From the Mailbag

The proper definition of a man is an animal that writes letters

~ Lewis Carroll


The email messages filling my inbox are taxing and redundant, as I’ve mentioned previously. Yet I persist in responding. Two examples follow, just for fun.

I like and respect you Mr. McPherson. I think you are a great teacher and I guess that’s why I’m drawn to you. I also like hambone little tail, but I think I’m drawn to his plainspoken philosophical talent. There are so many crazy sounding people on YouTube, but I don’t at all believe you two are in that category. We are asked to believe a preacher’s message, even though we can’t see or hear any God. Johnny Cash had us believing he had spent jail time in Folsom prison, but that was not true at all. I, along with most of America, like these people too. These people do good in the world, despite their outright lies or faith that goes beyond the senses. (I’m actually agnostic myself. I do believe in science, but I also have to wonder). Anyway, they say that ignorance is bliss. If you truly believe we are all doomed no matter what, then why not just let it go ? If people don’t even want to save themselves or children, why would they want to save animals, plants, or microbial life ? Also I think you’re a superb teacher, but not a doctor. Doctors hate telling patients they will die and will do everything in their power to save them. Is that what you’re doing ? Are you trying to wake us up and save us. You have my respect and attention. Do you really believe it’s just a foregone conclusion coming at us at the speed of light ? Before I heard you, I was sending money to help the polar bears at Christmas. I saw you on YouTube a few months ago and you turned me into a prepper. How did this sneak up on me like that. I’d never heard anything near that dire. Sincerely, XXXXXXXX

My response:


Thank you for your thoughtful message.

I’m a real doctor. The medical profession resulted from the academy, not the other way around.

I’m also a teacher. I speak the truth few are willing to consider. The price: everything.

Isn’t that enough?


The uncommonly polite and humorous note of thanks is a fine example. Trolls take note:

I bow to your wisdom on this DOCTOR McPherson. My apologies. But you can’t blame an old journalism major from UT Knoxville for her curiosity. 😂


And another exchange, indicative of the absurd thoughtlessness of the masses:

I’ve been a bit curious about just what the fuck happened a couple of months ago with this chick in Australia. Suddenly, no one else is around on the podcast, just you and the delightful Kevin Hester. I read a cryptic post on Reddit with screen shots of an alleged conversation between the two of you and Serena calling you a predator and accusing you of bribes. Today I read your post from the 29th on the whole situation. There were a lot of names mentioned in that essay that I’m familiar with. If what you say is accurate, then it’s just a goddamned shame that they would blindingly side with someone’s accusations. So far, all I can gather is that this Serena is a seductive Aussie vixen with a penchant for the collapsnik types. I get it, having met my share of lurid Aussie ladies in my travels.

However, what I really don’t like is the seemingly juvenile handling of all this. To your point, aren’t you all adults? Are we really all so vulnerable? If people in the NTHE community can be so bold as to stand up to the mainstream messaging of our current plight, what kryptonites them into a gossipy affair of online kink? I guess what really sucks is that I respect many of the opinions and writings from this cast of characters, yourself included. One really wants to believe the tawdry personal affairs of thought leaders can remain suppressed, but I guess that’s a bit naïve for this era of social media exposure. Now everyone has a billboard, eh? But also, let he without a wayward erection cast the first stone :)

Well, ultimately, none of this shit matters. The all-consuming drama of our lives, be it this matter or the inane grumblings of a job or relationship, merely serve as more distractions from the larger daily struggle. I think what fascinates me most about our species is the ability to be so goddamned brilliant and so goddamned dumb in the same sphere. It’s quite an accomplishment, really. We’re seeking distractions at an exponential rate while the real problems grow at the same pace.

Anyway, man… your work has been very influential and helped me gain a different perspective on this existence of ours. For that, I am grateful. I wish you good fortune down in Belize for the remainder of your days. You’ve said it all along, “living with people is hard”…indeed, brother, yes indeed.

My response:

It matters to me. Those were my friends. With the exception of my wife, Sliwa was my best friend.

Why? As usual, follow the money or power.

The one-line return:

My apologies, I didn’t mean to sound so flippant about your personal relationships.