I don't answer a lot of e-mails anymore. I don't mean to be disrespectful, but to be honest, answering individual e-mails is not a good use of time. There'll probably always be a part of me that feels like I'm being very impolite or not-nice if I 'ignore' even one e-mail that we receive, but lately I've been trying really hard to keep my feelings in check and look at things programmatically. I have to ask myself: What is our primary responsibility? Well, we're supposed to be making educational materials. E-mail is fun and all that but since there's only two of us working on the production end of things, every hour I spend writing e-mails takes away time from research, writing, edting, and so on. Bunny and I typically work 12-14 hour days to keep the PS project moving forward. And at the end of the day we usually just feel too brain-dead to respond to individual e-mails. Plus, I'm a terribly slow writer.
Having said that, we frequently receive e-mails that, for one reason or another, we really want to respond to. Over the past couple of years I've been responding to as many of these as possible, but lately there's just been too many of them and I haven't been able to keep up at all. So what we're going to do is try to respond to some of the e-mails we receive here in the Diary area. Bunny does that sometimes (Bunny Mailbag), but not too often. So we're going to try to do this more often.
Anyway, tonight I wanted to share a very nice e-mail we received a few days ago from a person named David. The things he has to say about fear is, I think, extremely important. The relationships that exist between fear and self-silencing are worth careful examination - not just for the obvious political reasons, but for a million 'personal' reasons as well. A few years ago, shortly after we first met, Bunny and I decided that it would be important for us to create some kind of daily practice that would allow us to continually work towards the dissolution of fear. Making The Pinky Show has been a part of that practice.
Oh, and the hot dog story is good too. It really made us laugh.
message: I like your mini shows. I like the content and the way you express it. I especially liked your one about the illegality of the American war against Iraq.
On a more personal note (don't be scared, I am not dangerous), I want to tell you what made me actually write to you:
Two things basically.
The first one is that listening to you and your audience/contributors de-paranoided me. What I mean by that is, the information I received about in the Pinky Show's Legality of the Iraq War combined with the link your site provided to the BBC's "The Power of Nightmares" helped me overcome my resistance to sharing some of my strong convictions online. A week ago, it scared me to know that putting my convictions online potentially exposes me to the any of the 6 billion or so other people here.
But today, the post-Pinky version of myself realizes that my so-called leaders passionately devote considerable resources to engineering fear in the hearts of workaday schmucks like me. People like Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush, Powell, Rice, Pearle, Wolfowitz, depend on my fear and the fear of millions like me. They depend on fear to deter ordinary citizens like me from observing and making our own conclusions about decisions they make that significantly affect the daily life of people like me.
Now that I have had a closer [sic] via your show, I'm angry enough to not care that potentially the whole world can know that I regard our "neoconservative" so-called leaders as dangerous, lying megalomaniacs. They are the mirror image of the very "evildoers who hate us because of our freedoms". So, thank you. Your show has helped me come to value my own observation and experience enough to share it without regard to fear. You supplied the information and courageous example which inspires me to write to you.
The second thing that made me write to you was a memory evoked by your picture of a sign showing there's 80 some odd miles to Death Valley. [ pinky's note: the image he's talking about is here. ]
My friend Dale and I call it the Hot Dog Water Story. When I was young and dumb, Dale and I had the brilliant idea to go for a 40-mile hike in Death Valley in August. We read about desert conditions. We also checked out an army manual about desert survival from the library. It said a person needs a gallon of water every 20 miles in the desert.
Long story short, we ran out of water anyway, in the middle of Death Valley. So we started to hitchhike. One car after another passed us by. Then a couple driving a Red VW van going in the opposite direction stopped, picked us up, turned around and drove us back to our camp. The couple was from Canada. They also had a cute little baby lying in a small, blanketed crate.
Dale and I were pretty thirsty by the time our good samaritans brought us back to camp. The only water we had left was in a cooler that contained hot dogs floating in warm water. Dale and I were so thirsty that we downed that hot dog water in nothing flat.
It turns out that our rescuers were camped close to Dale and me. We had a good talk about the whole experience when we had dinner together later that day.
So, thanks for reminding me about Hot Dog Water.
Okay, that's today's interesting e-mail. It's almost 3 a.m. - I'd better go to bed now. Goodnight! ~ pinky