Ignore or Reply? Is it Worth it to Engage with Crazy People?

I could never be a politician. I like to think I am good at articulating my views and backing myself up in an argument, but there is no way I have the thick skin or patience to deal with senseless people. Some people believe it is best to ignore naysayers – “you can’t argue with crazy,” they say. But I just can’t hold my tongue when people say such stupid things! Maybe it isn’t worth my energy, but it sure makes me feel better.

Recently there was a debate on an online neighborhood forum about a local restaurant (as in my corner) applying for a nightclub license so it could stay open until 2 a.m. and have live music. Of course, I said that I would support the decision not to grant the license, seeing as I would prefer not to hear salsa drums at 1:30 a.m. Most members agreed with that although some did not – perfectly fine and open for amiable, rational debate.

But one man on the forum, who seems to be a continual contrarian, not only took issue with the anti-nightclub stance for some inexplicable reason, but also added that he “should not have engaged in debate with a pregnant woman” and he “would think someone who is pregnant would be more concerned with giving birth to a healthy child.”

The following is my response, which I share with you, because anyone who says something so ignorant should not be ignored but should have his ass handed to him:

“I would think a someone who is pregnant would be more concerned with giving birth to a healthy child.” – what a bizarre, ignorant statement.

I wish I could ignore it, but alas it appears that I can pat my head and rub my tummy at the same time! In fact, it seems that being nine months pregnant has not impacted my ability to run a business, take care of my existing child, deadlift 200 pounds, nor advocate for my community. Either I am superwoman or the impact of pregnancy on a woman’s ability for intelligent debate has been highly underestimated.

For the record, the sidewalk seating at this restaurant is not of personal concern to me and I do not believe I ever made comment on it. However, if it is impacting a disabled neighbor I would certainly support him in his efforts to rectify the situation. That doesn’t mean I don’t support the neighborhood businesses. I believe it was the same group of us who were the first to come to the defense of another local restaurant last week. Oh, and if you haven’t noticed, I own a neighborhood business.

And as for “complaining” versus “taking action,” I can only speak for myself although I know that many other people on this board are tireless community advocates. Personally, I have a long track record of doing whatever is in my power to create what I believe is positive change. Whether petitioning my politicians to support gay marriage, writing to corporations for better environmental standards, making sure city council and Vector services are addressing the rat problem, or simply picking up some pizza off the sidewalk, one thing you really can not accuse me of is sitting around complaining.

I hope this answers your questions. And should you wish to engage in further debate I will be available throughout my labor and delivery to debate as fiercely as Julia Sugarbaker on the night the lights went out in Georgia.”

With that he deleted all of his posts throughout the thread and as it stands now it looks like something from Garfield Minus Garfield.

The decision whether to engage or ignore crazy people is a difficult one. What do you tend to do?


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