A Letter to Amy Alkon In Response to Her Recent L.A. Times Editorial
Dear Ms. Alkon,
I had the pleasure of reading your op-ed piece "Screaming kids and airplanes: Mayday! Mayday!" last week and I just wanted to write and let you know how refreshing it was to finally hear from a kindred spirit. This country has been overtaken by rude and selfish people and seeing someone tell it like it is was a welcome breath of fresh air.
Like you, I have never been loud in a public place. Just as you described for yourself, my parents instilled in me a strong sense of propriety, which is why the occasion of my birth was an calm, orderly affair, without any of that obnoxious crying and mewling that you so often hear about. I have no idea why newborns these days are so self-centered and ignorant of our vital social conventions but it is simply unacceptable. Parents, take note: just because your child doesn't have the ability to speak or understand language or control their limbs or bodily functions is no excuse for them not to know and follow the rules of polite society. And don't bother trying to tell me about cognitive development or any of that nonsense--we both know it's just a ruse to try to distract from the obvious fact that you're a failure as a parent. Am I right, Amy? (May I call you Amy? I don't want to presume.)
I also applaud your exhortation of people to take responsibility for their own life choices. If you are thinking about having a child then you need to consider the possibility that your little Johnny might inconvenience other people for a few hours. And if there's even the slightest possibility that that could happen, you had damn well better keep little Johnny away from them, even if that means that he doesn't get to meet Granny until he's 17. I don't care if Granny can't get the time off work to come to you, or if you don't have the money to fly your whole family across the country for the holidays, you should have thought of that beforehand.
I am a bit concerned, though, Amy, that you might be bowing to pressure from the unwashed masses in limiting the scope of your article. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that you're willing to put Mr. Cell Phone and Ms. Unruly Child in their places, but there is so much that you've left out. I mean, I can hardly go into a Starbucks or Panera Bread or even the grocery store without having to hear people talking. And I don't mean on the phone--thankfully, you already covered that. No, I'm talking about those oblivious, obnoxious jerks who have the audacity to have face-to-face conversations in public places. Don't they know that every time they open their mouths, I have to hear them? If their parents had done their jobs, maybe, but that must not have happened because it's getting to where I can't go anywhere without having my ears raped by their noise-pollutive talking. (People have told me before that I shouldn't used the term "rape" that way because it's hyperbolic and downplays the seriousness of the crime, but fortunately I know you haven't been infected by that ridiculous PC nonsense. I bet you even had people complaining about your having used phrases like "social thuggery" and "stealing" and "victims" in your piece. The nerve of those people...)
Along those lines, why do people think it's OK to wear ugly clothing in public? For that matter, why do they think it's OK to be ugly? I shouldn't have to pay the cost just because someone chooses not to have plastic surgery. Ugly people should stop being so selfish and keep themselves in the basement where they belong. And I don't want to hear "Oh, but plastic surgery is so expensive." Well, maybe you should have thought of that before you decided to be poor.
Anyway, I just wanted to let you know as a like-minded individual how much I much I value your writing. People are always telling me that what we really need is patience and tolerance, and that if these are the worst of my problems that I'm pretty well off. You and I know, of course, that all that is a bunch of nonsense. Because, after all, it really does come down to this: I should never have to experience anything that I dislike in the slightest, and anyone who makes me do so is nothing better than a terrorist.