I have a Facebook friend named Jeff Pearlman. I decided to have some fun and IM him some of the sort of s*** I’ve received through the years. So I wrote this …
Here’s the funny thing—it felt GREAT! Really, really, really great. Not sure why, but for the first time it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, hate mail (and hate e-mails, and hate comments below stories) isn’t actually about the piece, but about the letter writer himself. Perhaps the anger expressed toward an author or journalist is merely a way of letting some steam off.
Again, I could be wrong—but it seems to make sense. And, if that’s true, it might be wise for such comments to stop bothering me so much. Because, truth be told, they do bother me. A lot. For the letter writer, the thoughts come and go. A few lines are jotted and fired off, then on to lunch or porn or whatever. But for the recipient, the words are affixed to the page or screen. They hang there, lingering, to be read and read and read again.