Press "Enter" to skip to content

Vitriol and vinegar both serve a purpose

Letter from Slim Wolfe

Modern life – October 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Martha & Ed:

Seems like I must be one of the last skeptics in America. Everyone else seems convinced that cyberspace is the biggest thing since movable type. Human nature loves something it can manipulate, particularly when there’s a bit of a challenge, interaction, backtalk. The earliest public commercial venture may have been a game called “Fascination,” a primitive computer poker which hypnotized the masses at amusement arcades of the late 1950’s. Amazing how the science of extracting money from people while they’re mesmerized by screens has progressed since then. If only we could make that sort of progress in getting rid of inflation, murder, and disaster.

I suppose I should look on the brighter side: What wonderful interactive entertainment I’ll be able to trip out on while my 747 falls into the ocean.

Thus it shouldn’t have come as a surprise when those letters to the editor I wrote to the Mountain Mail became as interactive as a salad bar. Gosh, I was just jealous of Ed and Martha and Hal Walter, I’ve been trying to get someone to call me a jackass (or whatever) in print, but all the juiciest morsels designed to draw flak were left out of my offerings, like so many too-hot pepperoni, so I am still some kind of ho-hum kind of noncontroversial guy.

Well, here’s to Colorado Central, the magazine for people who suspect that letters to the editor shouldn’t be co-authored by the editor or even the editor’s mouse. Not if public dialogue is the purpose. Be careful what you ask for, oh you magnates of journalism, particularly if you ask for a public which doesn’t grapple with controversy and complexity.

Vitriol, like vinegar, serves a purpose in human affairs.

Slim Wolfe Villa Grove