I got another one this week -- a letter informing me that I am "no genius" and that my column is little more than the childish scribbling of a sadly misinformed fool.
And your point is?
Seriously, I understand that opinions are like, well, noses and everyone's got one. I don't take these things personally. It comes with the territory. And I understand that I'm not a genius or a rocket scientist, just a guy who happens to have a weekly newspaper column. But with the Internet sending the Flyer to the four corners of the globe (does the globe have corners? I need to ask a genius, I guess), I've gotten e-mails about my column -- and about other Flyer stories -- from Sweden, Kuwait, Australia, Brazil, India, and even Mississippi.
Almost all the negative mail comes in response to columns in which I question the intellect, intentions, and honesty of our beloved president. These folks sho' nuff love their Bush, and they don't take kindly to a pissant like me criticizing our fearless, feckless leader.
So what would a real genius have to say about President Bush? Funny you should ask. I did some painstaking research (coughgooglecough) and discovered that one of the most preeminent geniuses the world has ever known -- Albert Einstein -- had a lot to say about the prez and our current dilemmas.
Regarding Iraq: "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
Regarding Bush worshippers: "Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."
Regarding the war on terror: "You cannot prevent and prepare for war at the same time."
Regarding weapons of mass destruction: "World War III will be fought with weapons of mass destruction. World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."
Regarding President Bush: "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
I'm no genius, but I'm not stupid either. I know when someone's telling the truth and when they're lying through their teeth. And so did my buddy Albert.
Bruce VanWyngarden, Editor
Exactly seven years ago this week, I wrote a column decrying a proposal by city engineers to turn the Overton Park Greensward into an 18-foot-deep "detention basin" designed to stop flooding in Midtown. The engineers claimed we'd hardly notice the football-field-sized bowl. "Except," I wrote then, "when it rains hard, at which time, users of Overton Park would probably notice a large, 18-foot-deep lake in the Greensward. Or afterward, a large, muddy, trash-filled depression."