Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

06 Nov 2005, 8:13 a.m.

A James Spader Character Shows Up In Table Talk

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2005 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

The sticking point for my annoyance: A Salon reader doesn't care whether s/he is harsh towards people who write to Salon's advice columnist.

I treat [this forum] -- more like a lit-crit class, where the letter is the "text." I don't feel any more obligated to safeguard the [letter-writer's] responses than I would if we were talking about something written by Dostoyevsky or Mark Twain.

For this person, someone s/he hasn't met isn't worthy of empathy or mercy, and heartfelt requests for advice by such a person are indistinguishable from fiction.

People who care will always get hurt by people who don't.

Good faith is so easy to dismiss and so hard to regain.