Dear Mr. Hinderaker or “Hindrocket”

Seriously. Seriously. SERIOUSLY.

You know, certain of you “conservative” bloggers like to pretend you’re above the rest. You’re the new media, after all. You’re the people who brought down Dan Rather. You’re the big new thing that all the hip fresh kids are turned on to. You don’t mix with the rabble of the Internet, the people who believe 9/11 conspiracy theories and hoard guns in their basements (well, maybe you do, but you have GOOD guns) and blither on about last weekend’s Civil War re-enactment. You’re the type that likes to distinguish between the mouthbreathing freepi loons who get your politicians elected and people like yourself, who sit back and talk about those politicians’ deranged foreign policy fantasy as if it’s a valid worldview. After all, you’ve played Supremacy a few times. You took classes. You have a diploma on your wall. Your lunacy isn’t like their lunacy. Your lunacy is backed up by scholarship. You’re very proud of your book-learning, your education, your credentials, even as you make your bucks off appealing to people who see any kind of intelligence as a threat.

And here’s what is really remarkable about your type: You know civilized discourse when you see it, too. That’s why even though you have shirts equating diversity with that gun collection, and your admirers like to photoshop pictures of war heros into jihadist martyr garb, even though you wouldn’t hesitate to speculate that another war hero shot himself to get attention, even though you mock the wounded and insult the dead, you can tell the rest of us where to get off, because you know, don’t you, from civility.

In fact (and this is what impresses me the most) you’re so far above the “blogosphere,” so far above the current political discourse, so far above and beyond dirty and messy humanity that you can tell people how to grieve, can’t you? You can tell a mother who lost her son to shut up and sit down, you can tell reporters who risked their lives to stop taking those nasty pictures, you can look at a family THE SAME DAY THEY FOUND OUT ABOUT THEIR LOVED ONE’S DEATH FROM ATROCIOUS TORTURE and pass judgment on how they mourn, on what they say in a situation you CAN’T EVEN FATHOM. You’re really something, you are. To have that kind of detachment. To have that kind of dispassionate … scholarly view, one might almost say, as though these human beings were butterflies pinned to velvet in your study. Or better yet, Sims, or plastic dinosaurs moving around in the diorama of your head.

Honestly. Seriously. Seriously, what possibly could have motivated you? What were you thinking? What was your aim? Top Ann Coulter? Congratulations, then, you managed it. Were you looking for attention, jealous of Ann’s usurping your rightful claim as the worst person in the press at the moment? You nailed it, then, you stuck that landing, perfect 10. That had to be part of your goal, right? Otherwise why open your mouth? Why not just stew and shut up, or mutter at your TV, or call up somebody who loves you and spout your opinion at them since they’re obligated by what unholy bonds of friendship or threat of blackmail I know not of. Why publish that hateful crack (and make no mistake, this is publication, and all laws apply, which I’m sure you and your oh-so-professorial pals already know) and embarrass yourself? We all have things we think and do not say. We all do. Do you know why that is?

Because at some point in our lives somebody sat us down and talked to us about what is and is not appropriate to say in public. Somebody told us not to say “fuck” in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner (sorry, Mom) and somebody told us not to hurt others and somebody told us that the absolute lowest thing you can do is beat up on somebody who’s already been beat on, who’s already lying bleeding at your feet. Don’t be a dick to the waitress, don’t tease the kid who can’t hear or understand you, don’t ever, ever, ever add to someone’s pain if you can help it. There was even a book about it: everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten.

Now, that book might not have specifically covered what to write on a blog named after your nightie while sputtering with rage that somebody who’s just lost a relative to war might have feelings you haven’t specifically approved them to have, but I’d like to ask you, sir, if you had a kindergarten teacher. What would his or her advice, in this situation, have been?

Would it perhaps have been to say, what a terrible tragedy. What a horrible thing to have happen. And instead of passing judgement on what is or isn’t said, instead to recognize that people in the throes of loss do and say what they do and say to get them through, and leave them the fuck alone, maybe find something else to write about? To maybe post a link to a military families’ charity if your readers feel the need to act out, and say, look, loss is loss is loss, and somebody’s dead, and the rest is all people scrambling to use it, white noise, and better suited for a time when a little time has passed?

I guess in all of this, that’s what bothers me the most, sir. Could you not have waited to start dissecting the families’ statements, until at least, the sun went down on their tragedy?

A.