I have tried to improve my generally ambivalent attitude towards Miao Town since I am a resident for the time being and apparently stuck here. It’s a nice town. I tell myself this every time I bike to work down the pretty little streets with their potholes and maple canopies. Maybe one day I will truly believe it, but hopefully by then I will be living happily elsewhere.
But this post/rant is not about the town, it’s about the town’s paper which is currently owned by some big huge newspaper corporation, so it’s hard to think of it as a small town paper. There is a letters section that I read only because Papa Miao gets the paper and it’s there. At least a couple times a month, they publish what amounts to hate mail – run-of-the-mill anti-Muslim, anti-gay, anti-liberal, anti-everything-they’re-not bigoted garbage that betrays utter ignorance of current events and grammatical principles. Perfect grammar isn’t necessary for public discourse, but this stuff is stream of consciousness, borderline incoherent lunacy. Oh, and apparently we’re still caught in the cold war with “Red China” and our sacred institutions are even now being infiltrated by Russian communists. Or maybe the writers’ point is that the communists won because their clever plotting of decades past has finally led to the decay of American/Christian society (because the two are synonymous). Their nonsensical grammar makes these letters farcical. Perhaps someone at the newspaper thinks printing them is a big joke, but the sentiments they express are scary. I may laugh, but inwardly I’m thinking, people in this town really think that?