Monday, November 14, 2005

Some general guidelines for writing me a hate mail

They say you can gauge a man's success by the number of detractors he has. Although I do not believe the guy who said that was referring to George W. Bush. But anyways, if such might be the case, then I consider myself to have achieved some success in my short life as a blogger. I have begun to receive hate mails.

To my hate mail writers, I have this to say to you. I welcome you and your emails with open arms. Let there be no confusion in this regard, I appreciate the effort you put in when you open your browser, log into your email account, type in the subject line and put your honest thoughts about me in writing. It is good to know that you care about what I write enough to detest it as much as you do. In fact, the relationship we are in, which includes me, the writer of this blog and you, the purveyor of vitriol directed towards my writing, is quite symbiotic in nature. Your ire feeds upon what I write, which you then proceed to communicate to me, which in turn provides me with fodder as well as motivation for writing some more material that might incur your wrath. So you see, it works out well for both of us.

However, there is one thing that could prove to be a source of friction in this relationship, and that is the breakdown in communication between us. I am quite sure that my writing is pretty unambiguous, in that, it is generally not too hard to determine the direction being taken by the train of my thought, the route that it is taking, as well as it's final destination. I make sure that all this is well exposed in my writing. In fact, sometimes, I go overboard in making sure that the gist of my observations is plain even to the most superficial of readers, thus frequently losing some amount of subtlety in my writing style. And as you know, a subtle writing style commands quite a premium in some markets. But you, dear hate mail writer, are guilty of a greater crime. The writing in your email, frequently, is ambiguous at best, incoherent and rambling at worst. And I do not mean to say this to you in an overly critical way. If the relationship between the two of us is to work, we have to make sure that the give and take of hatred and hatred inspiring prose is not shackled by a breakdown in communication.

Towards this end, I have proposed a set of rules I humbly request and expect you to follow when you are putting down in writing the unabashed loathing you feel for me and every organ of my body. First of all, and most of all, a big issue concerning you seems to be the lack of comments in my blog. I assure you, since I am sensing a suspicion on your part in this regard, that this is not because of any inadequacies that I might suffer from as a male and as a human being. I might have a number of inadequacies that I possess both as a male and as a human being, but none of those inadequacies has manifested itself in the form of lack of comments on my blog. That being said, let us move on.

The subject of your mail needs to be more substantial than "Grow up Boy". Let us for the moment disregard the obvious argument I could have made regarding your request for me to mature in body and mind faster than nature would permit me to, and move on to the crux of the matter, the crux being that your subject line needs to be more descriptive than this. Especially, if the body of your mail doesn't shine in the lucidity department either.

Please feel free to use expletives liberally. I am not one to cringe. If your expletives have the potential for communicating the gist of your argument to me more effectively than the rest of your verbal repertoire, go for it, I say. Please do not use ascii characters to cloak your expletives. I am not a big fan of those.

Please do not abuse punctuation. And by that, I mean please refrain from using statements like "Get my point!!!!!!!!!". The obvious disadvantage of punctuation marks is that they can only convey the intensity of your emotion, not the nature of the emotion itself. Here in this case, I clearly did not get your point, moreover, I was unsure whether you were requesting me to get the point or were inquiring of me whether I had got the point. See what I mean? And as a rule of thumb, if the words in your email are outnumbered by punctuation marks, it is safe to say that the coherence of your mail is going to be drastically reduced.

Injecting my nationality in your argument would be futile unless my nationality actually had something to do with your argument. For example, the statement "Do you want to be with the millions who say Earth is the center of universe! Then you be a Indian.." would have no redeeming value unless you actually followed it up with another statement that would relate my being an Indian and believing the Earth to be the center of the universe with something in my writing that you find objectionable. And while we are on this topic, let me just point out two other things. When you accuse my Indian nationality of being the cause of your anger, at least carry out some research into the history of my country so that you would know Indians didn't really believe that the earth was the center of the universe. Sure, we believed in a number of other ridiculous things like the earth balancing on a giant turtle, or the sun being a human being who actually owned a horse buggy and could impregnate women. But the earth being the center of the universe? Nope, that was the Catholic Church. Ask Galileo if you don't believe me. And secondly, again, notice you used two periods. Waste of effort and space.

And finally, to the gentleman who took offence at my post on multiculturalism, I didn't really imply that Indians would purposely ram their cars into Americans. We care too much about our Honda Civics and Toyota Corollas to do that. I am sorry you took offence at that post and threatened me that the next time I rammed into you, you would fire your double barrelled shotgun at me. Although I am at a loss as to why and when we shall ever meet and how you would know it is me that rammed into you. Unless you plan to go through the rest of your life carrying a shotgun and hoping that every guy that rams into you is me and shoot him. All the best with that.

But most of all, remember to ease off the punctuation.

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