I was talking to my Dad on the phone yesterday when he wrapped up on the conversation with, “Well, I think I’m going to go online and check my e-mail. I haven’t looked at it in a few weeks.”
“I know, I haven’t gotten a barrage of forwards in a while.”
My Dad doesn’t use the computer much, so I always known when he’s been online because I’ve got a bunch of forwards. In any five e-mails, it’s usually one that’s funny, two political, and two religious (usually something like “we’re always so willing to forward jokes, but hesitate when it’s about Jesus” sort of things). The funny ones are usually nothing new, but entertaining to read in a “I haven’t heard that joke in six years” sort of way. Sometimes I’ll scan the religious ones quick before archiving them - religion just isn’t something that I’m going to respond to either way (one of these days, I’ll write a piece about my take on religion).
My favorites are always the political ones. I’m not politically involved - I don’t watch the news, I don’t read newspapers, I don’t take part in any kinds of rallies or groups of any sort. For the most part, my notions of current politics come from what I read in dozens of blogs every day, including sites like Fark and Sploid, which mostly just link to important news stories. I don’t follow things closely, but I hear about the big stuff and try to get some details about it. As such, I don’t really consider myself to be highly political, but I know that I’m still more in touch than most of the American population.
This is part of the reason I love reading the stuff my Dad sends me. Some of it is so over the top, so incredibly wrong and ignorant, that it’s just fun to read. I’ve seen essays purporting to be the writing of Robin Williams and a half dozen other celebrities, along with all sorts of diatribes about how we shouldn’t buy gas from Sunoco or BP for one reason or another.
Almost every time I get these, I get all fired up about it and find a bunch of articles that refute whatever thin arguments it might make, or find the Snopes page discrediting whatever by-line that might be attached. I’m always THIS close to responding and just tearing the whole thing apart, but I never do because I love my Dad and I don’t want to be a dick.
Which is sort of odd, because we argue this shit all the time when I’m home. More than once, my Mom has had to yell at us when we get to hollering at each other out in public. I quite enjoy it because I’ve always been fond of arguing, but she doesn’t like us making a scene.
Anyway, I finally responded to one of my Dad’s e-mails - one about the immigration issue. Assuming he’s actually behind all the arguments made in the article he sent me, we agree on a lot of points. I’m not sure where I stand on thing, really, but at least it was a non-partisan “shit needs fixing” take on it. Of course, given the arguments I made against the parts I’m sure he agreed with, he may never send me anything ever again, but I’m hoping he does. I figure, fighting on the Internet is less offensive to Mom, and I love arguing, even if it’s more typing than shouting and table-pounding.