To The Man In The Treadmill Room

You remember that scene early in Philadelphia, when the lawyers are in the steam room, making jokes about homosexuals, having no idea that Andrew Beckett was, himself a homosexual? 

You just recreated that moment.

I’m sure I looked “safe” to you.  Even when you asked if the shooter at Va Tech was in the country illegally, I let it slide.  Stupid, but harmless.  I have no quarrel with you.

I realise that the reports are now that a South Korean national committed the atrocities at Virginia Tech.  I know we’re trying to make sense of it all.

I sure don’t look Korean, because I’m not.

Yet, when you disparage a whole nationality, a whole race of people, you are disparaging my children.  Now, we have a quarrel.

I let you know how stupid your comment was, and your embarrassment showed me that I hit the mark.  Yet, if I were a better man, we would have taken it outside.  As it is, I wish I had not been so polite to you; I wish I had a little more Aunt B in me, then I really would have told you how I felt.

And no, the Chinese and the Koreans are not just alike.  Many in China look down on Koreans, so they share your bigotry.  At least get the nuances right, OK?

I’ve wasted enough time with this.  My company is having its own memorial service, with a simulcast of the one in Blacksburg.  We work for a good company, no matter what anyone says.

I will pray and mourn, and you will be a forgotten memory.

Idiot.

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10 Responses to “To The Man In The Treadmill Room”

  1. Katherine Coble Says:

    Yet, if I were a better man, we would have taken it outside.

    I don’t know what transpired. But I think you WERE the better man for NOT taking it outside. After all, haven’t we seen enough of how violence is mostly a poor solution?

  2. newscoma Says:

    Oh Slarti …
    I don’t know what to say other than give your family a big hug when you get home.
    And then squeeze them again for me just once.
    I hate this. I really do.
    And you don’t have to have take it outside.
    Love is much stronger motivator than “taking it outside.”
    I know this is going to be a difficult time.
    Many hugs.

  3. Slartibartfast Says:

    Y’all are right. Just blowing off steam, I guess.

    I was just expressing my immediate anger. Some dude spouting off about “uptight asian nerds” and how “it’s no wonder more of them don’t snap”, then some bit about Godlessness (that’s what really set me off). I did let him know that S. Korea is a majority Christian nation.

    About the uptight part, I wish I had told him to check out Karaoke night at Koreana, then get back with me. That’s some hippy-trippy stuff; high comedy. Unfortutunately, i was in too much shock.

    Anyway, wasn’t the memorial service beautiful? Especially after the politicians quit talking. I was proud of president Bush, for his basic humanity. He reaction to the man that collapsed was genuine. No matter what his other faults are, he goes out of his way not to make these sort of events about him – I think the nation appreciates that.

  4. nm Says:

    Do you actually believe that manhood is about getting into brawls? Slarti, I know that you and I disagree quite a bit about gender, wsr to masculinity. But I can’t believe that you think what you wrote above. That’s a much nastier view of men than any feminist has.

    I know that you were angry (and rightly so). I know that your anger both made you feel helpless and made you want to obliterate the cause(s) of your anger. You and the shooter have that anger in common. (To be frank, I would have been equally angry if it had been me in a similar situation, and I would have had the same desire to get physical about it. So that makes three of us.) Now, which of you is the better man? And I mean that not only in the sense of ‘good people don’t kill other people or beat them to a pulp’ but also in the sense of ‘what should a man be?’

  5. Nashville is Talking » The Day After: A Round-Up Says:

    […] Shoot the Moose: I’m sure I looked “safe” to you. Even when you asked if the shooter at Va Tech was in the country illegally, I let it slide. Stupid, but harmless. I have no quarrel with you. […]

  6. badbadivy Says:

    Next time someone pisses you off like that, you need to channel your inner Ivy and say, “Bitch please! I KNOW you did NOT just say that to me!” Then put your hand toward (not IN) their face and walk away.

    Well, it works for me. It might not be as manly as you want to be.

  7. Mack Says:

    Welcome to my world. I don’t mean to be flippant, Slarti, but I dealt with this kind of ignorance most of my life, only to see a resurgence once I moved to Middle Tennessee. If you threw punches every time you confronted hate and ignorance, you’d be a busy boy indeed. That was my old M.O.

    You sound like a good candidate for the Welcoming Tennessee Initiative. In fact, theres a spot open on the Steering Committee. Contact me if you would like to learn more.

  8. Slartibartfast Says:

    Mack, I went to the website, and it looks fascinating. I am not entirely liberal on immigration, but I take a “once someone is here, we should welcome them” attitude. My view seems to make everyone mad: I think we should actually allow more immigrants into this country than are now coming in, both legally and illegally; we’re a big, vibrant country. I just want everyone to come through the front door.

    Seeing that Catholic Charities is involved gives me comfort; Normally, I’m a little out of place with the “peace and justice” crowd.

    But you have piqued my interest. We international-adoptive parents have a unique view of the imimigration system (navigating from the other side).

    Althought I’m horrible, horrible, horrible about returning emails, I’ll try to contact you this evening.

    As far as the idiot yesterday, I was much calmer about an hour later. I really need to employ a waiting period before posting when I’m angry.

  9. sauer kraut Says:

    I may be a couple days late, but I agree. So many idiots out there that the only courageous thing to do is turn the other cheek.

    People appear to have overlooked the nationality of one of the victims: Korean.

    That’s right. Mary Karen Read was born into a military family (just like two of my nieces) and moved with her family to the US. When people bash Koreans because of the nameless one, they are also bashing one of the victims. That was a big part of a very short conversation I had late Tuesday with some overweight clown at a convenience store.

    Some people are too stupid to realize that it was one idiot who did the shooting, not an entire ethnic nationality. My nieces killed no one; I’m sure no one in your family did either.

  10. jagadiah Says:

    I just read this and thought of you – it’s a statement from comedienne Margaret Cho’s website, and I just thought it’s vry well said:
    http://www.margaretcho.com/blog/ourhumanity.htm


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