Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Relationship Dilemma

Dear Abby,

There's a journalist about my age who's done a lot of good, important work on Korea and Japan, but he's ... well, erratic.  When the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington DC was being fought over by left activists and goons for self-declared President Juan Guaido, for example, this guy kept referring to Guaido on Twitter as "Guido."  He did this often enough to make it obvious that it wasn't a typo but an attempt to slur Guaido as .. Italian?  It didn't make sense, and I called him on it.  He replied that hey, dude, he had to vent somehow, and he was so pissed off that he had no alternative.  (I suspect his buddy Jack Daniels was egging him on.)  Sometime later, to add to the weirdness, he attacked someone for referring to Japanese as Japs, scolding that you never attack the people, just their government.  So, how does calling Guaido in effect a dumb wop fit in here?  I suspect we'll never know.

More recently, he's been gushing about Bob Dylan's recent bloated musical epic, "Murder Most Foul," about the assassination of John Kennedy, in a manner that indicates he's still under the spell of Camelot despite all we've learned about the dark side of the Kennedy cult.  (I intend to write about "Murder Most Foul" at some point; for now, suffice it to say that I fell asleep in the middle of my first attempt to listen to it.)  And then a week or two ago, he reposted an unflattering photograph of the quack TV personality Dr. Phil, asking rhetorically why anyone should listen to someone who looked like this.  I called him out again, pointing out the irrelevance of judging anyone by their looks rather than their words and actions.

But I chickened out too: I wanted to ask why, by his standards, anyone should listen to someone who looks like second-runner-up in a Slavoj Žižek lookalike contest.  I chickened out, not because I didn't want to hurt his feelings, but because I was afraid he'd block me, and then I'd lose access to the useful stuff he posts.  Abby, should I have damned the torpedoes and dumped on him anyway?  I feel like I've compromised my integrity.


Wuss in Indiana