaaaay to many times since being on the internet. Consider yourself lucky you don't receive more. It gets extremely old after a while. It's not about not being able to take criticism, it's about GET A FUCKING LIFE and STOP CONTRADICTING YOURSELVES! Okay, I'm clearly using your blog as therapy - do you charge by the hour? ;)

Posted by: rsm at December 13, 2006 11:03 PM

Ummm, Chris, your hate mail was so well written and so sophisticated. Exactly like your posts. Are you sure you did not write it? :-) Great reply too!

NM.

Posted by: NM at December 13, 2006 11:19 PM

Wonderful post you highly educated uber-liberal loving father you. :)

Posted by: Mandi at December 14, 2006 12:24 AM

Well I must say you are much better at handling hate mail than me! If they don't spell something wrong In their comment I can throw in their face I usually use my 4 yr olds usual response:
I know you are but what am I?!?

Posted by: Sunshine at December 14, 2006 02:37 AM

This post actually came up with a telephone conversation last night between my sister and me. Having not yet read it, I asked that she not share the details, and now, at 6:00 am, I am appalled at John's accusations.

The dude made my blood boil, and he wasn’t even attacking me!

This was, however, one of those posts that made me want to stand up and cheer for the home team. :o)

Posted by: Emily at December 14, 2006 06:59 AM

Oh my god, Chris, you totally overreacted. John gave you a lot of compliments. Everyone always focuses on the negative stuff. Jesus. Here is what I heard:

...your posts seem well written... blah blah... you have a beautiful child... blah blah blah... listening to music, reading books and taking some interesting photos...blah blah... your world is funny And more likely than not will be passed on to the next generation.

What's so bad about that? :P

Posted by: anita at December 14, 2006 04:53 PM

I've never gotten hate mail...is it weird that I'm a little jealous?

Posted by: sandra at December 14, 2006 05:25 PM

John sucks.

Posted by: Janet at December 14, 2006 11:48 PM

I'm just wondering whether or not John considers HIMSELF to be an uber-liberal (pardon the missing umlaut). It would appear from his helpful definition that he may consider himself to fit into that category and is somehow offended that you would dare to lay claim to the same title as him. He is obviously well deserving after all: I mean, my GOD, he's living in SOUTH AMERICA but he's AMERICAN. He is just so far out of his comfort zone it's scary and impressive all at once. I just have one question: does John really think that elitism and self-righteous condescension fit into the overall make up of an uber-liberal? Because the last time I looked, that wasn't part of the deal.

John, the bottom line here is that it's fine that you have an opinion that differs from everyone else here, and bravo to you for being different; you are ringing your originality bell loud and clear, and we are IMPRESSED. But as others here have said, if you don't like it, don't read it. There is no excuse for bad manners. You have just entered someone's virtual home and shit all over the carpet and you expect someone to have a worthy response as to why you should not have done so. Get a diaper and get out.

Posted by: Freakazojd at December 15, 2006 01:29 AM

Hmmm...I am going to have to say that wasn't hate mail. I hear an undertone in there that says even though he does not agree with you..he is impressed by you and perhaps a smidge jealous. I don't know, that is just how I read it.

The other thing I want to say is that I am mostly Ultra-conservative. Your posts drive me nutts, absolutely make me crazy sometimes (I have only been reading for about 4 months) but that does not stop me from coming back and reading every single day. You are extremely entertaining, funny, never boring or banal, whether I agree with you or not.

Posted by: Leilani at December 16, 2006 07:03 PM

You tell 'em! I've never been more proud to be a regular reader of yours. Bring on the banal and boring. Which you are not. John's an idiot, apparently.

Posted by: Nila at December 17, 2006 07:58 AM

I also disagree with John. John, is your biggest beef the fact that Chris calls himself an uber-liberal?

I don’t agree that Chris’ blog lacks freshness or originality. I’ve been reading Chris’ blog (and Beth’s too) for 8 months, after returning to work from a year spent home with my daughter. This is the first time I’ve commented.

I find both Chris and Beth to be kindred spirits. Parenting a child changes your life from what it was. Things are different. You adapt and become different too. And John, wouldn’t you agree that life is a series of changes? As a new parent myself, I can relate to the continuing circle of basic childcare that happens each day. Your world does become enclosed inside this circle. Believe me, there’s no time for dinner with colleagues or Spanish classes. Raising a young child is all-encompassing. You live in the moment, finding joy in whatever it is you are doing (even when changing a diaper for that matter). Bath time totally rocks!

I for one, am excited about teaching my daughter all about being alive and the ways she can enrich her perspective of the world when she’s old enough. I have no doubt Chris and Beth are excited about doing the same with Mia. At 20 months of age, my daughter is interested in practising her speech, telling me no, her belly button, squealing with delight at the moon and stars and “this little piggy went to market” played out on her toes. She’s not ready for anything else.

As a graphic designer, I find Chris’s photography work entertaining and often inspiring. Every now and then, I am able to glean some parenting experience from this delightful couple, which is always appreciated. Quite often, a post leaves me with, “yeah, I have those days too”.

I expect years ago, a blog like this would not have caught my interest. To me, this is a blog written by a deeply involved parent and I couldn’t have related to that before. The political opinions expressed here do not relate directly to me as a Canadian. However, I do like to know how my U.S. neighbours feel about things. I enjoy reading about someone else’s life. Isn’t that the point of a blog in the first place?

Rolling around on the kitchen floor with your child or stroking her soft curls as she hugs you tight are the moments you will remember, not how well your child speaks another language at age two. Don’t be concerned. Chris’ sweet child will not grow up in a household of banality. Her parents are doing what we all do at this stage in a toddler’s life. There isn’t time for much else. Children grow and things will change once again.

Posted by: Dee at December 18, 2006 02:47 PM
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