Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Scarlet Letter

If you didn't know, I am the organizer of a (dare I say it) very successful and ongoing book club here in South Florida.  We've been going strong for well over four years and I can boast we are, I think, the only co-ed book club that has lasted this long and has a great turnout at the monthly meetups.  My membership consists of young, old, moms, dads, professionals, blue collars, professors, students, priests, pastors, atheists, gay, straight, you name it.  We are a very diverse group brought together by our love of books, ideas, and hearty discussions over a few glasses of wine.  In a nutshell, I love my Book Club.

I got this letter from a "new member" today responding to my request that they pay their dues.  Names have been changed to protect my sanity:

Hi Alessia, please withdraw my membership.

This book club is starting with probably the most harmful and anti-democratic novel of our time. Ayn Rand is not a thinker, she is a polemicist, and her message is pro capitalism, pro rich people, anti Union, anti helping people, and is in keeping with the sick philosophy of the Tea Party and the evil Koch Brothers' attempt to have our democracy controlled by non-tax-paying billionaires.

I thought that since I met you at the Broward County Atheists, we would not be doing the kind of sick books that have influenced such numb-skulls as Ronald Reagan, Mitt Romney, George W. Bush, Grover Norcross, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and other sick right wingnuts. Those right-wing Republicans would lead us back to the "golden age" that preceded and caused the Great Depression, a time when banks and rich people controlled everything, and common people controlled nothing.

My joining your club was a mistake. I shudder to think I might be associated with such political thinking.

(Name deleted)

Let me just start off by saying that this is proof positive for all Christians out there that not all atheists are the same.  This one is clearly a dolt.  While I, on the other hand, am awesome. Let this letter dispel any notions the theist world had that all atheists think and act the same.  Clearly, we are only similar in that we don't believe in the supernatural.  That's it.  Anything else, is fair game.

So, I was a bit taken aback by such harsh words coming from a supposedly intelligent person, whom I have actually met and spoken with many times at length.  And maybe it was because I spent 2.5 hours this morning cleaning out the kids' playroom and my back was screaming at me in pain, but I simply did not let this go unanswered.  So here is my response:

Wow (name deleted), what a misinformed, judgmental asshole you are.

First and foremost, my book club is not "starting" with Atlas Shrugged. My book club, Ex Libris, has been going strong for over FOUR years now with a dedicated and intelligent group of men and women who bring incredible thought provoking discussion to our monthly meetups. If you had bothered to take the time and read about the club, you would have found our extensive list of past books we have read. Instead, like most of the idiots you listed in your senile diatribe, you chose to make sweeping generalizations based on NO information.

Secondly, a MAJORITY of Ex Libris members are freethinkers and progressives and we collectively chose this book because of its negative history. We, as intelligent, rational human beings, wanted to read this drivel (because I've discovered, since reading it, that is is drivel) BECAUSE of its history. Are you clearly so ignorant that you would think only a certain type of thinker should read a certain type of book? I've read Mein Kampf. Does that make me a Nazi? I've read the Bible. Does that make me a Christian? Better yet, I've read Harry Potter. Why can't I cast spells yet?

Your ad hominem attacks against Ex Libris, myself, and my members are extremely ignorant on your part. It seems like you've been too exposed to the right-wing nutjobbery...you're becoming "one of them".

You can withdraw yourself from Ex Libris, because, if you claim you have such superior intellect, you can certainly figure out how to click the button to do so.

Alessia L.
Organizer, Ex Libris

I would have liked to throw in a few "fuck you's" here and there but I was trying to keep some sort of decorum.  But then again, the idiot was claiming I had no brains and loved the Tea Party, so maybe I should have said something about "Amurika is Jeeezis cuntry" and that would have sufficed.

In any event, if you're interested in checking out Ex Libris, by all means visit us here: Ex Libris: A Book Club With Brains.  If you click on the "Pages" tab, you'll see FOUR YEARS worth of books we  have read as well as what is coming up.

Now I'm going to go watch Fox News and fantasize about Bill O'Reilly since I seem to love them so much.

UPDATE: He wrote me again, tried to chastise me like he was my father, then tried to school me on "how to properly read books" and then played the "I'm 74 years old missy" card on me. He has been removed and banned from the meetup.