I get e-mail’s referring to government “Ponzi Schemes.” Let’s stop calling them “Ponzi Schemes” and call them “Madoff Schemes.” Compared to Bernie, Ponzi was a Piker.
Many critics took—or pretended to take—my piece “I’m Tired” to mean I was worn out, or giving up. But in common usage, “I’m tired of” has a different meaning than “I’m tired.” People can say, “I’m tired of beans,” without implying they are physically weary, just as saying “I’m sick of beans” doesn’t mean they are physically ill. The different usages in English are so common and well understood that, if I was feeling uncharitable, I might think they were deliberately misinterpreting me in order to criticize. So, to be charitable, I’ll put it down to poor reading skills.
“I’m Tired” is here, if you missed it:
A few folks complained that I was just complaining—apparently it’s so wrong for me to complain about the problems I see in our country, they have to complain about me doing so. One guy (you know who you are, Jack) wrote a long piece griping about “I’m tired,” then ended with, “Please remember that while griping may make you feel better, it doesn't accomplish much.” Writing that probably made him feel better.
Another thing I’m suddenly tired of: Critics claiming I said something I didn’t, then criticizing the thing they made up. That’s for professional journalists, kids, don’t try it at home. I have never said that all the members of any group, white, black, brown, yellow, red, green, gay, straight, male, female, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Republicans or Democrats were evil. Not even Lawyers or Congress. Or that all members of any of these groups were virtuous. Quite the contrary. Learn to read. Makes me want to smack them in the snotlocker—not that I’m a violent person. Marines are gentle like flowers in the spring.
The fellow who translated “I’m Tired” into Portuguese has a great post on his blog called “Brazil for Beginners.” Very educational reading about this important southern neighbor.
Probably my favorite blog response was the person who told me I had made a “misstake” (sic) on Gays in “This I Believe” because I obviously was not “edgucated (sic) in this area.”
But this e-mail was an honour:
Dear Mr. Robert Hall,
Your article about your being tired was forwarded to me here in London by my friend Si F. in Los Angeles.
First of all let me say that I LIKED IT. EVERY WORD THAT YOU WROTE HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD.
Please permit me to make a few comments:--
I am glad that London is still the capital of England and is not yet called Londonabad and that England is not yet called Anglistan, and I doubt that I shall live to see that happen. But there is a serious danger that it may come about !
Because you see I am 92, a veteran of World War 2. But unless more of us speak
out as you have done, it will surely come about, as our British politicians, no less
than yours in the USA, are still living in the spirit of Neville Chamberlain, (who turned a blind eye to the obviously approaching danger of a "gentleman" called Herr Adolf Hitler),
instead of that of Winston Churchill ("We shall NEVER surrender").
Our financiers and politicians are just as corrupt as yours.
Our so-called "leaders" fall over themselves to be "fair minded" to the Islamist terrorists, and protect their "human rights", releasing murderers in a spirit of "Justice" while completely ignoring the human rights (no quotation marks this time) of their quite innocent victims, such as those who were slaughtered in New York on 9/11
It is now midnight (GMT) and I, too, am now tired and shall very soon be in bed, but we must all exert ourselves to try to prevent another catastrophic world war.
So I will conclude, in, I hope, English, instead of the stupid habit of teenagers to use their texting slang and say that I admire you, but we must all pull together to make a serious effort to save the world from disaster, (and in what is probably considered "old fashioned" style),
You may certainly post my comments on your site (not "sight", with your permission I correct you), and as you have no fear of your name and full address being quoted, I shall have the same lack of fear.
Yours very sincerely,
Michael Sherbourne (d.o.b. 22nd Feb.,1917)
32, Cissbury Ring South, Woodside Park,
N.Finchley, LONDON, N.12 7BE
England, UK e-mail email@example.com
Note he caught a typo in my e-mail to him. Michael is a guy you'd want at your back in a rough house!
They were the Greatest Generation in Britain, too. Who will save our world now, as they did then? Imagine Churchill and Roosevelt trying to lock up all those Nazi POWs (enemy combatants) today, without giving them lawyers and their constitutional rights? Makes you tired to think about it.
Thanks for reading.