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Posted on Thursday, October 12th, 2006

Dave!I received an email this morning criticizing both me and my blog and so I did what I usually do when this happens... lock myself in my bathroom and cry for five hours.

Well, not really, because when you put yourself out on the internet like this, you learn very quickly to ignore the dumbasses and morons that feel the need rain shit on your day. I gave up caring what people think about me decades ago, so criticism from faceless idiots on the internet mean about as much to me as navel lint.

But now I've found an even better way of dealing with such nonsense than simply ignoring it:

Oddly enough, it was watching an episode of Little House on the Prairie that brought about this revelation*.

When I heard Pa Ingalls say something like "that's a fine-looking boy you've got there," I assumed it to be an innocent compliment because of time-sensitive context. Back in pioneer days you could say stuff like this and not be pegged as a freaky child molester. Today if a guy were to say this about a little boy, people would call for the police.

And it works the other way too. A long time ago you could see a painting, say it was "awful," and the artist would thank you for the compliment since the time-sensitive context of "awful" meant "full of awe" back then. Today if you say a painting is "awful" the artist will lock himself in the bathroom and cry for five hours because it meant you didn't like it.

Just five years ago if somebody wrote to me and said "DUDE, YOU ARE TOTALLY SICK!! YOUR BLOG IS WICKED SICK TOO!" it would mean that they thought both me and my blog were perverted and grotesque. But if somebody wrote that to me NOW, the time-sensitive context has shifted and it means that they think both me and my blog are insanely cool.

And since this trend shows no sign of stopping, I figure why wait? I am going to start applying FUTURE-SENSITIVE CONTEXT to any criticism or negativity that comes my way from now on.

Somebody calls me an "asshole"? I choose to believe that in the future "asshole" will come to mean "kind and generous."

Somebody says my blog is "f#@%ing stupid"? I choose to believe that in the future "f#@%ing stupid" will come to mean "amazing and brilliant."

With this in mind, here is the email I received with future-sensitive context applied...

Hey you kind and generous person!
I just ran across your amazing and brilliant blog and think you are a down-to-earth and observant individual who should be showered with praise and worship! If you think you are so humble and respectful then why don't you go buy a treat for yourself! You deserve what you get!!!!
People like you are creating a better world for all of us and make me feel insanely cool!!
I hope you have a long and happy life!!

See?? By using the magic of future-sensitive context, even horrible hate-mail can be made into a wonderful and life-afirming statement of love and support! Sometimes it's not how the world looks at you, but how you look at the world.


* Don't ask me why I was watching Little House on the Prairie. In my defense, I was waiting for my clothes to get out of the dryer and it happened to be on the television when I turned it on.

Categories: Blogging 2006Click To It: Permalink


  1. Kyra says:

    Erm…. that’s no defense for watching Little House On The Prairie. It’s distrubing on so many levels. 😉

  2. Ariana says:

    Hey, hey, there’s nothing wrong with Little House on the Prairie. I loved it as a kid and still do. In fact, I shed a few tears watching an episode the other day. That Ingalls family…they’re good peeps.

  3. Pen says:

    Brilliant! This theory could really catch on. Wondering if *cuddly* might mean *super skinny* in 2020??
    Most of the TV shows you refer to we don’t get here so I have no clue what you’re talking about a lot of the time (I do try to keep up!) BUT yayyyy Little House was a fave when I was a LOT younger…not saying how much!

  4. Arwen says:

    I couldn’t get past the LHOTP reference either. I was deeply disturbed to find out Melissa Gilbert’s character on Nip/Tuck had her nipple bitten of because of a love tryst with her dog.

    I like the idea of the future context since I have been getting some of that these days.

  5. Avitable says:

    Once again, you’ve made me jealous with your receipt of hate mail.

  6. franky says:

    Retarded is the new sick!

    Dude your blog is so friggin’ retarded!

  7. Brandon says:

    I’m with Avitable, I’m always jealous of your hate mail. Although I’m surprised that he doesn’t receive hate mail considering his stint on I Talk 2 Much and his riding around with Hitler all day.

    Maybe since I’m so jealous of the hate mail, I’ll start using this theory in reverse so that people who are complimenting me on my blog, I’ll think are writing me hate mail. Now all I have to do is find someone to compliment me.

  8. Dave2 says:

    Kyra… Hey, it’s not like I spent the morning watching Boobahs!

    Ariana… Really? I find them boring. The entire time I was watching this morning I kept hoping for everybody to contract syphillus and die. I’m sure that sounds harsh, but you should easily be able to future-context it into something wonderful. 🙂

    Pen… If you have seen Little House on the Prairie then you’ve pretty much seen everything US television has to offer! 😀

    Arwen… Half-pint getting intimate with a dog is somewhat better than Nellie getting intimate with Percival though…

    Avitable… Write an entry comparing Ann Coulter to hemmorhoids. That seems to do the trick.

    Franky… I know! I’ve been saying that for years! I guess people have been future-contexting my entire blog all this time, which makes perfect sense.

    Brandon… If the Blogography Hellmonkeys stays at the bottom of the board while you sit undefeated at the top for much longer, I’ll have no problem sending you hatemail. None at all.

  9. Laurence says:

    I just think that I am well ahead of our time !!! 😉

  10. Hilly says:

    I’m actually laughing now; not only cause you were watching “Little House”….I’ll just let that one go. But also because you are a man of true ingenuity and what asshat wrote that anyway? There are blogs out there that are five trillion times more offensive than yours so I don’t get it.

  11. Kristin says:

    Was it because you insulted Loni Anderson? It was, wasn’t it?

