Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Faulkner's resignation: "Every scoundrel... (with) two cents for a stamp"

William Faulker is one of the most-recognized authors in American history. But, like many of that group, he wasn't always a writer. He was at one time a postmaster (although he allegedly was away at times to go hunting or golfing). But finally, he'd had enough. His resignation letter is a classic among those who are fed up with their jobs (or with the system).
"...As long as I live under the capitalistic system, I expect to have my life influenced by the demands of moneyed people. But I will be d***ed if I propose to be at the beck and call of every itinerant scoundrel who has two cents to invest in a postage stamp.
"This, sir, is my resignation."
I imagine that many of us have had that same feeling. Before writing this blog post, I had occasion to look someone up on Wikipedia, and found that the post had been edited to replace the name of the President who nominated a certain person with the word "Hitler," and his party with the word "fascist." There was a time when we would have gone to the library to look up the background on a person. That was a pain, but it also delivered us from someone who has access to a computer. Sometimes I think that's a trade-off I'd be willing to make.

Some of the posts I see on social media make me want to join Faulkner in chucking it all. Are we willing to trade the convenience of the Internet for the associated right to its use by people who insist on espousing their position (which is legitimate), but sometimes do it with troll-like actions (which I don't like)?

How about you? Do you hesitate to post things on the Internet that may be criticized by others? Are there other situations where you're afraid to voice an opinion. Have you ever, like Faulkner, wanted to resign? From what--the Internet, or from interactions with other humans? Let me know? I'd be interested in whether I'm the only one out here who sometimes wants to resign.

Tweet with a single click. "Faulker's resignation letter as postmaster is a classic. Do you sometimes feel that way as well?"

8 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
EM Griffith said...

Hmm. Can any "information" today really be trusted? And if so, how does one find it? I recently wrote a letter to our local news station. There were 3 erroneous news reports in a 2 week time span about little things like gasoline prices (off by more than a dollar per gallon). We live near Hearst Castle. William Randolph Hearst built an empire from his preference for sensationalism. Perhaps he planted the seeds for what we live with today? It's not just in social media or internet information sources. It's on T.V., in print, etc. To answer your question, my youngest son has a term for how I feel about angry, inaccurate news today: "Get off my lawn."

I'm not proud of those feelings. We're commanded to love. Yet does that mean we tolerate all of it? That's something I pray about daily now.

Richard Mabry said...

Elise, it's interesting (and often frightening) to see the changes in our society. And I like your son's term. Thanks for your comment.

Patricia Bradley said...

I've actually stopped watching the news. I have a choice of whether I want to invite people into my home and lately I haven't wanted to invite most of the newscasters. I get my news from the paper. And sometimes the internet--and that I usually take with a grain of salt.

Patricia Bradley said...

Oh, and I live two hours from Willaim Faulkner's hometown and where he was postmaster.

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, I've discovered (as I'm sure you have) that "news" reporting has gone out the window. I still remember when a reporter had to have corroboration of his/her sources, but now they're "unnamed," and often leave me wondering whether they're fictitious. I follow selected investigative reporters on the Internet, am pretty choosy in gleaning the facts from various newscasts, and try to make up my own mind--but it's tough.

Priscilla Bettis said...

Yes, I hesitate to post things on the Internet or voice things in gatherings for fear of being criticized. It's not regular criticism or people voicing other opinions that I don't like. It's the angry, very angry, disagreements that bother me and make me want to withdraw from humanity at times! I wish we could discuss rather than fight.

Richard Mabry said...

Priscilla, has this been building up gradually, and we're just noticing it? I don't know when it became obvious, but I don't like it. And, yes, there are times I'd like to "resign." Thanks for your comment.