Published on: November 11, 2010
Michael Sansolo’s piece earlier this week about the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert rally in washington, DC, calling for sanity and civility in our discourse, prompted the following email from an MNB user:Anybody that thinks Stewart and Colbert are anything but a couple of left wing nuts that are not funny is crazy. I cannot believe you bought their manure. I am happy to rail on liberals at all times especially since they don’t know what being civil means. I will not be civil to people trying to destroy this country specifically DEMOCRATS!!!!!!
I hope I’m wrong. But what worries me is the possibility that this sort of attitude is gaining traction in this country.
It isn’t just the “I’m not going to be civil to people who disagree with me” nonsense, but the insistence that people who disagree with you are trying to destroy this country
Of course, this would seem to be a direct corollary to the “patriots and pinheads” approach to punditry, in which certain people seem to suggest that anyone who does not agree with a specific approach to governance is a pinhead.
But let’s get back to this specific MNB user for a second. He claims that liberals and Democrats “don’t know what being civil means.” But without using his name - because he has asked me not to - I would point out that this very same user consistently is, shall we say, intemperate
in the way he describes anyone who disagrees with him...and even the entire state of California.
There is plenty of incivility to go around, on both sides of the political aisle and even among some independents who increasingly find ourselves disenfranchised from traditional political structures. But in this case, I daresay that this particular conservative should not be accusing anyone else of being uncivil.
We also continue to get emails about the Four Loko caffeine-and-alcoholic drink controversy.
MNB user Jeff Folloder wrote:Four Loko should be banned? I'm sorry, but the product is not the problem. People of been getting blasted out of their gourds for eons. College kids binge drink and regular Joes make poor choices. So we turn to government (the master of poor choices) to save us from ourselves? Pretty hyperbolic if you ask me. Why not insist that folks behave more responsibly and make the penalties for failure to do so more intense? That may be simplistic, but the hew and cry for government intervention is driven by skewed attitudes and "facts".
MNB user Richard Lewis wrote:In the South-West of France, where I had the pleasure to spend many summers growing up, they drink Kalimutxo (or Calimucho). One part red wine, one part Coke. With an ice-cube. Delicious.
In the North of France, where I now live, an espresso and calvados is a common bar request. Two shots: delicious.
In Majorca and parts of mainland Spain, they put a good two fingers of brandy in the coffee. Delicious.
Then of course there is the "Irish Coffee" : whiskey, hot coffee and cream. An after-dinner cocktail well-known the world over. Delicious.
One of any of these is a delight. Six is an incident.
And MNB user Brian List wrote:The problem with Four Loko drinks, as opposed to a rum and coke or Jager Bomb, is that one can is equal to almost 5 beers. And they come in fruit flavors to make them easier to drink. Newly-minted college kids are drinking 2-3 cans in, say, less than 2 hours or so, and then the caffeine crash comes to a halt. Oops. Now you’ve drank 15 beers. Saying ‘what’s next, ban rum and coke’ is an irrational argument. These drinks are targeting towards younger drinkers (over 21 or not) to give them a quick drunk, without having to drink in volume, in a form that tastes good. See the problem?
The reality of these drinks is that they are designed, formulated and promoted as being capable of knocking people senseless. People are encouraged to knock them back fast, and then have another. That’s the whole purpose.
Some of you folks can hide behind the whole “it’s the same as a rum-and-coke or Irish coffee” argument, but I think it is disingenuous. Making these drinks, and marketing them, is irresponsible.
And I’m wondering what it will take to change your mind. Your kid ending up in the hospital with alcohol poisoning? Your kid getting hit by a car driven by someone who has consumed a couple of Four Lokos? Or maybe your daughter being taken advantage of by someone who has had too many?
I recognize that all these things can happen anyway. I know I cannot protect my kids from everything, including their own bad decision making.
But I figure I have to draw the line somewhere. And this seems as good a place as any.