Thursday, February 19, 2009


To All My Lovely Readers

The great thing about being a small-time writer is that you get to interact with readers personally. The bad thing about being a small-time writer is that you have to interact with readers personally.

The latter is especially true when said readers aren't necessarily good at doing just that.

Now, in January, I wrote a piece about the experience of being a foreigner during the Korean holidays. That particular article appeared in The Korea Herald last week, and drew an almost immediate response: hate mail.

Another foreigner, apparently OD'ing on his sensitivity pills, apparently equates all forms of commentary related to cultural differences as insensitivity or perhaps a feeling of superiority. Also, noting that it's difficult for my wife to pronounce the word "matriarch" is apparently belittling; as if difficulty in pronouncing polysyllabic words in someone else's language could ever be considered a personal swipe.

I know how to react to such messages: glibness. I told him that responses like his make writing worthwhile and that my wife says "Hi!"

My earlier piece about the effect of wearing a wedding appeared this week in The
I got this response regarding it shortly thereafter from an "A. Eidson" shortly thereafter:


As a married baby boomer, aged women, I will speak from experience. People are jealous of your freedom and indepedence of being single. Do not marry until it is time to dig in to age. As my favorite character from the TV sitcom "Married with Children" would say, "I was fine until my hsband and kids runined by life," she would say joking.

I did not get married until I was in my early thirties, and still wish I would have waited just a little while longer. I use to hear why are you not married all the time, and just for fun I could shut down the questions like a train wreck by simply stating, "well, I am gay."

A. Eidson


Forget the "gay" part for a moment. If you read my article, or know anything about me, you know that I am married. The question then becomes, "How does one get that impression while reading it?" or, maybe, "Did she read the headline and nothing else?"

I pondered responding to this, but I don't know how, or whether there'd be any point in doing so, besides to make her feel dumb. What I'm pondering to an even greater degree is this question: "What future do I, or any other writer have, when people today so consistently fail to read, or read well?"

That's a question that's probably going to stay with me for sometime.

As someone used to say, "Trees barking up the underdog!"

Jeffery Hodges

* * *
Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]