I am obnoxious, a fool, and “some kind of loser.” This was in response to a comment I wrote regarding Rocky Mountain National Park’s facebook post picturing many cars parked in the grass, and an accompanying reminder to stay on paths, don’t bring your pets, don’t poop and pee by water sources, don’t feed the wildlife, don’t take flowers, rocks, etc. I wrote about “Tourista Obliviousa” invading our national parks. As you can see by the title, it was my usual scholarly work, written with extreme academic sobriety and reverence for such a deep, country-dividing subject. You can visit my facebook timeline for the background post and responses to my comments, and/or read my deeply offensive missive below:
The non-native “tourista obliviousa” have infiltrated RMNP in great numbers, especially in the summers and on weekends. Also known as “fudgies,” for their tendencies to cluster outside doors of fudge shops in Estes, these creatures tend to congregate along main park roads and lower elevation sites easily accessible by vehicle. They are easy to spot. Look for purses, inappropriate clothes and footwear. They are often seen feeding other wildlife, but they are seldom spotted above Alberta Falls. It is best to avoid these creatures if possible, as they are both aggressive and not very bright, a bad combination. The species is biurnal (sleeps both at night and during the day) and rather lethargic (some believe they are related to the sloth). Simple precautions to avoid these destructive mammals include early morning park visits, and choosing hikes with greater distance and elevation.
First, I am interested in learning what type of loser I am. I need to contact Mr. Craig J. Canavan and find out. Unfortunately, he seems to have quite a bit of unrequited aggression, so I will probably just wonder for days at my unspecified loserness. Actually, the most shocking thing about Mr. Craig J. Canavan is that he is from Iowa. I have found Iowans to be generally less inclined to name-calling and more likely to ignore you with an icy disdain if they disapprove.
I love a spirited debate, and I even like criticism and getting called out for my writing or stance on something. Bruce Caisse criticized my writing as snobbery, and used sarcasm (hey, we speak the same language!) to lampoon my comments. No name calling, just opposition. Good on ya, sir. I think we could be real-life friends.
I have never, in the history of my social media forays, called any named person names. (I have to qualify here as I do occasionally poke fun at groups or unnamed individuals behaving badly.) I have, however, under extreme circumstances, corrected grammar. You’re welcome!
But when I look back on my national park comments, I see how calling tourists who cluster around fudge shops in Estes “fudgies” could be construed as name-calling. In my defense, this term was not directed at any one person, I learned this term from an Estes Park native, I am a fudgie, and I find the term amusing. Making fun of tourists who are abusing and misusing OUR national parks is fair game. If you are not one of those doing these idiotic things, why would my comments offend you?
To me, there is a great difference between poking fun at a misbehaving group, and specifically calling someone (a real, breathing person) obnoxious, fool and a loser. Actually, I can be obnoxious, and sometimes foolish, but I take umbrage at loser, unless again, Mr. Canavan, you tell me what type of loser I am …
Social media has allowed people to abandon their manners and write nasty things they would never say to someone in person (I hope). The world would be a much better place if we agreed to disagree with calm, kind and logical civility. If you get this worked up about me making fun of misbehaving tourists, I humbly suggest you fasten your seatbelt over the next few months, as “your” in for a bumpy ride.