Thursday, January 24, 2008

Stop the Inanity!

I received this from an obviously dissatisfied anonymous reader. It is the last time I will speak to the issue of these pointless screeds.

"can't (sic) you complainers give it a rest??? WHO are you to tell people what they can do in their own house?? If you don't like it -MOVE --you moved there so you can afford to move away -- I see so many people get in a neighborhood and then try to change whatever it is they DON'T like about it after they've moved in --wonder if this will make it in your comments section since I don't agree with you??????"

Well, surprise! I plucked your anonymous remark from the relative obscurity of the comments section and hauled it here to be seen in the harsh daylight. I did it because your statement speaks volumes but probably not in the way that you desired when you wrote it.

Your missive is that which is known as an ad hominem attack. I see this far too often, especially in our newspapers where the comments to articles are not moderated. As I said, this ploy is called argumentum ad hominem, Latin for "argument to the man" or "argument against the man." In other words, instead of speaking to the issue, you attack the person(s) making a claim or “complaint” as you put it. I have had other, more vicious, sophomoric and amateurish things said about me. Click here and here for a few examples.

I will certainly not “give it a rest” as you have insisted in your first sentence because we have a serious problem here in Bellingham, that of illegal rooming houses. I would urge you to read the entirety of my blog, from the first entry last July, to capture the true flavor of the issue. Moreover, I certainly am not telling people what to do in their homes. I am asking the city to enforce the zoning laws which limit the number of unrelated persons inhabiting a single family home. This is one of many laws in this city, state and nation which place limits on our behavior for reasons having to do with the common weal.

I certainly will not move. This is my retirement home. I worked 40 years to get to this point. Surely, whether or not I can afford to move away is not something you know or will ever find out. Your statement, therefore, is a non-sequitur. Click here if you do not know what that logical fallacy means.

Furthermore, I have every right to work to change things regardless of whether my arrival is recent. As I said before in this blog, all of us and our ancestors came from somewhere else. We all have the right to seek redress and, may I be so bold as to state, we have a duty to do so.

Finally, I would like to see a bit more civility in comments, whether they be on my blog, on the Herald's website or on that of the Whatcom Indy. Dismal inanity is no substitute for well-taken and factual arguments.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually, most of the people who are being abused by your inane commentor are those who have lived in the neighborhoods much longer than the one-year wonders that come and go in places like the York Neighborhood leaving a trail of bad feelings behind them. The hostility that writer shows is exactly why the "townies" can't abide the rooming house tenants. It would seem that the writer is doing a great job of demonstrating why rooming house tenants are on their way out. For years, many of us have maintained that the behavior of those self-centered sorts that destroy the neighborhoods will prove the point. Please, you ravers out there, keep the inanity coming!