When you're in the newspaper business, you have to deal with a certain number of people who have, let's say, special qualities that distinguishes them from the average iteration of humanity. They might be someone who was wronged years ago and has dedicated their life to fighting for their cause, which somehow inevitably involves e-mailing a local news reporter upwards of 19 times a day with long diatribes. Or they might be a person who sits at home counting the dew drops on their windowpane and gathering evidence for the Suburban Crisis Discovery Revolution Squad she fears is plotting to steal her rhododendron bushes and turn her cat gay.
Or they might just have a case of what we like to call "The Bat Fucking Shit Crazies."
I'll let you figure out in which category this character resides. Suffice it to say our entire newsroom, as well as Bob Woodward, the newsrooms of the Washington Post, the USA Today, the New York Times, Fox News, Bill O'Reilly, Rupert Murdoch, and seemingly every member of Congress have been bombarded by e-mails by this guy. Here is where I would normally try to summarize his supposed gripe, if, that is, I had any success at deciphering his ramblings and getting at his actual issue. It has something to do with being arrested for driving a car and spending time in jail, then apparently a bunch of white people were racist against him, though it has never been made clear how or why. I have been instructed by my bosses I'd best ignore his e-mails, or else he will just get more riled up. But today's is classic because he's e-mailing the Rev. Al Sharpton, comparing me directly to Don Imus's latest racial foot-in-mouth. Finally, the big time.
I would just cut and copy the text of the e-mail here, but you really need to see an image of it to get the full stylistic fireworks display of fonts and colors. This all started when I asked why he was attacking Shanda, probably the quietest and most non-threatening copy editor on an already pretty quiet and non-threatening copy desk. I also was trying to figure out exactly how he had been the subject of such vehement racism by white people when he is (and he is) a big white guy. My fault for trying to get a straight answer out of a big mess of crazy pie I guess.
This is all one continuous e-mail. Click on the images to read the whole thing. Some names have been removed to protect the innocent.