Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dear Doug,

I think I've been bothered by Doug Miller's column this week more than I should be.  First, it wasn't directed at me.  Second, who really cares what Doug Miller writes about in his column. 

But my mind keeps coming back to it.  I guess I interpreted it as a personal response to what he saw as a personal slight, with Doug using the purportedly higher ground of "print media" to shake his finger at the naughty bloggers.  Sure, he doesn't call Sarah any mean names, but there is the suggestion that "we blogs" are a den of mud-slinging neanderthals, and that Sarah's post was just a reflection of that.

Doug ignores the fact that Sarah's post was a well-reasoned response to a mean-spirited rant, which belittled those that responded to Frisky's call for letters to the editor that happened to be on Facebook.  (I guess that a phone tree plea would have been more appropriate?)  Sarah's only request?  "let people write their letters to the editor in peace".  Sarah's post leads Doug to the following conclusion: "As powerful as the Internet is as a medium of communication, it hasn't improved human interaction as far as I can tell. It's only made our flaws in that regard more obvious."  Ok, so...Doug has concluded, based on Sarah's post suggesting that he was possibly-maybe out of line, that the Internet (THE ENTIRE FRICKIN' INTERNET) has made our flaws in human interaction more obvious.  (Note: he leaves it to the reader to decide what those flaws may be, effectively neutering his column of any sense).

I'm not sure Doug's "interaction" skills were so refined to begin with.  When I contacted Sarah about Doug's column, she was surprised.  Doug had not reached out to her, despite the fact that the Internet would make such a gesture that much easier for him to do.

If Doug wants to pretend that what he writes exists in a vacuum of "TRUTH" and that everything else is just chatter, that's fine.  But he's wrong.  We digest, criticize, argue, dispute, promote, and ignore what comes out in our daily (or even weekly) papers.  The Internet allows us to do that together.

I'm sorry that this is so confusing for Doug.  I can only hope that one day (soon) he gets it.