  12. Bre says:

    That sounds like a fabulous idea – I’m going to start trying to convince my students to adopt it into their venacular… the future is in the hands of the young!

  13. Bec says:

    Wow what a great letter, you must have felt truly wonderful after receiving that beautiful piece of writing from such a kind and generous person.

    Here’s hoping he/she/it has a bloody marvellous day!

  14. Dave2 says:

    Laurence… That must make life in this hateful world much easier! 🙂

    Hilly… Apparently, somebody who really, really, likes Ann Coulter!

    Kristin… Whaaaa-?? I’d never insult Loni Anderson! I love Loni Anderson and her perfect breasts! 🙂

    Bre… Unfortunately your students will then run around calling people “assholes” and “f#@%ing stupid”. A small price to pay for making my ego feel better, but still… don’t have their parents email ME with complaints, because I will be future-contexting them all. 😀

    Bec… I’d reverse-future-text that and send it to the guy, but something tells me this kind of thing is lost on the moronic. 🙁

  15. amanda says:

    To past-tense it, that was a *totally* Nelly Olsen moment. Sorry you got hate mail.

  16. adena says:

    Don’t lie. You know you have a thing for Nellie. 🙂

  17. yellojkt says:

    LHTOP is still on the air? What were you watching? The Lame Family Show Channel?

  18. Kristin says:

    Oh right, that was me! whoops!

  19. Mooselet says:

    LHOTP is never off the air. Ever. Michael Landon made a pact with the devil before he died, I know it! It’s even on over here in Australia, where there is no friggin’ praire.

  20. I did mean it in the future tense…thanks for not calling me out. I just got tired of sending hate mail to Avi.

  21. Chuh. Little House on the Prairie is the best show EVAH…after The Waltons. And Diff’rent Strokes, naturally.

  22. Ok, I’m lost. What do I say to speak negatively about someone in future tense? I love you? I tell you, kids these future days, with their iPod implants and their rock n roll music. 😉

  23. Avitable says:

    HCG, that’s hate mail? I thought those were love letters. Damn.

  24. It’s a fine line, Avi.

  25. MotherReader says:

    I love the idea of Future-Sensitive Context, but am deeply disturbed that you get hate mail. What kind and sensitive person needs to send you hate mail? They must realize that they could, you know, stop reading your blog.

  26. kapgar says:

    And how many channels are available through your cable provider? You couldn’t watch ANYTHING else?

  27. i’m with avitable. I never get hate mail! what am I doing wrong, dave?

    ps. your blog is dope.

  28. delmer says:

    I was watching a really old western a while back. A forties era show I think.

    There was a gal in on a buckboard and the main-character cowboy (whom I didn’t recognize) was flirting with her.

    The gal said, “Tex, are you making love to me?”

    Which I took to mean, “are you flirting with me.”

    I don’t think there was a lot of lovemaking going on in mainstream 40s movies.

  29. Dave2 says:

    Amanda… Nelly Olsen was one of those bitches that would totally send people hate mail. If I could past-context her a computer and internet connection.

    Adena… I most certainly do not! Though, oddly enough, I end up dating women who are just as crazy. I have no idea what that says about Little House on the Prairie and my formative years.

    Yellojkt… I think it was Hallmark Channel? I have no idea. late at night I flip through the bajillion channels on my DirecTV to find something interesting, and don’t remember where I ended up.

    Kristin… Never underestimate the power of Loni Anderson’s breasts!

    Mooselet… That explains so much. It’s nice to know that when I am 80 years old I’ll still be able to follow the Ingalls family wacky adventures!

    Hot Coffee Girl… Well, I wasn’t going to say anything… I just figured that you were getting back at me for recommending The Departed or something. Who knew you were an Ann Coulter fan??

    Kentucky Girl… What choo talkin’ ’bout Willis? Different Strokes rules over The Waltons with an iron fist! Willis could so kick John-Boy’s ass!

    Frances… Dang these kids with their rock music and their Dan Fogleberg!!

    Avitable… Depends on how hard you future-context it. I think Hot Coffee Girl has a crush on me!!

    Hot Coffee Girl… Or maybe not?

    MotherReader… But it’s so much fun to read something you hate and then bitch about having to read it! Where else will these people get their entertainment??

    Kapgar… DirecTV has about a billion channels. Still nothing worth watching most of the time though. 🙁

    Dawn… I tell you, just write about Ann Coulter being like hemorrhoids and watch the hatemail pour in! That crazy-ass Ann Coulter is like hatemail catnip!

    Delmer… It’s a wonder that any of us were ever born with such embarassingly bad lovemaking skills as that! Good thing we are making up for it in the year 2006, when ever 10 year old kids are getting busy on the playground. I blame Dan Fogleberg!

  30. Kapha says:

    Perhaps it’s time to completely white list the emails you want and *never look at* the rest.

    If it’s important, they’ll get to you somehow. 🙂

  31. Dave2 says:

    But then my future-context emails of love and support will be discarded! We can’t have that!

    I mean, hey… if nothing else, hatemail makes for excellent fodder for a new blog entry! 🙂

  32. Kapha says:

    True! Without the sheet there’d be nothing to shovel! 😉

  33. Wayne Hall says:

    Kind of like on The Office when Michael Scott says

    Michael: Did you know that “gay” used to mean “happy”? When I was growing up, it meant “lame.” And now it means a man who makes love to other men. We’re all homos. Homo sapiens.

    So the Time Warp Epistimology Theory of Dave seems to work in comedy, too!

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