27 September 2017

Intelligence, or the lack of it…

Joe Saward is a motorsport journalist, primarily covering Formula 1, and has done since 1988. Joe has attended over 500 races and is therefore considered one of a very small group of opinion formers at the very centre of this multi-billion dollar global business.

Readers will know that I am a man with considerable patience and I allow almost everyone to comment on this blog (as long as they do not post links), however there are limits to my patience. 

Writing sensibly about sport-related politics can unleash some pretty interesting emotions amongst readers. Some are rational, some not. People, of course, feel emboldened by the anonymity of the internet and believe that they can be as unpleasant as they like, without fear of any response. This is a false assumption because unless you have taken some fairly complicated precautions, which the average mouth-breaking jerk does not think to do, most messages can be traced – if one knows the right people to do it.

I thought readers might like to see the kind of response one gets. This particular one comes from a man who calls himself Donald Ducukhoakis, which is, of course, a fake name. This paper tiger, who we shall call Donald Duck, left a fake email address as well (I tried it), in the finest traditions of heroes through the ages, but I thought I would share his thoughts, just so you can see the kind of reaction one can get from people without education, brains or the means to express themselves in a coherent fashion. I am not sure it is worth tracing this particular one, and getting them banned from their email services and so on, but it is worth doing now and then, to remind people that civility is a corner stone of a sensible society.

“You don’t know sh*t about the United States,” Mr Duck wrote, “and your recent column proves only one thing, which is that you’re an arrogant c*nt. I am going to forward your recent column to the Trump White House. – Good luck getting a visa next year, you pathetic arrogant pr*ck. F*ck you and your wife and the French for harboring a piece of subhuman waste like you.”

So, Mr Duck of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, (one can trace IP addresses easily enough. Even there are a couple of points I would like to make about your rather average piece of creative writing. I know enough about the United States to know that the White House does not issue visas. Your namesake does not have the time for all that rubber stamping. He is too busy tweeting. The State Department issues visas, but many countries do not actually require them, because there is a visa waiver programme and the non-immigrant visas that are required for my line of work last for a five year period. I have just renewed mine and I can predict with great confidence that there will be another incumbent in the White House when I come to renew it again.

This artless Muppet might also like to know that my son is an American citizen and lives in the United States, so I have a fair bit of knowledge and understanding of how the country works. It is a country for which I have great admiration, although the swamp-dwellers like Mr Duck do tend to drag down the image somewhat.

I wish him luck in the future and hope that he will not shoot himself or his family by accident, while cleaning the weapons he undoubtedly has in his rusting pick-up truck, next to his fading Vote Donald baseball cap and his KKK hood.

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